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Buffy quotes for every occasion. Part 2: Gender Roles

Xander: "Oh, you wanna date. I saw that half-smile, you little slut."
Buffy: "All right, yes, date and shop and hang out and go to school and save the world from unspeakable demons. You know, I want to do girlie stuff."

Buffy the Vampire Slayer kicked a specific stereotype to the curb and pummeled it to death. Joss Whedon's original inspiration for the movie and show was a monster stalking a pretty young blonde woman, who turns and unexpectedly beats the crap out of it. The traditional victim becomes the superhero. And Buffy did it while remaining feminine.

Season two featured Buffy in what seemed at first to be a more traditional role: a teenage virgin victimized by a much (much) older man, who used her sexually, stalked her, and endangered her life as well as the lives of her friends and family. I can remember how shocked I was by what Buffy and Angel did to each other in season two, and how it reflected a common romantic situation gone bad but took it to a whole new level.

In the most controversial season, (six, of course) Buffy blitzed gender stereotypes again when she had a violent affair with a vampire in which she was the sexual aggressor. I can remember how uncomfortable many fans were with this development, and how it was endlessly discussed and either championed or panned. It was certainly different, though, wasn't it?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer also innovated with Willow, who began the series as a shy, nerdy human girl with a huge case of unrequited love on her male best friend, and ended as a hugely powerful witch who redefined what a slayer actually was. It was men who created the first slayer, and a woman who took it back and redefined it forever. Not to mention that Willow found herself when she fell in love with a woman.

I didn't mean to get so serious in an introduction to a bunch of witty quotes, but this stuff is a big reason why Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my favorite show, ever. Here are quotes from the series about gender roles and sexual stereotypes. And I'm done now.

Giles: "Testosterone is a great equalizer. It turns all men into morons."

Buffy: "Sorry, but I'm an old-fashioned gal. I was raised to believe that men dig up the corpses and the women have the babies."

Cordelia: "So, does looking at guns really make girls wanna have sex? That's scary."
Xander: "Yeah, I guess."
Cordelia: "Well, does looking at guns make you wanna have sex?"
Xander: "I'm seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex."

Giles: "It acts on pure instinct. No conscience. Predatory and aggressive."
Buffy: "In other words, your typical male."
Xander: "On behalf of my gender, hey."
Giles: "Yes, let's not jump to any conclusions."
Buffy: "I didn't jump. I took a tiny step and there conclusions were."

Buffy: "Welcome to the mystery that is men. I think it goes something like, they grow body hair, they lose all ability to tell you what they really want."
Willow: "It doesn't seem like a fair trade."

Xander: "What do you mean, what is it? It's my thing."
Willow: "Your thing?"
Xander: "My thing."
Buffy: "Is this a penis metaphor?"

Snyder: "You've got the brains, he's got the fast break. It's a perfect match."
Willow: "Match? You want us to breed?"

Willow: "That's me as a vampire? I'm so evil and skanky. And I think I'm kinda gay."

Willow: "Well, according to Freddy's latest editorial, 'The pep rally is a place for pseudo-prostitutes to provoke men into a sexual frenzy, which when thwarted, results in pointless athletic competition.'"
Xander: "And the downside being?"

Willow: "So you're feeling better about Angel?"
Buffy: "Well, we talked. And then he ripped out the heart of a demon and fed it to me... and then we talked some more."
Willow: "See? That's how it should work."

Anya: "I don't have a date for the prom."
Xander: "Well gosh. I wonder why not. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with your sales pitch?"
Anya: "Men are evil. Will you go with me?"
Xander: "One of us is very confused, and I honestly don't know which."

Anya: "Men like sports. I'm sure of it."
Xander: "Yes. Men like sports. Men watch the action movie, they eat of the beef, and enjoy to look at the bosoms."

Buffy: "So what I'm wondering is, does this always happen? Sleep with a guy and he goes all evil?"

Xander: "House of chicks, relax. I am a man, and I have a tool."

Tara: "I'm cured! I want the boys!"

Dawn: "How are you?"
Willow: "A little confused. I mean, I'm all sweaty, and trapped, no memory, hiding in a pipe from a vampire... And I think I'm kinda gay."

Spike: "You're a tease, you know that, Slayer? Get a fellow's motor revving, let the tension marinate a couple-a days, then bam! Crown yourself the ice queen."
Buffy: "Need a few more metaphors for that little mix?"

Willow: "I know. Xander engaged, I couldn't believe it either."
Amy: "It's just so weird. So what's she like?"
Willow: "Thousand-year-old capitalist ex-demon with rabbit phobia."
Amy: "Well, that's so his type."

Anya: "What would I have to do?"
D'Hoffryn: "What you do best. Help wronged women punish evil men."
Anya: "Vengeance."
D'Hoffryn: "But only to those who deserve it."
Anya: "They all deserve it."
D'Hoffryn: "That's where I was going with that, yeah."

Andrew: "It's like... well, it's almost like this metaphor for womanhood, isn't it? The sort of flowering that happens when a girl realizes that she's part of a fertile heritage stretching back to Eve, and..."
Xander: "I'll pay you to talk about Star Wars again."

Next Sunday: Buffy quotes on fashion,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Hey, I love your articles, it is so great :-) Buffy is also my number one show.

  2. From which episode is the
    "And then he ripped out the heart of a demon and fed it to me..."-quote?

  3. daniel c w asked: From which episode is the "And then he ripped out the heart of a demon and fed it to me..."-quote?

    One of my favorites: season three's Earshot.

  4. Hi Billie,

    I'm really loving Buffy the quotes. It's like a trip down tv memory lane ! And you actually inspired me to use the insane troll logic quote in conversation (my poor work colleague was very confused). So i was wondering if i could be cheeky and make a request ? If you're going to make a series of quote articles, can we please have a section devoted to Anya ?

  5. Billie - thank you so much for doing these articles :) Love the quotes!

  6. Thanks Billie!

    I think it is time to rewatch that episode

  7. More fun! My favorites are Buffy's comment about taking a tiny step and there conclusions were, and Xander's ""Yes. Men like sports. Men watch the action movie, they eat of the beef, and enjoy to look at the bosoms." The latter actually pops into my head every once in awhile when making steak. :)

  8. Billie,

    Thanks for the great introduction into the wonderful quotes. I am a fairly new Buffy fan having only come to it in the last year. I watched all seven seasons with my husband and son in less than a year. It has quickly become my all-time favorite series, too. I loved reading your summary of the ways in which it broke major ground for its time since I, unfortunately, wasn't watching it at the time.

  9. I just love these quotes.

    I'm going to schedule a rewatch next month.

    But the quote about the conclusions is definitely one of the best in the series. I've been trying to make a Portuguese equivalent for some time now, unsuccessfully.

  10. Hey Billie, AWESOME quotes, I couldn't pick a fave. Though I'm surprised there aren't a plethora of Cordy ones, or maybe all her best gender quotes are from Angel. I know it's been mentioned but you should really do an Angel quotes article too, or a series of em!

    I'd also be very interested to read more along the lines of your introduction, although I have a feeling you might already have written such an article, but there's so many interesting topics to discuss with Buffy. A Buffy and Queer Theory article would be grand :)

  11. Really wonderful intro Billie. You know that I've been with you since the Buffy days. The show could turn on a dime with the best of them, and while some of the pop culture references are a tad dated, the themes you raise are still cutting edge.

    I haven't watched the show in a while, but I think that I could remember almost every single episode you quoted here. That's how good the show was (and how well you did in picking good quotes!)

  12. Hi! I'm coming in from Whedonesque (you'll probably be getting a lot of readers). Am loving these quotes but this is my favourite section by far! Despite having seen the whole series at least 3 times I'm afraid I'm rather lacking in the memory for quotes section, although they do tend to pop up randomly without my realising it... the easiest being "bored now". ;o)
    If your reviews are as interesting as these posts I'll definitely stick around as a follower! I already love your list of "labels" so I'm looking forward to some great selections!

  13. "Testosterone is a great equalizer..."

    A great one from the first season.

    Oh my ! So many awesome quotes here ! Wow. Great, great stuff.

  14. I'm hooked.

    And I still have seven, no six, seasons to watch. 88 more episodes, so 176 days, so 5.8 months to go !


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