‘Friends’ Star Matthew Perry Lost the Tip of His Middle Finger in a Freak Childhood Accident

Matthew Perry is an actor and comedian who is best known for the role of Chandler Bing in the iconic ’90s TV show Friends. Perry had dabbled in TV before being cast in Friends, but the show propelled him to an extreme level of popularity.

These days, Perry is still beloved by fans all over the world and recently reunited with his Friends co-stars for a reunion special. While much of Perry’s personal life is public knowledge, there’s one interesting fact about the actor that even diehard fans might not be aware of— a childhood injury that Friends writers were able to incorporate into a fan-favorite episode of the show. 

How did Matthew Perry lose the tip of his middle finger?

Perry was born in Massachusetts in 1969. Perry was primarily raised in Ontario by his mother and developed an interest in acting at a very early age. When Perry was just three years old, according to The Things, Perry shut a door on his hand. The gruesome incident caused Perry to lose the top inch of his middle finger. 

The injury eventually healed, with doctors being able to work wonders on the toddler’s finger. The missing fingertip also didn’t prevent Perry from pursuing his dreams of show business glory, getting cast in TV shows like Second Chance in the late ’80s. Although Perry’s injury might have been a non-issue to him, eventually, as his star rose higher, fans started to notice that there was something different about his middle finger. 

Writers on ‘Friends’ adapted Matthew Perry’s injury to an episode of the show

Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry | Mike Pont/WireImage

By the time Perry was playing Chandler Bing in Friends, many fans had discovered that the actor’s middle finger was the same length as his pointer finger. According to The Mirror, the writers on Friends decided to give a sly nod to Perry’s childhood injury by writing a special episode in the fifth season. In the episode, “The One with All the Thanksgivings,” a flashback sequence shows Monica and Chandler getting into a confrontation, one that ultimately resulted in Monica accidentally dropping a knife and severing part of Chandler’s toe.

In the episode, Chandler is rushed to the hospital but can’t have his toe reattached because Monica mixed up the toe with a baby carrot. For fans, the episode is a funny reference to Perry’s real-life trauma, as well as all the conversation that was sparked by Perry’s visibly shorter middle finger.

Other celebrities who have lost parts of their fingers

Perry isn’t the only celebrity who has lost parts of their fingers and hands to traumatic injuries. According to Life & Style Magazine, Vince Vaughn lost the tip of his thumb in a car accident when he was 17. Country singer Jake Owen lost the tip of his right ring finger in 2013, after an unfortunate go-kart incident. 

Iconic actress Daryl Hannah, who is well-known for movies like Splash, lost the tip of her left index finger when she was three years old. As reported by Life & Style Magazine, Hannah lost part of her finger when it got stuck in the pulley of a well at her grandmother’s house. Finally, Walter Emanuel Jones, who rose to fame for his work in the TV series Power Rangers, lost the middle finger on his left hand when he was four. Ultimately, all of these stars were able to go on and earn acclaim for their chosen profession – proving that a major injury doesn’t have to be career-ending.

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