Cole Sprouse, now 26, played the cheeky, blonde-haired son of Ross and his first wife, Carol.

But fans of the sitcom will know Ben didn’t appear after season eight, and was only mentioned a handful of times after that.

Three-times divorced Ross went on to have Emma with Rachel, but his first child was seemingly forgotten.

Now Cole, who went on to star in Disney’s The Suite Life of Zach and Cody with his twin brother Dylan, and now plays Jughead in Riverdale, has shed light on why his character was phased out – and it’s bad news for Ross’ parenting skills.

Replying to questions online for GQ on Youtube, a fan asked Cole on Twitter: “How do you feel about basically being killed off of Friends?”

Cole revealed: “Critics would agree that Ross was never really the most present father.

“And so it doesn't surprise me too much.”

The part was the first Cole played solo, without it being split with his identical twin, Dylan.

Cole added: “Honestly, our appearance as the same character was sort of dependent on how much screen time we had.

“In Friends, for example, my role was not too present.

“They only really needed to hire one twin, because both of us were incredibly expensive.”

But other fans have much darker explanations as to why Ben vanished.

Posting on Reddit, one fan theorised: " I think Ross Geller lost custody of his son Ben in the later seasons of Friends.

"Friends was on for ten seasons, but Ben doesn’t show up in person after episode twelve of season eight.

“He’s only mentioned six times in the remaining fifty-four episodes after his last appearance.

“People like to give Ross the benefit of the doubt, wondering if perhaps he was a better father off-screen.

"Perhaps his children met but the audience never saw.

“The more likely answer is that he was such a deadbeat father that he completely faded away from his son’s life, pretending to his family and so-called friends that he still saw a boy he barely knew.

"But, most troubling, is that it’s during these remaining fifty-four episodes that Ross’s second child is born.

"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."

RIP Ben, you were sorely missed.


And did you ever notice this filthy scene involving Ross Geller and his ex-wife Carol?

Plus there’s a theory about the very first episode, The One Where It All Began, which claims to reveal why Ross and Rachel had such a rocky relationship.  

If you’re into more Friends theory, then fans have spotted another plot hole which involves Monica’s phone.

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