‘Friends’: What Happened to Joey and Chandler’s Duck and Chicken?

Friends is a show that seems to have everything — humor, drama, touching emotional scenes, and plenty of sight gags. The show, which ran for a decade before going off the air in 2004, is stirring up a renewed wave of interest in light of the HBO Max highly-anticipated reunion between the original Friends cast.

With more new viewers than ever discovering the series, and diehard fans going back for a binge-watch in advance of the reunion special, many are looking at some of the most random and hilarious plotlines in Friends, and diving deeper into the lore of the show. 

‘Friends’ is a cult-classic television sitcom

David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry sitting on a couch in character on 'Friends'
David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry | NBC/Newsmakers

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Friends debuted on television in 1994, changing the way that viewers looked at sitcoms forever. The series was based on the lives of six thirty-something friends, who lived and work in New York. Through their various ups and downs, including romantic foibles and career hijinks, the friends are always able to find understanding and empathy in each other. 

Fans quickly gravitated to the series, and by the end of the first season, Friends was one of the most popular shows on television. A bit part of the success of Friends was due to the cast, who were all mostly unknown character actors when the series debuted — except for Courteney Cox, who had appeared in a number of movie and television projects. Friends not only changed television, but it changed the career paths of the cast, making them major Hollywood stars.

In addition to the fan accolades, critics praised Friends as well, noting the character development displayed over the course of the series, and the witty, hilarious situations. 

How did Joey and Chandler end up owning a chicken and a duck?

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Joey Tribbiani and Chandler Bing, played by Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry respectively, provided a great deal of the show’s humor. Joey, an often unemployed actor, and Chandler, a vaguely OCD accountant, are roommates, and their dissimilar attitudes and approach to situations meant that they often ended up in hot water.

Most notably, a season three plotline dealt with Joey deciding to bring home a baby chick as a gift for Chandler. The other man realizes that they can’t keep a baby chick in an apartment and opts to return the fowl- however, finding out that the chick would inevitably be euthanized, he not only brings the chick back to the apartment, but he brings home a duck as well.

What happened to Joey and Chandler’s chicken and duck in ‘Friends’?

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Over the seasons that followed, Joey and Chandler raised their chicken and duck just as though they were human children. According to Screen Rant, the chicken ended up featuring in a total of 18 episodes, while the pet duck showed up in 21 episodes.

Eventually, the animals started fading from view, making their last onscreen appearance in season six, around the time that Chandler moves in with Monica. After the two creatures were written off the show, however, the writers still thought of a clever way to explain what had happened to the two beloved pets.

In the Friends series finale, Rachel makes a reference to the pets dying several years ago — only to be corrected by Phoebe, who tells Joey that the two birds are at a special farm that doesn’t allow visitors. It is likely that the pets died, but that Phoebe quickly made up the story to save Joey from being upset.

Also in the finale, Joey pays tribute to the beloved pets when he gifts Chandler another chick and duck pair, named Chick Jr. and Duck Jr. While it is unclear what exactly happened to those birds, perhaps the Friends reunion special will offer some insight into their fate.