Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: NBC
Friends character Joey may have been a notorious womaniser - but according to a script that never made it to air, it was "obvious" to his BFFs that he was, in fact, gay.
Joey's hidden homosexuality was reportedly discussed by characters Rachel and Pheobe in a season four episode, in a scene that was never actually filmed.
Some background: in 1997's The One With Ross's Wedding, Rachel stays in New York City with a heavily pregnant Pheobe while the rest of the gang attend Ross's nuptials to Emily in London.
"That would be like telling Monica, 'Hey, you like things clean'"
In it, Rachel says: "Phoebe, I'm [not] going to Ross's wedding because he is my ex-boyfriend and that would be really uncomfortable. Not because I'm still in love with him. I mean, hey, you know, I like Ross as much as the next guy, you know? Clearly, I have feelings for him, but feelings don't mean love. I mean, I still have loving feelings for Ross. Yeah! I have continuing feelings of love, but that doesn't mean that I'm still in love with him. I have sexual feelings for him, but I do love him. Oh! Oh my God! Why didn't you tell me?'
To this Pheobe responds: "We thought you knew! [We] all know! We talk about it all the time... It's so obvious! God, that would be like telling Monica, 'Hey, you like things clean.'"
According to a tie-in book that prints the script in full [as per Grazia], Phoebe then adds: 'Or: 'Hey, Joey, you're gay.'"
In a parallel universe, we're choosing to believe this is the case!
The show - which has an uncomfortable legacy of LGBTQ-related jokes - featured prominent gay characters in Ross's ex-wife Carol and her partner Susan.
Joey was played by Matt LeBlanc, who will return for a Friends reunion special on HBO Max tomorrow [27 May 2021] alongside former castmates Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matthew Perry.
The Attitude July issue is out now.