Every now and then, a television show comes along that's so different, unique, and full of heart that it captures the imaginations of TV viewers for decades to come. For many, that show was Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The cast was phenomenal, often handing out both heartbreakingly emotional performances along with hilariously endearing ones-- sometimes at the same time.
Along with hard-hitting social commentary, fantasy stories with real-world allegories, and long-lasting arcs that could resonate for seasons at a time, the show was truly one of a kind. Not to mention the inventive dialogue, lighting, and classic wardrobe.
No wonder the series is still such an enormous hit at conventions some 20 years after its debut.
Of course, to create such an iconic piece of pop culture, it takes many, many people with incredibly different personalities and world views. This means things backstage could become as tense or as fun-filled as the series itself.
Thankfully, the photos in this list harken back to the glory days of the series, showing just how well the cast could get along when the star aligned just right and nobody happened to be feuding at the moment.
With that said, here are the 18 Behind-The-Scenes Photos That Completely Change Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
18 Seth Greene Gives A Shout-Out To The Forums
Internet forums are almost a thing of the past. Now it's all about social media and interacting with your fave celebs one-on-one-- or at least interacting with their social media manager.
However, back in the day, forums dedicated to super specific fandoms were all the rage.
Forums dedicated to Buffy the Vampire Slayer were... unique. There were the Bloody Boards, a collection of thousands of posts made by just one person and there was that whole big showdown at The Bronze boards.
Former stunt coordinator Jeff Pruitt aired a few of his grievances against Sarah Michelle Gellar directly to the fans on the board.
Seth Green's adorable shout-out to the early days of internet fandom is a stark contrast to all the drama swirling around those boards back then.
17 Sarah Michelle Gellar Eats Candy On The Beach
Buffy was all about her sugary snacks. She drank mochas with too much sugar and caffeine with Willow and used cookie dough metaphors to explain her messy relationship issues with Angel and Spike.
It makes a certain amount of sense-- being a slayer is likely a job that requires a large number of carbs and calories.
Sarah Michelle Gellar, on the other hand, isn't so keen on the sweets. The actress has previously revealed her distaste for junk food, saying she likes to eat as naturally as possible.
Even in the middle of her Buffy days, Gellar had basically eliminated sweets and other forms of junk food, according to her stunt double.
She totally deserves the occasional cheat day, though.
16 The Many Faces Of Willow
Buffy may have been the main character of the series, but Willow will always hold a special place in the hearts of the series' fans. Willow actress Alyson Hannigan had an acting range that was truly impressive, to say the least.
She could bring the comedic timing like nobody's business. She could also break hearts with a single tear, and as we all know, she could break bad.
Willow became a villain on multiple occasions. When Warren ended the life of her girlfriend Tara, Willow went on a vengeful rampage that is still considered to be a highlight of her character's arc.
However, before that, she made an appearance as "Vamp Willow," which was a vampire version of herself from a reality in which Buffy never made it to Sunnydale.
Here, Hannigan sits with her stunt doubles, two in the fuzzy pink thing she wore when attacked by Spike, and one in her Vamp Willow corset get-up.
15 Blocking Buffy’s Becoming Moment
Over the years, there has been a lot of controversy over whether or not Sarah Michelle Gellar performed her own stunts on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Many have claimed that the actress dove all-in to the stunt work at times, while others have said her stunt doubles carried most of the work.
Either way, this photo at least indicates that Gellar and Angel actor David Boreanaz did their homework on some of the series' more action-packed scenes.
This photo shows the blocking of the infamous "Becoming" moment, in which Buffy rises up against her boyfriend turned Big Bad, Angel.
When the vampire swings a sword right at her face, she stops it with her bare hands.
14 Everybody Loves Willow
There is so much truth to this adorable photo. Willow actress Alyson Hannigan was truly loved by so much of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast.
She had been friends with her Oz co-star, Seth Green, since childhood, having starred in a family-friendly movie with him.
Giles actor Anthony Stewart Head said he had hung out with Hannigan off-set on a frequent basis, too.
Then there were the romances.
Hannigan famously married Wesley Wyndam-Pryce actor Alexis Denisof and has two daughters with him. However, she also revealed information about some flirty kissing with Xander actor Nicholas Brendon during their time on set.
By her account, it was a small, one-off occurrence. Still, it seems quite clear that Hannigan was a popular presence on the Buffy set, which we can absolutely get behind.
13 Buffy And Spike Laugh It Up
Sarah Michelle Gellar was not exactly a fan of season 6, the season that saw Buffy enter an abusive relationship with vampire Spike.
She quite famously disagrees with creator Joss Whedon about that arc, believing that it goes against much of what made Buffy such a strong role model. However, Whedon felt that it was a necessary area to explore in the show.
This photo is picture proof that even in the middle of a dangerous fight -- this scene is supposed to depict Spike about to chomp on Buffy's neck -- Gellar and Spike actor James Marsters could still have a fun time.
Gellar has famously said she hates her fake laugh in her performances, but this one is all real.
12 Demon Guts
The vampires on Buffy the Vampire Slayer were a snap to get rid of. A stake through the heart and the vamps took care of themselves, clothes and all.
Joss Whedon famously admitted that this mechanic was invented to eliminate tedious talk of cleaning up the sites of Buffy's epic battles.
However, not all of the creatures were as simple as the vampires.
Buffy fought everything from witches to ventriloquist dummies, and of course, full-blown demons. This often required a lot of makeup, special effects, and the occasional demon goo.
Makeup could take hours for scenes of this nature, and it no doubt was all kinds of uncomfortable.
It's good to know that Sarah Michelle Gellar was still able to have so much fun with it.
11 Photo Break With Spike And The Slayer
There may have been only one slayer born into each generation, but there were multiple slayers throughout the course of the show.
For starters, when Buffy's life ended, just for a moment, a new slayer was called.
However, Kendra didn't last long, and Faith was brought in to take up the slayer line after her. These were the main slayers with the main power, though, and there was so much more going on than that.
Not only did Willow unlock the powers of every potential slayer by the show's end, but we also got to see glimpses of past slayers throughout the show, including those who Spike personally attacked during his time as an evil vampire.
Here, the actors take a break from filming a throwback subway fight scene to have a little fun.
10 Even Slayers Need Coffee Breaks
Buffy saved the world a lot. That also meant that the actress who played her was constantly on her feet.
Sarah Michelle Gellar put in the longest hours on the show. This is a fact that gained attention when Alyson Hannigan claimed Gellar was the most "annoyed" with the series thanks to all her hard work.
Hannigan quickly retracted that statement, clarifying that she simply meant that Gellar must have been exhausted.
At least, as far as this photo shows, the actress was able to get a little downtime every now and then.
No wonder she waited a full eight years before signing up for another starring role in a TV series with 2011's soapy nighttime drama Ringer.
9 Joss Gives Sarah Pointers In Grief
Is it the actors who make the TV magic or the writers? According to the cast and crew of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it was both in equal measures.
Nearly every time an amazing moment or hilarious one-liner entered viewers' hearts, the writers of the show were quick to say that Joss Whedon had written himself.
However, Whedon was always very proud of the acting talent that his cast possessed.
He would frequently credit the actors with making the characters so relatable through their craft.
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alyson Hannigan, particularly, were applauded by the showrunner for their uncanny ability to dig deep into the emotions of incredibly sad scenes, such as the one depicted here, during which Buffy discovers the recently deceased Kendra.
8 Lorne Gets A Head
Not all demons are evil-- some of them are just regular guys who want to hang out and have some fun, maybe date around a little.
That was the story of Lorne, the green-skinned demon who quickly became a fan favorite among Angel viewers.
Of course, his gentle nature and upbeat attitude didn't last long. Joss Whedon loves nothing more than to destroy the happiness of his best-loved characters.
Therefore he took the life of Lorne's best friend, Fred, sending the gentle demon into a spiral of depression before he ultimately cut himself off from his closest friends.
Though the disembodied head prop looks shocked or possibly in pain, Lorne actor Andy Hallett looks quite proud of his latex depiction.
7 Buffy And Her Stunt Double
Nobody can say for sure how much of her own stunts Sarah Michelle Gellar actually performed as Buffy. However, if you ask Sophia Crawford's (Gellar's stunt double) husband, Jeff Pruitt, his wife did most of it.
Pruitt famously published a scathing parable in which he cast himself as a knight in shining armor, being manipulated and sabotaged by Gellar's spoiled princess on the Buffy message boards.
Joss Whedon himself actually commented on the boards, informing Pruitt that sometimes people just don't mesh well together as coworkers.
The post insinuated that perhaps it was Pruitt himself who had caused his own firing from the show by not gelling with the rest of the team.
Whedon then reminded Pruitt that his attitude of himself as a hero didn't help his perspective.
6 Having Fun At The End Of The World
For all the drama and pathos, the crying, the apocalypses, the demons, and the vampires, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a fun show to be a part of.
For a few years, many of the actors who made up this series' cast of characters seemed to want nothing to do with the series. They were all trying to move on.
However, eventually, they made their way back to each other.
With photos like this, it isn't hard to see why this cast wouldn't be able to tear themselves away from each other for too long.
Happy faces and raucous laughter must have really helped to lighten up the heavy subject matter that Buffy was so famous for.
5 Faith Gets Flirty
Tales of feuds between Joss Whedon and his leading ladies are unfortunately frequent. Rumors claimed that he was displeased with Sarah Michelle Gellar not showing up for the series finale of Angel.
Other reports claimed that he wrote Charisma Carpenter out of the show because of an unannounced pregnancy. However, he's always had an affinity for Faith actress Eliza Dushku.
While Whedon claimed to have been a closer friend to several other actors from the series, he also admitted to being drawn to Dushku's personality.
He once gave her career advice, compelling her to search for roles outside of horror movies.
Despite this bond, though, Dushku was not invited to the 20 year Buffy reunion. The actress claimed that it was because Faith was more of a recurring role and not a main character.
4 Giles And Buffy’s Mom Hanging Out
Everyone remembers how sad, serious, and utterly gut-wrenching Buffy the Vampire Slayer could be. However, the show could be equally hilarious when the occasion struck.
One of these iconically funny episodes was "Band Candy", during which the adults of Sunnydale relive their glory days through enchanted fundraiser candy bars.
"Band Candy" is frequently listed as a top Buffy episode, with many enjoying the comedic range of the normally serious cast. Plus the hooking up of Buffy's mom and watcher was a total game changer.
Joyce actress Kristine Sutherland also counts the episode as one of her favorites. She found the experience of playing a teenage version of herself with a crush on the slayer's watcher an absolute blast.
Who can blame her? That coat was pretty cool.
3 Xander And Cordelia Were Friends In Real Life
At the time the show was on the air, Xander Harris was one of the most beloved Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters.
He was a real guy, with no powers but a great sense of humor and a good heart-- or so it seemed.
In the following couple of decades, viewers have begun to realize just how toxic Xander's personality really was.
Despite coming across as goofy and lovable, Xander was very disrespectful to the women in his life. He would shame them, insult them, and bully them for not returning his feelings.
We won't even get into the whole leaving Anya at the altar thing.
It's nice to know that Xander actor Nicholas Brendon and Cordelia Chase actress Charisma Carpenter got along when the cameras weren't rolling.
2 Spike’s Hair Was A Lengthy Process
Spike was one of the most popular characters to ever appear on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Fans loved his punk rock aesthetic, his Cockney accent, his secretly romantic heart hiding under all his swagger, as well as his evil deeds.
Also, of course, there was that iconic platinum blonde hair-- but that hair came at a price.
Vampires' hair doesn't grow, which meant that Spike actor James Marsters had to have his hair dyed every eight days to keep it looking as fresh as the day he wasn't buried.
The biggest issue with this was that, for proper hair and skin health, the dye is only supposed to be applied once every six weeks.
This led to open wounds, which would only become more irritated when the new bleach was poured over them.
1 Joss And Sarah Say Goodbye
Close co-workers and even closer friends are allowed to fight sometimes. It isn't always going to be smooth sailing.
This was definitely the case for the cast and crew of Buffy of the Vampire Slayer, which have frequently been reported to have feuded, fought, and otherwise not gotten along from time to time.
However, in the end, whether they were on good terms with him or not, everyone credited series creator Joss Whedon for the magic that made Buffy so... well, Buffy.
In a sea of reboots and remakes, both on television and in movies, it's no surprise that Hollywood has begun to consider bringing Buffy and the Scooby Gang back to life.
However, one thing was made very, very clear by the actors involved in the series: n..obody is willing to return without Whedon at the helm.
What do you think of these images? Do you know of any other behind-the-scenes photos that completely change Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Sound off in the comments!