The Levels of Wrong in Lawrence Attending Tasha’s Family Cookout, Ranked From Least to Most Wrong

HBO screenshot
HBO screenshot

8. The flute twerk corner.

Makes the list because I’ve never seen that before. And I’m 92 percent certain that shit has never happened before. But it’s only the eighth most wrong thing because I’m definitely intrigued as fuck by it now. And might even incorporate a flute twerk-off at my next game night.


7. Lawrence attending a cookout dressed like Pai Mei from Kill Bill.

I get that Lawrence might have put a little extra thought and effort into his outfit in attempting to make a good first impression. Just would have been better if the first impression wasn’t “this nigga might teach me the five-point-palm exploding-heart technique.”


6. Tasha’s family putting Lawrence to work immediately.

Within the first 90 seconds there, Lawrence was already bringing chairs, hooking up stereo equipment and helping old ladies out of vans. At that rate, he was 90 seconds away from frying fish, leading the prayer circle and massaging Great Uncle Harold’s bunions.

As someone who’s been a guest at numerous barbecues—and has brought guests to functions just as many times—families typically allow for newbies to be integrated slowly. You can’t just sit in a corner on your iPhone unless you want a plate of beans hurled at your shins, but you’re not going to be volunteered to be the flag football QB as soon as you get there, either. But Tasha’s family seemed to be as extra as Tasha.

5. Lawrence leaving a cookout to go to a dry-ass work function.

In an episode full of illogical decisions, this made the least sense. Yes, Tasha’s family was on 10, but they weren’t so extra that you decide to bail on all of those delicious swine meats to attend Wackapalooza—a work function so “eh” that even your co-workers speak about it like they’d rather be rinsing kale.


4. Tasha’s cousin hitting Lawrence with the n-bomb immediately.

As an appreciator and advocate of the (appropriate) use of “nigga,” I obviously have no problems with incorporating that word. But there are rules to it—even intra-racial rules. Veteran nigga users (and yes, “veteran nigga user” is definitely on my business cards) know you should probably only use it around people you’re familiar with. (And, more importantly, people who are familiar with you.)


Nigga is not an introduction. Nigga is something you use after the introduction has already happened.

3. Lawrence accepting the invitation to the cookout.

This all would have been avoided if Lawrence just declined the invite to an event he clearly didn’t want to go to. But he decided to come because A) he still felt bad about Tasha’s reaction to him revealing that he slept with Issa and B) declining would have undoubtedly led to one of those “What are we doing?” convos much, much, much, much sooner than he wanted.


Basically, a no would have likely ended their TGIF-and-chill arrangement. Which Lawrence undoubtedly planned to end eventually when he got tired of her or found someone “better”—both of which add weight to the “Lawrence is a fuckboy masquerading as a ‘good dude’” argument.

2. Tasha inviting Lawrence to the cookout.

Although she’s the one who got hurt, Tasha is far from blameless here. She knew what the situation was—even admitted that she knew to Lawrence herself. She also seems to be intuitive and mature enough to know what inviting a “friend” to a cookout with your whole entire family there means—especially when you get there and the fam already knows his name.


We (the audience) act like Tasha is playing checkers. But this was clearly a chess move that backfired on her.

1. Lawrence ghosting.

Even if he didn’t want to be there, and even if Tasha’s ask put him in an awkward spot, showing up and then ghosting on her—embarrassing her in front of her entire family—might actually be the worst thing a character on this show has done so far.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



#TeamLawrence better take that L. I been saying Bumrence was a f-boy masking as a good/nice guy since the beginning, but commenters wanted to argue me down. But it came from Mrs. “he needed someone to support his dreams” aka Tasha herself. Haha