There are some things about Friends that don’t quite hold up with a re-watch, but the appeal of the hilarious and poignant relationship between Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) is everlasting. Whether they were adopting the Chick and the Duck or watching television from their matching Barcaloungers with beers in hand, Joey and Chandler were nearly inseparable for 10 seasons.
Part of what has appealed to fans from day one was how genuine their friendship felt. While you probably never left a baby on a bus or had your apartment ransacked because you were locked into an entertainment unit that you willingly climbed into (just to prove you could), you could definitely see yourself and your best friend in J-Man and Channy.
Joey Builds The Entertainment Unit
Sometimes, in a relationship, you have to humor your friend and let whatever they’re doing play itself out. Sure, you know it’s a mistake, but as long as no one is getting hurt, patience is the best route. In this situation, Chandler probably should have put his foot down, considering the fact that the massive entertainment unit is the catalyst for them getting robbed. However, we’ve all been the Joey and the Chandler in a situation like this. Just ride it out.
Having roommates is something that nearly everyone understands when they’re first starting out on their own. You’ll probably fight about lots of little things, but if you’re lucky, it’ll be a once in a lifetime experience when your best friend lives just down the hall. However, whether it is because of a change in financial situation or relationship status, your time together will probably come to an end, at least as roommates. This can be a brutal time, even in the best of circumstances, so hopefully you have a rainy window to pensively look out of when you miss watching Netflix with them.
Chandler’s Support Of Joey’s Career
Being a good friend often means attending terrible plays and gigs in order to support the person who has the other side of your BFF necklace. Over the course of the show, Chandler not only financially supported Joey while he was waiting for his big break, but he also sat through dancing Freud and helped him practice for a game show. Especially in your early days, it’s good to have a best friend who cheers you on in your career, even when it is a less than noble profession.
Bonding Over Television and Armchairs
Sometimes the smallest things in life are the best. We are living in the era of Netflix and Chill, but there is definitely a friend version of this as well. Life can be too serious, so bonding over a mutual love of Yasmine Bleeth (or The Bachelor) can be just what you need to chill out.
The Kathy Situation
Despite all of your efforts to the contrary, there is always the possibility that you will both crush on the same person. I know. All the people in the world, and you both call for the same one. It can be a truly awful situation. Friendships have been broken over less, but a truly unbreakable bond can withstand that kind of pressure. Chances are, the tryst won’t work out anyway. Even if you have to spend some time in a box in penance, “Bros Before Hoes” (or “Ovaries Before Brovaries”) is a good rule of thumb.
Fighting Over The Spot
Sometimes the smallest things can escalate to full-on battles in the closest relationships, as we can see in arguably the greatest Friends episode of all-time, “The One Where No One Is Ready.” Starting with Joey taking Chandler’s spot and ending with him wearing all of Chandler’s clothes (“Could I be wearing any more clothes?”), the two battle it out as only people who know how the other ticks can. Plus, “dill hole” is a really great insult to have in your arsenal, just like A.A. Milne.
Taking a trip together is one of the best parts about friendship, but whether you go on an exotic vacation or take a road trip, traveling together can also push you to want to strangle even the closest friend.
The Eyebrow Incident
We’ve all made some terrible fashion mistakes, but a true friend sticks with you through thick and thin (eyebrows). A lesser friend would have shunned Joey until his face caterpillars were back to normal, but Chandler helps him remedy the situation. Also, sometimes we have embarrassing skills or habits, like Chandler’s eyebrow shaping skills. A true friend doesn’t laugh at you for your weirdness, instead giving you a safe space to utilize your talents without judgment.
Relishing Sweet Victory
Victory comes in many forms, from big things like a promotion at work to a particularly hard won game of flip cup. Having a best friend who can celebrate with you is one of the greatest joys in life. While Joey and Chandler may not have been particularly gracious winners, they certainly wore their victor status with style… only to have it traded away a few episodes later in exchange for watching Monica and Rachel make out for one minute. They may have been a little short-sighted on that one.
Being In Sync
Part of the appeal of Joey and Chandler was that, despite their differences, they were almost always in sync. Despite being very different, their apartment was a delicate ecosystem that surprisingly worked. Anyone who has had a best friend (especially a roommate) knows that eventually you settle into an easy rhythm of give and take. Even though their lives went in very different directions — Chandler to suburbia with Monica and the twins, Joey to an ill-advised spinoff — they were bros every step of the way. There is something special about having someone like that in your corner.