Acting for Two: In the flashback, the medieval Slayer and her Watcher are played by Kristy Swanson and Donald Sutherland. On the other hand, the Slayer and the Watcher continually reincarnate looking identical to her past lives, so they are theoretically still the same characters.
Creator Backlash: Joss Whedon eventually walked off the set due to how his vision was being mishandled and rewritten.
"The director ruined it. What I started with was a horror action-comedy. It had fright, it had camera movement, it had acting all kinds of interesting things that weren't in the final film apart of the jokes and there were a lot more of them [in my script] and all of my favorite ones got cut it was supposed to have a little more edge to it. It was supposed to be a visceral entertainment rather than a glorified sitcom where everyone pretty much stands in front of the camera, says the joke, and exits. I wasn't happy about anything. I had one advantage from it: the direction was so bland that the jokes kind of stood out, because they were the only things to latch on to. In a way, that kind of worked for me because it got people to notice it. But that was a big disappointment to me. It was crushing. I had written this scary film about an empowered woman, and they turned it into a broad comedy. It was terrible and a great lesson for me. I knew in the future that I would find a way to do things in a different way."
Deleted Role: Seth Green filmed some scenes as a vampire but most of them were cut. He can be seen from behind and briefly when Buffy kicks him outside the gym.
Executive Meddling: Joss Whedon wanted a B-Movie feel to the movie, while the execs much preferred the comedy aspects of the script. The meddling was so bad that Whedon — himself no stranger to executives meddling in his TV series — walked off set one day and never came back. A version of the original script apparently still exists and is considered canon in series continuity. Whedon claims that the Origin comic miniseries is the closest publicly available thing to it.
Fake Nationality: The medieval maiden played by the California-born Swanson in the flashback sequences would obviously have to be non-American. She comes off as English(not that Swanson tries very hard), but a brief line by Merrick suggests that she was Hungarian. (In the original script, she's an Italian.)
Inspiration for the Work: According to Joss Whedon, "the idea for the film came from seeing too many blondes walking into alleyways and being killed. I wanted, just once, for her to fight back when the monster attacked, and kick his ass. It was a simple thing for me to write because I knew exactly how I wanted things to work. I have special powers and I thought it would be great to have vampires as the villains. She wouldn't be able to fit into normal society because she had these powers and this job that kept her from being what she wanted to be."
Old Shame: Ben Affleck was quite embarrassed to discover he apparently delivered his single line Take it so badly that it was dubbed over.
The Pete Best: Kristy Swanson was the original Buffy, but of course Sarah Michelle Gellar is the one who played the role in the TV series. And achieved greater fame as a result.
Vindicated by Cable: The film got a much better reception on VHS and TV re-airings than its initial release and it was because of that that Joss was able to try again and make a TV series out of it. A lot of fans are grateful for the movie because if it wasn't for the home releases, we likely wouldn't have the TV show in the first place.
Amilyn was written to be female and played by Joan Chen. When she dropped out, the character became male instead.
In the original version of the script, Merrick committed suicide to escape being turned into a vampire by Lothos, who wanted to know the Slayer's identity so he could dispatch with her. It is this version that was restored in the Buffy "Origin" comic.
The element of Buffy burning down the gym existed in the original script but was not incorporated into the final production. The event is first referenced in the debut episode "Welcome to the Hellmouth".
Producers were reluctant to cast Amber Benson as Tara because she was too voluptuous - they wanted someone daintier and waifier to take Willow's place as The Woobie. But Amber won them over with her ability to play awkward and vulnerable.
Alyson Hannigan's casting went something like this too. Joss stated that all the other girls who auditioned for Willow wore Nerd Glasses and acted stereotypically nerdy (including Riff Regan, who played her in the pilot). Alyson won the part based on the fact that she didn't do that.
Dawn was originally a pre-teen. When Michelle Trachtenberg was cast, there wasn't enough time to rewrite, hence why she comes off as whiny and immature in her first few episodes.
Speaking of Dawn, Michelle Trachtenberg says she was thrust into the role without knowing much about Dawns personality; she describes her initial meeting with Joss Whedon as "Alright, welcome to the cast, you're a teenager, you're a Key, have fun".
Angel was originally supposed to make a FaceHeel Turn and never turn back. However, David Boreanaz and Sarah Michelle Gellar had become close friends, and Gellar allegedly hated the idea that Angel would not get a chance at redemption, so his character arc was changed.
Spike was originally meant to be a short-lived villain, but James Marsters proved to be very charismatic, and thus the executives made him a recurring character. This allegedly led to Hostility on the Set, as Joss Whedon, having already soured on "heroic" vampires after being forced to make Angel redeemable, resented having to do it again for Spike.
James Marsters based his accent on Anthony Stewart Head's. Giles uses an RP English accent on-camera, but his actor sounds like a working-class "tough guy" in real life, using an accent close to Estuary English. Head uses it for Giles' adolescent persona in "Band Candy".
Baby Buffy went through a phase during which she idolized ice skater Dorothy Hamill. Sarah Michelle Gellar enjoys figure skating in real life.
The scene in "Lovers Walk" where Cordelia gets impaled is based on a real incident. At five years old, playing around a swimming pool that was still under construction, Charisma Carpenter fell onto a piece of rebar. Only in real life, she fell off a horse and not through stairs.
Faith became a Boston native after Eliza Dushku was cast, though Eliza herself is actually from Watertown rather than South Boston like Faith.
My mother was a single mother and struggled with a lot of those same issues that I struggle with as Joyce. For the sense of deep love and connection, I draw on my own feelings for my own daughter. In terms of trying to parent an adolescent and my relationship with my mother. I try to figure out those struggles, and try to get into that from her point of view.
Due to Willow and Tara appearing in LBGT magazines, Alyson Hannigan and Amber Benson did have to remind fans that neither of them were lesbians in real life.
Emma Caulfield claims she constantly has to tell fans that she's not afraid of bunnies like Anya is.
Cash Cow Franchise: There was no real need to continue the series after it ended (and many feel it should have ended a few seasons before it did), but Joss Whedon and company continue to profit off of it with the line of comics that continue the series.
When Bianca Lawson actually won the role initially, she opted instead to take a role in the sitcom Goode Behavior instead. Producers liked her so much that she was introduced on the second season as Kendra.
Julie Benz (Darla), Elizabeth Anne Allen (Amy), Julia Lee (the girl who goes by Chanterelle, Lily and Anne), and Mercedes McNabb (Harmony) all auditioned for the lead role of Buffy.
Danny Strong auditioned for Xander originally. He didn't get the part, obviously, but was later given the role of Jonathan, and his talent at portraying a hapless dupe of a Spear Carrier with Hidden Depths led to his becoming a recurring, popular character. What would have happened if he, not Nicholas Brendon, had won the role of Xander?
Felicia Day auditioned for the role of Fred in Angel that went to Amy Acker. She played the smaller recurring role of the potential Vi in Season 7 of Buffy.
Armin Shimerman first auditioned for Principal Flutie, before getting cast as Sunnydale High's next principal Snyder. Although the plan was for each principal to be killed off after a few episodes as a Running Gag, they liked his performance enough to keep him on the show until the end of season 3 (with a cameo appearance in "Restless" the following season).
K. Todd Freeman was in the running for the role of Spike before being cast as Mr. Trick.
Seasons four and five increasingly called on Anthony Head's services as a singer and guitarist, which just serves to illustrate how drastically his character changed with time.
"Once More With Feeling" reportedly was written after Joss Whedon discovered how many of his cast could sing well during an after-shooting karaoke party; the episode was written specifically to show off the cast's various talents. Notably, Michelle Trachtenberg, who'd had dance training, got a scene where she danced with Sweeet's Mooks, and Alyson Hannigan sang about two lines without accompaniment; her other lines were mostly filler. She reportedly begged Joss not to give her many singing lines because she hated her voice, although when she heard how good she sounded after post-production Hannigan regretted giving up so much singing time. Most notably, the Tara solo "Under Your Spell" was supposed to be a duet with Willow.
Emma Caulfield apparently surprised Joss Whedon with her singing voice, resulting in the writers giving her another song in "Selfless" (in a flashback to "Once More With Feeling".
At the finale of Season 2, Angel is run through with a sword and sucked through a portal into hell. However, David Boreanaz stays on as a regular character in Season 3, even appearing in the title sequence. They try to Mind Screw the audience by having him appear in dream sequences but there's never any doubt that he'll be back from hell soon. And sure enough...
Season 5 ends with Buffy dying, but by the time the episode aired, the fans all knew that there would be a season 6.
Whedon stated that none of the core four would die in the finale.
Creator's Apathy: Joss Whedon has confirmed that by the time of the seventh season, everybody cast and crew was exhausted and eager to move on to new projects. Whedon and much of the writing staff returned to the franchise in comic book form a few years later with considerably renewed enthusiasm.
Sarah Michelle Gellar told Entertainment Weekly that she disliked season six due to its darker tone, the destructive romance between Buffy and Spike and how unrecognizable Buffy was. She also hated the Parker Abrams storyline from season four, as she felt it was out of character for Buffy to engage in a casual fling so soon after Angel's departure.
It wasn't who Buffy was, or why people loved her. You dont want to see that dark heroine; you don't want to see her punishing herself. You want to see her killing vampires and making quips. It didn't feel like the character that I loved. Joss always explained that season as being about your 20s, where youre not a kid anymore, but you don't know what you want to do [with your life]. He always said that I didnt understand last year because I've always known what I wanted to do, and I didnt have that confusion, [that] dark, depressive period. But I think the heart of the show lies in the humor of the drama. I felt like Buffy's spirit was missing last year.
During the twentieth anniversary reunion, she elaborated:
I've always said that season 6 was not my favorite. I felt it betrayed who she was. Even just getting to talk to Joss and be able to get his opinion was not as easy when hes not upstairs. He had three shows. He had Angel and Firefly so that was hard.
Most of the cast came to hate the library scenes because they would take forever to film.
Subverted with Alyson Hannigan. She requested that she not sing too much in "Once More With Feeling" because she hates her singing voice. But upon seeing the episode, she was surprised at how good she sounded and regretted not singing more. While Gellar was proud of the episode, she hated making it, due to the extra workload it involved.
Willow's "magic addiction" arc was disliked by both Alyson Hannigan and Joss Whedon himself; the latter added a scene in "Lessons" where Giles explicitly states that magic is not addictive, and it's explained that Willow's actions were actually due to her not using magic.
Jenny Calendar's actress, Robia Lamorte, had become a born-again Christian by the time she reprised her role as a guise for The First Evil and didn't take kindly to it, seeing it akin to playing Satan.
Like many fans, Amber Benson was unhappy about her character Tara's death, to the point where she declined all offers to return to the show when they wanted her to play the First Evil.
Emma Caulfield was a little annoyed at Anya's death when she saw the completed series finale. She had volunteered for the character to be killed off in the final battle but didn't realise it was going to be so sudden.
Anthony Stewart Head disliked the plot of Giles possibly being the First in season seven, partially because it didn't go anywhere, partially because he found it frustrating to not touch anyone. He also felt it was Out of Character for Giles to just leave Buffy in season six.
Marti Noxon, who took over as showrunner for season six, later admitted that the season was too dark and that Tara's death was a mistake.
It wasn't just the fans who hated the HD remaster. Whedon stated that the show in widescreen was nonsense, writer David Fury called it "piss poor" and "an embarassing mess", writer Steven S. DeKnight said that somebody should be indicted and director of photography Michael Gershman said:
It's a shame to have all my work thrown in the garbage. I tried to give Buffy a texture that would turn a teeny bopper show into a serious dramatic presentation. Alas, once any piece of art leaves the artists hands, control is lost. Sorry everyone can't see the work in its original incarnation. Thanks for keeping me up on the look of the show.
Creator's Favorite: Xander (who was a stand-in for Joss), Dawn (with her actress being such a big fan of the series, focus was given to her), and Kennedy (Whedon really liked the character and gave a lot of focus to her) being standouts. Within Season 4, Giles' girlfriend Olivia only appears in episodes Joss directed. She's also mentioned in "Who Are You?" - which is directed by him also. He called Spike his most fully developed character.
In 2015, when asked about the favorite character among his own, Whedon replied: My answer would change daily. But, I kind of feel how can say Buffy? She is the distilled essence of everything I am not. Shes the beating heart of everything I have done or will do.
"Restless": "Most people sort of shake their heads at it. It was different, but not pointless".
"Conversations with Dead People": "I'm very fond of "Conversations with Dead People". I just thought structurally and tonally it was very interesting and had a lot to say. And I got to write another song".
"Prophecy Girl": "Because that was my first time, besides telling directors what to do, that I actually got to direct. And it was the first time I got to kill Buffy, and the first season ender, and it was the first time I realized I could take everything we did in the season and tie it in a bow".
I'd have to say, out of respect for my character, "Storyteller". I just got to make such an ass out of myself. It was so much fun. Dancing in a toga on a hillside singing with unicorns was pretty embarrassing. I don't do that sort of thing ever in my down time. So, I just had so much fun doing it, but I loved Emmas history episode this year. It was really funny. And Im a huge fan of "The Body". The most devastating hour of television I've ever seen and I loved that.
Joss Whedon felt that Adam was the most boring Big Bad, a sentiment shared by some of the fandom.
To say that a decent number of writers on staff were befuddled and annoyed by Spike's popularity would be an understatement. Whedon was known to be particularly frustrated by it, as he believed very firmly that soulless vampires shouldn't be redeemable, and James Marsters has told several stories over the years of seeing the brunt of that frustration on-set. Other writers like David Fury were known to openly condemn Spike's fans on online forums while the show was running, likening them to people writing love notes to serial killers in prison. It had also been stated in several interviews that the point of the deeply controversial episode "Seeing Red" was to remind viewers that Spike was evil. Curiously, later down the line many of these creators have walked back on much of this, with Whedon admitting to preferring Spike with Buffy and David Fury trying to push for Spike to be the one to fulfill the Shanshu prophesy.
The Danza: Larry Bagby III as Larry Blaisdell. DB Woodside as Robin Wood.
The tenth-graders (16-year-olds) were played by Sarah Michelle Gellar (19) as Buffy, Nicholas Brendon (25) as Xander, Creator/Alyson Hannigan (22) as Willow, and Charisma Carpenter (26) as Cordelia. Possibly lampshaded when Wesley (Alexis Denisof, who is four years older than Carpenter) first meets Cordelia and mistakes her for a teacher. Particularly funny is that Robia LaMorte, who played Jenny Calendar (a teacher), is less than three weeks older than Charisma Carpenter.
Later additions to the cast included Seth Green (23) as Oz (18), Marc Blucas (27) as Riley (22), and Amber Benson (22) as Tara (19). As for immortal/unaging characters, we have James Marsters (35) as Spike (27-29) and Emma Caulfield (25) as Anya (18-19), though it's mentioned in season 4 that Anya started aging again at some point.
Averted by Dawn and Faith, who are both the same age as the actresses playing them, Eliza Dushku was even legally emancipated from her parents so she wouldn't be limited by child labour laws. Dawn was likewise made a couple of years older to match Michelle's age since she was originally written as a preteen. Mercedes McNabb (Harmony) was also sixteen when the first season was shot.
The Potentials in season seven are supposed to be teenagers, yet none of them look a day under twenty. Kennedy is said to be nineteen in the script, yet Iyari Limon was twenty-seven at the time.
Buffy was around five years old when Dawn was born. Gellar is eight years older than Trachtenberg.
Development Hell: The proposed remake film. Warner Bros. purchased the rights to do the film in 2010, and earlier Vertigo Entertainment had expressed interest in doing a reboot film without Joss Whedon to much controversy, with virtually every castmember expressing disapproval. It was also announced that the film would likely be a remake of the 1992 film and have nothing to do with the series with Heather Morris and Candice Accola both in talks for the title character, and Kristy Swanson expressing interest in a cameo. Whit Anderson had written a script that was rejected in 2011. That's the last we've heard of the project since.
Distanced from Current Events: "Earshot", which depicts Jonathan bringing a rifle to school (albeit to kill himself and no one else), was set to air within a week of Columbine and was therefore delayed until after the season finale, which was also delayed in light of Columbine because of the destruction of Sunnydale High School.
Nicholas Brendon was told by producers to stop working out because they didn't want Xander "looking too buffed." This also resulted in Xander often being dressed in baggy clothing to hide his muscular build.
In the pilot, Willow wears drab clothing that her mother picked out for her. Network execs told creator Joss Whedon that they wanted Willow to "look more like Buffy" who wore brighter, preppier, and more stylish clothing. This had a positive result, however, as Whedon decided to give Willow colorful, if geeky clothing, leading to the famous fuzzy sweaters and silly clothes.
Willow's character was the subject of a lot of meddling. In the unaired pilot, she was played by Riff Regan, who actually looked like she could be a geeky social outcast, as opposed to... say... Alyson Hannigan. She wasn't recast for this reason, however — she frequently flubbed lines and generally played the character as too nervous.
But the most famous example of Buffy meddling involves The WB's notoriety for jumping to ridiculous conclusions about what would upset the audience (see also the X-Men: Evolution example in Western Animation). Remember when the "Graduation" season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer almost didn't air in the wake of the Columbine tragedy? True, it involved the image of a class full of students coming to school armed to the teeth... to fight a giant demon-thing in a showdown between good and evil that had been set-up as the climax for the entire season. This was apparently considered too soon.
The WB also postponed the Buffy episode "Earshot", as the episode involved a plot to mass-murder students (with a Red Herring that it would be by shooting). It was supposed to be the next episode to air following Columbine, so the network instead aired a rerun of "Band Candy". The irony is that Buffy keeps the character Jonathan from killing himself in "Earshot", which makes it all the more significant that he is the one to give her the Class Protector Award in "The Prom", the episode that was originally to air after "Earshot". Out of Order like that, it makes little sense.
Joss Whedon's comments regarding the decision to postpone "Earshot" indicate that he agreed with it wholeheartedly. However, Joss was very angry about the delaying of the Season Finale, to the point of advising fans to "pirate the damned thing," a rare (maybe unique) instance of a producer encouraging fans to pirate copies of his own show. A key difference was that "Earshot" was not significant in the seasonal arc (likely why Whedon was okay with its postponement), but making viewers wait months to see the payoff of the season-long Story Arc was pretty cruel. TV would be much better without the Moral Guardians.
Whedon has confirmed that the "Buffy Working At A Fast Food Place" plotline would have been taken further in Season 6, if not for network worries that it would alienate advertisers.
Exiled from Continuity: Season six saw no crossovers with Angel due to the show moving from The WB to UPN. Note that during the First's impersonating the previous big bads in "Lessons", Angelus is notably absent. This was cleared up by the end of season seven so that Angel could appear in the final two episodes, albeit briefly.
James Marsters (American, born in California) as Spike. He based his accent on Anthony Head's real voice.
Juliet Landau (American, born in California) as Drusilla. Interestingly, while Landau is an American, she really does have an English accent on account of growing up in England. It's just that her real accent isn't anywhere near as broad or campy as the one she put on to play Drusilla. She later admitted that she gave Dru that accent as a sort of satire of every bad English accent she's ever heard come from an American actor, and as Whedon found it hilarious, they went with it.
Pencil Boy - The First Evil. So nicknamed due to his intangibility making him useless for anything except monologuing and making scary faces. Or as one fan put it: "What's so scary about this guy? He couldn't even pick up a pencil if I dropped one on the floor."
"BAIT" - Bad Actress In Training. Applied to the "potential Slayers" that showed up in Season 7, it apparently came from Buffy message boards (particularly The Bronze). Possibly alluded to in an episode where Kennedy said that she'd "never been the bait before."
"Fanged Four", "The Whirlwind", or "Scourge of Europe" - Darla, Angelus, Drusilla, and Spike during their The Family That Slays Together heyday. "Fanged Four" is not to be confused with "Fang Gang", above. "Scourge of Europe" was said on the show, but only applied to Angelus. "Whirlwind" comes from a line by Darla in her eponymous Angel episode.
"Captain Peroxide" - Spike because of his platinum-blond hair.
The Folk Man has become a popular name on YouTube for Caleb.
Even though the show generally uses "Angelus" for Angel in the past and "Angel" for him in the present regardless of whether he has a soul, fans generally use "Angelus" as shorthand to refer to the soulless version of him and "Angel" for the ensouled version.
The Annointed One has been dubbed The Annoying One by fans due to how lame and unthreatening he was.
Reports had come out in the years after the show ended regarding backstage tension and difficulties between producers, cast, and crew. This came to a breaking point in 2021 with numerous cast members acknowledging the issue, which lead to an in-depth expose by Adam B. Vary and Elizabeth Wagmeister for Variety, who stated, "[t]he series was set at a California high school beset by vampires, demons and toxic mean girls, but it turns out its real-life big bad was the shows creator, Joss Whedon." The general opinion of Whedon was that he was a talented Show Runner who collaborated well, but also a tyrant who forged a Cult of Personality around himself that only grew as he became a geek icon seen as the driving force behind the success of Buffy. Between Whedon's inexperience running a TV show, the low-budget show's heavy reliance on special effects, the long hours, the young cast, and the lack of supervision by the studio, the atmosphere on the set of Buffy quickly turned into something resembling its High School setting, with Whedon as its Alpha Bitch: treating his inner circle well and regarding them as True Companions, and everybody else like dirt and subjecting them to bullying and scorn. As such, many people have horror stories about the production of both Buffy and Angel.
Few had as miserable a time working on Buffy and Angel as Charisma Carpenter. In 2021, she went public with long-rumored allegations surrounding her time on Buffy and Angel, which inspired the Variety article. She said that Whedon played favorites with actors on set and pit them against each other to win his approval, that she was overworked to the point where it caused her physical harm, and that she only stayed on for the steady paycheck, all while justifying his behavior in her mind because she didn't want to admit she was being harassed. The Variety article notes she was a network-mandated hire, which grated on Whedon, who wanted complete control and would be dismissive of her performance. Whedon in turn was frustrated by Carpenter's tardiness. Long before this was revealed, it was known that her pregnancy in the fourth season of Angel caused a lot of friction between her and Whedon, but he seemed to take the reveal personally (suggesting she get an abortion), which ended with Cordelia being written out of the fifth season in a manner that left a lot of bad blood, not least because Carpenter only found out from the press. She was eventually brought back for the fifth-season episode "You're Welcome", only for Cordelia to be Killed Off for Real after Whedon promised her he wouldn't do so. By her account, Carpenter was in tears when she realized how she was being written out of the show. In the wake of Carpenter's allegations, many other cast members supported her in her claims, with Amber Benson accusing Whedon of creating a toxic atmosphere on set.
Michelle Trachtenberg's mother was horrified by some of the raunchy jokes that were regularly thrown around backstage. Reportedly, this hit the teenage Trachtenberg herself, who later accused Whedon of inappropriate behavior; while she didn't go into detail, she claimed that he wasn't allowed to be alone in a room with her after an exchange that several crew members believed crossed a line.
In 2017, Whedon's ex-wife Kai Cole wrote an open letter accusing him of having had several affairs throughout their marriage, including with women he worked with on his shows. Some of the sources in the Variety article corroborated Cole's claims that Whedon was having affairs with female employees, though all of the actresses from those shows have denied he ever made advances towards them.
By various accounts that have circulated from the set of Buffy and interviews later on, Sarah Michelle Gellar was one of two things: a diva who let fame get to her head (especially after doing I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2 before the second season filmed), or a Consummate Professional who was committed to her work, and as such avoided the media and didn't fraternize much with the rest of the cast and crew. Not that Gellar didn't have reason to be grumpy, though. Her working relationship with Whedon fell apart fairly early in the show's run, to the point that she did not want his name spoken around her, likely contributing to her losing interest in the show. Season six, which fandom consensus generally holds to be the show's creative low point, seems to have been the point where she gave up on the show completely. She was already unhappy about the Channel Hop from The WB to UPN, and the decision to pair Buffy up with Spike in a destructive relationship was one that she protested against, feeling that it was out-of-character and that Buffy's relationship with Angel was the one that mattered. The fact that Whedon was also working onAngel and Firefly during this time, and had stepped aside as Show Runner on Buffy, made matters worse, as she felt that she had nobody to appeal to when she disagreed with creative decisions. After Carpenter made her allegations against Whedon, Gellar quickly supported her, saying that, while she was proud to be associated with Buffy Summers, she wanted nothing to do with Whedon.
Buffy's stunt coordinator/second unit director Jeff Pruitt and Gellar's Stunt Double (and Pruitt's wife) Sophia Crawford feuded with both Whedon and Gellar, which contributed to their departure. They have said that Whedon let the show's growing popularity and critical acclaim go to his head, and that, while he started the show as a humble guy who regularly turned to Pruitt for help shooting fight scenes, he turned into an egomaniac. The last straw was when Whedon demanded that Pruitt and Crawford end their romance if they wanted to keep working on the show. Pruitt also claimed that the production had installed a keylogger on his computer, allowing the producers access to all of his emails. As for Gellar, Pruitt wrote a short fantasy story that was a thinly-veiled Roman à Clef of his and Sophia's feelings regarding working with her, and while he would later disown it and be more diplomatic regarding her later on, saying that she'd mellowed out since, he still believes that, back then, Gellar had a tendency to Wag the Director with the way scenes were shot and that she had grown jealous of Crawford during the third season. Whedon, for his part, countered that Pruitt and Crawford weren't blameless in their departure, and that Pruitt had an ego of his own, seeing himself "as a noble knight being plotted against by evil courtiers, [which] really doesn't help."
Alyson Hannigan, once close friends with Gellar, was not on speaking terms with her by the time the show wrapped. In a post-series interview, she blamed her for putting her out of a job without any warning (Gellar chose to end the show after the seventh season through an announcement in Entertainment Weekly), and said that Gellar was getting sick of working on the show as early as the third season, though she was quick to praise Gellar's work ethic. However, time (and mutual parenthood) seems to heal all wounds, and the evidence indicates that Hannigan and Gellar are friends again.
Darla was reportedly written out of the first season more quickly than intended because of conflict between Julie Benz and the regular cast members, especially Hannigan, who claimed that Benz was mean to her. Fortunately, she later mellowed out enough for Whedon to bring her back for a couple of guest spots, and eventually a recurring role on Angel. By the 2000s, Benz and Hannigan had patched things up and could be seen exchanging pleasantries on Twitter.
While Emma Caulfield has never named names, she has said that, by season 7, she felt "very unappreciated" and "continually disrespected" by certain people involved with the show, and that they had made her experience working on Buffy miserable.
According to Caulfield, Nicholas Brendon and David Boreanaz never really got along. For the twentieth anniversary reunion, Boreanaz reportedly had Brendon blocked from the photoshoot, possibly due to his substance abuse issues (he was inserted in later).
Amber Benson ultimately retired from acting and became an author instead, so Tara is her best-known role.
Killed by Request: Anya became the only regular character permanently killed off in the Grand Finale, because Emma Caulfield had no interest in playing the character again and asked for it, though she was reportedly taken aback by how sudden and brutal the character's death was.
Looping Lines: Anthony Stewart Head had to loop many of his lines as Giles in order to incorporate the character's mild stutter. This was such a hassle that Head declared he would never play a character with a speech impediment again.
A very weird example occurred in the last episode. Emma Caulfield wanted to take her career in other directions so explicitly asked to be killed off so that her character could never be used in any of the Spinoffs.
Maggie Walsh was supposed to be the Big Bad of season four, but Lindsay Crouse was offered a film role, so she was hastily killed off by Adam, who became the main villain.
Kali Rocha (Halfrek) was performing in Noises Off when season seven was shooting. She was flown in for one day and filmed all her scenes on that one day. As a result, she appears in two episodes and is killed off. She filmed her "death scene" before a green screen for later super-imposition into the scene.
Only Barely Renewed: Having filmed all twelve episodes of season one before any were transmitted, the cast and crew had no idea how popular the show would turn out to be, or if they would be called back to film more episodes. Anthony Stewart Head even returned to the UK to play magician Adam Klaus in Jonathan Creek. Luckily, the producers released him so that he could continue to play Giles when the show was picked up again.
Kristy Swanson played Buffy in the movie, but Sarah Michelle Gellar took over for the TV show because Kristy was thought too old to play a sixteen-year-old at the age of twenty-eight. Likewise, Donald Sutherland played Merrick in the movie and is portrayed by Richard Riehle in a flashback to Buffy discovering she's a Slayer.
Nikki Wood, the second slayer Spike kills, is played by a stuntwoman in "Fool For Love". When The First assumes her shape in Season 7, she was recast as a more vulnerable-looking actress.
Post-Script Season: The fifth season ended with Buffy dying heroically to save Dawn and, by extension, all reality; the episode even ended with a shot of her gravestone ("She saved the world. A lot."). It was picked up for two more seasons on a different channel. Even after the series was cancelled for good, it received a comic book continuation starting with Buffy: Season 8.
Willow is portrayed as a redhead for the whole series because Joss Whedon wanted the three lead actresses to differentiate themselves - and Alyson Hannigan volunteered to go that colour (she is naturally brunette).
Buffy chops off her hair in "Gone" in a fit of depression. This was because Sarah Michelle Gellar had asked to cut her hair and they wrote it into the episode.
Gellar had her hair cut shorter, and dyed blonder, for her part in Scream 2, which she filmed in the summer between seasons one and two. Xander comments on her new hair in "When She Was Bad".
Gellar was only available for three days to film "Selfless", as she was getting married to Freddie Prinze Jr. that week. Drew Goddard said in his DVD Commentary for the episode that her hair in the show (the little braid at the side of her head) was her "wedding hair".
Tom Lenk plays a vampire lackey to Harmony a few seasons before playing Tucker's brother (and a member of the Trio).
Subverted with Kali Rocha. She played Spike's girlfriend Cecily in his flashback in "Fool For Love", and was later cast as the demon Halfrek in Season 6. They had her say "William?" when she sees him to imply that the two were the same person. Likewise a flashback in "Selfless" was rewritten from the Renaissance to the Russian Revolution to accommodate this.
Recycled Set: For the first season, there was only one hall for Sunnydale High school because of a tight budget so they reused the same hall over and over again, redressing it in different ways.
Role-Ending Misdemeanor: Julie Benz was removed early on from the show in part due to tensions on set during Season 1. Alyson Hannigan has hinted in interviews that Benz was very mean towards her in particular. The incident prompted Benz to clean up her act, and she reappeared on Angel and was brought back for a few more Buffy episodes. Years later, she was regarded by the cast and crew of Dexter as one of the nicest and most agreeable cast members.
Here's an odd one: Amber Benson and Adam Busch, who played Tara (murder victim) and Warren (her murderer) respectively.
Alyson Hannigan (Willow) married Alexis Denisof (Wesley), though they didn't begin dating until after Denisof had moved on to Angel. This created an amusing incident where Willow guest starred on Angel and acts like old friends with Wesley even though they never really interacted before.
Sarah Michelle Gellar had to stand on a box just so she could be seen in the same frame as the much taller David Boreanaz. The later seasons had her wear high heels to have Buffy appear taller than Dawn.
James Marsters has admitted that he would wear lifts in his shoes so that he would look about equal height to Boreanaz.
Though it was bizarrely not used during Buffy's romance with Riley, with the 6'2" Marc Blucas (who'd even hoped to become a pro basketball player before getting into acting) having to practically bend himself in half to kiss Gellar.
Serendipity Writes the Plot: When people kept telling Joss Whedon that the dialogue was what made the show great, he said "That's the only thing really great about the show? Fine, I'll do an episode with no dialogue." - thus "Hush" was written.
Shrug of God: Joss Whedon was originally shocked at people shipping Buffy and Faith. But when one fan had him look at her website, where she analysed all the Les Yay scenes between them, he later said the fans were spot on about the subtext between the Slayers.
Stunt Double: Sarah Michelle Gellar was doubled by Sophia Crawford for the first four seasons and Michele Waitman and Melissa Barker for the remainder of the series. Gellar, who studied martial arts, was keen to do more of her own stunts, but wasn't allowed to.
Several episodes had Buffy interacting with a robotic duplicate of herself.
Season seven's Big Bad was The First Evil, who can only take the form of people who have died, which leads to Buffy and Spike both having conversations with "themselves".
Oddly enough, "The Replacement", where Xander is split into two people is a subversion. Nicholas Brendon, has an identical twin, Kelly Donovan. Their conversations and interactions are done completely without special effects, though through using multiple takes, and editing Nicholas Brendon still did nearly all of the dialog for both Xanders.
The cast would have been saved from many a scrape if they'd just had cellphones. Quite a few episodes use a character being in peril and unable to contact Buffy as a plot device. This wasn't a big deal in the earlier seasons, but the show hit it big just as cellphones were starting to become mainstream, so after a few years it began to seem rather odd, especially since the cast was full of teenagers (later, young adults), the group most likely to carry a cellphone. This was lampshaded at the start of the final season (in September 2002) when Buffy gives her sister Dawn "a weapon" to help protect herself, which turns out to be a cellphone. From then on most of the cast had cellphones — although ironically, they hardly ever needed to use them, since that season also saw every single character move into Buffy's house. One episode reveals that Giles does indeed own a pager, joking that they should page him if the apocalypse happens when he's not around.
Two notable examples from the second season: when Angel loses his soul and reverts to evil, the information that Willow needed to restore Angel's soul was stored on a 3 1/2 inch floppy disk that fell between desks. Earlier, Joyce's boyfriend Ted, who worked for a computer company, curried favor with Willow by giving her freebies from work, including a new hard drive with a gargantuan capacity of 9 gigabytes — a tad more than a $15 USB drive could hold little more than a decade later.
The Big Bad of season 4, a cyborg/demon crossbreed named Adam, is also seen inserting floppy disks into a slot in his chest, which causes more hilarity in the present-day age of streaming and the internet, than the intended impact of awe and suspense in 2001.
None other than Michelle Trachtenberg says she experienced this when she became a writer. Having been so used to her time on Buffy, she struggled to make her stories work in the age of cellphones and widespread internet.
"Buffy lived in a world where social media and cellphones weren't a part of the story. You couldn't Google "blah blah blah demon." You had to go physically to the magic shop and find a book. You cannot re-create that today."
The famous Mutant Enemy title card was reportedly scribbled by Whedon with only seconds to go until broadcast.
In "Innocence", The scene where Angel dumps Buffy in his apartment was originally supposed to take place on Buffy's lawn. Halfway through shooting the scene, SMG and David Boreanaz told Joss that the scene wasn't working, so he moved it to the bedroom. Buffy can still be heard saying she saw him "at the house". She was so Lost in Character afterwards they had to close down the set for half an hour, being that invested in the romance.
The gag in "Earshot" with Giles walking into a tree was ad-libbed by Anthony Stewart Head. He never dreamed Joss would keep in the cut.
In the Season Three finale, Cordelia cowers behind the diminutive Jonathan. According to Danny Strong, this scene was an idea of Charisma's, because she was leaving for Angel and never got much screen time with him.
Not in the original work but in the motion comic Anywhere But Here there is a scene where Kennedy guesses Willow is upset about Tara's death. A line's added that makes her look like Queen Bitch.
The scene in "The Harvest" where the Master blinds a vampire and says "you've got something in your eye" was added to fill time.
Kali Rocha was cast as Halfrek in Season 6 after having briefly played Spike's human love interest Cecily in a flashback. Knowing that eagle-eyed viewers would notice, they wrote in Halfrek saying "William?" when she sees Spike, and Spike rejoining with "Hey, wait a minute..."
Joss joked that he was going to kill Anya off in "The Gift" - when she pushes Xander out of the way of some falling bricks - but Emma Caulfield kept moving too much in the final scene with all the survivors.
Willow running off the stage during the Scooby Gang's Talent Show performance in "The Puppet Show" was improvised by Alyson Hannigan.
Tribute to Fido: Joss Whedon gave Riley the last name of "Finn", after hearing executive producer Marti Noxon talking about taking her dog, Finn, to the vet.
Trolling Creator: David Fury wrote in many scenes of Buffy laughing just to troll Sarah Michelle Gellar, who hates laughing on camera.
Undermined by Reality: The show's empowering pro-feminist stance rang hollow following the allegations against Joss Whedon in the twenty-first century, including serial adultery, harassment and creating a generally miserable environment.
According to Nicholas Brendon, he and Sarah Michelle Gellar proposed a storyline for season seven where Xander and Buffy get together romantically. Their idea was shot down, and they continued with the Buffy-Spike relationship.
There was going to be an episode in season seven where Buffy is granted one wish from The Powers That Be and would ponder what to do with (bring her mother back, restore Angel's humanity, etc). The ending would have her visit Willow sporting a fancy new pair of shoes. Willow would ask if she used her wish on shoes, to which Buffy says, "Of course not", before revealing that she used it to bring Tara back. This was scrapped when Amber Benson wasn't available.
Unintentional Period Piece: The early seasons don't so much scream "1990s" as they beat you with a sledgehammer labeled "1990s" and perhaps teamkill you with a tank. The effect gradually fades as the seasons progress, though. The same is also true of Angel, on an accelerated scale.
Spike wasn't meant to last long but James Marsters wanted a job, so he played lines that were meant to be dismissive of Drusilla as instead reacting to her like the most doting boyfriend. It worked. He also hated the infamous Attempted Rape scene in "Seeing Red" so much that he had a clause in his contract stating that he would never have to do anything like that again.
Jane Espenson opined that Giles and Ethan may have had some sexual history in their younger days.
Eliza Dushku stated that she portrayed Faith to have a romantic interest in Buffy:
I think Faith probably swings both ways, she had a definite thing for Buffy. There were a lot of innuendos, there was a lot of heat there.
Word of God: In later seasons, questions not answered in the actual show tended to be addressed only in Joss Whedon's interviews. Some fans considered anything Joss said in an interview to be canon, while others did not and were annoyed by this practice.
Marti Noxon revealed that Buffy saw her mother in Heaven, which explains her state of depression in season six.
Word of Saint Paul: Kali Rocha has said that she believes Halfrek was already a vengeance demon by the time she knew Spike, and the party she was at in "Fool For Love" was an assignment (making Cecily just a cover).
Write What You Know: According to James Marsters, a lot of the show's darkness came from the writer's personal experiences. Joss Whedon would ask the team for "their worst day", the worst thing they've done, the thing they've buried and don't talk about.
Joss Whedon based Cordelia Chase on a girl with whom his wife attended high school, and Xander Harris on himself. According to Nicholas Brendon, this is why Xander "gets all the good lines".
Whedon said of Oz:
The only character that was really ever based on somebody I knew is Oz. There was a guy in college I knew, who was short, played guitar, very quiet, incredibly cool, named Oz, and somehow I sort of extrapolated from that and worked him in as a character on the show.
Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Angel's extremely vague writing (plus comfortably standing in partial sunlight a couple times) in the first few episodes was because the crew started out with basically no idea what the deal was with him. His name was actually a holdover from one early idea that he was a literal angel who'd been expelled from Heaven and was trying to earn his way back.
Spice Williams plays the police instructor who tries to murder Buffy, Patrice, in "What's My Line?" She also appeared in "The Zeppo" as a member of the Sisterhood of Jhe, and later turned up on Angel as a convict hired to kill Faith in prison.
Jeff Kober first appeared in the season three episode "Helpless" as a vampire named Kralik. He appeared again during season six as the warlock Rack.
Brian Thompson portrays the vampire "Luke" in season 1, as well as the demon called "The Judge" in season 2.
Approval of God: Joss Whedon's original script for the film was adapted into the comic book The Origin which served as a prequel to the series. Whedon approved of this.
The origin comic, though I have issues with it, CAN pretty much be accepted as canonical. They did a cool job of combining the movie script (the SCRIPT) with the series, that was nice, and using the series Merrick and not a certain OTHER thespian who shall remain hated.
Creator's Favorite: Christos Gage, who would often bring the guest character during the seasons he wrote, has multiple times mentioned Harmony as his favorite character to write: "It's such a blast to write someone who is completely and utterly self-absorbed".
Creator's Pest: While Joss Whedon loved Kennedy despite the fans' hatred of her, the other writers grew to hate her as much as said fans.
Sequel in Another Medium: Season Eight onward follows on from what happened after the Hellmouth in Sunnydale was finally destroyed and all the potential Slayers were activated at once rather than one at a time when one dies.
Schedule Slip: This happened with the last Spike issue of season nine.