Friends Central


—A line Ross often uses, either to justify himself or as a joke.

Ross Geller, Ph.D. is one of the main characters on the popular sitcom Friends (1994–2004), portrayed by David Schwimmer. He is best known for his nerdy personality, having many failed marriges and very awkward sense of humour alongside sarcasm near as much as Chandler Bing.


Early Life[]

He was born to Jack and Judy Geller and raised by them on Long Island, New York. He is Monica's older brother. When Ross was younger, he dressed up as a woman (with his mother's clothes) and sang, "I am Bea / I drink tea / Won't you dance around with me?". When growing up, he attended the same high school as Rachel (as did Monica) where he eventually developed a crush on her and kept it to himself, though Rachel later admitted she knew about his crush, but didn't return those feelings. He befriended a fellow student named Will Colbert, who was frequently bullied and teased by Rachel for being fat. Dealing with the fact that she never seemed to notice his feelings for her, in a very immature way, Ross co-founded an "I-Hate-Rachel" Club with Will (and an exchange student from Thailand who had no idea what the club was for). To spite her, the two of them spread a rumor about her that everyone in the entire high school (apart from Rachel herself) heard about. The rumor in question is that she, as Ross put it, "had both male and female reproductive parts" and that, as Will put it, "her parents flipped a coin and decided to raise her as a girl." It was so widespread even Chandler heard it in his all-boys high school. However, Rachel unknowingly returned the favor in a way after catching Ross making out with Lincoln High School's 50-year-old librarian. She then spread a rumor regarding this all over the high school (though Ross apparently didn't know that she'd seen him doing this or that everyone in the high school knew about it until many years later).

At some point when he was 12, Ross was mugged by a 14-year-old girl (who was Phoebe). She stole his backpack, taking with her the only copy of a comic that Ross wrote, Science Boy. He only found out who the thief was decades later, though Ross tried to make Phoebe forget about it. After though, Phoebe apologized for what she did and the two made up.

After High School, he spent some time during the summer in his grandmother's apartment (Monica's) trying to make it as a dancer, something he didn't even mention to Rachel. In college, he met Chandler, and they became best friends. Chandler met Monica and Rachel in 1987 when Ross brought him home for Thanksgiving. In 1988 Ross met and fell in love with Carol Willick and over the years they got married and remained happily married for a few years, with Ross drifting apart from Rachel over time. When Carol fell in love with another woman, it came as a mentally traumatic shock for Ross which not only resulted in the culminating of his divorce with her but also birthed intense levels of paranoia, insecurity, and fear in his burdened psyche. Although Rachel visits the bar (which would become Central Perk) in 1993, Rachel and Ross don't actually meet at that time.

Season 1[]


Ross in Season 1.

Ross is overly depressed over his divorce from Carol until he is reunited with his high school crush, Rachel. He realizes that he still has feelings for her and he plans on telling her. His plans are ruined when Rachel meets Paolo during a blackout, who is an Italian man living in the same building as her and Monica. They start dating which causes Ross to become jealous and take a deep dislike to Paolo. The exception is when he overdoses on medicine during his Nana's funeral and says to Rachel, "I love you the most." Rachel, believing their relationship to be strictly platonic, tells Ross that she loves him as well. Frustrated, Ross exclaims, "You don't get it!" before he passes out with his head on Rachel's lap.

His hatred for Paolo is so great that Chandler's mom, Nora Tyler Bing, comforts him and tells him that someday he and Rachel will end up together. Ross and Nora end up kissing, which upsets Chandler.[1] Rachel eventually breaks up with Paolo after he makes a move on Phoebe. Ross tries to tell Rachel how he feels but changes his mind when Rachel tells him that she is sick of men. When the group plays poker, Ross and Rachel become extremely competitive. When Rachel is told that she did not receive her dream job, she becomes depressed. Ross, feeling sympathy for the woman of his dreams, allows Rachel to win the game, thus confirming to Chandler and Joey that he's in love with Rachel.

Ross allows Rachel to monkey-sit Marcel, and he becomes angry when he learns that she lost the monkey. His anger dissipates when Rachel gets Marcel back, and Ross decides to tell Rachel how he feels. His attempt is interrupted when Barry, Rachel's ex-fiancee, arrives at the apartment to tell Rachel that he can't marry Mindy because he may still be in love with Rachel; however, she lost interest in Barry completely when she realized what a horrible, selfish person he really was after learning that he'd been seeing Mindy during their relationship. Ross eventually had to give Marcel away when the monkey reached sexual maturity and started humping everything and after an interview with Dr. Baldharar, the owner of a non-human animal fighting ring, Ross was relieved when Joey and Chandler then informed him that Marcel had been accepted into San Diego Zoo. The next time he attempts to make a move on Rachel, he is interrupted by the announcement that Carol has gone into labor.

While his ex-wife is in labor, Ross becomes involved in an argument with Susan, Carol's girlfriend, about the name of the baby. The fight leads a disturbed Phoebe to drag them into a janitor's closet so they can talk it out. Unfortunately, all three are locked in the closet. Phoebe puts on the janitor's uniform and climbs into an air vent, while Ross and Susan are let out in time for them to get to Carol. The name tag on the janitor's uniform has the name Ben on it, which leads Ross and Susan to agree on a name for the baby.[2]

Ross leaves for China as part of his job, shortly before Rachel's birthday. During Ross' absence, Chandler lets it slip that Ross is in love with Rachel. Rachel tries to catch him before his flight to China but he never gets the message owing to Ross wearing headphones. Reluctant to get into a romantic relationship with Ross, Rachel decides to move on and forget the whole thing. But during a date with a man called Carl, Rachel finds herself fantasizing about Ross. Ross' apparition convinces her to give it a shot. Rachel rushes to the airport to pick up Ross, not realizing that he is getting off the plane with his new girlfriend, Julie.[3]

Season 2[]


Ross in Season 2.

Ross is happy with Julie and he manages to temporarily forget about his feelings for Rachel. Rachel goes on a date with a man called Michael but ends up leaving a drunken message on Ross' answering machine. Ross learns that Rachel has fallen for him too. Ross confronts her in Central Perk and storms out, only to return a few moments later to share a passionate kiss with Rachel. With help from Chandler, Ross makes a list of pros and cons for both Rachel and Julie so he can decide which woman he wants to be with. He finally chooses and picks Rachel over Julie. But unfortunately, Rachel finds the list, gets mad at Ross and their friendship becomes strained. In "The One With The Prom Video", when Rachel sees a video of Monica and herself getting ready for prom, Rachel's date, Chip Matthews didn't initially show up, Ross decided that he wanted to go as her back up; but when he tried to ask her, it was too late. Chip showed up and left with Rachel, Monica, and Monica's date, Roy Gublik, leaving Ross heartbroken. After Rachel sees this, she walks up to Ross and kisses him, causing her to forgive for the list and they finally start a romantic relationship. They sleep together for the first time at the Museum.

Season 3[]


Ross in Season 3.

Ross and Rachel's relationship becomes strained when Mark Robinson offers Rachel a job at Bloomingdale's.[4] Ross is convinced that the reason why Mark offered Rachel this job is that he's interested in her. Out of paranoia he eventually comes to mistakenly suspect that she is having an affair; he becomes incredibly jealous and subsequently frequently complains about how much time Rachel is spending away from him and with Mark. This leads to a number of arguments that to Rachel, who considers her relationship with Mark to be platonic, seem completely pointless. Feeling frustrated and left out when Rachel is forced to work on their one-year anniversary, Ross brings a picnic basket with food and candles to Rachel's office, even after Rachel told him not to visit her while working. After Rachel kicks him out of the office, Ross retreats to Monica's apartment. Rachel returns a few hours later, and they become involved in a heated argument. Tired of dealing with Ross' jealousy and a number of arguments over something that seems so trivial to her, Rachel suggests that they should take a break from their romantic relationship. Ross later tries to reconcile with Rachel by phoning her at her apartment, but by then Mark had called her and, hearing that she was upset after her fight with Ross, offered to come round and provide her with comfort. Overhearing his voice in the background, once again out of paranoia, Ross mistakenly thinks he is there to have sex with her and angrily hangs up. Convinced now that his suspicions about the affair with Mark were right and that his romantic relationship with her is over, a depressed Ross gets drunk and then the sum of the alcohol, his emotional vulnerability and a promiscuous woman named Chloe results in him choosing to have sex with her. It is not until afterward when he hears a message Rachel left on his answering machine telling him she wants to resume their relationship, having told Mark that she doesn't want a break, that he realizes he had been mistaken in thinking she'd had sex with Mark. Ross does what he can to hide his indiscretion from Rachel when she tells him she does indeed want to renew their relationship, but his attempts fail and Rachel breaks up with him in a famous scene that involves the pair arguing in Monica's living-room with Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, and Joey trapped in Monica's bedroom. Embittered by the events that led up to their break-up, Ross and Rachel argue so much that their friends become caught in the crossfire.[5] Eventually, Ross and Rachel begin to accept the fact that their relationship is over and agree to try to be civil with each other. He eventually gets into a romantic relationship with a woman named Bonnie - but when he learns that Rachel still has feelings for him, he ultimately decides to choose her over Bonnie.

Season 4[]

After breaking up with Bonnie and sending her home, Ross pursues a romantic relationship with Rachel. Rachel has written an 18-page letter, front and back, saying that she wants him to take full responsibility for everything that went wrong in their relationship. A very tired Ross falls asleep while reading the letter, so he agrees to it without having read it. Ross and Rachel subsequently have sex in her bedroom. However after Rachel highlights again how much Ross has grown, he can't take it any longer and yells out that he does not agree with taking full responsibility. Once again, their relationship comes to an end. Ross and Rachel start power games again, which results in a number of humorous events, including Rachel making Ross apologize to a cat, and even a dating war and gift exchanging.[6][7][8]

Rachel talks a reluctant Ross into taking Emily Waltham, her boss' niece, to the opera. Rachel quickly regrets asking Ross to do this, as he and Emily fall for each other and end up spending the night in Vermont. The relationship develops very quickly, but Ross has problems with Emily having to go back to her home in England. He solves the dilemma by proposing to her, so she can move to the U.S. They arrange a wedding in London, but at the altar, he says Rachel's name instead of Emily's.

Season 5[]


Ross in Season 5.

Despite being furious with Ross, Emily decides to go through with the wedding. During the reception, Ross fails in his attempts to convince his new wife to forgive him. Emily is willing to forgive Ross until she sees him getting ready to leave for their honeymoon destination with Rachel. She runs away and Ross chases after her, leaving Rachel on the plane to Greece, but she soon returns to New York.

Ross, desperate to make his second marriage work, makes several attempts to win Emily's forgiveness. Eventually, Emily agrees to move to New York and work on the marriage, but on one condition: Ross must end his friendship with Rachel and avoid having contact with her. Ross initially agrees to this ultimatum, not wanting to go through a second divorce. But he finally realizes that he cannot end his friendship with Rachel, and his second marriage ends due to Emily's inability to trust him.

After his second divorce, his wrath went out of control such as shouting at his boss for eating his sandwich, which eventually caused him to get fired from the museum. He moves into "Ugly Naked Guy"'s apartment after being evicted from the apartment belonging to Emily's cousin to which he'd agreed to move as part of initially agreeing to her terms. Later he learns that Emily is getting married again. This causes Ross to begin to hate Emily and even throw anger at British culture. However on the eve of her wedding, Emily calls Ross wondering if they gave up too quickly. Rachel hears the message and convinces him not to call Emily owing to the emotional pain he suffered.

Season 6[]

Ross and Rachel get married during a trip to Las Vegas. Only trouble is, they were both drunk at the time and would never have done so had it not been for the vast amount of alcohol in the bloodstream of both ex-lovers. They decide to seek an annulment, despite the fact that Ross does not want three failed marriages. Ross tells Rachel that he took care of it, but reveals to Phoebe that he and Rachel are still married.

Ross decides to tell Rachel that they're still married but refrains from doing so when he sees how depressed she is about the fact that she has to move out of Monica's apartment. Rachel eventually finds out that she's still married to Ross, and she becomes furious with him, storming into the NYU classroom where he is guest lecturing in hopes of gaining a job as a professor in the Paleontology Department. When Rachel leaves, Ross asks the students "Any questions?" and every hand in the room is raised.

They go to a judge, but Rachel files for an annulment under false pretenses. Because of this, the judge will not grant the annulment. Since they cannot get an annulment, they file for divorce but agree that if they got married for real, it would be the one that stuck. The divorce results in Ross' third failed marriage.

Season 7[]

On the night of Monica and Chandler's engagement, Ross and Rachel decide to have a "bonus night." When Monica sees them kissing in the hallway, she accuses Rachel of attempting to steal her thunder. Phoebe, who has been living with Chandler and Monica because of the fire at her apartment, moves in with Ross because she wants to give the couple some alone time. She later moves out. When he learns that Phoebe never learned how to ride a bike, Ross buys her a bike with some training wheels and attempts to teach her how to ride. When the holidays come around, Ross decides to teach his son about Hanukkah. Ben wants nothing to do with Hanukkah, because of his obsession with Santa. Ross, Chandler, and Joey dress up in costumes in an attempt to convince Ben that Hanukkah is a cool holiday. Ross convinces his friends, as well as Rachel's current boyfriend, Tag, to go up to the roof to watch a meteor shower. Ross and Joey are trapped on the roof because the door stopper is being used by Joey as a telescope in an attempt to spy on a woman who is showering in the hotel across the street. They finally decide to climb down the fire escape. Ross and Monica's parents announce that they are selling their home, and they invite Monica and Ross to retrieve their childhood belongings. Mr. Geller has been using Monica's boxes to prevent flood water from reaching his Porsche, causing all of the content to be unrecognizable from mold and mildew damage. Monica becomes upset when she realizes that her childhood memories have been ruined, further reinforcing her belief that her parents love Ross more than her and have always favored him. Her father decides to give her his Porsche to make up for it, triggering Ross' jealous and self-centered streak. On his 30th birthday, Ross purchases a sports car. However, he can't move it out of the parking spot in front of the coffee house. When Rachel is left babysitting Ben for an hour, she decides to teach him practical jokes. He pulls these pranks on his father, who becomes angry with her. Not only that, but Rachel uses her time with Ben to convince him that they really were not on a break. However Ross and Ben conspire to play a trick on Rachel. One of Ross' students tries to convince him that he failed his midterm because he is in love with him. Ross changes the student's grade, which results in more students telling Ross that they are in love with him so he will change their grades. About a month before Monica and Chandler's wedding, Ross and Rachel sleep together for mutual support after admitting they both wanted to on Monica's engagement night.

Season 8[]

Ross dates Mona, a woman he meets at Monica and Chandler's wedding reception. The relationship is going well until Ross finds out that Rachel is pregnant due to their night of passion. Ross doesn't inform Mona of Rachel's pregnancy, while Rachel goes to dinner with her father, Dr. Greene, and tells him, which leads to him becoming angry that Ross didn't want to marry Rachel. He goes to Ross' apartment while he is on a date with Mona and confronts him. Mona almost breaks up with Ross due to the complexity of his and Rachel's relationship and the fact that he didn't tell her, but he convinces her to stay with him. Ross also damages the relationship further by giving Mona a key to his apartment then having the locks changed and deciding to have Rachel move in with him, which causes their relationship to end. Ross misses out on two opportunities to reunite romantically with Rachel, and they decide to remain close friends and roommates. In "The One Where Rachel Has A Baby, Part 1", Judy Geller suggests that Ross propose to Rachel, and is subtly unhappy with the fact that her grandchild is going to born out of wedlock. In "The One Where Rachel Has A Baby, Part 2", Rachel gives birth to her and Ross' daughter, Emma. Joey picks up the ring Judy gave to Ross after it fell out of his bag, but when he showed it to Rachel, it caused her to mistakenly believe he was proposing to her and say "Okay." Although Joey eventually clears up the confusion, Ross is understandably bothered by the fact that she agreed to marry the former. This results in Ross being briefly furious with Joey.

Season 9[]

Ross and Rachel continue to live together as roommates but Rachel moves back in with Joey after a fight with Ross, as a result of Ross having seen Rachel kissing her colleague on Monica's balcony. Throughout the beginning of Season 9, Phoebe and Joey firmly believe that for Emma's sake as well as their own, Ross and Rachel should get back together. They attempt to manipulate events to make this happen by setting both Ross and Rachel up on awful blind dates, but this backfires when the latter two realize Phoebe and Joey intentionally ruined both of their nights in order to manipulate them. Later Ross develops a crush on an attractive paleontology professor named Charlie Wheeler but appears to have missed a chance to become an item with her when she falls in love with Joey, also to the chagrin of Rachel who has realized that she has developed feelings for Joey. However, after spending some time with Ross, Charlie realizes she has much more in common with him than she does with Joey and breaks up with the latter. Joey later sees Ross and Charlie kiss and feeling both hurt and betrayed, goes to Rachel's room and kisses her.

Season 10[]

Ross learns of Rachel's romantic relationship with Joey when he catches them kissing and tries to accept their relationship but it's clear he's not taking it well. Rachel and Joey break up after realizing they are just too good friends to continue. Ross and Charlie have a healthy, good relationship to begin with until she is reunited with an ex-boyfriend, Benjamin Hobart. She ultimately decides she still has feelings for him and ends it with Ross. Ross helps Rachel to move out of her office when she is fired from her job at Ralph Lauren, and they coincidentally meet up with Mark on the street outside. Ross doesn't remember him until Rachel reminds him of the fact that Ross was very jealous of Mark. Ross' old jealousies are briefly reignited until he learns that Mark is married and has twin children, then he supports Rachel trying to get the job opening at Louis Vuitton until he learns that she is offered a position in Paris. So he decides to try and get her to stay by successfully bribing her old boss Mr. Zelner into giving Rachel her job back at Ralph Lauren, although Rachel declines this. Ross is upset when he learns that Rachel still intends to leave the country, and very angry when she gives all of her friends at a party they threw to give her a proper send-off a heartfelt, one-on-one goodbye but does not speak to him. When he later confronts her, however, she tells him this was really just because she found it too emotionally hard after everything they had been through, and the two spend the night together. Ross is encouraged that they are restarting a romantic relationship until she tells him that was the perfect way to say goodbye. Later realizing he must tell Rachel that he still loves her, he goes to the airport with Phoebe and expresses his feelings, but she walks away and boards the plane, flustered. He sadly goes home but then hears a message she left him on her answering machine, revealing she changed her mind and was trying to get off the plane. Ross turns around when he hears her voice say "I got off the plane" and sees her standing in the doorway, and they passionately kiss, embrace and get back together, promising never to break up again. It's assumed that Rachel and Emma move back in with Ross since they're now in a romantic relationship after their final onscreen kiss. Thus, Ross' story throughout the series ends with him getting once again back together with Rachel, for at least one day.

In the pilot episode of Joey, Joey Tribbiani talks about the time when he was still in New York and says "All of my friends got married and had kids and moved on." Some people chose to believe that this implies Ross and Rachel might have remarried after "The Last One, Part 2" however Joey never says that Rachel remarried Ross, and there is no reliable in-universe confirmation.


This section is (partially) copied from Wikipedia. There may be an updated version available.

While he is intellectually smart and can be polite, caring, thoughtful and kind, Ross is often clumsy, oversensitive and socially awkward - taking the characteristics of the stereotypical "loser nerd". He also has a dry, sarcastic and witty sense of humor that is second only to Chandler's. He is the only member of the group of friends with a doctorate and, as such, can be arrogant. In most cases, his arrogance backfires or gets the best of him. His arrogance and self-centered behavior is likely also a result of his upbringing, with his parents often overexaggerating everything about him. In later seasons, due to his two failed marriages and ruined life, he starts developing breathtaking anger management issues and is also shown to easily be irritated, often breaking into angry outbursts over minor things. For example, in "The One With Ross' Sandwich", Ross is fired from the museum after yelling at his boss for eating his sandwich. This behavior leads to him taking on a more antagonistic role in most episodes in the later seasons.

Ross seems to have a immature need to always be right. This is shown in "The One Where Heckles Dies" when he finds out that Phoebe doesn't believe in evolution. Shocked by this, he spends the rest of the episode pestering her and trying to get her to believe in evolution. He is angered when Phoebe asks him why he has this need for everyone to always agree with him. He seems to find people irrational if they won't conform to his point-of-view.

Ross' immaturity was more emphasized and apparent at the beginning of his and Rachel's romantic relationship in which he began spending (if possible) even more time at Monica's apartment and their relationship reverted back to when they were teenagers, which in the same episode Monica reveals she hated him during their youth. However, this isn't unique to one particular episode and they have at times shown traits of typical sibling relationships even at their adult age throughout the series; for example rash outbursts, competitiveness, and physical confrontations. Perhaps the cause of his immaturity is his parents. As he was the favored and "academically gifted" child who received the more credit and praise in comparison to Monica, some may say he can't always be blamed for his enlarged ego, although he is an adult and has to take responsibility for his actions. Also, he doesn't respond well when his parents don't give him the acknowledgment they usually do and was clearly distraught over Jack's Porsche being given to Monica as a peace offering for ruining her childhood memories, claiming that he was a "medical marvel." Ross is also perfectly comfortable lying to his parents especially if it wouldn't tarnish the extremely high mantle they placed him on his entire life. He framed Chandler for making him smoke marijuana in college and when this was revealed in "The One Where Ross Got High", he refused to tell Jack and Judy, despite it being years ago and that he had not done so since. He once considered informing them in a letter simply out of sheer cowardice.

Ross, despite being socially awkward, dates many women throughout the series. Due to his unsuccessful marriage to Carol Willick, he started to develop fierce amounts of paranoia and insecurities when it comes to women. Monica states that before Carol left Ross for Susan, he was never paranoid or jealous... even though it was obvious to everyone except him that all his previous girlfriends were cheating on him. Due to this, he does not seem to even trust Rachel to be faithful to him and is often prone to jealousy and is quick to suspect his girlfriends of cheating on him. Most of his dates are disrupted or completely ruined once his paranoia or geekiness get the best of him.

These paranoias and insecurities often causes conflict in his relationships; for example, when Rachel began spending a lot of time with a co-worker of hers named Mark Robinson, out of paranoia he came to mistakenly suspect that she was having an affair, when in reality she never considered her relationship with Mark to be romantic. She eventually becomes so fed up with Ross' jealousy that she announces that she wants to take a break from their relationship, which Ross takes as a breakup, but Rachel didn't mean a breakup. When Ross later tries to reconcile with her by phoning her at her apartment, he overhears Mark's voice in the background. In reality Mark had come to comfort her as a friend after calling her and hearing she was upset after her fight with Ross, but once again out of paranoia Ross mistakenly thinks he is there to have sex with her and angrily hangs up. Convinced now that his suspicions about her affair with Mark were right and his relationship with her is over, a depressed Ross gets drunk and the sum of the alcohol, his emotional vulnerability and a promiscuous woman named Chloe results in him choosing to have sex with her. He does not learn he had been mistaken in thinking Rachel had sex with Mark until the following morning when he hears a message Rachel left on his answering machine, telling him she wants to work on the relationship. The pair meet again, only to break up for real when Rachel discovers Ross' indiscretion with Chloe.

Ross' jealousy also becomes apparent during his relationship with Emily Waltham, when he fears that she is growing too close to Carol's wife, Susan Bunch. His jealous streak rears its ugly head again when he dates his student, Elizabeth Stevens, and ultimately accompanies her on her spring break vacation to ensure she does not stray.

Despite being financially secure, Ross is notoriously cheap. He gets his hair cut at the bargain chain Super Cuts; steals toiletries and other amenities from hotels and refuses to tip anyone. He is often mocked by his friends about his annoying habits of correcting people's grammar and avoiding straightforward dialogue when nervous.

He tries to convince his friends to act for the best in difficult situations even though such actions may be difficult to carry out. In season 2, he encourages Joey to audition for Another World after being fired from Days of Our Lives, despite Joey's refusal to present himself for a two-line part of a secondary character. In season 7, he buys Phoebe the bike of her dreams but threatens to take it away from her because of her reluctance to learn how to ride it. When he discovers that Joey has a crush on Rachel, he tells him to tell her about it and go for it instead of hiding it, even though he has problems with the idea of Joey and Rachel. Above all, Ross can be sweet and loving, however he definitely has a lot of flaws to his character. He is often looking out for everyone's best interests and the most mature compared to the rest of the gang, despite his ego, outbursts, and paranoia.


Chandler Bing

Ross and Chandler in college

Ross and Chandler in college

Ross and Chandler go quite a way back, being roommates in college. They are best friends, not to mention brothers-in-law. They are always there to help and comfort each other but there are also times when they get into 'competitions' or petty fights, one of them being when they were fighting over getting credits for a joke that had been published in the magazine, Playboy. Ross was the last to find out about Chandler and Monica's romantic relationship, and at first, he was furious. But after Chandler told Ross he and Monica weren't just messing around and that they really loved each other, his attitude immediately changes and is very happy for them. Chandler becomes his (and later Rachel's) brother-in-law when Chandler and Monica marry.

Phoebe Buffay

Phoebe and Ross (4x07)

Though they are best friends, Ross often comes into conflict with Phoebe. His rationality and Phoebe's self-devised beliefs lead to conflict over the theories of evolution, gravity, and whether or not Phoebe's dead mother has been reincarnated as a cat. It is revealed in "The One With The Mugging" that Phoebe once mugged Ross during her homeless years. The evening Ross finds out that Carol is lesbian, he and Phoebe almost have sex in the club that is to become Central Perk. Fortunately, they stop before their friends arrive. Despite their conflicts, Ross and Phoebe rely on one another for advice and support. For example, Phoebe turns to Ross when she has problems with Mike and Ross turned to Phoebe when he wants to prevent Rachel from going to Paris. Ross is also the one to obtain Phoebe a bike after hearing her complain about never having one as a child. Phoebe also reassures Ross that he and Rachel will get together and encouraged Ross to go for it with Rachel in the hospital.

Joey Tribbiani

Joey and Ross napping together

Ross and Joey's relationship in the earlier seasons initially appeared somewhat tenuous and largely existing due to their mutual association with Chandler, with Ross' smarts being a particular source of annoyance for Joey, perhaps more so than the rest. However, as the series progresses, they quickly grow much closer and become best friends, to the point of even napping together (much to their embarrassment when the rest of the gang finds out). Joey goes so far as to initially feel reluctant of being in a romantic relationship with Rachel due to Ross' potential (and eventually factual) disapproval, although the latter eventually agrees to deal with it for Joey since it had been so long since Rachel and Ross were together at that point. Regardless, the two are supportive of each other and frequently attempt to help each other with whatever problem comes, with Joey especially providing aid when it comes to relationship advice. Joey is the one who led Ross and Rachel to sleep together after telling him the Europe story. Ross was the only one there for Joey when he was getting his kidney stones removed and he often helps Joey out with his acting courier like when he kissed Joey to help him with his audition. Ross is often annoyed by Joey's less-than-stellar smarts, though this is rarely a cause of the rift.

Will Colbert


Will Colbert, his former high school buddy

Ross and Will Colbert were friends in high school and together co-founded an I-Hate-Rachel-Club. They held regular meetings in Ross' bedroom and at school. The last time they saw each other was at Lance Davis's graduation party. They reunite and get reacquainted in "The One With The Rumor", where Will comes over for Thanksgiving. Ross and Will are quite friendly to each other despite the time apart but are at odds when Will becomes hostile towards Rachel. Will gets upset when he learns that Ross went out with Rachel when he and the former had a pact with the club because it had the word "eternity" in it. When the two men reveal the rumor they made about Rachel being intersex and Rachel becomes tearful and upset, Ross and Will smile happily, but when Rachel stormed out, Ross felt guilty at his actions while Will continues smiling. Later, when Rachel tells everyone about Ross making out with the high-school librarian, Ross gets furious and soon decides to get back in the club and high-fives Will. Will then becomes shocked to learn that Ross got Rachel pregnant but proud that they're not getting married. He tries to high-five Ross again, but Ross ignores it. It is unknown what happened between them after Will left at the end of the episode and is never mentioned again.


Monica Geller[]

Ross and Monica fighting

Monica is Ross' younger sister who has become close to her brother during the past decade. She has also become his best friend and consoles him every time his marriage or relationship fails.

Monica and Ross are extremely competitive, as demonstrated in "The One With The Football" where it is revealed that every Thanksgiving during their childhood they had taken part in a football match called the Geller Cup. This family tradition ended in its sixth year after Monica broke Ross' nose. In their childhood and teenage life, Monica and Ross were also very violent with each other. Monica once hit Ross with a giant pumpkin and Ross once jammed a stick through the spikes of Monica's bike, causing her to flip over and hit her head on the curb. In their adult lives, they have a close sibling relationship, though if either brings up something embarrassing, the other will try to top it, causing a snowball effect which often ends in Chandler asking "What did I marry into?". In "The One With the Inappropriate Sister", they tell Rachel how they used to wrestle when they were younger. Ross is also typically overprotective of Monica.


Jack and Judy Geller

Jack and Judy Geller, his father, and mother

Ross is the older brother of Monica, and he is the favored child of their parents. He was described as a "medical marvel" when he was born because his mother was originally believed to be barren (there may have been some discrepancies when the writers came up with the story, as in another episode Jack Geller mentioned that they got married after Judy got pregnant because apparently, the dog thought her diaphragm was a chew toy).

Ross, Monica, and Jack are all Jewish, as professed in the episode "The One With The Holiday Armadillo".


Ross has two children, Ben and Emma. Ben is his son with his ex-wife Carol while Emma is his daughter with Rachel. Ross is shown to be an extremely caring and committed father, doing as much as he can to make sure the children are looked after correctly. He gets angry at Chandler and Joey for leaving Ben on a bus in Season 2, but his playful side also came out when he tricked Monica into thinking she had damaged Ben's brain by accidentally banging his head on a wooden pylon during a game and on Rachel when he pretends to have fallen down the stairs after Rachel taught Ben practical jokes. He is also very caring towards Emma when they're seen together.

Ben Geller[]


Ben Geller, his son

Ben is Ross and Carol's son. He was conceived before their divorce. Born in "The One With The Birth", Ben lives with Carol and her girlfriend, Susan. He is named after the name on a janitor's uniform worn by Phoebe as she attempted to escape from the janitor's closet that she, Susan, and Ross were trapped in while Carol was in labor. At first, Ben is a shy boy, but an afternoon spent with Rachel transforms him into a mischievous prankster. He is played by Cole Sprouse.

Emma Geller-Greene[]


Emma Geller-Greene, his daughter

Emma is Ross and Rachel's daughter. She was conceived in a one-night stand near the end of Season 7. Emma lived with Ross and Rachel until one of their fights caused Rachel to take Emma and move back in with Joey. She remained there for the rest of the series until Ross and Rachel got back together in the series finale.


In response to his loneliness after his divorce from Carol, Ross adopts a Capuchin monkey named Marcel. The relationship is troublesome at first, but the two grow quite close. This lasts until Marcel's sexual drive, which causes him to hump inanimate objects and people's legs, forces Ross to donate him to a zoo. After expressing horror at the thought of giving Marcel to Dr. Baldharar, a man who owns a non-human animal fighting ring, Ross is relieved when Joey and Chandler inform him that Marcel had been accepted into San Diego Zoo. An underlying joke is how comparable Ross and Marcel's relationship is to that of a live-in couple.

Ross feels the urge to see Marcel again but is told by the zoo that Marcel is dead. But a cleaner at the zoo informs Ross that Marcel has been kidnapped. It turns out that Marcel is now a famous mascot for Monkey Shine beer and is starring in Outbreak 2: The Virus Takes Manhattan (the monkey, Katie, who played Marcel, played the monkey in the real movie Outbreak).

Marcel's favorite song is "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," which is how Ross gets Marcel's attention when he is at the set of the Outbreak movie, the gang singing the song to Marcel. Ross, later in the series, admits to how unusual his purchase was, saying in "The One With Unagi", "Remember when I had a monkey? What was I thinking?".[9]

Leonard Greene[]

Ross' relationship with Rachel's father, Leonard is nothing short of deepest mutual loathing. During Rachel's party in "The One With The Two Parties", Dr. Greene catches Ross wearing his glasses and having one of his cigarettes and earlier Ross makes some joke about vascular surgery being a game while in "The One With The Race Car Bed", during dinner, Rachel tries to have the two men bond, although at the end of this episode they bond a little by making fun of Rachel's flaws and of her lack of renters insurance, later they started disliking each other again.

Later, in "The One With The Stripper", Dr. Greene reappears in the show after 5 seasons of disappearance where he learns about Rachel's pregnancy and is shocked to hear that Ross is the father of his first grandchild and is not happy that he and Rachel aren't getting married. He goes to Ross' apartment where he and Mona are on a date. An argument ensues and Mona eventually finds out about Rachel being pregnant from Ross, almost resulting in Ross and Mona's relationship ending. Dr. Greene makes his last appearance in "The One Where Joey Speaks French" where not much hatred actions happen between them and Dr. Greene asks Ross if he has knocked up any of his other daughters lately, which Ross responds no, just Rachel. In Dr. Greene's final moment when he comes out of his room, he gives Ross a deadly look, hearing Ross tell Rachel he's never having sex with her again (although it does later happen). It's hinted, although not specifically stated, that Ross and Rachel marry each other again after the series finale which would make Ross Leonard's son-in-law.

Sandra Greene[]

Ross has a good relationship with Rachel's mother, Sandra. In every episode except for their first meeting in the coffeehouse, she and Ross appear to respect each other and don't seem to clash at all. At one point she tells him "I've always liked you, Ross". Sandra would become Ross' mother-in-law if Ross and Rachel marry each other again after the series finale as hinted in the spinoff series Joey.

Amy Greene[]

Ross doesn't have a very good relationship with Amy Greene, mostly because of her behavior, her personality and because of her having Emma's ears pierced. Amy would become Ross' sister-in-law and Ross would become Amy's brother-in-law if Ross and Rachel get married to each other again after the series finale.

Jill Greene[]

Ross and Jill's relationship seems to be quite okay. During Jill's 2 appearances, she and Ross have a brief relationship, but that ends when Ross realizes that if something happens between him and Jill, nothing may happen with him and Rachel. However, they still remain friends. Rachel hints to Ross to break up with Jill, Ross gets the hint and he says he will when he meets up with her at their date; however, Rachel forces Ross to call Jill up right at that moment in the Central Perk. Jill would become Ross' sister-in-law if Ross and Rachel remarry shortly after the series finale.


       See also: Relationships#Ross

Carol Willick[]


Carol Willick, his ex-wife, and mother of his son

Ross divorces his first wife of three years, Carol, when she reveals that she is lesbian and began having an affair with a woman called Susan, who she met at the gym. After the initial post-relationship complications had been overcome, however, they have been generally able to get along and share custody of their son, Ben. Ross even achieves mutual respect with Susan after Phoebe makes them realize that they would all be parents to Carol and Ross' son. Ross later helps Carol and Susan reconcile when they have an argument about Carol's parents' disapproval of their marriage.

The two are shown to be very close despite what happened between them and they like to help each other out as shown throughout the series for example in "The One Without The Ski Trip" when Carol consoles Ross when he is depressed after his split with Rachel and he fixes her truck. Also, they spend time together with Ben when he is able to get an audition for a TV commercial in "The One Where Rachel Smokes".

In an alternative reality storyline shown in flashbacks during the show, Ross is still married to Carol but their sex life is stagnant. Not realizing that she is lesbian, Ross suggests to Carol that they have a threesome, to spice things up, to which Carol instantly agrees. The other person in the threesome turns out to be Susan which ends as a twosome when the two women show no interest in Ross. Later on, Ross is forced to accept that his wife is gay and ends up consoling Rachel after she discovers that her husband, Barry, is having an affair as well with the neighborhood dog walker.

Rachel Greene[]

       See also: Ross and Rachel

Ross' relationship with Rachel is the most well-known and probably the most complex relationship of the series.

Rachel and Ross have had an on and off relationship during the first decade. At first, Ross gained a crush on her in 9th grade and has developed since. They dated for a year only to break up on their first anniversary, leaving them both devastated and heartbroken, which causes the two to not be able to stand each other for a while, but they eventually become friends again. In Las Vegas they got drunk and married, with no recollection the next day, never lived together and quickly divorced, moreover, in season eight Rachel gives birth to their child, Emma. The last episode results in the couple reuniting together again.

Throughout the majority of the first season, Ross never has the courage to admit his feelings to Rachel. At the end of the season, Chandler convinces Ross to stop pursuing her. Ross leaves for an archaeological dig in China, shortly before Rachel's birthday party. During Ross' absence, Rachel finally learns of his feelings for her. She rushes to meet him at the airport so she can tell him that she feels the same, and is heartbroken when he arrives with his new girlfriend, Julie.

Because of a message that a drunken Rachel leaves on Ross' answering machine, he learns that she has fallen for him. After arguing in Central Perk, they share their first passionate kiss[10]. A confused Ross messes things up when he creates a list of Rachel's and Julie's faults and best attributes, which Rachel finds insulting, and they don't get together until a while later.[11] Their romantic relationship lasts for a year until Ross mistakenly suspects that Rachel is having an affair with her co-worker Mark, and his jealousy breaks them apart. Mark then comes round Rachel's apartment to comfort her as a friend. when Ross telephones her at her apartment in an attempt to resume his relationship with her, he overhears Mark's voice in the background and once again out of paranoia mistakenly thinks he is there to have sex with her, angrily hangs up. Convinced now that his suspicions about her affair with Mark were right and his relationship with her is now over, Ross sleeps with an attractive woman named Chloe. When Rachel finds out, she breaks up with Ross (the scene was so emotionally intense that both David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston reportedly cried near the end of the episode and continued after it was shot). The two share an "almost on-again, almost off-again" relationship over the years. They are even married during a drunken night in Las Vegas, with no recollection the following morning, and with no living together. This isn't resolved until weeks later when Ross, unable to get an annulment, realizes that they have to get a divorce. He begins to panic over the fact that he is going to be divorced for a third time. Later in the series, they sleep together and conceive their child, Emma. After Emma's birth, Rachel mistakenly thinks Joey is proposing marriage to her, and she accepts. Although Joey later clears up the confusion, Ross is disturbed when he learns Rachel would say yes to Joey, even if at the same time, Ross wouldn't want to propose to Rachel and marry her. Afterward, Ross and Rachel start to raise Emma in Ross' apartment until a fight causes Rachel to move back in with Joey.

In the final episodes of season ten, Rachel loses her job at Ralph Lauren and is offered a job at Louis Vuitton in Paris, France. She sleeps with Ross and tells him that it is a great way to end their relationship. Ross, hoping the next morning to get back together with Rachel in "The Last One", finds out that Rachel sees the night as, "the perfect way to say goodbye." When Ross rushes to the airport to tell Rachel that he wants her to stay, Rachel is emotionally overwhelmed and she boards the plane anyway. Upon returning to his apartment, Ross hears a phone message left by Rachel. While recording the message, she realizes how much she loves him and that she wants to stay in New York. The final part of the message contains her desperate effort to disembark while being resisted by a flight attendant. Ross, not knowing whether she was able to get off the plane, is happily surprised by her sudden presence in his front room. The pair kisses, promising each other that, "This is it. No more fooling around." They have been living together for a few days between their final onscreen kiss and the final scene in Monica's apartment. They hold hands in the final scene of the series.

In the season premiere of the spinoff series Joey, Joey mentions that all of his friends have married, settled down and started families. Some people believe this implies that Ross and Rachel have both remarried. However there is no reliable in-universe reference if they stayed together or had more kids. In "The One Where Rachel's Sister Baby-Sits", Ross hints at wanting another child with Rachel and in "The One Where They All Turn Thirty", Rachel states she wants three kids, although not with Ross. Ross had previously stated that he would have two children ("The One Where Old Yeller Dies").

Emily Waltham[]


Emily Waltham, his ex-wife.

Ross' second marriage, to a woman from England, appears more hopeful than his first, even though he and Emily do have a whirlwind romance. The wedding takes place in London, in a half-demolished building, where Emily's parents were married. Joey and Chandler are both the best man, and Monica is a bridesmaid (Phoebe cannot attend as she is too far into pregnancy, and Rachel only comes at the last minute). While reciting his vows, Ross accidentally says Rachel's name instead of Emily's. While Emily agrees to go through with the wedding, Ross' mistake leads to the complete breakdown of the relationship. Ross attempts to reconcile with Emily, who insists that Ross never sees nor speaks to Rachel ever again. Ross is originally unable to decide, but Rachel tells him to just give Emily what she wants without knowing what Ross had to do. In the end, Ross is unable to comply. When Emily finds out that Ross has been spending time with Rachel, she announces that she cannot trust Ross. The marriage is quickly dissolved, and she becomes engaged to another man. On the night before her wedding, she leaves Ross a message on his answering machine, saying she is having doubts about getting married. Rachel accidentally deletes the message and convinces Ross not to call her back.


At college, Ross trained for a career in paleontology (on a dare), completing his Ph.D. He later became employed at the New York Museum of Prehistoric History. At one time, Ross claims to have, "given up a career in basketball," to become a paleontologist.[12] He also claims that he would have been good at advertising and that he invented the phrase "Got Milk?"[13]. After Monica questions this claim, Ross turns to Joey and mentions that he "should have written it down". He also claims to have had the idea for Jurassic Park and Die Hard stolen from him.

Ross' love of dinosaurs is a running joke throughout the series. When asked which he prefers - sex or dinosaurs - Ross has a tough time deciding which he would rather give up. In high school, he got 1250 on his SATs. It is said that he was obsessed with dinosaurs even then.

After the director of the museum eats half of Ross' favorite sandwich and throws the rest in the trash, Ross is forced to take a "sabbatical" from the museum due to his subsequent rage. His anger is amplified by the stress of his second divorce, as well as the knowledge that Chandler is dating Monica. Due to his divorce from Emily, Ross has to move in with Chandler and Joey.

Ross finds a job as a professor at New York University. He causes a stir among his colleagues when he dates one of his students, Elizabeth Stevens. He is given tenure, despite it being clear that he is a mediocre teacher who forgets classes, bores his students to sleep, and gives away grades without even looking at students' work. Ross reveals that his students usually give him bad evaluations at the end of the year, but passes this off as them being distraught over the fact he won't be teaching them again.

Ross' scientific commentaries aren't always very well received. Most of his papers on sediment flow rates are supposedly widely discredited, and he only gets negative publications in scientific journals. But he is invited as a keynote speaker at a paleontology conference, where he delivers a very-well received talk, implying that there are people who agree with his ideas.

Real paleontologists were asked on Reddit if Ross was a good one. They had mixed responses.[14][15]


Although Ross' age is treated inconsistently by the show's writers, the best evidence is that he was born on October 18, 1967.

Month and Day

Two episodes state Ross' birthday on October 18. In "The One Where Emma Cries", Ross names that date as his birthday, as well as in, "The One With Five Steaks and an Eggplant", where he is taken to a Hootie & the Blowfish concert as his birthday present. However, in "The One With George Stephanopoulos", when Joey and Chandler buy Rangers tickets to celebrate Ross' birthday on the 20th of October, Ross says that his birthday was "seven months ago" which would place it around March 20. In "The One With Joey's New Girlfriend", when Gunther asks Rachel when her birthday is, claiming to be making a list of people's birthdays, Ross says, "Mine's December...", before being cut off by Gunther.

Year of birth

In, "The Pilot," which aired in September 1994, Ross exclaims, "I'm only 26, and I'm divorced." That means that Ross was born in 1967 - assuming that in using "26", he was not projecting forward to his upcoming October birthday. A human being born on October 18, 1967, would be expected to graduate from college around 1990. But we later learn that Ross and Chandler were Class of 1991. The discrepancy is not that great and could be explained by Ross having taken some time off between high school and college, perhaps when he tried to "make it as a dancer," as revealed by Monica in "The Last One". Although in, "The One With Ross' Library Book", Ross replies to an attractive woman that he skipped fourth grade after her comment that he looks younger than she expected. But this could easily not be true, meaning that he only says that to impress her. In, "The One With The Videotape", while Ross is telling the "Europe story" to try to get a woman into bed, he claims that he backpacked across Europe in 1983. Then he whispers to himself, "I was thirteen?" implying he was born in 1970 or 1969.

Ross describes himself as 29 in seasons 3, 4 and 5. In season 3, he tells Chandler, "No thanks. I'm twenty-nine," when offered chocolate milk. In season 4, when the guys try to party without Gandalf, they all say they are 29.

In "The One with Ross' Wedding, Part 2" one of Emily's relatives thinks Monica is Ross' mother and Monica says "I'm a single mom with a 30-year-old son," talking about Ross. Later, in season 5, when trying to reconcile with Emily, Ross says that if they don't stay together he will be divorced for the second time before age 30. If these references are true Ross was born in 1967 or 1968.


Although the producers were coy about the friends' religious backgrounds, it is revealed that Ross and Monica's father is Jewish and their mother is not. That said, Ross is seen attempting to get his son Ben to celebrate Hanukkah, by dressing up as a character he invents named the Holiday Armadillo. On another occasion, Chandler alludes to Ross being Jewish when Ross goes to steal a Bible from a hotel and Chandler says, "Besides, it's a New Testament! What are you gonna do with it?" Ross simply shrugs and says he'll learn about Jesus. Finally, he notes that he bought his sister Monica a Hanukkah present when others are participating in a Secret Santa. Rachel is also hinted at being Jewish as Ross doesn't cook her the bacon in her father's fridge in "The One Where Joey Speaks French".


  • Ross shares a distinction with Chandler, Joey, and Rachel in that he has kissed all five of his friends:
  • He is the only member of the group with a Ph.D.
  • Ross is often the last person in the gang to find out about important things within the show. For example, he's the last to find out about Chandler and Monica dating (after Joey, Rachel, and Phoebe), Chandler and Monica's engagement (after the whole group simultaneously), Rachel and Joey dating (after Chandler and Monica, and then Phoebe), and Rachel's pregnancy (after Phoebe, Monica, Joey, and Chandler).
  • He is the only male member of the group to be a biological father; he first gets Carol pregnant who gives birth to their son Ben and he later then gets Rachel pregnant who gives birth to their daughter Emma. Joey never produces any children during the show, and Chandler adopts twins with Monica.
  • During the series, Ross slept with 14 women.
  • Along with his sister Monica, Ross is one of two members of the gang whom Joey never greets with his trademark "How You Doin?"
  • Ross hates ice cream, as mentioned in "The One Where Chandler Doesn't Like Dogs", however in several episodes he can be seen eating it.
  • Ross is allergic to lobsters, peanuts, and kiwi as revealed by Monica in "The One With The Baby On The Bus".
  • When Gunther was asking Rachel her birthday, Gunther said he was counting birthdays, so Ross started to say it was December: his birthday is actually in October. ("The One With Joey's New Girlfriend"). Although, in Season 1, when Joey and Chandler present tickets to Ross for his birthday on October 20th (the anniversary of his first time with Carol) he states that his birthday was months ago.
  • Only 2 of Ross' weddings are seen on-screen - his wedding to Emily in "The One With Ross' Wedding, Part 2"; and his wedding to Rachel in "The One In Vegas, Part 2" (although the wedding in Vegas happens in a chapel and Ross and Rachel are seen stumbling out due to being drunk). His implied remarriage to Rachel occurs after the series finale.
  • Ross is 56–57 as of 2024.
  • Even though Ross is Monica's older brother, Courteney Cox, the actress who plays Monica, is older than David Schwimmer, the actor who plays Ross.
  • He is a fan of the sitcom series, The Golden Girls which ran on NBC from 1985 - 1992.
  • Ross has a Google Easter Egg. It can be found by searching "Friends Ross," then clicking the sofa icon. The webpage will move while Ross says "Pivot!" three times. Then the screen will return to normal and the sofa will break, after which Ross says "Okay, I-I don't think it's going to pivot anymore."
  • He along with Chandler, Joey, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe are the only main characters to appear in every episode.
  • Ross makes a guest appearance in the short lived NBC sitcom The Single Guy episode Neighbors.