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"THE ONE WHERE THEY TIME TRAVEL"

Written by

Justin S. Wales

Justin.wales9@gmail.com
818-299-7469
TEASER

INT. CENTRAL PERK - 1996.

Ross, Monica, Chandler and Joey sit around the couch.

MONICA
(to Chandler)
I still can’t believe you didn’t
offer to pay for your date’s
dinner. No wonder you’re still
single.

CHANDLER
She spent the entire meal telling
me how much she hated gender norms.
I figured by letting her pay I
could show her that I support
women’s lib and save $31 in the
process.

ROSS
Why didn’t you at least ask to
split the check?

CHANDLER
What kind of man asks to split the
bill on a date?

Rachel, who you’ll remember is a waitress at Central Perk at


this point in the show’s history, walks over to refill the
group’s coffee.

MONICA
Rachel, do you think it’s fair that
the man always has to pay for
dinner on a date?

RACHEL
Hmm, well I never really thought of
it before. No, I guess it’s not
fair--

CHANDLER
--Aha!

RACHEL
Why? What happened?

JOEY
Chandler went on a date with some
feminist chick and made her pay for
dinner.
2.

RACHEL
Oh, no, Chandler you should always
offer to pay.

CHANDLER
But you just said...

RACHEL
Yes, but it’s really a case-by-case
decision. You should always pay.

JOEY
As a rule I never pay for it.

RACHEL
See, he can somehow get away with
that.

ROSS
Well, what about me?

RACHEL
Oh honey, YOU get to date ME, so
yeah, you’re gonna be picking up
the check for a while. In fact, I’m
gonna go ahead and leave this here
with you.

Rachel reaches into her apron and hands Ross the bill for the
coffee.

RACHEL (CONT'D)
Take your time.

CUE THEME SONG


3.

ACT ONE

INT. CENTRAL PERK.

Ross, Monica, Chandler and Joey are still hanging out on the
couch. Rachel walks over to the group, removes her apron and
sits next to Ross.

RACHEL
Okay, I’m finally done with my
shift. What are we doing tonight?

JOEY
Phoebe called and said she has a
surprise for us. She told us to
meet her here.

CHANDLER
You know the last time she said
that she tried to get one of us to
adopt that possum she found at
Verdi Square.

ROSS
Yeah, but in her defense she
thought it was a raccoon.

Phoebe enters Central Perk with David (Hank Azaria), who


looks about 25 years older than when they last saw him.

PHOEBE
Oh, yay, everyone’s here! Everyone,
you all remember David.

The gang all says hello.

CHANDLER
(to Joey)
Well, at least its not another
marsupial.

MONICA
David, didn’t you just move to
Minsk for work? What brings you
back?

DAVID
I guess you could say I had some
unfinished business in New York in
1996 that couldn’t wait.

David makes eyes with Phoebe.


4.

CHANDLER
I guess you could say that
incredibly strange thing.

ROSS
Minsk, huh? Must have been a really
long flight.

Ross starts to laugh and Rachel smacks him on the chest.

PHOEBE
Yes, yes, David is very old now,
but that’s only because he’s from
the future and has come back to
take us all there with him!

The group looks at Phoebe and David with confusion.

PHOEBE (CONT'D)
TADA!

JOEY
Now, just wait one second. Do they
still have sandwiches in the
future?

DAVID
Oh yes, of course. Although bread
is no longer good for you, so you
really shouldn’t eat them.

JOEY
Guys, I don’t know about all of
this going to the future business.

INT. MONICA’S APARTMENT.

All the friends and David are speaking.

Rachel
So explain this to me again. You
have lived in Russia for the last,
what, 23 years working on
a...a...time travel machine just so
you could go back in time to be
with Phoebe again? Why didn’t you
just come back to be with her in
the first place?
5.

DAVID
Well, I did, but by the time I came
back she was dating some guy named
Mike and they were pretty serious,
so that’s when I went back to
Minsk, which is in Belaruse, by the
way, not Russia...

The friends don’t appreciate his aside.

DAVID (CONT'D)
But that’s really not important.
Anyway, that’s when I began working
on the time travel machine.

PHOEBE
Aww, isn’t he romantic! So who
wants to go live in the future?

CHANDLER
But what about Mike?

PHOEBE
Oh, I don’t know a Mike. Plus,
David said he was a real Quasimodo,
right?

DAVID
(looking guilty)
Yep.

ROSS
Phoebe, we can’t just go to the
future. I have a son. How is he
going to turn out if I’m not around
to raise him?

PHOEBE
That’s the best part, Ross! You and
Ben are completely estranged in the
future, so it doesn’t matter if you
leave now.

CHANDLER
(to Ross)
You must be very proud.

ROSS
What? How do you know that?

DAVID
Well, when I asked Phoebe to move
to Minsk with me twenty-three years
ago--
6.

PHOEBE
Which was also last week--

DAVID
--yes, she told me that she would
never leave her friends. So, I
figured if I were to get her to
come back with me tomy present--

PHOEBE
--which is also our future!

DAVID
--yes, I would need to be able to
tell you about your lives to
convince you to come back...

CHANDLER
(interrupting)
Back to the Future!
(to Joey)
I was waiting for him to say that.

DAVID
I was going to say back to 2019,
but sure.

MONICA
So you met with all of our future
selves?

DAVID
Oh no, of course not. I just looked
up what everyone was doing online.

ROSS
Online? You mean like the internet?

RACHEL
Is that thing still around?

ROSS
Why would information about my
relationship with Ben be on the
internet?

DAVID
He has a blog. But everything is on
the internet in the future.

JOEY
Okay, so then tell me this: How
could bread be bad for you?
(MORE)
7.

JOEY (CONT'D)
It’s bread! It’s the bottom of the
pyramid!

DAVID
Something about gluten. To be
honest it confuses me too. I think
you’re supposed to mostly eat red
meat and bacon grease now.

JOEY
Okay, I can get behind that.

RACHEL
So what are we all doing in the
future?

JOEY
Yeah, am I still acting?

DAVID
You are. You live in Los Angeles
and have been in a few TV shows.

JOEY
That’s pretty good! Any starring
roles?

DAVID
No, I don’t think so.

JOEY
(upset)
Oh okay...Well how’s my hair?

DAVID
Oh, its holding up. Plus you’re
really tan.

JOEY
Alright!

MONICA
What about me? What about me?

DAVID
You and Chandler are married and
seem pretty happy. You have twins
and live out in the suburbs.

MONICA
I’m a mom! of twins! with Chandler?

CHANDLER
Don’t seem so upset, sweetheart.
8.

MONICA
Oh my god, is my name
Monica...Bing?

PHOEBE
Oh god, no. You kept Geller.

MONICA
Thank god.

CHANDLER
I’m right here!

MONICA
Oh, shut up! You’ve done pretty
good for yourself in the future,
Mister.

ROSS
What about Rachel and I? Are we
still together?

DAVID
No.

Rachel grabs Ross’s arm.

PHOEBE
But you have a kid!

ROSS
Ben?

PHOEBE
Oh no, you really messed that one
up. You and Rachel have a daughter
named Emma.

RACHEL
Aww, Emma?

ROSS
But we’re not together?

DAVID
No. But if it makes you feel any
better you do remarry.

ROSS
(Optimistically)
I do? To who?

Rachel shoots a disgruntled look at Ross who rephrases “to


who?” in a more suspicious way.
9.

DAVID
Some woman named Janice.

ROSS
Janice?

JOEY, RACHEL, MONICA, CHANDLER


(imitating Janice)
Oh. My. God.

INT. CHANDLER AND JOEY’S APARTMENT

Chandler and Joey are playing foosball.

JOEY
I don’t know, Chandler. I mean, do
we really want to give all of this
up?

Joey gestures around the room before returning to the


foosball game. He spins the rod, scores on Chandler and lifts
his arms in victory. As he does the leg of the foosball table
gives out and the table collapses.

CHANDLER
(sarcastically)
I guess we do have it pretty good
here.

Joey walks away from the broken foosball table toward the
kitchen countertop.

CHANDLER (CONT'D)
But aren’t you curious about the
future? This could be a big
opportunity for us.

Joey is now focused on a donut he is eating from a box on the


countertop.

JOEY
(with food in mouth, not
paying attention)
Wha?

CHANDLER
Joey, let me put it this way. In
1996, you’re Joey Tribiani, broke
out-of-work actor. But in 2019 you
could be Joey Tribiani, wealthy out-
of-work actor.
10.

JOEY
You know, that does sound better.
But how are we going to be rich?

CHANDLER
I got it all figured out, the Super
Bowl is this weekend. I’m going to
ask David who wins it, and then I’m
going to bet on the game and...cha
ching!

JOEY
Chandler, you’re a genius! How did
you think of that?

CHANDLER
It’s the plot of Back To The Future
II. So you’re in?

JOEY
I’m in! This is going to be great,
I always wanted to travel more.

INT. MONICA’S APARTMENT.

Monica, Rachel and Ross are talking to each other.

MONICA
I think I want to do it.

ROSS
Are you sure, Mon? What about your
kids?

MONICA
Ross, I don’t have any kids. And
I’m certainly not ready to commit
to having kids right now, with
Chandler.

ROSS
What about Mom and Dad? You don’t
really think they’ll be around 23
years from now, right?

MONICA
(with a giddy realization)
No, I guess they won’t.

Ross gives her a displeased glare.


11.

RACHEL
Well, I think I’m with Ross. I
don’t think I’m ready to give up on
little Emma...
(turning to Ross)
Or on us. Who is David to tell us
we’re not going to be together? I
mean, he thinks he knows the future
just because he’s...

ROSS
From the future?

RACHEL
(frustrated, conceding the
point)
Yeah, from the future.

ROSS
I don’t want to give up on us
either, but if we stay here, then
we’re doomed. You heard David, I
end up with Janice. JANICE!. Maybe
you and I don’t stay together in
the future, but maybe we can stay
together in the future.

RACHEL
Oh, I don’t know. This is all so
much.

Phoebe and David walk in.

PHOEBE
So, have you guys decided?

MONICA
I’m in!

Joey and Chandler enter the apartment. Chandler is holding a


newspaper and a pencil.

CHANDLER
Okay, we’re in, but uh, before we
go, David, who wins the Super Bowl
this weekend?

DAVID
Oh, I have no idea.
12.

CHANDLER
(to Joey)
Well, you’ll still be a broke out-
of-work actor, but you’ll be a
broke out-of-work actor in the
future!

DAVID
Oh, no we’ll all be extraordinarily
wealthy.

RACHEL
(perks up)
Pardon?

PHOEBE
Yeah, we just went to a really
fancy financial advisor and bought
a ton of stock that is supposed to
be worth, how much in the future?

DAVID
Soooo, soo much.

ROSS
But Phoebe, I thought you didn’t
care about money?

PHOEBE
Phsha, okay hippie.
So are we doing this?

The camera pans to Joey who smiles and nods. He looks to


Chandler who smiles and nods. He looks to Monica who smiles
and nods, but then makes a grimace at Chandler, the
implication of which is she is reminded they are probably
soul mates. She looks to Ross who looks apprehensively at
Rachel for permission. Rachel sighs.

RACHEL
Ugh, I don’t know. Is the world a
better place in the future?

DAVID
No, not really.

RACHEL
But I’ll be rich?

DAVID
Tremendously.

Rachel takes a moment then nods. Ross hugs her and the gang
all embrace each other.
13.

INT. LABORATORY

David escorts the friends into a derelict warehouse housing a


metallic machine. It isn’t very spectacular looking.

DAVID
Okay, this is it.

The friends all look at the contraption.

RACHEL
Is it?

CHANDLER
I was expecting a Delorean!

MONICA
Alright, enough with the Back to
the Future references!

CHANDLER
Yes, dear.

DAVID
I know it isn’t much to look at,
but I assure you this is a very
impressive piece of technology.

David gives a love tap to the machine and the door swings
open. He laughs awkwardly and motions for the friends to
squeeze in. As he closes the door he inputs several buttons
into a key pad.

DAVID (CONT'D)
Although I probably should have
tested whether it was safe for more
than two people at a time.

ALL OF THE FRIENDS


WHAT?!

There is a flash.
14.

ACT TWO

INT. LABORATORY - 2019

Instantaneously the friends and David are in the year 2019.

DAVID
Welcome to the year 2019!

JOEY
Oh no!

MONICA
Joey, what’s the matter?

JOEY
I just remembered I have an
audition this afternoon.

ROSS
I think you’ve missed it.

The friends exit the machine.

CHANDLER
Okay, so when do we become
fabulously wealthy?

DAVID
Phoebe and I will go see the
financial advisor and meet up with
you in a few hours.

RACHEL
Where should we meet you?

DAVID
Here, take this. I’ll call you when
we’re done.

David hands Rachel an iPhone.

ROSS
What is that? A Tricoder?

Ross laughs but no one reacts to his joke.

DAVID
It’s a phone. And a computer. It’s
basically all you need to get by in
the future.

(MORE)
15.

DAVID (CONT'D)
Okay, off to see Mr. Madoff to
collect our riches!

PHOEBE
Yay!

Phoebe and David exit.

ROSS
Guys, we just time traveled to the
future. We can do anything we want.
Where should we go first?

Monica, Chandler, Joey and Rachel all look at each other.

MONICA
Do you want to see if Central Perk
is still around?

The gang all excitedly agrees.

EXT. FORMERLY CENTRAL PERK. IT IS NOW A STARBUCKS.

MONICA
Well, close enough.

INT. STARBUCKS

Monica, Chandler, Joey, Ross, and Rachel are hanging out on a


couch. Ross is reading a newspaper and Rachel is focused on
the cell phone.

RACHEL
I’m telling you guys, this thing is
amazing. You can just type anyone’s
name into it and it will tell you
everything about them.

MONICA
That’s so scary.

RACHEL
Yeah...Hey Mon, remember Chip from
High School?

MONICA
Yeah.

RACHEL
He’s fat now!
16.

MONICA
Ha.

ROSS
Yeah, it’s incredible how different
everything is in the future.

There is a wide shot of the five friends sitting at a couch


drinking coffee, virtually indistinguishable from their life
in 1996.

JOEY
Hey Chandler, check out those girls
over there.

Two attractive women are at a table.

CHANDLER
Oh wow. Can you believe chokers are
still in style?

JOEY
Let’s go talk to them.

Joey and Chandler walk toward the women.

JOEY (CONT'D)
(to women)
How you doing?

Joey smiles but the girls seem confused.

GIRL 1
Excuse me?

JOEY
Uh...How you doing?

The girls are still confused.

GIRL 2
We’re fine...

Joey looks at Chandler. He doesn’t know why this isn’t


working.

CHANDLER
(to Joey)
Let me try.
(to girls)
Ladies, we’re time travelers from
the distant past and were hoping
you could teach us your futuristic
ways.
17.

The girls laugh.

GIRL 2
You’re so funny.

GIRL 1
Yeah, and I love your sweater vest.
Do you have a startup or something?

CHANDLER
(confused)
Sure...?

Chandler and Joey sit down with the two girls.

Cut back to Monica, Ross and Rachel on the couch.

ROSS
Hey it says here that Donald Trump
is President!

MONICA
Oh wow, good for him. I always
loved the hot dogs at Trump Tower.

Rachel and Ross shake their heads in agreement.

Joey walks back leaving Chandler to talk with the two girls.

RACHEL
What happened?

JOEY
I don’t get it. Women in the future
seem to be really into nerds like
Chandler.
(to Monica)
No offense.

MONICA
I’m not with Chandler!

Chandler walks over flanked by the two girls.

CHANDLER
Guys, meet Ashley and Ashleigh.
Ashleys, this is Ross, Rachel,
Joey, and that’s my wife Monica.

Monica looks displeased.

GIRL 1
Oh, that’s so open minded.
18.

GIRL 2
We have to get to class. Give me
your phone, I’ll put in my number.

Chandler smiles, pats down his pockets, then grabs the phone
out of Rachel’s hand.

RACHEL
Hey!

Girl 2 inputs her number in, hands the phone back to


Chandler, and exits with Girl 1. Rachel takes back the phone.

GIRL 2
Call us.

CHANDLER
I love the future.
19.

ACT THREE

INT. OFFICE BUILDING

David and Phoebe are sitting in a fancy office.

PHOEBE
Why do you think all of those
people started laughing when you
asked to speak to Bernie Madoff?

DAVID
It’s probably nothing.

INT. STARBUCKS

RACHEL
Hey Monica, I typed your address
into this thing and it says that
your parents still own it.

MONICA
Oh my god, really? I wonder who is
living up there.

RACHEL
Should we go up and check?

MONICA
Sure.

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE OF MONICA’S APARTMENT.

As the group approaches Monica’s door a beautiful woman is


exiting Joey and Chandler’s old apartment. A nerdy guy named
Julian is saying goodbye to her.

CHANDLER
I love the future.

Joey is crestfallen.

MONICA
(to Julian)
Uh, excuse me. Do you know who
lives in this apartment?

Monica gestures to her old apartment.


20.

JULIAN
Oh, yeah, that’s Ben’s apartment.

ROSS
Ben? Ben who?

JULIAN
Ben, uh, what is his last name?
Willick-Bunch-Geller.

Ross gives a shocked look.

JULIAN (CONT'D)
His parents are lesbians so he has
a last name like a law firm. But he
isn’t there, he’s away on some
fellowship.

ROSS
(to his friends)
I think we should go.

EXT. OFFICE BUILDING

David and Phoebe talk outside of a fancy building.

DAVID
You know we’re victims here. They
didn’t have to physically escort us
out.

PHOEBE
They probably just got intimidated
when you started to cry.

DAVID
Okay, so here’s what we’re going to
do, I guess I need to go back to
Minsk, it will only take me
another...what, 22 years to sneak
enough Uranium to get us back to
1996. Once we do that we can go
find a financial advisor who
wouldn’t go on to commit the
biggest Ponzi scheme in American
history. Then we simply jump
forward again to live in extreme
wealth. No big deal, we can do
this.

PHOEBE
Okay!
21.

DAVID
So you’ll come back with me to
Minsk?

PHOEBE
Oh no.

INT. STARBUCKS

ROSS
I can’t believe my son is all grown
up. I missed his entire life, he
must hate me.

Rachel rubs Ross’s arm.

JOEY
(trying to be supportive)
Ross, Ben was like three when you
left. He probably doesn’t even
remember you.

ROSS
Thanks, Joey.

MONICA
Listen, once we settle into our new
lives and Ben comes back you could
always go and meet him. I’m sure
he’ll understand.

ROSS
What? That his father abandoned him
to travel through time? Not likely.

MONICA
No, but you’ll be really rich.
That’s sure to soften the blow.

Phoebe walks into the coffee shop alone.

RACHEL
Phoebe’s back! Where’s David?

CHANDLER
Is he in a limo outside? I bet he’s
in a limo outside!
22.

PHOEBE
Oh, right, so slight change of
plans, it turns out our financial
advisor was a criminal and stole
all of our money and we’re all
broke.

The friends all look shocked

PHOEBE (CONT'D)
(deflated)
Tada...

JOEY
I don’t understand. So David’s not
in the limo?

RACHEL
What are you saying? Do we go back
to 1996 then?

PHOEBE
Yeah, totally we can, but it’s
going to take another 22-years for
David to get enough Uranium to
bring us back. But he went to Minsk
to start, so only like 21 years and
364 days left.

ROSS
You don’t seem too upset by all
this.

PHOEBE
Eh, easy come, easy go.

INT. BEN’S APARTMENT.

Monica is on the phone. Ross and Rachel are listening to her


conversation. Joey and Chandler are staring intently into
their cell phones swiping right.

MONICA
(on cell phone)
Yes Mom, the Super let me in. Ross
is here too. He’s fine...No, I
haven’t gained weight. Okay, we’ll
see you and dad tonight.

Monica hangs up the phone.

ROSS
What did she say?
23.

MONICA
Well she is really happy that
you’re back.

ROSS
Did she say anything about Ben?

MONICA
Yeah, he’ll be in Argentina for
another few months on an academic
fellowship. She said we can stay
here until he gets back.

MONICA (CONT'D)
(to Joey and Chandler)
Are you two sure you don’t want to
stay here with us?

Chandler looks up and begins to speak while still


continuously swiping.

CHANDLER
No, I think my pal Joey and I will
try to get a little bachelor pad.

RACHEL
Oh, where are you thinking?

JOEY
Somewhere cheap.

CHANDLER
Maybe Williamsburg.

RACHEL
Uch, why would you want to live in
Brooklyn. What are you two doing on
those things anyway?

Chandler and Joey, still swiping, look at each other and


smile.

JOEY
Man, I love the future.

Chandler nods in agreement.

ROSS
(to Monica)
Did mom tell you what type of
fellowship he was doing?
24.

MONICA
Yeah, it something nerdy.
Paleontology I think.

ROSS
(proudly)
He’s a paleontologist? Like his
dad?

MONICA
Oh yea, I guess so.

Ross has never been more proud. Rachel leans in:

RACHEL
Do you think he can get you a job?
25.

TAG

INT. STARBUCKS

Rachel walks into the Starbucks that was formerly Central


Perk.

RACHEL
(out loud, to herself)
Well so much for having a wealthy
and carefree life in the future.

Rachel walks over to the counter.

RACHEL (CONT'D)
Uh, excuse me.

BARISTA
Yes?

RACHEL
I’m wondering if you were hiring.

BARISTA
Oh, hold on let me get my manager.

The barista leaves and returns a moment later. It’s an older


Gunther.

RACHEL
(not noticing its Gunter)
Uh, sir, I’m looking for a job, are
you hiring?

GUNTHER
Rachel!

Rachel looks at Gunther for a moment before finally


recognizing him.

GUNTER
I knew you’d come back to me!

End.f