Miss Chanandler Bong

FRIENDS -- "The One with the Truth About London" Episode 16 -- Aired 2/22/2001 -- Pictured: (l-r) Co...
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10 Of Chandler Bing's Best Quotes That Couldn't *Be* More Spot-On For Parents

“I just realized I can sleep with my eyes open...”

We loved them all, but fan survey after fan survey from 1994 until today has made it clear: Chandler Bing was our favorite Friends character. What’s not to love? The sarcasm, the self deprecation, and Matthew Perry’s impeccable sense of comedic timing all culminated in an unforgettable character. And while Chandler wasn’t a dad through most of the series, his various quips are very often perfect for different parenting situations. (To be fair, what were Phoebe and Joey if not grown-up children...)

Like Chandler (until the Season 10 finale), Perry himself was not a father. Though in an interview with People last year he talked about the fact that, after years or working on sobriety and mental health, that he’d like to be one. “I’m not run by the fear I used to be run by so everything’s kind of different,” he told the magazine. “I’m feeling more confident and I’m not afraid of love anymore, so the next girl I go out with better watch out ... I think I’d be [a] great [dad]. I really do. I grew up with a lot of little kids around me, and that's probably why, but I can't wait.”

Of course, Perry wasn’t just Chandler. His acting career spanned decades, as did his advocacy to try to help those struggling with addiction and alcoholism. His death on Oct. 28 is a tragedy whether or not he played a beloved character on TV, but the fact that so many people came to love his performance over the years has made it hit harder. Still, we have his oeuvre and his legacy of philanthropy to remember him by, as well as a variety of Chandlerisms that can help us in everyday parenting situations.

When we don’t know what we’re doing...

Truly the hardest thing about being a parent is the expectation that we’re the ones who can make everything better, or at least guide our kids in the best direction. The truth is we’re winging this one wild and precious life the same as anyone else — we barely get ourselves through the day, so it’s amazing we’re able to help a small, inexperienced human through anything. And sometimes, parental wisdom feels way above our paygrade, which is where this zinger from Chandler feels extremely parent-y. As Mr. Bing would said, “Could I interest you in a sarcastic comment?”

When the kids are loud and clueless...

In this scene, Rachel and Monica are awoken by an incessant crowing sound coming from Chandler and Joey’s apartment. (It’s the chick, formerly known as Yasmine who, it turns out, is actually a rooster.) In a rage, Rachel bangs loudly on their door and shouts for them to wake up.

“What is that noise?” she demands when the men answer.

“... you!” Chandler replies in offended disbelief.

Honestly, I see so much parenting in this moment. How often have our kids kicked up and don’t realize that they’re the ones making a situation way worse than it was to begin with? Like any time my daughter angrily huffs at me from the chaotic mess of her bedroom “I can’t find anything!”

Oh. Really? You can’t find anything in this mess you made? Wow. Clearly this is my fault.

When our kids argue with us...

As parents, we’re confronted with all kinds of wheedling and arguing and most of it is not especially convincing. Example.

“Mom, can I stay up until midnight eating candy?”


“Mooooooom. Come ooooooon!”

Like, still no, dude. Where did you think this was going to go?

This moment in Friends strikes me as really similar. Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe are trying to convince Chandler and Joey to take a bet. When Chandler declines, Monica snaps, “Just do it!”

“Oh!” Chandler replies lightly. “Oh, I’m convinced!”

It’s such a dad move.

When our kids whine for no good reason...

How often do your children nitpick their blessings? Like, you take them out for a sundae but the cherry is slightly off the center of the whipped cream and now they’re complaining that this is the worst day ever.

In this scene, Ross is lamenting the fact that he is torn between two women (“a complete nightmare”)... and Chandler is having precisely none of it.

“This must be so hard,” he retorts sarcastically. “Oh no! Two women love me! They’re both gorgeous and sexy! My wallet’s too small for my fifties and my diamond shoes are too tight!”

When our kids overreact...

In this scene, Ross enters Central Perk looking positively forlorn.

“Someone at work ate my sandwich!” he says dejectedly.

Chandler looks aghast.

“Well what did the police say?!”

Honestly, I feel like I could use this line with my children every damn day, who seem to take every minor inconvenience as a personal attack not just on them but on the very concept of fairness.

When our kids are too inquisitive...

One of the best things about parenting is getting to see the world through our child’s eyes. Everything is so brand new and they’re incredibly curious about everything. But sometimes, that curiosity can be exhausting and overwhelming for parents.

In this scene, Monica and Chandler, just back from their honeymoon, realize that the couple they met while away gave them the wrong number and they debate what could have prompted them to do that. When Monica suggests it might have been Chandler’s constant wisecracks, Chandler suggest it was Monica’s inquisitiveness.

“The sheer volume, it was like flying with the Riddler!”

“I’m sorry: was that another joke?” Monica accuses.

“Was that another question?” he retorts.

When you have to bend the truth a little...

Look, we here at Romper are big fans of telling children the truth. Because even when it comes to big, complicated issues that are too adult or scary or sad for kids to understand completely, there’s a version of the truth you can give them that can help them process what’s going on.

But sometimes? You just have to lie. Because you don’t want this to be a whole thing, at least not just yet. Or you’re just tired (see aforementioned million questions a day).

In this scene, Chandler find himself caught in a lie: he told Joey he was on a business trip so that he didn’t have to go to a basketball game, but now Joey is at Monica’s door while Chandler is there.

“You lied to him?” Monica asks incredulously.

“It’s always better to lie than to have the complicated discussion,” Chandler replies, then takes a beat. “Except with you!”

When life gets complicated...

When Ross invites the gang to come see him lecture at a paleontology convention, they’re not inclined to say yes. “I think it’s safe to say that we all have family issues, work stuff, and/or are sick,” Chandler responds. (Of course he changes his tune when he learns that the convention is in Barbados.)

This quote works for parenting on two levels. One: kids are in many ways an introverted parents’ best friend because they are the best excuse to get out of things. Like, just say the kid is sick or they have a soccer game or you can’t find a sitter. Two: nine times out of 10 when you’re a parent, family issues, work stuff, and illness genuinely are actually a factor in you doing anything or going anywhere.

When you love your child but have to tune them out...

Kids are fascinating and magic and wonderful... but sometimes they’re really, really boring. Like, my son has basically communicated with me exclusively in memes and Minecraft videos for about a year now and somehow I still don’t know the difference between Netherite and diamond armor...

Chandler listening to Ross wax poetic about the future of humans uploading their consciousness into a computer and quipping “I just realized I can sleep with my eyes open...” sums up many parent/child interactions.

When you just can’t anymore...

Like, we won’t say this to our kids, but sometimes we think it... a lot... because there’s no other response to our kids insistently shouting nonsense like “Pivot!” at us over and over. Think of Chandler the next time you have the urge to say, “Shut up, shut up, shut uppppp.”

Could we love Miss Chanandler Bong any more?