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.
|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|
|8||Andrew Wells||0.148||Andrew Wells||0.114|
|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|
|17||Joyce Summers||-0.061||Dawn Summers||-0.069|
|20||Dawn Summers||-0.116||Warren Mears||-0.133|
|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|
|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|
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.