As a diehard fan since that fateful premiere day in 1994, people often ask me who my favorite character is. Like a proud parent, my answer is usually something along the lines of “I love them all! Equally!” or “They each have their own strengths!” Now, I really do think they all have their strengths. They all have their particular episodes where they shine above the rest. However, when prodded a little more, I’ll eventually admit that my actual favorite character is Ross Geller. I KNOW THAT IS A CONTROVERSIAL ANSWER, as he is the least favorite of most people that I know, but oh, how I love him! It’s true that, in the earlier seasons, he can be very whiny and kind of a downer (not to mention his weird Season 5 hair), but it’s also true that Ross is severely underrated, especially in the later seasons. His weirdness, geekiness, and whininess become more and more endearing with every passing episode, and come on, nobody does physical comedy quite like David Schwimmer. Over the years, Professor Geller provided the show with some of its funniest storylines. Let’s take a look at some of those, shall we?
1. Unagi. (Episode 6.17 “The One With Unagi”)
In this episode, Ross tries to teach Rachel and Phoebe the ancient art of Unagi so they’ll be able to protect themselves from danger. He, of course, gets way too intense about it and any episode where Ross gets too intense about something is my reason for living.
2. His Botched Spray Tan. (Episode 10.03 “The One With Ross’ Tan”)
After creepily noticing how nice Monica’s legs look after she gets a spray tan, Ross takes her suggestion and decides to get one himself. Once he’s in the booth, he can’t quite get the hang of it and ends up looking like a chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream cone. This one never gets old.
3. His Extreme Teeth Whitening. (Episode 6.08 “The One With Ross’ Teeth)
Over the years Ross does many stupid things to impress a girl, this being one of the major ones. He leaves teeth whitener on for an entire day to get ready for a date, which makes him look like a freak. After failed attempts at making his teeth look less bright, he goes on his date anyway. Favorite part: A black light in her apartment makes his teeth glow in the dark.
4. His Leather Pants Incident. (Episode 5.11 “The One With All the Resolutions”)
As part of his New Year resolution to do one thing he’s never done each day, Ross decides to wear leather pants. This lands him pants-down in the bathroom on a date, and not in a good way. His date’s hot apartment has made his legs too sweaty and he can’t get them pulled back up. He is forced to ask Joey for help and things do not end well for leather-pants-Ross.
5. He’s Fiiiine. (Episode 10.02 “The One Where Ross is Fine”)
I am obsessed with this entire episode. After finding out Joey and Rachel are an item, Ross’ awkwardness goes 100. He pretends “he’s fine,” but tries way too hard to prove that “he’s fine,” which results in too many great Ross moments to count (including a great drunk speech which I’ve had memorized since 2003).
6. His Keyboard. (Episode 4.07 “The One Where Chandler Crosses the Line”)
In this episode, we learn about “The Sound,” which was what Ross called the music he wrote as an 80s teen (any episode where we get to hear about or see 80s Ross is A+++). The group convinces him to resurrect “The Sound” and we get to see Ross’ keyboard skills, which are more ridiculous than any of us imagined they would be.
7. PIVOT! (Episode 5.16 “The One With the Cop”)
Ross enlists Rachel and Chandler to help him move his new couch because he didn’t want to pay the movers’ fee. They spend the entire episode trying to get it up his stairs and “Pivot!” is born
8. The Holiday Armadillo. (Episode 7.10 “The One With the Holiday Armadillo”)
Ross in an armadillo suit teaching his son about Hanukkah. That’s all you really need to know.
9. The Routine. (Episode 6.10 “The One With the Routine”)
Some of my favorite episodes are when we get to see Ross and Monica’s siblingship in full swing, and of those, this one is king. After getting invited to “Dick Clark’s New Years’ Rockin’ Eve,” Ross and Monica set their sights on becoming platform dancers in order to get on TV. They perform “The Routine,” which was a dance they made up as kids and it’s my favorite thing ever.
10. His Fake Accent. (Episode 6.04 “The One Where Joey Loses His Insurance”)
In this episode, Ross pretends to have a British accent in order to impress students when he is given a professorship at NYU. Monica and Rachel catch him in the act and convince him to “phase out” of the British accent into his normal one, which doesn’t work, but is fun to watch every single time.