15 Best Maeve Wiley Quotes


  • Maeve Wiley says goodbye to Otis in an emotional conversation, promising that their friendship is just on pause.
  • Maeve is hurt by Otis’ casual attitude towards their relationship and sarcastically dismisses the idea of having no feelings.
  • Maeve admits her inability to ask for help and push people away, showing a moment of character growth and apologizing to Aimee after a fight.

One of Moordale’s smartest and wittiest characters, Maeve Wiley always has something clever to say in Sex Education. Sex Education is a British teen comedy that premiered in January 2019 on Netflix. The series follows the lives of the students, faculty, and their families as they deal with personal dramas that often have to do with romance and intimacy. One of these students is Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey), a sarcastic, pessimistic, and incredibly knowledgeable student. Maeve seems self-assured and confident on the surface, but she has many deep fears about her life and future. Self-sufficient, Maeve lives alone in a trailer park, occasionally visited by unreliable relatives.

At the end Sex Education season 3, Maeve Wiley leaves for the United States. However, she will appear again. Mackey announced Sex Education season 4 would be her last, creating a worry that the series would continue without a proper send-off for Maeve. Fortunately, that news became moot with the announcement that Sex Education season 4 would be the final season. Maeve’s future is closing in fast, and she wants to ensure she gives herself the best shot at making something significant of her life. She’s still Maeve Wiley, though, which means she has plenty of snarky comments to make, but also some wise ones.

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Maeve Says Goodbye To Otis

“It’s See You Soon.”

Maeve saying goodbye in Sex Education.

For all of Sex Education, Maeve Wiley has wanted to escape the confines of her life and further her education. When she finally decides to go, Maeve then has to go about the difficult business of saying goodbye to her friends. Out of all the characters in Sex Education, Maeve has the closest relationship with Otis, so saying goodbye to him was always going to be the most difficult conversation. For once in Sex Education, Maeve elects not to be sarcastic or flippant and instead is honest and emotional, tearfully promising Otis that this isn’t goodbye for good, but just a brief pause in their friendship.

Otis Hurts Maeve’s Feelings

“No Feelings. Sounds Cool.”

Otis and Maeve look at each other

No feelings. Sounds cool,” is Maeve’s ice-cold response to Otis upon learning that he has had sex with Ruby. Neither Otis nor Maeve has been able to explain their true feelings to each other, and they have accidentally, and occasionally intentionally, hurt each other. When Otis tells Maeve that his relationship with Ruby is casual with no real feelings, Maeve’s sarcastic response is perfectly in character, but it also hints at how wounded she is. Normally, Maeve may pretend not having feelings is something to aspire to but here, she’s throwing it back at Otis, making it obvious she doesn’t appreciate his cavalier attitude.

Maeve Apologizes To Aimee After Their Fight

“I’m S**t At Asking For Help And I Push People Away.”

Maeve and Aimee touching their foreheads together and smiling.

After Maeve and Aimee’s big fight over Aimee secretly paying for Maeve’s trip to France, the two spend an episode at odds. Eventually, the best friends apologize to each other in a heartfelt and moving scene. Maeve admits something that Aimee already knew and even accused her of during their fight: that Maeve is unable to accept help from anyone and drives people away because of her pride. Admitting this is not just an important way to mend the fractured bridge between herself and her friend; it’s also a necessary moment of character growth for Maeve Wiley.

Maeve Says Goodbye To Isaac

“I Still Want You In My Life If You Do. As Friends, Maybe.”

Maeve in Sex Education.

Isaac Goodwin is introduced to Sex Education in season 2 and starts to have feelings for Maeve Wiley. Maeve is confused about her feelings for Isaac and for Otis, so she keeps them both at arm’s length. Though she and Isaac do eventually begin a tentative relationship, it’s quickly broken off when Maeve realizes she cares more about Otis. When Maeve leaves for America, her goodbye to Isaac is uncharacteristically honest and devoid of double meaning. She does love Isaac, but not in the way he loves her, and she wants him to remain in her life, as difficult as it may be for the pair.

Aimee Helps Maeve Decide To Go To America

“Thanks, Mum.”

Maeve and Aimee looking disgusted at something in Sex Education.

Neither Maeve nor Aimee have good relationships with their mothers and therefore decide that they will each play the role of mom for the other. It’s a bit of a tongue-in-cheek joke, but there are times when the joke is more serious. Maeve struggles with the decision to go to America, and it’s Aimee who encourages her to chase her dream. When Maeve says, “Thanks, Mum,” she means it. Without a true mother figure in her life, Maeve relies on Aimee to give her the right advice. When Aimee provides Maeve with the courage to make the jump to the United States, Maeve’s appreciation is sincere.

Maeve Teases Isaac When They First Meet

“All Of Our Brains Are Slowly Dying. You’re Not Unique.”

Emma Mackey as Maeve Wiley walking away from George Robinson as Isaac in Sex Education Season 2.

When Maeve Wiley meets Isaac in season 2, they get off to a bit of a rough start. However, after spending some time together, they realize they have quite a lot in common, including their dark sense of humor. Isaac often makes self-deprecating jokes, but Maeve makes sure she puts him in his place. She reminds him that everyone is slowly dying, brains included, which means that to her, Isaac’s disability doesn’t make him special in that department, and she will not be treating him any differently because of it.

Maeve Admits The Rumors About Her Hurt

“Do You Know How Long I’ve Been Called ‘Cock Biter’? Four Years.”

Maeve at Jackson's door in Sex Education

Maeve Wiley has a reputation around campus as a “slag” and nobody bothers to find out whether the rumors about her are actually true. She’s a social outcast, which she seems not to mind, but when she and Otis are investigating the incidents surrounding Ruby’s leaked photo, Maeve reveals the rumors do bother her. Otis doesn’t understand why Maeve sympathizes so much with Ruby because he thinks Ruby isn’t a very nice person. Maeve explains to him that people have been spreading awful rumors about her since she was 14, and she doesn’t wish that for anyone, not even Ruby. “This kind of thing sticks,” she warns.

Maeve Muses On The Ridiculousness Of Birthdays

“Why Celebrate The Day I Got Pushed Out Of Some Random Vagina Against My Will?”

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

Ever the sarcastic one, Maeve’s perspective on her birthday is a wry one. When Otis asks her why she doesn’t like her birthday, she replies that it’s a pointless celebration. Maeve Wiley doesn’t have the best relationship with her mother, but on this particular birthday, Aimee and Otis make her feel special. In one of Sex Education‘s best romantic gestures, Otis gives her a five-year diary with her birthdays torn out, which Maeve appreciates – so much so that she almost confesses her affection for him.

Maeve Loves To Be The Cynic

“Funfairs Are Simply A Distraction From The Inevitability Of Death.”

Emma Mackey as Maeve Wiley in Sex Education

Once again, Maeve’s sarcasm reveals her dark outlook on life. In Sex Education season 2, when Otis asks her if she’ll go to the fair, she says it’s not her thing. Otis agrees with her sentiment, though is a little surprised at its bleakness. Maeve Wiley has watched her family crumble and has faced life’s challenges without much success, so she’s not too optimistic about her own future. For her, something as silly and inconsequential as a fair is just a distraction from the struggle that life really is in her eyes.

Maeve Inspires The School To Stand Up For Each Other

“No, It’s My Vagina.”

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

One of the most powerful moments in Sex Education comes after Olivia claims accountability for her actions. All day, Ruby has been going along with the Untouchables about the explicit photo that’s been shared. It turns out that the photo is Ruby’s, and Olivia shared it to taunt her as revenge. At assembly the next morning, Mr. Groff gives a warning speech about digital culture. Olivia redeems herself by announcing to everyone that it’s her vagina. Maeve, remembering her own speech about the derogatory names she’s been called, stands up, too. This inspires many students around the hall to join them resulting in a direct and funny spoof of Spartacus.

Maeve Encourages Aimee To Face Her Fears

“It’s Just A Stupid Bus.”

The girls ride the bus with Aimee in Sex Education

Maeve’s best friend Aimee goes through a lot in Sex Education season 2, and Maeve is there for her every step of the way. However, for a long time, she doesn’t entirely understand the way Aimee’s trauma has affected her. At the end of the season, Aimee makes a powerful speech and breaks down to reveal that she can’t get on the bus. The next morning, Maeve Wiley and the rest of the girls are waiting for Aimee at her bus stop. Maeve holds out her hand and lets Aimee take her time getting on.

Maeve Likes Books More Than Anything Else

“Complex Female Characters.”

Maeve looks at the award Otis stole for her

In Sex Education season 1, Maeve Wiley and Jackson share a flirtatious relationship but hesitate to make it 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 that hot tubs aren’t really her “thing”. When asked what her “thing” is, Maeve replies, “Complex female characters.” This response throws Jackson off, but it’s true. Maeve enjoys reading classic feminist texts and rejects social stereotypes about women’s roles in romance and society at large.

Maeve Is Observant And Clever

“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 in Sex Education

One of the more intelligent characters in Sex Education, Maeve Wiley is educated and knowledgeable because she reads a lot and has a natural aptitude for absorbing new information, but she’s also witty and sharp-tongued. After getting kicked out of school for her brother’s drug ring, Maeve returns, determined to fight her way back in. She infiltrates Mr. Groff’s office and makes excellent use of his announcer’s microphone to read out A-level essays she’s written for other students. When a horrified Groff finds her, she rushes to defend herself in typical Maeve fashion, referring to her extensive and impressive knowledge of feminist literature and maintaining her wry sense of humor.

RELATED: 5 Couples That Would Work (& 5 That Wouldn’t) Between Sex Education And Gossip Girl

Maeve Doesn’t Hold Men In High Regard

“… Selective Castration Is Our Only Hope.”

Maeve and Aimee wearing Moordale gear in Sex Education.

After Otis unintentionally gives Jackson advice on how to impress Maeve Wiley, he starts reading Virginia Woolf aloud in front of her, hoping to catch her attention. In another scene, he’s jogging during a P.E. 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 women’s emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.” Maeve is quick to give her weary answer, “That men are d**ks and selective castration is our only hope.” She’s joking, but maybe not entirely.

Maeve Is Not The Sentimental Type

“Yeah, That Makes Me Sick.”

Maeve and Otis at the pool in Sex Education

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 turns up with a boom box outside her house, blasting her favorite song, and everyone in the audience swoons? Yeah, that makes me sick.

Otis laughs because he agrees, but as he’s leaving school that afternoon, he runs into Jackson and hatches a plan. Jackson is seeking more advice on how he can impress Maeve, so he feeds him false information and tells him to make a grand gesture. To Otis’s chagrin, it actually works. Notably, Maeve later enjoys dressing up for the dance in Sex Education, despite being adamant she wouldn’t be attending. This proves that being a feminist doesn’t mean hating all men or rejecting all social norms of femininity or girlishness.

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