“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” created by Joss Whedon, ran for 7 seasons. During its time on air, the series had its share of moments that made viewers want to stand up, throw something at their television (or the television itself), and yell, “WTF?” Whether it was shocking deaths, betrayal or simply strange creatures or circumstances that could only take place on a fantastical show about vampires and magic, “Buffy” never shied away from its curious decisions and events with lasting implications.
Likewise, since its continuation in comic book format in the spring of 2007, there have been many more crazy moments of various degrees that have left readers scratching their heads and wondering what the writers were thinking. Some have been groundbreaking; some awesome; some beautiful; and some...just plain weird. Check out the list below to find out the craziest moments in the “Buffy” comics!
SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Buffy seasons 1-10.
15 SPIKE IN SPACE
While the rest of the entries in this list take place within the main “Buffy” comic, this first one is unique in that Spike’s time flying around in a pod-shaped spaceship (yes, this happens), first occurs in the IDW miniseries, “Spike.” The link between the two series’ is Wolfram and Hart’s fear of Twilight (more on the mysterious character later), and their attempt to leave the dimension as quickly as possible.
Spike, having the heart of gold that he does -- and also because he’s curious himself as to why the evil corporation is so afraid -- helps the giant, bug-like creatures who own the ship retake it from the clutches of The Wolf, The Ram and The Heart. This ushers in the very surreal (even for a comic about vampires, magic, monsters, and demons) adventures of Spike and his space-faring, bug companions. In a very Deus Ex Machina scenario, Spike and friends fly past their publisher, enter a new company’s arena and help Buffy with her fight against Twilight.
14 ALLIANCES WITH DRACULA
Remember that time Buffy faced off against the most famous vampire of all time? Remember how he used his powers of seduction on Xander? Well if you don’t, you’re missing out and you should check out the season 5 premiere, “Buffy vs. Dracula,” because it’s actually a fairly amusing episode. But what occurs with Dracula in season 8 is, well, just plain sad.
In “Wolves at the Gate,” Dracula has become a lonely, depressed shell of a vampire, but when Xander pays the count a visit, that all changes. It’s revealed that shortly after Anya’s death in the season 7 finale, “Chosen,” Xander left his friends to go stay with Dracula for a few months. In the present, Buffy -- who's not too thrilled that her friend is once again calling the once famous bloodsucker “master” -- pays Dracula a visit. What ensues on the pages of the next few issues is an uneasy alliance against a group of Japanese vampires who are mystically equipped with the rare powers of Dracula, particularly transmogrification. While the arc has its interesting moments, a drunken, reclusive Dracula with a weird obsession for Xander only offers a bizarre, filler story in the already bonkers season 8.
13 BUFFY VS. THE U.S. GOVERNMENT
Things seem pretty dire for our hero in season 7 of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” The First Evil (who initially appeared in the season 3 episode, “Amends,” as Angel’s Christmastime tormentor) begins wreaking havoc on the members of the Scooby gang. Harnessing the power of past slayers through a mystical scythe, Willow uses her magic mojo to turn any would-be, bad-ass Slayer into an actual vampire hunter. With the newfound help, Buffy and her pals win the day, but not before Sunnydale is completely destroyed.
So where does season 8 go from there? Who could possibly fill the role of the “Big Bad” after the First Evil? And what on earth could they possibly want that other evil-doers haven’t? Cue the U.S. government, partnered with a bitter Amy Madison (remember when she was a rat?) and a vengeful, fleshless Warren Mears (yes, the guy whose skin was ripped off by Dark Willow). Viewing Buffy and the new 500 Slayers under her control as terrorists, this post-911 government sure means business, even if that includes allying themselves with demons, witches, and the undead in order to take Buffy down.
12 VAMPIRE LOVE, SLAYER HATE
Once a popular girl at Sunnydale High, Harmony is turned into a vampire by one of Mayor Wilkins’ minions in "Graduation Day: Part 2," the season 3 finale of “Buffy.” In the fifth season of "Angel," she later becomes a main member of Angel Investigations as his personal secretary during the team’s stint as employees of Wolfram and Hart. Having betrayed Angel by sleeping with the enemy, Harmony leaves his office in “Not Fade Away,” as Angel battles Wolfram and Hart’s liaison, Marcus Hamilton.
Harmony returns in season 8 of Buffy in an arc called “Predators and Prey.” After a chance encounter with Andy Dick (seriously), Harmony rises to fame and glory by outing vampires to the world on her own reality T.V. show on MTV, “Harmony Bites.” While filming at a club, a rogue Slayer tries to attack Harmony, who throws her pomeranian at the girl to avoid the attack, and kills her on live television. Harmony then explains to her audience that Slayers are evil, causing worldwide hate towards Buffy and her apprentices. The rest of the story hilariously involves vampire cats, Harmony’s “heroics” in the eyes of the masses, and the ushering in of Twilight.
Buffy has fought both vampires and zombies in her time as the chosen one; but what about Zompires? Well, little did she know that when she destroyed the Seed of Wonder during her battle with Twilight (more on this in a later entry), there would be a new iteration of foul beast to deal with.
A title coined by Xander (because that’s his thing), Zompires are the result of the siring of new vampires after the loss of magic. Rather than coming back as undead, intelligent, bloodthirsty fiends, the newly formed creatures reanimate as undead, mindless, bloodthirsty fiends. Like all good zombie stories, the population of these hybrids rise to great numbers and attack in packs; so much so, that even Buffy and the organization of Slayers are unable to handle all of them. Eventually the Zompire problem begins to fade away when magic is fully restored, but the storyline itself is, unfortunately, just as mindless as its creation.
10 BUFFY THE BODYGUARD
Being the Slayer is a tough job; but unfortunately, it doesn’t pay the bills. Buffy has held a couple of jobs in her time: Doublemeat Palace cashier and a barista during season 9. But why not use those combat skills of hers to make money at the same time? Well…
After the destruction of the Seed of Wonder, some Slayers work for Kennedy and her newly-formed bodyguard service. Buffy joins the workforce in an arc called “Guarded.” At first, this storyline just seems a bit odd, even forced; however, it eventually hits the mark with some great “WTF” material, the first being its connection to the larger Buffyverse. One of Buffy’s clients, a man by the name of Theo Daniels, claims he’s being hunted by Wolfram and Hart. Buffy and Kennedy are then forced to work with -- and eventually fight -- a demon named Eldre Koh who is being blackmailed by Wolfram and Hart. There’s a great moment in here where Kennedy calls out Buffy for putting normal human beings in the line of duty, like Giles (who’s dead at this point). The result is Buffy punching Kennedy in the face, because no one speaks about Giles like that!
9 DAWN'S TRANSFORMATIONS
Season 8 of Buffy is filled with plenty of weird material, but nothing really beats the transformations that Dawn (willingly?) goes through. Already a character whom many, avid fans of Whedon’s series vehemently dislike, it was certainly an interesting choice for Whedon himself to write the storyline that introduces her first change: giant Dawn.
Living in Scotland with Buffy, Xander, and a plethora of Slayers, Dawn feels the strain on her relationship with her sister. At the same time, verging on adulthood, Dawn wants to lose her virginity. When she grows into a giantess, Buffy believes it’s due to sleeping with Kenny -- who happens to be a trickster demon known as a Thricewise -- while Xander thinks that Dawn inadvertently grew to a massive height on her own as a result of her desire for attention from Buffy. When Dawn finally shrinks, she goes through two more transformations -- a centaur and a living doll -- before she finally seeks to restore her relationships. While the symbolism of Dawn’s transformations (particularly giant form) is a way for Whedon to express her insecurities in life, it is a very strange way do so, and for readers, made her seem even more isolated.
8 RESTORING THE SEED OF WONDER
One person greatly impacted by the loss of magic in season 9 is Willow. A character who’s progression from geeky computer wiz to one of the most powerful witches in existence, Willow doesn’t simply use magic, she is deeply connected to it. So when the Seed of Wonder is destroyed and magic along with it, Willow has quite a difficult time adjusting and finding purpose. However, what Willow doesn’t realize is how connected she really is to the Seed.
On a soul-searching journey (“Willow: Wonderland”), Willow discovers that she can regain her magic from within, just as Slayers do. Upon her return to San Francisco, Willow intends to help Buffy and friends save Dawn before she disappears for good, by entering the Deeper Well in search of magic. The further down Willow flies, the closer she gets to the source of an ancient magic, and eventually, literally gives birth to a new Seed! While this scene is extremely out there, it is quite fitting that Willow, a woman who is able to find her own source of magic within, helps to create a new source of worldly magic in the Buffyverse.
7 XANDER'S HAUNTING
Xander and Anya had the most normal romance in seasons 4-6 of “Buffy” -- as normal as a relationship could be when one half of a couple is a 1,000-year old former vengeance demon. So normal, in fact, that even in a world filled with never-ending impending apocalypses, they planned to get married; that is, until Xander left Anya at the altar, and then, in “Chosen,” Anya was killed by an Ubervamp during the battle with The First.
In season 10, it is nonchalantly revealed to the reader that Xander is being haunted by Anya; but this lackadaisical way of reintroducing her to the series after so long is clearly purposeful in making the reader say “What!?!?” Most of their conversations, aside from little bickerings, are amicable. Eventually, Xander and Anya both come to the realization that she is not the real Anya, but a creation made by Anya’s previous mentor, D’Hoffryn, in an attempt to destroy Buffy. To prove that she is her own person, Anya betrays D’Hoffryn and saves Xander, before being killed herself. While it’s sad to see Anya go again, it is certainly nice to see the closure for Xander that he never truly received before her first death.
6 THE RESURRECTION OF GILES
During the events of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 9,” Angel and Faith have their own adventures in London, appropriately called, “Angel and Faith.” Unbeknownst to Buffy, Angel spends the majority of the season trying to find a way to resurrect Giles, and eventually, he succeeds.
While Buffy and her friends battle a vampire named Vicki and her crew at the start of season 10, an unexpected ally shows up, shaking up Buffy’s world once again: Giles has returned from the dead, only now he’s in the body of a teenage boy! WTF, you say? The moment fans have been waiting for -- the tearful reunion of Buffy and her fatherly mentor -- finally occurs in very “Buffy” fashion: strange, yet heartfelt. The fun aspect of this homecoming is from all of the humourous quips at Giles’ “little” expense. After fending off Vicki in the second issue of season 10, Giles, Buffy, and Xander have this exchange:
Giles: It was hardly without complications, but yes...I’m back. And if you’ll have me...back to stay.
Buffy: Say “if” again and I’ll take you over my knee.
Giles: You’re all going to have endless fun with this, aren’t you?
Xander: Oh, hell yes.
5 XANDER'S BETRAYAL
Xander has made his fair share of stupid decisions in the past: cheating on Cordelia with Willow; withholding important information from his friends when his word could save Angel’s life; and leaving Anya at the altar -- just to name a few. So one would think that after all of this time, Xander would gain some common sense and realize that it is never okay to betray a friend, right?
Believing that every recent event (Giles’ death, the loss of magic, and Dawn’s unconscious state) is Buffy’s fault, Xander cannot bring himself to be around her. When he’s transported to face Severin and Simone (the “Big Bads” of season 9), they convince him to help them with their plans to take down Buffy. While Xander is certainly reluctant to turn on his friend, their proposal (to steal the Vampyr book left to Buffy by Giles and to use it in undoing the events of Twilight), overpowers his emotional connections. Clearly, this is not going to end well for Xander, because let’s face it, Buffy never “loses,” so when his betrayal finally comes to light, Buffy will not the only one he needs to seek forgiveness from. Come on, Xander!
4 THE VAMPYR RULE BOOK
The Vampyr book is originally introduced in the first episode of season 1, “Welcome to the Hellmouth.” A guidebook of sorts on vampires and other mystical creatures, the tome is left to the care of Buffy upon Giles’ death in season 8.
When the Seed of Wonder is reborn and magic restored to Earth, Buffy and the Scoobies discover that the Vampyr book is completely blank. This alone would be surprising, but what they learn next will reshape the future of their world. The team begins to find new pages written in the book that are seemingly new rules for magic. They’re also made aware that anything written in the book will become reality: thus, the Vampyr Rule Book is born, and Buffy and pals are charged with the very difficult task of rewriting the very statutes of magic. Much of season 10 deals with the gang carefully, and sometimes selfishly, deciding how magic will impact the world.
3 THE END OF MAGIC
Magic has always been at the heart of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Not only is Willow, Buffy’s best friend, a witch, but also the very powers that Buffy is imbued with come from an ancient mystical demon. This can’t happen without some serious magic!
During the Twilight crisis, Buffy and Angel have managed to sex into existence a new dimension, which in turn, will replace Earth. The only way to stop this from happening? Buffy has to destroy the Seed of Wonder: the source of all of Earth’s magic. At first, it doesn’t really seem like she’s willing to take this step; however, once Giles loses his life (more on this later), Buffy’s fury is unleashed and she uses the scythe to take out the Seed. The result of the Seed’s eradication is the loss of all magic in the world; this means all witches lose their powers, no new slayers can be called into service, vampires and demons can’t enter the world, and so on. While implications don’t seem too dire immediately, the loss of the Seed shakes up Buffy’s universe in more ways than one, and has lasting ramifications through season 9.
Initial “Big Bad” signs in season 8 point to the U.S. government alongside Amy and Warren; however, as time goes on, clues via other characters or dreams allude to a very different enemy -- one who is pulling all of the strings and will eventually lead to the ushering in of a very different Buffyverse.
There are actually two shocking moments having to do with the villain, Twilight. The first attention grabber comes when Twilight finally reveals himself as Angel! That’s right, Buffy’s once lover-turned-enemy-turned- friend-turned-lover-turned-friend (they have quite the history) has become a villain yet again; only this time, he’s actually Angel, not Angelus! What makes this revelation even crazier is what takes place after Bad Angel and Buffy make love. It is then explained that a consciousness (Twilight) from another dimension actually inhabited Angel’s mind to help bring about the apocalypse in the form of the Twilight dimension replacing Earth. And the kicker? The apocalypse will begin when, by having sex, Buffy and Angel give birth to Twilight! Say what? That’s right, Twilight banks on the fact that Angel and Buffy can’t keep their hands off of each other and uses Angel to ensure sexy times. Wow. Just, wow.
1 THE DEATH OF GILES
Rupert Giles: Watcher, mentor, friend, and surrogate father to not only Buffy, but also to the core Scooby gang as well. It’s his death that makes the number one spot on this list, but the context surrounding his murder is what really makes this a crazy moment.
Throughout much of season 8, Buffy and Giles are not speaking due to his secretive alliance with Faith; however, once Twilight and his army begin attacking, they hash out their feelings and reconcile. Unfortunately, their blissful reunion does not last long, as after it is revealed that Angel is in fact Twilight, Giles desperately tries to bring Buffy her scythe, only to be thwarted by Angel himself, who snaps Giles’ neck! Sure, Angel is being possessed by an other-worldly consciousness bent on the destruction of Earth, but this is not common knowledge yet, so when Angel kills Giles, jaws automatically drop. To survive so much, only for his life to be quickly taken by the same man who killed his love, Jenny Calendar in the season two episode, “Passion,” seems in equal parts devastating and yet oddly apropos.
What moments from the comics shocked you the most? And let us know what else you love about the Buffy series in the comments!