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The Real Reason Chandler Started Wearing Glasses On Friends

It may fundamentally be a sitcom, but for many, "Friends" has become the kind of show worth totally obsessing over. That means looking at every detail and reading deeper into developments that may not ultimately be all that important. Given the fact that the series lasted for 10 years, it was a given that the actors and the characters they played were going to change and age over the course of its run.

Now, thanks to the reunion special that is now available on HBO Max, fans are revisiting "Friends" and re-asking some of the lingering questions they had during the show's initial run. One change that fans have focused on with some intensity was the introduction of Chandler's glasses in Season 7. Although every major character went through different hairstyles and changed their fashion choices over the course of the show's run, many still wonder what the reason was for the introduction of Chandler's new, bespectacled look. 

Chandler wore glasses because Matthew Perry needed them

Chandler first started wearing glasses regularly on the show during the Season 7 episode "The One With Phoebe's Cookies." Although "Friends" called attention to Chandler's specs, many fans wondered if there was another reason that he wore them regularly on the series from that point on. As it turns out, there was. Matthew Perry started needing glasses, and so his character also got a pair. All in all, it was a fairly minor change, but one that many fans paid close attention to. 

This was the first time that the actor behind Chandler wore glasses, but Perry had already worn prop glasses on the show once before, in "The One That Could've Been," a two-part episode that explored an alternate reality version of the series. It seems that the writing team may have looked into the future and seen that Perry would need them eventually. After they were introduced in Season 7, Chandler's glasses became a regular part of the character's ensemble, although he didn't wear them for every scene.

Fans came up with in-canon reasons for Chandler to need glasses

Although the real reason that Chandler needed glasses was that the actor playing him also needed them, that didn't stop fans from doing some wild speculating about what might have caused the character to wear them. The most common theory was that Chandler's eyesight had deteriorated as a result of his job, mostly because it meant spending hours staring at a computer screen. 

Despite these theories, Chandler's glasses did result in a great bit of comedy in the same episode where they were introduced. When Chandler tries to spend time bonding with Monica's father Jack (Elliott Gould), the two go into the steam room together after playing racquetball. Chandler forgets to take his glasses off, and they fog up. Because he can't see, he winds up sitting on Jack's lap, which may not have been the best way to win him over.