The 12 Best Billy Butcher Moments On The Boys

Morality is pretty gray in the world of "The Boys," Prime Video's hit superhero show that revels in the darker side of super-powered beings. The "superheroes" kill people fairly regularly, while the common folk out to hold them accountable also toe the line of "justice," believing that the ends justify the means. The titular Boys — the band of vigilantes working to make sure the Supes keep their collateral damage to a minimum — are led by the charismatic rascal Billy Butcher, played by Karl Urban. 

Urban knows all too well that his character walks a pretty difficult line. "In Butcher's case, he is pretty frustrated with the inertia that is going on and he finds a way to level the playing field," Urban said ahead of the Season 3 premiere. "...It comes at a cost." Butcher, though, is a fan favorite character precisely because of how far he's willing to go in order to make sure the Supes stop hurting normal people. Over the course of the show, he's killed a shockingly high number of people, has put his friends in a ludicrous amount of dangerous situations, and has delivered more biting, quotable one-liners than one can hope to remember. These are Billy Butcher's best moments.

Using his car as a weapon

We first meet William "Billy" Butcher in the very first episode of "The Boys," as he tries to recruit Hughie Campbell to join the clandestine fight against superheroes. Butcher is brusque and brash, and at first, he claims to be an FBI agent, though Hughie will soon learn that was just a cover. He convinces Hughie to plant a bug at Vought Tower, the headquarters of the mega-corporation that controls the Supes, and everything goes according to plan ... except for the fact that absolutely nothing went right after all. Hughie was spotted by Translucent, a Supe who can turn invisible. Translucent follows Hughie back to work, and we think the newest member of the Boys is in major trouble.

That is, until Butcher's car comes crashing through the wall of the electronics shop where Hughie spends his days, sending the unseen Supe crashing through the store. (On-screen trivia in the Prime Video app explains the SFX team crashed a green wrecking ball through the set and edited it out later.) "You should f— off, Hughie," Butcher warns. As he saunters toward the back of the store, he quips, "Well, well, well. If it ain't the invisible c—." It's a brilliant introduction to a character that quickly becomes a fan favorite, showing off two major traits that will come to define his fighting style: ingenuity — a willingness to use whatever's at hand as a weapon — and a tendency toward biting one-liners.

The Spice Girls speech

Over the first few episodes of "The Boys," we come to know Butcher as a no-nonsense, hard-talking fighter who is singularly focused on taking down the evil organization of superheroes. He's desperate to pull a team together to help him achieve his goal of taking out Homelander, but when it looks like Mother's Milk and Frenchie aren't going to be able to work together, Butcher turns to a surprising metaphor to convince them that they work better as a group.

"Sporty f—ing Spice, what's she up to?" he asks. No one knows. He runs down the list and says Posh is "making clothes for anorexics," Baby is doing "f— all," Scary is "up to her eyeballs in lawsuits and sex tapes," and then he caps it off with the pièce de résistance: "Ginger, on the other hand, has released three albums. 'Passion,' 'Schizophonic,' and 'Scream If You Wanna Go Faster.' They'll all make your ears bleed."

Butcher's intensive knowledge of the post-girl group careers of the Spice Girls adds a surprising new wrinkle to a character we thought we were getting a handle on. The moment is made all the more poignant when, several episodes later, we learn that his wife Becca was a big Spice Girls fan. Butcher, it seems, has a heart and is more sentimental than he lets on.

Laser Baby

In Episode 5 of "The Boys," called "Good for the Soul," the team infiltrates a hospital they believe to be involved in the production of the nefarious Compound V. At first, they only know that Supes get juiced on the stuff, but on this hospital trip, they realize that the conspiracy goes even deeper. Compound V doesn't just get superheroes high; it's actually the drug that gives them their powers.

The revelation comes when they find a baby enclosed in a glass bassinet, and the baby's eyes light up blue. That's right: laser baby! The tiny tot would prove to be so popular with fans that an episode of the animated spin-off series "The Boys Presents: Diabolical" was called "Laser Baby's Day Out."

When the Boys find themselves surrounded by armed security and need to fight their way out, Butcher has an idea. He wields the laser baby like a weapon, the diminutive Supe's eyes slicing through the bad guys with guns. In short order, everyone is dispatched, and the Boys are safe to escape. Butcher looks down at the infant in gleeful surprise and exclaims one of the show's best incarnations of his catchphrase: "Holy f—! That was diabolical! ... You little f—ing beauty." It's a ridiculous, fun, I can't believe they went there sequence, and the laugh-out-loud absurdity of using a baby as a weapon makes this one of Butcher's most ingenious battle moments.

Killing Mesmer

"The Sixth Sense" star Haley Joel Osment has a small arc in the first season of "The Boys" as Mesmer, a superhero who can read the mind of anyone he touches. He's also a former child star, just like the actor who plays him. Before the episodes aired, Karl Urban teased to ET Canada, "I do something to Haley Joel Osment that is gonna go down in the history of television." He's presumably referring to the scene in Episode 7, "The Self-Preservation Society," which sees Butcher furious with Mesmer. The Supe was recruited to assist the Boys in learning more about Kimiko, but Butcher discovers that Mesmer has handed over important information about the team to their number one enemy, Homelander, blowing their cover. 

After cornering the Supe in a bathroom, Butcher calmly puts his hands on Mesmer's temples. The mind-reader looks terrified of whatever Butcher's thinking. It's a thrilling moment, so well-acted by Osment that he makes Urban's Butcher look even scarier. "Please," Mesmer begs. "I have a daughter!" And then Butcher caves his head in, repeatedly smashing his face into a sink. We've come to know Butcher as a character not afraid to crack wise, but here, we learn that he can be just as frightening when he's quiet — and how much he really hates Supes.

Daddy's home

At the end of the first season of "The Boys," Butcher learns that his wife Becca is alive after all. She's been kept hidden by Vought, raising Homelander's super-powered son in secret. As Season 2 opens, Butcher wakes up in the parking lot of a restaurant in Indiana, nowhere near where he's just seen his wife for the first time in years. Meanwhile, the Boys are on their own, hunkered down in the basement of a pawn shop and trying to regroup. Without Butcher to guide them, tensions run high throughout the Season 2 premiere. 

Suddenly, a body tumbles down the steps. Boots stomp down the stairs, and the camera pans up to reveal Butcher, back to lead the Boys once more. He rattles off a list of things that have recently gone wrong, including the existence of superpowered terrorists and the surprise head explosion of their CIA contact. Then, Butcher delivers one of the best lines in the show, as the music swells. "Don't you worry," he says, that trademark manic grin spreading across his face. "Daddy's home." We've been missing Butcher just as much as (most of) the Boys have, and at this moment, it feels damn good to have him back.

The whale

Billy Butcher is a resourceful guy, and he sometimes has resources the other Boys don't know about. That's why they're not necessarily surprised when, for example, he has a boat handy for them to escape law enforcement on. Called My Big Wet Dream, Butcher says the boat was borrowed from a friend. Unfortunately for everyone involved, an NYPD helicopter chases them down anyway, and a loudspeaker announcement says the boat has been reported stolen. "A stranger is just a friend you ain't met yet," Butcher quips by way of explanation.

The chopper isn't the only thing following My Big Wet Dream. Aquatic Supe The Deep is hot on their tail, too, riding a whale. The Boys leap into a speedboat and flee the scene — which Karl Urban really drove — and just as they get to shore, Butcher realizes that the only way out is through. Through the whale, that is. He rams the boat into the side of the massive sea creature, killing it and sending everyone sailing through its guts. "F—in' diabolical," he exclaims.

The whale sequence lands on this list because it's one of the show's most audacious, memorable stunts, and of course, Butcher is the one behind it all. Prime Video's on-screen trivia reveals that the filmmakers actually created a whale out of styrofoam built onto a plywood frame, and puppeteers controlled the movement of the whale's internal organs. According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the whole show-stopping sequence took an entire week to film. Diabolical, indeed.

Butcher and Becca share a cigarette

Billy Butcher is a man motivated by anger. He's angry from grief and that injustice exists in the world, specifically the injustice of some people being granted unchecked power that results in them being worshipped by society. He's furious, too, that his wife was raped by one such superhuman, and when he learns that she's alive after all, he's angry that they've had to spend all these years apart when they could have been together.

In the fourth episode of Season 2, Butcher and Becca finally reunite. Butcher tracks her down, hides in her car, and has her drive to a remote bridge where they can finally talk, and reconnect. By which we mean, have sex in the backseat. After reconnecting, Becca and Butcher have a lovely conversation, wrapped in each other's arms, about how much they miss one another. Butcher gently teases Becca about the fact that she's smoking again, and she offers him a drag. At first, he declines, but she holds the cigarette up to his lips anyway, and he indulges. It's a surprisingly sweet, intimate moment, revealing a much softer side to an increasingly layered character we thought we understood.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Butcher's advice

Butcher and Becca's relationship fails to be rekindled because Becca was rightly suspicious of Butcher's claim that he would also help protect her son, Ryan. Butcher, it turns out, hates everything Ryan represents: he's unable to look past the fact that his wife's son is the superpowered offspring of Homelander, Butcher's number-one enemy.

However, everything changes in the Season 2 finale. After Ryan desperately tries to save his mother from the clutches of Stormfront, his laser eyes go awry and he accidentally kills his mom. Butcher has a change of heart in Becca's dying moments amidst her final wishes, and he swears to do everything he can to make sure the kid is kept safe from Homelander's clutches.

In the final minutes of the season, we rejoin a conversation between Butcher and Ryan, already in progress. "Remember what I told you," Butcher prompts. The child dutifully replies, "Don't be a c—." Ah, Butcher. Even if it turns out he's got a heart of gold deep underneath that tough exterior, even if this moment represents a shift from revenge to paternal responsibility as his primary motivation ... he's still the same rascal we know and love. 

Butcher vs. Termite

When Season 3 starts, the Boys have gone legit. Hughie is working at the Federal Bureau of Superhuman Affairs, passing info to Butcher and the gang to help them bring Supes to justice. However, that doesn't mean they can't still have a little bit of fun. The first mission in the show's third season is an attempt to capture Termite, a Supe we first saw back in Season 1 who can shrink himself at will. In a scene as shocking as anything the show's ever done, the incredible shrinking superhero crawls inside the penis of his boyfriend for sexual reasons, but when he accidentally sneezes, he explodes back to full size, tearing the guy apart from within. Ouch.

When Butcher arrives on the scene, he scoops the horrified hero up in a baggie of coke, and then he starts to shake it. Soon, Termite is absolutely coated in cocaine — what Congresswoman Victoria Neuman will later call "a metric Belushi of coke" — and he's high out of his mind. With a gleeful grin on his face, Butcher leans down and delivers a typically cutting one-liner: "Go ahead, son. Have a bump." It's a fantastic reintroduction, checking in with the head vigilante in the premiere and reassuring us that the season has just as much absurdist fun in store as ever.

Killing Gunpowder

As the battle between the Boys and the Supes heats up, the third season of "The Boys" introduces a new plot device that evens the playing field. Queen Maeve informs Butcher of the existence of Temp V, a new drug developed by Vought that's meant to give someone temporary powers. She even slips him a few vials, thinking they might help in the fight against Homelander. A 24-hour chance to access a previously-untapped superpower proves tempting even to Butcher, who has spent the past several seasons working against the idea that any human being should have abilities like these. 

At first, we're not sure he's going to indulge, but then he finds himself in a difficult position. Butcher gets cornered by Gunpowder, a Supe with a love of guns who is not afraid to use them ... on Butcher. Then, the fearless leader of the Boys steps out from behind a pillar and walks straight toward the Supe, bullets bouncing off his chest, and we realize that he's taken the drug. Billy Butcher is now bulletproof.

The show ups the ante seconds later as Butcher's eyes begin to glow, and his lasers slice his enemy in half. It's a thrilling moment as we suddenly realize all the places this season might be headed, all the new and exciting ways the show's heroes can now battle the Supes. It's a dark moment, too, one that may signal temptation and trouble ahead for Butcher. And, to be frank, it just looks badass.

Butcher battles Homelander

Season 3, Episode 6 is "Herogasm," and the episode was one of the show's most-hyped before it premiered. "Please allow 3 to 5 business days to recover, maybe more," teased the show's official Twitter account, adding that the episode would be "a sploogefest of emotions (and also bodily fluids)." Sure enough, the gang finds themselves crashing a legendary Supe orgy, one that's apparently gone on for the past 70 years. Raunchy sex of all shapes, sizes, sounds, and states of matter happens around the team as they desperately try to evacuate the building ahead of Soldier Boy and Homelander's imminent arrival. This is gonna be quite the showdown.

When Homelander does finally show up, Butcher gets a chance to show off his thrilling new abilities. We've seen him use his laser eyes before, but we haven't seen how they match up against his enemy, who is considered the most powerful hero in the world. It turns out to be a pretty even match, which is incredibly fun to witness; as they turn their powers on one another, their lasers lock up. It's an awe-inspiring moment, like that wand fight between Harry Potter and Voldemort in "The Goblet of Fire," except imagine if one of them said the c-word a lot and the other explicitly represented the evils of American nationalism. Oh yeah, and it took place in the middle of an orgy. How could this moment not wind up being one of Butcher's best?

Breaking Soldier Boy's shield

Throughout the third season of "The Boys," Butcher has been singularly-focused on using Soldier Boy, at one point the most powerful hero in the world, to kill Homelander. He is so dead-set on this mission that he continues taking Temp V even after learning that it's going to kill him, so insistent that Homelander must die that he's willing to sacrifice the lives of himself and all of his friends. In the season finale, it all leads up to a climactic showdown at Vought Tower. Soldier Boy and Homelander, finally face-to-face. A superpowered Butcher, juiced up on Temp V to ensure that everything goes according to plan. The rest of the Boys stand by, ready to jump in and make sure Soldier Boy is able to obliterate their biggest rival.

But then, a wrinkle: Homelander has brought Ryan to Vought Tower. Soldier Boy is willing to kill the kid, who happens to be his own grandson, along with Homelander, his son, who he calls a "disappointment." In a surprise move, Butcher rounds on the older Supe in order to save his wife's son. Firing up his laser eyes, he weakens and then shatters Soldier Boy's shield. Sure, he subsequently gets his a– kicked, but it's a shocking moment that reminds us that underneath all the one-liners, underlying all the willingness to kill and behind that maniacal grin, Billy Butcher may just be a big softie and even he is willing to draw some lines.