When the news of Matthew Perry having passed away in his Los Angeles Home surfaced on October 28, 2023, it broke the hearts of millions of Friends fans all over the world. After all, rewatching the show will never be the same, knowing that the Chandler Bing that taught an entire generation about sarcasm, unconditional friendship and unwavering love was no longer a part of the world. Could it be anymore unfair?
But, if you’ve weren’t aware, Perry had battled addiction for years, and he even wrote about his subtance and alcohol abuse struggles, and his journey towards sobriety in length in his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing. In fact, the first line of his autobiography reads, “Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.”
Talking of his onscreen Friends, the four cast members of the successful ’90s sitcom i.e. Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow had only released a joint statement soon after Perry’s death. However, they had stated that they needed more time to process the grief. Over the last two days, the Chandler’s four onscreen best friends have been sharing anecdotes, forgotten moments and favourite scenes with ‘Matty’. Given the massive cultural impact Friends has had on the world, their words have left fans globally tearing up.
If you’re yet to read the heartfelt tributes penned for Matthew Perry by his fellow Friends cast members, keep scrolling and don’t forget to keep a box of tissues handy.
As Monica, Courteney probably had the most screen time with her onscreen best friend-turned-husband, Chandler Bing. Cox reminised about the season four finale episode titled, ‘The One With Ross’ Wedding: Part 2’, in which the two hook up in London as a fling, but given the audience’s reaction, it became so much more than a one night stand. Cox wrote, “I am so grateful for every moment I had with you Matty and I miss you every day. When you work with someone as closely as I did with Matthew, there are thousands of moments I wish I could share. For now here’s one of my favorites. To give a little backstory, Chandler and Monica were supposed to have a one night fling in London. But because of the audience’s reaction, it became the beginning of their love story. In this scene, before we started rolling, he whispered a funny line for me to say. He often did things like that. He was funny and he was kind.”
Chandler and Joey’s friendship was ‘goals’ before the world knew about hashtags. While they had their ups and downs, like all relationships, their comradarie stood strong through their differences and arguements. With a series of pictures featuring their favourite moments together, Matt LeBlanc bid Perry goodbye, with a heartfelt tribute.
Chandler’s oldest friend among the four, Ross was his roommate through college and best friend through life. The screenshot David shared is from season five, titled ‘The One with All the Thanksgivings’, where not only do we see a young Ross wying for Rachel’s attention, but also showcases Monica’s transformation and the earliest sign of Chandler’s interest in his best friend’s sister.
A reason why Friends was so special to so many people was because it was the first to popularise the idea of a ‘chosen family’. These six friends held each others hands and got through life together, through all it’s obstacles and milestones. In Jen’s tribute, she shared a screenshot of a text Matthew Perry had sent her in the past. It showed a picture of the two of them cracking up, and Perry wrote, “Making you laugh just made my day. It made my day.”
Echoing the sentiment of the other cast members, Lisa aka Pheobe Buffay also thanked Matthew for making them laugh so hard it hurt and for showing up to work despite all that he was struggling with, and not let it affect his performance. With her words, she reinstated our belief that the world has truely lost a treasure.