How Matthew Perry Wound Up Getting The Last Line In The Friends Finale

While the "Friends" finale of 2004 marked the end of the celebrated ten-seasons-long series, the iconic sitcom continues to be a modern-day cultural fixture. Whether it's through recognizable spins on the "Friends" logo, Ross-and-Rachel references made on contemporary TV shows, or the lasting legacy of fame that follows around the core cast of actors, the beloved comedy series has an enduring impact that doesn't appear to be going anywhere soon.

In his 2023 memoir, titled "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing," actor Matthew Perry, who's known for playing Chandler Bing, speaks to this lasting impact, specifically providing details about the final episode and the show's end. Because a notable portion of his time on the sitcom was consumed by addiction, some of Perry's reflections are definitely more serious than others.

However, longtime fans of the show will no doubt appreciate his look back at his stint on "Friends" and the behind-the-scenes details he provides. For instance, the "17 Again" star explains that the last laugh of the series, which is earned by the often-sarcastic Chandler Bing, was something he specifically requested.

The story behind the final line of Friends

As a refresher, the final scene of "Friends" consists of the gang leaving Monica's famous purple apartment after she and Chandler pack things up to move to the suburbs with their new twins. In "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing," Matthew Perry talks about his character, Chandler, having the final line of the show.

"Before that final episode, I'd taken [co-creator] Marta Kauffman to one side. 'Nobody else will care about this except me,' I said. 'So, may I please have the last line?'" Perry wrote (via New York Post). "That's why as we all troop out of the apartment, and Rachel has suggested one last coffee, I got to bring the curtain down on 'Friends.'"

As mentioned, Rachel suggests they all get some coffee before saying their final goodbyes, which is followed by Chandler facetiously asking "Where?" Even casual viewers of the show will know that the gang never stopped for coffee anywhere other than the iconic Central Perk, which makes the cheeky question a great final joke for the series.

How Matthew Perry looks back at the show now

In addition to providing this little insight into the final "Friends" joke, Matthew Perry also reflects on the series as a whole. Though the sitcom has limitless rewatchable for many, the "Fools Rush In" star expressed that it's not as easy of an experience for him given the addiction struggles he faced during filming.

"I didn't watch the show, and haven't watched the show, because I could go, 'drinking, opiates, drinking, cocaine.' I could tell season by season by how I looked," he shared on Q with Tom Power. "That's why I don't wanna watch it because that's what I see."

However, Perry also shared it's something that he'd like to revisit. "I think I'm gonna start to watch it because it really has been an incredible thing to watch it touch the hearts of different generations. It's become this important, significant thing," the actor said. "It was really funny and all the people were nice and I've been too worried about this and, you know, I want to watch 'Friends,' too."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).