Episode artwork by Ian O’Phelan.

tags: 80s | facts of life | NBC

“Menage a Phyllis” (November 2, 1974)

In the third-season episode “My Brother’s Keeper,” Rhoda famously said the word “gay,” turning a plot about her association with Phyllis’ brother on its head. Two seasons later, Phyllis shows up in another episode that discusses gay issues but weirdly doesn’t say that word. Regardless, there’s perhaps more to be made of the newsroom’s opinions about what codes as gay, and Dan Steadman returns to discuss this and what we’ll call the “Murray Slaughter problem.”

Read Dead Buckley’s 2018 piece “Queer Coding on the Mary Tyler Moore Show”

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