Friends, the quirky and lighthearted show about six best friends navigating their ways through adulthood has quickly resurged to popularity after it was included on Netflix. The show was in production from 1994 to 2004 but has a timeless sense of humor that appeals to many demographics today.
Most of the characters introduced in the show are extremely lovable (even Janice!), but if you know the show well, you’d know that Ross Geller — Monica’s brother and Rachel’s main love interest — is fairly problematic, especially when it comes to interactions with women.
“This Is About Mark, Isn’t It?”
Season Three of the show brought a lot of relationship problems between Ross and Rachel. Ross began to obsessively control her and was jealous of her workplace relationships, notably with her coworker and friend, Mark. Ross couldn’t accept that Rachel and Mark were just friends and was extremely untrusting of her. He would spy on her and even sent a barber-shop quartet to Rachel’s office just to show Mark that she was taken.
As Rachel’s career began to take off, she became busy and didn’t have as much time to spend with Ross as he wanted. He even told Rachel that he was “tired of having a relationship with [her] answering machine.” He was insinuating throughout that argument that he should take priority over Rachel’s career.
“Oh-Ho, Doctor Geller!”
In Season Five, four of the friends went to Las Vegas, leaving Ross and Rachel to come the next day. Before leaving, Phoebe recommended that Rachel should enjoy her night alone in the apartment and walk around naked. Ross, who had a window overlooking Rachel’s apartment, saw her naked and just assumed that she was inviting him to have sex. Overlooking the cringe-worthy fact that Ross referred to himself as “Doctor Geller,” he clearly needs to learn more about consent.
Upon going to her apartment, Ross learned that he jumped to a conclusion too quickly and complained about his embarrassment. He definitely deserved that.
“I’m A Little Slow, Just Like Our Children Would Be.”
In Season Seven, Ross’s cousin, Cassie, comes to stay with Ross until Chandler and Monica get married. Ross hadn’t seen her since she was a little girl and was amazed at how attractive she had gotten. They decide to watch a movie together, and upon receiving “signals” from her, he decided to try to kiss her. Repeated, he tried to kiss his cousin. Not only is this another example of Ross not understanding basic consent but also crossing huge taboos to do it.
None of the characters in Friends are perfect, but Ross is by far the most problematic of them. His behavior is for the sake of drama or comedy in the show, but it would not and should not be tolerated in the real world.