Friends scriptwriters methods for creating laughter make the often hidden conventions of language-use visible.
In one episode, an invitation is turned down, but without giving an expected reason. Joey asks Phoebe if she'd like to help build furniture. Phoebe opens with a negative reply but then does the surprising. "Ohh! I wish I could, but I don't want to." And the audience erupts in laughter.
Creating humour this way, as well as through misunderstandings, can keep us laughing.
MORE IDEAS FROM Friends: making audiences laugh by embracing the unexpected in conversation
Over the ten series, the sitcom about a group of 20- and 30-somethings in New York attracted scholarly analysis.
One of the striking things about Friends was the humour that depended on clever conversational devices. The scriptwriters used the unexpected in conversation.
The conversational rules for a successful invitation depend on:
The preferred response to a request is acceptance, and the best way to ensure a positive result is to pose a leading question like, "What are you up to this evening?" This helps those we're talking to avoid having to give negative responses.
Friends' scriptwriters breached these rules, which cause audiences to laugh.
Jennifer Joanna Aniston (born February 11, 1969) is an American film and television actress.
She plays the role of Rachel Green on Friends, a role for which she won both an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award.
Over the past year, it has never been easier to find something new to watch on TV. Despite so much fresh content, there is a growing trend for people to rewatch old series.
Data backs up the anecdotal evidence that 2020 (during the pandemic) was the year of the rewatch. The most streamed programme in the US was the American version of The Office.
Sometimes a friendship can become so painful or unhealthy that we need to end it.
But we often don't have clear guidance or formulas to make these decisions. Our negative emotions drive our thoughts and may cause us to make poor decisions and lose relationships we could have kept.
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