THE ONE WITH BEN'S TOUGH CHOICE
Written by: Ethan
Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me, but to Bright, Kauffman and Crane Productions and Warner Bros. Their use is not intended for profit, only for entertainment.
ROSS & RACHEL'S APARTMENT (Ross, Rachel and Caitlin are present. Ross is feeding Caitlin her bottle. There's a knock at the door.)
Ross: That's a good girl. I'm gonna stand up and get the door. No crying now. (Ross walks to get the door. As soon as he goes to open it, Caitlin starts crying.) Figures. (Ross opens the door. It's Carol)
Ross: Hey, what brings you here?
Carol: Where's Rachel?
Ross: In the shower. What's up?
Carol: Well you know how I'm marrying Ryan?
Ross: Yeah. You don't need me to give you away again do you?
Carol: No, my folks are ok with this wedding.
Ross: So what brings you here?
Carol: Ryan got traded back to the San Francisco Giants.
Ross: Good for him. Aren't they in playoff contention?
Carol: Yeah. Oh and I'm moving with him.
Ross: What about Ben?
Carol: He's going with me.
(Ross stands in shock)
CENTRAL PERK (Joey, Jenna, and Chandler are present)
Joey: I'm telling ya, Porky's was the best movie of all time.
Jenna: Please, even Weekend at Bernie's was a better film than Porky's.
Chandler: Yes, unfortunately Joey judges the merit of a movie based on how much nudity it has in it.
Jenna (to Joey): Have you ever seen a true Hollywood classic?
Joey: Like what?
Jenna: I dunno, something like The Godfather or Gone With The Wind.
Chandler: Yes, he's made some people die after breaking wind.
Joey: Did they have nudity in it?
Joey: Then I haven't seen it.
Jenna: Then we're watching a classic tonight. If you're gonna date me then you're gonna have to be a little bit more sophisticated.
(Jenna gets up to get more coffee)
Chandler (to Joey): Two more weeks and she'll be running your life.
Joey: No way.
Chandler: She's training you like a horse. She's showing you the water and telling you to drink.
Joey: What does that have to do with her running my life?
Chandler: Two weeks and you'll be like Ross and me.
ROSS & RACHEL'S APARTMENT (Ross is talking with Carol)
Ross: Do you wanna run that by me again?
Carol: I'm taking Ben with me to San Francisco.
Ross: Ah, what about me, his father?
Carol: Well you and Rachel have Caitlin to take care of. You're not gonna have much time for Ben.
Ross: That's so untrue. I love Ben as much as I love Caitlin. I want to spend time with Ben. I love spending time with Ben. Rachel loves spending time with Ben.
Carol: Well he can't stay here with you.
Ross: Why not?
Carol: Because I'm his mother.
Ross: So is Susan. What does she have to say about this?
Carol: Technically Susan's not his mother since lesbian marriages aren't recognized in the State of New York.
Ross: So you're basically not gonna tell her?
Ross: Have you lost your mind? That's his mother too. You're gonna screw up his head.
Carol: But Ryan thinks…..
Ross: Who cares what Ryan thinks, he's not one of Ben's parents yet!
(Rachel emerges from the bedroom)
Rachel: Hey. Hey Carol. What's going on?
Ross: Carol wants to take Ben to San Francisco.
Rachel: That's a cool place to vacation.
Ross: No Rach, for good.
PHOEBE'S APARTMENT (Monica and Phoebe are present)
Monica: So how are you with Joey dating Jenna?
Phoebe: Totally fine with it. According to the Tarot, they're perfect for each other. And you never go against what the Tarot says.
Monica: What's the Tarot?
Phoebe: You don't know what Tarot cards do?
Monica: No. What do they do?
Phoebe: Simply put, they're a means of predicting events or receiving guidance in either our spiritual world or outer world.
Monica: Sounds like a bunch of voodoo to me.
Phoebe: Fine, don't believe in it.
Monica: Would you teach me?
Phoebe: Sure! Oh great, I get to be a teacher again! You have to promise me one thing though….
Monica: What's that?
Phoebe: That you don't tell anyone who you learned to read the cards from.
Monica: Ok. (pause) Why not?
Phoebe: I dunno. That's what my grandma told me when she taught me how to read the cards.
CENTRAL PERK (Jenna, Chandler and Joey are present. Jenna's in the bathroom)
Chandler: So what classic are you going to watch tonight?
Joey: The Godfather I guess.
Chandler: Good choice, it's an excellent movie. You'll like it, there's a lot of violence in it.
Joey: Is there any nudity?
Joey (disappointed): It's gonna suck then.
Jenna: Joe, I was thinking, since I'm making you watch a movie of mine, then you should have the right to make me watch a movie of yours.
Chandler: Jenna, you really don't wanna do that.
Joey: Wanna just make a movie instead?
Jenna: What does that mean? (Joey whispers something in her ear) You truly are a pig!
Joey: Does that mean no?
Jenna: I didn't say that.
(Ross, Rachel and Caitlin enter)
Ross (down): Hey.
Chandler: Who died now?
Rachel: Ben is leaving for San Francisco.
Joey: On vacation?
Ross: No, he's moving there with Carol.
Chandler: And you're letting her do it?
Ross: What choice do I have? Carol's Ben's mother.
Jenna: Why don't you fight it?
Ross: I don't want to but my son through a custody battle.
Joey: Why don't you just let Ben choose what he wants to do?
Rachel: What do you mean?
Joey: Just that, ask Ben to choose what he wants to do. He's old enough to know.
Chandler: The man is amazing, you think he's nothing but a kid and then he pulls this bit of wisdom out of nowhere.
Joey: I didn't pull it out of nowhere. I saw a similar thing on the Brady Bunch yesterday.
PHOEBE'S APARTMENT (Phoebe and Monica are present)
Phoebe: Ok, there are 78 cards in a Tarot deck. There're the 22 cards known as the Major Arcana and the 56 known as the Minor Arcana. The Minor Arcana has four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles.
Monica: Ok, ok, ok, when do we start doing readings?
Phoebe: Oh no, you won't be doing readings for months. The Tarot takes a long time to learn and you have to learn to respect its power.
Monica: You mean we're not gonna be doing readings today?
Phoebe: No! You're here to learn!
Monica: Can't you at least show me what a reading looks like?
Phoebe: Will you promise to let me teach you then?
Monica: I promise.
Phoebe: Ok. Will do a simple three card reading. What's your question?
Monica: Let's see, ah….
Monica: Ok, ok, I got one. Will Chandler and I have a long marriage?
Phoebe: Here we go. (she flips three cards over and then gasps)
Monica: What? What is it?
Phoebe: Nothing. I just had a rush of adrenaline.
Monica: Well what does it say?
Phoebe: It says that yes, you will have a long marriage.
(Monica is happy. Phoebe looks like she's seen a ghost)
JOEY'S APARTMENT (Joey and Jenna are watching The Godfather)
Joey (impatient): Is this almost over?
Jenna: Just wait, the tollbooth scene is coming up.
Joey: What happens? Does he have hot sex in the tollbooth?
Jenna: No. Just wait to see what happens.
(The TV erupts with gunfire noise)
Joey: Man, is that brutal!
Jenna: Isn't this a good movie?
Joey: A good movie? This is a great movie! That dude just took over 100 bullets! What, what happens next?
Jenna: Just watch. Oh and there are two more movies which follow this.
Joey: Are they as brutal as this movie?
Jenna: Does a horse's head in a movie producer's bed sound brutal to you?
Joey: Oh baby! Why haven't I seen this movie before tonight? It's got almost everything, gruesome violence, the mob….I mean the only thing that would make this a true Joey Tribbiani classic is some T n A.
ROSS & RACHEL'S APARTMENT (Ross, Rachel, Caitlin, Ben and Carol are present)
Ross: Do you understand what we're asking you to decide Ben?
Ben: Yeah. I wanna….
Rachel: You don't need to tell us right away Ben. We want you to think about it a little bit. It's a big move if you decide to go with Mommy Carol. It means you'll be leaving behind your friends, starting a new school and you won't be able to hang out with Daddy.
Carol: But you'll make new friends, and the schools in California are great. Plus you'll have Ryan to hang out with when he's not playing baseball.
Rachel: But you won't get to play with your little sister when she's bigger.
Carol: Yeah, well we might be able to get you another little sister.
Rachel: But that might be a year or more…..
Ross: Enough! Leave Ben and I alone for a minute.
Carol: No brainwashing him.
Ross: Carol, please.
(Rachel and Carol leave)
Ross: Ben, I want you to choose whatever will make you most happy. It's ok if you want to go to San Francisco with Mommy. I'll still see you during the summer and around the holidays. If you want to stay here, that'd be great too. Mommy Rachel and me would love it if you stayed with us.
Ben: Why do I have to choose?
Ross: Because you're a big boy now and it's time for you to make your first big boy decision.
Ben: But you don't let Uncle Joey make decisions and he's way older than me.
Ross: Yeah that's true, but you're much brighter than Uncle Joey.
CENTRAL PERK (Rachel, Joey and Jenna are present)
Joey: Hey Rach, have you seen the Godfather before?
Rachel: Yeah, why?
Joey: Jenna and I watched it last night. I had never seen it before. It was totally awesome!
Rachel: Well that is why they consider the movie a classic.
Jenna: That's what I tried to tell him.
Joey: You should come over tonight, we're gonna watch Godfather - Part II.
Rachel: It's ok Joe, I've already seen it.
(Phoebe and Monica enter)
Monica: Hey guys!
Monica: Do you want some coffee Pheebs?
Phoebe: Yeah, thanks. (to Rachel) Can I talk to you for a minute?
Rachel: Sure. (they move over by the door) What's up?
Phoebe: Chandler and Monica are gonna split up.
Rachel: What? That's absolutely crazy! Who told you that?
Phoebe: That's what the Tarot said is going to happen.
Rachel: What's the Tarot?
Phoebe: I don't have time to explain that right now! We have to do something!
Rachel: Well whatever it is, the Tarot sounds like a bunch of voodoo to me. I wouldn't put much stock in it Phoebe.
Phoebe: You don't understand! The Tarot said that their marriage is going to end in the next three days!
Rachel: Phoebe honey, I told you to lay off the pot.
Phoebe: Are you gonna help me or not?!
Rachel: Sure, whatever. I really don't think anything bad's gonna happen to them in the next three days though.
(Rachel and Phoebe return and sit down on the couch)
Monica: What were you guys talking about?
Rachel: Phoebe's got a mean case of hemorrhoids and I was just giving her advice on how to handle them.
Monica: Good luck with that Pheebs.
(Chandler and Ross enter)
Chandler: My sweet little children. How are we today?
Joey: You're gonna be hurting if you call me a sweet little child again.
Rachel: Has Ben decided?
Ross: I don't know yet. I agreed not to call Carol until tonight.
Monica: I can't believe you're having your 8-year old son decide who he should live with. The kid's got three mothers, a father, and a soon-to-be stepdad. I mean the kid's genealogy tree is confusing as hell.
Ross: What was I suppose to do? He's old enough now to decide who he wants to live with.
Rachel: I agree.
Chandler: He's a smart kid after all. He'll make a good decision.
Phoebe: Which is more than I can say for your decision making Chandler.
Chandler: What's that suppose to mean?
Phoebe: Nothing. You're just gonna regret a decision in the next few days, that's all.
Chandler: Playing with the Tarot Cards again Pheebs?
Phoebe: For your information you don't play with Tarot Cards, you read them.
Monica: And according to the reading I got from Phoebe today, we're gonna have a long happy marriage.
Chandler: Long being the operative word.
JOEY'S APARTMENT (Joey and Jenna are present. They're watching 9 1/2 Weeks)
Joey: Isn't this movie great?
Jenna: Yeah, but it's hardly a classic.
Joey: What? How can you say that? Did you miss the kitchen scene? He eats strawberries off her naked body. And don't get me started on the slide show scene.
Jenna: Joey, just because a woman pleases herself in a movie does not make the movie a classic.
Joey: Are you gonna wanna have sex with me after watching this movie? Has the movie turned you on? Did the scene in the stairwell make you want to strip me naked and ride me until the cows come home?
Jenna: Yeah, so?
Joey: Then the movie's a classic in my book.
ROSS & RACHEL'S APARTMENT (Ross, Rachel and Caitlin are present. Caitlin's asleep, Ross and Rachel are eating dinner)
Rachel: What do you think Ben will decide?
Rachel: Or lie if you want, it's all the same to me.
Ross: I think he'll go with his Mom.
Rachel: Which one?
Rachel (dejected): Oh. Was that the lie or the truth?
Ross: The truth. If I was gonna lie I'd say he'd go and live with Susan.
Rachel: I still think it was wrong of Carol not to tell Susan.
Ross: Yeah. (takes a bite to eat) That's why I told her. She's on her way here. (There's a knock on the door) That must be her now.
Rachel: You're sneaky. You're so sneaky. (Rachel opens the door. It's Carol, Ryan and Ben)
Carol: Hi, I know we're a little early but Ryan's flight leaves in 2 hours.
Ross: Hi Ryan, I'm Ross, Ben's Dad.
Ryan: Hey, it's great to finally meet you. (to Rachel) You must be Rachel.
Rachel: Yup. If not, everyone's been calling me by the wrong name for years.
(Susan enters the open door)
Susan: Hey, the door was open.
Ross: Hey Susan, come on in.
Carol: What are you doing here?
Susan: Well I might not be legally Ben's mother but I acted like one for eight years. I'm not gonna stop now. Oh, and it's good to see you by the way too.
Carol: Ryan, this is Susan, my, my….
Ross: You're ex-wife.
Carol (glaring at Ross): Thanks Ross. Ok, can we get this over with?
Rachel: Does anyone want any coffee or anything? (no one says anything) Ok, on with the show.
Ross (cuddling up to Ben): So Ben, have you made your decision?
Ross: Are you ready to tell us?
Ben: Yeah. But before I do, how come staying with Mommy Susan wasn't one of my choices?
Rachel (to Susan): That little boy is too bright for his own good.
CHANDLER & MONICA'S APARTMENT (Chandler, Monica and Phoebe are present)
Chandler (to Phoebe): Why are you still here?
Phoebe: Why wouldn't I be here? I'm always here.
Monica: You're never here for dinner, you hate my cooking.
Phoebe: No, I hate throwing up after eating your cooking. Besides, you guys love hanging out with me!
Chandler: You're right, Monica's cooking is vomit inducing.
Monica: Hey! At least I know what I'm doing in the kitchen, which is not what I can say about you in the bedroom!
Chandler: I wouldn't be so bad in the bedroom if you weren't so prudish!
Monica: Gay boy!
Chandler: Domineering bitch!
Monica: Come in 10 seconds!
Chandler: Frigid as a glacier!
Monica: That does it! I want a divorce!
(Cut to Phoebe who is mortified)
Phoebe (screaming): No! No! You love one another!
Chandler: What's wrong Pheebs? We're just insulting each other.
Phoebe: But Monica wants a divorce.
Monica: That's how we tell each other to stop the insults before they get out of control and someone gets hurt.
Phoebe: Oh! Man, I totally thought that you wanted a divorce. The Tarot must've interpreted your game as an actual request for divorce.
Chandler: Is that why you've been hanging out with us all day?
Monica: But when you did that reading for me you said that Chandler and I would have a long, happy marriage.
Phoebe: I lied. I didn't want you to freak out.
Monica: Maybe we should put the Tarot Cards away.
Phoebe: Yeah. Does he really only last 10 seconds?
ROSS & RACHEL'S APARTMENT (Ross, Rachel, Caitlin, Susan, Carol, Ben and Ryan are present)
Carol: He is not staying with Susan.
Susan: I'm his mother too!
Carol: Legally your not and if he picks you I'll see you in court!
Ross: Would you two stop! It's bad enough that Ben has to go through this!
Ben: Can I just tell you guys where I want to go so I can finally get some food?
Rachel (to Ben): Do you want some chips or something?
Ben: Do you have Doritos?
Rachel: I think so.
(cut back to Ross, Susan and Carol - Ben walks over to watch them argue)
Susan: You're just being petty because Ben thinks of me as his mother too!
Carol: Look, you didn't carry him in your uterus for nine months!
Susan: You know, I can't believe I was married to you. You're such a petty person, not to mention a cheater!
Ross (noticing Ben): Stop! Let's just let Ben tell us his decision and this will be over with.
Susan: We're still going to court. I'm fighting for visitation rights.
Carol: You do that. I'll crush you.
Ryan (to Rachel): I can't believe these two were actually married at one point.
Rachel: Sad isn't it?
Carol (sitting with Ben on the couch): Ok Ben. Who would you like to live with?
Ben: Daddy and Mommy Rachel. (to Carol) You're mean to Mommy Susan and I don't like that. Daddy and Mommy Rachel are always nice to all my parents. I wanna stay with them.
Carol (with tears in her eyes): Are you sure?
Ben: Yes. I wanna stay here with Daddy and Mommy Rachel.
Ryan: We'd better go Carol. My flight's in an hour. Let's go Ben.
Ben: Can't I stay now?
Carol: Not yet honey, not yet. Bye Ross, Rachel.
Ross: Bye Carol. Nice to meet you Ryan.
(Carol, Ryan and Ben leave)
Susan: Goodbye Ben.
Ben: Bye Mommy Susan. I love you.
Susan: I love you too Ben. Bye guys.
Rachel: Bye Susan.
(Susan leaves. Ross goes to close the door. Carol pushes the door open)
Carol: This isn't over. You're not taking my son.
JOEY'S APARTMENT (Joey and Chandler are present. They're watching a movie)
Joey: Doesn't this movie rule?
Chandler: What? This movie sucks!
Joey: Come on, this movie is awesome!
Chandler: Joey, this movie is geared towards five-year olds!
Joey: Hey, there's nothing wrong with enjoying The Muppet Movie. It's an all-time classic.
Chandler: A classic?
Joey: Yeah! It's got clever dialogue and great songs. What more could you want out of a movie?
Chandler: I dunno, how about a little nudity?
Joey: Dude, this movie's got nudity in it.
Chandler: This movie is rated "G", there's no nudity in it.
Joey: Yes there is.
Joey: Do you see any clothes on the muppets?