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"Women. Can't live with 'em. Can't kill 'em!"
It's the classic lament of men and women everywhere, when frustrated in their dealings with the opposite sex. Unable to express their feelings in any other way, one member of a gender expresses their disgust at every member of another gender with either a single word, or a sentence that groups all members of the gender together.
"Men!", she said.
"Women!", he said.
A standard sentence is, "Women. Can't live with them, can't live without them", which is often mocked or subverted, as with the page quote.
A Gender And Sexuality Trope
and Stock Phrase
This is, of course, almost always said out of emotional frustration, as anyone thinking about the matter rationally would, of course, admit that it's really not fair to group everyone together by a gender as if they're all that difficult to deal with. Be wary of anyone who says it and actually means it
Anime & Manga
- In The Simping Detective, Jack Point once comments, "Women—can't live with 'em, can't get 'em lobotomized," after someone who came to him under the pretense of needing his help actually just wanted to kill him.
- Rowlf in The Muppet Movie plays a blues song based on this theme, called I Hope that Something Better Comes Along.
- As the page quote goes, Gib in True Lies has no problem letting you know his opinion on women.
- Constantine. When Constantine and Angela Dodson reach Balthazar's office building, Constantine tells Angela to stay in the car while he goes to confront Balthazar. Later on Angela decides to ignore his order and goes after him, saying "Men!" in disgust over his paternalism.
- Mocked in Ghostbusters II; on his date with Dana, Venkman is approached by the others, who try to get him to join them in the sewers. Venkman describes their offer sarcastically to Dana, and when she walks away and calls for a taxi, he says "Women, huh?"
- Allison from Female likes having handsome men over for attachment-free sex, but doesn't want a relationship. When her friend asks whether Allison ever thinks about commitment and marriage, Allison says "I know for some women, men are a household necessity; myself, I'd rather have a canary."
- Norm from Cheers: "Women. can't live with 'em. Pass the beer nuts."
- Jack from Will and Grace: "Women. Can't live with them. End of sentence."
- Subverted (possibly) on My Name Is Earl.
Randy: Women. They sure are loud, huh Earl.
- Howard on The Big Bang Theory, after Sheldon and Amy have a disagreement.
Women. Can't live with them, can't successfully dispute their hypoteses.
- Harry on 3rd Rock from the Sun once remarked, "Women: you can't live with them, but they're everywhere."
- Weird version in Sanctuary with a two-faced abnormal.
Normal Face: Women, can't live with 'em...
Evil Face: But you can eat them!
- Al Bundy from Married... with Children:
Women. Can't live with 'em...the end.
- The Noob franchise has a misogynist among its protogonists, making this kind of line appear fairly often.
- Maureen and Joanne's duet, "Take Me or Leave Me", from RENT includes the line, "Women! What is it about them? Can't live with them or without them." When David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris performed the duet at Broadway Backwards 3 in 2009, the scoff was changed to, "Men!".
- There was a comment (on a YouTube video about Majora's Mask) to the effect of "of COURSE Majora's a girl, she's vicious, she's cruel, and if you cross her she will show no mercy in making your life miserable!"
- Another example is after this conversation from Sonic Sat AM. (Sally's remark, namely, at 20 seconds past the time position linked to, is the example.)
- The infamous quotes "Women need men like fish need a bicycle" and "Men are pigs."
One day, in class a teacher wrote the words "A woman without her man is nothing" on a whiteboard, and next to that, he wrote "add the correct punctuation." A boy walked up and wrote " A woman, without her man, is nothing". A girl wrote " A woman: without her, man is nothing."