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Does anyone else despise Xander?

Bluebird

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Black Thorn
This is why the Buffering the Vampire Slayer podcast got boring for me, as Xander became the punching bag, with their catchphrase of 'he's the WORST!' without context or empathy for why someone would act as Xander does.
I think what a lot of the extreme Xander haters like to think is that Xander has chosen to live the way he has, without influence. Constantly calling him a toxic man baby when he is a victim of societal pressures and their expectations of a man's role in life, isn't really fair. His idea of masculinity as taught by the wider world and his horrible father, would be don't show fear, don't show weakness, and don't show genuine emotions. Otherwise you're not a man, you are a sissy. So yeah, I understand why Xander feels so defensive and may have pent up anger or problems he doesn't know how to deal with maturely.

I don't really understand why Xander is the poster boy for 'nice guys' or an example of the worst of toxic masculinity. He certainly isn't 'the WORST' - I see him the same way I see a lot of insecure young men, a victim of toxic masculinity. There are a lot of men who feel trapped in their own minds, who feel extremely out of place with the rest of the world's definition of being a man.
 
thetopher
thetopher
On of the reasons why I stopped listening to Buffering as well. :(
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
If Xander is the worst anyone has ever experienced in a man then they have been very, very lucky. I actually find it hard to believe that anyone's life could've truly been that easy.

CHK DeWilSon

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No. It never got to that level for me.

Xander was never a favourite character of mine in BVTS or even the buffyverse for that matter but I believe he was an essential and important part of the scoobies, in Buffy's life and BVTS as a whole.

His friendship with both Buffy and Willow was interesting to watch develop over the series and in particular with Willow given all the ups and downs that they had.

His romantic relationships were good. Not my favourites but I enjoyed what they brought for the on going development of his character.

He has annoyed, frustrated and angered me at times with his choices and decisions but I couldn't say that there isn't one buffyverse character that hasn't made me feel this way. So yes the main thing I have been peeved off with Xander was that he didn't tell Buffy about what Willow was trying to do in bringing Angel's soul back but in hindsight it might have done more harm than good if Buffy knew. Still that doesn't mean he was totally right for not passing that information through from Willow.

I think it's kind of easy to hate on Xander especially with Buffy and Willow being such popular and well like/love characters.

IMO he acted no worse than they did when it comes down to it and has proven himself to be their friend even with all the issues of testing their loyalties and truth.

They've all been hurt by each other and their actions but their love for one another will be there til the end.
 

katmobile

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Except you haven’t offered any facts. That whole article you referenced was opinion. She took specific instances where Xander was a dick and twisted it to fit her narrative. Also, what biased opinion do I have? I don’t think I even offered an opinion, just a clear dislike for that offensive article :) But here is my actual opinion::

Xander is a asshole. I honestly can’t defend his actions in Revelations or his obvious petty hate for Angel. It upset me for years honestly that he never seemed to have any comeuppance for his huge lie in Becoming part 2 or for basically trying to have Angel murdered by Faith in Revelations. He also pissed me off royally for telling Riley Buffy’s business in the Yoko Factor and for the massive hypocrisy he shows when it comes to his own lovelife. I see all those flaws and have no problem admitting he ha a history of being a douche.

However, that doesn’t make him a piece of shit or a misogynist. His acts of bravery and his heart to me far outweigh the bad. As much as he hated angel, he was willing to work with
Him to save Buffy’s life and also work to help save Angels life. He has thrown himself into the fray always at risk to himself, with no powers of his own, to save the world. He lost an eye for the mission, and in both of Buffy’s absences continued to fight vampires . He has been an unfailingly loyal friend, and yes, he’s also the one to say things that we don’t like. He had a very valid point in his feelings for vampires. Most of his dickishness was when he was in high school, and despite what that article claims, he DID eventually get over Buffy. This idea that for the remainder of the series he resented not being her boyfriend honestly has no base in canon.

As for his relationship with Anya::: yes he made fun of her . She made fun of him too and their whole relationship had that kind of banter. I honestly didn’t see misogyny in it: why does the fact that Anya bragging about all the men she killed and her interactions with people bordering on mentally challenged never get brought up? She was socially awkward and yes, Xander teased her. Why does that make him shitty? Willow was far mor judgemental of Anya and was much more openly disdainful. Also...Xander might have left her at the alter, which was reprehensible, but that doesn’t mean excuse Anya becoming a demon and murdering people.

Look, every character on that show has been shitty. If we took each female Character and broke down every mean, negative thing they have done we would have a lot more essays , and I’m sure we can word it where by the end, Buffy herself comes across like a piece of shit. That’s my problem with that article. I apologize for my remarks about you, that was wrong of me. I was annoyed and I shouldn’t have been so hostile.

I just have always had a problem with some fans or critics painting Xander as this unbelievable nice guy asshole, when I just don’t see it. He’s an easy target cause he can be a jerk. But a real, actual example of a misogynistic, piece of shit is Warren Mears. Xander is no where close.

Xander is not perfect. But he’s funny, loyal and brave and he LOVES the women in his life. I just can’t get on board with that perception of him that you seem to have.
Xander is very flawed and he gets away with a lot both and in and out of verse because he is so ordinary and rarely has a chance to really mess up with way Willow and Spike do. Although his lie in Becoming and his behaviour in Revelations cause a lot of long term damage he never truly gets called up over nor does it go away once he leaves high school and gets his life on a even keel. He is overbearing in his shilling of Riley in Into the Woods and slut shames his depressed friend in Seeing Red after trying to kill the person his ex fiancée HE dumped at the altar rebounded onto. He's still being an arse about both of them in early season seven. Most of what the hatus say about him is true........
BUT he's also an abused guy with no real male role models whose one male friend got killed by vampires and when he's seen two of them worse than Jessie had the chance to be get redemption that's got to make him wonder if only and stir up feelings of resentment. His bravery is all the greater as he has no special abilities to back it up. There is nothing he will not do to try and keep Willow and Buffy safe. The Troika all serve to remind us of all the kinds of men Xander might have become without his good qualities and if he was lucky in meeting Willow so young he paid that forward by saving her and everyone else from herself. He does get better over the years. Most of what his fans say about him is true.

He's interesting because he is nuanced sometimes he makes you want to punch the air, sometimes he makes you want to punch him .... hard. I think ultimately the world is better for his being there but I totally get the hate.
 

katmobile

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I wonder why he never told a soul about the events of The Zeppo? I mean, if he's such an ass who just wants recognition for his selfish acts? Anyone?
I have to admit that's one of the few points that was wrong. He had the right to be smug at the end of The Zeppo
 

katmobile

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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.
And yet I felt most of it was spot on except the last section.
 

Nix

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I found him mildly annoying to be honest but don't hate him at all, just mildly irritated by him. I didn't find him that funny either.
 

katmobile

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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.
Unsurprisingly I'm going to disagree but what may surprise is my main justification for a is not my favourite vampire. Idk why another poster said Xander defended Angel because I'm thinking of any instance where that happened in the TV series and I'm coming up empty even after Faith had almost raped/murdered him Xander still attributed the worst possible and wrong assumptions to him feeding off Buffy when Angel was doing to die otherwise. I'm sorry but if Angel fans want to hate Xander I can't think of a single reason to argue against it. Spike's more complicated but I think hating Xander for the attempted murder is legit because although Spike has done things that would make a staking potentially at least justified shagging Anya when Xander had jilted her was NOT one of them. Also some of his comments are downright hypocritical when you consider the carnage Anya's caused over the years.
B) I don't care how in character and understandable in context they are sexist comments are still legit reasons for dislike at least especially if not called out in verse.
Funnily enough the last reason is one I'd call out but you're still allowed not to be invested.

Hating vampires on a level with Connor is a low bar and Connor is not well liked either.
Gunn got over his issues to work with Angel. I don't think Xander could have done that

The last part I do agree except Xander isn't always justified.
 

DeadlyDuo

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@katmobile I pretty much agree with your posts. I think people dislike Xander because of the moments when he is an arsehole towards others and he has no right to be. Sometimes those moments can overshadow his good moments. It's not just about who Xander is being an arsehole to, it's the fact that he has no right to be an arsehole towards that person in the first place.

As you say, the fact that he doesn't get called out on it by other characters can also make people resent him.

Whilst it's an overreaction to "despise" Xander, I can also see why people don't like him because he has moments when he is extremely dislikeable and he repeats those moments again and again.
 

thetopher

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Xander defended Angel because I'm thinking of any instance where that happened in the TV series and I'm coming up empty
Defending him to Kendra and helping out in Amends spring to mind. That took about 30 seconds.

I'm sorry but if Angel fans want to hate Xander I can't think of a single reason to argue against it. Spike's more complicated but I think hating Xander for the attempted murder is legit because although Spike has done things that would make a staking potentially at least justified shagging Anya when Xander had jilted her was NOT one of them.
I really don't understand this mind-set; I don't like this character because they were mean to my favorite character one time and...' It seems not very legitimate to me. Hating a character for things like characters flaws or consistent behavior is more understandable.

If you want to hate Xander for being a judgemental hypocrite then that's legit, but that didn't really come up in the thread.

I don't care how in character and understandable in context they are sexist comments
Hating a character for saying sexist things? Baffling.
Do you also hate Buffy, Cordelia, Wesley, Spike, Anya and Willow? All of them say things that can be considered sexist at one point or another.

Hating vampires on a level with Connor is a low bar and Connor is not well liked either.
It's a valid comparison, although the reasons that Connor is disliked isn't always linked to Angel. It's because he's a frustrating one-note character a lot of the time.
But Connor gets a lot of fan-love anyway, especially for Season 5.

Gunn got over his issues to work with Angel.
Yeah, well so did Xander.
 

katmobile

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Defending him to Kendra and helping out in Amends spring to mind. That took about 30 seconds.



I really don't understand this mind-set; I don't like this character because they were mean to my favorite character one time and...' It seems not very legitimate to me. Hating a character for things like characters flaws or consistent behavior is more understandable.

If you want to hate Xander for being a judgemental hypocrite then that's legit, but that didn't really come up in the thread.



Hating a character for saying sexist things? Baffling.
Do you also hate Buffy, Cordelia, Wesley, Spike, Anya and Willow? All of them say things that can be considered sexist at one point or another.



It's a valid comparison, although the reasons that Connor is disliked isn't always linked to Angel. It's because he's a frustrating one-note character a lot of the time.
But Connor gets a lot of fan-love anyway, especially for Season 5.



Yeah, well so did Xander.
Quotes please .....for both examples?

Xander worked with Angel once, Gunn collaborated with Angel over four years big difference.
"I can't understand why anyone could dislike someone who was mean to MY fav" says the dude who argued ab naseum they disliked a character who allegedly gets more latitude and instigated an 'unprovoked' attack on her. Hmm I wonder.
 

AnthonyCordova

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My feelings keep changing about Xander. To say I despise him would strike me as too strong. I would say though that his constant stream of very ill-timed and unfunny jokes can wear on me after awhile. He can also be very inappropriately antagonistic, particularly to Buffy (episodes like Dead Man's Party and Into the Woods come to mind, among others). But I don't despise him, at least not like I used to. I view him now as basically a tragic figure. He's the embodiment of the tragic element found in the average everyman type. The problem I think for me is that I honestly don't relate to the "everyman" character very well, which presents an obstacle when it comes to empathizing with Xander. In order to understand why he is what he is (poorly timed jokes, etc. as essentially deflection from insecurity for example) one has to really appreciate his inner motivations, and with that particular character type, I've always struggled with putting myself in his place. As it stands, in too many episodes I find him rather tedious, similar to how Giles can often lose patience with Xander and then reproaches him for being distracting. Like Giles, I lose my patience with him too.
 
Last edited:

DeadlyDuo

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But Connor gets a lot of fan-love anyway, especially for Season 5.
Really? I thought Connor was one of the most hated characters in the Buffyverse?

He can also be very inappropriately antagonistic, particularly to Buffy (episodes like Dead Man's Party and Into the Woods come to mind, among others).
It's those types of moments that annoy me about Xander and they tend to overshadow his better moments.
 
thetopher
thetopher
Not really. Plenty of characters get hate, doesn't make them unpopular in the fandom as a whole.

GraceK

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Quotes please .....for both examples?
From what’s my line part 2

Buffy: We need to find this church. We need to find where this ritual
is gonna take place!

Giles: Agreed, and we must work quickly. (checks his watch) We have
five hours before sundown.

Willow: (opens her laptop) Don't worry, Buffy, we'll save Angel.

Kendra: Angel? But our priority is to stop Drusilla!

Xander: Angel's our friend! Except I don't like him.

Buffy: Look, you've got your priorities, and I've got mine. Right now they mesh. So, are you gonna help me, or are you gonna get out of my
way?

Kendra: (considers) I'm wit you.


From amends

BUFFY
Well let me look too. We have to
help him.
(off his look)
I'm not seeing him anymore. I'm
trying to put all that behind me.
And I'm not going to be able to as
long as we're doing guest spots in
each other's dreams.


Giles nods, acknowledging her logic.

BUFFY
So we'll help him?

GILES
Yes.

XANDER
Where do we start?

They both turn to see Xander in the doorway. Xander addresses himself to Buffy.

XANDER
I'm aware that I haven't been the
mostest best friend to you when it
comes to the Angel thing. And, I
don't know. Maybe I finally got the

Chanukah spirit.


Buffy smiles, warmly.

There you go. Two examples. The thing is, we aren’t making excuses for Xander, it’s the article of this original thread we have problems with. It is clearly biased and unreasonable, and that tends to happen a lot with anti Xander arguments, especially now in the 2010s.
 
thetopher
thetopher
Thanks for this.

AnthonyCordova

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It's those types of moments that annoy me about Xander and they tend to overshadow his better moments.
He tends to do it a lot. Now an episode like The Zeppo is a wonderful celebration of Xander. It would have been nice to see more positive Xander-centric episodes like this to flesh out in more detail his shining attributes. As it stands, we as viewers have to be content with suffering through his constant ill-timed, poor taste jokes and general pettiness (jesus, can you say deflection!) to get to the many smaller occasions when he shines again.

And I didn't mention it earlier, but pettiness is also a running theme with everyman archetypes and Xander displays his pettiness often enough as well. He's petty toward Buffy sometimes, as mentioned above, not just in important scenes but also in small ones, and he's generally petty in unfair ways toward Angel in the first three seasons, and it's unrelenting. And this isn't defensiveness on my part (in general I don't care very much for Angel in Btvs) but I find myself thinking "enough already" a lot. I get it, you don't trust Angel (and you're fundamentally petty too so you resent Angel because of Buffy and you're jealous toward him and he makes you insecure) but at a certain point I find myself wanting Xander to just get off it and move on. Which of course he never does. I could probably write a book about Xander's pettiness as deflection from fundamental insecurities. Pettiness is not endearing and as I said before it makes it hard to bridge toward him to relate. And once more, that's not to say that Xander is never admirable. He has plenty of brief moments that make you want to cheer for him. And I think most of us know he represents the everyman, so most of us are willing to grant him a degree of leniance. But his many poor sides are also difficult to ignore. Like I said, even Giles time and again loses his patience with Xander and gets very curt with him. I do too.
 

The Bronze

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Black Thorn
I'm just watching early Season 2 at the moment and Xander is really struggling with his feelings for Buffy. Honestly the amount of comments he makes and the defensiveness of her being interested in other people is uncomfortable. It's actually quite surprising at times that the friendship could survive.

I think a lot of it is using humour as a coping mechanism for the rejection but I'm glad he did manage to move on for both their sakes.
 

thetopher

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"I can't understand why anyone could dislike someone who was mean to MY fav" says the dude who argued ab naseum they disliked a character who allegedly gets more latitude and instigated an 'unprovoked' attack on her. Hmm I wonder.
lol. Yeah, there are many, many reasons I dislike Spike-with-a-soul that have little to do with him punching people all the damn time.
Anyway getting really OT because this thread is about friggin;' XANDER.
 
GraceK
GraceK
In response to your comment on my post:: no problem!!! 😊👍🏻

sosa lola

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Idk why another poster said Xander defended Angel because I'm thinking of any instance where that happened in the TV series and I'm coming up empty
It was S2 episode What's My Line: Kendra demanded Angel to be killed, and Xander heatedly responded with, "Angel is our friend!" If Xander wanted Angel to be dead - before the Angelus episodes - he would have agreed with Kendra, but he didn't.



even after Faith had almost raped/murdered him Xander still attributed the worst possible and wrong assumptions to him feeding off Buffy when Angel was doing to die otherwise.
Actually from Amends on, Xander's attitude towards Angel was subtly changing for the better.

1) Amends: he helped Buffy trying to save Angel and admitted he was a bad friend when it came to Angel.

2) The Zeppo: When Xander saw Buffy and Angel fighting, he asked if he could help them solve whatever they were arguing about.

3) Graduation Part 1: When Oz and Willow were stalling to give the information that will save Angel's life, Xander urged them, "C'mon, guys, the suspense is killing Angel."

4) Graduation Part 2: Xander was the one to reassure Buffy that Angel survived the fight, when he noticed that she was searching for him and worried about him.

I'd say that it had more to do with Xander being a good friend to Buffy than actually liking Angel though, but still.
 

katmobile

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From what’s my line part 2

Buffy: We need to find this church. We need to find where this ritual
is gonna take place!

Giles: Agreed, and we must work quickly. (checks his watch) We have
five hours before sundown.

Willow: (opens her laptop) Don't worry, Buffy, we'll save Angel.

Kendra: Angel? But our priority is to stop Drusilla!

Xander: Angel's our friend! Except I don't like him.

Buffy: Look, you've got your priorities, and I've got mine. Right now they mesh. So, are you gonna help me, or are you gonna get out of my
way?

Kendra: (considers) I'm wit you.


From amends

BUFFY
Well let me look too. We have to
help him.
(off his look)
I'm not seeing him anymore. I'm
trying to put all that behind me.
And I'm not going to be able to as
long as we're doing guest spots in
each other's dreams.


Giles nods, acknowledging her logic.

BUFFY
So we'll help him?

GILES
Yes.

XANDER
Where do we start?

They both turn to see Xander in the doorway. Xander addresses himself to Buffy.

XANDER
I'm aware that I haven't been the
mostest best friend to you when it
comes to the Angel thing. And, I
don't know. Maybe I finally got the

Chanukah spirit.


Buffy smiles, warmly.

There you go. Two examples. The thing is, we aren’t making excuses for Xander, it’s the article of this original thread we have problems with. It is clearly biased and unreasonable, and that tends to happen a lot with anti Xander arguments, especially now in the 2010s.
I think the last section on that Xander thesis is unreasonable I'll agree but the main problem with main article is it doesn't provide examples of positive examples as a counterweight . Xander's a dick to Angel but he is very brave standing up to Angelus at the hospital in Killed By Death which illustrates perhaps there is some desire to protect his friends at play.
I wouldn't count What's My Line as a good example it's more him stating the group position than defending Angel and he still has to make his negative view known. Amends - ok point conceeded. I guess he's also ok in the Zeppo. I still can completely understand why Angel might have enjoyed an excuse to punch him in the face in Enemies.
 

thetopher

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I still can completely understand why Angel might have enjoyed an excuse to punch him in the face in Enemies.
That's the thing; Xander doesn't like Angel and Angel doesn't like Xander. I think both of them are well within their rights to feel like they do given how the other treats them. It feels organic. Not every character that fights evil together has to get along.
I rarely see people criticize Angel for being mean to Xander in the same way Xander is to Angel.

Interpersonal conflict within a group is entertaining, realistic and dramatic.
 

spikenbuffy

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Overall I don't despise or hate Xander even if he is far from my favorite character. I just despise Xander in some moments (mostly in S2 or S3) like other characters when they do something that I hate. I despise him in Becoming (I don't need to explain), in revelation because he manipulated Faith or in Dead Man Party when he's disgusting towards Buffy, his best friend. But overall I don't hate him, he's a part of BTVS, I love him in The Zeppo, his relationship with Willow or his loyalty towards his friends (Graduation Day) despite him being a person with no power.
 
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