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The Memorable Line On Friends That Matthew Perry Improvised

Sitcoms have traditionally been a television genre that lives and dies on the ability to project fun and camaraderie. More often than not, the success of a sitcom will be directly proportional to how good it feels to "hang out" with its characters. But the work that goes into maintaining that casual atmosphere is often painstaking — especially in the case of traditional sitcoms filmed before a live studio audience. Actors on those shows have to work extra hard to hit their marks and keep each scene running smoothly, and they have to make it look easy.

That was very much the case on "Friends," as evidenced by the clockwork-like delivery of gags and punchlines on display during the best episodes of its 10-year run, give or take the occasional blooper. But the seminal NBC series also served as an example of another universal law of sitcoms: Given enough years of working together, comedy ensembles tend to develop such profound chemistry that the "hangout vibe" becomes a default state. Eventually, the "Friends" cast grew so close that they didn't need to strain at all to make the titular friendships convincing; their characters became extensions of themselves.

And of course, at that point, they also became more comfortable with going off-script and improvising — to the point where some of the show's most memorable lines and moments were actually thought up on the spot. As a case in point, there's one classic Chandler zinger that was in fact a Matthew Perry ad-lib.

Matthew Perry came up with a poetic way for Chandler to insult Joey's intelligence

In the Season 2 premiere, "The One with Ross's New Girlfriend," "Friends" put resident smartass Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) and resident idiot Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) together in a bizarre B-plot about Chandler being sexually harassed by a tailor.

Though the abuse-played-for-laughs plot itself has aged rather poorly, the scene that comes before it is pure gold: When Chandler is asking the rest of the gang if anybody knows a good tailor, Joey recommends his family's tailor Jackie. Then, he gets confused about whether he first had a suit tailored at 15 or 16 years old, asking the question, "All right, when was 1990?" In response, Chandler leans in and says, "Okay, you have to stop the Q-tip when there's resistance."

In a 2017 appearance on Good Morning America, Matthew Perry cited that line as his all-time favorite Chandler one-liner. And it's no wonder he's proud of it, considering the story of the scene laid out in the behind-the-scenes book "Friends Forever: The One About the Episodes." The original script only had Chandler scoff at Joey and walk away, but Perry, ever the poet, came up with the Q-tip line on the spot instead.

And that's just one of the many, many examples of Perry's way with words, which he displayed again in several other snarky ad-libs throughout the years. No other actor could have been better suited to playing the Chan Chan Man himself.