Friends Is Offending Millennials Who Are Watching It For The First Time

18 January 2018, 11:29 | Updated: 22 January 2018, 09:50


By Alice Westoby

The classic sit-com just got a whole new set of viewers who feel like it's showing its age.

Streaming service Netflix recently made every single episode of Friends available to watch in the UK and people were very excited.

But amongst the excitement of Friends fans, nobody even stopped for a moment to consider that there are people out there who had NEVER watched the show before.

Many got stuck right in binging the popular US sit-com at home, but to the surprise of long time fans it's not been going down well with a new generation of viewers.

Some feel like the programme was potentially homophobic, sexist and body shaming in parts and many on first viewing the series have pointed out some of these problematic moments.

Fat shaming Monica

High School Monica Friends
Picture: Comedy Central

It is a running joke during all ten series of Friends that Monica was overweight while at high school. Some have pointed out that the unrealistic fat suit worn by actress Courtney Cox and the jokes surrounding this are essentially 'fat shaming' and are potentially harmful for viewers with body confidence or image issues who watch.

There were a lot of homophobic jokes

Ross Homophobic Friends

During the first season of Friends one of the biggest storylines was that Ross' wife had left him for a woman and was pregnant with his child and a running joke that Chandler might be gay which is implied to be a bad thing by the rest of the characters.

Joey objectifies women...a lot. 

One of Friends' most famous one liners is the Joey Tribbiani classic 'How you doin'?'. 

This is usually followed by him imagining his female friends in various states of undress, treating a woman as an object or for chatting up someone he's not planning on calling again probably.


Gender stereotyping is frequent

There is one particular moment that sums up the dated gender roles in Friends and that is when Ross gets annoyed at Rachel for hiring a male nanny. 

Read More: Which Friends Character Are You?

Firstly, he assumes said nanny is gay, and secondly says "That's like a woman being a…" and fails to finish his sentence thanks to scathing looks from Rachel.

What Ross? A fireWOMAN, a policeWOMAN? This sort of sexist behaviour might not be so welcome in a sit-com of today.

Those are just a few of the main gripes the new and younger Friends audience is picking up on. They're definitely conversations worth having and brand new TV shows probably wouldn't feature some of the problematic and un-politically correct content that Friends does these days.


It feels weird applying the term 'these days' to Friends as if it's an archaic TV programme. It's not ancient, but it's not necessarily up to date and despite there definitely being questionable plot lines throughout its ten year many feel it's worth remembering that it was a product of its time.  

It's a show born in the 90s that ended in the mid noughties and a whopping thirteen years have gone past since the last ever season finale.

Perhaps this Tweet from Twitter user Yuzu is the best in summing up the way we should approach watching Friends in the 21st century...

Trending Podcasts on Global Player: The official Heart app!

Trending Live Playlists on Global Player: The official Heart app!