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.
"Welcome to the Hellmouth" (1x01)
- 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).
- Buffy befriending Willow despite her social standing. It's later established that Buffy used to be an Alpha Bitch like Cordelia, so her reaction to Cordy mocking Willow reminded her of her former self and made her say, "Screw the pecking order, I'll befriend who I want". Both this show and the Spin-Off had Character Development that lasted years. Buffy gets hers in the first episode, showing that this isn't the shallow idiot from the original movie.
- The first time we see Buffy in action doesn't disappoint - effortlessly taking out the vampire that was about to bite Willow, then engaging in banter with Darla.
"The Harvest" (1x02)
- Buffy saving Willow and Xander from the vampires in the graveyard.
- Xander shows a bit of the steel that leads him to face the supernatural on a regular basis with no powers whatsoever when he insists on coming to help rescue Jesse, and you can see Buffy's respect for him kick up a notch.
- Buffy's 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.Buffy: It's in about nine hours, moron.
- 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 repelling Darla with holy water. It didn't kill her like it was supposed to, but it's the first time she really steps up to the plate.
- A couple of vamps are trying to drag someone out of the Bronze with them as things wind down, and then they catch Buffy's Death Glare and decide to retreat.
"The Witch" (1x03)
- Buffy punching out Amy's abusive mother and deflecting her curse back at her. If nothing else, this is awesome because of how satisfying it was.
- Giles showing his Papa Wolf colors 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.
"Teacher's Pet" (1x04)
- Buffy hunting down Fork Guy and using him to find the she-mantis's lair. Bonus points for staking him when he breaks free.
"The Pack" (1x06)
- A very small one (doused with a bit of Heartwarming), where Xander, immediately upon waking from his hyena trance, sees Willow in danger and tackles the zookeeper to save her. All without a moment's hesitation.
- Darla pulling the guns on Buffy. 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.
- Angel saving Buffy from a Trigger-Happy Darla. How hard has he fallen for Buffy? He staked his own sire.Darla: ...Angel?
- "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.
- Xander punching out the Monster Clown. 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. When the child-beating coach tries to make his getaway in the end, Xander is the one to take him down.
"Prophecy Girl" (1x12)
- A huge moment of awesome for Willow, which gets glossed over in the episode itself: Xander is upset after Buffy gently turned him down, and asks Willow to the prom instead. The guy that she's been head over heels for since she was a little girl 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.
- 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.
- Xander saving Buffy's life 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.
- Cordelia driving to the library.
- 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. Smart, too, because if they'd tried getting out at the doors and running the rest of the way on foot, the vampires would have caught them.
- 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.
- Cordelia also shows her Combat Pragmatist tendencies by biting a vampire on the hand. "See how you like it."
- The Master kills Buffy. Even if she came Back from the Dead it's an impressive accomplishment.
- Just come back to life and hunting down the Master, Buffy's strut set to the theme song definitely counts too. A vampire tries to stop them, and with an unimpressed "Oh, look, a bad guy," Buffy takes him down without breaking stride.
- "I may be dead, but I'm still pretty. Which is more than I can say for you."
- Buffy No-Selling the Master's power. "You have fruit-punch mouth. [punch] And save the hypnosis crap for the tourists."
- The final comeback.The Master: [grabbing Buffy by the throat] Where are your jibes now? Will you laugh when my Hell is on Earth?
Buffy: You're that amped about Hell? [grabs him by the throat] Go there. [throws him through the skylight onto a broken piece of wood, killing him]
"When She Was Bad" (2x01)
- Cordelia calling Buffy out on her alienating behavior:Cordelia: Buffy. You're really campaigning for bitch-of-the-year, aren't you?
Buffy: As defending champion, you nervous?
Cordelia: I can hold my own. You know, we've never really been close, which is nice, 'cause I don't really like you that much, but...you have on occasion saved the world and stuff, so I'm gonna... do you a favor.
Buffy: And this great favor is...
Cordelia: I'm gonna give you some advice. Get over it.
Buffy: Excuse me?
Cordelia: Whatever is causing the Joan Collins 'tude, deal with it. Embrace the pain, spank your inner moppet, whatever, but get over it. 'Cause pretty soon you're not even gonna have the loser friends you've got now.
Buffy: I think it's about time you start minding your own business.
Cordelia: It's long past.
- Xander's "What the Hell, Hero?" to Buffy, ending with "If they hurt Willow, I will kill you." Here, Xander's balls dropped about a foot, and tripled in size.
"School Hard" (2x03)
- When a vamp grabs Cordelia, 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.
- Joyce Summers. Fire axe."You get the hell away from my daughter."
- Which gets referenced 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 referenced in "Becoming, Part 2".
- 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.
"Reptile Boy" (2x05)
- It was awesome to see Willow be more assertive towards Giles and Angel when they were being hard on Buffy."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?!"
- When Buffy is turned into a helpless 18th-century woman and Willow becomes a ghost, Xander 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 cheerleader, and even stand up to Spike.
- There's also something to be said about Willow herself taking up the leadership role of the Scoobies since she's the only one who's of her own mind (until Cordy and Angel show up to help).
- The first time Ethan shows up, there have been no hints 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.
"The Dark Age" (2x08)
- Give Anthony Head his props; when he has to whip out a range of emotions and characteristics...he's amazing.
- Willow lays down the law:And if you aren't with me a hundred and ten percent, then get the hell out of my library!
"What's My Line, Part 1" (2x09)
- 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.
"What's My Line, Part 2" (2x10)
- Drusilla picking up and carrying Spike.
- Jenny accidentally shoots Giles in the back with a crossbow bolt while he's wrestling with a vampire. His reaction? He rips it out and stabs the vampire in the heart with it.
"Bad Eggs" (2x12)
- 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. 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.
- On the DVD Commentary, Joss' comment for this scene is "I love how violent this is."
- Judge: Fool! No weapon forged can defeat me!
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?
- 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...Angelus: (chuckling) You can't do it. You can't kill me.
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.
- Buffy finally shuts up the sexist werewolf hunter.Cain: No wonder this town's overrun with monsters. No one here's man enough to kill them.
Buffy: Oh, I wouldn't be too sure of that. [bends the barrel of his rifle out of shape, then chucks it at him] How about you let the door hit you in the ass on the way out of town?
"Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" (2x16)
- Codelia snapping at Harmony: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.
- Angelus cements his status as Big Bad by murdering Jenny Calendar. It's one for Whedon and the show for having the balls to kill off an established and well-liked character in so brutal a fashion. The first real character death in the series and it still packs a punch.
- 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.
- To hammer it in a little more, there was every chance that had Giles not wanted to prolong Angelus's suffering, he could have easily staked him right there. The only reason Angelus turned the tables was because he seized on an opening that Giles accidentally gave him, but until then, he was entirely at the man's mercy.
"Killed By Death" (2x18)
- The confrontation between Xander and Angelus: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!)
"I Only Have Eyes For You" (2x19)
- Giles rescues Willow from being sucked into a portal in the floor.
- 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. Turns out he was patiently faking the need for the wheelchair for a while.
"Go Fish" (2x20)
- 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 bloodying his nose in the process.)
"Becoming Part 1" (2x21)
- Drusilla taking out Kendra the Vampire Slayer with a swipe of her fingernail.
"Becoming Part 2" (2x22)
- 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.
- Buffy vs Angelus:
- Willow performing the Ritual of Restoration.
- A subtle one. You wouldn't think that Buffy 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 the slaver demon's pocket dimension. 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.
"Dead Man's Party" (3x02)
- 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.
"Faith, Hope and Trick" (3x03)
- 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.
- Four words; "There is no spell."
- Faith killing the vampire who killed her Watcher with a really large stake.
- Stake nothing. She rams a support beam sized 2x4 through his chest, right after he taunted Buffy about 'needing a bigger stake.'
"Beauty and the Beasts" (3x04)
- 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.
- 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.
- Having learnt that Scott has dumped Buffy, Faith goes in to bat for her, grossing out his current girl with claims of having several STDs.
- Cordelia facing down Lyle Gorch, 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.
"Band Candy" (3x06)
- Not so much awesome as just plain fun: 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.
- At one point, Ethan Rayne spies a crowbar and attempts to reach for it in an attempt to attack Buffy. He’s stopped almost immediately by Giles pointing the same gun at him. Even when magically changed to act like a teenager, Giles is still Team Dad.
"Lover's Walk" (3x08)
- Though "Fool For Love" is a good latter-day attempt, Spike gets his in the final scene 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: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:
"The Wish" (3x09)
- Giles destroys Anyanka's power center almost entirely on faith that the other world "will be better. It has to be."
- Buffy killing the vamp 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.
"The Zeppo" (3x13)
- 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.
"Bad Girls" (3x14)
- Angel saving Giles and Wesley from Balthazar: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.He forgot the safety word, is that it?
- Faith taking out Mr. Trick and four other vamps while Buffy is incapacitated.
- 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.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.
- Willow 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.
- When Angel reveals that he's been pretending to have lost his soul;Faith: What can I say? I'm the world's best actor.
Angel: Second best.
- Cue Oh, Crap! look on Faith's face.
- 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.]
- 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.
- Giles calls Wesley a berk. A what? It's rhyming slang, it's a Moment of Awesome because Giles was calling Wes a cunt. note
- Xander single-handedly foiling the disgruntled lunchlady's attempt to murder students via poisoning the food.
- 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 to the vase he and Xander had 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.
- Willow's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Faith:Faith: Give me the speech again, please. "Faith, we're still your friends. We can help you. It's not too late."
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 Prom" (3x20)
- Buffy gets a Moment of Awesome, as well as a CMOF and CMOH. 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.
"Graduation Day Part 1" (3x21)
- 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.
- The Mayor 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.
- While fencing with Wesley, Giles manages to parry his blows without even looking at him.
- After Angel is poisoned and Buffy discovers that the only way to cure it is the blood of a slayer - she instantly prepares to take on Faith. She knows how powerful Faith is and that the fight won't be easy - but she'll do whatever she has to in order to save Angel. And tactically it's also a sound idea - removing a powerful obstacle from the enemy's side. The last part works - although Faith lives, being left comatose means she's unable to help the Mayor in the Ascension.
- Credit where credit is due Faith does not go down easily in her final fight with Buffy. 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.
"Graduation Day Part 2" (3x22)
- The entire graduating class pulls out weapons and does a human wave attack on the Big Bad.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jonathan staying to fight the zombies. That took a lot of cojones from someone like him.
- Wesley 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.
- 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."
"The Freshman" (4x01)
- 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.
- That speech Xander gave to Buffy after she briefly lost her self-esteem: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.
"Fear Itself" (4x04)
- 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.
"Beer Bad" (4x05)
- 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.
- Buffy knocking out Parker with a piece of wood.
"The Initiative" (4x07)
- Riley punching Parker in the face when the latter starts making unpleasant remarks about Buffy.
- Buffy 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.
- 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.
- Spike's escape from the Initiative was pretty freaking cool.
- Harmony driving away Spike.No! I'm powerful and I'm beautiful and I don't need you to complete me. (pulls out stake) And you're mean!.
"Something Blue" (4x09)
- Anya and Xander working together to kill the demons coming after Xander—pretty impressive for two Badass Normals.
- "I'm back! And I'm a bloody ANIMAL!" Bonus points for Spike wearing a tacky Hawaiian shirt and still sounding awesome.
"A New Man" (4x12)
"The I In Team" (4x13)
- 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.
"This Year's Girl" (4x15)
- When Faith wakes up from her coma, the group goes searching for her. Giles and Xander run into Spike, and describe the situation, and Faith. Spike's 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."
- Faith confronting Buffy on campus.
- 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?" (4x16)
- Faith in Buffy's body telling a bunch of vamps holding a congregation hostage that what they're doing is wrong... and meaning it.
"Where the Wild Things Are" (4x18)
- 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.
- Though it's terribly anvilicious, Giles' rage against the old fundamentalist is still rather magnificent.
"New Moon Rising" (4x19)
- 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.
"The Yoko Factor" (4x20)
- Angel comes back to town and beats up a whole platoon of Initiative troops, including Riley. These guys managed to capture Spike with no difficulty and put a chip in his head. With Angel, they never stood a chance.
- Give Riley props for actually giving Angel a pretty good fight.
- Buffy 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.
- 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.
- 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 Initiative’s HQ, Xander, armed with nothing but a rifle he’s 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.
- 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 sourceAdam: How can you ...
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]
- 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
- "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!"
- Giles' "Exposition Song", aided by Anthony Stewart Head having a really good singing voice."...and try not to bleed on my couch/I just had it steam-cleeeeeaned..."
"The Replacement" (5x03)
- Xander thinks his duplicate is evil and is using some kind of mind-control spell to make good things happen for him. Turns out, those things were happening naturally, like him getting promoted because he was doing a good job and his boss noticed.
"Out of My Mind" (5x04)
- The scientist pretending to remove Spike's chip by first distracting Harmony.
"No Place Like Home" (5x05)
- 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.
- The Scoobies facing down Tara's 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.")
- 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.Tara's Father: We are her blood kin! Who the hell are you?
Buffy: We're family.
- Xander's contribution deserves mention;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.
- What sells it is Anya's "That's my boy" expression.
- 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.")
"Fool for Love" (5x07)
- 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.
- Riley 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.
"Listening to Fear" (5x09)
- Dawn showing some pretty quick thinking 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.
"Into the Woods" (5x10)
- 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.
- 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.
"Blood Ties" (5x13)
- Willow and Tara teleport Glory out of the hospital and right above town. And it worked, despite giving Willow a nosebleed.
- Harmony's speech to Spike, coupled with her shooting him with a crossbow: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.
"I Was Made to Love You" (5x15)
- 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.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."
"The Body" (5x16)
- Anya's soliloquy: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.
- Dawn aborting the resurrection spell, pulling Buffy from the brink of accepting a zombified Joyce as her mother.
- 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 bear to hurt Buffy by betraying Dawn.
- 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.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.
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.
"Tough Love" (5x19)
- 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."
- 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. Having spent the entire scene speechless, whimpering in pain, she squares up, looks Glory in the eye, and continues to say nothing.
- Made even better as Tara had previously stated that she considered this a Fate Worse than Death.
- "I. Owe. You. Pain."
- 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.
- Buffy joins the fight:Glory: Know what they used to do to witches, lover? Crucify 'em.Glory pulls her arm back to stab her, but Buffy appears and grabs Glory's wrist.Buffy: They used to bow down to gods. Things change.
- Glory: Any last words?
Buffy: Just one. Truck.
(A truck smashes Glory offscreen.)
- The Knights of Byzantium attacking the RV is a strong contender for the best action sequence in the whole series. Buffy fights them off on the roof, resulting in one of the few times she intentionally kills a human.
- When one of The Knights of Byzantium stabs through the roof of the RV, Spike catches the blade with his bare hands, and holds it there even as his hands get painfully sliced up.
- Anya repelling an attacker with a Frying Pan of Doom. She literally kicked ass with cartoon logic.
"The Weight of the World" (5x21)
- With Dawn kidnapped by Glory, Buffy catatonic, Giles injured 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?
"The Gift" (5x22)
- 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.
- 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.Glory: Lost your hammer, sweetcheeks. What are you gonna hit me with now?WHAMBuffy: Whatever's handy.Xander: And the glorified bricklayer picks up the spare.
Audience: OH HELL YEAH!!!
- Giles killing Ben/Glory. In that moment, he briefly predicted Wesley circa season five of Angel.Giles: ...[Buffy] couldn't take a human life. She's a hero, you see. She's not like us.
- 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.
- In their final showdown, Buffy repeatedly wails on Glory with Olaf's hammer. After spending nearly the whole season barely being able to harm her and resorting to running away and after all the crap she's pulled, seeing the Slayer kick Glory's skanky lopsided ass is immensely satisfying.Glory: You're just a mortal. You couldn't understand my pain.Buffy: Then I'll just have to settle for causing it. (WHAM)Glory: You can't kill me.Buffy: No...(hefts the hammer) but my arm's not even tired yet.Glory: Stop it.Buffy: You're a god. Make it stop.
- Buffy nonchalantly pushing Doc off Glory's tower, mid-sentence. It was like a non-verbal "Whatever."
- Buffy sacrificing herself. Like the tombstone said: She saved the world. A lot.
"Bargaining, Part 1" (6x01)
- Willow uses her magic to warn Spike to help Giles out with a vampire currently attacking him. Spike's response? To light up a cigarette. Willow, panicked by his inaction, demands that he helps Giles, and Spike points out he already did. The vampire's back then proceeds to go up in flames.
- We see Tara 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.
"Bargaining, Part 2" (6x02)
- Spike staring down the demon biker as it bears down on him and moving like a matador to steal the bike.
- The leader of the demon bikers previously ripped off a vampire's head with his bare hands. He throws a punch...and Buffy catches it in her palm and thrashes him effortlessly. Looks like dying made her stronger. Again.
- Tara saving Willow from a demon biker by burying an axe in his back."No one messes with my girl!"
"After Life" (6x03)
- Spike calls out the Scoobies for their reckless use of magic and for leaving him out of the loop on the topic. Xander retorts for Spike to look him in the eyes and say that Buffy coming back didn't make that day the happiest day of his life. Spike looks him dead in the eyes and says nothing of the sort, pointing out instead that strong magic like what was used to bring Buffy back would have unforeseen consequences. He turns out to be completely correct.
- Giles reading Willow the riot act for invoking dark magicks to resurrect Buffy. Doubly so since he knows exactly what he's talking about, having delved into the dark arts as a teenager. Plus, it perfectly sets up Giles and Dark Willow's duel in the Season 6 finale.
"All the Way" (6x06)
- Dawn staking her first vampire with a discarded crossbow bolt.
"Once More, With Feeling" (6x07)
- Tara's 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.
- Buffy dispatching Sweet's minions choreographically while singing "Something To Sing About".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
"Tabula Rasa" (6x08)
- 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).
- And there's also the fact that she continues to see Dawn and care for her, showing that while her relationship with Willow might be over, she's still very loving and protective towards this girl.
"Dead Things" (6x13)
- Katrina, Warren's ex, definitely deserves some credit; once the date rape spell the trio have cast on her wears off she responds with fury for the things they've done (and were planning to do) to her, outright identifying it as rape which horrifies Andrew and Jonathan. She then proceeds to fight her way out of their lair, almost making it to the basement door until Warren kills her with a bottle to the head.
"Older and Far Away" (6x14)
- Tara standing up to Anya, who 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?"
- 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.
"Normal Again" (6x17)
- Tara rescuing Willow, Xander and Dawn with magic.
- Buffy killing the monster by punching through its chest.
"Seeing Red" (6x19)
- Even though he got knocked on his ass, Xander confronting a super-powered Warren took balls.Warren: You hit like a girl.
Xander: Well, at least I know how to get one.
- In one corner we have Buffy, the Slayer, embodiment of female empowerment. In the other, Warren, bitter 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 want Buffy to die.
- A small moment - when Warren shows up at Buffy's house with a gun, Buffy immediately pushes Xander out of the way. Instead of jumping for cover herself, she tries to save her friend. Always the protector.
- Of all people, a nameless vampire mook gets one of these when Buffy stakes him and he manages to kick her in the face while he's disintegrating!
- Willow summons an otherworldly being, Osiris the ancient Egyptian god of the Underworld, to try to resurrect Tara but he gave a huff about how she died by human means. Willow screams at the thing and you can tell that she hurt it.
- Willow's flaying of Warren. Disturbing in execution, but up until several seconds prior he was practically asking for it. Willow the Vampire Flayer.
- Let's face it, her torture and hunt for him was even better. Previously, 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?
"Two to Go" (6x21)
- A Dark Willow moment: "Jonathan. Andrew. You boys like magic, don't you? ABRA KADABRA."
- While Buffy fights Dark Willow, Anya recites a spell that will weaken her, staying behind while the rest escape. This is the same woman who, a few years earlier, skipped town rather than fight at the high school graduation battle.
- Giles' return: "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. Somewhat.
- 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 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?
- Xander confronting Willow: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! And he did it with love.
- 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 but wanting to be better for her anyways, is one of the most badass things someone can do. Love, man. It conquers all.
- The First Evil morphing into each previous Big Badnote in reverse order and then Buffy to torment Spike. Creepy Awesome indeed.
"Beneath You" (7x02)
- Dawn threatening Spike: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?
- Crazy Spike embracing the cross.
"Same Time Same Place" (7x03)
- The gruesome way Buffy kills Gnarl - impaling his foot with a sword and jabbing his eyes out with her thumbs.
- Amanda seeks Buffy's advice on dealing with a jerky guy ...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.
- 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 !
- Buffy 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.
- Anya manages to hold her own in a duel against Buffy, 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.
- Saving Dawn from killing herself to get a boy's attention and giving her one of truest lessons of the whole show - "No guy is worth your life. Not ever". Even when under the same spell, Buffy will still protect her sister.
"Conversations With Dead People" (7x07)
- 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.
"Never Leave Me" (7x09)
- Principal Wood lays down the law to two students caught spray-painting:Wood: Now, guys, look, we can settle this one of two ways. You can repaint the walls, or I can suspend you and report this little incident on your permanent record.Punk #1: Fine. Do that.Wood: OK, I was bluffing. I hadn't really thought that one through. (leans forward) Listen, this whole permanent record thing is such a myth anyway. Colleges never ask for anything past your SAT scores, and it's not like employers are gonna be calling up to check to see how many days you missed back in high school. So, listen, I-I could suspend you, (stands, walks around desk) but that would mean calling your parents, alerting your teachers, filling out paperwork, and, quite possibly, having to talk to the school board—(sits on desk in front of them) all of which sounds positively exhausting to me. No. No, I think it would be much easier if I just called the police, let them deal with it. (looks in their eyes) Oh, and, in case you're wondering, this is the part where I'm not bluffing.Punk #2: (looks at the other boy) We'll repaint it.
- Willow's Badass Boast to Andrew: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?
- The Bringers attack the house as a distraction in order to kidnap Spike.
- Xander saves Dawn from one of the attackers by tackling him off her.
- Dawn manages to hold her own in a fight.
- Buffy besting and killing attackers with their own weapons.
"Bring on the Night" (7x10)
- 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.
- Buffy's speech at the end, 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.
- Defiantly spitting blood in the Turok-Han's face as he mops the floor with her.
- Single-handedly rescuing Rona from the Bringers when she arrives in Sunnydale.
- After three episodes of being unable to harm the Turok-Han, Buffy devises a plan to lure it away from the house and into a construction site. After a long, brutal fight, she finally puts an end to the Ubervamp by decapitating it with barbed wire.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.
- Even better, she only told Willow and Xander about this via telepathy.
- How about yanking an arrow from the beast and stabbing him in the eye with it?
- Dawn's speech to Amanda and the subsequent act of sheer guts when she hands over the stake to Amanda, while facing down a vampire and six Bringers.
- Amanda 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.
- Xander comforts Dawn at the end:Xander: You're not special. You're extraordinary.
"First Date" (7x14)
- The way Giles survived the attempt on his life was pretty awesome. He was alerted by the man's squeaky shoes.
"Get it Done" (7x15)
- 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!
- 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.
- Buffy getting Andrew to open the Seal of Danzalthar by threatening him and getting him to confess his guilt about murdering Jonathan.
"Lies My Parents Told Me" (7x17)
- Spike sparing Wood's life, despite having been lured to be slowly beaten to death and getting the undisputed upper-hand in the fight.
"Dirty Girls" (7x18)
- Faith coming back to Sunnydale to fight evil, even knowing the reception she was apt to receive.
- Xander's Rousing Speech about why he believes in Buffy. It's enough to move Buffy, Dawn and Andrew to tears.Faith: Wow, B. I never knew you were that cool!
- Caleb beating the shit out of the Scoobies in their first confrontation.
- Spike tackling Caleb to save Xander.
"Empty Places" (7x19)
- 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.
- After Buffy gets ejected from her house, Rona tactlessly quips "Ding dong, the Witch is dead", prompting Dawn to shut her up in the most threatening manner possible.
- Faith 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. Especially when she tells Kennedy to back the hell off.
- Spike epically calls the Scoobies out for their mutiny against Buffy:Spike: You sad, sad ungrateful traitors. Who do you think you are?!
Willow: [stammering] We're her friends. We just want-
Spike: Oh that's ballsy of you! You're her friends and you betray her like this?!
Giles: You don't understand-
Spike: Oh, I think I do...Rupert. You used to be the big man, didn't you? The teacher all full of wisdom. Now she's surpassed you, and you can't handle it. She has saved your lives again and again. She's died for you. And this is how you thank her?!
- How does he top this? A fight with Faith.
- Having got her mojo back, Buffy faces Caleb again, only this time, instead of relying on brute strength, she goes for speed and reflexes, dodging every blow and making him angrier by the minute, all as a ruse so she can find what he's hiding in the basement.
"End of Days" (7x21)
- Having got the scythe, Buffy rescues the Potentials by taking out several vamps with it. Just two episodes ago, they deposed her as leader. Now she's reminding them why she leads.
- 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.
- Angel appearing out of nowhere to save Buffy at the last moment from Caleb - with his show on a different television network.Hey. (punches Caleb). Never cared much for preachers.
Oh, you are so gonna lose.
- Just to clarify - Caleb beat Buffy, Faith and Spike like they were nothing. And Angel floored him with one punch.
- 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)
- Buffy's little look from side to side after she cuts Caleb in half from the groin up.
- Buffy returns home to find a pissed off little sis in front of her. She stares at Dawn for a moment, then Dawn kicks her in the shin. Which hurts Buffy, before Dawn calls her a dumbass. The best bit is that she just responds with, "...if you get killed, I'm telling".
- 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."
- Buffy's speech about why this is the solution: Because the rule that it be "one girl in all the world" is arbitrary. So change the rules.What if you could have that power...now? In every generation, one Slayer is born... because a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago made up that rule. They were powerful men. This woman-" (re: Willow) "-is more powerful than all of them combined. So I say we change the rule. I say my power... should be our power.
- The Potentials 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.
- Andrew gets Anya, who four seasons ago, skipped town rather than fight the Graduation Day battle, mad enough to fight evil. By mentioning bunnies.Bunnies. Floppy. Hoppy. Bunnies.
- Xander and Dawn taking out vamps with sunlight via skylight.
- 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!"
- The First Evil has an unmistakable expression of shock and fear as Buffy rises from the ground in determination.
- 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.
- 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, barely a Badass Normal, and he's survived.
- Even if you weren't a Spuffy shipper you have to admit Spike being willing to go up in flames (even when he believed Buffy didn't return his love) to save the day, is awesome.
- 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 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 intercepts 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.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.
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.
- Buffy and Kennedy have an argument and Kennedy tactlessly brings up Giles' recent death. Buffy finally decides that she's had quite enough of Kennedy's shit and decks her in the face, giving her black eye. It took another medium, but she finally got what she deserved.
- Buffy's entire fight with Vampire!Simone, capping it off with her staking the rogue slayer in the chest.Buffy: I let you steal my Slayers. I let you twist what we were all about. I let you terrorize too many people. But now...now you've turned yourself into everything I'm not. And I'm going to stop you.
Simone: Good luck. The Scythe is mine.
Buffy: No. It's mine. (stakes her) And I'm sorry I ever used it to make you a Slayer.
- 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 manipulating 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 Maloker 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 Vampyr book who intends to use it to bring Jonathan 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 our 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 one 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.Drusilla: 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 Drusilla 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 its 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 Unresolved Sexual Tension 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 Viki's 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 Face–Heel 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 steps of Buffy's plan to stop D'Hoffryn, sticking together and admitting they're both scared.
- The ghost Anya cleverly using Exact Words to pretend she'd killed Xander, but really all she'd done is turn him intangible briefly.
- Some credit to Jonathan and the other Vengeance demons, who quit working for D'Hoffryn after seeing him dispose of Ghost Anya and realizing how how disposable they are to him.
- 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 or other long-standing wishes they've had throughout the season (Xander to bring Anya back, Giles to be restored to his real age, Spike to be The Chosen One and/or human, Buffy and Dawn to have Joyce back, and Willow to have Tara back). 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.
- Buffy, Faith, and Willow breaking into the Safe Zone (with the help of Riley and Sam) to get Willow and Buffy's powers back.
- Spike smashing a rock over the head of the soldier holding them at gunpoint.
- Buffy subtly signalling Willow to use Wise's own storm dragon to kill her.
- 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 purposely, 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. In fact, Spike is so awesome In-Universe that there's at least one thesis by the Watchers written specifically on him.
- 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.
- The Initiative are bastards, no doubt about that, but it's still awesome and even reassuring to see that we the humans are able to put up at least a fairly decent fight against the demons even with no vampire Slayers and watchers around.
- When delinquent Benny grabs a hot dog to gesture at Buffy in a phallic manner, she cuts it in half in the blink of an eye.
- Lothos introduces himself in grand Dracula style by opening up his cape like bat wings and slowly levitating down from the roof in front of a shocked victim.
- The unfazed way Buffy catches a knife Merrick throws at her head during a training exercise.
- Buffy's first post-training fight with a vampire ends with her throwing a stake into his chest and, after it doesn't go in far enough, driving it in the rest of the way with a flying kick.
- Unrealistic Mook Chivalry aside, Buffy using her cheerleading flips to get through a whole crowd of punk vampires shows her being level-headed, and combining both her old and new skills to good effect.
- When Buffy is facing a crowd of vampire prom crashers, things look grim until Pike holds up a bag full of stakes for her to use to cut loose against her enemies, plus his jacket in case she wants to charge into battle in a Hell-Bent for Leather fashion.
- Pike electrifies Benny by getting him wet and slamming him into a fuse box.
- During the final prom battle, some of the other students start fighting back after being inspired by Buffy and Pike, with Buffy's ditzy former Girl Posse member Nicki even managing to kill a vampire.
- Normally, a teacher shoving a student against the wall would be horrifying rather than triumphant, but when said student is a bitchy Dirty Coward who has spent the last several scenes treating Buffy like dirt even as she saves everyone’s lives, the scene can feel sweet.
- 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.
- 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.
- In the comic, "Viva Las Buffy":
- In the climax, Buffy battles with a vampire Las Vegas casino owner whose conjoined twin sister is still human, with said sister blazing away at Buffy Guns Akimbo while her brother lets super strong punches fly.
- Buffy tosses the priest from a quickie wedding chapel into the water tank for the vampire-infested casino, gets him to bless the water, and then triggers the fire sprinklers, causing freshly blessed Holy Water to pour down onto every vampire in the building.
- In just half of a one-shot comic issue, 1937 Slayer Rachel O'Connor uses pencils as weapons against a vampire, stops a Nazi from smuggling a djinn out of the country, and traps that djinn back in his bottle after he escapes and is about to go on a rampage.
- In the comic adaptation of the original movie Jerk Jock Andy throws himself into the climactic fight and is staking vampires expertly before being Zerg Rushed.
- The comic one-shot "Sonenblume" ends with the Slayer of 1938, who is on the verge of being seduced by Adolph Hitler's rabble rousing, snapping out of her brainwashing and vowing to fight Nazis as well as vampires.
- 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.
- In the short story "The Show Must Go On", Angel, Giles, and Jenny track down five vampires who are working backstage at a theater, split up, and manage to dispatch all five vampires without either the audience or Willow and Xander (who are volunteering backstage) finding out what's going on. On a lesser note, Willow and Xander manage to salvage the production while juggling their jobs and those of the disappearing vampire crew members.
- In the novel Doomsday Deck, Buffy gets diverted from stopping the Big Bad by a vampire attack on a convenience store where Cordelia is visiting with an art critic who Joyce and Cordelia are showing around town. Most of the would-be victims (the critic being a notable exception) are fighting back when Buffy arrives, although they need her to turn the tide. One teenage customer is throwing cans at one vampire, two other customers and a young cashier are wrestling with another vampire. Cordelia whacks a third vampire over the head with a broom and then stakes him with the broken broom after he snaps it in half.
- In The Gatekeeper Trilogy of novels:
- The first time two cultist flunkies of the Big Bad infiltrate the Gatehouse to kill Jean-Marc the Gate Guardian, one is killed and the other is told to tell his friends that Jean-Marc will kill any of their number who try to enter the mansion. Plenty still do, and Jean-Marc makes good on his threat. In the next book, Jean-Marc is only mortally wounded while defeating seventeen cultists, who are the last remnants of a much bigger force he has already decimated across several fights over a week or so.
- Among the highlights of Buffy and her friends entering the gatehouse before knowing its nature are Buffy fighting supernatural panthers, and Cordelia climbing up a chimney and using her cheerleading endurance and agility to keep away from sentient fire while Buffy leaps down entire flights of stairs at a time to come to Cordelia's rescue.
- While Buffy, Oz, and Willow are too busy to deal with local threats, Amy Madison finds herself stepping into the Scooby Gang's role to try and protect the people of Sunnydale, saving Xander from an attacker and ending up hospitalized in a later fight after impressing Ethan Rayne with her spell casting.
- When Jean-Marc dies and his son and heir isn't close enough to the Gatehouse to absorb it's power, Xander temporarily becomes the new magically powered Gatekeeper, allowing him to inflict just as much damage on the evil cultists as Jean-Marc did.
- In the novel Spike & Dru: Pretty Maids: All In a Row:
Ariana: Charles Rochemont is up there. My Watcher. I will not let him die for me without at least giving him the respect of standing by his side.
- Spike and Dru's cruise ship is sunk by a u-boat, and the two vampires swim out to the sub and kill or turn every Nazi onboard.
- Statuesque Stunner Slayer Sophie Cartensen stands by calmly while being given orders to go on a possible Suicide Mission. But when a man implied to be Quentin Travers' grandfather insults Yanna, her Watcher, Sophie grabs him by his collar, lifts him off his feet, gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, and orders him to apologize to Yanna.
- During the attempt to slaughter the Potential Slayers at the Watchers' Council headquarters, extremely elderly sorcerer Trevor Kensington is one of the last Watchers standing and is quite the Hero of Another Story and One-Man Army. He slaughters a roomful of Mooks off-screen before dueling the Big Bad, who knows him by sight and asks "Will you ever die?"
- Seven Potential Slayers arm themselves, insisting on aiding their Crazy-Prepared but still outclassed Watcher defenders. They do a good job of fighting their attackers even before Sophie dies in a consecutive battle elsewhere. The fight between the Big Bad and the new Slayer is impressive, but also impressive is how one unnamed background Potential manages to survive the battle uninjured along with the new Slayer, her best friend Ariana and an injured Bit Character.
- In the novel Portal Through Time:
- Time-traveling Order of Aurelius members try to kill a young Buffy to save their leader but find out that You Can't Fight Fate that easily. In the first alternate timeline they create, the alternate Slayer killed and usurped the Master after being turned into a vampire. In another alternate timeline, the new Slayer realizes that the Master can't ascend without drinking her blood and avoids facing him in battle until she and her Watcher can dynamite the Master's cavern lair, killing him and most of his men.
- The vampires then try to kill past Slayers to mess up the Slayer timeline, and the Scooby Gang goes after them. Their first attempt leads to a Mêlée à Trois fight on a battlefield between Romans and Druids, with the latter group using their magic to bring rocks and trees to life as combatants.
- In ancient Sumeria, when the gang is under attack by a plague demon, Willow uses magic to summon a dragon to fight the demon, harnesses the infectious plagues that are felling the Scooby Gang to incapacitate a vampire assasin, and draws the demon's attention away from her friends by making various Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu? insults in a language she barely understands.
- When Buffy is wounded in the crossfire of a battle in The American Civil War, she still wants to get up and defend the wounded soldiers from vampires that are flocking to the abandoned battlefield. Giles stands in for her, and, as Willow watches him dust vamps left and right, she realizes she is seeing what Giles was like during his wild youth, when he was known as Ripper.
- Every time Xander's Mysterious Protector and crush "the Swordswoman" shows up in Revenant, she displays Slayer level combat skills, darting among Mooks and cutting them down, bashing their heads in, or shooting them with flintlock pistols.
- In the novel Monster Island, fifty-five-foot-tall Old One god/demon Garth initially refuses to help fight an army of villains largely because he thinks his powers would make the fight too unfair for the villains. Once Garth finally does decide to fight, Fred Burkle describes this as a Deus ex Machina. Garth interrupts the invasion of Nazi-like demons who see his neighbors as impure and makes a Breaking Speech about how if someone with his powers and pedigree doesn't view the half-demons as unworthy and impure, then the so-called Coalition of Purity has no right to that mindset. Whether or not his words move all of the villains is unclear, but the ones who are unmoved are too terrified at the idea of fighting Garth to press the matter.
- In the novel The Lost Slayer IV: Original Sins, when Anna, a rookie Slayer in a Bad Future, loses her weapons during a pivotal moment of a fight, she tears a vampire's head off with her bare hands.
- In the novel Blackout, Nikki Wood engineers a A Fistful of Rehashes scenario between the local vampire gangsters she has spent years failing to defeat and Spike and Drusilla. Spike decimates the opposition almost single-handedly and Nikki deals a serious blow to her biggest enemies.
- In the novel Mortal Fear, Big Bad Simon brainwashes nearly everyone in Sunnydale while making their blood poisonous to vampires, giving them super strength, and manipulating Dawn, Willow, and Xander into temporarily joining his side. He achieves a better, more chilling Near-Villain Victory in one book than some villains do in entire seasons.
- In the Tales of the Slayer short stories:
- In "A Good Run", Thessilly Thessilonikki survives being the Slayer for seventeen years. Her last mission is acting as an escort for the historical messenger Philippides (who inspired the marathon event), running the same 380-mile route he does while fighting monsters all the way.
- In The Rule of Silence, secretly Jewish thirteenth-century Slayer Espernanza de la Vega is a kind-hearted girl whose Watcher thinks she is too kind to survive the cruciamentum. However, she is a Defiant Captive when being questioned and tortured by Inquisitors (even biting one when they put her on the rack) and her temporary lack of powers doesn't keep her from escaping from the dungeon's guards and some vampiric and demonic prisoners.
- In "Sideshow Slayer", a Watcher turned vampire hijacks sideshow magician and Slayer Millie Rose Gresham's cruciamentum, making it far more dangerous than it should be. She still triumphs by fighting her opponent in a hall of mirrors where none of his reflections show up, but he can’t find the real her..
- In "Undeadsville" After being turned into a vampire, beatnik Slayer Zoe Kuryakin retains her soul, is able to resist and kill her sire while giving him a Breaking Speech, and then commits Suicide by Sunlight once she starts losing control of her ability to resist drinking blood.
- In the novel Slayer: Chosen, Watcher trainee Rhys Zabuto shoots a crossbow at an evil god while making a Badass Boast about how even if a Slayer has never killed a god, Watchers have.
- In Unnatural Selection:
- When Buffy confronts a trio of father, son, and grandfather vampires, the grandfather is the first one to attack her and get a stake through the chest. The elderly vampire just straightens up, gripes about "snot-nosed kids" not respecting their elders, and manages to get in one more swing at her with his weapon before turning to dust.
- The final Mêlée à Trois between a group of arrow-shooting fairies, the Scooby Gang, and various vampires (with the latter two groups swatting at the fairies with blunt instruments).
- The Unseen Trilogy: Long Way Home:
- One of the first things to happen to Buffy after she goes through a portal to The Multiverse is a run-in with a dragon which she slays after a long battle. Immediately afterward, she gets into a battle with a Black Knight suit of enchanted armor that has no one inside (and thus can reassemble itself and never be truly injured) and still wins without taking any lumps.
- The final Mêlée à Trois between The Mafiya, Mexican street gangs, Angel Investigations (and some guest allies, including a telekinetic man they saved), the Scooby Gang and the local authorities wraps up quickly, but has some intense fighting and is notable for being a rare final fight against human villains using firearms.
- In Cursed:
Lord Hyde-Pierce: Leave my house, Hellspawn. I’ve seen your kind before. I knew what you were from the moment I heard about what you were doing in my guest house.Angel: You haven’t killed me before.Lord Hyde-Pierce: We’ve never crossed paths.
- A flashback to the 1880s shows Angel and his gang attacking an English estate as the retired adventurer lord of the manor faces them with his guns, getting in a Badass Boast before his inevitable defeat.
- Angel and his companions find a magic-using Classy Cat-Burglar stealing some of the Hyde-Pierce valuables they came to steal and attack her. She grabs a candle and blows a burst of fire into Darla that leaves her laid up for some time.
- In the novel, Bloody Fool For Love: A Spike Prequel:
- Darla's meeting with the British Prime Minister, who faces her down rather bravely as she negotiates on behalf of the local vampire guild and secures some good bargaining terms for the uneasy truce between the London vampires and the British government.
- Rieka the werewolf transforms without a full moon and attacks a group of demon enforcers as part of an effort to save her best friend's life.