Emily Baines
August 26, 2016 10:00 am
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When Buffy the Vampire Slayer first premiered on the WB in 1997, it’s likely no one realized what a cultural phenomenon the show would become. Seriously, not one, but two different Hello Giggles writers have written about how the show affected their lives. And who would have thought that a show about a demon-fighting badass would be heralded as a new wave of feminism and scholarship for television? Certainly not the young Buffy actors whose lives would be forever changed by the show’s premiere almost twenty years ago:

Sarah Michelle Gellar — Buffy Summers

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Sarah Michelle Gellar’s role as Buffy Summers earned her six Teen Choice Awards, a Saturn Award, and a Golden Globe Award nomination. The character of Buffy Summers has since been recognized as one of the “100 greatest female characters in U.S. television,” and you cannot think of Buffy Summers without simultaneously conjuring up images of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s kickass moves.

Alyson Hannigan — Willow Rosenberg

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Oh, Willow! How we love you. Willow was a feminist, a scholar, and gay during a time where it was unpopular to be any of the above. And, most importantly, she was kind.

Nicholas Brendon — Xander Harris

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No clique is complete without the wisecracking goofball. In this case, it’s Xander Harris, whose haplessness was both annoying and adorable.

David Boreanaz — Angel

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David Boreanaz’s smoldering portrayal of vampire-turned-nice-guy Angel was so popular he earned his own television show. And while David’s portrayal of Seeley Booth on Bones is just as charming, his role as Angel is what keeps him in our hearts.

Anthony Head — Rupert Giles

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Rupert Giles proved to millions of girls that teachers (specifically, librarians) could be sexy, too. For many of us, Rupert Giles was our first age-inappropriate crush. And that accent—yummy.

Charisma Carpenter — Cordelia Chase

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Everyone’s favorite mean teen with a secret heart of gold remains gorgeous to this day.

James Marsters — Spike

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For the record, I’m still Team Spike, all the way.

Seth Green — Daniel “Oz” Osbourne

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We adore Oz, the kind-hearted rocker werewolf who would be the first man to truly appreciate Willow’s awesomeness. In our ideal world, Oz would have remained a permanent cast member throughout Buffy’s many seasons.

Emma Caulfield  — Anya Jenkins

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Anya was literally the best. Her demon-turned-human humorous lack of understanding of human culture (not to mention, morals) made her a fan favorite. No wonder Xander loved her so.

Eliza Dushku — Faith

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Oh, Faith. You were such a wreck. But we’re happy that Eliza Dushku found success in Dollhouse, because she really is an awesome actress.

Michelle Trachtenberg — Dawn Summers

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Not many little sisters are important to the survival of the planet as Dawn Summers. As annoying as her character was at times, the sisterly love shared between Dawn and Buffy was understood by all of us.