“I got off the plane!”
Oh, how this line would illicit joy in my twelve-year-old self. Since then, however, I have grown up, I have learned a lot, and, most importantly, I have realised that Rachel Green should not have given up her new life in Paris solely to cling on to a questionable relationship. Especially not one with Ross Geller.
I dislike Ross. I dislike him more than I have ever bothered to dislike a fictional character. I invest so much energy into actively disliking him, because he deserves it. His self-pitying, manipulative, “Nice Guy” ways grind my gears to such an extent that I genuinely want bad things to happen to him (he’s fictional, I’m allowed to say that). Don’t agree? Allow me to explain.
Let’s begin with the biggest controversy to emerge from the entirety of the show – the “WE WERE ON A BREAK” fiasco. Here’s how I see it: technically, yes, Ross and Rachel were on a break, this was made quite clear. However, the implications were not. To Rachel, as to most, it did not mean “please, have sex with the hottest stranger you can find, hide her in your apartment when I come over the next morning, then desperately attempt to ensure the information never reaches me so that our relationship can be rebuilt under false pretences”. You can see why she isn’t enthused with the situation. Ross, however, doesn’t completely get it; thus, the infamous phrase – “we were on a break” – was born, as he believes that this entitles him to forgiveness. To him, all his actions, including lying to Rachel, should be excused by this technicality. He places facts over feelings; what has she to cry about when they weren’t technically together? Your girlfriend’s emotions don’t matter, right, Ross? As long as you’re correct! Asshole.
Moving on, let’s look at how Rachel began the show: a runaway bride from a rich fiancé, alone, and virtually unemployable. The next ten seasons consist of her smashing through the fashion industry until it is impossible for her to progress any further in her job in New York. This is when – leading up to the previously quoted finale – she is offered her dream job in Paris. She’d grown immensely from her spoiled-little-daddy’s-girl days, and was set up to be a successful single mum in the fashion capital of the world. I, along with all but one of the characters, was nothing but proud of her. The exception? Ross. Obviously. He couldn’t deal with his high school dream girl preparing to lead a life without him. He attempted to manipulate the situation to get his own way, instead of speaking to Rachel directly – sound familiar? He went behind her back, bribing her old boss to offer her a raise to dissuade her from leaving, which didn’t work; going to Paris was what Rachel clearly wanted. Did Ross care? Nope! Asshole.
He chased her to the airport, confessing his love for her as she boarded the plane, believing this would stop her from leaving altogether. At first, it didn’t, and if the show ended right here I would sleep better at night. Unfortunately, life isn’t perfect, and the writers predictably followed sitcom conventions by having the famously on-again-off-again couple “finally” end up together forever (unlikely, since their longest prior relationship lasts for, what? a season?). So, Rachel makes her way from the plane to Ross’ apartment to utter that famous line. What made Ross think he was worth Rachel sabotaging the best career offer of her life is beyond me. Asshole.
Still not convinced? Just watch the show; take note of how whiney, entitled, jealous, condescending, and narcissistic he is. The main thing I wish for you to take from this article is this: if you meet anyone like Ross Geller, please, get on the bloody plane.