In the cafeteria line, Jen is telling Joey that she's "one of the prettiest girls in the school." Joey holds her tray against her chest like a shield and hunches her shoulders, glaring at Jen with horror. Jen says, "I don't get it -- why is it that every time I give you a compliment, you look at me like I'm trying to hit on you?" Joey says, "I don't know, I guess it's just 'cause it makes me feel a little uncomfortable, that's all." Jen asks, "Why?" Joey, very slowly and emphatically, says, "I know I'm not pretty. Stop it." Jen says, "You know, it's funny, Joey -- when I was dating Dawson I was petrified that any day, he'd take off the blinders and realize how gorgeous you are." Joey snorts, "Yeah, right. When guys look at you, they think, 'Wow, what a babe,' and when they look at me, they think, 'Hm, gee, she's really tall.'" Jen suddenly says, "You know, I think that you should enter the Miss Windjammer pageant." Joey whips around so fast she practically smacks Jen in the face with her hair and snaps, "What drugs are you on?" Jen offers to coach her, and says that Joey could smoke the evening-gown competition, and that the scholastic section would be "a slam-dunk" for her. Joey -- less stridently, like she kind of wants to be convinced -- says, "Let's not go overboard on this 'let's-be-friends,' female-bonding thing, okay?" Jen tells her it could be fun, and Joey says, "I wouldn't degrade myself." Jen plays her trump: "One night of your life, five thousand dollars, Joey. I'd say that's a pretty respectable college nest egg, don't you think?" Well, no. What is a year of university in the U.S. -- like $20,000? ["At a private college or university, more like $32,000. Five grand might pay for her books." -- Sars] Just sayin'. But Joey considers.
The next scene has them walking up the stairs at the yacht club to register for the pageant. Joey says, "Why do I feel like I'm about to set the women's movement back twenty years?" Glancing around at Joey's fellows, Jen tells her to start filling out Ivy League applications, since "the competition does not look like much." When they get to the top of the stairs, they hear Pacey yelling at the pageant lady that "this is unconstitutional," as Dawson and his film crew stand by recording the whole confrontation. Pageant Lady tells him that nothing in the constitution says that he can enter the competition, and Pacey shoots back, "Yeah, and there's nothing in your rule book that says that I can't, okay?" PL turns to a toady and they both flip through the rules while Pacey waits. Jen and Joey walk back down the stairs as Dawson follows. He asks what they're doing there, and instead of answering, Jen laughs at Pacey's plan to enter the pageant. Dawson says, "Why not? Last year Ashley Elliott successfully sued to join the boys' football team." ["So why haven't we seen her running patterns for The Flash in season three? Did she graduate already?" -- Sars] He goes on to claim it's one of the more "intrepid" things Pacey's done, as Jen hands Joey a pen and a clipboard. Jen comments, "I guess we all know what's in it for you, Dan Rather." Dawson goes on some more about his "shot at a feature story" while Jen and Joey confer about the application right in front of him, like, no one cares, Don Spewitt. Finally he notices that events are taking place in the world that do not involve him, and says to Jen, "So, I see you decided to enter after all." Jen says she's just there as a coach. Dawson asks who she's coaching, and instead of answering, she says she's going to watch Pacey "make an ass out of himself." Joey and Dawson laugh, but we soon discover that Dawson is not laughing at Pacey: "Very funny," he says. Joey glares, and he opens his mouth wider to make room for his entire foot: "What, are you guys doing some kind of exposÃ© for the paper?" Joey wearily rolls her eyes, and Dawson gets his foot in up to his shin: "Get out. Joey Potter entering a beauty pageant? This is classic!" Joey Classic opens fire with both barrels: "Oh, I see. You think I'm such a barking car-chaser that a D student with a Julius Caesar haircut has a better shot than me? Thanks a lot." As the Sensitive Guitar of Dramatic Irony starts its sad refrain, Dawson tries to backpedal, but it's hard to do with one leg occupying his entire digestive tract: "I know how you feel about these things. It's just so not you. Why didn't you tell me?" Joey snaps, "Because I knew you'd make me feel like an even bigger idiot than I already am. Believe me, Dawson, nobody's laughing harder about this than I am, but unfortunately, the opportunity to win five thousand dollars -- no matter how slim or humiliating or ludicrous my chances are...money has to take precedence over everything, including my pride, so..." Dawson gently says, "Joey, I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were serious about this. It kind of caught me by surprise." But he can't sustain the act for long and chuckles, "You've got to admit --" Joey cuts him off: "I'm glad you find my pathetic life so amusing, Dawson." Dawson whines, " Joey, come on, you're my best friend. I'd never laugh at you." Uh, you just did, ass. Joey says, "You just did, Dawson." See? Joey was better before. It would have been even more forceful if she'd called him "ass," though.
At the yacht club, the camera pans across a row of generically attractive, mostly blonde, young women, with a very smug Pacey on the aisle. A gaggle of contestants hurries over to greet a tall brunette with a Suave-commercial haircut, and, as she sits down behind him, Pacey mutters, "Well, if it isn't Hannah von Wenning of the Bar Harbor von Wennings." She leans forward to snot, "Pacey Witter. Let me guess -- you're here washing dishes for the remedial work-study program for Capeside's underprivileged youths?" Adopting a tearful mien, Pacey says, "That's so compassionate of you, Hannah!" adding, in his normal voice, "So how's the Swiss boarding school?" She tells him it's in Connecticut, and then realizes, "Wait, you're the guy entering this contest? It figures -- class clown of Capeside High. You know, I never figured you for a pre-op transsexual, but now that I think about it -- evening gowns, high heels...." He assures her that his "sexuality is intact," noting that he's not the one taking group showers at an all-girls school, "but given the opportunity...." Some low-rent Mary Jo Rupp-alike appears onstage with the current Miss Windjammer and effusively calls out, "Welcome, ladies!" Pacey raises a hand and loudly clears his throat, and Mrs. Windjammer bitterly adds, "And gentleman." There is a smattering of laughter as Mrs. Windjammer goes through her spiel: rules, handbooks that "will be completely revised for next year," yada. As she drones on, Hannah leans forward to ask Pacey what he's going to do for the talent competition: "Recite the alphabet? Jack a car?" Pacey addresses the contestants sitting near him: "You know, ladies, I say we vote Hannah Miss Congeniality -- what do you say?" She calls him a fool, and sits one row further back. Hannah, we all know you want him. Spare us the non-drama.