Oh yes, Ross, the narcissistic, condescending, and the self-pitying, was hated because he was clever. Of course. His constant mistreatment of Rachel, and then Emily, had nothing to do with it. The way he insisted upon trying to make Phoebe feel stupid because her beliefs didn’t align with his had nothing to do with it. The mere fact that you think Ross’s intellectual superiority made him too good for Rachel displays your opinion that ‘stupider’ mortals are less worthy of our time, which really demonstrates why you feel remotely sorry for Ross in the first place. His childishness is such that he threw a tantrum when his father gave Monica a car despite the fact that he had been idolised by both parents for years while Monica was ignored. Ross is not hated because he is an intellectual, but because he is a selfish martyr who thinks his academic achievements makes him better than those around him and is the very definition of ‘Nice Guy Syndrome’, which is just as problematic an attitude as the one you’re condemning in this post. Rachel should have stayed on that plane. SHE deserved better. You don’t get to claim ultimate superiority over other people because you read books.