How a TV Sitcom Triggered the Downfall of Western Civilization
David Hopkins

Ross is not disliked because he was a nerd. Ross is disliked because he is a sexist, arrogant, self-centered asshole. He doesn’t support Rachel’s career, he cheats on her, he’s said the horrible “Not all men” line, he’s weird about Ben playing with dolls and Emma getting a male nanny, he physically attacks Rachel and Phoebe to show his (imagined) spiritual/physical superiority (Unagi episode), he condescends to Phoebe about her beliefs, the list goes on and on.

You wrote a good article, but it’s amazingly facetious. Take Joey’s “This guy says hello” line — he’s right! Ross comes in pouting and it does sound incredibly depressing. It’s not like they treat him like that all the time. In the same pilot, Monica offers to turn down an exciting date just to be with him, because he’s feeling down.

My 2 cents: Ross has SOME redeeming qualities and comes around towards the end of the show (he does support Rachel going to Paris over his own feelings, kinda), but his nerdiness being a gag is a very small part of why he is hated. He is hated because he is utterly hate-able. And it takes quite a few watch-overs of the show before many people realize it.