Any show as action-packed and built on strong Character Development as Buffy the Vampire Slayer is bound to feature some truly cathartic moments of awesome. Among the most satisfying seen in the show are:
- Buffy's first Awesome moment in the series was her staking of Luke, the Vessel, and she picks such an excellently bitchy way to do it. She shatters a window, making Luke think the sunshine is getting in, but he stops cowering and starts looking confused when he sees a streetlight. Then Buffy sneaks up and stakes him.
- "The Witch": Punching out Amy's abusive mother and deflecting her curse back at her. If nothing else, this is awesome owing as to how satisfying it was.
- "Prophecy Girl":
- Just come back to life and hunting down the Master, Buffy's Power Walk set to the theme song definitely counts too.
- "You have fruit punch mouth."
- "There's scarier things than you, and I'm one of them." Spoken by Buffy as a vampire. To a creature with a club arm that had already beaten her down and forced her to run instead of continuing to fight.
- Plus a meta one, as the vampire fangs used in the first couple years were notoriously hard to talk with and left almost everyone with a noticeable lisp, but even at such a young age Sarah Michelle Gellar was articulate enough to be able to sound totally normal.
- The earliest awesome Willow moment was when she got Cordelia, who was talking shit about Buffy, to destroy the program she made for computer class by telling her to press "Deliver" (DEL).
- Willow has had a huge crush on Xander since they were kids. In "The Pack", Xander has been possessed by a hyena spirit, turning him into a predatory bully. Xander has been captured and locked up, and lays on the charm trying to get Willow to let him out. As soon as she comes within reach, he lunges at her and she deftly dodges out of the way, now knowing for certain she can't trust him (for the duration of his possession).
- A huge moment of awesome for her, which gets glossed over in the episode itself: in "Prophecy Girl", Xander is upset after Buffy gently turned him down, and asks Willow to the prom instead. The guy that she's head over heels for just asked her out, so obviously she's going to accept, right? WRONG. Willow gently but firmly tells him that she will not be the back-up option, and that while she'd love to go out with Xander, she will do it when he's interested in her, not just as a replacement for Buffy. That took as much guts as just about anything on this page.
- Punching out the Monster Clown in "Nightmares". And let's not forget the taunting afterwards!Xander: You were a lousy clown! Your balloon animals were pathetic. Anyone can make a giraffe!
- A minor one, but acknowledged, from the same episode. When the child-beating coach tries to make his getaway in the end, Xander is the one to take him down.
- Saving Buffy's life in "Prophecy Girl", and forcing Angel, who'd already given up, to get back on his feet and do likewise. An especially noteworthy moment of awesome because Xander, after being rejected for a date by Buffy, did not handle it well, alienating both Buffy and Willow in the process. But as soon as he finds out Buffy's in mortal danger, he immediately drops the petulant sulking, takes a few levels in badass, finds Angel and calls his ass out, threatening his life in the process (a threat that, it should be pointed out, Angel takes completely seriously), and they go storm the Master's lair together. Xander's behavior sometimes divides fans, but if ever there was an episode that shows his beginnings as The Heart/Badass Normal of the team, this is it.
- A very small one in "The Pack" (doused with a bit of Heartwarming), where he, immediately upon waking from his hyena trance, sees Willow in danger and tackles the zookeeper to save her. All without a moment's hesitation.
- Saving Buffy from a Trigger Happy Darla in "Angel". How hard has he fallen for Buffy? He staked his own sire.Darla: ...Angel?
- Showing his Papa Wolf colors in "The Witch" when Amy!Catherine tries to stall him after he comes to her house with a sick Buffy in tow, looking for a way to break the Bloodstone Vengeance spell.Giles: This girl is very sick! Now you will shut up and listen to me! Your daughter has access to powerful magics, and your cheerleading obsession—
Amy!Catherine: I don't care about cheerleading! It's not my fault she's doing stuff.
Giles: As her mother, you should assume some responsibility for her actions.
- In "Prophecy Girl" Giles makes a last ditch effort to protect Buffy, and gears up to battle the Master himself. He never gets the chance thanks to Buffy, but that's pretty badass for a stuffy librarian.Giles: Buffy, I'm not gonna send you out there to die. Now, you were right. I've waded around in these old books for so long, I've forgotten what the real world is like. It's time I found out.
- Cordelia driving to the library in "Prophecy Girl".
- Okay, that needs more of a description because this one doesn't do it justice: several members of the Scooby Gang are outside the school and surrounded by the Master's Mooks, when Cordelia suddenly shows up out of nowhere in her car and yells at them to get in. She then drives them to the (relatively) safe(r) library, where they prepare to be sieged by the vamps. Now, bear in mind that at this point, Cordelia wasn't really a part of the group, and didn't even really like any of them, but she did all this anyway.
- To clarify a bit: The library is in the middle of the school and she SMASHES THROUGH DOORS and stops right outside the library.
- Also worth note, in "The Witch" Cordelia's driving teacher references her taking Driver's Ed repeatedly, and in "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight" Cordelia herself mentions a time she ran over a biker. She is a terrible driver, but managed to get everyone in safely.
- The Master kills Buffy in "Prophecy Girl". Even if she came Back from the Dead it's an impressive accomplishment.
- Darla pulling the guns on Buffy in "Angel". With just that trick she put herself in a situation of complete advantage on the one person supposed to be able to slay vampires with impunity and that had recently offed one much stronger than herself, and the only reason Buffy survived was that Angel staked Darla before she could kill her.
- The very first scene is one for the show as a whole. Jock and Catholic School Girl go around at night, the jock lures the girl in an isolated location, and then the girl reveals herself as a vampire and kills him. Nowadays this is almost expected, but at the time it was shocking (and it may be the very reason it's now so expected: everyone wanted to imitate this).
- In "Bad Eggs", vampire Lyle Gorch has made a point of saying "This ain't/isn't over" to Buffy every time he retreats. Then at the end, a goo-covered Buffy crawls out of the Mother Bezoar she has just hacked to death with a pickaxe..Buffy: [Gives Lyle a look.]
Lyle: All right. It's over. [flees]
- Buffy confronting Jenny in "Innocence". Having just recovered from her Heroic BSoD, Buffy walks into school, goes straight to Jenny's classroom, grabs Jenny by the neck and slams her down onto her desk in front of Giles and the entire class.
Judge: Fool! No weapon forged can defeat me!
- On the DVD Commentary, Joss's comment for this scene is "I love how violent this is."
Buffy: That was then. [takes out the rocket launcher] This is now.
[Drusilla and Angel run for cover as the Judge looks blankly.]
Judge: What's that do?
Angelus: (chuckling) You can't do it. You can't kill me.
- And Buffy's reaction to killing what it took an army to take down before? "Best present ever."
- Joss Whedon had gone on record that he loved Buffy here more than any other time.
- A little later, there's the spectacular, vicious, emotional battle between Angelus and Buffy that sees Buffy finally holding a stake over Angelus, frozen in hesitation, unable to kill him, and as he gloats...
Buffy: (delivers possibly the most satisfying Groin Attack on all network television, which leaves Angelus paralysed on the floor in breathless agony, and walks away without looking back) Give me time.
- In "Go Fish", Buffy is getting wooed by a guy in his car. As she gets bored and tries to get out of the conversation politely, he gets more "direct" and aggressive in his approach and locks the car's doors when she tries to leave. What would be a scary situation if she was a normal girl is already hilarious for a Buffy viewer.Cameron: Relax, I'm not going to hurt you.
Buffy: Oh, it's not me I'm worried about.
Cameron: You like it rough...
(Cameron then proceeds to "get rough", and Buffy gives him a bit more than he asked for, slamming his head in the steering wheel and breaking his nose in the process.)
- Buffy vs Angelus in "Becoming, Part 2"
- When a vamp grabs Cordelia in "School Hard", Willow without missing a beat whirls away, grabs a stone bust and brains the vampire. She's come a long way from the hesitant girl of Season 1.
- Willow in "The Dark Age":Willow: And if you aren't with me a hundred and ten percent, then get the hell out of my library!
- Angry!Willow is always awesome. When she screams "HEEEEEEEEYYYYYYY!!", everyone cowers before her, including Giles and Angel.
- Speaking of Giles and Angel, it was awesome to see Willow be more assertive towards Giles and Angel when they were being hard on Buffy in "Reptile Boy"."Well... Well, why do you think she went to that party? Because you gave her the brush-off! And you never let her do anything except work and patrol! And I know she's the Chosen One, but you're killing her with the pressure! I mean, she's sixteen going on forty! And you! I mean, you're gonna live forever! You don't have time for a cup of coffee?!"
- Speaking of Giles and Angel, it was awesome to see Willow be more assertive towards Giles and Angel when they were being hard on Buffy in "Reptile Boy".
- His "What the Hell, Hero?" to Buffy in "When She Was Bad", ending with "If they hurt Willow, I will kill you." Here, Xander's balls dropped about a foot, and tripled in size.
- The entire episode of "Halloween". When Buffy is turned into a helpless 18th-century woman and Willow becomes a ghost, he becomes a badass M16-wielding, fatigues-wearing soldier. In the course of about twenty minutes he gets to kick monster ass, rock-and-roll with an M16, beat up a jock-turned-pirate who constantly picks on him, impress the resident hot airhead cheerleader, and even stand up to Spike.
- "What's My Line, Part 1". Xander epically pwns Cordelia.Cordelia: What am I, mass transportation?
Xander: That's what a lot of the guys say, but it's just locker-room talk.
- "Killed By Death":Angelus: If I decide to walk into Buffy's room, do you think for one microsecond that you could stop me?
Xander: Maybe not. Maybe that security guard couldn't either. Or those cops... or the orderlies... But I'm kinda curious to find out. You game?
Angelus: Buffy's White Knight. You still love her. It must just eat you up that I got there first.
Xander: You're gonna die. And I'm gonna be there.
Angelus: Tell her I stopped by.
(And then Angelus, the vampire who slaughtered nuns for fun, took on Holtz, and God knows who else, WALKED AWAY!)
- The first time Ethan shows up in "Halloween", we haven't really seen much evidence of Giles' Former Teen Rebel self. So when he shows up in Ethan's shop and proceeds to absolutely kick his ass— in a state of Tranquil Fury no less— it is both unexpected and amazing.
- While wrestling a vampire, Giles gets a crossbow bolt to the back. His reaction? He rips it out and stabs the vampire in the heart with it.
- "Passion": Some cheered when Giles went after Angelus and company singlehandedly. With a flaming baseball bat. Remember that at this point, the Big Bad is a two hundred-year-old vampire who was the scourge of Europe, famed for his exceptional cruelty. And considering that Giles has no superpowers, spends his days in a library and has pretty much been the Useless Mentor up until his girlfriend dies, that's saying a lot about his badass level. The Badass Scale officially exploded at this point, even if Angelus recovers a minute later.
- Another awesome thing about the scene is how Spike restrains Drusilla from rushing to Angelus' aid, and just sits there with a little smirk on his face watching the flaming baseball bat hit Angelus in the head over and over.
- In "I Only Have Eyes For You", Giles rescues Willow from being sucked into a portal in the floor.
- In "Becoming, Part 2", after Angelus has been torturing him for information on how to waken Acanthla, Giles appears to be about to crack...and then comes out with this line:
- Giles: In order...to be worthy...you must perform the ritual...in a tutu.
- Then he glares Angelus down. And calls him a pillock.
- Give Tony Head his props; when he has to whip out a range of emotions and characteristics in "The Dark Age"... he's amazing.
- Spike fails his first job for the Anointed One. So Spike starts to grovel at his feet, then decides "screw this" and straight up kills the Anointed One. And then becomes the Big Bad himself for the first half of the season.
- Spike gets one at the end of "I Only Have Eyes For You", after Angelus has dissed him for the thousandth time (and having sex with Drusilla) while he's been crippled, Spike waits for Angelus to leave, stands up out of his wheelchair and kicks it aside. He follows that by promising to bide his time and wait for the right moment to royally fuck Angelus up. Makes good on it in the season finale when he beats Angelus with a tire iron. It's a bad idea to piss Spike off, even if you're the season's Big Bad.
- Cordelia snaps at Harmony in "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered":CORDELIA: Harmony, shut up. Do you know what you are, Harmony? You're a sheep.
HARMONY: I'm not a sheep.
CORDELIA: You're a sheep. All you ever do is what everyone else does just so you can say you did it first. And here I am, scrambling for your approval, when I'm way cooler than you are cause I'm not a sheep. I do what I wanna do, and I wear what I wanna wear. And you know what? I'll date whoever the hell I wanna date. ....No matter how lame he is.
- Drusilla picking up and carrying Spike at the end of "What's My Line, Part 2".
- Drusilla taking out Kendra The Vampire Slayer with a swipe of her fingernail in "Becoming, Part 1".
- "School Hard". Joyce Summers. Fire axe."You get the hell away from my daughter."
- Which gets reference in "Becoming, Part 2".Joyce: Have we met?
Spike: Er... You hit me with an axe one time. Remember, er, "get the hell away from my daughter"?
Joyce: Oh. So, do you live here in town?
- Which gets reference in "Becoming, Part 2".
- A subtle one in "Anne". You wouldn't think that getting a job as a waitress and living in a crappy apartment would qualify but when you realize that the average teenage runaway is sleeping on the street or in an abandoned building and is likely to be addicted to something and turning tricks to get by, it is.
- Buffy is asked "who are you?" and instead of answering "no one" like everyone else she does a Title Drop and says "I'm Buffy, the vampire slayer. And you are?" before kicking some ass.
- In "Faith, Hope, and Trick", Buffy and Joyce have a meeting with Snyder about her being let back into Sunnydale High as a student. Do they have to do it? Yes. Do they have to like him? Absolutely not. Is it wise to antagonize someone who obviously wants her expelled and/or jailed? Maybe not. Is it fun seeing both the Summers women express their absolute disdain to the little troll's face, completely unconcerned with how he'll take it? Absolutely.Buffy: So let me get this straight. I'm really back in school because the school board overruled you. Wow. That's like having your whole ability to do this job called into question, when you think about it.Joyce: I think what my daughter's trying to say is... Nyah, nyah-nyah-nyah, nyah.
- Buffy scares off a group of bullies in "Gingerbread" with what can be interpreted as a Slasher Smile.
- Killing the vamp from "Helpless" by switching his water with holy water. Made more impressive by how smart and creative it is since she is completely powerless against an insanely psychotic vampire who already has her mother locked up. Said vampire had also killed two people who worked for The Council prior.
- In "Earshot", Buffy, seeing Jonathan putting together a rifle, and thinking he's about to open fire on students, scales the whole damn building with her Slayer strength.
- And then talks Jonathan down, while simultaneously chewing him out for his actions. The sad part was, Jonathan's not a school shooter - he was about to kill himself.
- Buffy gets a Moment of Awesome, as well as a CMOF and CMOH, in "The Prom". Hurting from Angel breaking up with her, she is disinterested in a student, Tucker, training hellhounds to attack the prom, until the Scoobies begin getting scared and upset about their night being ruined, driving Buffy to action."You guys are gonna have a prom. The kind of prom everyone should have. I will give you all a nice, fun, normal evening... if I have to kill every single person on the face of the Earth to do it."
- The script says Buffy is looking determined. Full of new purpose. And a little bit crazed, which Xander comments on: "Yay?"
- Later, after finding Tucker, we get this exchange.Willow: We can't just leave you, Buff-
Giles: Buffy, they're right. You need-
Buffy: To see taillights. Hit the door. I've got everything under control.
Oz: Buffy, it makes sense to -
Buffy (deadly): Have. A nice. Time.
Willow: Okay then.
Xander: See ya.
- She then proceeds to take out three hellhounds single-handedly. She deserved that Class Protector trophy.
- Tucker hits her with a vase. She no sells it and disarms him with no difficulty.
- How does Buffy prove she beat high school (the original form of the show's metaphors of life itself)? She blows it up. To anyone to whom high school was hell, it's hard not to appreciate the one last high school metaphor. As Oz puts it, "We survived. Not the demons. High school."
- In "Doppelgangland", she enters an entire bar full of vampires dressed as her ruthless vampire alternate universe self and attempts to bluff the entire group into believing she's an evil, murdering vampire; successfully, until Anya intervenes.
- Vamp Willow getting the vamps who attacked her to work for her.Vamp!Willow: (after beating down the two vampires and putting one in an armlock) You made me cranky.
Minion Vamp: There must be a mistake. We were sent after a human!
Vamp!Willow: Who do you work for?
Minion Vamp: I'm not tellin' you a thing!
Vamp!Willow: [snaps one of his fingers] Who do you work for?
Minion Vamp: Aggh! Wilkins! The Mayor!
Vamp!Willow: [breaks another finger] Who do you work for?
Minion Vamp: ...You.
- Snyder forces Willow to tutor Percy. He goes after her when she's at the Bronze rather than doing all the work for him. Slight problem is this is Vamp!Willow."Bored now." She flips him onto a pool table then leans in to his neck. "I'm having a terrible night. Wanna make it better?"
- Vamp Willow getting the vamps who attacked her to work for her.
Faith: Give me the speech again, please. "Faith, we're still your friends. We can help you. It's not too late."
- Willow's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Faith:
Willow: It's way too late. You know, it didn't have to be this way. But you made your choice. I know you had a tough life. I know that some people think you had a lot of bad breaks. Well, boo hoo! Poor you! You know, you had a lot more in your life than some people. I mean, you had friends in your life like Buffy. Now you have no one. You were a slayer and now you're nothing. You're just a big, selfish, worthless waste.
- And note that Willow says that when she's all alone in the center of the Mayor's minion-filled stronghold, before she has any useful combat magic, and while facing the knife-wielding evil superpowered Faith.
- Of course, why is Willow in a position to say that to Faith? Because she got captured. But then she kills the vampire guarding her and has an opportunity to escape. So what does she do? She doesn't escape, she finds the Mayor's office and studies the Books of Ascension, tearing out and hiding the most informative pages for Giles to study.
- She knew full well her friends would rescue her and decided to be proactive with pep; she took advantage of the situation and used her abilities to the utmost. Shit damn but that's awesome.
- Not only does she kill the vampire guarding her, she does it by levitating a pencil behind him and driving it through his heart when he's got her backed up against the wall and is about to drink her blood.
- The above speech from is Willow's second-best speech from the episode. Here's the best one, from where Willow reveals to Buffy that she's chosen to go to college at UC Sunnydale.Buffy: I can't believe it! Are you serious? Ah, wait, what am I saying? You can't.
Willow: What do you mean, I can't?
Buffy: I won't let you.
Willow: Of the two people here, which is the boss of me?
Buffy: There are better schools.
Willow: Sunnydale's not bad. And I can design my own curriculum.
Buffy: Okay, well, there are safer schools. There are safer prisons. I can't let you stay because of me.
Willow: Actually, this isn't about you. Although I'm fond, don't get me wrong. The other night, you know, being captured and all, facing off with Faith. Things just, kind of, got clear. I mean, you've been fighting evil here for three years, and I've helped some, and now we're supposed to decide what we want to do with our lives. And I just realized that that's what I want to do. Fight evil, help people. I mean, I think it's worth doing. And I don't think you do it because you have to. It's a good fight, Buffy, and I want in.
- In "The Zeppo" Xander finally stands up to a bullying zombie who's trying to blow up the school, forcing him to either disarm the bomb or get blown up.Zombie Jack: I'm not afraid to die. I'm already dead.
Xander: Yeah, but this is different. Bein' blowed up isn't walking around and drinkin' with your buddies dead. It's little bits being swept up by a janitor dead, and I don't think you're ready for that.
Zombie Jack Are you?
Xander: ...I like the quiet.
- And it works. Zombie!Jack disarms the bomb, and Xander tells him in no uncertain terms that he doesn't want to see him on campus ever again. The episode was Xander's Day In The Limelight as it is, but you wanna talk about Badass Normal, this is it.
- To make it even better, none of the other Scoobies, who had spent that night preventing the Apocalypse while sending Xander to get them doughnuts, are ever made aware that Xander singlehandedly saved the world that night as well since Xander decides to take the high road and not brag to any of them. Nicholas Brendon cried upon reading the script for the first time.
- In "Graduation Day Part 2", Xander's the key guy, because he's the one who can bring the entire school together to fight the Mayor's doomy legion of dooming. He's got an in with the jocks (Larry, the swim team), the popular crowd (the Cordettes), and all the outcasts, because of all his tireless legwork for Buffy. And liplocking with Cordy.
- "Beauty and The Beasts": Hyde-Pete attacks Buffy after killing his girlfriend. Angel bursts in, still feral after his time in a hell dimension, and after a short, brutal fight, uses the chains still attached to his wrists to snap Pete's neck.
- Angel saving Giles and Wesley from Balthazar in "Bad Girls".Balthazar: The man who has my amulet! What is his name?!
Angel: His name is Angel.
- Angel cracking Faith's head with a shovel as she was trying to rape and kill Xander in "Consequences".
- When Angel reveals that he's been pretending to have lost his soul in "Enemies":Faith: What can I say? I'm the world's best actor.
Angel: Second best.
- Cue Oh, Crap! look on Faith's face.
- From "Earshot" (Buffy's been infected by a demon, and the heart of a second demon of the same species contains the cure)Giles: How do we get the heart of the second demon?
[Cut to Angel unleashing a furious attack on the second demon. No-Holds-Barred Beatdown ensues.]
- In "Dead Man's Party", Giles threatens Principal Snyder to let Buffy back in school. He's wearing Ripper's little smile, the one that says, "Please give me an excuse to hurt you, you tiny slug of a man."Snyder: I'm not convinced.
Giles: [slams Snyder against a cupboard, a serene smile on his face] Would you like me to convince you?
- Making this even better is Snyder's previous scene showed he more or less gets sexually aroused at hurting Buffy, and basically confesses this to Giles. Then ignores the threat of having the state Supreme Court brought in.
- In "Faith, Hope, and Trick", four words; "There is no spell."
- Not so much awesome as just plain fun: in "Band Candy" all the adults have been drugged to act like teenagers, and a cop has a Rupert "Ripper" Giles at gunpoint. Giles walks forward and nuts him.
- In "The Wish", Giles destroys Anyanka's power center almost entirely on faith that the other world "will be better. It has to be."
- In "Earshot", Giles calls Wesley a berk. A what? It's rhyming slang, it's a Moment of Awesome because Giles was Getting Crap Past the Radar to call Wes a cunt. note
- "Graduation Day Part 1". There's Mayor Wilkens, right, who's invincible, on the verge of ascending into a giant snake, and he's come to threaten the Scoobies in the library. When he menaces that he's going to kill Buffy, Giles stabs him through the chest with a saber. Being invincible and all, it only offends The Mayor that Giles would use violence, but it still shows him as a badass Papa Wolf.
- And no, this time it wasn't his Ripper persona briefly re-emerging. That was Mr. Giles, the Watcher-who-just-got-fired-from-the-Council-because-of-his-paternal-love-and-protectiveness-of-his-Slayer. If you're going to poke that bear you'd better have some invincibility mojo going on.
- Prior to that, while he's fencing with Wesley, he manages to parry his blows without even looking at him.
- Though "Fool For Love" is a good latter-day attempt, Spike gets his in the final scene of "Lovers Walk" where, after a montage of every other character's brooding Wangst, you see him in his car streaking off into the desert sun to find Drusilla, rocking out to Sid Vicious' version of "My Way".
- Spike's deconstruction of Angel and Buffy's relationship needs to be quoted:Spike: You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love 'til it kills you both. You'll fight, and you'll shag, and you'll hate each other 'til it makes you quiver, but you'll never be friends. Love isn't brains, children, it's blood — blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it.
- Spike's deconstruction of Angel and Buffy's relationship needs to be quoted:
- "Beauty and The Beasts": Jealous boyfriend Pete confronts Oz, who's locked in the book cage, about Debbie. Oz tries to warn Pete away by saying that something is about to happen that Pete "probably won't believe", then Pete morphs into Hyde-Pete and lays a smackdown on Oz for several minutes. At one point, Oz manages to put a bit of space between them, and he looks out the window to see the sun dip below the horizon. Cue Moment of Awesome: "Time's up. Rules change." Were-Oz proceeds to unleash a full-fledged wolf-fu style asskicking that only ends, fortunately for Pete, when Oz gets distracted and tries to attack Willow and Faith.
- In "Choices", when Willow gets taken by Faith, Buffy wants to trade the Box of Gavrok for her best friend. Wesley refuses to let her do this because it's exchanging thousands of lives for one person, and everyone present - Wesley, Buffy, Giles, Xander, even Angel - begin shouting their opinions, standing around arguing. Oz, after wordlessly staring at Wesley through his speech, calmly stands up, walks over the vase he and Xander prepared for the Box-destroying ritual, grabs the pedestal, and sends the entire thing flying into the wall, smashing it to pieces. It's quickly decided afterwards to trade the Box for Willow.
- Cordelia facing down Lyle Gorch in "Homecoming", where she delivers an absolutely unforgettable (and incredibly ballsy) monologue.Cordelia: (You're going to) Rip out my innards, play with my eyeballs, boil my brain and eat it for brunch? Listen up, needle-brain. Buffy and I have taken out four of your cronies, not to mention your girlfriend.
Cordelia Whatever. The point is, I haven't even broken a sweat. See, in the end, Buffy's just the runner-up. I'm the Queen. You get me mad, (gets in his face and glares at him) what do you think I'm gonna do to you?
- Keep in mind that Lyle thought Cordelia was a slayer in this scene, and she was playing to that misconception. In other words, bluffing her ass off - which, in some people's opinions, makes it even more awesome.
- As proved in Angel, Cordy's acting chops come through when it really, really matters.
- In "Graduation Day: Part 2", Cordelia gets to dust her first vampire (at least on screen). Not just a good final moment of awesome before she departs the show for Angel, but also a nice bookend to the character who was held captive by vampires in the first episode and could only scream and cry.
- Even the arrogant young Watcher gets an awesome moment in "Graduation Day Part 2" when he returns to the group of his own volition and expresses his willingness to do whatever is needed to help stop the Mayor. Keep in mind that, with Buffy having turned her back on the Council, Wesley was under no obligation to stay and could have easily gone back to England before the battle ever started. Literally no one in the Scooby Gang (besides Cordelia) even liked him, and none of them would have cared if he left. He stays to help purely because it's the right thing to do. This is also something of an Establishing Character Moment, as it sets the stage for his transition into a much less cowardly, more heroic character when he goes over to Angel.
- Killing the vampire who killed her Watcher with a really large stake in "Faith, Hope, and Trick".
- Stake nothing. She rams a support beam sized 2x4 through his chest, right after he taunted Buffy about 'needing a bigger stake.'
- Having learnt that Scott has dumped Buffy in "Homecoming", Faith goes in to bat for her, grossing out his current girl with claims of having several STDs. Buffy's other friends...do sweet jack all.
- Taking out Mr. Trick and four other vamps while Buffy is incapacitated in "Consequences".
- Credit where credit is due Faith does not go down easily in her final fight with Buffy in "Graduation Day Part 1". Despite having Faith cornered in her own apartment, having an entire seasons worth of reasons to want to see Faith dead and needing to drain her blood in order to save Angel's life Faith still manages to give Buffy one of her most intense and difficult fights in the entire series. And at the end when Faith gets gutted by Buffy by her own knife and is close to dying Faith more or less gives her a defiant screw you and purposely jumps off the top of her apartment building into a moving truck in order to prevent Buffy from getting her blood.
- In the slaver demon's pocket dimension in "Anne". When Buffy is incapacitated, all the other humans are about to either give up or die, and she's just been emotionally beaten back into submission, Lily kills the slaver demon by shoving him off the ledge from behind in the middle of his monologue.
- The Mayor was back to back awesome, even if not a badass as we'd call it now. His crowning moment, however, was probably killing the definition of Asshole Victim, Pricipal Snyder.
- Shrugging off being stabbed in the back by Giles. He had invincibility, but still. It takes balls for a man to stay completely calm, if offended.
- Jonathan staying to fight the zombies in "Dead Man's Party". That took a lot of cojones from someone like him.
- "Graduation Day Part 2", where the entire graduating class pulls out weapons and does a human wave attack on the Big Bad.
- How about the season 4 opener "The Freshman"? Buffy punches the vampire that earlier kicked her ass across the room with her broken arm, before turning around to casually chat to her friends, throwing a stake over her shoulder and straight into its heart - all because Sunday (the vampire) had broken her 'Class Protector' trophy.Buffy: And for the record, the arm is hurt. (*thwack*) It's not broken.
- Knocking out Parker with a piece of wood at the end of "Beer Bad".
- From "The Initiative": telling off Professor Walsh for her harsh attitude to towards Willow, who is still reeling from her breakup with Oz.Buffy: "You know for someone who teaches human behavior, you might try showing some."Professor Walsh: "It's not my job to coddle my students."Buffy: "You're right. A human being in pain has nothing to do with your job." (Walks away)Professor Walsh: "I like her".
- "The I In Team": Buffy taking out two powerful demons barehanded after Professor Walsh sends her into a trap. Followed by this equally awesome Badass Boast on her body camera, said on monitors in the Initiative HQ just as Walsh finished telling Riley about Buffy's "death":Buffy: That simple little recon you sent me on...wasn't a recon. Turns out it was me trapped in the sewers with a faulty weapon and two of your pet demons. If you think that's enough to kill me, you really don't know what a Slayer is. Trust me when I say you're gonna find out.
Adam: How can you ...
- Taking point to lead the Scoobies through the demon-Initiative war. She goes postal on the demons, and not one of her friends is hurt. This is before the Enjoining... at last you understand why she's the Slayer.
- Buffy blocking Adam's bullets after the Scoobies possess her. You can just taste his fear when he says "Interesting". Before turning Adam's rocket projectile into birds using the power of all the Scoobies.
- The whole scene is pretty awesome. Enjoined Buffy lands three rapid-fire punches on Adam's face, and then some rapid-fire levitating kicks, before punching a hole in his chest to take out his power source
Enjoined Buffy: You could never hope to grasp the source of our power.
[Beats Adam up, punches through his chest and takes out his nuclear battery]
Enjoined Buffy: But yours is right here.
[Holds the nuclear battery in front of him and magically disintegrates it]
- "I walk. I talk. I shop. I sneeze. I'm gonna be a fireman when the floods roll back. There's trees in the desert since you moved out, and I don't sleep on a bed of bones. Now give me back my friends!"
- When Parker breaks up with Buffy after a one night stand, Willow goes to tear him a new one. He starts putting the moves on her, and she plays along a bit, before rocking him by seeing through his act.
- This was on Funny Moment, but it's worth repeating here.Willow: Keep eye contact. Funny is good, but don't be glib. And remember, if you hurt her, I will beat you to death with a shovel.
(Riley looks back at her, very surprised)
Willow: A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend. Have fun.
- That speech he gave to Buffy after she briefly lost her self-esteem in "The Freshmen":Buffy, I've gone through some fairly dark times in my life, faced some scary things, among them the kitchen at the fabulous Ladies Night club. Let me tell you something, when it's dark and I'm all alone and I'm scared or freaked out or whatever, I always think, "What would Buffy do?" You're my hero.
- Xander's off-hand comment about combining Giles' brains and Willow's magic with Buffy was what inspired Giles to do just that. Also, the fact that Xander was the heart of the spell.
- The shot is brief, but during the fight scene in the Initiatives HQ, Xander, armed with nothing but a rifle hes never used before, is very clearly doing his best to shield Willow and Giles from the demons surrounding them. Giles ends up not needing the help, but he manages to shoot back a demon that gets too close to Willow.
- "Fear Itself": The frat house sealed Buffy and friends inside and their worst fears are coming true (again)? All the doors and windows have vanished? Frat house, meet Giles. With a chainsaw.Giles: We'll need to make a door
Anya: You can do that?
Giles: (pulls a chainsaw out of his bag) I can.
- Though it's terribly anvilicious, his rage against the old fundamentalist in "Where The Wild Things Are" is still rather magnificent. And needed.
- Giles' "Exposition Song" in "Restless", aided by ASH having a really good singing voice."...and try not to bleed on my couch/I just had it steam-cleeeeeaned..."
- Spike's escape from the Initiative was pretty freaking cool.
- "I'm back! And I'm a bloody ANIMAL!" Bonus points for wearing a tacky Hawaiian shirt and still sounding awesome.
- When Faith wakes up from her coma in "This Year's Girl", the group goes searching for her. Giles and Xander run into Spike, and describe the situation, and Faith. Spikes response "Tell you what I'll do then. I'll head out, find this girl... tell her exactly where all of you are and watch as she kills you." Xander and Giles look at each other in confusion. Spike continues, "Can any one of your damn little Scooby club at least try to remember that I HATE YOU all?" When Xander tries to retort that Spike doesn't even know what Faith looks like, Spike calmly recites Xander's physical description: "Dark hair, this tall, name of Faith, criminally insane. Like this girl already," as he walks off. Xander and Giles are left behind, utterly dumbstruck, until all Xander can say is "We're dumb."
- "Where The Wild Things Are" was probably the worst episode of the season, but Anya was well and truly awesome and we saw what she would do when Xander was in danger. She charged up the stairs telling the screeching poltergeists who want to kill her to, "Shut up, repressed crybabies!" They responded by making a vine [don't ask] go straight through the palm of her hand, so she pulled it out without even a second of hesitation, and continued fighting her way up to bathroom to stop them drowning her boyfriend.
- Riley arresting Ethan Rayne in the middle of his Breaking Speech in "A New Man.
- Punching Parker in the face when the latter starts making unpleasant remarks about Buffy.
- It takes a special kind of soldier to rip out a programming chip embedded in his own chest, and Riley shows off his steel-plated testicles by using broken glass to do it.
- Riley decking that smug son of a bitch Colonel MacNamara:MacNamara: You're a dead man, Finn!
Riley: No, sir. (knocks the colonel out with one fist to the jaw) I'm an anarchist.
- Confronting Buffy on campus in "This Year's Girl".
- Faith has another badass fight with Buffy (which at one point involves her swinging a glass door into Buffy's face) while only having just left the hospital from her coma. However what makes this fight truly impressive is the fact that at the end Faith uses a machine the Mayor left her in order to switch bodies with Buffy and then knock her old body out. So apparently Faith intentionally let Buffy beat the shit out of her so that she could switch bodies with her, knock her old weakened body out, leave Buffy in Faith's body to the Watchers and escape. Damn.
- "Who Are You?" Her in Buffy's body telling a bunch of vamps holding a congregation hostage that what they're doing is wrong... and meaning it.
- Harmony driving away Spike in "Pangs".No! I'm strong and I'm beautiful and I don't need you to complete me. (pulls out stake) And you're mean!.
- "Checkpoint", where after a full episode of being made to feel inferior by the Zen Survivor Watcher's Council, the ditziest Big Bad ever to appear on the show, and a crazy Knight Templar army of Well-Intentioned Extremists, Buffy gives a perfectly calm, almost deadpan set of demands to the council's lead Deadpan Snarker, punctuated by a thrown broadsword. The scene in all its awesomeness:Quentin Travers: We can begin the review at last. We'll skip the more obvious questions-
Buffy: [places sword over his notes] There isn't gonna be a review.
Buffy: No review. No interrogation. No questions you know I can't answer. No hoops, no jumps, [Nigel opens his mouth to speak, Buffy turns to him] and no interruptions. [begins pacing] See, I've had a lot of people talking at me the last few days. Everyone just lining up to tell me how unimportant I am. And I've finally figured out why. Power. I have it. They don't. This bothers them. ...Glory came to my home today.
Giles: Buffy, are you-?
Buffy: Just to talk. She told me I'm a bug, I'm a flea, she could squash me in a second. Only she didn't. She came into my home and we talked. We had, what in her warped brain, probably passes for a civilized conversation. Why? Because she needs something from me. Because I have power over her. You guys didn't come all the way from England to determine whether or not I was good enough to be let back in. You came to beg me to let you back in.]] To give your jobs, your lives, some semblance of meaning.
Nigel: This is beyond insolence-
Buffy: [flings broadsword, which just barely misses him] I'm fairly certain I said no interruptions.
Xander: [whispers] That was excellent.
Buffy: You're Watchers. Without a Slayer, you're pretty much just watching Masterpiece Theatre. You can't stop Glory. You can't do anything with the information you have, except maybe publish it in the Everyone Thinks We're Insane-O's Home Journal. So here's how it's gonna work. You're gonna tell me everything you know. And then you're gonna go away. You'll contact me if and when you have any further information about Glory. The Magic Shop will remain open. Mr Giles will stay here as my official Watcher, reinstated at full salary-
Giles: [coughs] Retroactive.
Buffy: -To be paid retroactively from the month he was fired. I will continue my work with the help of my friends-
Lydia: I-I-I... don't want a sword thrown at me, but-but civilians, I - we're talking about children.
Buffy: We're talking about two very powerful witches and a thousand-year-old ex-demon.
Anya: Willow's a demon?!
Phillip: And the boy? No power there.
Buffy: The boy has clocked more field time than all of you combined. He's part of the unit.
Willow: [whispers] That's Riley-speak.
Xander: [whispers back, grinning] I've clocked field time.
Buffy: You all may be very good at your jobs. The only way we're gonna find out is if you work with me. You can all take your time thinking about that. But I want an answer right now from Quentin, 'cause I think he's understanding me.
Quentin: [clears throat] Your terms are... acceptable.
- The fact that Buffy went toe to toe with Glory as often as she did. She may have gotten her ass kicked nearly every time but she was facing off against a living god with just her Slayer powers. Of course that made it beyond amazing when she finally wiped the floor with Glory in the final.
- And since we're on the subject, a moment from "Spiral":Glory: Any last words?
Buffy: Just one. Truck.
(A truck smashes Glory offscreen.)
- And since we're on the subject, a moment from "Spiral":
- Buffy nonchalantly pushing Doc off Glory's tower in "The Gift". Doc was in mid-sentence. It was like a non-verbal "Whatever."
- Let's not forget Buffy sacrificing herself. Like the tombstone said: She saved the world. A lot.
- Buffy wiping out the vampire brothel gang, six to one odds, in fourteen seconds. Probably just as well she didn't take up Riley's invitation to work out her anger on him.
- When we see just how protective Buffy is on a smaller scale, whether it be with Dawn as mentioned or earlier in the season Tara. This is a pissed off young lady, remember from reading above, who has fought gods. What do you think she'll do to protect a Domestic Abuse victim? There's a reason these are listed on Heartwarming Moments.
- The show gets a meta-example in that any other show would have made a big stunt out of Willow and Tara's first kiss, if they let it in at all. This got put in in a completely natural way, and not sexualized.
- "I. Owe. You. Pain."
- Even people who hate Dark Willow love this line.
- This line is actually made even better because it's not Dark Willow, but just an EXTREMELY tweaked-off normal, sweet, happy, gentle Willow.
- As is this one:Glory: What's this, bag of tricks?
Willow: Bag of knives.
- The moment is especially awesome as it's the first time anybody has hurt Glory, at all. If Willow hadn't burned through her power so quickly, who knows what she could have done?
- Buffy's pretty good at punching out vampires, demons and the Big Bad. Willow punches out gods.
- Another great Willow moment was in the previous episode, "Weight of the World". With Dawn kidnapped by Glory, Buffy catatonic, and Tara having lost her mind, Willow's finally had enough when Xander and Spike start fighting. After forcing them apart with magic, she takes charge, berating them. The entire time her voice is nearly deadpan, but containing a fury that leaves even Anya and Spike afraid to piss her off.Willow: Buffy's out. Glory has Dawn. Sometime real soon, she's gonna use Dawn to tear down the barrier between every dimension there is. So if you two wanna fight, do it after the world ends, okay? All right. First we head back to Sunnydale. Xander'll take Giles to a hospital. Anya's looking after Tara. And Spike, you find Glory. Check her apartment, see if she's still there. Try anything stupid, like payback, and I will get Very Cranky. (looks at them) Everyone clear?
- This:Willow: Spike was right. Snap out of it! What you're going through right now? It's called guilt. It's an emotion, and it's important, but it's not more than that. Buffy, you have had the weight of the world on your shoulders since high school, and for one second you wanted it to be over. So what?!
Buffy: I killed Dawn.
Willow: Hello, your sister? Not dead yet! But she will be soon, if you don't come back to us.
Buffy: What if I can't?
Willow: Then I guess you're right. You really did kill your sister. [turns to walk away]
Buffy: Where are you going?
Willow: Where you're needed. You coming?
- Willow got a Crowning Moment in "The Gift", when Glory, noticing Tara (who had been driven insane by her) wandering around amongst her minions and contemptuously asking her "What are you doing here?", Willow calmly walks up beside her and replies in a tone somehow both deadpan and with barely suppressed rage "She's with me", before grabbing Glory's head and sucking away all of the energy keeping her mentally composed and redirecting it to Tara, thus simultaneously and instantly healing her lover and blasting a hellgod across a construction yard, significantly weakened.
- Despite being taunted by Spike for being utterly normal, and thus utterly useless in a fight (specifically, Spike calls Xander a "glorified bricklayer", to which Xander responds weakly, "I'm also a pretty good bowler"), Xander accompanies the rest of the gang to the construction-site lair of Glory the Hell-God. And at a critical moment in the fight, he knocks the Glory through a wall with a wrecking ball.Xander: And the glorified bricklayer picks up the spare.
Audience: OH HELL YEAH!!!
- The whole gang had an Awesome moment in "Family", but Xander's contribution is a particular favorite of mine;Donny MacClay: Tara, if you don't get in that car, I swear by God I will beat you down.
Xander: And I swear by your full and manly beard, you're gonna break something trying.
- When Spike arrives at the Magic Box and tries to paint himself in a positive light to the Scoobies, Giles shoves the vampire against a shelf and tells him, calmly but firmly, to stay away from Buffy in "I Was Made To Love You".Giles: We are not your friends, Spike, and we are not your way to Buffy. There is no way to Buffy. (picks up Spike's blanket and gives it to him) Now clear of here. And Spike? This thing? Get over it.
Spike: (cheekily) I have no idea what you mean.
Giles: Yes, you do. Move the hell on.
- Spike then opens his mouth to reply, but Giles just glares at him, the expression on his face clearly saying "Say one word, and I will annihilate you."
- "Tough Love" has one of Giles' best Moment of Awesome. After finding one of Glory's minions spying on them, Giles tells Anya and Willow to get twine to tie him up, and proceeds to engage in off screen violence. The minion quickly decides singing like a canary to be the wiser of the two options. Best part? When asked what happened, Giles/Ripper cooly responds with, "He changed his mind."
- Immediately preceding making him talk, Giles reveals that he's known the whole time that the minion was spying on them, keeping up a conversation with Willow and making her feel better about herself after a fight with Tara, then wrenches open and slams the door so hard he knocks the minion unconscious.
- Personally I'd consider Giles' crowning moment to be when he killed Ben/Glory. That was so ridiculously badass.
- Perhaps less impressive when you consider that everyone in the Buffyverse is Made of Iron - but swordfighting in a melee, having been stabbed in the stomach only last night, cannot be fun.
- "Fool For Love" is Spike's Crowning Moment. An entire episode of Spike taunting and jeering as he explains his history, and tells Buffy in extensive detail how he brutally killed two of her predecessors.Spike: The first was all business but the second, she had a touch of your style. She was cunning, resourceful... oh, did I mention? Hot. I could have danced all night with that one.
Buffy: You think we're dancing?
Spike: That's all we've ever done. And the thing about the dance is, you never get to stop. Every day you wake up, it's the same bloody question that haunts you: is today the day I die? Death is on your heels, baby, and sooner or later it's gonna catch you. And part of you wants it. Not only to stop the fear and uncertainty, but because you're just a little bit in love with it. Death is your art. You make it with your hands, day after day. That final gasp. That look of peace. Part of you is desperate to know: What's it like? Where does it lead you? And now you see, that's the secret. Not the punch you didn't throw or the kicks you didn't land. Every Slayer... has a death wish. Even you. The only reason you've lasted as long as you have is you've got ties to the world... your mum, your brat kid sister, the Scoobies. They all tie you here, but you're just putting off the inevitable. Sooner or later, you're gonna want it. And the second- the second- that happens...you know I'll be there. I'll slip in... have myself a real good day.
- He didn't have a good day. He promised Buffy and himself that he would enjoy her dying, and it destroyed him. Joss Whedon, you bastard.
- Spike had more than his fair share, but that's what happens when you're the Badass Longcoat.Buffy: What are you doing here? [Spike begins to answer] Five words or less.
Spike: [Pauses, then, counting on his fingers] Out... for... a... walk. [Pauses again] ...Bitch.
- "Intervention". Spike gets tortured by a hellgod that no one has been able to beat, and the only thing he has to do to save himself pain is tell Glory where the Key is. And he doesn't do it. Because he couldn't hurt the real Buffy by betraying Dawn.
Spike: Guess what, bitch? I'm not telling you jack. You're never gonna get your sodding key, 'cause you might be strong, but in our world, you're an idiot.
- Not to mention he escapes by himself. When the scoobies show he just has to figure out how he's getting out the elevator, past the henchmen and to his crypt, in broad daylight. Notably the scooby gang showed up to kill him before he could talk.
- There's also his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Glory.
Glory: I am a god.
Spike: The god of what, bad home perms?
Glory: Shut up! I command you, shut up!
Spike: Yeah, okay, sorry, but I just had no idea that gods were such prancing lightweights. Mark my words, the Slayer is going to kick your skanky, lopsided ass back to whatever place would take a cheap, whorish, fashion victim ex-god like you.
- Spike's contribution to protecting Tara from her family in "Family" was awesome in its fast-thinking and unorthodox creativity. When Tara's father contemptiously calls her something akin to a demon-spawn, Spike walks up to Tara and punches her in the nose. How can punching a girl be a Moment of Awesome? Because it triggers Spike's shock-chip, proving that Tara is actually human. Which means that Spike not only promptly worked out how his curse could for once prove useful but also volunteered to suffer another fit of head-splitting pain just to help a human.
- Glory appears at the park, and grabs her hand, probably breaking it - at any rate you can see that Tara's in serious pain - but Glory threatens the people around them if Tara draws attention, so she keeps quiet. Then Glory demands to know where Dawn is, threatening Tara with terrifyingly described insanity if she doesn't tell...and again, she keeps quiet, apparently because she'd take anything rather than let someone else be hurt.
- Made even better as Tara had previously stated that she considered this a Fate Worse than Death.
- Anya's soliloquy in "The Body":Anya: But I don't understand, I don't understand how this all happens, how we go through this. I mean I knew her, and now she's...there's just a body, and I don't understand how come she just can't get back in it and not be dead anymore. It's stupid! It's mortal and it's stupid! And Xander's crying and not talking, and I was having fruit punch and I was thinking that well, Joyce will never have fruit punch, ever, and she'll never have eggs, or yawn, or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why.
- In "The Gift", Anya tries to keep everyone going with forced optimism and keeps trying to get the group to think of ideas. Spike and Giles are annoyed by her and rudely tell her to think of something herself. Without missing a beat, she comes up with the Dagon Sphere and Olaf's Hammer, two artifacts that made a huge difference in the fight with Glory.
- Showing some pretty quick thinking in "Listening To Fear" when she finds the Queller demon attacking Joyce. She grabs a coatrack and uses it to push the demon off her mother. Then, once it's out of the room, she rushes around to close all the doors and keep it out. Before closing the last door she makes sure to scream loudly and clearly enough for Buffy to come and help them.
- Aborting the resurrection spell in "Forever", pulling Buffy from the brink of accepting a zombified Joyce as her mother.
- Taking down a vamp nest by himself using a grenade.
- Not to mention first staking the vampire who nearly killed Buffy with the stake he'd earlier taken from Buffy.
- The Scoobies facing down Tara's family in "Family".
Tara's Father: We are her blood kin! Who the hell are you?
- Except for Spike, who makes a point, as everyone else is doing their "You'll hafta go through ME first" routine, of saying "You won't hafta go through me, I don't really care". (And then Xander emphasizes: "You'll have to go through all of us... except Spike.")
- Though Spike did do his bit when he strikes Tara, proving that she's entirely human due to him feeling pain via the chip in his brain (not a pleasant thing). He didn't have to do it, the family was already on the debate's losing end... One can't help but feel that despite still being (mostly) evil, his not caring was coming to be a state of denial by this point (well, that or simple spite for the sort of people the McClays seem to be. Either way, it's a pretty cool moment.)
- Should be noted this is taking place at the end of an episode in which Tara is painfully aware that she doesn't quite 'fit in' with the group.
Buffy: We're family.
- Except for Spike, who makes a point, as everyone else is doing their "You'll hafta go through ME first" routine, of saying "You won't hafta go through me, I don't really care". (And then Xander emphasizes: "You'll have to go through all of us... except Spike.")
- I'm not sure this was intentional, but I and my inner feminist found Harmony's speech to Spike in "Crush", coupled with her shooting him with a crossbow, pure, utter, awesome.What about me, Spike? You forget about me again? The actual girlfriend? I gave you the best ... bunch of months of my life! I thought I could change you, Spike. I thought maybe if I gave and I gave and gave, maybe you'd come around. Maybe be a little nicer. Stop treating me like your dog. But now I see it's you. You're the dog. Who needs to be put down.
- The scientist pretending to remove Spike's chip by first distracting Harmony.
- In "Bargaining", the leader of the demon bikers rips off a vampire's head with his bare hands. Later, he throws a punch...and Buffy catches it in her palm and thrashes him effortlessly. Looks like dying made her stronger. Again.
- Killing the monster in "Normal Again" by punching through its chest.
- In one corner we have Buffy, the slayer, the embodiment of female empowerment. In the other, Warren, the ultimate misogynist who's made himself invincible. The winner?Warren: Say goodnight, bitch!
Buffy destroys his magic orbs before he's Punched Across the Room.
Buffy: Goodnight, bitch!
- It should be noted that these two magic orbs in a pocket at his girdle have been what made Warren invincible, and Jonathan moments before had faked an attack on Buffy, whispering to her to destroy these orbs, probably because he didn't wanted Buffy to die. So yeah, while a cool dialogue, Buffy definitely had some help here.
- Buffy dispatching Sweet's minions choreographically while singing "Something To Sing About" in "Once More With Feeling".When there's life [Beats a minion with his own pool cue]
Everyday's [Elbow to a minion's face]
Wishes can [Kicks another]
Come true [Punches one in the face]
Whistle While [Starts beating one down with the pool cue]
You work [Smack]
So hard [SMACK] All day [SEMMACK]
[Throws the pool cue on another minion, impaling him]
To be like other girls
Fitting in in this glittering world
- Willow summoned this otherworldly being to try to resurrect Tara but he gave a huff about how she died by human means. Willow screamed at the thing and you can tell that she hurt it.
- To clarify, that was Osiris, Egyptian god of the dead. Once again, Willow attacked a god and hurt it.
- Her flaying of Warren. Disturbing in execution, but so, so deserved. Willow the Vampire Flayer. Whoever thought up the idea deserves a date with Willow for that one.
- Let's face it, her torture and hunt for him was pretty special as well. Before she foregoes the torture and shows just what she's capable of by ordering Warren off the bus before choking him until his head pops like a grape. It was a robot clone, but No-Nonsense Nemesis much?
- To clarify, that was Osiris, Egyptian god of the dead. Once again, Willow attacked a god and hurt it.
- A great Dark Willow moment: "Jonathan. Andrew. You boys like magic, don't you? ABDA KADABRA."
- Xander confronting Willow in "Grave":Xander: If you're going to end the world, start with me. I've earned it.
- That's right, Xander pulled off a Paragon Interrupt on the Apocalypse!
- Giles' return to Season 6: "I'd like to test that theory" had viewers cheering. This was after Willow's boast that no one can stop her, and Giles promptly proves her wrong.
- Personally, I thought Spike fighting to earn his soul back, throwing away a lifestyle he'd kept for a century, knowing he had little to no chance with Buffy despite that, is one of the most badass things someone can do. Love, man. It conquers all.
- Spike staring down the demon biker as it bears down on him and moving like a matador to steal the bike.
- Saving Willow from a biker demon in "Bargaining, Part 2" by burying an axe in his back."No one touches my girl!"
- Tara proves herself to be a real badass in "Bargaining, Part 1". We see her first using her magic offensively when she instinctively hits a demon with a blast when he tries to kidnap Anya, and she later intimidates more with a burst of fire (which also bluffs them into thinking Xander can do magic too). While Willow and Xander are lost in the woods, Tara is able to cast a spell that helps them find their way.
- In "Once More, With Feeling" - her performance of the ballad "Under Your Spell" is thrilling. Extra points for Amber Benson, who said that the song was written a bit higher than her normal vocal range - because Joss was convinced she could handle it. Turns out he was right.
- Heartbreaking as it is, Tara's breakup with Willow counts as this. This is a woman who spent most of her life in a household that tried to control her by making her believe she was a demon. Willow was the first person who helped her see herself as a person who deserved to be treated with respect. And when Willow proves that she's more interested in the magical solution, the quick fix, and won't give up the magic even when Tara tells her that she needs Willow to stop... She steps back and away from Willow, refusing to enable her or let her actions not have consequence. She takes a stand to protect herself from someone who, even though Willow loves her, was abusing her (the memory spell, which Tara even explicitly compares to what Glory did to her the previous season).
- Standing up to Anya in "Older And Far Away". Anya is pushing Willow, who's trying to stay on the wagon, to use magic to get them out of Buffy's house, and Tara steps in."Hey! You're gonna back off! She said no, and that's it. You're not gonna make her do something that she doesn't want to. And if you try... You're gonna have to go through me first. Understood?"
- Notable because not only are she and Willow broken up at this point in time, but it emphasizes just how far she's come from the shy girl who couldn't even get a sentence out when under scrutiny in her first appearance.
- And before that she stands up to Spike after being told about him and Buffy, when he gets sexually aggressive she's right on hand to shoot him down.
- !Grave!, where Buffy and Dawn are fighting the earth monsters: Dawn takes a hit and goes down, losing her sword; Buffy sees her fall, but is unable to help. Then, just as the monster moves in for another attack on Dawn...she somersault-rolls past it (in a very Buffy-like move) and lands next to her sword—which she uses to decapitate the monster in a single stroke. Buffy can only stare in disbelief.Dawn: (holding up the sword, tiny smile) What? You think I never watched you?
- In "Two to Go": Jonathan's little speech to Andrew when Andrew is holding the sword to Xander's throat and Jonathan has a sword to Andrew's.
- Buffy's speech at the end of "Bring on the Night", made all the more epic by the fact that when she makes this speech, she's battered and bruised, and manages to look the stronger for it.
- Buffy killing Caleb with the scythe.
- Buffy's little look from side to side after she cuts Caleb in half from the groin up.Angel: Now I'm pissed. Where is he?"
Buffy: "He had to split." (cracks up)
- "Chosen": Buffy getting stabbed, collapsing onto the ground, taunted by The First Evil about the wound being mortal, then standing up and just ignoring it. "I want you to get out of my face." Incredibly Awesome Pun, anybody?
- In addition, the fact that she gets up in slo-mo with that epic look on her face and the rousing music brewing in the background and then SLICES THREE TUROK-HAN OFF A CLIFF.Joss Whedon: Sauron himself would be like "DUDE!"
- In addition, the fact that she gets up in slo-mo with that epic look on her face and the rousing music brewing in the background and then SLICES THREE TUROK-HAN OFF A CLIFF.
- "That's right. They're trapped. Terrified. Meat for the beast. That's all they've been doing for days - running away from an enemy that can't be killed. But, see, I don't believe that. I'm the Slayer. I always find a way. I'm the thing that nightmares have nightmares about. And right now, you and me are gonna show them why."
- A lot smaller, but actually very impressive as well, the kill of the spiderdemon. Buffy just throws an axe into the air - down comes the spider, cut in half !
- She shuts down Xander's hypocrisy in wanting to let Anya live (and not giving a thought to the twelve innocent people she killed by granting one wish) by reminding him that she killed Angel - right after he got his soul back - because she had to in order to save the world. And that she's had to sacrifice more than he ever will in order to protect the innocent.
- Willow having the first confrontation with The First Evil. Even better, she manages to drive it away when it realizes that she's not as weak-willed as it thinks. She's left shaken by the encounter, but she doesn't back away from it.
- Willow's Badass Boast to Andrew in "Never Leave Me":I'm talking! Don't interrupt me! Insignificant man. I am Willow. I am death. If you dare defy me, I will call down my fury, exact fresh vengeance, and make your worst fears come true. Okay?
- "Get It Done", Willow hangs a lampshade on the Gratuitous Latin before showing why she's one of the most powerful women in the world:Via, concursus, tempus, spatium, audi me ut imperio. Screw it! Mighty forces, I suck at Latin, OK? But that's not the issue. I'm the one in charge, and I'm telling you open that portal, now!
- In "Chosen", Willow using her magic to unlock all the Potentials' powers, complete with white-haired glowing Willow, "Oh. My. Goddess.", and an appropriate summation when the spell is over and Willow flops to the floor, exhausted: "That was nifty."
- Xander when comforting Dawn at the end of "Potential":Xander: You're not special. You're extraordinary.
- Xander gets a series long Moment of Awesome simply for surviving. Buffy's a slayer and she died, twice. Willow's a witch and the most powerful character on the show. Anya's a demon and she died. Spike's a vampire and he died. Xander's human, arguably not even a Badass Normal, and he's survived.
- Angel appearing out of nowhere to save Buffy at the last moment from Caleb - with his show on a different television network.
- The way he thwarts the attempt on his life is suitably awesome.
- Crazy Spike embracing the cross.
- Even if you weren't a Spuffy shipper you have to admit Spike being willing to go up in flames even when he knew she didn't return his feelings to save the day is awesome.
- When the First Evil is impersonating Drusilla to manipulate Crazy!Spike. He laughs at the First, declaring that she's not Dru... because she's not nearly crazy enough.
- Spike's getting his ass kicked by a demon that he needs to kill to help Buffy. And he's laughing gleefully, clearly having more fun than he has all season. The demon pins him against a wall, and Spike simply snaps its neck before pulling out a cigarette. Lighting it with a match struck on the dead demons skin tops it all off amazingly.
- She manages to hold her own in a duel against Buffy in "Selfless", which is very impressive for someone not known for their fighting prowess.
- She's also ready and willing to give up her life and soul just to reverse the wish. She'll sacrifice herself for the sake of twelve boys she does not know. The boys themselves weren't angels, but that doesn't stop Anya from knowing what she did was wrong and has to be undone.
- Everybody should know how badly Buffy cracked after The First drove a potential to suicide. Basically, she goes beyond Drill Sergeant Nasty in an epic "everyone sucks but me" speech. Well later, when her arch nemesis Faith shows up, reformed, wanting to help and the potentials wanting her over Buffy she spits it and leaves. We gotta give Anya this for her thoughts." You missed her "everyone sucks but me" speech. If she's so superior, let her find her own way back."
- "Bunnies. Floppy. Hoppy. Bunnies."
- Dawn to Spike in "Beneath You":Dawn: You sleep, right? You. Vampires. You sleep.
Spike: Yeah. What's your point?
Dawn: You know, I probably can't take you in a fight, even with a chip in your head, but if you ever hurt my sister, you're going to wake up on fire.
Spike, shortly after, to Buffy: When did your sister get unbelievably scary?
- Dawn's speech to Amanda in "Potential", and the subsequent act of sheer guts when she hands over the stake to Amanda, while facing down a vampire and six Bringers.
- Toward the end of season 7, Buffy sends Dawn out of town, getting Xander to pretty much kidnap her to keep her away from the apocalypse. Buffy leaves a touching letter with Xander for Dawn, she reads the note and we hear Buffy narrate what's written on the note - then the narration cuts off midway through, as Dawn tosses the note aside, tazes Xander, takes control of the car and turns right around to go back and fight the evil. And later surprised Buffy turns around to see angry Dawn (who's literally just walked up behind her). She stares at Dawn for a moment, then Dawn kicks her in the shin.
- Which hurts Buffy, before Dawn calls her a dumbass. Considering her actions over the season this can be very cathartic.
- The best bit of this is when you expect a ridiculous Buffy speech but she just says "...if you get killed, I'm telling."
- Coming back to Sunnydale to fight evil, even knowing the reception she was apt to receive.
- Telling off the Potentials after assuming leadership after Buffy leaves and telling them that they wanted her to lead, well, she's going to lead.
- Depending on your view of Buffy's behaviour in Season 7, the potentials confronting her about her poor leadership and demanding she get on board or leave might be a collective Moment of Awesome for the group.
- And of course, the Potentials in the finale after getting full Slayer powers. Bonus points to Vi and Rona, the two girls who were most hesitant about fighting and were terrified more than anyone else; especially Vi. But when they get fully empowered? Vi guts several ubervamps with her knife in a whirling frenzy of destruction, and Rona kills a lot of them, with a broken arm, no less.
- One Potential on the receiving end of Abusive Parents becomes a Slayer. She stops the abuse and shoots a Death Glare.
- On the villainous side, the First morphing into each previous Big Bad in reverse order to torment Spike. Creepy Awesome indeed.
- Caleb beating the shit out of the Scoobies in their first confrontation.
- Amanda in "Help" seeks Buffy's advice on an abusive boyfriend...should she pound him into the pavement some more. As a long term Bully Hunter the question leaves Buffy speechless. Of course, Amanada turns out to be a Potential. Who takes on vamps and Bringers with a little help from Dawn. With no clue of what's going on. Even Kennedy thinks she's a badass having trouble fighting just one with help.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar getting to play a Buffy villain, in the form of the First Evil's favored guise, in the style of her character from Cruel Intentions. Comes to a peak with First!Buffy taunting Good!Buffy during the final fight, with Buffy delivering a "Shut Up, Buffy!" by fighting on despite a seemingly mortal wound.
- Blink and you'll miss it, when confronted by a shotgun wielding Dirty Cop Kennedy does a move straight out of The Matrix and whacks him with his own gun, aims it at him, then tosses it aside.
- The comic itself gets one for the title "Them F*&#ing".
- Buffy killing a demon with a Crucifix.
- Amy's gloating that nothing can stop her. Enter Willow.
- Faith killing two gargoyles, despite completely wrecking her hands.
- Giles stabbing Roden with pruning shears, then killing him by opening a holding spell inside his body.
- Buffy killing Sephrilian with a magical assist from Willow.
- The "Wolves at the Gate" arc is made of awesome.
Toru: [catches sword] Just like an old man. He needs his cane to stand. Doesn't know what to do with himself now that he's an ordinary vampire. Like the rest of us.
- Toru managing to trick Dracula out of his powers and give them to his hundreds of Vampire mooks, steal the Scythe from Buffy, kill two Slayers, and very nearly succeed in his plan to depower the Slayer army.
- Giant-Dawn vs. Mecha-Dawn in the middle of downtown Tokyo.
- Especially Andrew's reaction to it. "One of my teammates is fighting a giant robot version of herself on the streets of Tokyo. I've been preparing for this moment my entire life."
- Renee baiting out a vampire, who Buffy captures, douses in fuel, and threatens to set alight if he doesn't talk. She does so anyway after she's done with him, declaring war, because of the brutal murder of a Slayer (who herself earned a Moment of Awesome for killing a bunch of powerful demons).
- Buffy jumping off a skyscraper and dusting Kumiko before she could kill Willow.
- Satsu staking Raidon right before he could kill Buffy.
- Toru intercept's Dracula's sword as it's thrown to him, but he takes it away and utterly destroys Toru by cutting off his arms and a leg, followed by Xander doing an Unflinching Walk through the battlefield to take Dracula's sword from him and decapitate Toru in revenge for him killing Renee. And during the first part of that, Dracula's You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With speech towards Toru.
Dracula: My boy... [dodges attack and takes sword] I was never an ordinary vampire. [slash] Or did you forget who I used to be? [slash] I've killed more men than God's plagues combined. And that was before I started eating people for fun. [slash] The fields of Europe used to steam with the blood of my enemies. Trust me...the vampire's the least of your concerns. It's the old man you need to worry about.
- Xander threatening to kill Dracula if he ever calls him manservant again. And Dracula takes the threat seriously. Xander sure has come a long way, hasn't he?
- A Internet tycoon approaches Buffy and Kennedy about being targeted by Wolfram & Hart, who are using his servers. When the demon Buffy brings along turns on them, she and Kennedy brawl and it looks like all hope us lost how does Kennedy save the day? Shoot the servers. Then she tries to keep Buffy hired on because despite everything their client made it out okay.
- After half of season nine being Buffy moping about being a Slayer and a comparatively weak Big Bad, where does the series go from here? All the main characters at full force fighting super vampires. Buffy going back to basics. Xander and Anya are back. Willow's at full power now that magic has returned. So's a recently revived Giles. Spike and Angel are fighting together, and Faith, and Billy the male Slayer, and Kennedy with Holly and Leah as the Slayer answer to Delta Force. This is gonna be good.
- Now with the release of Angel & Faith it's revealed there's a new Spike series. But there's something different about this one. There's a specific writer attached to it. Who you ask? None other than Spike himself, James Marsters.
- Season ten (and nine) achieved the impossible: They made Kennedy cool and turned her into essentially a Distaff Counterpart to Soap from Modern Warfare. Let's face it how many would think she is awesome were it not for her earlier portrayal?
- When Dracula's hubris at anipulating the book turns him into Maloker, the Old One who originated vampires, what do the gang do? Make Dawn a giant to distract him, have Buffy and Spike on his head to stab his eyes out, have Willow fly a priest to the top of a pointy skyscraper to bless it and make it a holy object, and helicopters with spotlights form a giant cross in the sky. Dawn finishes it off by body-slamming the blind and cross-stunned Malorker into the now-holy building's spire.
- With Angel & Faith having kicked into high gear the main series needed to step up and the long awaited return to Sunnydale does so big time. For a while now it's been hinted that Warren will be resurrected. Well... the Scoobies chase Andrew when he steals the Vampyer book who intends to use it to bring Johnathan Back from the Dead. There's someone else he intends to resurrect as well. Tara. McClay. Oh... here we go.
- "...we'll be fighting a megapowerful hell demon that can probably slaughter us in out sleep. Or as we call it, Wednesday." As well as a Badass Boast Willow says of herself, Buffy and Spike the issue was in fact released on Wednesday, making this literally true.
- Half of Angel & Faith has become Call Of Duty with Kennedy and Faith filling in for Price and Soap. Well Sam, Riley's wife, shows up as a Mac Millin Expy, sniping a good dozen vamps. Guns Are Worthless? Not as long as she's around they ain't.
- Under Archaeus' thrall, Angel runs Spike through with a sword. What does Spike do? Declare Angel just made on hell of a mistake, pull the sword out of his chest, and start Dual Wielding.
- Guess which bus came back? Dru's. Before proving she's no match for an experienced Slayer Faith gives this gem with a big shit eating grin on her face.Drusilia: Spike always said there was no tastier treat than taking down a Slayer.
Faith: I guess he'd know. Word on the street is he's taking Buffy down every night.
- Some may remember Nadira, the violent vigilante Slayer. When Drusilia kidnaps her she's all smiles and perfectly happy to go along. Why? Meeting Archaeus, the King of Hell, she wants to save him. Oh Nadira? Really? Kindness levels don't go up that high. Nadira tries to reason, and when that doesn't work, well she never stopped being a Slayer.
- Just the cover for the April 2016 issue does this with Buffy throttling a demon and crushing it's head.◊
- The season overall is chock-full of the gang marvelously averting Poor Communication Kills and showing how they've grown.
- When Spike and Buffy's Will They or Won't They? starts becoming an issue again, Xander and Dawn immediately confront them on it, enabling them to realize they can take the steps towards having a relationship again. This enables them to resist Harmony and other vampires' blatant attempts to break them up. And when Spike's own insecurities pop up and he tries to end things before he messes them up too badly to even be friends, Buffy calls him on it.
- After all the trauma he's been through, Xander makes the mature choice to see a therapist. This helps him deal with a lot of his issues and also help his friends with theirs.
- Andrew averts a FaceHeel Turn and betrayal by talking to the other Scoobies about the situation.
- When Willow and Buffy fight over Willow working with the military, they come to the conclusion that they can disagree and still be friends.
- Spike's insecurities get the better of him and he suggests he and Buffy break up before they ruin their friendship too? Buffy doesn't let him take the easy way out and they talk the issue out while in between stops of Buffy's plan to stop D'Hoffryn, sticking together and admitting they're both scared.
- The finale and final fight against D'Hoffryn. When the tide of battle turns on him with the Anya ghost's betrayal he quickly hightails it out of that dimension to recover. The crew don't let him and hunt him down. He quickly tries to get on their good sides, promising them one wish each, no backstabbing, using insecurities they've had throughout the season. Everyone turns him down and Buffy cuts his head off.
- The new Magic Council is clearly more likely to stick around, being composed of recurring characters and stars, including Dracula, Riley, Willow, and Giles. And who else? Buffy herself. Ready to take the reins and take responsibility for the new rules of magic.
- As if Buffy having been Brought Down to Normal because of a Super Registration Act going full Ronda Rousey on a UFC thug wanting to take her down wasn't cool enough later in the comic two army drones spying on her are taken out by, seemingly, a full on ninja. Said ninja enters Buffy's apartment except it's something even deadlier...hi Faith.
- Spike killing two slayers, especially Nikki Wood (sorry Robin). This is far beyond the usual. A vampire who isn't extremely old might get very lucky and be the one to catch a slayer in a mistake, or she might be overwhelmed by a group, but that's not what happened with Spike. He purposefully, on two occasions, sought a slayer out and beat her in a fair fight. One-on-one, with no weapons other than his own fists and fangs and whatever he might find in their surroundings. And he did it before he'd been undead even one century.
- Anytime Spike wins against the Scoobies in verbal arguments.
- Joyce's life as the mother of the slayer, half of it completely unaware yet still completely supportive.
- In the E-Comic "Harmony Comes to the Nation", Jane Espenson writes a Buffyverse-only one for... Stephen Colbert! It's a S8 tie-in. The plot? It's a two page comic showing an interview with Harmony after her show becomes big. Oh, and in his trademark style, points out her hypocrisy and stupidity.
- A meta one for the animators. Computer effects on television are pretty standard nowadays, with a lot of sci-fi and fantasy shows relying heavily on CG effects to cut out the amount of money that would be spent on elaborate sets and practical effects. Buffy was one of the flagship shows for this, as can be seen if you watch the Season 3 extras. They were among the first shows ever to make use of full CGI on television as opposed to movies, notable examples being the dusting, the morphing and the two snake demons of S3. Without Buffy showing that it was possible and cost effective, television as we know it might have been radically different. It may look very much like a 1999 effect today, but back then it was truly incredible stuff being done on a three week production deadline.
- Buffy vs Dragon. Mid air. Shown during the Animated Adaptation preview and when it was worked into the comics it's shown the Dragon loses.
- Buffy's first big win over vampires was over Luke. Who's Luke? A vampire the Master had made his vessel to enact the Harvest, which is all kinds of awesome as it would have led to the Wishverse. Faith's first big win over vampires? In the book Go Ask Malice she wards off the vengeful ghost of a former Slayer, who was captured by Kakistos and basically had every horror visited on her to become a mindless slave and Faith comes dangerously close to the same happening to her, she hunts down Kakistos, makes him believe she is broken before stabbing his balls off, wipes out a whole gang of vampires, cleaves Kakistos' head in two with an ax (he gets better) and still has the energy to brutally beat down and possibly kill the abusive pimp who targeted her mother. In. One. Night.