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Dawn Summers

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/afc456540308fe29a907c73bcd93d5f2.jpg
"We destroyed The Mall? ...I fought on the wrong side."
Played By: Michelle Trachtenberg

"She still thinks I'm Little Miss Nobody, just her dumb little sister. Boy, is she in for a surprise."

Buffy's younger sister who was Cosmic Retconned into existence in Season 5. She's actually a Key that could open dimensional barriers.


  • Action Girl: As of the final season; she leans more towards an Action Survivor in Season 5 and until the final episode of Season 6.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Buffy stroking Dawn's hair. Which she does a lot.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Spike calle her "Little Bit", while most of the Scoobies call her "Dawnie".
  • Age-Appropriate Angst: Her whininess and kleptomania are considered severely obnoxious, but when you consider she's a 15 year old girl whose mother and sister died, and then her sister comes back completely depressed and incapable of taking care of her, and then her pseudo foster moms (Willow and Tara) break up, and then one of them DIES and the other tries to kill her, her behavior seems rather understandable. This is compounding the fact that her parents divorced when she was 8 or 9, she knows her sister is going to die young, she lives with the fact that she could easily become demon prey to fuck with or bait Buffy, Buffy seems to not give a damn about this, and more. The icing on the cake is that at 14, she finds out that she's a magical construct who's only existed for six months, that all of her memories are false, and that the people she loves the most knew this and didn't tell her. The fact that she hasn't snapped and killed them all or become a Serial Killer is actually pretty surprising.
  • Age Is Relative: Depending on how you look at her, when she first is seen in Buffy's bedroom, Dawn is either 14 billion years old, 14 years old, or mere minutes old.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Buffy thinks of Dawn as a burden to be endured quite often, and not only because of the usual younger sister nonsense.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Spilling her blood creates an interdimensional tear that brings down the walls separating the various worlds, thus destroying the entire multi-verse.
  • Artificial Human: She only looks human. Her existence is supernatural.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: In the Season 6 finale, it's heavily implied that she picked up some fighting skills by watching Buffy slay.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Highlighted in the final season when she complains that everyone treats her like a baby to be protected when she's now older than Buffy was when she started her slaying career.
  • Backstory Invader: She was created at the beginning of the fifth season and all the other characters given false memories of her. When people, including Dawn, discover this, they have obviously mixed reactions to both the information and towards her.
  • Badass Adorable: By the end of the series she's a fairly skilled hand-to-hand fighter, for a normal human, has a base level of competency when it comes to magic, speaks a dozen languages, and is generally Giles' number one backup when it comes to research.
    • The comics continue this trend. When she's in the form of a giantess, her strength is still proportionate to her body. Regardless, Dawn has taken out foes of the same size with greater strength, including mecha Dawn and the creater of all vampires.
  • Barrier Maiden: She's the key to opening dimensional barriers.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    Dawn: You sleep, right? Because if you hurt my sister, you'll wake up on fire.
    Spike: [later, to Buffy] Also, when did your sister become unbelievably scary?
  • Big Sister Worship: Dawn both idolizes her superhero sister, but at the same time also resents her (such as the overprotective streak).
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Anchovies on pizza is fine, but peanut butter and baloney sandwiches?
  • Born of Magic: She's revealed to actually be a mystical being of living energy called The Key. She and everyone around her were given retroactive memories of her to hide her true nature. She was later transformed into a normal, organic, teenage girl.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: She spends most of Season 6 whining and bitching, to the extent that in "Two to Go", Dark Willow point-blank calls her on it and outright threatens to kill her just to put a stop to it:
    Dark Willow: Wanna go back? End the pain? You'll be happier. I'd be happier. We'll all be a lot happier without having to listen to all your constant whining. "Mom! Buffy! Tara! Wah!"
  • Break the Cutie: Most of the fifth season is one long trauma-line for Dawn. She is targeted by a Physical God for murder, her mother dies abruptly, and then her sister commits suicide in order to save her life. Its safe to say that it really was a bad year for Dawn. No wonder she starts acting out...
  • Broken Pedestal: She hero-worships Spike throughout Seasons 5 and 6 and looks up to him as a surrogate big brother, but finding out from Xander in "Grave" that Spike tried to rape Buffy completely shatters that. When they next interact in Season 7, Dawn outright threatens to set him on fire if he hurts Buffy without batting an eye. Nonetheless, upon the reveal that Spike regained his soul, they eventually begin to rebuild their friendship, with Dawn readily defending Spike when Andrew asked why Buffy was so desperate to save him from the First.
  • Character Development: She matured from a bratty teenaged annoyance to a capable and smart member of the team.
  • Characterization Marches On: She was originally conceived as a pre-teen, and when Trachtenberg was cast instead there wasn't enough time to rewrite the season's first few episodes to reflect her being a teenager. Around Glory's introduction, this got better.
  • Cousin Oliver: Parodied and Justified. Buffy comes home at the end of "Buffy vs. Dracula" and suddenly has a little sister, when previously she'd been explicitly an only child. Everyone, including Buffy herself, acts like she'd had a sister all along, and no one notices anything strange - except crazy people. An episode passes like this. Then another. And another. Eventually we learn that Dawn is there because of a magic spell which altered everyone's memories (including her own) and that she's actually a Cosmic Keystone in human form.
  • Cosmic Retcon: When the Monks of Dagon changed the all-powerful orb of glowing green energy she used to be into a 14 year old girl, they also inserted an entire life history for her into the memories of everyone who could possibly have met her.
  • Cursed With Awesome: While being a giant and centaurette were annoying to her, she at least acknowledged they had some good points. Being turned into a doll wasn't funny. According to Joss Whedon's script notes, Dawn Summers, being technically a clone of her older sister Buffy, should have been a potential Slayer, were it not for the fact that the Key, a force that was infinitely more powerful than the Slayer spirit, was already in residence in her body. Thus, her "potential" to be a potential Slayer was erased.
  • Damsel in Distress: The fact that Dawn is put in danger so often is even lamp-shaded.
    Buffy: "Dawn's in trouble. Must be Tuesday."
  • Empowered Badass Normal: As of Season 10, she's developed new powers related to the Key, such as Hand Blasts powerful enough to reduce demons to ash.
  • Everyones Baby Sister: She's the youngest of the Scoobies and Buffy's literal baby sister. As a result, the gang's very protective of her.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: Though more because she's being sardonic.
  • Freak Out: Learning that her existence as a person was the creation of the Monks of Dagon shocked her so much that she sliced her own arm open just to see if she would really bleed.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Her bed often has teddy bears and other assorted stuffed toys on it.
  • Has Two Mommies: As part of the Cosmic Retcon, it's stated that she spends the night at Willow and Tara's place whenever she gets upset. Later they semi-adopt her when Buffy dies and move into her mom's old bedroom. When Willow and Tara separate early Season 6, Tara goes out of her way to assure Dawn, "This has nothing to do with you. You know we both still love you." Also, in Season 8, she directly says that Willow is like her mother.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: She undergoes this, briefly, in Season 7. She eventually learns that she can do as much from her position as any of the slayers, thanks to a talk with Xander (who briefly underwent this trope himself, in "The Zeppo". It related more to his lack of supernatural abilities or powers though, as since he had helped to save the world multiple times he could hardly claim that he had lived an unexceptional or unexciting life.)
    • Bites her in the ass in Season 8. She gets turned into a giant (which is problematic for her, though she does fight a giant Mecha-Dawn), a Centuarette and a Doll (which gets her captured by an insane doll collector). Xander was basically running the Slayer Organization and Dawn is quite happy to be normal again and is actually comforted by Xander throughout the whole ordeal while everyone else basically ignores her. They get together.
  • Incest Subtext: She wants Willow and Tara to teach her the stuff they do together, and is promptly told to go to her room. In "Him", Willow is perving on a girl dancing, to discover it was Dawn. Dawn also curls up in bed with the Buffybot as a way of mourning Buffy after her (temporary) death.
  • It's All About Me: Sometimes, with her typical teenage tendencies. For example, she accuses Buffy of wanting to go away again when Buffy is struggling after being resurrected rather than trying to show empathy for Buffy's obvious depression or gratitude that Buffy sacrificed herself to save Dawn, and her kleptomaniac tendencies later on seem to be partly motivated by a need for attention.
  • Jerkass Realization: In "Forever", near the end, Dawn openly accuses Buffy of not caring or even grieving over their mother's death, because she's been running around and treating it like "just another chore." At that, Buffy breaks down and confesses that, far from being emotionless about Joyce's death, Buffy has been bottling up her emotions because it's the only way she can deal with the grief. Dawn's expression as Buffy steadily breaks down into grief-stricken sobbing goes from cold anger to tearful horror as she realizes just how much her older sister is hurting.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: After her mother's death and Buffy's return, she gets increasingly sticky-fingered as a way to act out due to the trauma she'd endured.
  • Living MacGuffin: In season five, she's the Key that Glory seeks and that Buffy and co. must protect.
  • The Load: Buffy has to protect her from those that know she is the key, but Dawn gets kidnapped, paralyzed, and attacked all the time, not to mention the trouble she causes by herself by inviting vampires into their house, making wishes to vengeance demons, resurrecting dead people and parking with vampires. That being said, the show makes it fairly obvious that half of this is Buffy's fault, as she refuses to train her in combat so that she can have the normal life Buffy never had, yet personal problems and various tragedies intervene and she ends up ignoring the poor girl more than half the time. The only way Dawn could ever get attention was when she got in trouble, so it might be that subconsciously she wanted to be in danger, which might explain her lack of caution in certain situations that should have warranted it, and certainly explains her brief stint as a kleptomaniac in the sixth season. Once Buffy does start training her and giving her a bit more attention, Dawn stops getting kidnapped so much and even manages to become a decent supporting fighter.
  • The Lost Lenore: For Xander Harris. Just as their relationship is becoming solid and stable, she nearly dies due to the death of magic, and has all of her emotional settings restored to how they were just after she was created, erasing the relationship completely.
  • Minored in Ass-Kicking: She might not be as badass, but she has shown potential in magic and combat (multiple times, including fighting side by side with Buffy and holding her own). Oh, and there was the time she tasered Xander.
  • Missed the Call: Joss Whedon admitted that she was almost a Slayer, as she is effectively a clone of Buffy. Problem is, the energy of the Key, which is infinitely more powerful than the Slayer essence, burned it out of her. "Potential" explored the fact that she should have been a potential slayer, but wasn't.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Joss Whedon has stated that Buffy's Love Interest for Season 5 is Dawn.
  • Precocious Crush: First on Xander; to the point of being jealous of Anya and dreaming of him looking at her as a woman, then after seeking Spike's help to find out what she is on him, wanting to be around to hang out with and be told ghost stories, knowing how strong he is and safe she feels with him, and he in turn protects her. Fun fact: James Marsters had the biggest crush on her, adding a real element to their relationship.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Long hair which Buffy likes to stroke.
  • Screaming Woman: As per the Damsel in Distress role, there is a lot of screaming for help.
  • Self-Harm: When she discovers her origins in "Blood Ties", she flips out and cuts open her own arm just to make sure she'd really bleed.
  • She Is All Grown Up: In "Him", Xander and Willow come to the simultaneous realization that the girl they've both been ogling is Buffy's kid sister.
  • Shipper on Deck: She's a hardcore Willow/Tara shipper, although that's mostly to make the "kid caught up in a divorce" metaphor work. The two of them pretty much adopted Dawn after Buffy's death.
  • The Smart Guy: By the last season of the show, Dawn had become an efficient researcher and a master linguist.
  • Sticky Fingers: She started doing this late in season 5, and it became a serious issue in season 6 when the Dysfunction Junction was at its worst.
  • The Team Wannabe: Pesters Buffy to let her patrol. Buffy finally starts training her in Season 7, but still won't let her patrol.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: After thinking of herself as a bog-standard human, she suddenly finds out that she's anything but and has a freak-out.
  • Took a Level in Badass: During Season 5 and most of Season 6, she's taken Willow's place as the show's token Distressed Damsel. By the Season 6 finale, she steps up a level by helping Buffy fight, and in Season 7, she's an active Scooby.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In the final season, she got less bratty and whiny and was shown to be a very caring, empathetic person.
  • Wham Line: Dawn has a couple, inadvertently or otherwise. Like when talking to Riley about Buffy's relationship with Angel:
    "Everyday was like the end of the world. She doesn't get worked up like that over you."
    • Or to her sister:
    "Buffy, Spike's completely in love with you."
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In a lot of Season 7, she seems to think she's in CSI.
  • Younger than She Looks: A 14-year old girl who is more than Really 700 Years Old and is technically no more than a few hours old when first introduced.

    Spike 

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    Andrew 

Andrew Wells

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ba8159cf82c25a5d2ac7843e993205e8.jpg
"I admit I went over to the Dark Side, but only to pick up a few things."
Played By: Tom Lenk

"Join me on a new voyage of the mind. A little tale I like to call: Buffy, Slayer of the Vampyrs."

Member of the Trio, and hopelessly nerdy. Skilled at summoning demons and making sci-fi references. Spends a few episodes in Season 7 as the Scoobies' prisoner before they start trusting him. Later becomes a Watcher in the Slayer Organization, running the Rome squad. After the destruction of the Seed of Wonder, he moves to San Francisco along with most of the other Scoobies.


  • 20% More Awesome: When he shows up on Angel, Andrew boasts that he's become "82 percent more manly" than the last time Spike saw him.
  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: He has a pretty unique way of pronouncing "Vampire" and certain other words.
  • Adorkable: Less so when he's a villain, where any adorableness comes from how ineffectual he is. The comic seasons bring a little more in with his geekery and enthusiasm.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Displays a fair amount of social ineptitude; plus he tends to alter events in his own mind to not only make himself seem cooler, but also erase any past guilt, such as making believe that killing Jonathan would allow him to become a god alongside Warren.
  • Ambiguously Gay: The actor who plays him is quite openly gay, and Joss Whedon decided to toy with the notion.
    Jonathan: All right, now you have to hold hands.
    Andrew: With each other?
    Warren: Well, you know what homophobia really means about you, don't you?
  • The Atoner: Though initially forced into it by the Scoobies, Andrew makes it his personal mission in Season 7 to start doing the right thing. Episodes like "First Date" and "Storyteller" highlight this.
    • Crops up again in Season 10 where he tries to resurrect Jonathon and Tara and his plot is tied up in how guilty he feels for killing Jonathon. He also feels like the Scoobies distrust him, and admits they would do so with good reason given his Season 9 robot plan.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Forms one with Jonathan and Warren to become the Trio, but Warren turns out to be far more evil than the other two could ever hope to be.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Gets one with Clive, which is when he figures out his sexuality.
  • Butt-Monkey: In Season 7, though really no more than he deserved, having previously been a villain.
    • Again in Season 10, constantly being the butt of jokes and having villains not know who he is in comparison to the other Scoobies. He again deserves it given the Buffybot incident in Season 9.
  • Camera Fiend: In "Storyteller", where he attempts to make a documentary about Buffy and the current events in Sunnydale.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: To an extent, generally to inject some comedy into a tense sitution. Going on a hunt for the demon lord Archaeus? Andrew brings banana walkie talkies.
  • Death Seeker: Invoked: his final line in "Storyteller" indicates that Andrew believes he will neither survive the coming final battle with the armies of the First Evil, and nor does he deserve to (though that could just be him being realistic about his chances). As the Scoobies and surviving Potentials flee Sunnydale's destruction, Andrew mutters to himself in a near-catatonic state, having survived where Anya didn't "Why didn't I die?"
  • Delusions of Eloquence: Occasionally he will act as if he's a high class gentleman, only for that facade to quickly break when he reverts to his immature self.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: He occasionally smokes one to give the appearance of sophistication. And then he starts coughing.
  • Evil Feels Good: As Season 6 goes on, he becomes enamored with the idea of getting away with crimes; by the time of "Seeing Red", he's gleefully cheering for Warren to kill Buffy.
  • Fake Guest Star: Appears in 15 of the 22 episodes during the final season.
  • Fatal Flaw: Andrew often goes off to do things without informing anyone else of his plans, leading to everyone else getting blindsided when things go wrong. In Season 9, he replaces Buffy with a robot decoy without telling anyone and in Season 10 he goes behind the group's back to try and resurrect Jonathon and Tara. He learns his lesson mid-Season 10 and tells the team when the Sculptor tries to win him over instead of acting unilaterally.
    • He also has a tendency to overreact. In small doses this leads to people finding him obnoxious. But the Jonataon Copy used it against him by showing him things the Scoobies, Clive, and another guy Andrew dated said about him out of context in order to upset him into breaking away from the group. This pushed Andrew so far he nearly abandoned the group.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Shown off more in the comics. By Season 10, he uses his inventions to keep up with the gang on patrol and brings over experimental weapons for battles.
  • Genre Savvy: Being geeks, however, he and the other members of the Trio are smart enough to avert/take into consideration certain things when carrying out their evil plans. They're still not as clever as they think.
    • Tries this with the Vampyr book in Season 10, but it doesn't like his attempts at retcon and cliche.
  • Gratuitous Latin: He displays a knowledge of Latin several times in the show and comics.
  • Heel–Face Turn: His arc in Season 7 is about him trying to do the right thing following his murder of Jonathan. "First Date" shows where his newfound allegiance lies.
  • Heel Realization: Provokes an in-story Tear Jerker moment from him when he finally allows himself to realize just how cruel his betrayal of Jonathan was.
    Buffy: When your blood pours out, it might save the world. What do you think about that? Does it buy it all back? Are you redeemed?
    Andrew: No!
    Buffy: Why not?
    Andrew: Because I killed him! Because I listened to Warren, and I pretended I thought it was him, but I knew I knew it wasn't. And I killed Jonathan. And now you're gonna kill me. And I'm scared, and I'm going to die. And this this is what Jonathan felt.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Andrew has an unfortunate tendency to distort his own past.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: Works for Warren out of love but Warren couldn't care less.
  • It's All My Fault: Takes the fact that Simone turned evil while he was her Watcher very hard, and is determined to find and stop her.
  • Laughably Evil: His attempts to become the dastardly supervillain he wants to be comically fail, though his actions do quite a bit of harm in "Normal Again."
  • Love Makes You Evil: It's all but outright stated that he was in love with Warren.
  • Mad Scientist: Even with the Slayer army, he never stops experimenting with demon summoning and DNA, even breeding a dangerous demon back into existence.
  • Mentors: He teaches the Slayer squad in Rome.
  • Must Make Amends: He spends most of Season 7 trying to make up for his "Member of the Trio" stuff. Exploited by the Sculptor in Season 10 to try to get him to give over the scythe in exchange for the demon making a body for the AI copy of Jonathn's mind.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Buffy, at one point, says, "My friends... My family... Andrew..." Even by Season 10 he's still the most separate of the Scoobies, while all the others all live in the same apartment building — to the point where the Big Bad doesn't know who he is.
  • Never My Fault: His attitude throughout "Two to Go", insisting that they didn't do anything and Dark Willow has no reason to come after them. Jonathan disagrees, reminding Andrew they signed on with Warren:
    Andrew: Why is she doing this? Tell her we didn't do anything!
    Jonathan: Yes, we did. We signed on, we teamed up. We wanted to see where our plans would take us? Well, take a look.
  • Noodle Incident: Summoning flying monkeys to ruin a production of Romeo and Juliet. Never shown on screen, and Buffy and the Scoobies have no memory of it.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Andrew is mostly harmless, but he shows a giddy excitement when the Trio kill Katrina and seemingly get away with it, and he later kills Jonathan after being pressured into it by the First Evil.
  • Omniglot: Good at speaking demon languages as well as summoning them.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Averted. He constantly has to remind others of his Offscreen Moment of Awesome, which nobody remembers on their own.
  • The Renfield: Acts as Warren's eager accomplice after being excited by the notion of them getting away with murder.
  • Replacement Flat Character: To the Xander Harris of old, providing butt monkey style much of Season 7's comic relief. Andrew too eventually gets a dose of Character Development.
  • Running Gag: "Who?" "Tucker's brother."
    • Taken Up to Eleven in Season 10 where the Big Bad is unable to remember who he is in the finale despite him having been around all season and invovled heavily in most arcs. Andrew even lampshades that he's been there the entire time.
  • Sixth Ranger: Very prevelant in Season 10, where he is the only member of the Scoobies to live apart from the rest and the Big Bad doesn't even know his name during the final confrontation.
  • The Storyteller: The archetype serves as the basis for an entire episode, appropriately titled "Storyteller." The comics have the Scoobies invoke this trope when they have to deal with the Vampyr book in Season 10, but Andrew's acknowledges of various methods of retcon are all rejected by the book (which hates blatant retcons and cliche).
  • Summon Magic: He has some magical ability such at summoning demons.
  • Sycophantic Servant: To Warren, who he was in love with, and so fawned over him and did his bidding.
  • Those Two Guys: With Jonathan. No one can remember him, just "Tucker's Brother".
  • Took a Level in Badass: During the final battle of Season 8 in the hole in the ground formerly known as Sunnydale, Andrew is seen killing several demons. He takes another level when he drugs Buffy and puts her mind into a Buffybot he built so she can be protected. Naturally, Buffy and Spike give him hell for it.
    • Season 10 shows him putting his gadgets to good use to keep up with the gang on patrols and demon hunts, including goggles that can see levels of magical wardings and UV-ray guns to fight vampires with. When it comes time for the final battle he brings the team a ton of experimental weapons to use.
  • Transparent Closet: The only person who was surprised by Andrew coming out of the closet was Andrew himself. It is played for drama in that Andrew later admits that he wonders what it says about himself that everyone else knew and he didn't, and so he appreciates Xander's over-the-top acceptance because it feels like a big deal to him even if everyone else already knew.
  • Unreliable Narrator: "Storyteller", which involves his tendency to change the narrative of events to make himself appear more guiltless or cooler in general. It crops up again when he appears on Angel.
    • Does this for the other characters in the comics sometimes when telling other people about them. When explaining Spike's status as a good, souled vampire to two rescuees, he uses such romantic terms that the two women and he end up sighing.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In Season 9, Buffy and Spike give him complete and total hell after he swaps Buffy's mind into a robot after roofieing her at a party, in order to protect her from an unknown Big Bad that is after her. He did this without telling anyone else what he did. This leads to Buffy thinking she is pregnant due to limitations of the robot body, but discovers that she is a robot when her arm gets chopped off. Spike even threatens to kill Andrew if he doesn't fix the situation.

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