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"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's 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 Joey's underwear, so Joey puts on all Chandler's clothes he can find. Ross is willing to go to extreme lengths to prove to Rachel that he is sorry.


"Okay, buddy-boy. Here it is. You hide my clothes, I'm wearing everything you own"

Meanwhile, Monica is thrown into doubt after her ex-boyfriend Richard leaves a message on her answering machine. 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 a little 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[]

Main Cast[]

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

Supporting Cast[]

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".


  • Chandler (getting out of the bathroom with a Cosmo magazine): I took the quiz, and it turns out I do put career before men.
  • Joey (wearing every piece of clothing Chandler owns): Could I be wearing any more clothes?



  • 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).
    • It also features a couple of appearances by an unknown woman playing Michelle on the tape recorder.
  • This episode is filmed in real time (i.e. no noticeable time lapses occur between scenes). The only time lapse that occurs in the whole episode is the closing scene, which takes place after Ross' speech.
  • Chandler gets dressed in 58 seconds. At the end of the apartment scene, Rachel gets dressed in 98 seconds.
  • Peter Dennis who plays Sherman Whitfield was born in Dorking, Surrey, England. He died in 2009.
  • Matt LeBlanc (Joey) blew out his shoulder doing a stunt for this episode, hence the reason for the sling in the following episodes.
  • 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).
  • In the uncut DVD version of this episode, Chandler sings the "Get Up" song to Joey.
  • In the commentary for the episode, Marta states that David was very worried about the shoe throwing as it might make Ross seem too cruel to Rachel.
  • The nursery rhyme Little Bo Peep was alluded to in "The One With Barry And Mindy's Wedding" when Chandler saw Rachel's pink dress.
    • Coincidentally Ira Ungerleider wrote the 'story' for that episode.
  • The first 5 minutes of this episode have been remade with Black actresses and actors for a Jay-Z video clip.
    • It features Jerrod Carmichael as Ross, Tiffany Haddish as Phoebe, Issa Rae as Rachel, Tessa Thompson as Monica, Rel Howery as Joey and Lakeith Stanfield as Chandler.


  • 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, actually 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 from or returning to the girls' apartment, either.
  • When Ross first enters the apartment, the bathroom door is partly open. Cut to Ross and then to Joey and the door is completely closed and Rachel opens it a few seconds later.
  • When Chandler leaves Monica's bedroom, he leaves the door open but just after Joey enters the apartment, when the shot changes to show Chandler and Phoebe, Monica's bedroom door is closed.
  • When Ross and Rachel leave her bedroom talking about her Halloween costume, Rachel's arms are either by her side or on her hips as the camera switches rapidly between Ross and Rachel.
  • After Rachel and Ross exchange a kiss, Ross ushers Joey and Chandler out of the apartment and Rachel is in her bedroom getting dressed yet she's not seen crossing the apartment after Ross and Rachel kissed.
  • Just after Ross says "the only person I care about", Rachel can be seen brushing her hair with her left hand. In the split second between Ross passing behind Phoebe and sitting by Rachel, Rachel's arm is on the kitchen table. She didn't have time to move her arm that quick.
  • When Ross is urging Joey and Chandler to get changed, he's near the chair but in the next shot when Rachel leaves her bedroom, Ross has moved so as to be level with her bedroom door. Then in the next wider shot both Ross and Rachel are near the chair but in the next close up they're near her door again.
  • When Rachel goes to sit at the kitchen table she is seen moving the glass of fat but when the shot changes to show Ross' reaction, Rachel can be heard moving the glass again.
  • When Monica replays the phone message, the laugh tracks that appeared earlier when she says the message out loud cannot be heard.


External links[]

Episode Navigation[]

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Preceded by
"The One With The Princess Leia Fantasy"
Series Three Episodes Followed by
"The One With The Jam"