How ‘Friends’ Ensured Cultural Sensitivity With Monica and Chandler’s Honeymoon Episode

Published 08/26/2023, 5:04 AM EDT

via Imago

Over the last decade, there have been several shows that have come and gone. However, the 90s sit-com, Friends, remains as fresh as ever with its timeless jokes and classic tropes. While it still holds the top spot in the comfort show category, as it transitions from the age of box televisions to that of social media, there are several moments of the show that audiences have found uncomfortable and insensitive.

Years later, as it deals with the aftermath of its insensitive dialogues, there was one episode, now iconic, that the creators itself found problematic enough to change it last minute.

How Friends avoided a train wreck with one of its most iconic episodes?

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The show became an instant hit after its release and by the third season; it was established that if not all the United States, then the majority of it, was tuning in regularly. The third season was also the time when the country was dealing with the aftermath of one of its biggest tragedies in the form of 9/11. At such a time, Friends was all set to release an episode featuring a classic Chandler making a joke around the lines of “I take my bombs very seriously” as he boards a plane. Fortunately, the creators thought better.

It is the third episode of the third season titled ‘The One Where Rachel tells Ross‘ that originally contained bomb-centric jokes. And while the main plot followed Rachel’s telling Ross about the baby, it was Monica and Chandler that were set to do most of the blowing up.

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While Friends decided that an insensitive bomb-centric joke was not going to be its cross to bear, there were several other problematic jokes that the creators did not bat an eye before green lighting.

The iconic 90s sitcom and its 99 problematic jokes

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It was in the September of 1994 that the show premiered, more than a decade before Jay Z penned down the lyrics of ’99 Problems’. However, if they were released at the same time, it would not be farfetched to imagine Chandler belting out “Friends has got 99 problems, but an insensitive 9/11 joke ain’t one.” But that does not mean the audience will just ignore the other problems. And that is why Friends has been recognized for its notoriety when it comes to toxic one-liners and tropes.

Given how the show used Chandler to do most of the heavy lifting when it came to sarcasm, the character has been called out for several of his jokes and even his derogatory remarks about women. But those are just the slap stick jokes that the show contained. There are several other faults in the tropes that fans have pointed out. For all its problematic jokes, however, there is no denying that Friends will remain iconic for ages to come.

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What do you think about the rewritten episode of Friends? Let us know in the comments below.

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Aliza Siddiqui

1413 articles

Meet Aliza Siddiqui, a Hollywood News reporter at Netflix Junkie. Her love affair with Hollywood began with Anne Hathaway and The Princess Diaries, but it was the thrilling climax of Don’t Look Up that cemented her infatuation with the industry and its filmmaking. Aliza's journey into entertainment reporting began with her time at Otakukart, where she wrote over a thousand articles.

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