Recap Review: Why Didn’t Chandler Bing Ask for Jill Goodacre’s Number?

FRIENDS: 1.07 “The One with the Blackout”

I’m stuck in an ATM vestibule with JILL GOODACRE!

For some reason, I’ve been thinking lately about the episode of Friends involving the blackout. Not sure why. Sure, it was a great way for NBC to link all of its shows without the crossover mess (after all, Jamie and Paul in Mad About You started the blackout that crossed over most of the NBC lineup that night). And it was a neat way to put the majority of the cast together, leaving one sole person to be stuck in an ATM vestibule with a supermodel.


Leaving the rest of the cast out of it, let’s look at Chandler for a moment. He spends the night one on one with a very attractive woman. Sure, she’s a celebrity and he makes an ass out of himself by saying, “Gum would be perfection,” then proceeding to spit it out while trying to blow a bubble, all finished by choking on someone else’s gum he picked up off the floor. Ew.

Clearly, he’s out of his league. But by the end of the night, he and Jill are having a good night, spinning pens around their heads and laughing. It was a good time. So why didn’t he ask for Jill’s number?

She gave him signals. Wasn’t there a kiss on the cheek once the power came back on? Considering their time spent together, it wouldn’t have come out of left field, and just the offer for coffee might’ve been nice and refreshing for her. Was the threat that she might say no that bad?

Well, enter the television universe. In real life, it’s all nerves and doubt that would prevent Chandler from manning up and asking for a supermodel’s number. But in TV, it’s all about the moment.

Sure, if he asked for her number, we wouldn’t get that longing look as he was smashed against the glass, watching her walk away. Nor would we get his quip at the security camera, asking for them to send him the tape.

More importantly, we wouldn’t have the perfect night. If you’re not entirely sure about what I mean with the perfect night, think of How I Met Your Mother‘s season one when Ted met Victoria. Victoria and Ted had the perfect night, all ending in the lead-up to a kiss. The kiss never happened because if it had, everything would have changed. The night wouldn’t have been perfect. There’s aftermath.

Much like Chandler and Jill. If he’d asked for her number, she would have either said no or given it to him. If she had given it to him, she would have called or not called. We would have been left either disappointed or wondering, “What if?” Knowing a show like Friends, Jill wouldn’t be back, so while we could hope for the best, having her call (even off-screen) would change the dynamic of the show. They needed that perfect night.

So sure, it looked like a wasted opportunity, it is what it is. TV interferes again. But what do you think? Should Chandler have asked for her number?

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