Buffy arrived in Sunnydale, met some friends, and saved the world a lot.
Buffy arrived in Sunnydale with a very "colorful" record from her previous high school. There, she befriended (to varying extents); Xander, a geeky guy who fell for her; Cordelia, a popular rich student; Willow, a brainy student; Jesse, a redshirt; Giles, the school librarian and her watcher; and Angel, a cryptic guy who turned out to be a vampire cursed with a soul. She got along less well with The Master, the town's lead vampire, and his followers. Eventually, a prophecy stated that the Anointed One—a follower of The Master—would lead Buffy to hell where she will die as part of a scheme that would lead the Master to escape from his prison. Buffy was not happy about dying, but gave in to her destiny. She drowned, but Xander revived her so she could finish the Master off.
The next year, two vampires—Spike and Drusilla—arrived seeking a cure for Drusilla. After a couple of attempts, Spike failed in his goal to kill Buffy, but he succeeded in capturing Angel and using him to cure Drusilla. However, he himself was crippled when Buffy, her friends, and a new slayer, Kendra, arrived to rescue Angel.
Meanwhile, Xander and Cordelia discovered and acted upon a mutual attraction, much to their regret. Willow started dating Oz, who turned out to be a werewolf. Giles and Jenny Calendar started dating, but that was aborted when she found out about his unseedy past.
On her seventeenth birthday, a very wet Angel and Buffy had sex. The aftermath led to a moment of true happiness for Angel, which caused him to lose his soul. Buffy learned that Jenny Calendar was a member of the Romany clan that originally cursed Angel. She was sent to Sunnydale to watch over him and to separate him from Buffy in order to ensure that he not receive a moment of true happiness. This revelation caused her to become estranged from the rest of the characters. She tried to make amends by attempting to curse Angel again, but he killed her before she could do so.
Willow discovered a back-up disk containing Jenny's curse. Willow was attempting to reinstate the curse when Drusilla struck. In the battle, Willow was knocked into a coma, Xander had his right arm broken, Kendra was killed, and Giles was dragged away. A now able Spike was frustrated at Angel's attempts to move in on Drusilla and wanted to preserve his food supply on earth, so he formed an alliance with Buffy. In the final battle, Spike held off both Angel and Drusilla while Buffy finished off the minion vampires. Meanwhile, Willow got the idea to try to curse Angel again, despite Xander's misgivings. She successfully performed the curse but too late. In order to save the world, Buffy had to shove Angel into a hell dimension.
Faith, another vampire slayer who was called after Kendra was killed, showed up in Sunnydale. Initially, Buffy did not like having another slayer around, but she eventually grew to accept Faith as a partner. An old person also returned to Buffy's life. For unknown reasons, Angel appeared again in Sunnydale, minus clothes.
While trying on formal clothes, Xander and Willow kissed. They continued to kiss in private despite their relationships with Cordelia and Oz. Eventually, Willow tried to cast a delusting spell, but Spike returned to town and kidnapped them. They thought that they were going to die and kissed again, just as Oz and Cordelia arrived to rescue them. Oz eventually took Willow back, but Cordelia did not forgive Xander.
Giles was fired as watcher and replaced by Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. Meanwhile, Faith had become a bad influence on Buffy. Buffy was tempted by Faith's impulsivity and belief that slayers were superior to normal humans and, therefore, not responsible to their laws. However, there was a schism when Faith accidentally killed the deputy mayor. Buffy was guilt-ridden, but Faith did not seem to care and even blamed Buffy for the killing. This split eventually caused Faith to decide to work for Mayor Wilkins, who was planning an ascension.
For a long time, the chararacters (and the writers) did not know what this meant. Eventually, Anya—a former immortal who used to punish unfaithful men but is now trapped in the persona of a high school student who is attracted to Xander—explaned that an ascension involved Wilkins turning into a real demon rather than the human-demon hybrids that Buffy et al. were used to. Furthermore, it involved much carnage.
At the prom, Sunnydale High expressed its gratitude toward Buffy for all she has done for them over the last three years. This allowed her to use them to form an army that defeated Mayor Wilkins and his vampire minions with much less loss of life than what would otherwise be possible. In the course of the battle, Sunnydale High School was destroyed.
Spike returned to Sunnydale briefly with a new girlfriend, Harmony, who became a vampire during graduation. He sought the Gem of Amara, but left when Buffy managed took it from him. He returned only to have mysterious commandos capture him.
Willow's love life hit some ups and downs. Oz noticed a singer (Veruca) in another band who also happened to be a werewolf. She became very interested in him, and he did nothing to discourage her advances. Eventually, Willow caught the two of them naked in his cage. Veruca tried to kill Willow, but Oz saved her. He then decided that he needed to leave town, which left Willow very sad. Things soon worked out for Willow. She met someone who was much better for her than Oz was. There was a slight hitch in that this someone, Tara, was a woman, but this did not seem to be too much of an obstacle.
It turned out that the mysterious commandos included Buffy's psychology teaching assistant, Riley, and were led by her psychology professor, Prof. Walsh. They captured demons, drugged them, and performed experiments. One of these experiments involved placing a chip in Spike's brain that caused him to feel pain whenever he tried to hurt any living thing. He escaped and eventually found refuge with the other characters, who reluctantly took him in to find out more information about the Initiative. He felt depressed about not being able to hurt people until he found out that he could hurt demons.
Meanwhile, Riley figured out that he was attracted to Buffy and decided to court her. For a while, the relationship did not go very far, but he and Buffy finally kissed when some demons came to town and robbed everyone's voices. However, in the process of fighting these demons, they discovered each other's secret identities. This caused some problems when Buffy was reluctant to date another demon hunter, but it worked out in the end.
Prof. Walsh eventually took Buffy into the Initiative. Buffy proved to be very able in the field, but she asked too many questions for their comfort. Even worse, she encouraged Riley to become too curious. In order to protect her main project—the creation of a Frankenstein monster named Adam—Prof. Walsh set up Buffy to be killed. Fortunately, Prof. Walsh greatly underestimated Buffy. Riley was upset about Buffy being set up, but he soon had other problems. Upon being activated, Adam proceeded to kill Prof. Walsh.
Adam wanted to start a battle between demons and humans with maximum fatality so he could use their body parts to create more Frankenstein monsters. He somehow convinced demons to let the Initiative capture them so they could be in place when Adam opened the holding cells and let them loose on the commandos. He was worried that the demons would overwhelm the Initiative commandos, so he wanted Buffy in the fight as well. This backfired when Xander, Giles, Buffy, and Willow came up with a plan to combine their strengths into Combo Buffy who could take out Adam. They were successful and helped save most of the commandos.
Buffy's mother, Joyce, started getting headaches and eventually went to the hospital for observation. Buffy began to suspect that her mother's illness might have a supernatural cause, so she put herself into a trance to see any spells that might have been cast. She saw no evidence that her mother's illness had supernatural causes, but she did see that her sister, Dawn, was not what she seemed to be. After barely rescuing a monk from an entity called "The Beast" (a.k.a. Glory), he told her that his order disguised a ball of energy called "the Key" in order to keep it from Glory. It was currently in human form and placed with Buffy so she would protect it. It was her sister.
A close call with a vampire made Buffy wonder what mistake other slayers made when they themselves were slain. The only person Buffy knew who was around when a slayer was killed was Spike. Spike was not inclined to be cooperative and rambled on about his past before telling Buffy that every slayer had a death wish. Buffy's was latent only because she had friends and family.
Joyce's health took a turn for the worst. She had to go back to the hospital where it was discovered that she had a brain tumor. After a very tense time, she underwent an operation that removed the tumor. Unfortunately, Buffy neglected Riley while she was distracted with her mother's illness. He had started to go to vampires to suck some of his blood, and Buffy was not happy when she found out about this. When the military wanted him back, she was ready to let him go. A last minute lecture from Xander persuaded her to try to convince him to stay, but she was too late.
During yet another ill-advised birthday celebration, Dawn sneaked out of the house and discovered the secret that was being kept from her. She was very upset and cut herself before running away. She ended up at the hospital where she unadvisedly told an intern, Ben, that she was the key. Ben soon turned into Glory, who threatened Dawn until the others came to her rescue.
For some time, Spike had realized that he was in love with Buffy. Eventually, Dawn figured this out and told her. Buffy was quite upset about this. Meanwhile, Drusilla came to town in order to get Spike back and complicate matters. Spike decided that he wanted Buffy.
Buffy came home to find that her mother died. Naturally, she, Dawn, and the other characters were devastated. It appeared that there was a complication from the surgery to remove her tumor that caused an aneurysm.
Due to a slip from Ben, Glory knew that the key was human. She decided that Tara was the key because she was the newest member of the group. Glory soon figured otherwise but decided to suck Tara's brain anyway. In her brain-sucked state, Tara recognized Dawn as the key in Glory's presence. This forced the characters to flee town. Unfortunately, a group of nutcases in chain mail dedicated to destroying the key intervened and serious wounded Giles. The characters hid in an abandoned gas station, protected by a magical barrier that Willow created. However, Buffy called Ben to provide medical help for Giles. While there, he turned into Glory, who promptly ran off with Dawn.
Spike and Xander recovered information about the ritual that Glory was to perform. In order to return to the hell dimension from which she had been exiled, she was going to bleed Dawn at the right time and place, allowing Glory to return while causing all sorts of bad things until Dawn died. Buffy would not hear of this and insisted that if the ritual started, it would be allowed to cause all the bad things. At the right moment, the characters all attacked. Willow reversed Tara's brain sucking and Buffy kept Glory occupied. However, Doc, another Glory worshipper, started Dawn bleeding. Buffy died in Dawn's place to stop the bad things from happening.
Giles felt that he was no longer needed in Sunnydale, so he decided to leave. Coincidentally, he left only a few hours before Willow—along with Xander, Tara, and Anya—planned to resurrect Buffy. Willow went through the preparations for the ritual, including murdering a fawn, and started to endure the tests required, including vomiting a snake. Unfortunately, the demon bikers arrived and destroyed the Urn of Osiris, which was necessary for the ceremony.
The characters realized that only they could save Sunnydale, so they set out. Unbeknownst to them, the ritual worked, and Buffy came to life. Not even a coffin and six feet of earth could stop her. She eventually found the other characters just as some demon bikers were menacing them. If she were in full control of her faculties, she probably could have stopped them single-handedly. Instead, she provided some assistance before Tara planted an ax in the leader's back, scaring the rest out of town.
Buffy had difficulty adjusting to being alive again. Everyone assumed that she had been rescued from Hell, but she was really torn out of heaven. Furthermore, she had no money, and she had three nerds—Warren, Jonathan, and Andrew—dedicated to making her life miserable. Fortunately, Giles returned to town to help. Unfortunately, Giles felt that Buffy was depending too much on him. He, along with Tara, also worried that Willow was abusing magic. Giles decided that he needed to go back to England while Tara decided that she probably needed to break up with Willow.
Willow responded by abusing magic even more. Buffy meanwhile, had gone to Spike for comfort. At first, they shared a couple of kisses. However, after Giles left Sunnydale, she ended up sleeping with Spike. The relationship continued until Riley came to town and found that Spike was keeping very dangerous demon eggs in the basement of his crypt. She decided that she was just using Spike and ended the relationship.
Xander had decided to keep his engagement with Anya a secret far too long. He eventually relented and announced their engagement on Halloween. As is typical with engaged couples, their next few months were taken over with wedding planning. However, Xander's feet were growing colder by the week. By the time of the wedding itself, he ended up leaving her at the altar.
After being magic-free for a few months, Willow decided to try to win Tara back. She did get a coffee date with Tara that went well, even though Anya—who was back to being a vengeance demon—tried to get them to wish bad things on Xander. Willow won Tara back and spent a lot of naked time in bed in between helping Buffy discover what the nerds were up to. Willow and Tara helped Buffy discover that the nerds planned to rob an armored car, and Buffy was able to stop it, leading to Jonathan and Andrew being arrested.
Meanwhile, Spike was getting frustrated at not being with Buffy. He eventually burst into her house and tried to rape her. He was so horrified at what he did that he left town for Africa, where he endured tests in order to win back his soul.
Warren was not happy at Buffy foiling his plans. He returned with a gun and shot both Buffy and Tara. Buffy was seriously wounded and probably would have died had she not been a slayer. Unfortunately, Tara was not a slayer and died. Willow's desire for vengeance caused her to allow dark magic to take her over. She skinned Warren alive. She then turned her sights on Jonathan and Andrew. Buffy, Xander, and even Anya tried to stop her. They succeeded in keeping Willow from killing Jonathan and Andrew mostly through Anya's heroism. However, nobody was a match for Willow until Giles teleported back to town with magic borrowed from an English coven. Eventually, Willow sucked Giles's power out of him. This caused her to be in touch with other people, mostly with other people's pain. She decided that she had to end the world in order to end everyone's pain. She set out to do so when Xander interrupted and told her that he loved her. She returned to normal.
Buffy brought Dawn to hunt vampires with her. This may have seemed risky enough, but Dawn soon went to an even more dangerous place, the newly reopened Sunnydale High. Buffy, meanwhile, met Spike, who was living in the Sunnydale High basement with his soul and without his sanity; and the new principal, Robin Wood, who happened to have an office directly over the Hellmouth. Wood had the good sense to realize that a slayer is a useful thing to have at Sunnydale High.
Anya had not been adjusting to being a vengeance demon. Various evil entities were upset at her because her curses had been far too mild, so she conjured a demon that killed 12 frat boys. Her guilt over this led her to attempt suicide by slayer. Fortunately, Buffy forgot that one cannot slay a vengeance demon by sticking a sword through her torso. This gave Willow enough time to summon D'Hoffryn who reversed the killings and turned Anya back into a human.
Meanwhile, the First Evil was plotting an evil scheme. It first appeared to the sane characters when it tried to do three things in one night: (1) get Willow to commit suicide, (2) freak out Dawn and get her to mistrust Buffy, and (3) get Andrew to murder Jonathan on top of the Seal of Danzalthar. The First Evil failed at the first task and largely succeeded at the other two. It also managed to get Spike to kill again—forgetting his chip and soul—whenever Spike heard an old folk song.
Willow ran into Andrew and brought him to Buffy's house for interrogation. Also, Giles arrived in town with three whiny brats who had the potential to become slayers. Spike was restrained at Buffy's house, but a bringer raid captured him and used his blood to open the Seal of Danzalthar. This released a turok-han, an übervampire strong enough to beat up Buffy and kill one of the brats. This caused the other brats to whine even more until Buffy put on a performance that climaxed in the übervamp losing its head. Unfortunately, even more brats arrived in Sunnydale.
Eventually, Principal Wood decided that it was time for Buffy to know who he was. He was the son of a slayer who was killed in New York City in 1977. After his mother died, her watcher raised him. He had fought vampires ever since, hoping to find the one who killed his mother. The First Evil helpfully pointed out to him that Spike was the vampire in question.
Two important figures arrived in Sunnydale as the final battle approached. The first, Faith, arrived with Willow after Willow helped solve a problem in Los Angeles. The second, Caleb, was a minion of the First Evil and had already destroyed the Watchers Council, killing most of its senior leadership. He lured Buffy, Faith, Spike, Xander, and a few brats to his headquarters in an abandoned winery. There, he easily beat up Buffy, Spike, and Faith; killed two of the brats; and poked Xander's eye out. Fortunately, Buffy, Faith, and Spike escaped with only bruises. Unfortunately, most of the whiny brats survived.
After Giles sent Spike away on a mission, the rest of the characters staged a mutiny and ousted Buffy from leadership and her house. Spike was not happy when he returned. He found Buffy and raised her spirits enough to return and find what Caleb had been guarding, a very nice looking ax.
Top priority was learning about the ax, although hardly anyone got far enough to know that it was an ax, not a scythe. While seeking information, Buffy ran into Caleb. Even with the ax, Buffy still had a hard time until Angel arrived with some unexpected but welcome assistance. After Buffy split Caleb in two, Angel showed her an amulet that he was supposed to wear. Buffy decided that Spike was to be the one to wear the amulet. Furthermore, she decided that Willow was to use the ax to turn all the whiny brats into slayers, who would form an army to defeat the First Evil's brewing army of übervamps. They fought well, but did not win until the amulet channeled the sun's rays, dusting all the übervamps and Spike along with it. As the town of Sunnydale collapsed into a sinkhole, most of the whiny brats and all the other characters fled, except for Anya, who was sliced in two. Despite this loss, everyone seemed happy.
One has to start with Joss Whedon. With minimal input from Whedon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a mediocre film. With Whedon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of the all-time great television series. He has a very rare skillset. On one hand, he is a big-picture visionary. He is capable of creating a large a complex mythology. On the other hand, he is also very detail oriented. One can tell from his commentaries that he has put careful thought into little details such as the choice of a lens or how he frames a shot.
In addition to his vision, Whedon also excels in his eye for talent. Over the course of the show, he managed to attract and retain a great writing staff, a great cast, and a great crew.
When highly talented people work together for a common purpose, each person can inspire the others to perform at their best work. The actors work hard to do justice to the work of the writers. The writers work to use the full potential of the actors. The crew works to create a look and sound to the show that justifies the work of the writers and actors. Nobody on the show wanted to be seen as the weak link, which precluded anything less than the best possible effort from anyone.
Television shows are often sorted on a continuum from drama to comedy. This cast and crew were capable of performing across the entire continuum, from "The Body" to "Tablula Rasa." Furthermore, they were not limited to this continuum. They could tell a story with minimal dialogue ("Hush"). They could do creepy horror (also "Hush"). They could do surreal ("Restless"). They could do action ("Spiral"). They could do a muscal ("Once More, with Feeling"). Furthermore, they did not merely get through these episodes, they made great episodes.
When looking across the entire show, the only way to find "The Bad" would be to nitpick. Many of the monster-of-the-week episodes in the first couple of seasons were weak. There were a few too many giant snakes. The final gunshot in "Seeing Red" took a highly improbably course and removed one of the best characters from the show. The potential slayers were tiresome almost from the moment they arrived in Sunnydale. There were occasional missteps. However, it is impossible to achieve greatness without taking risks. By definition, taking a risk means the possibility of a failure. Even if not all of the risks paid off, I still prefer a show that takes risks and aspires to greatness than a show that plays it safe and is satisfied with mere competence.
Action highlights include:
Comedy highlights include:
Drama highlights include:
Romantic highlights include:
The following characters earned MVP awards:
The following characters received Sherlock Holmes Awards:
The following characters earned Goats:
"Let's face it. None of us are ever going to have a happy, normal relationship." Buffy ("I Robot... You Jane")
"That is such a Twinkie defense. Shylock should get over himself. People who think their problems are so huge craze me. Like this time I sort of ran over this girl on her bike. It was the most traumatizing event of my life, and she was trying to make it about her leg, like my pain meant nothing." Cordelia ("Out of Mind, Out of Sight")
"Hey, you think I'm never lonely because I'm so cute and popular? I can be completely surrounded by people and be completely alone. It's not like any of them really know me. I don't know if they like me half the time. People just want to be in the popular zone. Sometimes, when I talk, everyone's so busy agreeing with me they don't hear a word I say." Cordelia
"Well, if you feel so alone, then why do you work so hard at being popular?" Buffy
"Well, it beats being alone all by yourself." Cordelia ("Out of Mind, Out of Sight")
"So that's it, huh? I remember the drill. One slayer dies; next one's called. Wonder who she is? Will you train her, or will they send someone else?" Buffy
"Buffy, I..." Giles
"They say how he's gonna kill me? Think it'll hurt? Don't touch me. Were you even gonna tell me?" Buffy
"I was hoping I wouldn't have to, that there was some way around it." Giles
"I've got a way around it. I quit." Buffy
"It's not that simple." Angel
"I'm making it that simple. I quit. I resign. I'm fired. You can find someone else to stop the Master from taking over." Buffy
"I'm not sure that anyone else can. All the signs indicate..." Giles
"The signs? Read me the signs. Tell me my fortune. You're so useful sitting here with all you books. You're really a lot of help." Buffy ("Prophecy Girl")
"I have a choice. I can spend my life waiting for Xander to go out with every other girl in the world until he notices me, or I can just get on with my life." Willow
"Good for you." Buffy
"Well, I didn't choose yet." Willow ("Inca Mummy Girl")
"I told one lie. I had one drink." Buffy
"Yes, and you were very nearly devoured by a giant demon snake. The words, 'Let that be a lesson' are a tad redundant at this juncture." Giles ("Reptile Boy")
"My mummy used to sing me to sleep at night. 'Run and catch / The lamb is caught in the blackberry patch.' She had the sweetest voice. What will your mummy sing when they find your body?" Drusilla ("Lie to Me")
"Lie to me." Buffy
"Yes, it's terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true. The bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies, and everyone lives happily ever after." Giles ("Lie to Me")
"You talk about slaying like it's a job. It's not. It's who you are." Kendra
"Did you get that from your handbook?" Buffy
"From you." Kendra ("What's My Line Pt. 2")
"I'm naming all the stars." Drusilla
"You can't see the stars, love. That's the ceiling. Also, it's day." Spike
"I can see them, but I've named them all the same name, and there's terrible confusion." Drusilla ("Innocence")
"Do you want me to wag my finger at you and say you acted rashly? You did, and I can. I know that you loved him, and he has proven more than once that he loved you. You couldn't have known what would happen. The coming months are gonna be hard, I suspect, on all of us, but, if it's guilt you're looking for, Buffy, I'm not your man. All you will get from me is my support and my respect." Giles ("Innocence")
"It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we'd know some kind of peace, but we would be hollow—empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion, we'd be truly dead." Angel ("Passion")
"Buffy, you can't blame yourself for every death that happens in Sunnydale. If it weren't for you, people'd be lined up five deep waiting to get themselves buried. Willow would be Robbie the Robot's love slave. I wouldn't have a head." Xander ("Phases")
"Cordelia, have you actually ever heard of tact?" Giles
"Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass." Cordelia ("Killed by Death")
"To forgive is an act of compassion, Buffy. It's not done because people deserve it. It's done because they need it." Giles ("I Only Have Eyes for You")
"Xander? Oh, my God, Xander! It's me, Cordelia. I know you can't answer me, but, God, this is all my fault. You joined the swim team to impress me. You were so courageous, and you looked really hot in those Speedos. I want you to know that I still care about you, no matter what you look like, and we can still date, or not. I mean, I understand if you wanna see other fish. I'll do everything I can to make your quality of life better, whether that means little bath toys, or whatever." Cordelia ("Go Fish")
"Bottom line is, even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really, but it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No, the big moments are gonna come, you can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are." Whistler ("Becoming Pt. 1")
"We like to talk big, vampires do. 'I'm going to destroy the world.' It's just tough-guy talk, strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You've got dog racing, Manchester United, and you've got people, billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. But then, someone comes along with the vision, with a real passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Goodbye, Piccadilly; farewell, Leicester Bloody Square. You know what I'm saying?" Spike ("Becoming Pt. 2")
"Willow, she told me to tell you..." Xander
"Tell me what?" Buffy
"Kick his ass." Xander ("Becoming Pt. 2")
"That's everything, huh? No weapons, no friends, no hope. Take all that away, and what's left?" Angel
"Me." Buffy ("Becoming Pt. 2")
"Sunnydale, town's got quaint. And the people, he called me 'sir.' Don't you just miss that? I mean, admittedly, it's not a haven for the brothers, you know; strictly the Caucasian persuasion here in the 'Dale, but, you know, you just gotta stand up and salute that death rate. I ran a statistical analysis, and hello, darkness, makes DC look like Mayberry and ain't nobody saying 'boo' about it. We could fit right in here, have us some fun." Mr. Trick ("Faith, Hope & Trick")
"I won't remind you that the fate of the world often lies with the slayer. What would be the point? Nor shall I remind you that you have jeopardized the lives of all that you hold dear by harboring a known murderer. But sadly, I must remind you that Angel tortured me for hours, for pleasure. You should have told me he was alive. You didn't. You have no respect for me or the job I perform." Giles ("Revelations")
"You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love till it kills you both. You'll fight and you'll shag and you'll hate each other until it makes you quiver, but you'll never be friends. Love isn't brains, children; it's blood. Blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love's bitch, but, at least, I'm man enough to admit it." Spike ("Lover's Walk")
"You think you can fight me? I'm not a demon, little girl. I am something that you can't even conceive: the First Evil, beyond sin, beyond death. I am the thing the darkness fears. You'll never see me, but I am everywhere: every being, every thought, every drop of hate." The First Evil (as Jenny)
"All right, I get it. You're evil. Do we have to chat about it all day?" Buffy ("Amends")
"It's not the demon in me that needs killing, Buffy. It's the man." Angel ("Amends")
How many times have you been knocked out anyway? I swear, one of these times, you're going to wake up in a coma." Cordelia
"Wake up in a ...? Never mind, we need to save Buffy from Hansel and Gretel." Giles
"Now, let's be clear. The brain damage happened before I hit you." Cordelia ("Gingerbread")
"When are ya gonna get this, B? Life for a slayer is very simple: want, take, have." Faith ("Bad Girls")
"For a thousand years, I wielded the powers of the wish. I brought ruin to the heads of unfaithful men. I brought forth destruction and chaos for the pleasure of the lower beings. I was feared and worshipped across the mortal globe, and now I'm stuck at Sunnydale High, mortal, child, and I'm flunking math." Anya ("Doppelgangland")
"My life happens to, on occasion, suck beyond the telling of it, sometimes more than I can handle. And it's not just mine. Every single person down there is ignoring your pain because they're too busy with their own. The beautiful ones, the popular ones, the guys that pick on you, everyone. If you could hear what they were feeling, the loneliness, the confusion. It looks quiet down there. It's not. It's deafening." Buffy ("Earshot")
"When it comes to you, Angel, she's just like any other young woman in love. You're all she can see of tomorrow, but I think we both know that there are some hard choices ahead. If she can't make them, you're gonna have to. I know you care about her. I just hope you care enough." Joyce ("The Prom")
"We have one more award to give out. Is Buffy Summers here tonight? Did she... This is actually a new category, first time ever. I guess there were a lot of write-in ballots, and, well, the prom committee asked me to read this: 'We're not good friends. Most of us never found the time to get to know you, but that doesn't mean we haven't noticed you. We don't talk about it much, but it's no secret that Sunnydale High isn't really like other high schools. A lot of weird stuff happens here, ..." Jonathan
"Zombies! Hyena people! Snyder!" Sunnydale High Students
"'... but whenever there was a problem or something creepy happened, you seemed to show up and stop it. Most of the people here have been saved by you or helped by you at one time or another. We're proud to say that the class of '99 has the lowest mortality rate of any graduating class in Sunnydale history, and we know at least part of that is because of you, so the senior class offers its thanks and gives you this.' It's from all of us, and it has written here, 'Buffy Summers—Class Protector.'" Jonathan ("The Prom")
"Oh yeah, miles to go. Little Miss Muffet counting down from 7-3-0." Faith ("Graduation Day, Part 2")
"Buffy, I've gone through some fairly dark times in my life, faced some scary things, among them, the kitchen at the fabulous Ladies Night Club. Let me tell you something. When it's dark and I'm all alone and I'm scared or freaked out or whatever, I always think, 'What would Buffy do?' You're my hero." Xander ("The Freshman")
"I like you. You're funny, and you're nicely shaped, and, frankly, it ludicrous to have these interlocking bodies and not interlock. Please remove your clothing now." Anya ("The Harsh Light of Day")
"The wolf is inside me all the time, and I don't know where that line is anymore between me and it, and until I figure out what that means, I shouldn't be around you or anybody." Oz ("Wild at Heart")
"You won, all right? You came in, and you killed them, and you took their land. That's what conquering nations do. It's what Caesar did, and he's not going around saying 'I came, I conquered, and I feel really bad about it.' The history of the world isn't people making friends. You had better weapons, and you massacred them, end of story." Spike ("Pangs")
"Can't even shout; can't even cry.
The Gentlemen are coming by.
Looking in windows; knocking on doors.
They need to take seven, and the might take yours.
Can't call to mom; can't say a word.
You're gonna die a-screaming, but you won't be heard." Little Girl ("Hush")
"______" Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles, Spike, Anya, Riley, Tara, Forrest, Prof. Walsh, and Olivia ("Hush")
"When I saw you stop the world from, you know, ending, I just assumed that was a big week for you. It turns out I suddenly find myself needing to know the plural of apocalypse." Riley ("A New Man")
"I could do anything I want, and instead, I choose to pout and whine and feel the burden of slayerness? I mean, I could be rich. I could be famous. I could have anything, anyone, even you, Spike. I could ride you at a gallop until your legs buckled and your eyes rolled up. I've got muscles you've never even dreamed of. I could squeeze you until you popped like warm champagne, and you'd beg me to hurt you just a little bit more, and you know why I don't? Because it's wrong." Faith ("Who Are You?")
"I understand. You have to be with the person you love." Tara
"I am." Willow ("New Moon Rising")
"You're a good person and a good boyfriend, and I'm in love with you. Whatever they think of you, it shouldn't matter." Anya ("Primeval")
"You think you know what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun." Tara ("Restless")
"This could be trouble." Adam
"We'd better make a fort." Riley
"I'll get some pillows." Adam ("Restless")
"[Tara] and Willow are both witches. They do spells and stuff, which is so much cooler than slaying. I told mom one time I wish they'd teach me some of the things they do together, and then she got really quiet and made me go upstairs. Huh, I guess her generation isn't cool with witchcraft." Dawn ("Real Me")
"This is insane. You people have no right to interfere with Tara's affairs. We are her blood kin! Who the hell are you?" Mr. Maclay
"We're family." Buffy ("Family")
"Death is your art. You make it with your hands day after day, that final gasp, that look of peace. Part of you is desperate to know. What's it like? Where does it lead you? And now you see. That's the secret, not the punch you didn't throw or the kicks you didn't land. She merely wanted it. Every slayer has a death wish, even you. The only reason you've lasted as long as you have is you've got ties to the world: your mum, brat kid sister, Scoobies. They all tie you here, but you're just putting off the inevitable. Sooner or later, you're gonna want it, and the second, the second that happens, you know I'll be there. I'll slip in. Have myself a real good day. Here endeth the lesson." Spike ("Fool for Love")
"I still don't get why we had to come here to get info about a killer snot monster." Xander
"Because it's a killer snot monster from outer space. I did not say that." Giles ("Listening to Fear")
"I gotta say something, 'cause I don't think I've made it clear. I'm in love with you, powerfully, painfully in love. The things you do. They way you think. They way you move. I get excited every time I'm about to see you. You make me feel like I've never felt before in my life, like a man. I just thought you might wanna know." Xander ("Into the Woods")
"You're watchers. Without a slayer, you're pretty much just watching Masterpiece Theater. You can't stop Glory. You can't do anything with the information you have except maybe publish it in the Everyone Thinks We're Insaneos Home Journal, so here's how it's gonna work. You're gonna tell me everything you know. Then, you're gonna go away. You'll contact me if and when you have any further information about Glory." Buffy
"I don't believe in science, all those bits and molecules no one's ever seen. I trust eyes and heart alone, and do you know what mine is singing out right now? You're a killer, born to slash and bash and, oh, bleed like beautiful poetry. No little tinkertoy could ever stop you from flowing." Drusilla ("Crush")
"She practically had 'genuine molded plastic' stamped on her ass. Just trying a little spicy talk." Tara ("I Was Made to Love You")
"We can be strong." Tara
"Strong like an Amazon?" Willow
"Strong like an Amazon, right." Tara ("The Body")
"I don't understand! I don't understand how this all happens, how we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she's... There's just a body, and I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead anymore. It's stupid. It's mortal and stupid, and Xander's crying and not talking, and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, 'Joyce will never have any more fruit punch, ever, and she'll never have eggs or yawn or brush her hair, not ever,' and no one will explain to me why!" Anya ("The Body")
"You are full of love. You love with all your soul. It's brighter than the fire, blinding. That's why you pull away from it." Guide
"I'm full of love? I'm not losing it?" Buffy
"Only if you reject it. Love is pain, and the slayer forges strength from pain. Love; give; forgive. Risk the pain. It is your nature. Love will bring you to your gift." Guide ("Intervention")
"Spike, you're covered in sexy wounds." Buffy ("Intervention")
"You think your hand hurts? Imagine what you'd feel with my fingers wiggling in your brain. Doesn't kill you. What it does is make you feel like you're in a noisy little dark room, naked and ashamed, and there are things in the dark that need to hurt you because you're bad. Little pinching things that go in your ears and crawl on the inside of your skull, and you know if the noise and the crawling would stop, that you could remember how to get out, but you never, ever will." Glory ("Tough Love")
"You want to know what I'm scared of, Spike? Me. Right now, Glory thinks Tara's the key, but I'm the key, Spike. I am, and anything that happens to Tara is 'cause of me. Your bruises, your limp, that's all me too. I'm like a lightening rod for pain and hurt, and everyone around me suffers and dies. I must be something so horrible to cause so much pain and evil." Dawn ("Tough Love")
"I owe you pain!" Willow ("Tough Love")
"I look around at this world you're so eager to be a part of, and all I see is six billion lunatics looking for the fastest ride out. Who's not crazy? Look around. Everyone's drinking, smoking, shooting up, shooting each other, or just plain screwing their brains out 'cause they don't want 'em anymore. I'm crazy? Honey, I'm the original one-eyed chicklet in the kingdom of the blind, 'cause at least I admit the world makes me nuts. Name one person who can take it here. That's all I'm asking. Name one." Glory
"Buffy." Dawn ("The Weight of the World")
"Blood is life, lackbrain. Why do you think we eat it? It's what keeps you going, makes you warm, makes you hard, makes you other than dead." Spike ("The Gift")
"Usually, when there's an apocalypse, I skedaddle, but now I love you so much that, instead, I have inappropriately timed sex and try to think of ways to fight a god and worry terribly that something might happen to you and also worry that something'll happen to me, and then I have guilt that I'm not more worried about everyone else, but I just don't have enough! I'm just on total overload, and I honestly don't think that I could be more nervous than I am right now." Anya ("The Gift")
"Dawn, listen to me. Listen. I love you. I will always love you. This is the work that I have to do. Tell Giles that... Tell Giles I figured it out, and I'm OK. Give my love to my friends. You have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other. You have to be strong. Dawn, the hardest think in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live, for me." Buffy ("The Gift")
BUFFY ANNE SUMMERS
SHE SAVED THE WORLD
"I want you to know I did save you. Not when it counted, of course, but after that, every night after that. I'd see it all again. I do something different, faster, more clever, you know, dozens of times, lots of different ways. Every night, I save you." Spike ("After Life")
"I was happy, at peace. I knew that everyone I cared about was all right. I knew it. Time didn't mean anything. Nothing had form, but I was still me, you know, and I was warm, and I was loved, and I was finished, complete. I don't understand theology or dimensions, any of it, really, but I think I was in heaven, and now I'm not. I was torn out of there, pulled out, by my friends. Everything here is hard and bright and violent. Everything I feel, everything I touch, this is Hell. Just getting through the next moment and the one after that, knowing what I've lost. They can never know, never." Buffy ("After Life")
"That's a weird place for a horn. That's not a horn." Dawn ("Flooded")
"Stop touching my magic bone!" Jonathan ("Life Serial")
"If my heart could beat, it would break my chest." Spike ("Once More with Feeling")
"I hope she fries.
I'm free if that bitch dies.
I'd better help her out." Spike ("Once More with Feeling")
"So one by one, they come to me,
The distant redness as their guide.
That single flame ain't what they had in mind.
It's what they have inside." Sweet ("Once More with Feeling")
"A vampire with a soul? Oh, my God, how lame is that?" Buffy ("Tabula Rasa")
"I, Anya, want to marry you, Xander, because I love you, and I'll always love you, and, before I knew you, I was like a completely different person—not even a person, really—and I'd seen what love could do to people, and it was hurt and sadness. Alone was better. And then, suddenly, there was you, and you knew me. You saw me, and it was this thing. You make me feel safe and warm, so I get it now. I finally get love, Xander. I really do." Anya ("Hell's Bells")
"You're too good to give in. You can beat this thing. Be strong, baby, OK? I know you're afraid. I know the world feels like a hard place sometimes, but you've got people who love you. Your dad and I, we have all the faith in the world in you. We'll always be with you. You've got a world of strength in your heart. I know you do. You just have to find it again. Believe in yourself." Joyce
"You're right. Thank you. Goodbye." Buffy ("Normal Again")
"Your shirt..." Tara ("Seeing Red")
"The pain will be unbearable, but you won't be able to move. Bullet usually travels faster than this, of course, but the dying, it'll seem like it takes forever. Something, isn't it? One tiny piece of metal destroys everything. It ripped her insides out, took her light away, from me, from the world. Now the one person who should be here is gone, and a waste like you gets to live." Willow ("Villains")
"I get it now. The slayer thing really isn't about the violence. It's about the power, and there's no one in the world who was the power to stop me now." Willow
"I'd like to test that theory." Giles ("Two to Go")
"The first day of kindergarten, you cried because you broke the yellow crayon, and you were too afraid to tell anyone. You come pretty far. Ending the world, not a terrific notion, but the thing is, yeah, I love you. I love crayon-breaky Willow, and I love scary-veiny Willow." Xander ("Grave")
"Make me what I was, so Buffy can get what she deserves." Spike
"Very well, we will return your soul!" Cave Demon ("Grave")
"[As Warren] Of course she won't understand, Sparky. I'm beyond her understanding. She's a girl: sugar and spice and everything useless, unless you're baking. I'm more than that, more than flesh...
"[As Glory] ...more than blood. I'm... You know, I honestly don't think there's a human word fabulous enough for me. Oh, my name will be on everyone's lips, assuming their lips haven't been torn off. Not just yet, that's all right though.
"[As Adam] I can be patient. Everything is well within parameters. She's exactly where I want her to be, and so are you, Number 17. You're right where you belong.
"[As Mayor Wilkins] So, what did you think? You'd get your soul back, and everything would be jim-dandy? Soul is slipperier than a greased weasel. Why do you think I sold mine? Well, you probably thought that you'd be your own man, and I respect that...
"[As Drusilla] ...but you never will. You'll always be mine. You'll always be in the dark with me, singing our little songs. You like our little songs, don't you? You've always liked them, right from the beginning, and that's where we're going.
"[As the Master] Right back to the beginning: not the bang, not the word, the true beginning. The next few months are going to be quite a ride, and I think we're all going to learn something about ourselves in the process. You'll learn you're a pathetic schmuck, if it hasn't sunk in already. Look at you, trying to do what's right. Just like her, you still don't get it. Not about right, not about wrong...
[As Buffy] ...it's about power." The First Evil ("Lessons")
"I dreamed of killing you. I think they were dreams. So weak, and you make me weak, thinking of you, holding myself and spilling useless buckets of salt over your ending. Angel, he should've warned me. He makes a good show of forgetting, but it's here in me all the time, the spark. I wanted to give you what you deserve, and I got it. They put the spark in me, and now all it does is burn." Spike ("Beneath You")
"You think I want this? You think I don't care? Believe me, I want to be here, do things. I wanna graduate from high school, and I wanna go to the stupid winter formal. I have this friend, and it would be fun to go with him, just to dance and hear lame music, to wear a silly dress, and laugh and stuff. I'd like to go. There's a lot of stuff I'd like to do. I'd love to ice skate at Rockefeller Center, and I'd love to see my cousins grow up and see how the turn out 'cause they're really mean, and I think they're gonna be fat. I'd love to backpack across the country or, I don't know, fall in love, but I won't. I just never will." Cassie ("Help")
"'The Flaying of Warren Mears,' truly inspired. That was water cooler vengeance. Yes, Lloyd has a sketch of it on his wall." D'Hoffryn ("Selfless")
"Breathtaking. It's like somebody slaughtered an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog." D'Hoffryn ("Selfless")
"Time goes by and everything drops away: all the cruelty, all the pain, all the humiliation. It all washes away. I miss my friends; I miss my enemies. I miss the people I talked to everyday. I miss the people who never knew I existed. I miss 'em all. I want to talk to them, you know? I want to find out how they're doing. I want to know what's going on with their lives." Jonathan
"You know what? They don't want to talk to you. Those people you just mentioned, not one of them is sitting around going, 'I wonder what Jonathan is up to right now.' Not one of them cares about you." Andrew
"Well, I still care about them." Jonathan ("Conversations with Dead People")
"What makes you think you will ever be any good in this world?" The First Evil
"She does. Because she believes in me." Spike ("Bring on the Night")
"You're right. We don't know how to fight it. We don't know when it'll come. We can't run, can't hide, can't pretend it's not the end, because it is. Something's always been there to try and destroy the world. We've beaten them back, but we're not dealing with them anymore. We're dealing with the reason they exist: evil, the strongest, the First." Buffy
"Buffy, I know you're very tired." Giles
"I'm beyond tired. I'm beyond scared. I'm standing on the mouth of Hell, and it is gonna swallow me whole. And it'll choke on me. We're not ready? They're not ready. They think we're gonna wait for the end to come like we always do. I'm done waiting. They want an apocalypse? Well, we'll give them one. Anyone else who wants to run, do it now, because we just became an army. We just declared war. From now on, we won't just face our worst fears; we will seek them out. We will find them and cut out their hearts one by one until the First shows itself for what it really is, and I'll kill it myself. There is only one thing on this earth more powerful than evil, and that's us. Any questions?" Buffy ("Bring on the Night")
"Yeah, they're special, no doubt, and the amazing thing is, not one of them will ever know, not even Buffy." Xander
"Know what?" Dawn
"How much harder it is for the rest of us." Xander
"No way, they've got the..." Dawn
"Seven years, Dawn, working with the slayer, seeing my friends get more and more powerful: a witch, a demon. Hell, I could fit Oz in my shaving kit, but, come a full moon, he had a wolfy mojo not to be messed with. Powerful, all of them, and I'm the guy who fixes the windows." ("Potential")
"You thought you were all special, Miss Sunnydale 2003, and the minute you found out you weren't, you handed the crown to Amanda without a moment's pause. You gave her your power." Xander
"The power wasn't mine." Dawn
"They'll never know how tough it is, Dawnie, to be the one who isn't chosen, to live so near the spotlight and never step in it, but I know. I see more than anybody else realizes because nobody's watching me. I saw you last night. I see you working here today. You're not special; you're extraordinary." Xander ("Potential")
"I don't think they appreciate the gravity of what we're undertaking. It's frightening, and it's difficult, and then, apparently, someone told them that the vision quest consists of me driving them to the desert, doing the hokey-pokey until a spooky rasta-mama slayer arrives and speaks to them in riddles." Giles ("The Killer in Me")
"You think I'm evil if I bring a group of girls on a camping trip and don't touch them?" Giles ("The Killer in Me")
"The Hellmouth has begun its semiannual percolation. Usually it blows around May." Buffy ("Get It Done")
"Here's the thing. I killed my best friend. There's a big fight coming, and I don't know what's gonna happen. I don't even think I'm gonna live through it. That's probably the way it should be." Andrew ("Storyteller")
"I'm the other that gave birth to your son." Drusilla ("Lies My Parents Told Me")
"Faith, her name alone invokes awe. Faith, a set of principles or beliefs upon which you're willing to devote your life. The Dark Slayer, a lethal combination of beauty, power, and death. For years and years, or, to be more accurate, months, Faith fought on the side of good, terrorizing the evil community, but, like so many tragic heroes, Faith was seduced by the lure of the dark side. She wrapped evil around her like a large, evil Mexican serape. She became a cold-blooded killer. Nobody was immune to her trail of destruction, not friends, not family, not even the most pacifist and logical of races..." Andrew
"The hell are you talking about? I thought Faith killed a vulcanologist." Amanda
"Silly, silly, Amanda, why would Faith kill a person who studies Vulcans?" Andrew ("Dirty Girls")
"I've been through more battles with Buffy than you all can ever imagine. She's stopped everything that's ever come up against her. She's laid down her life, literally, to protect the people around her. This girl has died two times, and she's still standing. You're scared? That's smart. You got questions? You should, but you doubt her motives, you think Buffy is all about the kill, then you take the little bus to battle. I've seen her heart, and, this time, not literally, and I'm telling you right now, she cares more about your lives than you will ever know. You gotta trust her. She's earned it." Xander ("Dirty Girls")
"Now, it's a simple story. Stop me if you've heard it. I have found, and truly believe, that there's nothing so bad, it cannot be made better with a story, and this one's got a happy ending. There once was a woman, and she was foul, like all women, for Adam's rib was dirty, just like Adam himself, for what was he, but human, but this woman, she was filled with darkness, despair, and why? Because she did not know; she could not see. She didn't know the good news, the glory that was coming? That'd be you, for the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. You show up; they'll get in line, because they followed her, and all they have to do is take one more step, and I'll kill them all. See, I told you it had a happy ending." Caleb ("Dirty Girls")
"I've been alive a bit longer than you and dead a lot longer than that. I've seen things you couldn't imagine and done things I prefer you didn't. Don't exactly have a reputation for being a thinker. I follow my blood, which doesn't exactly rush in the direction of my brain, so I make a lot of mistakes, a lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred plus years, and there's only one thing I've ever been sure of, you.
"Hey, look at me. I'm not asking you for anything. When I say I love you, it's not because I want you or because I can't have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you, and I understand, with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman. You're the one, Buffy." Spike ("Touched")
"I guess I was kind of new to being around humans before, but now I've seen a lot more, gotten to know people, seen what they're capable of. I guess I just realized how amazingly screwed up they all are. I mean, really, really screwed up in a monumental fashion." Anya
"And they have no purpose that unites them, so they just drift around blundering through life until they die, which they know is coming, yet every single one of them is surprised when it happens to them. They're incapable of thinking about what they want beyond the moment. They kill each other, which is clearly insane, and yet, here's the thing: When it's something that really matters, they fight. I mean, they're lame morons for fighting, but they do. They never quit, so, I guess, I will keep fighting too." Anya ("End of Days")
"I hate this. I hate being here. I hate that you have to be here. I hate that there's evil, that I was chosen to fight it. I wish a whole lot of the time that I hadn't been. I know a lot of you wish I hadn't been either. This isn't about wishes. This is about choices. I believe we can beat this evil, not when it comes, not when its army is ready, now. Tomorrow morning, I'm opening the seal. I'm going down into the Hellmouth, and finish this once and for all. Right now, you're asking yourself what makes this different? What makes us anything more than a bunch of girls being picked off one by one? It's true. None of you have the power that Faith and I do, so here's the part where you make a choice." Buffy ("Chosen")
"If you have to go to the bathroom, it's to your left. If you don't have to go to the bathroom, picture what you're about to face. Better to go now." Xander ("Chosen")
"The earth is definitely doomed." Giles ("Chosen")
"So here's the part where you make a choice. What if you could have that power, now? In every generation, one slayer is born because a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago made up that rule. They were powerful men. This woman [Willow] is more powerful than all of them combined, so I say we change the rule. I say my power should be our power. Tomorrow, Willow will use the essence of the scythe to change our destiny. From now on, every girl in the world who might be a slayer will be a slayer. Every girl who could have the power will have the power. Can stand up, will stand up. Slayers, every one of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?" Buffy ("Chosen")
"Bunnies, floppy-hoppy bunnies!" Anya ("Chosen")
"I love you." Buffy
"No you don't, but thanks for saying it." Spike ("Chosen")
"The First is scrunched, so what do you think we should do, Buffy?" Willow
"Yeah, you're not the one and only chosen anymore. Just gotta live like a person. How's that feel?" Faith
"Yeah, Buffy, what are we gonna do now?" Dawn
"Grr, argh." Mutant Enemy ("Chosen")
Sunnydale's most bloodthirsty include:
The following got away with it (or at least survived) despite the meddling kids:
Sunnydale's most notorious scofflaws include:
We can only hope that the characters above are in jail where they belong.
The following characters make up the majority of Californians who are not non-Hispanic Whites.
Overall, it appears that Willow declared herself to be gay three more times than she declared herself to be Jewish.
Giles was unconscious in the following episodes: