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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 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.

Examples of Gender Scoff include:

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.


  • 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?"


  "Women!" he muttered angirly, 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.'"
  • Heavily recurrent in The Wheel of Time. On an almost per-chapter basis, in fact.
  • 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!"
  • In The Cat Who series of books, the title 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.

Live Action TV

  • 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.

 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!

 Women. Can't live with 'em...the end.


  • 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!".

Web Comics

  • In one strip of Questionable Content, Marten and Steve indulge in the "women" variant until Hannelore points out the flaws in their logic. All three of them change it to "dudes".
  • Looking for Group had this little gem provided to its readers after Cale'Anon had an argument with his girlfriend:

 Richard: Women.

Cale: Yeah.

Richard: Why are any of them still alive?


Cale: That's a little bit extreme.

Richard: You may be right... What are your thoughts on penning them up to use for mating and the creation of snacks?

Web Original

  • There was a comment (on a YouTube video about Majoras 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.)

Western Animation

 Velma: Hmph, Women. (realizes what she said) What am I saying?! I'm one of them!

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."

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