a fellow off an X-rated wedding cake

freshdaisy

New Member
Chinese
It's a line from Growing Pains, a sit com in 1990-1994.

Mike, the 15-year-old son, has a good looking guest, namely, a good looking girl
at home, whose appearance and way of behaving make Maggie, Mike's mom, see
the girl as a tramp. Maggie, therefore thinks of canceling the plan of going to the movies
with her husband, Jason. But Jason doesn't think staying at home will do any good, in
his opinion, for teenagers, if they really feel like doing something, they can always find
a way. Maggie, though, still insist they should not leave the two alone at home.

Maggie: Would you leave Carol( their daughter, younger than Mike) in there with a boy who just
look like a fellow off an X-rated wedding cake? That's double standard.

I just don't get the meaning of the phrase. Help me out?

Thanks.
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    IT is a pretty poor image in my mind, it certainly is not an everyday expression. In the UK we traditionally decorate wedding cakes with little figures of a husband and wife.
    e.g
    http://www.wedding-plannings.com/img/wedding-cakes-pictures/wedding-cake-pictures-6.jpg

    There is really no such thing as an X-rated wedding cake, but X-rated suggests sexually explicit.

    The mother is saying that the lad looks like he is sex-mad. Perhaps this silly image is meant to be funny, it is not working for me!
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    Films in the United Kingdom are officially classified according to how much sex, violence, strong language etc. they contain. For example the U classification means Under 16: the film is suitable for children. I don't think the X classification is used any more, but it used to mean that only adults were allowed to see the film. I suspect that Growing Pains is an American sitcom, so it looks as though they have a similar classification system in the USA.
    I agree with suzi that the image is clumsy. I had difficulty making sense of it.
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    I am very fluent in AmE and - though I'm not always proud of this - in American sitcoms, and I also don't think it makes much sense, nor is it funny. Even when I get past the whole "X-rated wedding cake" thing, which I can at least vaguely understand, I don't see what could possibly be alluring about a wedding cake figure. Any wedding cake figure. These tend to be bland-looking little figures - even blander than Barbie and Ken dolls - and I just don't get that reference at all. It sounds to me like a very labored and unsuccessful attempt at humor, even for "Growing Pains," which isn't among America's finest sitcoms.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The transcription doesn't seem very accurate to me. In addition to several grammar mistakes, Americans generally don't use "fellow" like that. "Fell off" seems more likely. I'm guessing it's something more like "a boy who looks like he just fell off an X-rated ..." "Wedding cake" seems unlikely but I don't have a guess as to what that might be.
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    I wondered about the transcription too, Myridon. If I have time, I'll try to find a different one. "Fell off" sounds much more likely than "fellow"...but yeah, "wedding cake" is a puzzle.
     

    Jim2996

    Senior Member
    American English
    I take an x-rated 'wedding' cake to mean an (erotic/x-rated) bachelor party cake.

    These can get quite raunchy, and very explicit. If you're adult enough for some examples, you can google it. The first one is http://www.cakes3.com/novleros.htm

    I assume they also have bachelorette cakes for girls.

    It's a stretch to call these 'wedding' cakes—or maybe it's meant as a joke (not a very good one).
     
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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I wouldn't refer to a bachelor party anything as a wedding anything. Yes, there are X-rated cakes, but not X-rated wedding cakes. Remember that this is a sitcom (and a family sitcom from a slightly more innocent time at that). You'll have about 0.00025 seconds to ponder this joke before the next one hits you in the face. It's not likely to be something that you have to think about. It's going to be something obvious that everyone knows.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Freshdaisy, you might want to tone it down just a little bit. I don't think anyone is trying to mock or confuse you, and everyone is taking your question seriously. Here's the gist:

    There are, occasionally, X-rated cakes: these would either be shaped like something erotic, or have an erotic image painted/printed/transferred onto them. The phrase "like a fellow off an X-rated cake" would mean "like a guy from a (gay) porno movie" or "like a male stripper / Chippendale dancer" or "like a Playgirl model." (The only reason I say gay porno is that the men in straight porn are not known for their physical attractiveness.)

    However, you would never expect an X-rated wedding cake. They would be common at the bachelor's or bachelorette's party before the wedding, but certainly not at the wedding itself.

    This is probably a mistake on the part of the sitcom writers. They probably had a more easy-to-understand statement ("like a Playgirl centerfold!") and then they tried to change it to something more zany and funny. Erotic cakes are less common than Playgirls, and thus they're funnier. Alternatively, they might have originally written something more raunchy ("like that guy Pam hired to dance at her bachelorette party!"), and then the joke was rewritten by the network censors (the standards department). However, with that change, the joke doesn't really make sense any more - since there are no "X-rated wedding cakes" for people to resemble figures off of.
     

    freshdaisy

    New Member
    Chinese
    The transcription doesn't seem very accurate to me. In addition to several grammar mistakes, Americans generally don't use "fellow" like that. "Fell off" seems more likely. I'm guessing it's something more like "a boy who looks like he just fell off an X-rated ..." "Wedding cake" seems unlikely but I don't have a guess as to what that might be.
    Thank you for your reply, which makes sense to me.
    Admittedly, I'm not sure about the accuracy of this transcription either, but this is the only one available at present time for me, I have to make do with it.
     

    freshdaisy

    New Member
    Chinese
    I wouldn't refer to a bachelor party anything as a wedding anything. Yes, there are X-rated cakes, but not X-rated wedding cakes. Remember that this is a sitcom (and a family sitcom from a slightly more innocent time at that). You'll have about 0.00025 seconds to ponder this joke before the next one hits you in the face. It's not likely to be something that you have to think about. It's going to be something obvious that everyone knows.
    To figure out the phrase, I listened to it again, not watched, and it did sound like a wedding cake, as it's written in the transcription. Confusing, but anyway, forget about it. Thanks for your time again.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Here's what I think the line meant: As we all know, the classic, conventional wedding cake often has a couple of little doll-like figures of a bride and groom on top—the bride in a wedding gown, the groom in formal wear of some sort. Now, imagine (as I suppose the script calls for mother to be doing) that instead of a bride and groom standing side by side dressed for the church ceremony, the little figures are show in a state of dress and posture more appropriate for the wedding night.

    I agree that it's not particularly amusing, but I think that's what the writers meant.
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    Parla's suggestion sounds reasonable to me. And the suggestion that it's "not particularly amusing" is right on as well. :) Ah well - lots of sitcoms have lots of bad jokes that fall flat, and some don't make a lot of sense. I'm sorry Freshdaisy got stuck with one of them. And I'm sorry if some of my earlier comments lead Freshdaisy to believe that I was not taking this question seriously, because I was.
     
    Last edited:

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    ... instead of a bride and groom standing side by side dressed for the church ceremony, the little figures are show in a state of dress and posture more appropriate for the wedding night.

    I agree that it's not particularly amusing, but I think that's what the writers meant.
    But does that exist? It's an odd simile if it relates to something that nobody has ever experienced.

    I also don't quite agree with this. From context, we know that the mother is trying to say "Would you leave your daughter with a very, very attractive man?" But if the cake topper just showed someone on his wedding night the mother would be saying "Would you leave your daughter with a man in a state of undress or arousal?" That doesn't match the intended meaning.

    Or is this just another way of saying that there aren't X-rated wedding cakes and for that reason it's hard to figure out what people are saying when they talk about them?
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    But does that exist? It's an odd simile if it relates to something that nobody has ever experienced.

    I also don't quite agree with this. From context, we know that the mother is trying to say "Would you leave your daughter with a very, very attractive man?" But if the cake topper just showed someone on his wedding night the mother would be saying "Would you leave your daughter with a man in a state of undress or arousal?" That doesn't match the intended meaning.

    Or is this just another way of saying that there aren't X-rated wedding cakes and for that reason it's hard to figure out what people are saying when they talk about them?
    I absolutely agree with everything you've said...but I can't think of a better interpretation. Assuming it makes some sort of sense - and presumably it must (scripts are, after all, vetted by lots of different people before being shot and broadcast) - Parla's suggestion sounds more likely than anything else we've heard.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Assuming it makes some sort of sense - and presumably it must (scripts are, after all, vetted by lots of different people before being shot and broadcast)
    That's also a very good explanation for why sometimes scripts don't​ make sense! They're fiddled with by so many different people at different times that occasionally (in the absence of a very proactive showrunner) they can turn into gibberish.
     
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