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The Chandler Scene In Friends That Did Not Age Well

Time, as the Jurassic Park ride likes to remind us at Universal Studios Orlando, is an ever-flowing river. Not every aspect of "Friends" has aged well. "Friends" popularized the concept of the friend zone, which has made cross-gender friendships infinitely harder, as Vulture noted. The show's take on dating was extremely '90s, with episodes where Chandler tricks a woman into sleeping with him by setting up a fake date with her ex, where Joey accuses a stripper of stealing from him, and a whole arc where Ross dates a student. Even David Schwimmer, who played Ross Geller, lamented the show's lack of diversity and tried to counteract it by fighting to date women of color on the show. Body positivity activists have also singled out the show's portrayal of "Fat Monica" as being particularly callous, according to Vox.

Every "Friends" character — even Gunther — has some behavior that comes off cringey in the 21st century. This includes Chandler's extreme homophobia. "Friends" always addressed LGBT issues. One of the show's creators is gay, and Ross' lesbian ex-wife is a regularly appearing character throughout the show. Carol's civil union to Susan was a watershed moment for queer visibility in primetime. But as the Funny One of the show, Chandler makes a lot of homophobic and/or gender-policing jokes on the show. The ironic thing is, Chandler was originally conceived of as a potentially gay character. As Matt Baume wrote for LGBTQ Nation, "Instead of having the character be gay, they decided instead to have everyone just think he's gay. Writers were told to 'write it gay and play it straight.'"

Could Chandler BE any meaner to his dad?

Chandler's homophobia stands out from the rest of the cast because his dad is gay. His origin story — why he makes jokes, why he smokes, why he has commitment issues — is that his parents' divorce really messed him up. Furthermore, in Chandler's eyes, his dad was the one to "abandon" the family. We see his parents announce their divorce in Season 5's "The One with All the Thanksgivings," where Chandler's mother frames the divorce as being about how Mr. Bing "would rather sleep with the house-boy than me." Chandler appears to have taken his father's coming out as a rejection of the family, and he also expresses embarrassment at his father's gender-nonconforming presentation. Co-creator Marta Kauffman has said (via The Washington Post) that Chandler's father was transgender, but if that's the case, Chandler consistently misgenders her.

In Season 7's "The One with Chandler's Dad," we find out that not only is Chandler not intending on inviting his dad to his wedding with Monica, but has also refused contact for years. "He's made phone calls, written letters, he even came to New York," he tells a stunned Monica, "but I always said I was too busy to see him." This is the scene that goes too far when we learn that Chandler has cut off all communication due to a mix of shame and anger. Thankfully, by the end of the episode, he and his dad are on the path to having a real relationship. Helena Handbasket is invited to the wedding ... where Chandler's mom says she has "a little too much penis" for the dress they're wearing. Two steps forward, one step back.