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:
In the scene, newlyweds Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Monica (Courteney Cox) are in the airport en route to their honeymoon when they get detained by security because Chandler makes an ill-timed joke.
“The sign says, ‘no jokes about bombs,’ but shouldn’t the sign really say ‘no bombs’?” Chandler asks. “I mean isn’t that the guy we really have to worry about here? The guy with the bombs? Not the guy who jokes about his bombs. Not that I have bombs, but if I did I probably wouldn’t joke about them. I’d probably want to keep that rather quiet.”
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. Fans may remember that at the end of the season eight premiere, a screen reading “Dedicated to the People of New York City” appeared, as it was the first episode of the series to air after the terrorist attack.
‘Friends’ wasn’t the only one to edit out things 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.
One YouTube community member commented on the video, which has clocked up more than seven million views, writing: “Man this is WAY better than what they put in the actual show, but I can see why they replaced it.”
Another admitted: “It was funny, but I understand why it was replaced. Could be seen as quite offensive back then.”
The deleted scenes are currently doing the viral rounds again, so we thought we’d offer it up here for your enjoyment.