The one with 15 of Matthew Perry’s most iconic lines on ‘Friends’

It feels like we really lost a friend with Perry’s death, but Chandler lives on as our funniest, most sarcastic friend.

“Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead. If you like, you can consider what you’re about to read to be a message from the beyond, my beyond,” so begins Matthew Perry’s memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.

Released on November 1 last year, the book will be a year old in two days. Matthew Perry didn’t live to see its anniversary—his most personal, painful and courageous role as someone telling people who are struggling with substance abuse that there is hope. On October 28, Perry died, an apparent drowning in the hot tub at his Pacific Palisades home. He was 54.

Perry played arguably most people’s favorite character and inarguably the most sarcastic one on Friends—the good-looking, lovable but insecure and awkward Chandler Bing.

Friends ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004
Friends ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004. Perry revealed in an interview that he didn’t remember shooting three seasons because of substance abuse.

For years, Perry battled addiction to alcohol and pain killers. He dedicated his memoir thus: “For all the sufferers out there. You know who you are.” If that was the beginning of one half of his life, the foreword by fellow Friends actor Lisa Kudrow shone light on the other half.

“Matthew could make me laugh so hard every day, and once a week, laugh so hard I cried and couldn’t breathe,” Kudrow wrote. “Matthew is the reason we are all laughing in that fountain in the opening titles.”

“He was there, Matthew Perry, who is whip smart, charming, sweet, sensitive, very reasonable and rational. That guy, with everything he was battling, was still there. The same Matthew who, from the beginning, could lift us all up during a grueling night shoot for the opening titles inside that fountain.”

Kudrow said that while Perry had told her about his addiction, it was not in detail. “This book is the first time I’m hearing what living with and surviving his addiction really was. He’s now letting us into Matthew’s head and heart in honest and very exposed detail. And finally, no one needs to ask me or anyone else how Matthew’s doing. He’s letting you know himself. He has survived impossible odds, but I had no idea how many times he almost didn’t make it. I’m glad you’re here, Matty. Good for you. I love you.”

Matthew Perry before he was Chandler Bing

The highly anticipated Friends reunion in 2021
The highly anticipated Friends reunion in 2021.

Matthew Langford Perry was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts in 1969. His parents were both involved in the entertainment industry, and divorced when he was a child. He spent his formative years shuttling between his mother’s home in Ottawa, Canada, and his father’s in Los Angeles, California.

Perry’s career began with minor television appearances in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including guest roles on shows like Growing Pains and Beverly Hills, 90210.

But it was as Chandler Bing on the hit TV series Friends (1994 to 2004) that catapulted him to fame. Lovably sarcastic Chandler—whose job the audience never knew exactly what it was despite his many office meltdown scenes—endeared him to audiences worldwide and became one of the most iconic characters in television history.

Friends stars David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc at the 2002 Emmys
Friends stars David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc at the 2002 Emmys.

During the height of Friends, Perry also starred in movies such as The Whole Nine Yards (2000) with Bruce Willis, Serving Sara with Elizbeth Hurley and Fools Rush In with Salma Hayek. Post-Friends, he did Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip where he played a more dramatic role as a television producer.

While Perry was candid about his addiction throughout his career—he said in an interview that he didn’t remember shooting three seasons of Friends because of it—he went into rehab and relapsed throughout the years. He attended 6,000 Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) meetings and went into rehab 15 times. He said he finally became sober in early 2021.

Matthew Perry in Chandler
Bing’s words

Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing in Friends
Perry’s memoir was released on Nov. 1, 2022. “It’s very odd to live in a world where if you died, it would shock people but surprise no one,” Perry wrote.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Friends during its original run; I would watch it only when I happened upon an episode on TV. Years later, after the series wrapped up, what hooked me was the two-part season 4 finale. The one where Chandler and Monica Geller (Courteney Cox) drunkenly hook up during Ross Geller’s (David Schwimmer) bedlam of a wedding in London.

Through the seasons, Chandler’s razor-sharp wit and sarcasm had grown—so did his awkwardness at navigating a relationship—this time, one that was for keeps and bring the series to its touching end.

Here are 15 of Matthew Perry’s most iconic lines as Chandler Bing, starting with the character-defining, most famous one. (Friends is streaming on Netflix if you want to relive Chandler’s glory days—because just reading his lines doesn’t do justice to Perry’s delivery.)

1. “I’m not great at the advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?”

2. “I say more dumb things before 9 am than most people say all day.”

3. Chandler: “I got her machine.”

Joey: “Her answering machine?”

Chandler: “No. Interestingly enough her leaf blower picked up.”

4. “What must it be like not to be crippled by fear and self-loathing?”

5. Ross: “I went to that tanning place your wife suggested.”

Chandler: “Was that place the sun?”

6. “Could we be more white trash?”

7. Janice: “What a small world.”

Chandler: “And yet I never run into Beyonce.”

8. “I’m a gym member. I try to go four times a week, but I’ve missed the last twelve hundred times.”

9. “Cheese. It’s milk that you chew.”

10. “Until I was 25, I thought that the only response to ‘I love you’ was ‘Oh, crap!’”

11. Joey: “Oh, sorry, did I get ya?”

Chandler: “No, you didn’t get me. It’s an electric drill, if you get me, you kill me!”

12. “It’s always better to lie than to have the complicated discussion.”

13. Ross: “No, Homo habilis was erect. Australopithecus was never fully erect.”

Chandler: “Well, maybe he was nervous.”

14. “If I’m gonna be an old, lonely man, I’m gonna need a thing. You know, a hook, like that guy on the subway who eats his own face. So, I figure I’ll be Crazy Man with a Snake, you know? Crazy Snake Man. And I’ll get more snakes, call them my babies, kids will walk past my place, they will run. ‘Run away from Crazy Snake Man,’ they’ll shout.”

15.  “I’m glad we’re having a rehearsal dinner, I rarely practice my meals before I eat.”

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