8 times ‘Friends’ would have been canceled by woke culture

So nobody informed you Twitter was gonna be this fashion.

As followers eagerly await Thursday’s launch of “Friends: The Reunion” on HBO Max, the buzzy throwback begs an disagreeable query — would this beloved ’90s sitcom get away with its jokes within the trendy days of cancel culture?

Unlikely. Below, probably the most controversial “Friends” themes and plot traces that would hearth up the woke mob in 2021.

Chandler’s transgender dad

Chandler Bing’s transgender, drag queen father was the topic of some low cost laughs all through the sequence, together with Season 7’s “The One With Chandler’s Dad.”

In that episode, Charles Bing — whose stage identify is Helena Handbasket — meets future daughter-in-law Monica (Courteney Cox, 56) in a Las Vegas drag membership, the place Monica stumbles over whether or not she ought to name the servers “he” or “she.”

Chandler (Matthew Perry, 51) admits that he has ignored Charles’ many makes an attempt at contacting him over time, and seems mortified when Helena takes the stage, sarcastically asserting, “and there’s daddy.”

Kathleen Turner and Matthew Perry as Charles and Chandler Bing on "Friends."
Chandler’s father was a transgender lady performed by Kathleen Turner, who carried out underneath the stage identify Helena Handbasket.
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett C

Charles was performed by Kathleen Turner, who has since admitted she would flip down the function have been it provided to her now.

Homophobia among the many guys

Considering it’s set in Greenwich Village, there are some startling moments in “Friends” that might simply be seen as insensitive to the homosexual neighborhood.

Carol — Ross’ ex-wife and mom to his son Ben — is a lesbian, a proven fact that’s used as a punchline all through the present, together with Season 2’s “The One With The Lesbian Wedding.” After Carol marries her lover Susan, Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow, 57) — on the time inhabited by the ghost of an aged lady, don’t ask — proclaims, “Now I’ve seen everything!”

Carol and her wife, Susan (played by Jane Sibbett and Jessica Hecht) on "Friends."
Ross’s ex-wife Carol (performed by Jane Sibbett, proper) was homosexual.
NBCUniversal through Getty Images

Later on within the sequence, Ross (David Schwimmer, 54) freaks out over Ben (performed by twins Dylan and Cole Sprouse) enjoying with a Barbie doll whereas being raised by two mothers — each of which Ross regards as threats to Ben’s burgeoning masculinity.

There are different homosexual jokes among the many guys. In Season 2’s “The One With The Baby On The Bus,” Joey (Matt LeBlanc, 53) and Chandler are mortified after they’re mistaken for Ben’s two dads whereas babysitting him. Later, they use that impression to their benefit — with a purpose to rating a double date with some unsuspecting ladies.

Rachel’s office violations

“The One with Rachel’s Assistant” in Season 7 checks loads of bins within the no-no column. Rachel (Jennifer Aniston, 52), as a newly promoted style govt, is hiring an assistant, however passes over extremely certified Hilda for the lovable — however professionally underwhelming — Tag Jones (Eddie Cahill, 43).

Her cause? So she will date the brand new rent.

When different ladies on the workplace begin displaying curiosity in Tag, Rachel spreads a false rumor that he’s homosexual with a purpose to hold him to herself.

“Fat Monica” and different physique shaming

Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston on "Friends."
Courteney Cox wore a fats swimsuit to play “Fat Monica,” and Jennifer Aniston donned a facial prosthetic for Rachel’s unique nostril.

The sitcom’s frequent physique shaming would not fly these days.

Monica’s early struggles together with her weight are a working joke in flashbacks all through the present, together with a montage of an chubby Monica (Courteney Cox, 56, in a fats swimsuit) foolish dancing whereas consuming meals in “The One That Could Have Been, Part 1,” throughout Season 6.

The present is equally callous in direction of “Ugly Naked Guy” — Monica and Rachel’s neighbor, who the group spies on commonly. They take the privateness violations one step additional in Season 3, after they style a “giant poking device” to string by means of his window and poke him, with a purpose to see if he’s napping, or useless.

“Ugly Naked Guy” was the butt of a recurring joke on the early years of “Friends.”
NBCUniversal through Getty Images

Rachel’s unique nostril — for which Aniston wore an unflattering facial prosthetic — can also be the butt of numerous jokes by means of the sequence.

Joey’s handsy tailor

In the Season 2 debut, “The One with Ross’s New Girlfriend,” Joey sends Chandler to his longtime tailor, Frankie.

Chandler comes again horrified, saying that Frankie was “cupping” components of his physique that wanted no alteration.

Making mild of adolescent intercourse abuse? Not precisely grade-A tv.

When that is later revealed to Joey, who has been seeing Frankie since age 15, he tells Chandler and Ross that he thought Frankie’s fondling was regular: “That’s how they do pants!”

The guys’ misogyny

Putting it bluntly, about half of Joey’s dialogue, jokes in regards to the feminine kind, and different commentary would not make it to air.

Though, he’s not the one fella on “Friends” to have a cringeworthy, piggish second.

In “The One with Rachel’s Book” throughout Season 7, Ross impersonates a masseur to provide a beautiful shopper a therapeutic massage, which isn’t solely remarkably creepy however doubtless unlawful as properly.

Making issues worse, that’s not even Ross’s grossest second.

Ross’s incest plot

Even twenty years in the past, this creepy storyline was questionable.

“The One with Ross and Monica’s Cousin” in Season 7 has Ross reunite along with his now-stunning cousin Cassie (Denise Richards) whom he had not seen for a few years.

She decides to stick with Ross after admitting that the engaged Chandler “stares a lot” — one thing Ross additionally promptly does throughout a slow-motion montage of Cassie whipping her hair.

Later whereas they’re each on his sofa ingesting wine, Ross idiotically lunges to kiss Cassie. When she calls him out, he justifies the incestuous transfer with the truth that he hasn’t had intercourse in a very long time. Gross.

Homogenous casting

Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer and Aisha Tyler (as Joey, Ross and Charlie) on "Friends."
The character Charlie Wheeler, performed by Aisha Tyler, was added late into the present’s run after public outcry.
NBCUniversal through Getty Images

How did a present set in New York City solely ever solid white individuals?

It took 9 seasons for the hit sequence to lastly convey on its first recurring black character in one in all Ross’ girlfriends, paleontology professor Charlie Wheeler (Aisha Tyler, 50).

Tyler’s function was created after an outcry from followers concerning the present’s lack of variety, one thing that co-creator Marta Kauffman admitted fault for last year.

Adding insult to damage, Charlie Wheeler was solely in 9 of the full 236 episodes.

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