The One Friends Episode that Grossed Everyone Out
In an era riddled with the stereotypical story of twenty-somethings navigating life and love in New York City, one show stood out.
Friends has achieved iconic standing among television lovers, still one of the most in-demand streaming shows nearly two decades after its finale. It often toed the line between realism and insanity, with a lot of questionable moments along the way.
The plotline of one side character in Season 7 was particularly cringey to watch.
Monica's about to get married to Ross' best friend, and coming to Manhattan for the wedding is Cassie, cousin to Ross and Monica. The last time they'd seen Cassie was when she was about 8 years old, back in the time Ross would pin her down and tickle her until she cried.
Fast forward to 2001 and Cassie has grown into a beautiful, 25-year-old woman; Monica compares her to her beautiful Aunt Marilyn. Monica offers Cassie a place to stay for the wedding festivities, but Chandler is smitten. He cannot for the life of him stop leering at Cassie. He's still in love with Monica, of course, but his ceaseless stares lead Cassie to stay with Ross instead.
If only it got better from there.
Ross is shocked at the beauty of his cousin. He, like Chandler, can't take his eyes off of her. Cassie takes his stares as a way to imitate Chandler, but Ross does everything he can to control his desires as they talk about the last time they met.
They sit together, glass of wine in hand, to watch a movie. She sits awfully close as she pours him a glass of wine. "She's your cousin," we hear inside Ross' head, spelling out for the audience just how gross his behavior actually is. "If she knew what was going on in your head, she'd think you were sick."
Yes, she would, Ross.
She reaches over for a handful of popcorn from the dish sitting on Ross' lap. He's stunned. "Or would she?"
He recalls that she was the one who suggested a bottle of wine. She was the one who turned down the lights. She was the one who rented Logan's Run, the "sexiest movie ever."
She stretches her arm around Ross' shoulder, giggling as she pulls a blanket from behind him.
"I want it, she wants it. I'm going in."
He turns to her, smirks, then makes his move.
He thrusts onto her for a kiss; she yanks herself back, yelling at Ross. She asks what he thinks he's doing, we hear Ross thinking of something clever to say.
Something to explain himself.
Something to get out of this mess.
Anything will do. Nothing could make this worse.
"I haven't had sex in a very long time."
That made it worse.
She bolts out the door. But her story doesn't end there. She decides to stay with Phoebe, happy to stay with a woman. But there's just something about Cassie. Phoebe is entranced with her new houseguest as Cassie seductively dries her hair in her bathrobe.
Like Chandler and Ross, she can't help but stare.
The iconic cringe moment led the episode to have one of the highest ratings among mid-season episodes, garnering an 8.6 IMDb rating. It was one of the biggest swings in a show that took a lot of chances, and it seemed to have landed.
Where does this rank among the funniest cringe moments in Friends history?