In episode 325, Joey loses when the gang plays strip Happy Days game, so he makes some cards and pesters Chandler to play "one-on-one strip poker for practice" with him. This story is inspired by that situation, although these events occur after the cliffhanger, during 401, The One With The Jellyfish. Also, Joey mentions Kate Miller, the actress whom he fell in love with during the latter part of season 3; Kate left New York for a job on the soap opera *General Hospital*.

After midnight at the beach house, Rachel, Ross, and Bonnie were upstairs working out their issues, while Monica, Chandler, and Joey hung out downstairs. Then Phoebe returned from Phoebe Abbott's house with some shocking news.

"Hey Pheebs, how did it go?" Chandler asked.

"Well, um, my mom's friend, Phoebe, is actually my birth mom."

They all looked at her in shock, and Chandler announced anti-climactically, "I found a dried up seahorse."

Monica asked, "Sweetie, what are you talking about?"

"Oh, ask my new mom, who--who's a big, fat abandoner!" Phoebe started to go upstairs.

Joey stopped her. "Whoa, wait, Pheebs, wait a second! Don't you wanna stay here and talk about it?"

"No. I'm just--I wanna--I need to be alone." Phoebe headed upstairs again, but after a pause, she turned around and called insistently. "Monica!"

"Oh." She got up and hurriedly followed Phoebe.

Left alone at the dining table, Joey shrugged and nagged Chandler again to play strip poker with him.

Chandler got annoyed. "No! The last thing I want right now is to see you naked. Or have you see me naked."

Joey whined, "Why not? We're roommates. We've seen each other naked before."

"Yeah, but not on purpose! Not sitting around playing cards! When I 'hang out' with you, Joey, I don't mean literally 'hang out'!"

"Aw, come on! I need the practice. If I get good, then I can get the girls to strip for us. Don't you wanna see all the girls naked?"

"Sure! But I don't think anybody besides Bonnie wants to play another strip game. And," he pointed out, "we already saw Bonnie when her bathing suit came off in the ocean."

"Yeah!" Joey nodded lustily at the memory. "Hey, you think Ross is breaking up with her now?"

"Maybe. I think he does wanna get back together with Rachel."

"Cool! Then I can get Bonnie on the rebound."

"Do you really still want her now that she shaved her head again?"

"For that body, I'll ignore the bald head!"

Chandler shuddered. "I couldn't ignore it, man."

"Great! Then you can go hit on Monica," Joey laughed mockingly, "and she can shoot you down again!"

Chandler scowled.

Joey smiled. "What's with you and her, anyway? Do you really want to date her?"

Chandler shrugged. "I don't know. But I don't want to be ruled out totally, like I'm some loser."

"Look, you're not a loser. She just doesn't see you as a boyfriend, okay? You're in the friend zone, you know?"

"I guess."

"And do you know what's the best way to get out of the friend zone?"


"Play some strip poker for practice!"

Chandler wordlessly stormed upstairs and went into his bedroom. Actually it was his and Joey's. This beach house, which Phoebe's massage client Bob had given to her after it got flooded, did not have unlimited bedrooms, so Joey and Chandler wound up sharing a room, as did Monica and Phoebe, and Ross and Bonnie.

The night before, Joey had fallen asleep downstairs, so the gang had covered him with sand and sculpted him into a mermaid. Tonight, however, Joey came upstairs and entered.

Lying in bed already, Chandler turned and looked at him threateningly. "Hey, I'm not playing strip poker with you!"

"Okay, okay!" Joey sat down on the other bed. He tossed down his homemade cards on the nightstand. "But I'm bored. Let's do something."

"It's past one o'clock! Just go to sleep."

"What if Ross breaks up with Bonnie, and she needs some comfort, and I miss it?"

"Then go wait outside their bedroom door."

"I can't do that! Ross will be pissed. And what if somebody else catches me out there?"

"I don't know, and I don't care."

Joey sighed and started to undress. "Fine, I'll go to sleep."

"Good." Chandler quickly covered his eyes when he realized that Joey was getting completely naked. "Whoa! I'm right here!"

"So turn around. You know I sleep naked."

"Yeah, but I don't usually share a bedroom with you, so I forget." He looked away and waited for Joey to get into his own bed and turn out the light.

"There. Your eyes are safe."

"Great! Good night."

"Good night."