Ross gets a new pet monkey (Marcel), with which he experiences the typical struggles of a new 'relationship.' In order to avoid having to find dates for New Year's Eve, the gang decides to throw a 'dateless' party at Monica's; one by one they all (except Ross) end up bringing dates, each of which turns out badly. Meanwhile, Phoebe falls in love with a physicist named David who must choose between realizing his life's dream of participating in a prestigious research project in Minsk or staying in New York to be with Phoebe.
The gang makes--then breaks--a pact to celebrate New Year's Eve without dates. Ross compensates for his loneliness by getting a roommate, a monkey named Marcel.
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