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The One Where No One's Ready
Season 3, Episode 2
Air date 26 September 1996
Written by Ira Ungerleider
Directed by Gail Mancuso
Episode guide
The One With The Princess Leia Fantasy
The One With The Jam
Friends season one cast

"The One Where No One's Ready" is the second episode of the third season of the American television situation comedy Friends, which aired on NBC on September 26, 1996.[1] The plot centers on Ross's (David Schwimmer) 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, and it was watched by an average of 26.7 million viewers[citation needed]; the episode takes place on only one set and there are no guest stars, with the exception of two brief voice cameos.[1]


Ross (David Schwimmer) arrives at Monica's apartment to gather everyone together for an important function at his museum. He begins to freak out when no one is ready, and one unfortunate event after the other starts to happen to everyone.

Joey and Chandler - After Chandler (Matthew Perry) comes back from the bathroom, he is dismayed to find that Joey (Matt LeBlanc) took his chair while he was up. This causes an argument between the two which frustrates Ross. Chandler tries various tactics to make Joey get up, including name-calling, sitting on Joey's lap and waving his hand in front of Joey's face repeatedly. In an effort to move things along, Ross tells Chandler to go get ready, and then when he comes back Joey will go get ready and vacate the chair. Chandler comes back and Joey gets up to go get dressed, but Joey takes the chair cushions with him in an attempt to infuriate Chandler. Joey returns shortly after demanding to know where his underwear is. Chandler tells Joey that he hid his underwear in retaliation for taking the chair. When Ross asks Joey why he can't just wear the underwear he has on now, Joey reveals that he is not wearing any, but can't do that in a rented tuxedo (as Joey puts it, "I'm not going commando in another man's fatigues"). Joey leaves again and returns wearing everything Chandler owns and starts doing lunges in his clothes, which grosses Chandler out since Joey is not wearing underwear. Ross eventually settles the argument and demands Chandler give Joey back his underwear and Joey give Chandler back the cushions. Joey then gets dressed.

Phoebe - Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) arrives at Monica's apartment fully dressed and ready to go, much to Ross' delight. Unfortunately though, during Joey and Chandler's argument, Joey accidentally throws hummus onto Phoebe's dress. She tries to ask Monica what gets out hummus, but Monica is too distracted with her own problems. Rachel then tries to find something else for Phoebe to wear, but is unsuccessful. Phoebe eventually finds a hideous, oversized Christmas ribbon in Rachel's room and wears that on her dress to cover the stain.

Monica - After arriving home, Monica (Courteney Cox) checks her messages and hears a message from ex-boyfriend Richard (a voice cameo by Tom Selleck). She begins to freak out, wondering if the message is old or new, Ross and the gang try to convince her that it's an old message. Monica calls Richard from her room and leaves him an awkward message; when she hears the message for herself she realizes how bad it is. She breaks into Richard's answering machine to erase it, and she hears a message from another woman. Hoping that it might just be Richard's daughter Michelle, Monica calls her and hangs up when she hears the same greeting the woman on the machine left. Monica is relieved until Michelle calls her back. Monica lets it slip that she broke into Richard's machine and she thinks that Michelle will tell her father about it. Before everyone leaves, Monica taps into Richards machine again, erasing her earlier message and leaving a new one. However, she accidentally puts her new embarrassing message as Richard's new outgoing message. She's pushed out of the apartment by Phoebe, quivering and babbling that she needs to change Richard's message... or his number, but she's "assured" he'll probably do that himself.

Rachel - (Ross and Rachel are still dating at this point in the series) When Ross arrives at the apartment, Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) is almost ready to go, but she cannot decide on what to wear. She keeps finding little reasons not to wear particular outfits, which tries Ross' patience. Eventually he snaps and yells at her in front of everyone, demanding that she pick out any outfit so that they can get going. Rachel goes into her room and comes out shortly after in sweatpants and a sweatshirt, stating that she's not going to go. Ross tries to apologize and asks what he can do to make it up to her, Joey suggests that he drink a glass of chicken fat from Monica's fridge, Rachel agrees. Ross is about to drink it, but Rachel stops him just as the glass touches his lips. She is in disbelief that Ross would actually do that for her, and she realizes how much he really loves her. She dresses in record time and lets slip to Ross as they're leaving that she, too, is "going commando."

They all eventually manage to leave and make it to the function on time. In the scene during the credits a professor sits down in a chair at their table to talk to Ross, and when Chandler comes back he states that that was his chair and he gets in an argument with the professor similar to the one he had with Joey earlier. Chandler responds by demanding the professor's underwear.

[edit] Production[]

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.[2] The success of this episode led to the format being used at least once per season thereafter, with episodes including "The One with Monica's Thunder" and "The One On The Last Night" being based solely around the six core cast.[3] Bright believes these episodes were some of the best of the series.[2] This is also the only episode of Friends to take place in 'real time'.

[edit] Reception[]

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".[4] 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".[1] Allmovie says it "stands out for the way it realistically portrays how group inertia can slow you down".[5]

Popular reaction is more positive; the episode appeared on one of the first region 1 "best of" DVD releases[6] and it was voted the third most popular episode in an NBC poll in 2004.[7] 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.