Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Ross And Monica Sibling Theory That Changes Everything On Friends

Because "Friends" has been around since 1994, pretty much every aspect of the show has been exhaustively analyzed, from Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel's (Jennifer Aniston) relationship (were they actually on a break?) to how in the world Monica (Courteney Cox), who temporarily worked as a food server, could afford such a nice apartment in New York. Theories and ideas surrounding the series continue to make the rounds, popping into the public consciousness every time the show experiences a blip in popularity — like now, in advance of the show's reunion (coming tomorrow) on HBO Max.

On May 12, 2018, one Twitter user threw a wrench in the works with a thought-provoking joke that definitely got fans thinking. "Just realized they HAD to make Monica & Ross brother and sister otherwise all the F•R•I•E•N•D•S would have stuck with Carol in the divorce," @MrEmilyHeller said. This is a statement that, if you accept it as true, could have changed everything on "Friends." Let's consider it.

Ross is kind of a jerk at times

From the start of "Friends," we learn that Ross is moving out of the house he shared with his wife, Carol (Anita Barone/Jane Sibbett), who has discovered that she's a lesbian and has now taken up with Susan (Jessica Hecht). The two are going to raise Ross and Carol's child together. It's clear from the start that Carol has a good relationship with the others in Ross' circle of friends. As one fan pointed out in a reply tweet, Ross gave Carol the apartment to keep their group of friends. 

This seems to imply that Monica, Chandler (Matthew Perry), Joey (Matt LeBlanc), and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) know and like Carol, and that there was discussion about how their split might affect their friendships. Had Monica and Ross not been related, such a conversation might have gone a different way. After all, in recent years, people haven't seen Ross' personality in as positive of a light, with critics pointing out everything from his condescending behavior and lies to his jealous, manipulative behavior in his romantic relationships. For example, in the episode "The One Where Ross Dates a Student," he ignores the power dynamic between himself and his younger girlfriend, hiding the relationship and criticizing Rachel when she dates his girlfriend's father. 

At the same time, acceptance of LBGTQ rights and recognition is at an all-time high in society at large, making Ross' casual homophobia more difficult to watch. "The One with the Male Nanny" is almost comical in its portrayal of Ross' behavior if it weren't so negative with its stereotypes. 

So, this theory says, without Monica's familial loyalty to her bro, Ross' friends would certainly dump him for obvious reasons.

Carol was an adulterer

Of course, there are problems with the theory. After all, Ross wasn't the only friend exhibiting casual homophobic behavior on "Friends" — the whole show was channeling the zeitgiest in making stereotypical jokes about gay people and Chandler's trans father. 

Carol isn't exactly a paragon of virtuous behavior herself. For one thing, Carol is widely believed to have cheated on Ross. As one Twitter user noted in response to the thread, "Carol was an adulterer, the F•R•I•E•N•D•S aren't about that life." 

For another, she doesn't give Ross much of a choice in the raising of his son, telling him that she and her new partner, Susan, will raise the child together and he can participate or not. She develops into a more likable character later in the series, but at the beginning, she and Susan aren't particularly sympathetic. "Carol was a cheater and lets her new partner control how often her son sees his father? Ross is selfish and annoying but Carol and Susan are terrible and unfair," posted @kikihay.

As another fan pointed out, the friends in question have shown they have plenty of agency when it comes to choosing whom they hang out with. "The friends aren't going to choose if they equally like both parties. What they would do is give the other sh**," @GerriRomanderin said. "Also, they didn't have to be friends with him, they don't need an excuse to stop being friends w/him."

Plus, there's another problem. "I cannot imagine any way that writers would have the gall to write in such a character as a main back in the 90s," pointed out ColoradosMark. Unfortunately, this comment also has some truth to it, especially given the attitude of "Friends" toward homosexuality.