It's about Ross and Ben...
As if the Friends fan theory about Phoebe Buffay making the whole show up wasn’t depressing enough, another (more realistic) one has been doing the internet rounds – and this one could actually be true.
The latest theory suggests that Ross Geller actually lost custody of his son Ben, which is why the little blonde cutie is absent from so much of the later series.
The fan who came up with this controversial idea, D. F. Lovett, cites Ross’s frankly erratic behaviour for drawing him to his theory. He writes on his website:
‘Sure, on first thought, Ross’s shenanigans seem just as cheeky and fun as the rest of the gang,’ he writes. ‘He loves dinosaurs. He dresses up as the Holiday Armadillo. He claims to have invented the Got Milk? catchphrase.’
‘But what about all that other weird stuff he does? A few things come to mind: He tries to convince a self-defense instructor to help him “scare” the female characters. He tries to kiss his first cousin. 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.’
While we can’t help but feel a little disloyal to our beloved Ross, we also have to admit all the above is correct. And the fact that Ben never shows up in the last two series of the show is a little strange – not to mention the fact that he never meets his new sister Emma, and we never learn about how the two get on. He just disappears from our screens. Let’s not forget that Ben’s own grandparents call Emma ‘their first grandchild’ – how do you explain that?
‘This raises a serious question: does Ross still see Ben?’ writes Lovett. ‘Sure, he mentions Ben in these last two and a half season, but does he have any role in Ben’s life? When he references Ben, is he referencing something that once was, a child he no longer sees or knows? Think about everything we know about Ross. He’s very jealous. He’s possessive. He’s arguably emotionally-abusive… and as the seasons unfold, narrowing down to the ending where he and Rachel end up ostensibly happy every after, he seems to be coming completely unhinged.’
If Ross could hear us now, he’d probably react like this:
‘Did Ross’s insanity hit a breaking point with his ex-wife?’ Lovett continues. ‘Could she no longer handle his nice guy syndrome and homophobic snickering? Did she decide to take full custody of her son? Did Ross even fight her for Ben, or just let him go, shifting his focus to the new baby he had with the woman of his obsession? He couldn’t even handle his daughter having a male caregiver. 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.’
While our first reaction is ‘NOOOOOOOOOOO!’, when we watch this clip of Ross absolutely losing his nut over a sandwich, we do have to question whether this fan theory could be correct…