Television comedies make me cry just as often as (if not more often than) dramas. There’s something uniquely moving about seeing characters so often associated with silliness and laughter presented in emotionally vulnerable states, both happy and sad. In my opinion, there’s no better example of this than the episode of Friends featuring Chandler’s speech to the woman he and Monica were hoping would choose them as adoptive parents for her baby (or babies, as it turned out).
I remember watching this scene at my grandparents’ house when it first aired and trying not to let anyone see me tearing up. It was one of the first times I remember watching a television moment and thinking I want a husband like that. The sincerity in Matthew Perry’s performance absolutely floors me to this day.
You can keep your big Ross and Rachel kisses; to me, Chandler telling Erica, “My wife…She’s a mother without a baby,” will always be the most romantic moment Friends ever gave us. It’s such an honest, real depiction of a husband supporting his wife through something that affects so many married couples.
To see sarcastic Chandler Bing stripped of all pretenses and telling a relative stranger through tears how much it kills him to not be able to give his wife a baby is such a great example of a character’s journey adding to the emotional power of a scene. We watched Chandler grow up, become a husband, and, finally, in this moment, become a father-to-be. And we watched it happen organically, realistically, and—in this scene especially—emotionally. When Chandler and Monica celebrate his happy news, it feels truly earned.
Like yesterday’s Sawyer and Juliet vending machine reunion, this is a scene with emotional staying power. Years later, it still puts a lump in my throat and makes me hope for a husband who loves me like Chandler loves Monica.
“God bless you, Chandler Bing!”