1. “Out of Mind, Out of Sight” (Season one, episode 11)
Fans tend not list first season
2. “School Hard” (Season two, episode three)
Unless you’re one of
3. “Surprise/Innocence” (Season two, episodes 13/14)
Many consider this two parter the point where
4. “Earshot” (Season three, episode 18)
In this often hilarious episode, Buffy temporarily gains the ability to read minds… and quickly finds out that most kids in her high school are thinking about sex pretty much all the time. A bit more dramatically, Buffy also soon realizes that the reasons that so many young people seem indifferent to the pain of those around them is that they’re just too caught up in their own.
5. “The Prom” (Season three, episode 20)
What truly resonates about this episode isn’t the titular prom, it’s that this is the one where Buffy’s longtime boyfriend Angel breaks up with her for her own good, finally admitting that these two have no future together. When Buffy goes to her best friend Willow and breaks down in her arms over losing Angel, you can’t help but remember how painful losing your first true love really was.
6. “Living Conditions” (Season four, episode two)
For many, going away to college and adjusting to your very first college roommate is one of the first experiences of having to live in close quarters with someone who isn’t family… and it can sometimes be absolute hell. In Buffy’s case, it was hell in the literal sense, as her perpetually perky and annoying roommate actually turned out to be a demon.
7. “The Body” (Season five, episode 16)
There is perhaps no episode in TV history that accurately portrays how we deal with our first major loss of a loved one, and all the feelings associated with it, better than “The Body,” in which Buffy and her sister Dawn discover that their mother Joyce has died suddenly from a brain tumor.
8. “Flooded” (Season six, episode four)
Buffy may know everything about fighting vampires and demons, but after her mother passes away, she has to learn to handle real world catastrophes, like getting her younger sister to school on time, getting a bank loan, or dealing with a flooded basement. Buffy quickly learns she would rather have to fight with a dozen vamps in the graveyard than have to deal with property taxes.
9. “Doublemeat Palace” (Season six, episode 12)
Part of growing up is getting a J-O-B, and like most of us, Buffy’s first paying gig involves saying, “How may I help you?” Buffy learns the ins and outs of a customer service job when working for fast food establishment Doublemeat Palace. Her stint as a fast food worker didn’t last long, as the network started getting complaints from real fast food advertisers when the show made working these kinds of jobs seem hellish. (And not
10. “Help” (Season seven, episode four)
In the show’s final season, Buffy becomes a counselor at her former high school, and comes across Cassie, a troubled young girl who has the ability to foresee her own death. This is one of the last episodes to really deal with adolescence on the show, touching on the challenges of trying to navigate the highs and lows of school life, including pushy guys who won’t take no for an answer, bullies, and evil cults (remember, this is Sunnydale).
Which are your favorite