Like Wolverine crushing on Jean Grey even though she loves Cyclops, almost all guys will develop feelings for a friend who doesn’t feel the same way. There wasn’t a snappy way to describe this universal phenomenon, except for “unrequited love” or “hey, look at that pathetic bastard!” And then someone, somewhere coined the phrase “Friend Zone.”
We’re not gonna argue with the guy who gave us Buzz Lightyear and finally got the Hulk right on-screen. That said, we’re not 100% sure “Friend Zone” is gender-specific, since girls can be similarly turned down, like Peter Parker telling Mary Jane, “I will always be your friend…that’s all I have to give” in the 2002 “Spider-Man" movie. (Even if that scenario is as rare as, well, a radioactive spider turning someone into a superhero.)
Whatever your opinion, Whedon is a man to be admired and taken seriously, so let’s give it some thought.