Bitsy Rant: Xander and the Duckie Effect


Warning: This post contains spoilers for Buffy Season Eight Issue # 28

In 1986, John Cryer played the character who would define his career. To his parents he was Phil Dale, but to the annals of history he will always be Duckie. The film, of course, was Pretty in Pink, and the plight of Duckie's unrequited feelings for Andie Walsh (as played by John Hughes' it girl, Molly Ringwald) would become a point of contention for nerd boys for generations to come. What was originally intended to be a film about the effect of economic class structure on the hierarchy of high school students ultimately was boiled down to "Damn that dress she wore at the end was repulsive" and, more importantly "Why didn't she choose Duckie?"

I have always thought of Xander as being Buffy's Duckie. He's nerdy, self deprecating, says things addressed solely to himself, dresses funny, and is, frankly, kind of a douche when he doesn't get his way. I'm not sure if this makes Willow Annie Potts (although I now kind of want to see Alyson Hannigan play a Ghostbuster for some reason) but there's no doubt that Xander is profoundly Duckie-esque, especially in the early seasons. Just like Duckie, many geeky guys have long bemoaned the fact that a relationship between Xander and Buffy never took place. Wait... now I'm picturing Andrew McCarthy playing Angel and it... no. Doesn't work. Moving on.

So here's the thing: Andie shouldn't be with Duckie and Buffy, in turn, shouldn't be with Xander. Horrendous accusations, Batman! I know, I know. Nerd-core dudes everywhere, just chill a minute and let me explain. The reason Andie and Duckie didn't wind up together is because, and keep this between us because it's a super secret, she didn't have any interest in being with him. That's it. Simple, no? Sometimes you feel it and sometimes you don't. Andie never got the warm fuzzies when she thought about Duckie and that's okay. Sometimes the cute, funny guy who moons over you is just a friend. It's tough when you're smitten but, if you really care about someone, want to be a part of their life, then you take the friendship and value the person for the place in your life that they fill.


I could totally see Xander doing this



For seven seasons Xander did exactly that. Not once did Buffy ever show even the most remote of passing interests in him and, though I think he always held onto the crush, Xander moved on to greener pastures and accepted Buffy as being exactly what she was: a fantastic, life saving friend. No more, no less. Oh, sure, he'd occasionally try and get her boyfriends killed but that was just... because... he's a complete toolbox. But so is Duckie because he's always being pissy pants about Andie not loving him and all dragging Annie Potts around even though everybody knows he's crazy not to jump Annie Potts' bones because, dude, she's Annie Potts! But I digress.

Sudden romantic feelings developing between Xander and Buffy are an insult to platonic friendships between men and women everywhere. It says that Xander really was only waiting to score and never really cared all that much about his friendship with Buffy. It also means that his three dead ex girlfriends were all just stand ins for Buffy. Now, I'm cool with that because I think Xander is just that much of a box of Summer's Eve but anyone who actually likes Xander should hate this development.

It should also annoy any woman who knows what it's like to have a dude who just won't take no for an answer. Suddenly having Buffy interested in Xander is like telling comic book nerds everywhere "Hey, keep harassing that chick to be with you because, eventually, when her life is completely in ruins, she'll give in". Does that sound awesome town to you? It sounds like last stop Frown Town, everybody off, no refunds to me.

In short: a Buffy/Xander romance makes zero canonical sense and is an affront to the sensibilities of 80's kids everywhere. That's like messing with the Goonies and, when you do that, those kids make you slip, crush your own balls on a slippery log of wood, get beaten up by your own kind of retarded, monster brother, get arrested, and miss out on all of One Eyed Willy's awesome pirate treasure. Nobody wants that. Nobody. Because pirate treasure is awesome.

the end.

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