‘Friends’ Creative Team’s Biggest Obstacle Was a Condom Wrapper

by Jeremy Spirogis
‘Friends’ Creative Team’s Biggest Obstacle Was a Condom Wrapper

It’s been greater than 25 years since Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross frolicked at Central Perk for the primary time. From the second Friends premiered in 1994, the present was a popular culture phenomenon.

The Friends writing group clearly had no points arising with humorous jokes, relatable conditions, and poignant moments. Their largest impediment was with community requirements and a easy type of contraception. 

‘Friends’ is likely one of the hottest reveals of all time

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Friends centered round a core group of six associates dwelling and dealing in Manhattan. The crew consists of Monica (Courteney Cox) and her roommate Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), their neighbors throughout the corridor Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Chandler (Matthew Perry), Monica’s brother Ross (David Schwimmer), and her former roommate, Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow).

Over the course of 10 seasons, they hilariously handled life experiences that everybody can relate to, together with love, courting, breakups, profession highs and lows, and household drama. The present was constantly within the prime 10 of the scores, and its final episode was the fifth most-watched sequence finale in tv historical past. 

The one with the controversial contraceptive

Courteney Cox as Monica Geller and Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green | Reisig & Taylor/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal through Getty Images

Episodes of Friends actually appear tame in comparison with the reveals tackling critical social points and mature content material today. But on the time, sure matters actually pushed the envelope, particularly one scene within the second season.

In the episode “The One Where Dr. Ramoray Dies,” Monica and Rachel find yourself again at their residence with their dates, Richard and Ross, respectively. As issues get steamy between every couple, Monica and Rachel head to the toilet on the identical time, solely to find that there’s just one condom left of their communal stash.

The pair argue whereas Ross and Richard make awkward small speak in the lounge. The women resolve that the easiest way to resolve who will get the condom is with a recreation of rock, paper, scissors. Rachel wins, forcing Monica and Richard to delay their plans.

There have been strict guidelines that showrunners needed to comply with whereas filming that scene. They have been allowed to point out the field, however not the precise condom, and the actors weren’t allowed to say the phrase. 

“We only had problems with Standards. For a long time, we couldn’t show a condom wrapper,” one of many present’s creators, Marta Kauffman, revealed to Vanity Fair. Co-creator David Crane added: “The rules kept changing. For the first three years we could say ‘penis.’ Then we couldn’t say ‘penis.’ Then we could say ‘penis’ again.” 

They additionally grew annoyed with a seemingly double customary. “They’re masturbating on Seinfeld and we will’t present a condom wrapper,” Kauffman stated.

“That made me crazy,” former president of NBC Entertainment, Warren Littlefield, continued. “I had a lot of battles with broadcast standards over that. What could be more socially responsible than these characters practicing safe sex?” 

Relaxed requirements make for a big effect 

As time went on, the community grew to become much less prudish. In the eighth season of Friends, there’s a well-known scene when Rachel tells Ross she’s pregnant.

“I don’t understand how this happened,” an incredulous Ross exclaims, “We used a condom!”

Rachel then has to clarify, “Condoms only work, like, 97% of the time.” 

This trustworthy dialogue about contraceptives made a giant impression on the present’s younger viewers. An article within the journal Pediatrics discovered {that a} majority of youngsters who watched the episode have been in a position to recall particular particulars in regards to the effectiveness of condoms, and 10 p.c talked about it with an grownup afterward. Ultimately, the research concluded that working along side mother and father, TV reveals like Friends is usually a “healthy sex educator.” 

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