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July 23 2009

Another Top 10 Buffy episodes list. Carley Tauchert of Den of Geek's best episodes of Buffy list.

Interestingly she doesn't have any from S3 so no "The Wish" or "Doppelgangland" both of which would be on my list.

7-10 don't make my list and out of them only Innocence comes close

For what it's worth my list (of 12) is:

Passion
Becoming Part 2
The Zeppo
The Wish
The Prom
Graduation Day Part 2
Hush
Restless
The Body
The Gift
Once More With Feeling
Normal Again
I quite like that list. I'm glad Angel got some love because I really love that episode. Though despite that, I wouldnít put it on my top ten list. That was also a very cool picture of DB and Kristine Sutherland. I donít think Iíve ever seen it before, it looked more like a behind the scenes pick rather than a screen cap.

It had some good episodes though, Innocence, Becoming, Passion (fave episode) and The Gift are all in my top ten. I also really like Hush, OMWF and The Body but they donít quite make it on my list.

In no particular order my list would probably be; (changes all the time)

1. Passion
2. Becoming
3. Innocence
4. Prophecy Girl
5. The Gift
6. Pangs
7. Amends
8. Dopplegangland
9. Graduation Day
10. Who Are You?

After just doing a re-watch of early season 2 I really want to squeeze When She Was Bad in there and I wish I could give some love to This Years Girl, Restless and Helpless.

Season 3 is my favourite season but strangely enough my list has a lot of s2. It mostly consists of s2-s4 as well which is pretty reflective of what my favourite period of Btvs is. Not that I don't love season 5, season one and *like* season six but I prefer 2/3/4 a bit more.
Great list Let Down! Although, I have an aversion to "Top 10" lists in general. This is exactly why. Each episode offers something... insight into a character, progression of a story arc, tension between characters - good or bad - and many, many wonderful moments that often get lost in these lists.
Yeah, that's actually pretty close to mine Let Down (well, mine at the moment anyway ;) though i'd probably swap out 'The Wish' in order to have something from season 7, either 'Conversations with Dead People', 'Lies My Parents Told Me' or 'Chosen'.

Buffy has made her final sacrifice and it wasn't just to save the world, it was to save the one person she loved more than anybody else and that really is what the Slayer is all about.

Nah, that's what the Slayer was all about until Buffy "re-framed the problem". All in all I think I prefer her second solution to the Kobayashi Maru ;).
My Top 10:

1. Once More With Feeling
2. Becoming Part 2
3. Conversations With Dead People
4. Restless
5. Selfless
6. Hush
7. Tabula Rasa
8. Storyteller
9. Villains
10. The Body
i'd probably swap out 'The Wish' in order to have something from season 7, either 'Conversations with Dead People', 'Lies My Parents Told Me' or 'Chosen'.

Well 'Conversations with Dead People' and 'Chosen' are my two favourite episodes of Season 7 and when I first thought about what my top episodes would be I included 'CwDP'. But then I realised I was including it just to have something from season 7 and not because it can really compare with, say, 'The Body'. I'm actually someone who likes season 7 a lot but for me at least there's no absolute standout episode
Nice list geratongs3000 - I love Storyteller and Tabula Rasa. But as long as I live I will never understand what is so great about Selfless.
In my personal opinion, I think Conversations With Dead People is one of the very best episodes of BTVS, not just S7. Haunting, funny, and meaningful.
vampmogs It's nice to see Pangs on your list. It's on my top 10 list too. My list (episodes that I always re-watch), in no particular order:

Passion
Becoming Part 2
Intervention
Family
Sleeper
Hush
The Yoko Factor
Fool for Love
Once More With Feeling
Bewitched Bewildered (when all the women are under a spell to love Xander)
I'd swear I used to have a top 10, but at the moment I can't get it down to less than a top 11 . . . and they're in chronological order, because ranking them is even harder than choosing them. :-)

Prophecy Girl
Innocence
Becoming pt 2
The Wish
Helpless
Graduation Day (1 and 2)
Amends
Restless
Fool for Love
The Gift
Once More With Feeling
But then I realised I was including it just to have something from season 7 and not because it can really compare with, say, 'The Body'.

Makes sense. I sort of put that badly I think Let Down, I didn't include CWDP (for instance) because it's season 7, I actually do think all three of those are better than 'The Wish' (which I have nothing whatsoever against BTW, it's good too). But it did strike me that you had none at all from S7 and that inspired me to wonder if S7 had any that would go in my own top 10.
Here we go again!

I can never seem to narrow it down to just 10, let alone rank them:

Becoming 1&2
Passion
Angel
Amends
Surprise/Innocence
Hush
The Body
OMWF
Pangs
Graduation Day 1&2
Earshot
Enemies (it was great to see Angelus back, even if Angel was only pretending)
Pangs
The Prom
The Yoko Factor
The Gift
Conversations with Dead People
End of Days/Chosen

That's 18 already!
I agree with this list for the most part (all great eps), but I would replace "Nightmares" with "Prophecy Girl." While a good episode, "Angel" and "Prophecy Girl" are my fave picks from S1. "Restless" should have been picked for S4 along with "Hush" (two landmark eps of that season). And I was surprised to see that nothing was picked for S3. "The Prom" and Grad Day Part I and II" get my vote. Too bad the list could only be 10 episodes. That's nearly impossible!

[ edited by Jossfan_21 on 2009-07-23 17:00 ]
Am I alone in my love for Halloween? No one ever seems to consider it one of the best episodes even though it introduces us to the deliciously semi-evil Ethan Rayne, lets us know there is more to Giles than meets the eyes and shows us Willow is quite capable of taking charge when necessary.
Halloween is excellent. Part of the problem is that so much of Buffy is just so, so, very good. I've given up on trying to pick a top ten, because my list always starts with

Becoming, Part 1; Becoming, Part 2; and Anne

as one episode, and usually there are Hush, The Body, and OMWF somewhere, even though those are "stunt" episodes.

The worst episodes of Buffy were still better than almost anything else on the TV in that week.

Go on, pick the "worst ten episodes" of Buffy. It's not easy.
I've been ranking all the episodes on my current run-through of Buffy - just seven eps to go. I'll go for my top twenty as it currently stands, as it includes a more unusual entry.

1. 5.16 The Body
2. 6.07 Once More, With Feeling
3. 4.22 Restless
4. 2.22 Becoming Part Two
5. 4.10 Hush
6. 2.17 Passion
7. 2.14 Innocence
8. 6.20 Villains
9. 6.21 Two To Go
10. 2.13 Surprise
11. 6.19 Seeing Red
12. 2.21 Becoming Part One
13. 3.09 The Wish
14. 7.05 Selfless
15. 5.06 Family
16. 1.12 Prophecy Girl
17. 4.16 Who Are You?
18. 3.19 Choices
19. 7.07 Conversations With Dead People
20. 5.07 Fool For Love

Hopefully no. 15 balances out any angry stares coming my way over no. 11 ;). Big fan of Halloween too - it's at no. 26.

Since you asked, htom, here's my current worst ten.

135. 6.14 Older and Far Away
136. 1.08 I, Robot... You, Jane
137. 6.11 Gone
138. 4.05 Beer Bad
139. 2.20 Go Fish
140. 2.05 Reptile Boy
141. 2.02 Some Assembly Required
142. 6.16 Hell's Bells
143. 5.09 Listening To Fear
144. 6.12 Doublemeat Palace

I can still find some enjoyment in most of these episodes, other than the bottom three, which are just painful.
That's an interesting exercise you're undertaking there, NotaViking - makes me wish I'd been doing the same thing on my current run-through.

It's interesting that you rank Villains and Two To Go so highly, and yet Grave is nowhere to be seen. And no angry stares from me over Seeing Red - painful obviously, but a brilliant episode.
I liked the Season 1 love on this list, since the early gems often get overlooked. Since I, too, have given up on top-tens, this list's inspired me to concoct a list of underappreciated episodes. But even there, there's so much fan love for everything that it's an uphill battle.

The Pack: Joss said it best -- this is when they realized that to really go dark, one of the "good guys" had to go bad, and we all know where that led to. Plus this is actually one of the better metaphor-episodes, nailing the clique dynamic beautifully.

Nightmares got props on the OP list, but I just want to add the beautiful way they tied OMWF to it: "Dreams? Dreams would be a musical comedy compared to this."

Lie to Me: this one I actually consider the first magnum opus. It's extraordinarily tightly written, with lies upon lies falling fast, and Ford's heartbreakingly understandable motivation is a killer. Only Spike tells the truth, as always, and yet even with him there are some (deeply subconcious) clues of his eventual redemption. The final scene, so touching and so true, wraps it all up brilliantly.

I Only Have Eyes For You: the subtext became text here in an episode of extreme emotional power. And again we have a kicker of a final scene, setting in motion the first Spike-Buffy alliance that ends the season and starts that long saga in a new direction.

Earshot: aside from being a great discussion of the joys and perils of reading minds, the clock tower scene is in a lot of ways the core of what BtVS is about. I've used it to teach kids empathy in a way they don't usually get, and with remarkable results.

Restless: 'cause I gotta give the off-format eps their props. More to the point, it's the symbolic midpoint of the show, the marking of its maturation, as witnessed by...

Buffy vs. Dracula: at first glance (especially if the first glance is at the title) this one's a little lame. But it swiftly becomes apparent that this episode is deeply connected to the show's past and even more to its future. The themes of desire and death that Fool for Love handled so brilliantly get their first formal statement here.

Smashed: in some ways the nadir for our characters... Smashed is the portrait of two people succumbing, one to the addiction of power and the other to depression. It hits home in a major, major way.

Touched: the final mini-arc (starting with Faith's return) runs together so closely it's hard for me to tell them all apart, and Chosen does have a tendency to draw the eye towards the end. But the Faith/Mayor, Faith/Robin, and Buffy/Spike scenes are things of pure beauty. A lot of emotional closure here; the only stray romance left is Buffy/Angel, which they were of course saving.

I might also throw in The I in Team, Choices, both parts of What's My Line, Help, The Weight of the World, and others I haven't thought of yet.


Yeesh! Lengthy. But it was fun to write that up. Everyone's done best lists, and worst is much less fun, so why not go for those that get lost in the shuffle or fly under the radar?
safetycanary - Ranking the episodes has been quite interesting, in a light-hearted way. It does add something to rewatching the series and there's a certain satisfaction after watching a lesser episode in kicking it down the rankings ;).

If I'd done a top ten off the top of my head, it's the episodes that you mention, Villains and Two To Go, that I would have missed out. I do love the Dark Willow arc, but I tend to forget that slightly as I find Grave a little disappointing. Various reasons including Giles' not particularly great plan, the sidelining of Buffy and the overly-misleading mislead over Spike getting his soul back which the episode fails to explain.

ManEnoughToAdmitIt - Nice idea on the underappreciated episodes. Comparing my list to the one over at Buffy Phenomenon, these are the episodes I really liked that seem to be rather overlooked - The Puppet Show, Phases, Choices, The Freshman, Superstar, Buffy vs Dracula and Help. The Puppet Show and Superstar are just really entertaining and funny one-offs, whereas The Freshman managed to capture that feeling of being slightly overwhelmed by your new surroundings that I certainly felt in the first few days at uni.
The Puppet Show is one of my favorites; the foreshadowing of The Gift in Sid's slaying of Marc ....
I realize how late I'm posting this, but I just can't resist...

1. Fool For Love
2. The Weight of the World
3. Once More With Feeling
4. The Zeppo
5. Tabula Rasa
6. Whose Line Is It Anyway?
7. Hush
8. Amends
9. Innocence
10. Primeval

The list was terribly hard to make, but these were the first ten episodes that came to mind.

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