Have You Seen This Rare 'Friends' Scene?

by Maitri Suhas

It's still hard to believe that Friends went off the air 11 years ago — and even though diehard fans probably will never get tired of rewatching the sitcom on Netflix, there's a rare Friends deleted scene out there that some fans may not have seen. This video, which was posted to YouTube, shows a scene cut from a post-September 11 episode, "The One Where Rachel Tells Ross," that was slated to air on NBC just weeks after the terrorist attack in New York City. As the clip depicts, it originally involved a plot where Chandler and Monica are held at the airport because of a crass, inappropriate bomb joke that Chandler makes — but, after September 11, it was rewritten in light of the attacks to feature Chandler and Monica "competing" with another newlywed couple on their flight. Watching the deleted clip now is weirdly surreal, especially if you haven't seen it before.

In the original plot (as the clip portrays), Chandler and Monica are on their way to their honeymoon and are detained at the airport by TSA when Chandler mocks a sign that says "Federal Law Prohibits Any Joking About Aircraft Hijacking or Bombing" — because, of course, Chandler Bing can't resist rebelling against a sign specifically telling him not to make jokes. "Don't worry, ma'am, I take my bombing very seriously," he says, which of course leads to Chandler being detained. After much convincing, Monica and Chandler almost manage to talk themselves out of the office when Chandler receives an unfortunate call from Joey about a (fake) gas leak, and Joey asking if they should break down the door. Chandler, speaking before thinking, responds, "No, I want you to stand there and watch the whole thing blow up."

The video is preceded by the message: "As part of the history of the show, we hope the scenes can be viewed in the spirit in which they were originally intended." Of course, the scene now, even eleven years after the tragic events of September 11, seems eerily prescient, but the fact that producers chose to release the clip much later — after the show had gone off the air and time had put distance between the events of the terrorist attack and the present — speaks to the show's connection to New York. If you are old enough to remember September 11, the scene probably has a different connotation for you than those who aren't.

A lot of Friends moments, both funny and serious, took place in the airport, if you think about it: Rachel gets off the plane; Chandler pretends to go to Yemen; Emily sees Ross almost jet off to their honeymoon with Rachel. Friends was a show that took place in a universe where you could chase the love of your life to the gate at the airport, and I think that's the spirit that this scene was meant to have.

Image: Warner Bros. Television