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Xander Harris: A Cult Tribute

Updated on June 9, 2015

Tyson Kidd #Fact: there is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and there's every other TV show. I don't care what argument you bring, I don't care what theory you have on the Lost finale, and I don't care about my own obsession with The X-Files and mythical being Fox Mulder. No matter what, you can't touch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon's masterpiece, the greatest show of all time and the best combination of feminism, horror, nerd comedy and the occasional musical. To say that I love it would be like saying Mazza spends his days staring deeply into a Roman Reigns poster. I think the word you're looking for is duh. Or you're face palming. Or both.


In any event, I thought it was about time I tackled some Buff topics, especially since I've only written about my favorite show once in the years prior. And what better place to start with a Cult Tribute for one of the show's most beloved characters? This man is a hero to all nerds, someone who has shown the world you can make it by being a male in distress, and a person who laughs in the face of danger, then hides till it goes away. If you still think this tribute if for Giles, you might want to go lie down. For the rest of you, stick around. pop open a Pepsi, and enjoy the Cult Tribute for the one, the only, Xander Harris!

What You Already Know


Xander Harris is the man. He's also one of the main characters in Buffy, where he was known for his quick wit, being the President of the Friend Zone (Ross Gellar is the mayor by the way), attracting female demons and being the overall heart and soul of the Scooby Gang. He also might be the worst combat fighter in the history of TV. Lester and Jeff from Chuck could beat Xander in a fight. Better yet, I could beat Xander in a fight. And I've never been in a fight in my life. I shouldn't have said that out loud huh?


What You Didn't Know


Let's start with Xander's middle name, which is...Lavelle. Yes, the great Xander Harris's middle name is almost as embarrassing as Ted Mosby's, which is something considering Ted's middle name is Evelyn (I don't get it either). Seriously, what parent in their right mind would name their child Alexander Lavelle Harris? Was a bet lost? Did Xander's parents (the worst, by the way) wish to name Xander after Star Trek actor LeVar Burton and get the name wrong? Seriously, it has to be one of those two because I can't find a record of anyone cool ever being named Lavelle. The only thing more amazing is that I didn't have to look on a Buffy wiki to find out Xander's middle name. Turns out he mentions it to his substitute biology teacher in the season one episode "Teacher's Pet", which impressed his teacher so that she took him home, locked him in a cage and then tried to mate with him in the form of a She-Mantis. I tried to tell you he attracted demon women!

Somehow, still a better love story than Twilight
Somehow, still a better love story than Twilight

Perhaps the most shocking thing about Xander however is that he's the only one of the three lead characters to miss an episode. Yup, poor Xander was kept off of the season seven episode "Conversations with Dead People", mostly because they couldn't find a dead person for him to converse with (although supposedly, Xander's long dead buddy Jesse was considered. There's a 85% chance none of you remember who Jesse is, huh?). Besides that episode off, Xander has appeared in all of the rest, though there were evidently discussions about killing Xander off in the final season. I know, how could they kill Xander?! That would be like trading Wayne Gretzky in his prime for no reason whatsoever...which actually happened, so hey, what do I know? In any event, the proposed idea (which had Xander being killed by Caleb, then the first taking Xander's appearance to infiltrate Buffy's circle) was thankfully scrapped, and Xander instead only lost an eye instead. Yes, that's why he wears the eye patch in the last part of the season and in the comics. Hey, better than his life right?


Then there's the comic stuff. Now I don't know how many of you have read the Buffy Season Eight, Nine and Ten comics, but you totally should; not only are many of the show's personal heavily involved in the storylines, but it's canon. Yes, shit continued on in the Buffyverse even after Sunnydale collapsed on top of itself. And Xander's doing pretty good in graphic novel form, or at least he was last I checked. He's now officially Buffy's watcher after she fell out with Giles and he actually almost, ALMOST achieved his goal of leaving the friend zone and winning Buffy's heart. Of course, he ultimately decided to hook up with Dawn instead, which is pretty much inexcusable. COME ON XANDER! You waited for so long, then decided to go for the second choice? I am disappoint. And you should be too. Friends don't let friends date Buffy's sister, who made Riley Finn look like Angelico from Lucha Underground in terms of interest.


Best Moment


The Zeppo! Yes, I was tempted to give the nod to the episode where Xander puts everyone in Sunnydale under a love potion, but you can't defeat "The Zeppo." It's the ultimate Xander episode! The poor bastard is forced to sit on the sidelines while the end of the world occurs yet again, which leads to a most unusual coming of age adventure. While the rest of the Scoobies deal with the Hellmouth, Xander ends up buying a new car (mid life crisis alert at eighteen!), finds himself on a joy ride with school bully Jack O'Toole and his undead friends, loses his virginity to Faith (Orson Welles ovation) and ultimately must stop Jack and his pals from blowing up Sunnydale High with a homemade bomb. How's that for evening? And hey, by (spoiler alert) stopping the bomb, Xander thus prevented the rest of his friends from getting blown up, thus allowing them to save the world, thus preventing the apocalypse. Which pretty much means Xander saved the world. How about them apples?! My favorite part is that having sex with Faith was still more impressive. Frankly, the dude is lucky he lived to tell about it!

Faith, conqueror of Xander's virginity
Faith, conqueror of Xander's virginity

Conclusion


If you're a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and you don't love Xander Harris, you may have to revoke your fan card. Xander is the best, one of the funniest and touching characters in TV history, a nerd king long before the Chuck Bartowski's and Abed's of the world (I still love you guys Chuck and Abed!). As great as Buffy was, I can't imagine the show being as awesome as it turned out without the Xanman cracking the jokes, taking a beating or casting a love spell the wrong way. Probably why he's one of my five favorite TV characters ever. Bravo to Nicholas Brendon, Joss Whedon and the rest of the gang for giving him to us! Now please, can we have the Buffy movie? Once Joss returns from exile of course.


There you have it guys. Had a blast with this one. I'll be back later with some more LU and perhaps a movie review. Till then, how about a Xander clip to take us home? You know you want one!

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Where do you rank Xander on the Greatest Buffy Characters scale?

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