Tired of the toxic term friend zone? Blame Joey Tribbiani. The phrase made its first pop appearance on the season-one episode “The Blackout,” in which Joey tells Ross that he doesn’t have a shot with Rachel anymore. (They made their way out of said zone, obviously.)
Friend zone didn’t become pervasive until 2012 or so, but add it in with unagi and pivot as something that will always have a whiff of Friends about it.
Need more Friends? We’re counting down the days until it’s on Netflix.