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Psychologists Diagnose Favorite Fictional Character From TV and Movies

TV and movie characters often display signs of mental illness, however diagnosing someone at a distance is a challenge. Some are obvious though - like Monica Gellar, who needs everything to always be in its proper place, or Archer, who, well... the mommy issues are only the tip of that iceberg.

RogueFart asked, Psychologists of reddit, do you ever find yourself "examining" fictional characters from tv, books, books and movies? If so, what are some interesting characters that are maybe unassuming to the "uneducated"?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

Sound like anyone you know?


PhD student in clinical psych here. I often say that the main character in Nightcrawler is one of the most accurate depictions of psychopathy/antisocial personality that I've seen in film or TV. Most "psychopaths" (not a diagnosis, but a term used in research that overlaps with a lot of antisocial personality disorder) are not overt sadistic murderers, but they lack empathy and will manipulate others for personal gain with superficial charm. Jake Gyllenhaal nails this in my opinion and the character is written very realistically


How I Met Your -- Psychopath?


Barney Stinson is not a psychopath (i.e. ASPD). He's not destructive and parasitic enough in the group he's currently exploiting. He supposedly falls in love, has remorse and empathy. That's a little off for someone who is played out as a psychopath. It's the same with some other supposed psychopaths in TV. Dexter is a remorseless killer with no empathy but starts caring and turns into a normal person when he meets The Woman. Honestly, if you have a psychopath character, just keep it consistent.

Bonus: Michael Scott is a domineering workplace bully and Toby is his submissive victim. We watched a compilation of his bullying in an organizational psychology class. I also would say Jim is a reactive bully and Dwight is his provocative victim. Dwight acts in strange, provocative, and norm-breaking ways, which provokes Jim to bully him to put him in his place.

Touch one thing in that kitchen...


I have a BA in Psych but my professors would often use Monica from Friends as an example to have Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. That's OCPD not OCD, which are often confused. Just the way she is very rigid, and wants everything clean and organized. My professors would sometimes classify Sheldon Cooper to have OCPD, as well.


Tony Stark had some serious PTSD. Also, solid advice here.


Iron man is totally going through a Manic episode at the beginning of the Iron Man movie where he's building all those Iron man suits.

Rapid speech, racing thoughts, no sleep for 3 nights, grandiose behaviour, goal directed tasks (his machines, but unlike manic people he finished his objective).

Edit: To everyone relating to the above information, if you think even for a minute you can relate all too well with this, please go see your physician or a mental health professional! These are important conversations to have and the sooner you have them the better.

Mental health diagnoses can be complicated; there are an array of illnesses who's symptoms overlap or co-exist. Google, movies, your friend or a reddit comment are not the most accurate nor the most informative sources to figure out what illness you or a loved one may have. Please go seek help from a professional. I promise you we will do our best to diagnose and treat you to make YOUR life and subsequently the lives of the people around you better.

Also to the buddy who graced me with gold, thank you! For anyone else who thought (or not) about it, please spend those few dollars by donating to a Mental Health charity or facility. Your local one preferably!!


Hogwarts' liability insurance premiums must be astronomical.


I wrote this a while back when in my MSW program with a mental health focus, but it applies here:

Harry Potter definitely has posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), esp from the end of Goblet of Fire, with symptoms coming full force in the following book. Looking at the DSM5 criteria, he:
  1. Criteria A: Witnessed a death/had his life threatened - the events of the end of GoF
  2. Criteria B: recurrent distressing dreams - constant nightmares
  3. Criteria C: avoidance - doesn't want to talk about Cedric, begins avoiding his friends and isolating himself to avoid questions about that night
  4. Criteria D: self-blame (esp with Cedric and suggesting the grab the portkey together), feelings of detachment or estrangement from others (belief that his friends don't get it, feeling isolated)
  5. Criteria E: irritability/anger outbursts (hello all of book 5), reckless behavior (Harry in a nutshell), problems with concentration, sleep disturbances
  6. Criteria F: has persisted longer than 1 month
  7. Criteria G: these disturbances cause clinically significant distress and impairment
  8. Criteria H: his experiences cannot be attributed to a substance (e.g. drugs)

Hogwarts really needs a counseling center.


She'll always be his girl.


Degree in behavioral science. Done a lot of work with people dealing with trauma. Jenny from Forrest Gump is an incredibly fascinating character. The way her childhood abuse sets her up to gravitate towards abusers, and avoid people who could make her happy is a hell of a watch. Also consider her feelings of power over Forrest considering his handicap, and to see that affect her relationship with him is a whole other layer to her story. She is a hell of a character, much more so than Forrest.


Chuck is detestable yet he draws sympathy toward the end.


I read someone examining Chuck McGill from Better Call Saul. Chuck basically believed he had a disease but didn't, and it stemmed from a narcissistic personality needing to be in a world where he was treated like a king. He already was a person of respect and on top of his field, but his wife divorcing him and his ne'er-do-well brother being more charming sent him into some kind of spiral.

I can't say it as well as that person did. If a psychologist knows the show, I'd love to hear their opinion on Chuck.


Funny how that works isn't it?


In college, I did a research paper on the graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman. (If you haven't read it, I highly suggest it!)

Anyway, there's a part in the book where a Jewish survivor of a concentration camp doesn't want to pick up a hitchhiker, because the hitchhiker is black.

I thought it was super interesting, so I did my work on that part of the story specifically. Turns out, a lot of survivors of traumas turn pretty xenophobic, if their own trauma was race/religious oriented.

Brains are weird, man.


Frank Reynolds is a baller.


I am a licensed and accredited psychologist and I can say for certainty that Frank Reynolds has Donkey Brains.


World's greatest boss.


Psychotherapist here... Michael Scott is a textbook case of histrionic personality disorder.


What would a retired Peggy Hill be like? She's got an alluring Laura Bush quality.


Peggy Hill gets SO much hate on reddit, but all her flaws are exactly why I find her character so entertaining. Here's to hoping the King of the Hill revival actually comes to fruition.

*Mike Judge has stated that any revival would have all the characters aged in real time, and taking place in the midst of the current Trump administration. That means Hank in his mid 60s (!!!) and Bobby in his late 20s (29, to be exact). No animated show would have ever aged their characters in real time like this before. It would be almost an entirely different show.

Yes, 13 great seasons. But have people forgotten Fox cancelled it for The Cleveland Show? There's still a lot of life left in the series and aging its characters to the current day gives the showrunners a chance to do something truly unique.


Spoiler: he's bipolar.


Licensed social worker here, but I appropriately diagnosed Ian on Shameless about 5-6 episodes before they gave him the diagnosis on the show. That was one of my prouder moments.


The Harry Potter series is awash in mental illness.


Not a psychologist, but I read a really interesting paper on the psychological disorders present in the Harry Potter universe that are never acknowledged in the series.

Examples include:

  • Voldemort showing an almost textbook case of ASPD - a facade of superficial charm, manipulative, arrogant, lack of remorse, recklessness, aggressive, difficulty sustaining personal relationships, exploiting others for own gain, thinking lowly of others, and having a callous attitude to people they have hurt.
  • Harry suffering with signs of PTSD - dissociative episodes of reliving past events, recurring nightmares, avoids trauma-related thoughts and emotions
  • Lupin suffering with depression - linked to his lycanthropy of course, things like melancholy and lonely, losing interest and enjoyment in things they previously did enjoy, reduced fatigue and constantly tired, reduced self-esteem and self-confidence, ideas of guilt and unworthiness
  • Mad-Eye Moody suffering with Paranoid Personality Disorder - mistrustful, constantly suspicious of others, delusional, always preparing his own food and drinking from his own flask due to his paranoia he'd be poisoned, his catchphrase of "constant vigilance" screams of someone who is extremely paranoid.
  • Snape suffering with Schizoid personality disorder - no interest in social relationships, sheltered lifestyle, secretiveness, general detachment, apathy, emotional coldness, aloof attitude, consider themselves "observers" of the world rather than participants, etc.
  • Peter Pettigrew suffering with Dependent personality disorder - constant dependency on others to meet their need for physical and emotional support, characterized by fear and anxiety when the needs aren't met. Desire of constant approval, failing to make decisions on their own, passive and clingy, pessimistic, sensitive to criticism and rejection

Darth Vader/Anakin had some issues yo.


More than one of my professors have used Darth Vader as a template to explain borderline personality disorder. He meets more than the required number of symptoms to warrant a firm diagnosis.


He's all of us.


Someone please examine Bojack Horseman.


Weird Jobs Almost No One Knows About That Pay Surprisingly Well

Reddit user Rynoop asked: 'What are weird jobs nobody knows about but they pay well?'

woman writing on notes on window on Unsplash

Growing up, kids talk about the jobs they want as adults.

Once they become adults, they select career paths or cycle through a variety of jobs.

Most people find mainstream jobs, but some luck into really unique professions.

Keep reading...Show less

We've all made our fair share of mistakes; it's in our nature, honestly.

Sometimes we mess up so badly, it can ruin other things in our lives, like important relationships or our jobs.

But some people have messed up so badly at work that they lost their jobs in record time.

Ready to hear the tea, Redditor mango-chocolate asked:

"What's the quickest way you saw a coworker get fired?"

Check Your Pride

"In my old law office, a firm-wide email was sent out announcing the arrival of a new employee. We will call him Paul."

"So Paul decided to reply-all to let all of us know that he was aware of our recent legal defeats, that many people should be fired for these failures, and that his hiring was the first good thing our firm had done in years."

"The dude was a legal assistant right out of college with no experience."

"A minute after the email went out, I heard a crazy shout and then watched one of the senior partners run past my office towards HR (Human Resources)."

"And five minutes later Paul walked past with the HR manager and a security escort. He lasted less than 45 minutes."

- Left_Apparently

Lotto Fraud

"I worked at a lotteries company. A guy working in testing got access to production data and printed off some test tickets with some unclaimed winning numbers."

"He only did low amounts, like 500 dollars, and claimed three of them in three completely different locations around town."

"Of course, the company was interested in the story of someone who found a six-month-old lottery ticket and claimed it, but they were even more interested to find it was the same person going to three locations."

"Needless to say, when they realized the guy actually worked in the company, he got pulled into a room with cops a-waiting him."

- ThroughTheHoops

Weird Brag

"I worked at a bank, we were robbed at gunpoint. One of the tellers was quick to tweet out, 'Woooo, got the rest of the day off!! Feel free to visit me at work with a gun and ski mask anytime!'"

"They were fired upon walking in the next morning."

- seastrat

Totally Stopped Production

"An id**t pressed the emergency stop for fun on his second day at work."

"The emergency stop that he hit switches off all drives on the 100-meter-long paper machine. This means there is a loss of production for three to four hours for the entire paper mill."

"He was immediately escorted from the factory premises by two colleagues."

- daHawkGR

No Point Taking That Test

"I had a coworker get picked for a random drug test. She went back to her desk to grab her purse, and just left the building, never to return."

- brytewolf

Yes, That's What We Meant

"The boss sat her down to talk about her recent behavior at work."

"She whipped out her phone and started taking a video, saying that it was her right to record for 'when it goes to court.'"

"The boss said, 'Okay, this is the kind of stuff I’m talking about, you’re fired.'"

"This was at a Domino’s Pizza."

- kenb99

New Definition for "Side Hustle"

"Evidently, they robbed a bank on their lunch break."

"They came back like nothing happened, and then the cops showed up and took him down. It was crazy."

- Bob_the_Brewer

Quite the First Impression

"Pulling into the parking lot on the first day, she ran into a light pole that took out electricity to the whole site."

"She wasn't wearing a seat belt and was thrown into the front window."

"When we went out to see what had happened, she reeked of booze and there were empty liquor bottles in the back of the car."

"She never even made it to the front door, got a guest badge, or started her orientation training."

- LowBudgetViking

Haunting Upcharges

"When I was in high school, I used to do seasonal work at haunted houses which I did for four years."

"A new guy that they hired was supposed to help with parking. Now, in the three years that I worked at this haunted house, they never once charged people for parking (it was a very dark parking lot off of a cliff so had to make sure no one drove off of it trying to park)."

"This cheeky son of b***h started charging people five dollars to park."

"It was only found out after someone complained because they didn't have the money to go in with their friends because they had to pay for parking. I think the guy was only there a couple of hours before he got fired."

- rpgmomma8404

Missed the Training

"They got hired and then fell asleep during a meeting their first day and were asked not to come back."

- Snowstorm-3

"Same here. At a tech company, they hired a new developer, and the owner caught him napping at a desk on day one when he was supposed to be reviewing training materials."

"The owner had a chat with him, and told him whatever the reason, it was really bad form to fall asleep on the job on the first day."

"The new hire apologized, understood, and went back to the training materials. Not 20 minutes later, the owner walks by again and the guy is passed out once again, so he walked over, woke him up, and told him he was fired and to get out."

"I don't even think he made it to his fourth hour of employment."

- badtz-maru

Highly Questionable Explorations

"Early in my career I was an engineer at a refinery in the UK, and I was in charge of the QC lab. By law, we had to have external independent testing on the refinery fuel products to confirm they complied with government regulations."

"It seemed getting a job for the testing company was that you had to be an adult and had a driving license. The lab had a lot of very nasty chemicals either being tested or used in the testing or cleaning of the oil products."

"A new young girl turned up for the testing company and was dipping her finger into a chemical called phenol and stating that 'it makes your hand and arm go numb.' Phenol is a severe muscle relaxant (including your heart) and can kill you at very low concentrations."

"One hour into her employment we had paramedics on the scene monitoring her vitals and was released after eight hours. She didn't last the first hour of the first day and the testing company was fined pretty heavily."

- Nerdymcbutthead

AKA: Paid to Advertise

"A guy got hired in the first firm I ever worked for. He turned up for his first morning at work, and within an hour he had emailed the entire company (6,000 people) about his band and their availability for birthdays, weddings, etc."

"He was dismissed by lunchtime."

- BDATriangle001

"So he got paid half a day's wage to advertise his band to 6,000 people?"

"Man's a freaking genius."

- Oakcamp

Not-So-Quiet Quitting

"One day, Tim announced that he wasn’t paid enough and was going to basically sit at his desk doing nothing until he was paid what he wanted."

"20 minutes later, the boss walked in and asked Tim if he could have a word with him."

"Five minutes later, the boss walked back in and announced that Tim no longer worked there and if there were any questions."

"There were no questions."

- Few_Horse4000

Don't Be That Guy

"Interviewed a guy that was replacing someone who was leaving. Offered the job and was supposed to start the next day."

"Just so happened that we were having a going away party for the leaving dude that night so new guy was invited as a chance to 'get to know the team.'"

"The new guy shows up and proceeds to get absolutely s**t-faced and asked the head of HR if she wanted to go back to his place because he 'got a vibe' during the interview process."

"Next day, the new guy was a no-show so we were thinking bullet dodged. He showed up just before lunch clearly hung over making up some excuse for being late."

"The big boss came out and told the guy to get the f**k out."

- tizod

Optional Hours? Optional Employment.

"I fired someone who decided her second day that she was going to go out to lunch and not come back. The next morning she told everyone all about the shopping she did. She seemed confused about the expectations."

- dunwerking

Some of these stories are absolutely worth shaking our heads over, while others are truly shocking.

It's crazy the lengths people will go to in the workplace, despite the expectations that had already been clearly set.

If you view the rules as optional, your boss might view your employment as optional, too.

A doctor
Austin Distel/Unsplash

We all have our bad days that can be completely debilitating.

Some days are worse than others and can lead to mental breakdowns.

For most of us, these moments are fleeting, and we can greet the next day with a fresh start and mindset.

But that luxury doesn't always apply to everyone.

Imagine those who perpetually experience such an extreme frequently, maybe even daily.

Curious to hear of various diagnoses of the mind, Redditor MeepingBad6699 asked:

"Mental professionals of reddit, what is the worst mental condition that you know of?"

There are patients who are convinced they are no longer with us but are still able to articulate it.

Dead But Alive

"Cotard delusion. I'm a nurse and had to take care of a huge man with this condition. He came in with some odd behavior and escalated to Cotard. The delusion makes you think you are actually dead. He would scream he was dead all day and night. Lived in constant terror. He was such a sweetheart, but became so worn down and terrified over time he got quite dangerous and punched a nurse in the face."

– bbourke0626

Unalive Patient

"I had a patient check into the ER with this once but I didn’t know the name, she just kept claiming she was dead. She got baker acted and transferred."

– Dimwit00

Rude Awakening

"Also a nurse. I had a couple patients get ICU delirium that presented with them believing they were dead. Definitely not a fun time."

"I mean it sorta makes sense. Being in the ICU can be comparable to torture with the sleep deprivation, constant beeping and other noises, lots of pain and other physical discomfort, the thirst and hunger (thirst and hunger are very psychological so even if we give someone nutrition through a feeding tube or IV, your brain still freaks out because you're not eating or drinking). And so for some people, if you wake up, don't know where you are and you feel like you're being tortured, reasonable enough to assume you are in hell."

– PaxonGoat

Statistics Say

"Wow. So according to the DSM 5 there have only been 200 cases since this condition was identified (how long ago, I want to say 1800s). Anyway, I just found a new study from 2022 that says that about 1% of patients with schizophrenia are now reporting this delusion. Which, as the authors point out, is a significant increase. I wonder what has changed in the decade since the DSM 5 was published that is driving this uptick?"

"It is especially odd when you consider that people actually used to believe that dead people could come back to life, even designing coffins and burial practices around this belief because it was so commonplace. You’d think if anything the condition would be becoming less frequent and not more. Interesting."

– DarthMomma_PhD

Severe memory loss is one of life's cruelest symptoms.

Losing A Sense Of Self


"Watching a person, their memories, their personality die but their body remain living and confused, is horrifying..."

– Sacu_Shi_again

"Terrifying Prospect"

"My grandma has dementia (she can barely talk right now, but she's still physically healthy, somewhat) and a lot of my closely related family died due to Alzheimer's. Granted they acquired it / started showing severe symptoms when already quite old (early to late 80s), but it's still a terrifying prospect to know that I'll probably die in such a way. I hope that when the time comes, and it starts to affect me in a significant way, my wishes will be respected and I'll be euthanized. Both to spare me the horrors of it, and to not be a depressing burden to those around me."

– pale_sand

Warning Signs

"My grandma had it and now my dad is constantly complaining that he's forgetting things/can't remember anything. He's not even 60 yet."

– antisocialarmadillo1

Eating disorder was another horrific mental condition Redditors mentioned.

Hosting A Non-Existent Parasite

"Delusional parasitosis comes to mind with this prompt. I’ve watched a patient go to well over a dozen doctors trying to get confirmation that they’re parasite ridden. After countless stool samples, blood work, labs, scans, biopsies, etc., she clearly didn’t have any but remains convinced."

– Blahaj_shonk_lover

Side Effect

"A friend of my mom's ended up with something like this after getting into the wrong kinds of drugs."

"She was convinced that there were little bugs in her face. Absolutely convinced. She'd pick at her face day and night."

"She got clean for a little while, came to her senses, and stopped picking. But the damage was done, her entire face was scarred."

– ShiraCheshire

Alzheimer's hits too close to home.

I've known so many people related to or knowing someone with mental illnesses resulting in severe memory loss and it is heartbreaking.

Now a family member was just diagnosed and it's a lot for me to process it. It's not just the individual suffering. Their loved ones truly suffer too.

What I am learning, however, is to not take the present for granted. It's all we have.

Assortment of various food
Photo by Jimmy Dean on Unsplash

Whenever we go out to eat, be it at a fine dining establishment or a quick service window, some of us tend to wonder what the journey was for the food that we are looking at on our plates or in our take-out bags.

Many have similar thoughts when buying frozen or pre-packaged dinners at supermarkets.

The answers aren't always readily available, often because the food service industry will go to great lengths to keep them under lock and key. Well aware, most of the time, that current or former employees will spill the beans at one point or another.

Redditor Lilyxrx was curious to hear some of the most well guarded secrets of the food industry, leading them to ask:

"What’s a secret the food industry don’t want you to know?"

Next Time Your Craving Bananas Foster...

"The 'natural flavors' are just big jugs of glycerin with hyper concentrated flavoring in it."

"Banana flavoring is fairly flammable."

"Source: Worked in food manufacturing."- irony_in_the_UK·

Cholesterol Be Darned!

"Chef here."

"It’s salt and fat."

"If you have a question about anything it’s salt and fat."- LongRest

For Efficiency's Sake...

"Olive Garden makes all their necessary pastas for the whole day from 8-10am every morning."

"Partially cooked."

"So when an order comes through, they grab a serving of the needed pasta style and flash cook them in hot water."

"Also, it’s just the brand, Barilla."- Deerhunter86

Justin Bieber Food GIFGiphy

Before You Pay The Extra Money...

"Beekeeper checking in."

"There is no such thing as organic honey."

"I do not treat my bees with chemicals, but I have no idea where they get their nectar."

"A bee can fly up to three miles from a hive to get nectar."

"It is virtually impossible to guarantee they have not gotten nectar from a chemically treated source."- toad__warrior·

If You Ever Wonder What Makes It Taste So Good...

"Unless it’s a health conscious food joint you’re eating at, the food we serve is designed for maximum taste."

"It’s either dense with fat and sugar, or fat and salt "

"E.G. Those mashed potatoes you like?"

"Made with cream, butter, and salt."

"The quiche?"

"Made on cream, not milk."

"Etc, etc."- petuniasweetpea

Before You Start Bragging...

"Dragon fruit isn’t an exotic Asian fruit."

"It’s a cactus fruit, and as such are native to the Americas and can even be grown in the US."- ferretmonkey

dragon fruit GIF by Feliks Tomasz KonczakowskiGiphy

In Case You're Wondering why That Taste Is So Familiar...

"A lot of the processed cheese and cream cheese is all the same recipe we just switch the labels and packaging for the different brands we run."

"Source: I work in a cheese factory in a company that services 75% of America's domestic market."- anon5678903276

Another Reason To Have No Guilt Over Take Out...


"I work at Dominos, and we are kept afloat by the people who don't coupon and pay full menu price."

"You people are the unsung heroes of labor."- LoweeLL

Unlike Any Chocolate...

"When I worked at a mass production bakery the chocolate for the chocolate covered doughnuts came in giant frozen blocks of 4x4 pieces and contained no actual chocolate what so over."

"When unfrozen it was like some sort of nasty smelling paraffin wax that I would break up with a hammer and place into a melter that would then pour over the doughnuts."- gil_beard

Chocolate Dessert GIF by HuffPostGiphy

What Do Orange Juice And Whiskey Have In Common?

"The reason orange juice tastes consistently the same year round, even though it's a crop harvested once a year, is because citrus oils and citrus flavor are added back to different batches and blended all together."

"Similar to how whiskey is blended from multiple barrels to make it consistent."

"The difference is that even though extra stuff is added back into the OJ, it doesn't need to be labeled because the flavors contain all ingredients from oranges (FTNF-from the named fruit) so the FDA doesn't mandate labeling additional ingredients."- PensiveDoughnut

Does That Explain Their Shape?

"Pringles (and baked Lays/similar) are made of rehydrated and compressed rejected/excess parts of potatoes that go into regular chips."

"I learned that from my dietician at work and thought that was odd."

"I still like them over regular chips."- bluesasaurusrex

A Secret Better Not Known...

"The 11 herbs and spices secret recipe."- NemoTheOneTrueGod

Food Pouring GIF by Great Big StoryGiphy

Just Pop It In The Fryer...

"I was a young lad working at Church's Fried Chicken during the summer, many years ago."

"The owner refused to throw out chicken that had already gone bad; to the point where you'd gag if you smell them."

"Apparently if you batter them bad boys up and deep fry them, the rancid smell goes away."

"His customers never knew they were eating spoiled chicken."- Dirt_E_Harry·

Sweet... But Safe!

"The amount of sugar that goes into Costco bakery products is absurd, especially the apple pie."

"That being said; Costco does not f*ck around when it comes to food safety."

"Every area that is responsible for producing food is most likely cleaner than a white room for producing computer parts."

"There are virtually zero roaches, we found one in the bakery once and shut it down until the exterminator did his thing that very night."

"Someone returned a package of dinner rolls because their child had bit into one and a sharp piece of metal was in it, within less than 2 minutes every manager in the building was doing an investigation that led all the way up to the regional manager and his boss for several hours and determined that it had come off of a piece of machinery before it reached our location."

"We throw away rotisserie chickens if they have left (even for a few minutes) the shelf and someone tries to put it back."- Deathnachos

Costco GIF by hero0fwarGiphy

We'd like to think that everyone who works in the food industry shares the same high standards.

But, as in any industry, there are those out there who will cut corners for speedier results.

On the bright side, it does save you the trouble when deciding what cream cheese to buy...