‘Friends’: Whatever Happened To Ben — Ross’s First Born?

Friends may have ended more than a decade ago, but internet is still rife with theories about what happened to its lesser-known characters.

For example, take the curious case of Ben Geller — Ross’s first born — who, after a few appearances in occasional episodes of Friends, simply disappeared from the popular TV show for good. And while the show’s writers have never deemed it necessary to explain Ben’s mysterious disappearance even years after its end, intriguing theories on the internet suggest that the reason for Ben’s departure from Friends could have to do with Ross being a shoddy father.

Friends fans will remember Ben, who was born in the first season of the TV show, but only cropped up now and again — and while that is completely understandable given that he lived with his mother, Carol, and her partner, Susan, for the most part — what is intriguing is the attention (or lack thereof) that Friends writers and producers paid to his casual disappearance from the show after Rachel gave birth to Ross’s second child in the eighth season of Friends.

According to Movie Pilot, one popular theory on Reddit argues that Ben never met his newborn half-sister because Ross lost custody of Ben for being a careless and deviant father.

“Not only does Ben never meet his new half-sister on screen, but a meeting between the two of them is never even mentioned. We never learn about if Ben has met his sister, if he likes her, if he is a good older brother. We simply never see him again. Which raises a serious question: does Ross still see Ben? Did Ross’s insanity hit a breaking point with his ex-wife? Did she decide to take full custody of her son?”

There is enough evidence in Friends to back this theory up. While Ross seemed to be a caring and doting father in the first season of the show, gradually he metamorphosed into a drunken wreck who could not take care of himself, let alone his child. Add to that the fact that even Ben seemed to enjoy hanging out with Ross’s friends more than he did with Ross himself, and it is pretty clear why users on Reddit believe it to be a completely explicable theory about Ben’s disappearance from Friends.

Meanwhile, if you are wondering what happened to Ben in real life, we have some good news for you. According to SheKnows, Cole C. Sprouse (who played Ben) has not only grown into a dashing 22-year-old young man, but has become the latest heartthrob in the world social media. With a delectable sense of humor to boot, it is not difficult to imagine what attracts people towards this Friends star, who was also famous for co-starring with his twin brother in Disney’s The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.

It is clear that post-Friends, Cole C. Sprouse has kept himself busy. Apart from starring in popular TV shows, he also owns an extremely popular Instagram page, titled camera_duels, in which he uploads discreetly-taken photographs of fans who are trying to take his pictures instead. Check it out here.

Who would have thought, the mother with child, would have prioritized taking our picture over steadying her baby's carriage on a moving train? I did. I would have thought. Firstly, her child is too young for The Street Life of Shaq and Kobe, so we all know she was taking that picture for herself. Unless of course she was making a long term investment, banking on the baby enjoying the show when #it grows up. #ItsCalledInvesting. Trying to be sneaky, she made the number 1 rookie mistake, #Flash. My poor, helpless, innocent, virgin brother was caught in the middle of our duel. You can see the fear in his eyes and the determination in mine, both being trumped by the look of shame in hers. #cameraduels #BabyOnBoard #FamilyDrama #TheStreetLifeOfShaqAndKobe

A photo posted by Cole Sprouse (@camera_duels) on

So even though Ross did not pay much attention to Ben in Friends, he has grown into a charming and smart young man off-screen. We hope he jumps the boat from TV to movies soon — wouldn’t that be just the sort of thing Ross would like him not to do?

[Photo: Tim Whitby / Getty Images]