If anyone was to ask a fan of the show Friends who the worst character was, the fan might look at them, smile, and name off their least favorite side character with a laugh. That’s how dedicated some fans were and still are to this show, as they’ll gladly talk about their least favorite character so long as people realize that it’s someone that wasn’t on the show that often. Speaking from a practical standpoint though, every one of the main characters has one or more flaws that would put them in this category. But none of them are quite like the resident big brother, Ross. Unlike a show such as Seinfeld, this program actually showed a warmer side of the characters from time to time, but it still came at such an expense of realism that the sap and the sarcasm sometimes flowed in equal measures. Every character had one or more issues that they never really worked through, but Ross was the guy that served as one of the most neurotic of the bunch. His sister Monica was a close second, and Rachel and Chandler were right up there too.
But the reason why Ross was the worst is that he was actually the biggest buzzkill of the entire show. The guy didn’t appear to know how to have fun, and in fact, he was kind of an early, more laidback version of Sheldon Cooper. He was intelligent, had a good job, a home that was to his liking, and his friends could stand and even stomach him, but a lot of times he was simply too serious and didn’t appear to know how to have fun. On top of that, he was horrible with women since he was either the kind of professor who dated his students, which wasn’t illegal since he was a college professor, but more because a lot of people see this as unethical. On top of that, his whole irritating saga with Rachel was way overblown.
The fact that this show was so popular for so long isn’t that hard to imagine or believe since like always, people tend to be attracted to shows that feature one or more people that are bound to act in a manner that’s hopelessly complicated in the face of situations that could otherwise be handled rationally and competently without going through the process of blowing things out of proportion. But that’s the essence of a sitcom to be certain since it’s all about getting people to laugh and then touching them in the feelings when the moment is right. Combining the overblown feeling of a soap opera with a comedy show is what people enjoy since it gives them permission to run through a slew of emotions in a single episode sometimes, and leaves them feeling for one character or another. The idea of feeling anything but irritation for Ross was hard to do though since it was shown that even as a younger man he was prone to moping, being on his own, and generally being kind of a geek on a voluntary basis. Worse than that, his need to pine over Rachel for so long without doing something about it speaks of a certain lack of courage that only showed up when Ross had an advantage over those around him.
Ross was someone that was intelligent, capable, and definitely able to act like a decent human being, which made it confusing to think that often acted like a big kid when didn’t get his way. One can say that most of the cast did this, but somehow, Ross just kept lowering the bar when it came to who could act the least mature in any given situation. Some might say this was Joey’s forte, but quite honestly, Matt LeBlanc ended up playing an older, more mature version of himself since this character wasn’t too different from the part he played in Married…With Children as Vinnie, and on-again/off-again love interest for Kelly Bundy. It might sound that fair, but this was what people had come to expect from Matt early in his career, and it was what he was good at. But Ross was just difficult to like even in the best of circumstances.
A lot of people might come to David Schwimmer’s defense when it comes to this character and that’s fine, but liking or not liking a character isn’t as big of a deal as it might sound. In fact, really liking anyone in this show was difficult since each one of them pulled out a character quirk that was beyond irritating now and then, and it’s fair to say that despite the popularity of the show, Friends was perhaps one of the best examples when it came to proving that people love conflict and drama of all sorts.