Joey tried to make excuses for Janine. Ever since she moved in, Joey had lusted after her, partly because she was a hot dancer, partly because the guys had warned him against getting involved with his roommate, and partly because she was immune to his "How you doin'?" line. She was the perfect unattainable woman for him to get a crush on.
In a way, Janine reminded Joey of Kate, who had been so snobby and cold to Joey's advances when they first met at the theatre. After Joey began dating her understudy Lauren, Kate finally got jealous and slept with him, but she immediately regretted it and told Joey that it meant nothing. She stayed with her boyfriend the director until opening night, when her heart began to melt once more, but by then it was too late, because she had to leave for a job in L.A. the next night.
Nothing seemed more irresistible to Joey than a girl who didn't like him, and maybe that was why he hadn't settled down yet. From Ursula to Kathy, the girls that he liked all had a tendency to leave him for something or someone better.
After being indifferent to Joey for so long, Janine had finally kissed Joey after taping Dick Clark's New Year's Eve special. Now that they were a couple, he was determined to enjoy it and hold onto her if he could.
But there was a problem. Janine couldn't stand Monica and Chandler. She had acted just fine on their double date, but after they got home, Janine complained that Monica was loud and Chandler was "blah." She didn't want to hang out with them two nights in a row.
Joey tried to defend his friends, but then Janine swayed him with a kiss, and he was ready to "sell my friends and use the money to buy you presents."
The next night, Joey told Monica and Chandler that Janine was too sick to join them, but Janine obliviously ruined that excuse by appearing and saying she was going out to a play. So Joey had to tell them the truth after she departed.
Chandler was shocked. "So she was just pretending to have a good time last night? She was lying to our faces!"
"Ugh, I cannot believe this!" Monica added. "I mean, who is she to judge us? We could not have been nicer to her!"
"And I am not blah, I am a hoot!"
"I know! I know!" Joey tried to make excuses for Janine. "Come on, please! Please, you guys, don't be mad. I'm sure she just, she just said that stuff because she was nervous and you guys are like my best friends, you know, and it was our first date! Plus, she's really sick!"
"No she's not!" Chandler answered. "You made that up!"
"I know, but don't you think the sick thing is way better than the play thing?"
Chandler shrugged. "Eh, they're both good. I generally just go with, Monica's drunk again."
Monica glared at him.
Joey begged them to give Janine another chance, which they grudgingly agreed to do. He hoped that everyone would soon learn to get along. Despite his joke earlier, he really didn't want to have to choose between Janine and his friends.
So the couples tried another double date, and Janine was once again very nice to Monica and Chandler. But after they got home, she let her true feelings out.
"We have got to move!" Janine sniped.
Wow. How fake and snobby could she be? Before Joey could think of what to say, Monica and Chandler burst in, having overheard Janine's bitchy comment.
An angry fight erupted, and Monica threatened to get physically violent. Joey broke it up and sent Monica and Chandler home, so that he could talk to Janine alone.
"These people are my friends; you can't treat them that way."
"They said stuff to me too, you know!"
"I know! I know! And I'm going to talk to them about it." Joey made a very tough decision and told her, "It's just, they mean so much to me. They... they're like my family. If you guys are gonna be fighting all the time, I... I don't think we can be together. It just--it just can't work. It can't. I'm very upset."
Janine seemed to finally understand how strongly he felt about it, so she offered to go apologize to Monica and Chandler, which he appreciated. Janine met Monica in the hallway and apologized. They agreed to be friends for Joey's sake, but Janine couldn't help making one more snide remark about Monica's loudness.
So Monica chased Janine down the stairs, making good on her threat to get violent.
Clearly, it was a hopeless cause, so Joey and Chandler just watched the chick fight, then Joey broke up with Janine and asked her to move out. He realized that Janine's unattainable quality had blinded him to the fact that she wasn't really a likable person. He couldn't go on making excuses for her rudeness and fakeness, no matter how good a kisser she was.
After Janine moved out with all her stuff, Chandler came over to Joey's apartment to see how he was doing. "You okay, man?"
Joey nodded and tried to be easygoing about it. "Yeah. I should have listened to you and Ross. Don't get involved with my roommate, you know?"
Chandler sat down with him and shrugged. "Eh, we should have expected it. You didn't listen to us about Kate either."
"I couldn't help it. I was so crazy about her."
"I know," Chandler rubbed his shoulder soothingly, then got an idea. "Hey, did you ever think about going to L.A. to find Kate? Why wait for her to come back here?"
Joey shrugged, "It's just, I don't want to leave New York. It's my home, and all my family's here, and all my friends. I'd miss you so much."
Chandler was touched. "Ah, Joey! We'd miss you too." He hugged Joey close. "But, you know, we could always call each other and visit. Especially after what happened with Janine, maybe it's time you stop letting us get in the way of your romantic life. I just want you to be happy."
"Thanks," Joey said. "But I just--I don't want to go anywhere now." Pulling out of Chandler's embrace, he shrugged and tried to laugh cheerfully. "Besides, who would take care of the chick and the duck? Monica's not gonna let them move in with you."
Chandler smiled ruefully. "Yeah." He had recently told Joey of Monica's refusal to even invite the birds over for a visit. "But maybe Phoebe would take them?"
"Maybe. But Rachel's living with her now, and she hates the birds too. She threatened to kill them with kitchen knives and cook 'em, remember?"
"Yeah." That was just before the whole betting and apartment-switching incident occurred.
Joey continued speculating, "Maybe if we wait awhile, Rachel will get back together with Ross and move in with him."
"Maybe. Anything's possible with those two." He met Joey's eyes seriously. "So you really want to stay in New York?"
"Yeah. What, are you trying to get rid of me, Chandler?"
"No, of course not! I'd really like you to stay, actually. I mean, maybe you could meet some nice girl around here, Joe, and we could all double date again. It was nice spending time together, right?"
Joey nodded. "Yeah, I liked that part. But, um, it might be a while before I get a new girlfriend." Girlfriend as opposed to a one-night stand.
"Yeah, I know." Chandler understood that he'd need time to adjust. "Anyway, I guess we should start making some new flyers to post. I think you should get a guy roommate this time, okay? Then you won't be tempted at all, no matter how hot he is."
Joey frowned and said, "I don't know. I don't want a new roommate now."
"What? But how are you gonna pay the rent by yourself?"
"I'll be okay. I still got some Christmas and birthday money from my folks, and then I can get some temp job I guess."
"If you need money, I can lend you--"
"No, no!" Joey interrupted him. "No, come on! We already had that talk, Chandler. No more charity for me."
"It's not charity. I--"
"No!" he stubbornly insisted.
Chandler frowned and gave in with a sigh. "But just promise me, Joe, that if you get another hernia, and you don't have health insurance again, you'll let me pay this time. I don't wanna have to help you take another shower!"
Joey chuckled at the memory of that recent incident. "I thought we were never going to mention that again?"
Chandler blushed and cleared his throat. "I'm only mentioning it to say that I don't want it to happen again."
"Okay, okay!" Joey laughed heartily, "I promise it won't."
"Good. 'Cause I don't need any more ammunition for people to think I'm gay."
Joey grinned and put his arm around Chandler teasingly. "They'd only think that if you told somebody about it. Are you going around telling people about that shower?"
"No!" Chandler replied firmly. "You better not be telling anybody either."
"Yeah, I know," he nodded and chuckled. "Our secret. Not even Ross can know."
"Right." Chandler got up and started to leave, but he turned back at the door. "You really gonna be all right here?"
So Chandler left and tried not to worry about his best friend, financially or emotionally.