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

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

'''Joseph Hill Whedon''' (born June 23, 1964) is a scriptwriter, director, [[TheCameo cameo]] actor, television producer through his famed 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.

Not to be confused with Music/JossStone.

[[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/TheOffice'' ("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)
* ''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''

[[AC:Films directed:]]
* ''Film/{{Serenity}}''
* ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''
* ''Film/MuchAdoAboutNothing2012''
* ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron''

[[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}}

!!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.
** ElvisCostello references.
** [[YuriFan Tends to turn]] [[LesYay his female characters into]] [[SchoolgirlLesbians 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.
* 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.]]
* CastTheExpert: The casting of ballet dancer Creator/SummerGlau in an episode of ''Angel'' and hiring Tony Award-winning Hinton Battle as a choreographer and as the dancing demon Sweet in ''Buffy'''s [[MusicalEpisode "Once More With Feeling."]]
* {{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".
* CreatorBreakdown: Of a sort. Closed his Twitter account three days after the release of ''Avengers: Age of Ultron''. After it was speculated that his departure resulted from criticisms regarding the film, particularly the controversial Banner/Natasha subplot, Whedon [[http://www.buzzfeed.com/adambvary/joss-whedon-on-leaving-twitter denied that he left because of the backlash]], but because he wanted to go to a "quiet place":
-->'''Whedon''': I just thought, Wait a minute, if Iím going to start writing again, I have to go to the quiet place. And [Twitter] is the least quiet place Iíve ever been in my life.
* 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.
* DeadpanSnarker: Has a very dry wit.
** Take his political [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TiXUF9xbTo "endorsement"]] in the 2012 Presidential Election, for example.
** He would often [[http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/GraphicCity/news/?a=79191 take false rumors]] with gigantic heaps of sarcasm in stride.
* 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.
* FamilyBusiness: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Whedon Members]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Whedon of]] the Whedon family have been writing for television practically since the medium's inception, and then, of course, there are his brothers.
** And now, Pepper.
* 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. NathanFillion himself stated that Mal is actually a {{Naytheist}} who's pissed off after the Serenity Valley.
** Whedon himself is an interesting case. He says he can't bring himself to believe in a god, but he's actually very bothered by that.
* ICallItVera: "MutantEnemy" was originally the name of his typewriter in school.
* {{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. Iím not that young. But then, I hadnít 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.
* OldShame:
** The unaired ''Buffy'' pilot. It's on Youtube if anyone's interested. Also, the film.
--->'''IGNFF''': Is the presentation ever going to make it to DVD?\\
'''Whedon''': Not while there is strength in these bones.\\
'''IGNFF''': Well, I mean, it's one of the most heavily bootlegged things on the Internet.\\
'''Whedon''': Yeah. It sucks on ass.\\
'''IGNFF''': Yeah, it does, but it's sort of that archival, historical perspective...\\
'''Whedon''': Yeah, [[IWillShowYouX I've got your historical perspective]].
** ''Film/AlienResurrection'', which was supposedly [[PoesLaw written as a parody]]. Needless the say, the irony blew up in his face -- and not for the last time, either. "[[Film/XMen1 The same thing that happens to everything else]]", indeed.
** Joss doesn't have fond memories of ''Series/{{Roseanne}}''. The eponymous star was apparently on [[ThePrimadonna her worst behavior]], and the whole crew bore the brunt of it.
** He's hinted that he's done a bit more uncredited script edits than anyone is aware of, which turned out so badly that it's going to stay that way.
* ProductionPosse: Some actors achieved a "hat trick" of appearing as [[YouLookFamiliar different characters]] in three of his series. The most notable of these actors is JonathanMWoodward. Not only did Woodward appear in three of Whedon's shows (Holden Webster in ''Buffy''; Knox in ''Angel'' and Tracy in ''Firefly''), his character [[ChronicallyKilledActor died in each instance.]]
** For a longer list, see MutantEnemy.
** Carlos Jacott, best known for [[spoiler:shooting Bill Henrickson]] in the finale of ''Series/BigLove'', played the smarmy villain Ken in the ''Buffy'' episode "Anne". He would later appear on ''Angel'' ("Bachelor Party") and ''Firefly'' ("Serenity").
** Creator/AmyAcker (''Angel'') and Alan Tudyk (''Firefly'') both resurfaced on ''Dollhouse'' after the demise of their respective shows. The former would later be cast in ''Film/TheCabinInTheWoods'', Whedon's ''MuchAdoAboutNothing'' and ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.''
** Creator/FeliciaDay was in ''Buffy'', ''Dr. Horrible'' and ''Dollhouse''.
** Creator/AdamBaldwin and GinaTorres were salvaged from ''Firefly'' to play villains on ''Angel''. Creator/MorenaBaccarin was slated to appear (also as a baddie), but Fox execs [[ExecutiveVeto nixed the idea]]. And, of course, NathanFillion was the recurring villain [[SinisterMinister Caleb]] in ''Buffy'''s last season.
*** Additionally, if one wanted to play Six Degrees of Adam Baldwin, he also appeared on TimMinear's short-lived thriller ''Series/TheInside''.
** AlexisDenisof is a frequent collaborator. In addition to playing Wesley on ''Series/{{Buffy|the Vampire Slayer}}'' and ''Series/{{Angel}}'' and Senator Daniel Perrin in ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'', he had a surprise voiceover in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' as The Other, and is Benedick in Whedon's ''MuchAdoAboutNothing''.
** Creator/JeremyRenner, who plays Hawkeye in ''The Avengers'', played a baddie on ''Angel'' way back in 2000.
** Gnarl, one of The Gentleman, the Ubervamp, and the Prince of Lies were all the same guy: Camden Toy.
** Andy Umberger was D'Hoffryn on ''Buffy'', a crazy psychosurgeon on ''Angel'', and an Alliance Captain in the ''Firefly'' pilot.
** Creator/EnverGjokaj - Victor in ''Dollhouse'' - had a cameo in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' as a police officer.
** Drew Goddard, director and co-writer of ''Film/TheCabinInTheWoods''. He previously worked as a writer for ''Buffy'' and ''Angel'' and had a {{cameo}} in ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'' as a member of The Evil League of Evil. Like Whedon, he now has his own [[ComicBook/DareDevil TV]] and [[Film/SinisterSix cinematic]] pockets of the Marvel Universe to play in.
** TimMinear, who worked on series such as ''Angel'', ''Firefly'', and ''Dollhouse'' as well as being the creator of ''Series/{{Drive}}'' which starred NathanFillion.
** Creator/JaneEspenson, who wrote for ''Buffy'' (including the comics), ''Angel'', and ''Firefly''. Joss made a {{cameo}} in her series ''Husbands''.
** Creator/NathanFillion, Mal in ''Firefly'', Caleb in Season 7 of ''Buffy'', Captain Hammer in ''Dr. Horrible'' and Dogberry in his 2012 adaptation of "MuchAdoAboutNothing".
** Tom Lenk, who played Andrew Wells in "Buffy" and "Angel" and also Verges in "Much Ado About Nothing".
* 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...
* ScrewedByTheNetwork: To many the TropeCodifier, after how Fox under-supported and then cancelled ''Firefly''.
** His earlier scuffles with the WB, too.
* 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.
* 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]]
* TrollingCreator: Regularly [[KillTheCutie kills]] or [[BreakTheCutie emotionally tortures]] sweet lovable characters in his works. Also regularly lampshaded for laughs.
-->'''Creator/NeilPatrickHarris:''' You do kill a lot of women.\\
'''Joss Whedon:''' Hey, [[CrowningMomentOfFunny my personal life is not on trial here]].
** He gloriously trolls the ''[[Franchise/TheAvengers Avengers]]'' fanbase with [[spoiler: the final scene]] in ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron''. [[spoiler: As Captain America welcomes the Avengers' newest recruits, he triumphantly says [[AvengersAssemble "Avengers, a-"]] right before getting cut off by the end credits.]] What makes it even more hilarious is that prior to the film's release, Joss had confirmed that the movie was "one minute shorter" than [[Film/TheAvengers2012 the first installment]].
* 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]].
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** A particularly potent one, for comic books fans and companies alike: before he was attached to ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'', Whedon was writing a ''ComicBook/WonderWoman'' movie for Creator/DCComics. [=DC=] passed on it, he got the Avengers job from Kevin Feige, and the rest is history. Imagine how much [=DC=] must be kicking themselves. Whedon ultimately cast his Wonder Woman as SHIELD agent Maria Hill, and she did get to play the character, [[WesternAnimation/TheLEGOMovie eventually]].
** He had an idea for a crossover between CaptainAmerica and [[Comicbook/TheAuthority Jenny Sparks]], but was never able to make it happen.
* 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.''