41 Book Club Questions for Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry 

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Here are 41 book club discussion questions, snack ideas, and book club activity ideas for Matthew Perry’s memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.

I love Friends, and while Chandler is not my favorite, I really enjoy his comic moments. But I was really shocked to see him during the Friends reunion.

Later, when the memoir “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.was released, I actually didn’t feel like reading it, mostly because the title was really off-putting.

Now I’ve picked it up because of Perry’s unexpected demise, and I really want to learn about his story.

Honestly, it wasn’t my favorite memoir. While there are many things I loved about the book, such as his success, struggles, journey to sobriety, and friendships, I really didn’t love some aspects. However, I do think this memoir would be a great book club read.

There are many topics, such as success in Hollywood, fear of abandonment, and the reality of fame, that I think would make for interesting discussions.

So, let me share some of the best questions for your book club discussion of Matthew Perry’s Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry Summary 

In his memoir, he shares a gripping journey from childhood dreams to fame, battling addiction and recovering from a life-threatening health scare.

From a young boy shuttling between separated parents to a tennis star in Canada and landing a lead role in the pilot of what would become “Friends,” Perry’s story unfolds with warmth and humor.

He reveals the challenges of his fractured family, the pursuit of fame, and the emptiness even success couldn’t fill.

Despite his struggles with addiction, Perry finds peace in sobriety, offering a candid, funny, and self-aware account of his life and the ever-present Friends legacy.


41 Discussion Question for Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing 

What were your initial thoughts on the lengthy title of the memoir? Did you feel it was essential?

Throughout the book, what moment resonated with you the most, emotionally?

Considering the opening line of the book, especially in light of recent events, do you believe the author always had an awareness of what was to come?

How do you perceive Matthew Perry as a person based on the memoir?

In comparing Matthew Perry to his iconic character Chandler Bing, what similarities and differences stood out to you?

Matthew Perry candidly discusses dating two women simultaneously. What are your thoughts on his confession?

Perry reflects on the haunting impact of traveling as an unaccompanied minor. How do you think this experience influenced his life?

Could Perry have pursued a successful career in tennis? What do you think?

In what ways does Perry’s experience of shuttling between separated parents contribute to the complexity of his narrative?

Discuss the challenges and opportunities that arise when a child enters the entertainment industry at a young age, as highlighted in Perry’s story.

Do you believe alcoholism and abandonment issues were the primary factors contributing to Perry’s downfall?

Discuss the influence of Los Angeles on Matthew Perry’s life as detailed in the memoir.

How did Perry’s father influence both his acting and his struggles with drinking?

Perry always believed fame would fix him. Do you see this as a misconception?

What’s your perspective on Matthew Perry’s movie career? 

Regarding Matthew Perry’s relationship with Julia Roberts, do you think she was the love of his life?

While Chandler and Joey’s on-screen friendship is celebrated, Perry doesn’t delve much into his friendship with Matt LeBlanc. What do you make of this?

How do you think David Schwimmer’s decision to demand more remuneration for the “Friends” cast impacted their lives? Is this a common scenario in the entertainment industry?

Perry was once offered less for a lead role despite his success in “Friends.” Do you think actors are always hustling for the best opportunities, even after achieving success?

What is your take on the portrayal of women in Perry’s life? Do you find any aspects of his views to be misogynistic?

The memoir contains numerous curse words. Do you think their inclusion was necessary for authenticity?

Do you think Perry has been ungrateful for his life, money, and fame?

Considering his success on “Friends,” does Perry exhibit a sense of entitlement, making him feel superior to others?

Do you ever sense jealousy from Perry towards the success of his friends or colleagues?

Explore the theme of fractured families in the memoir. How did Perry’s family dynamics shape his personality and choices?

In what ways does Perry’s account of his rise to fame resonate with the broader theme of the pursuit of recognition and success in the entertainment industry?

Explore the concept of dreams coming true and the void that Matthew Perry describes. How does this resonate with the pursuit of happiness and fulfilment?

Discuss the unique blend of humor and sincerity in Perry’s storytelling. How does his writing style contribute to the overall tone of the memoir?

Consider the portrayal of Matthew Perry’s castmates and other stars in the memoir. How do these anecdotes add depth to his narrative?

Explore the theme of sobriety in the memoir. What insights does Perry offer about the challenges and rewards of maintaining sobriety in the public eye?

Reflect on the role of peace and self-discovery in sobriety as depicted by Matthew Perry. How does this contribute to the overall message of the memoir?

Explore the blend of intimacy and eye-opening revelations in the memoir. How does Perry balance personal storytelling with broader themes?

Share your reactions to the moments of unflinching honesty in the memoir. How does Perry’s openness contribute to the authenticity of his narrative?

Consider the cultural and societal elements reflected in Perry’s journey. How does his story intersect with broader conversations about fame, addiction, and recovery?

Analyze the significance of the memoir’s structure and timeline. How does the non-linear narrative contribute to the overall impact of the story?

Consider the memoir’s exploration of the “Big Terrible Thing.” How does Perry grapple with and overcome this major challenge in his life?

If you have listened to the audio version, discuss how it differed with the narrator’s storytelling. 

What are your thoughts on addiction in general? Explore the topic using real-life examples.

What do you think Friends’ cast members might have thought when he was hiding his struggles with alcoholism? 

One of the criticisms about the memoir was that many felt Perry was being Self-centered. What are your thoughts on it?

Perry often mentioned, “I’m not good enough” or “I’m afraid of being an unaccompanied minor ” What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe it truly reflects his reality?

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing  Book Club Snack Ideas:

  • Coffee Drinks : Set up a coffee bar with various coffee options and flavored syrups, reminiscent of Central Perk from “Friends.”
  • Healthy Snack Platter: Include a variety of fruits, veggies, and nuts to keep it light and energizing.
  • Canadian Treats: Pay homage to Matthew Perry’s Canadian roots with snacks like butter tarts, poutine, or maple-flavored treats.
  • Mocktails: Serve alcohol-free versions of cocktails, emphasizing a sobriety-friendly atmosphere.

Book Club Activities For Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing 

  • Character Impersonations: Have fun with a round of impersonations where participants take on the persona of their favorite “Friends” character or share a memorable quote.
  • Famous Guest Stars: Discuss and share information about the various famous guest stars from Friends.
  • Timeline Mapping: Create a timeline of Matthew Perry’s life and career milestones, encouraging discussion on pivotal moments.
  • “Friends” Trivia: Test everyone’s knowledge with a “Friends” trivia game, focusing on behind-the-scenes facts and memorable moments.

Books Like Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing 

  • The Woman in Me by Britney Spears: I read this book before listening to Matthew Perry’s memoir, and I believe they both discuss coping with life struggles. While Matthew faced alcoholism, Britney dealt with a dysfunctional family, depression, and relationships. Read Book Club Question for The Woman in Me.

Spare by Prince Harry: Prince Harry shares his deeply personal story about his life, family, and his mother, Princess Diana. He discusses the challenges of being a struggling individual, battling anger, and loneliness.

Conclusion : 

There you have the discussion question for Friend start Mathew Perry’s memoir,  Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. 

More Book Club Posts : 

51 The Woman in Me by Britney Spears Book Club Questions & Snack Ideas

39 I’m Glad My Mom Died Book Club Questions & Snack Ideas

Stephy George
Stephy George

Hi I am Stephy ! I became a bookworm in my late twenties. So I created this little corner of books online to share my love of reading with YOU! I want to help you find the best books to read so you won’t ever have to worry about your next read!

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