Mrs. Roper is filing her nails when Mr. Roper enters the living room.
Mr. Roper: Be quiet Helen, you’re going to wake Karen.
Mrs. Roper: Filing my nails is going to wake up your niece?
Mr. Roper: It’s not the filing. It’s the breaking. Every time you break a nail you swear loud enough to wake the dead.
Mrs. Roper: Oh, so that’s what got you up.
Mr. Roper: Just hold it down, will ya? I mean she flew in from New York and she’s tired. You’ve heard of jet lag, haven’t you?
Mrs. Roper: Heard of it? I married it.
Mr. Roper: She’s trying to adjust to a new time zone.
Mrs. Roper: She’s trying to adjust to living the life of a nun.
Mr. Roper: What’s that supposed to mean?
Mrs. Roper: You never let her out of your sight. You’re more like her jailer than her uncle.
Mr. Roper: That’s ridiculous. She’s having a good time.
Mrs. Roper: She’s having a boring time.
Mr. Roper: Boring? How can you say that? Didn’t I take her to Disneyland? Didn’t I take her to the museum?
Mr. Roper: Didn’t I walk out to the end of the pier with her? Didn’t I tell her every night about my experiences in the war? You call that boring, huh?
Mr. Roper looks at her wife and sees that she has fallen asleep on the couch.
Mr. Roper: Helen? Helen!
The startled Mrs. Roper wakes up.
Mrs. Roper: Oh, sorry Stanley, I must’ve drifted off.
Mr. Roper: Look, I promised my brother that I’d take good care of her and that’s just what I’m doing.
Mrs. Roper: Oh, well, she ought to be out having some fun with people her own age. She ought to be out dating.
Mr. Roper: Dating? In this city? It’s crawling with freaks and – and weirdos and – and perverts.
Mrs. Roper: Oh, I wasn’t talking about your friends Stanley.
Mr. Roper: I just hope you don’t make a crack like that in front of Karen, you’ll give her the wrong idea of her uncle.
Mrs. Roper: Oh, I think she has the right idea of you.
Mr. Roper: I hope so.
Mrs. Roper: Oh!
Mr. Roper: What? What?
Mrs. Roper: Why don’t you let her meet the kids upstairs?
Mr. Roper: You mean the Andrews sisters?
Mrs. Roper: Andrews sisters?
Mr. Roper: Yeah, Patty, Maxine, and Tinkerbell.
Mrs. Roper: Oh, of course, you’re right, Stanley. Oh, I forgot. She’d never be interested in a fella like Jack.
Mr. Roper: You mean he would never be interested in any girl. I don’t understand people like Jack. Wait a minute, wait a minute. For once in your life, you got a smart idea. We should put this date down on the calendar. When she gets up and gets dressed, I’m going to go talk to Jack about taking her out. I mean dating him is as safe as sending her out in an armored truck.
Mrs. Roper is all smiles laughing inside at her husband who still does not know that Jack is not really gay.
Upstairs, Chrissy is busy typing when Jack arrives with Janet’s birthday cake.
Jack: Hey, I got Janet’s birthday cake.
Chrissy: Oh, good.
Jack: Where’s the birthday girl?
Chrissy: Oh, she’s in the kitchen keeping an eye on your birthday dinner.
Jack: And who’s keeping an eye on her?
Jack enters the kitchen to sneak up on Janet only he too gets startled.
Janet: Oh, you shouldn’t sneak up like that.
Jack: And you shouldn’t turn around like that when I’m sneaking up like that. I was going to give you a big surprise birthday kiss.
Janet: Well, why did you have to sneak up?
Jack: What do you want me to do? Phone for an appointment?
Janet: No. Okay, you can kiss me now.
Jack: No, the moment’s ruined. Maybe I’ll go and sneak up and surprise Chrissy.
Janet: It’s not her birthday ‘til January.
Jack: Why wait ‘til the last minute?
Janet: Jack. I want my birthday kiss.
Jack: All right.
Jack prepares for a kiss acting like he’s Elvis. He puts his hands on Janet’s waist and dips her.
Janet: Happy birthday.
Jack: No, you.
Jack: Happy birthday.
Janet: You – you shouldn’t have.
Jack: My pleasure.
Janet’s necklace gets stuck on Jack’s denim Jacket.
Janet: Oh, you’re stuck! Wait!
Jack: Oh, well, there’s no sense in wasting all this closeness.
Jack tries to give Janet another kiss.
Janet: Well, let’s just save that for next year. Just get my chain unstuck.
Jack: I got it.
Janet: Oh, be careful! It’s very special.
Janet: My grandmother gave it to me. It used to have a beautiful cameo hanging from it.
Jack: Oh, did you lose it?
Janet: No, I hocked it. It was about three months ago, we needed rent money.
Chrissy enters the kitchen.
Chrissy: Uh, Jack, could I see you for a minute?
Jack: Sure. Sorry, kid, you had your chance.
Jack follows Chrissy to the living room.
Chrissy: “Happy Birthday Jimmy”? Who is Jimmy?
Jack: I don’t know. Some guy who didn’t pick up his cake. That – that’s why I got it at half-price.
Chrissy: You can’t give Janet a Jimmy cake, she might notice.
Jack: Chrissy, it’s easily fixed. All I have to do is scrape off the “immy”, so it reads happy birthday “J”, which is even better, has that informal touch.
Chrissy: Where are you going?
Jack: Into the kitchen to fix the cake.
Chrissy: But what about Janet?
Jack: I like her the way she is, I’ll just fix the cake.
Chrissy: What I mean is what if she sees it? It’ll spoil the whole surprise.
Jack: Chrissy, she know it’s her birthday. She knows I’m cooking a special dinner to celebrate. She even told me where to buy the cake.
Chrissy: Well, that’s what I mean. One more hint and she’s going to know for sure.
Jack: Okay, I’ll do it later.
Jack sets the cake down on the coffee table.
Jack: What did you get Janet for her birthday.
Chrissy: Oh, I got her a terrific scarf.
Jack: Oh, that’s nice.
Chrissy: Well, it’s not only pretty, it’s practical. It goes with all my outfits too.
Jack: I wish I could raise some money to get Janet a present.
Chrissy: Oh, you’re cooking dinner, that’s enough.
Jack gets the door.
Mr. Roper: Hi.
Mr. Roper: Uh, would you excuse us, please?
Chrissy: Do you want to be alone?
Mr. Roper: No, I want to talk to Jack.
Mr. Roper: It’ll just be a minute.
Chrissy leaves the living room and goes to the kitchen.
Jack: Do you want to sit down?
Mr. Roper: Do you, uh, enjoy being here?
Jack: You mean with you?
Mr. Roper moves away from Jack.
Mr. Roper: No, I – I mean in this apartment?
Jack: Yeah, it’s fine.
Mr. Roper: That – that’s good. You don’t mind if I’m a little nosy, do you?
Jack: Well, we’re getting used to it.
Mr. Roper: I was just wondering. Did you ever take out a girl before?
Jack: Before what?
Mr. Roper: I mean it’s not against the rules for you fellas, is it?
Mr. Roper: I mean because, well, like, I go out with other guys.
Jack: You do?!
Jack moves closer to Mr. Roper, while he moves to the edge of the couch.
Mr. Roper: No, no, you know what I mean. I go bowling or go to a ball game.
Jack: Oh, well, I could do that with a girl, I guess.
Mr. Roper: That’s terrific. Because I wouldn’t want you to do anything that would go against your religion.
Jack: I’m not sure I’m following you.
Mr. Roper: Well, see, we have this niece visiting us and Mrs. Roper and I were just wondering if – if it would be all right if she went out with you tonight?
Jack: Oh, you want me to go out with your niece?
Mr. Roper: Yeah, but you don’t have to go anywhere where you might bump into some of your friends.
Jack: Oh, well, thank you.
Jack moves closer to Mr. Roper and puts one arm around him. Mr. Roper gets off his seat and sits on the handrest of the couch instead.
Mr. Roper: Well, you could take her dancing.
Mr. Roper: Yeah, the way the kids dance nowadays, you don’t even have to touch her.
Jack: Mr. Roper, I’d be happy to take out your niece.
Mr. Roper: Wonderful!
Jack: But I can’t. Today is Janet’s birthday and I don’t want to miss that. We got a cake. We’re planning dinner and everything.
Mr. Roper: Oh – well.
Mr. Roper: Could you put off the birthday until tomorrow?
Jack: I’m sorry, but thanks for asking. I’m very flattered.
Jack puts his left arm around Mr. Roper to lead him out the door. The startled Mr. Roper tries to shrug Jack’s arm.
Mr. Roper: Yeah, I knew you would be.
Jack opens the door, while Mr. Roper makes his way out trying very hard to stay as far from Jack. Janet and Chrissy comes out of the kitchen.
Janet: Of course, of course, I wouldn’t want you to do anything against your religion.
Jack: Oh, you heard?
Chrissy: Well, of course we did. We were eavesdropping.
Janet: I think it is very noble of you to turn him down on my account.
Jack: Well, it wasn’t quite as noble as you think.
Janet: Why note?
Jack: Suddenly, I got a vision of what Roper’s niece would look like.
Chrissy: Oh, yeah, imagine Roper’s face on a girl.
Jack: Imagine Roper’s body on a girl.
Janet: Well, I still think it was really nice of you to stay for my birthday.
Jack: Hey, I wouldn’t miss your birthday for anything. What do you think I am? Some kind of a fink?
Chrissy: Ahem, Jack, uh, don’t you have something to do?
Chrissy: Like pick up the wine for the you know what?
Janet: You mean the wine for my surprise birthday party?
Chrissy: Oh, you guessed.
Doorbell rings and Jack goes to get the door.
Jack: The surprise is, it’s going to be beer.
Mr. Roper: Hi again.
Jack: Mr. Roper, I thought I told you –
Mr. Roper: No, oh, I thought you might want to meet my niece anyway.
Jack turns his back at Mr. Roper and makes faces.
Mr. Roper: Uh, Karen? Want to come in and say hello to Jack.
The niece comes in and she turns out to be good looking.
Jack turns to face her and is now speechless.
Jack: What? Oh, hi, hi.
Mr. Roper: And this is Chrissy and Janet.
Mr. Roper: Jack.
Mr. Roper: Can I talk with you for a moment?
Jack: Oh, sure. Excuse me, uh, your uncle wants to talk to me for a minute, I’ll be right back.
Jack walking with his face the other way bumps into Mr. Roper who’s standing by the kitchen door. He pushes Jack into the kitchen.
Mr. Roper: Here.
Jack: What’s this?
Mr. Roper: Fifty bucks.
Jack: For me?
Mr. Roper: I know it goes against your grain, bit you’ve got to do me a favor and take her out.
Jack: Fifty bucks?!
Mr. Roper: Yeah, I’ll lend you my car. I mean, anything to get Mrs. Roper off my back. Will you do it?
Back in the living room, Janet and Chrissy are talking to Karen.
Karen: Oh, yes. Uncle Stanley and Aunt Helen have been very nice, only I think my uncle must have had an accident or something.
Karen: Yeah, he can’t seem to remember anything that’s happened since the war.
Mr. Roper and Jack comes out of the kitchen.
Mr. Roper: Karen? I think Jack here wants to ask you something.
Karen: Oh, he can ask me anything.
Jack: Uh, yeah, uh, Karen, how would you like me to show you the town tonight?
Chrissy and Janet both shocked.
Karen: Oh, I’d love it!
Jack: Okay, let’s go. See ya!
Chrissy: Wait a minute! What about the party?
Jack: Just take the dinner out of the stove in 20 minutes.
Janet: Well -- ?
Jack: I’ll be back in time for the party, bye-bye.
Jack and Karen leaves.
Mr. Roper: Don’t be late. And Jack’s really a nice person.
Mr. Roper leaves and Janet closes the door.
Janet: Nice fink!
Moments later, the sullen Chrissy and Janet wearing their party hats sit at the dinner table.
Janet smashes Jack’s party hat.
Chrissy: That wasn’t a nice thing to do to Jack’s hat.
Janet: You’re right. I should’ve waited ‘til his head was in it.
Chrissy: I don’t understand, he said he’d be back in time. Something must’ve happened to him.
Janet: Someone happened to him. Someone with big blue eyes and boo –
Chrissy: Okay, okay.
Janet: You know, Chrissy, there was something about that Karen that I didn’t like.
Chrissy: She’s a very beautiful girl.
Janet: That was it.
Chrissy: Do you think Jack noticed?
Janet: Noticed? Uh, he notices anything female. I think his head is built on a swivel.
Chrissy: You know what the trouble is?
Chrissy: We’re jealous.
Janet: Uh – je – jealous?! Of Jack?! I’m not jealous. I’m mad – mad that he stood us up on my birthday.
Chrissy: Now, we don’t own him Janet. Remember, he’s just a third of the rent.
Chrissy: And a great cook.
Chrissy: And a watchdog.
Janet: Well, then he should be here watching me blow out my candles. Chrissy, do you dig him?
Chrissy: He’s okay.
Janet: No. No, I mean, if he wasn’t living here, would you –
Chrissy: Would I what?
Janet: You know.
Chrissy: Would you?
Janet: I asked you first. Would you?
Chrissy: Not unless he asked me to. Well, you know me Janet. I just hate to be rude.
The two laugh.
Janet: You’re right anyway, we don’t own him. He’s got his own life to lead and let’s just cut that cake and let’s hope his leg heals very quickly.
Chrissy: His leg?
Janet: Yeah, the one I’m going to break.
Downstairs, Mr. Roper with his night robe and pajamas on looks out the window.
Mr. Roper: (Sigh!)
Mrs. Roper: Stanley, will you stop that pacing and come to bed?
Mr. Roper: I’m not sleepy.
Mrs. Roper: That’s the best time to come to bed.
Mr. Roper: Helen, I’m worried. It’s almost midnight and my nice isn’t back yet.
Mrs. Roper: Well, she’s probably having a good time, that’s what you wanted, isn’t it?
Mr. Roper: It’s not that, and my car’s been overheating and I just don’t want them to go too far.
Mrs. Roper: You don’t have to worry, Stanley, she’s with Jack. Remember?
Mr. Roper: You know, you’re right. How far can they go?
Mrs. Roper: Come to bed.
Mr. Roper: Wait a minute, wait a minute. I just had a thought. Well, there’s a first time for everything. Helen, guys like Jack, is it possible they’ve got some normalness left over in them that could come out at any time?
Mrs. Roper: I don’t know, Stanley.
Mr. Roper: I mean, my niece is a beautiful girl, he could convert.
Mrs. Roper: Don’t’ worry. I don’t think Jack will ever change.
Mr. Roper: You’re not just saying that to make me feel better, are you?
Mrs. Roper: No, Stanley.
Mr. Roper: Because you read about it in the papers all the time, about people are getting changed from men to women and vice-versa. How do they do it, Helen?
Mrs. Roper: They have an operation.
Mr. Roper: I know they have an operation, but how do they do it? I can see them taking things off, but how do they put them on?
Mrs. Roper: Scotch tape.
Mrs. Roper grabs Mr. Roper by the hand and leads him to the bedroom.
Jack opens the door of the Ropers’.
Karen: Aren’t you coming in?
Jack: Uh, well, it’s kinda late, I don’t think I should.
Karen: Oh, come on, just for a beer.
Jack: Um, okay.
Jack enters the apartment and turns on the light.
Jack: One fast beer.
Karen: It doesn’t have to be that fast.
Jack: I feel a little uneasy about your Uncle Roper.
Karen: Oh, don’t worry about him. My Aunt Helen says he sleeps through everything.
Karen goes to the kitchen, leaving Jack alone in the living room. Karen returns with the beer and sits seductively on the couch.
Karen: Here’s your beer.
Jack who’s sitting on a chair at the far end of the living room stands and quickly grabs the beer.
Karen: Jack. You have been annoying me all evening.
Jack: Annoying you how? I thought I’d been behaving like a perfect gentleman.
Karen: That’s how. I mean, there we were, stuck on the freeway for hours and the only thing you fiddled with was the radiator.
Jack: I fixed it, didn’t I?
Karen: You sure don’t act like a man who’s been living with two women.
Jack: Well, every man’s entitled to a night off.
Karen: Not on my time.
Karen stands up goes over to Jack and strips her clothing, leaving her standing with only her undergarments. Surprised, Jack looks at her with his mouth open and unconsciously opens the beer can causing it to spurt.
Jack: I think you dropped something.
Jack: Oh, I – You want me to pick it up?
Jack: Well, here goes my night off.
Jack leans in and gives Karen a kiss. Mr. Roper and Mrs. Roper comes out of the bedroom.
Mr. Roper: Hey!!!
Jack jumps in surprise and lands on a chair still holding Karen’s dress.
Jack: It’s going to be a lovely dress. We’ll have the second fitting tomorrow night. Good night!
Jack jumps off the chair. Throws the dress at Karen and runs for the door. Karen on the other hand catches her dress and makes her way to her bedroom.
Mr. Roper: Wait! You’re not fooling me with that second fitting. You don’t even have a tape measure.
Mrs. Roper: Maybe that’s why they need a second fitting, Stanley.
Mr. Roper: Don’t try to protect them, Helen, I got eyes, I know what I saw.
Mrs. Roper: Did you learn anything?
Mr. Roper: Will you stay out of this, Helen?
Jack: Mr. Roper, I – I can explain.
Mr. Roper: You don’t have to explain anything. Just get out.
Jack: Does this mean I can’t finish my beer?
Mr. Roper: Just get out. Get out of here, I mean out of this building. Pack your things and leave.
Jack: Say good night to Karen for me.
Jack makes his way out the door.
Mrs. Roper: Don’t you think you were a little harsh?
Mr. Roper: I wasn’t harsh enough.
Mrs. Roper: You saw what he was doing with my niece.
Mr. Roper: He was acting normal. That’s sick.
Jack enters their apartment.
Chrissy: Hello? Is somebody there?
Jack: Yeah, it’s me. Jack.
Janet: No Chrissy, there’s nobody there.
Jack: You don’t have to get hostile just because I’m a little late, Janet.
Janet peeps out of her bedroom.
Janet: Get lost!
Janet goes back inside the room and closes the room. Jack goes to the door of the bedroom.
Jack: I have something I want to say –
Jack still holding the piece of cake he just took a bite off.
Jack: Hey, you know something? This cake is delicious.
As he tries to get another bite, Janet opens the door and snatches the cake from him.
Jack knocks on the door.
Jack: Chrissy! Oh, I get it. The silent treatment. Oh, boy, if there’s one thing I hate, it’s the silent treatment. Look, I just came up to pack my things and say goodbye. Goodbye.
Janet and Chrissy rushes out of their bedroom.
Janet: Boy, are you sensitive.
Chrissy: You don’t have to leave just because you missed the party.
Janet: Even though it was a lousy thing to do.
Chrissy: And crummy.
Janet: And despicable!
Chrissy: And rotten!
Jack: Could we go back to the silent treatment?
Janet: You don’t have to move out. I’ll get over it.
Jack: Roper won’t.
Jack: Yeah, I had a little trouble in his car.
Chrissy: Oh, what happened? Did she say no?
Jack: Roper’s car overheated on the freeway.
Janet: And Roper’s niece?
Jack: On the living room sofa. And then Roper came in and caught us and that’s when the whole place boiled over.
Chrissy: What happened?
Jack: Nothing! But he kicked me out anyway. I have to move.
Chrissy: Oh, Jack.
Chrissy: Oh, we don’t want to lose you.
Janet: Oh, that Roper, he’s got a lot of nerve throwing his weight around like that.
Janet opens the door to find Mr. Roper.
Mr. Roper: Hi.
Janet: Listen you! This is a partnership here and if you throw one of us out, then you throw us all out.
Mr. Roper: Right.
Mr. Roper: I came up to apologize for my niece.
Mr. Roper: Well, she admitted she practically attacked poor Jack here, and he showed no interest at all. And the poor girl feels like she’s over the hill.
Janet: Karen, over the hill?
Mr. Roper: Yeah, but it’s okay now, I told her all about Jack.
Jack: What’d you tell her?
Mr. Roper: Oh, just a little fairy story. Anyhow, she’s sorry and so am I.
Chrissy: But now, does that mean that he can stay?
Mr. Roper: Sure. Sure. Jack has his rights, just like any other minority.
Mr. Roper leaves and the three celebrate.
Janet: We’re so glad you can stay.
Jack: Oh boy, I was sweating there for a minute.
Janet: So were we.
Chrissy: Yeah, but still, that was really mean of you not to come tonight. Where were you all night?
Jack: Well, we drove around a lot and I had a special errand to run.
Janet: Oh, can it Jack. What kind of special errand is going to be –
Chrissy: Oh, Janet, it’s your cameo. Oh, you bought it back from the pawn shop.
Chrissy: Where’d you get the money for it?
Jack: Well, I couldn’t waste Roper’s money on Karen, could I?
Janet looks longingly at Jack and is on the verge of crying.
Jack: Janet, oh, come on, you know how I hate the silent treatment.
Janet gives Jack a big hug.
Jack: Happy birthday.
The three hug.
Downstairs, Mr. Roper locks the door while Mrs. Roper stretches her arms.
Mr. Roper: Boy Helen, the kids today are getting wilder and wilder, not like when we were young. How long did we go together before I tried anything?
Mrs. Roper: Well, let me see now – I think we were married about two years.
This is not the actual script. This is my own transcription of the episode. The “Roper's Niece” episode was written by Paul Wayne and George Burditt. Three’s Company is a registered Service Mark of Three’s Company (California Joint Venture of The NRW Company and T.T.C. Productions, Inc.)
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