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

The Friends Fan Theory That Will Have You Looking Twice At Ross

"Friends" is one of the most-watched and beloved sitcoms of all time. The show about six 20-somethings living in NYC aired for 10 seasons, from 1994 to 2004, on NBC. "Friends" became a pop culture phenomenon, launching trends such as Jennifer Aniston's character Rachel's signature hairstyle, attracting Hollywood A-listers in guest roles, offering up catchphrases and moments that are meme-worthy decades later, introducing one of TV's most iconic couples, and turning a cast of relative unknowns into huge stars.

The driving force behind the show's success is the cast, who are an ensemble in every sense of the word, tight both onscreen and off. Fans know the stories about how Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, and Matt LeBlanc would gather together to watch every episode of Season 1 (via Vulture). Their most publicized act of solidarity involved sticking together regarding their salary demands, which first made headlines in 1996 (via The New York Times).

While some of the characters are undoubtably more popular among viewers, it never feels like one character's story arcs continually eclipse any of the others. However, one fan theory circulating on Reddit makes a compelling argument that may cause viewers to look twice at Ross Geller (Schwimmer).

Ross Geller is the real star of Friends

Redditor u/Ilikepieguy123 offered up an argument that Ross Geller is the real star of "Friends," saying, "The writers for Friends may not have planned on having one main character, but somehow they created a perfect show based on Ross' life story. Seriously, try re-watching Friends from Ross' perspective and you might be pretty surprised of how it all adds up," they wrote. They state that Season 1 introduces Ross as a guy going through a divorce because his wife is a lesbian. Then Rachel enters the picture, introducing their on-and-off-again relationship, which is "arguably the most important plot line of the series."

While Ross and Rachel's relationship is an integral story arc for the first three seasons, their breakup leaves them uncoupled, with a few notable exceptions, for most of the series. It's difficult to support the assertion that their romance is the most significant takeaway from the show. What about Chandler Bing (Perry) and Monica Geller (Cox), who are together from the end of Season 4 until the finale? "Friends" devotes a great deal more time developing their relationship as a couple than Ross and Rachel's, following Monica and Chandler's evolution from FWB to people who fall in love, move in together, get married, and struggle to conceive a child.

Ross is at the center of every major story arc

The fan theory that Ross is the real star of "Friends" points out that some of the show's biggest storylines are offshoots of Ross story arcs. "It was at his marriage with Emily where Chandler and Monica begin their relationship. Vegas may have been Joey's little thing, but the main plot to take away from it was that he and Rachel got so drunk that they married each other. The bottom line is this: every major plot event that happens is centred around Ross. Hell, the show ends with him and Rachel finally getting back together for good. Tell me that was no coincidence," wrote u/Ilikepieguy123. The theory got people chatting, triggering a few "Aha!" moments when asked if they agreed. "Now I do," wrote u/apk_read1.

In reality, the idea of pairing up Monica and Chandler had been brewing since as early as Season 2, long before their Season 4 hookup, thanks to the chemistry between Perry and Cox, according to Vulture. The series ends with the six friends leaving their keys on the counter of Monica's apartment and heading to Central Perk. While the writers give Ross and Rachel a happy ending (likely to appease fans and not because it necessarily makes sense), the finale isn't all about Ross. Instead, it shows these characters growing up and moving on, as the culmination of everything they've been through throughout the series.

Ross Geller also shares the spotlight with Rachel and Monica

Other fans of "Friends" feel Ross shares top billing with his sister Monica. "I always thought it was more of a Geller thing ... Most of the action takes place in Monica's apartment, you see their family the most, etc.", wrote u/MITCH-A-PALOOZA. Throughout the series, every one of the six characters lives in Monica's apartment, or in Phoebe Buffay's (Kudrow) case, used to live. Also, Ross and Monica's sibling rivalry is frequently addressed and explored in the series.

Other fans feel Ross and Rachel's connection puts them in the spotlight more than their costars. "I personally feel that the main characters were Ross and Rachel both as an on-off couple and as individual characters," stated u/hn_95. It's definitely arguable that Ross and Rachel's romance leaves a more lasting impression on viewers than any other in the show. Perhaps this is because of the infamous "We were on a break" debate that ignites in Season 3 and rages on moving forward.

Others think that while the show may start Ross-centric, the focus shifts in later seasons. "I would have said Chandler took the alpha male role from series 5 onwards, his relationship with Monica was definitely in prime focus from then til marriage," stated u/stereoworld. Could it BE any more obvious that Chandler and Monica are unfairly overshadowed by their two besties?