Ross Geller

Ross Geller

Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... in Long Island, N.Y., in an extremely competitive household, thanks to his little sister Monica. Thanksgiving still brings haunting memories of the annual Geller Cup, the trophy for winning the family’s sometimes brutal touch football game. Even more haunting are Ross’s nightmares of a then-overweight Monica eating him alive. Ross seems to have always been his parent’s favorite; this is possibly due to the fact that he was the first child, born after his mother was presumed infertile.

Living... in a Manhattan apartment by himself. Ross loves not having a roommate like most of his friends. When he does share a place it’s generally with a girlfriend, fiancée or wife, which is typically problematic in its own way. Ross has been kicked out of his share of apartments.

Profession... a paleontologist working at the Museum of Natural History. The job sometimes works to his advantage because it also happens to be a great -well, decent- date setting. (Okay, only sometimes.) Ross is always baffled that his friends don’t take more interest in his work. He has always marvelled at the fossil record and discoveries of new species. Not only do his friends not care, they openly mock Ross for it.

Interests... karate – he pronounces it “kar-aa-tay”– which also draws grief from his friends. Ross insists that “unagi,” which he says is a state of total awareness, is not to be ridiculed. Unagi is to be envied. But his friends say “unagi” is a kind of sushi, and they have a point. Once again, Ross is baffled by his friends' mockery. Ross also has a passion for rocks, occasionally sports, and even dancing.

Relationship Status... turbulent and ever-changing. Ross is in the unique position of going through three marriages, infamous for his divorcing.“I would prefer Ross, the Divorce Force,” he once said. “It’s just cooler.” However, he’s essentially been in love with the same woman for most of his adult life. Ross has known Rachel since highschool, but they’ve never been able to keep it together. It’s more a matter of timing, circumstances, and petty mistakes than chemistry. Neither of them are over it yet.

Challenge... finding love and keeping it. Ross is the butt of a lot of jokes among his friends, but, in fairness, often it’s because in some ways he’s got it the most together. He grew up the fastest, found a real career first, got married and had a kid, and frequently has to help his friends get out of the mess they've created. (Yes, his first wife left him for another woman, but let’s not quibble.) Ross wants recognition and admiration. He also wants a marriage that lasts longer than a year. Most importantly, though, he wants no one to eat his sandwich.

Personality... awkward, but not in a bad way. You can almost always count on Ross to do the right thing, and if he fails to, it’s usually because of clumsiness. There’s no alpha-male chest bumping with Ross. He’s more comfortable with a book than a TV remote. Despite his flaws, Ross is genuine, intelligent, selfless, and incredibly funny - whether or not he means to be.


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