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Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024
The Observer

Is Chandler Bing the greatest friend?

Season 6, episode 6 of "Friends" could prove Chandler Bing to be the best friend of all of the Friends.

In the episode, Chandler moves out of his long-time apartment with his best friend, Joey Tribbiani, to move in with his girlfriend, Monica. 

Chandler watches out for Joey, who is known to be more immature but possibly more lovable than Chandler. Chandler has a dependable job in data science. Joey is an actor, best known for his role on the soap opera “Days of Our Lives,” as Dr. Drake Ramoray, who gets written off the show when he falls into an elevator shaft.  

On the night Chandler moves out, he makes up an elaborate fake game to give Joey money without him knowing he is giving him money. Chandler offered to pay for Joey’s electricity and phone bill since he was leaving the apartment without advance notice, but Joey said, “Joey Tribbiani does not take charity” and then proceeded to turn off the apartment lights after seeing the number on the bill.

Chandler is not a good friend for giving Joey money, but rather for being worried about him enough to create an entire game skewed in his favor. This game of “cups” occurs after Chandler tries to let Joey win a game of foosball to no avail.

“Cups” consists of impossible-to-follow rules that make absolutely no sense and may not exist at all. Every card Joey turns over, Chandler deems a winner. 

Many of Chandler's best friendship moments come from his relationship with Joey. 

Despite the fact that Chandler might laugh at Joey, he also genuinely supports his career by going to plays, reading scripts and possibly spending the most time with him of all the characters on the show.

After all, when Joey eventually figures out that Chandler is trying to give him money when he’s moving out, Joey says, “I’m not gonna miss you helping me out with money. The only thing I’m gonna miss...is you.”

Chandler is not without faults, however. He once told everybody in the college alumni chat he shared with Ross that Ross had died in a petty prank to get revenge. That might not make him the best friend, but it does make him hilariously entertaining. If he is not the greatest friend of the group, he may be the funniest, although some of his humor is now outdated.

Joey and Chandler’s relationship is one of the strongest of the entire 10-season series, which is also the reason why Chandler’s betrayals or shortcomings are the worst in that relationship. 

In season 2, episode 14 when Joey finds success, he pays Chandler back for helping him out in his career and apartment life. He also gives Chandler a gift for being a good friend. The gift is a flashy gold bracelet that Chandler despises. Chandler wears the bracelet, even though he hates it, but continuously insults the bracelet and makes fun of Joey behind his back, rather than being honest with him.

In one of the worst moments of betrayal, Chandler kisses Joey’s girlfriend Kathy, but in one of the most irrational acts of penance — and moments of friendship between Joey and Chandler — Chandler says he will sit in a box for six hours to prove his friendship to Joey. In season 4, episode 8, Chandler says, “The meaning of the box is threefold. 1: It gives me the time to think about what I did. 2: It proves how much I care about my friendship with Joey, and 3: It hurts.”

Despite his shortcomings, Chandler brings laughter and sincerity to the "Friends’" relationships and Chandler’s relationship with Joey is certainly where his care and compassion shine through his humor.

One could argue that each of the main characters of "Friends" is the greatest friend, even Ross, but as Janice Hosenstein says, “Buy me a vowel because Oh, My, God,” the case for Chandler Bing is a strong one.

Erin Drumm is a senior at Notre Dame studying American Studies, journalism and history. She is from Philadelphia and spends her summers (and every weekend possible) at the shore in Cape May County, New Jersey. Outside of The Observer, Erin can be found cheering on the Fighting Irish and the Phillies, reading and talking about pop culture and history. She can be reached at edrumm@nd.edu.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.