Friends is one of the most popular shows that has ever aired on television. It still manages to make people laugh even though it ended fifteen years ago. But there are definitely some parts of the show that would not fly today. One of the most outdated parts of the show is the fact that the cast is not very diverse.
There are also lots of homophobic slurs that make rewatching it today a bit hard to do. This show is also full of fat-shaming jokes that raise a lot of eyebrows now. Here are just a few episodes of Friends that didn’t age well.
10 The One With The Metaphorical Tunnel
In an episode called “The One With The Metaphorical Tunnel,” Ross is pretty upset when he finds his son, Ben, playing with a Barbie doll. Ross had a lot of great moments on Friends, but this is not one of them, since he was promoting a gender stereotype by not wanting his little boy to play with something that he thought was more appropriate for a girl.
Many people no longer consider something like this to be a big deal. A few years ago, Mattel even featured a little boy in a commercial that advertised their Barbies, so this is definitely something that audiences wouldn’t laugh at now.
9 The One With The Football
“The One With The Football” is a hard episode to watch since it promotes another tired and sexist gender stereotype - the men are great at playing, the women are uninterested or bad at it. This episode takes place on Thanksgiving, and all of the main characters decide to play a football game.
Monica and Ross get very competitive, but the only one who gets laughed at for it is Monica. Rachel proves to be useless on the field, which isn’t really a big deal since she never gets the chance to handle the ball in the first place, and Phoebe takes things to another level when she decides to flash Chandler in order to distract him.
8 The One With The Dozen Lasagnas
During the episode titled “The One With The Dozen Lasagnas,” Phoebe gets treated very poorly by one of Rachel’s boyfriends, which makes this episode a lot less enjoyable than it could have been. In this episode of Friends, Rachel is seeing a guy named Paolo, who seems to only be interested in one thing.
Paolo makes an appointment at the massage parlor Phoebe works at, and he does a number of extremely inappropriate things to her, including groping her and flashing her. When the episode first aired, that moment got some laughs. But these days it is pretty obvious that what Paolo did is not just wrong, but assault.
7 The One With The Male Nanny
There are a lot of really sexist episodes of Friends, and this one is no different since it shows Ross being upset at the thought of a male nanny caring for his daughter, Emma. At this point in the series, both Ross and Rachel have careers, which is awesome.
Since they both work, they need a nanny to watch their little girl while they are gone. They hire a man named Sandy, who is very qualified for the job. The problem is that Ross frequently mocks the nanny, who is portrayed as a very sensitive character - and in the end, he actually fires him because he just can't stand seeing this sensitive man around his child, and thinks a nanny needs to be a woman. This entire situation is very sexist, and would not fly today.
6 The One With The Breast Milk
Nursing is a pretty common thing these days, which is why the second episode in season two of Friends doesn’t seem that great anymore. This episode is called “The One With The Breast Milk,” and it shows Joey Tribbiani and Chandler getting a little grossed out by the whole nursing process, which is weird since women’s bodies don’t bother them any other time.
Ross is also uncomfortable with it, so there is pretty much no male in this episode of Friends that is comfortable with breastfeeding, despite the fact that it is totally natural and healthy. That kind of thing wouldn’t be written into a show today because nursing is no longer looked at as a weird thing to do.
5 The One With Rachel's Assistant
In “The One With Rachel’s Assistant,” Monica and Ross make a big deal over the fact that Chandler accidentally kissed a guy once. “In my defense, it was dark, and he was a very pretty guy,” Chandler said.
This might have been a big deal when the episode first aired on television, but it’s not really a big deal anymore. This episode also shows Rachel hiring an inexperienced male to be her assistant rather than a well-qualified woman who also applied for the job - because she is attracted to him. This episode definitely makes the show seem very outdated since none of that would be good material for a comedy today.
4 The One With The Butt
“The One With The Butt” is an episode that attacks polyamorous relationships. After Monica, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, and Phoebe watched a play Joey starred in, Chandler meets a woman whom he finds attractive, and his friends encourage him to ask her out on a date.
They have a fun night together, and then he discovers that she has multiple partners. When Chandler tells his friends about this, he is met with some insulting comments. He then decides that monogamy is more his style, which is fine. But the way the show makes fun of polyamorous relationships isn’t something viewers would be likely to see in shows today.
3 The One With All The Thanksgivings
There are lots of episodes that make fun of Monica since she used to be overweight, and “The One With All The Thanksgivings” is where it all started. This episode features all of the lead characters discussing their worst Thanksgiving memories.
During this episode, it is revealed that Chandler was not attracted to Monica when they were younger because she was overweight. He made a comment about this, which is what pushed her to lose weight in the first place. Everyone gets a lot of laughs at Monica’s expense in this episode, and Joey even makes a really rude remark about her weight.
2 The One With The Flashback
“The One With The Flashback” makes a particularly big deal about the fact that Ross’s ex-wife, Carol, is a lesbian, and that she left him for another woman named Susan. If she were seeing Susan while they were married, this would have been understandable.
But she didn’t. She simply left him to be with Susan, which provided material for many of the jokes in this episode. When Ross tells Monica about this, Joey is even visibly amused by it, despite the fact that there is nothing funny about being a lesbian. This is another thing the characters tell jokes about throughout the entire series, which is why it seems rather offensive at times.
1 The One With Chandler's Dad
Lots of episodes of Friends have transphobic jokes, and “The One With Chandler’s Dad” is one of them. Throughout the entire series, one of the things the main characters like to joke about is the fact that Chandler’s dad is a trans drag queen.
This is why Chandler does not want to invite his dad to his wedding. Chandler resents his father for being who they are. His dad is treated like a joke throughout the series. Another thing that makes this episode so offensive is that Monica struggles to find the right pronouns to use when they meet a server who isn't obviously cis, although she does try, which is a point in her favor.