I Like Friends' Monica And Chandler... Just Not Together, Here's Why

 The cast of Friends in the final Thanksgiving episode
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Some sitcom romances are better off left on the writing room floor. In my opinion, Friends’ Chandler Bing and Monica Geller are one of those romances.

I’m not totally anti-Chanica — I like both characters separately (I’m frequently a “Chandler” on “which friends character are you” surveys), and I even think the early days of their romance are kind of cute. However, the show gives us the impression that Monica lowered her standards to be with Chandler, and he’s cool with that because he’d be cool with being with literally anyone — and that’s just not that happy of an ending to me.

Here are the reasons I’m not a fan of the famed sitcom relationship.

Friends playing poker.
Friends playing poker.

I Like Them Better As Friends

All in all, Friends does an iffy job of portraying platonic male-female friendships. In the early seasons, it’s pretty regularly suggested that any of the guys would hook up with any of the girls given the opportunity, which somewhat undermines the supposed friendship in my opinion.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of examples of Monica and Chandler (played by Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry) being really supportive friends to each other — for example comforting each other through heartbreaks, family troubles, et cetera. But do we see them act like that after they get engaged? Hardly — instead, they morph into one of those sitcom couples that spends all their time bickering and doesn’t seem to actually like each other all that much.

Maggie Wheeler on Friends.
Maggie Wheeler on Friends.

I Like Them Better With Other People

First of all, I don’t get why the gang hates Janice so much. She seems like a fun gal, and was only ever a good girlfriend to Chandler. Justice for Janice.

My love for Janice aside, I think Chandler’s best relationship was with Kathy (Paget Brewster). There’s so much earnestness and sweetness in the relationship, and even though it ends on a sour note it always felt like the most “in love” we ever see Chandler.

For Monica, the obvious answer is Richard (portrayed by the mustachioed Tom Selleck). From the amount they have in common to the history between them, Monica and Richard are the perfect match. Why else was Monica in Richard’s apartment the second she thought her relationship with Chandler was doomed?

Even if the relationship with Richard was doomed, I also liked Monica with Pete, the tech guy-turned-UFC fighter (played by actor/director Jon Favreau). I mean, he literally built her her own dream chef’s kitchen.

Matthew Perry and Courteney Cox on Friends
Matthew Perry and Courteney Cox on Friends

I Wish They Hadn’t Gotten Together In London

Unpopular opinion: I wish Monica and Chandler hadn’t gotten together in London at Ross and Emily’s wedding.

Friends tells us frequently and often that Monica is wedding-, marriage- and baby-obsessed. So when she hooks up with Chandler after feeling sorry for herself at the wedding, the message to the audience is that it could have been anyone — Chandler just happened to be there. Monica even tells Chandler herself in “The One With the Truth About London” that she was actually looking for Joey that night.

So they didn’t get together because they’re such good friends and love each other as people, but because Monica was feeling sad for herself at her brother’s wedding and Chandler was upset his best man speech didn’t go over well? I don’t like that for either of them, and that’s not a satisfying friends-to-lovers arc for me (not like, say, New Girl’s Nick and Jess).

From a writing perspective, I think the better friends-to-lovers arc in Friends is Joey and Rachel — which is why I’m bummed their relationship fizzled out so fast. Look at how well the two got along when they started living together — unlike Chandler and Monica, who immediately started fighting about what to do with their shared space.

Chandler and Monica on Friends.
Chandler and Monica on Friends.

They Bring Out The Worst In Each Other

From my point of view, the writing on Friends changed a lot after Ross’s wedding. Specifically, if we look at Monica and Chandler, they both kind of become caricatures of themselves as their relationship progresses. They’re written to extremes — Monica as a type-A control freak and Chandler as a helpless loser who can’t do anything right.

It comes off as both characters bringing out the worst in each other rather than the best.

In particular, Monica’s character takes a hard turn for the worse after they get together. Need I mention the wedding binder? Or the fact that she guilts Chandler into spending his entire life savings on their wedding?

I actually wish Monica and Chandler had gotten married in Vegas. It would have been really refreshing to see both of them do something out of character — Monica giving up her fairytale, perfect wedding and Chandler making such a huge commitment with no fear. But that’s not what we got.

courteney cox as monica on friends
courteney cox as monica on friends

Why Didn’t Monica Move To Tulsa?

This is a tricky plotline for even the biggest Chanica supporters. Why did Monica get out of moving to Tulsa with Chandler? Or better yet, why didn’t Chandler try a little bit harder to prevent being relocated?

Both characters are backed up against a wall in this situation: Chandler has already agreed to move, but Monica is offered her dream job at a restaurant in New York. So instead of compromising, they decide to do a long-distance relationship.

I’m not saying long-distance relationships can’t work, but I’m also saying they both could have tried a little bit harder to keep the relationship in the same state. But of course, Chandler can’t admit to his boss he was sleeping when he agreed to move (typical lazy Chandler behavior) and Monica wouldn’t turn down a head chef position (typical perfectionist/overachiever Monica behavior).

Do I think Monica and Chandler are the worst TV couple of all time? Of course not. But I definitely think the latter seasons of the show could have been a lot better if the two had stayed just friends.

Sorry to be a hater! For more Friends discourse, check out our guide to the most iconic '90s outfits from the show (including how to recreate them).

Whether you’re a full-on Chanica stan or think Monica and Chandler are better off friends (like me), you can watch Friends with a subscription to HBO Max.