Forever on screen and in spirit: Lessons in life from Chandler Bing | The Triangle

Forever on screen and in spirit: Lessons in life from Chandler Bing

Photo by JJBers | Flickr

The world lost Matthew Perry, possibly one of the finest comedy actors of our time on Oct. 28. At age 54, Perry was found in a Los Angeles hot tub, leading authorities to deem his cause of death “apparent drowning.” While shocking and extremely heartbreaking news, it is important to focus on the monumental legacy Perry left behind. Ever since his acting debut, especially while playing the iconic Chandler Bing in “Friends,” Perry integrated important life lessons throughout his performances, all while filling audiences with laughter, love and joy.

In “The One With All The Cheesecakes” (Season 7, Episode 11), Chandler shows that nothing heals the soul quite like a delicious dessert. In this episode, a mysterious cheesecake is accidentally delivered to Chandler’s apartment, leading both him and Jennifer  Aniston’s character, Rachel Greene, to indulge in, and soon obsess over, the delicacy. As the two prove, a little something sweet is the perfect cure for any day that has gone sour.

Season 5, Episode 12, “The One With Chandler’s Work Laugh,” gives viewers a look into the more professional side of Chandler. In an effort to hide his annoyance with his coworkers and suck up to his boss, Bing develops a phony “work laugh” and puts it on display during a holiday office party. Chandler’s efforts to fit in teach viewers that one should not have to hide their personality in order to be respected by those around them (even by those who are deemed important and influential).

“The One Where No One’s Ready” (Season 3, Episode 2) is a perfect example of the silly antics often seen on “Friends.” In this episode, Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) is being honored at an important award ceremony, but getting the group out the door proves almost impossible. Amongst the crazy slew of events Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) and Chandler argue over a plush armchair in Monica Geller’s (Courtney Cox) living room. Chandler, even given Joey’s persistent nagging, fervently defends his chair. It goes to show that no force is stronger than the want for coziness and comfort.

Season 4, Episode 8, “The One With Chandler In A Box,” portrays Chandler as a role model when it comes to being a loyal friend. Once Chandler pursues a relationship with one of Joey’s girlfriends, the friends get into an argument, leading Chandler to repent his doings in a wooden box. Chandler reveals that a true friendship is worth fighting for — even if the methods to defend it are a little unconventional.

In “The One With The Embryos” (Season 4 Episode 12), Chandler and Joey face off against Rachel and Monica in a jeopardy-style game to determine who knows who better. Both pairs place ridiculous bets, but in the end, the boys emerge victorious. In high-pressure situations like this one, Chandler and Joey reinforce the idea that trust and teamwork are the best ways to ensure success.

Season 3, Episode 11, “The One Where Chandler Can’t Remember Which Sister,” is a hysterical episode in which Chandler fails to identify which of Joey’s seven sisters he kissed while drunk. Joey’s comical emotions throughout the events mixed with Chandler’s wild attempts to fix his wrongdoings are incredibly entertaining. Bing’s struggles serve to honor the old saying “keep your wits about you.” With a steady mind and focused attitude, one can never go wrong.

“The One Where Chandler Takes A Bath” (Season 8, Episode 13) best highlights how relatable Chandler’s character truly is. Monica, seeing Chandler’s unusually anxious nature, advises him to take a warm, calming bath. At first, Bing is in denial but soon learns to love the relaxation and tranquility Monica’s suggestion brings. After stressful and overwhelming moments, viewers should remember Chandler’s experience and partake in some good old-fashioned self-care.

Season 4, Episode 15, “The One With All The Rugby,” is a fan favorite due to the hilarious drama between Chandler and his then-girlfriend Janice (Maggie Wheeler). Once he finds out that Janice has no intention of leaving him, Chandler catches a flight to Yemen in a desperate attempt to leave her. Sometimes, the best way to remedy a strained relationship is time apart. Some space might be just the right thing to foster deeper affection and pave the way for better communication.

“The One Where Eddie Won’t Go” (Season 2, Episode 19) rings most true for college students. In this episode, Chandler struggles to get rid of his annoying new roommate after Joey moves out. Incredibly creepy and unnerving, Eddie is everything to be feared in a roommate. The strained relationship between the two is a perfect example of what can happen when careful planning is not put into choosing a roommate. Put in the time and be sure to pick the best roommate(s) for your personality.

Season 2, Episode 3, “The One Where Heckles Dies,” the friends mourn the death of their upstairs neighbor. Afraid of ending up alone, Chandler vies for a relationship. He ends up asking out a girl with a noticeably large head. With the help of his friends, Chandler soon realizes that he should not be afraid of the girl’s appearance, because it could end up impacting the outcome of the date. Take it from Chandler Bing: one should never judge a book by its cover. If you do, you could be missing out on something extraordinary.

Rewatching “Friends” is the perfect way to relive these moments and more. The world will always remember Matthew Perry not just for his talent as an actor, but for his admirable persistence, kindness and pure heart. Take these lessons straight from Perry himself and honor the incomparable soul he was.