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The Buffy the Vampire Slayer film:

  • Acceptable Targets:
  • Accidental Innuendo: "I was just saving your butt!....Well, there was an exchange of butts...."
  • Adaptation Displacement: Some fans of the series probably weren't even aware that a movie was made.
    • Few have seen the movie. Whedon considers his script -- not the film that was actually made -- to be canon.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: In the school counselor's office, Buffy kills a fly by spitting a dart at it - apparently for no other reason than because she's bored.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Amilyn.
  • Fair for Its Day / Reactionary Fantasy: Okay, let's level here: before this movie came along, there really weren't that many examples of strong females in popular culture that weren't either Stripperific, One of the Boys, or novelty characters who were just used for a quick laugh. For breaking through each of these stereotypes, this movie certainly deserves a great deal of credit. And, yes, the character of Buffy herself is to be lauded for overcoming a Primal Fear that would have left most humans - including most men - gibbering wrecks. All that said, it's worth pointing out that Buffy needs a man to intervene on her behalf in each of her three battles with Lothos: Merrick at the parade float yard, when he sacrifices his own life to save hers; Pike while she's confronting Lothos in the school's boiler room, when he electrocutes a vampire in the ballroom, thus causing the school's sound system to short out and put an end to a heavy metal song that Lothos is apparently using to mesmerize Buffy; and Pike again during the final fight on the ballroom floor, when he leaps onto Lothos's back to distract him so that Buffy can strike a killing blow.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Donald Sutherland plays Merrick, a man who lives to kill vampires. His son was previously in a similar movie... as a vampire.
  • Ho Yay: The scene where Amilyn watches over Lothos as he sleeps and kisses his hand makes you wonder....
  • Iron Woobie: Buffy, due to the Bittersweet Ending.
  • Large Ham: All the vampires. All of them. (Though Amilyn takes the cake with his prolonged death scene.)
  • Memetic Mutation: Amilyn's death scene is basically what most people remember from the film: "Ooooh, aaaaah, ooooh, aaaaah!"
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: The planned Whedon-less reboot film is getting this reaction from a lot of people.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Hilary Swank as Kimberley, one of Buffy's Girl Posse. Ben Affleck and Ricki Lake in bit parts, as a baseball player and a waitress respectively. Though his scene got left on the cutting room floor, Seth Green (Oz from the series) does appear on the tape, and DVD covers.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: This movie bombed in its theatrical release but proved to be a cult favorite on videotape. It was this cult status that ultimately inspired the TV series, which ironically now tends to make the movie look bad by comparison.
  • Tear Jerker: Merrick dying in Buffy's arms.
  • Vindicated by Cable: Where it continues to air practically every week.

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series:

  • Adaptation Displacement
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Ampata from "Inca Mummy Girl", in-universe and out of it.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Or rather, Alternate Episode Interpretation. The much maligned "Beer Bad" is actually a really funny and enjoyable episode if you approach it as just an amusing story than an Anvilicious lecture.
  • Anvilicious: Willow's storyline in Season 6 (drug addiction) "Beer Bad" (alcoholism), "Pangs" (atrocities to Native Americans), "Halloween" (female empowerment).
    • While pants-soilingly disturbing, the most heavy-handed part of "Gingerbread" ( about prejudice) was when Cordelia fire hosed down the brainwashed parents.
  • Angst Dissonance: Buffy in season 6. Yes, it must have been absolutely terrible to be ripped out of heaven into earth, which can really suck, but after hearing Buffy complain about it for the entire season gets really grating. She still has a good life, despite having the burden of being a slayer. Of course, in real life it would take a long time to be able to get over such an ordeal, but fiction, especially television, is allowed to speed up grieving as so not make the viewer want to smack Buffy in the face to get her to shut up.
  • Badass Decay: Formerly known as Spikeification, as Spike went from an intimdating presence who was cool in his evil-doing and clever enough to fool Angelus, to a sort of Butt Monkey who lost most of his cool, and nearly all of his evil and cleverness. He got over it by Season 7, and completely inverted it when he moved to LA afterwards.
    • It's the price that had to be paid for keeping Spike around. S2 & S3 Spike was established as such a badass, that Buffy could never have a conceiveable excuse for not dusting him if she got the opportunity to, and badass Spike, would of course kill Buffy if he could. The two could only co-exist if Spike was rendered to be a non-threat, such as the chip he gets in S4. Of course a harmless Spike is anything but a Badass -- and the Scooby gang never tire of reminding Spike of this in S4.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: After the opening theme rolls in the episode "The Body" we see a five minute random flashback to Christmas dinner at Buffy's house that has nothing to do with the rest of the episode. Word of God has said the scene is there because they didn't want to have the opening credits playing over Buffy trying to revive Joyce.
    • The Men in Black subplot of "Out of Mind, Out of Sight" which was never brought up or mentioned again, not even when the Initiative showed up or when the army went against the Slayers in Season 8.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Most of the season finales.
  • Brain Bleach And all the pesky moral questions about who gets to prescribe it.
  • Broken Base: The comics: good or bad? Canon or not?
  • Complete Monster:
    • Angelus, very thoroughly.
    • Adam, depending on whether having been built to be a killer excuses him. Also - The First Evil's servant, Caleb, definitely.
    • Zachary Kralik, insane vampire with Mommy Issues who kidnaps and torments Joyce to lure Buffy in. At a point in the series when vampires were more or less Mooks he manages to be genuinely threatening on the basis of nothing but his own utter hideousness.
    • Der Kinderstod, a Freddy Kruger-esque demon who's murdered children in the sleep For the Evulz, including Buffy's own cousin.
  • Continuity Lock Out
  • Crazy Awesome: Drusilla
  • Creator's Pet: Riley for some.
    • Dawn, for some, as well.
    • Kennedy, for.....nearly all, actually.
  • Crossover Ship: Connor/Dawn has a surprisingly large army of supporters.
  • Designated Protagonist Syndrome: It's arguable, but there are quite a lot of fans who don't especially care for Buffy herself. Especially in the last season, when she starts giving those "I'm-better-than-all-of-you-and-you're-all-gonna-die" inspirational speeches.
  • Deconstruction Fic: Compelled.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Spike is a standout example.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Spike. It's clear that he was a major character from the get go (but originally just for Season 2), and the writers always liked the character, but it seems like nobody quite expected just how much everyone was going to love him. Many, many Buffy fans consider him the best character in the show, to the point where despite the weirdness of his relationship with Buffy in Season 6 there are still a vast number of Spike/Buffy shippers about.
  • Fan Dumb / Hate Dumb: It's not as obvious nowadays, but when it was airing, complaining about Buffy was one of the two things the internet did. The other was gushing over it.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Willow/Oz. Or Tara.
    • Buffy/Angel and Buffy/Spike battle for prominence among the fandom, generally depending on which season(s) the particular fan prefers.
  • Fetish Retardant: Vamp!Willow, who not only looks like an old hag is utterly psycho. Faith, when she goes bad it overshadows anything that was appealing to her, though in this case it's deliberate.
  • Fight Scene Failure: Happened a few times in the first season.
  • Foe Yay: Buffy and Spike (which later becomes Dating Catwoman), Buffy and Faith, the torture scene with Drusilla and Angel in season 2, Drusilla and Kendra, Giles and Ethan, Glory and Dawn, and most famously Xander and Spike.
  • Foreshadowing: Word of God says they hadn't planned to make Willow gay as of The Wish let alone even earlier in Phases, but then there's this exchange:

 Buffy: What guy could resist your Willow charms?

Willow: At last count? All of them, maybe more.

  • Funny Aneurysm Moment: An exchange between Buffy and her mom is this trope's namer.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The show was successful in the US but enjoys massive popularity in Europe, where the stigma of science fiction/fantasy isn't as pronounced.
    • Of course, now Chiller, Oxygen, Logo, and Teen Nick are all showing it in the 'States.
  • Growing the Beard: Starting with the arrival of Spike and Drusilla. Full growth was achieved when Angel lost his soul.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In Season 4 Buffy and Faith switch bodies, with the former appearing a complete and total Jerkass and the latter desperately trying to gain acceptance. Compare and contrast season 7.
    • Also, in Season 2's "Halloween", Spike is about to kill Buffy, who is weak due to taking on the personality of a colonial-era proper lady. The comment Spike makes about her and her situation before he makes the attempt sounds alot like he's about to rape her. Way later, there's the infamous incident in Season 6.....
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: When Buffy first learns of vampires in Sunnydale? She confronts Giles and demands "What's the sitch?"
    • At one point, Willow questions if she's the only one who reads Doogie Howser, M.D. Fanfic. Guess who stars alongside Willow's actress in How I Met Your Mother, and played the lead in another Joss Whedon project?
    • Although no viewer could have known it at the time, the whole plot where if Angel experienced one moment of true happiness, he would lose his soul turns out to be a pretty good metaphor for any fan of anything Joss Whedon has written since ever. (Although most of us tend to be more "constantly depressed" than "irredeemably evil.")
    • Season 8's Big Bad was named "Twilight" before Joss learned about a popular new vampire series by the same name which is considered by some to be BtVS's polar opposite. This gives a double meaning to some of the comics' dialogue.

   Spike: You wanna put these demons down and end this Twilight crap once and for all?

    • Another Twilight example comes from the first season when Angel is in Buffy's room (It Makes Sense in Context) he mentions how great she would look when she sleeps. It gets even better when all he does is sleep on her floor.
    • Twilight is so RICH for this. The first episode of Season 2 has Buffy telling Angel that girls don't think stalking is sexy. Apparently, Buffy is very atypical.
    • And one of the final issues of season 8 aped Twilight: New Moon.
    • Season 4 had a scene where Xander said this to a freeloading Spike:

 "You're a waste of space! My Space!

    • The episode Nightmares, when Willow says they're facing their dreams. Giles corrects her that it's nightmares. "Dreams would be a musical comedy version of this." This of course gets a Shout-Out in Once More With Feeling, when Willow sings "I've got a theory, some kid is dreaming, and we're all trapped inside his whacky broadway nightmare."
    • In "Teacher's Pet", Xander's attempt to talk to Miss French degenerates into him rambling about Greek food, and how he's excepting shawarma ('it's a big meat hive'). Fifteen years later...
  • Ho Yay: Buffy and Faith, Drusilla and Kendra, Vamp Xander and Angel, Glory and Dawn, Xander and Spike so so much.
  • Iron Woobie: Buffy.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Faith and Spike.
  • Large Ham: Olaf the troll, so very much.

 Olaf: YOU DO WELL TO FLEE, TOWNSPEOPLE! I WILL PILLAGE YOUR LANDS AND DWELLINGS! I WILL BURN YOUR CROPS AND MAKE MERRY WITH YOUR MORE ATTRACTIVE DAUGHTERS! HA HA HA! MARK MY WORDS! (Pauses and sniffs the air) OOH! ALE! I SMELL DELICIOUS ALE!.

    • There was also Balthazar the fat demon, and the original Big Bad, the Master.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Faith. And Wishverse Willow.
  • Les Yay: Willow and Tara, before their relationship became explicitly romantic. According to Alyson, Joss worked very carefully to create the right subtext in their scenes together. Creators have also acknowledged lesbian subtext between Buffy and Faith and say in the commentary that it was fun to play with.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Spike, though Ethan Rayne had a moment or two, as do the Master, Faith, and even Angelus.
    • Sweet from Once More With Feeling. He came to town, killed a bunch of people, made the Scoobies reveal a bunch of embarrassing secrets about themselves, nearly killed Buffy and left town without getting a scratch on him. Enough said.
  • Memetic Badass: Buffy's plan in season 7 involves Spike becoming this. Results vary.

 Buffy: They're trapped in here. Terrified. Meat for the beast, and there's nothing they can do but wait. That's all they've been doing for days. Waiting to be picked off. Having nightmares about monsters that can't be killed. But I don't believe in that. I always find a way. I'm the thing that monsters have nightmares about. And right now, you and me are gonna show 'em why. It's time. Welcome to Thunderdome.

    • Also, in a more unusual example, Xander. By any Real Life standards, Xander is Badass simply by merit of the fact that he's still alive after seven years of fighting the Good Fight (or more, depending on whether you count the Season 8 comics as canon). In many a Fanfic, this is taken Up to Eleven, and Xander effectively becomes the merciless god of his universe.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Angelus' murder of Jenny Calender.
    • D'Hoffryn in "Selfless" after he kills Anya's best friend when she was expecting to be able to sacrifice herself to bring the people she killed back to life. He was more of an Affably Evil guy before.
      • This moment is made especially disturbing by his casual comment that "he has plenty of girls", making him sound less like an amusing albeit demonic office boss and more like a pimp.
    • The Trio were just considered a nuisance until Warren accidentally killed his ex Katrina and made Buffy think she did it. Then, there was "Normal Again"...
    • "Family": "Tara, if you don't get in that car I swear by God I'm gonna beat you down."
  • Nightmare Fuel: While most of the things that take place in the universe are pretty creepy and disturbing with a hint of dark humor, Skinless Warren in the comics will haunt you, even if he does still have the same dorky ass persona from before.
  • One True Pairing: Angel and Buffy. While both date other people and fall in love with other people, in the end it always comes back to their tragic and doomed relationship, to the point of them eventually planning to be together when Buffy is ready/when Angel becomes human. Also to the point that it can become extremely annoying.
    • Joss' policy was always "bring your own subtext," and he never really had any pairings set in stone. Sarah Michelle Gellar still thinks that Buffy and Xander were supposed to end up together.
  • One True Threesome: Buffy\Angel\Spike; between her fantasies of the two vampires oil wrestling and another fantasy of her in a nurse outfit chained to them naked, is officially canon. Even today no matter how much of a sweetheart Spike is Buffy gets all squiggly at the merest mention of Angel.
  • Rescued From the Scrappy Heap: When Tara was first picked as Willow's Suddenly Sexuality love interest, fans wrote such viciously nasty things about her all over the net that Amber Benson nearly left the show. Fast forward to her death two seasons later, and Joss Whedon actually received death threats for letting her go.
  • Retroactive Recognition: The first Red Shirt to bite the dust (in the show's first scene, no less) is played by Danny Messer.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Marti Noxon.
  • The Scrappy: Kennedy, Riley and Dawn (see Creator's Pet).
    • Willow was a Scrappy Generator. Oz started out as a scrappy because he wasn't Xander. Tara started out as a scrappy because she wasn't Oz. Kennedy was a scrappy because she wasn't Tara.
    • Basically everyone is The Scrappy to someone. Especially Buffy herself, mainly in the show's later seasons.
    • Take That Scrappy: Willow reams out Dawn for being a whiny crybaby in "Two To Go". And in the comics, she breaks up with Kennedy.
      • There was also when Buffy snarked about Dawn's position as a Damsel Scrappy.
  • Seasonal Rot: Seasons 4, 6, and 7 are the least-regarded seasons of the series.
  • Sequel Displacement: Not many people know of the film.
  • Take That: Something bad always happen when the characters drink ("Beer Bad" and "A New Man").
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Many candidates. Spike's chip is possibly the worst of them.
  • Values Dissonance: Villains is full of it. After the things Warren does, including nearly killing Buffy, he comes back, shoots Buffy and kills Tara. Apparently Willow wanting to kill him for these things is wrong, with Buffy about the only one not going for it.
    • Because Willow was trying to murder for revenge - justice had nothing to do with it. While Warren is an asshole (at least after his actions to this point), the episode posits that killing for revenge, while not without reason, is objectively wrong. More to the point, killing him didn't make her feel any better in the long run and only drove her further down the path of evil - whether or not Warren deserved it, Andrew and Jonathan didn't.
  • Villain Decay: The Turok-han suffer this hard once there's more than one of them.
  • Wangst
  • The Woobie: Lots of candidates.
  • X Meets Y: Whedon described the show as My So-Called Life meets The X-Files.

The tie-in games:

  • Demonic Spiders: Actual demonic spiders at that. They're quick, knock Buffy down in one hit (intsakill on low health) and can not be punched.
  • Genius Bonus. In a bid to be resurrected, The Master possesses Angel. In the first episode of season two The Master was not played by Mark Medcraft, but David Boreanaz.
  • Good Bad Bugs: When certain enemies are killing Buffy it's easy to go to the inventory and heal.
  • Les Yay: Willow keeps referring to Tara as sweetie, and makes comment on playing doctors and nurses with her. As an alternate world vampire, Tara says Willow is a domme.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Fill up the combo bar and the main theme will sound signalling your accomplishment.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Strongly averted in the first game, which nails the right tone of when the story's set and hits all the right notes. The second game is roughly on par with season six. The Game Boy versions on the other hand follow the trope to the letter.
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