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Does anyone else despise Xander?

GraceK

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Perhaps she did, but I still feel her points about Xander's behavior are true.



Agreed, with what you've stated thus far.



Yes, but he has also, on multiple occasions, made a point of acting petty about it too. His heroics are never really without selfishness, and that's okay because it's fine to want recognition for the crap you do that others don't. But he's not the only one doing the crap others don't want and he thinks that just by being a normal guy fighting off baddies without superpowers makes him entitled to the recognition and sympathy he denies others.

Like when Buffy, to quote from the article, "suffering from the aforementioned trauma of killing the love of her life at the exact moment his soul gets restored, runs off to another town to try and recover.....but when Buffy returns, Xander takes it upon himself to berate her and generally try and make her feel like shit."

He further humiliates her by insensitively stating things like, "Look. I’m sorry that your honey was a demon, but most girls don’t hop a Greyhound over boy troubles."

And again to quote from the article, "he’s calling her “selfish and stupid” and is dismissing Buffy’s emotional trauma of killing a loved one to save the world as “boy troubles”.

I just don't see how in this moment and many others through the series he can be thought loyal or a good friend. When someone has a traumatic experience and they have to go away for a little while before they can return, and regardless of the way they left, you don't say stuff like that. It's not supportive, it's not okay, and in my opinion that's not what a true friend would do. Doesn't matter if he or others were worried, you don't beat down on someone who has already taken a major beating (no thanks to his own actions to lie to her about what Willow said). And I know that if it were me and someone said something like that after I had been through hell I would have dropped them like a hot potato.

As for him getting over Buffy, he sure is quick to criticize every relationship she's ever had with another guy for someone that is "over her". Guys who are friends have no right to get up in your face over the relationships you have with other men, especially considering the types of relationships he's been in. And you don't see Buffy obsessing over who he dates like he does with who she dates. And despite his valid feelings about vampires, guys who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. I mean, he's been attracted to and dated various demonic women. Again, what right does he have to criticize Buffy's choices?



No, he acted condescending towards her. Was impatient with her. Didn't seem to get that for over 1,000 years she's been a vengeance demon against men. That's not something you can quickly change or morally educate, and in fact it's amazing that she trusted a guy enough after having seen the crap that they do to women for over 1,000 years to be in a relationship and get married to one. And what does said guy do? Leaves her standing at the alter. What makes him shitty was the way he constantly talked down at her whenever she said something awkward. He never just tried to gently correct. His words and his tone always held an air of condescension. Like, "I know you're to thick to understand, but listen to what I'm saying Anya" sorta feel to it.

And no, it doesn't excuse the fact that she killed men. But she was a vengeance demon and he went into the relationship KNOWING she had been a vengeance demon. Knowing she had a history of killing men. If he couldn't accept that and couldn't be patient with her as she learned how to reintegrate herself into society and her occasional slip-ups, he shouldn't have went into the relationship to begin with. And he definitely should not have taken it as far as the wedding day only to abandon her and then later be criticizing her choices to go find comfort and solace in the arms of another man when the one she wanted to marry left her.



I guess when it comes down to it, the way I see it is that there are different levels of misogyny. Warren is a blatant upfront misogynist whereas Xander has more subtler elements woven into his behavior. The petty statements he makes about other female character's love lives, his criticism of their choices, his undermining of their decisions and dismissing of their feelings, his own ego, failure to recognize his own hypocrisy, and his unapologetic overbearing and at times obsessive behavior towards the women in his life just don't come off as exactly friendly, loyal, or non-chauvinistic. Maybe he can be a good and loyal friend at times, maybe he has grown in some ways, but I feel like for the most part his character in this series has been left wanting. And yes, I agree every character is certainly flawed and has at one point or another been really shitty to each other.

I also apologize for escalating this and for the impoliteness of my own speech and character. I respect and acknowledge the fact that you have a right to a different opinion than me and that your personal views on Xander are no less valid than mine. But I don't think I personally can ever like his character. For me, his good points don't outweigh his bad. Especially when it takes seven seasons to get there. But in any case, thank you for the debate. You've made some good points.
 
Best just skip to the bottom. I tend to write like I do college essays, long in depth analysis with a summary at the bottom. Lol.
Well, I may not agree with what you have posted, but I think it’s very well put and I can see where you are coming from. I may not agree, but it certainly isn’t an invalid opinion. :) Xander, along with Spike, tends to be a very divisive character. I guess it just depends on what perspective we choose to see them. :)
 

GraceP

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Well, I may not agree with what you have posted, but I think it’s very well put and I can see where you are coming from. I may not agree, but it certainly isn’t an invalid opinion. :) Xander, along with Spike, tends to be a very divisive character. I guess it just depends on what perspective we choose to see them. :)
Thank you. Your argument was also well thought through and made some very valid points. We may have differing opinions on Xander, but we can agree on one point at least. That a lot of strong women came out of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. Willow, Tara, Anya, Buffy, Dawn, Ms. Calendar, Joyce. I'll never forget that moment where Buffy's mom takes the blunt end of an axe to the back of Spike's head knocking him out cold. xD
 

GraceK

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Thank you. Your argument was also well thought through and made some very valid points. We may have differing opinions on Xander, but we can agree on one point at least. That a lot of strong women came out of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. Willow, Tara, Anya, Buffy, Dawn, Ms. Calendar, Joyce. I'll never forget that moment where Buffy's mom takes the blunt end of an axe to the back of Spike's head knocking him out cold. xD
That was one of my favorite moments in the series!! I love Spikes reaction as well . BtvS has some of the best written female characters to be honest. :)
 

peaceofmind18

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Bless your heart. It’s not that’s impossible to defend the indefensible, it’s that it’s impossible to defend the irrational. Seriously, that article gave me a massive headache just trying to see past the vitriol.

As to my counter arguments, check out any other Xander thread where I have defended him. I make it pretty clear where I stand. :) that is if you care enough, because I really don’t care enough about your opinion to write a three page essay defending Xander Harris. Have a great day and welcome to the boards :)
GraceK I think I'm a little in love with you lololol
Thank you so much from the bottom of my Xander loving heart for such a strong and fair defense.

I've seen a few of those XANDER HATE lists at Tumblr and as you say- HEADACHE inducing....

It's super great to see a viewer that is actually interested in a intellectual critique of the show as opposed to those perhaps more inane things such as shipping and drooling lol...

I've encountered a TON of Xander HATE because of his lie in Becoming Part 2 - I get that some people were upset ( especially Bangel fans or Angel fans ) but I also think many interpreted his actions incorrectly. I've heard so often that Xander lied because he HATED Angel , mostly because Angel had Buffy , so he wanted him out of the way so he'd have a chance with her - regardless of the fact that he had moved on from his Buffy crush by then....

I also Have to tell you I"ve LOLOLOL at the argument many a time

- Joss Whedon himself - Yup the big POWER THAT BE in this scenario has himself said that Xander's Lie was a STRATEGIC ONE - Not personal - That he was like a general going into battle and he made a SPLIT SECOND decision that he though would give them the best chance at survival and the best outcome.

It wasn't a decision made out of rage or jealous - Or anything other than trying to up their odds.

Joss also stated that he wasn't sure that it was the BEST call on Xander's part - That it's rather controversial and thought provoking and hence in his words this is what makes it so FUN -

I can see why Joss likes this Xander moment- it makes for thought provoking and interesting drama.

It is in fact Xander's flaws that make him so interesting to me as viewer - it makes him more believable and dimensional.

Like you I refuse to give any credence to a critique that has such a one sided ( totally bias view of any character ) when I read someone ranting on about how a character is the most hideous, horrible human ever - I know everything I need to about their POV - they are NOT going to be open minded or to analyse things in a calm, thoughtful manner because there mind is already made up.

They have a hatred or vitriol for a character and that is what they will try to spread - Not exactly thought provoking or objective - there is no discussion in these cases - as there is not real discourse.

This kind of approach as you say lacks rational, and is certainly far to surface,shallow and black or white for my liking....

I like shows and characters that make me think - Not characters that tow a lie and do everything I think they should...

So for one to take a somewhat FLAWED character and only view them through their flaws and not anything else - I want no part in that sort of discourse....

All the BTVS are somewhat flawed some more than others but as viewing a character only by their flaws and none of their positive points - no thanks....

Thanks again this is really nice to see ☺
 
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GraceK
GraceK
Thank you!! I love my Xander :) he’s annoys me but I love him
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Agree completely, with everything :D

thrasherpix

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Brief commentary (relatively speaking anyway) on the article. I disagree with how Xander never lets it go, indeed, he saves her life later with his rival. It's true he hurts and acts inappropriately (just as Willow does when she finds out Xander is with Cordelia). Buffy lashes out when hurt even as an adult, and at least in adulthood I'd say Buffy is worse than Xander in that regard (that's not to say Buffy is bad, just that she's human, and I cut her slack just as I do Xander).

Most of all, a Nice Guy feels entitled to sex just for being nice (that is, manipulative, something of a complex form of prostitution--I've known 2 "Nice Guys" who did say they were just going to have sex with prostitutes when their blatant manipulations weren't working), but when Buffy is completely under his (miscast) spell, he refuses to take advantage of it, because he respects her agency. An entitled Nice Guy would not have let that stop him, and may have even taken vicious satisfaction (as Nice Guys often feel that women "take advantage" of them for not rewarding their "nice" behavior with sex, which generates a lot of anger toward women in general by so-called "Nice Guys"). This is not a defense of Xander blackmailing Amy to cast the spell, mind you, but if he were truly a Nice Guy then he'd have reacted very differently to Buffy throwing herself at him.

He also has ample reason to dislike Angel, at least by season 2, and even then he speaks up in defense of Angel at times. If anything, Xander is more forgiving of him as I would've held a grudge over what Angel pulls in School Hard, and later punching Xander out when pretending to be soulless. (I can understand why Angel dislikes Xander as well, mind you.) I also remember his quote of "The suspense is killing Angel." Xander doesn't like Angel, and Angel doesn't like Xander (and I don't blame either one for their feelings from their respective positions), but both of them do stand up for each other (usually, notable exceptions both ways) when they must, which I compare to how Willow and Anya get along (I completely understand why Willow doesn't like Anya, but she puts that aside as much as she was able).

He is indeed an ass in Dead Man's Party. But so was about everyone else, including Buffy. Ironically, Cordelia was the one to show compassion where the others failed to (though it seems to me Oz and Giles weren't that bad, and got overruled at least once, but I don't want to watch it again to clear up my memory). And they'll all have a turn being asses in other episodes.

And it goes beyond assuming things that aren't actually stated about Xander to twist Xander maliciously telling Riley about Angel's curse. Xander thought Riley knew because Riley said he did, and he knew enough, just not that one detail. Xander was shocked when he realized Buffy had left that part out.

That said, I didn't agree with his Riley speech, and am not a fan of Riley's behavior in season 5. But Xander also said good things to Buffy, including

XANDER: The problem is not you. Don't do this to yourself, please.
BUFFY: It's just ... I just wanna know that there's gonna be another good one. One that I won't chase away.
XANDER: There will be. Promise. He's out there, he could come along any minute.
BUFFY: Yeah, and the minute after that I can terrify him with my alarming strength and remarkable self-involvement.
XANDER: What? I don't think you're like that.
BUFFY: Maybe I could change. You know, I could, I could work harder. I could spend less time slaying, I could laugh at his jokes, I mean, men like that, right, the, the joke-laughing-at?
XANDER: Or maybe you could just be Buffy, he'll see your amazing heart, and he'll fall in love with you.

Buffy looks touched.

BUFFY: Xander, that's ... aw!

She puts her arms around Puffy Xander and rests her head on his big puffy chest.

XANDER: This is the day you choose to hug me? (shakes head, sighs) Buffy?
BUFFY: Mm?
XANDER: You ever think maybe the reason you haven't found a great relationship on the Hellmouth is ... because it's a Hellmouth? Seems to me it's a pretty terrible place to try to build anything.

Buffy closes her eyes looking peaceful.
And

BUFFY: No ... people are the strangest people. (she looks down as Xander continues working) I mean, look at me obsessing about being with someone. It's like ... I don't need a guy right now. I need me. I need to get comfortable being alone with Buffy.
XANDER: Well, I'll say this, she's a pretty cool person to be alone with.
BUFFY: (smiles) Thank you.

As for Anya, the shitty behavior goes both ways. Having Xander explain why the bars work for Anya is an example of that. Anya is such an entitled woman-child who puts her needs before anyone else's at all, and she was just fine with the idea of Xander selling the bars to make money to spend on her, and then not only accepted that, but demanded it. I could probably do an article on what a crappy person Anya is, but I wouldn't want to give the impression I don't like her as a character. I really do like Anya, but I'm not going to smack down Xander without smacking her down as well, when I think Anya was worse to Xander (not for the reason I just gave) than the other way around (though granted Hell's Bells is so hard to watch, and I could say a lot on that that heavily criticizes both characters).

That said, I share Xander's belief that Spike is an evil, soulless thing that should've been dusted long ago, but I do agree that Xander was in the wrong in going after Spike with an axe (and am glad Spike respected Buffy's demand for him to move on, even if she found herself hurt over it when he DID, and many fans hate Spike for one of the rare times he was halfway decent and tried, in his own limited way, to move on as Buffy said rather than trying to force Buffy to see things his way...for that brief moment anyway).

But of course love is like cocaine in the Buffyverse that turns everyone into cranky asses in the need of their next fix (to be fair, it can be like that in this world as well, but it gets tiresome that it seems about EVERY major character is grossly afflicted with it, and even breaking up doesn't seem to cure it, not even years later).



And Xander sees advice from Willow on other girls is wrong when she has a crush on him? How come the author didn't find it wrong that Buffy talked about these things with Xander then? (Even in season 2 Xander comforted her in times, like the time Xander reminded Buffy that Angelus is not the same person.)



After that I I just started skimming, because I was finding the selective tunnel vision about Xander as annoying as she found Xander (assuming that's even possible). And good gods, even taking all of that at face value (overlooking all that is good about Xander to focus only on the bad) makes Xander the worst sort of male to you then you've been very lucky in life.

And I'm tired, so I'll have to stop this for now. I do plan to come back to this thread, and so far I've only given the rest of this thread (since I was on before breakfast) a brief skim, and will likely be replying more.
 
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GraceK

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Brief commentary (relatively speaking anyway) on the article. I disagree with how Xander never lets it go, indeed, he saves her life later with his rival. It's true he hurts and acts inappropriately (just as Willow does when she finds out Xander is with Cordelia). Buffy lashes out when hurt even as an adult, and at least in adulthood I'd say Buffy is worse than Xander in that regard (that's not to say Buffy is bad, just that she's human, and I cut her slack just as I do Xander).

Most of all, a Nice Guy feels entitled to sex just for being nice (that is, manipulative, something of a complex form of prostitution--I've known 2 "Nice Guys" who did say they were just going to have sex with prostitutes when their blatant manipulations weren't working), but when Buffy is completely under his (miscast) spell, he refuses to take advantage of it, because he respects her agency. An entitled Nice Guy would not have let that stop him, and may have even taken vicious satisfaction (as Nice Guys often feel that women "take advantage" of them for not rewarding their "nice" behavior with sex, which generates a lot of anger toward women in general by so-called "Nice Guys"). This is not a defense of Xander blackmailing Amy to cast the spell, mind you, but if he were truly a Nice Guy then he'd have reacted very differently to Buffy throwing herself at him.

He also has ample reason to dislike Angel, at least by season 2, and even then he speaks up in defense of Angel at times. If anything, Xander is more forgiving of him as I would've held a grudge over what Angel pulls in School Hard, and later punching Xander out when pretending to be soulless. (I can understand why Angel dislikes Xander as well, mind you.) I also remember his quote of "The suspense is killing Angel." Xander doesn't like Angel, and Angel doesn't like Xander (and I don't blame either one for their feelings from their respective positions), but both of them do stand up for each other (usually, notable exceptions both ways) when they must, which I compare to how Willow and Anya get along (I completely understand why Willow doesn't like Anya, but she puts that aside as much as she was able).

He is indeed an ass in Dead Man's Party. But so was about everyone else, including Buffy. Ironically, Cordelia was the one to show compassion where the others failed to (though it seems to me Oz and Giles weren't that bad, and got overruled at least once, but I don't want to watch it again to clear up my memory). And they'll all have a turn being asses in other episodes.

And it goes beyond assuming things that aren't actually stated about Xander to twist Xander maliciously telling Riley about Angel's curse. Xander thought Riley knew because Riley said he did, and he knew enough, just not that one detail. Xander was shocked when he realized Buffy had left that part out.

That said, I didn't agree with his Riley speech, and am not a fan of Riley's behavior in season 5. But Xander also said good things to Buffy, including



And




As for Anya, the shitty behavior goes both ways. Having Xander explain why the bars work for Anya is an example of that. Anya is such an entitled woman-child who puts her needs before anyone else's at all, and she was just fine with the idea of Xander selling the bars to make money to spend on her, and then not only accepted that, but demanded it. I could probably do an article on what a crappy person Anya is, but I wouldn't want to give the impression I don't like her as a character. I really do like Anya, but I'm not going to smack down Xander without smacking her down as well, when I think Anya was worse to Xander (not for the reason I just gave) than the other way around (though granted Hell's Bells is so hard to watch, and I could say a lot on that that heavily criticizes both characters).

That said, I share Xander's belief that Spike is an evil, soulless thing that should've been dusted long ago, but I do agree that Xander was in the wrong in going after Spike with an axe (and am glad Spike respected Buffy's demand for him to move on, even if she found herself hurt over it when he DID, and many fans hate Spike for one of the rare times he was halfway decent and tried, in his own limited way, to move on as Buffy said rather than trying to force Buffy to see things his way...for that brief moment anyway).

But of course love is like cocaine in the Buffyverse that turns everyone into cranky asses in the need of their next fix (to be fair, it can be like that in this world as well, but it gets tiresome that it seems about EVERY major character is grossly afflicted with it, and even breaking up doesn't seem to cure it, not even years later).



And Xander sees advice from Willow on other girls is wrong when she has a crush on him? How come the author didn't find it wrong that Buffy talked about these things with Xander then? (Even in season 2 Xander comforted her in times, like the time Xander reminded Buffy that Angelus is not the same person.)



After that I I just started skimming, because I was finding the selective tunnel vision about Xander as annoying as she found Xander (assuming that's even possible). And good gods, even taking all of that at face value (overlooking all that is good about Xander to focus only on the bad) makes Xander the worst sort of male to you then you've been very lucky in life.

And I'm tired, so I'll have to stop this for now. I do plan to come back to this thread, and so far I've only given the rest of this thread (since I was on before breakfast) a brief skim, and will likely be replying more.
I love this whole post. I feel the same way, that article was so tough to get through for that reason...selective tunnel vision is a perfect way of describing it.
 

thrasherpix

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Ok, read the rest. I'd skimmed it before and kept seeing "read the article" so I thought I'd do that first. I gave my first impression on it but it was just strange in that it focuses on specific incidents, while ignoring a great many others. I'm surprised sosa lola just gave a brief summary of Xander at his best.

That article was not only Xander at his worst, but even that selective tunnel vision wasn't enough. It had to magnify it and attribute malice where none was intended and could only be assumed with that extreme selectivity of Xander's character given by the article, pretending a lot else didn't exist to measure Xander and his motives by. I know it's normal for Xander to get a different measuring stick than other characters (so Xander cheating on Cordelia is vile, Willow cheating on Oz is just an oopsie, for example, I can't even recall any of the harsh Willow critics saying they hated her for it whereas plenty hate Xander for the same thing--heck, the article itself talks about Xander speaking of his romantic interest to Willow but not Buffy doing the same to Xander, not that I think either of them were bad for doing so), but that takes it to a new level, and ironically leaves me more baffled by the Xander hatred, because those weren't really reasons, but selective tunnel vision with the bad magnified and the good dismissed outright, and I don't think that would happen unless one was trying to explain their hatred in retrospect upon rewatching. I'd understand if someone listed many of those reasons for why they don't particularly care for him or have someone like him for a friend, but that level of vitriol and selectivity is just bizarre to me.

As for me, I don't like Mary Sues and Marty Stus (and even struggled with Oz for awhile because he seemed TOO perfect at first). I like my characters flawed (just to be clear, I'm not saying the article is correct but I love him anyway, however a valid opinion the article may be), having both good and bad, which is why I like most characters in the Buffy/Angelverse. And I'll just have to leave it at that.
 
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sosa lola
I was extremely busy yesterday, but I will be back.

peaceofmind18

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I agree thetrasherpix I also read the article in question and I find that level of HATE just utterly bizarre and I don't think one can even call something like that a critique it's just too one sided - it's more like a manifesto of Why I HATE this guy and you should too... -

Totally one sided, and not a very deep examination - Like many of the Xander rants I come across - focusing solely on the negative and ignoring all else - You can't just look at one character through that narrow lense it's not a fair or balanced examination at all -

I too like my characters with flaws - makes them ore interesting, believable and passionate to me -

Xander has long been a favorite of mine ( I'm an old watcher but new to the fandom lol ) and have found the level of HATE he gets in comparison to many of the other BTVS characters just utterly scary and bizarre. -

I don't HATE any of them with that much malice - if I did I probably never would have been a fan of the show -

So thanks for standing up for Xander in the wave of hate that he often UNFAIRLY ( my opinion ) and indiscriminately get smashed with...
 

peaceofmind18

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Imo Xander Harris was one of the worst characters on Buffy. In S1 I tolerated him for the most part but right from S2 he got so annoying. He was constantly jealous of Angel and Spike. He was whiny throughout the seasons and held double standards to women when he had a "god complex" especially in later seasons. I would've gladly had him leave over many characters.
Am I the only one who feels this way?
PaulParmar1 I thought I saw that you said you believe in spreading love, love , love in another thread. And I'm not belittling that at all I think it's a great and admirable trait yet here you have started a thread about how much you DESPISE a character asking others if they HATE him too?
Everyone is of course totally entitled to their POV on characters, shows, everything but can you see how your two separate points here really appear extremely contradictory to one another...
 
"His heroics are never really without selfishness, and that's okay because it's fine to want recognition for the crap you do that others don't. But he's not the only one doing the crap others don't want and he thinks that just by being a normal guy fighting off baddies without superpowers makes him entitled to the recognition and sympathy he denies others."

Sorry but just don't agree with this statement at all...


Yes like the time at the end of season 1 when he sought out Angel to go save Buffy , where he ended up saving her and never brought it up again ( she did ) / Or where he was integral in protecting other students from the Mayor's ascension - he wanted no praise he just did it because it was the right thing to do ( same reasons as the others scoobies ) / Or in the Freshman where he gave Buffy a pep talk because she was feeling so down ( he did that for love of his friend , not for any gain of his own - Yet he denies others sympathy - What??? ) / Or when he went into the Frat House with Anya to save Buffy and Riley ( didn't see him looking for any recognition there either ) / Or in The Zeppo where he stopped the school from being blown up and told no one about it - NO ONE - Doesn't sound like some one that is looking for recognition / He jokingly bragged about saving the world from Dark Willow - Because he was so proud of that accomplishment and he should be... / Or the talk he gave Dawn about her being EXTRAORDINARY - just he and Dawn not for anyone else to hear ( doesn't sound like a glory hound to me ) and Finally he gets his eye gouged out and mostly tries to be jokey about it so the others don't feel so hurt and bad....
 
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Aleks

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Xander Harris is the most insecure, jealous, hypocritical, double-standards, misogynistic, unapologetic jackass of a manchild to ever walk the face of the Earth. He REALLY does not get any better as a character, much less as a human being, and most certainly not as a friend. Throughout the entirety of the series I found him to not only be the weakest link of their Scooby Gang, but also the worst sort of male. He never matures and his character never develops as it should. I really don't get why people consider him lovable. Yeah, he's deeply flawed. And not in a good way. Not in a way I could ever relate to or like or accept or understand. And I could honestly rant about him being the douchiest douche to ever douche, but somebody already went through that trouble in true College Dissertation form. You can read for yourself all the logical and undeniable points NOT in Xander's favor here:

Least Favourite Characters Awards: Xander Harris is Terrible

So yeah, I despise Xander Harris. If only because he's a "Nice Guy".[/QUOTE

Totally agree. Word for word.
 
Totally agree.
 
1) Buffy has sacrificed herself several times over to save everyone AND she killed her love Angel to save the world (no thanks to Xander's lies when he should have delivered Willow's message and not broken trust)
2) Every other Scooby has helped Buffy save the world/research
3) Not having power and helping to save the world and feeling under-appreicated for it is not an excuse for the things he's said and done. Hawkeye doesn't have super powers and yet he don't act like Xander acts to his female friends.
4) Refusing to run away with Anya and abandon his friends is a low standard to set and does not mean he's a decent guy, it just means he's not a coward
5) He left Anya at the alter and then expected her to "get over it", and when she slept with someone else because she needed comfort after he abandoned her (and was by then a single woman) he suddenly thinks he has a right to dictate and criticize her behavior but not his own
6) He constantly criticized Anya and acted condescending to her throughout the entire series under the pretense of "teaching her to be human"
7) The one time he thinks about someone else's needs other than his own is again a low bar to set
8) Xander often does these things because he wants recognition for doing them and then he emotionally manipulates people when he doesn't get that recognition. If he were a true nice guy, not a "nice guy", he would do them because it makes him a good friend. Not because he needs the recognition for being a good friend.
9) He's a poor friend to the women in his lives, he constantly judges them, emotionally manipulates them, says and does hurtful things to them, and his entire narrative hides his misogynistic ways under the persona of a good human being when really he's just a "nice guy".
10) Read the rest of the article and we'll talk more after.
 
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WillowFromBuffy

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I also found him kinda underdeveloped. He is most definitely brave, yes, and he's good with the jokes, but what are his interests? Hobbies? What is it about him that Willow likes enough to have harbored this crush for most of her life? If he's so keen to help Buffy in her fight, then why isn't he training in martial arts or boxing or something? Why does Buffy call him her strength when he's generally pretty bad at supporting her emotionally?
Xander did not have too many interests and hobbies, but that was used as part of his characterisation. I don't think Xander really comes into his own until S4, before which he reads Jack Kerouac and sets off on a quest to discover himself, which ends in disaster. Throughout the rest of the season, he experiments with different jobs. None of these jobs are able to give him any sense of identity. He has nightmares about wasting away in his parents' basements as his friends pass him by. It is his construction job that eventually saves him, as it provides him with economic independence and a sense of accomplishment.

Willow's love for Xander is not all that complicated. He was her only friend throughout her entire childhood. As an anxious child, she was probably drawn to his carefree nature and his ability to cheer her up. Being able to help him with his schoolwork likely gave her an important sense of validation and usefulness. Christmas seems to have been an important time for them. Xander had to worry about his alcoholic parents and as she is Jewish, Will was excluded from the nation's most important holiday. It wasn't a matter of having all that much in common. They were the most significant person in each other's lives. That creates a bond. Also, Willow's fear of being unlovable stuck with her for a long time, so she saw Xander as her only hope.

Not everyone can train themselves to become amazing fighters. If you want to be an expert at martial arts, you should start very young and hope you have the genes for it. Some people are just naturally athletic. Others are not. He may have worked to get in shape, because he is quite muscular.

If you want to know why Buffy calls him his strength, you should watch The Freshman, Seeing Red, Lessons, Beneath You, Dirty Girls and I am sure Sosa Lola could name more.
 

peaceofmind18

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Xander did not have too many interests and hobbies, but that was used as part of his characterisation. I don't think Xander really comes into his own until S4, before which he reads Jack Kerouac and sets off on a quest to discover himself, which ends in disaster. Throughout the rest of the season, he experiments with different jobs. None of these jobs are able to give him any sense of identity. He has nightmares about wasting away in his parents' basements as his friends pass him by. It is his construction job that eventually saves him, as it provides him with economic independence and a sense of accomplishment.

Willow's love for Xander is not all that complicated. He was her only friend throughout her entire childhood. As an anxious child, she was probably drawn to his carefree nature and his ability to cheer her up. Being able to help him with his schoolwork likely gave her an important sense of validation and usefulness. Christmas seems to have been an important time for them. Xander had to worry about his alcoholic parents and as she is Jewish, Will was excluded from the nation's most important holiday. It wasn't a matter of having all that much in common. They were the most significant person in each other's lives. That creates a bond. Also, Willow's fear of being unlovable stuck with her for a long time, so she saw Xander as her only hope.

Not everyone can train themselves to become amazing fighters. If you want to be an expert at martial arts, you should start very young and hope you have the genes for it. Some people are just naturally athletic. Others are not. He may have worked to get in shape, because he is quite muscular.

If you want to know why Buffy calls him his strength, you should watch The Freshman, Seeing Red, Lessons, Beneath You, Dirty Girls and I am sure Sosa Lola could name more.
Thing is WillowFromBuffy - they don't want to know why Buffy calls him her strength - with the Xander haters it just seem to about BLIND HATE - so nothing fans do or so will change that, nothing others characters say or do will change that... - If you read one of the little why I hate Xander critiques they are usually biased and skewed to that point of absolute irrationality - they'll use him getting his eye poked out as something negative on his part - so no understanding for his motivations, no sympathy for him, no tolerance for his BEING whatever - Of course that sounds like a generalization and I know not all who don't like Xander are like that , but I've come across a fair few that are that ABSOLUTELY HATEFUL and extreme unfortunately.... / They are also usually the ones that turn a total blind eye to the problematic characteristics of their favorite characters as well..
 
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WillowFromBuffy

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Thing is WillowFromBuffy - they don't want to know why Buffy calls him her strength - with the Xander haters it just seem to about BLIND HATE - so nothing fans do or so will change that, nothing others characters say or do will change that... - If you read one of the little why I hate Xander critiques they are usually biased and skewed to that point of absolute irrationality - they'll use him getting his eye poked out as something negative on his part - so no understanding for his motivations, no sympathy for him, no tolerance for his BEING whatever - Of course that sounds like a generalization and I know not all who don't like Xander are like that , but I've come across a fair few that are that ABSOLUTELY HATEFUL and extreme unfortunately.... / They are also usually the ones that turn a total blind eye to the problematic characteristics of their favorite characters as well..
The people you describe certainly exist, but I have never thought of Taaroko as one of them. I wrote that post mostly because I felt inspired. It feels good to write something nice about the characters you love.
 

peaceofmind18

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The people you describe certainly exist, but I have never thought of Taaroko as one of them. I wrote that post mostly because I felt inspired. It feels good to write something nice about the characters you love.
I didn't mean Taaroko at all - They seem very FAIR and chill - I just meant HATERS in general and the Xander haters I've come across will literally turn everything he does into something problematic - Even when they are examining his good qualities - they will often still find things to hate on in regards to his wonderful brave moments - I don't know if you read that Xander character critique that was posted in this thread but it was astounding in it's bias and hate ...
 
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WillowFromBuffy

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I didn't mean Taaroko at all - They seem very FAIR and chill - I just meant HATERS in general and the Xander haters I've come across will literally turn everything he does into something problematic - Even when they are examining his good qualities - they will often still find things to hate on in regards to his wonderful brave moments - I don't know if you read that Xander character critique that was posted in this thread but it was astounding in it's bias and hate ...
To be fair, they often have a point, because he is clearly written deliberately to be a flawed character. However, flaws and the ability to sometimes overcome those flaws are what make people beautiful.
 

peaceofmind18

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To be fair, they often have a point, because he is clearly written deliberately to be a flawed character. However, flaws and the ability to sometimes overcome those flaws are what make people beautiful.
Oh yeah I agree he's very problematic - no argument there and that is a valid point but say for example that critique I'm talking about it's just sheer character hate and the attempt to spread that hate - So bias it's almost laughable...

I get that certain characters do things that irritate, upset or annoy people but that is just part of said character not all of them, also if people are going to be so harsh on one character then in all fairness hold all the others to that same standard. Because pretty much all of the characters in the Buffyverse are quite flawed and problematic - it's what makes them interesting and relatable.
 

thetopher

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Nope. Xander is a character that I didn't particularly care for during my first couple of viewings- apart from all the jokes- but who I think gets a bit more depth and nuance as the show goes on.
I mean, I like other characters far more even though they've done many worse than Xander (gestures at Faith) so I don't think I would ever hate him for the things he does or some of his emotional outbursts. He does good things and bad things, says hurtful things and inspiring things.

If a character is consistent, or if they have an understandable arc of behavior, then I find it hard to despise them at all. I think character development is enriching, nobody starts off perfect and fictional characters shouldn't either.
 

DeadlyDuo

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I generally don't mind Xander. He's a good friend to Willow, most of the time he helps pick Buffy up when she's feeling down, he's loyal, he tries to lift group morale, etc. The jokes I think are mostly a product of the 90s rather than a reflection of Xander himself. However: there are 3 instances where I do dislike Xander:

1. Him having a go at Buffy in Dead man's party
2. Him berating Buffy over Riley
3. Him having a go at ANya for sleeping with Spike and telling her that she "disgusts" him.

Mainly it's the fact that Xander has no right to do any of these things, particularly the last one, considering that HE was the one that broke up with Anya. It wasn't like Anya was cheating on him with Spike, so Xander has no right to berate her.
 

LilyAnne

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If a character is consistent, or if they have an understandable arc of behavior, then I find it hard to despise them at all. I think character development is enriching, nobody starts off perfect and fictional characters shouldn't either.
The jokes I think are mostly a product of the 90s rather than a reflection of Xander himself. However: there are 3 instances where I do dislike Xander:

1. Him having a go at Buffy in Dead man's party
2. Him berating Buffy over Riley
3. Him having a go at ANya for sleeping with Spike and telling her that she "disgusts" him.
Xander is not one of my most favorite characters, but I definitely do not despise him. I think he is a problematic character, sure, but honestly I fault the writers more for many of his inappropriate comments than I fault him as a person. Also that dream sequence from Season 7 that I hate so much. My problem with that scene is with the writers, not with Xander. If anything, I think he is one of the most consistently written characters, and that his flaws are all in line with what we see of his home life and what we can imagine about his childhood. This is why I think the shot of him in the snow at the end of “Amends” is so important to notice. He really does sleep alone outside with cookies & comic books on Christmas Eve to escape his family’s drunken fighting, and he really has done this every year for who knows how long. I also think it is worth noting that in “Restless”, each character is attacked by the First Slayer as the First Slayer, except for Xander, who has his heart ripped out by his own father. I think that is probably a pretty significant detail, and I imagine that Joss probably wrote in both of these moments for a reason.
 

thetopher

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I've read through this thread again (because waiting near computer) and it seems like people dislike Xander because of:
A) He's mean to your favorite vampire for some reason. This is not allowed because he's clearly only jealous.
or
B) Because he doesn't age well as a 90's highschool straight white male who makes off-colour jokes as a defense mechanism. For example he sometimes says bad things to female characters. Ergo he's a misogynist.
or
c) They just really don't like that type of character- the funny side-kick- because he's boring, useless and they don't find him funny.

Honestly the first two reasons are a lil' bit eye-rolling.
Xander's dislike of vampires is really not that different from Gunn's or Connor's, he lost a close friend to one very early on and that color's his views. And whilst there are shades of jealousy (with Angel only) there's also many occasions where he rises above that and is supportive/helpful. Its a flaw he grows out of relatively quickly.
And sure, Xander says some unkind things to Buffy sometimes, or Anya sometimes. But there is always context, I don't think he's ever needlessly cruel to them, and he's supportive of them more often than not.
As for the third, try watching a modern day superhero show and look at the 'powerless male best friend' character in 'Smallville or Supergirl and you'll appreciate Xander a lot more. In comparison he has depth, a fairly subtle emotional arc, and is far, far more useful.
 
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