With the forthcoming Friends reunion making waves, the show is once again in the news after it was revealed that a joke alluding to Matt Le Blanc’s character Joey Tribbiani being gay was cut from a script at the last minute.
The latest reunion is set to air in the UK on May 27th on Sky One, while in America you can catch it on HBO Max. The episode, however, is not a new instalment per se, but more of a retrospective look back on the series with the cast sharing stories and a slew of celebrity guests.
One interesting aspect that this look back has turned up is a discarded joke about Joey possibly being gay.
The joke comes from a section of dialogue in the episode The One With Ross’s Wedding during which Rachel Green declines to attend because she is Ross’ ex. When Phoebe points out that it isn’t for reasons of decency or awkwardness, but because she has feelings for Ross, the script reads as follows:
Rachel: “Phoebe, I’m not going to Ross’s wedding because he is my ex-boyfriend and that would be really uncomfortable. Not because I’m still in love with him. ‘I mean, hey, y’know, I like Ross as much as the next guy, y’know? Clearly I have feelings for him, but feelings don’t mean love. I mean, I still have loving feelings for Ross. Yeah! I have continuing feelings of love, but that doesn’t mean that I’m still in love with him. I have sexual feelings for him, but I do love him. Oh! Oh my God! Why didn’t you tell me?’
Phoebe: “We thought you knew! ‘Yeah, we all know! We talk about it all the time… It’s so obvious! God, that would be like telling Monica, ‘Hey, you like things clean.'”
The original ending to Phoebe’s line as depicted in a collection of the original scripts, however, was not related to Monica cleaning, but rather it said: “Or, ‘Hey, Joey, you’re gay.’”
While some people have called to fact that the joke was removed for its problematic overtones, it would seem that it was more so related to removing confusion about Tribbiani’s character.
You can catch a trailer for the reunion episode below.