We know that Ross was married to his first wife, Carol, and had a son Ben. The two ended up splitting after Ross discovered Carol was a lesbian. However, for the majority of the early seasons – Ross and Carol had joint custody of Ben and he was frequently in episodes running around with Ross or hanging at Monica’s with the other Friends. But, eventually, Ben stops showing up in the show and is hardly ever mentioned. At the same time, Ross begins to lose control of his life and begin to act strangely.
So, Lovett proposed this question –
Did Ross Geller lose custody of his son, Ben?
Lovett says Ross’ behavior was “weird and strange,” stating:
He tries to convince a self-defense instructor to help him “scare” the female characters.
He tries to kiss his first cousin.
In the above-mentioned incident, he thinks of Logan’s Run as a sexy movie
He’s manipulative and disrespectful in his relationships, especially Rachel.
He mocks Joey for being less educated and mocks Phoebe for her unconventional lifestyle.
He sleeps with at least one of his students.
He is known for being a terrible professor, both unethical and unskilled.
And finally, worst of all, there is the situation with his children. Which is about to be discussed further.
Lovett also points out that the last time we see Ben as viewers is all the way in Season 8 – and after that, he was never seen again for the remainder of the show. Lovett also states that “he’s only mentioned six times in the remaining fifty-four episodes after his last appearance.” Ross’ behavior begins to spiral out of control in those remaining episodes – and, his daughter Emma is born.
Rachel and Ross gave birth to a baby girl, Emma, and even in the episodes after Emma is born – Ben is never mentioned. No one talks about Ben meeting his half-sister, no one mentions Ross already being a parent.
Lovett goes on to say:
People like to give Ross the benefit of the doubt, wondering if perhaps he was a better father off-screen. Perhaps his children met but the audience never saw. The more likely answer is that he was such a deadbeat father that he completely faded away from his son’s life, pretending to his family and so-called friends that he still saw a boy he barely knew.
Honestly – as an avid “Friends” fan (I watch the show at least 4x a week) I never realized the absence of Ben at all. Yet, I did realize Ross got more intolerable as the seasons progressed. Ross was one of my favorite, awkward and hilarious characters when I first watched the show. But, as I rewatch it time and time again – I realize how many issues he truly has. He’s sexist, homophobic, controlling and a bit of a d*ck. With Ben’s mom being a lesbian and openly liberal – it could possibly be that she no longer wanted Ross to be involved in Ben’s life anymore. What mother wants that kind of male role model in their son’s life anyway…
What are your thoughts – a valid theory or way out of line?