Chandler Bing is everyone’s favorite jokester on NBC’s hit comedy series, Friends. He’s also one of the characters who seems to grow the most over the ten seasons the show was on air. Chandler starts out as a single, sarcastic twenty-something, but by the series finale, he is happily married to Monica and the new father of twins with a house in the suburbs.
Despite all of Chandler’s growth, there are a number of moments and storyline for this character that would probably be hard to justify and even harder to recover from in the show was still on air today.
His Relationship With His Father
Chandler is estranged from his father, Charles and blames it on the fact that his father is a drag queen in Vegas. Charles, also known as Helena Handbasket, is played by Kathleen Turner and looking back on this character. there are a lot of problems. The way Chandler treats his father is cringe-worthy watching back. Chandler spends a lot of time making jokes at his father’s expense and shunning him for the choices he’s made. Today, Chandler would hopefully embrace who his father is and support all of his life choices.
His Relationship With His Mother
As if insulting his dad wasn’t bad enough, Chandler seems to find a lot of opportunities to slut-shame his mother, Nora Tyler Bing, played by Morgan Fairchild. Nora writes adult romance novels for a living and is one of the most celebrated authors in her community, but when her line of work is brought up, Chandler reverts to childish behavior and acts grossed out.
Chandler’s mom has needs and desires like any other human and should never be made to feel shame for that or for making a living promoting her sexuality.
His Relationship With Joey
Joey and Chandler are apparently best friends, but that’s hard to believe nowadays considering how Chandler treats Joey. Chandler gains Joey’s trust and love and then throws it back in his face on numerous occasions. Joey relies on Chandler a lot, for financial and emotional support, and Chandler is usually happy to help Joey, unless Joey catches Chandler in a bad moment. Chandler doesn’t hold back his outbursts on Joey and frequently makes his best friend feel bad.
College Chandler And Monica
In flashback episodes, we see how Chandler and Monica met. Chandler was Ross’ roommate in college and Ross brings him home for Thanksgiving. When Monica meets Chandler, there’s an instant attraction, but not for Chandler. At this point, Monica is overweight, and Chandler can’t seem to get over that fact and never tries to get to know “Fat Monica.”
Monica overhears Chandler talking about her weight behind her back and that’s the reason she decides to lose weight. It’s so problematic and there’s no way it would be an acceptable storyline in 2020.
Chandler openly admits that he is not good at talking about emotions and feelings and usually relies on a poorly timed joke to get him out of uncomfortable or adult conversations. That kind of behavior may have been okay in the nineties, but not anymore. The fact that Chandler is so aware of his bad habit of deflecting makes it that much more frustrating and unacceptable by today’s standards. Chandler today would be encouraged to get more in touch with his emotions and his desire to suppress them.
Friends aired at a time where people were finally starting to figure out that smoking wasn’t very cool and could kill you. A running joke on this series is Chandler’s desire to smoke, and he gives in a few times, hiding the nasty habit from his friends.
Today, smoking for a laugh is not something most television networks would allow and Chandler, or the writers behind the character wouldn’t be able to get away with having that on screen.
Sleeping With Joey’s Sister
An episode in the third season is completely devoted to the fact that Chandler hooks up with one of Joey’s sisters at Joey’s birthday party, and the next morning, he can’t remember which sister he was with. Joey’s already mad at Chandler for falling around with one of his sisters, all of whom is very protective of, but when Chandler can’t even remember her face, it creates a whole new set of issues, not only for Joey, but for viewers as well. A man behaving this way now would never fly with audiences and makes the character completely unlikeable.
The Kathy Situation
Chandler meets Kathy when Kathy starts dating Chandler’s roommate and best friend, Joey. Chandler and Kathy develop a mutual attraction and they eventually cross the line, sharing a kiss behind Joey’s back. When Joey finds out, he’s understandably upset and it causes a huge argument between the two friends.
The worst part is that the relationship between Kathy and Chandler is so short-lived because Chandler turns out to be an incredibly jealous and somewhat possessive boyfriend. He basically gaslights Kathy, and she leaves him for it, making viewers wonder now, how did Chandler redeem himself after this disastrous storyline?
This is one of the storylines that went on for way too long. Throughout the entire series, Janice seems to pop up, only for Chandler to make jokes at her expense. Janice seems to have genuine feelings for Chandler, who can’t get over her voice or her laugh or her desire to be with him. Chandler also never mans up to tell Janice the truth, which keeps her around even longer. Today’s audience would require Chandler to be an adult and respect Janice enough to be honest with her and allow her to move on.
Chandler likes to complain, a lot, and rewatching the series, it gets pretty annoying pretty fast. Everyone has a right to vent, but Chandler does it constantly and the things he’s upset about are things he could easily change if he put a little effort and thought into his day-to-day life. Chandler complains about his job and being single, but it takes him years to find a new job and to be in a stable relationship. Luckily, Chandler turns out okay, but audiences would require that evolution to happen much sooner if the show aired today.