The One With No Food

Season 1 Episode 2

Written by: Neil Studd
Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me, but to Bright, Kaufman and Crane Productions and Warner Bros. Their use is not intended for profit, only for entertainment.

So far in the series: If you haven't read the pilot, why not? Although there are no major plot events, it's still great reading. So as things stand, Chandler and Monica live together; Joey is alone across the hall, although desperately searching for a roommate; Ross, too, lives on his own, and is lamenting his third failed marriage; and Phoebe and Rachel are discovering the joys of living together. Things can't stay this way forever though...
Oh, and I do pride myself on my originality, but this episode is inspired by an episode of the classic British sitcom
Rising Damp. The series was a bit of a dud but the episode with a similar plotline to this was superb. OK, credits over with...

[Scene: Joey's apartment. The place is in darkness, except for the early morning sun coming through the window. Joey exits his bedroom and wanders to the fridge. He opens the fridge but the fridge light doesn't come on.]

Joey: (thinks) Funny, used to be a light in there.

(He grabs a carton of milk and drinks straight from it. After a couple of mouthfuls he winces.)

Joey: (thinks) Funny, milk always used to be cold.

(He carries on drinking anyway. He throws the empty carton in the trash and switches the radio on. Nothing, not even static. He tries to retune it but still silence.)

Joey: (thinks) Funny, no music today.

(He heads for the shower, and closes the bathroom door. We hear the shower turn on; a moment later Joey yelps. The bathroom door opens again, as Joey exits wearing just a towel.)

Joey: (out loud, furious) No hot water? Joey Tribbiani does not go to work without a shower! (pause) Very often.

(Joey wanders across the hall into Chandler and Monica's. There is no sign of a power outage: Chandler is playing air guitar to "Born To Be Wild" (which is being played extremely loudly). Monica is hoovering. Neither notice Joey enter. Joey walks up behind Chandler.)

Joey: Hey. (Chandler is still playing air guitar.) Hey!

(He taps Chandler on the shoulder, who whirls round in surprise and hits Joey in the stomach with his 'guitar'.)

Chandler How many times have I told you not to creep up on me during practice?

Joey: Sorry, man. Look, I've gotta problem. Nothing's working in my place: there's no light in the fridge, my shower's all cold, there ain't even no music on the radio!

Chandler: Sounds like a power cut.

Joey: So why is everything working over here?

Chandler: Sounds like someone hasn't paid their bills.

Joey: (admitting) Well, not yet. But y'see, I've got this plan. I'm saving all my bills up until I get a roommate, then I'm gonna split the cost between us! It'll cost me less in the long run.

Chandler: (looking at Joey in amazement) How are you still alive?

Monica: (walking over) Joey, you have to pay your bills regularly. Otherwise they'll just cut you off.

Joey: This sucks! You mean I have to raise...(thinking)...a lot of money very quickly? How'm I gonna do that?

(A commercial appears on the television which catches everyone's eye. A man standing in a very cheap-looking studio addresses the camera.)

Advert Man: This is the time of year when everyone should think about those less fortunate than themselves. As Thanksgiving approaches, shouldn't we remember that there are children starving in Africa who won't be gathering around the table to celebrate? That's why we've organised the first National Famine Day. We encourage you to go without food for 24 hours this Saturday, to raise money. It would mean a lot.

Monica: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Joey: (excited) Yeah!

Chandler: Totally! I'd pay a lot of money to see Joey go without eating for a day.

Joey: (face dropping) 'kay, I wasn't thinking what you were thinking.

Monica: Why, what were you thinking?

Joey: That I've been out of bed for ten minutes and not had breakfast. (He leaves.)

Opening Credits

[Scene: Central Perk. The whole gang are sitting around watching Phoebe play. We join them mid-song.]

Phoebe: (singing)

...You've got lovely blue eyes and lovely hair
I wanna kiss you to the dozen
But that would be illegal
'Cause you are my second cousin...
You are my second cousin.


Phoebe: Okay everyone, I'd like you to know that, in support of National Famine Day, I'll be dropping "Food Glorious Food" from my set on Saturday. (There is a generous round of applause.) This is going to be my last song tonight, it's based on something very important in my life. (She begins to sing very angrily.)

I've got a new roommate, she's a great friend
But her terrible habits drive me round the bend
One day she'll tidy up, I hope
And I won't ask about the hair on the soap
She's always coming home completely plastered
And her last long-term boyfriend was a complete...
(off Ross's look) ...paleontologist... (she continues playing)

(Rachel looks disgusted)

Rachel: Can you believe that?

Joey: I know, what a great song!


Rachel: It's supposed to be about me.

Joey: (shocked) Oooooh, that's not good then.

Rachel: Why would she humiliate me like that?

Monica: (frank) Well, the hair in the soap thing is irritating! (comforting) But it's not that big a deal.

Chandler: Maybe she doesn't realise how uncomfortable you feel about it. Remember when she sang "Monica Used To Be Fat"? She played that song for months before anyone plucked up the courage to say anything.

Joey: Yeah, and I don't wanna go through months of Rachel crying like an eight year old too. You just gotta tell her that you don't really want a song written about you.

(We catch the end of Phoebe's song)

(pause, then softly) shower....

(Stunned silence, then light applause)

[Scene: Chandler and Monica's. The whole gang is there except Joey and Phoebe.]

Chandler: ...So are we agreed? $200 each if Joey goes for 24 hours without food. That'll help cover his bills for this month.

Rachel: Yeah, sure, but isn't it, like, really easy money for Joey? How hard can it be for him to not eat for a day?

(Joey enters. He carries a plate with eight sandwiches stacked one on top of the other. He munches from the top one.)

Rachel: Will you take a cheque?

Chandler: (to Rachel) So have you spoken to Phoebe yet about that new song of hers?

Rachel: No, I mean, how's she gonna feel if I tell her not to play this song? It might upset her creative talents forever. She might never play again. (Pause) Yeah, I should probably say something.

Monica: So guys, what are you all up to tonight?

Ross: (excitedly) Hmmm...lemme see...Friday night...I'm young and single...Oh yeah! That's right! (sour-faced) I'm looking after Ben.

Chandler: I've got some work to catch up on.

All: (stunned) What?

Chandler: Well, I figured that since I hardly ever seem to be at work, I should probably do something to get on my boss's good side. Joe, what about you?

Joey: (by now his plate of sandwiches is empty) I'm gonna go make some more sandwiches! (He goes to leave, but Monica stops him.) Hey, let me go!! It's not as if I'm using your bread or anything! (Pause, then mumbles) Not this time anyway.

Monica: About all this eating Joey...Do you realise that a lot of people in the world would kill for just one of your sandwiches?

Joey: Exactly. Which is why I've got to get back to my apartment before someone steals all my bread. (He tries to leave again but Monica puts a foot in front of the door.)

Monica: Joey, how would you feel about giving up food for a day in respect of those less fortunate than you?

Joey: (pretending to mishear) Give up food for an hour? Sure!

Monica: A day.

Joey: (shocked) A day? That's, like, 26 hours! (Monica rolls her eyes.) No way! (Joey finally gets past Monica and goes across the hall, offscreen.)

Monica: (shouts offscreen to Joey) There's $1,000 in it for you...


Joey: (offscreen, excitedly, obviously with a mouthful of food) Mmm-hmm!

[Scene: Rachel and Phoebe's place. Phoebe is practicing her "Roommate Song" as Rachel enters.]

Rachel: Hey!

Phoebe: Hi! Ooh! Do you want to hear the new verse of my "Roommate Song?"

Rachel: No thanks. Er, Pheebs...

Phoebe: Oh, yeah! Can you think of anything that rhymes with 'dufus'?

Rachel: Er...

Phoebe: (realising) Mucus!

Rachel: Pheebs, I really need to talk to you about this new "Roommate Song" you've written.

Phoebe: Yeah, what about it?

Rachel: (hesitant) ...Well, it's obviously about me!

Phoebe: (surprised) Ooo, is it that obvious?

Rachel: (taken aback) Yuh-huh!

Phoebe: 'Kay, but is it just a little bit obvious, or is it like that "My Twin Sister Once Killed A Man" song I wrote?

Rachel: (pauses confused for a second) ...No, it's very obvious Pheebs.

Phoebe: Oh. So do you like it?

Rachel: (annoyed) No I don't! You say some really horrible things about me!

Phoebe: (surprised) Like what?

Rachel: (angry) Well, for starters I'm not ditzy!

Phoebe: (rustles Rachel's hair) Of course you are! And I don't mean them all in a bad way, they're just things about you which I find interesting.

Rachel: (confused) Really?

Phoebe: Yeah! Like the half hour phone calls, raiding the fridge in the middle of the night, not pulling your weight around the house...they're part of what you are and I love you for it!

Rachel: (unsure) Oh! Well...that's okay then...I guess...

Phoebe: Good! Now I could use your help with this other new song I'm writing about Ross.

Rachel: (sneakily) Really?

[Scene: Joey's apartment. Joey, Chandler and Ross are there; they're going to spend the whole of the next day together. It's quite late, but obviously not midnight because Joey is eating ice cream out of the tub. We join them mid-conversation.]

Joey: ....I'm telling you, it's an absolutely flawless plan!

Chandler: Eating everything you would have eaten tomorrow, today. Well...that is possibly the most stupid idea I've ever heard. Now you'll be fat and hungry.

Ross: (looking at watch) Three minutes to midnight.

(Joey puts his ice cream down and grabs a baguette which is about three feet long.)

Chandler: (looking at sandwich) ...The world's biggest Meatball Sub?

Joey: (excitedly, mouth full of food) That's right!

Ross: Okay Chandler, are you sure that's all the food out of the apartment?

Chandler: Everything, even the chocolate flavoured condoms, all in mine and Monica's place.

Joey: Hey! Nobody told me I wasn't allowed to have sex all day either! What am I going to do?

Ross: It's okay Joey. We'll get through this together. You're in the hands of trained individuals. Everything is under control.

Chandler: Dude, where's Ben?

Ross: (remembering) Damn! (He leaves.)

Commercial Break

[Scene: Joey's apartment. Joey and Chandler are playing foosball. Joey looks extremely fatigued. He almost seems to move in slow motion. Chandler looks extremely bored as he moves the ball up the table and scores.]

Chandler: (fake enthusiasm) Woo. Hoo. Seventeen. Nothing. I. Am. Unbeatable.

Joey: (in obvious discomfort) Dude, I can't stand all this not-eating. How long's it been now?

Chandler: (looks at watch, then works it out mentally) Twelve minutes.

Joey: Damn! Not even halfway yet.

Chandler: Why don't you sleep Joe? If you don't get up until lunchtime, that's the best part of the day over with.

Joey: Mmm...lunchtime... (He drifts off into a daydream)

Chandler: (not noticing Joey's trance) Seriously, man, get some sleep. You'll need all the energy you can get tomorrow... (He sees Joey now. He walks up to him, and snaps his fingers. Joey remains distant.) I'm not sure if there's any rule against dreaming about food...

(Ross re-enters.)

Chandler: Hey, man. Everything OK with Carol?

Ross: Yeah. Apparently Monica rung her and told her about our little fund-raising event.

Chandler: Was she upset?

Ross: I dunno, I get the feeling she was pretending to be OK, but was mad deep down. She's probably going to do something to spite me later on.

Chandler: ...Because becoming a lesbian didn't achieve that already?

(Ross scowls for a second, then shrugs his shoulders.)

Ross: I guess. But, you know, I think this is gonna be the icing on the cake.

(Joey snaps out of his daydream suddenly.)

Joey: Did someone say "cake"?

(Chandler looks at his watch.)

Chandler: OK, we have precisely 23 hours 45 minutes of Joey time remaining. Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts, we may have some turbulence ahead.

(Time lapse. The clock shows it's 11am. Joey is sound asleep in one of the loungers. A cookery show is on the television. Ross and Chandler are in the kitchen area. Ross stands next to a flipchart which has several graphs and tables drawn on it.)

Ross: (scientist voice) So, to summarise, the data collected by Mr. Bing suggests Mr. Tribbiani's optimum slumber period to be precisely nine hours. Combined with an expanding desire to consume, Mr. Tribbiani will reach peak nourishment deprivation level (pointing) here. In order to overcome such an increasing craving, it is necessary to expand Mr. Tribbiani's time of slumber.

Chandler: ...Meaning?

Ross: We should wake him up at five to midnight.

(The phone rings. Chandler answers it.)

Chandler: (on phone) Y'ello....Oh, hey! (To Ross) It's Papa Luigi, of Papa Luigi's Pizza Express. (on phone) Yeah, he's here...No, he's not dead...No, I realise he hasn't called for his 10.30 pizza, but he's doing charity work today. He's starving himself so that others may live. He's a brave, brave man!

(We cut to see Joey, asleep in his chair, mouth wide open, snoring. He doesn't look very brave.)

Chandler: (continuing, on phone) No...No, he'll be back in shape tomorrow...Yeah, he'll be extra hungry. Might be wise to take more staff on....'Kay. Bye.

Ross: So are we gonna let him sleep?

Chandler: I dunno. I'm giving him $200 for this, I think we should make him work for his money.

Ross: You mean, torture him with the smell of food?

Chandler: Yeah, eat in front of him, wave stuff under his nose, cook a large roast, stuff like that.

Ross: I'll go get Mon's cookbook.

(Ross leaves and goes across the hall. He enters Monica's. Rachel, Monica and Phoebe are sitting around the table. Phoebe has her guitar. They all look up guiltily as Ross enters.)

Phoebe: (excitedly) Ooh! Just who we need! Ross, do you think that "remorse" rhymes with "divorced"?

(Ross opens his mouth to answer, then ponders this. In the end he decides to ignore it.)

Ross: Mon, do you still have that huge cookbook that Mom lent you for Thanksgiving?

Monica: (insulted) Why would I need a cookbook? I only borrowed it because I'm a fan of the author!

Ross: Who is the author?

Monica: I...don't know. (She finds the cookbook and hastily hands it to Ross.)

Ross: Thanks. (He goes to leave. He opens the door.)

Phoebe: (to Rachel and Monica) I'm still not convinced that "trembly" rhymes with "Emily".

(Ross glares as he leaves.)

[Scene: Joey's Fantasy World. Dream sequence. Lively organ music plays as Joey skips through the streets. He's dressed very 19th-century, like a character from a Charles Dickens novel, with a waistcoat and top hat. He passes a restaurant with a sign outside saying "All You Can Eat: $1". He looks at it gleefully and walks in. Time lapse. He leaves the restaurant, patting his stomach suggesting he had a good meal. He skips along again. Next door to the restaurant is...another restaurant - "All You Can Eat: 50 cents". He gasps in surprise and walks in. Time lapse. He leaves, looking very plump. It starts to rain, except it's not water but donuts that are being rained down. He takes off his hat and turns it upside down, catching donuts as they fall. He munches from his hat, excitedly.]

(Cut to Joey, still asleep in his chair. He looks very happy and peaceful. Ross and Chandler have a banquet laid out in the kitchen. Chandler sounds a gong. (What do you mean, "Where did he get a gong from?" This is TV, I can do what I like.) Joey wakes, startled.)

Joey: (mumbling as he wakes) the hat...

(Chandler and Ross exchange glances.)

Chandler: Well, Joey, you'll be pleased to know it's three o'clock. Only nine hours to go. Hope you don't mind if Ross and I have a spot of lunch. (He places a napkin on his lap and begins to load his plate with food.)

Joey: (wincing) Must...take mind off food... (He switches Baywatch on. The girls run down the beach. We see this from Joey's point of view as three turkeys running along in swimsuits.) Woah, those are fine birds.

Ross: They sure are.

[Scene: Chandler and Monica's. Monica is on the balcony reading a book, when she spies a small black cat in the corner.]

Monica: (to cat) Hey there, little fella! (stroking it) You look mighty hungry. I tell you what, as soon as I've finished this chapter, I'll dash down the mall and pick you up some food. (Examining cat) While I'm there, I'll get you some flea repellent, a new collar, and one of those little baskets! This is gonna be so much fun! I think I'll call you...Chips.

[Scene: Joey's apartment. Chandler and Ross are putting their feet up after eating that huge meal. Joey washes up. He checks that no-one's watching, and licks one of the plates.]

Ross: After all that, I think I'd better go to the bathroom. (Off he goes.)

(Joey runs and falls at Chandler's feet.)

Joey: Chandler, you gotta help me out! I know there's not long to go, but I don't think I'm gonna make it. Can't you sneak me a plate of something while Ross isn't looking?

(Chandler considers Joey. He looks very desperate. He tries to use a "puppy eyes" look on Chandler. Chandler gives in.)

Chandler: Okay. I've gotta go see Monica, I'll try and grab something for you while I'm there.

Joey: Thanks, man. (He gives Chandler a bear hug. Chandler pauses, then leaves.)

[Scene: The hallway. Monica has a plate of cat food. She is searching for Chips.]

Monica: Here, Chippie, Chippie, Chippie...

(Chandler enters from Joey's place.)

Chandler: Hey. What you up to?

Monica: I got a cat! (Pause.) 'kay, so I got someone else's cat. But he looks very hungry.

Chandler: Yeah, he's so thin he's...almost invisible...

Monica: I know, he ran off when I tried to get him with flea spray. I'll just leave it here for when he comes back. (She leaves the plate outside her door, and walks in to her apartment with Chandler.)

(There is silence. After a while, we see Joey sneak out of his apartment into the hallway. He squeals with excitement when he sees the plate.)

Joey: Nice one Chandler! (He begins to gulp down the cat food.)

[Scene: Central Perk. Phoebe is about to play while the rest of the gang watch. Chandler and Monica are on the sofa, with Joey between them. Rachel stands and Ross sits in the big chair.]

Phoebe: Good evening everyone. Now before I start, I'd like to say a big "well done" to my friend Joey, who's got just one hour of a 24 hour fast left. (Applause.) And to celebrate, a new song for you all!

Joey: (whispers to Chandler) Thanks for that food man.

Chandler: (whispers back) Aaah, shoot! I completely forgot. Sorry.

Joey: (whispers) What are you talking about? That chicken thing...with the liver...

(Chandler looks puzzled.)

Monica: (whispers to Chandler) I've gotta pop out for a second. I forgot to feed Chips tonight. (excitedly) Chicken and liver's his favourite! He ate it real quick this afternoon! (She leaves.)

(It takes a second for Chandler to click. He looks at Joey. Joey gives him a wink and a "thumbs up" for the food. Chandler is unsure what to say or do, so says nothing.)

Phoebe: (singing)

I have a good friend, his name is Roooooss......
If he went away it would be a looooooss......

(We see Ross's face. He's very smug because Phoebe's saying nice things about him.)

He works in a museum all the weeeeeeek......
It gives me great pleasure to hear him speeeeeak......

(Ross still looks very happy with himself.)


(Everyone laughs at Ross, who's not grinning any more.)

Ending Credits

[Scene: Central Perk. We can't see anything. The camera zooms out and we see that we were looking at a close-up of a very, very, very large sandwich. Joey sits eagerly looking down at it, whilst the rest of the gang count down until the end of the 24 hours.]

All: Five! Four! Three! Two! One! Zero!

(Joey grabs one end of the sandwich and begins to eat)

Chandler: (putting his $200 on the table) Well done man.

Rachel: (putting her $200 down) Yeah, had to admit, didn't think you could do it.

All: (giving Joey their $200) Well done Joey.

(Joey stops eating to count his money. Then he realises what he has done. He eats the sandwich with one hand, and counts his money with the other.)

Joey: Woo-hoo! One thousand dollars! (He goes to leave, still with his sandwich.)

Monica: You off to pay your bills?

Joey: (laughing) You're kidding, right? This can buy a lot of pizzas!

(Joey leaves. Everyone rolls their eyes.)