|The One Where No One's Ready|
|Season 3, episode 2|
|50th overall episode of Friends|
|Joey and Chandler fight over the chair.|
September 26, 1996
"The One Where No One's Ready" is the second episode of the third season of Friends, which aired on September 26, 1996. The plot centers on Ross's anxiety as his friends take too long getting ready for a function that evening.
The episode was written by Ira Ungerleider and directed by Gail Mancuso. It is one of the few bottle episodes of the series; the bulk of the episode takes place on only one set and in real time. There are no guest stars, with the exception of two brief cameos.
Ross arrives at Monica's apartment to discover Joey, Chandler and Rachel are not yet dressed for a function that evening. Joey sits on the chair Chandler was recently sitting in causing an argument between them, resulting in hummus staining Phoebe's dress. Meanwhile, Ross yells at Rachel causing her to say she will not go to the function. Chandler hides Joeys underwear, so Joey puts on all Chandlers clothes. Ross is willing to go to extreme lengths to prove to Rachel that he is sorry.
Meanwhile, Monica is thrown into doubt after her ex-boyfriend Richard leaves a message on the answering machine (a voice cameo by Tom Selleck). Her friends tell her repeatedly that it's an old message, but she obsesses over it. Monica leaves what she believes is a breezy message, which clearly isn't when she plays it for the group. However, it's followed by a message from another woman. Monica freaks out again, but then she thinks it could be Michelle, Richard's daughter. She calls Michelle to confirm, but Michelle calls back and things get awkward. At the end of the episode, Monica leaves a new message for Richard blaming her previous actions on her period only to accidentally set it as his outgoing message. Monica panics and thinks the solution is getting the phone company to change his number. Phoebe says "I think he'll be doing that himself after this."
Cast and Crew
The bottle episode format of the series was conceived by executive producer Kevin S. Bright as a way of saving money for other episodes by using a single set and no guest stars. The success of this episode led to the format being used often in the future, with episodes including "The One With Monica's Thunder" and "The One On The Last Night". Bright believes these episodes were some of the best of the series.
Entertainment Weekly notes that the episode "owes a large stylistic debt to Seinfeld", specifically citing the 1991 episode "The Chinese Restaurant", which also plays out in real time. It rates the episode C and calls the answering machine gag "derivative of George Costanza". The authors of Friends Like Us: The Unofficial Guide to Friends call it "forgettable"; "The script is dull and the performers seem to know it, with none of them trying particularly hard to make it work". All Movie Guide says it "stands out for the way it realistically portrays how group inertia can slow you down".
Popular reaction is more positive; the episode appeared on one of the first region 1 "best of" DVD releases and it was voted the third most popular episode in an NBC poll in 2004. Joey's use of the phrase "going commando," which originated in the U.S. on college campuses in the early 1970s, became a popular catchphrase, especially with sports-related media. This episode is therefore an example of the continuing trend over all ten seasons of Friends which would see audiences reacting very differently to certain episodes than critics.
This episode is ranked number 3 in "NBC's 6 Favorite Friends Episodes Countdown".
- The New Oxford English Dictionary now includes a definition for "going commando." They actually credit this phrase to Friends.
- This is one of the few Friends bottle episodes. Except for the closing scene and a two-line voice-over by Tom Selleck, it utilizes no guest stars or extras whatsoever, and only one main set (not counting the dining hall in the closing scene).
- This episode is filmed in real time (i.e. no noticeable time lapses occur between scenes). The only time lapse occurs between the whole episode and the closing scene, which takes place after Ross' speech.
- The uncut DVD version of the episode features a message from one of Rachel's sisters, who don't make an appearance on the show until "The One With Rachel's Sister" (S6E13) (Jill) and "The One With Rachel's Other Sister" (S9E8) (Amy).
- Matt LeBlanc (Joey) blew out his shoulder doing a stunt for this episode, hence the reason for the sling in the following episodes.
- In the uncut DVD version Chandler sings the "Get Up" song to Joey.
- The hummus stain on Phoebe's yellow dress changes size throughout the episode.
- In one scene, Chandler is not wearing a tie, but in the next scene, he is wearing a bow tie. (Counter: a bow tie is small enough to fit in a pants pocket, so he could have taken it out and put it on between scenes, actualy it is seen that he is holding a bow tie in hand)
- As Joey leaves the room with the cushions, the camera pulls away and you can see multiple pieces of tape on the floor: One is white with a red outline and the other seems to be Matt LeBlanc's mark (green tape) for that scene.
- At the end of the episode, when Ross closes Monica's apartment door, the wall visibly moves.
- Phoebe's hair bun changes. First it's regular sock bun, later it changes to slightly different version of the same hairdo.
- Chandler states that he took Joey's underwear after Joey stole "the essence" of the chair. However, there was no time for him to do so, as he had remained in Monica and Rachel's apartment after Joey stole "the essence" of the chair only a few minutes prior. Chandler was not seen leaving or returning the girls' apartment, either.
| Preceded by|
"The One With The Princess Leia Fantasy"
|Series Three Episodes|| Followed by |
"The One With The Jam"