A Glossary of the Best Innuendo ‘New Girl’ Writers Created to Get Around the Network Censors
The Fox network show New Girl gave us plenty of new (or, at the very least, reinvigorated) words and phrases to add to our ever-growing pop-culture vocabulary. There’s “adorkable,” there’s “bronemies” and who among us even says womb anymore when “baby box” so gloriously exists? Ten points if you sing it, too.
However, a lot of this sitcom’s most colorful words and phrases originated thanks to the network’s Standards and Practices Department — the people who determine what is safe to air and what should be censored lest it corrupts the innocent to their very core. While these censorhounds are usually a pain in the butt for many series, the folks over at New Girl took it all in stride. “Some of the beauty of writing for a network is that there are so many things you can’t do, but that sort of pushes you to do things you didn’t even think you could do to get around that,” creator Elizabeth Meriwether told The New Republic. “It has been a really good exercise for me… in learning, like: ‘Okay, so we can’t show boobs, we can’t say the word dick, we can’t just say the most shocking thing.’ We have to come up with a way around it.”
And that they did, slipping in sexual references and innuendos in creative and funny ways without getting wrapped up in red tape...
All of Jess’ Slightly Altered Words for ‘Penis’
Early on, in Season One’s fourth episode, “Naked,” Jess (Zooey Deschanel) reveals her inability to say the textbook word for dong in front of Nick (Jake Johnson). It turns out that, according to those pesky rules of Standards and Practices, the word “penis” was only allowed to be said five times an episode. The creators clearly rolled with this censoring by having Jess say the word more than that, only slightly altered every time.
A thing Schmidt (Max Greenfield), our resident horny monster man, said when once referring to Cece’s (Hannah Simone) breasts. The man is nothing if not cheesy.
In the pilot episode, Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) doesn’t want Jess to move into the guys’ apartment because of his balls. More specifically, because he won’t be able to let his “beans” hang out.
The show was apparently not allowed to use the term “a-hole,” so they opted for “b-hole” instead. During an interview with The A.V. Club, the showrunners said they were eventually allowed to say “dick,” for which they were very grateful. “As long as we weren’t referring to male genitalia, you could have a character call another character a ‘dick,’” recalled Brett Baer. “And we were like, ‘Oh my God, this is incredible.’”
“Ass” was apparently fine to say, though, as proof of this clip from Season One.
Bishop in a Turtleneck
Since the word “penis” had its limits, it’s no wonder Schmidt came up with a whole new phrase for an uncircumcised wang. Whether he knows that it originates from Hedwig and the Angry Inch is up for debate.
DTF — Darn Tootin’ Fun
As part of circumventing Standards and Practices, the creators often made the censorship rule part of a joke that could easily fit into a sitcom. When Jess discovers a new dating app in Season Four called Dice, she ignores Schmidt’s warning and creates a profile. In her bio, she adds DTF, which she explains simply implies that she’s “darn tootin’ fun.”
Not subtle at all, which makes it hilarious that the showrunners also decided to use that big ol’ phrase in the episode's title — “Quick Hardening Caulk.” In this Season Two episode, Jess tries to resist her feelings for Nick, who is making it difficult for her as he yanks chains and shops for some hardening caulk at a hardware store.
Also known as those pictures people send to other people to show them their junk. It truly is the perfect way to term a dick pic, even though it originates from Schmidt, who is most definitely an unsolicited serial junk mail sender.
A term Schmidt thought appropriate to use during his first meeting with Cece to refer to her “hard nipples.” The man is nothing if not a boob.
While pogo initially meant a person’s most annoying attribute in the episode “Pepperwood,” Schmidt (of course) found a way to use it to make a penis joke. It’s a wild left swing, but we guess that’s just a Tuesday for the man with the tiniest party hats.