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One Day’s Ambika Mod Reveals Which Beloved Book Scene Was Cut for Time — Plus, Other Big Adaptation Changes

Despite being an incredibly accurate adaptation of the David Nicholls novel, Netflix’s One Day of course had to make some cuts. But in post-production, star Ambika Mod says her favorite line from the book was left on the cutting room floor.

In Episode 3, Dex (played by Leo Woodall) and Emma (Mod) reunite when Dex shows up at Emma’s work with his new girlfriend, Naomi. Later, our protagonists meet up, just the two of them, to catch up.

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In the book, “Dexter is telling Emma about this fancy party he went to and how he met Naomi,” Mod tells TVLine. “And he’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, and then she just like came up to me and kissed me and slipped something in my mouth.’ And then Emma says, ‘Was it a peanut?’”

The iconic peanut line from Chapter 4, which chronicles Dex and Emma’s life on July 15, 1991, should have fit into Episode 4 of the series. The adaptation, however, decided to shift Dex and Naomi’s relationship to 1990 and depicted it in Episode 3, without the iconic peanut bit.

“It was my favorite moment,” she reveals. “I talk about it a lot.”

Watch the video above to hear Mod explain why she loves the peanut scene and why it got cut! Then, keep scrolling to find out what other major book changes the Netflix One Day adaptation made. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments!

Dex and Em’s Origin Story

Dex and Em’s Origin Story
Dex and Em’s Origin Story

In the One Day premiere, Dex and Emma take a trip to Arthur’s Seat and later, Dex chases down Emma after she leaves his flat the day after they meet. In the book, however, we have no knowledge that their future relationship almost never was until the book’s final pages. We don’t know the full extent of their magical meeting until we already know its outcome. This is simply a difference in storytelling technique, as the events depicted in both versions of the story remain nearly identical.

Dexter’s Lost Love Letter

Dexter’s Lost Love Letter
Dexter’s Lost Love Letter

In perhaps the most glaring omission, the series decides to skip the letter Dex writes to Emma in 1990 inviting her to come stay with him in India — something that would’ve been depicted in Episode 3. In the book, he ultimately forgets the love letter, leaving it between the pages of a book at a pub where it’s later found by a Heidi Schindler. Though she doesn’t know fluent English, the language of love is universal and Heidi immediately understands the letter’s importance. She tries to mail it to Emma, but the front of the envelope was never addressed by Dex and his signature includes no contact information. In present day, she still has the letter tucked inside of the book on a bookshelf in her home. The book, however, happened to be from Emma, with her first and last name and her location written on the inside cover — something Heidi never discovered. What we would have given to watch this dramatic plotline play out on screen!

Skinny Dipping Disaster

Skinny Dipping Disaster
Skinny Dipping Disaster

In the book, Dex and Emma go skinny dipping, where Dex declares that perhaps the pair could try a sort of “friends with benefits” arrangement. Emma doesn’t take kindly to the suggestion and decides to dunk him under water, momentarily flirting with the idea of drowning him altogether. All of this does happen in the Netflix series; however, the TV show spares Dexter the humiliation of having his clothes stolen from the beach and parading through town with a haphazard sack wrapped around his waist.

Dex’s Sister

Dex’s Sister
Dex’s Sister

In the book, Dexter’s sister shows up now and again. She isn’t entirely crucial to the story, though she is at home during his drunken visit to his mother which was depicted in Episode 5 — a major moment in both versions of the story. While the sister was noticeably absent from the series, we can’t even say we care enough to remember her name.

The Foot Massage That Had Spun Horribly Out of Control

The Foot Massage That Had Spun Horribly Out of Control
The Foot Massage That Had Spun Horribly Out of Control

In the book, Dex gives Tilly a “foot massage that had spun horribly out of control.” This hilarious throughline is brought up multiple times and all along Dex thinks Emma has no idea about his brief entanglement with her college roommate. In the end, she admits she had always known about the infamous foot massage. The series completely omits this storyline, which is ultimately unimportant to the story, but in doing so it jettisons this iconic turn-of-phrase.

Emma Breaks Up a Fight

Emma Breaks Up a Fight
Emma Breaks Up a Fight

In the book, Emma is running her school’s stage production, but the whole thing risks falling to shambles because her two leads, Sonya Richards and Martin Dawson, get into a physical fight. Emma threatens to cancel the show (which she doesn’t really intend to do) but also must keep the fight a secret from Mr. Godalming when he visits her before the show. In the series, Sonya simply gets a case of pre-show jitters and hides in a bathroom stall. Emma must coax her out of the bathroom and onto the stage — the future of the show is hardly at risk.

Tilly’s Husband

Tilly’s Husband
Tilly’s Husband

OK, we’re getting a bit granular here, because really, who cares about Tilly’s husband? This is a story about Dex and Em! Em and Dex! But, we must point out that Tilly’s husband has a mysterious name change. In the One Day series, he’s Graham, but in the book, he’s Malcolm.

Emma’s Nightmare Interview

Emma’s Nightmare Interview
Emma’s Nightmare Interview

In the book, however, she has one catastrophic, heartbreaking career setback. We’re talking about that cringeworthy interview with a major book publisher. Emma arrives looking for a book deal, but the publisher is looking for a personal nanny. (Ouch!) The series chooses to skip this plot point, which we’re honestly thankful for.

Tilly and Emma’s Friendship

Tilly and Emma’s Friendship
Tilly and Emma’s Friendship

In the book, Tilly is the sort of college friend that you hope you’ll lose touch with immediately after graduating. She’s kind of a burden, nearly ruining Dexter and Emma’s day after graduation by tagging along on their romantic excursion. In the series, however, the two have a much closer friendship, with Emma even giving a speech at Tilly’s wedding to Malcolm Graham.

Emma’s Books

Emma’s Books
Emma’s Books

In the series, Emma’s books follow a protagonist named Nisha Halliday, but in the book, her character is named Julie Criscoll.

Jean-Pierre Makes an Appearance

Jean-Pierre Makes an Appearance
Jean-Pierre Makes an Appearance

In the novel, Emma’s Parisian boyfriend Jean-Pierre looms large over Dex’s visit. After Dex kisses Emma unexpectedly in her apartment, she has to break the news to him that she’s seeing somebody — Jean-Pierre. She had planned for them all to meet, but ultimately makes a secret phone call to tell Jean-Pierre she’s under the weather. He never comes and Emma falls into Dex’s arms.

In the series, Dex’s visit to Paris ends up in the same way as the book, but Emma never tells Jean-Pierre to stay home. Instead, it’s Dex who ditches dinner claiming he’s fallen ill. Emma and Jean-Pierre go out for a bite to eat without him. Later, Emma comes home and reveals she told her boyfriend she was also coming down with something, at which point she finally falls into Dex’s arms.

The Group Mourns Together

The Group Mourns Together
The Group Mourns Together

In the One Day series, everyone from Emma’s life, including Tilly, Ian, Sylvie and more, join Dexter on the second anniversary of Emma’s death at his flat. After he nearly drinks himself to death on St. Swithin’s Day the year prior, the group shows up to support Dex in Emma’s honor. Tilly even proposes that they get together like this for all the subsequent years to remember her life. In the book, Dex does get phone calls from some of these characters, but they never all gather in one room to mourn together.

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