Mad Men Wiki
Ladies Room
Season 1 Episode 02
Air date 26 July 2007
Written by Matthew Weiner
Directed by Alan Taylor

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
Marriage of Figaro


Peggy becomes an object of desire for the men at Sterling Cooper, while Don tries to keep his private life concealed. Roger takes a particular interest in getting to know Don, the boys take Peggy and Joan to lunch and Betty's hand tremors make her question her mental health.


Roger, Don, Betty Hofstadt, and Roger's wife Mona all are out at dinner together. Slightly tipsy while waiting for more liquor, Roger opines on how his childhood was laced with multiple nannies who "raised him" yet he turned out "just fine" unlike his 16-year-old daughter Margaret who is currently in therapy. Mona says that there isn't anything wrong with a child in therapy. Betty affirms that her children have a nanny, Carla who also looks after the house. Don sidesteps questions concerning his own childhood, jokingly claiming it would "ruin the first half of [his] novel." Betty and Mona excuse themselves to use the ladies room. Once inside Betty struggles with her hands, shaking and saying they are numb. Mona reapplies her lipstick for her, thinking nothing out of the ordinary. Betty confides in Mona that her mother passed away 2 months today. When two African-American lavatory attendants ask Betty and Mona to allow 2 other ladies a turn, they comment that "if their purses get any smaller, [we're] gonna starve."

Roger, Mona, Betty and Don at dinner. Episode: Ladies Room.

Don and Betty get cozy in the car home, Ladies Room.

In the car with an uneasy stomach, Betty comments that she was nervous to have dinner with Don's "boss." although she can tell that Roger has taken a liking to him. Don acknowledges that he was purposely avoided the questions about himself because he was raised to believe it was a "sin of pride, to go on about yourself." Once home, a tipsy Betty annoys Don with a barrage of innocent questions. She asks if he ever had a nanny, and he tells her no, comparing his past life to "religion, politics and sex; why talk about it?" and they make love. With Don asleep beside her, Betty looks at him while smoking a cigarette. Eventually she settles down next to him and whispers "Who's in there?" indicating how little she really knows about her husband.

"Bridget, are you ok?" - Ladies Room.

The next day at Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency, Peggy has taken Joan's advice and dressed less frumpy. Joan advises her that the next step is "accessories." Peggy is excited to get her first paycheck but Joan claims it's the "rubber fumes from the envelope seal" making her giddy. She leads her into the ladies room, where we see Bridget, a secretary crying at the sink. While Peggy stops to see if Bridget is okay, Joan completely ignores her, calling Peggy "indomitable, you would never know you were at the bottom of the food chain."

Ken is used as the test dummy. Ladies Room.

Right Guard

In Don's office a group of the junior ad execs clamor around their latest project; Right Guard, the first aerosol deodorant which signifies the approach of a new modern era when a man prefers "plane [...] travel and get[ting] his news from the radio, not the paper." Dale and Paul decide to test the product on Ken just as Bertram Cooper, one of the agency's partners, steps in and wittingly quips that he thought Sterling was responsible for the "Navy attitude" around the office.

We see Cooper is quite the eccentric. Ladies Room.

He wants Don to reconsider taking on the Nixon election campaign, although Don doesn't feel the need to "chase a woman who doesn't want to get caught." Burt makes the argument that what Nixon needs is a "better than Nixon" feeling and Sterling Cooper is the agency that can offer it. In the background we hear the junior executives, still in Don's office, still messing with Ken and igniting the canisters. Reluctantly he agrees, as Roger advises Don to assemble a team.

"Come on three on two, we know how you like to be outnumbered".

As Don rejects Paul's invite to lunch he sees Peggy with her small lunch bag from home. Peggy insists that she has a lot to catch up on work-wise, as Paul goes on to explain the atrociousness of the food from the cart. Joan remembers the encounter between the new girl and her ex-boyfriend and Joan approaches Peggy, instructing her to "get your things, that sandwich is making me sad." In the break room the boys are discussing a postcard sent from Pete in Niagara Falls on his honeymoon which reads rather vulgarly, "Greetings from the wettest place on Earth." Joan, up to her usual games, loudly announces that she and Peggy should skip lunch altogether and go shopping. Upon hearing their plans Ken, Harry and Dale invite the ladies out to lunch and in brief moment of discussing Pete and Trudy, Peggy becomes uncomfortable but Joan accepts the invite for them both.

Boys take Peggy and Joan to lunch. Episode: Ladies Room.

Joan, Peggy, Ken, Harry, and Dale are at a diner. Ken takes an interest in Peggy and asks if she has a boyfriend, or is merely "browsing." Joan answers for her, stating that she is browsing but "like the rest of us, she's disappointed with the selection of merchandise." While the boys joke around with Peggy and make her uncomfortable by insisting there are wagers being made about her, Joan thanks the boys for lunch and insists she and Peggy leave. Ken takes Peggy by the waist and offers to take her out but Peggy declines. While leaving the diner Joan comments, "guess we won't be seeing money exchanging hands, Kenny." Kenny replies that "my persistence is my charm." Back at the office, Paul is slightly hurt that Peggy didn't spend lunch with him and asks her to hand a document to Don. She tries to apologize but Paul insists that it is okay.

Betty and Francine have tea, Ladies Room.

At the Draper house, Betty sits in the kitchen with her friend Francine Hanson. Francine, six months pregnant, is smoking a cigarette and drinking tea with Betty. They discuss their typical day-to-day housewifely concerns like the PTA presidents and the new neighbor, Helen Bishop, a divorcee with a nine-year-old boy and a baby girl. Francine observes that it must be hard for Helen to be focusing on money with so much else going on, before they realize the children are being too quiet. They call them into the kitchen and Ernie, Francine's son, runs towards her in a helmet, while Sally is dressed with a plastic dry-cleaning bag over her head. Betty scolds Sally, saying that if there is dry cleaning on the floor, Sally is going to be "one sorry young lady."

Betty's hands cause her to lose the wheel, in Ladies Room.

While driving down the street with Robert Draper and Sally Draper wildly playing, clambering over the seats of the moving vehicle, Betty sees her new neighbor, Helen Bishop, moving boxes into the house while her nine-year-old son helps in the yard. She looks down at her hands as they once again go numb, and loses control of the wheel and crashes into a lawn. Unharmed by the 25mph crash, Betty panics and tries to make sure her children are okay. She opens the back door to find Sally and Bobby on the floor laughing as if nothing had happened.

Midge gets rid of her TV.

Meanwhile, Don is at Midge Daniels's apartment where he realizes she has a TV. He mocks her for making a speech in the past about how anti-TV she is and when Midge demands he ask what he wants to ask, Don wonders where she got the handsome addition. Midge explains that someone gave it to her and just as Don prepares to get up from bed, Midge rolls her eyes, picks up the TV and throws it out the window. She asks Don if he's "all better," and Don simply replies "yes."

Don gets frustrated with Betty.

Back at the Draper home, Betty prepares the children for dinner while they clamber on the furniture. Don apologizes to Betty for being out of reach when she was in the hospital, Betty, still visibly shaken, claims that it's fine and there isn't anything Don could have done either way. As the children excuse themselves, Don kisses Betty on the forehead and asks what happened. Betty explains that she saw numerous doctors, and eventually admits that it was her hands again. The doctors believe her problem is psychological instead of physiological, and suggest that she see a psychiatrist.

"Are you unhappy?"

Agitated at the possibility that his picture-perfect wife may have something mentally wrong with her, Don tells Betty that he'll get the name of Burt Cooper's doctor. Later that night in bed Betty reveals to Don that she would be open to psychiatric treatment and perhaps it isn't such a negative thing after all. Don proclaims that therapy is for people who are "unhappy" and looking at the house, the children and their marriage, Don asks Betty if she is unhappy. Betty reluctantly replies "of course I'm happy," although her sideways glances suggest otherwise.

Paul's pitch falls flat.

At the next meeting for the Right Guard account, Paul's copy comparing the aerosol can to a space-age astronaut is rejected by Don, who interjects that "when people look to the future, they get scared." Don suggests the creative team ask themselves, "what do women what?" Paul continues with his "outer-space man" pitch, sarcastically exclaiming that he'd stopped asking himself what women want, and in a moment of heated frustration Don snaps "maybe I should stop paying you." Don instructs them to strip it down completely, insisting that woman are the ones who buy the product. He asks whether they want a "mysterious cowboy, who brings the cattle home, safe," and with that, the team is dismissed.

Paul and Peggy have lunch, Ladies Room.

The Twilight Zone.

Upset from the meeting, Paul chats up Peggy by suggesting she should "buy him lunch". At the pie cart in an attempt to be smooth, he openly jokes with the African-American staff, while he pays for both their lunches. He asks Peggy if she has "figured out" how Sterling Cooper runs, and Peggy gives a good effort. To that, Paul gives Peggy the 411 on Don's creative job, "don't think because he's handsome that he's not a writer". He gives her a tour of the office, explaining the structure of the company, various departments including the art department, accounting, account executives and creative executives. While passing Pete's office, Paul quotes "The Twilight Zone" and Peggy momentarily thinks he is calling-her-out for sleeping with Pete, but she quickly realizes she misunderstood before she blurting anything out. Just when Paul is about to ask Peggy out, Peggy diverts him by whispering "I think he's still in there", a comment on Don. Paul leaves Peggy at her desk as she thanks him for lunch.

Near the end of the day Roger swings by Don's office and the two discuss what women want. Roger initially replies "Who cares?", before mentioning that woman just want what other women have. When Don asks about Margaret in psychiatry Roger denies any mention, stating that therapy is this year's "it" thing.

Roger enlightens Don. Ladies Room.

Don buys Betty a gift. Ladies Room.

Don, in a fit of guilt, gets Betty a white gold watch with "one of those tiny faces you have to be young to be able to see." She's thankful but tearfully worries that something may be wrong with her. Still visibly shaken by the accident, she wonders what would've happened if Sally had gotten a permanent scar on her face and had to go through a long, lonely life with a facial defect. She breaks down, once again asking Don if she can go see someone. Don agrees.

"It makes me feel cruel."

The next morning at 11am Don drops Betty off at the doctor, and heads to Midge's place, where Midge is clearly just coming home. Don tells her that he called in sick for the day. He begins to talk about Betty seeing the doctor when Midge abruptly stops him, telling him she is "serious, do not talk about her, it makes me feel cruel." Once Don agrees, he confesses that he can't decide whether she has "everything or nothing," and Midge replies, "I live in the moment, nothing is everything."

Paul makes a pass at Peggy. Episode: Ladies Room.

The next day in Don's absence, the office starts to slow down. Peggy tells Paul she can't go to dinner since if Don were to try and call she would want to be there. Paul closes the door and tries to make a move on her, saying they can push the couch in front of the door. Peggy rejects him, telling him "there's someone else," and at first Paul thinks it's Don but Peggy denies it.

Peggy sees another crying secretary.

It's 4:30 and Peggy begins to cover up her typewriter, summoning Joan who demands she rewrite misspelled correspondence letters. Peggy defiantly snaps at Joan "Are you gonna watch me?" and when Joan asks what's wrong with her Peggy remarks that come-ons have been constant from all the libidinous male employees. Joan reminds her that she is the "new girl" and since she "isn't much" she should enjoy the male attention while it lasts. As Peggy resumes her duties she realizes the male employees, one after another, gawking at her. She goes to the ladies room and as she stares at the mirror she hears another secretary crying in the bathroom. Peggy, refusing to succumb to her emotions, composes herself and heads back to the office.

Betty has her first session. Ladies Room.

Sally wearing the dry cleaning bad in Ladies Room.

Joan schooling Peggy in Ladies Room.

Betty tries to confide in Dr. Arnold Wayne, unsure how to really explain what is going on in her life. She explains that at times she feels anxious and nervous and although her hands are fine now that's the reason she is there. She explains that her mother raised her to believe it "wasn't polite to talk about yourself", also mentioning that her mother had passed away.

At Midge's place, Don asks Midge "What do women want?" Midge replies they want to not "answer questions like that," and in a moment of inspiration Don rewrites copy for Gillette into "What do women want? Any excuse to get closer." After leaving Midge's place he takes Betty out to dinner in the city. While they eat they enjoy each other's company, inspiring Betty to comment that "this is nice." Once home, Don goes into his study and calls Dr. Wayne who remarks, "I had a very interesting hour with your wife this afternoon."


  • "Ladies Room" was shot in April 2007, an entire year after the previous episode, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes".
  • "Ladies Room" is the first episode shot in Los Angeles, where the rest of the series is shot. The first episode was shot in New York City.
  • According to the season 1 commentary track, the waiters in the opening scene were actual waiters, not actors.
  • Michael Gladis, the actor who plays Paul, had his first on-screen kiss with Elisabeth Moss during this episode.
  • The opening scene, as well as the scene with Don and Betty late in the episode, was shot at a Korean restaurant called “The Prince”. It was a place where cast members liked grabbing a drink after shooting.


Main Star

Guest Star



Francine: "Ernie?"
Betty: "Sally?"
Ernie: "We're playing spaceman."
Betty: "...Sally Draper, come over here this minute. If the clothes from that dry cleaning bad are on the floor of my closet, you're going to be one sorry young lady."
-- Betty scolding Sally in Ladies Room.

Joan: "I hope you know that covering your typewriter is office code for; "I'm done for the day"."
Peggy: "I'm not feeling so swell."
Joan: "Neither am I, look at these letters you typed up after lunch. Terre Haute, Indiana has two R's, and an A and an E at the end. I think either you missed home row by hand or, you were out drinking with the junior account boys again."

Peggy: "I wasn't drinking."
Joan: "I don't like your tone."
Peggy: "I'll re-do these right away."
Joan: "Look at you, all in a snit."
Peggy: "Are you gonna watch me?"
Joan: "What is wrong with you?"
Peggy: "Honestly? Why is it that every time a man takes you out to lunch around here, you're the dessert?"
Joan: "That's terrible."
Peggy: "It's constant, from every corner. I'm from Bay Ridge, we have manners. Why can't they just leave it alone?"
Joan: "Because men always bother you, all the time. They follow you down the street."
Peggy: "Well, not exactly."
Joan: "Look dear, I don't know you that well. But you're the new girl and you're not much so; you might as well enjoy it, while it lasts."
Peggy: "Of course."
Joan: "Don't be that way, I'm just offering a some perspective. That's all."
-- Joan reminding Peggy, she has certain limitations "in the looks department" Episode: Ladies Room.

Seasons of Mad Men
Season 1 • "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" • "Ladies Room" • "Marriage of Figaro" • "New Amsterdam" • "5G" • "Babylon" • "Red in the Face" • "The Hobo Code" • "Shoot" • "Long Weekend" • "Indian Summer" • "Nixon vs. Kennedy" • "The Wheel" •
Season 2 • "For Those Who Think Young" • "Flight 1" • "The Benefactor" • "Three Sundays" • "The New Girl" • "Maidenform" • "The Gold Violin" • "A Night to Remember" • "Six Month Leave" • "The Inheritance" • "The Jet Set" • "The Mountain King" • "Meditations in an Emergency" •
Season 3 • "Out of Town" • "Love Among the Ruins" • "My Old Kentucky Home" • "The Arrangements" • "The Fog" • "Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency" • "Seven Twenty Three" • "Souvenir" • "Wee Small Hours" • "The Color Blue" • "The Gypsy and the Hobo" • "The Grown-Ups" • "Shut the Door. Have a Seat" •
Season 4 • "Public Relations" • "Christmas Comes But Once a Year" • "The Good News" • "The Rejected" • "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword" • "Waldorf Stories" • "The Suitcase" • "The Summer Man" • "The Beautiful Girls" • "Hands and Knees" • "Chinese Wall" • "Blowing Smoke" • "Tomorrowland" •
Season 5 • "A Little Kiss, Part 1" • "A Little Kiss, Part 2" • "Tea Leaves" • "Mystery Date" • "Signal 30" • "Far Away Places" • "At the Codfish Ball" • "Lady Lazarus" • "Dark Shadows" • "Christmas Waltz" • "The Other Woman" • "Commissions and Fees" • "The Phantom" •
Season 6 • "The Doorway, Part 1" • "The Doorway, Part 2" • "The Collaborators" • "To Have and To Hold" • "The Flood" • "For Immediate Release" • "Man With a Plan" • "The Crash" • "The Better Half" • "A Tale of Two Cities" • "Favors" • "The Quality of Mercy" • "In Care Of" •
Season 7 • "Time Zones" • "A Day's Work" • "Field Trip" • "The Monolith" • "The Runaways" • "The Strategy" • "Waterloo" • "Severance" • "New Business" • "The Forecast" • "Time & Life" • "Lost Horizon" • "The Milk and Honey Route" • "Person to Person" •