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June 27 2008

Oz: the most quotable character on Buffy? A quick little feature by the TV Squad on why Oz contributed to the humor and awesomeness of BtVS.

I think Xander might rival Oz in the area of best quotes (I'm thinking of the Dracula episode as just one example that almost lays me out every time I think about it: "You know what? I'm sick of this crap. I'm sick being the guy who eats the insects and gets the funny syphilis! As of this moment, it's over. I'm finished being everybody's butt monkey.")

Oz admittedly though, is a different brand of funny (I love dry). And it travels well, wherever he goes, like on Angel:

DOYLE: Are they always like this? OZ: No, we're usually laconic.

Probably my all time favorite Oz line.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2008-06-27 03:48 ]
I totally don't even remember the mime line. This is awful, I need to re-watch that episode.

Oh, and one of my favorite Oz quotes was such an understatement, but the way Seth delivered it was beyond amazing:

Willow: "Oh, this is so frustrating."
Oz: "Nothing useful?"
Willow: "No, it's great. If we want to make ferns invisible, or communicate with shrimp, I've got the goods right here."
Oz: "Our lives are different than other peoples'."
I love funny Oz, of course, but endearing Oz is pretty wonderful, too. Joss has said he included this bit below so that viewers would (have to) fall in love with the character, and it would have worked on me:

OZ: Sometimes when I'm sitting in class - you know, I'm not thinking about class, 'cause that would never happen. I think about kissing you. And it's like everything stops. It's like, it's like freeze frame. Willow kissage... Oh, I'm not gonna kiss you.

WILLOW: What? But... freeze frame!

OZ: Well, to the casual observer, it would appear that you're trying to make your friend Xander jealous or even the score or something. And that's on the empty side. See, in my fantasy when I'm kissing *you*, you're kissing *me*... It's okay. I can wait.



Except I'd already fallen in love with him earlier, with:


OZ: I'm gonna ask you to go out with me tomorrow night. And I'm kinda nervous about it, actually... It's interesting.

WILLOW: Oh. Well, if it helps at all, I'm gonna say yes.

OZ: Yeah, it helps. It... it creates a comfort zone. Do you wanna go out with me tomorrow night?

WILLOW: Oh! I can't!

OZ: Well, see, I like that you're unpredictable.



I can't say I think he's the most quotable, exactly - some of his best stuff doesn't pull-out that well, and relies more on context - and his impeccable delivery - than some others.

But he is one of my especial favorites of my imaginary boyfriends, is what he is.
I remember really liking Oz a lot when watching his seasons, but I agree with QuoterGal that his humor "relies more on context." When I watch him during a show I find his character and dialog funny, but the quotes are usually so short that they don't have as much standalone value as quotes from the other characters.
I don't know Xander had some pretty good lines. But I do love Oz. My favorite:

Well, a gathering is Brie, mellow song stylings. Shindig - dip, less mellow song stylings, perhaps a large amount of malt beverage. And hootenanny - choc full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny."
I don't think I'd call Oz Buffy's most quotable character, but that doesn't stop him from being damn hilarious.

Oz: [thinking] I am my thoughts. If they exist in her, Buffy contains everything that is me and she becomes me. I cease to exist. [out loud] Hmm...

That one cracks me up every time. I'd say Xander's got more easier to swallow zingers, though.
I have used Oz's method for asking out girls, and trot out the gathering/shindig/hootenanny bit at almost every possible opportunity. But so much of what he says is in the delivery and timing, both of which were masterful. Take, for example, one of his most side-splitting lines, which is highly situational and just doesn't look nearly so good in print as when Seth Green says it:

Willow, about Angel: He thought I was Buffy.
Oz: You too, huh?

I'm with Xander: I miss Oz.
"We attack the mayor with hummus."
My favourite Oz bit was his 'cool' conversation with Xander in The Zeppo.

Xander: I mean, you yourself, Oz, are considered more or less cool. Why is that?

Oz: Am I?

Xander: Is it about the talking? You know, the way you tend to express yourself in short, noncommittal phrases?

Oz: Could be.

Xander: I know! You're in a band! That's like a business-class ticket to cool with complementary mojo after takeoff! I gotta learn an instrument. Is it hard to play guitar?

Oz: Not the way I play it.

Xander: Okay, but on the other hand: eighth grade. I'm taking the flugelhorn and gettin' *zero* trim. So the whole instrument thing could be a mislead. But you need a thing, one thing nobody else has. What do I have?

Oz: An exciting new obsession. Which I feel makes you very special.

Hmm. I always found Willow the most consistently quotable character; although Cordelia, Oz, and Xander definitely have their moments, Cordelia's humor is too biting, Oz's too calm, and Xander's too silly for my tastes. Some of my favorite scenes are when Willow uses Cordelia as a somewhat dim-witted straight man. Like the scene in "School Hard," when sweet polite Willow has spent too much time in a closet with Cordy:

Cordelia: And if you get me out of this, I swear I'll never be mean to anyone ever again. Unless they really deserve it. Or if it's that time of the month, in which case I don't think you or anyone else can hold me responsible...
Willow: Ask for some aspirin.
Cordelia: And can you please send some asp...Hey!


Speaking of Willow in that episode, I borrowed one of her lines as code to use with my closest friends when they were talking too much about an uncomfortable subject. We now all know to immediately stop and apologize whenever one of us says, "Name, have some lemonade." (I must admit, I love Cordy too, but generally her best lines come when she's being completely honest and unironic. I can't tell you the number of times I've palmed off the line, "Tact is just not saying true stuff" on people and subsequently taken credit for someone else's genius.)

BTW, my personal favorite Oz line, from "Gingerbread," after he and Xander come crashing through the ceiling to find that Buffy has already killed the demon: "We're here to save you." Ironic. Cool. Vintage Oz.

[ETA: Hey, ManEnoughToAdmitIt...I've always been curious. How does that Oz line work in the real world?]

[ edited by BAFfler on 2008-06-27 08:48 ]
I have to go with Xander for "most quotable". So many, I wouldn't know where to start.
My second choice would be a tie between Giles and Spike. But in fairness to Oz, he was only on for two seasons.
Oz's best lines aren't great lines a lot of the time though, they're great Oz lines. In some ways he's one of the least quotable because you actually have to be Oz - yep, Oz isn't a source of quotes, he's a state of mind ;).

Just for on the page, context-free funny I think Willow probably takes the biscuit (which isn't to say Aly Hannigan didn't add a lot to her dialogue, she's good value, I just find her lines funnier when I read them).
I personally find that the most quotable character on Buffy was Buffy herself:

"I didnít jump. I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were."

"The girlís not playing with a full deck, Giles. She has almost no deck. She has a three."

"Look it up: Slayer comma the."

"The who whating how with huh?"

"Note to self: religion freaky."

...
There really isn't one character who stands out for this. Excellent lines were a key quality of the show. Oz always struck me as the most like Buffy in terms of awesome observations though.
Do we have to choose?? I'm rather partial to Giles especially some of the doozies in S4.

"Buffy: Spike and I are getting married!

Xander:How? What? How?

Giles: Three excellent questions."


and from New Man

"Spike: Hey, picked up a tail.

Giles: Yes. Just a little one. It hurts when I sit."

Here's classic Giles: "Oh -- as usual -- dear."

Hey, ManEnoughToAdmitIt...I've always been curious. How does that Oz line work in the real world?


It's like Saje said -- it might have worked if I had actually been Oz, and, as such, not incredibly nervous.
My daughter finds a surprising number of occasions in which to use "I mock you with my monkey pants."
Actually, they left out one of Oz's all-time best lines, the "panicking" exchange in Graduation Day Part 1.

However, I hold with those who think there are too many great lines from all the characters to be able to pull one out of the bunch as the most quotable. For instance, yes Oz's "So, do you guys steal weapons from the Army a lot?" is great, but I think Willow's response topped it "We don't have cable so we have to make our own fun."

And I've always especially loved Xander's response to Cordelia's "Does looking at guns make you want to have sex?" "I'm seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me want to have sex." Mind you, that's not something a 17 year old boy would ever really say. It's the sort of line that could only have been come up with by someone who had once been a 17 year old boy. But that is the brilliance that was Buffy.
Maybe Oz comes off as particularly quotable because he had far fewer lines than the other main characters, so percentage-wise his dialog was more uniformly fantastic. But I agree with those who say it wasn't the lines themselves, so much as the character they revealed.
When Willow cries about her conflicted feelings when he comes back after she's fallen in love with Tara, and she says, "I mean, he's Oz," I knew exactly what she meant.
Okay. All this quoting and reminiscing makes me want to re-watch Buffy, which I haven't done in a long while. Weekend: planned.
I think with this show, it's hard. Everyone had amazing lines. But, Oz was always my favorite speaker (was it because he spoke so little?) and the mime line was the best. Spike and Xander fight for second best. Giles' one liners are to die for. And Anya... well, she speaks for herself, obviously. Willow (the old cute one) had some cool lines too.

*snuggles chars* I think Willy had some pretty funny lines too. Drusilla rocked.

Ugh, I love them all. I really need to get my DVDs back! *glares at 9 hour workday*
It's weird, whenver I watch episodes of the show after Oz, or even before Oz, I don't really miss him...but when I see the episodes that he's in, he doesn't even need to talk (which he usually doesn't), his presence in the scenes just makes me smile. I just love the character in general, quotables and all. Which is weird because before watching Buffy I wasn't a big Seth Green fan.
Oh, ManEnoughToAdmitIt, no question that Oz is adorable and his lines work very well on girls. I dated a guy who fit his description to a T... which was great until that similarity continued into the way he left. Ouch. I've got Willow's speech to Riley ("okay, let's say I help...") basically imprinted on my heart now...

[ edited by qui_ca on 2008-06-27 19:54 ]
"In the midst of all that, do you really think they were keeping it up?" pause "Oh, for a better choice of words."

"I used to be a highly respected Watcher. Now I'm a wounded dwarf with the magical abilities of a doily."

"Must go tend to Wesley; see if he's still whimpering."

"My shoe. Silly me - I'll just pop back down and get it."

"Or, it could just be the eternal mystery that is your mind."

"Do you want me to answer that, or shall I just glare?"

"I like mushy peas."

"You run?" "And jump. And bend. And, occasionally, frolic."

But then there's probably my most favorite exchange -

"Look, I'm not the one being judgmental here. I'll leave that territory to you and Buffy."

"Judgmental? If I was any more open-minded about the choices you two make my whole brain would fall out!"

"Oh, and superior. Don't forget that. Just because you're better than us doesn't mean you can be all superior."

"You guys stop this! What has happened to you today?"

"It's not today. Buffy, things have been wrong for a while. Don't you see that?"

"W-what do you mean, wrong?"

"Well, they certainly haven't been right since Tara. We have to face it - you can't handle Tara being my girlfriend."

"Noo! It was bad before that. Since you two went off to college and forgot about me. Just left me in the basement to...Tara's your girlfriend?"

"Bloody hell!"
You left out one of my favorites of Giles'--"Still trying not to call you lot bloody colonials."
And of course: "Welcome to the nancy tribe."

"That was hardly the worst mistake you'll ever make... That wasn't quite as comforting as it was meant to be."

"A watcher scoffs at gravity!"

Snyder: "There are some things I can just smell. It's like a sixth sense."
Giles : No, actually, that would be one of the five."

I still think that one of my all time favorite exchanges was Buffy and Angel in Gingerbread:

"My mom said some things to me about being the Slayer. That it's fruitless. No fruit for Buffy."

...And a bit later...

"[I'm];Like that kid in the story, the boy that stuck his finger in the duck."
"Dike."
Best Buffy face ever.
"It's another word for dam."
"Oh. Okay, that story makes a lot more sense now."
Well, a gathering is Brie, mellow song stylings. Shindig - dip, less mellow song stylings, perhaps a large amount of malt beverage. And hootenanny - choc full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny."
Has to be my favorite!
"Well, not exactly the St. Crispin's Day speech, was it?"
"We few, we happy few.."
"We band of buggered."

I have this tendency to break out in insane giggles whenever I hear that one. ;)

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