Matthew Perry was 24 years old when, along with Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc, he was hired for a new comedy called Friends. The day before filming began, director James Burrows took the six actors on a private plane to dinner in Las Vegas and told them, “Look around you. Nobody knows you. You can never do this again. Your life is going to change.” And that’s exactly what happened. Perry — who died on Saturday at the age of 54 — was cast as Chandler Bing, and from that moment on, he would forever be linked with the character. With his particular way of delivering lines and animated facial expressions, he imbued Chandler with a charisma that lasted throughout the show’s 10 seasons. Some of Chandler’s best-known lines captured his personality, such as “I’m not great at advice. But can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?” and “I’m Chandler, I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable.”
Here is a review of Matthew Perry’s journey on Friends through 8 iconic Chandler moments.
Locked in an ATM
In the seventh episode of Season 1, Chandler gets locked in an ATM during a blackout in New York. He is not alone, he is with by a model — a situation that highlight’s Chandler’s ability for creating awkward moment and Matthew Perry’s great skill at physical comedy. The model even has to save him from choking on piece of gum that wasn’t his.
In his memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry described his relationship with Julia Roberts, whom he met when the actress had a cameo on Friends. She appeared in the Thanksgiving double episode in Season 2, playing Chandler’s an old classmate. The episode was watched by 53 million viewers and is the most watched of the entire series. Perry and Roberts dated in real life between 1995 and 1996, and it was he himself who ended the relationship. As he explained in his memoir, he felt that he was not good enough for her. In Friends, Julia Roberts’ character plays a practical joke on Chandler and leaves him in the bathroom of a restaurant wearing only panties.
The jellyfish sting
Possibly one of the most memorable moments from Friends is when, on a trip to the beach, Monica gets stung by a jellyfish. To relieve the pain, Chandler offers to urinate on her leg, based on the urban legend that urine helps with jellyfish stings. Upon returning from the trip, Monica, Joey and Chandler tell the rest of their friends, with great drama, about the uncomfortable situation.
Transferred to Tulsa for falling asleep on the job
In Season 9, Chandler falls asleep during a meeting at his office. What did Chandler do? That was another of the recurring jokes of Friends, because no one really knew what he did for work. He falls asleep just as his boss asks who wanted to take over the offices in Tulsa, after which he, unknowingly, accepts. When he tries to fix the situation with his boss, he makes even more of a mess and has no choice but to leave for Oklahoma City. As it was later learned, sending Chandler to Tulsa was an excuse so that Perry could go into rehab and overcome his addictions, a problem that plagued him for almost the entire series and was reflected in his physical changes.
Joey and Chandler shared an apartment on the same floor as Monica and Rachel. One day, in Season 4, the friends decide to compete in a trivia test about their lives, with Ross as master of ceremonies. Whoever won got to live in the most beautiful apartment: Monica and Rachel’s. In the end, Joey and Chandler win. The quiz is one of the most memorable moments of the entire series.
One of the recurring supporting characters on Friends was Janice, Chandler’s ex-girlfriend, played by Maggie Wheeler. In order not to have to break up with her directly, he tells her that he has to go work in another country. She loves the idea of moving, but then Chandler thinks to tell her that the move is to Yemen. But Janice is determined not to leave his side until the last moment, which means Chandler ends up buying a ticket to go to Yemen.
Secret relationship with Monica
Monica and Chandler’s secret courtship was given a lot of screen time in the series. Not wanting their relationship to shock to their friends, they decided to hide it from them for a while. Little by little, Joey, Rachel, Phoebe and Ross ended up finding out. The first to find out was Joey, who catches them in the apartment. Although the couple tried to hide it in different ways, he ends up connecting the dots at the end of the episode.
Kissing Phoebe and Rachel
Keeping their relationship a secret was not easy for Chandler and Monica, and they were often on the verge of being caught. In Season 5, Chandler leaves for work and says goodbye to Monica with a kiss on the mouth. But Rachel and Phoebe, who don’t know they are together, see him. Upon realizing this, Chandler reacts immediately and decides to also kiss Rachel and Phoebe, to the astonishment of his friends.
Chandler settled down with Monica, but the marriage proposal took a long time to come. On their first attempt at a marriage proposal, Monica’s former great love, Richard (Tom Selleck) shows up, ruining the moment. Finally, the moment happens at home and it is Monica who makes the proposal.
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