The Chain Gang

T.G.I. Friday’s Banned Flair Because of Office Space

Mike Judge
Mike Judge Photo: Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Mike Judge’s well-loved and very quotable 1999 movie, which starred Jennifer Aniston and Ron Livingston as workers trying to persevere amid the myriad absurdities of working life, may have inadvertently contributed to the demise of one of American dining culture’s most eternally optimistic and chipper quirks: the various colorful and quirky buttons and pins known as “flair,” thought to be modeled on actual things pinned onto the servers’ uniforms at T.G.I. Friday’s. (“We need to talk about your flair,” Aniston’s character is warned, in a famous scene. “Fifteen is the minimum, okay?”)

While the restaurant group acknowledged in 2005 that its servers “didn’t want to wear” the chain’s iconic striped shirts, no one really explained what happened to all the mandatory flair. Until now: “About four years after Office Space came out, TGI Fridays got rid of all that (button) flair, because people would come in and make cracks about it,” Judge tells Deadline. “One of my ADs asked once at the restaurant why their flair was missing and they said they removed it because of that movie Office Space. So, maybe I made the world a better place.”

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T.G.I. Friday’s Banned Flair Because of Office Space