2 Broke Girls: A Conundrum Wrapped in an Enigma Wrapped in Boobs

It’s been another successful week in the sitcommiest sitcom that ever sitcomed. But good news for all! I figured it out. I know why this show bugs me but is intriguing at the same time. 2 Broke Girls is secretly an HBO comedy that’s trapped on CBS. Right now you have this broad based sitcom with a lot of fat to trim (Asian dude, Russian dude, rich lady with kids) that is sneaking in these would be hip, non-PC, and dark jokes. Jokes that would work if the joke could be the joke instead of it being CBSed to death. And I understand. I really do. Because even if you tell a great joke but no one gets it, it’s useless. It happens to me all the time. That’s the problem here — they have to take well-crafted jokes and then alter them so a bunch of people that shouldn’t get the joke can get the joke.

Maybe once they’ve tricked enough people into watching it will become the witty lesbian sitcom you all are hoping for. But until then you’re going to get Robbie, the ex-boyfriend, suggesting they have a threesome when he walks in on Caroline and Max in bed together. It was actually the second threesome joke as the Russian cook suggested one earlier in the episode. That one wasn’t funny either.

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed but most sitcoms have patterns. It’s why drinking games based on shows are so successful. And by successful I mean if you followed the rules, you would be sloshed by the end of it. I’m going to develop some categories and see if I can plug one joke into them every week. Feel free to add jokes that fit into the categories in the comments. Or even make up your own category.

Young people please relate to this show joke

Max: Is there any way to do a Yelp review of Wharton business school?

The dark joke

Caroline: You sleep with a knife under your pillow?

Max: It’s the only home security system I could afford. And I’m a cutter.

The edgy joke

Max: We’ve known each other for 2 days and you’re already asking for back door.

The non-PC joke

Max: You can’t tell an Asian he made a mistake. He’ll go in the back and throw himself on a sword.

The “is that racist?” joke

Max: Earl, I have something new I want you to try.

Earl: That’s the exact same sentence that got me hooked on cocaine in the 80s.

The gay joke

Max: If I were gonna go lesbian, she’d be the last lez I’d be in.

The vagina joke

Max: I’m already worried about me be being late…every month!

The joke that leads to a lot of questions

Caroline: Do you have any more of those poor people chips?

What are rich people chips? Are they Sun Chips? Do they eat chips that aren’t made of potatoes? Like bagel chips? Or kale chips? Are any of you rich? What kind of chips do you eat? They weren’t even eating poor people chips. Everyone knows Flamin’ Hots are the real poor people chips.

A final note: the horse is bugging me. Horses are not just expensive on the initial buy. They’re expensive to take care of. So how are they going to feed this horse? Who is gonna clean up the horse shit? How is the horse going to get exercise?  I don’t think the whole horse gag is worth its payoff. I suppose they have to keep it around so that when Kat gets in a jam, Caroline can show she’s a true friend by selling the horse in what will be a symbolic cutting of ties to her previous life…I’m guessing.

What did you think of this episode? Better or worse than the pilot?

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Brittani Nichols is a Los Angeles based comedy person. When she's not tweeting about white people or watching television, she's probably eating pizza. Actually, she's probably doing all three of those things concurrently and when she's not doing THAT, she's sleeping. Brittani also went to Yale and feels weird about mentioning it but wants you to know.

Brittani has written 328 articles for us.


  1. I’m not sure if it was better or worse than the pilot, but it sure as hell was gayer, a whole lot gayer.

  2. You are really over thinking this. I like the show. It makes me laugh.
    I like that it doesn’t clearly state what the joke is, doesn’t talk it to death by TELLING you what they mean. I like jokes that can go over peoples heads. aka “back door”. Pretty sure my parents didn’t pick up on that one! But I did, and I chuckled.

    • I would like it a lot better without the laugh track. It’s way too self aware and pretty much points out the jokes. I really want to love this show, but that’s killing it.

      • I laugh exponentially more in shows without laugh tracks. It’s terrifying to hear hordes of people laughing when I’m really sitting alone watching TV.

      • Laugh track, ew. This write-up almost convinced me to watch the show, but… no. It sounds like it suffers from all the same problems as the Big Bang Theory (stretching and breaking jokes so that a wider audience ‘gets’ them, and the ever-painful laugh track). Bummer.

        • I have a feeling, from comments people make about my laugh, that if IIIII were the laugh track, only my cackle (if the joke is spot on) or even my giggle or chuckle …. wouldn’t that be something? to hear ONLY one creepy laugh? one cackle … I wonder how that would work on a sitcom …

          My ex who was a sound technician recorded my laugh to use on one of his songs, I’m not sure if he ever used it but I asked him about it and he still has that recorded somewhere…. I think it would be hilarious/weird/creepy to have that on a sitcom …

          anyhow, this sitcom … I want to like it and I have a feeling I would if the jokes were allowed to be funnier, on hbo or better yet the internets! so far it’s barely getting a chuckle out of me … just a lot of dead silence filled with the laugh track, which in this comment is being represented by the dot dot dots .

  3. I love every word you wrote.

    Especially the horse part.

    I want you to talk shit about this show every week!

  4. I haven’t seen the show, but I really enjoy your caps (what the kids are calling recaps these days). I feel like I’ll dislike this show regardless because it doesn’t include a Ron Swanson or a Troy Barnes. Does it have a laugh track? It feels like it probably has a laugh track. I also feel like Whitney should have been CBSed. It makes no sense in the NBC Thursday night lineup. Also. Horses ALWAYS bug me out. Those creepville eyes? Forget it.

  5. Ya the horse thing is ridiculous. How could the “poor” apartment have enough room for a champion horse to exercise? Also, anyone who rides has been around horse crap and isn’t totally freaked out by it. Also, horse shit does not look like chocolate pudding.

  6. wtf are bagel chips bagels and chips are totally different things how do you get them to marry and have babies that make bagel chips. either way it sounds like lesbians procreating to me. bagel chips, what even.

    btw this show needs more gay. all the things need more gay.

    • My obsession with bagel chips makes so much sense now. IT IS ALWAYS ABOUT LESBIANS.

      But seriously, it is a slice of a bagel that gets baked. It’s… crunchy? Which is not like sex at all. :(

  7. I think rich people chips are plantain chips. I saw them in Whole Foods once, so that must make them rich, right?

  8. I totally agree with this. I’ve only seen the second episode, but I felt like there were parts of it that I totally identified with and thought were hilarious, in a way that I very rarely identify with other shows/think they are hilarious. And then there are parts that are so dumb (and racist) that I am embarrassed that I was laughing a minute ago.

    • Also, tiny bags of kale chips are like $5 a bag. And those baked lentil chips. And the Terra chips that are all kinds of vegetables like beets and taro and yucca and whatnot. Those are delicious.

      (I am not rich, but I am pretty sure food stamps exist so that poor people can buy rich people chips too.)

      • When I reread this comment I felt weird about it. I should explain that I am poor and have food stamps which I can use to buy rich people chips. I’m not like, making light of poverty and being hungry and stuff. Only making light of it when it’s me.

  9. Why does it matter if there’s racist or non PC jokes? Offensive jokes are great because no one expects them anymore on American television and they’re so funny and true. People need to stop being so sensitive and gain a sense of humor.

    • It would be funny if the Asian guy wasn’t already a caricature. Right now he’s just a dude with an accent. No personality or redeeming qualities. It’s funny when a show paints characters as real people with interests and dreams and flaws and then says “but haha this is what society thinks of you. We’ve showed you’re multi-dimensional so now isn’t it ridiculous that anyone could think you are only this cardboard cut out of ignorance?” I love un-PC jokes. Shit, a lot of things I say can be considered un-PC. But I like when they’re done in a smart way. Or an original way. Pretty much anyway other than how they’ve been done on the show thus far. The problem isn’t that they’re doing it. The problem is it’s not funny.

      As far as racist…I think racist jokes and un-PC jokes are different. In comedy it’s hard to put a finger on exactly what crosses the line and calling something racist, no matter the situation, is a slippery slope. I’m not actually saying it’s a racist joke. Just that it’s so fucking easy. One old black guy and the best you come up with is a joke about cocaine? You have to consider who’s writing these jokes. Hint: Probably not black people.

      Out of all the jokes listed, I thought a lot of people would be up in arms about the cutting joke most of all.

  10. Wait… can someone give me context for the “cutter” joke? Or was there none? I can’t tell yet whether I’m offended.

    • Caroline walked in the bedroom late at night while Max was asleep. Max was frightened and pulled a knife on her. The above exchange occurred.

    • I don’t know whether I’m offended or not either… though I’ve come to the conclusion that if the writers actually intended the double meaning on “security,” I’m going to be kind of impressed? Also, disappointed. Feelings.

  11. Did Kat Dennings’ boobs double in size since the pilot? She looks a lot curvier all over… and that ‘aint a bad thing.

  12. right now this show seems to me like a bunch of one-liners loosely held together by the idea of a plot. but i think it has the potential for being good once they allow the characters to actually be funny rather than just having them recite some funny lines.

    also, i laughed twice and both times it was when Max said “I was masturbating!” in order to cover up the fact that she was crying.

    ps. i hate the horse.

  13. Wait, is there gay happening? I don’t know if that would convince me to watch it, because this sounds like a big mess of everything I hate about American sitcoms.

    • There was a lesbian kiss, which we (falsely) believed would be the gayest part of the show up until the word lesbian was heard. There will probably be some recurring gayness in the show.

  14. I feel like I am probably alone here, but laugh tracks do not bother me at all…until someone points them out to me. Seriously, I have never once noticed a laugh track on my own. I don’t know why that is, because once someone says “wow that laugh track is annoying” I have no problem noticing it. But then I eventually forget that it’s there until someone brings it up again.

  15. Oh, Brittani! You’ve so eloquently articulated my exact sentiment on this sitcom. I have moments in which I find myself smacking my head for indulging in something so vapid and then I see Kat Denning and forget that I ever cared about anything meaningful and profound on Monday night teevee in the first place. I should reiterate how much I lurve Kat Denning, but I just feel like she’s selling herself short and not living up to her full potential on this sort of “craft” venture (that is what the cool kids call ‘acting’… Right? I would like to write her misfortune off as yet another victim of a doulbe-dip economy, but I digress). Hopefully in the remaining episodes, the show will depend less on the “one liners loosely held together by the idea of a plot” as astutely pointed out by the keenly perceptive Cancellous, and cultivate character development in such a way that you want to give a fuck about them rather than hold your breath and wait for something more awesome in next week’s episode, ya know, should that circumstance ever arise. Related, Rachel, my pet, you are absolutely right that Kat’s mammories are on a quest; not unlike a rousing game of an Axis and Allies: Battle of the Bulge(s). Any yoohoo, I will continue to watch, albeit with selective muting. Bottom line for moi: j’adore Kat Dennning! Cependant, I’m not convinced this is the role that will turn her into something totally amazeballs.

  16. Jeeesus the racism. Seriously, I had trouble remembering the plot at the end of the episode, I found it so glaring. I want to give the show half a season before giving up on it, but I might stop watching week-by-week and marathon it come Christmas holidays.

  17. i did chuckle a lot more on the lez-be-in joke than i probably should have. but… the pronounciation, like, i was totally expectiong some lame-o lesbian joke, but then they didn’t!

    it was awesome. and yes, it got gayer. and better. definitely a show i will keep watching.

  18. The only joke I lol’d at was

    “Where’s my waitress?
    She’s cumming :D”

    Annnnd Max is awesomehot. So I will probably keep watching it regardless of content.

  19. Thre’s some merit to this sitcom, as sitcoms go, (and most of them should!)It may be taped before a live audience, but, come on! Huge guffaws and bales of laughter after non-funny gag lines, and even straight lines? Obviously there’s an intrusive laugh track which will preent me from EVER watching this show again, good, bad or OK.

  20. I ´ve read all your reviews until episode 13. You take the show (and yourself) too seriously. Just enjoy it. At least the show is more funny than your reviews.
    Adios from Barcelona

Comments are closed.