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Characters / Buffy The Vampire Slayer Buffy Summers

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Buffy Anne Summers
"If the apocalypse comes, beep me."
Played By: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku & Mimi Paley
"Cool! Crossbow! Check out these babies. Goodbye stakes, hello flying fatality."

The Slayer, main heroine, and unofficial leader of the Scoobies (when not fighting with Giles and Faith for control). Barbie with a kung-fu grip. Started out as a reluctant heroine, but grew to accept her destiny. For much of the show's run, she was the only really combat-capable character. Died twice.

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  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Every single time her birthday is celebrated on-screen, it's followed by a big-time supernatural incident or crisis; Spike even lampshades it in the Season 6 episode "Older and Far Away," telling Buffy that since bad things always seem to happen whenever she celebrates her birthday, she should just stop doing so. Buffy apparently takes this to heart, since this is the last time they ever do so.
  • Action Girl:
    • Word of God states the seed for Buffy was to take the opening of every horror movie and turn it on its head; namely, the dim blonde walks into the dark alley, a monster appears, and the girl rips the monster a new one.
    • The movie and the TV series both feature such a scene: in the film, Buffy is told off for being an idiot. In the pilot episode, she clobbers Angel from above. And in the very first scene of the show, Darla chows down on a creeper while wearing a schoolgirl outfit.
  • Action Fashionista: She has an extensive wardrobe. When joining the Initiative, she turns down their practical black-clad nightgear because it looks too Private Benjamin for her. The exception is when Buffy is having a crisis of confidence and changes into her Dungarees of Doom.
  • Adult Fear: Buffy comes home to find her mother dead on the couch. Buffy, a girl who fights vampires and demons, is reduced to a near catatonic state clearly wondering how long Joyce had been in the house and if she could have been saved. It gets worse several episodes later when, despite the Scoobies' best efforts, her sister Dawn is still captured.
  • Aerith and Bob: As is constantly Lampshaded, Buffy plus About Most of the Cast and Whoever's Left.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: Although its heavy on her heart, don't mistake that for weakness. It doesn't matter who you are, an acquaintance, a friend, a close friend, a family member or even a lover. Bottom line, if she has to fight or even kill you should you commit evil and threaten innocents, then she will.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Lampshaded by Buffy herself in "Something Blue" when she worries that a nice, safe relationship would lack the intensity. Ironically, Riley's attempts to make himself Darker and Edgier for her in Season 5 lead to their breakup.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Buffy and Cordelia have one thing in common.
  • Always Save the Girl: A more familial example: in "The Gift," she flat-out admits that she's perfectly willing to let Glory destroy the world as long as it means she can save and protect Dawn to the very end.
  • Anger Born of Worry: In "Passion," she gets a moment of this after saving Giles when his Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Angelus goes wrong. She straight-up decks him in the face and chews him out for doing something so stupid... then collapses and hugs him in tears.
    Giles: Why did you come here?! This wasn't your fight!
    [Buffy punches him in the face, knocking him down]\\
'Buffy;: Are you trying to get yourself killed?! [tears up, collapses, and hugs him] You can't leave me... I can't do this alone...
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: She's the most combat-capable of the Scoobies, and their de facto leader. When she left at the end of Season 2, the Scoobies picked up the slack without her, and got curb-stomped by common vampires. It got to the point that, after her death in Season 5, the Scoobies had to reactivate and reprogram the Buffybot to make any dent in Sunnydale's demon population.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Buffy being given the Class Protector Award qualifies as a crowning.
  • Badass Adorable: Especially in the high school seasons.
  • Badass Angster: Often angsts about her destiny of vampire slayer, but especially in Season 7, which was outright depression.
  • Badass Boast: To the first Turok-Han:
    "I'm the thing that monsters have nightmares about. And right now, you and me are gonna show 'em why.
  • Bad Liar: Buffy exhibits this trait on a few occasions. She seems to subliminally want to be caught out in her Slayer duties, but the adults around her are too wrapped up in denial. In Buffy Season 4/Angel Season 1, when she chases Faith to L.A. and is arguing with Angel after Faith turns herself in, Buffy insists to Angel that she came because he was in danger (Faith was previously trying to kill him under Wolfram & Hart's employ), but Angel doesn't buy it for a second and accuses her of only coming for vengeance; Buffy doesn't even try to deny that.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: Pulls it off against Angelus at the end of Season 2.
  • Bastard Girlfriend: While Spike was using her obvious PTSD and depression to manipulate her into striking up a sexual relationship with him in Season 6, Buffy really wasn't any better, constantly verbally degrading him, trying to force him into sex when he didn't want it in "Gone", and violently beating him bloody before leaving him on the ground in "Dead Things".
  • Bat Deduction: In Season 6, when Warren kills his ex-girlfriend Katrina and uses magic and time-distorting demons to trick Buffy into thinking that she was the one who did it. Just as she is about to turn herself in to the police and it looks like Warren's Evil Plan will succeed, she overhears the cops identify Katrina's body and immediately realizes Warren's scheme.
  • Battle Couple: With Angel (after he drops the cryptic wise man act), Riley (after he discovers her Secret Identity), and later Spike (once his "lovesick poet" personality comes out to play).
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Spike says that just holding Buffy and watching her sleep was the most beautiful night of his life. Also, after Angel lost his soul, he would watch Buffy sleep (and draw pictures of her). While it was probably to intimidate her, it was established that he had an obsession with her, akin to what he felt for the human Drusilla.
  • Being Good Sucks: It's especially pronounced in the Season 9 comics; Buffy is seen as a pariah amongst the supernatural community for destroying the Seed of Wonder and causing the end of magic, despite the fact that thousands of demons were swarming Earth and destroying the Seed was the only way she could save the world. Near the end, even Xander is getting on her case for it.
  • Berate and Switch: Does this to Spike in "Intervention." Despite being absolutely disgusted that he had Warren create a Sex Bot in her likeness, she's genuinely moved to discover that Spike endured brutal torture from Glory to protect Dawn's identity as the Key, and was perfectly willing to let Glory kill him rather than spill the beans.
    Spike: And my robot?
    Buffy: The robot is gone. The robot was gross and obscene.
    Spike: It wasn't supposed to-
    Buffy: Don't. That thing, it... it wasn't even real.
    [she turns to go, then turns back to Spike for a minute]
    Buffy: What you did for me and Dawn... that was real. I won't forget it.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Very sweet and friendly but there is a reason vampires and demons are so afraid of her.
  • Bi the Way / Ambiguously Bi: In the Season 8 comic, she engages in a brief relationship with Satsu, one of the new slayers. She explicitly calls their first night together the best night of her life. However, Joss Whedon refers to this as her "being young and experimenting", so her canon orientation is unclear.
  • Big Sister Instinct: To Dawn. She'd rather risk the world than allow her to be killed.
  • Blessed with Suck/Cursed with Awesome: Generally she views her slayer powers as a hassle but sometimes they come in handy.
  • Book Dumb: Truth be told, much of her Book Dumbness comes from just being too busy saving humanity to study. As one of her few sympathetic teachers tells her (right before being eaten by something, naturally), she has a first-rate mind and can think on her feet.
  • Braids of Action: Buffy, when on patrol, has the "two-braids" version. Alternate Buffy, from "The Wish," as the "one-braid" version.
  • Break the Cutie: This is a Joss Whedon production. Cuties are inevitably broken, especially in Season 7.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: She often skipped training or trained on her own time. It wasn't until Season 5 that she took to her training seriously.
  • Broken Bird: From "Innocence" onwards, Buffy develops a tendency to shut herself off emotionally from her friends, and especially her lovers. The Grand Finale of the show, where she confesses to Spike she loves him before escaping, is the first time she's ever said "I love you" to any of her lovers not named Angel.
    Riley: I don’t know what’s happened in your past—
    Buffy: Pain. Death. Apocalypse. None of it fun.
  • Brought Down to Badass:
    • In Season 3's "Helpless," Giles is forced to strip her 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.
    • In Season 11, she's forced to be drained of her powers to leave the Safe Zone she was placed in as part of the Supernatural Crisis Act. Even without them, she manages to take on a Jerkass MMA fighter harassing a girl in the park, and win.
  • Buffy Speak: The Trope Namer. It's like a whole Buffy, Speak-y... thing.
  • Bully Hunter: She throws down Larry, defends Xander and Willow, and when suspected witches start being targeted, she steps in, causing the group of thugs to back off without her saying or doing a thing.
  • Burger Fool: In Season 6, being desperately short of money, she's forced to take a job slinging burgers at the Doublemeat Palace.
  • Came Back Strong: Shortly before her battle with the Master, Buffy overheard from Giles that she was prophesied to die in the struggle. Terrified at the thought of dying young, she was no match for the Master, who easily overpowered her and left her to die in a pool. After being resuscitated (technically 'dying' for a minute), Buffy felt renewed strength at cheating fate and faced the Master again and won.
  • Came Back Wrong: What Buffy believes she has becomes in Season 6, 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.
  • Caper Rationalization: It's revealed in issue #10 of Season 8 that in order to fund her big Slayer Organization, Buffy robbed a Swiss bank account, rationalizing that due to the bank's insurance, it was a "victimless crime." Willow is not convinced, pointing out that her actions just support the government's fears of Slayers acting above the law.
  • Cartwright Curse: All of her boyfriends either dump her (Angel, Riley) or die (Spike, but he got better).
  • Casual Kink: Bondage, BDSM, handcuffs, spanking, naughty outfits, porn and biting are suggested to be just some of her interests. Yowza.
  • The Chains of Commanding: If it sucks to be the Slayer, then it also sucks to be the Head Slayer.
  • The Cheerleader: Pre-series; the last time she so much as mentions it is in the third episode because she doesn't have time for it. Also, Giles couldn't stand the idea.
  • Child Soldier: Not as overt thanks to Dawson Casting, but when you forcibly recruit a fifteen year-old girl to fight monsters...
  • The Chosen One: Sort of. She used to be the official Slayer, "the one girl in all the world", but the moment she drowned in the Master's cave, the Slayer line moved on to Kendra Young (and from Kendra to Faith Lehane upon Kendra's death). She's still a Slayer, but while she is a Chosen One, she is no longer the Chosen One.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Frequently jumping to conclusions about Angel being involved with Drusilla or Cordelia or Faith. Her jealous nature was tempered in later relationships, partly because she wore the pants by that time.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Using improvised weapons, kicking Angelus in the groin... the list goes on.
  • Comfort Food: "When this is over I'm thinking pineapple pizza and teen video movie fest. Possibly something from the Ringwald oeuvre." There's also the Buffy-sized tub of chicken she brings back from her intense visit to Angel when she was brought Back from the Dead.
  • Control Freak: Buffy hates it when she's being manipulated and feels she's "losing control." In "Sanctuary," Faith tells her point-blank that she's "all about control."
  • Cool Loser: It should be noted that the resident Alpha Bitch does scout her out to be one of the "cool girls" when she first arrives in Sunnydale, but her vampire-fighting ways quickly get her pegged as a violent juvenile delinquent. Which, technically, she is.
  • Contagious Heroism: One look at Buffy pulls Angel out of a decades long depression in order to help her fight the forces of evil. She has a similar effect on Spike, even if his behavior toward her could be called predatory at best and it does take him a LOT longer to come around than it took Angel.
  • Covert Pervert: When hit with a love spell she tries stripping for Xander, and when normal she gets worse (better?) as the series progresses.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Played with in Season 2. 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!
  • Crutch Character: Going hand-in-hand with Asskicking Equals Authority, she's the only real combat-capable character. During the Time Skip between Seasons 2 and 3, after she runs away to L.A., the Scoobies pick up the slack and struggle dealing with common vampires. It got so bad that after she died in Season 5, the Scoobies had to reactivate and reprogram the Buffybot to help keep Sunnydale's demon population in check.
  • Cute Bruiser: Xander thinks so. He has a thing for slayers.
  • Dark Age of Supernames: Buffy Summers fits more with a trope below. What she's known as, the Slayer, definitely counts.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: She admits to thinking of her boyfriend before moving to Sunnydale, listening to the song "I Touch Myself." Before claiming not to know what the song meant.
  • Dating Catwoman: Managed to woo quite a few Big Leaguers in the vampire world, including Count Dracula himself. The notorious vampires Angel and Spike both fell hard for her, and show no signs of moving on anytime soon. She even attracted the attention of The Immortal, an Italian Lothario who had racked up quite a hit count in his own right; in this case, however, The Immortal was duped into dating an impostor.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Often slinging some witty line at Giles for being too serious (or too British) or the Monster of the Week or something else.
  • Death Seeker: Implied, but ultimately subverted; after being resurrected in Season 6, 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 Season 6 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.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: The first time, Buffy more or less got over it after a few months, mostly offscreen. The second time there was a price to pay; Buffy suffers major depression that lasts the entire season.
  • Defector from Decadence: She never really cares about what the Watchers' Council has to say about how she does things. During Season 3, she gets particularly disgusted when their Cruciamentum test results in the Ax-Crazy vampire they captured to test her breaking loose and kidnapping her mom, and when they refuse to help her save Angel after he is poisoned simply for being a vampire, that was the straw that broke the camel's back: she cuts all ties with them for over a year.
  • Despair Event Horizon: She crosses it in the final episodes of Season 5 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.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: In Season 9, she looks to be slowly going bonkers after everything she's lost. Andrew reveals to Buffy at her housewarming party that he's set up a disaster relief fund with some other Slayers, much to her dismay as he has made something of his life and she, as yet, has not without being the Slayer.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Buffy is usually the one to do this, taking out the invincible Judge, Mayor, Glory and Caleb.
  • Did You Think I Can't Feel?: In "Forever," Dawn openly accuses Buffy of not even caring that their mother is dead, since Buffy hasn't even cried and has been running around treating the whole thing like "just another chore." Buffy breaks down at that, revealing to Dawn that until this point, she's been bottling up her emotions because it's the only way she can deal with the grief.
  • Didn't Think This Through: When she had Willow activate all Slayers worldwide, it didn't occur to Buffy that not all of the newly-empowered Slayers would be willing to use their powers for good, with one Slayer in particular, Simone Doffler, becoming a terrorist and obsessed with killing her, and another, a mental patient named Dana, breaking out of a mental hospital and causing all manner of trouble for the Angel Investigations team in L.A.
  • Disappeared Dad: Divorced, and later vanishes overseas when Buffy really could use his help after her mother dies. Arguably the cause of her hangups with men.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: Late in Season 5, this is her reaction to The Reveal that the extent of Glory's Evil Plan amounts to nothing more than just using Dawn/the Key to return to her home dimension:
    Buffy: That's it? That's Glory's master plan? To go home?
  • Disney Death: Clinical death and the outright resurrection.
  • Does Not Know Her Own Strength: At times. For example, during the Season 1 episode "Witch" (when she was under a spell and not at her best), she accidentally throws one of her classmates across the gym during cheerleading practice, and in Season 5's "Into the Woods", she accidentally crushes the doctor who operated on her mother while hugging him in relief.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Partly because Guns Are Worthless against most supernatural beings, and partly because of Tara's death.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: A variation. After revealing to Tara that, as a result of her depression, she'd been allowing Spike to abuse her, 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.
  • Doom Magnet: In the Season 10 comics, her father Hank shows up to tell her that he's getting remarried, and he and his fiancée agreed not to invite Buffy "for safety reasons" due to her Slayer status, viewing her as a danger magnet. After reflecting on the deaths of Jenny, Tara, Anya, and Giles, Buffy actually ends up agreeing with him.
  • The Dreaded: "I'm the thing that monsters have nightmares about. And right now, you and me are gonna show 'em why. It's not simply a boast; it's an objective statement of fact.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Really nasty. After Chloe kills herself Buffy basically calls her a weak idiot and lashes out at everyone, in a misguided attempt to encourage the other Potentials to not follow the same path. It's simultaneously a genuine effort, stupid, desperate and cruel, and it doesn't really work.
  • Drives Like Crazy: "Summers, you drive like a spaz!"
  • Dumb Blonde: Strongly averted. She gets poor grades (mostly due to her role as the Slayer taking up the time that she could be using to study), but she's quick-witted, well-spoken, and very intelligent.
  • Easily Forgiven: By her family and friends, despite engaging in behavior ranging from jerkass ("When She Was Bad") to blatantly irresponsible ("Revelations") to insanely murderous ("Normal Again"). This is partly because the Scooby Gang genuinely admire Buffy's heroism, and also because their lives depend on her. Plus when a Slayer goes off the rails there's not much they can do about it. Besides, most of them have gone homicidally evil at some point, so it's kinda hard to judge.
  • Experienced Protagonist: By the time of the first episode, Buffy is already an established Slayer.
  • Expy: Buffy, as a character, is largely based on Kitty Pryde, a character in X-Men. It's been theorized she was inspired by Regina and Samantha Belmont of Night of the Comet: blonde, Californian morons who find themselves battling the undead.
  • Extreme Doormat: At times, when it comes to her friends. Most notably in Season 6 when the Scoobies bring her back and she finds out that Willow and Tara had been living in her house and off her money the entire time she'd been dead, and hadn't even had the decency to pay her bills, thus landing her in a deep financial hole at the time of her resurrection. And then they still don't bother to pay rent even after all that, even though they're still living in Buffy's house.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Throughout the early part of Season 6, she 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.
  • Fallen Princess: From Alpha Bitch and Prom Queen at her last school, to a violent and flaky suspected-arsonist who hangs out with losers and is somehow involved with all the weird stuff in Sunnydale that no-one likes to talk about.
  • The Fettered: Buffy is adamant that being the Slayer does not give her a license to kill, and her powers do not make her above the law. She expresses such views to Faith during Season 3, and again in "Villains" when disapproving of Willow's intent to kill Warren for killing Tara, as well as Dawn and Xander's support of her intent, insisting that Warren's a human criminal who should be judged by human laws:
    Buffy: Being the Slayer doesn't give me a license to kill. Warren's human.
    Dawn: So?
    Buffy: So the human world has its own rules for dealing with people like him—
    Xander: Yeah, we all know how well those rules work.
    Buffy: Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don't. We can't control the universe. If we were supposed to, then the magic wouldn't change Willow the way it does. And we'd be able to bring Tara back...
    Dawn: And Mom.
    Buffy: There are limits to what we can do. There should be.
  • Fluffy the Terrible:
    Xander: Someone has to talk to her people. That name is striking fear in nobody's hearts.
    • Even her allies can't quite believe it:
    Ancient Guardian: What's your name?
    Buffy: Buffy.
    Ancient Guardian: No, really?
  • Flying Brick: After getting a power-up in Season 8, she can fly in addition to her slayer super strength.
  • Forgiveness: Takes Giles' "Forgiveness is an act of compassion" speech in Season 2 to heart, full stop, and becomes one of the most forgiving characters on the show. Forgives Angel for the deeds of Angelus; forgives Giles for poisoning her and nearly getting her and her mother killed as apart of the Council's twisted test in Season 3; forgives Spike for trying to rape her, forgives Faith again and again for all of her numerous betrayals, etc.
  • A Friend in Need: Frequently. Most notably all of the times she went out of her way to help Faith get herself together, at least prior to "This Year's Girl": and when she forgave Willow and continued to allow her to stay in her home, rent free, after Willow nearly killed Dawn during her magic addiction phase.

  • Gallows Humor: Buffy has always had a morbid sense of humor; in Season 6, after she's brought back from the dead, it tends to get a Dude, Not Funny! reaction from the Scoobies.
  • Girly Bruiser: Cheerleading (in one episode), dancing, and boychasing whenever she's not busy slaying vampires. In the Season 1 finale, she killed The Master while wearing a prom dress. Her overt girliness wanes considerably after the first season, and even during then some aspects (like the cheerleading) drop away very quickly.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: Teenage Buffy loved cheerleading and was boy crazy, but also fought and slayed too. She later grows out of her preppy girly girl stage and falls in between tomboy and girly girl.
  • Good Is Not Soft: She fights vampires and demons, but those who are human and evil she treats with particular disdain.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: She has a vampire bite scar on the right side of her neck. The Master first bit her there, and Angel, Dracula, and Spike all bite her in that same area in that order. Of course, the scar isn't shown on-screen until "The Harsh Light of Day."
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: "Goldilocks" fights evil, looks after her family, and is a big pile of forgiveness for reformed enemies (this is not to say she's perfect).
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Discussed in "Graduation Day, Part 1." Buffy is resolved to drag Faith back to a poisoned Angel for him to feed on, even if she has to kill her to do so. Xander is legitimately scared by Buffy's intent; he says he doesn't want to lose Buffy in the fight, pointing out that it's not the possibility of her dying that frightens him.
  • Healing Factor: Buffy will generally recover from her injuries in a matter of hours, or at most a day or two.
  • Heaven Seeker: In Season 6 because she was there before Willow revived her and the pull back was traumatic.
  • The Heroine: She is the Slayer and so it is her job to kill bad guys For Great Justice.
  • Hero Antagonist: She serves this role in the Angel episode "Sanctuary," wanting to kill Faith for swapping bodies with her and sleeping with Riley at that time; this puts her into conflict with Angel, who wants to rehabilitate Faith. Eventually, Buffy calms down and wants Faith locked up instead, but as Angel notes it's touch and go.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: A tragic irony is that Joyce and Principal Flutie assume Buffy is a juvenile delinquent, when she's actually trying to do the right thing. Then in Season 8, she literally has bad publicity, while the vampires are Villains With Good Publicity.
  • Heroic BSoD: Several times. The most prominent examples being after the Trauma Conga Line she is put through in Season 2, which spilled over into Season 3; and arguably all of Season 6 — or at the very least, the first couple of days after she was brought back to life against her will and forced to dig herself out of her own grave, due to her friend's negligence.
  • Heroic Safe Mode: She's is in this state throughout "Forever," bottling up her emotions in order to deal with the grief over Joyce's death. Sadly, Dawn mistakes this as Buffy not even caring that their mother is gone. At the end of the episode, the dam breaks.
  • Heroic Second Wind: During her fights with the Master, Angelus, Glory, and the First, she typically gets her butt kicked before recovering and staking them.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: The narrative doesn't really like to highlight this, but Buffy does have the tenancy to let her friends and family belittle all the trauma her calling puts her through. See: Dead Man's Party, where she just stands there and lets everyone gang up on her for running away after she'd been forced to kill Angel, was kicked out of her home, and was framed for murder, and the pre-OMWF episodes of Season 6, where she didn't tell her friends they'd selfishly pulled her out of heaven, because she didn't want them to feel bad.
  • Heroism Won't Pay the Bills: In addition to having a full time job as the Slayer, Buffy has to take several low-paying jobs throughout Seasons 6 and 7 to support herself and Dawn.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Willow, even after the latter's coming out. In Season 6's "Gone," the case-worker that visits the Summers home even briefly mistakes them for a couple.
  • Highly Conspicuous Uniform: Buffy often patrols wearing bright colors to lure out vamps.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • Often comes across as such when it comes to dealing with evil humans. She lets a werewolf hunter leave even though judging by the collection of teeth he's killed dozens of people to get werewolf pelts. She refuses to kill her friend Ford, who betrayed her, until after he becomes a vampire. And in the sixth season, despite the fact that Warren killed her friend Tara in cold blood and nearly killed her as well, she insists that she can't kill him because he's human and being the Slayer doesn't give her a license to kill. Perhaps the most extreme case of this is in Season 5, where she adamantly refuses to kill Dawn even to save the world.
    • Throughout Season 4 and most of Season 5, she refuses to kill Spike after he was chipped because he couldn't harm humans and was effectively helpless, despite the fact that he was one of her most dangerous enemies, kept swearing he'd kill her as soon as he got his chip removed, and proved to be a Not-So-Harmless Villain in episodes such as "The Yoko Factor." Of course, this doesn't stop her from regularly mocking him about his "impotence" and beating him up.
    • She also has this in regards to her aversion to guns. In the Season 8 comics, Buffy refused to use a Chinese assault rifle Giles gave her, even in the midst of a war with human soldiers.
  • Humble Hero: An interesting version, Buffy knows she's awesome, but her self-esteem has taken so many hits throughout the years that she feels bad about owning it.
  • Hurting Hero: Frequently suffering emotional hurt through her evil-staking, though she powers through it and tries not to let her family and friends see. Especially in Season 6.
  • Hypocrite:
    • During Season 6, she attempts to talk Dark Willow down by getting her to focus on the positives in life, but Willow promptly shoots her down with a Breaking Speech, pointing out all of Buffy's self-destructive habits during the season and reminding her that Buffy is not happy to be alive again.
    • Shows compassion and empathy for Warren's Sex Bot April, but views the Buffybot, who was designed by Warren for Spike, as nothing but an "it" and calls it as such.
    • In the Angel episode "Sanctuary," she tries claiming the moral high ground with Angel, declaring that both he and Faith are killers. Of course, this falls a bit flat considering the fact that Buffy outright tried to murder Faith during "Graduation Day, Part 1," and had come to Los Angeles to finish the job.
    • 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, 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. Although her comment about Slayers was specifically about humans, who have an entire justice system apt to deal with them and whose propensity and talent for evil is much lesser than most demon's. And she does come around regarding Anya once she realizes her potential for redemption.
  • I Did What I Had to Do:
    • Being forced to kill Angel to save the world at the end of Season 2. She recalls it during Season 7 while explaining her intent to kill Anya to Xander, and even years later, is still torn up about it.
      Buffy: I killed Angel! Do you even remember that? I would have given up everything to be with... [fights emotion] I loved him more than anything I will ever love in this life, and I put a sword through his heart because I had to.
    • Her attitude towards causing the end of magic during Season 9, hence why she repeatedly dismisses Willow's concerns. She only accepts the true magnitude of it when she discovers that Dawn is dying without magic.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: She grows more accepting of her Slayer duties as time grows on, but the desire to be normal never completely goes away.
  • I Warned You: In "Doomed," when an earthquake strikes, Buffy is paranoid and convinced the world is going to end, especially since the last time an earthquake hit Sunnydale, it led to her Disney Death at the hands of the Master; when she tells Giles, however, he dismisses her concerns, reminding her that earthquakes are a common Southern California occurrence. When Willow later comes across a body with an arcane symbol carved into its chest, Giles does some research and discovers that it is indeed the end of the world again; Buffy does not let him live it down.
    Buffy: I told you. I-I said end of the world and you’re like "poo-poo southern California, poo-poo!"
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: In "Villains," when Warren accidentally shoots and kills Tara while trying to kill Buffy, Willow goes insane with grief and fully intends to kill him. Buffy desperately tries to reason with Willow by invoking this, insisting that if she does this, she lets Warren destroy her as well; Willow is beyond caring, and the episode ends with her torturing Warren and finally flaying him alive.
  • Improbable Weapon User: She certainly qualifies, since she frequently uses improvised weapons to kill vampires, especially in the early seasons. Most of these are improvised stakes, ranging in size from a pencil to a mop handle (and, in "Homecoming", she stakes a vampire with a spatula). She also decapitates a vampire with a cymbal in "The Harvest".
  • Incompatible Orientation: With Satsu. Even though Buffy is flattered, and sleeps with her (twice!), she is quite adamant that she is not a lesbian and they can't be together.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: As noted in a DVD commentary, Buffy has a superiority complex in that she's the Slayer and believes herself better than those she protects (pretty much everyone), but this makes her feel bad so she has an inferiority complex about having the superiority complex. This was also pointed out In-Universe by a vampire psychology student who opted to put Buffy on the couch while she was trying to kill him. It actually worked for a while.
  • Informed Flaw: A complicated example. Buffy is supposed to be a inversion of the girly blonde cheerleader who gets killed by the monster in a horror film. It's implied that the Buffy movie takes place before the series and there she started out as the girly bimbo cheerleader, but that becoming The Chosen One put an end to that. The show doesn't start until after she has Taken A Level In Badass.
  • Informed Kindness: In "Sanctuary," Faith remarks that Buffy was the only person in Sunnydale who was there for her and tried to be her friend, and Buffy herself states that she tried her best to help her. As shown throughout Buffy Season 3, even before the events of "Bad Girls" and "Consequences," Buffy generally treated Faith more like a commodity than an actual friend, picking a fight with her on their very first patrol together, having to be talked into including her on several different gatherings, and dumping all of her responsibility for Alan Finch's death onto her, all of which contributed to Faith's Face–Heel Turn; all in all, Buffy's efforts to "help" Faith were halfhearted at best and completely nonexistent at worst.
  • Invisible Jerkass: In "Gone," after being hit with the Nerd Trio's invisibility ray. 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.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: As early as the first episode she knows how much it sucks to be the Slayer: kicked out of school, losing friends, going out behind her mother's back, etc. Best summed up when her mom finds out her secret:
    Buffy: Do you think I chose to be like this? Do you have any idea how lonely it is? How dangerous? I would love to be upstairs watching TV or gossiping about boys or... God, even studying! But I have to save the world. Again.
  • It's All About Me: She hits this territory in several episodes, but it usually doesn't last long.
    • In "Prophecy Girl," when she finds out that she's destined to die at the Master's hands, she freaks out and quits being the Slayer, stating outright that she doesn't care that she's the only one who can stand up to him and he'll unleash Hell on Earth if he isn't stopped. Despite her claims, Buffy clearly does care, but she just can't take it anymore.
      Buffy: Giles, I'm sixteen years old. I don't wanna die.
    • In "Sanctuary," Buffy doesn't care about Faith's Heel Realization, or that Angel wants to try to redeem her. All she cares about is getting back at Faith for swapping bodies with her and sleeping with Riley during that time. When Angel calls her on it, Buffy blows him off, declaring that she has a right to vengeance.
    • In "Blood Ties," when laying into Spike for letting Dawn find out that she was the Key from the book in the Magic Box, Buffy accuses Spike of helping her just because he hates and wanted to hurt Buffy herself rather than bringing up the effects it had on Dawn.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Initially tries this with Riley, being unwilling to get involved with someone in the demon-hunting business, especially after what happened to Angel and Faith. By the end of "Doomed," she comes around.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: The time she used a cross and a vampire's burning throat and actually doing what the Trope Namer only threatened.
  • Kick the Dog: In the Angel episode "Sanctuary," she dips into this at the end of the episode, when she takes the time to inform Angel of her new boyfriend, and unlike what she had with Angel, she actually knows and trusts Riley. Angel promptly snaps and gives her a major tongue-lashing before ordering her to leave Los Angeles.
    • Interesting because, if she were the point of view character, he would be the one Kicking The Dog by harbouring a criminal who used Buffy's body to have sex without her consent, just because he identifies with Faith and wants her to be redeemed like he wished he could be. Note that his possible latent feelings for Faith and/or Buffy's unjustified jealousy in an earlier season complicate the matter further. For those reasons, Buffy seems to be portrayed as sympathetic and partly in the right when she returns to her own show. Overall, a great example of Angel building up not just an alternate point of view on philosophical issues compared to its sister series, but also a slightly different take on each character.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Her beatdown of Glory in the fifth season finale counts as this. The way Glory is breaking down near the end and tearfully begging for mercy almost compels you to feel sorry for her... until you remember that Glory had Mind Raped Tara, threatened Buffy's family while confronting Buffy in her own home, and all in all put Buffy through a hell of a lot of pain and overall bullshit for the past year. Buffy certainly doesn't bother with pity and calmly beats Glory to a bloody pulp.
  • Kid Hero All Grown-Up: She begins the show at age 16, and has been slaying since she was 15. The show ends when she's in her early twenties, and by the time of the Season 12 comics, she's hit 30.
  • Lawful Stupid: She's Neutral Good for most of the series, but falls into this at times. For example, in "The Gift," despite having been shown in previous episodes to be willing to kill evil humans if necessary, she blatantly refuses to consider killing Dawn for even a second, and goes so far as to spare Ben despite full knowledge that Glory would eventually return, because "she's a hero." Never mind that at this point Dawn is going to either die or get a Fate Worse than Death no matter what, and all that will be changed by protecting her is ensuring everyone else will go down with her.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: In "Graduation Day, Part 1," she, having decided to kill Faith to save Angel's life, enters her apartment to find Faith lying on the bed facing away from her, the stereo blaring. Rather than sneak up and cut her throat, Buffy turns off the stereo to let Faith know she's there, either out of respect for her former comrade-in-arms or because it's easier to justify killing Faith if Buffy is fighting for her life.
  • Lethal Chef: According to her sister Dawn, the only things Buffy can cook without coming close to poisoning people or setting the kitchen on fire are those foods regularly associated with Thanksgiving (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yam casserole, and so one) and even then, she's only good at cooking them when she's cooking them all at once for Thanksgiving.
  • Lightning Bruiser: She's strong enough to perform such feats as kick down steel doors, fast enough to outrun speeding motorcycles, and tough enough to get up and keep fighting after being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
  • Likes Older Men: In the last season, the Main Characters finally comment on Buffy's tendency to date older guys. When she goes out with a man ten years older than her, Willow mentions that this is "a hundred years younger than your usual".
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Her romance with Angel was this at times, especially from her end. Case in point: in Season 3, she chooses to get back together with him despite full knowledge that he'll lose his soul if they ever have sex, this being right after he told her to her face that he wants her so badly he's willing to lose his soul again just so he can sleep with her. When you ex tells you that, you don't get back together with them. It's a marked indicator of her Character Development when Angel returns again just before the series finale, and she admits that she doesn't know what she wants and still needs to finish figuring herself out, before sending him off to return to Los Angeles while she metaphorically and literally deals with her own problems.
  • Ma'am Shock: For a different reason than normal: when Satsu calls her ma'am, Buffy remarks that she can't believe she thinks that it is hot.
  • Make Sure He's Dead: In the Season 2 premiere. After saving her friends from being ritually sacrificed to bring the Master Back from the Dead, Buffy crushes the Master's skeleton to dust with a sledgehammer to ensure he'll never come back.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life:
    "Dates are things normal girls have. Girls who have time to think about nail polish and facials. You know what I think about? Ambush tactics. Beheading. Not exactly the stuff dreams are made of."
  • Master of the Mixed Message:
    • Tells Satsu that she can't be with her romantically, but sleeps with her; twice. Poor Satsu was more than a little confused.
    • With Spike in Season 6, swinging between attraction and outright rejection. Though given that Spike was at this point using Buffy's obvious PTSD and depression and slide into her pants..., it is understandable that she herself can be confused.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Both her main love interests are immortal vampires. It can be argued that all her romances will end up as this, as Slayers don't have long lifespans due to occupational hazards.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: In the second season finale. Buffy shows up at the library while Angelus' goons are attacking the Scoobies, and finds that Drusilla has killed Kendra. The police show up at that exact moment, and since Buffy is standing over Kendra's dead body amongst the ransacked library and the unconscious bodies of her friends, is believed to be the one who killed her; Buffy subsequently escapes police custody, becoming a fugitive from the law, and after killing Angel, flees for Los Angeles. While Principal Snyder brags to her that the Sunnydale police are "deeply stupid" and will never realize that Buffy is innocent, in between Seasons 2 and 3, they do in fact discover the truth and clear Buffy of all charges.
  • Mommy Issues: With Joyce because she had to keep the slayer thing secret. Then her mother becomes more supportive of her.
  • Moral Myopia: She repeatedly insists that the Scoobies have no right to take a human life, but she herself has killed humans, actively killing Caleb and the Knights of Byzantium and trying to kill Faith to save Angel.
  • The Mourning After: Despite her attempts to move on from him after Season 3, it's made clear throughout the series that Buffy still carries a torch for Angel. In Season 5, Xander forces her to realize that she was just treating Riley as a "convenient rebound guy" after Angel left town, and she tends to subconsciously compare all of her subsequent lovers to Angel.
  • Mugging the Monster: About Once an Episode. She's the monster.
  • Murder by Inaction: Pulls this off in "Lie to Me." After thwarting Ford's plan to sacrifice her and the Sunset Club to Spike and his pack, she locks Ford in the club with the vamps; Ford is sired, and later dusted by Buffy herself.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: When it comes to demons, Buffy, as per her job description, will inevitably slay or attempt to slay them if they do something evil no matter the circumstances. Case in point: in "Help," when Anya grants a vengeance wish that kills several frat boys, Buffy automatically decides that the only option is to kill Anya, stating outright to Xander that they can't reason with her like they did with Dark Willow because Willow is a human and Anya is a demon.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: She's not buff by any stretch of the imagination. She doesn't need to be — she's the Slayer, she can throw down with anything short of an invincible Big Bad or demon-human-cyborg hybrid, or Physical God.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Has this twice, once in Season 6, when she learns that she didn't come back wrong and has been doing all sorts of horrible stuff of her own free will, and again in Season 8 when Giles is killed, magic is destroyed, and the Slayer line is ended, as a result of her space frak with Angel.

  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Slayer.
  • The Neidermeyer: Throughout Season 7, many of Buffy's decisions and plans are awful and end up causing a lot of damage. The final straw is in "Empty Places," when she decides to try to take the fight to Caleb once again mere hours after he had just curb-stomped them all, killed two Potentials, and blinded Xander in one eye, without any idea or explanation of how they would do things differently; after this, the Scoobies and Potentials all rebel, appoint Faith their new leader, and kick Buffy out of the house.
  • Never My Fault: It's rare that this trope applies to her as most of the time she's carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders and feeling responsible for everyone and everything. However, it's played straight on two separate occasions:
    • She, and the rest of the Scoobies by extension, fall under this during in regards to Faith's Face–Heel Turn. She constantly acts like Faith should shoulder all the blame and responsibility for Alan Finch's death despite Buffy literally handing him to her and that her treating Faith like a commodity rather than a friend played no part in her turn to the dark side.
    • In "Blood Ties," Buffy's immediate reaction upon finding out that Spike helped Dawn break into the Magic Box is to storm off to his crypt and start to beat the crap out of him, blaming him for Dawn finding out about being the Key in the worst possible way. However, Spike quickly turns the tables on her, pointing out that not only did he not know that Dawn was the Key before then, but Buffy was the one who kept it from her in the first place. When Dawn later runs away, Buffy admits that he was right and the whole mess is her fault.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Creating the Twilight dimension by screwing Angel, which let thousands of demons invade Earth, which resulted in the destruction of the Seed of Wonder and removed all magic from the world.
  • No Sympathy: For Spike after he was chipped in Season 4. She actively enjoyed taunting him over his helplessness and beating the crap out of him. It reaches a head in "Doomed": Willow insists on bringing Spike with them on patrol because he's suicidal and will try to stake himself if they leave him alone, to which Buffy straight-up asks, "And that's bad because...?"
  • Not Helping Your Case: The government fears that Slayers are Slayers are dangerous and may act above the law; Buffy herself contributed to that image when it's revealed that she robbed a Swiss bank account in order to fund her Slayer Organization, reasoning that it was a "victimless crime" due to the bank's insurance. Willow even calls her out on it.
  • Not Herself: Once a season, beginning with her stressing over The Master, then getting over the traumatic events that ended with her killing Angel. A demon tries to steal her soul, she has to deal with her Retconned sister, she sacrifices herself to save her sister only for her friends to bring her back to life (and pull her from heaven to hell on earth) and crack under the pressure of trying to command.
  • Not So Different: To Spike — they love to fight (and when forced to fight together, cooperate instinctively), refuse to be bound by tradition, and seem addicted to doomed unconventional relationships. Spike pushes this line when trying to court Buffy in Seasons 5 and 6; and while Buffy angrily denies the idea it's clear she also secretly believes him, fueling her decision to enter into a Destructive Romance that highlights all the ways they're not alike.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: In the Angel episode "Sanctuary," Buffy chases Faith down to L.A. after her recent antics in Sunnydale, during which Faith used a device to switch bodies with Buffy and used it to her advantage to sleep with Buffy's new boyfriend Riley... only to come into conflict with Angel, who's firmly convinced that Faith can be rehabilitated. At the end of the episode, when Faith turns herself in to the LAPD, Buffy insists to Angel that she came to help him because he was in danger (Faith had previously been hired by Wolfram & Hart to assassinate Angel), but Angel doesn't buy it for a second, pointing out he's in danger every day, and knows she was just using that as an excuse to come to L.A. for vengeance on Faith; Buffy doesn't deny it and states outright she's entitled to revenge.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • In "Prophecy Girl," after the Master bites her and leaves her to drown in a puddle of water. Xander is able to revive her with CPR; nonetheless, as revealed in "What's My Line," Buffy being Not Quite Dead was enough for the next Slayer, Kendra, to be called.
    • In "Villains," after Warren shoots her. Buffy briefly flatlines on the table before Willow extracts the bullet and heals her.
  • Oblivious to Love:
    • Seeing her on her first day at Sunnydale High caused Xander to fall head over heels, literally, as he crashes into a railing. Buffy, however, is completely clueless as to his feelings until he asks her to the dance in the season finale. Then in Season 8, when Buffy's loneliness and need for stability compels her to go to Xander. Xander declines, having long since decided he and Buffy are Better as Friends.
    • Despite Spike's Stalker with a Crush behaviour, she only realizes what's happening when Dawn points it out.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: She's the older hero to Simone Doffler's younger villain. It's even lampshaded during one of their confrontations.
    Buffy: I've been doing this longer than you. Which means I'm more experienced, so you're done.
    Simone: And I'm younger than you. Which means I'm faster, so you're f@%ed.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: In the Grand Finale, she gets stabbed in the gut straight through. After a few minutes, she gets back up and keeps fighting.
  • Only Mostly Dead: In "Prophecy Girl," after the Master drowned her. Xander revived her with CPR.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: If she ever willingly kills or attempts to kill another human being, you know things are getting bad.
  • Person as Verb: The inimitable Buffyspeak.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Who knew a highschool girl could pack such a punch?
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Xander eventually. To get there he had to get over his crush on her and she had to stop thinking of him as a simple 'friend'.
  • The Power of Friendship: A mix of this and The Power of Love is the entire reason she's the longest-lived Slayer. All others before her were cut off from their family and friends and worked alone, their self-imposed isolation causing them to lose their will to live. Buffy, on the other hand, has friends and loved ones that help her in her duty, thus giving her something to live for.
  • Punished for Sympathy: Goes out of her way to be kind and welcoming to Faith, even tries to help Faith after her Start of Darkness only to have Faith try to kill her/ruin her life multiple times. By the Angel episode "Sanctuary," Buffy has finally gotten sick of it.
  • Promotion to Parent: After Joyce's death, Buffy is forced to take over the parenting of Dawn. It's not easy at first, and Buffy finds herself at risk of losing Dawn to child services in "Tough Love" and "Gone."
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Her attempts to rediscover her passion in a Destructive Romance with Spike during Season 6 only make things worse. When Buffy (incorrectly) thinks she has murdered an innocent woman, she savagely beats an unresisting Spike, describing him in terms that clearly mirror her own fears over what she has become.
    "You don't have a soul! There is nothing good or clean in you. You are dead inside! You can't feel anything real!"
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In the final issue of Season 9, she dishes one out to the newly vampirized Simone before staking her.
    Buffy: I let you steal my Slayers. I let you twist what we were all about. I let you terrorize too many people. But now... now you've turned yourself into everything I'm not. And I'm going to stop you.
    Simone: Good luck. The Scythe is mine.
    Buffy: No. It's mine. [stakes Simone] And I'm sorry I ever used it to make you a Slayer.
  • Refusal of the Call: She comes to Sunnydale to get away from her delinquent reputation and Slayer responsibilities, and is not happy to find a Watcher already in place waiting for her.
  • Relative Button: Do not threaten her little sister, Dawn.
  • Reluctant Warrior: She didn't like her Slayer duties, especially during the high school seasons. Giles has to do everything short of grabbing her by the hair.
  • Resurrection Sickness: Upon her resurrection in Season 6, Buffy is initially disoriented and out of it for a while, and is depressed and self-destructive until the sixth season finale. Of course, it's largely because she was ripped out of Heaven and had to claw her way out of her own grave.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Provoked by Faith stealing Buffy's body, and her boyfriend too. Once back in her own skin, Buffy becomes a bloodhound, chasing Faith all the way to Los Angeles with vengeance in mind, only to form an Enemy Mine with Faith to fight off the Watchers' Council black ops and be satisfied by Faith's voluntary incarceration.
  • Rousing Speech: Pointed out in Season 7 that she's really good at this. She once gave a Rousing Speech to a telephone repairman. It's averted in "The Gift", much to the bemusement of fellow Brits Giles and Spike, who were expecting something more Shakespearean.
  • Selective Obliviousness: For the early part of Season 6, she displays this attitude towards Willow's magic addiction, ignoring it and even making excuses for her. It isn't until "Wrecked," when Willow's addiction ends up landing Dawn in the hospital, that Buffy is finally forced to acknowledge it; even then, she believes that the addiction started because of her break-up with Tara... only for Willow to inform her that said addiction is why Tara dumped her in the first place. Buffy admits to Giles in "Grave" that with all the other crap that's been going on, she "barely even noticed" Willow's magic abuse.
  • Sex Goddess: At least twice in Season 4, it's suggested that Buffy's superhuman physical abilities translate to bedroom prowess; both her one-night stand Parker and Faith, who steals her body in a Grand Theft Me plot, comment explicitly on the matter. In Season 6 Spike mentions having sex for five hours straight and raves about what an animal she is; he specifically mentions biting — coming from a vampire, that's an impressive recommendation!
  • She's Got Legs: They get a good showing in "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered".
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Says this word for word to Willow about Satsu and a Running Gag with Spike before, during and after their relationship.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Coming back from the dead is no picnic, as Buffy is to discover twice. She's already this by "Welcome to the Hellmouth." She'd already had a year of being the Slayer under her belt, during which time, she'd been expelled from school, had her first Watcher die on her, lost all her friends, and, if "Normal Again" is to be believed, was institutionalized by her parents. Yeah, it's not as bad as dying and coming back to life, but keep in mind that Buffy is only 16 at the start of the show.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Sometimes with her sister Dawn.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: In Season 7, when Chloe is Driven to Suicide by the First, Buffy explicitly calls her a weak moron for quitting when things got tough.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Angel, the ensouled vampire that kills other vampires.
  • Street Smart: Buffy is Street Smart, as are most Slayers in general. They typically contrast with the Book Smart Watchers. However, Buffy's poor academic performance is chalked up to other factors rather than being Book Dumb (she's actually quite intelligent).
  • Strong and Skilled: Buffy's largely Taught by Experience. She has the superpowers that come with being the Slayer, and is the oldest, longest-lived one, having achieved numerous victories over such beings as vampires, demons, cyborgs, and even Physical Gods; by the time of Season 5, she's able to defeat groups of almost 20 vampires by herself.
  • Super Strength: Increased strength is one of her slayer powers.
  • Take a Third Option: When faced with the painful choice of saving her little sister Dawn, or letting her walk into and close the dimensional tear that had been opened with her blood (which would result in her death), Buffy instead chose to throw herself into the tear to close it since they had the same blood (Dawn had originally been created using some of Buffy's essence, therefore they literally shared the same blood).
  • Teens Are Short: Sarah Michelle Gellar is a good five inches shorter than the actress playing her mother, and eventually ends up shorter than her 'little' sister.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: She acknowledges that humans can be just as bad, if not even worse, than demons, but flat-out refuses to take a human life. Of course, she makes exceptions from time to time, and in Season 6, the main reason she's against Willow killing Warren for killing Tara is because she doesn't want her best friend to become a murderer.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Season 1, she was barely capable of taking on more than two vampires at a time. By Season 5, she's holding her own against entire groups of vamps.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: As a result of severe PTSD and depression, she jumped into Jerkass territory with both feet after killing The Master, and slides into this after her resurrection. This eventually leads to a What the Hell, Hero? from the others, particularly in Season 7, where she's kicked out of her house for being too bossy around the girls under her care. Then there is the Anya incident again.
  • Trauma Button: In early Season 7, it's clear that Spike's Attempted Rape of her has left scars. Simply touching his hand by accident in "Beneath You" causes her to flash back to that moment, and in "Him," Spike unexpectedly touching her arm startles her. Even years later, during Season 10, she still has some troubles with it despite having long since forgiven and accepted Spike; in "Triggers," Spike unexpectedly entering the bathroom while she's showering causes her to instinctively kick him into a wall.
  • Ultimate Job Security: It's a Running Gag in Season 7 that she's a terrible guidance counselor and was only hired because Principal Wood knew she was the Slayer and about the Hellmouth; whenever she mentions her "skills" at the job, the person she's talking to laughs or otherwise looks amused, and whenever she's talking to a student, she often gets distracted and doesn't listen to what the student is saying. The only reason she ultimately gets fired from the job is so she can devote all of her attention to the war with the First.
  • Underestimating Badassery: In regards to Warren in Season 6; she explicitly dismisses him as nothing but a "pain in her ass" and doesn't take him seriously... until he accidentally kills his ex-girlfriend Katrina and uses time-warping demons to dupe Buffy into thinking she did it; only a last-minute Bat Deduction after hearing Katrina's body being identified at the police station stopped Buffy from taking the fall for Warren's mistake. From that moment on, Buffy realizes how dangerous Warren really is and makes it a point to bring him to justice.
  • Unwanted Revival: In Season 6, Willow brings Buffy back to life after her demise at the end of Season 5. Buffy was in Heaven and at peace, and is not happy to be alive again. It takes the entire season for her to get past it.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension:
    • With Angel because they Can't Have Sex, Ever.
    • With Spike. After their relationship fell apart in Season 6, they spent most of Season 7 walking on eggshells despite still obviously having feelings. Then circumstances were such they had to go their separate ways and didn't reunite until Season 9... at which point they still failed to resolve anything. Finally resolved in Season 10, where they get back together.
  • Upbringing Makes the Hero: Discussed Trope with her comparisons to Dark Action Girl Faith. Losing any strong family figures (Joyce's death, Giles leaving) proves the trope correct.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Never ever ever ever harm her boyfriends. Not even Giles is safe from her wrath, as he finds out when he tries to kill Spike in Season 7.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Faith in the third season up until Faith joined the Dark Side.
  • Waif-Fu: The extremely petite Buffy certainly doesn't look like she'd be able to roundhouse kick a marauding demon across a room.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Early seasons were split between Buffy's slayer duties and her studies/dating life.
  • Weakness Turns Her On: She quite enjoys nursing Angel back to health, and says that Riley looked "even cuter when all weak and kitteny". In the Season 8 comics, we discover one of Buffy's sexual fantasies involves Angel and Spike chained to her, with Buffy dressed in a Naughty Nurse Outfit.
  • Weapon of Choice: The simple wooden stake, even against non-vampires. What else would a slayer prefer? She even has a crossbow for them.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Usually avoids killing humans, but will readily take out evil demons or just demons in general. Case in point: when Willow turns evil and kills Warren in Season 6, Buffy tries her very best to help her and worries for her sake more than for the people she's trying to kill. When Anya grants a wish that kills several frat boys in Season 7, Buffy immediately decides that Murder Is the Best Solution and Anya can't be reasoned with like Willow simply because Willow is human and Anya isn't; never mind the fact that Dark Willow was trying to destroy the planet out of spite, whereas Anya was clearly horrified and remorseful over what she had done.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • EVERYONE freaks out on her (Xander, Willow, and Joyce in particular) when she comes back from running away at the end of Season 2, to the point where she wants to run away again. Willow and a group of zombies crashing her house keeps her from doing so, much to everyone's relief.
    • They have the same reaction in Season 3 on discovering that Angel (last seen as Angelus) has returned and Buffy has been keeping it secret.
    • Also, in Season 7, Buffy is kicked out of her house for her Drill Sergeant Nasty attitude and crappy leadership skills and decisions.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Many characters (heroic and villainous) wonder what kind of parents name their kid "Buffy"note . Some assume it's a nickname.
  • Worf Had the Flu:
    • A literal case in "Killed by Death." Buffy is weakened by the flu, which leads to her poor performance in a fight with Angelus and would have cost her her life had the other Scoobies not warded him off with crosses. Xander himself muses that Buffy is "half the Slayer."
    • In "Seeing Red," Spike's Attempted Rape of Buffy in "Seeing Red" only got as far as it did because a run-of-the-mill vampire had got a lucky shot in earlier and caused her to injure her back. Both injuries carry over into Buffy's fight with a superpowered Warren - even with super-strength and near-invulnerability, he can tell she's off her game.
    • Her poor performance against the original Turok-Han during the first two fights is in part because she had gone without sleep for two days solid. After the first encounter, Giles explicitly told her she should get some sleep, but Buffy refused. Of course, even after resting and recovering, Buffy has a hard time dealing with the Turok-Han and has to use literally everything she can get her hands on to take it down.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Buffy uses a Frankensteiner at least once.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: The ability to snark during combat is highly valued in a Slayer.
  • You Are Worth Hell: Spike certainly thought so, and was nearly killed in the process of earning his soul back. Conversely, Angel turned down a chance to become human again rather than risk her dying on his watch.


Example of: