Thank God for John and his ability to keep this lively action sailing along.

“The friend zone,” much like the show that popularized its usage, has gone through some reassessment since the 1990s. To some people, including Daniel Radcliffe and some of my friends, it connotes entitlement and misogyny. “She put me in the friend zone! How dare she, that bitch! I deserve to be in her EROGENOUS zones! I’m a good guy!”

I always felt like that was giving the worst of society more power over our language than they deserved, and not entirely fair to Friends, either. True, some of the show’s underlying assumptions are not the wokest today, but its casting alone presented men and women as equally relatable and worth rooting for. Nothing about its definition of “the friend zone” suggested a woman didn’t have the right to put a man there. The zone is inside her mind, and she owns her own mind. Everyone categorizes everyone else, as “potential partner,” “friend,” “guy whose stuff I read,” “asshole,” or whatever. If I pick a category for someone, I get less interested in revising my choice the more time passes, and the same applies to the way other people look at me.

(My wife shrugs and adds, “Yeah, I got friendzoned by guys a lot. You learn to deal with it.”)

Sometimes you just have to accept that the language has changed, but I’m sorry to see this term tainted, because it certainly helped me understand some of what I was doing wrong. If nothing else, it represented an improvement over the romcom-inspired strategy of “just be her friend, just always be there for her (clapclapclapclapclap), and one day, one day she’ll see…”

The verb form “friendzoned” is maybe a little easier to associate with the angry internet. But Frigg has always used language from the angry internet, so having her use it is in line with her character, no matter how you look at it.