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Fridge Brilliance

  • Angel goes vamp when he kisses Buffy in season one because it was an event that approached perfect happiness, which would eject his human soul and turn him back into Angelus. Sex in season two brought it to completion.
  • I always wondered why Sweet was able to break the contract associated with his talisman (that whoever summons him has to become his Queen), given the prevalance of Magic A Is Magic A in the Buffy-verse. Then the other day, it hit me: He was able to break the contract because the one who summoned him ( Xander) was male and therefore was unable to be a "queen" by the common definition of the word. It wasn't that Sweet could freely break the contract, it was that the contract couldn't be fulfilled. (At the time the talisman was created, "queen" would have meant "female".)
  • In the Musical Episode, Once More, With Feeling!, Sarah Michelle Gellar's voice is obviously auto-tuned. Now while we could just say that this is because Sarah was not a confident singer and this was to compensate for that, that would be lazy and not fun. I instead maintain that Buffy actually sang that way, because her singing, like everything she was doing in life since her resurrection, was simply her "going through the motions", faking it, rather than doing it with any feeling.
    • Buffy's Slayer powers give her enhanced senses and strength. What's to say that they couldn't enhance her singing ability? While they couldn't make her a better singer on their own, they can help the mediocre vocals she does produce (a la autotune).
    • Or perhaps the spell cast by Sweet simply *forced* everyone's voice into acceptable pitch while singing. To this troper at least, the idea of demonic powers literally pulling on your vocal cords is somewhat creepier than a compulsion to think out loud in rhyme.
  • Season 7. Buffy is acting like a bitch, Up to Eleven. One would think she had gotten over the dying and resurrection by now, and for a time it looked like she had. She is so bad that the potential slayers want the newly arrived, reformed Ax Crazy Psycho for Hire Faith to lead them. The brilliance comes in that they are over the Hellmouth, Faith had been gone for three years, the cops are trying to kill the good guys, and Buffy had, aside from brief excursions, been over the Hellmouth for seven years, which would be working overtime to make her evil, crazy or dead. All her attitude, all of how much like First Evil! Buffy she is becoming, is because she had been on the Hellmouth too long and it is affecting her.
  • It always annoyed me how much Buffy babies Dawn, especially in season five. At fifteen (the same age Buffy was when she was called as the Slayer), she's not allowed to stay home even for an hour or so without a babysitter (something that most kids start doing as preteens), she's often protected from truths she would be better off knowing, and she's discouraged from even helping the Scoobies with research. Of course, she's not very mature for her age, but a lot of that seems to be the result of her being treated like a child rather than the cause. Then I realized that, at the time when this is most prevalent, Buffy is cracking under the pressure that's been piling up on her over five years as the Slayer. There, in her house, under her care, is a naive fifteen-year-old who's suddenly been drawn out of her happy teenage life by the discovery of a connection to the supernatural that she neither fully understands nor wants. Sound familiar? Buffy sees herself in Dawn, and she's trying to give her the safe, sheltered adolescence that she, in hindsight, wishes she had had, even if others can see that it's not what Dawn wants or needs.
    • And another Fridge Brilliance to go along with that: Buffy was tasked with protecting the Key at all costs. If the Key was just a physical object, it'd be a standard protection deal, but she's a 15 year old girl. So Buffy's task of protection goes beyond that of mere physical protection, she's compelled to protect her emotionally too, from things that might hurt her if she found out (such as being the Key, or even just the facts of life).
  • One thing that was bugging me was magic. It seems like anyone can start picking it up (Dawn cast the resurrection spell in "Forever" and even Buffy used it to enter a trance in "Shadow"), so it was kind of bothering me that for something that seems pretty accessible, only Willow, Tara, Amy, and Jonathan seem to be doing it. And then I realized; of course many more people are using magic, the Magic Box has a steady stream of customers. Some seem to just be buying stuff as novelties, but you do see customers that are clearly buying spell components. And then it also hit me that just because magic is a key component of the show, it doesn't mean that they're gonna show us every single magic user in Sunnydale; even if they know about magic and demons, that doesn't mean they're gonna get involved with slaying, or even use magic all that often outside of their own home. So the magic = homosexuality connection (it was more prevalent before magic = drugs started) makes even more sense when you consider that there might be hundreds or even thousands of magic users in Sunnydale, but you couldn't tell from appearance.
  • Willow says to Giles "I expected you would kill me and then you went all Dumbledore on me." Harry Potter shows that DD was always an evil mentor.
    • Well, I don't know about evil, but he was certainly morally grey--which Giles is as well.
  • In Same Time, Same Place, Spike tells Buffy "I should hide... hide from you... hide my face... you know what I've done". He could be talking about his Attempted Rape, which is what the other characters seem to think, but once the episode is over it starts seeming like he was also giving away the twist in a Mad Oracle sort of way: It's possible that he's speaking about Willow in the first person, since it turns out that she unintentionally cast the spell that made her and most of the main cast mutually invisible, due to her nervousness about seeing them again after the whole Dark Willow thing...
  • Xander doesn't like Spike, even after he gets his Morality Chip. This makes sense. Spike is still evil, and Xander would probably be the first to die if Spike started killing. He also doesn't like Angel. This could be said to be because he has a crush on Buffy,but this is no excuse for not telling Buffy Angel had a soul, just to get rid of him. However, he has no such hatred of Riley, and even convinces her to go back to him. Why such a change in attitudes? Remember in the second episode of the first season? "I don't like vampires. I'm gonna take a stand and say they're not good." Xander is a racist.
    • Except, it's not really racism, it's a survival instinct. You wouldn't willingly walk up to a lion, tiger, or bear (oh my) without some sort of protection. He's wary of vampires for the same reason most people are wary of psychopaths (people with no emotion): They're big nasty predators.
  • The trio are some of the weakest enemies in the series, that Buffy would usually whup without a sweat. Three things: one they are human and Buffy is really hung up on killing humans, two she has so much on her plate there's scarce little time to focus on anything else, three she begins the season by being ripped out of heaven by her friends, clawing her way out of her own grave, seeing the Buffybot decimated, running for her life, wondering if she had somehow ended up in hell, and attempts to commit suicide. It takes her all season to get over this, had the threat been Angelus for example she wouldn't have lasted long.

Fridge Horror

  • It's made very clear to Warren, Andrew and Jonathan in "Dead Things" that their use of magic to obtain sex with Katrina is just rape. Now, remember those Swedish blonde twins who Johnathan had in his house while under the "Superstar" spell, who asked him if he "was coming to bed..."
    • It isn't quite the same thing; Jonathan really was smart, witty, strong, famous, and rich while a superstar. The Reality Warper thing at the heart of the spell made him exactly what they were attracted to. On the other hand, there's evidence that what it didn't change in Jonathan, the spell changed in others; Jonathan was still a short guy, so Riley found himself "too tall." The wimpy Buffy we see at the beginning of the episode is something else; it's not clear if this version of Buffy never needed to grow into a real slayer because Jonathan was around, or if the spell befuddled her to make Jonathan look better. It doesn't help that the spell blurs the lines between Alternate Reality By Design and straight up Reality Warper.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "Empty Places", as the understated beginning of a conversation with the First Evil, Caleb says he's realized that every high school from one end of the country to the other smells exactly the same.
    • If it makes you feel any better, he's only a serial killer, not a rapist.
  • Tara's body was in a very similar position to Joyce's after the aneurysm. Not only did Dawn have to deal with the horror of finding Tara dead, it most likely, intensely, brought back memories of her mother beginning to die hardly a year earlier. Then you realize how many loved ones, human loved ones, died (or in one case were found dead) literally in front of Dawn, once as a direct result of her existence, and you have to wonder exactly how deep her angst over being left alone really went.
  • Vampires. Not so much Fridge Horror as they are repeatedly and intimately explored, with the exception of one little aspect that the series seems to completely ignore: they are fucking everywhere. Even in places with dedicated, highly effective vampire hunters, vampires are always a problem. Beings that are far stronger and faster than any human, that feed on an almost nightly basis or whenever it would be fun, and that are easily and swiftly capable of creating entire armies of their kind are probably the single most common demon on the planet. Considering that in Season 4 of Angel, it was only a matter of days after the sun was blocked that the entire city became swarmed with vampires that were feasting with abandon, it seems that there is almost nothing stopping vampires from simply overwhelming humans with a sheer force of numbers.
    • Actually, it's stated that the reason all those vampires/demons/boogeymen/telemarketers are hanging out in Sunnydale is because they're attracted to the evil of the Hellmouth. And it's not stated, but the Los Angeles situation is likely similarly explained by the city being built around Wolfram and Hart, which is stated to be one of the last surviving Great Old One deities that lived before humans.
  • Also in Buffy, when we first meet Whistler, Angel's good demon guide, we find out that Angel has been watching Buffy since she was at her old high school in Los Angeles, an unrevealed amount of time after he lost his soul. Later in a heartfelt moment, he confesses that he loved her from the first moment he saw her, which he explains was back in Los Angeles right before she obtained her powers. Buffy is very moved by this. The Squick comes in when you realize that Angel, who has been an grown adult for 200 years, "falls for" a fourteen-year old girl and then deflowers her a full year before she can give legal consent.
    • Actually, wasn't Angel 19 when he was turned? Meaning he's been a 19 year old kid for 200 years. Only a two year age difference, really.
    • Actually, if I recall correctly Buffy is sixteen by the time she and Angel had sex--in California (where Sunnydale is), 16 is the age of consent. Still squick, but semi-legal squick.
      • No, Buffy was seventeen. It was her seventeenth birthday when she and Angel had sex.
  • Even the optimistic view of the series finale (Slayers will finally get to live relatively normal lives) still means that Buffy and co. still are going to be subjecting thousands of girls to an extremely dangerous lifestyle (although safer than what Buffy went through though) filled with things that will give them nightmares for the rest of their lives.
    • But monsters would exist regardless, and by giving them all the power, they could now fight back against the darkness rather than be victims. And if they don't want to, they don't need to, because they don't have the burden of being the only one. What's scary is that there are now hundreds if not thousands of newly minted Slayers with no idea what they have become, so they probably ended up causing a fair amount of damage, not counting that Slayers are still human and their may be dozens of Faith-like girls who'll exploit their newfound powers for evil.
    • Speaking of nightmares - based on the experience of those Slayers we've seen in the series, we know that Slayers experience the memories of all the slayers who've died. Now think of all of the horrific things that Buffy went through during her time as the Slayer. Now realize that her experience, judging by her advanced survival, was one of the least horrifying histories of any slayer, which means that the other slayers were worse. Now think about it. Every single slayer goes to sleep one night a normal girl and wakes up with the worst Nightmare Fuel in the world since the beginning of time has just been crammed into the brains of these utterly unsuspecting young girls. Who here thinks Dana's gonna be the only one in the end, raise your hands?
    • Then there's the fanon involving Buffy activating all of the Slayers lineage at once resulting in the situation of Fray where after Buffy's generation die out, there are no more Slayers because all of the magic was used up.
    • "Into every generation a Slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their numbers." And there's one. One. And this one lives in a small town in California. Granted, it's on a Hellmouth, but that's kinda the problem; a Hellmouth. As in, there are more of them (Cleveland is referenced occasionally). So, how is the entire world not overrun if all that's standing between demons and humans is one girl who usually doesn't live past her twenties, the odd reformed demon, and whatever the heck Whistler is? They can be all the kickass they want, it's not possible for someone to cover that much ground.
      • To make it worse, when Buffy died at the end of season five, her death did not activate a new Slayer. At first, you would think it wouldn't matter because Faith was still alive. But then you realize that she was in jail and didn't break out until season four of Angel (season seven of Buffy). If Buffy hadn't been brought back to life, the world would have gone without a slayer for at least a year and a half.
  • In the Buffy musical, besides the people bursting into flames, the main problem with the seemingly awesome concept of a demon who makes life into a musical is that people tend to reveal their deepest, darkest secrets through their songs with no control over it. While the non-cast songs we see are mostly innocuous, think about the fact that this happened to an ENTIRE CITY. Even if not everyone did it, a good percentage of people suddenly revealed that they were secret murderers, cheating on their wives, etc. Not all of us have personal lives as convoluted as the Buffy cast, but everyone has something they want to keep hidden. Imagine this happening to you in high school. Or at work! The rest of the season shows us the horrible fallout of the Buffy cast learning those hidden truths--now imagine the hundreds or thousands we didn't see.
  • Faith gets one after Buffy puts her in a coma.

 "Little Miss Muffet counting down from 730."

    • Word of God this was the exact amount of days until Buffy died. That's pretty horrifying, her arch nemesis accurately predicting her death.
    • Not particularly scary but worth mentioning: Dawn/The Key is often used in reference to to the same poem. First by Glory, then by a crazy man later directed at Dawn as he gibbers on about 'curds and whey'. More worryingly in Buffy's dream in "Restless" she sees a clock reading 7:30, which Tara claims is all wrong. Buffy knows her own death is coming, but is in denial.
  • Buffy's experience with Parker in Season Four just seems like a mundanely unpleasant experience... until you go back and watch "Innocence" again and see how similar Parker's rejection of her after their one-night stand is to the way Angelus toys with her after their first time, taunting her about how it was good but nothing special, expressing surprise that it meant more to her than it did to him, etc. Just think about all the unpleasant, deeply traumatic memories that must have been brought up for Buffy.
  • In season 6, Xander is the most upset with Spike's Attempted Rape of Buffy. This would just be Xander's concern for his best friend, but it becomes fridge horror when you remember the season 3 episode Consequences in which Faith attempted to rape and murder him.
    • The horror gets deeper (and makes even more sense) when you recall that early in the Season 1 episode The Pack Xander was possessed by a heyena spirit and tried to rape Buffy. Part of his rage at Spike is actually repressed rage at himself because he never faced any consequences for that action.
  • Then there's the Willow/Tara scene from Once More, With Feeling. It took me a long time to realize it, but then I realized Willow basically magically roofied and then raped her girlfriend--and this was after Tara had been mindraped horrifically by Glory. No wonder Tara was horrified when she found out.
    • This troper had always been under the impression that this wasn't supposed to be fridge at all. I was downright horrified when the memory spell went up, and almost sick when Willow went ahead and had sex with her anyway.
  • After Faith's Face Heel Turn, Mayor Wilkins basically becomes her substitute father. Then in Enemies, Faith tries to seduce Angel in order to make him turn evil. Afterward, she goes back to the Mayor, sad because she failed. The Mayor acts all motivational, telling her to try again. The conversation pretty much implies that the Mayor was the one who made her do it. In other words, he took in a seventeen-year-old girl, set himself up as a father figure, then ordered her to go have sex with a guy who's 242 years old.
  • During Buffy's stay in LA in the episode Anne, someone tells her this about LA - "This isn't a good place for a kid to be. You get old fast here. The thing that does it, that drains the life out of them: despair. Kids come here, they got nothing to go home to and this is the last stop for a lot of them. Shouldn't have to be that way." A description which perfectly matches and foreshadows....Cordelia Chase. Barring the despair, a lot of this is true for her journey in LA. She has no home in Sunnydale after her parents lose all their money, she's living in a horrible apartment as her last stop, she is forced to grow up because of the trauma of life in Angel Investigations, her brain starts to deteriorate because of her visions, literally getting old fast and even becoming a demon doesnt help because she still dies regardless.
  • The brief bit with the Warrenbot in Villains became just slightly more unsettling after I thought about it for a while: the scoobies' treatment of Buffybot raised the What Measure Is a Non-Human? thing enough, but Warren created an arguably sentient being specifically for the purposes of being a decoy that would most likely get destroyed within moments of its least, since we never heard anything about there being a Warrenbot before, I assume he either put it together really quickly while on the run, or else was Crazy Prepared enough to just have an already completed but not activated robot double hidden someplace in case of emergency.
  • As shown in "The Body", Anya's been a demon so long that she doesn't really understand death any more. She doesn't understant why Joyce died, and why she's no longer with them. Now think of all the men that she's killed. Hell, she basically caused the Russian Revolution. Anya's probably just realizing how many people she's killed and maimed over the years, and how many families and lives that she's destroyed. It's touched upon a bit in the season 7 episode "Selfless", but still, she's killed so many people and is only just realizing now what death really is.
  • All vampires eventually end up looking like The Master, Kakistos, the Turok-han, etc. This includes Angel and Spike.

Fridge Logic:

  • How the hell was Jonathan planning to commit suicide without killing anybody else (thus ruling out suicide-by-cop) with a high-powered rifle?!
    • Jonathan can't even commit suicide right.
    • Easy. Put the butt on the ground, lean over and tuck the barrel under your chin, and then step on the trigger with your big toe.
  • It's possible to revive someone who dies due to magic, right? So why doesn't Willow fireball Tara while she's bleeding out? If its the magic that killed her, rather than the gun, it becomes possible to bring her back.
    • Look at the location of the exit wound. Tara took that round directly through either the heart or the aorta. She'd be dead in moments. The only way she could be deader is if she'd taken the hit at the base of the skull... which is one for Headscratchers, that Warren's blind, wild shot in through the window could be that precise. Diabolus Ex Machina indeed.
      • I've always assumed it was another sid effect of the resurrection spell they weren't aware of. Willow was granted a life (Buffy) at the cost of one of the casters (Tara).
    • Besides, there's that pesky issue that magical resurrection often leaves you in the same state you would've been in without any magic at all; see Darla's syphilis. Burning Tara alive so Willow could revive her as a gunshot victim isn't likely to help.
    • Two things: 1) Could you really fling a fireball at the person you love and kill her on the off chance that it MIGHT lead to her later resurrection? Willow wouldn't have had long, and she's loves Tara way too much to destroy her personally even if it meant that there's the possibility of resurrection. And 2), the Urn of Osiris was destroyed after Buffy's revival, and it was unique, the spell couldn't have been cast again.
      • Three: Did the spell come out wonky at all? Even if it worked right was Buffy meant to have ended up in her own grave? This drove her to near suicide. Who's to say things would have gone any better for Tara even if they had what they needed, or this act didn't set off Willow thinking Buffy (and by extension Tara) were better off dead than living hell on earth?
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