This Friends Fan Theory Puts A Dark Twist On Ross Geller

Why Ross is a very bad dad...

David Schwimmer as Ross in Friends
Ross and Ben David Schwimmer and Cole Sprouse in Friends. Image NBC

Another Friends fan theory?

You can never have too much of a good thing, and to mark David Schwimmer’s 50th birthday today (November 2) now’s as good a time as any to revisit the darkest Ross Geller theory you’re ever likely to hear.

You’re probably aware that Ross had a son, Ben, with his first wife Carol. Although heavily featured early on in the Friends run, Ben became less prominent on the sitcom, all but disappearing completely by the time the show finished in 2004.

In the final 54 episodes Ben isn’t seen at all, is only mentioned six times and never ever gets to meet his half-sister Emma.

Why? Well, according to DF Lovett over at What Would Bale Do, Ross lost custody of Ben, which led to the character’s becoming more unhinged and behaving erratically.

Like the time he dressed up as the Holiday Armadillo. Or his sandwich-based meltdown. Or when he made a move on his first cousin. You get the picture – Ross Geller was a very bad dad.

“Sure, on first thought, Ross’s shenanigans seem just as cheeky and fun as the rest of the gang. He loves dinosaurs. He dresses up as the Holiday Armadillo. He claims to have invented the Got Milk? catchphrase. But what about all that other weird stuff he does?” Lovett asks.

The theory continues: “Think about everything we know about Ross. He’s very jealous. He’s possessive. He’s arguably emotionally-abusive. He believes in the friend zone and has symptoms of a Men’s Rights Activist.

“And as the seasons unfold, narrowing down to the ending where he and Rachel end up ostensibly happy every after, he seems to be coming completely unhinged.

“Did Ross’s insanity hit a breaking point with his ex-wife? Could she no longer handle his nice guy syndrome and homophobic snickering? Did she decide to take full custody of her son?

“Did Ross even fight her for Ben, or just let him go, shifting his focus to the new baby he had with the woman of his obsession? He couldn’t even handle his daughter having a male caregiver.”

It’s certainly a compelling read, and one that goes some way to explaining just why Ben fell off the face of the Earth.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn