The quiet and mellow Oz was yet another awesome character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He had this detached and semi-apathetic outlook on life, which made him highly entertaining (he has some of the best one-liners in the show).
Oz was not only a member of the Scooby Gang, but he was also the guitarist of Dingoes Ate My Baby and of course, a werewolf. But in spite of all of that, he is better known as Willow’s boyfriend.
He first notices Willow while she’s in her Eskimo costume at a dance at The Bronze. But it takes several episodes for the two to actually meet in person. As Willow’s date at a surprise birthday party for Buffy, Oz witnesses Buffy dusting a vampire, thus becoming part of the Scooby Gang. He takes the existence of vampire fairly well, simply remarking that it “explains a lot.”
Oz and Willow eventually share their first kiss and become an official couple at the end of the Season Two episode “Phases”. This is also the episode where he discovers that he has been turned into a werewolf. He was then forced to become a monster on the three nights around a full moon, thanks to being bitten on the finger by his little cousin Jordy. He calls his aunt to confirm the fact, asking her if Jordy is a werewolf, and unfortunately, he is. But Oz manages to deal with it (at first) by caging himself during the full moon to keep everyone safe.
Even though Oz is highly intelligent (so much so that he was tracked for a time by “the world’s leading software concern”), he doesn’t graduate that year, due to several incompletes and failing to attend summer school. So, he repeats his senior year, putting him in the same class with the rest of the Scoobies. During this year, his relationship with Willow goes through a rough patch after he catches Xander and Willow kissing. They break up, but later get back together after Oz confesses that he misses her.
After graduation, most of the Scoobies go to UC Sunnydale, and this is where we learn that while Oz appears to have come to terms with his lycanthropy, in truth he holds a great amount of fear of his werewolf side. Overtime he starts to see that he and the wolf aren’t as separate as he’d like to believe and even though he is in love with Willow, he is nevertheless drawn to another werewolf, Veruca. She, unlike Oz, considers the wolf to be her true self. After spending a night in the cage with Veruca, and killing her during the next sunset to protect Willow, Oz resolves to leave Sunnydale for his friend’s safety.
After he leaves, we later find out that he traveled through Mexico, Romania and eventually Tibet, where Buddhist monks teach him to suppress his transformations during the full moon with the help of charms, herbs, chanting and meditation. Here he also meets a young Tibetan girl and fellow werewolf, Bayarmaa, who helps him during his stay in the monastery.
Some time later, Oz returns to Sunnydale, believing that his lycanthropy is now under control. Although the moon no longer affects him, he can still transform into a werewolf when faced with strong emotions, such as anger or pain, as he discovers when he finds out that Willow has feelings for Tara, and not him.
After he discovers that Willow can break his control, Oz leaves Sunnydale for good, right after the Scoobies, assisted by Riley, break him out of The Initiative’s complex. Luckily, Oz and Willow leave on friendly terms.
Like most of the character that left Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Oz also had an appearance on Angel’s spin-off show.
Favorite Oz Quotes!
[on the phone] “Aunt Maureen? Hey, it’s me. Um, what? Oh. It’s, uh… actually it’s healing okay. That’s pretty much the reason I called. Um, I wanted to ask you something. Is Jordy a werewolf? Uh-huh. And how long has that been going on? Uh-huh. What? No, no reason. Um… Thanks. Yeah, love to Uncle Ken.”
[Buffy can hear everyone’s thoughts]
Oz: [Thinking] “I am my thoughts. If they exist in her, Buffy contains everything that is me, and she becomes me. I cease to exist.”
Oz: [Out loud] “Hmm.”
Oz: “We should figure out what kinda deal this is. I mean, is it a-a gathering, a shindig or a hootenanny?”
Cordelia: “What’s the difference?”
Oz: “Well, a gathering is brie, mellow song stylings; shindig, dip, less mellow song stylings, perhaps a large amount of malt beverage; and hootenanny, well, it’s chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny.”
Oz: “Well, I sorta test well. Y’know, which is cool. Except that it leads to jobs.”
Willow: “Well, don’t you have some ambition?”
Oz: “Oh, yeah. Yeah. E-flat diminished ninth.”
Oz: “Well, the E-flat, it’s-it’s doable. But it’s that diminished ninth, you know, it’s a man’s chord. You could lose a finger.”
Xander Harris: “Do we hug?”
Oz: “I think we’re too manly.”