Counting down those moments that had you screaming “Oh my god!!” at the television screen. I avoided putting character deaths on the list because those are a given.
10. The Glory Reveal at the End of Checkpoint (5×16)
That moment when you find out Glory isn’t just some super strong wacko. She’s a freaking God.
Buffy and the gang have taken on countless vamps, demons, and four formidable Big Bads already. But a god? How can they even begin to deal with that? With Quentin’s reveal, the stakes of season 5 were officially upped at this moment.
9. Angel’s Return (3×03)
Just when Buffy is finally able to say goodbye for good to Angel (though Scott Hope is quite a shitty replacement), leaving the Claddagh ring in his mansion, BAM! He returns. Sans clothing. No complaints here. The first time I saw this episode I was freaking out when he came back, and I still do when I re-watch to this day. Can you tell I ship Bangel?
8. Buffy and Xander Catching Anya and Spike on Camera (6×18)
This is such an Oh Crap moment. I mean, I don’t necessarily feel bad for either Buffy or Xander. In fact, it kind of forced Buffy in particular to come face to face with her feelings for Spike, as she clearly felt betrayed by his drunken tryst with Anya. But this stands as an OMG moment because it’s the final straw in a whole melting pot of feelings, tension and secrets that had been kept all season. The shit really hits the fan when Xander and Buffy confront Anya and Spike outside of the Magic Box, and Spike reveals he’s been sleeping with Buffy. Xander feels betrayed by both Anya and Buffy. Buffy is ashamed. Anya and Spike are both fed up with being hurt. No one is getting out of this without being irrevocably emotionally scarred in some way. Everything has gone to hell. OMG.
7. Spike’s Hot Dream (5×04)
Also known as the moment all Spuffy shippers shit their pants, and the moment that converted many fans into Spuffy shippers. This really needs no explanation. On first watch, I didn’t know it was a dream. So when that first kiss happened, I was throwing popcorn at the screen shrieking “WHAT? WHAT!!?? IS THIS A DREAM?!??” Which it turned out to be. But holy hell what a dream. Interesting how the tables turned on William the Bloody. He fell for the Slayer of his kind.
6. Oz and Cordelia walking in on Xander and Willow (3×08)
Am I a sick person if the questionable morality of this situation didn’t at all bother me? Because Xander and Willow really thought they were going to die, so why not kiss and die happy? Also I am one of the few people who disliked Oz and Willow together as well as Cordelia and Xander. I enjoyed the little fling Xander and Willow had. So this was kind of a happy moment for me. I know, I’m sick. ANYWAY, it’s nonetheless really shitty when Oz and Cordelia walk in on this after busting their ass to save the two in question. Reallyyyy shitty.
5. Buffy and Faith Switching (4×15)
HOLY WHAT SHE SAID FIVE BY FIVE THAT’S FAITH NOT BUFFY I CAN’T HANDLE THIS THEY SWITCHED WHAT THE HELL.
4. Angel’s Reveal (3×17)
Cocky Faith getting her ass handed to her on a silver platter. This was a great moment because it was super built up, with Faith being all evil and gross with who we thought was Angelus, and threatening to torture Buffy. Then Angel’s all NOPE, and Buffy breaks loose. You know what else breaks loose? HELL because now we know that Faith has really gone bad. Which, damn, Buffy and Angel really went all out to expose her. Couldn’t Buffy had just invited her over for dinner to really talk it out? Faith seemed to enjoy Joyce’s cooking the last time she was over.
3. Giles’ Surprise Return (6×21)
Show of hands: Who expected Rupert Giles to bust in and lay down the law?!! NO ONE. Maybe that’s because I’m the only one in the room. But I digress. I’ll admit I wasn’t expecting Giles to come back, so having him return in such a dramatic and explosive (pun intended) fashion was quite the surprise.
2. Caleb Taking Out Xander’s Eye (7×18)
What the hell!? This guy can’t take Xander’s eye! He’s a Scooby! He’s untouchable! How did this even happen?! This scene never fails to shock me. It’s fast, brutal and so very wrong, cementing Caleb as a terrible threat to the gang.
1. Willow Skinning Warren (6×21)
OH SNAP. Willow flayed and incinerated Warren. Can’t say I’m sad about it. Moreso shocked. I expected her to kill him but not this way. Gross, disturbing
A runner up that I planned on including but forgot:
Runner-Up #1: The First Appearance of Dawn (5×01)
I began the series knowing Buffy would have a sister, because Netflix uses the Season 5 cover for Buffy which Dawn is on. However, I didn’t expect her to pop up at the end of the season opener with absolutely no setup. That is, if you don’t count the foreshadowing in previous episodes.
Agree/Disagree with the list? Have any to add? Comment below and be sure to subscribe 🙂