RIP Matthew Perry: A look back at Chandler's best Friends episodes 1
Matthew Perry in Friends.
NBC

Via TMZ, Friends actor Matthew Perry passed away after drowning at his home in Los Angeles. He was 54 years old.

Perry was born on August 19, 1969 in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and his path to stardom didn’t happen overnight. Some of Perry’s first acting roles were in ’80s sitcoms Charles in Charge and Silver Spoonsbefore he landed a leading role in Fox’s Second Chance. As originally envisioned, Second Chance featured Kiel Martin as Charles Russell, a man who died in the then far-off year of 2011 who was sent back by Heaven to 1987 so he could provide moral guidance to his younger self, Chazz, as played by Perry. However, the sitcom was quickly revamped as Boys Will Be Boyswith Perry in the lead for the remainder of its one-season run.

Some of Perry’s early TV work also included guest appearances in Growing Pains, Highway to Heaven, Empty Nest, Who’s the Boss? and Beverly Hills, 90210. On the big screen, Perry co-headlined The Whole Nine Yards and its sequel opposite Bruce Willis, as well as the movies Fools Rush In, Almost Heroes, Three to Tangoand Serving Sara. During the latter part of his career, Perry starred in short-lived TV series like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Mr. Sunshine, Go Onand a 2015 revival of The Odd Couple that ran for three seasons.

In 1994, at just 24-years old, Perry landed the role that made him famous: Chandler Bing on Friends. Alongside Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer, Perry stayed with the comedy for ten seasons as it became one of the most popular sitcoms of the ’90s. That’s why we’re taking this opportunity to pay tribute to three of Perry’s best episodes of Friends. These are the moments that helped cement his legacy as a performer.

The One With the Blackout (season 1, episode 7)

Matthew Perry and Jill Goodacre in Friends.
NBC

In only the seventh episode of the show, Perry had a breakout performance in The One With the Blackout when Chandler was trapped in an ATM area with his dream woman, supermodel Jill Goodacre. The episode allowed Perry to share Chandler’s thoughts in a hilarious voiceover as he bungled his way through the entire evening.

Perry’s knack for physical comedy was also on display in the episode through his facial expressions and body language. He was awkwardness personified, and that endeared to fans for the length of the show’s run.

The One After the Super Bowl: Part 2 (season 2, episode 13)

Matthew Perry and Julia Roberts in Friends.
NBC

By its second season, Friends was already the hottest show on television, which is why Brooke Shields, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chris Isaak, and rom-com queen Julia Roberts all guest-starred in the big two-part episode that aired directly after the Super Bowl. Roberts played Susie Moss, a former childhood friend of Chandler’s who held a grudge against him because he once exposed her underwear on stage when they were kids.

In the present, Chandler is so enamored with Susie that he doesn’t suspect that his date with her is part of an elaborate plan to get her revenge. And so Susie leaves Chandler trapped in a public restroom wearing only her underwear. We can’t say that Chandler didn’t get what he deserved, but it was really funny to see him get his comeuppance.

The One Where Everybody Finds Out (season 5, episode 14)

Matthew Perry and Lisa Kudrow in Friends.
NBC

As you may have noticed, the theme that all of these episodes share in common is that they include Chandler’s awkward encounters with women. The One Where Everybody Finds Out is no exception. At this point in the show’s run, Chandler and Monica (Cox) were secretly dating, because they didn’t want their friends, Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), to know about it… at least not right away.

The comedy in this episode comes from the one-upmanship that ensues when Monica and Chandler realize that Rachel and Phoebe already know the truth, but they try to trick them into admitting they know. In turn, Phoebe and Rachel try to trick the couple into outing themselves by letting Chandler believe that Phoebe wants a romantic relationship with him. They take it pretty far and actually kiss before Chandler finally has to confess that he loves Monica. It’s both a great character moment, and a very funny scene. That was Friends at its best.

You can watch every episode of Friends on Max.

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