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June 27 2009

The ten best Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes. That's according to one blogger at Daily Kos. So what do you consider to be the best Buffy episodes?

The top five ain't bad, but I'm not sure I can agree with "Selfless" or "Killed by Death" or "Homecoming" being on the list.

My own list, in no particular order.

1. The Gift
2. Family
3. The Body
4. Restless
5. Passion
6. Lie to Me
7. Anne
8. Becoming, pts. 1 & 2
9. Once More, With Feeling
10. Hush
11. Conversations With Dead People
12. Amends

Yes, 12.

I think "Family" might be my favorite episode of Buffy ever. I almost cry at the end every time.

[ edited by streetartist on 2009-06-27 23:18 ]
That's quite an original list. I don't think I've ever seen someone list Killed by Death as a top 10 episode before. I'm horrible with these sort of lists, so I usually don't bother with them.
My top ten, not necessarily in order:

1. Once More With Feeling
2. Becoming Parts I & II
3. The Gift
4. The Body
5. Restless
6. Hush
7. Conversations With Dead People
8. The Prom
9. Passion
10.Graduation Day

[ edited by Chris inVirginia on 2009-06-27 23:47 ]

[ edited by Chris inVirginia on 2009-06-28 02:50 ]
Passion is number one, without a doubt. Followed closely by Becoming. After that, I can go in about a thousand different directions, but OMWF, Graduation Day, Hush, The Body, Restless--the classics are all up there. Chosen, that one always makes me weepy. Lie to Me. The Zeppo, for some comedy, as well as Tabula Rasa. And so on.
Well, if we're playing this game...

1. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
2. Fool For Love
3. Hush
4. Once More With Feeling
5. Doppelgangland
6. Chosen
7. Dirty Girls
8. Restless
9. The Gift
10. Earshot
Ooh, an Anne fan. Kudos, streetartist - I love that episode too (although it wouldn't make my top 10). I like your whole list actually, although I think Amends is quite overrated...
1. Once More With Feeling
2. The Body
3. Fool for Love
4. Restless
5. Hush
6. The Gift
7. Conversations With Dead People
8. Chosen
9. Helpless
10. Normal Again

With Honorable Mentions to "Wild At Heart" and "Lies My Parents Told Me."
My half past midnight list is:

1) Once More With Feeling/ The Gift/ Fool for Love (depending on the day you ask the end,it's a tie)
2) The Wish
3) Becoming part II
4) The Zeppo, tie with Dopplegangland
5) Intervention
6) Hush, tie with Restless
7) The Body
8) Passion, tie with New Moon Rising
9) Tabula Rasa
10) Lies my parents told me

I know, I cheated, but my favorites are more then ten..
List Pretty. Me Bad.
"Killed By Death" is an odd choice, but my top 10 would probably include "Gingerbread," and I know it's not the most popular episode. Just a weird appreciation for it, I guess.

Others... "Becoming Part II," "Passion," "Once More, With Feeling," "Conversations with Dead People," "Innocence," "The Body," "Something Blue," "Prophecy Girl," "The Gift." For starters.
Mine would have The Puppet Show in it. Love it to bits, it's the quintessential early Buffy episode.
In no particular order:

The Body
Once More With Feeling
Prophecy Girl
Bad Girls
The Gift
Conversations With Dead People

Though some of the lower key ones are lovely too: Lie To Me, Out of Mind Out Of Sight
I remember I once found a site that had done extensive research into everyone's favourite Buffy and Angel episodes. It was really interesting, they also listed the directors and writers who scored highest based on that and more. I can't find it anymore though :(

I believe this is the site you're after...

(edited many times to try and make it a link... failed, going to bed)

[ edited by safetycanary on 2009-06-27 23:59 ]

[ edited by safetycanary on 2009-06-28 00:03 ]

[ edited by safetycanary on 2009-06-28 00:05 ]
Oooo I want to play

10) Conversations with Dead People
9) Graduation Day
8) Once More With Feeling
7) Restless
6) Surprise/Innocence
5) Passion
4) The Gift
3) Hush
2) The Body
1) Becoming
I love the whole series, but if I am to list my 10 favorite episodes from the whole series they'd be the following:

My Top 10:
1. Restless
2. Once More With Feeling
3. The Gift
4. The Body
5. Innocence
6. Hush
7. Becoming Part 1 & 2
8. Chosen
9. I Only Have Eyes for you
10. Family

Would've loved to fit Checkpoint and Tabula Rasa in the list, but I'm sticking to the top 10 rule. Also Normal Again and Conversation with Dead People.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2009-06-28 00:06 ]
1.Conversations With Dead People
2b.Tie:Becoming Pts 1 & 2 and Graduation Day pts 1 & 2
3.Once More With Feeling
4.Tie:Tabula Rasa/Pangs
5.Tie:The Body & The Gift
6.The Yoko Factor
7.Buffy vs. Dracula
8.Tie:The Wish/Normal Again
9.Tie:Bad Girls/Consequences
10.Lies My Parents Told Me

Couldn't pick just 10. :)

[ edited by menomegirl on 2009-06-28 00:14 ]
1. I can't believe you tricked me into going to DailyKos. I feel unclean.

2. Very hard choice between "Once More" and "The Body," with "Passion" and "Hush" breathing down the neck. Went with the musical.
Mine would have The Puppet Show in it. Love it to bits, it's the quintessential early Buffy episode.

On first viewing its an easy episode to dismiss as somewhat frivolous -- because, you know, puppet -- but it's grown on me every time I've seen it. Its now my favourite season one episode, beating out long-time fav "The Pack." Not quite in my top ten overall though.
Killed By Death as a top ten ep?
I stopped reading at that point.
That Buffy Phenomenon site is truly fascinating.
I wonder if Doublemeat Palace appears in anyone Top 10, happens to be one of my least favorite episodes (emphasis on least favorite - key phrase), despite being a Jane Espenson one.
Why the hate for "Killed By Death?" I agree it's an atypical choice for top 10, but it's an excellent episode! Especially for being so early. I do disagree with "Homecoming" and "Selfless" though.

Personally I don't get why "Conversations with Dead People" is on so many lists. Love the concept, not happy with the execution (not blaming anyone for that, I know the ambition was higher and it didn't work out).

Numfar, good to see the "I Only Have Eyes For You" love!

Me, I couldn't pick just 10, much less order them, but it's safe to say my 10 are already listed between all these posts.
Didn't we do this lately?

Anyway, I had to go with a little "Restless" love, but basically trying to pick the top ten Buffys is like trying to fit an elephant in a phone booth. Not enough room.
10. No Place Like Home
9. Life Serial
8. Beneath You
7. Bad Girls
6. Storyteller
5. Fool For Love
4, Weight Of The World
3. Hush
2. Once More With Feeling
1. Restless

Doug Petrie was my favorite writer. Some episodes that no one seems to like besides me: Go Fish and Beer Bad
I like too many episodes for different reasons, so I agree with the elephant analogy above. But here we go anyway.
9. Halloween
8. Storyteller
7. Earshot
6. Passion
5. Graduation Day Pts 1&2
4. Becomming Pts 1&2
3. The Gift
2. Once More, With Feeling
1. Fool for Love
As you can see, I'm a sucker for Season Finales.
I'm kind of surprised that no one has mentioned Tabula Rasa yet. I think it might be the funniest episode of the show.

In no particular order:

The Zeppo
The Body
Once More with Feeling
The Gift
Tabula Rasa
I Only Have Eyes for You
Grad. Day Part 1/2
Prophecy Girl
Atypical list, good nonetheless.

My Top 10 in no order:

Once More With Feeling
Conversations With Dead People
Fool For Love
Tabula Rasa
The Wish
I can't believe how low "Ted" and Never Kill a Boy on the First Date" ranked on that phenomenon list. Those are amazing episodes! But I did love some of what came out of their line-by-line analysis including "Riley does not seem to know when to speak up and when to remain quiet." and "Replacing #3 Tara with #28 Kennedy may very well be the biggest mistake that Mutant Enemy ever made." The scientific evidence is comforting. ...If only they could have gotten Oz back as the First Evil like they planned, maybe we would have avoided/seen a lot less of Kennedy and not had the Giles-is-(not)-First-Evil worst not-plot ever. We could have felt Tara's absence more, gotten even more pain out of an Oz death, and had an even bigger release with Willow's finale spell. Season 7 really went left when it should've went right way too much...

But getting on topic, here are what I think are the ten best episodes. Maybe one day there will be scientific proof

1) Becoming Part 2
2) Innocence
3) Restless
4) The Body
5) Once More, With Feeling
6) Lie to Me
7) Passion
8) Ted
9) Prophecy Girl
10)When She Was Bad

[ edited by narky on 2009-06-28 01:28 ]
I can't do a 10 Best list but my favorite episode will always be Halloween. I love Giles' fluster when Willow walks through the wall and my favorite line is when a frustrated Willow grumbles "She couldn't have dressed up like Xena?"
My list is always changing but at the moment (in no particular order)

The Gift
The Body
Once More With Feeling
Dead Things
Conversations with Dead People
Who Are You
Fool For Love
Becoming Pt 2
I Only Have Eyes For You

Narrowly missing out: Intervention, After Life, Bargaining, Chosen, Innocence, Anne, The Freshman, Dopplegangland, Hush, Earshot and pretty much every one of the 134 episodes. And I really like Doublemeat Palace ;)

[ edited by Leaf on 2009-06-28 01:40 ]
1. Becoming
2. The Body
3. Restless
4. Conversations with Dead People
5. Once More with Feeling
6. Hush
7. Passion
8. Surprise/Innocence
9. Chosen
10. Graduation Day
My ten, probably in order (though 1-3 are a tie):

The Body
Once More, With Feeling
The Gift
Fool For Love
Tabula Rasa
Who Are You
Normal Again
"FOOL FOR LOVE" will always be in my top favorites. Also loved "THE GIFT" , ONCE MORE WITH FEELING and Jane Espenson's brilliant INTERVENTION.
Hmm, I'm not sure how you can boil 144 episodes, probably each with their own stand-out scene, line of dialogue, or performance down to what makes just ten truly great. Even "Beer Bad" had its moments. Agreeing with many posters that "Killed by Death" is something rarely seen on this sort of thing. In no particular order:
1. Hush 2. Conversations with Dead People 3. the Gift
4. the Body 5. Once More with Feeling 6. Graduation Day
7. Becoming 8. This Year's Girl/Who Are You 9. the Zeppo
10. Restless

And if Joss hadn't written so many himself:
1. Fool for Love 2. Selfless 3. No Place Like Home
4. Family 5. Chosen 6. Buffy vs Dracula 7. Primeval
8. the Prom 9. Earshot 10. the Wish
The second list is definitely the ones that I think really capture everything great about the show that are good for showing other's how great the show is.
I also love DEAD THINGS. Brilliant, disturbing and deep.
My 10 in the order they aired
1. Lie to Me
2. Innocence
3. Becoming (1 and 2)
4. Restless
5. Family
6. Fool for Love
7. the Body
8. the Gift
9. Dead Things
10. Selfless

There were ao many it broke my heart to leave out.
Its interesting to see the things on nearly everyones and the ones that only person has.

Seriously, nobody else loves Dead Things? It's probably the darkest episode of the show and the end with Buffy crying in Tara's lap is such a perfect scene.
In no particular order, because I can't be bothered to organize them at the moment:
The Pack
Life Serial
Graduation Day Parts I & II
Beauty and the Beasts
Glad to see the Homecoming love, that episode is comedy gold, but I don't agree with much else on the list.

1. Fool for Love
2. The Gift
3. Intervention
4. Something Blue
5. Smashed
6. Lover's Walk
7. Tabula Rasa
8. Once More with Feeling
9. Dead Things
10. Bargaining 1 and 2

And honestly, there are so many more beloved episodes, really. I could probably make a bottom 10 a lot easier.
OK, why not.

10 - Lie To Me
9 - Passion
8 - Grave
7 - The Gift
6 - Chosen
5 - Becoming: Part 2
4 - The Body
3 - Restless
2 - Hush
1 - Once More, With Feeling

Oh man, trying to pinpoint a Top 10 list is brutally agonizing. Here's my attempt (mind you that various episodes may slide up or down a few notches depending on my mood at the time =o):

1) The Body
2) Once More With Feeling
3) Restless
4) Fool For Love
5) The Gift
6) Seeing Red
7) Hush
8) Graduation Day Parts 1 & 2
9) Tabula Rasa
10) Passion

"The Body" will forever be my favorite episode. It may not always be the one that I want to watch the most (due to its intensity) but I honestly view it as the greatest 40+ minutes of film ever created. It captures the feelings of death and loss so hauntingly perfect; as someone who had unexpectedly lost his father, watching that episode was strangely enough cathartic.

[ edited by phattyt on 2009-06-28 03:38 ]
Askew? Is that Kevin Smith?

1. NMR (Fave)
2. The Body (Best ever)
3. Family
5. Triangle
6. Dopplegangland
7. Hush
8. Restless
9. Halloween
10. The Gift

No NMR love? Sigh.
- "Welcome to the Hellmouth" (transcript): It got me to read the other 143 eps.
- "Him" : Such a surprise in season 7; ridiculous fun with zero emotional pain!
- "The Body" with commentary: This is Joss at his best, and the commentary adds so much to the already phenomenal episode.
- "No Place Like Home" : A surprising hit as a standalone - I showed it to some friends who'd never seen Buffy, and the Dawn mislead & Glory as the surprise villain worked really well, without needing back story nor an established love of the Scoobs.

I have favorite moments, seasons, characters - but I have a weird inability to pick out favorite episodes of BtVS. It's just...a frightening thought. How much I like an episode changes on first vs. second vs. third watchings.

ETA: Just read through those Buffy stats - that was amazing. Kudos to the webmaster; I loved the mix of hard stats & 'Buffy analysis'. e.g:
Jenny [line ranking of -0.02] is helped by having popular second-season arc episodes... It was also a bad move to die in "Passion." This kept her from having any lines in the final two episodes of the popular second-season arc, "Becoming, Parts 1 and 2.

Thanks for the link, safetycanary!

[ edited by Jav on 2009-06-28 03:47 ]
This was hard, but fun to do....

I couldn't put them in order though!

2.01 When She Was Bad
2.19 I Only Have Eyes For You
3.01 Anne
3.15 This Year's Girl
3.16 Who Are You?
4.22 Restless
5.07 Fool For Love
5.16 The Body
5.22 The Gift
7.05 Selfless
Okay, here goes (sort of orderish):

1. The Body-it was raw and it had the True Anya who wasn't just the joke or annoyance
2. Fool for Love-great story telling
3. Once More With Feeling-Duh!
4. Who Are You?-because SMG & ED playing each other were sooo great
5. The Wish-because Vamp!Willow and Vamp!Xander are fab
6. Superstar-because I like my AU's and Giles' calender was hysterical
7. The Zeppo-A real Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead feeling but with more meaning ;-)
8. Conversations With Dead People-Buffy and the Vamp: some of the best there ever was
9. Tabula Rasa-it was funny, poignant, and a bit WTF?
10. Chosen-because I hear the call: "Are you ready to be strong?" every time, even though I fail it
Most of my favorites have been said many times over, but I'd thrown in Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered; Superstar; Crush; and I Was Made to Love You. The latter two are really overshadowed by The Body.
I have a top 12. There's no order except that the top 3 are equally my favourites.

Once More With Feeling
Becoming Part 2
The Body
The Wish
The Zeppo
The Prom
Graduation Day Part 2
Hush (just scrapes into the list)
The Gift
Normal Again

And obviously Killed by Death ...
I never will understand the love for Selfless. It's just decent if you ask me. And I'm a season 7 fan
After OMWF, the episode I've watched the most is actually Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered. I don't know why, but something about every woman in town wanting to sex Xander just gets me every time. The scene where he walks down the hall in slow motion is one of my favorite sequences in all of Buffy, even though it's just a comedy bit.

Also, the real problem with season 7? No Xander episode. Every other season had one. (I'm counting The Pack as season 1's.)
Bewitched,Bothered and Bewildered
The Wish
Ear Shot
Graduation Day
Something Blue
Buffy Vs Dracula
Fool for love(When watching it with Darla
The Body
The Gift
Once more with Feeling
Seeing Red
Dirty Girls
At the moment, and without reading anyone else's list beforehand, I've chosen:

1. Once More, With Feeling
2. The Body
3. Restless
4. The Gift
5. Band Candy
6. Fool for Love
7. Pangs
8. Grave
9. Becoming, Part Two
10. Lessons

But, there really are SO many more I could have included - I already have a dozen more which could easily have made my list (and some of which might, the next time I consider the question). A full list of BtVS episodes which I really love would probably number - well, 130 or something.
1. Something Blue
2. Once More With Feeling
3. The Body
4. Hush
5. Fool for Love
6. Restless
7. School Hard
8. Smashed (but only for the last few minutes)
9. Intervention
10. Lies My Parents Told Me

I may have a certain bias here...
And heck, it's Buffy. I love them all.
Yes, this is like me trying to give my top 10 Sinatra albums...there are at least 20 that deserve to be on the list.
D'oh! I forgot School Hard!
Top of the list or near it that one!
1. The Zeppo
2. Once More, With Feeling
3. The Body
4. Hush
5. Doppelgangland
6. Conversations with Dead People
7. Restless
8. Passion
9. Storyteller
10. The Wish

I love The Zeppo so much for its structure, every time I see it I think it's genius. The music in that episode is brilliant too.

[ edited by Green Queen on 2009-06-28 04:37 ]
Ah man School hard and Band Candy and Triangle!

What's My Line and I Only Have Eyes For You and Hells Bells.

And I totally forgot to have season 1 episodes The Pack, Angel, Nightmares and Prophecy girl!

Al man I thought I had Surprise and Innocence on the first list!!

[ edited by beckyboo on 2009-06-28 05:32 ]
OK, I'll do this one more time. After three complete re-watchings of the DVD set, I've pretty much settled on a "favorites" list. The closest I can stay to Ten, is including a few for "honorable mention".

4.Fool For love
5.Dead Things
6.Normal Again
7.Tabula Rasa
10.Beneath You

Honorable mention (just too hard to leave off the list):

>Becoming pt2
>Wild at Heart
>The Initiative

So I'm the only one who's included Sleeper, gotta comment on that (beyond "hey, go watch it again!)

I see Conversations with Dead People, Sleeper and Never Leave Me as a kind of "set" in season7's "Buffy and Spike's mutual forgiveness/reconciliation" arc.
Of the three, Sleeper is IMO, by far the best. I agree with someone above who said that in CWDP, the concept was better than the execution (way too much Dawn screaming while The First destroys the house.)
Whatever your .... um, "preference that shall not be named", Sleeper is an incredibly powerful episode, with some of the best acting in the entire series, from James Marsters and SMG.

As for the Kos list .... Killed by Death??? That's one of the few eps I skip, in the course of any re-watch.
Somewhere within, this list segues from absolute favorites to stand outs in my memory, the latter of which likely having more to do with big concepts or scenes than over all quality or even my true appreciation. I likely couldn't choose a legit top ten list anyway.

1. The Gift ('cause she dies, you know...)
2. Once More With Feeling (my favorite to rewatch)
3. The Prom (cried...)
4. Becoming Part 2 (You'll see what I mean...)
5. Chosen (batter, Anya, the smile...)
6. I Only Have Eyes for You (spooky)
7. Something Blue (Three excellent questions...)
8. Halloween (That's nice, Willow. And you went mental when?)
9. Graduation Day Part 2 (Now!)
10. Hush ()

Fear Itself and Killed By Death have to be two of my least favorite episodes.

And people love Selfless, huh? And Restless? Hmmm.
*sigh* It's a sad sad day when no one has Enemies as a favorite episode in their lists. :( My list, in no particular order besides Enemies being my number one choice:

1. Enemies
2. Becoming Part 2
3. Graduation Day Part 2
4. The Body
5. The Gift
6. Innocence
7. Who Are You?
8. Hush
9. Listening to Fear
10. Anne
1. Once More with Feeling.
2. Tabula Rasa
3. Hush
4. Graduation Day
5. The Body
6. The Gift
7. Potential
8. Family
9. Grave
10. Anne

Those are my favorite episodes not necessarily in order...
Wow, words can't describe how much I dislike "Killed by Death." I just made it through the whole episode in one sitting for the first time this year.

1. Passion
2. Once More With Feeling
3. Becoming Pt. 2
4. The Body
5. Innocence
6. The Gift
7. Graduation Day Pt. 2
8. Hush
9. Becoming Pt. 1
10. Normal Again
Well, you guys already know I've 144 favorite episodes so I've thought I'd pick a few lines:

Buffy: "That's it, I'm waking up. It's over!"
(The First Slayer stabs Buffy repeatedly with stake. Buffy sighs and rolls eyes)
"Are you quite finished?"

Jenny: " did you get in here?"
Angelus: "I was invited. The sign in front of the school. 'Formatia trans sicere educatorum..'"
Jenny: "Enter all ye who seek knowledge.."

Buffy: "Just let it burn."

Willow: "Now, when you say fired, do you mean fired?"
Xander: "You're not getting past that concept any time soon, are you Will?"
Buffy: "You know, nothing's really gonna change. The important thing is that I kept up my special birthday tradition of gut-wrenching misery and horror."

Fool For Love
Spike: "Every day, you wake up. It's the same bloody question. Is today the day I die? Death is on your heels baby and, sooner or later, it's gonna catch you. And, part of you wants it...not only to stop the fear and uncertainly, but...because you're just a little bit in love with it. Death is your art. You make it day after day with your hands. What do you seek? That final gasp....that look of peace. Part of you is desperate to know...what is it like? Where does it lead you?

D'hoffryn: "I figured I'd be hearing from you soon. The flaying of Warren Mears? Oh, truly inspired, that was water cooler vengeance! Lloyd has a sketch of it on his wall."

The Wish
Willow: "That's alright....Willow's gonna make puppy bark."

When She was Bad
Cordelia: "Whatever is causing the Joan Collins 'tude, deal with it. Embrace the pain, spank your inner moppet, whatever. But, get over it. 'Cause pretty soon, you won't even have the loser friends you've got now."

Buffy: (Just the look down the road and that sweet smile.)
MAN! I hate being this late in adding my 2 cents.

1.Passion is at the top for me. Its when the show changed from monster of the week, to OH MY GOD Joss is really gonna go there!
2.Then follow up with Becoming prt2. And he just kept going to the painful place.
3.I love everything about season 7's Final, so well done even without OZ and Tara, but hey Nathan Fillon, mhmmm Nathan.
4. The Wish, cause i love alternative reality visits.
5. Grave. Willow and Xander on the cliff.

Five will do or I'll be here all day.
We each get something out of our fav Buffy episodes which is why they are our favs.I agree with the brilliance that created the Body, but myself find it really hard to watch. Normal Again just scares me on a whole new level, and the funny episodes like Zeppo and Tabula Rasa are just good entertainment.

Now, can we do an Angel list. A Serenity list would be fun to, though top ten moments might be more interesting than us all listing every episode.
Thank you SafetyCanary (where do we find these names) That phenomenon site was interesting, someone (hint hint, cause i dont know how) should post a link on the main page and we can argue if we're loyalists, jumpers or "other". I do believe there is an "other" category.
I skew post-high school, interestingly enough. I'm a late season lover. Also, these are just my favorites. If I had to choose which ones were best, the list would look a little different.

1. Fool For Love
2. Once More With Feeling
3. Restless
4. The Body
5. Hush
6. Sleeper
7. Becoming Part II
8. Something Blue
9. Dead Things
10. Pangs

Interestingly, there are more episodes from S4 on my list than from any other season.

That website is fascinating. I'm going to spend some serious time with it when I get a chance. I especially enjoyed the sections contrasting Loyalists and Jumpers (Loyalist here, all the way), which arrives at some conclusions that I would never have foreseen and am not sure I agree with, but that are definitely incredibly interesting.

[ edited by Lirazel on 2009-06-28 06:59 ]
First of all, thank you safetycanary for that website. I could spend hours on there.

My list:

10) Chosen.

Real surprises, which is hard to do in a season finale that's been building to a battle all season long. In which we kind of knew what was going to happen. But everything is great here, including the best non-Christophe Beck score in any episode.

9) Doppelgangland.

Among Aly's best performances, this is my vote for funniest Buffy ep. Beating out The Zeppo ever so slightly.

8) The Gift.

Buffy dies. Me sad. Nuff said. Oh, and everything else was pretty great, too.

7) Graduation Day, Parts 1&2.

Similar to Becoming in that it is incredibly well-rounded and paced. It only lacks the heartstomping finale of Becoming. But it has what I consider Joss's single greatest camera shot, in the hospital. Amazingly done. Oh, and maybe the most sexual scene(Angel drinking Buffy's blood.)

6) Surprise/Innocence.

Sorry, can't separate these two. Doesn't work in my head. These were the episodes that shocked me, and made me feel physical, nonsensical, hate toward a TV character (Angelus, during the "Was I not good?" scene). I was in love with the show after this.

5) Passion.

The first time I thought that Joss was just plain mean. But in a brilliant way. :) Also, my favorite Beck score is in this ep.

4) Restless.

Weird, funny, scary, thought-provoking, and very nearly proof enough that Joss could do no wrong. I often have a hard time enjoying disjointed, strange passes at material and characters I know so well. He took my world and turned it on its head. And I loved it.

3) The Body.

Forty minutes of sheer, real, raw pain. Exquisite. I don't know that I'd ever called an episode of television (or a movie) beautiful before. And I don't think I have since.

2) Once More, With Feeling.

The genius gets even more geniuser. I was never a fan of musicals until November 6, 2001. I had doubts, then I saw the commercials. Doubt began to dissipate, slightly. Then the episode started and I never looked back. The talent of this man boggles my mind. I cannot comprehend.

1) Becoming,Parts 1&2.

My favorite piece of art. Ever. It has everything I could ever want. Humor, action, drama, etc. Not to mention the most heartbreaking (IMHO, of course) final ten minutes I've seen. That quite literally slayed me.

Honorable Mention (just one): Hush. I love every single thing about it, most of all Buffy's reaction to the big hips Giles' drawing of her had. Actually, that whole scene is great.

I'm done now. I could do this forever, though.

Did someone say we're doing an Angel list after this? ;)
Only placed nine, one more to go. And it tears me apart each time.

The Body
Buffy: "Mom...Mom....Mommy?"

That's it, I'm crawling in bed to have a good cry.
In chronological order (the only way I know how):

1. Innocence
2. Becoming
3. Doppelgangland
4. Graduation Day
5. Hush
6. Restless
7. The Body
8. The Gift
9. Once More, with Feeling
10. Conversations with Dead People

Bubbling under: Passion, Prophecy Girl, Fool for Love, Chosen, The Wish.
NOOO! You fools, you damned fools! Look what you've done! You have unchained the listmaker in me! Oh, you shall all came to regret this quickly!

Mine would have The Puppet Show in it. Love it to bits, it's the quintessential early Buffy episode.

For me that would be The Pack. Love that to bits too. Maybe the fact that it was the first episode I saw has something to do with it, but I think it's a really good episode too.

Let me see, can I make a list? Way too many great episodes, this will be just of the top of my hat, so most likely I'll be forgetting a lot of them.

1. Once More with Feeling
2. The Body
3. Hush
4. Earshot
5. The Pack
6. Selfless
7. Becomming p.1/2
8. Bad Girls/Consequences
9. Graduation Day p.1/2
10. Bargaining p.1/2

A lot of runners up (so many episodes atleast deserve a mention):

Prophecy Girl
When She Was Bad
Killed By Death
Faith, Hope & Trick
The Freshman
Living Conditions
The Initiative
Something Blue
The Yoko Factor/Primeval
Fool For Love
Conversations with Dead People
Dirty Girls

And if this weren't enough: without the Charmed-like ending (and I mean this in the worst way possible) of Superstar, I surely would add that on here too.
These lists are always so much fun. So why not.
Once More With Feeling, Tabula Rasa, Chosen (because its the last one and makes me cry every time!), Passion, The Body, Grave, I Only Have Eyes For You, Storyteller, Selfless and The Gift.
Wow that was pretty hard to do!
Thanks so much for the link, safetycanary. I thought I'd never find that site again.
Yes, very interesting site!

Random comment about the first thing I stumbled upon there:

The data above show that Loyalists prefer Steven S. DeKnight episodes (especially "Seeing Red" and "Dead Things"), Drew Goddard episodes (especially "Lies My Parents Told Me" and "Dirty Girls"), and Rebecca Rand Kirshner episodes (especially "Touched," "Hell's Bells," and "Help") more than Jumpers do, and Jumpers prefer Jane Espenson episodes (especially "Band Candy"), writers of one or two episodes (especially "The Pack," "Halloween," and "The Zeppo"), and Dean Batali & Rob Des Hotel episodes (especially "The Puppet Show") more than Loyalists do, although Loyalists prefere Espenson's "End of Days" more than Jumpers do.

Interesting that I (as a fan of S6/S7 and someone who appreciates both the move away from high school and the introduction of Tara, which would make me a loyalist) also seem to fit in with the Jumper crowd quite well: I love Espenson eps, the Pack, Halloween and the Zeppo and Batali & Hotel eps. and I don't care to much for the DeKnight episodes, though on the other hand I do love ulimate Drew and End of Days (and aside from Hell's Bells I also like Kirshners episodes.)

Just spotted a trend in my ratings: in my appreciation of the season openers, two parters important for the story and finales I tend to be a Jumper: (as seen in my very long top ten list above) I love When She Was Bad, Anne, The Freshman, Prophecy Girl, Becomming, Bad Girls/Consequences and Graduation Day, but from that point on (with the exception of both Bargaining and Choses) I have less appreciation of those episodes (Particullary: The Gift, Grave, Lessons). With individual episodes on the other hand, I'm a Loyalist through and through.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2009-06-28 11:46 ]
No worries. I just re-found the site recently having first seen it years ago, so I hastily bookmarked it. Right, better attempt a favourites list of my own - off the top of my head:

1. The Gift
2. The Body
3. Once More, With Feeling
4. Earshot
5. Storyteller
6. Passion
7. The Prom
8. Fear Itself
9. Same Time, Same Place
10. The Pack

Done! Typed quickly, and not changing it.

Special mention for number 9 - I think Same Time, Same Place is my number one most-underrated episode ever. I love it so much. Re-introducing Willow somehow was a tricky proposition, and this episode did it beautifully in my opinion. So touching, and sweet.
So few showing love for The Wish. That's MY favorite episode. Along with The Zeppo.
The WIsh is fantastic. My only slight problem is that Hells Bells later on pretended like it never happened - pretty much the only large continuity error in the series as far as I know. Which is a problem with Hells Bells, or course - not The Wish. But it retroactively spoils the episode for me slightly. But otherwise - terrific!
In no particuar order, I'm feeling lazy:

Becoming 1&2
The Body
The Gift
What's My Line 1&2
Fool for Love
Lover's Walk
Graduation Day 1&2

Can't seem to keep it down to just 10!

[ edited by Shep on 2009-06-28 21:08 ]
Sorry but I can't pick just 10 out of seven seasons, just not possible.
I'm guessing this is gonna go on for a while, so another comment. I'm surprised at a few people listing Tabula Rasa as a favorite because of the funny.
The humor was there, for sure. But at it's core, this was IMO a really tragic ep. The ending still makes me cry. Willow blew it so badly, and the scene of her sitting on the floor sobbing, as Tara walks out, just destroys me every time.
And the music (Michelle Branch's Goodbye to You), was the most inspired use of a song to add to the waterworks. Second only to Full of Grace at the end of Becomming2.

Yay, at least one other person listed my favorite season7 ep (Sleeper), as well as The Initiative. The lack of love for The Initiative really surprises me, I thought it was a pretty much perfect ep, with some of the funniest lines and sequences ever.

Reading over other people's lists made me remember other eps that I had a hard time leaving out - mainly Dirty Girls and Selfless (season7 has aged really well, for me).

What I love most about Selfless is the seamless transitions back and forth between tragedy and comedy (the flashbacks, especially the badly done on purpose sub-titles).
And Nathan's jaw-droppingly evil misogynist really creeps me out, in Dirty Girls.

Madhatter, thanks for the long FFL quote, one of my favorites. Now that the Buffy and Angel Episode Guides and Transcripts are gone, I can't remember some of my favorite speeches, word for word.
Here's my top 10(two parters like Becoming I count as one episode.An they can change at times.

1)Becoming Parts 1&2
4)The Gift
6)Graduation Day Parts 1&2
7)The Prom
8)Once More With Feeling
10)End Of Days/Chosen
The ranked episode aspect isn't as interesting to me as some of the other data at the Buffy-Phenom site...

Such as the fact the Buffy herself isn't in the *Top 20* list of characters for either the Loyalists or the Jumpers.

Thnx Pretty_Hate_Machine for the comment and SafetyCanary for the link.
Shey, Buffy World has transcripts for all Buffy and Angel episodes (it has shooting scripts for most of the Buffy episodes too).
Such as the fact the Buffy herself isn't in the *Top 20* list of characters for either the Loyalists or the Jumpers.

I know! That breaks my heart because Buffy is my favorite character.

I'm not questioning the numbers on the site (I'm sure they did the math correctly), but I'm not sure that, say, the Jumper/Loyalist data actually reflects reality. For instance, I'm pretty much surrounded by Loyalists on a pretty consistent basis fandom-wise, but I don't know if any of them would list S3-S7 as their one-two.

And the idea of characters with a "Positive/Negative Association with Episode Quality"? I think those are more coincidental than anything; I'm not sure they have any real meaning.

Nonetheless, that website is fascinating.
Yeah, that character listing isn't really representative for regulars, but it's much more interesting for recurring characters, because it's much more valid on that.
i wasnt expecting to see restless as #1, but i love it!

also, I am a definite loyalist.

[ edited by Chris the Bloody on 2009-06-28 16:22 ]
Killed by Death? Is that a joke? More like BOTTOM 10 episodes is where that ep belongs.
Maddy, that was awesome.
As for this loyalists vs jumpers dichotomy, what about those of us, and I thought there were a lot, who think seasons one through five were amazing ('cept for one but that sorta goes without saying at this point (not speaking for everyone)) and that six and seven exhibited a real decline in over all quality (though of course were not without great merit as well)?

I'd think that there are enough fans in this category to really throw off a lot of that site's lists, numbers, etc.
Alright, I finally put together a real top 10 list. It's valid for the next 5 minutes at least.

1. Tabula Rasa: The moment Buffy gets back all of her memories. Everything that follows.
2. OMWF: Tara bumping into that pole. And the singing.
3. Doppelgangland: The Willow-is-alive hug.
4. The Wish: So many possibilities.
5. Passion: The phone call, the disbelief. The roses, Giles.
6. Earshot: The belltower scene.
7. Graduation Pt.2: The hospital scene. Tied with Becoming Pt. 2.
8. The Gift: Perfect opening sequence. If only the DVD put the whole thing together in the episode. Grr.
9. Real Me: Dawn's voice-over wins me over.
10. Older and Far Away + first scene of Seeing Red: Tara gets a chance to shine.

If I could choose a favorite ten-episode arc instead (much easier), that'd be "Fool for Love" through "The Body".
Oh, I have to include this gem:

(Xander and Willow are fleeing from the knife wielding clown when Xander turns and decks him head over floppy feet flat on his ass.)

Xander: "You're a lousy clown, your balloon animals are pathetic! Everyone can make a giraffe!!"
The Gift: Perfect opening sequence. If only the DVD put the whole thing together in the episode. Grr.

What's wrong with the DVD version? I've never seen season 5 on tv, so I'm curious. Maybe this is the secret reason why everyone seems to like the episode better than I do.


Ok, Brett I'm gonna bite, which season would that be? Number four? Suppose so, I wasn't the biggest fan of it first time around either, but it has really grown on me since then.

Well, now that you have unleashed the list monster I might as well add a season list too:


[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2009-06-28 22:56 ]
Not so sure about "Homecoming," "Fear Itself," and "Killed By Death" being on here....I mean "Homecoming" and "Fear Itself" have their funny moments, but "KBD" is just creepy and's my list since we seem to be playing that game :)

1.Once More With Feeling
2. Hush
3.The Body
6. Becoming part 2
8.The Gift
10. The Prom
Groo - season 5 as the worst season? For real?!?! I've never seen that before, I have to say. I think it's the best season of television in history (close with Angel season 5). Why don't you like it (or like it the least, anyway)?
The DVD version of S5 starts with the kid running down an alley away from a pursuing vamp. The tv and R2 versions begin with a scene from Ep1, S1, "Hi, I'm Buffy", I believe, then cuts to a line from Ep2 and continues through the 99 previous episodes, speeding up tremendously and reaching a crescendo that cuts to the kid in the alley scene. Very impressive, but probably wouldn't change anyone's opinion of the episode.
I was totally disappointed that the opening to "The Gift" wasn't on the DVD. It was extremely effective and affecting, if I may so distinguish.

And Groo...My bad; I meant "one" as in season one. Should have been more clear.

But funny that you mention four because I always loved it but have seen it much derided. I thought a lighter tone was a nice break for a season and that back to back part of the reason six and seven suffered, in my mind, was that there was too much misery and heaviness for too long a period.
Although mine change at times, here is my list today;

Graduation Day
Normal Again
Band Candy
The Gift
Props to Cheryl for having Enemies. :p

And shambleau, are you talking about this: because it is on the dvd's it's just on a different season as an easter egg. It's on the 6th disc of season 7. ;)

[ edited by holypotatoes on 2009-06-29 07:28 ]
And Groo...My bad; I meant "one" as in season one.
Ah. That makes perfect sense. Already figured I was missing something, which is exactly why I asked.

Groo - season 5 as the worst season? For real?!?! I've never seen that before, I have to say. I think it's the best season of television in history (close with Angel season 5). Why don't you like it (or like it the least, anyway)?

It is indeed a case of liking or even loving the least. And honestly, S7, S1 & S5 are almost tied and tend to trade places regularly. S5 does have The Body, clearly one of the series strongest episodes and some amazing developments with Spike in it (I think I love every single one of the many Spike scenes in the season) And except for the Riley bits Fool for Love and Family were amazing episodes too. I was made to love you, Buffy vs. Dracula, Real Me, and The Replacement were all pretty enjoyable too) The Buffy-bot was kinda great. So, now that I've almost done a reverse Spike talking himself out of helping the Scooby gang routine, let's get on with the reasons for placing it last:

Part of it is to blame on the emotional disconnect with the Scoobs, created by Dawn's appearance. (Interesting that Dawn's appearance isn't listed as a sharkjumping moment on your linked site, BTW) Another thing I don't like so much about the season is the lack of focus on the relationships within the Scooby Gang and the lack of a really compelling villain (I think it is telling that she tends to be absent in the better eps of the season. And the part between Fool for Love and The Body, the season just isn't very compelling to me. Arc-wise I think it has just been trumped by the similarly epic S7. Anyway it is
very good tv, but I like the rest of Buffy (especially S2/3/4/6) even better.
Hello people like me.
I want to throw some thanks to us all for...
1. Reading each others lists
2. Respecting each others opinions
3. For showing how much fun this is in our little extra comments.

We need more posts like this.I suggest someone with some muscles here could set up a post for next week on Angel episodes, fav character list, loyalist.. jumper or other, great moments in serenity, best one liners.... i could go on.
Yay us
and does anyone rank season 7 as the best ever (or at least top 3) or am i the only one?
Thanks for the link Leaf :)

As for this loyalists vs jumpers dichotomy, what about those of us, and I thought there were a lot, who think seasons one through five were amazing ('cept for one but that sorta goes without saying at this point (not speaking for everyone)) and that six and seven exhibited a real decline in over all quality (though of course were not without great merit as well)?

I'd think that there are enough fans in this category to really throw off a lot of that site's lists, numbers, etc.

Brett | June 28, 18:39 CET

I haven't had time to check this site out yet, but I have another category for you (or at least, for those of us who are me) ;)
Seasons one through three are my least favorites (not saying each one didn't have some spectacular eps, but overall). Not a single ep in my top ten are from those seasons, and only two on my "honorable mention" list (Becoming pt2 and Passion).

My favorite seasons, in order: 6, 4, 5, 7, 2, 3, 1. So where does that leave me, in terms of categorizing? Part - but certainly not all - of my preferences, are because Spike is by far my favorite character in the series.
It's always tough to rank the Buffy episodes because there is no shortage of great ones... Quite a few of them have to be left out... But here goes:
1 Restless
2 Becoming part 2
3 Grave
4 The Gift
5 Hush
6 The Body
7 Normal Again
8 Who Are You
9 Passion
10 Once More With Feeling
I know I've done this before on here; but I imagine that my list has changed since then (it is always changing):

1. The Prom
2. Becoming
3. Graduation Day
4. Conversations With Dead People
5. The Gift
6. Chosen
8. Amends
9. Grave
10. The Body
11. Checkpoint
12. Storyteller
13. Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered

I will always have a warm place in my heart for Killed By Death, if only because it was the first episode of BTVS I ever saw. I really miss this show...
"The DVD version of S5 starts with the kid running down an alley away from a pursuing vamp. The tv and R2 versions begin with a scene from Ep1, S1, "Hi, I'm Buffy", I believe, then cuts to a line from Ep2 and continues through the 99 previous episodes, speeding up tremendously and reaching a crescendo that cuts to the kid in the alley scene. Very impressive, but probably wouldn't change anyone's opinion of the episode."

Don't know if anyone has addressed this but I totally agree that I was ticked off that they didn't include this on the R1 DVD. However, they did include this "Previously on Buffy, the Vampire Slayer..." opening as an Easter Egg on the R1 Season Seven DVD set!
Holy moly, no one selected NMR in any position whatsoever. I am so marginalized! :-)
Selfless was awesome. Restless I can deal with being number one, the episode is just awesomely crafted, well acted, funny, mysterious, and I think it embodies a joss whedon product.
1. Once More With Feeling
2. Hush
3. Prophecy Girl
4. The Gift
5. Buffy vs. Dracula
6. Homecoming
7. Dopplegandland
8. Storyteller
9. Tabula Rasa
10. Graduation Day 1 & 2
Crap! I forgot Conversations With Dead People! I don't know where to put it but it's certainly one of my favorites.
Ok....I've missed something. What makes a fan a loyalist?????
It's a category taste qua Buffy episodes, described on the website safetycanary linked to. It's explained here.

ETA: and I see I forgot to add Restless to my honarable mentions, the list is already more than long enough, but this really should have been on it.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2009-06-29 19:52 ]
Dana5140, I did!! In one of the first comments, even! Don't feel marginalized! And I'm sure the last dialogue between Willow and Oz is loved by many..

Reading people's lists made me regret not having put certaing wonderful episodes in my list, of course, but the one that I forgot, and shouldn't have left out, is Storytelling, because I pretty much love it! Andrew might be loved or hated, but he brought some much needed fun to the season..
Huh, interesting. I guess I eyre on the side of a Jumper, but not for the reasons they listed. Seasons 1-4 had a special resonance for me since I basically grew up with the characters. I sat by the edge of my seat every week waiting for the next epi and was devesated with Angel went evil, then killed Jenny, then got re-ensouled (sp?). After season 4 I went to college and lost touch with the show; then picked up back up via DVD afterwards. I love all seasons and my favorite character is Anya. But, I do tend to rewatch the high school seasons more. I think Oz and Tara have their merits as Willows love-interes and Tara was a great addition to the Scoobies.
"Holy moly, no one selected NMR in any position whatsoever. I am so marginalized! :-) "

I love the episode, but I can't separate it from Wild at Heart. I know they're not a two-parter, and wouldn't have even made sense if they were, but they just go together for me. I love them both, and would put them in my top 20.
I like S5, S6, and S7 the best. "Selfless" is one of my all-time favorites, and I think "Doublemeat Palace" was pretty darkly funny.

Sharky goodness.

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