Wiki Headlines
It's time for the Second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest! Details here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Fridge: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
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.
  • When Buffy has a nightmare about being trapped in a cemetery, we're thinking, "Well, she can throw vamps, cemeteries have lots of crosses to throw them onto, she should be safe right?" Nope: JEWISH CEMETERY!
  • Cordelia's surname cannot be a coincidence.
    • If you want to see it, there's a lot of Fridge Brilliance going on in the names:
      • Giles' name is derived from Aegidius, which often is took to mean "protector" or "mentor". Now what's his job as a watcher?
      • Buffy's second name is Anne, meaning "The favored" in Hebrew (Hannah). She is the Chosen One after all. It's also closely related to Joan, which means "God favored" and which she chose in Tabula Rasa as her name
      • "Tara" could be a short form of "Tamara." Then, the first girlfriend of Jewish Willow Rosenberg would have a Hebrew name, and, Tamara meaning date palm, they would both be named after trees.
  • In 4x03, 'The Harsh Light of Day,' there was an early hint about the Initiative soldiers which is actually brilliant in hindsight.. Harmony mentions being hungry, so Spike gestures to a captive young man dressed in an Army green t-shirt and khaki cargoes, just like Riley and his guys wore during down time. Harmony protests that she doesn't want to feed off of the guy because "This one tastes funny."
    • Remember how at the end of season two how Angelus spat out swim-team-guy's blood. Buffy speculated that he might be able to taste the steroids in his blood stream, so Harmony might have been tasting the Initiative's cocktail of super-soldier drugs.
  • In the Musical Episode, Once More, With Feeling!:
    • 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 prevalence 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".)
    • 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 ( 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.
    • Also why does Willow has less singing time than anyone? Or more specifically, why Willow doesn't have any relevant or meaningful verses? When you think about it, even the little song that Dawn was going to have before being kidnapped was going to be about her feeling neglected by everyone. Sweet explained that the song was the outburst of deep and strong emotions (Buffy's depressive state, Giles' dilemma about leaving town, Tara's love for Willow and then how betrayed she felt, Xander and Anya having doubts about their future marriage, Spike getting frustrated by his unrequited love). The whole arc Willow gets is about her ego inflating because of her use of Black Magic. She is not going through any deep emotions because by that moment she thinks everything can be resolved with magic, even her personal ones, reason why she is not corncerned about anything.
      • On the same page, Sweet also foreshadows how Willow's anger could be sensed after she got to know about Buffy's real emotional state. Before that moment, Willow was still wrapped in her own delusions of superiority, which could also mean releasing her anger was going to be more destructive than espontaneous combustion. Sweet made a good choice by leaving as soon as he did.
  • In "Spiral," Mindraped!Tara pulls up a blind, exposing Spike's hand to sunlight. His response is surprisingly sympathetic. Why? He was with Drusilla for nearly a century; he understands what it's like to have a mentally unstable girlfriend. It's a pity the writers didn't allow him to have at least one short conversation with Willow that touched on this.
    • It's a bit sweeter this way, though. It's one of the few things he and Willow truly understand each other on and they don't have to say anything on it,
    • Also remember what he said in response to Xander's description of Faith: "I like this girl already." Dark-haired, criminally insane...sound familiar?
  • 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).
  • A more general one about Dawn's existence: The Monks of Dagon had to re-adjust the economy of at least California, and given the interconnection of economies (and the fact that Joyce runs an import business) possibly the whole world's economy in order for the Summers family to afford to be raising two daughters instead of one, and paying for college. Dawn does not have many (if any) hand-me-down from Buffy, so the Monks had to re-write the entire economy to make room for Dawn without changing things for anyone else.
    • Alternatively this is why the bills start really piling up in Seasons 5 & 6. Joyce (and later Buffy) have to pay for the upkeep of Dawn, who did not exist before, and so they have much less money than they had before.
  • 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.
    • This is why we don't see any transexual characters in the Buffyverse: In Season 7, Episode 8, "Him" Willow tries to use a spell to change RJ from a boy into a girl, and implies that it's a very easy spell. This means that, since as episodes featuring Anya and Giles running the Magic Box show that there are a lot of practitioners in Sunnydale, magic users can use that spell as an easier alternative to gender reassignment surgery.
  • 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...
  • Regarding the use of "Early One Morning" as Spike's trigger: the song is pretty much a genderflipped version of his relationship with Buffy.
  • 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.
    • First, While he doesn't state his reason for not telling Buffy, it wasn't to not tell her that the Soul was back (It wasn't), it was to not tell her that Willow was trying the spell again. If his soul was back, the fight wouldn't have started.
    • Second, we know they're not good. Even Angel for most of the show, what with pulling the non-fighter tall-dark-mysterious-messenger card, even though, you know, he's at least four times stronger than a human and has a century or two of fighting experience, which only adds to why Xander would hate the guy. Xander hates them partly because of Jesse, and partly simply because of what they do. I wouldn't call that racism.
    • 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.
    • Season 9 also reveals he's still angry about Jesse's death and that he sees his face when approached by a vampire.
    • The spell was supposed to be really difficult too wasn't it? Meaning it was practically guaranteed that a novice would fail to pull it off. SO he could tell Buffy, the girl he loves what Willow was trying and see her heart break when the soul doesn't come back, or he could spare her that. While Willow did succeed, it didn't do Buffy's emotional well-being any good since at that point it was doom Angel to hell or doom the world.
      • On top of that, if Buffy knew that Angel could, at any point, spontaneously sprout his soul again, she would hold back. She'd just gotten over her reluctance to kill him courtesy of Jenny Calendar's murder; that was the point that she finally accepted that Angel was gone forever, and Angelus needed to die. Hope for Angel's soul would have stripped that conviction from her, and any amount of hesitance in her fight with Angelus could have gotten her killed and doomed the world. Xander doesn't like Angel because he's jealous; post-loss of soul, Xander doesn't like Angel because he murdered Jenny Calendar and killed others, and tried to kill the Scoobies. Xander doesn't like Spike because his first impression of Spike was trying to kill Buffy and the Scoobies. Xander is also initially hostile to Anya and only changes his opinion after she literally strips naked and throws herself at him. Xander is, in general, opposed to anyone who comes into the group with a history of killing people and trying to kill the group itself.
  • 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.
    • Buffy likely realises how easily she could have taken them out had she actually been trying and likely feels responsible for Tara's death since she allowed the situation to get so out of hand before acting.
    • The Trio are filler, the real Big Bad of that season is life.
      • Season 6 deals primarily with depression (and addiction but that is arguably a side effect of depression) and the Big Bad is Willow or one of them. When you are depressed your worst enemy is often yourself. I thought that was quite brilliant.
      • Further Brilliance from that: Buffy has faced vampires, demons, the forces of darkness and even a God, yet in season six she struggles against three nerds from high school? It's a perfect metaphor for depression, because when you're depressed, you DO struggle with the little inconsequential things that shouldn't be difficult, that to everyone else seem like nothing to worry about or focus on.
  • On the subject of the Trio, rewatch their argument about different James Bonds. Warren prefers Connery, a swaggering "ladies' man" who gets away with sexually assaulting women. Jonathan likes Roger Moore - charming, funny, by far the least gritty (something Warren, of course, mocks him for). Andrew, always the most awkward, sticks up for fandom underdog Timothy Dalton.
  • In Angel and Faith Clem shows up and reveals that rather than feeding on prey, he feeds on emotions. Remember who he was always hanging out with (Spike) during seasons 6 and 7 amongst all the Spuffy drama.
  • In the Vampire Invitation entry on the Main Tropes Page, there's a bit about no vampire ever having been savvy enough to burn the house down from the outside, which wouldn't require an invitation. Here's why it's not done: Fire is risky to vampires as well. One wrong move while you're setting the place ablaze and you could end up just as crispy as your intended victims. Also, if you're planning to feed from your victims, you might find that difficult if you roast them alive first, as blood doesn't generally pump through dead bodies. Hard to feed if there's no blood flowing through the veins.
    • Debatable on just how risky it is to the vampire. There's no risk to the vampire if he's smart enough to just stand far enough away from the burning building. The vampire in question is not inside the blazing inferno; if he was, there would have been no reason to set it on fire to begin with. The point about immolating the victims also specifically only matters if the vampire is trying to feed. If he's just trying to get them to leave the house or kill them, that's another story entirely. Doyle actually brings up this very possibility when Cordelia assumes that being inside his apartment means they're safe from Spike.
  • Near the end of "The Gift", the first thing Giles asks Ben, very calmly and solicitously, is "Can you move?" He doesn't mean it in the usual sense of "Are you okay?"; what he really wants to know is, "Do I have to restrain you before I kill you?"
  • A Meta Example: A common complaint people make about Buffy, and Joss Whedon's work in general, is the tendency to kill off the female cast. If Joss is such a feminist, why does he kill off so many women? Because there's more women then men in most of his works. In most Anyone Can Die shows and productions, the cast tends to be mostly male, so male characters are the ones that suffer the heaviest losses compared to women. In Buffy and other Joss works, this is inverted. That's also why in Firefly and Serenity, which have more male characters to female, instead killed Wash and Book, rather than any of the female characters, nd Avengers, who out of the whole cast of characters only two important characters are women, instead its Coulson who bites it.
  • Faith's attitude towards men can be seen as just being bitchy, but take a closer look. Before she met Xander she had a deadbeat, a klepto, and a drummer who she didn't think much of. Xander was quite likely the first decent man she had. Years later, what she did is quite likely still something that disturbs her. Faith saying she is no one's rebound girl as she said to Spike is because she doesn't want to recall what she did to Xander, what she could have done.
  • In the first season episode "Nightmares", Xander's nightmare-made-reality includes swastikas spray-painted on the lockers and school walls. While this could be a fear of evil and hatred in general, it could also be related to his best-friend-since-childhood Willow Rosenberg being Jewish. He's afraid of a world that would hate Willow, who at this point was very much a Shrinking Violet who had yet to learn how to look after herself.
    • Confirmed by the events of Gingerbread, in an anti-magic pogrom almost leads to Willow being burned at the stake. Xander is horrified by how Willow is persecuted that whole episode.
    • The reason why Willow is jumpy from the start of MOO: she's grown up Jewish, her parents are psychologists, and she's experienced the cruelty of school social system firsthand. It would be surprising if she didn't know a lot about the dangers of mob persecution.
  • The fact that the Scoobies go to the library, a vampire allowed zone to study late at night all the time at first seems incredibly stupid. However, it becomes clever when one realizes that it's the ultimate Schmuck Bait, any vampire dumb enough to attack Buffy and Co. in the library is going to probably get dusted, and the Scoobies know it.
  • In Some Assembly Required, Giles mocks American Football (as compared to rugby) and Jenny hits back at him for "dissing [her] country's national pasttime". Given that "the national pasttime" is almost exclusively applied to baseball, this seems at first like sloppy writing, until it is revealed later in the season that "Jenny" is actually Janna Kalderash, a daughter of the Romania-based gypsy clan Kalderash, sent to Sunnydale to keep watch over Angel - her slight misuse of US sports nomenclature is actually an early slip of the mask.
  • Kennedy gets a lot of hate for the way she acts as well as dominating the latter half of the season. The latter is Truth in Television as anyone who has been part of group discussion would know, but Kennedy's Jerk Ass behavior? She was taking her cues from Buffy who was edging closer and closer to Drill Sergeant Nasty status. Had they had a more Cool Teacher the results may have been very different.
  • Season 6 was, by far, Darker and Edgier than any that came before it. The season opened with Buffy at the weakest she'd ever been, and the Big Bad wasn't a vampire, a demon, or a god, but a trio of all-too-human nerds who shouldn't have been able to do so much damage to the Scooby Gang. And by the end, Willow had completely lost her shit as a result of their actions, threatening to do far more damage than the Trio ever could have done. Now when did season 6 air? From October 2001 to May 2002... in other words, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, just as America was brought low not by the Great Power enemy it was expecting, but by nineteen guys with box-cutters, and was well on the road to The War on Terror and all that came with it. Even if the season premiere was written beforehand, Season 6 of Buffy wound up becoming a Post 9/11 Terrorism Show.
    • Whoa. That is brilliant, and putting aside the parallels and the fact it never came up it had to be on everyone's mind.

Fridge Horror
  • The Halloween episode. Many kids are dressed as monsters. And they're turned into monsters and proceed to attack that nice old la... oh. Which leads to —
    • Cordelia is one of several who wore costumes from 'Partytown', and she's being chased by a Jock dressed as a Pirate. And what are the more nasty Pirates known for, not related to either seeking treasure or stealing boats?... Not to mention, Pirate is probably a popular option... Oh.
    • For all intents and purposes, Willow was dead thanks to Ethan's spell. And as a truly horrifying thought, although after everything returns to normal she wakes up where she'd collapsed, what if someone had discovered her body before the spell was broken and had it called in by a coroner? And similar to the pirate example, considering that ghost costumes are a popular choice, what happened to anyone else that wound up choosing that style of costume?
      • They don't autopsy people instantly. Had she been discovered and an ambulance could have gotten through the crowd of monsters and vampires to retrieve her, she would have woken up at the morgue later and the same observant people who are willing to buy that vampires are gang members on PCP would have called it a miracle and moved on without asking a lot of questions.
  • 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 Jonathan 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.
  • 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) 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.
    • Dawn never saw Joyce's body (except at the morgue). While she might have made that connection, I don't think the positioning was representational of that.
  • 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.
      • Los Angeles swarming with vampires might also have something to do with the fact that Sunnydale is a mere two hours away; a good portion of the city's vamps are likely just passing through on their way to the Hellmouth.
  • 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 regained 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. She was still in high school, and he was Older than her country of birth. Or pretty damn close... and also a vampire. With no breath. Or a heartbeat, and so is cold, and you know, a dead body... In the words put in a pseudo-buffy-bashing fic... "Three Words, Buff. Cold. Dead. Seed.".... Excuse me, I need to barf.
    • This troper was thinking that too—also note that the first time Buffy and angel sleep together, she's sixteen years old and he's over two hundred. way to romanticize statutory rape.
      • Statutory rape in California. Not in half the US or almost all of Europe+Canada. People might look askance at the "over 200" but the "16" would mean able to make her own decisions. Still Unfortunate Implications, though.
    • Buffy was already the Slayer when Angel first saw her, what he observed was her being told she was the Slayer. She was also sixteen at the time, seventeen when she slept with him.
    • Or, if you remember Angel's age so well, remember that in the time he grew up in Buffy would be of marriageable age of not already married with kids. Angel's from Ireland: this troper's Irish great grandmother was married with kids at thirteen.
      • And Angel lived through all of that time changing so it's not like he still think that's cool. And he's shown to be very adaptable anyway.
  • 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.
      • Like any story where a vast amount of people worldwide all get hit with the same supernatural effect, the spell lends itself to some Fridge Horror. Imagine all the things that the hundreds of new Slayers worldwide could have been doing when they were activated and developed superhuman strength without any knowledge or warning. Play-fighting with an older brother, say, or cuddling a pet or younger sibling. Even the newly confident Little League batter could have smashed the ball right back at the pitcher....
    • 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?
    • In the comic version of "season eight" and Angel's post-Buffy season five, we see a lot of exactly this: newly activated Slayers who go mad from visions, and who have even less remorse and more of a sense of superiority over the rest of humanity than Faith. Faith actually wound up facing a new Slayer who was rich and of noble birth, extremely classist; she didn't just think she was better because she was a Slayer, but she was better than every other Slayer, too, because she was a blueblood. And by that point, they're still far from finding all the new Slayers...
    • 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.
      • Fanon says that that is what the Council does. And depending on where you look, some fanfics even go as far as making the Slayer more a figurehead of the Council rather than the main deal.
      • I always figured: Slayer activates near a hot spot, clears it out, gets killed, new Slayer activates at the next most urgent hot spot (maybe the same one, if there's a lot to do.) Functional teleportation by death. Sucks for the Slayers but who cared about them?
      • Remember in the Wishverse how Buffy wasn't in Sunnydale? I figured normally she'd be travelling to take care of stuff that was deemed MOST necessary by the Council.
  • 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 hyena 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.
  • The events of "The Pack": the other four kids now remember eating their principal.
    • Xander remembers attempting to rape Buffy. Fridge Logic: The Alpha was driving him to do so because the leaders of hyena pack are female, and control rivals by having sex with them. The hyena in Xander saw Buffy as a rival for power, and so made its host tried to force himself onto Buffy to prove its dominance over her.
    • What's worse is that if the hyena had performed the other main hyena behavior, dominating lower-level members of the pack first, Xander's body would have come onto Giles (as a male has less status than a female) and then Willow (female, but weak, so has less status than Buffy).
    • Or worse, he could have identified Cordelia (most socially powerful one), who wouldn't have had the strength to fight him off.
    • Wait! Does this mean that Xander spends the episode acting like a (hyena) girl his age?!
  • 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.
    • The Warrenbot wasn't sentient, it was enchanted by Rake to fool Dark!Willow; that's why she was so pissed when she found out.
  • 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.
    • Maybe because they have souls...? No, probably not, considering the aspects of vampires that you would think would leave upon gaining a soul (ie, lack of reflection) stick around even with them. Guess Angel won't have the face of an angel anymore...
  • In "New Moon Rising" a scientist tells Riley that Oz won't be able to speak for a while because they gave him Haldol "to keep him quiet". Oz, who is The Stoic and The Quiet One, had to be put under heavy medication to keep him quiet. Really makes you wonder what exactly The Initiative did to him before being Strapped to an Operating Table...
  • Also from "New Moon Rising", Oz claims that jealousy over Willow is the only thing that can make him shift any more. But we see him shift involuntarily while the Initiative are torturing him. So presumably, although he doesn't realise it, if anybody randomly assaulted him, he'd shift and rip them apart. And possibly innocent people who crossed his path before he cooled down.
  • The Wishverse. Pure high octane nightmare fuel, and Buffy ain't coming back from what happened. So a new Slayer would be called. Wishverse Kendra? Wishverse Faith? Someone worse?
    • The original Wish episode appeared to end with that universe ceasing to exist completely. The Fridge Horror was invoked by Doppelgangland indicating it was still there as a Crapsack World Alternate Universe.
  • The beginning of Season 6 starts with Buffy fighting her way out of her own grave. The catatonic stumbling around makes a lot mroe sense when you recall the episode earlier that delves into the characters' deepest fears. The first on touched upon for Buffy? BEING BURIED ALIVE.
    • ...there needs to be a justification for why Buffy is catatonically stumbling around when she's so emotionally traumatized by Mood Whiplash as to attempt to commit suicide? The girl isn't right in the head all season, but this is the point where she is the most dead to the world.
  • Kendra started training as a Potential when she was a toddler. This means that it is possible to identify Potentials as toddlers. The Bringers were going around killing all the Potentials they could find. How many of those girls were five or six when they died?
    • There are ballet and gymnastic classes for 2 and 3 year olds. Imagine being a parent like Joyce of a Potential. Adult Fear much?
  • When Buffy gets thrown out of the house in Season 7, Spike tracks her down and notes that he doesn't need a Vampire Invitation to get in. He sees this as a Sign of the Apocalypse, when the far more likely scenario is that the man Buffy forcibly evicted died that night.
    • Why would Buffy have forcibly evicted a man from his home? There were plenty of empty houses with all the world-ending and murders going on. Or she could have gone to a motel.
  • When Drusilla appears in Daddy Issues sane and offering aid to those in need Angel sees it as evil and kills the demon she trained to absorb the pain of those she helped. Them being virtually zombies aside it looks like a major What the Hell, Hero? moment, until you remember Jasmine. Who sought to Mind Rape the world, was monsterous in appearance and acts and the poster child for The Evils of Free Will. Angel clearly did, hence his determination to stop anything like it happening again.

Fridge Logic:

  • How on Earth are guns not considered effective against vampires and demons? One of the ways to kill a vampire, and seemingly most demons, is beheading. This is shown to count if the neck is just broken, too. While this does mean that only a Slayer would be effective with a handgun, due to the accuracy needed, a shotgun could kill vampires easily. Even if it doesn't, vampires have been shown to take time to recover from things like paralyzation, and lost limbs are implied to stay lost. So, even if it doesn't kill them, a few good shots to the chest from even a handgun would likely leave them on the ground, immobile. Or, you could just shoot them in the knees. A vampire is a lot less scary when it's crawling like a baby.
    • Probably because it's too easy to get collateral damage compared with how effective the guns actually are against vampires. When acting with a stake or a knife it's harder to miss and kill innocents. Plus if you have to shoot it five times to shoot the neck or to get it to the ground it's just not as effective as simply stabbing it in the heart.
  • 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.
    • I always assumed he'd shoot a couple of rounds into the ground, then wait for the police to show up and take him out.
    • Here's another theory: he was actually planning to shoot people and just told Buffy that he was going to kill himself in order to stop her from being angry at him.
  • 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.
      • Judging on the placement, it seems the bullet went through the point where the subclavian vein meets the superior vena cava, which is directly connected to the right atrium. Poor girl never stood a chance.
      • I've always assumed it was another side 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).
      • Season 8 seems to have confirmed, or at least Willow is convinced this is what happened.
      • Alright then, why not use some sort of spell to freeze her in time, or barring that, ice, and then simply transfer her consciousness into a robot identical to her, like they did with Buffy and the Buffybot in Season 9?
    • 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?
    • I always figured that the supernatural means meant death by pure magical energy, not just an action that was triggered by magic. If Willow had fireball'd Tara, she would have died by burning- still a natural cause. Buffy was killed by absorbing the magical dimensional energy, something that isn't even supposed exist in this world, and thus not a natural cause.
  • How did Buffy avoid the whole post-resurrection paperwork? She was dead for over a month, with an actual burial plot on the cemetery, which means there was a real funeral, and also very likely a coroner and some kind of police involvement in the aftermath of the battle with Glory. Whatever haphazard cover story was concocted, she was legally dead. Later in the episode, the visit from Social Services shows that she is still Dawn's legal guardian and clearly officially alive. Even in Sunnydale, you'd expect someone to blink at this...
    • Buffy was buried in the woods, not a cemetery. Logistically, this makes sense; nobody in the group has the money for an official burial ceremony, and burying Buffy in a cemetery means having to explain how she died, whereas burying her in the woods means that, legally, she just disappeared; just another victim of Sunnydale's tendency for people to vanish.
      • She might not have been listed as missing; the gang might have used the Buffybot as a decoy the entire time Buffy was dead. The Buffybot went to Parent Teacher Conferences. The school still expected her to show up, so the school didn't think she was in any way out of the picture.
  • So every potential Slayer has been Slayerized. What does this mean for very young girls? What does this mean for unborn children? Will all future Potentials be automatic Slayers?
    • The season 8 comic shows Potentials aren't made Slayers until they're ready. Soledad for example was called on her 16th birthday, at least a year and a half after Willow performed her spell.
  • Xander is the bottom of the social barrel despite being played by a not-unfortunate looking Nicholas Brendon. This could possibly be because Xander has been going to school with these people since childhood and something done in childhood could ruin your social status in the future.
    • Just because he's good looking does not automatically mean he'll be popular. It has a lot to do with personality and Xander is pretty dorky and dresses pretty badly, of course he is gonna be unpopular.
      • He's also poor, his parents are the town drunks, and very early in kindergarten he chose to ally himself with and stick up for another social outcast. Also, he's in a small town where your peer group doesn't significantly change from kindergarten on. Maybe if Xander had moved to another town to go to high school he'd have had a chance to break into the Very Populars, but in Sunnydale he was typecast before 3rd grade.
  • Willow spends several seasons trying to figure out the spell to de-rat Amy. However, in Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, Giles assists Amy in casting the spell to de-rat Buffy. Wouldn't he have remembered it, or at least remembered what book she was reading from? And surely in all that time Willow would have thought to ask Giles for help?
    • I thought Giles was assisting Amy in reversing the love spell? Trying to figure out how she went wrong. Amy only needed convincing to reverse the rat spell, since Buffy was still her romantic rival.
      • Giles was still standing right there and even if he didn't remember everything about it, he should have been able to give Willow an idea about what to look for. It seemed like a pretty simple spell and didn't even require a potion or anything.
    • Giles likely just isn't strong enough break the spell. Amy seemed to be fairly powerful and even Willow and Tara couldn't undo the spell for years.
  • Just what would happen if Willow had succeeded in turning RJ into a girl? Would the spell be broken because it only works on guys or would the girls remain attracted to her?

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy