Halloween is coming. You’re currently catching up with lots of horror movies and TV shows. And yet, you’ve not watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer in a while. What’s up with that?!
Well, don’t sweat it, because now is as good a time as any to correct this little faux pas, with a mini Buffy marathon! And when I say “mini Buffy marathon”, I’m talking 31 episodes, rather than a full re-watch of the whole series.
I know, I know – Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of the greatest TV shows of all time, and across seven seasons and 144 episodes, it served up action, laughs, and plenty of awesome dialogue. But who has time to watch the whole show again?
Sometimes it’s fun to just dive into the best episodes to relive the highlights of the series. Which is why this post is all about the best episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – 31 to be exact.
This post gives you a whole month’s worth of Buffy episodes (which you can watch one per day throughout October), while allowing you to view all of the best episodes of the series! From key stories to fan-favourite moments, this list offers up all the Buffy you could ever need.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your eyeballs around the list, and get your TV warmed up – you’ve got some watchin’ and some slayin’ to do!
31 best episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Below is a list of the 31 best episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, presented in chronological broadcast order. If you want all killer and no filler content, begin with number one on the list, end with number 31, and enjoy the best of the best!
1) Welcome to the Hellmouth – Season One Episode One
There’s no better place to begin a list of the best episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer than with the very first episode: Welcome to the Hellmouth. This episode not only introduces audiences to the show and sets out key elements of the mythology, but is also a fun romp which highlights the great mix of horror and humour that would become synonymous with the series.
2) The Harvest – Season One Episode Two
And moving from the very first episode onto the second episode now, in the shape of The Harvest. The show’s opening story was a two-part tale, about vampires trying to demonstrate their dominance in town, so you can’t watch Welcome to the Hellmouth without continuing with The Harvest.
3) Prophecy Girl – Season One Episode Twelve
Onto the third episode now, which is Prophecy Girl – the final episode of Season One.
In this episode, Buffy Summers has to do battle with the menacing Master – aka the head of all the vamps in town. Thing is, there’s an ancient prophecy which suggests that facing the Master will only end one way: with Buffy’s death!
Prophecy Girl is a great little season finale, that’s full of action. It provides a neat bookend to the story that began in Welcome to the Hellmouth/The Harvest, and caps off Season One brilliantly.
4) School Hard – Season Two Episode Three
Moving onto Season Two now, with School Hard – an episode in which vampires storm a parent-teacher night at Buffy’s high school. The episode – which centres around a siege – lifts its name from the action movie, Die Hard, and introduces fan-favourite character, Spike, who would go on to become one of the most popular characters in the entire series.
5) Halloween – Season Two Episode Six
For this next episode, Buffy the Vampire Slayer cranks ups the fun factor, and digs deep into the spooky season, for a superb episode set around Halloween. In the story, Buffy and her friends become enchanted by magical costumes, which leaves Buffy feeling very un-slayer-like.
6) What’s My Line?: Part One – Season Two Episode Nine
It’s career day at school, Buffy is beginning to despair at what her future holds, and there’s a trio of assassins in town ready to bump her off. And if all that wasn’t enough, Buffy is in for a shocking surprise from a mystery visitor.
7) What’s My Line?: Part Two – Season Two Episode Ten
Picking up from where What’s My Line?: Part One left off, Buffy faces some formidable foes, but finds herself being supported by a new ally, in the shape of a second vampire slayer. Ladies and gents, enter: Kendra the Vampire Slayer!
8) Surprise – Season Two Episode Thirteen
It’s Buffy’s birthday, and not only does she want to spend it with her boyfriend, Angel, but she feels that now is the time for the pair to go further in their relationship. But things don’t go quite to plan, especially now there is a new villain in town, called the Judge.
9) Innocence – Season Two Episode Fourteen
In the previous episode, Buffy and Angel took their relationship to a new level, by sleeping together for the first time. Unfortunately, neither of them realised that by doing this, a curse would be lifted, transforming the (mostly) angelic vampire, Angel, into the sadistic vampire, Angelus!
10) Passion – Season Two Episode Seventeen
In Passion, Angelus demonstrates true horror by targeting Buffy’s friends, resulting in one of the most shocking scenes in the show’s second season. Death comes to town, and things will never be the same again, as Buffy says farewell to a regular character.
11) Becoming: Part One – Season Two Episode Twenty-One
Angelus continues to torment Buffy, and it is becoming very clear that not only is he a threat to her nearest and dearest, but also a threat to humanity. A plan is being put in place to bring forth an apocalypse, the end of the world is nigh, and Buffy must start thinking about her future without Angel.
12) Becoming: Part Two – Season Two Episode Twenty-Two
In the concluding part of Becoming, Buffy must face Angelus in order to save the world. But the only way to ensure victory, is for Buffy to kill her former lover.
13) Anne – Season Three Episode One
After saving the world, and killing Angelus/Angel in Becoming Part Two, Buffy is living on the streets, dealing with her grief. Her plan is to keep herself to herself, while she works through her pain, but her plans are scuppered when vulnerable people start disappearing under mysterious circumstances.
14) The Wish – Season Three Episode Nine
Fed up of being dumped on by her friends, and frustrated with being viewed as ‘reliable’, Buffy’s best friend, Willow Rosenberg, makes a wish… which alters reality. But in this new, alternate universe, vampires have taken over the town and everything has gone to hell.
15) Dopplegängland – Season Three Episode Sixteen
In this sort-of sequel to The Wish, Willow comes face-to-face with a vampire double from the alternate reality. Dopplegängland is a hilarious, fun-filled episode which gives two Willows for the price of one!
16) Earshot – Season Three Episode Eighteen
After becoming infected by demon blood, Buffy is granted the ability to hear everyone’s thoughts. At first, this new gift seems like a lot of fun, but things soon change when Buffy hears a sinister voice that suggests a tragedy is on the horizon.
17) The Prom – Season Three Episode Twenty
Since arriving at Sunnydale High School at the beginning of Season One, Buffy has battled vampires, demons, and everything in between. But now she must tackle one of her biggest challenges: ensuring everyone has a great time at the high school prom!
18) Graduation Day: Part One – Season Three Episode Twenty-One
After three years of high school, Buffy and her friends are getting ready to graduate from Sunnydale High, but before this momentous occasion can take place, she must take on a rogue vampire slayer in the shape of Faith – a friend turned enemy. Oh, and the Mayor of Sunnydale is also putting plans in place to bring about an apocalypse… because, why not?
19) Graduation Day: Part Two – Season Three Episode Twenty-Two
Following directly on from the previous episode, Buffy enlists the help of all the Sunnydale students to take on the demonic Mayor. But can she save the students, save the world, and still graduate from high school?
20) Fear, Itself – Season Four Episode Four
Into Season Four now, and it’s another Halloween-themed episode, and another opportunity for the show to have a little fun. In Fear, Itself, Buffy and her pals find themselves to be the unwitting targets of Gachnar, the fear demon!
21) Hush – Season Four Episode Ten
Arguably one of the most famous episodes of them all, Hush is Buffy the Vampire Slayer at its finest. In this story, the sinister Gentlemen arrive in town, steal all the voices of Sunnydale residents, and leave Buffy to charge into battle… in silence!
22) Restless – Season Four Episode Twenty-Two
Buffy and her friends, Willow, Xander, and Giles, fall asleep following a monumental battle, and experience a strange and mysterious nightmare. Are the dreams connected or just a bunch of gibberish?
Restless is a truly bizarre episode, but a real treat for fans who like slightly surreal stories.
23) Buffy vs. Dracula – Season Five Episode One
Moving into Season Five now, with the clash of two titans: Buffy vs. Dracula – which just happens to be the name of this episode. Ol’ Count Dracula arrives in town, meaning that Buffy has to take on the Prince of Darkness in a very memorable story.
24) The Body – Season Five Episode Sixteen
During the course of its run, Buffy the Vampire Slayer had its fair share of sad episodes, but none quite like The Body. Often cited as one of the greatest episodes of television ever, The Body sees Buffy deal with her greatest challenge: the death of a loved one.
Heart-breaking, ground-breaking, and beautifully written, The Body is simply superb.
25) The Gift – Season Five Episode Twenty-Two
It’s time for yet another season finale, and in this one, Buffy stands face-to-face with a god. It’s Buffy vs. Glory in a fight to the death… and it’s not looking good for Buffy.
26) Once More, With Feeling – Season Six Episode Seven
While Hush and The Body are arguably two of the most famous episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it’s the Season Six episode, Once More, With Feeling, that tends to top most peoples’ lists of best episodes. Once More, With Feeling is a musical extravaganza, with Buffy tackling a toe-tappin’ demon.
27) Villains – Season Six Episode Twenty
Tragedy comes to Sunnydale (again), when Willow’s girlfriend, Tara, is shot and killed. Struck with grief, Willow calls upon dark magic to transform herself into Dark Witch Willow – an angry villain with revenge in mind.
28) Two to Go – Season Six Episode Twenty-One
After exacting horrific torture on one of the people responsible for Tara’s death, Dark Witch Willow continues her quest for revenge. The path she has taken puts Willow at odds with her friends, and ensures life in Sunnydale will be forever changed.
29) Grave – Season Six Episode Twenty-Two
The Dark Witch Willow storyline comes to a head in Grave – the final episode of the show’s six season. In this episode, Willow is preparing to end the world – that is, until an unlikely hero steps in to save the day.
30) Conversations With Dead People – Season Seven Episode Seven
Onto Season Seven now, for the penultimate episode on this list: Conversations With Dead People. The episode does pretty much what it says in the title – it centres around various interactions with seemingly dead people.
31) Chosen – Season Seven Episode Twenty-Two
And finally, the last episode on this list could be no other than the final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – aka the big end to the seven-season journey. In Chosen, Buffy must face an army of super powered vampires, square-off against the personification of evil, and try to get herself and her friends through the episode in one piece.
Buffy the Vampire bows out in style, with a battle to end all battles. Sunnydale is about to witness a fight to the finish.
OK, so that was a run-through of all the episodes, now for a handy recap of all the titles to save you having to scroll back up. The 31 best episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer are:
- Welcome to the Hellmouth (Season One Episode One)
- The Harvest (Season One Episode Two)
- Prophecy Girl (Season One Episode Twelve)
- School Hard (Season Two Episode Three)
- Halloween (Season Two Episode Six)
- What’s My Line?: Part One (Season Two Episode Nine)
- What’s My Line?: Part Two (Season Two Episode Ten)
- Surprise (Season Two Episode Thirteen)
- Innocence (Season Two Episode Fourteen)
- Passion (Season Two Episode Seventeen)
- Becoming: Part One (Season Two Episode Twenty-One)
- Becoming: Part Two (Season Two Episode Twenty-Two)
- Anne (Season Three Episode One)
- The Wish (Season Three Episode Nine)
- Dopplegängland (Season Three Episode Sixteen)
- Earshot (Season Three Episode Eighteen)
- The Prom (Season Three Episode Twenty)
- Graduation Day: Part One (Season Three Episode Twenty-One)
- Graduation Day: Part Two (Season Three Episode Twenty-Two)
- Fear, Itself (Season Four Episode Four)
- Hush (Season Four Episode Ten)
- Restless (Season Four Episode Twenty-Two)
- Buffy vs. Dracula (Season Five Episode One)
- The Body (Season Five Episode Sixteen)
- The Gift (Season Five Episode Twenty-Two)
- Once More, With Feeling (Season Six Episode Seven)
- Villains (Season Six Episode Twenty)
- Two to Go (Season Six Episode Twenty-One)
- Grave (Season Six Episode Twenty-Two)
- Conversations With Dead People (Season Seven Episode Seven)
- Chosen (Season Seven Episode Twenty-Two)
I hope this list of the 31 best episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer has proved useful and has given you plenty of great entertainment to watch. As mentioned above, use the list to watch one episode a day, and you will work your way through all the key/best episodes of the show in the space of a month!
And for more useful posts, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.