Today, we look at how Friends retconned Chandler and Rachel’s past with each other.
In Abandoned an’ Forsaked, we examine stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent) with a retcon (retcon stands for “retroactive continuity,” but we’re specifically talking about retcons that contradict earlier stories).
August is Abandoned an’ Forsaked month! All month long, I’ll be looking at notable pop culture retcons.
We begin with the opening scene of Friends, the hit 1990s sitcom about a group of 20-something friends living in New York City. The famous opening scene showed Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Monica (Courteney Cox), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) hanging out at their favorite coffee bar, Central Perk, when Monica’s brother, Ross (David Schwimmer) comes in to hang out, as well, and wallow in the fact that his now ex-wife has moved out of their place together. Then suddenly, Monica’s old high school friend, Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), bursts into the coffee bar, having run away from her own wedding.
Monica introduces Rachel to everyone (while noting that Rachel knows Ross already), including Chandler…
Later episodes, though, revealed that Chandler, being Ross’ college roommate, had met Rachel a few times back when she was in high school, even making out with her once at a college party when she and Monica came out to visit Ross at college (and Chandler was trying to get back at Ross for making out with a girl that Chandler had a crush on).
Obviously, they ALSO did some retcons with Chandler and Monica, as well, but that’s for another article!
If anyone else has a suggestion for Abandoned an’ Forsaked, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!