17 People (Episode 218)
First Aired: Wednesday, 4th April, 2001
Writer: Aaron Sorkin
Director: Alex Graves











It's Our Anniversary
Bullpen / Corridors of the West Wing. Josh and Donna walk and talk (well, Donna walks, Josh sort of ... bounces)

DONNA: Hello.
JOSH: How you doin'?
DONNA: I'm doing fine.
JOSH: Did you get the flowers?
DONNA: Yes, I did.
JOSH: Did you like them?
DONNA: They were very pretty.
JOSH: Do you know why I sent them?
DONNA: I know why you think you sent them.
JOSH: It's our ... anniversary.
DONNA: No it's not.
JOSH: I'm the sort of guy who remembers those things.
DONNA: No, you're the sort of guy who sends a woman flowers to be mean. You're really the only person I've ever met who can do that.
JOSH: I'm quite something.
DONNA: Yes.
JOSH: I sent them to mark an occasion--
DONNA: Are we really going to do this every year?
JOSH: --for I am a man of occasion.
DONNA: I started working for you in February--this is April, and you're an idiot.
JOSH: Well, you started working for me once in February, and then you stopped for a while.
DONNA: Yes.
JOSH: Then you started working for me again in April. That's the one I choose to celebrate because it's the only one where you started working for me and it wasn't followed by your not working, but rather going back to your boyfriend. And how, in comparison to that and him, you can call me mean is just another in a long series of examples--
DONNA: Oh, shut up! Honest to God, don't you ever get tired of the sound of your own voice?
JOSH: No ... no, no, no.
DONNA: Where are you going now?
JOSH: Sam and I are going to punch up the thing for tomorrow. Hey! we need funny people.
DONNA: Yeah?
JOSH: You know any? (off her silence) See, right there, that's a joke. Oldest joke in the book.
DONNA: I'll say.
JOSH: You know what, Ado Annie? I sent you flowers. I think what you're trying to say is, "Why, thank you, Josh, they're beautiful! How very thoughtful of you! Not many bosses would have been that thoughtful!"
DONNA: Really? Because what I think I was trying to say was, "Shove it."
JOSH: Okay. Well then, I guessed wrong.
DONNA: You want help with the thing?
JOSH: Yes, I do, because you are such an hysterically funny person. (beat) Did you notice how I used "an" there properly?
DONNA: Yes, I did.
JOSH: You crack me up.
DONNA: You know, there are times?
JOSH: Yeah?
DONNA: When, to put it quite simply? I hate your breathing guts.
JOSH: So the flowers really did the trick, huh?
DONNA: Oh yeah.








Who Gave You Those Beautiful Flowers On Your Desk?
Roosevelt Room. Josh, Donna, Sam, Ainsley, Larry and Ed revise the President's speech by trying to bring the funny

JOSH: What are you doing?
DONNA: I'm jotting down some go-to's in case a joke doen't work. "I haven't seen an audience this dead since ..."-- that kind of thing.
JOSH: You think the President is going to get heckled?
DONNA: No, but I've read the speech and I think you'd be wise to have some dead audience metaphors in your pocket.
JOSH: Okay, here we go. (reads speech) "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm very happy to be here, and I want to thank the White House Correspondents' Association for inviting me. I expect I'll be stuck here tonight with my fair share of verbal harpoons--I don't mind, just don't stick me with the dinner check"... wow.
DONNA: And then it says here, "allow for laughter."
JOSH: Yeah, well, unless we give that instruction to the audience, I don't think it's going to be a problem.
(Sam and Ainsley enter)
SAM: Hey!
JOSH: "I don't mind, just don't stick me with the dinner check?"
SAM: I know, it's lame.
JOSH: It's like he's playing Grossinger's--
DONNA: (reads speech) "I know some of you are troubled by my frequent use of Latin references. Well, all I can say is, no te preoccupus."
ED: The joke there is that it's in Spanish.
LARRY: It's that kind of Latin.
DONNA: And that's probably where you'll want your first dead audience joke.
JOSH: We're not going to need a dead audience joke.
AINSLEY: Donna, who gave you those beautiful flowers on your desk?
JOSH: I did. Me. Those are from me.
AINSLEY: What's the occasion?
DONNA: Nothing.
JOSH: Our anniversary.
DONNA: Our not anniversary.
JOSH: Donna doesn't like to talk about it.
DONNA: I really don't.
AINSLEY: Okay ...
SAM: A few years ago, Donna's boyfriend broke up with her, so she started working for Josh, (Josh grimaces) but then the boyfriend told her to come back, and she did, and then they broke up and then she came back to wo-- (Donna makes a gesture at him) I thought you meant you didn't want to talk about it. (beat) I'm a spokesman--it's in my blood.
AINSLEY: Well, they're nice flowers.








A Mean Man Who Can't Read A Calendar
Roosevelt Room. Josh, Donna, Sam, Ainsley, Larry and Ed continue to revise the speech.

JOSH: All right, here's a joke based on the premise that the party afterward is hard to get into, and that the President is the Commander-In-Chief. "I hear the Bloomberg Party's going to be hard to get into this year. But I'm not worried--I'm going to the party with the 82nd Airborne."
DONNA: And then the President says, "Wow, I haven't heard a room this quiet since we lost the signal on Galileo."
JOSH: Or, "Wow, I haven't seen my staff update their resumes this quickly since the last time I (yells) tanked at the Correspondents' Dinner!"
DONNA: Josh.
JOSH: Yeah?
DONNA: When you yell, you make it harder for people to find the funny.
JOSH: Hey, who gave you those flowers on your desk?
DONNA: A mean man who can't read a calendar.








He Was Being You!
Roosevelt Room. Josh, Donna, Sam, Ainsley, Larry and Ed are still revising the speech.

SAM: We need jokes about the staff.
AINSLEY: Letıs start with you.
SAM: Problem is, there aren't many jokes you can make about me.
DONNA: How about this? Um, "Knock knock. Who's there? Sam and his prostitute friend."
SAM: See, I think that was a bit of misdirected anger there.
DONNA: I'm okay with that.
SAM: Well. In that case--Ainsley? You know why I got you flowers in April instead of February? Because you ditched me the first time around, to go back to the guy who ditched you the first time around, only to have him ditch you the second time around.
(Donna smacks Josh on the back of the head)
JOSH: Ow! The hell? That was him!
DONNA: He was being you!








Not a Josh and Donna scene, really, but very revealing nevertheless.



The Prince Of Passive-Aggressive Behaviour
Roosevelt Room. Donna, Sam, Ainsley, Larry and Ed sit around, while Josh has left the room to locate a former speech.

DONNA: Do you have any idea how much grief I took from him when I came back?
SAM: How much?
DONNA: None. I walked in the door, he said, "Thank God, there's a pile of stuff on the desk." This is his way. He's just going to snark me every April. The prince of passive-aggressive behaviour.
SAM: What does "snark" mean?
DONNA: I don't know, but he's doing it.








If You Were In An Accident, I Wouldn't Stop For Red Lights
Josh's office. He searches for the speech as Donna enters.

DONNA: Josh.
JOSH: (He turns to the door and accidentally pulls down a large pile of papers from an overhead shelf) Well, that was predictable.
DONNA: Yes.
JOSH: I'm trying to find that speech Sam said.
DONNA: You know, we keep them on computer.
JOSH: Well, yeah, sure, I suppose.
DONNA: Except you don't know how to use a computer.
JOSH: Right.
DONNA: Oh, Josh, Josh, Josh.
JOSH: Yes?
DONNA: Joshua, Josh, Josh.
JOSH: What the hell is happening now?
DONNA: You feel, I believe--because you're quite addle-minded--that this job was my second choice.
JOSH: Hey, I'm just grateful we were your last choice.
DONNA: I'm going to give you a little gift right now, which you don't deserve.
JOSH: Donna, if you've got your old Catholic school uniform on under there--don't get me wrong, I applaud the thought, but--
DONNA: Okay, what I need is for you to stop being, like, you for a second.
JOSH: Okay.
DONNA: When I came back, you remember I had a bandage on my ankle?
JOSH: Yeah.
DONNA: I told you I slipped on the ice on the front walk?
JOSH: Yeah. And you know why? Because you didn't put down the kitty litter.
DONNA: I was actually in a car accident.
JOSH: You were in a car accident?
DONNA: It was--
JOSH: Seriously, you were in an accident?
DONNA: It was no big deal.
JOSH: You told me it was a late thaw.
DONNA: Yes. (beat) I did. (beat) Anyway, they took me to the hospital, and I called him and he came down to get me ... and on the way he stopped and met some friends of his for a beer.
JOSH: He stopped on the way to the hospital for a beer?
DONNA: Yes. And so I left him. Which was the point of my telling you this. I left him. So stop remembering that. (beat) What I remember is that you took me back when you had absolutely no reason to trust me again, and you didn't make fun of me or him and you had every reason to.
JOSH: Donna--
DONNA: You're going to make fun of him now, aren't you?
JOSH: No.
DONNA: Because that's why I didn't tell you in the first place.
JOSH: I'm not going to make fun of him.
DONNA: Good.
JOSH: But just what kind of a dumfkis--
DONNA: He was supposed to meet some of his friends -- he stopped on the way to tell them he couldn't.
JOSH: And had a beer?
DONNA: Does this make you feel superior? Yes ... you are better than my old boyfriend.
JOSH: I'm--I'm just saying if you were in an accident, I wouldn't stop for a beer.
DONNA: If you were in an accident, I wouldn't stop for red lights. (beat) Thanks for taking me back. (beat) Oh, and the flowers are beautiful.
(she walks away, leaving an absolutely stunned Josh in her wake)




Many thanks to The West Wing Collection for the wonderful screencaps!