[[caption-width-right:350:"Always be yourself... [[BaitAndSwitchComment unless you suck]]."]]

->''"This is my entire career in one scene: Look, shes helpless! No, shes kicking their asses!"''
-->-- '''Joss Whedon'''

Joseph Hill Whedon (born June 23, 1964) is a scriptwriter, director, [[TheCameo cameo]] actor, television producer through his famed Creator/MutantEnemy production company, ComicBook author, and -- as of his appearance on ''Radio/ThisAmericanLife'' -- a singer. He is best known for his work on ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', ''Series/{{Angel}}'', ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'', the [[ScrewedByTheNetwork famously-]][[TheFireflyEffect cancelled]] cult hit ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', [[TheMovie its motion picture]] ''Film/{{Serenity}}'', ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'' and ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''. Coming from a family of talented writers, Joss is also notable for often being called one of the first ''third''-generation television writers.

Most of his works include [[ActionGirl badass female characters]], as well as [[WorldOfSnark numerous characters with dry, caustic wit]]. And [[TrueArtIsAngsty angst]]. [[{{Angst}} Lots]] [[DeusAngstMachina and lots]] [[DiabolusExMachina of angst]]. [[AngstDissonance Even in the middle of]] [[CerebusSyndrome comic storylines or situations]].

In fact, Whedon delights in [[SubvertedTrope defying audience expectations]], to the point that "{{Jossed}}" became synonymous with fan theories being disproven. For instance, rather than killing a major character, he'll kill off [[MauveShirt a minor but much more endearing character]]. Whedon explained in the DVD commentary for ''Film/{{Serenity}}'' that he likes doing such things because people ''expect'' the hero to die or be horribly injured at some point -- but they don't expect the ''minor'' characters to die, so the impact is much greater! Unfortunately, he's [[SignatureStyle done this so often]] that nobody familiar with Whedon expects characters they like to live anymore.

To this day, he is also the first director / writer to have had a hand in the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse, Franchise/DCExtendedUniverse, and ''Film/XMenFilmSeries'', if only in reshoots for WB's DCEU and script doctoring for Fox's X-Men.

His GameShow counterpart is Creator/JayWolpert, while his WesternAnimation counterpart is Creator/GregWeisman.

[[folder:List of Works]]
[[AC:Television Work:]]
* [[AC: As Creator / Executive Producer / Director:]]
** ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' series
** ''Series/{{Angel}}''
** ''Series/{{Firefly}}''
** ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}''
** ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD''

* [[AC:As Writer / Guest Writer:]]
** ''Series/{{Roseanne}}''
** ''Series/{{Parenthood}}'' (1990 version)

* [[AC: As Director:]]
** ''Series/{{The Office|US}}'' ("Business School" and "Branch Wars")
** ''Series/{{Glee}}'' ("Dream On")

[[AC:Films written:]]
* ''Film/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' film
* ''Film/{{Speed}}'' (script doctor)
* ''Film/{{Waterworld}}'' (original draft, which was mangled beyond recognition)
* ''Film/{{Twister}}'' (script doctor)
* ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'' (co-writer - UsefulNotes/AcademyAward nomination for Best Original Screenplay)
* ''Film/AlienResurrection''
* ''Disney/TheLionKingIISimbasPride'' (co-wrote the song "My Lullaby")
* ''WesternAnimation/TitanAE'' (the draft that the final version was mostly based on)
* ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire'' (early script)
* ''Film/XMen1'' (script doctor)
* ''Film/{{Serenity}}''
* ''Film/TheCabinInTheWoods'' (co-writer)
* ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' (additional material, uncredited)
* ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''
* ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'' (additional material, uncredited)
* ''Film/InYourEyes''
* ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron''
* ''Film/JusticeLeague2017'' (additional post-production material)

[[AC:Films directed:]]
* ''Film/{{Serenity}}''
* ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''
* ''Film/MuchAdoAboutNothing2012''
* ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron''
* ''Film/JusticeLeague2017'' [[note]]took over as director for additional material due to Zack Snyder leaving and ExecutiveMeddling[[/note]]

[[AC:Films Produced:]]
* ''Film/TheCabinInTheWoods''
* ''Film/MuchAdoAboutNothing2012''
* ''Film/InYourEyes''

[[AC:Comics written:]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}''
* ''ComicBook/BuffyTheVampireSlayer: Season Eight'' and ''Season Nine''.
* ''[[ComicBook/AngelIDW Angel: After The Fall]]''
* ''Comicbook/AstonishingXMen''
* ''ComicBook/{{Fray}}''
* ''Film/{{Serenity}}''

[[AC:WebOriginal projects:]]
* ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog''
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TiXUF9xbTo Whedon on Romney]]"
!!TropeNamer for:
* AppliedPhlebotinum
* {{Jossed}}[[invoked]]

!!This creator and his works contain examples of:
* AbusiveParents / ParentalAbandonment: A staple of the Jossverse, sometimes lampooned. For the Freudians out there, Joss' parents split before he turned 10. Though he does speak well of both his father and stepfather, saying both helped shape his feminist views.
** Amusingly, by season 3 of ''Series/{{Angel}}'' this reached the point where the fact that Fred's parents were perfectly nice people came off as a shocking twist.
* ActionGirl: Though Whedon himself doesn't think this should even be a trope. He once recounted how interviewers always ask why he writes so many strong, competent female characters, saying he always wants to yell at them about why they aren't asking every other writer why they ''don't'' write these kinds of characters. Instead of viewing a character as a woman who does "action-y" things, view it as a character who does "action-y" things who happens to be a woman.
* AnyoneCanDie: Villains, heroes, children, the main character, ''anyone'' can die in a Joss Whedon production.
** ''Buffy'' / ''Angel'': [[spoiler:Jesse, Jenny Calendar, Doyle, Tara, Anya, Joyce, Lilah (sorta), Jonathan, Cordelia, Fred, Wesley, Lindsey, Spike, Angel, and Buffy herself, twice. Giles as well as of the Season 8 comics. Giles was resurrected atthe end of Season 9 however, and Fred in Season 10]]
** ''Firefly'' / ''Serenity'': [[spoiler:Shepherd Book, Wash.]]
** ''Dollhouse'': [[spoiler:Topher Brink, Boyd Langton, Paul Ballard, Mellie!November, Bennett Halverson, and possibly the majority of the cast considering the {{Distant Finale}}s, particularly Mr. Dominic and Ivy]].
** ''Dr. Horrible'': [[spoiler:Penny.]]
** ''WesternAnimation/TitanAE'': [[spoiler:Korso, Preed, and Cale's father.]]
** ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'': [[spoiler:Agent Coulson. Except not really.]] This was actually a mandate from the studio, but Whedon immediately knew that all the fans would assume it was his idea due to his history with this, and he would have a very hard time convincing them otherwise.
*** ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'': [[spoiler:Quicksilver.]]
** ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'': [[spoiler: Agent Triplett.]]
*** When ''[=AoS=]'' star Brett Dalton was asked to meet with the writers regarding [[spoiler:Ward's FaceHeelTurn]], he thought they were going to tell him his character was about to die. This is a bit HilariousInHindsight as [[spoiler:when the show did kill Ward off a couple years later, it was done in a way that allowed Dalton to stay on the show with the Inhuman Hive possessing his body.]]
** ''ComicBook/AstonishingXMen'': [[spoiler:Kitty Pryde.]]
** ''Film/TheCabinInTheWoods'': [[spoiler:Every last member of the cast and then the entire planet.]]
* AuthorAppeal:
** Likes characters with English accents, as he attended school in Britain (The Watchers, Spike, Adelle, Badger, Simmons).
** People with mental illness shows up in a lot of his shows.
** People walking around barefoot.
** Music/ElvisCostello references.
** Tends to turn his female characters into lesbians, if they weren't already.
** Likes to name his characters after objects (Willow, River, Spike, Faith, Book, Skye).
** [[MutantDraftBoard Mysterious organizations who recruit people with special talent]] (The Watchers Council, Blue Suns, The Academy, Wolfram & Hart, SHIELD and SWORD, The Evil League of Evil).
** [[DeadpanSnarker Snarkiness]].
* BadNewsInAGoodWay: He enjoys excitedly announcing to his actors that he's killed them.
* {{Bathos}}: He often follows up a tragic or serious scene with a joke for comic effect. He even provides the page quote!
* BetterThanABareBulb: The source of much Whedon comedy.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: River, Drusilla, Alpha, Hawkeye.
* BuffySpeak: While he didn't invent it, Joss and his shows had a big hand in changing the way TV and movie characters talk, especially white teenagers. This isn't because he likes it so much as [[WriteWhoYouKnow it's how he speaks]].
* BuryYourGays: Joss actually likes having same-sex couples who are in happy, stable relationships. But since he also thinks TrueLoveIsBoring, this eventually leads to him killing one or both members of the couple for the sake of drama. Note that [[AnyoneCanDie he does this to heterosexual couples too.]]
* {{Chiaroscuro}}: The man adores negative space.
* TheCameo:
** Guest starred as a sports agent in Creator/JaneEspenson's web series ''Husbands''.
** Appeared in an episode of [[Creator/FeliciaDay Geek & Sundry's]] ''Written By A Kid''.
** Douglas the car rental office boss in the ''Series/VeronicaMars'' episode "Rat Saw God".
* CreatorCameo: He has self-inserted himself into a number of his own works, including:
** Lorne's brother Numfar in ''Series/{{Angel}}''
--->"Numfar! Do the dance of joy!"
** The ''Buffy'' comics line.
** [[DeathByCameo The interviewer]] in [[Film/{{Serenity}} The R. Tam Sessions]].
** One of the singing cowboys in ''Dr. Horrible''.
* CuteBruiser: A number of his {{Action Girl}}s also have SuperStrength, including [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]], [[Series/{{Angel}} Cordelia]] and Fred.
* DeusAngstMachina[=/=]DiabolusExMachina: Usually combined with TooHappyToLive below.
* DoesNotLikeShoes: While not as egregious as Creator/QuentinTarantino in that regard, Whedon often shows female protagonists barefoot, from [[Series/{{Firefly}} River]] to [[Film/TheAvengers2012 Pepper]]. Occasionally justified by having said characters using [[SheFu martial arts or other acrobatic maneuvers]]. He's even stated that River's feet are the eleventh character of the show (the ship Serenity being the tenth).
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Though he's always had a reputation for using AnyoneCanDie, he's been accused of relying on it a bit too much, killing characters off just for cheap shock value long after we've learned to suspect it's coming.
* DystopiaJustifiesTheMeans: Once jokingly asked Americans to vote for Mitt Romney in order to bring about an [[RuleOfCool awesome]] ZombieApocalypse.
* ForeignCussWord: A staple of his productions. Examples include Spike dropping British cuss words on ''Buffy'', the ''Serenity'' crew swearing in Mandarin, and Loki calling Black Widow a "[[CountryMatters mewling quim]]" in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''.
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: If ''Buffy'' and ''Firefly'' are anything to go by.
* HollywoodAtheist: Malcolm Reynolds is deeply bitter against God/Christianity after losing a war. Creator/NathanFillion himself stated that Mal is actually a {{Naytheist}} who's pissed off after the Serenity Valley.
* ICallItVera: Wrote the script for the TropeNamer. Also had a typewriter in school named "Creator/MutantEnemy".
* {{Irony}}: He [[DoesNotLikeGuns really doesn't like guns]], but is frequently waist-high in them due to the kinds of shows and movies he does.
* KillEmAll: Discussed in [[http://screenrant.com/joss-whedon-avengers-2-nolan-dc-movies-characters/ one of his interviews]] on what he would do if he were to direct a third Avengers movie.
-->'''Whedon''': The idea of doing [Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}] three times just staggers the imagination. Im not that young. But then, I hadnt really intended to do a second one. In the third one, I really am going to kill everyone.
* KillTheCutie: Many from his works:
** ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Examples include [[spoiler:Jenny Calendar, Tara, Amanda, and Jonathan]].
** [[spoiler:Cordelia Chase and Winifred Burkle]] in ''Series/{{Angel}}''
** If there's one blessing in the [[ScrewedByTheNetwork short lifespan]] of ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', it's that Whedon didn't get a chance to do this to us. Though he made up for it by killing [[spoiler:Book and Wash]] in [[TheMovie The]] [[BigDamnMovie Movie]].
** He also poked fun at his penchant for this in the pilot of ''Firefly'', with Kaylee's "death" (it all turns out to be a psychotic joke by Mal). The only reason that the joke was as effective as it was is because of Joss's track record.
** ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'':
*** [[spoiler:Bennett Halverson in "Getting Closer" (2x11).]]
*** In "The Hollow Men" (2x12) [[spoiler: Mellie kills herself to protect Ballard.]]
*** In 2x13, [[spoiler: Topher performs a heroic sacrifice and gets blown up.]]
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: On his commentary for ''The Avengers'', he laments that both feature films he's directed suffer from this problem, meaning a few will inevitably not get the focus they deserve.
* MoodWhiplash: Many heartwarming scenes and jokes in Whedon works are followed by a character being unexpectedly and often brutally murdered seconds late and many a very dramatic scene will be punctuated with a joke.
* PutOnABus: Numerous characters, but most notably [[spoiler: Kitty Pryde]] during his run on ''Astonishing X-Men''. Particularly shocking, considering how much he loved the character ([[spoiler:she's often cited as an inspiration for Buffy]]). [[ComicBookDeath Obviously, another writer undid it]]. But still...
* SelfImposedChallenge: After a reporter told him one of his favorite parts of ''Buffy'' was the dialogue, he decided to test himself and wrote "Hush," an episode that was almost completely dialogue free.
* ShinyNewAustralia: Aside from ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'' being the TropeNamer, in the documentary ''Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope'', he comments:
-->'''Whedon:''' When people say the geeks have inherited the Earth, I say (...) "How much of the Earth do I get? Can I have Australia?"
* StarCrossedLovers: If a relationship in one of Whedon's shows isn't unrequited or otherwise troubled, chances are it's doomed to end badly. Joss Whedon hates happy relationships.
* StrawMisogynist[=/=]PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: Includes at least one in each of his television shows. They all suffer [[LaserGuidedKarma violent deaths]] at the hands of [[ActionGirl women]].
* StuffedInTheFridge: Any time he kills a character, their loved one will inevitably walk in on the corpse soon after to [[DeusAngstMachina amp up the angst]].
* TooHappyToLive: Whedon regularly kills happy characters, or destroys their lives, or ruins their relationships. Or all three.
* TookTheBadFilmSeriously: He wrote ''Alien Resurrection'' as a satirical parody, in an attempt to get fired from the job. The studio executives instead thought the script would make a ''[[SpringTimeForHitler perfect]]'' action / horror film. [[invoked]]
* TrueCompanions: While Joss might not be a fan of a lasting stable ''romantic'' couple (see below), he has displayed in many of his shows, the "found family". Many of his shows display an ensemble who, under whatever circumstances, join together and form strong meaningful friendships.
* TrueLoveIsBoring: Every time Joss writes a happy, stable couple, he proceeds to kill one or both of them to make things more interesting.
* WaifFu: He's very fond of tiny {{Action Girl}}s kicking the asses of big, burly men, as seen with [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]], [[Film/{{Serenity}} River]] and to a lesser extent [[Film/TheAvengers2012 Black Widow]].
* WorldOfSnark: Due to all his characters being exceptionally GenreSavvy, they tend to all be {{Deadpan Snarker}}s too.
-->'''Joss Whedon:''' Everyone has such a dry wit in [[Film/TheAvengers2012 this movie]]. It's like a desert of wit.
->''Grr. Argh.''