7 British Stereotypes In 'Friends' Ranked In Order Of Ridiculousness
Ah, Friends. A beloved American sitcom that has captured the hearts and souls of the British population since its creation in 1994 — including me. So much so that I nearly wrote a strongly worded letter to E4 when it decided to stop broadcasting repeats. But that isn't to say it's perfect, especially when it comes to British stereotypes in Friends
Remember the one where they all came to London for Ross and Emily's wedding? OK, I'll admit that the two-part special in the Big Smoke was pretty epic, but seriously, who did the research for these episodes? Was that really an accurate portrayal of London life? Erm, no, definitely not.
Then there's the matter of Emily. I have nothing against Emily as a character — well, except for the fact that she threw a spanner in the works for Ross and Rachel — but I can't deal with how caricatured they made her accent sound. And then there were the awful British impersonations that came alongside it from the likes of Ross and Chandler.
Honestly, I do love Friends really, but the ridiculous and hilarious amount of British stereotyping on the show is a little cray. Here are my top seven cringe British moments ranked in order of ridiculousness. See if you agree.
7. That Rugby Is Extremely Violent
How rugby is depicted in "The One With All The Rugby" warrants a serious eye-roll. I mean come one; Emily chatting with the "lads", who we first see with beer in their hands; Phoebe interacting with one "lad" that has no teeth (oh, how stereotypically British); and Emily telling the "lads" to go easy on Ross. Is anyone else cringing?
Rugby is so much cooler than that, man. Although, the depiction in Friends does give us "Red Ross", which I'll admit is hilarious.
6. That There Are Union Jacks Everywhere
As a British kid, you go to London once as a sightseer and you take the open-top bus tour. After that, whenever you have to go to the capital, you turn into an annoyed citizen, traipsing past tourist after tourist. Now I get that tourists like to take something home to remind them of the UK, but the Union Jack memorabilia is a bit strange. Excepting Geri from the Spice Girls, nobody wears this stuff, or has much to do with the union jack in their day to day life. Just saying.
5. That Stinginess Is The Norm
Emily's father (Tom Conti) and step-mum (Jennifer Saunders) are depicted as stingy, upper-class Brits compared to Ross's lovable, wholesome American parents in "The One With Ross's Wedding, Part 2." I know it's exaggerated for comedy, and Brits being tight with their money is a well worn stereotype, but c'mon. There isn't that much of a cultural divide.
4. That Brits Eat Weird Food
In "The One With Ross's Wedding, Part 2", Joey completely freaks out over the canapés. It was only goat's cheese, watercress, and pancetta, that he was being offer, aka cheese, some greens and meat. What was all the commotion for? I know Britain has a bit of a bad reputation for its cuisine, but trust me — this isn't the bad stuff. It's hardly anything to complain about, Joey. Stop taking your homesickness out on our food.
3. All Brits Speak With Posh Accents
Oh, this gets on my nerves the most. As someone with a British accent that is a mix between someone from Essex and a Hampshire farmer (thanks mum and dad), it's hard to take British characters like Emily seriously when they're speaking with this caricatured English accent. It's even harder to laugh at characters like Ross and Chandler when they are imitating it.
"The One Where Joey Loses His Insurance" sees Ross speak in a fake British accent out of nervousness with phrases like "oh bloody 'ell!" adding to the cringe. While "The One With The Fake Party" sees Chandler start to imitate Emily whenever he's in the same room as her, often going on about drinking tea. I mean, we drink coffee too, ya know!
2. That Brits Lack A Sense Of Humour
At Ross and Emily's wedding rehearsal dinner, Chandler gave a speech and not a single person in the room cracked a smile. "Come on you people," he snapped after realising he had a tough crowd to please. Bearing in mind the majority of the guests at the dinner were Emily's friends and family, I'm guessing by "you people", Mr Bing meant us Brits. Erm, dude. We so do have a sense of humour, hence why we love you. I mean that in the nicest way.
1. That Everyone Knows The Royals
To any American thinking about visiting London and hoping to casually bump into one of the royals, trust me, it ain't gonna happen. While that Sarah Ferguson cameo was admittedly hilarious, I hate to break it to you, but you won't find the royals hanging around Westminster (really not their patch, tbh). But OK, let's just say for argument's sake you did, despite how freakin' unlikely that is, there is no way they would stop and record a video message. Don't let Joey Tribbiani tell you otherwise.
As bitter as I may sound, at least we Brits got some moments to shine in one of the world's most popular sitcoms, however awkward they may be.