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Gender Scoff

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"Women. Can't live with 'em. Can't kill 'em!"
Gib, True Lies

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 annoyance 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.

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.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Said by the peanut gallery watching Brainwashed and Crazy Chazz's duel with Alexis in the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX dub.
    Jasmine: He's pretty creepy.
    Mindy: Typical guy.
    Syrus: She's pretty wound up.
    Tyranno: Typical gal.
    Jasmine and Mindy: (death glare)

    Comic Books 
  • 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.

  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Twice, once for each gender:
    • From "A Meddler Appears":
      Jadeite was sitting on the highest outcropping of the spire, pouting. Ami worried that she had offended his pride when she offered to carry him for a change, allowing him to relax some more after straining himself so. Her youma body was certainly large and muscular enough for such an undertaking. She shook her head at his reaction. Men.
    • From "In Transit", after shooting down one girl's idea, and being given a different girl and her idea:
      Jadeite stared at the fairy and remained silent, his expression unreadable. Finally, he shook his head and spoke "Girls and their silly ideas.
  • Triptych Continuum: In A Confederacy Of Dunce Caps: From Chapter 3, with emphasis on "boys", while Diamond Tiara is insulting them:
    'Try to form some level of personal connection with your employees. Have a conversation with them. It doesn't have to be a deep one. Just show them you have some things in common.'
    As if Diamond would ever have anything in common with the world's dumbest boys.
    Talking to colts. Stupid ones. There really wasn't anything she wouldn't do to make her daddy happy again.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Constantine (2005): 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.
  • 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."
  • 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?"
  • In Miss Congeniality II, Samantha subverts the usual phrase by saying "Men! Can't live with them, can't — no, actually that's about it."
  • Rowlf in The Muppet Movie plays a blues song based on this theme, called I Hope that Something Better Comes Along.
  • Gib in True Lies has no problem letting you know his opinion on women.

  • The Belgariad: Considering that this is a fantasy World of Snark, it's not surprising that Polgara often rolls her eyes and howls "MEN!"
  • The Cat Who... Series: The lead character James Mackintosh Qwilleran extends this to a species scoff, shouting "Cats!" when his Siamese Koko or Yum-Yum behave in ways that frustrate him.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry does this in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix after his disastrous date with Cho Chang in Madam Puddifoot's tea shop.
      "Women!" he muttered angrily, sloshing down the rain-washed street with his hands in his pockets. "What did she want to talk about Cedric for anyway? Why does she always want to drag up a subject that makes her act like a human hosepipe?"
    • Also, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Ron suggests a game of Quidditch to cheer Harry up and Hermione says that Harry doesn't want to play Quidditch; he's tired and they all need to go to bed. Harry emphatically disagrees and runs off to get his broom. "Hermione left the room, muttering something that sounded very much like 'Boys.'" In the film version, she says this upon seeing how boys make up after fighting and avoiding each other for weeks.
  • In Thud!, when Commander Vimes has been browbeaten into eating healthily by his wife in front of two of his officers, he considers giving them the sheepish grin and eye-roll that means "Women, eh?" before remembering that they consist of Captain Carrot, who is male but wouldn't understand it, and Lance-Constable Humpeding, who is female and would.
  • Whateley Universe: In "Quoth The Ninja, Nevermore!", the ninjas are picking their opponents:
    Mikoshi quickly consulted the map. "It's called 'Poe Cottage.' Says it's 'co-educational.'" He paused to pull up his face mask, so that he could spit. "Half fems. That should be easy enough."
    "Hey!" the girl, Mikan, protested. Everyone else ignored her.
  • Heavily recurrent in The Wheel of Time. On an almost per-chapter basis, in fact. Also combined with Hypocritical Humor where a character will complain about a specific behavior (such as gossiping) observed in the other gender, that they themselves have been doing only a couple of chapters before.
  • In the second book in the Xanth series, a misogynistic soldier arrives in an all-female village. The soldier gets into an argument with one of the Amazons, and they begin insulting each other — until they resort to shouting "female!" and "male!"

    Live-Action TV 
  • Harry on 3rd Rock from the Sun once remarked, "Women: you can't live with them, but they're everywhere."
  • Howard on The Big Bang Theory, after Sheldon and Amy have a disagreement.
    Howard: Women. Can't live with them, can't successfully dispute their hypotheses.
  • Norm from Cheers: "Women. can't live with 'em. Pass the beer nuts."
  • In the Coupling episode "Split", after she and Steve have temporarilly split up, Susan has a lengthy speech that begins "Men — and I don't mean to generalise here — but men are crap, aren't they? They're the human race's only failed gender!"
  • A running gag in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend episode "I Need Some Balance". The male characters will start a statement with "women", only to realize they're about to say something horrifically insensitive and awkwardly trail into a Last-Second Word Swap ("can't say adages about them anymore", "are our equal in every way", "are the future.") At the end of the episode, Rebecca is complaining about men and offers the "can't kill 'em" variant before glibly remarking "we get to say that."
  • Early in the Doctor Who story "Four to Doomsday", the Doctor tells his companions to stay in the TARDIS while he explores Monarch's spaceship. Tegan rapidly loses patience, complaining that the Doctor could end up costing her her job if they are delayed for too long. Adric tries to explain that, because the TARDIS is a time machine, it doesn't matter how long they have to wait, but this does not improve Tegan's mood. And neither does his suggestion that she read a mathematical textbook to pass the time. Adric's response:
    That's the trouble with women. Mindless, impatient and bossy.
  • In the Friends alternate history episode "The One That Could Have Been", Rachel, having learned Barry was cheating on her much later than in the true timeline, responds to Ross asking if she's okay by saying "Me? I'm great! I'm fine! I'm sooo good! But you know who's not great? Men!"
  • Al Bundy from Married... with Children:
    Al: Women. Can't live with 'em... the end.
  • Subverted (possibly) on My Name Is Earl.
    Randy: Women. They sure are loud, huh Earl.
  • Weird version in Sanctuary with a two-faced abnormal.
    Normal Face: Women, can't live with 'em...
    Evil Face: But you can eat them!
  • Super Human Samurai Syber Squad: After obtaining a small victory against Sam Collins in "Samurize", Malcolm subverts the usual frase by saying "can't throw them at a nuclear reactor" instead of "can't live without 'em".
  • Jack from Will & Grace: "Women. Can't live with them. End of sentence."

  • Subverted in New Dynamic English because Kathy doesn't feel offended, but she laughed and said "Oh you guys!" after Max and Larry were talking about computer games.

  • 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!"

    Video Games 
  • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse: After being dumped by Barracuda Joe, Sky laments:
    Sky: Men are idiots. At least I still have Wrench.
    Wrench (a bird): Caw. Caw.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Spoofed in volume 2, when Nora comments "Women!" in response to Blake abruptly leaving a board game in progress. Everyone just stares at her since, of course, Nora's a woman herself.


    Web Original 
  • There was a comment (on a YouTube video about The Legend of Zelda: 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!"
  • The Noob franchise has a misogynist among its protagonists, making this kind of line appear fairly often.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The infamous quotes "Women need men like fish need a bicycle" and "Men are pigs."
  • Also:
    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."