Q. How do you get to be a slayer?
A. "In every generation, a slayer is called..." Slayers are usually located as young girls and trained by the Council of Watchers. However, it seems that how early a slayer is identified can vary from situation to situation while Kendra was taken as a child, Buffy did not find out until she was called ("Becoming I," S2).
Q. Why are there two slayers right now?
A. Buffy died (stopped breathing) and was resuscitated by Xander in S1 finale "Prophecy Girl." Kendra, who died in "Becoming I" (S2) was called as a result of that death, and Faith was called when Kendra died.
Q. Why wasn't another slayer called after Buffy died in "The Gift"?
A. The line of succession is now understood to run through Faith. No new slayer will be called until she dies. However, this has only been stated in interviews never onscreen so Joss could change His mind at any time.
Q. How come Buffy could close the portal at the end of S5?
A. Because Dawn was made from Buffy's blood. No, really, the script says so.
Q. How does someone become a vampire?
A. It's a whole big sucking thing. A vampire drinks the victim's blood until his or her heart slows down and he or she is near death, and then the victim drinks the vampire's. The victim dies and is reborn as a vampire.
Q. If a vampire doesn't need to eat or drink for sustenance, why do they? If a vampire doesn't need to breathe, why can they smoke?
A. They don't need to, but they can.
Q. If vampires don't have a heartbeat or blood pressure, how do they achieve an erection?
A. Willpower. And a little touch of Jossy Dust.
Q: Why can I see Angel/Spike/Drusilla/Darla breathing?
A. Because they're played by human actors, the undead, as Mr. Minear once told us, being notoriously difficult to recruit. It's the damned unions.
Q. How old is Angel?
A. Darla sired Angel in 1753 ("Becoming I," S2). That means he'll celebrate his 250th unbirthday in 2003.
Q. How did Angel return from the Hell dimension after S2?
A. There's no explanation given onscreen, but the understanding is it's the work of the Powers that Be.
Q. Who is Spike's sire Drusilla or Angel?
A. Drusilla, as shown in the S5 episode "Fool for Love." Yes, he called Angel his sire in "School Hard" (S2). It was probably just a mistake, but official canon is that sire can also mean grandsire.
Q. How old is Spike?
A. This keeps changing. In "School Hard" (S2), Giles says Spike is "barely 200," which would mean he was vamped around 1798. But he says he's "only 126" in "The Initiative (S4), which would put his vamping around 1873. But the date of his onscreen vamping in "Fool for Love" (S5) was 1880, and that's generally considered canon. This makes him 123 as of 2003.
Q. Why did Spike get his soul at the end of S6? Didn't he want his chip out?
A. It certainly looked that way, didn't it? But the official line, as propagated in interviews with Joss Whedon, is that he always wanted his soul back so he could deserve Buffy. No, it doesn't matter that he said "make me what I was" and he was never a chipped, souled vampire before.
Q. In "Buffy vs. Dracula," did Buffy actually kill Dracula?
A. Not permanently. Over the credits she says "I'm standing right here!" It's clear he keeps reforming.
Q. When is Buffy's birthday? Wasn't it different in S1?
A. The Buffy's birthday episodes have traditionally aired in late January, and many fans use Jan. 19, 1981 as the date, based on the original airdate of "Surprise" and "Innocence" (Jan. 19 and 20, 1998). However, Buffy's student records were shown onscreen briefly in "I Robot, You Jane" (S1), and they had two alternate dates - Oct. 24, 1980 and May 6, 1979. These are probably errors.
Q. Who is Dawn?
A. Dawn is Buffy's little sister, except she's not.
Dawn is The Key to breaking down dimensional walls. Glory and a group of mystical warriors, the Knights of Byzantium, both wanted The Key. Glory wanted to go home; the KoB wanted to stop her. Glory's encroachment led the monks of the Order of Dagon, who had care of The Key, to send it to The Slayer for safe-keeping. They sent it in the form of a young girl, providing her with a lifetime of memories, and altering the memories of everyone connected with the Summers in such a way that it would seem that Dawn had always been there. Before S5 Buffy was an only child and Dawn did not exist.
Dawn appears to be what Faith referred to in her prophecy dream non sequitur, "Little Miss Muffett, counting down from 7-3-0," (from "Graduation Day Part 2," S3) and "Little sis coming...So much to do before she gets here," (from "This Year's Girl," S4) "7-3-0" may be a measure of time, as in days (365 x 2), indicating the breakdown of dimensions that occurred at the end of Season Five which was initiated by The Key. (This timeline is based on the fact that Faith made this comment at the end of Season Three.)
The Key's usefulness for hellgods expired at the "appointed time" but it remains to be seen if Dawn retains a supernatural aspect.
Q. How old is Dawn? How come she's just starting high school in S7 when she was 14 in S5?
A. Dawn was said to be 14 in S5 and in 9th grade in S6. This should make her 16 and a sophomore in S7, but "Lessons" referred to this as her first year of high school. However, the script also has Buffy say that her sister will be at the school for three years, indicating that the new Sunnydale High School is 10th-12th grades only.
Q. What's up with the complexity of Faith?
A. You may want to take up that question with your nearest religious leader, but if you're asking about the Dark Slayer, well, she was good. Then she was bad. Then she was in a coma. Then she was bad again, but on Angel. Now she's in jail, heading back to good.
Q. Who are the Scoobies? What about the Slayerettes?
A. Those are both nicknames for the gang of people who assist Buffy in her fight against the Forces of Darkness. Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles are the original Scooby Gang, and since then Cordelia, Oz, Riley, Tara and Anya have joined and/or departed. Angel and Spike were/are regulars, but not proper gang members. The names Scooby Gang and Slayerettes are rooted in canon. Willow first used "Slayerettes" in "The Witch" (S1), and Xander coined "Scooby Gang" in the S2 episode "What's My Line? Part I."
Q. Whatever happened to Oz? Drusilla? Riley? Harmony? Joyce? Hank Summers? Miss Kitty Fantastico?
A. OZ fell in lust with a female werewolf (Veruca) and left to find a way to tame the beast within ("Wild at Heart," S4). He came back a few months later, but left again when Willow told him she loved Tara ("New Moon Rising").
DRUSILLA dumped Spike for a chaos demon sometime after "Becoming II" (S2). Spike tries to have a love spell cast on her in "Lover's Walk" (S3), but ultimately decides to just find her, "tie her up, and torture her until she likes me again." By the time Spike is back on the show in S4, their breakup is permanent. Wolfram & Hart brought Drusilla to L.A. to re-sire Darla in Angel's second season; once she was done there, she returned to Sunnydale in "Crush" (S5), but decided after some bondage fun that she couldn't be with the new, chipped, slayer-obsessed Spike. Her current whereabouts are unknown.
RILEY ran off to south America with his military unit in "Into The Woods" (S5). He turned up again, married to a fellow soldier, in "As You Were" (S6). Many Buffistas sincerely hope we've seen the last of him.
HARMONY also dumped Spike, in "Crush." She went to L.A. to visit Cordelia ("Disharmony," Angel S2), joined a vampire cult, almost got everyone killed, and was let go after a stern lecture.
JOYCE died of natural causes in "The Body" (S5).
HANK SUMMERS was still in Spain with his secretary the last we heard ("Life Serial," S6).
MISS KITTY FANTASTICO's fate is unknown. She was last seen onscreen in "Family," S5.
Q. What happened to Whistler?
A. In-show, we have no idea. Out-of-show, the actor wasn't available. Originally Doyle was written to be Whistler.
Q. Who is Dead Gay Larry?
A. He was a high school bully, who came out of the closet in "Phases" (S2). He was killed during the battle against the mayor in "Graduation Day, Part II."
Q. Who is Ripper?
A. Giles, when he was young and wild and into some serious black magic. The nickname (probably a variation of "Rupert") was revealed by Ethan Rayne in "Halloween." (S2).
Q. Didn't the same actress play Halfrek and Cecily? What's the connection between them?
A. Both characters were played by the actress Kali Rocha. When Halfrek first saw Spike (In "Older and Far Away," S6), she gasped "William!", which could imply that Halfrek used to be Cecily. But it's never been explicitly stated on the show either way.
Q. What the hell was the deal with that episode where Buffy was in the asylum?
A. That's "Normal Again" (S6). Buffy was a little touched in the head for the episode, suffering under the effects of a demon serum that sent her back and forth between a world whereshe was the Slayer (the world we know) and one where she was locked up in an insane asylum for having delusions of being a Slayer. She had to make the choice of Slayer or non-Slayer reality--guess which one she chose? But many fans believe the episode left some room to wiggle, in terms of reality. Consider it basically the same as the Wishverse, or the Birthdayverse on Angel.
Q. The Wishverse?
A. Ah, the Wishverse. Where puppies play and people sing and--oops, wrong alternate universe. The Wishverse first appeared in the S3episode "The Wish" when Anya (AKA Anyanka) first appeared to grant Cordelia a vengeful wish on Xander Harris. Cordy wished that "Buffy Summers had never come to Sunnydale." Poof, we're in an alternate reality. The Master was unalive and kicking, Willow and Xander were his uber-sexy vampire minions, and Angel was shirtless and in chains. (Wait. That was different than normal?) Cordy was killed about twenty minutes in, but Giles figured the whole thing out and got the universe back to its relative normalcy by taking Anya's powers. The Wishverse storyline was addressed again in "Doppelgangland" (S3) when Anya tried to become a demon again and succeeded in bringing Vamp!Willow over from the alternate universe. Wackiness ensued. Regular Willow wore tight-fitting leather. It was of the good. But stuff happened, and now the Wishverse only appears in fiction and our active imaginations.
Q. The Birthdayverse?
A. And now we move into Angel. This was from S3's episode "Birthday" where Cordelia went into a coma after a particularly ouchy vision. She was given the chance to see what her life would have been like had she never met Angel in LA. She was famous, an actress, everything she'd dreamed of in Season One. She even got a theme song! But then she managed to run into Gunn and Armless!Wes, who took her to see Angel. See, if Doyle didn't give the visions to her, then who? Angel. He's even crazier than normal, shirtless (do we see a recurring theme here?), and huddled in a corner. In the end, she chooses the visions regardless, much to the annoyance of the Powers That Be and their friend Skip. She demanded tobe returned back to the normal universe, and ended up demonized. The Birthdayverse is another fanfiction favorite, and is sometimes called the Gayest Alternate Universe Ever.
Q. Any other 'verses I should know about?
A. Well, now that you've asked... There's the universe of perpetual Wednesdays. And the world without shrimp. And technically, there's the universe pre-Dawn, and the universe post-Dawn. But other than that, there's just happy little Sunnydale and its resident Slayer.
Q. What's with demons and kittens?
A. Well, kittens are cute and, if you're a demon, yummy. The idea of kittens as demon currency/snack foods was initiated in the poker game Spike takes Buffy to in the S6 episode "Life Serial."
Q. What's 5x5 mean?
A. The phrase five by five comes from radiotelephony and radiotelegraphy, indicating readability and signal strength, rated on a scale of one to five, five being best, and if you're five by five you're coming through loud and clear. Faith introduced it into the Buffyverse in "Faith, Hope and Trick" (S3), and the phrase is closely identified with her. It was the title of her first Angel episode during Angel's first season.