Ross Geller: Nice Guy

28 September 2017
I've seen each episode of Friends a minimum of 53 times. But it's been ruined for me. Someone posted on Twitter that Ross, Ross Geller, is the worst person in the world. Ever since, whenever I watch Friends, I notice that Ross is the worst person in the world.

He is though. Yeah, the sexual politics of Friends are, inevitably, dated, but Ross is a turd in any era. He's a terrible, terrible boyfriend. He's jealous, possessive, entitled, thinks he has a right to Rachel*, whilst also being stalky and awful to every other woman he dates (and what he did to Emily was unforgivable). He's a marginally involved father barely bothered about his kids. And yet he's portrayed as a hopeless, daffy romantic.

He is every guy on the internet who thinks he's a Nice Guy.

Let's compare Ross with Joey. Joey seems like a dick at first glance, and is by no means perfect. but he's willing, over and over, to sacrifice his own happiness for others. When committed vegetarian Phoebe is pregnant and craving meat, he gives up meat so she can indulge her craving guilt free. But more to the point, when Rachel is pregnant, with another man's child, he's willing to turn his life upside down for her comfort and happiness - by giving her and her child a place to live, not by showing up at her office to sabotage her job cause he feels neglected.

And through all this, Joey was willing to step aside for Ross at any moment.

But instead, Friends ended with Ross ruining Rachel's opportunity of a lifetime by dragging her off the plane when she'd been on her way to work as a fashion executive in Paris, having worked her way from being a waitress to the career of her dreams as a fashion executive. But oh no, Ross fucking comes first doesn't he. Rachel was stuck back in a job she was done with. But this was the big romantic ending.

What would would actually happen, is that Ross would scare women away. She'd get fed up when he showed up at the office complaining he was neglected when she was working late. Or take out a restraining order after he followed them to Florida when she went on vacation with her friends.

So in real life. Rachel finds love with Joey, or Amelie the adorable book store assistant she meets in Paris, or decides she's just happy on her own.

Ross, meanwhile, is furious he, the nice guy, lost "his" woman, especially to a Chad like Joey.

Anyway he joins a men's rights group, decides he deserves custody of Emma even though he doesn't know her eye colour, favourite foods or middle name (shit Joey does know from being involved with her the whole life), launches a custody case, loses, and writes angry blog posts about the cancer that is feminism.

He harasses 22 year olds on Tinder, has AVOs taken out against him, Ben by now getting his own career and life going says he's ashamed of his father, loses his hair, attacks Monica and Chandler's college age kids for being liberal snowflakes who can't think for themselves and is told he's never welcome in that house again, spends tens of thousands of dollars on sex workers, loses his job and finally winds up another tragic statistic of the opioid epidemic.

Emma and Ben attends his funeral even though Ben vows never to be like that loser and Emma, deeply confused and suffering an eating disorder, hasn't seen him in twelve years. She suspects she might be trans.

But to the end, Ross would be convinced it was all unfair. He deserved a good life and a good woman because he was a nice guy. It works for the nice guys on TV.

* They were, however, on a break. That incident is kind of beside the point here to be honest.


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