Even years after the series ended, the general public still can’t get enough of Friends. It’s one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, and all these years later it still manages to acquire major streaming service deals and attract new fans who may not even have been alive during its original run.
Each friend is, of course, lovable but flawed for different reasons. There are certainly plenty of reasons to root for Ross Geller. He’s a super-smart paleontologist with a Ph.D. from Columbia University. His high school crush on Rachel Greene turns into a love story that becomes the central storyline for the series. He was even voted the best Friends character in a 2016 poll conducted by Comedy Central.
But one of the most absurd, and at times infuriating, contradictions about Ross Geller is that for someone so intellectually brilliant, he can also be a giant, petty baby. He can also be creepy, jealous, superficial, and problematic. Here’s a rundown of some of his worst moments.
He Bristled When He Found His Son Playing With A Doll
From the start of the series, it is implied that Ross has a chip on his shoulder about homosexuality because his wife divorced him after realizing that she’s a lesbian. The show is also largely set in the '90s, when homophobia ran rampant and unchecked, and was often used as a punchline.
If you had hoped that an academic like Ross who lives in New York City might be a little more open-minded, then you will certainly be disappointed. When Ross finds his son Ben playing with a doll, he exclaims, “Why is my boy playing with a Barbie?”
Sure, times were different, but it’s a disappointing stain on the Ross character that will make you cringe when you watch the show now. Luckily, Monica swoops in and reveals that, when he was younger, Ross used to dress up as a woman and asked his family to call him “Bea.”16347Completely insufferable?
He Dumped His Girlfriend Because She Shaved Her Head
When Phoebe asks Rachel permission to set Ross up on a date with her friend Bonnie, Rachel sees no threat because Bonnie is bald. But when Bonnie shows up with hair and is played by Christine Taylor, Ross becomes very interested and begins dating her. Clearly jealous, Rachel convinces Bonnie to shave her head again.
When Ross sees Bonnie again, he is appalled. As he touches her bald head, he cringes and says, “You can feel all of the bones in your skull.” He also complains that he can see the moonlight bouncing off of her head.
Granted, Ross never pretends not to be superficial, but it doesn't make him look like any less of a jerk when he comes crawling back to Rachel because he doesn’t like his girlfriend’s haircut.11452Completely insufferable?
He Started An ‘I Hate Rachel Greene Club’
Men who actively hate women for refusing their romantic advances are usually known as misogynists. In “The One With the Rumor,” it is revealed that Ross and his friend Will Colbert, played by Jennifer Aniston’s then-husband Brad Pitt, started an “I Hate Rachel Greene Club" in high school.
While Will has a legitimate grievance with Rachel - since she made fun of him for his weight - Ross founded the club because Rachel wouldn’t go out with him. Will and Ross also started a rumor that Rachel was a hermaphrodite. Not only was the move unnecessary, in retrospect it’s problematic - and certainly doesn’t help Ross’s shaky standing with the LGBTQ+ community.10355Completely insufferable?
He Got Irrationally Angry When Phoebe Said She Didn’t Believe In Evolution
In Season 2, Phoebe mentions that she doesn’t believe in evolution, and this infuriates Ross. On an intellectual level, his response is initially understandable. After all, Ross is a passionate paleontologist. But what’s so absurd is how personally Ross takes this, as though it’s the first wacky thing Phoebe has ever said.
After providing incredibly detailed answers to all of her questions, Ross shows up with a briefcase of fossils to further prove his point. As her friend, Ross should already know that Phoebe is going to believe whatever theory she’s going to believe, but it still drives him insane that he can’t convince her with science.9471Completely insufferable?