Why Matthew Perry’s Chandler poignantly stood out in Friends Thanksgiving episodes

Matthew Perry’s tragic passing on October 28 left Friends fans devastated and added an emotional undercurrent to traditional rewatches of the beloved sitcom.

Many will surely be revisiting the beloved annual Thanksgiving episodes from the NBC series in time for the holiday, which falls this year on Thursday, November 23rd.

However, with the episodes come a reminder of the character Chandler Bing’s own troubled history with the holiday, which he hilariously reminds the rest of the crew of without fail each year.

While his hatred of Thanksgiving is alluded to with every prior special episode (which aired in seasons 1-4, with the exception of season 2), it is the season 5 episode “The One With All the Thanksgivings” that finally clears it all up.

As the six central characters (Chandler, Monica Geller, Ross Geller, Rachel Green, Phoebe Buffay, and Joey Tribbiani) sit down to recount Thanksgivings past after stuffing themselves with Monica’s dinner, Chandler recalls his worst memory of the holiday.

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While the others groan, he reveals with a flashback that when he was a child, his family’s Thanksgiving dinner was the opportunity his parents used to announce that they were getting a divorce.

With a quip at the houseboy that supposedly Chandler’s father had an affair with, Rachel (played by Jennifer Aniston) comes in with a witty remark of her own as she says “Every time you tell that story that guy’s accent gets thicker and thicker,” adding some levity to the moment.

In subsequent episodes, Chandler’s disdain for Thanksgiving becomes more and more prominent, extending to getting Monica’s parents to like him (season 6’s “The One Where Ross Got High”), his discomfort around dogs (season 7’s “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs”), and his efforts to convince the group he’s a responsible adult (season 9’s “The One With Rachel’s Other Sister”).

FRIENDS -- "The One with Chandler in a Box" Episode 8 -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green
The Friends Thanksgiving episode has become a holiday staple

However, Chandler’s saga of bad Thanksgivings finally comes to an end with the final season’s “The One With the Late Thanksgiving,” in which he and now-wife Monica (played by Courteney Cox), host a late Thanksgiving affair.

The friends all screw up their schedules in one way or another and all fight over spending their time together, but the episode comes to a happy and emotional close when Chandler and Monica find out (on Thanksgiving, somehow) that they’ve been chosen as adoptive parents, giving him the greatest arc over the seasonal tradition.

The cast of Friends remembered their late co-star with tear-jerking memories of their own from the decade they spent working together on the hugely popular sitcom.

Jennifer wrote that theirs was “a chosen family that forever changed the course of who we were and what our path was going to be,” while Courteney stated: “I am so grateful for every moment I had with you Matty and I miss you every day.”

Lisa Kudrow thanked him “for the best 10 years a person gets to have,” while Matt LeBlanc deemed it “an honor to share the stage with you and to call you my friend.” David Schwimmer remarked on his character’s signature wit, jokingly saying that Matthew’s reaction would be: “Could there BE any more clouds?”

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