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Fridge Brilliance
  • In B:TVS Seasons 1-3, there is an establishing shot of three girls talking next to a fountain in the school courtyard (the one standing up has short dark hair and is wearing a yellow jacket). This shot got reused so many times that it broke my willing suspension of disbelief every time I saw it. Then, while rewatching "Homecoming" today, it occurred to me: Sunnydale High is on a Hellmouth. There must be some kind of time loop bubble thingy going on that nobody has ever noticed, and those poor girls have been stuck having the same conversation over. And over. And over. Again. For at least THREE YEARS. -Starfury BR
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  • I though The Cruciamentum was a stupid name. Then I discovered that it's Latin. Latin for torture or torment.
  • "Band Candy" had a bunch of timeline problems with Ripper, or so it seems. Giles was said to become Ripper around 21, but he could have used the nickname beforehand and most likely was already on his way to being the powerful warlock badass that Ripper has been hinted to be. However, he doesn't seem that powerful in "Band Candy", which makes sense, seeing as he's reverted to 16, before he really cranked up the badness. So his lower level of badness can be chocked up to already going by Ripper, but not actually being Ripper yet at 16. Had the candy made people go into their mid to early-20s, we can assume Ethan would have been killed very quickly. - HG131
  • Dawn's frequent citing of The Monkey's Paw in S8 after Buffy gains a bunch of new powers makes a bunch of sense when you think back to the episode after "The Body". It was a Whole Plot Reference to The Monkey's Paw and the frequent citing of TMP is most likely because she learned from her experiences.
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  • I just had a moment of Fridge Brilliance due to another page on here. In Angel, when he's locked in a steel box by his son for a while, he goes half-mad from the hunger after only 4 months. The Ubervamps were in the Hellmouth for millions of years. They might have been intelligent once, but they haven't eaten in MILLIONS of years, which is why they're both weak (besides for the one that escaped, who had at least fed and also was most likely their equivalent to Angelus) and why they're crazy.
  • Spike mocking Xander as nothing more than a "glorified carpenter" in "The Gift". A year later in "Grave", Xander saves the world telling Willow that despite everything she's done, he loves her. Know anyone ELSE who was literally a glorified carpenter and saved the world through talk of love and forgiveness?
    • Um...the actual epithet was "glorified bricklayer."
    • Oh yeah? Well, who's also referred to as the "chief cornerstone"? Seeeeee??
  • Buffy Season 8 Fridge Brilliance moment: Xander and Dawn's relationship. At first, I felt like it was pulled out of the deepest ass in the 'verse. Then I realized that it made pretty good sense. Dawn's been abandoned or betrayed by just about everyone to ever grace the Buffy the Vampire Slayer opening credits. Tara leaving the Summers home, Willow's magic addiction, her mother's death, Buffy's death and then ignoring her, Giles going back to England, Spike having sex with Anya and trying to rape Buffy followed by his running off and she already hated Anya. But Xander had betrayed her once as far as I can remember, and she quickly got even by tazing him and knocking him out. Xander's basically the only one that didn't completely ignore her, leave her or die on her (or try to kill her). As for his side, the girl's had a crush on him for years and now she's legal, plus it was clear they were friends beforehand. Plus, they're the only normal ones in the group and the ones who deal with the most amount of Buffy's shit. They have plenty in common and they actually do work as a couple. —HG131
    • More than that, the one time Xander "betrayed" her was knocking her out and driving her away from Sunnydale right before the giant climactic battle to protect her. And he stayed by her side.
  • I really hated a certain episode of Angel where they needed Angel to lose his soul and become Angelus to further the plot of the season. The attempt failed, but led to information concerning a mystical weapon they can use to defeat their enemy. This lead to an Indiana Jones-style temple of doom, and along the way, all hurt feelings are mended, romance resurfaces, father and son fight side-by-side, and the Beast is defeated. It was All Just a Dream. I hated the episode, thinking to myself "They can do better than this!" It wasn't until literally in the middle of the night, that I understood what the episode was about... Angel can save the world, but still he burns in the daylight and will lose his soul if he is happy. The dream represented Angel's desires and the ultimate darkness he must always be a part of. —KJMackley
    • The real brilliance of this though, is that when you think about that sequence, the revelation that it was a dream makes total sense. There are small details: when Wesley's hand gets stabbed, he just shakes it off like nothing; also, the fact that it would be incredibly stupid/unlike Cordelia and Angel to risk him losing his soul. These moments seem unrealistic or out of character until you realize they were intentional hints.
      • Far more brilliant than this is that the dream sequence was specifically designed to create a world in Angel's mind where events led to him experiencing perfect happiness... which is exactly what triggers his curse and the loss of his soul.
  • My immediate reaction to the final episode, "Not Fade Away", was initially something like "Joss, I loved you. BUT NOW I HATE YOU! HOW COULD YOU LEAVE ME HANGING LIKE THIS?" But the more I thought about it (and once I bought the series on DVD and watched it a couple more times), the more I realized that it was basically the perfect ending, and showing Angel and company charging into battle with little or no hope of winning was beautifully symbolic of the neverending nature of the battle against evil. Nonetheless, I was very excited when the Season six comics came out so I could see what had happened to all my beloved characters. -Jamie
    • I've seen this line of thought so many times. What about all the talk of a final Apocalypse and the End of Days before this? The battle against evil had never been suggested to be neverending until this point.
      • Never suggested until that point? The battle against evil being never ending was clearly stated in SEASON 2, in the episode "Epiphany":
      Angel: "In the greater scheme or the big picture, nothing we do matters. There's no grand plan, no big win. ...If there is no great glorious end to all this, if - nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do. 'cause that's all there is. What we do, now, today... Because, if there is no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness - is the greatest thing in the world."
      Faith: "I did my time."
      Angel: "Our time is never up, Faith."
      • How about this one? When the Shanshu Prophecy is first discovered, it's mentioned no one knows which side Angel will fight for at the apocalypse? That's because it doesn't matter which side he'd on. Angel's big importance will be triggering it. In season 1 of Buffy, he delivered the Codex to Giles which led to the prophecy of Buffy's death. In season 2, Angelus opened Acathla, a potential apocalypse without a ton of demon fighting. In season 4 of Angel, his actions made Jasmine's existence possible and in season 5, his actions allowed the Circle of the Black Thorn's army to appear in the real world.
  • I thought it was a bit incredulous about how big a deal they make out of humans not being able to handle the Visions, but when Cordelia is shown by Skip an alternate reality where she was doing great in her movie career, doing fine, but in her perfect world, she is yanked out to help her friends and eventually finds Angel tormented by the Visions, where she kisses him and takes the Visions for herself again, I kind of eyerolled at it, wondering why Angel was affected so badly even he himself was a demon. But then I realized Cordelia had been repeatedly set up as a terrible actress in the series and that this whole thing was just part of Jasmine's plot to get herself incarnated into the world. Granted, it put the Idiot Ball in her court, but it was good for foreshadowing Skip wasn't on the level. — Peteman
    • He was tormented because he's Mr. Isolation and had no Cordelia. In the Season two episodes where Cordelia was acting, she was good. — Noneofyourbusiness
      • She was a good actress when she wasn't trying to act (i.e., going undercover).
      • Word of God confirms that Angel wasn't driven insane because he had the visions, it was because he didn't have Cordelia.
      • To be specific, the exact reason Angel was so tormented was because he had NO-ONE. Think about how Angel is, during the intervening years between first regaining his soul and moving to Sunnydale. When Whistler first met him in the flashbacks of "Becoming", Angel was a wreck who simply lived out his existence day in and day out, deliberately suffering for his sins as Angelus, not even bothering to BUY blood - he'd 'hope to catch one rat a month' to feed himself. Angel is, as is also seen during the 'Are You Now Or Were You Ever?' flashbacks, a VERY dark, closed off, even ruthless individual, and not just because of the curse. He needs human company - he needs friends around him to keep him stable. Notice how he steadily became a more light-hearted and less broody person the more he spent time with Buffy (before the curse was lifted, anyway)? Notice how it was her love - unconditional, forgiving - that helped him recover from Hell? Also, take note of what Doyle said when Cordelia first implied working for Angel in "City Of" - "She's got a real humanizing influence." Finally, take note of how Angel fired everyone in "Reunion" - it was in RESPONSE to Wesley's statement that the three of them were all that kept Angel from total darkness. Because Angel is a person who can never, ever allow himself to be happy, and because he has the guilt of countless atrocities weighing on his mind - guilt which may well go on for eternity - he needs the humanity of his friends to keep his feet on the ground. In the alternate world in "Birthday", Wesley and Gunn were clearly not his friends - Wesley had lost an arm early on fighting a demon, and Gunn was probably even less comfortable working for/with a vampire. Fred - the only member of AI who was always loyal to him besides Cordy - was either dead or still trapped in Pylea. In the end, Cordy is the catalyst - Angel could have handled the visions rather well, I imagine, if he only had Cordelia around to help him cope with them. It may have been part of Skip and Jasmine's Gambit, but one thing which is certain is that they navigated events REALISTICALLY to reach their goal.
  • A 4th season episode has Darla begging Connor to not kill an innocent to quick-start the birth of his and Cordelia's child. For a long time, I wondered just how or why Darla, a soulless vampire, would care. However, I realized that season 4 of Angel and season 7 of Buffy were simultaneous and therefore the First Evil is about and the Buffyverse has a long history of baddies wanting the apocalypse to be their responsibility. The First Evil impersonated Darla in effort to prevent Jasmine bringing the end of the world/world peace. —UberGeek
    • It's not just that. The First is powered by evil. Jasmine eliminated evil. Had she won, it would have died. —HG131
    • Alternatively, it's not really Darla. Darla said in Season 3 that Connor's soul was essentially infecting her actions. The memory of a soulful Darla is lodged somewhere in Connor, and it came out to act as his conscience. — Bring The Noise
      • If that was Darla, it was the human soul, not the demonic vampire. — Noneofyourbusiness
    • It took the troper a while to realize the significance of the name of Angel's hotel base - Hyperion is usually related to the sun.
      • And why was Angel so obsessed with it in "Are You Now or Have You Ever"? I didn't get it until, watching it for the third or fourth time, I really listened to what Wesley was saying. The hotel has the same history as Angel himself. — Surgoshan
      Wesley: For the better part of the last century, this place has been host to not only a malevolent demonic presence, but also to the worst faces of humanity! This is a house of evil.
      Angel: Not any more.
  • It is small, not even relevant to the plot of the show, but for years a reference to Les Misérables that Spike made just confused the heck out of me. Angel had mentioned that he had never seen the play, and Spike explained that, by the end, Angel would be eating people again. To me, that just never made sense, I just did not get it. Was Spike saying the play was so bad it would drive somebody to murder? That was the best explanation that I could come up with, and I figured it was just a Joss Whedon dig at the show (I, of course, did not agree, since Les Mis is one of my favorite Broadway shows, and by some bizarre happenstance Do You Hear the People Sing? actually began to play on my computer as I was typing this entry, but not everybody has to feel the same way). Then, just yesterday, it hit me: It is a compliment! Angel loses his soul when he experiences a moment of pure happiness, of unadulterated bliss, and Spike said that he would be evil again after watching the show. He is saying that seeing that show is an experience of true joy. I don't know why it took me so long (it's been more than four years since I saw that episode), but it just hit me!JBK 405
    • You're reaching, it was a dig at Les Mis.
  • Why did the Loa lie to Wesley? "Loyalty", worried about the prophecy "the father will kill the son", Wesley asks a Loa if it's true. The Loa replies "That the vampire will devour his child is certain" and "The first portent will shake the earth. The second will burn the air. The last will turn the sky to blood." Spoilers for seasons three and four. Wesley thinks those portents are confirmed at the end of the episode when (1) an earthquake causes (2) a gas stove to explode, and Angel to get a cut on his forehead and (3) bleed all over Connor's sky-patterned blanket. I can get behind the earthquake; it's epic. I can even be okay with the stove; pretty big. But a little blood on Connor's fuzzy wuzzy wittle binky? No. Just no. Stupid. So why did the Loa lie? He didn't. He didn't say "son", but "child", and those three portents occur in season four. (1) The Beast arises from the ground at the place of Connor's birth. (2) At a popular night club, it uses the Eye of Fire to, get this, cause fire to rain from the sky. Then it uses various artifacts to (3) blanket the sky in darkness. Now that's some epic, apocalypsy action. The kicker? The Beast was killed by Angelus, not Angel. The vampire, not the human soul. Of course, the act of devouring might be talking about Angel slashing Connor's throat to kick off the memory spell at the end of season four. — Surgoshan
    • I hate to burst your bubble but the Loa WAS talking about Connor. Wolfram and Hart were spiking Angel's blood with a sample of Connor's they'd stolen. Angel was literally devouring his child without realizing it.
      • Come on, this is Angel. Most of the prophecies in that 'Verse come true at least twice, if not more, and the characters are never sure which one, if any, was the real fulfillment.
  • On the issue of the prophecy, it occurs to me that Sahjahn was lying about it being fake, probably to drive a wedge between Wesley and Team Angel. Why do I say this? Because Angel DID kill Connor at the end of season 4, to stop him from murdering other people. Just like previous prophecies in the Buffyverse (such as the one in "Prophecy Girl"), this was misleading and ultimately self-fulfilling. Wesley's actions to avoid the prophecy actually made it come true, by resulting in Connor becoming the very person Angel would have to kill. Sahjahn was a liar, and the prophecy was real, but not in the way they thought. —Obsidian
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I grew annoyed with Xander's uselessness. But this changed when I was watching the interview with Joss Whedon on the first season DVD when he explained about Buffy being a brilliant subversion of the Helpless Blonde girl so often seen in horror movies. I realized that by making Xander more or less useless in the series was just an extension of that subversion. Xander is in more ways than one the Helpless Blonde girl for the Buffyverse, at least in the early seasons. Whedon turned the whole Horror genre on its head with the Xander being impotent, but I feel that this might actually still be a problem. Whedon comments on the DVD that he wasn't used to television, films were his forte, and I think Xander's helplessness is an aspect of that. The idea of Xander being the damsel in distress might work for an episode or two, but it leaves him with no real purpose on the show, it would work better in the form of a film. Xander doesn't fit in with the girls for Brains, Brawn and Beauty because Willow's the brains, Buffy's the Brawn and Cordelia was the Beauty (however, if we weren't counting Cordelia, Buffy easily fills the void of both brawn and beauty and if we weren't counting Willow, Giles is there for brains, and if we weren't counting Giles, well then that would be a crappy show because it just be Buffy and the inept, not particularly smart, and impotent Xander). Sure, Xander's the snarky guy member of the group, but generally everyone on the show are either sarcastic or witty. So he's there really just as the teen guy, but he's still useless as he serves the show in no way what-so-ever. I know this probably belongs in the IJBM, but I thought it should be said here.—thewriter.
    • In the DVD Commentary for an episode of season seven, Joss reiterates what was stated in "Primeval", that Xander is the heart of the team. Specifically, Xander backs Buffy up on her play to go into the vineyard after Caleb, and everyone falls in line. Then in the next episode, Xander has lost an eye and no longer supports Buffy. The team falls apart. The metaphor for this in the seventh season is that Xander is, literally, the one keeping the house together.
  • A weird case: "As You Were" is dedicated to Riley Finn return with his new wife, The Ace; she seems to be everything that Buffy is not (including annoying)... until you realize that Spike had absolutely no reason to use the alias of "The Doctor", but she would have, various minor, deniable clues were dropped to that effect.Luc
  • As Season seven went on, people started acting more hostile. Then I remembered, the Hellmouth was acting up, making everyone more hostile (remember the cops who tried to kill Faith?) and also caused most people to leave. Suddenly, every overly hostile act committed by the characters makes sense, they were under the same effects as everyone else!
  • In Season two, Jenny refers to football as "my country's national pastime." Given that the title "America's national pastime" has traditionally referred to baseball, this is a Gretzky Has the Ball, and at first glance it seems like a needless one. But later in the season it's revealed that Jenny is secretly a Gypsy, whose name was Americanized from Janna Kalderash. So it makes sense that Jenny would make that kind of mistake about American culture, and at the same time, she might be eager to make this kind of patriotic remark in order to affirm her cover story. —Ojuice 5001
    • And I just disliked the name "Jenny Calendar" for sounding made up. It seems there's a good reason for that after all. — Shotgun Ninja
      • While we're on the topic of Jenny Calendar... her name is Jenny Calendar because her days are numbered. Classic Joss. — Mike Stop Continues
    • Jenny Calendar is right. Football is America's national pastime (there is no national Xday Night Baseball). And that is the sort of thing an outsider immersed in a new culture, one who didn't grow up hearing that baseball is the American national pastime, would be more likely to realize. - Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan
      • And I reckoned she was American; third, maybe second generation. Not as enamored of 'the old ways' as her elders and all...
      • Even cooler subversion... if she's not really American, then the "football" she's referring to is what Americans call "soccer". Which really is the national pastime in most other countries.
  • So I finished watching the Buffy episode "Normal Again" and had stood up to refill my drink when suddenly I stopped and literally yelled out "HOLY SHIT! THE ENTIRE SHOW IS A FAKE! IT'S ALL PART OF HER SCHIZOPHRENIC DELUSIONS!" Because it all made sense. And now, the Word of God has said that this conclusion (that Buffy's crazy and she was just imagining she was a Slayer) might very well be the correct one. — Jack Butler
    • Then more FB comes in. Joss is fucking with us. Remember Season 6? The Trio talk about Doctor Who and Red Dwarf. Remember any modern pop culture references from Post 1996? Heck, remember Angel? If they were dreams, then the references (ESPECIALLY to Red Dwarf) wouldn't be there. Remember, Buffy got her Slayer abilities back when she was the typical high school blonde. There's no way she could have known about them. They were British shows that weren't and for Red Dwarf, still aren't, well known in the States by non-nerds. Plus, it's too well done. The mythology, the backstory, the plots the EVERYTHING! It's too good for anyone but a skilled writer to make, and a skilled writer she is not. Joss is laughing his ass off over these reactions. —HG131
  • In the second season episode "Halloween", Buffy dresses as an 18th-century noblewoman and thus becomes one. The scenes seem to be Artistic License – History at first, until you realize that Your Mind Makes It Real and it's Buffy herself that has a poor grasp of history. - Jakelikescheddar
    • On the other hand, Xander-as-a-soldier apparently gains knowledge and skills—some specific to the local Army base, even. He uses this knowledge later, most notably in "Innocence," so it's fair to say that his costume-persona, at least, was not taken from his own knowledge of soldiers. - notemily
    • But Xender's outfit wasn't a custome. It was a real soldier outfit, that was wore by real soldier before. The spell might have took what the prpole wearing the custom though it meant, and the past 'sticked' to Xander's.
  • I personally disliked Mayor Wilkins when I first saw him. I found his folksy personality to be inappropriately comic, for a character who was supposed to be a big bad like Angelus or the Master. Then it occurred to me, he's an American small town politician; even if he could keep power through demonic assistances, he still needed to seem like somebody who could be elected. - benj
    • But, the Mayor is really like that. He is a 1950's sitcom character rolled into a Buffy villain. Think of this way: Season 3 is all about duality. 'Good' Buffy vs. 'Dark' Faith. Giles vs. Ethan (briefly). Even Kakistos (stupid, traditional ancient villain) vs Mister Trick (clever, stylish, modern). The Mayor vs. Balthazar. It only makes sense that the Big Bad of the season himself has two sides, albeit rolled in one. Woah, I think I just got the Fridge Brilliance just writing this. - Ms Shaw
  • In "Doppelgangland", Buffy is about to stake Vamp-Willow, and manages to halt it mid-strike when Willow calls for her to stop. I'd assumed this was just to contrast Buffy with the impulsive Faith, who didn't stop when Buffy called, and accidentally killed a guy. Then I caught on to Buffy's casual "Well, I work out" and remembered how, at the start of the episode, it was mentioned offhand that she'd been training harder than usual. And it hit me: Buffy had been training her reflexes so that what happened with the Deputy Mayor would never happen again. Along with the usual Fridge Brilliance reaction, it gave me a new respect for Buffy.
    • What was Deputy Mayor Allan Finch doing in that alley in the first place? Was he going to betray the mayor to the slayers? Actually, no, he was betraying the mayor to Balthazar. That's how the vampire got all the way into the mayor's office earlier. — Surgoshan
  • I wondered a little about how convenient it was that Angelus, Drusilla and Spike all came from the same line of vampires. Indeed, they seem to be the only ones they have sired, as they travel around together in their little four man band around the world. But thinking about it, it actually fits with Angelus' depiction perfectly. He kills for pleasure, planning out the murders for prolonged enjoyment. It makes sense that he would only sire somebody unique like him, and he saw a tool as well as a companion in Drusilla. From then on, he could plan his actions using Drusilla's gift of prophecy, leading to their discovery of one of the most rebellious vampires of all time. Angelus never picked his family by chance; he planned his family, just like he plans everything. -Fire Goliath
    • And, in light of the way Spike thinks of blood as "life", it explains why the vampires in Angel's family are closer than other throwaway vampires on the show, as they treat siring as the giving of life, and not to be taken lightly.
    • Something that just now hit me. One of Buffy's themes is that Buffy survived so long because she had her friends & family to back her up. In other words, friendship and family give you a reason to keep on going. And that's exactly why Angelus & co. survived so long! Because they were also a family!
      • It goes deeper than that. Buffy, from the very outset, was a rule-breaker. She's not supposed to tell anyone; she does. She's supposed to work alone; she doesn't. Even in the finale, she's breaking the rules. (The one time she doesn't is when she sacrifices herself, which raises an obvious question: why not?)
    • An interesting contrast there: Angelus plans everything with a genius, sociopathic detachment. Angel can't do that. He ends up with True Companions like his original "family," but they're not planned. Angel's team seems to be made up of whoever happens to wander in and sticks around.
    • And Spike isn't such a bad pick to sire, either. Becoming a vampire makes you violent, psychopathic, and impulsive. So most vampires become overconfident and get themselves slain forthwith. It's the ones who are the most cowardly and inhibited in life (Spike, Dru, and Angel at least, and probably Darla also) who get just crazy enough, but stay relatively careful by vampire standards. So thank Joss that Angelus never thought to sire Jonathan!
  • "I Robot, You Jane", Moloch wanted Willow so badly because he could sense her potential. — Noneofyourbusiness
  • The end of "Normal Again" just represented the fact that Buffy wasn't responding to the hallucinations anymore. She hadn't taken the antidote when the episode ended. — Noneofyourbusiness
  • I'm watching Buffy again since the first time it ran since it's now up on Netflix, and I notice that Amy and Ethan's magic incantations both supplicate to Roman gods, Diana and Janus, respectively. I also happened to be playing Assassin's Creed II and the same time, which, with its Gratuitous Italian, is how it clicked for me. The magic spells on this show, like in many other works, are in Latin. Who but a Roman god would understand Latin spells?
  • "I'm a hair's breadth from investigating bunnies." It's been easily six months since I watched "Once More with Feeling", and OUT OF NOWHERE tonight I got hit with the realization that that was a pun. A clever little pun that Giles made to amuse only himself and no one else. <3 — Matt
  • Something I noticed in the season 6 episode "Tabula Rasa" is that when the group all pass out and wake up, they are each with the person they will be with in the season finale. Willow and Xander are together (Willow will be crying in his arms after being restored to normal), Giles and Anya and Buffy and Dawn are also together. Of course, Spike and Tara are both alone.
  • Something curious that struck me is that Buffy has died three times on the show and each time she has, one other member of the "Core Four" (Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles) has resurrected her. In "Prophecy Girl", she drowns and Xander brings her back to life. When she dies properly at the end of season 5, Willow resurrects her with a spell. As for her death in "The Wish", Giles technically saves her by smashing Anyanka's pendant to reverse the wish and return the world to normal.
    • This just made this troper realize that it may be An Aesop on being morally grey. Notice how all of the people who've brought her back are all morally grey? Giles is willing to go to some lengths to protect Buffy or save people (killing Ben for example), Willow is willing to do some very grey things for those she cares about, like her assault on Glory or resurrection of Buffy, and Xander tends to do some very grey things as well. It's a deconstruction of the Poisonous Friend, showing they're important for the good guy to not go down a path of darkness or die! Wish!Buffy was basically '90s Anti-Hero Buffy, and she died. She needs her friends, as they're the morally grey ones. —HG131
    • Alternatively, Buffy herself is morally grey and needs her friends to keep her from becoming darker. Word of God himself said that Faith was what she would've become if she didn't have a good support system.
    • It's both. Think about it, Faith had nobody to do the grey things for her, and Buffy wouldn't if her friends weren't around. They all need each other to prevent any of them from becoming evil. They spread they grey out between each other so that none of them go into the black:
      • Willow - Friends = Dark Willow
      • Giles - Scoobies = Ripper (in fact, S8 Giles is basically Ripper because he's been cut off from everyone else and is now working with Faith).
      • Xander - Friends = Asshole.
      • Buffy - Friends = Wishverse Buffy.
      • Spike - Everyone = S2/S3/S4 Spike.
      • Anya - Friends = Anyanka.
      • Angel - Friends = the Angel who fed Wolfram & Hart employees to Darla and Dru.
      • Wesley - Friends = the Wesley that betrayed Angel and gave Conner to Holtz.
      • Cordelia - Real Friends = BTVS Cordelia.
      • Fred - Friends = slightly darker, crazy, trapped in Pylea Fred.
      • Gunn - Friends = morally grey Gunn.
      • Tara, Lorne and, as much as I hate to admit it, Riley, are the only people not suppressing Anti-Hero or even evil tendencies. They all need the others so they can spread out their darkness. —HG131
  • Why are the Turok-Han so easy to kill in the series finale? The one that got out first was so badass it almost killed Buffy. Twice. Whedon admitted that he nerfed them to make the final battle work. Simple hand wave, though; they've been trapped in a hole under the ground for god knows how long, not feeding. The one that got out was badass because it had fed, but the ones in the hole are weak because they haven't. — Surgoshan
    • Another reason for the Badass Decay of the Turok-Han - The first one to come out was their best fighter, their champion. If they've been trapped down there since before time and they're given a chance to let one out to wreak havoc, then they're going to send their best. Of course they're not all up to the first one's level - it's like expecting the Initiative soldiers to be on the same level as Buffy. This revelation actually came while in front of a fridge. — Puja
      • A throwaway line in a later episode made this click for me. Giles mentions that the First is on the back foot now that the Turok-Han had been killed. Why would that matter if the First had thousands of them? Obviously the Turok-Han was a leader or a champion. He is to regular Turok-Han what Angel and Spike are to newly-sired vamps. — Retlor
  • I was always bothered by something — can't remember if it was a Buffy episode or an Angel one, but eh. At one point, in Flashback-format, we see moments before Spike's siring; Angelus has just jokingly mentioned to Drusilla that maybe she should just sire the next person she sees, and at that moment, William the Bloody (awful at poetry) runs by, holding back tears. Drusilla smiles, and we apparently learned why Spike was sired and brought into Angelus and Co.'s little group. This bothered me both because the implication that Spike was chosen entirely at random seemed like a rather unnecessary jab at his character, and it seemed inconsistent with the standard set by the other vamps. The human Darla was apparently at least somewhat carefully selected by The Master, who visited her during the daylight very specifically to sire her; Darla followed Liam around for at least some time before siring him; and, Angelus "made" Drusilla, torturing her, making her his "perfect work" by breaking her brain completely. Each chosen with varying degrees of care; considering these vampires seem to have only ever sired each other, this made sense, tying this back to the "they worked as a family" point mentioned previously. So, why on Earth are we supposed to believe Spike was sired at random? Then it hit me: Drusilla sired Spike. As in, Drusilla, who is psychic. She could have known exactly what kind of vampire she was about to create, better than any of the others. In a way, this makes Spike the most carefully chosen of the group. Thank you, Refridgerator. ~Dragonfire8181
    • This is outright implied; as she's siring him, Drusilla pointedly quotes "effulgent" from William's failed love poem to Cecily, something she would otherwise have no way of knowing about if she hadn't had any sort of visions about him.
  • Same troper as before, this time about the whole "Normal Again" discussion above: when I first saw that episode, he thought it was a pretty cool "What if?" sort of scenario. What if the whole Slayer thing were just some psychiatric patient's fantasies? What if Buffy's just some crazy chick in a madhouse? In other words, pretty cool Filler, but Filler all the same. Then I realized that this episode actually DOES have Arc Significance. In the episode, the hallucinations Buffy experiences of being in a mental institution are related to the previous summer, that is, the time when she was dead between Seasons 5 and 6. Therefore, Buffy thinking in the episode that she'd rather escape her current life and just be a normal girl again is symbolic of her ongoing suicidal tendencies since being brought Back from the Dead (this time around), and Buffy ultimately deciding to keep her life the way it is and give up those hallucinations of a normal life represent the beginning of her overcoming those tendencies. This episode just got a whole lot deeper. ~Dragonfire8181
  • One more Buffy thing (can you tell I'm a fan?): in "The Wish" (3.09), it struck me as odd that Xander and Willow just happened to be so high ranking in The Master's vampire army. Before they both met Buffy, they were both just ordinary high schoolers, so there seemed to be no reason why they should be "special" in this world. Then, I looked at the situation in a different light. It's not some weird coincidence that the two people from Sunnydale High who should have gone on to be huge players in the fight against evil are just as big fighters for evil in this reality; it's destiny. It's the same as The Master killing Buffy in that episode, just like he did in the regular reality (even though in our world, She Got Better), or how Angel in Angel was destined to be important in the apocalypse. Xander and Willow were pivotal figures in the fight between good and evil because they were fated to. ~~Dragonfire8181
    • Even if this is wrong, it still makes sense that they were turned. Look around Sunnydale. Out of all the human beings from there, who became the most sadistic, homicidal, destructive force of nature as soon as they turned evil? Willow. Who there seems to want to kill a whole lot of people, no matter how friendly? Xander (he wanted to kill Angel at times!). The two of them would make GREAT vampires. Imagine if Xander had the ability to kill as many vampires as he wanted? He'd be happy. Now, imagine he switched sides and GOT that power, but hated humans instead. See the threat? Willow can just be explained by pointing out what happens when you remove her goodness - Dark Willow. I'd make a bet that if Dark Willow met Jasmine, we'd have 1 dead ex-Power That Be and an even more violent Dark Willow. Give them the power to kill as many things that they're hostile to and the will to use it, and you'll have a pile of corpses. —HG131
      • Actually, go back to the pilot episode. Who are the two sacrifices to be brought to the Master? Willow (who Buffy saved) and Jesse - the two people Xander was closest to. Either he would've suicidally charged in to save them, or one of the two of them would have immediately have sired him. Jesse was just as much of a failure in death as in life in the pilot (being killed by Xander FFS!), it makes sense that Jesse would've been one of the first vampires to get staked by the AU Scoobies. Handwave Darla as going off with Spike and Dru after they return to Sunnydale to revitalize Dru (unimpeded by a Slayer) and possibly going to Cleveland just to chase down the Slayer and Luke as doing something stupid (his death in the pilot shows him as not exactly very sharp), and it makes sense that Xander and Willow would be The Master's lieutenants. They're the oldest of his disciples still in Sunnydale! –Abstruse
  • In "Chosen", Spike tries to use an amulet to sacrifice himself and Buffy tells him she loves him to get him to stop. He says "no you don't" and dies. If you're a Spike/Buffy shipper or not, it's annoying that they hinted that Buffy might have feelings for him, only to have it blown like that in the last two minutes of the series. Here's where fridge brilliance comes in. This is actually a subtle call back to season 6's "Dead Things". It's the episode where Buffy and Spike act like they have a relationship for the first time. In it, there's a similar exchange where Buffy thinks she killed a girl, so tries to turn herself into the police. Spike tells her he loves her to try to get her to stop and she says "no you don't" and fights past him. In his final moments before he "died", Spike was remembering one of his first real relationship moments with Buffy.
    • I saw it more as an expression of Spike's guilt; that he didn't feel himself worthy of someone like Buffy. As in, "You love the man I wish I could be, not the man I am."
      • Watch that scene in Buffy and then watch it in "Just Rewards". On Buffy, from Buffy's point of view, she says "I love you" to which Spike replies "No, you don't." On Angel, when the episode flashes back to Spike's point of view, no one mentions love, there is simply a joining of hands and a dewy, mushy, sad look between the two. People often remember events very differently, and the show is brilliant in showing Buffy's point of view - a platitude and morsel of pity thrown out in response to a great sacrifice, which is summarily rejected, and Spike's point of view, where Buffy finally gave him what he always wanted - she didn't say she loved him, she showed him she did. Much more powerful to such an emotional character.
      • Buffy's perspective is fairly open to Alternate Character Interpretation; the gesture of twining her fingers with his and allowing her own hand to burst into flame with him certainly suggests her confession is more than pure platitude, regardless of if she was talking about romantic or platonic love.
    • In one of the first episodes of the 7th season, "Help", the psychic girl Cassie tells Spike, "Someday she'll tell you." That entire episode is full of Fridge Brilliance though.
  • Spike's lack of smoking when he came back in the 5th season of Angel. At first, I just thought it was the censors clamping down on his bad habits (and James Marsters admitted to both hating the menthol cigarettes he had to smoke, and being very conscious of the show's younger audience). Then after a while, it hit me - Spike had been incorporeal for weeks and months after coming back. He couldn't smoke because as a ghost he couldn't pick up a lighter and cigarette. After a long time, it took him a great deal of effort and concentration just to move a cup or throw a punch. So even if he tried to smoke, it would have been too much effort and no reward to even get the damn thing lit. Once he's made corporeal again, we never see him with a cigarette. So essentially, Spike quit smoking by being dead! Fridge Brilliance or what?
    • It's also possible that Spike, being hypersensitive to fire after having been cooked alive, now has a phobia of fire and simply refuses to 'light up' anymore. "Help! I'm on fire! Oh, never mind."
  • I'm actually pretty much new to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, believe it or not (I remember seeing a handful of first and second season episodes when it was still new but that's about it). I just recently watched "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight", and Cordelia's "twinkie defense" reference early in the episode seemed kind of out of character to me - it just didn't sound like anything she'd be familiar with given how she's depicted throughout season one. Then I realized that 1) it's entirely possible that a high school history course might cover that trial, and 2) as that very scene was demonstrating, for the Alpha Bitch she's apparently a pretty active participant in class discussion, so it's more likely than one might think that she'd actually be paying attention in History. And since later on in the same episode she comes to Buffy and friends for help and is treated sympathetically for the first time all season, the scene could be an early hint that things are going to be just a little bit different. - MikeK
    • Oh, and speaking of, while writing this, I just got that the episode title has kind of a double meaning, since being ignored causes Marcie to literally become invisible, and in turn becoming invisible drives her out of her mind.
  • A minor one: Jasmine briefly took over the world at the end of Season Four of Angel. So why was there no mention of this on Buffy? Answer: Sunnydale lost power before this, and Jasmine's takeover was done via mass media. In fact, as the power failure had no other plot significance, it must have been specifically written in to save the Scoobies from Jasmine. - Meshakhad
  • In "Grave", the whole "Power of Love" ending with Xander calming down Dark Willow kind of bugged me. That is, until I connected his whole "I love crayon-breaky Willow and scary veiny Willow" speech to what Dark Willow herself had told Buffy in the previous episode:
    Let me tell you something about Willow. She's a loser. Always has been. She got picked on through junior high, high school, right up until college. With her stupid mousy ways. And now? [laughs bitterly] Willow's a junkie. The only thing Willow was ever good for... the only thing I ever had going for me were those moments... just moments... where Tara would look at me and I was wonderful. And that will never happen again.
    • Xander's speech is really all about how he love Willow no matter what, and she'll always be wonderful to him. So Dark Willow's angst about being a loser to all but one person is disproved, and she can go back to being just Willow.
    • There's even more brilliance if you think back to what Willow has gone through. Her hopeless crush on Xander, especially when she sees him with Cordelia ("you'd rather be with someone you hate than be with me") - and when she learns of him and Faith. Oz cheated on her as well with Veruca and eventually left her. With Tara, Willow was the more dominant partner and was the one who was desired. And it was also Willow that screwed things up in that relationship and Tara took her back. Willow had become dangerously dependant on Tara as her only means of emotional support. She had convinced herself that Tara was the only one that truly loved her. It happens, where friends are close but don't realise how much they mean to each other. Xander's speech reminded Willow not just that he loved her, but that she was loved. Notice how much more affectionate she is with Buffy when they're reunited at the end of "Same Time Same Place".
  • Season 7 of Buffy/Season 4 of Angel. In both seasons, the main plots of both shows were implied to be the biggest of the big apocalypses, that either could become the previously hinted at "Final Battle". But they were in fact averting the same apocalypse. In Buffy, they were stopping what was essentially Satan from raising a vampire-army to overtake the Earth and flood it with bloodshed and Hellmouth energy. In Angel, they were stopping what was essentially a fallen angel from mind-raping the Earth into dogmatic order. What would have happened if The Scoobies and AI both failed? Both series' respective Big Bads would have met and turned on each other. This is further supported if you assume Ghost!Darla was actually The First trying to sabotage Jasmine's plans, and also by the well-timed blackout in Sunnydale (The First didn't want any Jasminites in Sunnydale making things harder for it). The "Final Battle" was never about The Scoobies and co. VS. the ultimate evil or AI VS. the ultimate evil, as awesome as both teams are they're too small and low key to represent the entire side of good in any prophecy. No, the Final Battle was always going to be The First VS. Jasmine, with humanity caught in the middle. The Scoobies and AI just successfully sabotaged both sides before it got to that point, so there was no "Final Battle".
    • This could also explain why there's so much confusion over whether the "Vampire with a Soul" will be fighting for the side of good or evil in the Final Battle, as vampires with souls end up fighting both for and against the good and evil sides in both conflicts. Angel is brainwashed by Jasmine, only to later turn against and defeat her, while Spike is brainwashed by The First, only to fight against it in the final battle in the finale.
  • I never understood why Tara messed up the demon locator spell. She had helped Willow do plenty of spells since then wthout sabotaging them. Then as I rewatched the episode "Family" it hit me, she thought she was a demon and didn't want Willow to know. —[1]
    • It took me a little while to pick up on that aswell XD
  • Nowhere does it say that the Shanshu prophecy is about Angel, just that it is about a 'vampire with a soul' who 'has a role in the apocalypse'. So it has already been established that it equally could be about Spike. The part about becoming human has already been misinterpreted as being 'death' by Wesley early on in Angel, and its been said that it means the life/death cycle, which they assume to mean the restoration of humanity. But the translation is fairly subjective and could easily still be a misinterpretation of the true prophecy. So this troper's opinion on the matter is that the prophecy predicted Spike's resurrection and has already come true. (Call me out if you disagree! I could have missed something that disproves this)
    • Actually it has been established in the comic spin off series and Joss that it was always Angel. Good theory however.
    • Genuinely, this makes more sense than the canon answer. It nicely explains why Spike came back to life (which, if I recall, mostly remains unanswered to this day), and meant Angel's story could carry on as is, without him deciding to become a vampire again (which he ended up doing, despite spending several years trying to become human).
  • It always drove me a bit mad that Spike seemingly never tells Buffy about his resurrection in Angel season 5. Regardless of how sincere he believed her love confession to be, surely he doesn't want to be yet another name in the long list of men who had contributed to Buffy's male abandonment issues, right? But then it hit me; Spike doesn't really think he belongs in her life, he doesn't think he deserves to, or that he can make her happy. If he's dead, then him extracting himself from her life so for he own sake won't feel like he left her. In a strange sort of way, his logic makes sense and falls right in with his Love Martyr characterization.


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