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The L Word wiki

Well, let's see. We've got a house, cars, vacations, love, commitment, a promise to be true. A baby that was lost. A trust that was broken. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a marriage to me.

Joyce mediating Bette and Tina's separation, "Loneliest Number"

Joyce Wischnia is a recurring character in seasons two, three, four, five, and six of The L Word. She is portrayed by Jane Lynch and debuts in "Lap Dance".

Joyce is the leading LGBT civil rights attorney in Los Angeles.[2] She is first introduced when Tina Kennard seeks legal counsel in her separation from Bette Porter.


Joyce is an attorney who specializes in LGBT civil and family matters; namely estate planning, child custody, domestic partnership arrangements, and separation and divorce.[2] She makes most of her money from separation and divorce cases.[8]

Among her peers, Joyce is known as "The Reamer" thanks to her hardball, no-nonsense attitude.[3] She has earned a reputation for being at the forefront of the LGBT civil rights movement in Los Angeles.[2] She was one of the first lawyers to support same-sex adoptions[2] and according to Alice, there would be no second-parent adoptions in California if not for her.[8]

Joyce is acquainted with political leaders such as President Bill Clinton[2] and Mayor Gavin Newsom, the latter of whom she raised a lot of money for.[9][6] She dated an orchid collector in the past and picked up knowledge about orchids from her.[7]

The L Word[]

Episode appearances[]

The L Word, season 2
Episode Appearance Status
"Life, Loss, Leaving"Absent
"Lap Dance"Appears
"Loneliest Number"Appears
"Lynch Pin"Appears
"Lagrimas de Oro"Absent
"Late, Later, Latent"Absent
"Land Ahoy"Absent
"Loud & Proud"Absent
The L Word, season 3
Episode Appearance Status
"Labia Majora"Absent
"Lost Weekend"Absent
"Light My Fire"Absent
"Lone Star"Absent
"Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way"Absent
"Losing the Light"Absent
"Last Dance"Appears
"Left Hand of the Goddess"Appears
The L Word, season 4
Episode Appearance Status
"Legend in the Making"Appears
"Livin' La Vida Loca"Absent
"Lez Girls"Absent
"Luck Be a Lady"Absent
"Lesson Number One"Absent
"Lexington and Concord"Absent
"Lacy Lilting Lyrics"Absent
"Little Boy Blue"Absent
"Literary License to Kill"Absent
"Long Time Coming"Appears
The L Word, season 5
Episode Appearance Status
"LGB Tease"Appears
"Look Out, Here They Come!"Appears
"Lady of the Lake"Absent
"Let's Get This Party Started"Absent
"Lookin' at You, Kid"Absent
"Lights! Camera! Action!"Appears
"Lesbians Gone Wild"Absent
"Lay Down the Law"Absent
"Liquid Heat"Appears
"Lunar Cycle"Absent
"Loyal and True"Appears
The L Word, season 6
Episode Appearance Status
"Long Night's Journey Into Day"Absent
"Least Likely"Appears
"Leaving Los Angeles"Absent
"Litmus Test"Mentioned
"Lactose Intolerant"Appears
"Last Couple Standing"Absent
"Last Word"Appears


Quotes by or about Joyce from The L Word.

Tina: "It was Bette's house. She bought it before we met, but she put me on the title after I moved in."
Joyce: "Did you contribute to the mortgage payments?"
Tina: "I offered, but Bette never wanted me to. I made pretty good money as a Development Executive, but not as much as Bette, and she insisted on paying the mortgage."
Joyce: "And you always did what Bette wanted?"
Tina: "No."
Joyce: "Did you pay for anything?"
Tina: "I paid for utilities, and I paid for the food. Although most of the utilities are in Bette's name."
Joyce: "Well, of course they are. That's the way she wanted it. Why should the little wife have to put her name on anything?"
Tina: "That's absolutely not the case. I just never bothered to change it. Look, I don't even know why I'm here. I'm not going after Bette's money."
Joyce: "If we wind up in court--"
Tina: "Wind up in court? Whoa! I don't want to be here."
-- in "Lap Dance"

Joyce: "Do you want me to tell you why you need a lawyer?"
Tina: "Okay."
Joyce: "Because in the eyes of the world, especially the world as embodied by the courts, you are shit. You gave up your autonomy in a relationship that the law doesn't recognize. And your ex controls everything."
Tina: "She always said what's hers is mine. Doesn't matter whose name it was in. If I needed money in my checking account, I just took it from savings. I was authorized on the account. I never had to ask her for anything."
-- in "Lap Dance"

Joyce: "Let's review the facts. Did you give up your career at her urging?"
Tina: "Yes."
Joyce: "Did you make a home for her, did you cook, decorate, entertain, fill the house with liveliness and warmth?"
Tina: "Yes."
Joyce: "Okay. Did you offer your womb to give birth to her child?"
Tina: "Bette doesn't know about this. I mean, nobody knows about this."
Joyce: "You're kidding."
Tina: "I just started showing. I had a miscarriage about five months ago. Bette didn't handle it so well. I didn't want her to have to go through it again."
Joyce: "So you went and got inseminated on your own, and you're protecting her until you're sure it's going to stick?"
Tina: "Yeah."
Joyce: "And then she cheated on you. She spread her legs for another woman."
Tina: "Could you please not say that?"
Joyce: "It's true! Deal with it. Doesn't it make you angry?"
Tina: "Fuck, yes."
Joyce: "So what do you want? Take responsibility for yourself. Get what you rightfully deserve, and don't let Bette decide that for you. Look, Tina, I am not a marriage wrecker. If you want to get back together with you?"
Tina: "I don't know."
Joyce: "Well, either way, you have to come at this from a position of strength. Whether or not you and Bette eventually reconcile-- especially if you decide to get back together and rebuild trust in your relationship, first, you need to have your autonomy. Can you see why?"
Tina: "Yes, I can see why. I want my autonomy."
-- in "Lap Dance"

Bert: "This wasn't a marriage."
Joyce: "It wasn't? Well, let's see, we've got a house, cars, vacations, love, commitment, a promise to be true? A baby that was lost. A trust that was broken. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a marriage to me. Does that sound like a marriage to you?"
Bette: "It was. It's a marriage that I don't want to have end."
Joyce: "Yeah, well, it's a little late for that. So let's get back to the business at hand, the equitable division of funds."
Bert: "I think we've got it--"
Bette: "How many times do I have to say I'm sorry?"
Joyce: "Here we go."
Bette: "I am. Please don't do this to us. This is not who we are. Tina, we can fix this. Okay? We can fix this. Tina, do you still love me? Do you? Do you still love me? Don't do this. Don't destroy us."
Joyce: "If I could just interject for a second here, wasn't Tina who destroyed this relationship. That was you, and it's a good thing to remember, as you're dealing with the consequences."
Bette: "I am dealing with the consequences."
Joyce: "Well, good for you, but this moment isn't about you. This is about Tina and what she wants. Tina, is this what you want?"
Tina: "I--I think things need to be different."
Joyce: "Did you hear that?"
Bette: "They will be. They will be different."
Joyce: "So why don't you get off the floor and let her do what she wants for once, instead of you running the whole show? Come on. Why don't we reschedule this at a time when everyone is feeling a little less dramatic? Well, talk about a command performance. Meryl Streep couldn't have done it any better."
-- in "Loneliest Number"

Bette: "Tina may have given birth to her, but, really, Angelica is the mirror of me. I mean, I know what she's going to experience as a biracial girl growing up in a divisive world. I mean, let's face it, when Tina goes out in public with Angelica, people automatically assume that she's been adopted. But when they see me with Angelica, they see a mother and a daughter. I'm the one who's going to be able to give her a sense of belonging."
Joyce: "Wow. Okay. How do you think Tina will react to this?"
Bette: "Look, you know what? All I know is that when I saw Angelica about to go out the door today with Tina and Henry and little fair-haired Mikey, I just...I just wanted to fucking scream, you know? Because I do not want my daughter growing up in a house where she feels like an outsider because everyone else is white, and when she looks around she doesn't see another familiar face that looks like her own. You know, she's going to get that enough as it is in the world at large, and I know-- I know what that feels like. Angelica belongs with me."
-- in "Last Dance"

Phyllis: "To tell you the truth, I've had my own struggle with attractions to subordinates. I've one crush that's been incredibly difficult not to act on them. You wanna know who it is?"
Bette: "I'd rather not."
Phyllis: "Oh, come on! Guess! It's someone you know."
Bette: "Phyllis, I really-- I have no idea, you know? And I thought you and Joyce were gonna get married."
Phyllis: "Joyce? Yes. But as Jimmy Carter once said, 'I've strayed in my mind's eye many times.' Especially with this particular person. But now that you're no longer my employee, I feel free to make my confession. Bette, I've always found you wildly, exquisitely attractive. Yes."
Bette: "Phyllis, no."
Phyllis: "Yes. From the moment I saw you, tall, strong, brilliant..."
Bette: "Don't."
Phyllis: "Erudite, incredibly...It was so difficult for me not to act on it. You can't imagine."
Bette: "Joyce?"
Phyllis: "Joyce is wonderful, yeah. Oh, yes, she's TCB, she's good in bed, makes a good living, tight with Mayor Newsom, but...if you gave me the smallest amount of encouragement, I would lose her in a second."
Bette: "You just fired me."
Phyllis: "I know, but it may be the best thing that ever happened to both of us. Bette, you are and will always be the woman of my dreams."
Bette: "You'll have my letter of resignation in the morning."
-- in "LMFAO"



  1. The L Word, 3x11: "Last Dance".
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 The L Word, 2x02: "Lap Dance".
  3. 3.0 3.1 The L Word, 4x12: "Long Time Coming".
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The L Word, 5x01: "LGB Tease".
  5. The L Word, 5x12: "Loyal and True".
  6. 6.0 6.1 The L Word, 6x06: "Lactose Intolerant".
  7. 7.0 7.1 The L Word, 2x04: "Lynch Pin".
  8. 8.0 8.1 The L Word, 2x03: "Loneliest Number".
  9. The L Word, 6x02: "Least Likely".