In a 2022 interview conducted while promoting his candid memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Matthew Perry opened up about his struggles with addiction and what he hoped his legacy would be. “I would like to be remembered as somebody who lived well, loved well, was a seeker,” he said. “And his paramount thing is that he wants to help people. That’s what I want. The best thing about me, bar none, is that if somebody comes to me and says, ‘I can’t stop drinking, can you help me?’ I can say ‘yes’ and follow up and do it. When I die, I don’t want Friends to be the first thing that’s mentioned. I want that to be the first thing that’s mentioned. And I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that.”
In many ways, the actor got his wish. Since his tragic passing on 28 October at the age of 54, countless colleagues, friends and fans have spoken about how his public battle with substance abuse and desire to remove the stigma attached to talking about it inspired them. But after acknowledging that, they also went on to pay tribute to his unforgettable performance in the ’90s sitcom—and rightly so. As the cripplingly anxious, wonderfully awkward, wise-cracking class clown Chandler Bing, Perry consistently received the show’s biggest laughs, but also gave us glimpses of the pain and vulnerability that lay just beneath the surface of this insecure only child of (incredibly chaotic) divorced parents. In his hands, Chandler felt achingly real—no mean feat in a series that relied on three main sets and broad jokes.
Below, we revisit the best Chandler Bing moments across the 10 seasons of Friends, from the time he found himself trapped in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre in the show’s seventh episode, to the one-liner he delivered at the series’s very end.
Literally every scene with Janice
Chandler’s tumultuous relationship with his hilariously shrill, on-again, off-again girlfriend, as embodied by the exuberant Maggie Wheeler, was pure comedy gold.
And every scene with Eddie
Adam Goldberg’s Eddie Menuek, Chandler’s unhinged Season 2 roommate, had one of the best three-episode arcs of any Friends guest star—and some of Perry’s funniest moments across the entire series came from bouncing off of him.
The one where he moves to Yemen
Is there anything Chandler won’t do to get away from Janice? In short, no—including pretending to move to the Middle East.
The one with all of Joey’s sisters
After Chandler gets drunk and fools around with one of Joey’s sisters, Joey is furious, and to appease him, Chandler says that he might actually be falling for her. The only problem, though, is he’s not sure which sister he kissed…
The one where he’s trapped in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre
This Season 1 sequence is vintage Chandler—a supremely awkward encounter with a woman, featuring a side-splitting interior monologue and incredible physical comedy.
The one with Julia Roberts
One of Friends’s best A-list cameos came courtesy of Julia Roberts, who played Susie Moss in Season 2, an old classmate of Chandler’s who dates him only to exact sweet, sweet revenge for the time he made fun of her at school. The result? Chandler finding himself naked and trapped in a bathroom stall, of course.
The one with the handcuffs
Chandler’s fling with Rachel’s boss, Joanna, leads to Rachel discovering him in a compromising position—and having to make a very difficult choice.
Anytime he dances
Is anyone’s victory dance more gloriously cringeworthy than Chandler’s? We think not.
The one where he runs after Kathy
There are few greater examples of true love than the time Chandler tackled the perilous obstacle course that is the streets of New York just to say hi to his crush, Kathy.
The one with the box
A true testament to Perry’s acting abilities is the time Chandler is locked in a wooden box in an attempt to get Joey to forgive him for kissing Kathy. Performing only with his voice and index finger, he still somehow manages to be the funniest person in the room.
The one where Chandler and Phoebe kiss
Phoebe decides to try to seduce Chandler in this classic Season 5 episode in order to get him to come clean about his relationship with Monica, and Chandler goes along with it to avoid giving the game away. Cue the most awkward first date of all time.
Ross and Rachel’s will-they-won’t-they love story ignited the most debate, certainly, but it’s Chandler and Monica who were the real heart of Friends, and their heartwarming proposal scene remains one of the best moments in the show’s history.
The one where he accidentally agrees to move to Tulsa
Chandler trying to explain to Monica that they have to move to Oklahoma because he fell asleep in a work meeting is everything we could’ve wanted and more.
The one with the bunny costume
In this Season 8 Halloween episode, Chandler fails in his attempt to dress as the Velveteen Rabbit and Joey dresses as Chandler—an easy-to-assemble look we can all take inspiration from.
The final punchline
After a decade’s worth of laughs, it’s only fitting that Perry got to deliver the last one-liner of Friends, as the cast left the living room set for the final time.
This article was first published on British Vogue.