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August 10 2009

The Most Disappointing Episodes Of The Greatest Shows. "Where the Wild Things Are" is singled out as the worst episode of Buffy.

Listing of some of the worst episodes from popular series including "30 Rock", "Chuck", "Battlestar Galactica" and "The Office".

In regards to the 30 Rock episode mention I interpret it as a parody/poke-fun-at stuff like The Simpsons where something is bought up at the beginning and then becomes something completely else for the rest of the episode.

But maybe thats me.
Where the Wild Things Are seems pretty awful at first glance, but there's a lot going on underneath; lots of symbolism and character growth. Note that Xander and Anya are the ones who save the day, and that Spike almost volunteers to help them out of the goodness of his heart, until he remembers that he doesn't actually have any goodness of his heart...

Worst episode, in my mind, is "Beer Bad," but I've never actually seen it -- the only bit of the filmed Buffyverse I've never laid eyes on -- so of the lot that I have seen, I might have to go with "Reptile Boy" or "I Robot, You Jane."


...Or am I putting too much thought into this?
ManEnoughToAdmitIt, how can you say Beer Bad is the worst episode when you haven't even seen it? I like Beer Bad and it has some really funny moments.

I'd say the worst episode is I Robbot, You Jane. But it's fun to watch and laugh at.
Worst ep is Bad Eggs. Beer Bad is funny! WTWTA is definitely on my 'worst top three' list.
The writers argument that it is the worst episode seems to be based on moral grounds.


"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
Worst Episode: "Where the Wild Things Are"
Why: The whole thing revolved around Buffy and Riley having lots and lots of sex at a frat house. A poltergeist made them do it, apparently. Did we mention the whole never-ending sex session happened during a frat party, and that Xander and Anya tried to have sex in an ice cream truck with little kids standing outside?


The sex part was one of the best parts of the episode. Especially the ice cream truck scene. This is why the self-righteous should not review TV and movies.
I loooooooove Beer Bad so much there are no words for it.
I think that WTWTA is pretty bad, but agree that Bad Eggs is just awful.
Well, I still say "Doublemeat Palace" is the worst, especially with the really icky monster of the week.
I completely agree that Where the Wild Things Are is the worst Buffy episode. For the most part, I find sex on TV shows to be terribly boring. I've seen this episode twice. Next time I watch Buffy all the way through I'm skipping it.
You know, when I clicked that link I found myself thinking "I wonder which Battlestar Galactica episode they picked". I was trying to think of an episode that I thought deserved to be singled out as the worst, but one didn't come. But then I saw the words "Black Market" in the list, and I remembered.

My God, that episode was dreadful.

[ edited by Racoon Boy on 2009-08-10 17:01 ]
Keep in mind that the list is for the last ten years so stuff like "I Robot, You Jane," "Reptile Boy," and "Bad Eggs" wouldn't be eligible.

I would have picked the Angel episode "She" because, as previously stated in the Lost writeup, having Bai Ling as a guest star should have tipped us off to something. Although it does have one of my favorite moments of the show in the Angel/Wesley dance scene. But really, the rest of the episode is inexcusable.
'Where the Wild Things Are', while certainly not the show at its prime, doesn't really stick out like a sore thumb to me or anything. If anything it's forgettable, so I don't get the worse episode ever thing.

'Beer Bad' is just criminally underrated. I actually like it, so I really don't get that whole hate train. Same deal with 'Bad Eggs'.

Of all these most commonly listed "worst episodes" the only ones i really think may be worthy of that honor are 'I Robot You Jane' and 'Doublemeat Palace'. But somehow people always seem to overlook the sixth season Halloween episode 'All the Way'. That is the worst in my mind.
Wrecked or Gone, no real desire to see those episodes again.
ManEnoughToAdmitIt, how can you say Beer Bad is the worst episode when you haven't even seen it?

Well, that's why I immediately qualified my point. Mostly I avoid watching Beer Bad because I think it's funny I've seen everything else but not that. (And I did see the scene where Cave Buffy punches Parker.)

But this is rapidly becoming one of those threads, as I love "All the Way" and rather like "Gone," so I think I'd better bow out...
The Frankenstein episode is worst, for me. Beer Bad has some funny things and some real character development going on. WtWTA is just not one I care for very much, as with most of the others mentioned up-thread.
Subjectivity be damned I loved House's One day, One room.
I dunno. "Where the wild things are," had some funny moments.

My favorite Willow lines, "I look at horses and I see really big ponies," and "Transform your pain. Release your past. And, uh, get over it."

My favorite Spike line, "I know I'm not the first choice for heroics, and Buffy's tried to kill me more than once. And, I don't fancy a single one of you at all. But... Actually, all that sounds pretty convincing."

My favorite Buffy line, "Xander! Don't you knock?!?"

And let's not forget the gang's discovery that Giles can sing. Jaw dropping humor there.

The only thing I found disappointing about the episode was how quickly Giles surmised that Mrs. Holt was the key to the poltergeists. There should have been more to that interaction.

[ edited by quantumac on 2009-08-10 17:28 ]
I can't say WTWTA is the worst episode of Buffy, if only because Mrs. Landingham guest stars.

Mine would probably include "I Robot, You Jane," "Some Assembly Required," and "Bad Eggs." One episode that I don't necessarily think of as bad but that I always wish I could skip when show the show to newbies is "Listening to Fear." Don't know why.
The only reason I watch WTWTA is because Giles sings. :D
WTWTA isn't my favorite episode by a long shot, but it doesn't get my "worst" vote, either. I reserve that for "As You Were."
So subjective.

I don't like the Dracula one.
"Where the Wild Things Are" definitely isn't a good episode, but I don't think it's one of the worst. "Beer Bad" is by far the worst for me, and one of the few times I think the integrity of the show was lost in attempts to be funny. Thankfully, it doesn't have too much arc significance, so I can ignore it. Episodes like "Gingerbread" and, like Simon mentioned, "Gone" also make the ick-list.
I have no problem with "Where the Wild Things Are" being branded the worst. The last time I watched it I remember thinking "Will this never end?!"

I'm a bit more upset about "Chuck Versus the Predator". Admittedly there aren't that many bad episodes of Chuck, but I loved the Buy More gang war! Maybe I'm one of the few...
The original TWoP pages have longer descriptions:
Buffy had a couple episodes that fans weren't especially fond of, but for us, this episode was just pointless. The whole thing revolved around Buffy and Riley having lots and lots of sex at a frat house. A poltergeist made them do it, apparently. Sort of like the crazy Maryann the Maenad orgies happening on True Blood, but far, far less interesting. Did we mention the whole never-ending sex session happened during a frat party, and that Xander and Anya tried to have sex in an ice cream truck with little kids standing outside? Talk about your public displays of affection.


Episodes like "Gingerbread" and, like Simon mentioned, "Gone" also make the ick-list.
Whoa now! I love "Gingerbread"! Knock it again and you'll have to answer to MOO.

[ edited by Polter-Cow on 2009-08-10 17:52 ]
I don't hate that episode because of Anya and Xander being the ones to save the day. The scene where Anya gets her hand impaled and just keeps going sticks in my mind pretty strongly for some reason.

Not really a favourite, but I dig the episode.
So subjective.


I have a friend at work who hates Once More With Feeling. Despises it even.
Simon, I have to agree with you on Wrecked and Gone, but I would leave them sandwiched between Smashed and Doublemeat Palace. Easily the worst four consecutive episodes. I also don't like most of The Zeppo or Tracey Forbes' eoisodes Beer Bad and Where the Wild Things Are, though all three have their moments.
I, too, have issues with The Zeppo, despite the fact that the episode pops up in many best-of lists. The short version is that I dislike the fact that 'The Zeppo' seems to be a spoof of regular Buffy episodes... set within the Buffyverse continuity, thus devaluing it somewhat.

But the worst episode is probably 'Doublemeat Palace', yes. I don't find much to redeem that one. It isn't even fun, like 'Beed Bad' is, for instance. The 'Bag Eggs' hate I don't get. I've always really enjoyed that episode. If I'd have to vote for a S2 clunker, I'd go for 'Go Fish', where quite a few characters seem 'out of character'. But even that episode has some great scenes to redeem it. 'Doublemeat Palace', not so much :).
When it comes to the 30 Rock ep in question, I'll allow them the Aniston-hatred but the Night Court stuff was brilliant.

"We're giving America what they want! A reunion of friends! ...from Night Court."

And while I don't care for "Where the Wild Things Are", not sure I'd call it the worst episode of Buffy. Then again, I'm not sure which episode I'd pick for that title.
The worst of 'Buffy', IMHO, is still far better than what a lot of other shows produce as their 'best'.

But yah, WTWTA was an icky one.
"Go Fish" wasn't great but like every Buffy episode it had something worthwhile. Must admit I don't really remember "Where the Wild Things Are" that well (which might tell a tale itself).

"One Day, One Room" was a great episode of 'House' though, everything the characters said and did made sense to me. S'all subjective innit.
I loved the travelling to Italy "Sopranos" ep. Tony had a deep & strange relationship with the dark feminine & this episode (with the mob boss who is a woman) is another aspect of that...um...thing...(Also-- WTWTA kept my interest. The ep. had sort of a "Night Gallery"/fairy tale feeling.)
WTWTA is actually among my favorites. I thought it had a great mix of scares and laughs. Off the top of my head, I'd say my least favorite is "Superstar." I liked Jonathan a lot, but that episode had me rolling my eyes too much.
Thank you, Jayne's Hat. The righteous ought to stay away from such nonsense. The sex was hot. And funny.

/Bad Eggs is still the worst episode, doesn't matter
What's up with the vertical quotage?
Guess I'm one of the few who likes every Buffy episode. Honestly, I can't name a bad one.
I can't think of an episode that stands out as particularly bad, though I'm sure I liked some less than others. Clearly I need to go back and watch them all again so I can determine which is the worst.
I think the episode of Lost where Jack had his appendix removed was worse than the tattoo one. It was made even more unbearable because the one that preceded it - "The Shape of Things to Come" - is one of my favourites.

And, hmm, I didn't mind the Night Court episode of 30 Rock. Maybe because I've never seen Night Court?
It's all very subjective; plus, you guys are all wrong! ;) Kidding... I don't think WtWTA is the worst by any stretch, though. Even if you discount the eps older than a decade (you're getting off light, Bad Eggs...), I still don't think it's the worst.
z! You can't just say that without telling us which ep you do think is the worst. :)
Some Assembly Required. That was the name of the one I think is worst. Somebody up-thread also made me remember the one with the guy sucking the life out of children in the hospital. I really don't like that one at all.
Agree that WTWTA is not great Buffy, but it's still worth watching.

As is, for us, all Buffy.

It has, however, the single worst line of dialogue in Buffy, when Xander says, "She who smelt it, dealt it."

*cringes*

Simon, does the person who despises the musical like the rest of the show? 'Cos, that just does not compute...!
I have to agree with impalergeneral. "Doublemeat Palace" is my least favorite Buffy episode. "Reptile Boy" and "Bad Eggs" aren't great, either. WTWTA is okay, but not "the worst" in my book.
OMG I can't believe that some of you don't like 'The Zeppo'. I thought it was a brilliant episode, full of self deprecating humor. Superb stuff.

And as for 'Wrecked' and 'Gone' Well for me that had some wonderful 'attractions'...*g*
I have a friend at work who hates Once More With Feeling. Despises it even.


With some fear of being eaten, I completely hated Once More With Feeling. I was horribly embarrassed on first watch and gave it a second try on the recommendation of a friend but yeah, still didn't go down well.
Very subjective. I agree with Saje. Every episode had something worthwhile in it.

Except for Seeing Red.
I have to say I rather liked 'Seeing Red'. *runs*
I don't want this to become a really long post, so I'll just sum up by saying that I liked pretty much every episode I've seen that they listed.

And also that the person who talked about how She was the worst Angel episode except for the dancing is right on in my opinion.
I have to choose I robot you jane as my least favorite and even that has some lines that I love. Its great to have such a hard time picking a "worst episode" out of 144 choices.

Overall, I'd say its a pretty decent show. (lol)
OMG I can't believe that some of you don't like 'The Zeppo'. I thought it was a brilliant episode, full of self deprecating humor. Superb stuff.


It's a wonderful commentary on early Buffy. Also I have a copy of the script signed by Nick Brendon.
Progressive_Stupidity, I'm curious. What was it that you didn't like/embarrassed you about OMWF? If you don't want to talk about it on the board, my e-mail address is on my profile.
I dunno, it's a bit like arguing over which is the worst Michelangelo or Rembrandt. I'm sure they had their share of less-than-perfects.

The weakest episodes for me seem to be the ones directly before something stunningly brilliant, like they were siphoning off production time and creative resources for the later ep. Bad Eggs, Go Fish, The Zeppo, Beer Bad, WTWTA, etc. all fit the profile.
I have to say I rather liked 'Seeing Red'.

Why?

Re: Where The Wild Things Are: The sex part was one of the best parts of the episode. Especially the ice cream truck scene.

I couldn't agree more.
Aurec, I have found the same thing. When introducing friends to the show, I will usually warn them that the better episodes and the not as good episodes alternate in some seasons or portions of seasons.

As far as the weakest still being really good television, I'd agree with that.
Seeing Red has a lot of moments that have lead to endless discussion; I give it a thumbs up. Good/great ep does not necessarily mean fun to watch. Some of the best tv ever put on screen is good because of how draining/brutal it is emotionally.
newcj, thats kind of hard to answer, normally when I don't like something or think somethings stupid I can easily point out why.

With OMWF, I just didn't like it, period. I'm not really a fan of musicals in general and I found it to be really cheesy. When it comes down to it it just wasn't my type of episode, I suppose, but everyone else I know loved it.
I've commented before, Beer Bad was very enjoyable, having tongue-in-cheek fun with the "AfterSchool special" message. And had the best line reading, when Brendon yells "Nothing can defeat the penis!"

Progressive_Stupidity, I normally hate musicals too. The fact that I enjoyed the episode, that it overcame my antipathy, pushes it pretty high on my list of good Buffy eps.

[ edited by OneTeV on 2009-08-10 20:13 ]
Something from Season 7. I'd need a re-watch to pick though.

The poorer eps in earlier seasons only stand out and make lists, IMO, because they're surrounded by goodness. A lot of those supposedly bad episodes from Seasons 1-6 or so only seem bad in comparison to what surrounds them season-long. "Beer Bad" may've been silly at the time, but it was only bad when Season 4 was all we were up to, for me. In retrospect, I dunno, I forgive it. It's stupid fun, but better stupid fun than many other shows have managed. "Bad Eggs" is a poor episode of Buffy and probably one of the worst for re-watches of the earlier years, but there were worse in the final year. At least "Bad Eggs" feels like part of the show, a naturally-occuring case-of-the-week/one-off in the midst of arc-y goodness and better character-developing one-offs throughout Season 2, but that's about all I can defend it for. Whereas some S7 eps felt like the thread had been lost and we were in danger of the train coming off the tracks.

Aside from "Conversations with Dead People", "Selfless", for some folks the series finale, and maybe a couple others (I'm a big fan of all of early Season 7 up until some of the stupidity in "Sleeper", then it all ranged from mediocre to bad for me until the finale, with one little stop at "The Killer in Me" feeling like quality and character moments peppered throughout. I thought the last scene in "Lessons" hinted at S7 being epic--and "Chosen" was, sure--but The First Evil was disappointingly lame for the most part. Didn't start liking the Potentials until the odd one turned out to be okay in the Season 8 comics--even "Millie" from Freaks & Geeks didn't soften my view toward them during S7).

"Where the Wild Things Are" gave us good Xander and Anya interaction, them getting to save the day (even better in retrospect, given the way Xander got shafted for storyline and having much at all to do in S7), I can't complain about Buffy/Riley sex, weird vine things (I liked The Ruins, I'm a fan of killer plants), and the joke about "people going all Felicity with their hair" that few new Buffy fans will get anymore (although I remember it was in the trailer for that ep).

I wasn't cool with "The Zeppo" spoofing the show either when I first saw the ep, it was already hard enough to take the dramatic elements serious sometimes with the crazyness going on everywhere else (actually, I think I was just more sensitive to this sorta thing at the time 'cause it was harder to get other folks to take the show seriously). But I've made my peace with it since and it's a fun Xander ep. Dunno why it's frequently made Top 10 and even sometimes Top 5 lists though.

Don't agree with their pick from The Office. There was cruelty in that ep once again directed at Toby, sure, but the uncomfortableness of that situation was still funny. I think some fans didn't like it because they want to be able to like Michael and Dwight more, but the reality is they're nerds-earlier-in-life-turned-socially-inept-and-sometimes-bullies-as-adults, with many redeeming qualities, sure...but it wasn't out of character for them to frame Toby (just really unprofessional and bizarre, which is par for the course for that series). Everyone gets on Pam's case too about the messy microwave/lunch room notes thing, but...eh, don't see the big deal.

Heh, the worst ep of 24 is spot on. Season 7 recovered considerably, and surprisingly, from the seemingly irrepairable damage that Season 6 inflicted (only really the first 4 episodes and the last 10 minutes of the finale of Season 6 were any good).
On a purely objective scale, "Teacher's Pet" would win. But it's Ep. 4 and they were still figuring out what they were doing. Later seasons don't get graded on a curve, so "Bad Eggs" wins the Booby Prize.
I recall about 3 episodes in a row in the middle of season seven where everyone sat in Buffy's living room and talked about how scary the First is. That was my low point. I take it they were saving money for the finale at this point so I forgive it.
Very good point about Seeing Red, zeitgeist...but I hate the episode. Probably always will.
I find moments that take me out of the story far more disruptive than storytelling that's not up to par. For example, in WTWTA, in one scene, Anya's hand gets injured, badly, in a closeup even, but to the best of my recollection, the injury is never mentioned or referenced again at all, not even with even a bandage later in the episode or in subsequent ones. Since the show as a whole does such an excellent job of following through with consequences, I find myself kind of annoyed that the injury just got ignored. Why film it in close up if it's not relevant to anything else that's to come in terms of continuity?

The only two I actually dislike enough to skip when working through entire seasons at a stretch are Storyteller (BtVS s7) and The Girl In Question (Angel, s5). I think the style, tone and focus of the episodes just doesn't work for me.

Beer Bad's kind of dumb, but honestly, dumb humor works well in some stories, so I just roll with it. Plus, BB has Kai Penn, and Parker got bashed in the head. Given the rather whimsical nature of the elements I like, I have no trouble overlooking the dumbness of some of the rest of it.
I actually liked Where the Wild Things are...if not for the quotes alone:

"....people going all Felicity with their hair."

"I'm just trying to tell you that we have nothing in common besides both of us liking your penis."

And who can forget Willow's line...."get over it".....yeah, I'm not hating this episode at all. There have been worse.
"Doublemeat Palace". And that's all I have to say about "Worst Buffy episode".
maxsummers--i will have to agree w/ you on "Doublemeat Palace" although "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Bad Eggs" are up there too.
I'd say She (except for the dancing) and Killed By Death are the worst.
Oh, and "Go Fish." That one wasn't great, either, even if there were some nice swimmer bodies LOL ;-)
Oh, "Normal Again," that's the only episode I dislike and I'd go so far as saying I hate it to little pieces. Something about the implications it had just wasn't sitting right with me when i watched it. I felt sick and like I was going to cry because what if all of it had been made up. Normally, those alternate dream world episodes are supposed to be fun, this one was horribly depressing and the entire time I'm saying to myself, "Well, there's Angel. I know she didn't make up a whole other show as well" and it's the only thing that kept me sane.

[ edited by The Xan Man on 2009-08-10 21:47 ]
And that, funnily enough, is precisely why I love it ;). It might just be the bravest episode of TV Joss has made I reckon.
Scraggles said:
"in WTWTA, in one scene, Anya's hand gets injured, badly, in a closeup even, but to the best of my recollection, the injury is never mentioned or referenced again at all, not even with even a bandage later in the episode or in subsequent ones. Since the show as a whole does such an excellent job of following through with consequences, I find myself kind of annoyed that the injury just got ignored. Why film it in close up if it's not relevant to anything else that's to come in terms of continuity?"

Far as filming it close-up/relevancy, lots of shows will focus on an injury purely for impact/shock value. Maybe to help with the the illusion that it really hurt. I remember, during that ep, fearing for the character a tiny bit (a plant goes through her hand, that's pretty nasty--a spike went through Cordelia's chest, that was pretty extreme too). It upped the ante a little on the danger quotient for that ep.

I forget what the explanation for the magic/haunting or whatever was. Did a lot of things go back to normal after Xander and Anya fixed things ? Did the plants disappear, or did they remain on the railings and whatnot, only dead ? Buffy and Riley stopped banging finally, did stuff that happened to other partygoers cease or reverse themselves (did we see the girl have hair again?). Maybe Anya's injury disappeared with the ending of the magic. If not, then maybe there's a justifiable fanwank for it. And if not that, then you're right, they goofed big-time on the injury.
Just want to add to the “Normal Again” praise. I’d enjoyed catching the odd ep on the telly for quite some time, somehow liking it fine while missing all the arc-y stuff, but after managing to catch that episode it compelled me, strongly, to give Buffy my full viewership. I don’t think any other episode could have done the same for me.
Where The Wild Things Are is pretty bad - when the kids on the frat house start touching the wall... surely the most cringe-inducing thing in the entire series. It was just a rubbish idea for an episode. I always think maybe there was something I missed or that I'm remembering it wrong, but I just rewatched it a few nights ago, and it's still terrible.

But it's number 143 on my list. Empty Places is the worst, purely for the last 10 minutes. Which I won't elaborate on, since I want to go to bed still in a good mood, but I suspect you all know what I'm talking about, whether you agree or not...
Yep, i'll just chime back in on 'Normal Again' because I did my usual annoying thing (well it annoys me anyway ;) of saying "Joss made" when in fact Diego Gutierrez wrote it and Rick Rosenthal directed it (and presumably it was broken in the writer's room by everyone).

Joss oversaw it though and you have to respect anyone willing to screw with their fictional universe so fundamentally in order to tell a story (and to make a point about "chosen realities" and, IMO, fans and fandom). Ballsy ;).
I for one love Beer Bad & The Zeppo. I can understand people not liking the Zeppo, but seriously, Beer Bad may be a silly episode but it's hilarious.

Season 6 is filled with horrible writing, and Doublemeat Palace might be the worse (don't get my started on how stupid it is for Buffy to be working a fast food job at NIGHT TIME). Listening to Fear is one I haven't seen mentioned, that episode had nothing going on, not even some comedy.
Season 2 has a heavy amount of cheese for sure but Doublemeat Palace gets my vote hands down. I just cant understand what the message of that episode was and it feels like filler to me.
I think it might be "Beware of giant penis monsters".

That's the thing about BtVS - layers.
Girl in Question, Girl in Question!

It's not the worst episode of Angel, but it's by far the most disappointing. Season 5 of Angel is perfect for me except for Harm's Way and Girl in Question. The former was in the first half of the season, and I can forgive it. The latter... it was the pen-penultimate episode of the series. The humor was too over-the-top for me at times--I laughed plenty, but it just felt too goofy. A lighter episode might've been a nice way to handle the last non-arc episode, but I don't think this was the one to do.

That said, I appreciate it a lot more when I think of it as a final statement about Angel the series versus Buffy the series. Sort of an episode about how Angel had become an excellent series in its own right, no longer needing Buffy to propel it to success. But still, I don't like the episode itself very much.
I'd go with the idea that Doublemeat Palace is about paralysis (an idea stolen by me from this review). And I kinda love it. A lot. Probably because when I watch it I know that I've felt exactly the same way (and, well, I like to watch depressing stuff). I also love the small Dawn/Xander scene where Dawn starts to realise how bad Buffy has it, Dawn doesn't get much to do in S6 and I think it's a good character bit.

WTWTA isn't too bad, probably in my bottom 10 but it has it's moments (Spike/Anya interaction, Giles singing).

'Bad Eggs' would get my vote for worst episode. Not that it doesn't have some merit (Giles nearly smashing the egg), but the final 10 minutes or so I just find painful (also, though probably an example of the episodes better qualities to some, the skittery thing in Buffy's bedroom freaks me out more than any other Buffy monster). I also dislike 'Wrecked' and 'Normal Again' (I can't get past the continuity problems).

Like a lot of others I'd pick 'She' as the worst Angel episode, though I like the dancing, and Angel trying to crush the coffee with his vampire strength.

Spot on with the BSG pick. Though I have very little love for the finale...
Lone voice of love here for "Bad Eggs."

A lot of people have bought up how its cheesy to the extreme, and I won't lie, I think thats why I love it. Its a well told little horror movie which is fairly clunky but the better for it. It's the last chance to have a little bit of real fun before we're plunged into the emotional meltdown of "Surprise" and "Innocence." One could in fact argue, ironically that its the last 'innocent' episode of BTVS. After that we do get standalones, 'Killed by Death', 'Go Fish', but they all have a certain darkness hanging over them due to Angelus' over hanging arc. Even in the third season when Angel returns, what's gone before has changed the show to the extent that they will never go back to that stage of childhood. So kudos to "Bad Eggs"

Whereas I used to really dislike the episode, "Where the Wild Things Are" is no longer hated and I've found a lot of things to enjoy with it. As said with my point before, Buffy can afford to be campy at times. Am I correct in thinking that the reason for all this sex and Sarah Michelle Gellar's reduced role was because she was off filming 'Angel' at that point?

I suppose my least favorites would have to be the aforementioned trilogy of "Smashed", "Wrecked" and "Doublemeat Palace" (I found something to enjoy about "Gone" even though it would be within my bottom half in terms of ranking) which scream out filler despite the development of some major plots. For the same reason, its why I despise a lot of Season Seven, from "Never Leave You" onwards.

Just my two pennies.
Does Doublemeat Palace follow Smashed, Wrecked, and Gone? I always call the last three the Terrible Trilogy. But if Doublemeat Palace comes after it I'll have to change that to the Something-that-begins-with-Q Quadrology. DP has always gotten my vote for the worst but I think my least favorite is Hell's Bells. To be honest almost all of Season 6 makes me shake my head in dismay. The best thing I can say about 7 is that it isn't 6.

But I also think every episode has something good in it. A scene or maybe just a line of dialogue or character moment. But there's always some little something that makes me go "I hate that ep, except for when...."
If you took the sex out of WTWTA it's got some great moments. The Spike/Anya scene, Xander's she who smelt it line, Giles singing, lots of great stuff. And it's not sex in general I object to, it's the Buffy/Riley lack of chemistry. I just hated watching people NOT seeming to enjoy themselves.

My worst episode is probably As You Were, where Riley and Sam were just portrayed as so much better than everyone else in every way that even Dawn suddenly decided Riley was practically the love of her life. Yuck.

I loved Beer Bad, Gone and The Zeppo, I enjoyed I Robot You Jane and Bad Eggs.

Xan Man:
"Well, there's Angel. I know she didn't make up a whole other show as well" and it's the only thing that kept me sane."
Heh. Good one.
If I chose a "worst" Buffy and then watched it again, I'd change my mind. They're always better than I remember.
Something-that-begins-with-Q Quadrology

You could always change it to Something-that-begins-with-F Four. ;)
I also like Seeing Red, because it got Spike to where he ended up in Season 7. I thought it was a very powerful ep, that always brings tears to my eyes. It made Spike really look inward and go after his soul.
Buffy was at its worst with Smashed, Wrecked, Gone, Doublemeat Palace, etc. The entire middle of season 6 left me cold.
I nearly said Beer Bad but thinking about it... it has to be Gone. What a HORRIBLE episode. How can a series that produces comedy episodes like Dopplegangland and Pangs think that was funny?

I don't mind WTWTA and I like Bad Eggs, I've never understood the hate for that one. Beer Bad and Gone would have to be my my two least favourite episodes in the series. For Ats it is She.
Smashed was pretty mediocre, up until the last few minutes. Was I the only one to wear out my tape? ;)

My problem with Dracula is that the Dracula myth just doesn't fit with Buffy continuity. That and the portrayal of Dracula as looking like an underwear model.
Am I one of the few who actually *likes* Bad Eggs? I dunno why exactly, just something about that ep I've always loved. I also think Beer Bad is hilarious, don't understand why people are always so down on it. And I wouldn't classify WTWTA as the most disappointing ep by a long shot. True, it does have a lot of Buffy/Riley sexcapades, but other than that, the premise was actually kinda cool/interesting.

My picks for most disappointing ep would go to:
IRYJ
Inca Mummy Girl
Some Assembly Required

...

But let's face it, even the most "disappointing" ep of Buffy is loads better than no Buffy at all.
I am with Menomegirl- Seeing Red? Not so much. And I really wish people would focus on the person who was actually destroyed in that ep, rather than Spike and his AR. That was secondary to the larger development in SR. Which, again, I don't care for at all. Well, really, I hate it. Okay, loath it. Really loath it.

WTWTA, not so great, but is okay. I Robot, was poor, and Bad Eggs was as well.
Aw, I can't beat up on "Inca Mummy Girl". Ampata's situation genuinely sucked and was sad, Xander often falling for/lusting after demons is a trend I enjoyed (sure, even in "First Date", even though it ain't a great ep), and I can't remember a whole lot else about the ep even though I've seen it a few times, but it felt like one of the standard, decent highschool eps.

"Some Assembly Required" worked for me at the time, I dunno. Another standard decent highschool ep. It's very possible I see a lot of Season 2 through rose-colored glasses, but...Darryl would've been sympathetic if it hadn't been for the willingness to murder to make himself a mate. First time I spotted the likelihood of Xander/Cordy happening (which didn't make it any less hilarious/awesome when they kissed under duress in "What's My Line"). I remember traces of other stuff I liked too (Buffy/Angel angst, back when it was fresh and I cared much about that 'ship).

Redeem, no problems with "Smashed" either, especially not the awesome crumbling house fight/sex scene (and not just for pervy reasons, I thought it was completely awesome for the show too. Shame about "Wrecked", 'cause Season 6 had really been on a roll up until that point). The Buffy/Spike was great comedy and drama throughout Season 5 and 6, IMO (didn't so much like Spike going after his soul at the end of Season 6, but I've a few issues with the last couple episodes at the end of Season 6 outside of Xander saving Willow and a few other bits).
Aw, now I need to re-watch BtVS again. (gotta finish Firefly & Serenity first, though) Problems, problems.

Kris, I think you're right. Now that I think about it, there might have been one of those reset button moments (that I also dislike) basically undoing the damage in some way. Guess I'll have to watch again to find out.

And Jossfan_21's right. I've watched the episodes I groan about lots of times, so even if they aren't my favorites, (or I loathe them), they've still got enough character and structure to hold my interest for repeated viewings, which I definitely can't say about lots of other shows.

Now that I think about it though, I'm definitely bothered by the whole Normal Again/re-written realities idea. That specific idea/reality just bugs me, (more than Dawn's)since the tone of it just seems not to fit with so much of what we've understood about Buffy herself, and her struggles, from earlier episodes and seasons. Somehow it just doesn't fit, for all that it's an interesting idea.

FWIW, I loathe the whole 'Buffy as victim/martyr' arc, so that may well be part of the reason I hate Normal Again's basic premise.
Where the Wild Things Are is the only BtVS episode I haven't watched more than once. Part of that is me being a bit of a newcomer as well as skipping it when I was showing the series to my younger sister. I'll watch it when I next go through them all, and maybe I'll find some redeeming element.

And I have to stick up for Gone - I found it funny, but maybe I'm the only one. Certainly not one of the greatest but I don't think it belongs on the worst-ever list.
My least favorite episode has to be DoubleMeat Palace.

I liked both Where the Wild Things Are and Beer Bad.
Since we're talking about Angel too...Why is it that I'm the only one who seems to absolutely hate "Why We Fight"? It is the only buffyverse ep that actually bores me thoroughly.

It seems to have elements that would make for a good show. Drew Goddarn. A WWII story. But ugh I hate hate it. It makes "She" look wonderful. That whole partly souled siring is ridiculous, also it's terribly boring, did I mention that? So there's my worst.
Cyclopticxander, I'm not crazy about Why We Fight... it was the last new Buffyverse episode for me (only episode of Angel season 5 that I missed the first time around, so I saw it on DVD) so I made a big deal out of it, kind of a mini movie night and... it didn't live up to what I put on it, let's put it that way.

The last new episode of BtVS for me was much better... Conversations with Dead People (for the same reason - missed it until the DVD came out). I've never really seen it discussed on Whedonesque, so I dunno if the consensus is that it's great, but I certainly thought it was a masterpiece.
To me the point of Doublemeat Palace was using the opposite of the American Dream (the American Nightmare perhaps) to illustrate and heighten Buffy's state of mind and her fears about her future...which of course reflects that of manyyoung people who get off track and stalled. That said, I don't think the episode worked, and I don't really like it, but I like Killed by Death and Some Assembly Required less.
If we're talking Angel as well, I have to say that "Provider" is the episode I liked the least.

Dana5140-I disliked Seeing Red in its entirity, so I cannot focus on just one part of it.

Adding my voice to the chorus who loved "Normal Again".
Something-that-begins-with-Q Quadrology

Quince ?
I love the randomness of comments on this board!

I hate to admit it but I stopped watching when Oz left in season 5, Glory bugged me and sooky Spike was just off. But theres no way you can stay away.
Bad Beer really got to me as awful tv, but....i did watch it only recently and even the worst buffy eps still have these great one off moments where you can go "All is forgiven"

And whats with the Quadrology thing, love it, but HUH?
Not a fan of Giles' angry acting in WTWA, it seems indistinguishable from his deliberately bad acting in "This Year's Girl" or "Who Are You" (sorry, I forget which). And I have a bunch of other reasons why I dislike it, but I haven't watched it in so long that I've forgotten the specifics.

I, too, have issues with The Zeppo, despite the fact that the episode pops up in many best-of lists. The short version is that I dislike the fact that 'The Zeppo' seems to be a spoof of regular Buffy episodes... set within the Buffyverse continuity, thus


... making it extra awesome.
Menomegirl- me, too. Just making a point. :-)
I enjoyed Bad Eggs too.
I wouldn't say WTWTA is the worst ep, just really uneven. My picks would be Go Fish and Killed by Death.

I loved Beer Bad, and I may be only one of two (three?) to defend Doublemeat Palace. I hated it the first time I saw it, but rewatched it and found lots to love. Some great humor and a whole lot of interesting messages. And then I'm a vegetarian, so .... ;)

I can't imagine not appreciating Normal Again, I think it's positively brilliant.
"Where the Wild Things Are" is not one of my favorites, I have to agree. "I Robot You Jane" is clunky, but early enough in the show's run to excuse. "Killed by Death" is drab and dreary, and an episode I never rewatch, but even so, there are some interesting things in it. "Beer Bad" makes me laugh, and always has. "Doublemeat Palace" and "Gone" are both darkly terrific, IMHO. "Normal Again"? Fricking genius.

The most *disappointing* episodes for me are those in that stretch of Season 7 when, for the first time, watching BtVS felt like a tedious chore: "Never Leave Me," "Bring On The Night," and "Showtime." Thankfully, I thought the season picked up again after that.
Rachelkachel - I agree with you about Gone. While depressing, it does have some really funny moments. I love Buffy's torment of the social worker. :)
I agree-I think "Normal Again" was brilliant. Here we have a series that's into its 6th year. You think you pretty much know everything about Buffy at this point. And then the writers throw in a monkey wrench into the works with suddenly revealed information that Buffy was apparently so ashamed of that she kept it to herself all this time. It was not only very plausible that Buffy's parents had checked her into a clinic, it fit the continuity of the 'verse perfectly. It added layers of meaning to those Buffy/Joyce scenes in S2 and S3. But what was even more fasinating was the way the episode ended--the possibility that maybe it really was all in her head.
And the way Buffy basically decided it didn't matter. Where reality's concerned, whichever "version" of it you choose to hang your hat on, if you keep looking and asking questions you eventually come to a point where its true nature is unknown and even unknowable, where a leap of faith is required. Buffy made her choice and leaped.

...watching BtVS felt like a tedious chore: "Never Leave Me," "Bring On The Night," and "Showtime." ...

Ah but "Bring on the Night" had the "And it'll choke on me" speech SNT. In this way it is redeemed ;).
I would say that Seeing Red is the moat disappointing ep, but "disappointing" doesn't even begin to cover my feelings for this episode...

I have, however, decided to renege Inca Mummy Girl from my (albeit short) disappointing ep list. Kris had a convincing argument in defense of the episode. Ampata's story was a touching one, (it seems she was forced into a destiny much like Buffy was) and I did feel sorry for her because hey, who wants to die? She was jipped out of so many experiences and only wanted a chance to live life (ok, so she was going around murdering people, but still..).And of course I felt bad for Xander, the hapless, unassuming boy always falling for the wrong girl...

Man, this has really got me Jonesing for some old school Buffy. Time to break out the season 2 dvd (which just happens to be my fave season). :)
Mummy Girl would definitely be on my list, except: Oz. *Because* she's in an eskimo costume.
I started a reply to this topic yesterday, but it got kind of long and messy. Let’s see if I can condense a little….

While BtVS is probably my favorite show of all time – and Angel’s not too far behind – and I agree that even the “worst” episodes are better than most all other TV and have at least some worthy lines or character moments, I find that there are a handful which come to mind as “worst”… or “least excellent”. Actually, “most disappointing” might be a good term for it.

I’ll join in on the Doublemeat Palace non-love. It wasn’t very funny, didn’t ring true – just didn’t have much going for it. (I’ll also join the concensus for worst Angel episode being “She-except-for-the-dancing”, although season one had several iffy eps, imho – most, if not all, of my least favorite Angels are probably there.)

I'm also on the "disappointing" side with Beer Bad. Some of my favorite Buffy episodes have been humor-centric ones – including Forbes’ Something Blue. But, imho, most of the attempted humor in this one fell flat. Not every joke has to be witty; but, it feels to me like wit was pretty lacking in this episode as a whole.

And yes, Normal Again is among my bottom few Buffy episodes. To be fair, I do have to note that I was watching BtVS as first broadcast in the US by the time it premiered – which meant that, due to the vagaries of the TV scheduling that season, Normal Again was the last image of Buffy I was left with for SEVEN… WEEKS. So there is the possibilty that my antipathy for the ep isn’t completely based solely on its own merits (or lack thereof). But aside from that, I have several reasons for my distaste. The retcon that Buffy told her parents about vampires when she first encountered them, and was subsequently institutionalized, is a stupid one, making very little sense, adding nothing to the continuity, and basically begging to be ignored (as it subsequently has been). The episode has very little to recommend it – one scene with Xander and Spike, maybe a little of the Joyce appearance, otherwise bringing little of interest to the unpleasantness. It often feels like the work of a first (and only) time writer which it is. The premise wasn’t original, having been done both before and (at least in the case of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) better. How many other times did Charmed beat Buffy to the punch by several months? And the denounment, to me, just screamed of a desparate attempt to be “OO!! SHOCKING! OO!!” which accomplished only leaving a bad taste in the mouth. Meh.

I guess I’ll save comments on eps others have mentioned which don’t make my own “worsts” for another post, except to mention that Killed by Death is no longer among mine as (while still not a classic) it was better than I remembered on my last rewatch, and that my only real problem with Bad Eggs is the regressive, and kind of loathsome, characterization of Joyce.

Some Assembly Required, maybe Beauty and the Beasts, Reptile Boy, Teacher’s Pet would probably round out my personal “least great” list – as there’s no terrrible episode of Buffy; all imho; etc.
Ah, another defender of Beer Bad and even Doublemeat Palace (SNT). "Darkly terrific" in an fact a great expression of how I've come to feel about Doublemeat Palace (Gone, not so much - but I still see the dark beneath the humor, so it's vintage Buffy).

The most *disappointing* episodes for
me are those in that stretch of Season 7 when, for the first time, watching BtVS felt like a tedious chore: "Never Leave Me," "Bring On The Night," and "Showtime."


But there we part company. Three eps .... CWDP, Sleeper, and Never Leave Me, make up my favorite "mimi-arc" of season7. Sleeper is actually my favorite ep of the entire season.

Even Showtime, which had three interwoven themes, was partially redeemed in the sequences about Spike's captivity by The First. (My prejudices showing here, Spike being my favorite character and JM my favorite actor in the entire series).

I'm probably talking to myself at this point, but BtS is an endless source of goodies I never get tired of rummaging through. And oddly enough, as frustrating as season7 was in some ways (wildly uneven, the only season I'd consider better in concept than in execution, overall), I like it much more after two complete re-watches on DVD, in the last couple of years.
Each season had two or three candidates for "least favorite ep", for me, and season7 had no more than any other.
When it was good, it was very good, IMO.
....And yes, Normal Again is among my bottom few Buffy episodes. I have several reasons for my distaste. The retcon that Buffy told her parents about vampires when she first encountered them, and was subsequently institutionalized, is a stupid one, making very little sense, adding nothing to the continuity, and basically begging to be ignored (as it subsequently has been).
LKW | August 12, 02:21 CET


OK, I have to take serious issue with this. Not on the merits of the ep, because of the whole subjectivity thing. (Although it's in my personal top ten favorites, or close). But with "begging to be ignored, as it subsequently has been".
Got the link to prove that's not so, someone posted it just earlier this year. And as a huge fan of this ep, I've read a number of other critiques - this one just happens to be my favorite, so I bookmarked it:

http://www.monash.com/buffy_NA.html
I think LKW meant that it was ignored by the writers as they continued the story.

That dead spot in the middle of season 7 is my most disappointing part of the series, but not my least favorite individual episodes...though they are near the bottom. Does that make sense?
Yes, I do think I know what you're saying, newcj. When I was thinking about this topic, I found there wasn't really anything from season 7 coming to mind. On reflection, I realized that there's a fair part of season 7 that's just kind of "there" - a number of eps which seem to have nothing remarkable, or maybe even distinguishing, either for good or bad. I like season 7 pretty well on the whole, and there are some great episodes in there (I'd say Lies My Parents Told Me is one which I've not seen mentioned much lately) - but I can certainly see how some of the eps could be pretty low in esteem while not really having anything which screams out "least good".

And, you did correctly interpret what I was talking about with Normal Again - that retcon plot point never being used by any writer working in the continuity again.

I hope I wasn't too harsh to anyone's favorite ep, by the way. I know I've been nonplussed when someone dismisses one of my faves (almost violent shock when someone, similar to Simon's co-worker above, didn't like Once More, with Feeling; outrage at some of the comments someone had about the Serenity film on another blog a few years ago...); but, I guess with these episodes with people on both sides of the best/worst (or least-best, anyway) argument, I do feel I should try to spell out the reasons for my position if I can.

And I don't even skip any of these episodes if I'm doing a season rewatch (about all I've ever skipped, once or twice, are a couple of scenes - Doris the social worker's visit in Gone [though I like that ep on the whole better than some - "I'm... nobody you know!"], Dawn's "cheerleading routine" in Him), so, as much as I may have some problems with a few of them, I guess I can truly say I don't hate any of them, even if I may have a kneejerk reaction of "No" or "Why?" when seeing one mentioned as a favorite....
You didn't harsh my favorite episode. You just wrote what you thought of NA, same as we all have.

Oh and IMO, the retcon plot point (Buffy's parents admitting her to a clinic) in NA didn't need to be explored further. It was perfect just as it was.
You didn't harsh my favorite episode. You just wrote what you thought of NA, same as we all have.

Yeah, exactly. No insults, well justified opinion - no harm no foul LKW ;).

That said, I don't have an issue with the "been done" thing since everything has pretty much been done (I have a sort of mental list of what I call the strange attractors of genre television i.e. episodes that almost any sufficiently long genre show will eventually feature and "None of this is real" is on there, beside "The Groundhog Day Episode", "The Body Swap Episode", "The Phasing out of Reality" episode, "The double/clone episode", "The memory wipe episode" ... you get the idea ;) and I don't have an issue with the "Ooh, shocking !" thing because completely undermining the entire universe is shocking to me. As I say, Buffy had made her choice though, which is why none of it needs referring to again i.e. the truth or otherwise of what we see in 'Normal Again' is irrelevant. In a sense it's outside the universe of the show, partly because it's a meta comment and partly because Buffy chooses to put it "outside" (so you have this lovely meta/non-meta intertwining). Good telly that, mileage varies though ;)

(agreed though 'Far Beyond the Stars' is brilliant TV, even if it's not doing quite the same thing as NA IMO)
Most viewers love "All the Way;" I'm also not one.

One BtVS book said the first "truly awful" (as oppsoed to just bad) epsidoe was "I WAs MAde to Love You" because "It had no reason to exists excpet to further the season arc." Odd criterion; persoannly, having a super-strong Shonda Farr, e ven without imagination, to say hello to me every day, would be about 89 steps up from Jennifer the stuffed dog.

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