Buffy the Vampire Slayer was so strong a series that finding great moments is as simple as putting in any DVD from any season and playing any random episode. But the 23nd of our 31 specials for the 31 days of Halloween isn't merely about great moments, this list is about kick-ass moments; moments that make you want to jump out of your seat and shout, "Hell, yeah!"
While definitely not an all-encompassing roll call from the entire seven-year stretch, below are some of our favorites.
Check back tomorrow at noon to visit some real-life haunted houses.
Willow the goddess ("Chosen")
With the help of a super-powerful scythe and some seriously strong mojo, Willow turns a hodgepodge of well-meaning young ladies ready to fight the good fight (and die during said fight!) into an Army of Slayers. And while doing so, her hair turns white and she becomes goddess-like. And here we thought Willow couldn't possibly be any cuter ...
Buffy and Spike get it on ("Smashed")
When these two powerhouses get intimate for the first time they (literally) bring the house down around them. (Glad they never borrowed our beach property for a weekend getaway.)
Giles channels his old Ripper self ("Passion")
Angelus kills Jenny Calendar and Giles loses his cool. And by losing his cool, we mean: Goes batsh-t crazy and tries to take down Angelus, Drusilla and Spike by himself—while doing a great impersonation of Babe Ruth with a flaming bat on Angelus' head.
Sing it loud ("Once More With Feeling")
Almost anything from the musical episode could be construed as kick-ass, but our favorite is "Walk Through the Fire." There's nothing better than when the good guys figure out The Right Thing To Do and march on the bad guy. Buffy's going it alone, Spike's trying to save her, Giles is flanked by the Scooby Gang: Ain't nothing here that don't give you the chills.
Graduation Day surprise ("Graduation Day, Part 2")
What's better than protecting your friends and classmates? Arming them and teaching them how to protect themselves. The students of Sunnydale High gave a surprise that the mayor, and the audience, would never forget.
Final Bout: Buffy vs. Glory ("The Gift")
Nothing cooler than two hot chicks duking it out: One is armed with a huge-ass war hammer and the other is an honest-to-goodness god. Ali-Frazier looked like a slap-and-tickle fight compared to this one.
Spike goes soul-searching ("Grave")
It appears as if Spike is enduring the Demon Trials for one reason (to get revenge on the Slayer), but in reality he's fighting to win back his soul so he can be something approximating a man. A great season-finale twist!
Buffy the Turok-Han Slayer ("Showtime")
Buffy goes all out against a single Turok-Han, a race of ubervampires who can take a heapton of Slayer-delivered punishment. Just when it looks like she's going to lose, Buffy pulls it out of the fire (with a well-placed garrote) and proves to her slayers-in-waiting that they must use all the resources at their disposal.
UberGiles ("Two to Go," "Grave")
Giles is, technically speaking, the only one who's ever gone toe to toe with Evil Willow and held her to a standstill. For a bit, anyway. Giles, imbued with a coven's power, temporarily imprisons Willow. But his borrowed power couldn't hold her crazydeliciousevil in check forever.
For Sale: Cheap Real Estate in Sunnydale ("Chosen")
You want big and epic? This one is big and epic. The complete and utter destruction of Sunnydale. Boom. Swallowed up whole by the Hellmouth. The set piece of every scene from the entire series ... gone. Ain't no going back now, baby!
Aye, Xander's eye ("Dirty Girls")
The powerful preacher man Caleb (Firefly's Nathan Fillion) pokes out Xander's eye. Just thumbs in and squish! Like popping a grape. This scene reminded us of two things: First, that no one, not even a core cast member, was safe; and second, that Xander would get to wear an eye patch. And let's be honest ... when are eyepatches not in fashion?
Heavy artillery ("Innocence")
In a series that relies so heavily on ancient and archaic weaponry (sword, crossbows, axes and the like), it's nice to know that Buffy isn't against using a rocket launcher to kill a bad guy.
Veiny, evil Willow ("Villians")
Every season the Big Bads get bigger and badder. So, how did Whedon and company up the ante when season five's nemesis was a god? Answer: In season six they did a 180 and made the final showdown against a friend. Willow was evil for a few episodes, but the most kick-ass moment was when she skinned Warren alive. Not saying he deserved it. Not saying he didn't.
And while you're in a Halloween state of mind, why not check out: