Demons, death and dynamite dialogue: the 20 best episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Consideration, Scoobies! Spoilers for all seven seasons of Buffy lie forward.

20. Selected (season 7, episode 22)

I didn’t love the ultimate season of Buffy, which was once probably the most disposable, in large part as it laid waste to a lot of the humour and spark that had made the display so amusing. However wrapping up the entire sequence by way of binning the central thought of a selected one, and turning teenage women in all places the sector right into a collective selected, was once a neat and pleasurable be aware to finish on.

19. Prophecy Woman (s1, e12)

The early episodes gave simplest hints of the greatness to come back, however the first season finale confirmed that Joss Whedon was once prepared to visit darkish puts – killing off the lead personality. It was once simplest brief, after all, which is one thing of a Whedon trope at the present time. Plus, with out this, there could be no Religion (Kendra, we infrequently knew you). 

Xander (left) and Angel (right) lend Buffy a hand after she comes back to life

(left) and Angel
(proper) lend Buffy a hand after she comes again to existence. : 20th Century Fox

18. The Zeppo (s3, e13)

Deficient Xander tended to be Buffy’s clown, a serial if unintended trouble-maker who did issues similar to falling in love with an enormous praying mantis. This episode rounded him out and noticed him move it by myself as he defeated a milder, extra human evil, whilst the remainder of the Scoobies have been distracted by way of but every other apocalypse. 

17. Innocence (s2, e14)

As metaphors for nightmarish teenage studies move, Buffy’s boyfriend right away becoming a bloodthirsty killer after they’ve intercourse for the primary time is up there. David Boreanaz in point of fact ramped up the brood for his first trip as Angel’s soulless alter-ego, Angelus.

16. New Moon Emerging (s4, e19)

Willow and Oz, subjects of a painful werewolf-related breakup in Buffy

Willow and Oz., topics of a painful werewolf-related breakup. : Getty Photographs

There have been many Buffy, however Ouncesand Willow’s werewolf-related break up was once one of the vital gutting. During season 4, the entire characters did not be in contact, over and over; Ouncess transient go back ended in one of the very best heart-to-hearts within the sequence for everybody.

15. I Handiest Have Eyes For You (s2, e19)

That is vintage early Buffy: on one stage, a self-contained tale of a ghostly doomed affair between pupil and instructor, however written so cleverly as to transport directly to the larger tale of Buffy and Angel/Angelus.

14. Halloween (s2, e6)

For all of its experimentation, occasionally the most simple conceits labored very best. Right here, the crowd became their Halloween costumes, however even if it was once wrapped up, it set storylines in movement that may play out till the 144th episode.

Xander in Buffy

Xander as a gun-toting soldier – talents that may stick with him for the remainder of the sequence. : WP

13. Band Sweet (s3, e6)

Pesky Ethan was once again to reason extra Halloween-related mayhem. I’m a sucker for characters appearing out of personality, and this was once one of the vital amusing incidents of it, with Giles and Joyce getting without equal munchies and regressing to their teenage years. 

13. Doppelgangland (s3, e16)

The vampire Willow, first presented in The Want, makes every other look in Sunnydale. For all of Willow’s evil iterations, this was once simply probably the most jolly – and it gave the sector of The Want every other transient trip.

Willow was once the topic of many a teenage obsession.

11. Customary Once more (s6, e17)

This divisive episode performed out to an unsure “was once all of it a dream?” premise and it confirmed Buffy at its bleakest. However the setup – that Buffy may well be in a psychiatric sanatorium and that Sunnydale can be a figment of her disturbed psyche – was once a haunting one, now not least since the finishing was once outrageous sufficient to stay the opportunity of it open. 

10. The Reward (s5, e22)

Good day, she died two times: the 100th episode noticed Buffy make without equal sacrifice, once more, with a purpose to save the sector and her sister/the important thing, Daybreak, whilst sending Glory, the display’s campest giant unhealthy, packing finally. It will were mawkish, but it surely were given its ranges of sentimentality good.


You’ll’t stay a excellent slayer useless. : 20th Century Fox/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock

nine. Turning into (s2, e21 & e22)

It’s nearly sacrilegious to confess it, however ceaselessly I may just take or depart many of the Angel-centric episodes, except for this season two nearer. This was once the primary time Buffy in point of fact flexed its dramatic muscle tissues and proved that, whilst it was once a teenager supernatural display, it was once as emotionally refined as the most efficient dramas. It was once so excellent it’s good to even forgive the flashback accents.

eight. Commencement Day (s3, e21 & 22)

This two-part finale marked the last bankruptcy within the first part of the Buffy tale; it was once the ultimate of the previous guard. It began small and intimate, as Buffy and Religion squared off, and ended as giant because it will get, with the mayor’s ascension and the scholars of Sunnydale Top banding in combination to defeat him. Whilst the final-ever episode destroyed Sunnydale itself, destroying the college was once a excellent position to begin.

7. Tabula Rasa (s6, e8)

For the entire darkness of season six – and that is horribly bleak, on the episode’s get started and finish – this reminiscence loss episode controlled to harness the very best Buffy silliness that buoyed the whole lot. Making an allowance for it needed to practice As soon as Extra, With Feeling, it confirmed that season six without a doubt had its moments. I’d watch a complete season of the adventures of Alex, Umad and Joan the vampire slayer.

6. Stressed (s4, e22)

Whilst earlier season finales constructed against a grand end, this bucked the fashion, shelling out with the massive unhealthy within the penultimate episode and leaving the crowd to dream their manner out of a tumultuous season. Few presentations can pull off dream episodes, however this had the very best stability of surreal silliness and profundity – and, after all, it smartly foreshadowed the arriving of Daybreak.

five. The Want (s3, e9)

Cordelia gets more than she bargained for with the vampire Xander in Buffy

Cordelia will get greater than she bargained for with the vampire Xander.

This is likely one of the maximum rewatchable episodes of the entire sequence. Of the entire forays into choice realities, this was once by way of some distance the most efficient. Cordelia needs that Buffy had by no means come to Sunnydale, a want new vengeance demon is worked up to grant. Cue apocalyptic chaos, excellent characters became evil and the arriving of the intense, bunny-hating Anya.

four. Who Are You (s4, e16)

Buffy as Religion leads to a few confusion for Giles.

I’m a sucker for Religion-heavy episodes, and this body-switch saga confirmed Sarah Michelle Gellar and Eliza Dushku appearing their socks off as each and every different’s personality. The one problem of the entire pretty chaos was once that Imply Buffy, as performed by way of Religion, didn’t get to stay round for almost lengthy sufficient. 

three. As soon as Extra, With Feeling (s6, e7)

Be careful for the entire bunnies.

This stays one of the vital abnormal episodes of any TV display, by no means thoughts Buffy at its top. This musical access – made lengthy earlier than musical episodes have been a factor – looked as if it would crunch down each and every side of the display into its purest essence, from its humour and its playfulness to its an increasing number of tortured sensibilities. Most significantly, the songs weren’t imitators of a musical taste, however worthy bangers in their very own proper. 

2. Hush (s4, e10)

The Gentlemen in Buffy

The Gents have been the stuff of nightmares. : 20th Century Fox/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock

The name of the game underground army bunker didn’t do a lot for the popularity of season 4, however even towards that backdrop this was once an astonishing feat of creativity. Despite the fact that now not the hardest enemies Buffy battled, the Gentleman have been by way of some distance the scariest, stealing voices as they eviscerated sufferers, and this was once a in reality horrifying mini horror film. For the reason that the display made its identify on fast, witty discussion, to position out a near-silent episode and also have or not it’s extra special was once simply appearing off. 

1. The Frame (s5, e16)


Some of the devastating episodes of tv ever made.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a witty display: humorous, dry, occasionally foolish and completely at house with embracing the absurdities of its supernatural environment. It advanced to change into an excellent display, even though, as it was once additionally able to tackling the massive stuff with super talent and ingenuity. Joyce’s demise is the primary time a significant personality dies, and the ordinariness of it – an aneurysm, not anything supernatural and, crucially, not anything to be completed – is totally wrenching. There is not any tune, simply the confusion and panic that follows a catastrophic match; it stays one of the vital truthful depictions of grief that I’ve ever noticed on display. It’s without a doubt probably the most tough episode of Buffy to observe, however with regards to the writing, the performances, the route and the sheer emotional affect, this episode is peerless. 

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