Series creator Joss Whedon has said that the idea for Buffy came from all the horror movies he had seen featuring a helpless young blonde who would almost always be the first to die. He felt she needed a better image.
Although she was not credited by name, one of the executive producers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) was Dolly Parton, who had a production partnership (called Sandollar Entertainment) with Sandy Gallin, who had managed Parton's career.
Kali Rocha, who showed up in the sixth season as vengeance demon Halfreck, first appeared in a flashback episode in the fifth season as Cecily, the woman who spurned William, causing him to become the vampire known as Spike. Having already cast Rocha as Halfreck, the writers knew the loyal fans would immediately recognize her, so as an inside joke between them, when Halfreck first saw Spike, she said, "William?" It is debated whether they are the same character.
Series creator Joss Whedon wanted to do a musical episode as early as the first season, but the network wouldn't allow him to. When the show switched networks after the fifth season, he was finally able to get his wish, resulting in the episode Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Once More, with Feeling (2001).
Although Joss Whedon had intended to end the series after season seven, UPN were willing to renew the series for an eighth year. But Sarah Michelle Gellar said she would not return for a new season as did Whedon.
Because of the feud with UPN and the WB over Buffy jumping networks, crossovers between Buffy (which was on UPN), and Angel (1999) (which remained on the WB) were prohibited during season six (season three of Angel).
Originally another actress had been cast as Anya, but backed out after finding out it was only for two guest spots. The role wound up going to Emma Caulfield Ford, and, starting toward the end of the third season, Anya became a regular character throughout the rest of the show's run.
Joss Whedon based the character of Cordelia Chase on a girl with whom his wife attended high school, and Xander Harris on himself. According to Nicholas Brendon, this is why Xander "gets all the good lines".
Ryan Reynolds was originally offered the role of Xander. He passed on it because of his own awful high school experiences. "I love that show and I loved Joss Whedon," Reynolds told 'The Toronto Star' in 2008. "But my biggest concern was that I didn't want to play a guy in high school." (Quoted in: Dibdin, Emma. "27 things you never knew about Buffy the Vampire Slayer," published in 'Digital Spy' Online, August 18 2014.)
During the first through fourth seasons, the main stuntwoman for Sarah Michelle Gellar was Sophia Crawford, and the show's stunt coordinator was Crawford's husband, Jeff Pruitt. Pruitt and Crawford left at the end of season four, and Pruitt posted on a Buffy fans' Internet message board a lengthy diatribe titled "The Parable of the Knight," in which he aired his disagreements with the show's producers and star in the form of an allegorical fairy tale (Pruitt himself was "the knight" in his story). Showrunner Joss Whedon then responded on the same message boards, saying (in part): "this isn't a fairy tale. Or a thinly veiled 'parable.' It's a hard, gruelingly hard job, ten months a year, thirteen hours a day, with fifty or more people straining, working, getting in each other's face, stepping on each other's toes, driving each other crazy... There are conflicts, raging egos--and even occasional backstabbing, I'm sorry to say. There are very few 'plots,' and as far as I can tell, no jousting of any kind. People just wear on each other and eventually sometimes you have to make a change. No one's to blame--or everyone is. But either people get into a groove of working as part of the whole or they don't. And seeing yourself as a noble knight being plotted against by evil courtiers really doesn't help."
The entire first season was filmed before the first episode went to air, giving them the opportunity to go back and re-shoot various scenes. The scene in the library where Buffy states "it's my first day..." was actually filmed on the last day of shooting, after they decided her original performance was too forceful and aggressive. Another scene added to the pilot (to fill in time, as it was shorter than expected) was the infamous "you have something in your eye" scene, where The Master blinds a vampire who had failed him.
David Fury said in some DVD commentaries that Sarah Michelle Gellar doesn't like to act laughing because she found herself too fake. To tease her, Fury wrote scenes where Buffy laughed whenever he could.
Interviewer Will Harris asked why actors from the cancelled series Firefly (2002) became characters in the last few seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) and Angel (1999), referring to Nathan Fillion as Caleb in "Buffy" and to Gina Torres as Jasmine and Adam Baldwin as Marcus Hamilton in "Angel" (as well as Alan Tudyk in Dollhouse (2009)), and whether Whedon had promised them "work if their show tanked." Whedon replied, "No, you know, I was against it at first. I thought, it'll seem incestuous and weird. But then, they're, like, Joss, nobody saw Firefly (2002). No one will know. You know these actors are great, you know you love working with them, you know you need somebody bigger than life for the role, and, so, get over it. And I did. Rather dramatically." in "Joss for a minute: A brief chat with Joss Whedon," (11/29/2005).
Originally, Joss Whedon didn't want either of Buffy's parents to appear as characters on the show. Accepting that that could get complicated, he settled on just having her mother, Joyce, appear in a nearly regular role, while Buffy's father Hank appeared in very few episodes.
The series is not based on the feature film Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), but Joss Whedon's original screenplay, which had been heavily re-written to be more comedic. The Buffy comic book series adapted the screenplay, bringing the events of the movie in-line with the television show's continuity.
U.S. ratings for the series over the seven year run: Season One - 3.7 million viewers; Season Two - 5.2 million viewers; Season Three - 5.3 million viewers; Season Four - 5.1 million viewers; Season Five - 4.5 million viewers; Season Six - 4.6 million; viewers Season Seven - 4.1 million.
Seth Green disliked being underutilized in season three, as he hated having to show up for work when he'd only have one or two lines the whole time. This is why Oz is absent midway through season four.
The prologue ("In every generation there is a chosen one....") is not used consistently. Two of the first twelve episodes don't use it. During the second season, use of the prologue becomes even more spotty. Rupert intones it only during the second season.
Jenny Calendar was originally to have been called Nicki. This was changed to Jenny to avoid confusion on the set, Nicholas Brendon being generally called Nicky by his co-stars. However, in season seven, the character Nikki Wood was added, and appears in several episodes.
Throughout the series, there are numerous references to reference books, or spells, being written in Sumerian. Sumerian writing is the oldest example of writing on Earth. Although hieroglyphs were first used, symbols were later made to represent syllables. In fact, a large body of hundreds of thousands of texts in the Sumerian language have survived, such as personal or business letters, receipts, lexical lists, laws, hymns, prayers, stories, daily records, and even libraries full of clay tablets. Monumental inscriptions and texts on different objects like statues or bricks are also very common. Many texts survive in multiple copies, because they were repeatedly transcribed by scribes-in-training.
Producer and writer Marti Noxon, who was hired during the second season, reportedly thought the series would be a failed television show after a "failed movie", but was hooked after watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Angel (1997) (particularly the scene in which Buffy offers her neck to Angel).
The first vampire make-up test was done on Julie Benz, and caused her to have an allergic reaction towards the prosthetic. She also reportedly felt uncomfortable removing the six layers of make-up, and the vampire lenses frequently.
In a May 6, 2003 interview by Fred Topel, Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisof jokingly talked about the show's death of cast members as the series progressed toward its end. Hannigan said, "Nobody dies on our shows." Denisov said, "Death is insignificant." Hannigan added, "Death is just really a plot twist." This has long since become a joke among fans, but here it is articulated by two cast members, who knew what would happen in the months between the last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997), and the fourth season of Angel (1999).
In Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Buffy says that her only life goals are to "graduate, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater, and die." Although Joss Whedon has repeatedly stressed that the movie should not be considered "canon" for the television show, by the end of it, Buffy actually accomplishes three of these goals, graduate, go to Europe, and die, although, not in that order.
According to visual effects supervisor Loni Peristere, an average episode has eighteen to fifty visual effects shots, about ten percent of the total number of shots. The two most common are vampires morphing into game-face and vampires being dusted. For those, the effects team uses Maya V.4.5 with Stroika, a collection of plug-ins and software which lets the artists take image maps, or photographs, and emit particles of the same color and lighting.
Joss Whedon wanted to increase paranoia by making the vampires look like normal humans until it's time to feed and they transform into monsters. He wanted them to very clearly look like monsters though to ensure a certain level of fantasy on the show. It took 1 hour and 20 minutes to apply the facial prosthetic and just as long to remove it after filming.
When asked about her favourite moment on working on the show, Charisma Carpenter responded with working with great friend Nicholas Brendon, who she calls Nicky, fans even speculated that they were even dating considering their close relationship on and off screen. When asked about her making out with Xander in seasons 2 and 3 she said it was really awkward considering they were close to best friends and responded with the while she loves Nicky, it's just not in "that" way.
A HD remastered version, which originally aired on the American television network Pivot, was heavily criticized by fans for its sloppy remastering. The most noticeable change is that the series was converted to 16:9 instead of keeping the original 4:3 aspect ratio. Because of that, many elements that weren't supposed to be in a shot became briefly visible, such as camera crews, technical equipment and even actors that were supposed to be out of frame. Also, many scenes were cropped to fit the 16:9 aspect ratio, which hides many details that were given in the 4:3 format, and some scenes were arranged in the wrong order. Series creator Joss Whedon disapproves of this version, stating "Buffy was shot 4x3 [because] TVs were shaped that way. Widescreen Buffy is nonsense." Apart from that, many effects (such as visual effects and color filters) were either altered to fit the HD standard, or not added at all. These shortcomings caused fans to start a petition to give the series a proper remastered HD release, especially in its original 4:3 aspect ratio.
The literal translation of Hellmouth, in Dutch, would be Helmond. However, this is the name of an actual town in the Netherlands, so the writers of the subtitles on the Buffy DVDs decided to translate it to Hellemond, which roughly translates to Hell's Mouth.
During the fourth season intros, one of the flashing scenes at the end shows a Bringer, which doesn't appear until season seven as a regular character. However, the first appearance of the Bringers, and the First Evil, is in season three's Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Amends (1998), hence the appearance of the Bringers in the credits pre-season seven.
Comic book writer Gail Simone (known for her titles "Birds of Prey", "Wonder Woman", and "Red Sonja") was invited to write a season for the series, but was under exclusive contract with DC Comics, and declined. Gail wrote Wonder Woman (2009), while Joss Whedon wrote a script for a live-action film for the character, which fell into development hell (See Wonder Woman (2017)).
Its official comic book continuation "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight" spawned comic continuations to other The WB shows from its period, the others being Angel (1999), Charmed (1998) and Smallville (2001).
The first season was shot on a budget and they couldn't afford a soundstage so they used a warehouse in Santa Monica, California. They had to use the same hallway over and over again for school scenes because they could only afford to build one and hoped viewers wouldn't notice. The outside of the warehouse was designed to look like the exterior of the Bronze in the hope that they could film seamless outside-to-inside shots of characters entering the Bronze. It ended up being too complicated for lighting reasons and the fact that they always had to shoot the scenes at night.
Angel was originally conceived as nothing more than a weird guy who occasionally showed up to give Buffy vague advice. There were several ideas for his true identity tossed around, including that he was an actual angel who needed to complete a certain number of good deeds before being allowed back into Heaven, before his being a vampire was decided on literally while writing the episode with the reveal.
Although Emma Caulfield Ford didn't appear on the show until the third season, she was the first person out of the show to be on the set. As it was used as the Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990) set, in which she appeared during 1995-96. This show did not start until 1997.
At Xander and Anya's wedding, their ceremony location is at the local Bison's Lodge. This is a play on many communities' local Elk's Lodge, which is a real organization. An extra nod to this is the stuffed cow Xander's family member points out: most Elk Lodges have a taxidermied elk mount immediately inside.
It was decided that vampires would turn into dust rather than simply lying staked or dead on the ground because otherwise bodies would be left in scenes. This would prove difficult in battle scenes with bodies strewn everywhere. From a logistical standpoint Buffy would also have to clean up the bodies which would be boring and laborious for both Buffy and viewers.
The title theme is strongly similar to a section of a German pop song, "Codo" by Deutsch-Österreichisches Feingefühl (DÖF). Nerf Herder, the composers of the theme, have stated that the similarity is coincidental.
David Boreanaz proved to be quite the prankster onset. He would pull down his pants between takes to make his fellow actors break character and frequently ad-libbed or changed lines to throw them off. Sarah Michelle Gellar would sometimes fight back. The two would eat tuna fish or pickles before kissing to make the scenes as unsexy as possible. She would even pin or sew her costume together to make it hard for him to unbutton or remove.
Whedon discussed with Nicholas Brendon and Sarah Michelle Gellar the idea of Buffy and Xander ending up together at the end of the final season, which the actors reportedly agreed. Gellar has stated she believes Whedon's original intention was "was to put Xander and Buffy together. I really do believe that."
Sarah Michelle Gellar announced that the seventh season would be the last via an interview with Entertainment Weekly. None her fellow castmates were aware of this. Alyson Hannigan was particularly upset and blamed Gellar for putting her out of a job. It took time and motherhood for them to reconcile.
Buffy is referred only two times over the course of the series as "Buffy the vampire slayer". The first time is in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Anne (1998) and the last one in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Help (2002). She's usually referred only as "the Slayer". Glory identifies her as "a vampire Slayer".
Joss Whedon chose the name Buffy "because It was the name that I could think of that I took the least seriously. There is no way you could hear the name Buffy and think, 'This is an important person.' To juxtapose that with 'Vampire Slayer', just felt like that kind of thing - a B movie. But a B movie that had something more going on. That was my dream." Whedon went on to say that "the network begged me to change the title. I was like, 'You don't understand. It has to be this. This is what it is.' To this day, everyone says, 'Oh, the title kept it from being taken seriously.' I'm like, 'Well, f*** them. It's a B movie, and if you don't love B movies, then I won't let you play in my clubhouse."
Kristine Sutherland has explained how "People said to me before I knew she was the slayer, 'how can you not know that she's a vampire slayer'. I did all kinds of things that my mother had no idea about. It didn't seem strange at all to me that she didn't know, because I think there's a healthy amount of denial at a certain point. That's important to have as a parent."
Armin Shimerman was doing this show and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) at the same time. He noted his dual roles made his accountant very happy. Line producers on both shows would try to schedule his scenes so he could tape his Deep Space Nine scenes in the morning, then get out of makeup and drive across town to film his Buffy scenes in the afternoon. There were a couple of Deep Space Nine episodes where Quark was heavily featured and it wasn't possible for him to do the Buffy episode that week so Snyder's lines were rewritten as off-camera asides. Shimerman noted that he got fired from both jobs on the same day.
Amber Benson was normally credited as a guest, despite appearing in more episodes than other regulars like Oz and Riley. This is typical of how contracts are written for the actors - Seth Green and Marc Blucas' contracts specified that, as regular characters, they had to be available whenever they were needed for an episode. In contrast, Benson's contract was on a per-episode basis, like Kristine Sutherland and Eliza Dushku, hence they were not in the main credits.
Responding to fan complaints of Dawn being whiny throughout Season Six, Joss Whedon said "I scratched my head. I was like, 'Excuse me, she's been abandoned by about six parental figures. The girl has huge issues.'" However, he acknowledged that he and the writers hit "the same note for a while... We needed to make some changes." Likewise, Whedon expressed regret over not being able to go further with Dawn's character during Season 7, though he expressed "You get into a situation that you do like to stand alone [but] 'Dawn Goes on a Date' is not something that people would really sit for."
The show is famous for Buffyspeak, inspired by California Valley-girl and Joss Whedon's own unique vernacular. Sarah Michelle Gellar constantly stumbled over the phrase and their meanings because she grew up in New York City and wasn't familiar with the slang. In her audition she asked what "sitch" meant for the phrase "What's the sitch?" because she genuinely had no idea it meant "situation".
The writers picked and chose what they liked of vampire lore. Flying vampires or vampires that turned into bats seemed too difficult to manage so they opted for vampire basics instead: no reflections, have to be invited into homes, must be staked or beheaded, etc.
The decision to bring Dawn on the show came out of wanting an important, intense emotional relationship for Buffy that wasn't romantic. For several seasons Buffy had been defined by her boyfriends and Joss Whedon wanted a reminder about the importance of family.
Eliza Dushku refused to do nude scenes on the show because she grew up Mormon. She was also a minor and had to receive emancipation to work the show's long hours. She says that the judge was a fan of the show and signed the order if she could get a signed photo of Dushku.
In the writers room Joss Whedon would commonly refer to Sarah Michelle Gellar as Jimmy Stewart because he was the greatest American in pain in the history of film and Gellar had to cope with so much pain on the show.
Michelle Trachtenberg says she was thrust into the role without knowing much about Dawn's personality; she describes her initial meeting with Joss Whedon as "Alright, welcome to the cast, you're a teenager, you're a Key, have fun."
The entire first season was shot before the pilot had even aired, so some of the scenes were re-shot. Buffy's "it's my first day" speech to Giles was actually the last scene filmed, as they decided that Sarah Michelle Gellar's original performance was too aggressive.
At one point Joss Whedon toyed with the idea of putting vampires in out-of-style clothing, to show they were mentally still stuck in the time they died in, but he soon realized it would be impractical in the long run. Buffy still picks a single vampire out in a crowd due to his outdated fashion sense in one early episode.
Buffy, as a character, is largely based on Kitty Pryde, a character in the X-Men comic books. Joss Whedon has said: "If there's a bigger influence on Buffy than Kitty, I don't know what it was. She was an adolescent girl finding out she has great power and dealing with it."
Willow was not originally supposed to be a redhead; in 2011, Alyson Hannigan stated in an interview that Joss Whedon "had us all over his house. Charisma and Sarah and I all had brown hair at the time. Joss said, 'All of your hair is kind of the same shade. Does anyone want to be red?'. I went for it. Eventually Sarah got more and more blond, but it was because we all had a brownish, auburn mane."[
Kristine Sutherland drew from her experiences to play Joyce: "My mother was a single mother and struggled with a lot of those same issues that I struggle with as Joyce. For the sense of deep love and connection I draw on my own feelings for my own daughter. In terms of trying to parent an adolescent and my relationship with my mother. I try to figure out those struggles, and try to get into that from her point of view."
Kristine Sutherland commented on Joyce's role in Season 3: "Now that I know she's a vampire slayer, there's so much to process. I think Joyce is struggling to find her place in Buffy's life. There was a comfort level in the second season, that whatever Buffy was doing, she was on the right track. Finding out she was the vampire slayer just threw things right open, so I really struggled to find out what in her life I can share, and how to manage my sense of fear... It's strange to recognize that your daughter is so different from you, that she's this thing that you don't really understand and in many ways is so powerful, yet is still a kid, Joyce still has to figure out when to look out for her, when she needs it and when she doesn't."
Armin Shimerman originally auditioned for the role of Principal Flutie, but lost that role to Ken Lerner. He was the longest running principal on the show. When he was hired to play Snyder, Shimerman was told that each principal would get killed after a handful of episodes as a running gag. But it turned out that the creators liked Snyder enough to keep him through the remainder of the high school episodes.
James Marsters' V/Y-shaped scar on his left eyebrow, which he received during a mugging, was worked into the show; make-up artist Todd McIntosh decided to shave out his eyebrow in order to make it more prominent. He also included the scar on Spike's "vamp face" prosthetic, albeit slightly altered as though the skin has stretched. In Spike's first appearance in the series, the wound still looks fresh, but it gradually blends in over the course of the series, eventually to the point where it is barely visible.
Faith was designed to fulfill the archetype of a nemesis in the classical sense, serving as the dark mirror to Buffy: similar but opposite to the hero. Marti Noxon described Faith in terms of "the road not taken," a vision of what Buffy might have become if her life's circumstances were different. While developing the character, Marti Noxon took inspiration from Elektra Natchios of Marvel Comics.
Anyanka's appearance while in her vengeance demon form changes in seasons 6 and 7 compared to that in season 3. Her makeup becomes more like that of Halfrek. Instead of veiny and pale, Anyanka's skin is covered in exposed veins with red sores. Additionally, in season 3, Anyanka spoke in a raspy, hoarse voice which was not the case in seasons 6 and 7.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
During an interview on the National Public Radio program "Fresh Air," Joss Whedon told interviewer David Bianculli that during the first few years Buffy was on the air, he used to frequent internet message boards about the show. On one such board, there was a discussion of what the posters perceived as sexual tension between the characters Buffy and Faith. Whedon posted that he disagreed, that he thought some viewers saw "lesbian subtext behind every corner" and that they just wanted "to see girls kiss." One poster asked Whedon to look at her website, where she had analyzed multiple Faith episodes and systematically laid out the subtext between the two slayers; after that, Whedon returned to the original posting board and apologized, saying that the original posters were absolutely correct about the lesbian subtext between Faith and Buffy.
Angel was supposed to stay dead after the season finale of the second season, but the WB network came to Joss Whedon with the desire for a spin-off series, so Angel was brought back during the third season to set up his spin-off series Angel (1999).
Shooting season three, Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers) told Joss Whedon she was planning to leave the series. Whedon agreed partially, making her appear only in five episodes on season four, but also said he'd need her on season five, because her character was going to be killed.
The characters of Spike, Oz, Faith, Wesley, and Drusilla were all supposed to be killed off, but have ended up living long past their initial storylines. Also, the characters of Jenny and Joyce were supposed to be killed off sooner than they were.
After the series ended, Eliza Dushku was offered her own spin-off series as the character Faith. But then she turned it down to do Tru Calling (2003). She would work with Joss Whedon again on Dollhouse (2009).
Although the television show ended with the season seven finale, the storyline was continued in a forty-issue series of comic books that tell the story of the continued "season eight" The series is published by Dark Horse Comics, and produced by Joss Whedon. Many individual issues have been written by Whedon, or other writers who had worked on the show, including Jane Espenson, Drew Goddard, Drew Z. Greenberg, Steven S. DeKnight, and Doug Petrie. The first issue was released in March 2007 and (as of mid-2009) issues continue to be released. The season eight storyline has Buffy and her friends in charge of a quasi-military worldwide network of Slayers (the "potential" Slayers who were turned into actual Slayers toward the end of the show), with bases in Scotland (run by Xander), England (Giles), Italy (Andrew Wells), and Cleveland, Ohio (Robin Wood). The storyline for all surviving characters continues, with Willow, Xander, and Buffy all dating Slayers for varying lengths of time.
Originally, the third member of the sixth season's nerdly Trio was to be Tucker, villain of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Prom (1999). Plans fell through with that, so the writers replaced him with Andrew, Tucker's younger brother.
According to Nicholas Brendon, he and Sarah Michelle Gellar proposed a storyline for season seven where Xander and Buffy get together romantically. Their idea was shot down, and they continued with the Buffy and Spike relationship.
Of the core four - Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles - Xander is the only one not to have taken a human life. Buffy killed Gwendolyn Post via severing her arm, which in turn caused a bolt of lightning to destroy her, Willow skinned, and then incinerated Warren Mars in revenge for his killing Willow's girlfriend Tara McClay, and Giles killed Ben, who was the human prison for the Goddess Glory, by suffocating him.
Epilogue to some of the characters is given in Angel: The Girl in Question (2004). In that show, it is said that Buffy and Dawn are living in Rome, and Dawn is going to school there in order to learn Italian. This is an in-joke based on Kristine Sutherland, who played Joyce Summers on Buffy. She was largely absent from season four, because she was house-sitting in Italy, partly in order to allow her daughter to go to school there, and learn Italian. Now her character's daughters do the same.
The character played by Julia Lee, who first appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Lie to Me (1997) as the self-named "Chanterelle," reappeared under several different names over the runs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) and Angel (1999). At the start of her next appearance on this show (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Anne (1998)), she had changed her name to Lily. During that episode, she relates to Buffy one instance about her past, where she had joined a cult that renamed her "Sister Sunshine", and at the end of the episode, Buffy gives her both a job, and her newest sobriquet, "Anne" (Buffy's real middle name). By the time the character first appears on Angel (1999), she has kept "Anne" as her first name, and added the last name "Steele" to it. Although it is never mentioned on-screen, the original teleplay for "Lie to Me", indicated that her original name was Joan (which is also the name that Buffy chooses for herself when she can't remember any autobiographical details in "Tabula Rasa").
Almost all of the main characters have been demons at one point in the show: Buffy was a vampire in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Nightmares (1997), Xander was a vampire in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Wish (1998), along with Willow, whose vampire self also appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Doppelgangland (1999). Angel and Spike have always been vampires. Cordelia becomes a demon in Angel (1999). Oz is a werewolf. Anya was a demon when she first appeared on the show, and Giles turned into a demon in season four. Riley, Tara, and Dawn are the only main characters who were never demons, although Dawn used to be the Key, up until season five, and Tara's family had her convinced she was one until Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Family (2000).
Many actors and actresses were able to reappear on the show, despite the fact that their characters were killed off. Among those who reprised their roles, once their characters were killed or murdered, were Mark Metcalf as The Master, Robia Scott who appeared several times after the character of Jenny was killed, Azura Skye, Danny Strong, Lindsay Crouse, and Kristine Sutherland. Darla (Julie Benz) was killed during the first season, yet not only did the character appear in flashbacks, but she was also later resurrected from death, on Angel (1999).
Sarah Michelle Gellar, who strongly believes Buffy and Angel are meant to be together, would sometimes get emotional on-set in their characters "farewell" screen moments, before David Boreanaz would star on Angel (1999). She also reportedly believes Joss Whedon's original intention was to have Buffy in love with Xander instead.
Throughout the series, every character that owns the "Magic Box" shop, ended up brutally murdered, usually by a vampire. An unnamed clerk in the second season, a female unnamed clerk in the third one, Mr. Bogarty in season five, Anya Jenkins in the final season (slashed by one of the Bringers, minions of the First Evil), and at last, Giles (killed by a possessed Angel) in the season eight comic book.
All of the main trio (Buffy, Xander, and Willow) had relationships with other Vampire Slayers throughout the series. Willow started dating Kennedy (Iyari Limon) in the seventh season, Xander lost his virginity to Faith (Eliza Dushku) in season three, and dated a Slayer named Renee in the season eight comics, where Buffy had a sexual encounter with Satsu, a Japanese Slayer.
It is a widespread misconception among viewers that the character of Angel can't have sex without losing his soul. In fact, this was never stated on either show. Although he did lose his soul after having sex with Buffy for the first time (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Surprise (1998) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Innocence (1998)), the curse that caused that stated only that he would lose his soul when he experienced "a moment of perfect happiness," something that not every sexual encounter affords him. For example, he kept his soul after having sex with Darla in season two of Angel (1999), because the encounter did not make him feel happy. On the spin-off, Angel went on to have sexual relationships with other women (Nina and Eve) without losing his soul after either encounter.
While speaking at the Wizard World Chicago Convention in August 2004, Joss Whedon claimed that he had planned to bring Tara back from the dead at the end of season seven. According to Whedon, the episode would have centered around Buffy being granted one "life-altering" wish. Buffy would have spent the whole episode trying to decide what she wanted to do with the wish (including, possibly, restoring Angel's humanity). The episode would have ended with Buffy telling Willow that she'd just gotten a great new pair of shoes, and when Willow asked her if she used up her wish on new shoes, Buffy would have said, "No, silly!" and stepped aside to reveal Tara. It was intended to be set exactly a year after her death. However, this plan was abandoned when Amber Benson was unavailable for filming. At the 2007 Comic-Con, he referred to this idea as well.