Five Ways Something Ruined My LifeFive Ways ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer' Ruined My LifeErin Mallory Long

Sorry Kristy Swanson fans, this is about the TV show, not the movie from 1992 (I know you’re crying now and for that, I apologize.)

I start watching Buffy when it premiered in 1997 and watched through the first 4 seasons as they aired. I eventually stopped watching it (until recently, but we’ll come back to that) but a bunch of adults I knew kept watching it through the end. So it would become this awkward thing of, “Hey Teen Erin, did you see that crazy episode of Buffy last night?” And I’d have to say in response, “No, sorry, Adult, I stopped watching that vampire show because I have play rehearsal every night.” So it was only a few years ago (at the insistence of some friends) that I started completely re-watching (and subsequently dragging my husband with me) and finally got to finish watching the series. And boy, was I hooked.

It took maybe 3 minutes for me to remember why I watched the show in the first place and then it just kept coming. And you know what? I don’t care about the weird stuff. I don’t. The Dawn Stuff doesn’t bother me at all (that season 5 finale gets me every single time), and I don’t care that it just goes totally off the rails eventually (come on, you know what I mean). I’m with them all the time. I want to be best friends with Willow and to have dated Angel and have Xander be in love with me and secretly date Spike later on and have a great mentor (and friend) in Giles. I really do.

This show ruined my pre-teen and teen years and then came back to ruin my adult years. I can’t escape it. So for that, here are five ways Buffy ruined my life:

1. I Don’t Understand Why I Don’t Have Slayer Strength

This is the thing, I’m “stronger than I look” but I’m not STRONG. You know what I mean? Like, I can carry heavy things, I took kickboxing briefly in high school and I didn’t wimp out when I went camping with my family and had to hike out 4 miles in pouring rain with a huge camping pack on, but I don’t have Slayer Strength.

Buffy Summers does and she is amazing. I mean, I know she’s The Chosen One and everything, but she can really kick butt. (She also heals quickly and doesn’t bruise which I’ve always been intensely jealous of.) A ton of vampires closing in on her? Who cares! Some gross demon stalking her? She’s fine! And she makes it look SO easy. Never a hair out of place, never without makeup, never sweating.

I’m so jealous that Buffy can go out and kill demons and vampires every night and win (and sometimes date vampires too! Luckily they’re not sparkly on Buffy) and gets to be this strong, tough girl. We always hear about her training with Giles (and sometimes see it) but that mostly just seems fun playtime. She gets to hang out with her best friends and maybe kick a punching bag a few times and throw daggers and stuff. That sounds pretty great to me.

Of course, this also goes for Sarah Michelle Gellar in general. I sort of don’t understand that she personally doesn’t have slayer strength. Anyone else start watching Ringer and then wonder why she didn’t just start beating everyone up?

It’s not like I want to go out and pick a fight or anything, but it’d be nice to know I could defend myself against some demons if necessary.

2. I Think a Bare Midriff and a Stake is a Viable Fashion Option

My basic fashion M.O. is early to mid-90’s teen. I often get comments from my husband describing my outfits as “what teen girls on sitcoms wear when they want to piss off their dads.” This means a lot of boots with stretchy (and kind of short) skirts. I’m trapped in the ’90s. Or maybe just re-embracing them. Anyway, once we got to the late ’90s, I was less excited by what people were wearing. Except for Buffy Summers. That girl can DRESS.

I look at episodes of Buffy and say, “What is Cordelia wearing?” or “I can’t believe they put Willow in THAT.” But I pretty much never think that about Buffy (even when I should). There is something about her character that transcends time periods for me. It’s as if I don’t even notice the horrendous patterns on her clothes or the fact that her stomach is always showing even though she knows she could be in a fight at a moment’s notice.

I mean, come on. Who else could pull off this outfit?

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  • Rhiannan Pinnell

    I wasn’t even 5 months old when the show started but am now watching it with my dadon Netflix and I just saw the episode with Kendra in season 2. I am addicted and babble about it to my friends who think I am crazy. I keep saying things like “Gee, could you vague that up a bit for me” and took notes on the funniest quotes from the first 7 episodes and made my friends read them. I am starting to add “age” to all my verbs too. My parents are not impressed. I have been reading fanfiction because I’m only seeing 1-2 episodes a week and can’t wait in between! I so need some Buffy stuff! I can still hold out hope for being called as a Slayer though :P or even discovering crazy witch powers. (yes, I’ve read ahead about what happens). I have to say, my friends and I appear to be about 14 years behind fashion-wise because we still wear clothes like on Buffy! LOVE IT!!!

  • Brenda Schneider Golden

    I love Buffy! I own every season and rewatch them too much. I also have the soundtrack for the musical Buffy episode because I love a musical as well. Thanks for your post. I’m going to go watch the musical episode again. lol

  • Lindsey Thorpe

    how about, when i’m watching the cw’s “ringer” i’m forced to hold back my buffy comments!! sob!

  • Joan Roberts

    I have always wondered when my super powers would kick in.

  • Daniela Scrima

    You DO have slayer strength.

  • Sandra Bönzli

    I loved buffy as well. I still got some of the seasons on dvd but havnt watched it in a long time, but gues would be fun to watch it again. My fav was always dawn! And i still like ms. Trachtenberg as a actress. Had a big smile on my face when i saw her in weeds. She is just cute!

  • Robin Shadowes

    I found my way here from a Facebook friend who linked here. Ironically I have my Buffy & Scooby gang t-shirt on today. Although it is 9 or 10 years old it still looks fairly good. I haven’t re-visited either series since they were cancelled but I never missed an episode of neither Buffy or Angel though. I do wish I had the complete series on dvd but I haven’t been able to afford it yet.

    I was in my late 30’s when the series started and lives in south Sweden. I followed the shows on danish tv since they were way ahead of my own country. To be honest, the danish channel handled it much better than the swedish anyway. They only had commercials in-between shows and not in them. They also had the both series in perfect sync. So it was very cool to follow the episodes about the daywalker-ring from one series to the other in the same afternoon.

    Since it has been so many years it’s hard to remember all episodes. One of my favourites was the episode with The Gentlemen. the floating creatures in tophats that stole their voices. I believe it was also the episode that introduced Tara. The musical episode was also cool just because it were so different. The show was very unpredictable. Things took different twists and turns that very few other shows do. Another examples was when Buffy’s mom suddenly passed on un-expectedly.

    I also liked the series because how Buffy changed during the run of the series. Since I’m not american I can only guess but I assume she was a pretty normal ordinary teenage girl at the start of the show. A bit shallow perhaps- But she certainly matured during the series. Especially when her mom died. In that sense I think it was a good idea that they made up her little sister Dawn.

    All in all, both series were great. I lied the darker tone in Angel which suited that series much better than Buffy. One thing that annoyed me a little bit was that Boreanaz got a bit fatter over the years. He was so slim from the start.

    Please, Joss Whedon, either re-boot the show or make one about another slayer.

  • Linda Hoops

    I love the show!! I watch it any chance i get and ive seen every episode in ever season
    1-7 like twice and love it every time

  • Donald Daher

    Hey Tarja! Look at my age above….if u r weird, than so am I lol (i do not think we are!)

  • Tarja Pihlaja

    I was a BIG fan of Buffy at the 90´s when i saw the show in swedish TV. I still think BUFFY IS THE BEST! I´ve all the DVD´s and I re-watch them at least once a year, and i´m now 52…weard??

  • Donald Daher

    please replace the phrase “woo them over” with “win their affections” (oh my gosh i am sooo corny)

  • Donald Daher

    I am 57. I got hooked after picking up season 1 at the library about 3 years ago. I still watch when I can. My wife and 3 kids (11. 9, and 6) just laugh and shake their heads when they see me losing sleep watching free, no commercial showings on TV Links.
    Ok all you crazy Buffy freak gals out there: Who is the REAL stud of the series? Hint#1: 2 women loved him over the course of the series (not at the same time), Hint #2: His sex appeal crossed racial barriers, Hint #3: He never lost the girls through any mistake or fault of his own. AND #4: He did NOT have to be a vampire to woo them over.
    It’s obvious (I think) of whom I am speaking of. PLEASE somebody comment!!! thanks.

  • Tara Lynne Cairns

    I feel like I shouldn’t comment because any time the subject of Buffy comes up I go into a thesis length comment about my obsession. But I loved this article! I laughed out loud so many times! I watched Buffy the first day it started when I was 12 and watched it religiously every Tuesday until it ended (and thus did my world). I agree with this article on too many (probably unhealthy) levels lol I still am down with Buffy’s fashion…i HAD to have yellow jeans! I wore a claddagh from the time I was 12 until actually 3 years ago when I lost it (I’m now 27…lol) I rewatch various episodes when I’m sad, or bored, or just whenever. I am glad I am not alone in my geekdom (since not many of my friends are Buffy fans….pffft)

  • Stacy Rose

    I was 25 when Buffy started, and was hooked from the beginning. The writing was incredible. There were just so many funny moments (loved Spike the best), and the actors pulled you in right from the beginning. You CARED about the characters. When I saw that David Greenwalt was working on Grimm, I was hoping to feel the same connection and I just haven’t. I too, stopped watching the last 2 seasons, but recently bought all on dvd and have loved re-watching them even though I’m now 40 (gasp!).

  • Jessica Engel

    My husband made me watch Buffy…and later on told me that my arguable resemblance to SMG was what caught his eye at the party where we met. I’m now a diehard Buffy fan and I always joke that we got married so he could live out his teenage fantasy. Buffy = true love.

  • Rachel Strye

    I’m so excited to know that there are other weirdos out there like me. All I ever want to do is watc Buffy, be Buffy, learn more about Buffy, listen to Buffy, it’s ridiculous. I have a bundle of stakes in my car just in case, and next to my bed. People see my Claddagh ring and ask if
    I’m Irish… No, I just like Buffy… I share inside jokes with myself and long for someone to get me haha. In fact I use to be embarrassed of being such a huge fan, then one day I realized, Buffy is fucking awesome, and I’m fucking awesome for knowing everything about it. Seriously, thank you Joss for making it possible for me to be so cool. I worship you. I am STOKED to see Cabin in the Woods. Does everyone else watch everything this man makes? And decide before knowing anything about it that it’s one of your new favorite programs or movies? Everything he touches turns to gold, and that’s 100% fact, not opinion.

  • Tonya Gaddis Johnson

    This is so true!! I am just now watching Buffy as a young adult, and I have to say, this show is amazing! I remember it being on when I was in school, but just didn’t watch it season by season and only caught it on sometimes. It was also the era of shows like Charmed, which were just not up to the caliber of Buffy, so it kind of got lumped together in my mind. I am now completely Buffy obsessed, totally Team Spike btw, and will most likely buy the comic books.

  • Melissa P Dressler

    I absolutely LOVE Buffy… have for as long as I’ve known about the show. I started watching religiously in 1999, and watched all the earlier episodes, then each and every week when it came on, my friends knew not to call me on Buffy night.

    Last night, while flipping channels, I came across an airing of Once More With Feeling…I got so excited, I was dancing in the living room. My husband thinks I’m insane, but nonetheless, sat through it with me as I sang all the words. I’m 40 now, and still think Buffy is the best! I own all the seasons on DVD, and have hooked my step daughter into loving it too! Expanding the minds of the younger generation. Hopefully, the legend will continue, but I completely agree with you. Buffy Forever!

  • Laura Rix

    i love buffy.. i watched it when it first came ot but like with charmed i stop for some reason … i recently started re watching them. and brought all series pre-owned i could aford them otherwise.. only to find out when me and my bf went to watch them the other day season 1 wouldnt plaay :( i am so anoyed mainly cause ive only seen some of the series

  • Angela Schroeder

    Buffy is my favorite TV show ever! I had a similar fear/desire for demons to randomly start attacking me in high school revealing my calling to be a slayer. Because of this I kept a large steak in my car…for real.

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