Sex Education: Maeve’s Top 10 Quotes

One of Moordale’s smartest and most witty characters, Maeve Wiley always has something witty to say. She is sarcastic, pessimistic, and incredibly knowledgeable, making her a great friend, business partner, and potential romantic interest to Otis. Maeve seems self-assured and confident on the surface, but she has many deep fears and doubts about her life, especially her future.


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Self-sufficient at the age of 16, Maeve lives alone in a rusty trailer park, occasionally visited by unreliable relatives. In Season 2, Maeve pours more energy into herself and her schoolwork. Her future is fast approaching and she wants to make sure she has the best chance to do something meaningful in her life. However, she’s still Maeve, which means she has a lot of snarky comments to make, but also some wise ones.

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“All our brains are slowly dying. You are not unique.”

Emma Mackey as Maeve Wiley George Robinson as Isaac Netflix Sex Education Season 2

When Maeve meets Isaac in season 2, they get off to a bit of a rocky start. However, after spending some time together, they realize they have a lot in common, even his dark sense of humor.

Isaac often makes self-deprecating jokes, but Maeve makes sure to put him in his place. She reminds him that they are all slowly dying, including the brain, which means Isaac’s disability doesn’t make him special in that department.

“Do you know how long I’ve been called a ‘cock biter’? Four years.”

Maeve at Jackson's door in Sex Education

Maeve has a reputation on campus as “scum” and no one bothers to find out if the rumors about her are actually true or not. She’s a social outcast, which she doesn’t seem to care about, but when she and Otis are investigating the incidents involving Ruby’s leaked photo, Maeve reveals that she does bother her.

Otis doesn’t understand why Maeve cares so much about Ruby’s problem because she thinks Ruby isn’t a very nice person. It’s more, Maeve won’t take your money, so it is not for business. She explains that people have been spreading horrible rumors about her since she was 14 and that she doesn’t wish that on anyone, not even Ruby. “This kind of thing sticks,” she says.

“Why celebrate the day I was randomly pushed out of a vagina against my will?”

Aimee from Sex Education grabs Maeve's arm as they go to the police station with the cake.

Always optimistic, Maeve’s perspective on her birthday is ironic. When Otis asks why she doesn’t like her birthday, she replies that it’s some kind of pointless celebration.

Maeve doesn’t have the best relationship with her mother, but on this particular birthday, Aimee and Otis makes her feel special. Otis gives her a journal of five years with her birthdays ripped from it, which Maeve appreciates, so much so that she almost confesses her affection for him.

“Amusement parks are simply a distraction from the inevitability of death.”

emma mackey in sex education

Once again, Maeve’s sarcasm shows the true darkness of her outlook on life. In Season 2, when Otis asks her if she’s going to the fair, she says it’s not her thing. Otis agrees with her sentiment, a bit surprised by her desolation.

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Maeve has seen her family fall apart and face life’s challenges without much success, so she isn’t overly optimistic about her own future. To her, something as silly and inconsequential as a carnival is just a distraction from the struggle that life really is in her eyes.

“No, it’s my vagina.”

Ruby, Olivia, Anwar and Aimee sit on a bench at Sex Education

One of the most powerful moments of the first season comes after Olivia takes responsibility for her actions. All day, Ruby agreed with the Untouchables about the explicit photo that she shared with her entire cohort.

It turns out that the photo is of Ruby and Olivia shared it to make fun of her as revenge. At the assembly the next morning, Mr. Groff gives a cautionary speech about digital culture. Olivia redeems herself standing up and telling everyone it’s her vagina. After Maeve’s moving speech about the derogatory names she’s been given, she too stands up. This inspires many students in the room to join them.

“It’s just a stupid bus.”

The girls from Sex Education together on the bus

Maeve’s best friend, Aimee, goes through a lot in Season 2, and Maeve is there for her every step of the way. However, for a long time, she doesn’t fully understand how Aimee’s trauma has affected her.

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At the end of the season, Aimee breaks down, revealing that she can’t get on the bus. The next morning, Maeve and the rest of the girls wait for Aimee at her bus stop. Maeve holds out her hand and lets Aimee take her time climbing up.

“Complex female characters”.

Maeve looks at the prize that Otis stole from her.

In Season 1, Maeve and Jackson share a flirtatious relationship but are hesitant to turn it into something more. Jackson tries to get to know her better, but she remains elusive and vague.

At Aimee’s party, Jackson invites her to the hot tub, but Maeve says hot tubs aren’t really her thing. When asked what her “thing” is about her, Maeve replies, “Complex female characters.” This answer puzzles Jackson, but it’s true. Maeve enjoys reading classic feminist texts and rejects social stereotypes about the role of women in romance and society in general.

“I can also gauge the depths of Mr. Hendricks’ personal despair based on his choice of Hawaiian shirt.”

Maeve standing in Principal Groff's office at Sex Education

Maeve is educated and knowledgeable because she reads widely and has a natural aptitude for absorbing new information, but she is also quick-witted and sharp-tongued. After being kicked out of school by her brother’s drug ring, Maeve returns, determined to fight her way back in.

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She infiltrates Mr. Groff’s office and makes excellent use of his announcer’s microphone to read A-level essays he has written for other students. When a horrified Groff finds her, he is quick to defend himself against her in typical Maeve fashion, citing his extensive and impressive knowledge of feminist literature while maintaining her wry sense of humor.

“…selective castration is our only hope.”

Aimee and Maeve from Sex Education in their PE uniforms

After Otis inadvertently gives Jackson advice on how to impress Maeve, he begins reading Virginia Woolf aloud in front of her, hoping to get her attention. In season 1 episode 4is jogging during a physical education class and holding a room of one’s own in one hand.

Jackson asks Maeve what she thinks Woolf meant by her famous quote: “The history of men’s opposition to the emancipation of women is perhaps more interesting than the history of that emancipation itself.” Maeve is quick to give her weary response: “That men are idiots and that selective castration is our only hope.” Of course, she is joking, but it doesn’t look like she is.

“Yes, that makes me sick.”

Maeve and Otis in the pool

One of Maeve’s most iconic moments is when she tells Otis what she thinks of rom-com love stories. “You know in rom-coms, when the guy finally realizes he’s in love with the girl, and he shows up with a boom box outside her house, playing his favorite song and everyone in the audience swoons? Yeah, that me sick. .”

otis he laughs because he agrees, but as she leaves school that afternoon, she runs into Jackson and hatches a plan. Jackson is looking for more tips on how he can impress Maeve, so he gives her false information and tells her to make a big gesture. To Otis’ chagrin, it actually works. Interestingly, Maeve later enjoys dressing for the ball despite her insistence that she would not attend. This proves that being a feminist does not mean hating all men or rejecting all social norms of femininity or childhood.

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