Turkish Armpit Hair

Ted:   You’re, you’re just like those internet swindlers who tricked him into paying 300 bucks for a lock of Sasquatch fur.

Zoey:  You cannot compare the Arcadian to ziploc bag of Turkish armpit hair.

This was in 6x22nd episode of the popular TV series, How I met Your Mother. For some reason, they had to include this racist reference in the conversation between Zoey and Ted of the series. Zoey compares Turkish armpit hair to a lock of Sasquatch fur (Sasquatch is an bear-like animal resembling human form believed to exist, bigfoot). Put it in another way, Zoey compares Turkish people to bear-like underevolved human forms. Surprised and outraged by this racist reference (given that I am Turkish), I did a little Google search on the expression “Turkish armpit hair”. Google came up with nothing of significance, so I tried other combinations, Turkish armpit, armpit hair, etc.

Then I asked a couple of American friends about the expression. They were both puzzled and told me they heard nothing about such an expression. Therefore, I was positive that this expression did not exist and the script writers in HIMYM’s staff made it up. Next thing I did was trying to find a reason why they would do such a thing.

I did a little research on the web. I came up with this:

On the 3x3rd episode, there was a phone conversation between Robin and Lily, which also included a coffee reference, as well as the condemnation of hairy Turkish lesbians:
Robin: Lily, I have pounded three cappuccinos waiting for you. Pretty soon I won’t have to shave, the hair is going to vibrate off my legs.
Lily: Sorry, I can’t leave now.
Robin: Lily, he can’t see my legs like this. I look like a Turkish lesbian!
This made things really weirder. For some reason, the script writers of HIMYM are obsessed with Turkish body hair?!

About Turkish body hair, most Turkish men do shave their armpit hair. This behaviour originates from Islam’s hygienic concerns. It is not a must, however, most people do abide by it. About Turkish lesbians, personally, I never saw one. If I had seen one, I would not know if they shaved or waxed and how frequently. Older and more traditional Turkish women wax, younger women shave, just like how it is done all around the world. The point is, how did HIMYM script writers come up with such a meaningless and offensive line (Sasquatch line)?


Turkish Armpit Hair” üzerine 23 yorum

  1. i am not turkish but i am totally touched by this in a very disappointing way.

    i was also gonna come up with the “turkish lesbian” thing before seeing your comment on it. though it is still in the extreme end, i get this turkish people being imagined as hairy people considering the fact you mentioned above. however, what is this about with turkish lesbian. it has no context, turkish lesbians are not well-known.

    this is the second time they are doing this. i dont get it and i have never come across such a thing before. humiliation by naming a country doesnt co any good to the series either.

    if i was to act and spill these words of discrimination –towards any state–i would definitely reject to do so. and i surely mean it. thats just so cheap and meaningless.

    • About Turkish men being hairy, that is way too subjective. I mean what part of the body, compared to who, if every Turk is so hairy, etc. So let’s not get into that.
      Anyways, thank you for your comment. It is good to hear from someone who is not Turkish and has something to say about this.

  2. I am a fan of this TV serie and I am half turkish and half french. I have to say that I was shocked by these stupid comments too. I am so angry against the writers…Since the sixteenth century, Turkish women practice hair removal, it was (and it still is) considered very bad if they did not do. It is a cultural and religious practice.

  3. this is what they always do in himym.. They like making up expressions.. And i guess when they need a country they don’t hesitate using Turkey for this, because people in USA won’t know if that’s correct or not..

    I was offended for a sudden and kinda shocked but then i thought, who gives a damn to this expression besides Turks, so take it easy guys 😉

  4. Even if there is some hidden reason behind this, who cares! American people don`t even understand these kind of made up things and don`t even laugh because it doesn`t make sense at all. Turkey is a beautiful country with cleanest women. There is no need to get defensive.
    PS: To analyze Turkey, they have to pass through Europe so, it would be stupid skipping French women who do not have to be a lesbian for not shaving their legs. :))

  5. I watched the episode a couple of hours ago from cnbc-e. I heard the sentence turkish armpit hair but it was not translated in subtitle. Most of turkish viewers didnt even notice maybe because of cnbc-e’s fooling subtitle. I have ben searching for hours but the subject is discussed in this blog only. Seems like writers of this tv serie are pretty obsessed with turkish hair, this is the second scene containing same racist, insulting and meaningless hair stuff. HIMYM is not that pleasing for me anymore. I’m really disappointed. Thanks to blogger for sharing and thanks to sensitive people who commented against these humiliating racist expressions.

    • Zeynep,
      That was exactly what I did after watching that episode, searching the net if anyone said anything about it. Unfortunately, I could not come up with anything either. Be it the fooling subtitles provided by cnbc-e or that most Turkish people cannot speak or understand English, whatever the reason was, it was very disturbing that there was no reaction to the racism by HIMYM. If we do not react, they will surely continue with this. So this is why I wrote this post. I am happy that I am giving this subject “some” publicity. Anyways, thank you for your comment.


  6. i believe that turkish people in general are too resentful (i know a thing or two about turks, considering i am one). they make such jokes about different people from different nations on these kind of shows all the time. it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are trying to express a hatred of some sort against us. it’s just a joke. if canadians felt this way they would be in war with the u.s. because of himym and south park already.

  7. Yes, i watched that scene over an over again too. As i heard the word ‘turkish’, immediately tried to understand what they are talking about ? (i should say there appeared a real question mark over there..)
    And guess what, i think that’s an honour that “our name” is mentioned there.. U.s people could have been “non”-aware of even a word like ‘turkish’, cause they are such..-let’s just say- unknowing.. Maybe they just know the country Turkey by the thing that called turkey, they baked.. That’s a thing.. ?
    And, i have to point out something, there was also a joke (must be from an episode, 6th season, about thanksgiving day) that “Ted” made-up: tur-turkey-key, or turk-turkey-key.. There was a turkey which “carries” a turkey in it.. meant something?.. They are defining it as ‘ a turkey that is stuffed with another, smaller turkey ‘.. still nothing?
    I’m turkish, i’m not racist “personally”, (honestly none of us knows a thing about racism nowadays, unfortunately except things with kurdi citizens here ,and somewhere over there.., but i know they are all a propaganda of the “other” people..) ..oh,, (i may be a positive-racist, ok.) But, every nationality has a gap*/some gaps, like every person..huh? And nationality is only one of the dresses that we wear on ourselves, even on our characters.., and sometimes, in some issues we love to wear on it much more than anything.. why? I’m not saying let’s be a unique nation. but, why? Isn’t it lame?? There had seen lots of jokes about lots of country on hımym and ,accept, most of them were enjoyable, makes fun,, “Unless” they are not doing it “purpose”ly.. (i don’t know bro i get so confused..*)
    As a conclusion, finally,, i deeply want to say: oh come on, let’s be more insensitive! (you all can see it from whereever you are/wish(!)
    I could have written long, i little bit.. lastly i want to send special thanks to our blogger, Mehmet, who gives us a space to discuss and see what’s going on about this subject.
    Thank you all, my universe’s sweet-cute-little-tiny-colourful-variable people. i don’t know what you think, but i love you “all”. 😉
    That’s my


    an innocent Universer*

    * “italics”
    ‘some words, quotes’
    ,,inner voices
    *some himym habits, hi.)

    İstanbul, 2012 (it’s 2012 but look what’s still happenning..jeez)

  8. I also realized the references. Also Barney was confusing Denarius with Turkish Lira in an episode. I was wondering if there’s a Turk in the writing crew, but there isn’t. Well, I wasn’t offended cause my armpits are like that, and I’ve never met a Turkish lesbian. Still, it’s obvious they put those references on purpose. I wonder what.

  9. I believe that is among the such a lot important info for me. And i am happy studying your article. However should statement on some common things, The website taste is ideal, the articles is really nice : D. Excellent task, cheers

  10. Thanks for mentioning this in your article. Since it was the second time I came across something like this in the 6th season, I suddenly wondered what was up with Turks and armpit hair stuff in HIMYM. I guess there is someone who thinks badly of Turkish people among the staff. But I believe they make some bad references to other countries too, which also does not look good on the show…
    Anyway, thanks and I hope they realize this is a mistake and makes people bear grudges.

  11. all of comments made by the Author. That means all comments created by Author, that brings us to fake commented topik 🙂
    Yazı tipinde değişiklik yaparsan(Cümleler,edatlar gibi) daha çok belirgin olur

  12. I wonder that if there is anyway for us to ask HIMYM crew about those references? I don’t know whether they have an e-mail address or any connection. Maybe someone could reach them in order to direct our questions and complaints to the crew, couldn’t they?

  13. I’ve wondered if there’s a Greek among the writers, but they made a joke about Armenian women having beards too, so maybe they just like “hairy Middle Eastern ” jokes.

  14. I never understood those references either. I mean if you say Turkey to the average American, they think about thanksgiving, they do not think about a country, so why refer to Turkey in the first place? I mean there are way better references to hairy people without picking a nationality. It is even weirder that Americans didn’t get it either, but the writers decided to use it anyways.

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