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25 of the Silliest, Spookiest Plotlines From Buffy, Ranked by Absurdity

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One dark and stormy night, like so many queer people before me, I eagerly introduced a friend into the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We watched episode after episode of Season 1 (at least they watched. I watched their, impatiently). Finally, they said, “eh! Will there be vampires in this vampire show? And then I realized we had been watching storylines involving a giant praying mantis, body-switching cheerleaders, possessions of hyenas, demons on the internet…and the list went on. ! There had only been two episodes about real vampires, and one of them was the pilot.

Decades before the banana storylines of teen shows like Pretty little Liars and Riverdale would be really wild, buffy asked the question we didn’t know we needed: what if high school was actually hell? What if that substitute teacher that all the boys have a crush on was a giant bug? What if college guys offered ritual sacrifices in their pursuit of capitalist success? What if the first version of yourself that allowed yourself to acknowledge your homosexual desires was a vampire doppelganger? What if that guy you met online isn’t who he claims to be? What if? What if?!

In seven years, buffy gave us some really wild episodes – and they could be really scary too! Thus, subject to the approval of the Midnight Society, I present to you 25 of from Buffy the Vampire Slayer the dumbest and scariest storylines, ranked by absurdity.


25. Where the Wild Things Are Episode 4×08

Willow and Tara sitting next to each other on a staircase.  Tara says "it's funny."

Don’t you hate it when the bad energy of when fraternity was a group home convinces you that it’s wrong to have lustful feelings for your girlfriend? Me too!


24. The party of the dead, episode 3×02

Buffy wearing a purple spaghetti strap top, sitting with Joyce in Principal Snyder's office.  Joyce says "Buffy was cleared of all these charges."

Joyce brings home a mask from the gallery where she works—too bad it’s one of those pesky masks that raise the dead! I’m sure everything will go as well as Buffy’s return to Sunnydale after spending the summer in Los Angeles.


23. Something Blue, episode 4×09

Buffy sitting on Spike's lap.  Buffy wears a black tank top and says "Gilles, are you okay?"

When one of Willow’s spells goes awry, Spike and Buffy, who are currently mortal enemies, think they’re in love! Will “Wind Beneath My Wings” really be their wedding song?


22. Some assembly required, episode 2×02

Cordelia is lying on a platform, screaming, as two high school kids hover over her.

Life comes to you fast enough! One day you’re the high school quarterback, the next you’re a resurrected corpse begging your brother to build you a girlfriend out of body parts.


21. Fear itself, episode 4×04

Anya walking towards a house in the dark, wearing a giant bunny costume with a pink belly

I tell you, fraternities are scary places! This time, Oz inadvertently summons a fear-feeding demon while setting up the sound equipment for a party, just like you do.


20. Hush, episode 4×10

Giles standing in front of a poorly drawn transparency that says BUFFY WILL PATROL TONIGHT

This might be the scariest episode ever. Come for the scary, scary Gentleman, stay for the Giles transparencies!


19. Out of Mind, Out of Sight, episode 1×11

Buffy and Cordelia tied up in chairs in a dark room ready for the Homecoming Ball.  They look at each other in horror.  Off screen, Mary says

Clea Duvall stars as a high school girl made invisible by her unpopularity, and is pissed off about it. The saddest thing about this episode is how rare to see Clea Duvall!


18. Gingerbread episode 3×11

Willow lying on her stomach on her bed, using her black laptop with a rainbow star sticker on it, with her sneakers in the air behind her

Two neighborhood children are apparently murdered, and very soon Joyce is making signs and badges for mothers opposed to the occult. Nice acronym, Mrs. Summers!


17. Doppelgangland, episode 3×16

Vampire Willow and Fuzzy Willow both roll their eyes at Anya, who is offscreen

This is an extremely important television episode! Willow meets her vampire doppelganger who is…really a bit gay!


16. Graduation, episode 3×21

Buffy and Faith fight in the dark.  There is an expression of anguish on Faith's face.

Listen, sometimes you have to stab your almost-love-loving enemies, save the world from the demon Mayor AND survive high school, all in the same day.


15. Reptile Boy, episode 2×05

Willow, Xander and Buffy seated around a table in the Bronze.  Xander reads a newspaper and says

In which high school Buffy decides to go to a varsity party at a fraternity that may or may not have hooded robes in their basement. Buffy, I’m telling you, it’s time to STAY AWAY FROM FRAT HOMES.


14. Bad beer, episode 4×05

Buffy looks angry with matted hair, banging her dorm TV

Reason not to drink in college #238: You could… go… Neolithic?


13. Superstar, episode 4×17

Willow and Tara sitting together in the bronze, wearing complimentary pastels and looking very excited about something happening off-screen

I love this episode with all my heart. 10/10, no rating. Go watch it now. I’ll wait!


12. Living conditions, episode 4×02

Buffy's roommate Kathy posing a Celine Dion poster

Sometimes you get the college roommate “from hell,” and sometimes… well, say hello to Kathy, who irons her jeans and may or may not be a demon on a culture exchange!


11. Band Candy, episode 3×06

Giles wearing a plain t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up, sucking on a cigarette.  Joyce next to him, wearing a choker

This episode proves two things I’ve always believed in with all my heart: that every adult needs to be a kid once in a while, and that high school fundraisers where students have to sell stuff are EVIL.


10. Witch, episode 1×03

Buffy wearing a yellow cheerleading shirt.  The captions show her saying

What do you do when your cheerleading glory days are over? Unless you’re Monica Aldama, the only rational choice is to switch bodies with your daughter!


9. I Robot, You Jane, episode 1×08

A security camera image that says LAB 02 and shows Willow, an engineer, and a demon inhabiting a robot body.

In this week’s episode of Catfishthere is a demon on the internet!


8. Doublemeat Palace, episode 6×12

Buffy wearing a fast food uniform, with a cow on her hat

Buffy’s foray into paid employment goes pretty much as expected.


7. The Pack, episode 1×06

Xander looks uncharacteristically cool as a bunch of naughty kids laugh around him.

Oh no! A trip to the zoo, and Xander acts like… a sixteen-year-old boy!


6. Bad Eggs, episode 2×12

Cordelia, Buffy and Willow walking around campus

Something’s up with the eggs the health teacher has assigned to teach parenting! Sex education in high school is exactly this scary.


5. Go Fish Episode 2×20

Buffy at a party in the dark, smiling at a guy who doesn't deserve her

There’s so much to unpack here. Sunnydale High has a pool? Sunnydale students partying on a lake we’ve never seen again? The swimming team has its own sauna? Buffy finds piles of skin on campus? Alex inexplicably has muscles?


4. Ted, episode 2×11

John Ritter and Joyce get caught in the kitchen by Buffy, kissing!

The only thing scarier than your parents’ divorce? Your mom is bouncing around with a homicidal robot who calls you “young lady.”


3. Halloween, episode 2×06

Ethan Rayne holding up a pink corseted dress for Buffy to see in the mirror.  He says

Buffy, kid, listen: that guy you’re trying to impress with your Halloween costume is about 250 years old. You don’t want to be a damsel in distress!


2. The professor’s pet, episode 1×04

Xander recoils in horror as a human-sized praying mantis says

Never go to a second place with a sexy and mysterious substitute teacher. This is not to be discussed!


1. The puppet show, episode 1×09

Buffy in a black spaghetti strap dress, standing on stage with a ventriloquist dummy who is about to plunge a knife into a demon.  The model says

Four words: ventriloquist. Dummy. Devil. Hunter.


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