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Twenty Years Later, The Romances of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Ranked

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Romances

Angel: You’re still my girl?

Buffy Summers: Always.

– Season 3, Episode 17

The world of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered on our small screen 20 years ago this very day. Twenty years later and the fandom is still going strong! But what is it about Buffy that just resonates with so many people? Aside from the wit, I admit that part of my adoration stems from the romances, particularly of the vampire variety…

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In celebration of the 20th anniversary, I ranked the Buffy the Vampire Slayer romances from worst to best in my very subjective opinion of course.

The Romances of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ranked

#15: Willow and Kennedy

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Romances

Did this even need to be a thing? Kennedy annoyed me more than just about any other character in the history of the show. The less said about these two, the better.

#14: Oz and Veruca

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Romances

Veruca was an unwelcome seducer. Another big ugh.

#13: Giles and Olivia

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Romances

Did anyone care about this boring and undeveloped relationship? At least, Giles found some happiness for a little while…

#12: Cordelia and Wesley

Aside from a few humorous moments, Cordelia and Wesley just did not gel no matter how cute Wesley’s accent.

#11: Xander and Buffy

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Romances

Unrequited love is often forgotten, but Xander’s feelings for Buffy were there since day one. I, like Buffy, believe they worked best as friends. I really do enjoy their friendship, though.

#10: Cordelia and Xander

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Romances

Cordelia did not deserve Xander’s treatment. Underneath her snooty facade, Cordelia had a loving heart, one Xander always failed to understand and appreciate. Their love/hate romance, however, definitely created some great scenes. Honestly, I didn’t really root for any of Cordelia’s relationships until Angel. Doyle and Cordelia remain a personal favorite.

#9: Joyce and Giles

joyce and giles btvs

While brief, their short interlude had me in stitches!

#8: Buffy and Riley

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Romances

Riley always gets the short end of the stick but I loved him! He made for a great after Angel and before Spike romance. Plus, I’ve always loved the actor!

#7: Xander and Anya

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Romances

A fascinating character, Anya always made for some of the best Buffy episodes. That being said, I never believed Xander loved Anya as much as she loved him. For the most part, however, I liked Anya and Xander.

#6: Xander and Willow

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Romances

Xander really made the rounds on the show! I didn’t even include his brief time with Faith (yuck!). A teenager when I first watched Buffy, I totally related to Willow and rooted for her best friend Xander to return her feelings. They are a great example of first love and crushes I think.

#5: Willow and Tara

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Romances

What I liked about Willow and Tara (aside from introducing a much needed shy character into the show) was that the relationship showcased a natural progression from friendship to something more. Willow and Tara focused on how their inner souls connected on a deeper level. Still, I didn’t love this relationship as much as so many others because of a prior relationship that leads me to…

#4: Willow and Oz

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Romances

Confession time. By the end of the show, I still dreamed Willow and Oz would reunite! I loved how Oz saw Willow when so many didn’t. The cherry on top? The whole werewolf paranormal thing going on…

#3: Giles and Jenny

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Romances

The adults needed love too! And on re-watching Buffy as an adult, I ADORED Giles and Jenny so much more. Beautiful, compelling, and tragic to watch, I wished their love story could have lasted longer. But still, when soulless Angel murdered Jenny, we knew just how terrible he had become. The moment Giles discovered her body was just chilling.

#2: Spike and Drusilla

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Romances

Spike and Dru were completely insane together but their insanity just made the show so, so entertaining! I mean, Spike’s obsession and Dru’s battiness together were pure gold. The best season is hands down season two because of these two!

TIE – #1: Buffy/Spike and Buffy/Angel

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Romances

I just couldn’t choose between Buffy’s two vampires loves because each one had something different and amazing to offer. It was a battle of the two Byronic Heroes and I still don’t know who I want to win! While I feel that the Spuffy romance faltered in season 6 with all that rape and depressive stuff between Buffy and Spike (don’t even get me started on how much I despised it), the writers mostly made up for that derailment with Spike’s redemptive arc in season 7. I mean, he fought to get his soul back and then always stood up for Buffy when everyone else gave up. He even ended the show with a selfless sacrifice.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Romances
As for Angel, Bangel had my heart from the first moment he appeared in the shadows. “Who is this handsome and mysterious man,” I asked. I couldn’t be happier and more excited when the show later revealed Angel’s true identity. While Angel later left the series for his own awesome spin-off show, the two still had my heart. Always.

Who is your favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer romance? Sound off below.

Photos: Warner Brothers/FOX

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By on March 10th, 2017

About Autumn Topping

In second grade, Autumn wrote her first story, “The Spinach Monster,” and hasn't stopped writing since. Intrigued by the tales her grandmother told of vampires, witches, and ghosts as a girl, she's always been drawn to the fantastic. Later, Autumn studied English and Creative Writing (continuing her love for classic literature and everything old-fashioned) and graduated with an MA in Children’s Literature and an MS in Library & Information Science from Simmons College. Currently, she co-runs this lovely site and works as a YA Librarian.

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11 thoughts on “Twenty Years Later, The Romances of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Ranked”

  1. It will always be Angel and Buffy for me. It took me ages to warm to Tara for the same reasons (I was still heartbroken over how Willow/ Oz ended. They were so strong together and then poof.) Joss Whedon does love to pull the rug out from under our feet. And yes, Doyle/ Cordelia was far too brief but lovely.

  2. I love this post:). Although I am a little bummed that Spike and Buffy are so popular. I didn’t hate their pairing, particularly from the angle of Spike loves Buffy but Buffy and Angel are my number one so I really never wanted her to move on, lol. I was disappointed that SMG was unavailable during Angel’s final episodes so they could Bangel could be re-united. My number two would be Willow and Oz and number three Spike and Drusilla. Thanks for stirring up the fond memories, sigh….

    • if you look at the demographics… you will find that the overwhelming number of people that voted for buffy/spike are women… women have this “bad boy” thing that just defies reason… and then they wonder why so many of them wind up in relationships that are abusive… the spike buffy “romance” cheapened what buffy was at her core… not to mention it was unrealistic considering what spike was at his core… spike was an unrepentant monster… one that loved being a vicious monster… redemption for this character is just not possible… even in the realm of fantasy… and those women that are enamored with spike’s looks… love to point to the fact that spike fought to regain his soul… thus insuring his redemption… not even remotely true… spike fought to get that chip out of his head… restoring his soul was a twist/trick that was done to him… he had no idea that was going to be the result of his actions… and ftr… having a soul does not equal redemption… manson.. .dahmer… hitler… trump…. i get irritated every time i see someone write this “he fought to get his soul” nonsense… and i can’t even watch season 6… the spuffy disgusts me… when you look at the truly monstrous things spike has done… and reveled in…. this is a guy that tried to rape buffy… he tried to rape her… and fans just accept his redemption because he has good cheek bones?… this is a guy that reveled in killing a whole family and told dawn a story of how much he enjoyed hunting down the little girl child he missed… there are things you do that there is no coming back from… and spike has done hundreds of them… and enjoyed every single one of them… this is a guy that happily ate children… lots of them… i repeat… spuffy cheapened the character of buffy…

      • You obviously didn’t watch the entire show because it was always mentioned that Spike’s viciousness came second only to Angel(us). So if you’re rooting for Bangel then you’re rooting for a bigger monster. Is that what Buffy deserves? And yes Spike did go for his soul intentionally. Like I said, you obviously didn’t pay close attention to the show. Angel only had a soul because it was forced on him. And instead of him staying and trying to fight for his relationship with Buffy he just took off and left her heartbroken. Spike on the other hand was totally disturbed over the way he tried to hurt her that he wanted that monster out of him so he could give her someone deserving of her love. To love someone as a soulless monster has to be real love, don’t you think?

        • I agree with you my favorites are Spuffy and Bangel. Some days I am for Angel and other days I am for Spike. They were both great in their own ways and had faults too.

      • I feel like everyones opinion is valid but what I often notice in the Angel/Spike comparison is that like you people compare soulless Spike to soulfull Angel and not to Angelous, that just doesn’t make any sense and kind of seems like one is twisting things to support their opinion.
        Angelous never loved Buffy and easily did more or would have done more/the same as soulless Spike. While Spike felt something for Buffy whatever we may call it but it was mentioned in the show that Spike is a rare vampire because he does have love in him. (Just like him still loving his mother after turning). The judge says Spike reeks of humanity while Angelous doesn’t. It’s pretty clear which soulless vampire is the bigger monster if you really want to make that comparisson.

  3. I agree with you. I can’t honestly decide if I am Spuffy or Bangel. I love both of her vampire loves. Some days I am all for Angel being Buffy’s man and others I believe Spike is the right one for her.

  4. Watching the show now for the first time and I like Angel and Buffy together but since they can’t be together I would’ve liked to see her end up with Riley.
    Didn’t want Willow and Xander together. Willow and Oz were GREAT together, wish he didn’t leave. Haven’t gotten to any of her other relationships yet.
    Didn’t like Cordella at all so I guess I’m glad she left the show.
    Xander and Anya just don’t work for me.
    Jenny and Giles were cute together.


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