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All of You are Broken: Why Every Relationship in 'Buffy' Was Burning Garbage

By TK Burton | Lists | November 10, 2015 |

By TK Burton | Lists | November 10, 2015 |

People. This may well be the most important thing I’ve ever written for this site, if not the most important discussion of our time.

We need to talk about the relationships in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe. You see, it’s an obsession for many people, the loves and lives of Whedon’s superlative teen supernatural drama. They get shipped something fierce. The arguments about who the best couples were are ongoing. Wars have been started over less.

I’m here to tell you that you’re all idiots. Because none of them are worthy. None of them are healthy.


Every single relationship on that show was toxic and damaged and broken, and every single relationship made the people involved worse off than they were before. Every character was an irredeemable hot mess who I wouldn’t touch with a ten-meter cattle prod. Whedon wrote a hell of a series, but his relationship-fu was weaksauced garbage.

Let us begin, shall we?

Buffy and Angel - Yeah, right. Toxic from the beginning, Twilight-esque in its early-stage creepiness, concluding with a young woman punished for losing her virginity. Ended in homicide. That young woman would go on to be a judgmental twat (see: treatment of Riley, treatment of Anya, treatment of anyone that doesn’t fit her narrow world view). incapable of good decisions, while Angel would go on to being a dour, brooding jerk. Next subject.


Buffy and Spike - Two words: Attempted rape. Literally nothing else matters.

Buffy and Riley - HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, you’re fucking kidding me with this shit, right? People who root for Riley are the same lackwits who root for that fucking Piz on Veronica Mars. Again, Buffy is kind of terrible.

Angel and Cordelia - Never had a chance, don’t bother thinking about what never was. You may THINK something was going on there, but it was ultimately too clumsily rendered to ever have any real significance. There’s a reason I almost forgot these two were ever a thing (even in the loosest sense).


Cordelia and Connor - /shudder

Xander and Cordelia - Hey, I get that opposites attract. But Cordy was still in “bitch stereotype” phase, Xander was a simp (with a black heart hidden beneath - more on this later), and, hey, let’s not forget how he cheated on her.

Xander and Willow - Aw, cute. Two besties, falling in love after one has been relentlessly obsessed with the other. Because that works all the time. Except that Willow had the emotional maturity of a 12 year-old and Xander was slowly revealing his assholeness.

Xander and Anya - Xander’s assholeness in full swing. Anya, despite being portrayed as a gets-what-she-wants woman, is ultimately poorly written as another emotionally immature victim, too new at being human to suspect what we now know - Xander is a worthless, commitment-phobic douchebag who will shit on whoever he’s with at the first sign of trouble. Out of all the Scoobies, Xander is hands-down the worst when it comes to relationships, and it’s all due to his own impulse control-deficient horribleness.


Willow and Oz - Grossly cute in a way that no mature human being should ever respect. They’re like that first couple to date in elementary school, except they’re fucking grownups. But don’t worry, Oz ditches her for no really good reason other than because Seth Green had other shit to do.

Willow and Tara - Sweet, adorable charming couple. Seemed like they were really going places. Except for the whole “Willow magically brainwashing Tara” thing. TWICE. Next.


Willow and Kennedy - Nope.

Fred and Gunn - Seemed solid enough, and the rare interracial couple, to boot. It was so charming, except for how Fred basically let their relationship rot because Gunn had the temerity to save her life.

Gunn and Gwen Raiden - close to perfect. A seed planted, but never given a chance to blossom.


Spike and Harmony - This really happened, didn’t it.

Giles and Jenny - Not bad, although Jenny had her neck snapped before it really got off the ground. And, you know, he once summoned a demon that tried to possess her and devour her soul. Oh, and she was lying to them all about who she really was. Ah, romance.

Wesley and Lilah - While I can sort of respect a relationship born out of little more than bitterness, hatred, and rage, I just can’t quite endorse this one.

Spike and Drusilla - Wait, never mind. These two? These two were perfection.