Heartbroken Friends enthusiasts have flooded the internet with tributes to the enduring bond between Matthew Perry and co-star Jennifer Aniston following his untimely death this weekend.
Fans have shared countless memes, clips and memories of the duo’s best moments in character as Chandler Bing and Rachel Green, along with candid clips of their infectious friendship behind the scenes.
Perry will forever be linked to his role in the iconic sitcom, along with his five co-stars Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow.
But it was perhaps Aniston who was his best friend – as he recently revealed that she was the cast member who ‘reached out the most’ during his substance abuse addiction struggles, and they remained in close contact until his death.
Perry was found dead in a jacuzzi at his home at the age of 54 on Saturday, following a rocky relationship with drugs and alcohol that he outlined in his memoir published just last year.
His enduring bond with Aniston, 54, has been recognized by fans around the globe, as people flock to post videos of the duo online – including a touching recent clip of Perry speaking lovingly about the actress.
‘She would walk in, and I’d be like “hey, good to see you”, and I’d go to my dressing room and be like – sigh – I’ll never be able to be with her,’ the Williamstown, Massachusetts, native told an interviewer.
Another clip shows a much younger Perry resting his arm on Aniston’s shoulder before she reaches over to kiss his wrist.
‘Matthew Perry loved Jennifer Aniston so much, they were literally soul mates,’ one devastated fan said as they shared the footage, which has been viewed more than 2million times.
‘Truly breaks my heart that he’s actually gone, may he rest easily. Sending my prayers and thoughts to his family and friends.’
Aniston has not yet publicly commented about Perry’s death, but a previous interview of her crying over the prospect of losing Perry to his addiction has resurfaced.
The sitcom’s main cast is said to be ‘working on a joint statement’ to release about their beloved colleague and friend.
When asked previously by an ABC interviewer what Perry ‘doesn’t know’, a visibly distraught Aniston said: ‘That he’s alright.’
‘We weren’t equipped to deal with it. Nobody had ever dealt with that, and the idea of losing him…’ she trailed off tearfully.
Matthew Perry loved Jennifer Aniston so much, they were literally soul mates 🥺. Truly breaks my heart that he’s actually gone, may he rest easily. Sending my prayers and thoughts to his family and friends. ❤️🩹 pic.twitter.com/7Kv53SGXFs
— Lusey (@itsslusey) October 29, 2023
Jennifer Aniston cries talking about almost losing Matthew Perry in 2004 😢🕊️ pic.twitter.com/9L3DNVJZiE
— quinn (@outtaminds) October 29, 2023
One more: I loved the Cheesecake episode bc it was one of the few Chandler/Rachel plots, and given what we now know behind the scenes (Jennifer Aniston reaching out during Matthew Perry’s addiction troubles), it makes the episode especially poignant, but still hilarious. pic.twitter.com/fvp7sVCaas
— Brandon Lewis @ NYFF (@blewis1103) October 29, 2023
This scene and this crazy laugh between Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer #Friends #matthewperry #ChandlerBing ❤️🔥♥️🥲🥲🥲🥲
🔥Join telegram viahttps://t.co/M9iIiP8MHi pic.twitter.com/sZhHZQvOfh
— Les masques tombent (@masktomb17) October 30, 2023
Perry revealed it was Aniston who first confronted him about his addictions during the filming of their hit sitcom when his symptoms were too evident to ignore for those who were close to him.
‘We know you’re drinking,’ she told him during a break in the shooting of Friends at the height of its popularity.
‘Imagine how scary a moment that was,’ the actor said of his co-star during an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer in October 2022.
‘I should have been the toast of the town, but I was in a dark room meeting with nothing but drug dealers and completely alone.’
‘She was the one that reached out the most,’ he added. ‘You know, I’m really grateful to her for that.’
Fans have also remembered the bond the two stars shared during happier times, including photographs of them giggling together on set in the 90s.
Several pointed out how the Chandler/Rachel plotlines were less frequent than pairings of other characters – but the understanding of their off-screen friendship made these episodes ‘especially poignant.’
Their storylines included ‘The One With All The Cheesecakes,’ which first aired in January 2001 and follows the pair becoming hooked on a cheesecake meant for their neighbor that is accidentally delivered to Chandler’s door.
The comedic narrative shows the pair conspiring to steal more of their neighbor’s cheesecakes after they try the first one and become hooked – before the cake-stealing chaos escalates after they split one and Rachel drops her half.
It ends with Joey Tribbiani, played by Matt LeBlanc, finding the pair eating the fallen cheesecake from the ground, and he grabs a fork from his pocket without questioning the situation and joins in.
Dozens of people on X, formerly known as Twitter, dubbed it their ‘favorite’ of the 236 episodes, with one fan commenting: ‘I always wished Rachel and Chandler had more scenes one-on-one together. I loved their friendship.’
Others remembered the iconic scene showing Chandler and Rachel helping Ross Geller, played by David Schwimmer, move a sofa up a stairway to his New York apartment.
Part of the episode called ‘The One With The Cop,’ the trio struggle to maneuver the large two-seater up the multi-level stairwell as Ross shouts: ‘Pivot!!’
Fans shared outtakes from the scene showing all three struggling to stay in character and eventually breaking down into fits of laughter.
When sharing about his substance abuse and the toll it began to take on his body, The Whole Nine Yards star confessed he was taking as many as 55 Vicodin pills a day, which contributed to his weight dropping to just 128 pounds.
‘I didn’t know how to stop,’ Perry admitted in an interview with People last year, before sharing an analogy that explains the power the drugs and alcohol had over him at the height of his TV career.
‘If the police came over to my house and said, “If you drink tonight, we’re going to take you to jail,” I’d start packing. I couldn’t stop because the disease and the addiction is progressive. So it gets worse and worse as you grow older,’ he explained.
Perry thought he had managed to hide his drug and alcohol usage from his co-stars, but at a certain point they all knew he was in trouble and did their best to support him.
‘[They] were understanding, and they were patient,’ he recalled of the Friends cast.
‘It’s like penguins. Penguins, in nature, when one is sick, or when one is very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up. They walk around it until that penguin can walk on its own. That’s kind of what the cast did for me.’
With the world still reeling in the wake of Perry’s passing, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office has said his cause of death is ‘deferred’ with the investigation considered ‘ongoing’ by authorities.
Police sources told NBC News and CNN that they’d initially believed they were attending a possible ‘water rescue’ at the funnyman’s Pacific Palisades home after being called at 4:07pm PST Saturday.
They arrived to find Perry dead of an apparent drowning in his hot tub, with the LA Times reporting that Perry was ‘unresponsive.’
The actor was not taken to hospital, with a coroner’s van later seen arriving at the property.