9 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episodes We'll Never Forget

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Nobody knew The WB was releasing one of the best television series ever on March 10, 1997.

Yet on that date, on a network no longer in existence, Buffy the Vampire Slayer the series was born, changing genre television forever.

We're celebrating with some of our personal favorite episodes and why they've stuck with us.

Share yours, too!

1. Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episodes 13 & 14, "Surprise" & "Innocence"

Confession Time: I only watched the first three seasons of Buffy during its original run. We didn't have cable, and at that point, the show switched stations to one that came in fuzzy when it came in at all. I've watched the complete series several times since (Thanks, Netflix!), but I still connect so much to the two episodes from Season 2, "Surprise" & "Innocence.

Those two episodes had such a range of emotion for Buffy, something that tween me could easily relate to (if not the reasons for her ups and downs). Honestly, Angel losing his soul probably had as much to do with my self-imposed teen abstinence as my mom's near-daily talks on STDs did.

In a way that is so wonderfully Joss, he showed how sex changes everything for teenagers but did so without slut shaming his female lead. The heartbreak that only a teenager can experience was amplified by Buffy's ex attempting to literally ruin her life by killing her friends. I'm all grown up now, and I take a slightly different meaning from these two episodes, but I still think they're the first two really capital "I" Important episodes of Buffy.

Decisions have consequences. Star-crossed love is tragic, not romantic. The moment you think you're mature enough to handle things is pretty good proof that you're not. – Elizabeth

2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 22, "Becoming, Part 2"

The battle for Angel's soul raged on throughout Season 2, and reared its ugly head with the finale. The Scoobies raced against the clock to save Angel and stop Angelus from opening the gates of Hell.

Heck, Buffy even made a deal with Spike that would be our first glimpse of their future partnership. But a delivered message from Xander left Buffy forced to do the unthinkable – knowingly sending her boyfriend to Hell with his restored soul. Nothing will ever be as gut-punching as their brief reunion kiss, followed by her tearful words.

Buffy: Close your eyes.

Upon re-watch now, the graphics are cheesy. They're PAINFULLY cheesy, actually. But the stellar performances by Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz in that moment were signs that they would be stars way beyond the Buffyverse. – Christine L.

3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 4 Episode 10, "Hush"

"Hush" was my favorite episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Arguably, The Gentleman were the best villains in the history of the series. Showing up in the dead of night and taking the voices of everyone in Sunnydale meant the Scooby Gang were going to have to look to different ways of communicating if they were going to take the villains down. It was a fresh episode, and the acting was a delight. The makeup on the villains was ahead of the show's time. No other villain-of-the-week episode of any subsequent series has captivated me quite as much as The Gentleman did all of those years ago. – Paul

4. Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 5 Episode 16, "The Body"

Twenty years ago today, my sister and I weren't watching the premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer because we were at our father's bedside (arguing, of course) waiting for him to die, which he did the next morning.

I never consciously realized why I hadn't started watching Buffy when it came out, but it never stopped me from being a great fan of the series. Five years later, when Buffy suffered the tragic loss of her mom, it was with great appreciation, sadness and through tears that I understood not only what Buffy was feeling, but Anya, Tara, Willow, Xander and all the Scooby gang.

Death was the norm on Buffy, but not by natural causes. People didn't just die without them being monstrous or deserving or being sent back to where they belonged. "The Body" was the juxtaposition of what death meant and will mean, what pain was and will be going forth, what you can get through and what seems insurmountable.

I still use "The Body" as a reference point when trying to explain the loss of a parent to others. The shock, the bewilderment, the bizarre turning point from loved one to (in my case) a yellow wax bean of a man instead of your father, or from your mother to a body, hasn't been expressed better from so many viewpoints in any other program before or since. It remains one of the most significant explorations about death in entertainment. – Carissa

5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 5 Episode 22, "The Gift"

Five seasons in, you pretty much know the Buffy drill. The world is ending, and while things look pretty bad, Buffy and the Scooby Gang manage to save the day. Then, you get to the season five finale, and your heart just stops. This finale took my breath away. Now, I didn't watch the show when it originally, so I didn't know about switching networks and all of that. I just remember watching this in college, and immediately storming into my roommate's room going, "WAIT, DID THEY JUST KILL OFF BUFFY?!"

Often times you watch a show, and you beg to see some actual consequences play out and not just have everything magically work out for everyone involved. This finale featured Buffy doing her job and willingly accepting her fate, which she has known was going to happen ever since she became a slayer. It's not like dying to save the world wasn't in the job description.

Between Buffy's acceptance of her fate and everyone's reaction to her death, this finale absolutely devastated me in the best possible way. – Allison

6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 6 Episode 7, "Once More, With Feeling"

One of the best musical episodes a television show has ever done, "Once More With Feeling" is not only artistic and funny ("it must be bunnies!"), but the musical becomes a pivotal point in the show. It allows the characters to express feelings they've been keeping inside, and for Buffy, it also becomes a moment of confession. Plus, those songs will stick with you for days – in a good way! – Ashley

7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 6 episode 8, "Tabula Rasa"

"Tabula Rasa" has always been my favorite episode of Buffy because it is both hilarious and heartbreaking. No matter how many times I watch it, I always find myself laughing out loud at the absurdity of it all. From Spike's "Why not just call me 'Horny Giles' or 'Desperate for a Shag Giles'?" to Anya filling the Magic Shop with loads of bunnies, it's pure comedic gold.

But then it turns on a dime, the spell is broken, and all of a sudden I find myself sobbing as Tara moves out and Giles leaves for London. That was also the first time I ever heard Michelle Branch's "Goodbye to You," and I instantly became one of her biggest fans. Sometimes I'll watch the episode just to listen to that specific version of the song because it's just so hauntingly beautiful and perfect for the moment. – Stacy

8. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 6 episode 22, “Grave”

Grief over Tara’s murder completely overwhelmed Willow who went on a magic bender for the ages. It culminated with her need for vengeance driving her to not only kill Warren but flay him alive. It seemed that no one could stop her magic rampage, not even the Slayer.

So when the Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6 finale opened, we really believed that Giles would be the person to get evil, angry Willow to see the light.

Boy, were we ever wrong, and the results couldn’t have been more satisfying…

Willow: Uh oh. Daddy's home...I'm in wicked trouble now.
Giles: You've no idea.

I’ve always loved Willow, but dark, sarcastic, drunk on power Willow was like nothing we’d ever seen! That sweet, smart, shy girl we’d met at the beginning of the series was nowhere in sight, but that’s exactly the Willow that Xander tried to reach as she stood on the verge of obliterating the world.

Yes, we know that the pure magic that Willow stole from Giles helped dilute the power she had gotten from her rage, but it wasn’t magic or superpowers that pulled Willow back from the edge, it was the love of her best friend who wouldn't give up.

Xander: First day of kindergarten you cried 'cause you broke the yellow crayon and you were too afraid to tell anyone. You've come pretty far, ending the world, not a terrific notion but the thing is, yeah. I love you. I loved crayon-breaky Willow and I love scary veiny Willow. So if I'm going out, it's here. You wanna kill the world, you start with me. I've earned that. – Christine O.

9. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 7 Episode 7, "Conversations with Dead People"

There are plenty of Buffy episodes that I hold near and dear to my heart (like "Earshot" and "Prophecy Girl" to name a few), but "Conversations with Dead People" stands as my favorite.

This is a subtle and serene episode that focuses more on the inner thoughts of our characters instead of the big action sequences. Words can be the most powerful thing and it surprises – during the initial watch and every replay – how open and forthcoming Buffy, Dawn and Willow are with dead characters.

Throughout the series, Buffy has had ongoing relationship woes and this moment talking to her dead vampire classmate is her chance to analyze her past issues. The same goes with Willow with her fear of magic as she's talking with Cassie, who died episodes prior.

In addition to the conversations, there are many iconic moments like the return of Joyce, the realization that Spike can kill humans again, and Andrew killing Jonathan. And we can't forget the interaction with the Big Bad of the seventh season: The First! – Justin

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Quotes

Cordelia: You'll be okay here. If you hang with me and mine, you'll be accepted in no time. Of course, we do have to test your coolness factor. You're from L.A., so you can skip the written. So let's see...vamp nail polish?
Buffy: Over?
Cordelia: So over. James Spader?
Buffy: He needs to call me!
Cordelia: Frappachinos?
Buffy: Trendy but tasty.
Cordelia: Josh Tesh.
Buffy: The devil.
Cordelia: That was pretty much a gimme, but you passed!

Joyce: Okay, have a good time! I know you're going to make friends right away, just think positive.
[Buffy leaves the car]
Joyce: And honey...
[Buffy turns around]
Joyce: Try not to get kicked out.
Buffy: I promise.