Even a decade and a half after Friends went off the air, it remains one of the funniest sitcoms ever made. Along with all the laughs, though, came a lot of tears.
Of all the characters on the show, Ross could be one of the goofiest. He got fired over a sandwich, said the wrong name at his own wedding, tried to impress his students by adopting a strange accent, got stuck in his own leather pants, and so many other ridiculous things. Yet, there were moments that Ross broke our hearts, too. Here are 10 of the best.
10 NOT BEING THERE FOR RACHEL'S PREGNANCY
Ross and Rachel aren’t together when Rachel becomes pregnant. Still, Ross wants to be part of his new baby’s life. The problem is Rachel is living with Joey throughout a majority of her pregnancy, which means it's Joey — not Ross — who’s there when the baby kicks for the first time. And it’s Joey — not Ross — who takes Rachel to the hospital when there's a potential problem.
By the time Ross gets there, Rachel has already been seen by the doctor and Joey’s asked all the questions a concerned father-to-be would. So, when the doctor tells Joey he’s going to make a great dad as Ross looks on, Ross understandably feels like he's failing before the baby is even born.
9 CANCELING A SPECIAL EVENING WITH MARCEL
After Ross gives up his pet monkey Marcel, he learns that Marcel has gone on to become a movie star. He’s even in New York City filming scenes for a new film. Ross wants to reconnect with his long-lost pal.
Initially, things go well, but like many celebrities, Marcel is torn in several directions. Ross is promised a whole evening with Marcel. He prepares a candlelit dinner and even makes Marcel’s favorite desert, banana cake… with meal worms. But Ross' plans are ruined when he learns that Marcel can’t make it. Ross feels left behind by his A-list monkey friend.
8 DECIDING BETWEEN RACHEL AND JULIE
When Ross was dating Julie in Season 2 but discovered that his long-time crush Rachel returned his feelings, he had an important decision to make. So, with Joey and Chandler’s help, he made pro and con lists for both women. Turns out, that was a big mistake.
Ross chose Rachel, but she soon discovered the lists. Seeing all the reasons Ross had come up with not to be with her in black and white made Rachel call things off before they even started. Ross’ pain as he tried to make it up to Rachel was palpable. Especially since he was so close but still so far from getting together with the love of his life.
7 GIVING UP MARCEL
After becoming single for the first time in years, Ross decided to get a pet. He didn’t go with the traditional cat or dog or even hamster though. He got a capuchin monkey named Marcel.
Ross and the gang loved Marcel (though they all had mixed feelings at times), but the monkey eventually reached maturity and could no longer safely live in a New York City apartment. Ross found a good zoo to take him and while he knew letting Marcel go was the best thing for him, he was still wrecked by his departure. Although their parting wasn’t exactly as he’d hoped, Marcel still left a monkey-sized hole in Ross’ heart.
6 RACHEL DATES PAOLO
After his divorce and the re-entry of Rachel into his life, Ross considered asking her out. Unfortunately he waited too long and soon Rachel was dating an Italian named Paolo. They didn't have much in common, but Paolo and Rachel seemed to really enjoy each other's company — especially when Ross was there to watch.
When Chandler's mother came to town and took the whole gang out to dinner, Rachel brought Paolo along. Ross spent the night watching them from afar, feeling sorry for himself. Ross' inebriated shenanigans were just an attempt to dull the pain of seeing Rachel with someone else.
5 ENDING HIS MARRIAGE TO EMILY
When Ross says Rachel’s name during his wedding to Emily, Emily understandably felt betrayed. Ross did everything he could to make it up to her. That included agreeing to move, getting rid of all his furniture, and eventually agreeing to no longer see Rachel.
Despite all that, when Emily caught Ross having dinner with his friends and learned Rachel was also there, she got angry with him. Ross and Emily finally realized their marriage couldn’t work because Emily no longer trusted Ross. Fans couldn’t help but sympathize with Ross’ shell-shocked response to the end of yet another marriage.
4 THE PROM FLASHBACK
In Season 2, the gang watched an old home video from the night of Rachel and Monica’s prom. When Rachel’s date, Chip, didn’t show up, Monica and Ross’ father suggested Ross take Rachel. Ross had loved Rachel from afar for years, and even though he was now in college, he still saw subbing in as her prom date as a big opportunity.
However, by the time Ross put on his dad’s tux and came back downstairs, Chip had made it after all and Rachel and Monica were running out the door with their dates. No-one noticed at the time, but Ross’ devastated expression on the video said it all.
3 DIVORCING CAROL
In the very first episode of Friends, we learned that Ross’ marriage was ending. He was bereft at the loss of his life as a married man and couldn't imagine what his life would be like as a single guy.
Ross shared his sadness and fears with Joey and Chandler. At the same time, fans felt his pain as he mourned his loss and tried to envision his future as a divorcee.
2 TRYING TO STOP RACHEL FROM MOVING TO PARIS
In Friends' final season, Rachel got an amazing job in Paris and planned to move there. It's then that Ross realized he still loved Rachel. So, he tried to intercept her before she got on the plane to Europe. Except he ended up at the wrong airport. All hope seemed lost, but he miraculously got to the correct airport just in time.
After Ross confessed his feelings, though, an overwhelmed Rachel got on the plane anyway. Ross is stunned and saddened all at once. He thought that if he could just get to her, everything would work out. Little did he know, he'd only have to wait a bit longer for that to happen.
1 BREAKING UP WITH RACHEL
From the show's first episode to its last, Ross and Rachel were Friends' it couple. After a series of mishaps, the pair finally got together in Season 2, but by the following season, they were struggling. So, when Rachel suggested they take a break, Ross lashed out by sleeping with someone else. When Rachel inevitably found out, it led to a crossroads.
It was such an important moment the show dedicated a whole episode to it. After a lot of talk, Rachel decided they had to break up. When Ross realized that the relationship was truly in danger of being over, he begged Rachel to stay with him. It wasn’t just one of Ross’ most heartbreaking moments, it was also one of the show’s.