Friends is one of the best sitcoms of all time. There’s no denying that. But not all of the characters on the show are great people. I mean, sure, we all have our problems — no one’s perfect! But there is one character on the show that is actually just human garbage: Ross Geller (David Schwimmer).
Ross is whiny, manipulative, neglective, and just all around the worst. We know Monica (Courtney Cox) has to like him since he’s her brother, but how does he have any other friends?! And how does he constantly get women?! Here are all the many, many reasons why Ross is the absolute worst character on the show and maybe in any sitcom ever!
17. He’s an absentee father to his son Ben for most of the series
When his ex-wife gave birth to their son Ben (Dylan Sprouse and Cole Sprouse, BTW) in the first season, Ross seemed genuinely thrilled to be a dad. And then his melodrama with Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and general self-involved attitude took him farther and farther from his son. By Friends‘ third season, Ben is basically a figment of our imagination, only popping up here and there for miscellaneous episodes. Good thing Ben had two moms to take care of him.
16. He slept with Janice
Sleeping with someone as grating and annoying as Janice (Maggie Wheeler) is bad enough, but the fact that she was his best friends ex-girlfriend makes it even worse. In the depths of his self-loathing after the latest Ross tragedy, he ends up running into and sleeping with one of the most insufferable characters on the show. Here’s the kicker: Ross is so whiny and annoying himself that Janice DUMPS HIM. That’s when you know you’re the worst.
15. He didn’t trust Rachel at all and constantly accused her of sleeping with a co-worker
With absolutely no basis for his claims, Ross was always harping on about Rachel’s male co-worker. He even showed up to her office unannounced to spy on her! His lack of trust with no evidence of wrongdoing is baffling. How can someone be that insecure that he won’t let his girlfriend work with another man without thinking she’s cheating?! It makes you wonder why women even dated Ross to begin with.
14. He tried to make out with his COUSIN
When Ross and Monica’s cousin Cassie (Denise Richards) comes to visit, the siblings can’t help but notice how beautiful she is all grown up. Then she ends up staying with Ross and his horniness gets the better of him, leading to him actually trying to KISS his cousin. What kind of psychopath does that?! She’s also so clearly not interested. Making moves on someone you can tell isn’t down is wrong in the first place, but when it’s family, it’s like 20x worse.
13. He forgets that he’s dating Mona about five times
Mona (Bonnie Somerville) seemed perfect for Ross. She was funny, smart, and seemed to be a great girl. Too bad Ross keeps forgetting he’s dating her. Several times during Friends eighth season Ross will be sitting around when he realizes he was supposed to meet Mona for coffee or a movie. Or the realization comes in the depths of some self-pity that he does, in fact, have a girlfriend. And then he moves his pregnant ex-girlfriend in with him without consulting her and she finally walks. Oh, and then he breaks into her apartment afterward to get a pink shirt back. The WORST.
12. He had a pet monkey in New York City
Like some kind of deranged lunatic, he thought it was a good idea to keep a wild animal in a one bedroom apartment and around his child. And he most certainly didn’t have the proper paperwork. He also frequently let the monkey, Marcel, eat the same food as him so who knows what kinds of germs he was getting and spreading around. A total Justin Bieber movie from Ross Geller.
11. He’s obsessed with dinosaurs
Sure, he’s a paleontologist, but his dinosaur obsession is just plain annoying. All he wants to talk about his dinos, and his friends do not care. But does that stop him from rambling on? Nope, of course not. Because it’s just Ross Geller’s world and we’re all living in it. It’d be fine if he tried to pass on all that knowledge to his child but, you know, he was a pretty lousy father, so that wasn’t going to happen!
10. He thought he had a future as a keyboardist
Perhaps his biggest crime against humanity is making people listen to his keyboard music and see the stupid faces he makes while playing. Ross fancies himself to be pretty smart, so it’s baffling that he didn’t realize that keyboards were not the instrument of the future. Luckily he decided to just devote himself to dinosaurs instead of making the world worse with his terrible music.
9. They were not on a break
This is a divisive one because some fans of the show will say “they were on a break, he didn’t cheat!” but c’mon, he totally cheated. When he and Rachel get in a fight and she suggests a break, he’s brokenhearted. But that doesn’t stop him from hooking up with the girl from the copy shop when he sees her out that night. He and Rachel get back together the next morning in his apartment while his cheating partner stands hidden behind a door! It’s outrageous and completely disrespectful. Team Rachel 4EVER.
8. He cheated on two different women with Rachel
In his eternal quest to be with Rachel, he ends up screwing over two perfectly nice women by cheating on them with his ~true love~. Ross is definitely a serial cheater and will always justify his actions since he’s always right. But what about the poor women he’s hurt along the way? He had a cat with one girl! He made a commitment via pet and still pursued Rachel. What a scumbag.
7. He married Rachel in Vegas and then lied about the annulment
When the two friends got drunk in Vegas, they thought it would be a good idea to get hitched. Spoiler alert: not a good idea. Once they’re back in New York Ross, promised he’d take care of the annulment, but his own selfish desire not to have three failed marriages stopped him from doing it. And then he lied to Rachel and told her it was all set. What a psycho! By the time she found out and dragged him to court, the judge wouldn’t grant them an annulment, and they had to get legitimately divorced.
6. His three divorces
His divorce from his Vegas-marriage to Rachel was his THIRD divorce, and it makes you wonder why people keep marrying him. When three separate women want to divorce you then you might be the problem. It becomes a running joke among his friends that Ross collects divorces like normal people collect stamps but it’s also kind of horrifying. His first wife awakened to her true sexuality, so I guess that one wasn’t his fault. But the other two? Pure Ross f#$% ups!
5. Ross Makes Rachel Feel Guilty About Pursuing Her Dreams
In one of his more manipulative moves, Ross continually tries to make Rachel feel guilty about her burgeoning career because she doesn’t have enough time for him. UGH. He is SO BAD. Rachel went from a spoiled rich girl to a waitress to having a budding career in fashion and, instead of being happy for her. Ross makes it all about him and his pathetic attitude. So typical. His inability to be happy for his loved ones if he isn’t also happy is a dastardly trait.
4. He’s so condescending
Sure, he’s technically a “doctor,” but that doesn’t give him a right to talk down to his friends all the time! He’s always correcting them or giving them grief if they don’t understand some dinosaur thing he’s talking about. It’s pretty annoying. Who wants to hang out with someone who’s constantly lording his intelligence over their heads? This is probably why it’s always so satisfying when someone puts him in his place or karma bites him in the butt.
3. EVERYTHING is about him
Always, at all times, every single thing is about Ross. When even minuscule things happen, like shampoo exploding in his suitcase, it’s the end of the freakin’ world. There is no bigger drama queen than Ross Geller. His ability to twist any bad thing that happens to his friends into a bad thing for him is astounding. And I repeat: why is anyone friends with this guy?!
2. He dates a student
In one of his many less-brilliant moves, Ross decides it’ll be a good idea to date one of his students. As he puts it — it’s not prohibited, it’s just frowned upon. Except it is prohibited, and he gets into big trouble later on. When he’s dating the young lady, though, he constantly tries to control her and restrict her from having good old-fashioned college fun. Pro tip: if you don’t want your girlfriend to act like a college student maybe don’t be the pervy professor that dates college students. Just sayin’!
1. He says Rachel’s name at the altar during his wedding to another woman
Ross just about blew his entire life up with this one. He was all set to marry Emily (Helen Baxendale) when old issues with Rachel arose. He even questioned inviting her to the wedding at all! And maybe he shouldn’t have since her presence caused him to say the wrong name at the altar and rehash all the old feelings between them. Poor Emily was left stunned and heartbroken in front of her friends and family as her fiance said the name of someone else on what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life. It’s unforgivable and for that Ross is the absolute worst ever, period, no questions asked.