Yesterday one Buffy Summers (aka the Vampire Slayer, aka the Chosen One, aka Sarah Michelle Gellar circa 1997-2003) turned 32 years awesome. Here's hoping the star of Joss Whedon's seminal classic "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" had an uneventful birthday.
Because she certainly deserves it. Over the years, Buffy's birthdays have been less than pleasant. There was that time her boyfriend went all evil and tried to kill all her friends. Then there was the time her little sister wished to a vengeance demon to trap everyone in the house. Let's just say that when Buffy blew out the candles on her birthday cake yesterday, she probably wished for a little peace and quiet.
Let's take a look at Buffy's birthdays over the years.
Season 2, "Surprise": Remember that time Buffy turned seventeen, defeated the Judge with a rocket launcher, and inadvertently broke Angel's curse, turning him into a sadistic monster intent on murdering everyone she holds dear? Yeah, worst birthday ever. "Surprise" is seen as an allegory for the sad situation that follows when some teenagers lose their virginity. Buffy and Angel consummate their relationship, and then Angel is literally no longer the man Buffy fell in love with. Instead he's a soulless villain and what could have been one of Buffy's happiest moments is left in heartbreak and betrayal.
Season 3, "Helpless": On Buffy's eighteenth birthday, the Council (the shadowy umbrella organization traditionally keeping tabs on Watchers and Slayers) puts her through a cruel and sadistic test of her abilities as Slayer. They temporarily remove her powers and release an infamously evil and powerful vampire against her. Powerless, alone, and afraid, Buffy has to use her wits to rescue her mother and herself from said evil vampire. The worst part is that Giles was forced to go along with the Council's plan, essentially betraying Buffy to a deadly situation. In the end, Buffy turns another year older and Giles cuts ties with the Council because of his love for Buffy.
Season 4, "A New Man": Everything seems to be going great for Buffy's nineteenth birthday at UC Sunnydale. She's off at college, she has a great new boyfriend in Riley, she's slaying better than ever... and Giles feels decidedly unneeded. Chaos ensues when Giles's old friend Ethan Rayne turns him into a Fyarl demon, making it look like Giles has been killed by the demon and sending Buffy on a quest for revenge. In the end Buffy only realizes the demon is Giles when she looks in his eyes. The whole episode is a major turning point for Giles and Buffy's father-daughter relationship.
Season 5, "Blood Ties": Ah, sisterly love! On Buffy's twentieth birthday, Dawn begins her cleptomaniacal tendencies... and finds out that she's the Key. Thus begins yet another tumultuous birthday for the Slayer as she and her mother must convince Dawn that though she is a super-powered ball of pure energy crafted into human form by some Eastern European monks, she's still their family and they love her. Cute, right? Except for the part where Buffy has to fight a god to defend her sister and deal with Dawn's teenage angst all at once.
Season 6, "Older and Far Away": Buffy's twenty-first birthday means she can finally drink legally... and she's going to need it as this is another episode focusing on the Buffy/Dawn relationship. Feeling neglected and alone, Dawn inadvertently wishes to a vengeance demon (Anya's old pal Halfrek) that people would stop leaving her. Thus Buffy's perfectly normal birthday party becomes a death trap as the Scoobie Gang (along with Clem, and two Red Shirts named Richard and Sophie) find themselves unable to leave the house. Oh yeah, and there's a random demon also trapped in the house and trying to kill them. Buffy just can't catch a break on her birthday.
Seasons one and seven are the only seasons in which Buffy's birthday is not only uncelebrated, but unacknowledged. It's worth noting that after season six's birthday debacle, Spike suggests to Buffy that she just stop celebrating her birthday altogether. Looks like she took the hint.
Can’t stop the signal: Which of Buffy's infamous birthdays was your favorite? Share your thoughts in a comment below.
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