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The One Where No One's Ready

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"The One Where No One's Ready"
Friends episode
Noones ready
Chandler and Joey fight over the chair.
Season 3x02
Episode no. 50
Written by Ira Ungerleider
Directed by Gail Mancuso
Guest stars Tom Selleck as Richard Burke (voice only)
Peter Dennis as Sherman Whitfield
Original airdate September 26, 1996
Episode List
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"The One With The Princess Leia Fantasy"
"The One With The Jam"

"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 in this episode 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 then gets ready while Ross tries to win back Rachel and get her to come to his function. Chandler then tells Joey to get ready and Joey does but steals the cushions which Chandler describes as "stealing the essence of the chair". Chandler then knowing Joey was wearing no underwear stole his underwear. Joey not wanting to wear a rented tux which another man has been in wears all of Chandler's clothes and starts doing leg stretches. Ross tells Joey to give back the cushions and tells Chandler to give back the underwear, Joey in turn tells Ross to drink chicken fat to win back Rachel. Rachel says that's not a bad idea and tells Ross to do it but changes her mind when she realizes Ross will actually do it she then realizes how much he loves her. The episode focuses on the difficulties the group has in getting ready.

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. When Phoebe gets the hummus stain, she asks Monica how to get it out. Monica responds "If it is a new message, what is he calling to say?" 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 a woman who sounds very breezy, according to Joey. 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. It gets to the point where Phoebe has to wrestle Monica away from the phone in her room. At the end of the episode, Monica leaves a new message for Richard. However, she accidentally sets 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 CrewEdit

Main CastEdit

Jennifer Aniston - Rachel Green
Courteney Cox - Monica Geller
Lisa Kudrow - Phoebe Buffay
Matt LeBlanc - Joey Tribbiani
Matthew Perry - Chandler Bing
David Schwimmer - Ross Geller

Supporting CastEdit

Tom Selleck - Richard Burke (uncredited, voice only)
Peter Dennis - Sherman Whitfield


Directed By:
Gail Mancuso

Written By:
Ira Ungerleider


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).
  • A drunk Ross has asked someone: "Who are you, Cro-Magnum PI?" Tom Selleck, who played Richard, Monica's ex-boyfriend (and voiced in this episode) had famously starred as lead actor Thomas Magnum in Magnum PI during the series run from 1980 to 1988.
  • Matt LeBlanc (Joey) blew out his shoulder doing a stunt for this episode, hence the reason for the sling in the following episodes.


  • The hummus stain on Phoebe's yellow dress changes size throughout the episode.
  • Chandler defends taking Joey's underwear because Joey took his cushions. But Chandler stays in the room the entire time after Joey leaves with his cushions, so Chandler must have taken Joey's underwear before Joey took the cushions. (Counter: Actually, he is just justifying his action by saying that Joey committed a similar offense. The order doesn't really matter in this case.)
  • 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)
  • 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 flat 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.

Episode NavigationEdit

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Preceded by
"The One With The Princess Leia Fantasy"
Series Three Episodes Followed by
"The One With The Jam"

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