Jake Ballard And The Friend Zone Mt. Rushmore » VSB

Featured, Pop Culture, Theory & Essay

Jake Ballard And The Friend Zone Mt. Rushmore

ABC screenshot

 

With each episode, Jake Ballard is discovering new levels of the friend zone. Levels we didn’t know exist. Levels we didn’t know were possible to exist. Levels that disrupt our understanding of the friend zone, and force us to reassess our concepts of time, space, dimensions, and cunnilingus. To merely call him a friend zone pioneer is like calling Toni Morrison a great typist. He stretches our imaginations and bends what we considered to be reality. He is Neo in the hallway, and the friend’s zone is Agent Smith wondering what just happened to his spleen.

This passage is from “The Levels Of The Friend Zone, Brought To You By Scandal’s Jake Ballard.” It was written last year, right when Scandal’s latest season began. But, as last night’s episode showed, Jake managed to find even more levels to this shit this season. He is a friend zone maven. A grand master. A motherfucking connoisseur. Blue balled kids will tell tales about him at lonely-ass campfires for generations to come. Not only is he the Basquiat of the friend zone and the Neil Degrasse Tyson of lowered expectations, he’s the Klay Thompson of phone call guilt trips.

Anyway, Jake’s friend zone spaghettification me thinking: Who’d be on the friend zone Mt. Rushmore? Obviously, Jake would get prime placement — shit, he might even get his own mountain — but who’d be the other three next to him?

Let’s see.

Milhouse Mussolini Van Houten

milhouse

The kid with the world’s second most famous eyebrows, Milhouse’s decades-long unrequited crush on Lisa Simpson actually has more levels than Jake Ballard’s. Granted, the Simpsons are a cartoon, giving them a certain flexibility with plotlines like “Milhouse falls off a cliff, but gives saved by a bald eagle” and “Milhouse reveals he’s allergic to his own tears” that just couldn’t happen in Shondaland, but you still have to acknowledge how difficult it must be to be a friend zoned fourth grader for your entire life.

Erica Adams (aka Hazel E)

hazel

Never has there been a more sad character on a reality TV show. Not just because of her cringingly unrequited love for Yung Berg, but the fact that she’s love with Yung Berg, the human equivalent of mouth gout. She is the reason why fathers need to hug their daughters, daughters need to listen to their fathers, and free range chickens lay more eggs.

Eric Clapton

eric clapton

I do not care that Eric Clapton and Pattie Boyd eventually married. All that matters is that when Boyd was married to Clapton’s best friend (George Harrison from the Beatles), he was so in love with her — and so upset that she was married to his freakin best friend — that he recorded and created an entire fucking album for her. Included on this album was Layla, which just happened to include arguably one of the best, and certainly one of the most famous, piano performances of the 20th century. Definitely enough for Mt Rushmore.

***Honorable Mention: Steve Urkel, Ser Jorah Mormont from Game of Thrones, every female character in every teen movie made between 1981 and 1999 who happened to have glasses***

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Nick Peters

    I think Hazel E warrants a new discussion…

    “The Smash Zone”

    Honestly, If it wasn’t for the $$ex…I have the feeling generally all the women in the Smash Zone would not be in the same circle with the dude who put them in the smash zone…so can they really be friends?….

    • I was thinking the same thing. There was nothing friendly about the way Young Berg treated Hazel E.

      • Nick Peters

        I was having this conversation with a very nice young lady on a date…we were just generally talking about relationships…

        The Smash Zone is the male equivalent of the Friend Zone
        – He has her their for $$exx
        -She tries to go into the relationship lane
        -He forces her back until the situation is untenable…she quits or gives an ultimatum which leads into a relationship or most likely ends with them never speaking to each other again

        • Yeah, I’m not about that life. That sounds like a nightmare.

        • K Lust

          This sounds about right.

    • The smash zone is the woman friend zone if we’re being real, men will catch a tightly thrown p*ssy spiral just off GP

      • Charlisia Nwachukwu

        I saw LHHATL recently.. and I think Joc’s “main chick” .. KD is in the smash zone too except she buys him stuff. Is there a sugar mama, smash zone?

        • He’s actually dating her, I mean more for dudes who tell a girl they aren’t looking for a girlfriend but talk everyday and smash regularly

          • K Lust

            Aren’t you technically bf + gf? Or do those words have to be spoken? A guy once told me that Mary M. was Jesus’s gf cuz he, and i quote, “Kicked it with her every day and she washed his feet. That was his gf, Jesus aint just gone be chillin with a b*tch all day for no reason.”

            • Nick Peters

              washing feet is gf duty…and we all saw that movie that said Jesus and MM had a child

            • HeyBooHey

              Technically, not exactly. Unless it’s spoken or agreed on, yall are just smashing regularly and talking everyday. Jesus and Mary M. went togetha after that foot bath though

              • K Lust

                But what if you’re smashing and talking everyday AND feet have been washed???? The great trifecta.

                • HeyBooHey

                  Then she’s gonna drop the “what are we?? cuz we smashing, talking and I washed your crusty feet” convo and all will be made plain lol

                  • K Lust

                    LMFAO aka, the end is near.

                    • HeyBooHey

                      Or he’s gonna say what he needs to say to keep the smashing consistent lol. “I ain’t ask you to wash my feet tho” will be uttered

                    • K Lust

                      Oh lawd! You’re so right. “And what about the things i do for you? Remember when you wanted wine but all you had was water? REMEMBER??? I care about you guh. I’s just not ready.”

                    • HeyBooHey

                      EXACTLY!!! Then they end up right back to smashing and talking everyday with no real clarity until something else pops off

              • Wild Cougar

                If that is the case then smashing does not take a guy out of the friend zone. I have a few dudes that a live behind the emergency d glass who are not bf material

            • Elowwole

              I think that’s the best thing I’ve read all day.

              • dmcmillian72

                IKR?! Lol!

                • Sigma_Since 93

                  Jesus wept after reading this thread lol!

            • So share tastes in women with Jesus. PRAISE HIM! LOL

            • uniquebeauty79

              Lol’d like for real out loud

  • Sigma_Since 93

    Gary from the Last American Virgin Yeah I took it back to 1982 but this
    is when I learned about the friend zone. NOBODY wanted to be a Gary. Gary would be Jake right hand man on the fiend zone Mt. Rushmore.

    Charlie Brown – loved him some little red haired girl

    Ducky from 16 Candles

    Screech from Saved By The Bell – He was never gonna turtle with Lisa.

    • mssporadic

      Isn’t Ducky in Pretty in Pink?

      • miss t-lee

        Yes.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        You’re right but Jon Cryer’s role was the same in both movies

        • miss t-lee

          John Cryer was not in Sixteen Candles.

    • kid video

      +1 for American Virgin reference.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        I gotta kick the truth to the young black youth.

    • KB

      You went all the way back on that one.

    • Val

      And wasn’t Lucy crushing on Charlie Brown?

      • Sigma_Since 93

        I would say mind fcuk more than crush. If she liked him, she would have let him kick the ball.

        • Val

          I guess but sometimes kids punch the other kid they like. Kids can be weird like that.

          • Manny

            Like Helga petaki

  • miss t-lee

    Mouth gout? Currently scream laughing.
    I never knew that Clapton story, wow. Layla is *the* jam.
    My view of Friend Zones…you’re there because you wanna be.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Says the Hott Toddin woman who calls Buster at 1:30 to cuddle.

      • miss t-lee

        Ain’t no cuddling going on at 1:30.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          It is if she ain’t opening dem legs!

          • miss t-lee

            That’s your own fault if you get called over to cuddle at 1:30.

            • Sigma_Since 93

              But you called him; would you feign being hurt if he said no or would you look for the next Buster in your black book?

              • miss t-lee

                I think you know the answer to the question.

                • Sigma_Since 93

                  *daps the playa for playing the game*

                  • miss t-lee

                    It’s all you can do.

              • If she’s calling and expecting you to leave your house at 1:30am just to cuddle, it’s highly unlikely she thinks very highly of you as a man.

                • miss t-lee

                  It’s highly likely that she knows your a simp.

                  • Like ol girl Panama flew out to and was chilling in the whip while she smashed her man

                    • miss t-lee

                      YUP.

                    • panamajackson

                      It hurts cuz its true.

                  • Nick Peters

                    Its highly likely I would laugh in her ear and go back to sleep

                  • Sigma_Since 93

                    Some women will call you out on the “let’s chill line” and counter with the “why does it always got to be about chex. You said chill so let’s chill….and cuddle.” When backed into that corner, you just man up and take the L…..once.

                    • miss t-lee

                      Again, 1:30am.

                    • Sigma_Since 93

                      I’ve used let’s chill at 1:30 so turn about is fair play.

                    • miss t-lee

                      So you were playing games is what you’re saying?

                    • I’ll call a bluff quickly, we grown

                    • HeyBooHey

                      I’m just saying, if a request to “chill” is thrown out after the sun has partially or completely set, both parties should know what it could be. And cuddles can easily turn into slide-ins if there’s consent…

                    • Sigma_Since 93

                      But when they don’t folks shouldn’t get in their feelings.

                    • HeyBooHey

                      Agreed. Or just don’t respond/go chill during grown people hours. Don’t nobody got time for sexual ambiguity

                    • Nick Peters

                      if its 1:30 in the morning that needs to be made explicitly clear…or you can make the move to my spot

                    • HeyBooHey

                      If a call/text is placed at 1:30am, the intent is pretty damn clear. We’re not about to play Parcheesi at that hour

                    • Nick Peters

                      so then there is no reason not to be explicitly clear

                    • HeyBooHey

                      I’m grown and I assume the gentleman is as well. We know what’s up at that point if communication occurs at the midnight hour so how much clearer can you get? Anatomy lessons gotta be given for things to be explicitly clear??

                    • miss t-lee

                      Folks need maps, pie charts, and diagrams apparently.

                    • HeyBooHey

                      Apparently smh. If I need to spit scientific names of organs and members, dude is keeping himself company instead

                    • Nick Peters

                      We all know men are dumb

                    • HeyBooHey

                      Not all men, most get the hint

                    • Sigma_Since 93

                      Nah. Mike Tyson taught me I need approval to bone signed by a notary before I move on a hint.

                    • HeyBooHey

                      I’m already done with you today Sig I swear lol

                    • Sigma_Since 93

                      Real Talk everything you have been saying was Mike’s defense but she said no at some point. My mom looked me dead in the eye and said to me “Let that be a lesson to you. You’re going off to college and you will be feeling on b00ties. You BETTA be sure you have a green light ’cause I’m not paying for a defense fund.”

                    • HeyBooHey

                      I see your point. And mom ain’t eva lied, I will teach my son the same lesson.

                      But for ME, in the 2015, if I’M hitting a man up at 1:30am I know whats I wants and that’s all the consent that he needs to know it’s a-ok to enter my twilight zone. If I respond to his 1:30am in the affirmative, that’s me giving him consent to make it do what it do.

                    • Sigma_Since 93

                      I’m not trying to have this happen to Nick

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjKurHop9BQ

                    • Sigma_Since 93
                    • Lea Thrace

                      I cant with this video!

                    • Andie

                      That ish is hilarious.

                    • HeyBooHey

                      I wish I could mute you Sig LOL

                    • Nick Peters

                      its 2015…too much on the line for hints

                    • miss t-lee

                      Okay?!

                    • Naw, you ain’t gotta be vulgar with it. Don’t use the same terminology for platonic ish that you’d use for chexual ish though. Chill can mean chill too.

                    • HeyBooHey

                      There’s always clarity in my intentions. If I wanna chill, I say “hey let’s chill at (insert location)” and it’ll be public so he knows what it is. If I wanna place tickle the pickle, I’m letting him know pickles will be tickled lol

                    • I mean that’s just you though. There are an abundance of women where the intentions could mean anything.

                    • Nick Peters

                      tickle the pickle?

                    • MsSula

                      I agree. Chill can just mean chill.

                    • Andie

                      I never know the right terminology

                    • Yes, next question.

                    • Sigma_Since 93

                      Nick Peters seems like she’s ready *ques R Kelly*

                    • Sigma_Since 93

                      @heyboohey:disqus are you listening?????

                    • Lea Thrace

                      You tryna take Eps’ instigator crown?

                    • HeyBooHey

                      Between you and @Eps I don’t know which one of yall I wanna hurt more smh

                    • Sigma_Since 93

                      Eps and I are trying to ensure Champ can talk about this love connection when he say’s VSB is a safe place.

                    • miss t-lee

                      All this truth.

                    • HeyBooHey

                      Girl I was just piggybacking off your gospel

                    • miss t-lee

                      I’m glad, I can’t be out here representing alone.
                      Gotta call out the BS.

                    • uNk

                      but that “should know” is such a fine line, chicks not wanting to be seen as a heaux, fellas not trying to be too forcful on the V….communication is often not used

                      “cuddles can easily turn into slide-ins if there’s consent”
                      Movie nights over everything!!

                    • HeyBooHey

                      This is true but that’s why, with me at least, communication is everything. I’m honest about mines upfront with what I desire from the situation. If he makes a move I’m not ok with, I express it. If I want more, I express it. If there’s blurred lines, I prefer to clear them up so there’s no confusion with where things can or cannot go. But dating is definitely tricky so it’s not always as smooth

                      Man movies nights are life!!! Getting through the movie is the battle sometimes lol

                    • Or you could do what JR Smith did… Ask directly if she wants that pipe.

                    • uNk

                      and ONLY once, i shall not be swindled again!!

                • Back in the day on MySpace Phonte called cuddle buddies “Emotional tampons”.

            • Miss TLee shutting down think pieces before they start one comment at a time

            • If anyone calls me at a half past one someone better be dead.

              • miss t-lee

                LOL!!!

                • I’m serious about that don’t ***k with me while I’m sleeping ish.

                  • miss t-lee

                    I am too. Trust.
                    It’s not a game.

        • Lea Thrace

          I’m tryna be like you!

          • miss t-lee

            Awwww. *daps*

        • HeyBooHey

          Church. and. Preach o_O

        • tgtaggie

          I learned my lesson on that the hard way. Closed mouths don’t get fed

          • miss t-lee

            Tell your folks…lol!

          • HeyBooHey

            *pulls up chair* story time!

      • Get my name out your mouth. I get scarce for a couple weeks, and this is what happens? LOL

    • h.h.h.

      *waits for it*

      *lurks*

  • I’d put Dwayne Wayne in the running because of his pining for Denise.

    • He is a shining example of the friend-zone. He was there with Denise and Whitley but managed to break the cycle.

      • I wonder if Denise stayed on the show how her and Dwayne would’ve worked…. She seemed too boring

        • I don’t think a relationship would work out with them. She wasn’t ambitious or focused enough for Dwayne’s plans.

          • HeyBooHey

            Thought the same thing. She got annoyingly close to being airhead-ish at times, Dwayne wouldn’t have stuck around

        • She was too much of a free bird. Every bright and shiny thing called her attention. She was Ron, basically.

  • uniquebeauty79

    I would have thought that “Go home, Roger!” would have been on this list lol

  • Nick Peters

    Tyrese thirsting over Janelle Monae?

  • Yellow Tail

    I’d like to add Roger “Go Home Roger!” Evans (Marques Houston) from Sista Sista.

    • uniquebeauty79

      We were thinking THE EXACT SAME THING!! look a couple of comments down, lol

      • Yellow Tail

        Great minds think alike!

        • uniquebeauty79

          Trueeeeee *master p voice* lol

    • Damon Young

      if only i’d even watched sista sista

    • Roger got distracted, he had an in with Tamera and got greedy

  • some VSSes

    Ted Mosby and Robin… I refuse to acknowledge that ending

    Drake & Nicki

    • Lea Thrace

      #factsonly

    • They were chexing and together off and on throughout the show though

      • They were actually together for like a season out of 8-9

        • tgtaggie

          I think they talked in season 1. Then broke up. Ted pretty much pined for Robin the whole 9 seasons

    • How did that show end? I stopped watching after I realized Ted was a walking talking Drake song.

      • He meets the mother, they get married, she dies and he shoots his shot at Robin again

        • miss t-lee

          Really, that was the ending?

          • The whole point of telling the mother story was to ask his kids was it okay to holla at her… This is why I watch sports and documentaries

            • miss t-lee

              LOL!
              I only watched it here and there, so I never really knew what was going on half the time, or how it ended.

        • I’m glad I tapped out around season six.

          • It amazes me how that show ended so recently, but it already feels so outdated.

        • Cleojonz

          I really liked the final episode- until that stupid last scene. Ugghh all of that just to end up back at Robin? Really?

  • How dare I be nice to you and not get a** or a relationship on return…. Tuh

    • miss t-lee

      *gasp* THE AUDACITY!

  • Andie

    I’m here because I just had a dream about someone here. That I was in the friend zone with. CREEPY.
    *for the record I was Not just sleeping*

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Details or it did not happen.

      • Andie

        I kept hitting on Nicholas on a boat ride. It was really embarrassing. He kept changing outfits. He had a stylist on the boat. I kept saying how much I liked the chartreuse shirt. But he wasn’t paying me no mind. Luckily I woke up when he started wearing extra strappy sandals that I wanted to borrow. Really cute shoes.

        • Damon Young

          no more root beer floats before bed

        • Nick Peters

          This started out interesting and then went EXTREMELY left

          • Andie

            Maybe it means I should buy that chartreuse chair? Or just buy both the orange and yellow sandals off of Amazon? I really hate returning things….. Or maybe I should have gone on that boat ride last week? Or maybe it means I want to be friends with Nicholas?

            • Nick Peters

              I’ll be your friend…but I will never wear strappy sandals

              • Andie

                I vow to:Treat u as a man and as a friend. Not some in between substitute for a boyfriend or as I would my female friend.
                Not even just money. I won’t  consistently ask for labor or invite u to do things that are only fun for me.
                I can Meet u at the bar. Not at your house. Sigma says a drink can be a drink at a neutral location.
                Yay! Friends!

        • How about his foundation

          • HeyBooHey

            *points to the door* LEAVE US!

        • Kema

          This gave me a most satisfying laugh. Thanks!

More Like This