Follow TV Tropes


Buffy / Season Specific Tropes

Go To

For comics examples, see Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    open/close all folders 

     Season One 
  • And I Must Scream: In "The Witch", Amy's body-swapping witchy mom has one of her spells turned back on her, and seemingly vanishes. At the end of the episode, it turns out she's been trapped in one of her old cheerleading trophies. She presumably died when they blew the school up at the end of season three, but fans speculate that this somehow released Catherine to possess her daughter Amy again, explaining Amy's otherwise inexplicable Face–Heel Turn.
    • The comics confirm that she's still trapped.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    Principal Snyder: There are things I will not tolerate. Students loitering on campus after school. Horrible murders with hearts being removed. And also smoking the library computer, it became blank again, as Moloch was released into the internet.
  • Attempted Rape: Xander tries to rape Buffy in "The Pack" (while possessed by a hyena), though nobody is surprised that Buffy fights him off.
  • Blood Bath: The Pilot episode shows The Master hanging out in a pool of blood while fully dressed.
  • The Bully: Four of them feature in "The Pack".
  • Car Fu: One of the moments that brings Cordelia around to the side of awesome is when she drives her car straight through an amassing horde of vampires and right into the high school, plowing through the halls until she pulls up in front of the library in "Prophecy Girl".
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • Angel, Buffy and Darla had remarkably different personalities in the first few episodes; Angel was mysterious and kind of chipper (especially his first appearance), Buffy was a perky cheerleader and Darla was whiny, cowardly, not particularly smart or capable, and seemingly not even all that important in the Master's hierarchy (Luke, for one, clearly outranked her). It wasn't until the episode "Angel" that they settled into the personalities they are better known for; Angel became brooding, Buffy was a kind of grim optimist and Darla had a distant, haunting persona (since she died in this episode, this is better seen when she returns from the dead in Angel).
    • Angel specifically shows very little of his alleged badassness in early episodes. Mostly he's knocked around by whatever Big Bad they're fighting to show how much stronger Buffy is than he. After his Face–Heel Turn he does actually become majorly badass, then is stuck somewhere in between badass and Badass Decay post-resurrection. He finally is shown as the Badass Anti-Hero he's meant to be when he gets his own show.
    • Harmony was an obnoxious but not particularly stupid Smug Snake in her earlier appearances before turning into the airheaded Harmless Villain she is known for. Being turned into a blood sucking demon just might have something to do with that: Other vampires lose their soul. Harmony lost her brain.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: "Teacher's Pet": In order to defeat the evil science teacher who is actually a giant praying mantis, Buffy uses the recorded sound of bat sonar to "make [her] nervous system go kerplooey". She learnt about that in science class earlier in the episode (though, thankfully, from the previous science teacher. No villain should be stupid enough to teach a class their own weaknesses). Although that's not how she ultimately kills the praying mantis. She does that with a big machete. It's Buffy, after all.
  • The Chosen Zero: Giles' initial reaction to Buffy.
  • Cliffhanger: "Teacher's Pet". The she-mantis has left some eggs and they're starting to hatch. This is never followed up on, at least not on-screen.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: When Giles suggests Buffy tail someone in "I Robot, You Jane", she sarcastically replies, "What, in dark glasses and a trenchcoat?" Gilligan Cut to Buffy following Dave in a trendy short trenchcoat and pink-framed sunglasses.
  • Date My Avatar: Willow once dated her nice charming chat-buddy Malcolm... who was actually a incorporeal murderous demon possessing the computer system.
  • Dead Star Walking: Joss Whedon hoped to include actor Eric Balfour (Jesse) in the title credits to shock viewers when his character dies. Unfortunately, the show literally could not afford an extra set of title credits at the time.
  • Demonic Dummy: Subverted in "The Puppet Show". People are getting murdered around the school, one of Buffy's classmates has been caught yelling at his dummy in a way that implies it wants to kill people, and then said dummy attacks Buffy. However, it turns out that the dummy is actually haunted by the ghost of a demon hunter, and thought Buffy was the one killing the other students (having seen her use Super Strength earlier).
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Buffy originally had a fairly different, more 'Valley Girl' inspired look with big jewellry (especially rings), big hair and short skirts. In Season Two, the producers decided they wanted a different look for the character. This coincided with Sarah Michelle Gellar having her hair cut shorter, and dyed blonder, for her role in Scream 2, which she filmed in-between seasons one and two.
    • This pilot episode is the only time when we see Xander riding a skateboard, since the scene required a lot of space and was difficult to shoot. In later episodes we can see Xander holding a skateboard a couple of times, but never again does he ride one.
    • The pilot and "The Harvest" are two of the few episodes that feature the upper level of the Bronze. Joss Whedon wrote the script to feature the two levels, but didn't realize how difficult it would be to shoot these scenes. Not only was it impractical in terms of filming and lighting, but it stretched their already non-existent budget. It shows up a few times in season 6.
    • When a pack of vamps chase Buffy and Angel into the Summers house, one of the pursuers gets his hand through the door before Buffy slams the door on his wrist. It is later established that, barring an invitation, an invisible force field encases the doorway to keep vampires out. The henchvamp shouldn't have been able to get his arm through like that. ("Angel")
    • In "Witch", Giles seems unfamiliar with magiks, saying "Pretty good for my first [spell-]casting, eh?" and such—which is totally at odds with his, y'know, rebellious Hellblazer youth period.
      • This could be one of Giles' early attempts at hiding his dabbling in magic prior to joining the Council. It could also be considered foreshadowing to the fact that Giles has, in fact, done magic before, which is why he's as capable as he is now.
  • Elite Mooks: The Three. Luke. Darla.
  • The End... Or Is It?: After polishing off the She-Mantis, we see that there are still some Ridley Scott-esque hatchlings in her closet. ("Teacher's Pet")
    • The Master's skeleton.
  • Enemy Mine: In "Prophecy Girl", Xander enlists his hated enemy's (Angel) help to storm the Master's lair, and save Buffy. Angel scoffs at that, so Xander shoves a cross in his face for extra convincing.
  • Environmental Symbolism: Angel’s statue of Kwan Yin – like a true Bodhisattva, Angel will delay his own enlightenment to ease the suffering of others.
  • Eye Scream: The Master, after making a mook apologize to him for failing, admonishes him about (SQUISH) something in his eye.
  • Face Your Fears: Xander punches an evil knife-wielding clown right in its evil knife-wielding clown face during "Nightmares". In fact all the characters had to face their fears - even the Master, who laid his hand on a cross to make a point - but he was the only one who literally knocked his out.
  • Failed Audition Plot: In "Witch", Buffy tries out for the cheerleading team but initially doesn't make the cut. Later in the episode she does get a spot on the team... which ends up making her a target for the witch who is magically injuring other cheerleaders to earn herself a spot.
  • Faking Amnesia: Xander pulls this in "The Pack", after being possessed by the spirit of a hyena. After Buffy and Willow save him, he tells them that he can't remember a thing and hopes he didn't do anything "too embarrassing". Giles, however, sees right through it.
    Giles: "I've been reading up on my animal possession and I cannot find anything anywhere about memory loss afterward."
    Xander: "Did you tell them that?"
    Giles: "Your secret dies with me."
    Xander: "Shoot me, stuff me, mount me."
  • Fanservice: On the first DVD of season 1, the menu opens with a seductive-looking Sarah Michelle Gellar crawling towards you wearing a low-cut top. Also, in "Nightmares", one gets ten seconds of a mostly-naked Nicholas Brendon.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Willow and Xander's close friend Jesse. A Sacrificial Lamb in the pilot, then never mentioned again. Made more egregious by Xander making a reference made to before the two met Buffy as "just you and me." Possibly justified in that case, as he was not exactly himself at the time.
  • Glasgow Smile: Marcie intends to do this to Cordelia in "Out of Mind, Out of Sight".
    Marcie: Your smile... I think it should be wider.
  • Glory Days: Amy's mother never got over her glory days as a cheerleader, so forcibly switched places with her daughter to relive "her glory days".
  • Grand Theft Me: In "The Witch", Amy Madison's witch mother swaps bodies with her so that the mother can have a second shot at eternal fame and glory as a high school cheerleader.
  • Grave Clouds: In a first-season episode, it is always night in a graveyard that had been magically relocated next to Sunnydale High.
  • Haunted Technology: "I Robot, You Jane" has a demon which possesses a computer (and then the Internet, and finally a robot body) as the result of a book-scanning project.
  • Hook Hand: One of the Master's vampires has blades where one of his hands used to be.
  • I, Noun: "I Robot, You Jane".
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Willow realises Malcolm on the internet may not be who he says he is because he mentions Buffy had burned her previous school down, to which Willow responds, "I never told you that."
  • If You Can Read This: At the end of "Out of Mind, Out of Sight", a textbook on infiltrating a cult compound to assassinate its leader is readable in DVD format, and consists of the lyrics to "Happiness is a Warm Gun" by The Beatles.
  • Invisible Jerkass: Marcie in "Out of Mind, Out of Sight", who became a psychopath after turning invisible. For her it was a case of Go Mad from the Isolation; everyone treated her like she was invisible so the Hellmouth made her invisible and thereby empowered her to get revenge on others.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: The Buffy theme plays slowly on a piano over the final scene of Prophecy Girl.
  • Once Killed a Man with a Noodle Implement: In the first episode, Buffy mentions having once killed a vampire using only an exacto knife.
  • Remote Body: In "I Robot, You Jane", the demon Moloch creates a mechanical robot self he operates via the internet. Eventually he gets stuck in that body.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: The special double-length pilot episode introduces Jesse, best friend of Xander. It seems that Xander and Jesse will be a regular pairing throughout the show, mirroring the Buffy and Willow friendship. Then Jesse is turned into a vampire and Xander is forced to kill him. But that's okay, because he's never mentioned again.
  • Signs of the End Times: Mrs. Calender knows the Hellmouth is about to open based on locally occurring portents; a family's swimming pool begins to boil (with them in it), a cat gives birth to a litter of snakes and a baby is born with his eyes facing inward.
  • Spontaneous Human Combustion: In "The Witch", Giles initially attributes this as the cause for a cheerleader bursting into flames; it's later revealed to have been caused by a witch's spell.
  • Stab the Scorpion: Variation between the Master and a mook in "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date" where the Master (who could certainly kill the mook with his index finger) plucks a bug out of the air next to the mook's head.
  • Stock Scream: Shows up in "The Harvest".
  • Take Five: In "Prophecy Girl", Xander wants to get Buffy alone so he can ask her out:
    Xander: Willow, don't you have a thing?
    Willow: A thing? The thing! That I have! Which is... a thing I have to go to. See ya later.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: In "Teacher's Pet", a new hot-babe teacher seduces boys (including Xander) and invites them to her home. Of course, she turns out to be a giant man-eating mantis who preys on virgins. Hooray for metaphors.
  • Trash the Set: The library gets wrecked in the finale, mainly because they had no idea if there would be a second season.
  • Unseen Pen Pal: "I Robot, You Jane" had a twist on it, when Willow's cyber-boyfriend turned out to be a literal demon on the Internet, Moloch the Corruptor. (The magical book in which it was sealed had been scanned into a computer.) The metaphor was lampshaded when Buffy used it as an argument to persuade Willow to check up on "Malcolm".
  • Murder by Cremation: In "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date", Buffy kills a particularly tough vampire by shoving it into the cremation oven; they were at a morgue because that's where he woke up.
  • Vain Sorceress: Catherine Madison from "The Witch", who stole her own daughter's body to relive her high school glory days.
  • Virgin Power: Subversion in "Teacher's Pet", where it just seems to increase your odds of sex with a murderous humanoid mantis.
  • You Are Who You Eat: The demon group "Brotherhood of Seven" have to eat the heart and brain of a human/s every seven years in order to maintain their disguise.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: What causes the Monster of the Week in "Out of Sight, Out of Mind"

     Season Two 
  • Abandoned Warehouse: Spike and Drusilla use one as their lair.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • It's hinted that Mr. Snyder was conspiring with Mayor Wilkins to eliminate Buffy as a threat by bullying her, and later by expelling her from school on trumped-up murder charges. Season 3 reveals that while he was doing some work with the mayor, Snyder was still as much in the dark about what was going on as the rest of the adults of Sunnydale.
    • Willow suddenly becomes a lot stronger in magic and seems possessed while performing the curse to restore Angel's soul. The other characters are notably frightened. Despite this being a good starting explanation for Willow's developing magical powers, the possession is never mentioned again.
    • The Anointed One — a prepubescent child who'd been made a vampire in the first season — was meant to be the main villain of the season. The problem was, while vampires don't age, the actor playing the role had had something of a growth spurt and clearly wouldn't be able to hold up as an immortal, ageless vampire. As a result, his storyline was scrapped and he was killed off rather anticlimactically — if satisfyingly — by Spike three episodes into the season.
  • Above the Influence: Willow and Buffy practically strip down and jump Xander's bones in "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", but Xander refuses to let them. After the Love Potion wears off, Buffy is proud of him for it, but Willow is angry at him due to her past emotional history with him.
  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: In "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered", after a spell gone awry has caused every girl in the school aside from Cordelia to fall madly in love with Xander, he attempts to take refuge in the school library by moving the card catalogue in front of the double doors that serve as the entrance. Since he apparently didn't realize that the doors open outwards, a coat (and not much else) wearing Buffy calmly opens the doors and walks around the catalogue while Xander's back is turned.
  • Achilles in His Tent: Buffy comes back from her summer in L.A. still steaming with issues from being killed for a minute. When the Master's men steal the Master's bones with the intent to resurrect him, Buffy explodes at Giles and blows off the Scooby Gang's attempts at consoling her. This lasts until Willow, Giles, Cordelia, and Miss Calender are captured by the vampires for the resurrection ritual. In this case, the prompt for her glorious return is less than she realizes that she's needed and more that it's brutally spelled out for her by Xander, who basically gives her an "As a result of this mess I'm completely over indulging your self-pity; get over yourself and do what you should have done in the first place" speech.
  • Alien Catnip: Slayer blood and high people for vampires.
    Spike: If every vampire who said he was at the Crucifixion was actually there it would've been like Woodstock. I was actually at Woodstock... that was a weird gig. I fed off a flower person and I spent six hours watching my hand move.
  • And This Is for...: Xander in "Reptile Boy":
    "This is for the bra! This is for the wig! This is for the makeup! And this is for the last 16 and a half years!"
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    Snyder: Halloween must be a big night for you. Tossing eggs, keying cars, bobbing for pathetic cry for help after another.
  • Attempted Rape: In "Go Fish", a member of the swim team tries this on Buffy. She begins by breaking his nose, but doesn't get much further than that because Snyder shows up, and accuses Buffy of leading him on. Later in the episode, the swim coach offers Buffy to be pack-raped by his team of monster fish. When she escapes and he is trapped with them instead...
    Buffy: Wow... they really love their coach.
  • BFG: Buffy Does Not Like Guns. She thinks guns are never helpful. Apparently she doesn't think a AT-4 rocket launcher is a gun, as she uses one to kill The Judge.
  • Baleful Polymorph: In "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered", Amy, under the influence of Xander's love spell, turns Buffy into a rat. She gets better by the end of the episode.
  • Becoming the Costume: In "Halloween", a powerful spell transforms everyone in town into whatever they had dressed as for the night — Willow becomes a ghost, Xander a trigger-happy soldier and Buffy a hapless 18th-century noblewoman. Only the costumes from one specific shop, the one run by the guy who did the spell, do this — regular Halloween costumes have no effect on their wearers at all.
  • Bittersweet 17: The events of Buffy's 17th birthday are in one of the most important episodes in the series. She loses her virginity to Angel, who is said to reverse to his evil self called Angellus when he is the happiest in his life, ie: having sex with Buffy. Buffy would finally realise that Angel is definitely not the man (or Vampire) she liked and realises he must be defeated.
  • Black-and-White Morality: Sort of with the Judge, who kills based on whether a target has humanity or not. Any vampire with sufficiently human traits—like interest in books, or involvement in romance—is a fair target to him, even if they're otherwise serving evil purposes.
  • Black Comedy Rape: In "Go Fish]]", Buffy is captured by the coach who had exposed the swim team to a concoction that transformed them into fish monsters. He tosses her to them to satisfy their "needs", leading her to snark:
    "Great. This is just what my reputation needs: that I did it with the entire swim team."
After Buffy escapes and the coach falls into the fish-men's clutches instead:
"Wow. They really love their coach."
  • Blatant Lies: "Lie to Me".
    Giles: Yes, it's terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true, the bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies, and everybody lives happily ever after.
  • Brainwash Residue: Xander retains some of his soldier knowledge after "Halloween". A rare positive (or at least useful) example.
  • Break-In Threat: In "Passion", Angelus sneaks into Buffy's bedroom while she's sleeping and draws a picture of her, which he leaves for her to find in the morning. (Buffy had previously allowed Angel into her home, and hadn't removed the permission after Angel turned into Angelus. Once she became aware of this, she had Willow perform a spell to uninvite him.)
  • Buffy Summers Interrogation Technique: In "When She Was Bad", Buffy channels her inner Jack Bauer by pulling this stunt with a burning cross shoved down a vampire's burning throat, several years before 24 aired and discussed much the same form of torture.
  • By the Eyes of the Blind: The child-killing demon Der Kindestod from "Killed by Death" can only be seen by young people with fevers.
    • Anyone with a high enough fever, actually. But since Der Kindestod only kills children, any adults sick enough to see it pass by dismiss it as a fever-induced hallucination.
  • Call-Back: Plenty of em. When Ethan "leaves" in "Halloween" Giles finds a card with "Be seeing you," on it. Be Seeing You is what Eyghon later says while leaving Giles' apartment in "The Dark Age".
  • Carnival of Killers: The Order of Teraka sent a superstrong cyclops, a Worm That Walks and a Badass Normal posing as a uniformed cop to kill Buffy.
  • Censorship by Spelling: Famously in "When She Was Bad".
    Willow: But why is she acting like such a B-I-T-C-H?
    Giles: Come on Willow, we're a bit old to be spelling things out.
    Xander: ...a bitca?
  • Computer Equals Monitor:
    • Angelus is satisfied that Jenny's electronic translation of the incantation that would restore Angel's soul is gone when he shoves her computer off her desk. The problem is, while the monitor was wrecked, the actual PC received minimal damage... Justified—not like a 200 year-old vampire would really know how a computer works. His monologue before destroying the computer even makes it explicit. Later episodes also imply that her hard drive was indeed undamaged.
    • The diskette that Jenny used to back up her findings (yes, someone does back things up) falls between the desk and filing cabinet when Willow starts teaching her classes.
  • Contemplating Your Hands: Spike mentions doing this for six hours at Woodstock, after feeding off a "flower person".
  • Continuity Nod: When he asks out Ampata in "Inca Mummy Girl", Xander takes care to make sure she's not a praying mantis.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Played With. Angelus was always a threat and The Dreaded, but he had been cursed with a soul and turned good. Buffy ends up breaking the curse in "Innocence" when she has sex with Angel, providing the moment of perfect happiness needed to bring Angelus back; Angelus takes great pleasure in rubbing in Buffy's face that it's her fault he's loose in Sunnydale.
    Angelus: You know what the worst part was, huh? Pretending that I loved you. If I'd known how easily you'd give it up, I wouldn't have even bothered.
    Buffy: That doesn't work anymore. You're not Angel.
    Angelus: You'd like to think that, wouldn't you? It doesn't matter. The important thing is you made me the man I am today!
  • Date Rape Averted: In "Reptile Boy", Buffy and Cordelia get drugged at a party by a group of cultists. One of the cultists seems to be planning this, but another stops him since she and the other girls have another purpose.
  • Deadly Hug: Buffy does this to Angel in "Becoming Part 2", although she has to let go of him first since she does it with a sword.
  • Dead Man's Chest: In "Inca Mummy Girl", the mummy hid the body of the real Ampata in one of his trunks.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: One episode is named "Killed by Death". Although by "Death", we mean "Death".
  • "Die Hard" on an X: "School Hard", AKA Die Hard with vampires. The Bronze is also a popular location for hostage-takings.
  • Distinction Without a Difference:
    Giles: Let's not jump to any conclusions.
    Buffy: I didn't jump. I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were.
  • Doomed Appointment: In "Passion", Jenny is working on the spell to restore Angel's soul and tells Giles she wants to see him later, but doesn't tell him what she's working on. Naturally, Angel kills her moments after she completes her work. Therefore we know the spell exists, but Buffy and the Scoobies don't.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Giles starts drinking heavily after Jenny's death, and it's not Played for Laughs. Jenny's death drove Giles to seek fiery vengeance, as well as a bottle. He also got scarily drunk, alone, when the fallout from his Ripper days first encroached on Sunnydale in the form of a demon-possessed corpse by the name of Eyghon. He worked his way through a list of old friends' phone numbers (plus half a bottle of scotch) only to learn they were all dead. His missing an appointment with Buffy for the first time ever was enough to tip her off that something was wrong.
  • Egg Sitting: In "Bad Eggs", Sunnydale Health Class students are given the usual "treat an egg as your child" lesson. Xander boils his to make the project easier, which saves him from the embryonic demons in the eggs. Because Sunnydale.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: The Mark of Eyghon, which Giles never gets removed (as we see it in Season 8, which leads to a conversation with Faith about how he and her are not as different as she thinks). Said conversation is even more meaningful if you know the origins of her tattoo. Both of them are the mark of a demon, in her case Kakistos (the really mutated vamp that killed her Watcher). She got it from being possessed by a dead Greek Slayer.
  • Empathic Environment: In Angelus' first episode, the lights suddenly go out on Xander and Willow inside the school. Angelus appears in a darkened hallway, his shape blocking a lit EXIT sign.
  • Fish People: In "Go Fish" the Sunnydale High swim team mutates into fish dudes due to their coach giving them illegal, Soviet fish-based steroids. Unusually for monsters in a Buffy episode, they all lived Happily Ever After in the ocean — although they did lose their human personalities, so the swim team essentially died.
  • Forgotten Friend, New Foe: In "Lie To Me", Billy Fordham—"Ford"—an old friend of Buffy's from LA, shows up in Sunnydale. He has figured out she's a Slayer... and that's just for starters. He makes a deal with vampires to bring them Buffy and some vampire wannabes to feed on, so that they will turn him in exchange. He's trying to avoid dying of cancer.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Acathla, with Angelus' motivation being to unseal him and inflict literal Hell on Earth.
  • Groin Attack: Buffy can't bring herself to kill Angelus in "Innocence", but settles for this.
  • Groupie Brigade: "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" has a spell go wrong (as they often do) and Xander is chased by hordes of love-sick fans. Only they want to tear his flesh off, not his clothes.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: Joyce's reaction to learning about Buffy and vampires was, literally, "Have you tried...not being the Slayer?" She later describes herself as "marching in the Slayer Pride parade." To be fair, Joyce's reaction is a lot more understandable than most examples on this page, since her biggest concern is that Buffy could get seriously hurt or killed being the Slayer.
  • Hemo Erotic: A flashback of Angel being sired by Darla.
  • Hilarity Ensues: Of the demon Acathla, turned to stone by being stabbed through the heart by a virtuous knight, Spike comments when told that if someone "worthy" removed to sword, Acathla will awaken and "wackiness ensues." Said wackiness being Acathla sucking the world into Hell.
  • If I Can't Have You…: In "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", a creepy, creepy love spell causes every woman in town (except for Cordelia, who was unaffected) to try to do this to Xander.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Ampata, a former Incan mummy from "Inca Mummy Girl" chosen as a sacrifice to protect her people, raises herself from the dead and is determined to lead a happy 16 year-old girl's life—even if she has to kill at least one person a day to keep up the facade.
  • Impossibly Mundane Explanation: When the gang is attempting to contact Buffy:
    Xander: Well, she didn't go home. I let the phone ring a few hundred times before I remembered her mom is out of town.
    Giles: Well, maybe Buffy unplugged the phone.
    Xander: No, it's a statistical impossibility for a 16-year-old girl to unplug her phone.
    Willow: *nods*.
  • Kiss of Death: Ampata in "Inca Mummy Girl" steals the life of various men in order to keep herself alive.
  • Late To The Punch Line: In "Lie To Me", Buffy recounts listening to the Divinyls' song "I Touch Myself", in fifth grade to help her get over Ford's rejection, and then mentions that she had no idea at the time what the song was about. Thirty seconds later Willow says, "Oh! That's what that song is about?!"
  • Laugh of Love: In "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", when Xander is walking down the school hallway after his love spell has inadvertently affected practically every female character in Sunnydale, the girls there are staring, sighing and giggling at him, while the guys are watching him enviously.
  • Life Drinker: Not the vampires, actually, but rather Ampata from "Inca Mummy Girl". She was an Andean mummy who sucked living humans' life forces dry to stay alive herself.
  • Love Confession: Miss Calendar makes one to Giles in "Passion".
  • Love Confessor: After Miss Calendar's death, Giles confesses his love for her to Buffy.
  • Magic Floppy Disk: A literal one: The spell to restore Angelus' soul is encoded on a misplaced floppy.
  • Make Way for the New Villains: The Anointed One is shoved into a cage and hoisted into sunlight by Spike.
  • Matchstick Weapon: "Passions" has Giles attacking Angelus with a flaming wooden bat.
  • Murder, Inc.: Buffy is once targeted by the Order of Taraka, an assassin's guild hired by Spike to take her out.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Buffy does Angel, which causes him to lose his soul and revert to his evil mind rapist self. Nice job having the hots for a vampire, slayer. Of course, Angel gets equal blame for not keeping it in his pants despite knowing full well his curse. Though in his defense it's not like he knew that there was a way to break it. Speaking of which, when the gypsy tribe cursed Angel in the first place, it was actually a pretty dumb idea of them to allow a way to break Angelus back as their idea of making Angel suffer more. Especially since that part bit them in the ass when he did.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: In "Killed by Death", the patient Ryan draws a creepy picture of Der Kindestod. He thanks Buffy for killing the demon by drawing a not-much-less creepy picture of Buffy in the act.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In "When She Was Bad", Buffy's attitude problem causes her to get baited easily by the vamps, leaving her friends unprotected so that Willow, Cordelia, Giles, and Miss Calendar get kidnapped by the vampires working for the Anointed One. Xander, normally Buffy's biggest fan, lays it out for her:
Xander: If they hurt Willow, I'll Kill You!.
  • Obfuscating Disability: In the last four episodes, Spike is only pretending to still need his wheelchair.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations:
    • In "Phases", Xander confronts Larry the bully about his secret, which Xander can understand because he's been there before. Xander's talking about being a werewolf. Larry's talking about being a closeted homosexual. Later on in the episode, Buffy and Xander chat about the day's events, and Xander says he'll have trouble ever looking at him the same way again. Buffy's talking about the werewolf, Oz, but Xander's talking about Larry.
  • A Party, Also Known as an Orgy: The college party in "Reptile Boy".
  • Pure Is Not Good: From "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered":
    Amy: I don't know, Xander. Intent has to be pure with love spells.
    Xander: Right! I intend revenge. Pure as the driven snow.
  • Real Dreams are Weirder: Buffy's dreams about Drusilla's return are mingled with dreams of opening an office-supply warehouse in Las Vegas.
  • The Remnant: The Annointed One's army
  • Romance-Inducing Smudge: A rare romantic moment passes between Willow and Xander in the season two episode "When She Was Bad", when Willow gets ice cream on her nose as the pair are walking past a cemetery. As Xander leans in to clean it for her, the two look like they are about to kiss... until a vampire pops up behind Willow, forcing Xander to attempt to hold it off and killing a Squee-inducing moment for Willow x Xander shippers.
    • Willow later attempted to invoke this trope by putting ice cream on her own nose, but Xander, now once again distracted by Buffy, simply says "You got something on your nose."
  • Scenery Censor: The Monster of the Week in "The Dark Age" is naked when he climbs out of his body bag in the morgue, with a conveniently placed autopsy table to cover his lower half.
  • Serial Escalation: "Hmm, Angelus certainly did a good job inflicting torture and trauma. How can we top it?" They continue this trend throughout the series.
  • Shaking Her Hair Loose: In "Go Fish", Buffy pulls a stake out of her hair and shakes it loose as she prepares to fight a vampire.
  • Shock Party: In the aptly named episode "Surprise". In something of a variation, it's actually Oz who gets the shock; seeing Buffy staking a vamp for the first time. Later in season 5 we have the organizing variation with Tara.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Poor Spike is left to rot in a wheelchair while the significantly less cuddly Angelus steals the spotlight.
  • Sick Episode: In "Killed by Death", Buffy passes out while fighting due to a flu, and she goes to the hospital, where she fights a monster that preys on sick children.
  • Sigh of Love: In "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", a lot of the female characters affected by Xander's backfired love spell sigh when they're around him, particularly in the scene when he is walking down the hallway.
  • Stab the Salad: Happened in "School Hard". The gang is preparing an imminent attack from Spike. Willow is fidgeting with a crossbow, Xander & Cordelia are carving stakes and Buffy holds up a machete, which she uses to slice zuccini.
  • Staking the Loved One: Several times, most notably with Angelus. In fact, most of the second season is a struggle over this for Buffy.
  • Standard '50s Father: Ted seems like one of these at first, but is actually a killer robot.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Spike is rather miffed about Angelus deciding to toy with Buffy instead of just killing her outright.
  • Sword Fight: Becoming, Part 2. Hell yes.
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: In "I Only Have Eyes For You", Angel talks Buffy out of killing herself, but they are both not themselves at the time - they are possessed by the ghosts of other people.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: A tragic example in "I Only Have Eyes for You". Back in The '50s, one of the school's female teachers had an affair with a male student. She realized it was wrong and tried to break it off, only for the distraught student to kill her, followed by himself. The plot involves their ghosts, who keep possessing random couples and almost making them act out the murder-suicide.
  • The Team: The Scooby Gang.
  • Tempting Fate: "Passion":
    Angelus: Don't worry, rollerboy, I've got it under control.
    (Giles tosses a Molotov cocktail.)
  • This Explains So Much:
    Xander: Yes, vampires are real, there are a lot of them in Sunnydale.
    Willow: I know this must come as a shock...
    Oz: Actually, it explains a lot.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: While Xander never liked Angel and repeatedly vouched for just dusting Angelus, he doubles down on it after Angelus kills Jenny in cold blood in "Passion", citing it as proof that Angel is beyond redemption.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Billy Ford. Want to cure your cancer? All you have to do is ask some nice vampires to turn you into a vampire in exchange for giving them the Slayer. Nothing wrong with this plan AT ALL. Except Ford wasn't trying to 'cure' his cancer, he was dying and had nothing to lose. The plan actually worked too, except that Buffy survived (not Ford's fault) to stake Ford when he emerged from his grave. Why he was buried there while waiting for him to rise is another question entirely.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Spike, Angelus, and Drusilla form a rather twisted example.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Try an entire season's worth of Bangel UST climaxing in a single orgasmic Kiss of the Vampire.
  • Valentine's Day Episodes: "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", although most of the episode is simply the messy aftermath of a badly handled Valentine's Day between Cordelia and Xander. Angelus had some romance-themed Mind Rape in store for Buffy, but said aftermath was too distracting.
  • The Villain Knows Where You Live: One of the first things Angel does when he turns evil is to go into Buffy's room while she's sleeping, draw a detailed picture of her, and leave it for her to find in the morning.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: During the first episode of the season, "When She Was Bad", Buffy's behavior in the Bronze, toward Xander in particular, is so obnoxious that Cordelia, of all people, decides to call her on it, warning her that if she doesn't cool it, she'll "lose even the loser friends you have now."
  • With This Ring: Angel and Buffy's Claddagh rings.
  • Who Needs Enemies?: Spike's uneasy alliance with Buffy at the end of the second season.
  • You Never Did That for Me: While Xander and Cordelia's relationship was still a secret to the rest of the scoobies, Cordelia protested as Xander declared that he was off to help Buffy out of yet another sticky situation.
    Cordelia: "There you go, off to save the great Buffy again... I bet you'd never do that for me..."

     Season Three 
  • Alone Among the Couples: Discussed at the beginning, and they set out to avert it.
  • Are You Sure You Can Drive This Thing?: In "Band Candy", Buffy drives to the Bronze even though she failed her driving test, with Willow in the passenger's seat. Willow gets increasingly anxious, despite Buffy's relaxed-ness. They make it to the Bronze which they discover is full of middle-aged people acting like teenagers due to cursed candy; then Buffy attempts to drive to Giles' house, which results in a crash.
    "Wooo Summers, you drive like a SPAZ!!!
  • Artifact Title: This was the season where this set in, since it was the first one where the Big Bad wasn't a vampire. Though he did make extensive use of vampire underlings, and few vampires appeared as significant secondary antagonists.
  • Attempted Rape: Xander is almost raped and murdered by Faith in "Consequences". Angel intervens.
    Angel: He forgot the safety word, is that it?
  • Baleful Polymorph: A few times.
    • "Gingerbread": In order to escape being burned at the stake, Amy turns herself into a rat. She... not so much gets better at the end of the episode.
    • The end of the season sees someone turn into a snake. Not really a big deal.
  • Batman Gambit: Giles pulls one on Buffy in "Faith, Hope & Trick" to get her to reveal what happened when she killed Angel back in "Becoming, Part 2". By asking her under the pretext of needing information to create a binding spell to prevent Acathla from being re-awakened, Giles eventually gets her to admit the painful truth without questioning his motives in asking.
    Willow:...I really could help with that binding spell.
    Giles: There is no spell.
  • Bit Character: A harried teacher exhorting his students to "be somber" about the new year. He pops up again on Graduation Day, grimly making the kids play Hangman.
    "Heh heh. They always go for the 'E.'"
  • Brand X: Trick orders a "medium diet soda" at a drive-thru window without actually specifying what soda in "Faith, Hope & Trick".
  • Brought Down to Badass: In "Helpless," Giles is forced to strip Buffy of her powers using powerful mixtures of adrenaline suppressors and muscle relaxers as part of her Cruciamentum, a rite of passage to test the Slayer's intellect and wit. Buffy comes out on top against Kralik, the Ax-Crazy vampire the Council set her up against, by exploiting his dependency on anti-psychotic pills, swapping the water he drinks with them with holy water.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Buffy in "Helpless", as part of a test by the Watcher's Council.
  • Bury Your Gays: Larry in "Graduation Day, Part Two". Was confirmed later.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Faith. After the accidental murder of the deputy mayor she throws herself so far into villainy that she becomes about as scary as Angelus. Justified in that her life takes a marked improvement under the Mayor, compared to the good guys, and she first wanted to corrupt Buffy by forcing her to kill her, then it turns out Faith genuinely did have a death wish.
  • Children Are Innocent: The demon from "Gingerbread" uses this to get the parents of Sunnydale to kill witches and anyone who protects them, including their own children.
  • Collapsed Mid-Speech: The Mayor starts his Ascension in the middle of his speech to the graduating students, which causes him strong pains. However, he knew that it would happen and his collapse last few moments before he turns into a demonic snake. He only complains that he doesn't have time left to talk about civic pride.
  • Continuity Nod: "Lily" and her boyfriend attempting to buy lunch at a diner by dumping a bunch of change onto the table. David Arquette and Luke Perry did the exact same thing in the Buffy feature film.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Despite not really being his daughter, Faith winds up very much playing this role to The Mayor — she's his loyal Dragon, of whom he is clearly protective. Her loyalty is based on him being the first (and possibly only) person who ever valued her just for being her (not using her or trying to change her). When he tells her that even if Buffy did a Face–Heel Turn, he'd still pick Faith over her, it's a weird but touchingly sincere moment that clearly means the world to her. Buffy sending her into a coma led to his one swear word and Buffy taunting him about said loss led to his defeat. Many scenes between Faith and the Mayor involved him acting very fatherly and tender, giving her gifts and general life advice (about respecting and valuing herself) alongside assassination missions. Nice little call back in both Season Seven and the Season Eight comics, showing that Faith remembers him fondly despite her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Destructo-Nookie: The overtly sexualized scene in the season finale when Buffy makes Angel vamp out and drink her blood. While he's lying on top of her, she grabs a metal object for support, and it just crumples. She also kicks a table through a wall. Angel leaves her with the most insane hickey in history through all of season 4.
  • Dissimile: It seems Buffy has Gandhi confused with Teddy Roosevelt.
    Xander: The band. Yeah. They're great. They march.
    Willow: Like an army. [beat] Except with music instead of bullets, and...usually no one dies.
    • Wilkins explains to Faith that her errand in question involves something crucial to his ascension. He brightly says that without it, "well, what would Tollhouse cookies be without the chocolate chips?" Faith regards her cookie as if she's actually pondering that zen question. He continues, "A pretty darn big disappointment, I can tell you!"
  • Dominatrix: Picture this scene: You're tied up in a cage with burn marks over your body and a cute little girl in leather bondage gear enters. From the baby talk calling you puppy it's clear she is crazy, and she reacts to the silent treatment you give her with the promise that she is going to make you bark.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted in Faith's sexual assault and attempted murder of Xander. Angel first hits her on the head with a baseball bat to stop her, and when she wakes up he dubiously asks her about it.
    "He forgot the safety word?"
  • Drowning My Sorrows:
    • In "The Wish", an alternate-universe Sunnydale without Buffy is overrun by vampires. Giles leads a ragtag band of vampire hunters, and his apartment littered with liquor bottles spells out his desperation.
    • In "Doppelgangland", Anya tries to drown her sorrows at the Bronze, but as she looks outwardly like a teenage girl the bartender stubbornly insists on an I.D. "I'm 1,120 years old! Just give me a frickin' BEER!!!"
    • There's Spike in "Lovers Walk". Apparently alcohol does affect vampires.
  • Dumb and Drummer: Faith's list of loser ex-boyfriends goes "Ronnie: deadbeat. Steve: klepto. Kenny: drummer."
  • Enemy Mine: A very brief one occurs in "Choices", when the Mayor and Faith, in the interest of mutual survival, team up with the Scooby Gang in the high school cafeteria when demon spiders escape from the Box of Gavrok.
  • Enhance Button: Mocked.
  • Euphemism Buster: An un-lampshaded version.
    Mayor: No slayer of mine is going to live in a fleabag motel. That place has a very unsavory reputation. There are immoral liaisons going on there.
    Faith: Yeah, plus all the screwing.
  • Everybody Knew Already: Revealed in "The Prom" that everyone knows in school that Buffy protects them from bad stuff.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Faith. It starts in "Consequences". The sad part is, it's partially the Scoobies' fault.
  • Final Boss Preview: The First is first seen in Season 3.
  • Friend to Psychos: In "Beauty and the Beasts", Debbie tries to cover for her boyfriend Pete when he starts going through a Jekyll/Hyde situation. She's not very good at it, though.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Wishverse Buffy is an even more by-the-book Slayer than Kendra, perhaps second only to the First Slayer.
  • The Glomp: Willow, courtesy of, well...everybody in "Doppelgangland". The Scoobies, having mistaken her for Wishverse Willow, are elated when she turns out to be still alive.
    Willow: It's really nice that you guys missed me. Say, you all didn't happen to do a bunch of drugs, did ya?
    • Despite being accepted into Oxford, Willow announces to Buffy that she "will be matriculating with Class of 2003" at UC Sunnydale. The mischievous smile. "...Say, isn't that where you're going?" Buffy squees and tackles her to the grass.
  • Good Is Not Soft: When Angel is poisoned and Buffy learns that Slayer blood is the cure, her rather scary initial plan is to bring by force the psychotic Faith to him to feed on, dead or alive. When that doesn't work Buffy offers herself to feed on, which Angel absolutely refuses. So Buffy punches him in the face until the blows anger him enough to vamp out, then she makes him feed on her.
    • Faith actually told Buffy that sometimes innocent people get hurt because of the good guys, and Buffy throws it back in her face.
  • Gratuitous German: In "Gingerbread", the newspaper article the gang looks up and the chant Giles is doing at the end of the episode qualify for this.
  • Hands-On Approach: Willow and Xander have this problem. Unbeknownst to them, Buffy and Angel are also struggling to keep their hand off of...things.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: "Gingerbread" begins with Buffy's mom finding two young children after what looks like a magical rite. She responds by organizing the other parents in Sunnydale into an organization to go after witches (and Slayers.) The episode ends with them all trying to burn their own children at the stake.
  • Held Back in School: Oz. He was supposed to go to summer school. "Remember when I didn't?"
  • Hidden Depths: Cordelia, Oz. They score surprisingly well on standardized tests.
  • High-Dive Escape: A darker variation in the lead up to the season 3 finale where a brutal fight between Buffy and Faith ends with Faith stabbed in the stomach and on the edge of a rooftop. Faith knows Buffy needs her blood to heal Angel and convinced her stab wound is fatal, she gets revenge by falling backwards off of the roof onto the back of a passing truck, which carries her now comatose body away before Buffy can catch up to it.
  • Home Field Advantage: The third season finale was one huge HFA. The mayor is giving the commencement address at Buffy's graduation, which is also where his Ascension is going to occur. In response, the Scoobies organize the entire senior class to fight off the Mayor's vampires and hold the Mayor at bay until Buffy lures him into the library, which they've already filled with explosives. He dies.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Subverted in "Choices": The Scoobies have captured the Box of Gavrok belonging to Mayor Wilkins, while Mayor Wilkins has captured Willow. The Scoobies debate the morality of destroying the box instead of giving it to the Mayor, but agree to make the trade. Wesley, however, insists on destroying the box rather than letting Wilkins have it, but Oz then proceeds to smash the pot needed for the ritual to do so to ensure that they will trade for Willow. The Mayor does not attempt to kill Willow anyway, and releases her once he has the box. The result is that Willow is safe, but the Mayor has the box.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game
  • Hypocrite: Xander's furious that Buffy knew that Angel had come Back from the Dead and withheld the information from the others, when he himself had deliberately neglected to tell Buffy that Willow was planning to curse Angel with a soul again in "Becoming Part 2" to ensure that Buffy would kill him.
  • I Think You Broke Him: "Beauty and the Beasts" has a rare version that's not played for comedy.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Cordelia, although she survives. Also most vampires and a few other monsters.
  • Industrialized Evil: "The Wish".
  • Interrogation Montage: Done by Willow, Xander, Oz and Cordy in "Earshot."
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: In "The Wish", Cordelia unwittingly makes the demon Anyanka create a world wherein Buffy never moved to Sunnydale, which has turned into a truly hellish place where the Master and his army of vampires rule practically unopposed. The whole thing later gets a twist as Cordelia gets killed about halfway through the episode, leaving Giles to find a way to undo the wish.
  • It's Personal: Discussed in "Anne":
    Oz: If I may suggest: "This time it's personal." I mean, there's a reason why it's a classic.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Spike's legendary "Love's Bitch" speech from "Lovers Walk".
    ""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."
    • This is echoed by Mayor Wilkin, who doesn't foresee anything good for Angel and Buffy's relationship. He's reminded of his own wife in her last days, senile and cursing Wilkins for his eternal youth.
  • Kirk Summation: Subverted by Willow in "Choices".
  • Ladies and Germs: "Ladies, gentlemen, spiny-headed creatures..."
  • La Résistance: The White Hats (Giles, Larry and Oz) in the Wishverse.
  • Lecherous Licking: Vampire Willow does this a lot, including to regular Willow, who is understandably freaked out by it.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: In "Consequences", Mr. Trick is staked by Faith before he can drain Buffy. His last words?
    Mr. Trick: (indignant and mildly shocked) Oh. No. No, this is no good at all...
  • Mask of Power: "Dead Man's Party" and the Nigerian zombie mask. Note a Mask of Power that does not need to be worn. Though the Mask wants to be worn by one of its zombies to unlock its full power.
  • Metaphorgotten: "Homecoming". Willow expressing her guilt about kissing Xander.
    Willow: We were so guilty about "the fluke" that we overcompensated helping Cordelia and spun the group dynamic out of orbit. Now we're just this meteor shower headed for Earth...
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: In the episode "Earshot."
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • When Faith begins to go bad after staking the Deputy Mayor, Buffy and Giles plan to deal with it without alerting the Watcher's Council, but Wesley finds out anyway after eavesdropping on them and immediately calls in a special ops team to bring her in. In the process of doing so, he completely ruins Angel's attempts to get through to her just as he was beginning to succeed, setting off a sequence of events that lead to Faith becoming Mayor Wilkins' dragon.
    • Played Straight - somewhat - with the demon Balthazar. Balthazar was Mayor Wilkins' rival - had he regained his power, he would have killed the Mayor. By killing Balthazar, Buffy eliminated one of the two major threats to the Mayor. Of course, the other major threat was herself...
  • No-Tell Motel: Faith crashes here upon coming to Sunnydale, further emphasizing the differences between her and Buffy. The Mayor upgrades her to a condo, but advises to maintain her old place as a cover.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: The Mayor. At first, he seems like a self-serving politician tapping into supernatural powers for personal gain. Then it turns out he commands a small army of vampires and plans to become a pureblood demon. Oh, and he's also invulnerable; not just Nigh-Invulnerable, invulnerable.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In "Graduation Day Part 2", the Mayor — normally cheerful, friendly and oddly wholesome for a villain who constantly speaks in a chipper, upbeat tone — goes on a brief, furious Villainous Breakdown after Buffy puts his Faith into a coma.
    Mayor Wilkins: (to Angel) Yeah, well I'd get set for a world of weeping! I'd get set for a world of pain! Misery loves company, young man, and I'm more than willing to share that with you and your whore!
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations:
    • When Willow starts discussing Buffy's secret affair with Angel, Xander immediately deflects the discussion to their sordid tryst. This proves to be consistent behavior between Willow and Xander throughout the season; the stress of being caught cheating is so overwhelming, they keep blurting out pseudo-confessions to anyone in sight.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Vampire Willow to Willow, and vice versa.
  • Prophetic Name: Scott Hope. Now, if only his first name were Dash...
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Angel, whose Superpowered Evil Side delights in Mind Rape, was particularly disgusted with...
  • Recurring Extra: Should you be watching reruns of season 3 episodes, look for a shortish Asian guy carrying a skateboard. He's in many episodes and is referred to as "Asian Dan" by the cast. In the season 4 DVD, Seth Green, Joss Whedon, and Marti Noxon joke about his frequent appearances in the "Wild at Heart" audio commentary.
  • Resurrection Sickness: Angel, though it starts out looking like Came Back Wrong.
  • Room Full of Crazy: From "Helpless". Buffy runs into a room full of pictures of her mother taken by a really crazy vampire.
  • Rule of Three: In season three, when Angel has been poisoned by Faith and needs the blood of a Slayer to cure him, Buffy punches him to get him to vamp out. Of course, she hits him once, twice, aaand the third time does it.
  • Sequel Episode: "Dopplegangland" is this to "The Wish".
  • Shadowland: Buffyless Sunnydale to Normal Sunnydale.
  • Snow Means Love: A providential snowfall prevents Angel from committing suicide-by-sun. He and Buffy then go for a walk in the snow. This is southern California. Y'know, because snow is nearly impossible there.
  • Spoiler Opening: The 3rd season opening shows Faith before she even makes her first appearance. Averted in season 1, it doesn't hint that Angel is a vampire.
  • Talking Down the Suicidal:
    • In the episode "Earshot," Buffy talks Jonathan Levinson out of killing himself, although she thinks that she is convinving him not to commit mass murder instead.
    • Buffy also convinces Angel not to kill himself when he is attacked by the First Evil.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Wesley and Cordelia had a mutual attraction; in fact, he actually thought she was a teacher when they first met, in a possible nod to the Dawson Casting. Only a partial example, since Wesley was a mentor to Buffy, not her (and not a very good one), though he was presumably employed by the school in some capacity to justify him hanging out in the library.
  • The Team: The Scoobies.
  • Tempting Fate: In "Dead Man's Party":
    Willow: No, let them go, Oz! Talking about it isn't helping, we might as well try some violence!
    (A zombie breaks in through the front window.)
    Willow: I was being sarcastic!
  • That Was the Last Entry: The first info the Scoobies have about the prophesied "ascension" is a journal entry saying "Tomorrow is the ascension, may God help us." It was the last time the town was ever heard of.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Faith actually tries to get Willow to give her the whole "you can still be a good guy" speech, instead getting Willow telling her she's way past forgiveness. At least part of this is because she had kidnapped and tied up Willow though. Ironically, Willow becomes one of the few people who actually could later understand what Faith was going through, having gone evil and killed someone only to be brought back by someone showing caring and kindness when she didn't deserve it.
  • Throwing Your Stake Always Works: Subverted with gusto in "Anne".
    Oz: That really never works.
  • Title Drop: For the episode title in "Dead Man's Party".
  • A Truce While We Gawk: In "Anne", Buffy's fight with the demons is interrupted by the head demon holding a knife to Lilly. He announces that their fight is lost and he'll kill Lilly to make an example. Lilly kills him instead. A beat later, the main fight resumes.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Invoked by the Mayor, who was him, his son, his grandson and his great grandson (he's immortal).
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: "Graduation Day, Part Two".
  • Very Special Episode: "I Only Have Eyes For You" and "Earshot" ended with a PSA about calling the suicide hotline, which would have been useful for some fans.
  • "Walk on the Wild Side" Episode: In "Doppelgangland", Willow gets a little fed up with her reputation as Old Reliable and flirts with danger a bit by doing a dark incantation with Anya. It doesn't end very well.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: After the Mayor has just completed a dark ritual on his way to becoming a true immortal demon.
    Mayor: "This officially commences the Hundred Days. Nothing can harm me until the Ascension."
    [beat. Breaks into a fit of gleeful giggles]
    "Gosh, I'm feeling chipper! Who's for a root beer?!"
  • When All You Have is a Hammer…: Buffy's proposal for dealing with a vengeance demon in "The Wish".
    Buffy: "Why don't I just put a stake through her heart?"
    Giles: "She's not a vampire."
    Buffy: "You'd be surprised how many things that'll kill."
    • Also a fantastic instance of foreshadowing. A few episodes later, guess what Faith accidentally kills a man with.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Various hell dimensions, including the demon workhouse in the season opener and the realm where Angel is held after the events of season two.
  • You Got Spunk!:
    Ken: "You've got guts. I'd like to slice you open and play with them."
  • Zombie Apocalypse:
    • A Nigerian mask causes a minor one in "Dead Man's Party".
    • The alternate timeline created in "The Wish" is a vampire variant.

     Season Four 
  • Actor Allusion: Giles puts on "Danse Macabre" during his silent presentation in "Hush". "Danse Macabre" is the theme tune of Jonathan Creek. Anthony Stewart Head played magician Adam Klaus in the pilot episode of that show.
  • All Psychology Is Freudian: Professor Walsh gives a lecture on the Id. Zig-Zagged, as her other lectures indicate she's just giving a board overview of all schools of psychological thought.
  • All Take and No Give: Spike and Harmony's relationship, with Spike as Taker and Harmony as Giver.
  • And I Must Scream: The episode "Hush".
    Can't even shout
    Can't even cry
    The gentlemen are coming by
    Lookin' in windows
    Knockin' on doors
    They need to take seven
    And they might take yours
    Can't call to mom
    Can't say a word
    You're gonna die screaming
    But you won't be heard
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: The Gentlemen steal everyone's voices. Everyone freaks out, gets drunk, goes to church, resorts to violence in the streets.
  • Arc Number: 314, otherwise known as Adam.
  • Armies Are Evil: The Initiative.
  • Attack Backfire: Adam got a rush off of the Initiative's electricity guns.
  • Basement-Dweller: Xander doesn't get to go to college and lives in his parents' basement, where he pays rent. And he's forced to keep Spike there for a while.
  • Batman Gambit: Spike uses this to good effect in "The Yoko Factor". Knowing the personalities and temperament of each character, he casually plants information with each of them to turn them on each other. He does it in a way that's particularly ingenious: he relies on their own expectations of him to lead the characters into "discovering" the false rumors for themselves... so that each of them thinks it was their own idea.
    • YMMV on whether it counts as "ingenious" - the fight lasted less than an episode, and directly led them to the idea which helped them destroy Adam. If it was a Batman Gambit, it wasn't a very good one.
    • The fight only ended so quickly because Spike realised that if they weren't talking, Willow wouldn't decode the MacGuffin for the team and so he had to remind her to do it, which led to the gang talking, which led to them figuring out that Spike had been manipulating them the whole time. If Spike and Adam had given it a little more thought, it would have worked perfectly.
  • Batman in My Basement: Inverted, Xander keeps Spike in his basement in Season 4 for a bit and later in his closet (which is fucking huge) in Season 7.
  • Big Little Man: "Fear, Itself" has Gachnar the Fear Demon... who is 4 inches tall. Buffy stomps him like a bug.
  • Black Hole Sue: Used for humorous effect in "Superstar", when Jonathan uses a wish spell to fold reality around himself and turns himself into an invincible, charismatic hero, admired by everyone. Unfortunately he forgot to read the fine print. In-Universe
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Inverted in "A New Man".
    Riley: Buffy, when I saw you stop the world from, you know, ending, I just assumed that was a big week for you. Turns out I suddenly find myself needing to know the plural of "apocalypse".
  • California University: UC-Sunnydale
  • Can't Default to Murder: The vicious vampire Spike is captured by the military and has an antiviolence chip implanted in his brain, leaving him unable to kill or even harm humans (and essentially leaving him a neurotic mess, since that's his favorite hobby). Subverted when he learns the chip only responds to humans, and that he can kill demons and other supernatural creatures at will. And he does. Repeatedly.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: In "The Harsh Light Of Day", Giles tells them that watching TV isn't going to help them with their problem. Sure enough the news showed a clue to Spike's whereabouts.
  • Collective Groan: In "Doomed", when the gang realized they have to prevent the end of the world again.
  • Combined Energy Attack: In the 4th season's penultimate episode.
  • Coming-Out Story: "New Moon Rising", Although there's a Fantastic Aesop twist in that many of the standard plot points are applied to Oz (as a werewolf) rather than Willow (as a "coming out" lesbian).
  • Conflict Ball: Spike deliberately passes it around in "The Yoko Factor", making insinuating and subversive comments to make the Scoobies turn on each other and vent repressed feelings of anger and resentment that had been bottled up. He even lampshades the trope, pointing out that people latch onto one specific event or situation as a cause of strife, but that what really happens is that the event or situation is just an excuse to bring to the forefront issues that were there all along.
  • Conspiracy Redemption: Riley and the Initiative. Riley was a loyal soldier for the organisation and attempted to recruit Buffy as well, but eventually learned that the Initiative was using Mad Scientists (particularly Walsh), boosting its soldiers' performances with drugs and cybernetic implants, and creating a cyborg Super Soldier using demon body tissue. After Walsh tries to kill Buffy, and the Initiative captures and experiments on Oz, Riley deserts and joins the Scoobies, and the following season is headhunted by a military demon-killing unit that's less morally ambiguous.
  • Continuity Nod: Xander being called a "demon magnet."
  • Creepy Children Singing: The Gentleman rhyme in "Hush".
  • Crossover: With its spinoff Angel, which has crossed over with a few things.
  • Cut Apart: In "Hush", we see Tara knocking on one of the dorm room's doors, and Willow waking up from the noise. The door opens, and one of The Gentlemen surprises Tara. This was actually hinted, since Tara had previously found Willow's room number (which isn't the number on the door).
  • Dénouement Episode: "Restless."
  • Driven to Suicide: At one point, Spike tries to stake himself after getting the chip, only saved by Willow and Xander. Luckily, he finds that he can hurt demons, regaining his will to live.
  • Drowning My Sorrows:
    • In "A New Man", Giles is so upset about feeling useless that he goes out and gets drunk with Ethan Rayne. Bad idea. He also gets drunk in "The Yoko Factor" when Spike's manipulations got him feeling he was useless.
    • In "Something Blue", Willow isn't drowning her sorrows. She's just bathing them.
    • Buffy's beer-drinking spree made her go, in her own words, one million years BC. If ever there was a more literal way to convey the message, "drinking is bad, kids." The only more literal way would be if the episode had been called "Beer Bad", WHICH IT WAS. Given this exchange at the end of the episode, one gets the impression that Joss Whedon couldn't resist subverting the anti-alcohol message:
    Xander: And was there a lesson in all this, huh? What did we learn about beer?
    Buffy: Foamy!
    Xander: Good. Just as long as that's clear.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Are we supposed to be surprised that Professor Walsh's human-demon-cyborg stabs her in the back and tries to conquer the world?
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The result of Willow's "my will be done" spell is that her metaphorical words become literally true.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Xander tries to invoke this with Buffy while undercover at the Initiative, but Buffy rebuffs him by pointing out that "This is the Initiative. Military guys and scientists do not make out with each other."
  • Fantastic Aesop: The reason why "Beer Bad" was denied additional funding from the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
  • Foreshadowing: "I hope it's a funny aneurism."
  • For Great Justice: Parodied by Spike. "For the safety of... puppies, and... Christmas, right?"
  • Fratbro: With the setting shift to college, Fratbros show up. Notably, the Halloween episode takes place in a frathouse where they accidentally summoned a demon trying to make a haunted house.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Buffy and Faith in "Who Are You?"
  • Funny Background Event: In "The Harsh Light of Day" the Greek letters on the Frat house Buffy are Gamma Alpha Pi (ΓΑΠ) which, from the angle the shot is taken, look a bit like FAIL. The house in the background across the street bears the letters ΤΩA. Perhaps it's a sorority house?
  • Ghostly Glide: The Gentlemen in the episode "Hush" hovered inches off the ground rather than walking, adding to their creepiness.
  • Good Feels Good: Faith, when she was in Buffy's body masquerading as her.
  • Grand Theft Me: The spell Willow uses to help Buffy works like this, not only is she imbued with the power of all the Scoobies, she acts possessed.
  • Inhumanable Alien Rights: According to the Initiative, vampires and other monsters have no rights that are worth respecting. At first, Riley Finn shared this view, until one of the werewolves the Initiative captured turned out to be Oz and he realized that some of the "monsters" he had been capturing actually had normal lives.
  • Intoxication Ensues
  • Jerkass: Forrest.
  • "Join the Army," They Said
  • Lecture as Exposition: Lampshaded and subverted in "Hush", when Giles is forced to this without his ability to speak.
  • Love Cannot Overcome: Giles's Temporary Love Interest Olivia. At the end of the episode "Hush," after Olivia learns of the existence of demons, she says, "Scary." Giles asks, "Too scary?" and Olivia responds, "I'm not sure." Since we never see her again after that, we can presume that it was indeed too scary for her.
    • We do see her again on the show, though only in a dream Giles has in the season finale.
  • Magic Versus Science
  • Magical Native American: Hus in "Pangs".
  • Make Way For New Villains: Spike returns ready to cause trouble for Buffy, only to be tasered and captured by members of the Initiative. He escapes from them in the next episode, but has a chip planted in his head to make sure he can't harm the heroes again, which wound up sending him directly into a certain other trope.
  • A Man Is Always Eager: That Oz is reluctant to engage in the physical act of love strikes fear into Willow's heart as a sign of infidelity. Xander lampshades it, saying she may have encountered "the seven annual minutes he's legitimately too preoccupied" to want sex.
  • The Man Behind the Curtain: Gachnar in "Fear, Itself".
  • Mildly Military: The Initiative.
  • Mineral Macguffin: The Gem of Amarra.
  • The Minnesota Fats: Subverted in "Superstar".
  • Mundane Made Awesome / Wimp Fight:
    • Xander vs. Harmony. Slow motion hair pulling set to dramatic action music.
    • Done to explicitly mock the show's often unrealistic fight scenes.
  • Never Recycle Your Schemes: The Initiative is reviewed, and deemed to have utterly failed, in its mission to research whether demons could be used to create Super Soldiers. So the whole thing is shut down & concreted over: "burn it, gentlemen, and salt the earth". The possibility of keeping the very successful demon-fighting side of its operation up-and-running is never even suggested — the shadowy government agency heading it was more concerned about covering up a potential scandal than public safety.
  • No Sympathy: Spike is captured by the Initiative and implanted with a cerebral microchip that prevents him from harming humans; he turns to the Scoobies for help, and they all take great delight in tormenting him and mocking him to his face, except for Willow, who pities him. It reaches a head in "Doomed": Xander is pissed that Spike tried to commit suicide simply because he wanted to stake Spike himself, and Buffy's line when they go to the high school says it all for her:
    Buffy: Why is he even here? It's not like he can fight.
    Willow: If we leave him alone, he'll stake himself.
    Buffy: And that's bad because...?
  • Not Right in the Bed: When Faith takes over Buffy's body, she comes on to Spike, and is a lot more sexually aggressive with Riley than Buffy is.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Buffy and company get used to thinking of Spike as harmless thanks to the chip implanted in his head that prevents him from physically attacking any humans, but he occasionally shows them that he could still cause them problems or even get them all killed, even if he can't attack them directly.
    • When Faith wakes up from her coma and plans to go on a rampage against the group, Giles and Xander run into Spike, and because he's lived with them, fought demons together with them a few times, and generally been unable to harm them, they make the mistake of assuming he'll be an ally. They ask him if he's heard anything about Faith, and Spike feigns concern, which makes them fill him in on the whole Faith situation (as Spike has never seen or heard of Faith before) complete with a physical description and the fact that she's looking for vengeance against the group. With this information in hand, Spike announces that he's going to find the rogue Slayer so he can tell her where they are so he can watch as Faith kills them. And thanks to their assumption that he's harmless, he even has a rough description of the person he should be looking for.
    Spike: What do you need?
    Xander: Her. Dark hair, [raises a hand to about Faith's height] ye tall, name of Faith, criminally insane.
    Spike: Is this bird after you?
    Xander: In a bad way, yeah.
    Spike: Tell you what I'll do then: head out, find this girl, tell her exactly where all of you are, then watch as she kills you. [Spike smiles at Xander and Giles, then sighs in annoyance at their shocked expressions] Can anyone in your damn little Scooby club at least try to remember that I hate you all. Just 'cause I can't do the damage myself doesn't stop me from aiming a loose cannon your way.
    • He manipulates the existing tensions within Buffy's friends and successfully gets them to turn against one another.
  • Out of Focus: Joyce is largely absent from the season, as Kristine Sutherland was in Italy at the time.
  • Perplexing Plurals: Riley comments that, after falling in with the main characters, he suddenly finds himself needing to know the plural of "apocalypse".
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: This is actually exploited by Spike, who makes it worse by getting all their problems out into the open to divide the Scoobies. They eventually make up and are stronger then ever, which helps them defeat Adam.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Part of Faith's attempts to hurt Buffy after stealing her body was to seduce Riley, essentially raping both of them. This is treated as Faith's Moral Event Horizon, to the point where subsequent episodes revolve around it, Angel doesn't want to talk about it once he finds out, and after using it for motivation to stop Faith (he immediately tries to shoot her first chance he gets) Buffy shows up to kill her, and since Angel won't is willing to go through him to do so. It's even a special kind of evil for Faith, as after she does the deed is disgusted, then believes she is a monster on par with Angelus and becomes a Death Seeker.
  • Rousing Speech: Subverted in "[[Buffy the Vampire Slayer S4 E11 "Doomed" Doomed": Spike's sudden unexpected outburst of enthusiasm for "fighting the good fight" (after he realized that the implanted behavioral modification chip didn't punish him for killing demons) meets with helpless silent protestation from Xander and Willow that, and after a long exhausting day of monster-slaying, Spike was blocking their view of the TV box. The irony of course lies in the fact that Spike is a vampire, and used to be Buffy's enemy until that point.
    What's this? Sittin' around watching the telly while there's evil still afoot? It's not very industrious of you. I say we go out there and kick a little demon ass! What? Can't go without your Buffy, is that it? Too chicken? Let's find her. She is the chosen one, after all. Come on! Vampires! Grrr! Nasty! Let's annihilate them, for justice, and for... the safety of puppies... and Christmas, right? Let's fight that evil! Let's kill something! [Credits start running.] Oh, come on!
  • Screaming Woman: Subverted in "Hush".
  • Self-Deprecation: Done in a unique way, with Faith insulting herself while in Buffy's body. This starts out as an imitation of the holier-than-thou attitude she considers Buffy to have, but quickly turns into Faith spilling her own self-hatred.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Meta example. Joss Whedon got so much acclaim for how crisp, funny, amazing, wonderful, and awesome the dialogue was that he wrote an episode where the entire town loses their voices completely five minutes in. It's generally regarded as one of the best episodes in the entire series.
  • Salt and Pepper: Riley and Forrest.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Showing Off the New Body: Practically the first thing Faith does after swapping bodies with Buffy is take a long bath.
  • Slasher Smile: The Gentlemen.
  • The Team:
    • The Hero: Buffy. As per usual.
    • The Lancer: Willow takes center stage this season with her new magical abilities.
    • The Smart Guy: Giles. Despite feeling out of place he is still very much Buffy's father figure, mentor and teacher.
    • The Big Guy: Riley, who is a Super Soldier and Buffy's new boyfriend.
    • The Heart: Xander has really grown into this, what with the motivating speech he gives Buffy in the season premiere. He's even called this in a spell Willow performs near the end of the season.
    • Sixth Ranger: Anya and Tara, after they start dating Xander and Willow, respectively.
    • Token Evil Teammate: Spike, who occasionally stands with the Scoobies for the sake of a good fight. He's still evil, however, and just because he can no longer do the damage himself, it doesn't stop him from helping Adam during the final stretch of the season.
  • Teacher/Student Romance:
    • At first Buffy's relationship with Riley should fit, or at least border on, this trope — in real life, some universities consider it very dodgy for a freshman to date any graduate student, let alone the TA of a class you're in.
    • Word of God states that Professor Maggie Walsh had feelings for Riley. Seeing as he views her more as a mother figure - and she's completely deranged - this is exceedingly creepy. It's even creepier when you remember that she was experimenting on Riley too. It was extra super creepy that she watched Buffy and Riley have sex from a video camera installed in his room, then decided to have Buffy killed off. Call that lady Queen Squick.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Buffy actually says the trope's name when Angel and Riley fight over her in "The Yoko Factor".
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue: does an interesting take on this in one episode. Giles explains the ancient lore of this week's demon, while the Initiative is briefed on the nature of the same "HST" (Hostile Subterranean) in military jargon.
  • Variable Terminal Velocity: A particularly egregious example in "Doomed", where Buffy jumps into the Hellmouth after a demon and catches up to it while falling, even though she took the time to run over to Riley, grab a rope from him, and run back before jumping in.
  • [Verb] This!: When Buffy first fought The Initiative, she fired a flare gun while saying "Contain this!"
  • Video Wills: Mayor Wilkins.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Jonathan crooning a forties pop song in "Superstar". Pro athlete, military genius, star of The Matrix, and now he's Sinatra.
  • Voice of the Legion: Buffy speaks with the voices of the whole Scooby Gang after the enjoining spell combines them all in her body.
  • William Telling: In "Superstar" Jonathan alters reality to change himself from a geek into a demon-fighting James Bond-expy. One scene has him putting on a blindfold in preparation to shooting apples from the heads of several Initiative soldiers.
  • Worrying for the Wrong Reason: In "Pangs", Xander is in a panic because he has been cursed with a host of diseases. He's most stressed about the syphilis. Anya says comfortingly:
    It'll make you blind and insane, but it won't kill you. The smallpox will.

     Season Five 
  • Adopt the Dog: "Intervention" is pretty much the definitive moment in Spike's change from evil to good. Despite brutal torture, Spike refuses to give Dawn up to Glory. Later Spike confesses to his adoring robotic replica of Buffy (or so Spike thinks) that if Buffy lost Dawn, it would destroy her, and he could not live with her being in that much pain. And this was before he got a soul.
  • Anachronism Stew: The Knights of Byzantium are an ancient order of Knight Templars who use medieval arms and armour for no apparent reason other than to have a cool scene involving Buffy fighting knights on top of a moving Winnebago.
  • Another Dimension: Glory's world, an H. R. Giger-ish dimension which we see bits of in the finale.
  • Arc Words: "Death is your gift."
  • Band of Brothers: After falling apart the previous season, the Scoobies eventually band together into an extremely powerful group of True Companions — even Spike by the end of the season. One of the times this is best seen is when Tara's family comes to take her home against her will. The ending of that episode sums it up.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: We never see how Glory kills the knights trying to kill Dawn.
  • Break the Badass: Buffy's reaction to the revelation that Glory isn't a demon like everyone thought. On the contrary, Glory is a god.
  • Butt-Monkey: Xander becomes the Trope Namer, yet over the next few episodes Takes A Level in Character Development by getting a promotion at work, moving out of his parent's basement and stabilizing his relationship with Anya.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: About every piece of Phlebotinum that shows up during the fifth season is eventually used to fight Glory.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Doc, the old man who gave Dawn the spell to bring Joyce back to life. Turns out he's a Glory worshipper and he is the one who opens the portal.
    • Warren will be much more important come season 6.
  • Courtly Love: Spike's Character Arc this season, with Buffy as the unobtainable princess.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The creepy old guy with the tail to Spike. Then Buffy to the creepy old guy with the tail
    • Glory curb stomps Buffy on several occassion before the final battle
  • Cosmic Retcon: Only child Buffy suddenly has an annoying little sister to butt heads with. Dawn appears out of nowhere yet everyone thinks she's always been a member of the Summers family. It takes several episodes before this mystery is answered.
  • Daydream Surprise: Used brutally in "The Body", and as a Love Epiphany for Spike.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Buffy crosses it when, despite her best efforts, Dawn is captured by Glory. The sheer guilt over failing to protect Dawn after everything she's been through renders Buffy catatonic for almost the entirety of the next episode, forcing Willow to embark on a Journey to the Center of the Mind to snap her out of it; during said travel, Buffy confesses she'd long since given up hope of defeating Glory and actually began wishing that Glory would win just so the fear would finally end.
  • Determined Defeatist: Spike in "The Gift", as shown by his "we band of buggered" line.
  • Drop the Hammer: The hammer wielded by Olaf the Troll, which becomes a Chekhov's Gun for the season finale.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: In-universe example — Harmony refuses to have a threesome with Spike unless it's boy-girl-boy. Exceptions are made for Charlize Theron.
  • Feud Episode: "Triangle" has Xander's best friend (Willow) and his girlfriend (Anya) feud because they are both worried that the other will hurt him.
  • Fiction as Cover-Up: Dracula got Bram Stoker to write his book to pump up his street cred. Other vampires thought it was a really dick move, because it let the normal humans in on a lot of their secrets.
  • Ghost Story: Dawn listens to scary stories told by the monster himself — Spike in his crypt. Buffy is not amused.
  • Heroic BSoD: When Glory snatches Dawn, Buffy lapses into catatonia. Willow has to both take command of the Scoobies and make a Journey to the Center of the Mind to snap Buffy out of it.
  • Heroic Suicide: Dawn attempts one in the season finale. Buffy performs it in her place.
  • Honor-Related Abuse: Tara's family is like this in "Family". They abuse her emotionally and lie to her to make her hate herself, fooling her into believing that she's less than human. When she breaks free and makes a life of her own, they start threatening to move on to physical abuse, and would most likely have made good on their threats if it wasn't for almost the entire cast closing ranks around her and telling them that they would have to go through them to get to her.
    • Which also allows Spike to cement his Heel–Face Turn by hitting her, purposely causing an electric shock to his brain via his chip to prove she's human.
  • Hugh Mann: The Scooby Gang initially get totally taken in by the Buffybot and chalk her weird behaviour up to the recent death of Buffy's mom. Since she's still all but holding up a sign reading "I Am A Robot Impersonator" the whole time, Buffy is still not very happy that her friends were completely unable to tell the difference.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Glory constantly goes on about how much she hates being human and considers human things beneath her, and yet she adores silk and has quite the shoe collection.
    • Buffy shows compassion and empathy for Warren's Sex Bot April, but later views the Buffybot, who was designed by Warren for Spike for a similar purpose, as nothing but an "it."
  • I Miss Mom: Buffy and Dawn
  • Instant Emergency Response: Averted in "The Body", where it takes a reasonable length of time for the ambulance to arrive.
  • I Say What I Say: The two Xanders in "The Replacement."
  • I Wished You Were Dead: When Dawn is captured by Glory, Buffy goes into Heroic BSoD mode. In her mind, she repeats the same images over and over again; one of them was her placing a book back on the shelf in the Magic Shop. Buffy explains to Willow (who has gone on a journey to the center of Buffy's mind) that she had momentarily given up on saving her sister Dawn and briefly wished Dawn would die just so the fear would be over.
  • Life Will Kill You: Joyce is simply dead one day. While the audience shouldn't be surprised by a death (in the Buffy-verse, at any rate), it was totally unexpected that she died the way she did. "I Was Made to Love You" ends with Buffy coming home, and her mother is dead on the floor. The next episode is called "The Body", and quickly reveals that it was a simple aneurysm — caused by complications from a procedure she underwent earlier in the series to remove a brain tumor.
    • Bonus points that everyone was so surprised and unsettled that it wasn't anything extraordinary. Xander, especially, is shaken, saying things like this don't just happen. Anya, who usually has a very matter-of-fact attitude towards supernaturally related death and violence, is completely at a loss and in tears.
  • Literal Split Personality: Cool Xander and Loser Xander in "The Replacement."
  • Love Epiphany: Spike has a Catapult Nightmare in which he realises his obsession with Buffy is something far, far worse! Inverted with Riley Finn who realises that Buffy doesn't love him, fueling his eventual decision to leave.
  • Love Hurts: Spike is tormented by his unrequited lust for the Slayer.
    Spike: "What the bleeding hell is WRONG with you bloody women?! What the hell does it take?! Why do you bitches torture me?!
  • MacGuffin Blindness: Glory searches all through the season for the key, but doesn't realize that it was Buffy's sister Dawn all along until right near the end.
  • Mind Rape: Glory pulls people's sanity straight out of their skull and feeds on it, leaving them as gibbering messes. Tara eventually ends up as one of her victims.
  • Mook Horror Show: The Dracula episode, where we see a vampire running madly through a graveyard... and then we realize he's running for his (un)life. From Buffy.
  • Must Be Invited: Buffy tolerates Spike's Stalker with a Crush behavior until she discovers he's fallen in love with her (and realizes he's getting too close to her family). She then gets Willow to bar Spike from the house. Then Spike shows himself willing to give his life to protect Dawn, so in the season finale Buffy invites him back into her home.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In every episode where Buffy fights Glory until The Gift, she gets her ass handed to her and is typically forced to flee.
  • Not in Front of the Kid: When we meet Dawn, everyone spends most of a season trying to keep the slaying away from her. They don't talk about it in front of her, except insofar as they can do so in code (they mostly fail).
  • Not So Invincible After All: Glory can be slowed by magical artifacts.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • Drusilla is certifiably off her rocker, driven insane by Angelus and in almost every appearance was a Cloudcuckoolander. In "Crush", however, when Spike tries to reunite with her she is the picture of sanity and is clear-headed enough to be hurt and upset over him falling for Buffy.
    • In "The Gift", Giles is trying, as gently as possible, to explain to Buffy that it may be necessary to kill Dawn to save not only the world but all of reality. Buffy point-blank says she's not discussing the matter until Giles jumps to his feet and shouts, "YES WE BLOODY WELL ARE!"
  • Only Sane Man: Spike has a major case of this in "The Weight of the World", when he is the only one immune to the glamour that prevents mortals from remembering that Ben is Glory. See also Glamour Failure.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: One comes out of the Key Portal during The Gift.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: "The Body" feels very different from a normal episode of the show, using Mood Dissonance and a complete absence of background music to recreate the sense of dislocation we feel when someone close to us dies.
  • Poisonous Friend: Giles smothering Ben to death in "The Gift".
  • Prodigal Family: Tara's family are an example of the possessive, malevolent variety.
  • Promotion to Parent: Buffy has to take over this role for Dawn, despite her desperate attempt to foist the task off onto Giles.
  • Put on a Bus: Harmony and Riley.
  • Retroactive Wish: In "Triangle".
    Willow: I wish Buffy was here!
    Buffy: I'm here!
    Willow: I wish I had a million dollars!
  • Revealing Continuity Lapse: Taken to new heights when an entirely new character appears in the first episode, treated by everyone as Buffy's sister who has been there all along. The characters even reminisce about her place in old episodes she wasn't in! Eventually, it turns out that this is because she was magically implanted there into Buffy's life because she is needed for a powerful ritual.
  • Revisiting the Roots: At the end of the fifth season, Buffy starts off an episode by killing a vampire in an alleyway. This is after having blown up a giant demon snake in season three, fought off a man-made demon-cyborg in season four, and she was presently in the battle with a demonic god trying to destroy the universe. She even lampshades this by pointing out she hadn't done something so simple in a while.
  • Robocam: April and Buffybot POV — complete with Positions and Fetishes.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: Giles wears them for the magic shop's grand opening. They look ridiculous.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: ("Into the Woods") Buffy discovers her boyfriend Riley is visiting vampire prostitutes, so she burns down the building and kills every member of the gang in seconds. At first Buffy resists the temptation to kill the vamp-ho when she's at her mercy, but then changes her mind and spears her as she's running away. ("Tough Love") When Glory brain-sucks Tara turning her insane we see our first hint of Dark Willow as she takes on a Physical God with Black Eyes of Evil and Shock and Awe.
  • Rousing Speech: Subverted in "The Gift" in which Buffy gives an unimpressive speech before the final battle, and Spike and Giles have the following exchange referencing Henry V:
    Buffy: Hey, everybody knows their jobs. Remember, the ritual starts, we all die. And I'll kill anyone who comes near Dawn.
    Spike: Well, not exactly the St. Crispin's Day speech, was it?
    Giles: (Wryly) "We few, we happy few..."
    Spike: We band of buggered.
  • Sex Bot: April in "I Was Made To Love You", a deconstruction of the Pygmalion Plot where Season 6 Big Bad Warren creates the perfect girlfriend only to dump her as she's too boring. Spike then intimidates him into building a Buffybot ("Intervention"). Hilarity Ensues.
  • Silly Simian: In "Into the Woods", Anya wants to watch a movie about monkeys playing hockey because "The ice is so slippery and monkeys are all irrational".
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Spike is in his crypt smoking then we see Buffy the bot pop up should this be put, smoking him.
  • Success Symbiosis: This ends up being the case between Buffy and the Watcher's Council. Buffy points out that she needs them to identify Glory but they need her or they're just a bunch of old guys in tweed waiting for her (well, actually, they're waiting for Faith) to die because without a Slayer they have no purpose. So the Council hires back Giles (and after his prompting, gives him all the pay he would have gotten since he got fired to that moment) and in return they tell her who Glory is (a hellgod).
  • The Team: After Riley's departure.
    • The Hero: Buffy (what else is new?)
    • The Lancer: Giles is frequently at Buffy's side throughout the season, especially in the aftermath of Joyce's death.
    • The Smart Guy: Willow, although he's slowly growing into a protective force thanks to her magic vastly improving.
    • The Big Guy: Spike, motivated by his unexpected love for Buffy. Buffy even says he's the only one besides her who stands a chance in a fight with Glory (and she's correct).
    • The Chick: Anya (with some elements of The Smart Guy due to her continuing demon expertise and surprising proficiency in running a business) and Tara, who doubles as a Team Mom.
    • The Heart: Xander.
    • Tagalong Kid: Dawn, although she is very crucial to the plot, and probably the Deuteragonist of the season after Buffy.
  • Threat Backfire: Xander (under Dracula's thrall) tells Riley he'll have to go through him to get to Dracula. He is immediately punched unconscious.
  • Tonight, Someone Kisses: Willow and Tara's first on screen kiss in "The Body" in a way that anyone who thinks Girl-on-Girl Is Hot might find cheering for this inappropriate.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Riley Finn tries to make himself Darker and Edgier in an effort to appeal to Buffy. It doesn't end well.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: "Buffy vs. Dracula" ends inconclusively, with Buffy killing the Count, but with him clearly able to come Back from the Dead at will.note  The show also had to break many of its own rules about how its vampires work in order to pit Buffy against a recognizable version of Dracula; the whole episode relied heavily on Rule of Cool.
  • Wham Episode: "The Body."
  • Wham Line: "We're not supposed to move the body!!" The delivery of the line and Buffy and Giles' subsequent reactions can be one of the most chilling moments in the entire series.
  • What Happened to the Dragon?
  • Whole Episode Flashback: "Fool For Love" shows Spike's past, notably how he killed two previous Slayers.
  • The Worf Effect: On their first meeting Glory inflicts a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Buffy, who only escapes because the building collapses.

     Season Six 
  • Action Dress Rip: In "Flooded", a monster attacks a bank and Buffy initially couldn't fight because of her "stupid skirt". She does it again when fighting a demon at Xander's wedding.
  • Actually a Doombot: The Scoobies use the Buffybot to make the underworld think that the Slayer is still protecting Sunnydale. When a vampire accidentally discovers this, it provokes immediate Rape, Pillage, and Burn by demon bikers.
    • The first time Willow gets her mitts on Warren. Fizz crackle pop.
  • All Bikers Are Hellmouth Angels
  • All Just a Dream: "Normal Again" Or Was It a Dream?
  • Ambiguous Situation: "Normal Again", in which Buffy is injected with a poison that make her hallucinate... Or is it the other way around? According to a psychiatrist, who may or may not be a real person, she is in fact getting better: She has been sick all along, and now she's finally waking up from years of catatonic schizophrenia. So, the whole series is either This Is Reality or a mad All Just a Dream with a dash of The Schizophrenia Conspiracy. In the end, Buffy choses her life in Sunnydale over her life in the mental institution, but the ending leaves it ambiguous whether or not the world she settled for is the real one. Of course, when you consider the show has a spinoff full of people she never met...
  • Anachronism Stew: The Trio combine magic with high technology to carry out their capers.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: Scott Hope, Buffy's only normal high school boyfriend. He accused every girl who broke up with him that they're gay. He came out in season 6 apparently.
  • Attempted Rape:
    • In "Dead Things", Katrina is almost being raped by Warren, Andrew and Jonathan under the effects of a device that suppresses her will. She is less than happy about it when it wears off just in time. Her calling them out on it and the events that follow cements Warren's slide into monster territory and starts Jonathan down the road toward his Heel–Face Turn.
    • Spike attempts to rape Buffy in "Seeing Red", and since Buffy is injured and can't fight him off, he nearly succeeds before she eventually is able to kick him off her long enough for him to realize what he's nearly done and stop himself.
  • Bambification: The first sign this season will be Darker and Edgier is when Willow cuts a fawn's throat for its Blood Magic.
  • Basement-Dweller: The Trio's headquarters is in Warren's parents' basement. ("Why can't we have a lair with a view?")
  • Batman Gambit: The magic Willow stole from Giles tapped into what humanity was left in her. As a result Willow senses the pain of all human beings. And her reaction is to try to wipe out all life on Earth. However, this also gives Xander the opportunity to get through to her and talk her down.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: Buffy's first fight against the Trio, as they're all invisible.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Spike leaves Sunnydale, it seems as though he's planning to have his chip removed, but it turns out he was getting his soul instead.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Xander saves Willow (and the world) with his friendship speech, Buffy regains her desire to live, and Dawn proves to Buffy that she's more that Just a Kid in need of protection when it comes to battle, suggesting a healthy shift in their relationship. However, Tara is still dead, and while Willow no longer wants to destroy the world, she's still last seen sobbing into Xander's arms, with the viewer uncertain of how long it may take her to recover from the trauma of the last few episodes. Additionally, Xander and Anya are still broken up, The Magic Box has been wrecked, and Jonathan and Andrew, terrified of Willow's rampage, flee to Mexico (with Jonathan either ignoring the epiphany he had in the previous episode or deciding that Buffy's inability to stop Willow left him with no other option). Meanwhile, Spike reclaims his soul, but given how he last left things in Sunnydale, it's unclear where things might go from here now that he has it.
  • Bitter Wedding Speech: Xander's father gives one at Xander's wedding.
  • Black Comedy Rape: In "Gone", Buffy, while invisible, "forces" oral sex on Spike, who has just told her to get dressed and get out. His reaction is a simple "Hey, that's cheatin'!".
  • Bookends / Rule of Symbolism: Buffy starts Season 6 by clawing her way out of her grave into the night, beginning a year-long Heroic BSoD. She ends the season climbing out of another grave into the light, having rediscovered the value of living.
  • Came Back Wrong: Buffy believes she has after Willow reanimates her cadaver using dark rites and blood of animals. Indeed, Spike's chip no longer reads her as human. Ultimately subverted; the spell only altered her molecular structure very slightly, but just enough to confuse Spike's chip.
  • "Cavemen vs. Astronauts" Debate: The Trio debated who was the best James Bond in "Life Serial". It got so bad that Warren and Andrew actually came to blows.
  • Cradle of Loneliness: Willow does this after Tara breaks up with her.
  • Cuckoo Nest: "Normal Again", very scarily played.
  • Darker and Edgier: Tends to be true of the sixth season compared to the others, though there are darker episodes in the other seasons and Lighter and Softer ones in season 6 as well.
  • The Dark Side: Spoofed when Spike encourages Buffy to walk with him on the Dark Side — which consists of Spike playing poker for kittens while Buffy gets drunk and makes snarky comments. Things become more serious later on in the season when Spike wrongly assumes (or convinces himself) that Buffy's depression and desire for rough sex means she wants to abandon her life and join him on the Dark Side. His failure to understand the complexity of her emotions has serious consequences for both of them.
  • Death Is Cheap: People killed by magical means can potentially (though not easily) be resurrected.
  • Death Seeker: Implied, but ultimately subverted; after being resurrected, Buffy suffered severe depression and stated at least once that she was happier when dead, but when she discovers she's fading away as a result of the Trio's Invisibility Ray in "Gone," she decides that despite her depression and her current crappy life, she wants to live. It's to the extent that in the finale, Dawn is genuinely surprised that Buffy actually didn't want Willow to destroy the world. Then again, there's a difference between "wanting to die yourself" and wanting to let everyone die.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Season 6 deconstructs what the show is about. The focus is on the Scoobies' foray into the real world and not the whole saving the world plot and being heroes. Only the bad guys care about that.
  • Demoted Memories: The fate the demon of the episode "Normal Again" had in store for Buffy: she would be tricked into killing all her friends and then spend the rest of her life telling herself that they never existed and that she was never the slayer. That all her memories of Sunnydale was made up in her own head while she was a psychotic living in a mental institution.
  • Destructive Romance: Buffy starts a secret relationship with Spike to combat her depression. Unfortunately this only ends up making things worse — Spike is convinced Buffy wants to come over to The Dark Side and is frustrated by her unwillingness to either return his love or abandon her friends, while their Interplay of Sex and Violence, her lust for a soulless monster who's supposed to be her enemy and her guilt over using Spike without respecting his own feelings only increases Buffy's self-loathing. At one point she savagely beats an unresisting Spike, describing him in terms that are clearly referring to herself ("There is nothing good or clean in you! You are dead inside! You can't feel anything real!"). The In-Universe Values Dissonance between the two reaches a point where after she ends the relationship, Spike nearly forces himself an injured Buffy; fortunately Buffy is able to kick him off for long enough for Spike realize what he's doing and stop himself. Viewing this act as crossing the Moral Event Horizon, he becomes motivated to go on a quest to regain his soul.
  • Did You Die?: In "As You Were", Buffy and Riley promise to swap stories if they get a chance and see whose were more exiting/dangerous/crazy ext.. She asks if he died, and when he says he didn't, she says, "I'm going to win."
  • Disappointed in You: Discussed and subverted in "All The Way":
    Giles: We need to have a conversation.
    Dawn: This the part where you tell me you're "not angry, just disappointed"?
    Giles: Pretty much. Except for the bit about not being angry.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Rack, who gets Willow high on dark magic, looks more like a drug dealer than any Very Special Episode, Public Service Announcement and every single person in the gangland wars, combined.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: A variation. After revealing to Tara that, as a result of her depression, she's in a mutually abusive relationship with Spike, Buffy tearfully begs Tara to not forgive her; not out of anger, but because she's so disgusted with herself that she doesn't think she deserves pity.
  • Drowning My Sorrows:
    • In "Life Serial", after failing college, Xander being forced to fire her from construction after a demon attack and not being able to stand working at the Magic Shop, Spike pours Buffy a scotch. They then go out to a demon bar where Buffy wants to get information, takes a bottle of Khalua handed from Spike and drinks through it and snarks when Spike plays cards to get the demons talking. Hilarity Ensues when Buffy becomes roaringly drunk off her ass.
    • In "Entropy", Anya tries to get Spike drunk so he'll curse Xander after breaking up with him. As Spike has been dumped by Buffy, the two end up sharing the bottle and having Sex for Solace.
  • Easy Amnesia: In the episode "Tabula Rasa".
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • Buffy doesn't notice all of the obvious signs that Willow has developed an addiction to magic, even after Xander and Anya point it out to her and after Tara breaks up with her because of it; it isn't until Willow's addiction leads to her getting Dawn in a near-fatal car accident that Buffy finally notices.
    • Xander doesn't even notice Willow's bloody shirt after Tara is killed.
  • Fantastic Drug: Magic in Season 6.
  • Fainting: The characters all faint in Tabula Rasa when they lose their memories. This seems to be an effect of magical memory loss, as it happens in the Angel episode "Spin The Bottle" where the characters are all reverted to their younger selves' memories.
  • Freeze Ray: Warren's got one.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Not played for comedy in "Normal Again" when Buffy hits Xander with one then drags him to the basement to be killed by the Monster of the Week, or "Hells Bells" where Future!Xander attacks his estranged wife Anya.
  • Gilligan Cut: In "All the Way", Dawn's friend Janice didn't want her and her friends to go into the creepy old man's house. Sure enough...
  • G-Rated Drug: Magic during season 6, especially during the episode "Wrecked".
  • Going Commando: Parking Ticket Lady, attempting to bribe a meter maid, sings about her lack of underwear.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: In "Life Serial."
  • Has Two Mommies: Dawn with Willow and Tara. Considering that they were really one of the only functional relationships in the show (and by extension, in her life) and that they took care of her for a good year or so, it's no shock.
  • Heh Heh You Said Magic Bone
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Even after they start having sex, calling Buffy "luv" or "my girl" is a guaranteed way for Spike to get a sock in the jaw.
  • Home Field Advantage: In "Flooded", a demon breaks into the Summers home and proceeds to trash it while attempting to kill Buffy. She slowly maneuvers it into the basement where there's less stuff to break, and also a convenient weapon (in the form of Full! Copper! Repipe!).
  • Hypocrite: Last season, Buffy derided Warren for dehumanizing the robot he made for sexual gratification. This season, she's outright abusive to Spike, whom she dehumanizes and uses for sexual gratification.
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: Magic = Drugs.
  • I Have Many Names: The demon from "Once More With Feeling".
  • "I Want" Song: "Going Through the Motions."
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The show briefly indulges in it with the Two-Part Episode "Smashed" and "Wrecked", as well as the following standalone episode "Gone". The three names are euphemisms for being intoxicated with alcohol or drugs.
  • Important Haircut: Buffy deliberately applies this trope...but ends up at the hair salon because she made a mess of things. Also subverted in that it marks no actual change in her life or behaviour — Buffy cuts her hair after Spike compliments it (they recently resolved their UST and Buffy is regretting it) but quickly ends up in his bed for round two.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Dear god, the bridesmaid dresses at Anya's wedding. Buffy even describes their awful green as "radioactive".
  • Incredibly Long Note: They got the mustard ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut!
  • Invisible Backup Band: Played with in "Once More With Feeling".
  • Invisible Jerkass: "Gone" involves a Jerkass moment from Buffy herself. The point was that she had so much stress and depression going on at the time that she felt trapped and powerless. The invisibility let her get away with doing the things she wanted to do anyway, without having to take any responsibility for her actions—as Spike points out, she's pretending that she isn't really "there" as she does it.
  • Irony: Buffy learns the value of life at a cemetery. She's also convinced to keep living by a (un)dead guy.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Willow's flaying of Warren is pretty much thought of as a concern not because of what she did to him, but what sort of person she was turning into.
  • "Knock Knock" Joke: "If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone who?"
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Played with. The alternate universe Buffy finds herself in in "Normal Again" is hardly paradise, but within it, Joyce is still alive, her parents are still together, and she's a normal girl without the responsibility of the world on her shoulders. It is however, a hallucination she's having from demon venom, which is both slowly killing her and causing her to kill all her friends.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places:
  • Mind Rape:
    • Willow erases Tara's memories of their arguments while they're in a relationship. Repeatedly. Tara is especially upset because she remembers Glory's prior violation of her mind. She is likely also not happy with Willow taking advantage of this mind rape magic to literally rape her.
    • Not to mention, Rack , who basically uses Willow (and others) as some sort of telepathic crack whore. Both Rack and Willow make orgasm faces when he transfers power into her, and then tells her that she "tastes like strawberries."
  • "Mission: Impossible" Cable Drop: When Andrew drops down to steal a diamond, only to have Warren and Jonathan stroll into the museum without issue.
  • Mundanger: "So, we meet at last, Mister Drippy."
  • Musical Episode: "Once More With Feeling" bizarrely sends up the musical genre (and its respective subgenres) as a whole, musical and dance genres from rock to ballet, and (in typical Joss Whedon fashion) the series itself with wicked glee, yet also manages to fit plot and Character Development in as well and come up with a plausible (for Buffy) explanation for why everyone's singing.
  • Nerd in Evil's Helmet: The Trio tried really hard, but never quite got the "evil" part down. Except Warren.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Willow brings Buffy back from the dead, thinking she's in Hell. It turns out Buffy was in Heaven and being brought back to the real world gives her a Heroic BSoD, as well as opening the way for the First One.
    • In "Seeing Red", due to all the shit she was dealing with, rather than just subduing Warren, she humiliates him, and lets him get away. Several hours later he shows up with a gun, shoots her, and kills Tara, resulting in an extremely pissed off Willow.
  • No Mere Windmill: Buffy stopped trying to explain the very real threat of vampires after her mother had her put in a mental hospital for believing such silly delusions.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: The Trio, but especially Warren. At first, they're kind of silly with their arguments over Star Trek and the best actor to play James Bond, and their kinda weird attempts to challenge Buffy in ways that, really, were nothing compared to five seasons of big bads and various monsters of the week. Warren stops being funny when he tries to rape his ex via mind control and kills her when she tries to escape, and near the end of the season he shoots Buffy and murders Tara.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • When Anya doesn't open the magic box for a long time after Xander left her, he is genuinely scared.
    • While in early seasons Giles often chided the Scoobies for their immature behavior, he did have a certain respect for their talents and tried to speak to them like rational adults. In "Flooded", when he eventually calls Willow out on her magic by referring to her as a "rank amateur" and an idiot, you know that the line has been crossed.
  • Operation: Jealousy: Spike shows up to Xander and Anya's wedding with some random goth girl to make Buffy jealous. She admits it kinda worked.
  • Power High: When Willow starts to OD on witchcraft it's explicitly analogized to a drug high. She ends up in Rehab because of this.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil:
    • Spike is a soulless demon who has tortured and killed hundreds. Yet he remains the Loveable Rogue, up to the point when he tries to rape Buffy. At that point, he even loses the sympathy of Dawn, who used to think he was pretty cool. More importantly, the attempt even shocks Spike himself, and sends him down the road that leads to him regaining his soul. Equally pointedly, this is the only Spike behavior that Buffy really has a problem with since at least Season 4 if not earlier. Apparently every other despicable thing Spike did on-camera and had done in his past was forgivable from Buffy's point-of-view.
    • Warren's Moral Event Horizon comes when he tries to rape, and then kills, his ex-girlfriend, Katrina. The "kills" is probably the more important part of that equation, but the attempted rape definitely takes him several degrees down the spectrum towards villainy. The point is driven home with Lampshade Hanging and Mood Whiplash. The Trio has used a mind control device on Warren's ex; this is initially played for laughs as they make her dress up in a French maid outfit and serve drinks. Just as Warren is about to realize the Power Perversion Potential of his invention, however, she snaps out of it—and the tone immediately gets much darker as she angrily points out that there's nothing funny—and everything immoral and illegal—about what they were doing to her.
  • Red Herring: "All the Way" spends the first half building up the creep factor of an old man, watching kids menacingly through his window. When Dawn, her friend, and two guys try to pull a trick on them, he invites them inside for some "treats" and then goes into the kitchen with one of the boys, and reaches for a knife. Then, it's revealed that he really is a harmless man making brownies, and the two guys are vampires
  • Rerouted from Heaven: Subverted. Her friends think this happened and resurrect her. Turns out no, she'd been quite enjoying heaven.
  • Resurrection Sickness: Buffy. Like Angel back in season three, though inverted. He spent a century being tortured in a hell dimension and came back feral. She spent her time in heaven and thought she'd been kidnapped into hell.
  • Sex Bot: April and the Buffybot.
  • She's Back: Subverted; it takes most of the season for Buffy to recover from her depression over having been wrenched back into the real world.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Jonathan and Andrew are sent to jail, and Warren faces off with Dark Willow, who takes over as the Final Boss, seeking vengeance for Tara's demise.
  • Slice of Life: Season 6 dealt with the Scoobies day-to-day foray into grown up life.
  • Spoiler Cover: The season 6 DVD has Dark Willow on the cover, and, even more inexplicably, on the first disc.
  • Tastes Like Feet: Buffy drowning her sorrows in Life Serial where she's drinking some indeterminate alcohol, though from the Slayer's reaction it must be something like tequila straight and she's not exactly a drinker.
  • The Team:
    • The Hero: Buffy, although she's become a bit of an Anti-Hero in the aftermath of her resurrection. Xander becomes one in the season's last episode.
    • The Lancer: Willow, who's also darker due to her magic addiction.
    • The Smart Guy: Anya, taking over the Magic Box from Giles.
    • The Big Guy: Spike. As always, acting as the extra muscle at Buffy's side.
    • The Chick: Tara, also the Team Mom.
    • The Heart: Xander, which saves the world in the last episode.
    • Tagalong Kid: Dawn.
  • Teleportation Sickness: Buffy and Dawn after Willow teleporting them from a cemetery to the Magic Box.
  • Terrible Trio: The Trio.
  • There Are Two Kinds of People in the World:
    Jonathan: It's true, my friends. The way I see it, life is like an interstellar journey. Some people go into hypersleep and travel at sub-light speeds, only to get where they're going after years of struggle, toil and hard, hard work. We, on the other hand ...
    Andrew: Blast through the space-time continuum in a wormhole?
    Jonathan: Gentlemen... [lights cigar with flaming bill] CRIME is our wormhole!
  • This Is Unforgivable!: After Warren shoots Buffy and Tara, nearly killing the former and actually killing the latter, Xander agrees with Dawn that Warren deserves to die, declaring he's no better than the vampires and demons they fight every day. Even, despite being physically sick at the sight of Willow flaying him alive, Xander still insists that Warren deserved what he got.
  • The Trouble with Tickets: Marti Noxon's parking ticket aria.
    It isn't right, it isn't fair / There was no parking anywhere / I think that hydrant wasn't there
  • Travelling At The Sped Of Plot: The relationship between the Spike subplot and the Willow main plot becomes somewhat muddled with "Villains". Xander refers to Spike’s assault on Buffy as "the other night," though it would have been the night before, or "last night." After the attempted rape, Spike is shown leaving town on his motorcycle that same night, but his arrival in Africa is inter-cut with Willow’s Warren-hunt plot, which occurs in its entirety the night after Spike assaults Buffy. A flight from LA to Africa is at least 20 hours, so there is no way through conventional means Spike could have left town when he did and made it to a tribal village in Africa in less than a day (and on Angel he later remarks he’s never been on a plane before). Therefore, unless he found someone to teleport him to Africa (which is certainly possible), it’s reasonable to assume his entire Africa subplot takes place sometime after the Willow plot and is edited in for dramatic effect.
  • Unflinching Faith in the Brakes: Willow does this in "Villains", when using magic to stop an oncoming bus.
  • Unsatisfiable Customer: Buffy has to deal with a spell creating one of these in "Life Serial". The spell is cast to create an endless time loop until she can satisfy the customer. Hilarity Ensues. This may actually be a subversion. The customer is satisfied by a very reasonable action on Buffy's part. The frustration and anger seen in previous attempts usually results from Buffy's poor efforts at handling the problem in the first place (trying to sell her a damaged and useless item for example). That is: Any person with decent customer service skills could have satisfied this customer initially. Buffy, on the other hand...
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Buffy uses Spike as a confidant because he's a "dead man", so her confessions don't count. When they start having sex, she refuses to admit there's love involved or even acknowledge (to herself or others) that he's her boyfriend; Spike calling her "my girl" or "love" often drives her to fury. Spike's soulless nature is often used by her as an excuse for this behaviour. Eventually Buffy faces up to how she is using him and breaks off the relationship.
    • Buffy's killing of the guy who was cursed by Anya to be tortured in a hell dimension. He had a very legitimate grievance with Anya, and he's unconscious and helpless, and he's killed like it's nothing. Also the bank-robber demon, who hasn't really done anything worthy of summary execution, yet is executed after first being knocked unconscious. Killing humans under any circumstances is apparantly an atrocity, but demons can be killed for crimes that would only warrant jail-time for a human and it's nothing.
  • Windmill Crusader: While Buffy has The Cuckoolander Was Right as an inherent trait, the episode “Normal Again” subverts this when Buffy is drugged and hallucinates that she’s been insane all along and that Sunnydale is only in her mind. In this, Buffy was a insane Windmill Crusader before the series started, and she has been locked in a mental institution throughout the whole series.
  • Volleying Insults: Xander and Anya's duet in "Once More With Feeling".
    Xander: She clings / She's needy / She's also really greedy / She never —
    Anya [interrupting] His eyes are beady!
    Xander: This is my verse, hello!
  • Xanatos Gambit: In "Grave", Giles arrives with the powers of a coven in order to defeat Willow after she does a Face–Heel Turn. If he defeats her then threat neutralized, if he loses Willow will take his power and thus giving Willow a window to her emotions, so Xander could stop her. Its mixed with Batman Gambit as he was banking on the emotional appeal.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: To drive home that she's not kidding, Buffy calls Spike "William" when breaking up with him.
  • Zero-G Spot: At the end of Tara's love song "Under Your Spell" in "Once More With Feeling", she levitates into the air over her bed, and it's strongly implied she's doing it so an off-camera Willow can do cunnilingus on her.

     Season Seven 
  • Achilles in His Tent: Buffy getting deposed by her own pupils, who install Faith as their new leader. One episode and bomb explosion later, and everyone goes crawling back to blondie.
  • And Then What?: The final question asked to Buffy once everything's said and done.
  • Anti-Climax Cut: "Lessons":
    Buffy: Vampires, demons... they're nothing compared to what's coming.
    Dawn: I know. I just can't believe it's back.
    Buffy: Believe me, I thought I was long past it. I guess you never are. Just a few more days til it starts, and then we'll never know what's coming next.
    (Cut to the opening ceremony at the new Sunnydale High School.)
  • Arc Words: "From beneath you it devours".
  • Back for the Finale: Some of the former regulars are in season 7 (either literally or in spirit).
    • Angel shows back up to help Buffy in the last two episodes of the series after not appearing in-person since Season 5's "Forever". It was his only time appearing in the show after Buffy moved to the UPN.
    • Faith returns (and takes on a major role) for the last 5 episodes of the series. Prior to that, her most recent appearance had been in "Who Are You?" from Season 4. The arc setting up her return was mapped out in Seasons 1 and 4 of Angel.
    • Oz gets a casual mention from Xander.
    • Cordelia appears in a piece of footage from "Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered".
    • All of the show's previous Big Bads show up as projections of the First Evil at the end of the season's first episode in a speech made to Spike, with it taking the forms of Warren, Glory, Adam, The Mayor, Drusilla, and The Master. It continues to use the forms of Drusilla, The Mayor, and Warren at various points of the season to respectively manipulate Spike, Faith, and Andrew.
  • Best Served Cold: Robin Wood fights vampires in the hope of encountering the one that killed his mother (which turns out to be Spike).
  • The Big Board
  • Big "OMG!": "Oh my God! Oh, well, you know, not my God, because I defy him and all of his works."
  • Bilingual Bonus: While discussing the newly-found scythe, one name comes up: "M question-mark." Giles points out that the "question mark" (ʔ) is actually a glottal stop in the International Phonetic Alphabet. What does "mʔ" sound like? The closest English example would be "gulp.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The First uses this trope a lot; masquerading as the ghosts of now-dead loved ones like Joyce and Cassie (who claims to be speaking for Tara), as well as pretending to be a Potential and sowing discord from within the group.
  • Brick Joke: In "Never Leave Me" we see Warren (actually The First Evil) coaching Andrew on sacrificing a pig for its blood in the basement of Sunnydale High, at which Andrew fails miserably. Later in Episode 16, "Storyteller" we find Buffy and Principal Wood in that basement trying to figure out why strange phenomena are happening... when a a squealing pig runs by.
    Wood: God, I hope that's not a student...
  • Bully Hunter: For once it's not Buffy. Rather she is asked by Amanda if she should keep pounding her abusive boyfriend into the pavement. A stunned Buffy cannot answer, though if she wasn't a teacher at the time she probably would have joined in.
  • Catch the Conscience: "Storyteller", in order to make Andrew feel remorse for killing Jonathan.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Amanda, the first student Buffy talked to in her job as councilor was a potential slayer.
    • Andrew answers a call (for Willow) from a guy with a girly voice called Fred. In the next episode Willow comes back with Faith.
  • The Chosen Many: Buffy has Willow release the powers of all potential slayers to help fight The First.
  • Celebrity Star: Aimee Mann. "I hate playing vampire towns."
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: Faith, despite smoking being a universal sign of evil. Well, the potentials acting like five year olds was a bit much for her. And Buffy still wanting her dead. And trying to reconcile with a recently evil Willow.
  • Cool Aunt: Where Buffy calls a suicide victim weak and stupid and delivers a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the rest of the group, Faith takes the potentials out partying when the stress gets too much and watches out for their welfare.
  • Decapitation Strike: Happens in the final season when the First Evil's followers blow up the Watchers' Council headquarters in London, killing almost all the leadership.
  • Deus ex Machina: The amulet and scythe that appear at the end of season 7 definitely qualify.
  • The Devil Is a Loser: Caleb, right-hand man to the First Evil, refers to Satan as a "little man" (at least, compared to his boss).
  • Discontinuity Nod: Giles' declaration that magic is not an addiction.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: In "Get It Done", Kennedy, the most senior of the potentials and who has received substantial training from her watcher, has taken up this role with the others, shouting at one of them, Chloe, and calling her a "maggot" when she does her steps wrong; then as an aside she jokes to Buffy how cool it was that she got to call somebody a "maggot". The First drives Chloe to suicide that night, and then taunts Kennedy by implying that the "maggot" insult led to the suicide.
    • Buffy herself fared little better. When a reformed Faith comes to town, she makes no effort to horn in on the gig but quickly demonstrates that Buffy is a failure as a leader. In fact, her reaction to Chloe's suicide could have come right from the Full Metal Jacket script.
  • Elite Mooks: The First Evil's Turok-Han army.
  • Eye Scream:
    "So you're the one who sees everything. Well, let's just see what we can do about that."
    • And the Bringers, the First's assassins and priests.
  • Foreshadowing: In "Sleeper", Aimee Mann sings a song called "Pavlov's Bell." During the next episode "Never Leave Me" the Scooby Gang discusses the possibility that Spike is being controlled by means of Pavlovian conditioning.
    • When we first see Amanda, she mentions having confusing feelings for a boy that bullies her, and the fact that she retaliates quite physical and effectively. Next episode we see her we find out she is a potential slayer, which is fitting considering the obvious parallels with Spuffy and the natural physical prowess of slayers.
    • In "Help", Cassie (A girl with precognition powers) will tell a still-insane Spike, "She'll tell you one day", with no other context. In the final episode, Buffy confesses her love to him.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: The First falsely claims to have captured a potential Slayer, and nobody thinks to use the spell they used just a few weeks ago which can detect potentials.
  • Ghost City: Sunnydale in the second half of the season.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Inverted with Faith, who didn't smoke when evil but does now that she's reformed.
  • Grand Finale: The final season of the show, and Buffy fights her biggest foe: the personification of evil.
  • Groin Attack: You can tell Buffy likes this as she delivers the ultimate one to Caleb. Buffy has super strength of course. She finds a scythe that is meant to be the ultimate weapon. What does she do with it? Why slice the evil priest in half starting with his balls. If a job's worth doing...
  • Hammerspace: At least once, Buffy pulls out a cell phone when this was the only place it could have been.
  • Heel–Face Return: Faith's appearance looks like this to anyone who wasn't watching Angel.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Willow is this. As the most powerful Witch in the Western Hemisphere, she was so strong that the writers felt the need to knock her out before major fights most of the season.
  • Hypocrite: When Willow goes dark, Buffy insists on helping her and talking her down, but when Anya, now a vengeance demon again, kills several people in granting a wish in "Selfless", Buffy jumps right to Murder Is the Best Solution; when Xander points this out, Buffy replies that it's not the same thing because Willow is human and Anya is a demon. In the same conversation, she states that when it comes to demons, she is the law and her word and judgment is absolute, when previously, she specifically told Faith that Slayers aren't the law or above it.
    • By that same token, Xander has No Sympathy for Spike (and before him, Angel) because of their past deeds without their souls, yet defends Anya who—with a soul, mind you—killed an entire house of frat boys over a mean-spirited prank they pulled, not to mention centuries of carnage before that. She may have regretted it, sure, but so do Spike and Angel, and they have the excuse of having had no capacity for real remorse while committing those deeds.
    • Giles spends much of the season deriding Buffy for her faith in Spike, declaring him too dangerous and insisting Buffy must "think like a general" to win against The First—even going as far as to go behind her back to have Spike killed. However, when Buffy does exactly that and wants to pursue the Vineyard again after a failed attack, he participates in the mutiny and allows her to be booted from the house and deposed as leader.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Holden pronounces this of Buffy in "Conversations With Dead People."
    • Post-soul Spike still wears the outward facade of his demon's brash confidence, but clearly thinks very little of himself now. He even goes as far as to beg Buffy to stake him once he remembers the killings he'd done while under the First's control, believing his attempt to be a good person had already failed.
  • I Am a Monster: Spike attempts to goad Buffy into Staking the Loved One by reminding her of just how evil he'd been before his soul. He points out that even young girls like Dawn were not free from his cruelty, and that he's a monster who needs to be put down before he hurts anyone else.
  • Juggling Loaded Crossbows: "End of Days", it is implied that Willow and Tara's cat, Miss Kitty Fantastico, met her demise in a tragic crossbow accident.
    Dawn: Xander, my crossbow is not out here. I told you, I don't leave crossbows around all willy-nilly. Not since that time with Miss Kitty Fantastico.
  • Laugh of Love: In "Him", Dawn and RJ are laughing while dirty-dancing together at a party.
  • The Legions of Hell: The First has a giant army of Ubervamps in it's hell dimension.
  • Let Them Die Happy: Attempted by Buffy, shot down by Spike. Whether or not she actually meant it is subject to Wild Mass Guessing, though the fact that she does choose to spend what very well could have been her final night alive with him rather than Angel suggests she did on some level.
  • Life Will Kill You: Played With in "Help". Buffy, while working as a school counselor, meets a student named Cassie who has predicted her own death. The Scoobies spend the episode trying to find out who might be after her, and learn of a cult that intends to sacrifice Cassie. Buffy saves Cassie from the cult, then saves her from a booby-trap by catching a crossbow bolt inches from Cassie's head. Cassie dies soon after of a heart attack.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Xander and Anya have sex on the kitchen floor, as the rest of the house is crowded with sleeping Potentials. The one free bed has already been nabbed by Willow and Kennedy — the noise of their lovemaking sets Xander and Anya to doing it as well.
  • Mobile Maze: Sunnydale High's basement. Xander notes that blueprints are no good here (and he built the place!) because the walls seem to move about.
  • Motionless Makeover: Dawn is paralyzed by a demon. Anya has fun posing her. When they have to run off to save the day, leaving Dawn sitting on the couch with her arm extended, Buffy comes back momentarily to stick a remote in Dawn's hand.
  • Multiple-Choice Chosen: We learn about Potentials, girls all over the world who have the potential to become the next Vampire Slayer once the current one dies. Buffy gathers a bunch of them together in her house to teach them about slaying for when the time comes that one of them will be chosen.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Ultimately, it's the First's attempts at taunting Buffy that give her the idea that ends the fight once and for all.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: "Everyone's talking to me! [lightbulb moment] Nobody's talking to each other."
  • One-Hour Work Week: Buffy's job as a school counsellor. Justified in that she only has the job because Principal Wood wants to keep her around in case of Hellmouth-related problems, and it's explicitly stated to be part time.
  • Out of Focus: Several characters suffer from this, Xander probably getting the worst of it, but Giles, Anya, Dawn, and to a lesser extent Willow are all massively pushed to the sidelines in order to accommodate more storylines for Spike. Although Giles' reduced screentime is more due to the fact that Anthony Stewart Head moved back to England to spend more time with his family.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: "Empty Places" has all of Buffy's friends (including her own sister) remove her from leading them and kick her out of her own house after one bad mission that results in two dead Potentials and Xander losing an eye. Played With slightly in that Giles connived things so that Spike and Andrew were sent away for the day, likely so they wouldn't be there to take Buffy's side. It should be noted that the Buffy-less group immediately goes and screws up in exactly the manner they accused Buffy of doing (recklessly falling into a trap that gets even more people killed). While they are doing that, Buffy heads off to complete the mission she was pitching when she got overthrown, succeeds on her own, acquires the scythe and kills Caleb. She's magnanimous enough not to point out how much she got done all alone when they apologize and ask her to be in charge again.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Deconstructed. When a Vampire recognizes Buffy in "Conversations With Dead People" he explains that they went to High School together and shared a few classes. Buffy, however, does not recognize him at all, not even when he tells her his name, and it is only after ten minutes of explaining when they met and things they had done together that she remembers who he is. To the end of the episode he never becomes a close and dear friend from her past, instead remaining a minor acquaintance that she met on rare occasions and had forgotten in the time since then because they had never been very close in the first place.
  • Rogues Gallery Showcase: The First Evil turns into every Big Bad from the show in Season 7, all in a row one time.
    • Angelus is sorely missed right about now; his spot is taken by Drusilla.
  • Rousing Speech: The greatest has to be Buffy's speech to the Potentials in "Bring On The Night" where she declares war against the source of all evil.
    • Also lampshaded.
      Buffy: Hello! All I do is look at the big picture. The other day, I gave an inspirational speech to the telephone repair man.
      Giles: It takes more than rousing speeches to lead, Buffy.
  • Rule of Cool: Joss has specifically cited this as the reason why, in the final episode, all of the Ubervamps suddenly start dying easier than regular vampires seem to, even when being fought by normal humans.
  • Sick and Wrong: In "Him", Xander lasciviously eyes a gyrating nymphet on the dance floor ("Daddy like!"), only for her to turn around and reveal herself as Dawn. Cue facepalm.
    Willow: Right there with ya.
  • Sinister Minister: Caleb, a psychotic misogynist and Serial Killer who used his sermons to lure impressionable young women to him and then brutally murder them. This was before he became The Dragon for the First Evil, who granted him Super Strength and an army, then tasked him with massacring the Slayer Potentials and the Watchers. He took to his mission with sadistic glee, reciting twisted prayers and Biblical references as he casually broke arms, snapped necks, and put out eyes. Caleb was, bar none, the single vilest villain in the canon, even surpassing Angelus in depravity and pure hatred.
    • Joss Whedon defended himself from backlash by pointing out that the Church had kicked Caleb out.
    • And for those who would doubt the above statement about Caleb being worse than Angelus, bear in mind that Angelus is a vampire. He has no soul whereas Caleb has no such excuse for his evil.
  • Sleep Cute: Buffy asks Spike to hold her in "Touched", and they end up falling asleep like that. They proceed to do the same thing the next night.
  • Smash Cut: Joss Whedon loves this trope, but particular mention goes to "Selfless" which cuts from Anya singing a happy song to her being skewed with a sword by Buffy
  • Suicide Is Shameful: In "Get it Done", Buffy expresses this when Chloe, spurred by the First Evil's manipulations, hangs herself. After burying her, Buffy has absolutely No Sympathy for her trauma or struggles, and openly calls her a stupid, weak idiot in front of the Scoobies and other Potential Slayers.
    Anyone want to say a few words about Chloe? Let me. Chloe was an idiot. Chloe was stupid. She was weak. And anyone in a rush to be the next dead body I bury, it's easy. Just...think of Chloe, and do what she did. And I'll find room for you next to her and Annabelle.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: Played with; Spike confronts Giles with words along these lines, saying that one of the reasons that Giles turned on Buffy was that Giles was jealous that Buffy had surpassed him in her abilities.
  • Take That!: One of the first potentials killed was an Expy of Sydney Bristow from Alias. To show that it wasn't just coincidence or a nod to the show her death would be shown in every single Previouslies'' possible, and worked into the actual episode whenever given half a chance.
  • The Team: Buffy's main crew.
    • The Hero: Buffy, of course.
    • Number Two: Faith in the final stretch of the season, serving as Buffy's second-in-command of the Slayer army and even taking over as leader when Buffy's friends turn against her.
    • The Lancer: Newly-souled Spike is Buffy's lieutenant in all but name, and is frequently seen standing at her side.
    • The Big Guy: Willow, who has become one of the most powerful witches in the world.
    • The Smart Guy: Dawn has stepped up as "Junior Watcher", learning a few languages and assisting with research. Giles, who returns mid-season to inform everyone about the impending apocalypse, also counts. And Anya, who along with occasional demon expertise, is on hand to provide much needed sarcasm.
    • The Heart: Xander, which is most apparent this season than any other, as he reminds Dawn that she's still special and rallies the Potentials to trust Buffy's lead.
    • Sixth Ranger: Andrew, The Thing That Would Not Leave and The Atoner for his actions in Season 6; and Wood, the son of a Slayer Spike killed and Faith's potential boyfriend.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: In "Him", a magic jacket casts love spells on half the female cast, making Buffy, Willow, Anya, and Dawn chase after the high school football hero, R.J.. Anya is hundreds of years older than the guy, but it's Buffy who follows this trope: she's a counselor at the school now, and before she tries to kill the principal for her beloved, she gets him up on a desk with naughty things in time for her lovesick little sister to walk in and catch them (and for Xander to scold Buffy).
  • Technicolor Death: Halfrek's fiery death in the episode "Selfless" is like this.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: That woman you might have seen chilling in prison on another show before breaking out to save a villain? Who's treated by some of the characters as so cool and nice now? Faith. Yeah, that Faith.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers
  • Trash the Set: Trash the whole town. Sunnydale is reduced to nothing but a crater at the end of the series.
  • Ultimate Evil
  • Ultimate Job Security: Buffy had this at the Doublemeat Palace and Sunnydale High and Giles had it at the old Sunnydale high. The first time for her was due to having blackmail material and the second because the principal was the son of a Slayer (the one Spike killed and got his coat from) and kept her there because of easily guessed reasons. Giles? Here's an FYI, don't fuck with someone who's nickname is Ripper.
  • Undying Loyalty: Spike proves himself to be this for Buffy, as he's the only person all season who, without fail, takes her side and offers her support no matter what happens.
  • Where It All Began: The final epic battle ends where the series began, Sunnydale High.
  • Who You Gonna Call?:
    Spike: Who you gonna call? ...That phrase is never gonna be usable again, is it?
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Cassie's death.