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'Friends' Cut A Joke About Bombs At Airports After 9/11

'Friends' Cut A Joke About Bombs At Airports After 9/11

You'll all know that on September 11 2001, the world changed when the Twin Towers in New York City were attacked and destroyed in a terrorist attack.

Obviously, things were a little touchy after that and for good reason, so the producers of Friends pulled the following sketch from episode 8.02 - that's season eight, episode two - which was meant to be aired soon after 9/11. Watch it and you'll see why:

Credit: Warner Bros. / Friends

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Watching that - as funny as it is to see Chandler's smugness and Monica's neurotic OCD get them in some serious trouble - it's easy to see why the producers made their decision. Even though the skit doesn't directly mention the Twin Towers, it was probably too soon to joke about bombs at airports.

But here's the weird thing. Even though the characters of Friends lived in New York and would have been there for the 9/11 attacks, it's never directly referenced by any of them once in the episodes afterwards.

Credit: Warner Bros / Friends

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Here and there a character wore an FDNY or an I Heart NY t-shirt, and the Magna Doodle on Joey's door also had "FDNY" scribbled next to a drawing of the Statue Of Liberty for a bit. The first episode of season eight - the one before the episode with the deleted clip - does show a title card at the end which reads "To the people of New York City".

Beyond that, however, it's like it never happened, and right up until the final episode aired in 2003, it's never mentioned in conversation whatsoever.

But then again, Friends was a feel-good comedy and the producers probably made a conscious effort to ignore it. After all, how funny would an episode called 'The One With 9/11' be? Exactly. And if they'd kept the bomb joke in there, there's no way they couldn't have acknowledged what happened. That doesn't mean it was the right decision, but you can understand it.

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Credit: Warner Bros / Friends

It wasn't the only thing to edit out things out in the wake of 9/11, however. 2002 movie Spider-Man - the one with Tobey Maguire - cut footage of the superhero swinging between the two towers, and the World Trade Centre was also digitally deleted from Zoolander.

Television-wise, Law & Order: SVU removed a shot of the towers from its opening credits after 9/11, and even Family Guy - the show that's happy to offend everyone - retrospectively cut a scene from a 2000 episode where Osama bin Laden distracts airport security to get his weapons through the X-Ray machine. Ouch.

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros / Friends

Topics: 9/11, TV and Film, New York City, Friends

Mischa Pearlmen

Mischa is a freelance journalist usually based in either New York or London. He has written for Kerrang!, Record Collector, NME, the New York Observer and FLOOD magazine, among others. Contact him at [email protected]