- Matthew Perry is known by fans for his comical performance as Chandler on “Friends.”
- On November 1, Perry released a memoir detailing his history with addiction while filming the show.
- Fans on TikTok have responded to the memoir with an influx of emotional videos about the actor.
For fans of the sitcom “Friends,” Chandler Bing, a central character in the show played by Matthew Perry, has been a longstanding source of amusement.
But ever since Perry revealed more about his history with addiction in his highly-anticipated new memoir, fans on TikTok have been responding with heartfelt and emotional tributes to the actor.
As news about Perry’s addiction, which he has previously spoken about but details more candidly than ever before in his memoir, has made the rounds on TikTok, the tone of videos has shifted from Perry’s beloved character to a more somber recounting of his stories — and many are going viral.
TikTokers have long loved ‘Friends’ related content
“Friends” has been an immensely popular show among TikTok users ever since its re-release on Netflix in 2014.
The hashtag #friendstvshow has 3.7 billion views, while individual actors are also popular — the hashtag #MatthewPerry has 436 million views.
Fan-made edits, which involve montages of clips from the show and behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast, frequently go viral and allow viewers to relive their favorite moments from the show.
When Perry appears in “Friends” fan edits, his character, Chandler, can typically be seen making a sarcastic joke or performing physical comedy, which he was particularly notorious for. There are also a prolific number of edits commenting on the character’s good looks and relationship with Monica Geller, played by Courteney Cox.
TikTokers are reacting to Perry’s accounts of his addiction while filming ‘Friends’
In an interview with Diane Sawyer for “Good Morning America” on November 28, Perry recalled being at the height of his fame starring in “Friends,” but also feeling “out of control” due to his alcohol and drug use.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” he told Sawyer.
In a clip from the interview which was posted on the ABC News YouTube channel, Sawyer appeared to quote a line from Perry’s memoir, saying, “You said there were six friends — one of them was sick.” Perry responded “yeah,” and paused, putting his head in his hands in the clip.
Audio from this dialogue was used in a TikTok which now has 2.6 million views, showing a montage of clips of Perry in “Friends,” edited together with somber audio from “A Different Age,” by Current Joys.
Commenters said they were sad to learn how much Perry struggled while playing a very lighthearted role on the show.
“It’s sad how true it is that the people that make everyone happiest are the ones suffering the most,” read the top comment under the post with 6,900 likes. “He was dealing with so much, but still managed to make us all laugh,” wrote another user.
Another clip from Sawyer’s interview was reposted by a user called @famebird, and now has 1.5 million views. In the video, Sawyer can be seen sharing details from Perry’s memoir, saying that he recalls attending 6,000 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and 15 rehabilatation programs.
The user, who did not want to reveal their name for privacy reasons, told Insider that they uploaded the clip because they admired Perry for using his public platform to speak about addiction.
“As a beloved actor and the face of success in the late 90s and early 2000s Perry has shown that fame and fortune do not matter when we talk about the illness that is addiction,” they said.
Many TikTokers appear to be learning about Perry’s history of addiction for the first time
Though @famebird told Insider that they had previously read about Perry’s addiction when he spoke about it in press interviews several years ago, they said they think recent TikToks reflecting on Perry’s memoir have gone viral because “The younger generation might be surprised by the news, since they haven’t necessarily read that sort of thing about him before.”
Several users have been reacting to snippets of the memoir, which have been released by news publications, with shock and surprise.
One user shared a preview of the memoir from E! News, which said that Perry revealed in an interview with The New York Times that he filmed a highly-anticipated scene in season 7 of the show, where Chandler marries Monica, and was then immediately driven back to his treatment center in a pick-up truck.
“For us at home, we had our tissue boxes. We’re crying, we’re happy, we’re excited for Chandler and Monica, but for Matthew Perry, it was a completely different story,” she said.
Fans are also reflecting on Perry’s friendship with Jennifer Aniston after he revealed her support for him
Prior to the release of Perry’s memoir, “Friends” characters Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston, and Chandler were already the stars of many humorous “Friends” edits, as fans of the show delighted in their many comical scenes together.
In his interview with Sawyer, Perry said that Aniston once gently confronted him about his drinking problem. “Imagine how scary a moment that was. She was the one who reached out the most, you know, I’m really grateful to her for that.”
Perry’s quote has gone hugely viral on TikTok, with various users editing a montage of clips showing Aniston and Perry acting together in “Friends” over audio from the interview.
“Their friendship is sooo underrated,” wrote one user under one of the edits. “So glad he knew she and others cared about him,” wrote another user.
Perry’s memoir, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” was released on November 1. The book, which discusses his life and relationships with his former “Friends” co-stars, received a mixed response, particularly in relation to a comment he made about Keanu Reeves still being alive while other “talented” actors are dead, which he has since apologized for.
For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider’s Digital Culture team here.