Brow Beat

Send This Portlandia Sketch to That One Friend Who Always Cancels at the Last Minute

Portlandia’s Lisa (Carrie Brownstein) and Bryce (Fred Armisen) have been trying to sell us weird stuff for years, whether it’s science lab furniture for men or the latest avian decorating trend (“Put a bird on it!“). Now they’re trying to sell us on the concept of cancelling plans: “Have you ever been invited to something you didn’t want to go to? But made the commitment anyway because you felt obligated?” Open mic night with a friend? A play with your parents? Christmas? Go ahead and cancel ‘em all!

This is the ideal sketch to send as a passive-aggressive warning to your flakiest friend, like Susan, who keeps cancelling drinks at the last possible minute with lame excuses like, “I forgot I’m helping my friend move” or “my guinea pig is sick.” Portlandia is in its eighth and final season, which kind of makes this sketch even funnier, and gives you all the more reason to send it to Steve, who bailed on going to the movies an hour beforehand with zero explanation, or to your implausibly busy cousin who agreed to come see your band play but then “totally forgot.”

If you can’t figure out which of your friends is the canceller in the group, then maybe, just maybe, it’s you. As you watch this innocuous Portlandia sketch, you think back to every “I’m really sorry” text and each lame excuse and realize, Oh god, it’s true, they’re talking about me. And yet instead of feeling ashamed of this fatal flaw, you greet this revelation with a strange sense of calm self-acceptance at finally knowing who you are.

Damn right, you tell yourself, I am the type of person who cancels at the last minute. I’m even the type of person who would cancel a blog post right in the middle of a sente