Buffy the Vampire Slayer has had a tremendous influence on popular culture that has attracted serious scholarly attention. Even the language used on the show has affected modern colloquial expressions.[1]

References in other works of fiction[]

Buffy and its spinoff, Angel which employed pop culture references as a frequent humorous device, have themselves also become a frequent pop culture reference in video games, comics and television shows, and has been frequently parodied and spoofed. Even Sarah Michelle Gellar has participated in several parody sketches, including a Saturday Night Live sketch in which the Slayer is relocated to the Seinfeld universe,[2] and adding her voice to an episode of Robot Chicken that parodied a would-be eighth season of Buffy.[3] There are also several adult parodies of Buffy, web comics, and music.


Sketch shows[]

There have been a number of spoofs of Buffy on notable TV comedy sketch shows. In chronological order:

  • MADtv (1997) – "Buffy the Umpire Slayer" sketch in which Nicole Sullivan starred as 'Buffy'.[4] The clip features Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles attempting to control the threat from blood-sucking baseball umpires.
  • Saturday Night LiveSarah Michelle Gellar starred in a sketch first aired on 1999, in which the Slayer was relocated to the Seinfeld universe, starring as an Elaine Benes version of Buffy. The sketch portrayed Jerry Seinfeld (Will Ferrell), George Costanza (Darrell Hammond), and Cosmo Kramer (Jim Breuer) as vampires.[5]
  • MADtv (2001) – Michelle Trachtenberg appeared in a sketch that has been entitled "Bunny the Vampire Slayer" by MadTV, and features the MadTV recurring character, Bunny Swan, (more commonly known as "Ms Swan)".[6] The five minute clip includes Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers coming face to face with Bunny Swan in a graveyard. Bunny tells Dawn that she is her aunt, and also the slayer. It also includes castmembers Andrew Daly as Spike, Mo Collins as Willow and Stephnie Weir as Tara.
  • V Graham Norton – When Anthony Head appeared on Norton's show he spoofed "Buffy" in a "Poofy the Vampire Slayer" sketch. Graham Norton portrayed 'Poofy', whilst Head portrayed 'Rupert Giles'.[7]
  • Robot Chicken – Series co-created by Seth Green (who portrayed Oz on Buffy). Sarah Michelle Gellar lent her voice to the episode "Plastic Buffet", which included a parodied would-be eighth season of Buffy. The story featured Chucky (voiced by Mark Hamill) and the soulless Lettuce Head Kids terrorising America.[8]

Series television[]

  • The Friends episode titled The One Where Chandler Can't Cry, included a scene in which Phoebe's sister, Ursula Buffay starred as Buffay the Vampire Layer (parodying Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and perhaps alluding to real life Buffy adult parodies). Ursula Buffay uses her twin sister Phoebe's name for the credits.[9]
  • The Simpsons episode, "Treehouse of Horror XVI" originally aired in the US six days after Halloween. The last of three segments was entitled, "I've Grown a Costume on Your Face" and had similarities with the Buffy episode "Halloween" (which had aired eight years earlier): the citizens of Springfield dress in their Halloween costumes for a costume contest, but when the winner (dressed as a witch) turns out to be a real witch, she uses her powers to transform many of the residents into their Halloween costumes. In one scene Principal Skinner in army clothes stands next to his mother dressed in a big, poofy pink Victorian dress in a shot reminiscent of Buffy characters Xander and Buffy wearing said clothes in "Halloween". Another episode named "Homer of Seville" has Marge Simpson mention a buffet restaurant named Buffet the Hunger Slayer. In the 2009 episode "Rednecks and Broomsticks" Lisa Simpson becomes interested in joining a Wicca group, and decides to check on "Wiccapedia." Sure enough the computer screen shows a replica of Wikipedia, with an array of links: "Familiars: wolf, cat, ferret – will they eat you when you die?, 4,400+ articles; Dating: share your stories, 0 articles; Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The greatest show in history, 2,500,000,000+ articles."
  • In the Xena: Warrior Princess episode "The Play's the Thing", a theater critic remarks, "I hear "Buffus the Bacchae Slayer" is playing next door."[10]
  • In an episode of Charmed, Prue and Phoebe Halliwell are investigating a mausoleum when Prue exclaims that there might be zombies or vampires present, to which Phoebe jokily comments, "where's Buffy when you need her?".
  • On the Disney Channel Series "Hannah Montana" Miley's foil/rival/crush, Jake Ryan (played by Cody Linley), is the star of a fictional television series Zombie Slayer at Zombie High, with obvious Buffy parallels.
  • In an episode of Smallville ("Thirst"), Lana Lang is changed into a vampire by a blond sorority girl by the name of "Buffy Sanders" (a reference to Buffy and Xander). Recurring character Professor Milton Fine, played by James Marsters (Spike) tells Clark Kent "There are no such things as vampires."[11]
  • In the Arthur special "Arthur, It's Only Rock and Roll", Muffy makes a commercial for her to promote Francine's band and show it to the Backstreet Boys. When Arthur and Buster, pretending to be Vampires, are on, Muffy, dressed as a super hero, comes to the rescue, calling herself "Muffy the Vampire Slayer." On "The Making of Arthur" (a different episode of Arthur), Muffy enters a contest hosted by Matt Damon, and names her entry "Muffy the Umpire Slayer".
  • A season-one episode of the show "Big Wolf on Campus" was called "Muffy the Werewolf Slayer."
  • In the Disney's House of Mouse episode "Gone Goofy", when Donald Duck is watching TV, there is a show on called "Goofy the Vampire Slayer".
  • In the CW series Gilmore Girls, Rory teases Paris, who's afraid to go outside in the dark. Rory asks if "she's afraid to run into Drusilla and Spike". Another time, when Paris going out late to hook up with someone, Rory asks "With who? Spike and Drusilla?"
  • In the CW series Supernatural, in the season 1 episode, Hell House, the guest characters from that episode ask, "WWBD?" referring to the phrase, "what would Buffy Do?".
  • In a Farscape episode, one of the things that the astronaut John Crichton regrets about being caught in a wormhole and sent to a distant place in the galaxy is that, even if he manages to return to Earth, by then Buffy the Vampire Slayer would have ended.
  • On Will & Grace, Jack admits to being a fan of the show and Willow in particular.
  • In Spaced series 2, we see Tim praying that he will get his dream job at Darkstar Comics, when the camera pans up we see that he is kneeling in front of a Buffy poster [12]. Another character is described as being "shallow, like Cordelia from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and latterly Angel, the spin off series that was set in L.A." [13]
  • An episode of The Twilight Zone (Second Revival) features Jessica Simpson baby sitting a yound girl with a large collection of dolls which are actually her past carers. The girl mentions that she watched Buffy with one of the babysitters, saying that she wanted Buffy and Spike to hook up.
  • In the Daria episode "Speedtrapped", Quinn remarks, "We'll be through the criminal justice system and home in time for Buffy."
  • On the HBO series True Blood, based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, Sam Merlotte quips, "You know what I really wish would come to Marthaville? Huh? Buffy. Or Blade."
  • On The Cleveland Show, in the episode Birth of a Salesman, Tim the Bear prays to Jesus Christ for Cleveland Brown and Terry to go to the bar so he could catch up to his sales, then he prays "Thank you Jesus. Now maybe we can think about bringing back Buffy the Vampire Slayer".
  • In Strange Attractors, an episode of Heroes, Becky tells Claire that she (Claire) didn't have to "go all Buffy."
  • In the Australian soap opera Neighbours, Kate Ramsay compare's Donna's love triangle to "Buffy, Angel and Riley".


In the international release of the 2004 Russian film Night Watch, a major character is seen watching television which is airing a scene from the show where Buffy meets Dracula in the cemetery - dubbed into Russian. On the DVD version when the movie is dubbed into English the original audio for the episode is used.

In the 2004 family comedy Johnson Family Vacation one of the main characters is seen watching the episode Chosen where Buffy is seen fighting ubervamps during the climatic battle seen within the Hellmouth.

In the 2004 American comedy White Chicks, Marcus refers to the self-racist, black, football player Latrell as "Buffy the White Girl Slayer".

The 2005 Australian film adaption of the novel "Hating Alison Ashley" also has brief referral to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. When brainstorming for story lines for an upcoming school play, two teenage girls tell their idea about "a normal girl, who's beautiful..." and "one day as she is walking through the cemetery she realises she's...BUFFY!" Their idea is knocked back immediately. Another boy also shares his idea which parrellels Harry Potter.

Fan films[]

Main article: Unofficial Buffy the Vampire Slayer productions

Fan films parodying or paying tribute to Buffy have become more common, as computer and digital technology has advanced and become affordable, and distribution over the internet has become easier.


DC Comics' "Young Justice" title made numerous references to a show called "Wendy the Werewolf Stalker", including a two-part story, during #33-34 where several of the book's heroines actually go to Hollywood to take part in an episode.[14] "WtWS" is a pretty straight-forward "homage" to "BtVS", with the twist that show creator "Joe Westin" is revealed to himself be a vampire.

Archie Comics character, Betty Cooper, dresses up as Bunny the Vampire Slayer for a Halloween costume party.

In the webcomic YU+ME:dream by Megan Gedris, the Cheese Man, from the Season Four BTVS episode "Restless", makes a cameo.[15]

Video games[]

Anarchy Online (June 27, 2001) features a decorative statue called the "Marble Statue of the Goddess Buffy Summers".

In the video games The X-Files: Resist or Serve (March 14, 2004) and Max Payne (July 25, 2001), a secret room contains a staked corpse with "Buffy" smeared on the wall in blood.[16]

The English version of Secret of Mana, a video game for the SNES which appeared shortly after the original movie came out, contains a boss named Buffy the Vampire.

In The Burning Crusade, the first expansion to the World of Warcraft video game, after defeating one of the raid bosses named The Lurker Below the player can obtain The Seal of Danzalar – an epic quality ring with the "From beneath you it devours" sentence engraved on it.

In the video game Fable II, one of the optional quests the Hero can undertake consists of helping a farmer in Brightwood Farm called Giles take revenge upon a bandit called Ripper, or helping Ripper expand his operations by killing Giles. This may be a reference to Rupert 'Ripper' Giles (Farmer Giles' son is called Rupert).

A replica of Spike's crypt can be found in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.


In 2005, a Trans-Neptunian object 2004 XR190 was unofficially named "Buffy", after the main character of the series.[17]

Entertainment Weekly named the show #10 on its list of best TV shows in the past 25 years.[18] It also named the season 2 episode "Halloween" #11 on its list of top 25 Holiday Themed Episodes.[19] It also named Joyce Summers exit on "Buffy" #20 on its list of top 25 Farewells.

In Dave Barry's 1999 novel "Big Trouble", main character Elliot Arnold is watching Buffy and eating Cheeze-its. When he receives urgent news and leaves the house, the narrative focuses on Buffy struggling against a vampire..."things didn't look very good for Buffy."

In the 2004 novel, Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris, Sookie Stackhouse has season one of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on tape, which was originally given to her as a gag gift from her friend Tara Thornton. She lets Eric Northman, a vampire, watch the show.

Sam, the heroine of Meg Cabot's "All American Girl (novel) novel, claimed Buffy as her inspiration, and makes frequent remarks about the franchise.

In January 2010 Sideshow Collectibles releasd Throne of the Slayer.[20]


  1. Susan Clerc, "Review of Slayer Slang: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lexicon," Journal of Popular Culture 38.2 (Nov 2004): 427-428.
  2. SNL (aired Jan 17 1998) see 'doggans' (transcriber) SNL Transcripts: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", (1997).
  3. "Buffy Season 8" from Robot Chicken Season 1, episode 4 (aired March 13, 2005). See: IMDb entry,
  4. "Buffy the Umpire Slayer" on MADtv Season 3, episode 8, aired November entry, entry
  5. SNL Season 24, episode 19, aired May 15, 1999: IMDb entry, transcript
  6. "Bunny the Vampire Slayer" on MadTV Season 7, episode 7, aired 24 November 2001: IMDb entry,
  7. "Poofy the Vampire Slayer" on "Graham Norton's Bigger Picture" Season 2, Episode 8, aired February 27, 2006: IMDb entry
  8. Buffy Season 8 from Robot Chicken Season 1, episode 4, aired 13 March 2005: IMDb entry,
  9. Various authors, Friends: "The One Where Chandler Can't Cry"; allusions (episode aired February 10, 2000).
  10. "The Play's the Thing". Xena: Warrior Princess. 1999-03-15.
  11. "Thirst" on Smallville Wiki (episode aired October 27, 2005).
  12. Spaced, series 2 episode 4: "Help"
  13. Spaced, series 2 episode 5: "Gone"
  14. "Series Index: Young Justice" (2003).
  16. The X Files: Resist or Serve (2004) (VG) - Memorable quotes
  17. "Strange new object found at edge of Solar System" New Scientist (December 13, 2005).
  20. Throne of the Slayer - Buffy Summers Maquette Available for Pre-Order Next Week

See also[]