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Buffy: Tropes O-Z
  • Obvious Stunt Double: Buffy's stunt double was quite a bit larger than she. During one commentary, Joss Whedon says of the switch that Buffy "straps on her fightin' boobs". The stunt double for Spike was more heavyset than James Marsters, and wore a wig that did not quite mimic the slicked-back hair. Perhaps the most egregious, however, was when a heavyset cafeteria lady was replaced by a stunt double half her size.
  • Off to See the Wizard: Buffy refers to the hyena-possessed bullies in "The Pack" as the "winged monkeys".
    • In "Flooded", Andrew boasts that he trained flying demon monkeys to disrupt a school play.
    • In "Nightmares", Billy Palmer awakens from his coma and, seeing the Scoobies around his bed, says, "I had the strangest dream. And you were in it, and you..."
    • In "The Yoko Factor", Willow says, "If ever a whiz there was."
    • In "Empty Places", Rona says, "Ding, dong, the witch is dead" when Buffy is ousted from the house.
    • In "Grave", Willow gleefully says, "Fly my pretty, fly!" when she sends her ball of fire to seek Andrew and Jonathan.
    • The episode "No Place Like Home" takes its name from the movie, obviously. A similar reference is made in the Angel episodes "Over the Rainbow" and "There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb." In that former, Cordelia clicks her heels three times (as Dorothy does in the film) and grumbles, "Worth a shot."
  • Offscreen Afterlife: Twice — Buffy in Heaven and Angel in Hell.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Most of the spoken magic in the series. Gaelic is a rare variation
  • Only I Can Kill Him: Followed in the first few seasons, averted in Seasons 5, 6 and 7.
  • The Only One: The Slayer is supposed to be this. Due to some supernatural Loophole Abuse, it's only technically true until the end of the first season.
  • On The Rebound: After Angel leaves the show for LA Buffy falls for Parker, a TA in her class who promptly dumps her after a one night stand.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The characters whose accents were different from their actors tended to maintain them quite well. There are a few exceptions.
    • David Boreanaz had a great deal of difficulty with Liam's Irish accent in flashbacks and in an episode of Angel asked that he not have to use it during an episode where he otherwise should have. It was lampshaded as part of the weirdness of the episode.
    • James Marsters was very good with his accent (as far as most Americans could tell), with only slight wobbles. Later in the series, according to some, he's finally mastered a lower-class overlay on top of an upper-class accent, allowing Marsters to play with his presentation of Spike, using his history to drive his voice to motivate certain scenes.
    • In-universe: Once Spike had to try and fake an American accent and it was hilariously awful.
      • This gets brain bending when you realize that this is an American man (James Marsters) pretending to be an upper-class Englishman (Spike's actual origin) pretending to be a lower-class Englishman (Spike trying to sound tougher) pretending to be an American (to fool Riley).
    • Alexis Denisof's accent for Wesley was normally impeccable, to such a degree that his natural accent sounds disturbingly false on other shows, but even he slipped once or twice.
    • The she-mantis in season one. The actress is from South Africa and her American accent is far from perfect. However, since she's a giant, man-eating bug, this could be acceptable or justified.
  • Opening Narration: Only there for the first season and occasionally the second, thankfully. First spoken by a generic narrator then by Giles.
  • Open Secret: Some people believe that The Masquerade in Buffy the Vampire Slayer was broken early on, if not before the show started. This is made much more clear in the Third Season episode "The Prom", during which Buffy is given the "Class Protector" award. Johnathon mentions while he's presenting that everyone present knows that Sunnydale isn't like other schools, but it's an unwriten rule that no one ever talks about it.
    • In the very first episode:
    Buffy: Was there a school bulletin? Was it in the newspaper? Is there anyone in this town who doesn't know I'm the Slayer?
    • And when Wesley first came to Sunnydale and finds out even Cordelia knows:
    Wesley: Does everyone know you're the Slayer?
    • The school newspaper has a regular obituaries section. We know it's a regular item because Oz mentioned always reading it first.
  • The Ophelia: Drusilla and, to some extent, Tara after Glory wrecks her mind.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Glory and the First Evil, both of whom spend long stretches of time not doing very much of anything.
  • Our Gods Are Very Various and Very Numerous
  • Our Monsters Are Weird
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The vampires in the series are stated to be demons taking over a human body after they've been sired. Since the souls of the victims are gone, the demon takes over the victim's memory and builds on their personality, with a sense of unlocking new potential or getting rid of the humanity that was in their way.
    • A partial aversion, though, as the vampires here have pretty much the classic vampire traits: blood sucking, sunlight bad, crosses and holy water are harmful, stake to the heart is lethal, etc.
    • One point that causes a small degree of confusion in-series is the rule about vampires needing an invitation to enter a home: once they're invited the first time, they're always "welcome". And welcome signs count.
    • It plays with this trope in the Dracula episode. Dracula fits all the tropes you would expect him to in contrast to the usual vampires on the show. He can shape-shift, turn people into obedient minions, and he's more focused on romance than just finding food.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: They can "infect" you even in human form. They don't just change under the full moon, they change the night of the full moon, the night before, and the night after. They can learn to suppress the change though this comes at the cost of transforming in broad daylight given enough emotional turmoil.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Season 3 gives us Type V zombies, Season 8 gives us Type O, popped into existence by an angry witch.
  • Outlaw Couple: Most notably Spike and Drusilla, but also Angel & Darla, Evil Willow & Xander and Spike & Harmony
  • Papa Wolf: It would be wise not to harm or threaten Buffy (to a lesser extent the entire Scooby Gang) and let Giles find out. He may not look like much, but the guy isn't her Watcher for nothing.
    • The Mayor, as well. Don't. Touch. Faith.
  • Parrot Expo-what?: Both Buffy and Willow do this a fair amount.
    Anya: Buffy's got some kind of job there helping junior deviants, Spike's insane in the basement, Xander's there doing construction on the new gym ó
    Willow: Wait, Spike's what in the what-ment?
    Anya: Insane, base.
  • Place Worse Than Death: The high school paper has an obituary section. 'Nuff said.
    • It's still better than Cleveland.
    • Sunnydale is home to twelve cemeteries and and forty-three churches. And only one nightclub and Starbucks.
  • Planet of Steves: The writers of Buffy seem to love the name William and all its derivatives. Hereís a list of all the William variants used on the show: William the Bloody (Spikeís human name and original title), Liam (Angelís human name), Billy Fordham ("Lie to Me"), Billy Palmer ("Nightmares"), Billy Crandal ("I Only Have Eyes For You"), Billy Blim (the eponymous Angel episode), Willy the Snitch, and Willow's name being shortened to Wil (yeah, this one is a bit of a stretch).
  • Plot Armor
    • At one point during Season Three, Faith strikes Willow across the mouth in genuine anger. Since Faith is a Slayer (and not inclined to pull punches even when she's in a good mood), only a solid layer of Plot Armor prevents Willow's jaw from shattering, and broken teeth flying about like so much popcorn.
  • Polyglot: As part of her Character Development to The Smart Guy, Dawn has learned at least Turkish and Sumerian between Seasons 6 and 7. Giles can read five languages, including German and Sumerian.
  • Previously On: Season 6
    • The season 5 finale had one that included clips from nearly all of the previous 99 episodes.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: David Boreanaz (as Angel), Seth Green (as Oz), Mark Blucas (as Riley), James Marsters (as Spike), Emma Caulfield (as Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (as Dawn)
    • Played with for Amber Benson as Tara. After she and Willow get back together, she's finally in the opening credits for the first time in the next episode...the episode where she dies. Joss Whedon said that he had intended to do this with Jesse in the Pilot, but didn't have the budget to make two sets of opening credits.
    • Blucas and Trachtenberg are really only partial examples. Blucas was marked for promotion from the minute he first appeared, and Trachtenberg was only a guest star for one episode, because her first appearance was supposed to be a surprise (and because Emma Caulfield had just been promoted in that episode).
  • Post Script Season: Season 6 after the show was Un-Cancelled and moved to UPN. After the series was cancelled for good, it received a comic book continuiation starting with Buffy: Season 8.
  • Private Tutor: One episode has Principal Snyder forcing Willow to tutor a Jerk Jock so he doesn't fail all his classes. And by "tutor him", Snyder of course means "do all his schoolwork for him so he can focus on sports".
  • Product Placement: Buffy's iBook almost becomes a tertiary character in later years.
  • The Public Domain Channel: Faith watches it a lot in her hotel room.
  • Public Domain Character: Dracula. Apparently, he's one vampire immune to Permadeath. Even Whedon couldn't off the classic vampire. Spike, however, is pissed in that apparently thanks to Drac, everyone knows about vampire Weaksauce Weakness.
  • Punctuated Pounding
  • Put on a Bus: Oz, Faith, Angel, Amy and Cordy. We know where all of them went, and all of them eventually return, even if for only a single episode. Everyone who survived in the final episode actually escaped town in a school bus.
    • The Bus Came Back: Oz and Riley both get episodes like this.
    • Cordy never returns after getting Put on a Bus. At least, not on Buffy anyway. Even in Season 8, she's dead before the comic even begins and only shows up in dream sequences and flashbacks.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: Oz and Riley.
  • Rebuilt Set: Sunnydale High 2.0.
    • The Bronze underwent a major renovation following the rampage of Olaf the Troll, including a new sign.
    • Giles renovates The Magic Box to accommodate the gang's exploits, including a gym in the back room.
  • Reality Ensues: Season 5 final — Buffy approaches The Dragon atop a tower. He gears up for a fight, and she just knocks him off the tower.
    • In the season 3 premiere, the Monster of the Week knocks The Chick down and does a speech about how his realm is inescapable. Then the girl gets up and pushes him off the edge.
  • Recycled: The Series: Although not so much recycled as "remade properly" according to Joss Whedon's vision.
  • Reminiscing About Your Victims: Spike is quite fond of recalling the Slayers that he killed.
  • The Renfield: Xander in "Buffy Vs. Dracula", Glory's minions.
  • Retcon: Throughout the series it is firmly established that Sunnydale is the center of all evil activity (thanks to the Hellmouth) and has been for a long time. However, in the first season, no one in town (including Willow, Xander and Cordelia) seem to be aware of the existence of vampires and demons until Buffy shows up. Whedon tries to cover this up by claiming that everyone in town was just ignorant and/or in denial.
  • Retired Badass: Giles in his youth was a rebellious demon-summoning warlock known as "Ripper".
  • Retired Monster: Spike, after he got the Chip in Series 4.
    • And then when he got his Soul back in Series 7.
  • Ritual Magic: Very popular in the Buffyverse, whether it be the gypsies who cursed Angel, or Willow doing incantations.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: In "The Harvest", Angel tries to talk Buffy out of going into the sewers.
    Buffy: I've got a friend down there. Or at least a potential friend. You do you know what it's like to have a friend? (Angel bows his head) ...That wasn't supposed to be a stumper.
    • Mr Whitmore lecturing his Teen Health class. ("Bad Eggs")
    "The sex drive in the human animal is intense. How many of us have lost countless productive hours plagued by unwanted sexual thoughts and feelings? (Xander puts his hand up) That was a rhetorical question, Mr. Harris. Not a poll."
    • Cordy bitching at Xander for dragging her out of bed for a ride. "What am I, mass transportation?" ("What's My Line, Pt.1")
    Xander: "That's what a lot of the guys say, but it's just locker-room talk."
    • After Wesley is fired, Cordelia barges into the library and demands to know what happened to him. Xander responds, "Inbreeding?"
  • Rubber Forehead Demons: A lot of demons are pretty much indistinguishable from humans apart from skin tone and horns or some other head feature. There are also a fair number of non-humanoid ones.
  • Safety In Muggles: Someteimes people break off a fight by hiding in a crowd. The Scoobies don't want to break the masquerade.
  • Scenery Censor: The Monster of the Week in The Dark Age is naked when he comes out of his body bag in the morgue, with a conveniently placed autopsy table to cover his lower half.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Master, Acathla, the Seal of Danzalthar, among others..
    • Sealed Evil In A Six Pack: The Judge could not be killed in ancient times, so instead he was cut into pieces and scattered in a number of boxes around the world. Cue modern times and Spike and Drusilla reassembling them.
  • Secret Circle of Secrets: Several.
  • Secret Relationship: Xander and Cordelia in the second season, Willow and Tara in the fourth, and Buffy and Spike in the sixth.
  • Series Fauxnale: "Prophecy Girl", "Graduation Day" and "The Gift". Also "Chosen", if you want to count the season 8 comics. This happened a lot.
  • Sex Is Violence
  • Shadow Archetype: Faith, Ethan, Adam, etc.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Buffy writers love this trope.
    • In the pilot, Buffy tells Giles that she's taken an early retirement, and suggests that if he's so keen on slaying, why doesn't he go slay vampires instead? Giles protests that he's a Watcher and his duty is to... "Watch?" Buffy pipes up.
    • After being inducted into the Scooby Gang ("The Harvest"), Xander and Willow are left discussing their new knowledge while the rest of the school parades around innocently. "It's like we got this big secret!"
      Willow: [beat] We do. That's what a secret is, when you know something other guys don't.
    • Jenny Calender had a similar reaction to Giles demanding to know details of their "secret" date. ("Lie to Me") Unluckily for him, it was a monster truck rally.
    • Buffy makes a mess of advising Giles how to talk to Jenny in "Some Assembly Required":
      Buffy: Speak English, not whatever they speak in...
      Giles: England?
    • To Willow's question about when the Reconstruction began, Buffy tries to focus and replies, " Um, Reconstruction...uh, Reconstruction began after the...construction, which was shoddy so they had to reconstruct." ("Angel")
    • In the same episode, Giles sits at Joyce's sickbed and chats about Buffy. Giles confesses that Buffy is having trouble in history class because she "lives very much in the now. And, um... history, of course, is very much about the, uh... the then."
    • In "School Hard", Buffy and Willow scurry around trying to keep Joyce and Snyder from exchanging words. Buffy, seeing Snyder coming, babbles that Joyce hasn't seen the boiler room yet.
      "The boiler room is really interesting! What with the boiler being in the room and all."
    • Oz complimenting Cordy's Halloween costume, which consists of a black unitard with cat ears and drawn-on whiskers. "You're like a big cat."
    • Ms. Calender apologizing to Giles for spying on him for over a year. ("Passion")
      Jenny: I know you feel betrayed.
      Giles: Yes, well, that's one of the unpleasant side effects of betrayal.
    • In "Anne", Cordelia seems to have a feeble grasp on what being "The Bait" entails.
      Cordelia: What's the plan?
      Xander: The vampire attacks you.
      Cordelia: And then what?
      Xander: The vampire kills you. We watch. We rejoice.
    • In "Earshot", One of the headlines in Freddy's school newspaper reads, "APATHY ON THE RISE — NO-ONE CARES."
  • Shipper on Deck: A bunch of them. Dawn is a Willow/Tara shipper, as is most of the cast, Buffy is an Anya/Xander shipper, Xander's a Riley/Buffy shipper, Willow is a Buffy/Angel shipper, Buffy was an Oz/Willow shipper and more. And the First, who is, on some level, the people he turns into (he has their memories and stuff), was a Buffy/Faith shipper which means the Mayor likely was as well and the Mayor knew Faith better than anyone...
  • Shirtless Scene
  • Shoot the Dog
  • Shout-Out: The Masterís sunken lair is reminiscent of the 1987 vampire classic The Lost Boys, one of Whedonís inspirations for Buffy.
    • Buffy gives a shout out to Charmed: in the series finale, Willow, after performing the spell that awakens all the Slayers on earth, exclaims, "Oh my goddess!" This is the title of the fifth season finale of Charmed. Apparently Joss Whedon saw the title of the episode, thought it was awesome, and threw it into the finale.
    • Joss has stated that Buffy's last name is a Shout-Out to Cyclops (IE Scott Summers).
    • Dawn wolfing down two bowls of "Sugar Bombs."
    • On the eve of the final battle, when Xander, Giles, Amanda, and Andrew are playing Dungeons & Dragons, they encounter Trogdor the Burninator.
    • During "No Future For You", Giles mentions the great bearded wizard of Northampton.
    • The one time Giles is skeptical of the supernatural effect of the week, Buffy tells him not to "Scully me."
  • Shrinking Violet: Willow and Tara. Also, Marcie Ross from the first season is this trope taken Up to Eleven: She was so shy that she eventually began to feel invisible, a feeling that was made worse by the fact that no one in school really noticed her. The power of the Hellmouth made that feeling into reality and Marcie could no longer be seen by anyone.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Some demons, and to some vamps, Buffy or Slayers in general.
  • Simple Score of Sadness: Buffy and Angel's love theme.
  • Sinister Minister: Caleb: Taking mass and kicking ass.
    • The Anointed One's guardian, Abasalom. ("When She Was Bad")
    • A Catholic Priest, Josephus du Lac, wrote a number of books containing dark rituals, resulting in du Lac being excommunicated. ("What's My Line?")
  • Six Student Clique - The high school years: Buffy = The Head and The Wild One, Willow = The Smart one, Xander = The Quirk, Cordelia = The Pretty one, Oz = The Muscle. During college, Riley became the muscle and Tara became the pretty one.
  • Slashers Prefer Blondes: The whole show could be considered a subversion of this trope.
    • Darla is a villainous subversion. First introduced to us as a simpering 'victim,' she ends up luring two hapless males into her web.
  • Slave Mooks: Strangely common. The mooks of the various Big Bads are this, some only because of the Big Bad being a very Bad Boss and some due to brainwashing. Also shows up with some weekly villains like the giant worm demon thing in Bad Eggs' baby-controlled people and Spike becomes one for a bit in Season 7.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Spike, Faith. Parodied with Harmony, who tries to smoke and well, looks like an idiot.
    • But not as much of an idiot as Andrew does, in his opening "Storyteller" fantasy, when he has his big Meerschaum pipe. (Which he still hasn't got the hang of, when he pops up in Angel...No, not like that!)
    • Subverted in "Nightmares". Smoking gets you beat up by a boogeyman
  • Soft Glass
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Many demons are surprisingly this like D'Hoffryn and the Beljoxa's Eye.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Subverted sometimes, but when in use it's exponential. Big Bads in order:
    • Season 1: Vampire (The Master)
    • Season 2: Vampire(s) (they also used demons to try and end the world)
    • Season 3: The Mayor and his desire to become a "True Demon"
    • Season 4: Cyber-Demonoid and a Government agency.
    • Season 5: A dethroned God.
    • Season 6: Dark Willow, with the power to destroy the world. Also The Trio (a bunch of nerds who spend most of the season as Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains).
    • Season 7: The First Evil, the embodiment of that concept in that universe.
    • Season 8: The Universe itself!
  • Spell My Name with a "The": The Three ("Angel")
    • The Judge.
    • The First Evil.
    • Not to mention The Slayer. Though starting with the second season, there were actually two or more Slayers due to supernatural Loophole Abuse). With the exception of the third season, the latter part of the seventh season, and the eighth season, any Slayers other than Buffy were usually Put on a Bus somewhere.
  • Spider-Sense: Slayers are said to be very attuned to vampires in the area; trying to sneak up on one is a bad idea. However, we've seen normals like Giles use this ability, too, so it could just be a matter of training.
    • Similarly, Angel is able to detect Darla lurking in his apartment ("Angel"). The spin-off series established (late in its run, waaaaay at the end of Season Five) that vamps can sense each others' presence.
  • Stock Phrases
    • From "The Harvest"
    Luke: Ladies and gentlemen, there is no cause for alarm. Actually, there is cause for alarm...it just won't do any good.
    • From "Real Me"
    Harmony: So, Slayer. At last we meet.
    Buffy: We're met, Harmony — you half-wit!
    • From "Once More With Feeling"
    Giles: Spike, if I want your opinion... (looks at him in contempt) I'll never want your opinion.
    • In "As You Were" Riley insists on searching a shirtless Spike's crypt.
    Spike: Over my dead body.
    Riley: I've seen enough of your dead body for one night, thanks.
  • Stock Sound Effects: The occasional scream and a few others.
    • Does Joss Whedon have only one chanting sound effect that shows up roughly every other episode?
  • Stronger with Age: Vampires.
  • Suddenly Sexuality: Willow's lesbianism came straight out of nowhere, and somehow superseded her existing attraction to boys.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Buffy would be a big help in Los Angeles since, as Angel admits, she's stronger then even he. After appearing twice on Angel to read him the riot act (and wring Faith's neck), Angel tells her to take her cowboy antics someplace else.
    • Fortunately for Angel, he has a spare Slayer stewing in jail.
    • The opposite is in effect, too. Angel turns up again in the Series Finale, ready to help fight the Big Bad, but Buffy immediately sends him away so he can prepare "a second front" in Los Angeles in case she dies.
  • Supernatural Angst
  • Supernaturally Delicious and Nutritious: Slayer blood is tastier than that of normal humans, to the point of possessing healing properties.
  • Supervillain Lair:
    • Season One: The collapsed church beneath the Hellmouth. Doubles as a Tailor-Made Prison, since the Master's really anxious to get out of there.
    • Season Two: The factory for The Anointed One/Spike, and Crawford Street mansion for Angelus.
    • Season Three: City Hall.
    • Season Four: The Initiative.
    • Season Five: Glory's apartment. Tough act to follow, those clandestine underground government labs.
    • Season Six: Warren's basement. Erm...
    • Season Seven: The vineyard. And eventually the Hellmouth itself.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial
  • Swiss Cheese Security: Nobody in Sunnydale ever locks any doors.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: Angelus, which he gets out of via perfect happiness brought on by screwing Buffy (she must be VERY good in the sack). The Ubervamps are in one (the Hellmouth) as well.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: Buffy and Angel in "Amends", though there's no actual talking involved. The First Slayer also communicates with Buffy and the gang this way in "Restless".
  • Tangled Family Tree: Angel has one, which gets even worse on his own show and in Buffy Season 7. The Master sired Darla, who sired Angel, who sired Drusilla who sired Spike. Angel killed Darla, who was later brought back from the dead on Angel, as a human. Dru then sired Darla, making her Darla's mother grandchild and Darla her own Great Grandchild. This makes Spike her brother and Great Grandchild and Angel her son and Grandfather. Angel and Darla then break the laws of reality, having a child. This child is Angel's brother, child and Great Grandchild. His Grandchild/Brother/Child then has Jasmine with Cordelia, making Jasmine his Grandchild, Great Great Grandchild and Niece. Meanwhile, Spike went on a siring rampage against his will. Some of those vamps can be assumed to have sired others, making them all clean, if numerous, branches on a very fucked up tree. I would imagine Spike and The Master would be looking on with horror as to what's going on behind/in front of them on the family tree.
  • Tap on the Head: Dear god, this happens a lot. Giles should be brain damaged by now.
    • Lampshaded numerous times, by Giles himself and other characters.
  • Tattooed Crook: Faith and Angelus both have tattoos (Faith has one on her arm, Angelus on his back (It's also there when he's Angel)).
    • Note: Faith's was caused by being possessed by a dead Greek Slayer. It's the Mark of Kakistos, the mutated vamp who killed her Watcher. This is explained in one of the Expanded Universe books.
    • Also Giles in his Ripper phase. Ethan counts until he removes his.
  • Temporarily A Villain: Buffy briefly toys with the dark side a few times. At the opening of season two (induced by trauma) and in a brief arc in season three (induced by Les Yay).
    • Willow at the end of season 6 when she becomes Dark Willow and eventually tries to destroy the world. She gets better.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Several instances.
  • There Can Only Be One: Mostly averted with the Slayers. In theory, there is only supposed to be one slayer in each generation. (At least, as indicated by the page quote.) However, due to Buffy's first death, a girl named Kendra became a Slayer. After Buffy was resurrected, they both acted as Slayers. Then, a year later, Kendra was killed by Drusilla and Faith became a Slayer, resulting in a similar situation.
    • Of course, it's averted at the end of Season 7, when Willow casts a spell to make all of the Potential Slayers into full fledged Slayers.
    • Oddly absent in Seasons 5 and 6, when Buffy dies a far more permanent (supposedly, anyway) death, but no new slayer appears, or is even mentioned.
      • Because as far as the rules were concerned, Buffy died already. Instead of calling a third Slayer, Buffy's death in season 5 caused a disruption in the Slayer line that led to the events of season 7. (To elaborate on that, the Slayer line runs through the most recently called Slayer. In other words, Faith was the rightful Slayer at the time. In order for a third Slayer to be called, she, not Buffy, would have to die. Buffy's continued existence after her second death represents a weak point in the line, because Buffy herself doesn't belong.)
  • Title Drop: "I'm Buffy. The vampire slayer. And you are?"
    • Many episodes have a title drop on the episode title as well.
  • To Create A Playground For Evil: Quite a few villains have this as their goal.
  • Too Happy to Live: This trope is Joss's best friend in life. Seriously, it happens to alot of people.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Xander, Willow, Giles, Dawn, Warren, Amy, Harmony, Oz, the entire 1999 Class of Sunnydale High, ALL of the Potentials and more. Giles' levels are more "Regained Levels In Badass" though.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: There's an entrance into Hell under the high school, the Mayor wants to be a demon, vampires rise from the cemetery every night and there are buried (sometimes magical) treasures hidden in the right mausoleum. The secret government lab under the college is the least exciting secret there was.
  • Tracking Device: Willow's oft-used "locator spells."
  • Trash the Set: Many times.
    • Spike's factory is set aflame thanks to Angelus' recklessness. However, Spike did revisit the charred ruins.
    • Giles lighting up Sunnydale High with a Plunger Detonator would be the Ur-example.
    • The Bronze seems to have an unlimited refurbishment and furniture-replacement budget and, throughout all seven seasons of Buffy, seems to have self-repairing capabilities (like the school) since major damage is completely fixed by the next episode. An exception is when Xander rebuilt the window jamb after a Sex Bot tossed Spike through the window.
    • The Magic Box is destroyed after Dark Willow, crazed by magic, sucks its contents dry. Her battle royale with Giles doesn't help.
    • There's also a dining-room chair in the battle-weary Summers household that's conspicuously duct-taped through most of the end of the series.
    • Lampshaded in Season 7:
      Buffy: Every piece of furniture has been destroyed and replaced since you left, so actually, new house.
    • Late in Season 7, Xander finally declares that he is tired of the picture window being smashed in over and over again, and refuses to repair it again. It remains boarded up for several episodes.
  • Trespassing To Talk: People often break in to have a chat with Buffy, or leave her a note. Happens once or twice with Angel, too.
  • Triple Shifter: Dealt with by a minor Slayer power being able to get by with very little sleep.
  • Truce Zone: Willy's Bar. Later subverted in "The Zeppo" when it gets trashed and Willy is beaten to a pulp by a bunch of demons.
  • Two Girls and a Guy (with Buffy, Willow, and Xander.)
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: It's amazing how they just walked around Sunnydale High throwing words around like "Vampire", "Slayer", "Witch", "Demon", "Disembowelment", "Innards" in full view of others with no one paying attention.
    • It was implied that most of the town either knew or was in such deep denial that you could dust a vamp in front of them and they wouldn't change their views. Hell, it happened a bunch of times.
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Vampire Hunter: No shit.
  • Vampire Invitation: You need one if you're a vampire. There exist loopholes though; a hotel is a public accommodation, for instance. For some reason, vampires are never savvy enough to just burn down the house from the outside.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Mocked. Inability for a vampire to feed is a metaphor for impotence. Poor Spike...
  • Variations On A Theme Song: The usual theme song by Nerf Herder is changed to an classical styled orchestral version.
  • Villain-Beating Artifact: The series had some of these-such as Thor's Hammer, used to whomp Glory down to size.
  • Villain Episode: "Fool For Love" (Spike) and "Who Are You" (Faith).
  • Villain World: The world we see in The Wish.
    • The Wicked Willow trilogy of books explored what would've happened if Willow had stayed power mad.
  • Villain Pedigree: Vampires, the Big Bads for the first two seasons, are little more than no-name Mooks by the end.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Buffy encounters what she thinks is her father in "Nightmares", but is actually a cruel manifestation of all of her own insecurities as a delinquent daughter. She spends the summer with her dad over the first season hiatus, but their relationship remains frosty.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Spike and Angel and Willow and Anya.
  • The Virus: Vampirism.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World
  • Walk and Talk: The hallways of SHS and UC Sunnydale.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Oh, Angel. Not that we mind...
  • Wardrobe Wound: Glory often seems more upset about her outfit being ruined than say, the fact that a teleporting spell was being put on her.
    Glory: Look what you did to my dress!
    • Also a variation where she was hit on the head by a crowbar.
    Glory: Hey! Beat Watch the hair!
  • Was Once a Man: Vampires obviously. Also, one episode had Giles turn into a demon.
  • Weapon Twirling: Buffy frequently twirls her stakes.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Sunnydale in general, but especially Xander.
    • Taken to its extreme in an episode where Willow lampshades this and accidentally turns Xander into a literal demon magnet.
    • Also one could take note of Ted a robot serial killer who dated Buffy's mom so he could murder her that what are the odds, out of all the single moms in the city, he chooses Buffy's (who just so happens to deal with these situations on a weekly basis).
  • We Used to Be Friends: Faith, Cordelia, Angelus, Giles, Willow - a lot of characters at some point in the story.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Kendra and Angel.
  • What Would Buffy Do?: Xander in The Freshman, and mantra fans adopted.
  • Where Do They Get All Those Wonderful Swords, Axes, Knives and Medieval Crossbows? Seriously, is there a mail-order catalog?
    • In real life, there are several.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Guns can hurt vampires and kill demons, so why doesn't Buffy load up? This is examined throughout the series, she Doesn't Like Guns for one thing, if vampires get the idea the job will be that much harder, vampires can be really good at dodging bullets and in any event it's a covert war, so even with something like a crossbow that's generally more effective and harder to come by such a weapon would be more conspicuous.
    • Even so, there were many instances throughout the show where a gun would have been the most practical way of dealing with the given situation. Guns Are Worthless, I suppose.
  • Working with the Ex: Buffy The Vampire Slayer is not shy about using this trope.
    • Angel and Buffy during season 3 of her show.
    • Buffy ended up working briefly with Riley and his wife in the sixth season in the episode As You Were.
  • World of Snark: Just about every character ever seen is snarky as hell.
  • Would Harm A Child: Many times, Der Kindestod stalks and preys on sick children within hospital, a monster in the sewers only eats babies, which in turn the vampires and mayor had no issues with attempting to give it baby sacrifices, Spike Killing the annoited one in his first appearance, though at this point he was less of a child and more full fledged demon a demon was stalking a kid in his nightmares which in turn the nightmare became one with reality, the demons in "Anne" had a few children as slaves, the list goes on.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: It's revealed that Buffy's one in "Chosen" when she says to Spike "You know one of these days, I'm just going to put the two of you on a room and let you wrestle it out" When Spike seems to like the idea, Buffy then excitedly adds, "There could be oil of some kind involved."
  • You Have Failed Me: The Master kills one of his minions in episode 2. "You have something in your eye."
    • The Anointed One and his lackeys try to pull this on Spike. Tried.
    • It looked like Spike was going to pull this on Billy Fordham in "Lie To Me" when Billy's plan to deliver several dozen people to Spike is foiled by Buffy. But not only does Spike not kill Billy, he keeps his end of the deal and sires Billy. After all, Billy kept up his part of the deal, and Spike probably knew that Buffy would be waiting at Billy's grave to stake him when he rose anyways.
    • Glory does this to 2 of her minions in "Intervention" (although they're in the next episode, so whatever she did can't be that bad).
  • You Look Familiar: * Spice Williams plays the police instructor who tries to murder Buffy, Patrice, in "What's My Line?" She also appeared in "The Zeppo" as a member of the Sisterhood of Jhe, and later turned up on Angel as a convict hired to kill Faith in prison.
    • Jeff Kober first appeared in season three episode "Helpless" as a vampire named Kralik. He appeared again during season six as warlock Rack.
  • Your Vampires Suck: Aimed at Anne Rice a few times, but Buffy's also been on the receiving end.
    • Dracula gets this a lot from Spike. To be fair, Drac still owes him money.
  • Youth Is Wasted on the Dumb
  • X Meets Y: Marti Noxon's vision for seasons 6-7 was "Party of Five with monsters." Well, that explains a lot.

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