When we found out that "Friends" may (or may not) have been a "meth-addled fantasy" from the mind of Phoebe Buffay, our minds were appropriately blown. While it technically could have been true, it seemed like quite a stretch. But the latest theory making waves online seems equally as sad and way more realistic.
Coming from the mind of author and "Friends" fan D.F. Lovett, the new theory suggests that Ross Gellar lost custody of his son, Ben, which would explain the boy's absence from the later seasons of the show.
Lovett writes on his website, "Sure, on first thought, Ross's shenanigans seem just as cheeky and fun as the rest of the gang. 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?"
He goes on to outline some of Ross' most ridiculous actions and storylines, like that time he tried to kiss his first cousin and the time he tried to convince a self-defense instructor to help him "scare" his female friends. He also brings up Ross' tendency to be disrespectful in relationships -- he mocked Joey for his lack of education, and often called out Phoebe for her unconventional lifestyle. Oh, and he was not always the perfect gentleman to Rachel, either.
Lovett adds, "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."
As much as we hate to admit it, all of those things are true. And the theory makes sense: Ben never shows up in the last two seasons, and we don't even know if he meets his sister, Emma. He just disappeared, seemingly without a trace. Ben's grandparents also call Emma "their first grandchild," which is pretty strange.
Are you freaking out yet?
In his theory, Lovett poses the question: "Does Ross still see Ben?"
Sure, he mentions Ben in these last two and a half seasons, 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.
The author and blogger goes on to suggest that Ross' "insanity" may have hit a breaking point with his ex-wife.
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.
He continues, "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."
Excuse us while we go pick our jaws up off the ground.
To read the full theory, head over to What Would Bale Do?.
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