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Characters Ranked by Taste

The analyses below use data from Hellmouth High's Line League to determine the number of lines each character had in each episode. The Line League's data were combined with the data from this site to see whether the quality of an episode, as seen by Loyalists and by Jumpers, is related to the number of lines that these characters have in that episode.

The points/line score represents how many points an episode gains (or loses) each time the character opens her or his mouth, assuming that the number of lines that these characters have is the main cause of the quality of an episode. Scores are high for characters who talk a lot in good episodes and say little or are absent in weak episodes. The data below take into account when the episode aired and whether the episode is part of a two-part episode. More detail on the methodology is on the Characters Ranked page.

Loyalists Jumpers
Rank Character Points/
Character Points/
1 Drusilla 0.992 Drusilla 1.154
2 Angel 0.522 Angel 0.527
3 Wesley Wyndam-Pryce 0.322 Principal Snyder 0.465
4 Principal Snyder 0.318 Jonathan Levinson 0.256
5 Tara Maclay 0.221 Tara Maclay 0.192
6 Jonathan Levinson 0.180 Wesley Wyndam-Pryce 0.169
7 Spike 0.159 Faith 0.116
8 Andrew Wells 0.148 Andrew Wells 0.114
9 Faith 0.133 Rupert Giles 0.112
10 Jenny Calendar 0.117 Spike 0.111
11 Willow Rosenberg 0.111 The First Evil 0.097
12 The First Evil 0.083 Willow Rosenberg 0.097
13 Warren Mears 0.030 Xander Harris 0.068
14 Rupert Giles 0.014 Cordelia Chase 0.050
15 Cordelia Chase -0.002 Jenny Calendar 0.050
16 Xander Harris -0.022 Oz 0.001
17 Joyce Summers -0.061 Dawn Summers -0.069
18 Oz -0.068 Anya -0.107
19 Anya -0.104 Harmony Kendall -0.119
20 Dawn Summers -0.116 Warren Mears -0.133
21 Glory -0.121 Joyce Summers -0.142
22 Harmony Kendall -0.189 Buffy Summers -0.178
23 Amy Madison -0.208 Mayor Richard Wilkins -0.184
24 One-Shot Guest Stars -0.226 Riley Finn -0.192
25 Buffy Summers -0.236 Glory -0.204
26 Potential Slayers -0.295 One-Shot Guest Stars -0.222
27 Principal Robin Wood -0.316 Amy Madison -0.334
28 Riley Finn -0.317 Potential Slayers -0.340
29 Mayor Richard Wilkins -0.567 Principal Robin Wood -0.528
30 Kennedy -0.716 Kennedy -0.628

In many ways, Loyalists and Jumpers are similar in the extent to which the presence or absence of important characters seem to affect their liking of episodes. Fans with both tastes tend to like episodes in which Drusilla, Angel, Principal Snyder, Wesley, Jonathan, and Tara have prominant roles and in which Kennedy, Principal Wood, and Potential Slayers are largely absent. Over half of the characters' ranks on the Jumpers list are within two spaces of their ranks on the Loyalists list, and only Jenny, Warren, Giles, and Mayor Wilkins are more than four ranks apart on the two lists.

In terms of their points/line score, a few characters differ markedly between the two lists. In general, Loyalists perceive a more positive (or less negative) effect on episodes from Principal Wood, Warren, Wesley, and Amy than what Jumpers perceive, and Jumpers perceive a more positive (or less negative) effect from Mayor Wilkins, Drusilla, Principal Snyder, and Riley than what Loyalists perceive.

There are four commonly cited reasons for why Jumpers believe that the quality of Buffy episodes declined after the third season: the appearance of Tara and her relationship with Willow, the appearance of Riley and his relationship with Buffy, the Initiative arc, and graduation from high school. Both Loyalists and Jumpers perceive Tara as having a strong, positive impact. If anything, Loyalists seem to dislike Riley's presence in episodes more than Jumpers do. Riley was also heavily involved in the Initiative arc, so this is not a likely explanation either. By elimination, the analyses on this page seem to suggest that graduation may be the most likely explanation for why Jumpers became disenchanted with the show.

Overall, 27.0% of episode quality according to Loyalists and 22.7% of episode quality according to Jumpers comes from the characters above. This goes up to 28.8% for Loyalists and 23.8% for Jumpers when Angel is split into his souled and soulless entities. For Loyalists, Soulless Angel would climb into first place with 1.098 points per line with souled Angel remaining below Drusilla with 0.418 points per line. For Jumpers, Soulless Angel climbs above all characters except Drusilla with 0.982 points per line. Souled Angel remains below Drusilla and above everyone else with 0.442 points per line.

Splitting Spike into souled and soulless entities explains an additional 1.2% of episode quality for Loyalists and an additional 1.5% for Jumpers. For Loyalists, Soulless Spike climbs up ahead of Tara with 0.252 points per line. Souled Spike falls near the bottom with -0.359 points per line. For Jumpers, Soulless Spike climbs a few spots with 0.200 points per line. Souled Spike drops below everyone except for Mayor Wilkins and Kennedy with -0.346 points per line.

Splitting Anya into her human and vengeance-demon entities does little to explain the quality of episodes.

This page was last modified on January 23, 2013