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Student News of Liberty High School

LHStoday

Remembering Matthew Perry: Celebrating the ‘Best Buds’ of ‘Friends’

A deep dive into the complicated relationship between Chandler Bing and Joey Tribbiani, and why it captured so many hearts
A+clear+display+of+many+inside+jokes+within+Joey+Tribbiani+and+Chandler+Bings+friendship.+This+includes+their+reclinable+couches%2C+their+pet+duck+and+chick%2C+the+board+in+their+apartment%2C+and+being+trapped+in+an+ATM+vestibule+%28with+Jill+Goodacre%21%29%2C+and+more.
Rathi Thiagarajan
A clear display of many inside jokes within Joey Tribbiani and Chandler Bing’s friendship. This includes their reclinable couches, their pet duck and chick, the board in their apartment, and being trapped in an ATM vestibule (“with Jill Goodacre!”), and more.
The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world, joined in when celebrating the 25th anniversary of “Friends”. (Wikipedia Commons)

Warning: This article contains some minor spoilers from the popular NBC sitcom, FRIENDS.

You’re sleeping, content, happy… somehow, within your busy life in New York City, you’ve managed to snag a moment of silence. A moment to yourself. Your heart settles as your eyes flutter closed. You smile to yourself. This is the life.

That’s when you hear it. The loud sound of a drill rips through the silence, and your eyes snap open. And there, in all its glory, is the pointed side of a moving drill– scarily close to your face. Your stomach drops as you almost run in place, eventually managing to shuffle around the murderous carpentry tool and out the door. 

This was the exact situation faced by Chandler Bing, the memorably sarcastic main character on the hit NBC sitcom, “Friends”. For those of you who are wondering, the rest of the scene involves him bickering with his roommate and best friend, the adorable, loyal (albeit occasionally oblivious) Joey Tribbiani:

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JOEY glances between the hole in the wall and his agitated roommate, who just stormed out of the room he was drilling into. Realization hits, and his eyebrows fly up.

JOEY: Oh, sorry. Did I get ya?

CHANDLER (frustrated): No you didn’t get me! It’s an electric drill! You GET me, you KILL me!

JOEY: Calm down, do you want this unit or not?

By saying “unit,” JOEY is referring to the TV/media stand that he’s building against CHANDLER’s obvious displeasure.

CHANDLER: I do NOT want this unit!

JOEY: Well, you should’ve told me that before, I’m not a mind reader.

JOEY mentions how they’re out of a drink and exits from their apartment, making his way to the apartment across the hall, where Monica and Rachel stay.

CHANDLER: Fine!

CHANDLER goes into the room he just stormed out of, slamming the door shut. The door, which was cut in half earlier in the episode, is displayed half-shut, with only the top half closed. After a beat, he slams the bottom half shut as well.

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Although this scene was recorded more than 20 years ago, it continues to resonate with many, especially best friends of all types. Yet, no matter how many similar moments you see between other popular friendships in the record-breaking show (Monica cheating on her friendship with Rachel with Julie, science-enthusiast Ross arguing vehemently with a very defiant Phoebe that evolution is not “too easy”… the list goes on), this specific scene remains a fan-favorite, cemented in history.

Why is that? Of all the friendships, why did this simple interaction between two friends strike such a close cord with those watching? What is it about their friendship?

The first point that fans will highlight is their incredible levels of closeness, how the two men confide to one another, toxic masculinity nowhere in sight. Many of the friendships in FRIENDS display this, setting a healthy environment and model for male friendships everywhere. Furthermore, this mindset seems to be emphasized even more between Chandler and Joey. They aren’t afraid to hug, and they don’t shy away from sharing some wholesome moments with each other… warming everyone’s heart in the process. A clear sign of this was when Joey moved out of the apartment, the sudden change jeopardizing his friendship with Chandler.

The whole episode alternates between Chandler and Joey’s situations, both of them wanting Joey to move back, but too scared of what the other would think. However, the moment that really captured many hearts was the scene where Joey left the apartment. Joey first left, giving Chandler the generic goodbye and walking out, leaving Chandler staring at the door feeling incomplete. Right as Chandler turns around, though, the door bursts open and Joey rushes through, enveloping Chandler in a hug. This scene speaks to so many, because not only are these two friends so close to each other, but they aren’t afraid of showing it as well. 

Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay), Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani), Courtney Cox (Monica Geller), David Schwimmer (Ross Geller), Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green), and Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing) are pictured on one of the most iconic posters for the popular show. (Wikipedia Commons)

Secondly, these two men are masters of the two things that bonds all types of relationships together: communication and loyalty. There are a countless number of situations where Chandler and Joey are perfect examples of this, but one that I would like to highlight is a problem that causes everyone’s heart to twist, even if you know that they will make up. Chandler slowly developed feelings for one of Joey’s (rare) serious girlfriends, Kathy. Although he tries to fight his growing attraction with everything in him, one thing leads to another and Chandler kisses his best friend’s girlfriend, and she reciprocates. Chandler sets himself up to confess his betrayal to Joey, even going as far as to buy a bunch of devices around the apartment. However, even that won’t soften one the most heart-wrenching scenes of their relationship, and the argument afterward is explosive:

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CHANDLER has just confessed to JOEY about his feelings for KATHY. JOEY is extremely understanding about it, even going as far as to say that it’s okay, “‘Cause you came to me first.” However, when JOEY warns CHANDLER about the mystery man KATHY seems to be into, CHANDLER finally comes completely clean. CHANDLER and JOEY launch into an argument, where CHANDLER finally confesses that he kissed KATHY. Both friends are yelling at each other at this point.

CHANDLER: Look, I’m sorry! But there’s nothing I can do, I think I’m in love with her!

JOEY: Who cares?! You went behind my back! I would never do that to you!

The air is sucked out of the room. This has ceased to be a funny disagreement for some plot… this is a serious argument between two friends. CHANDLER exclaims that he has no excuse and he feels horrible, as everything slowly begins to hit JOEY. JOEY looks around the room in shock, everything finally making sense to him.

JOEY: Is that why you bought all this stuff?!

CHANDLER makes a guilty face, confirming JOEY’s suspicions.

 JOEY: Well, y’know what?! I will not watch your TV, I will not listen to your stereo, and there’s a cinnamon raisin loaf in the new bread maker that I’m not gonna eat! You know why?!

CHANDLER: Probably because…

JOEY: Because it’s all tainted with your betrayal!

A heartbroken look crosses CHANDLER’s face, pain evident. He didn’t expect JOEY to be calm about the situation, but this was their worst fight yet. JOEY exclaims about how from now on, this apartment was empty to him. JOEY walks into his bedroom and slams the door.

CHANDLER is left staring at the place his friend once stood, wondering if he has just ruined the best friendship he has ever had.

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It’s important to mention how this confession wasn’t easy for either of them, and how Chandler spends the next few episodes doing anything possible to get Joey to forgive him. Eventually, he ends up spending the entirety of the Thanksgiving episode in a box, as per Joey’s wish. It took loyalty for Chandler to not only spend the whole of the holiday in a box, but also to even confess the truth to Joey. He could’ve easily lied to Joey and he would have never found out, never even doubted him. It took respect, communication, and true loyalty for Chandler to tell the truth. It isn’t easy to admit your mistakes, but he did exactly that, even taking on the consequences for his actions.

From teasing each other relentlessly, sharing the most wholesome memories, sitting in a box, fake-loving an engraved gold bracelet, to single-handedly raising everyone’s standards of roommates and best friends, Chandler and Joey simply define the phrase platonic soulmates. Joey isn’t complete without Chandler, and Chandler isn’t complete without Joey. It’s impossible to imagine a world where they aren’t together, because there simply isn’t one.

“It’s going to be weird when I come home and you’re not here.”

As FRIENDS fans worldwide grapple with the loss of Matthew Perry, the actor behind Chandler Bing and creator of the Perry House — an oasis to help those easing into sobriety — it’s easy to get blindsided by the sadness. It’s easy to forget the dreams and laughter created along the way. No matter how many of the actors of “Friends” are here, remember that their friendships and memories continue to live on… all in these 10 seasons, these 236 episodes.

Celebrate the Joey to your Chandler, the Chandler to your Joey.

You don’t realize how important those friendships are until they’re gone.

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    Bryden Bell | Nov 20, 2023 at 11:02 am

    this is an amazing story! i love friends, joey and chandler’s friendship was so funny, great job!

    Reply