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|Chandler Muriel Bing|
|Portrayed by||Matthew Perry|
|First appearance||"The Pilot"
|Last appearance||"The Last One part 2"
|Created by||David Crane
|Occupation||Statistical analysis and data reconfiguration
Junior advertising copywriter
Chandler Muriel Bing was born on April 8, 1968, to an erotic novelist mother and a gay father who later became the star of a Las Vegas drag show. He is of Scottish and Swedish ancestry. He is an only child and is apparently from an affluent family, as he mentions his family hired servants such as a pool boy and a house boy (both of whom he suspects slept with his father). Chandler's parents announced their divorce to him over Thanksgiving dinner when he was nine years old, an event which causes him to refuse to celebrate the holiday in his adulthood. It's revealed in "The One Without The Ski Trip" that Chandler had started smoking at the age of 9 because of their divorce. It is revealed in season 1 he went to an all-boys high school.
Chandler was Ross Geller's roommate in college. Chandler met his friend Rachel Green while celebrating Thanksgiving with the Geller family during his first year at college. On a tip from Monica, Chandler later moved to Apartment #19 in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, across the hall from Monica and her roommate Phoebe Buffay. Actor Joey Tribbiani moves in with Chandler, who becomes his best friend.
His middle name "Muriel" was revealed in the beginning of "The One With Rachel's Date", where one of his co-workers thinks his name is Toby. Chandler tells Ross after having inquired the particular name as they're waiting for the elevator in the office building while on their way to a cafe that, "It could be worse, it's not like he's calling me Muriel." Ross titters and soon questions why he would call him Muriel, quickly realizing he has seen Chandler M. Bing written (implied by their conversation that Chandler had previously convinced Ross that it was only an "M") but it was never honestly revealed what the "M" stood for. Ross then says, "Chandler Muriel Bing." Your parents never gave you a chance, did they?"
Chandler's main catch phrases are starting sentences with "Could that BE any more..." in his own characteristic way, a trait which he shares with his on and off romantic interest Janice Hosenstein (Maggie Wheeler); he also says from time to time the phrase "Oh my god" in different contexts.
At Ross's wedding in London, Monica and Chandler sleep together and decide to begin dating. Monica and Chandler try to keep their relationship secret, as they are unsure about how the others would react. Eventually, however, they all find out. Joey discovers minor details about their subsequent lies after their first weekend away together, Rachel overhears a phone conversation, Phoebe and Rachel see them together from Ross's new apartment across the street. Joey keeps their secret at first. After Rachel and Phoebe find out, the two girls try provoking them to admit that they are in a relationship. Correspondingly, Monica and Chandler try getting them to admit that they know about the relationship and a battle breaks out (with Joey as the go-between). This leads to Phoebe and Chandler supposedly intending to sleep together, but Chandler cracks, admitting his love for Monica and she reciprocates. The two move in together at the beginning of Season 6, Chandler proposes by the end of the season and they marry at the end of Season 7. Their wedding is officiated by Joey, who is ordained over the Internet. In the final episode, Monica and Chandler adopt twins, due to their inability to conceive.
Chandler also has problems with Monica's ex-boyfriend, Richard Burke (portrayed by Tom Selleck), whom he and Joey briefly idolize before Chandler and Monica start dating. Monica previously saw Richard as the love of her life, further adding to Chandler's insecurities. The biggest problem with him occurs when Chandler wants to propose and Richard confesses his love for Monica. She initially considers reconciling with him (partly due to Chandler pretending not to be interested in getting married so Monica would be surprised when he did propose). However, Richard eventually backs down, realizing that he missed his chance.
Monica also sometimes gets on Chandler's nerves because of her bossiness, neatness and overly competitive nature. This forces Chandler into several situations, such as Monica being unable to throw a game of tennis against Chandler's boss and Chandler hiding the fact that he is incredibly good at ping-pong so Monica won't enter them in doubles tournaments. Monica is also the dominant one in the relationship and Chandler frequently submits to her wishes. In the alternate reality episode of "The One that Could Have Been", Chandler does not show much interest in her. However, when Monica's boyfriend gets called away during dinner, they sleep together, and the two end up together anyway.
Janice Litman Goralnik (née Hosenstein)
Before his relationship with Monica, Chandler has an on-and-off relationship with Janice Hosenstein (Maggie Wheeler). She is a regular feature in his life, even though he regretted dating her and kept ending their relationship in season 1. In season 2, Chandler spends a lot of time chatting to a woman online who reveals that her husband is having an affair. When they agree to meet, it is revealed that the woman is Janice. They passionately kiss and their relationship continues into Season 3. Joey admits that he hates Janice but makes an effort to get along with her as Chandler really falls for her this time. Unfortunately Joey sees her kissing her ex-husband and tells Chandler, who confronts Janice. Feeling that she should give her marriage another chance as they have a child, she ends things with Chandler. They reunite later in the series and Chandler wants to end things again and unsure how to do it, tells her that he is moving to Yemen. Janice tells Chandler she wants to see him off at the airport so he actually has to go to Yemen.
However, Janice makes further appearances later in the series. She briefly dates Ross and invites herself to Chandler's and Monica's wedding. In order to prevent this, Monica interjects that Chandler still loves her and that she shouldn't go to the wedding. Janice, not wanting to ruin Chandler and Monica's marriage, decides to leave but asks him to call her when the marriage breaks up. He uses the same excuse in Season 10 when purchasing a house and realizing that Janice was attempting to buy the house next door.
Kathy (Paget Brewster) makes an appearance in the fourth season of Friends. Chandler sees her in Central Perk and asks the gang if he should ask her out, only to learn that she was already waiting for a date with Joey. Things get worse when Chandler begins to dream about Kathy, and eventually the two fall in love after their late night chats, which causes a brief rift between Joey and Chandler. As punishment for kissing and falling in love with Kathy, Chandler has to spend time in a box to reflect upon his actions, the punishment being put in place by Joey. Eventually, Kathy and Chandler's relationship begins to deteriorate when Chandler accuses of Kathy of having an affair, which later turns out to be true. He is comforted by Rachel and the rest, with Rachel saying 'Just because you two had a fight, doesn't justify her sleeping with someone' - a reference to her own experience with Ross and the 'We were on a break' fiasco.
Ross and Chandler have been best friends since college where they were roommates. They made pacts of girls they shouldn't sleep with, were in a band together, shared weird hair and fashion styles, and Chandler went to Ross's house for Thanksgiving 1987 and 1988. Ross and Chandler frequently play racquetball and basketball. They also get bullied together and stand up to the bullies, who steal Chandler's hat.
In "The One with the Football", Ross picks Chandler as his first player, despite Rachel being his girlfriend at the time. Ross sometimes describes Chandler as his best friend and Chandler vice versa. Chandler was the first person to know about Ross's secret love for Rachel.
Until Chandler moves in with Monica, he shares an apartment with his joint best friend Joey Tribbiani. Chandler and Joey's apartment is an important focal point for the series as one of the few meeting areas of the gang. The two form a close and enduring friendship, and get into many humorous situations. Their adventures include: losing Ross's infant son (Ben) on a bus; Chandler's dismay at Joey building an "entertainment unit" which is so big, it partially covers their bedroom doors; buying a chick and a duck (affectionately named "The Chick and The Duck"); and replacing their dining table with a foosball table. A famous running gag suggests they are like an old married couple when they argue, with Chandler usually assuming the wife's role. Although in one episode when Joey's new roommate, Janine, has redecorated - Joey takes the more woman-like role of their argument with comments such as "Why would you say that? It's just mean!" and "It's not what you said; it was the way you said it", due to Janine's feminine qualities rubbing off on Joey.
When Chandler is first considering Joey as a roommate, the two start off on the wrong foot when Joey says that he "is cool with the gay thing" (Joey assuming Chandler was gay). Joey comes to fill the slot, only Chandler had already chosen a roommate – a fashion photographer with a porn-star sister. But after Mr Heckles (the grumpy old man in the apartment below Monica and Rachel) tells the photographer that he is Chandler's new roommate and is able to open Chandler's unlocked door, the photographer leaves disappointed. This forces Chandler to give the keys to Joey and they find out they had a lot in common, including sports and beer. Joey also introduces Chandler to watching the women of Baywatch (especially Yasmine Bleeth and Nicole Eggert).
Chandler often supports Joey throughout the show, paying the rent, paying for Joey's headshots, buying most of the food and even give money to Joey for his numerous dates. Joey tries to repay Chandler by giving him the only ticket to the première of his new movie. Unfortunately, Chandler falls asleep. Later that episode, Joey insists on paying back every penny that he owes Chandler until he realizes exactly how much he owes him. He then dismisses it by saying, "So what, you fell asleep during my première." However, in the alternate reality of "The One that Could Have Been" these roles are reversed as Chandler struggles with finances while Joey rakes in the money. At one point in this episode, Joey helps out Chandler by allowing Chandler to be his assistant.
In "The One with the Prom Video," Joey gives Chandler an engraved bracelet to show his appreciation for his friendship. Chandler loses it and buys a replacement, but when Rachel finds the old one and Joey catches him with two of the same bracelet, he has no choice but to say it's his gift for him. Chandler grimaces when Joey calls them "bracelet buddies" but does it for their friendship...until Joey overhears him doing a Mr. T impression "I pity the fool that puts on my jewelry!" They eventually work through it as Chandler begs for forgiveness.
The relationship between the two is balanced as Joey looks to Chandler as his intellectual superior while Chandler acknowledges Joey as the stronger, manlier counterpart, especially when it comes to getting women. One of their recurring moments involves Chandler understanding something and waiting in silence until Joey catches on.
Chandler and Rachel originally did not like each other, but grew to become good friends. Like the two other men in the group, Chandler finds her attractive. In "The One With The Boobies" Chandler accidentally walks in on Rachel showering with nothing to cover herself with and sees her breasts, causing her to jokingly resent him for the episode. Ross suggests that in order to make up for Chandler seeing her naked, Chandler must show her his penis, although he declines. Rachel then attempts to look at his penis by pulling back the curtain while he's showering. However, Joey turns out to be the one in the shower. Since Rachel saw Joey's penis, Joey must then see her breasts, so the cycle continues while Chandler laughs at the sidelines.
Also in "The One with All the Cheesecakes" Chandler and Rachel steal and share the cheesecake which originally belonged to their downstairs neighbor. Rachel is also the one who helps Chandler pick out his wedding suit. Rachel also sets up Chandler with her boss Joanna. Other than seeing Rachel naked, Rachel and Chandler never have any romantic relationships apart from a glance back to their time in college when they made out, even though Rachel has romantic relationships with the other two males in their group. Despite their many differences Rachel and Chandler grow to be extremely close.
Chandler and Phoebe are very good friends. They sometimes are goofy and have fun with one another. In "The One with the Metaphorical Tunnel", Phoebe and Chandler play hide and seek. They also play games, like coming up with Superhero names and reclining the Barcaloungers like cowboys. They share a duet of "Endless Love" at the end of one episode, when Chandler is sad after a breakup with Janice. They spend a Thanksgiving pretending to watch football together to get out of helping to cook dinner, that Monica is preparing. They share a distaste for Monica's aggressive side, and instead of being angry at Phoebe for firing Monica as her wedding planner during the rehearsal dinner, he chuckles and raises his glass. Chandler jokes about everyone including Phoebe, making references to her being an alien from outer space in "The One with All the Resolutions" in Season 5. ("A plane? Better make it a space ship so you can get back to your home planet.") She seems to enjoy toying with him more as the seasons progress. In "The One Where Everyone Finds Out", she tries to trick him into believing that she is attracted to him, but Monica tells him that Phoebe finds him charming in a "sexless" way, indicating that any hints towards romance are jokes. She and Chandler face off in a seduction match they both know is a farce, with Chandler visibly more shaken, though Phoebe is also uncomfortable. They share an awkward kiss and Chandler almost touches her breast but awkwardly moves his hand to her shoulder. He pulls away, saying that Phoebe has won and he is in love with Monica. On some occasions, Phoebe jokes that she has romantic feelings for Chandler, as in "The One Where Ross Meets Elizabeth's Dad" when Phoebe tells Chandler that she will be waiting for him to make a move on her. In "The One With The Tea Leaves", Phoebe reads her tea leaves and learns that she will soon meet the man of her dreams. She says, "Probably not the guy I had a dream about last night", then points towards Chandler and mouths the word "you". In "The One With All the Football" she throws Chandler off guard by flashing him. Chandler also asks Phoebe to help him select an engagement ring for Monica after she walks in on him looking at ring brochures. Chandler gives Phoebe away when she marries Mike, although Chandler is the only member of the group available; originally, Joey would have given her away but he is called on to perform the ceremony (he was ordained online for Monica and Chandler's wedding in season 7). Chandler tells her that she looks "beautiful", and she seems happy, waving and saying "Hi, new dad!". He and Monica play a role in getting Mike and Phoebe back together in Barbados. They also spend time together in "The One with the East German Laundry Detergent", both trying to dump their significant others; Phoebe points out that they should spend more time together. He responds that maybe later they can run over puppies, which she tells him she does not want to do. However, she breaks up with Janice on his behalf, and he states that they should always break up together, to which she responds, "I'd like that!". She also decides that she would name one of the surrogate children of her brother after Chandler after trying to decide between the name Chandler or Joey. Much to Chandler's embarrassment, the baby named Chandler turns out to be a girl, whom Alice calls "Channy Fanny". Phoebe is the initial reason that Chandler quit smoking in "The One With the Thumb", after an argument between the group about his smoking. He is leaving the apartment when she offers him $7,000 to never smoke again.
Personality and Traits
Though Chandler never lets up by using sarcasm as a defence, he had a tendency to come off as needy and makes bad first impressions as said by Phoebe with his constant joke-making and brash demeanour. Despite this emotional immaturity, Chandler is the most financially secure of his friends.
Chandler is brash, zany and estranged from both of his parents. He suffers from commitment issues, brought on by growing up in a broken home with no idea of what a stable marriage looks like, can be neurotic and extremely defensive with humour as his shield but his sense of humour is generally unsophisticated, to the point during an interview when his boss told him he'd have "extra duties on his hand" he had to stop himself from laughing. Chandler also associates everything that links to his parents divorce in a negative light, specifically Thanksgiving where his parents reveal their separation over turkey where his father plans to run away with the bus boy. This also associates with his mistrust of people in adult relationships. Becoming extremely paranoid when his girlfriend, Kathy (who was an actress) shared a sex scene with her co-star prompting a big fight between the two. Ironically it was Chandler's own paranoia that drove Kathy to having an affair with the same person.
Once a heavy chain smoker, Chandler began smoking when he was nine years old after his parents announced their divorce. During some points in the series, Chandler would resume his smoking habit to the chagrin of his friends, who cannot stand his smoking. Chandler is first seen smoking during the first season and is chastised by his friends for breaking his non-smoking streak of three years. Despite his friends attempts to get him to quit, Chandler refuses to until he is convinced to quit by Monica's then boyfriend Alan. Chandler resumes this habit during the third season after Ross and Rachel break up, mentioning that he began smoking when his parents split up. He continues to smoke until Rachel, tired of his smoking, hands him a hypnosis tape that helped one of her coworkers quit. The tape ultimately helps Chandler quit again despite giving him feminine traits as the tape was made to help women quit smoking. He manages to stop for almost four years until his wedding to Monica, where he nervously begins smoking again until he overhears Rachel and Phoebe talk about Monica's supposed pregnancy.
Similar to Phoebe, Chandler is relatively comfortable with complementing looks of the same gender however he is quite humiliated by his effeminate nature and is a profound heterosexual whereas Phoebe has been hinted to be bisexual. It's revealed Joey is who he would go out with and when Phoebe saw her "perfect guy" at Central Perk after reading tea leaves, Chandler remarks "oh my God, that guy was looking at you and he is so cute" in a high-pitched voice. Because of this Chandler is normally dominated by his ballsy and forward spouse, Monica and rarely ever "wins" in a fight with her however Chandler does have bursts of confidence. When Monica wanted to use his nest egg to pay for their big wedding he firmly put his foot down, which greatly impressed Phoebe who normally points Chandler out for his effeminate nature, claiming "finally a Chandler I can get by".
Chandler also shares a lot of traits with Mister Heckles, Monica and Rachel's neighbour. They are both extremely picky with women (planning to break up with one simply because her head was too big), were voted class clown in high school, played the clarinet and Chandler even did his signature pound the ceiling with a broom when Monica and Rachel were making too much noise.
Probably because of his entire childhood of being humiliated, Chandler would much prefer to follow through on an insane lie rather than admit to truth and create an embarrassing situation or an actual confrontation. Lacking the nerve to break up with Janice after he rekindled their romance he tells her he is moving to Yemen and actually does when she only agreed to leave the airport after she saw her plane depart, causing him financial loss. This was further shown when he destroyed his own office when an enraged college got word that "Chandler Bing" stopped him from moving upward and he didn't want to admit that he mistook his name for Toby and never corrected him on it.
Chandler works as an IT procurements manager with the specialization "Statistical analysis and data reconfiguration," which he takes up as temporary work and, despite working in the industry for years, thoroughly loathes. It is seen in many exterior shots that he works at the Solow Building. His friends do not understand his profession; during a trivia game Monica and Rachel cannot remember what his job is, with Rachel calling him a "transponster". Monica admits repeatedly that she doesn't pay attention when he talks about his work, but finally learns what kind of work he does after he quits in the Season 9 episode "The One with Christmas in Tulsa", although he had mentioned his job title during Season 8 in "The One with the Cooking Class", a job which inspired Chandler's oft-referenced office slang word "WENUS" (Weekly Estimated Net Usage Systems), as well as the "ANUS" (Annual Net Usage Statistics). Because of this job, Chandler, like Ross, is financially well-off. He reveals in one episode to have a large, unspecified sum of money which he has saved for six years. He is also shown to hold a position of authority in his company. Despite disliking his job, Chandler is unable to quit his job as it is his nature to avoid ending anything forcefully, be it his job, a relationship, or even his membership with a gym. In an alternate reality episode ("The One that Could Have Been"), Chandler does quit his job and works as a freelance writer, specializing in comics.
Chandler tries quitting in the season one episode "The One with the Stoned Guy", but is lured back by a huge raise on top of the yearly bonus structure. Another contribution to his coming back may have been that, when he took a career test, the result was that his job was the right one for him. In the episode "The One Where Emma Cries", Chandler falls asleep during a meeting and on waking, realizes that he had agreed to head the new division in Tulsa. Chandler quits his job on Christmas, so that he can fly home to New York to be with Monica. Monica helps Chandler secure a job in advertising through an old colleague friend of hers. Much to Chandler's dismay, he begins as an intern, which leaves him in the awkward position of working alongside people who are significantly younger than he is. However, his more mature approach eventually pays off, and he secures a full-time job in the business as a junior copywriter, even though he only expected to receive an assistant position.
- "The One with Rachel's Date". Friends. Season 8. Episode 5. October 25, 2001. NBC.
- Brian Galindo. "25 Fascinating Facts You Might Not Know About "Friends"". Buzzfeed.com. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- They graduated from college in 1991. "The One Where the Stripper Cries". Friends. Season 10. 2004-02-05. NBC.
- "The One with the Embryos". Friends. Season 4. Episode 12. January 15, 1998. NBC.