When it comes to the many versions of Ross Geller from Friends, everyone has a favorite. However, no one likes Papa Ross because honestly, he's a terrible father. Aside from the creepy Ross moments, the dude had some serious flaws that were simply overlooked by many people. One of the biggest things was the fact that Ross Geller is a deadbeat dad.
And he somehow got away with it. Fans were mainly focused on all his relationship drama with Rachel during the show’s initial run. It was easy to overlook all the reasons why Ross on Friends is a terrible father. But if you re-watch the series now, it's obvious that the paleontologist is an absentee parent at best. In fact, one of the most popular Friends fan theories is about Ross losing custody of Ben to explain the boy’s sudden departure from the series. Once Emma comes along, Ross pretty much abandons the idea of developing a fulfilling relationship with his son.
There are several arguments for why Ross Geller is a bad dad. If you're having a hard time recalling his parenting skills and qualities throughout the episodes of Friends, check out the reasons below. Vote up the strongest explanations for why Ross is a huge failure as a father.
When Ross finds out his son likes to play with a Barbie, he gets all hot and bothered. Not only that, but he does everything he can to push the boy to play with a G.I. Joe action figure instead. Liking a Barbie is no big deal, Ross. Get over yourself.
Playdates are common. Too bad Ross mostly uses them to make Rachel jealous. First, he arranges a playdate between Ben and a stripper’s kid after becoming fed up with Rachel and Mark’s friendship. Later, he meets a single mom he gets along with and throws that into Rachel’s face, again to make her jealous. Turns out, the woman only wanted someone to look after her kid while she goes on a date. Karma.
When Ben gets an audition, Ross is happy his son might star in a commercial and doesn’t really ponder how stressful such an endeavor might be for the boy. Later, when Rachel enters Emma in a beauty pageant, Ross acts all enraged until he learns she won a money prize. Then, he asks if this is an annual thing. Way to go, Ross.
Ross and Susan become overly competitive when Carol is in labor. They constantly fight with each other while trying to prove that they’re the best parent. Needless to say, this childish behavior causes unwanted tension and frustration for the mother of their child. Furthermore, when Phoebe tries to calm down Susan and Ross, she accidentally locks them in a closet, causing them to almost miss Ben’s birth. If only Ross could act like the bigger person for once.