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[[caption-width-right:281:She's the thing that monsters have nightmares about.]]

->''[[AC:Into every generation a Slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a [[TheChosenOne 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. She is the Slayer.]]''

In 1992, Creator/JossWhedon wrote a [[Film/BuffyTheVampireSlayer somewhat decent if largely forgotten film]] about a bog standard trope: the fragile (and doomed) blonde cheerleader attacked by monsters in a dark alley. In a {{postmodern}} twist the blonde cheerleader is the "Slayer," a powerful warrior that the ''monsters'' are afraid of meeting in dark alleys. Since Whedon, a mere writer, [[ExecutiveMeddling lacked creative control]] over his work, he viewed the actual film as a disappointment (though still entertaining). Not wanting the character and overall concept to go to waste, and given the opportunity to re-visit it as a television series, he wasted no time in saying "yes."

In 1997, the fledgling [[Creator/TheWB WB]] network raised '''''Buffy the Vampire Slayer''''' from the dead with an abbreviated first season. The pilot treats the motion picture as originally ''[[BroadStrokes scripted]]'' (not the film that resulted) as canon: Buffy learns that she is the most recent in a line of warrior women chosen by fate to fight evil, and in a pitched battle sets [[KillItWithFire the school gym on fire to kill the vampires inside]]. She can't fully explain this to the authorities, making her a social pariah. Hoping to elude her Slayer responsibilities, she and her mother moved to Sunnydale, a sleepy town in Southern California. In spite of that, she learns Sunnydale is sitting on top of a Hellmouth, a [[MagneticPlotDevice well of evil that attracts all types of demons]]. She is assigned a "Watcher" from an AncientConspiracy dedicated to finding and training Slayers. Forming a tight-knit group of friends, Buffy battles hellspawn while juggling her double life as a carefree schoolgirl. That last part is easier than it sounds, as Sunnydale's adults are too wrapped up in lawn care ([[StepfordSuburbia and denial]]) to acknowledge the evil brewing right under their feet. Since demons on ''Buffy'' are walking metaphors for existing evils -- reptilian authority figures, suddenly-soulless boyfriends, and so on -- the B-horror trappings take on an entirely new meaning, usually with a sly [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotPolitical feminist wink]] inserted.


The show didn't catch fire in its first season, but did garner enough critical acclaim to attract viewers by year two. However, ''Buffy'' (and ''{{Series/Angel}}'') were ''not'' inexpensive shows to produce, and neither were expected to grow beyond their cult demographic. Although WB attempted to shove ''Buffy'' off the air in 2001, it was picked up by {{Creator/UPN}} in time for Season 6 and 7. The jump was heralded by Buffy's [[RiseFromYourGrave literal death and resurrection]], along with a ratings-grabbing [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mRsITLBUvg ad campaign.]]

The show pioneered the HalfArcSeason, with a singular villain behind that year's events, and signposted a few major plot developments months (and even ''years'') in advance. Perhaps most surprisingly, the central cast grew like kudzu, with even [[AscendedExtra walk-on roles]] getting a dose of character development much later on... Just in time for Joss to kill them off, alas.

Nobody can deny or ignore the influence of ''Buffy'' on the TV shows that followed it, both within and outside the genre. (Creator/RussellTDavies had at least one eye on this show when he revived ''Series/DoctorWho''.) This series has become one of the most TropeOverdosed and {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d shows in existence -- thousands of references to ''Buffy'' exist across this entire wiki -- partially because Wiki/TVTropes began with a specific focus on ''Buffy'' (based on a 2004 thread on the fan site Website/BuffistasOrg) before branching out to all of TV and eventually all of everything. However, we no longer consider this show as merely Trope Overdosed -- we now officially classify it as kilo{{Wick}} and one of The Truly Awesome. With over 7,000 wicks and a runtime of 6,056 minutes, this page (well, this ''entry'' and its metapages) now has over one wick per minute.

Has an [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/BestEpisode/Buffy episode crowner]] here.

!!Tie-ins and Possible Reboot
''Buffy'' remains Joss Whedon's mothership series, with numerous tie-in novels, merchandise, video games, and spinoffs in the offing (see ''{{ComicBook/Fray}}''), though plans for a Spike and/or Giles TV show remain in DevelopmentHell. In 2001, Joss even tried shopping around an animated series based on the show, but most networks felt it wasn't suitable for small kids.

In 1999, Joss and co-producer David Greenwalt conceived a [[SpinOff spin-off]] starring Buffy's vampiric love interest, Angel -- the [[WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983 He-Man]] to ''Buffy's'' [[WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower She-Ra]], if you will. While ''Buffy'' focused on adolescent woe, ''Angel'' revolved around stressed-out twenty-somethings in thankless jobs, trying to hold onto their youthful ideals. ''Angel'' ended the only way it could have: the gang sold out and become {{Corporate Sponsored Superhero}}es, much to the disgust of Buffy and her allies, who [[AHouseDivided disavowed them]]. Crossovers and cross-references between the two shows persisted even after ''Buffy'' ended in 2003.

In 2007 ''Buffy'' started up again -- [[ComicBook/BuffyTheVampireSlayer in comic form]]. Produced by Joss Whedon, it encompasses three "Seasons" of TV time so far. In 2011, the mainline series branched off into ''ComicBook/AngelAndFaith'', which is London-based (in a nod to ''Comicbook/{{Excalibur}}'').

The producers of the original film (the Kuzui couple listed in the credits) [[GodDoesNotOwnThisWorld retained the rights]] to ''Buffy'' throughout the show's run despite having no creative involvement past the film. Plans have been proposed to revive/remake the film without Joss Whedon's input. No one involved with the series had [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOiyLDsHHfw anything pleasant]] [[http://www.blastr.com/2011/01/6_buffy_veterans_on_a_whe.php to say]] [[http://www.endofshow.com/2010/11/23/buffy-cast-react-to-joss-whedon-less-buffy-the-vampire-slayer-movie-remake/ about it.]]

!! ''Buffy the Vampire Slayer'' has been indexed to avoid one day breaking the site:

* General Tropes
** Buffy/TropesAToG
** Buffy/TropesHToN
** Buffy/TropesOToZ
* Buffy/SeasonSpecificTropes
** [[ComicBook/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Comic-Specific Tropes]]

->''"[[TheStinger If the Apocalypse comes, beep me]]."''