I find this event in the Friends episode "The One With The Flashback" even more intriguing than another question I had posted some time ago. In later seasons, it is well established that Chandler & Rachel know each other from college as well as thanksgiving dinners at the Gellers'. How then did they not recognise each other when Chandler dropped the ball?

4 Answers 4


The usual explanation is that Rachel and Chandler simply didn't recognize each other.


  • it is highly unlikely that Rachel wouldn't remember a guy that was the reason of Monica loosing weight, that she was in ER with after he lost a tip of his toe and that she was kissing on a college party

  • more importantly, in the first episode Monica introduces Chandler to Rachel - if the two had met each other several times before Monica would surely remember this:

This is everybody, this is Chandler, and Phoebe, and Joey, and- you remember my brother Ross?

This means that initially Rachel and Chandler simply didn't know each other before her moving in with Monica and their past was retconned in Season 5, most probably to add some interesting events to Monica and Chandler's history. The bottom line is that this is just another Friends plot hole, albeit one of the biggest.

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    My personal favourite plot hole(not mentioned in that link) is when Monica mentions in season 1 that she's allergic to cats... and then fails to care when Phoebe starts carrying around a random cat she thinks is her reincarnated mother for like 6 episodes later on.
    – Steve-O
    Mar 1, 2017 at 13:49
  • @Steve-O: Allergies come in many forms. A family member of mine is allergic to dogs, but has little to no reaction unless they physically touch the dog. Was Monica''s cat allergy ever elaborated on, e.g. mentioning that she's highly allergic?
    – Flater
    Jul 6, 2017 at 8:17
  • “it is highly unlikely that Rachel wouldn't remember a guy that was the reason of Monica losing weight” — given Rachel's somewhat self-absorbed nature in her younger days, she probably didn't remember anything about Chandler aside his flock of seagulls haircut. Apr 30, 2019 at 12:28

Chandler did know Rachel well before they actually became good friends. of-course she was the friend of Chandler's best friend (Ross) Sister. Having said that, Chandler probably took Rachel as just another friend of fat Monica. did not pay much attention nor did care much about Rachel Specifically, more because he had probably never thought he will end up living across the hall from her and share good friendsship

  • I think both did not gave much attention for each other, but Chandler knew Rachel mostly because of Ross' crush on her. so he didn't give her much attention and possible he had very little memory of her after all those years until she elope from her wedding
    – Vishwa
    Aug 17, 2017 at 12:00

Only thing happened between them was that chandler used his sarcastic instincts and rachel being posh rich girl, just ignored him. she even didn't give much attention to monica. she just showed her engagement ring to her and gave only one look at chandler. so to chandler, rachel was another girl he failed at flirt and to rachel, he was just another guy she sees at a bar


I think rachel didn't recognize chandler because whenever they met at Thanksgiving and college chandler have a very different hairstyle.....and the reason rachel didn't recognized by chandler because her nose is not done then

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    Hairstyle couldn't be the reason. Strongest characteristics being for chandler was his sarcasm. and in that episode Rachel never paid any attention to Chandler, neither did he. Rachel's nose was big, yeah I agree. but could you be more wrong if you cant identify a person just because the nose?
    – Vishwa
    Aug 17, 2017 at 11:57

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