Alexander Lavelle Harris was one of the key components of the Scooby gang and was a fixture in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While he mostly served as the show’s main comic relief, it’s hard to deny the significant impact that he had on Buffy, Willow, and the entire supernatural world.
He was the unlikeliest choice to wind up preventing the apocalypse, but he did. He once told Dawn Summers that she wasn’t special, she was extraordinary, and that statement is a perfect reflection of Xander’s development as a character. And here are many of the landmark moments of that development, in pictures.
10 Season 1 – A Unique Choice
Every character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer has their own unique style, but it seems like Xander does as much as he can to stand out, not always in the right ways either.
Xander definitely lets his inner nerdiness be reflected in his exterior appearance, but in his early years he apparently went out of his way to be a little over the top, seemingly in an attempt to overcompensate for his insecurity.
9 Season 1 – Slightly More Stylish
While Xander typically seemed to be drawn to slightly flashier and more off the wall fashion choices, clearly he didn’t always stick to that individual style.
More often than not he would go for something quirky and attention getting, but he also sometimes dressed down and looked more like a typical 90’s high school student.
8 Season 2 – A Transformative Experience
Just due to the supernatural nature of the series, it seems like every single character has transformative experiences that don’t always last forever, but seem to have a lasting impact. And one of Xander’s most unique and important transformations was in the Halloween episode where he became a soldier.
The audience and the Scooby gang got to see a more badass side of Xander, and more interestingly, his costume transformation resulted in actual military knowledge that came in handy for years to come.
7 Season 3 – An Attempt At Cool
Xander was definitely not the cool guy in school, but he certainly had his charms, and those charms were enough to convince Cordelia Chase to give up the title of Queen C in order to date him.
However, in typical Xander fashion, he blew it, and Cordelia ripped him to shreds for his betrayal. In one of his most memorable episodes, after Cordelia dresses him down for being such a loser, he decides to dress up and attempt to prove that he actually is cool.
6 Season 3 – A Whole New World
Despite the fact that Cordelia could have any guy she wanted, she took Xander’s cheating and their breakup pretty hard. So hard, in fact, that she made a wish that completely transformed the world.
One of the unintended side effects of that wish was that in this new world, Xander was actually a vampire (and in a relationship with vamp Willow), and he certainly had the look of a late 90’s/early 00’s vampire down.
5 Season 4 – Still Quirky
Season 4 saw the entire Scooby gang careening into adulthood, and Xander got a crash course given that he was the only one of the trio who didn’t go to college. Xander has always been reluctant to move towards maturity, but he did an okay job of adjusting.
However, it’s clear that he still hasn’t lost his inner desire to be different, and his clothing choices and overall style still reflect that while being a little more age appropriate.
4 Season 5 – Enchanted
In Buffy’s supernatural world, it does seem like Xander gets the short end of the stick most of the time. He’s the easiest character to write off because he’s just a goofball, and the fact that he is the slowest to grow up is always reflected in his outer appearance.
Like the rest of the Scoobs, he’s quite enchanted by the legendary Dracula, but unlike the rest, he winds up temporarily becoming his slave.
3 Season 5 – Double Trouble
One of the most unique episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer involves Xander Harris being hit by a magical whammy that splits him in two, with one version of himself having all of the bad qualities and the other having all of the good.
This was a really fun episode because it featured actor Nicholas Brendon’s real life identical twin playing one of the Xanders, and the visual representation of the best and worst of Xander was really fascinating to see.
2 Season 6 – A Lifesaver
Xander seems to have finally mellowed out as much as he’s going to mellow by season 6, and while he has taken a backseat in the BtVS world of heroism in the past, this season is finally his chance to shine.
While he has always been the comic relief, this season reflects his more serious side, and now he finally looks the part of the guy who can save the world through his honest emotional expression.
1 Season 7 – A Look Of Necessity
The core Scooby gang has been exceptionally lucky over the course of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but unfortunately for Xander, that luck finally ran out.
In a confrontation with Caleb, Xander wound up losing his eye, and it was a gruesome reality check about how fragile Buffy’s human friends really were. Of course, Xander took the opportunity to make a joke out of it, but he was clearly devastated.
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