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Xander Harris Was The Worst Part Of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer'

Updated October 1, 2020 11.3k votes 1.3k voters 43.5k views14 items

List RulesVote up the things about Xander that should have gotten him kicked out of the Scooby Gang.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed television. Not only did it give the world one of the most nuanced female characters in the dark fantasy genre, but it also showed audiences what a bad friend looks like. Xander Harris is the worst. He may be a member of the Scooby Gang, but he's not the kind of person you want in your corner when the world is being swallowed into hell. 

Xander isn't bad because he's powerless, or because he has awful fashion sense. He's the worst part of Buffy because he's childish, he can be creepy, and he only thinks about himself. Every other character on Buffy goes through several seasons of character development, with narratives riddled with misfortune, but Xander just becomes more disappointing as the series progresses.

If you're a huge fan of Xander, this doesn’t mean you have bad taste, or that you're watching the show wrong, but there are plenty of reasons why Xander Harris is the worst member of the Scoobies. 

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  • 1

    He's Very Mean To Anya And Bails On Her At The Altar

    When Xander finds real love, he isn't able to appreciate it. Sure, Anya got her start as a vengeance demon and she has less than amiable personal skills, but she loves him and she stands by him. She saves Xander from a disastrous Halloween party, she stays in Sunnydale for Xander, and she puts up with his consistently inappropriate behavior. 

    Xander and Anya's Nick and Norah Charles routine is cute when they first get together, but by the time they're living together, it's just unnecessary. He talks about Anya's love of money and her blunt attitude to anyone who will listen, but instead of break it off with her, he continues to punish everyone by complaining about her.

    The break up finally comes on their wedding day. He's swayed to call things off by a demon pretending to be an older version of himself, and it breaks Anya's heart. As if that weren't bad enough, when Anya hooks up with Spike after she becomes single, Xander flips out as if she still belongs to him. 

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  • 2

    He Lies To Buffy, Causing Her To Vanquish Angel, Which Could Have Been Avoided

    Everyone has had a friend who has dated someone that's not good for them, whether that person is emotionally unhealthy, physically harmful, or just not a good fit. Most people listen to their friends and give them advice in private, allowing them to make their own decisions. Xander, however, is open with both Buffy and Angel about his disapproval.

    After Angel loses his soul and turns into Angelus, he becomes a ruthless slayer in his own right, maiming and feeding on innocent people - and he will do anything to take Buffy down. When Xander finds out that there's a way to get Angel's soul back, his old jealousy returns and he lies to Buffy, saying that there's nothing that the Scoobies can do. Instead, he devises a plan for Buffy to end Angel, clearing the way for him to spend more time with her. Aside from drawing the ire of Angel, Xander never gets his comeuppance for his scheme. 

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  • 3

    He Strings Willow Along And Keeps Her As A 'Maybe'

    When Buffy first meets Xander and Willow, they're just a couple of hapless dorks who spend all of their waking hours together. He's a motormouth with almost no social skills and Willow is a tech geek who doesn't know how cool she really is. Not to mention that she's clearly in love with Xander. Whenever the three of them are together, Willow is stuck playing third wheel and her feelings of inadequacy follow her through the entire series.

    Rather than tell Willow that they should just be friends while he pursues other people, Xander keeps her on the backburner while he openly flirts with Buffy. The worst of Xander's flip-flopping between Buffy and Willow occurs when he asks Buffy to prom. She turns him down and he immediately asks Willow out as a rebound. 

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  • 4

    He Treats Cordelia Poorly While They're Dating And Cheats On Her

    Xander and Cordelia are total opposites, and they don’t get along. Xander is mean to Cordelia for being an intelligent achiever who was born into money, and he doubles down on his disdain for her when she has to get a job. 

    Even though Xander is continually mean to Cordelia, she falls for him, which makes their break-up even harder. Rather than tell her that he's been carrying a torch for Willow their entire life, he cheats on Cordelia with his best friend - an act that also ruins Willow's relationship with Oz.

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