Family can be a great source of many things. They can bring us love and support as well as a sense of belonging. Our familias are often our first introduction to relationships and can be a mirror in which we reflect upon ourselves. They can also be a source of some telenovela sized drama.
Every family has their secrets but some are wilder than others. We asked our FIERCE readers to dig all the family skeletons out of their metaphorical closets and they were quick to spill the tea. Here are some of the most shocking and scandalous family secrets they shared with us.
1. The hidden family.
“Um, that my father fathered several more children [than what] we were told. I think we now have like 12 half-siblings now, only knew if half of them. He’s in his 80s but still, it’s for sure weird. ????” — @misslopez_if_youre_vasty
2. *Cue the novela music.*
Instagram / @coolrulex
“That my sister almost married our half brother ( not 100% confirm ) and when he found out he went and married another girl with the same name as my sister but different last name he just change the last name at the church.” — @karo056186
3. Romantic entanglements.
Instagram / @daniarenas.usa
“My husband’s brother left his girlfriend for her sister… who happened to date my husband back in the day. They’re married with a baby now.” — @thahomieguera
4. A grandfather in all but blood.
Instagram / @divitha.institute
“That my grandfather (May he Rest In Peace ❤️) wasn’t my biological grandfather. I always wondered why my mom told the doctors that diabetes didn’t run in the family when it was the reason he passed away. ????????♀️” — @ivonlabombon
5. A secret straight out of the closet.
Instagram / @juixcebox.2
“My moms neighbors tea… the wife thought her husband was cheating so she asked my sister to give her a ride to follow him.. turns out he had a male lover ….now the lady blames my sister for giving her a ride like that’s the problem… and her closet gay husband stayed living there like nothing happened.” — @fitmomofdolls
6. Just plain scandalous.
Instagram / @mudrope
“That my tia stole my abuelita’s will from my moms room in mexico and that she claims she doesn’t have it cause she left more for my mom and wants my abuelito to write another one with more dinero for her!!!!!” — @mishygoldfishy
7. Definitely a premise for a Lifetime Movie of the Week.
Instagram / @reacttothat_
“My mom’s cousin had a boy when she was young while still in Central America. When she immigrated over to the states she had to leave him behind temporarily while she got her life together. My aunt met a man in the US and made a life here. They had 3 daughters. During that time her son grew up and I’m sure became super resentful toward my aunt. At some point my aunt put papers in for her son and brought him to the states. Him and the oldest daughter got SUPER close to the point where it got hella weird. She fell for her brother and they tried to run away with each other. I believe there plan was to go back to Central America. Mind you she was still a minor. He ended up ditching her at the border.” — @pessiyerez
8. Throw the whole dad away.
Instagram / @ohh.she.wyld.af
“So 7th grade. My dad looked me in the face on the way inside our apartment and said ‘Hey! Its time for me to go. I’m leaving your mom next week.’ ????♀️” — @kelly_a_stackhouse
9. This tia sounds cool af.
Instagram / @libragoggles
“That one of my mother’s older sister’s owned a brothel in Guatemala in the 70s. And would get her military boyfriend to beat the shit out of any of the men that mistreated her ladies. ????????♀️” — @pixelatedgum
10. Lost a tio and gained an hermano
“My uncle was actually my brother….he was raised by my grandma and my mom played along. My mom was young so my grandma didn’t want my mom’s reputation to be ruined. One xmas when I was 15 my step-dad told my brother my mom was his mom. We didn’t believe it but then our mom confirmed it. We talk about it all the time, how we use to call him Tio but now it’s bro.” — @arco___iris___
11. Say a rosario after reading this secret.
Instagram / @thatsfunnythat
“That my grandma thought my grandfather was cheating and so she cheated him with their church’s reverend.” — @grestmarie
12. The literal definition of “primo-hermanos.”
Instagram / @reacttothat_
“That someone’s prima’s daughter was pregnant by their son’s father????♀️ now they’re literally ‘primo-hermanos.’ — @_lilasthebest_
13. Fame doesn’t mean much when you’re a cheater.
Instagram / @me_as_a_millennial_mom
“My grandma dated Freddie Fender back in the 70s, she went to SPI to watch him play.. well she ended up finding him w/ another woman. She was so angry at him she threw his keys in the ocean and left his ass there…men ain’t shit ????????” — @taramdelagarza
“Friends” is loved by everyone. You’d be lying if you said you’ve never spent an entire day on the sofa, binge-watching the 90s comedy. But it’s safe to say that some of the jokes, punchlines, and themes of the show wouldn’t have been very well received in 2020 —aka some of the show’s storylines have been regarded as more than a little problematic. Here are some examples.
“Friends” originally aired in the 90s —but with Netflix reviving the craze for the show a few years ago, millennial viewers noticed a few insensitive punchlines.
The show was on air since 1994 and up until 2004. But since “Friends “started streaming on Netflix just a few years ago, modern day fans have found issues with the way the show depicts and handles some issues —like its lack of diversity for instance, or its depiction of women and LGBT people.
Pretty much everything about “Fat Monica,” for example.
The whole ‘Fat Monica’ storyline fed into the media’s perpetuated image of overweight individuals as punchlines and nothing more. She only became a “worthy” character after she lost the weight, or at least that’s how the show made it seem.
Exhibit B. The treatment of Chandler’s trans dad.
Chandler’s homophobia and jokes about his transgender parent were awful. While the addition of a proud gay character in a show during the 90s was a huge step forward in television, they totally misrepresented the community. The show conflated transgender people and drag queens. In trying to expose and dismantle some prejudices, they also perpetuated others.
The objectification of women by the male characters
There’s a Thanksgiving episode where Ross and Joey are trying to leave so they can go and meet Joey’s good looking roommate and her dancing friends. And just like this one, there are many other episodes in which “the boys” spend the whole show trying to think up ways to trick women into sleeping with them —in this particular episode, Joey literally calls the women “objects” —and I’m triggered.
Joey’s sexism usually went unchecked—and he was downright creepy a lot of times.
Most of Joey’s scenes revolved around women —and a lot of them are problematic. Sure, he had his good and sweet moments, but it’s super problematic that he can’t remember who he’s slept with, or how he makes his roommates make breakfast for his conquest and then dump them for him. His roommate’s search was also awful: “Female, non-smoker, non-ugly.” —Seriously?
The constant examples of fragile masculinity.
The male characters frequently had to make a HUGE issue out of their fragile masculinity. Here’s an example for you: In the episode where Chandler moves in with Monica, she has him making cedar sachets with old pantyhose. Chandler asks to leave to go do “guy stuff.” He then finds Joey learning to knit and Ross applying face powder to try and minimize the contrast of his overly bleached teeth. He leaves in disgust. Later, after pointing out all the feminine touches Joey’s new female roommate has applied to the old apartment, Chandler points out that Joey is turning into a woman. “Why would you say that? That’s just mean,” asks Joey. “Now I’ve upset you? What did I say?” replies Chandler. “It’s not what you said. It’s the way you said it… Oh, my God! I’m a woman!” exclaims Joey in disgust —*ALL THE EYEROLLS*
Ross has been one of the most criticized characters.
The character of Ross has seen a lot of criticism, for his dismissal of the importance of consent, his possessiveness over women, the casual anti-gay comments and more.
Even the show creators have admitted to feeling uncomfortable with some scenes.
The creators spoke about their regrets at Tribeca Film Festival’s “Friends” 25th anniversary. When asked by the audience if there were storylines that they regret, Kauffman had a couple of examples ready: “the one when Phoebe starts dating her sister Ursula’s stalker, played by David Arquette (“we did a lot of rewriting on that to make it work”).” “It’s much harder for me to enjoy the good moments when there are moments in it where I’m going, ‘Oh my God, we let that happen? We did that,'” she explained.
Meanwhile, co-creator, David Crane, admitted he doesn’t remember a lot of specific scenes and jokes after working on 10 seasons 15-25 years ago, said that when he does stumble upon an episode, he’ll occasionally wonder, “Wow, really? We went with that?” “There are some that are better than others,” he said.
In a recent interview with the Guardian, “Friends” star David Schwimmer who played Ross, said he”doesn’t care” about the backlash, because he believes it comes from the show being taken out of the context of its time.
When asked about the backlash that the show went through after its Netflix renaissance, the actor said; “I don’t care.” A few articles and several Twitter threads suggested that the show’s jokes hadn’t aged well, like Chandler worrying about seeming gay, or jokes about Monica’s weight. “The truth is also that show was groundbreaking in its time for the way in which it handled so casually sex, protected sex, gay marriage, and relationships. The pilot of the show was my character’s wife left him for a woman and there was a gay wedding, of my ex and her wife, that I attended.”
“Friends” is a product of the pre-“woke” era when it comes to race, too.
“Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends,” Schwimmer says. “But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color. One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part.