Buffy the Vampire Slayer debuted over twenty-two years ago and it shows no signs of disappearing from the pop culture conversation anytime soon. It is a cult classic. This isn't just because of the snappy dialogue, inventive story arcs, or shipworthy couples. Despite battling the monsters of the Hellmouth, the characters of Buffy are some of the most relatable of TV history. In its first few seasons, Buffy was about "high school hell", in which the villains of the week represented a situation or a rite of passage to which we could all relate.
Buffy taught us to embrace our traits that make us feel like outcasts, that make us "weird". The Scooby Gang may look like a pack of misfits, but they have saved the world many times over. Why are they so capable of vanquishing the forces of darkness? Because they're a perfect team; everyone has their own unique traits they bring to the table.
Another pop culture franchise that celebrates an individual's traits is Harry Potter, specifically Hogwarts and the Sorting Hat ceremony. The Buffyverse and the Potterverse have a lot in common from the heroism to the main characters to the world of magic they live in. So why not bring some Harry Potter magic to Sunnydale, California?
12 Buffy Summers - Gryffindor
When you hear the word "hero", it's hard not to think of Buffy Summers. She was chosen to save us all from the demonic underworld. Responding to her calling means that night after night, Buffy puts her life on the line, battling an endless supply of bad guys who want to kill her. She actually died trying to save the world. Twice. The first time, Buffy was only sixteen and despite hearing a prophecy that said she would die, she still went into battle with her chin held high. The second time, Buffy risked potentially spending eternity in a demon hellverse in an effort to stop the world from ending. Gryffindors must possess bravery, and Buffy has it in spades.
Also like most Gryffindors, Buffy has a bit of an enlarged ego. Like Harry Potter, Buffy's individual powers make her think that she doesn't need anyone else's help because she is better anyway. How many times was she fooled by a classic bait-and-switch, when she would insist on fighting a bad guy alone, only to leave her friends unprotected and vulnerable. Buffy is very aware of this flaw and works hard to fight it, but that doesn't stop it from cropping up time to time.
11 Xander Harris - Hufflepuff
Hufflepuffs are sometimes referred to as the "miscellaneous" house. This term could also be used to categorize Xander. The Scooby Gang's members have included Slayers, Watchers, witches, vampires, and an ex-vengeance demon. Xander has no super-power, or power at all. At times this has made him feel useless and his attempts at proving himself have ended in disaster. However, over time, Xander becomes comfortable with his role in the group. The truth is that not everybody can be the big hero. To save the world, somebody has to be the person who goes on late-night coffee runs or waits by the phone. Like Hufflepuffs, Xander isn't afraid of hard, un-glamorous work.
Unfortunately, Xander can sometimes lack the deductive reasoning or gut instincts of his friends. Like when he summoned a musical demon to lighten the dour mood of the Scooby Gang (and Season 6 in general). Though this gave us one of the best episodes of TV history, it also resulted in several of the Scoobies almost being killed. Xander's strengths lie in his ability to follow.
10 Willow Rosenberg - Gryffindor
This may be a controversial pick. Shouldn't the bookish Willow be in Ravenclaw? A strong case could be made. However, like Hermione Granger, Willow isn't one to stay in the library when it's time to fight. At the end of high school, Willow was, as Principal Snyder put it, "accepted into every college with a stamp." She could have gone to any prestigious institution, likely on a full scholarship. But Willow decided to stay put and attend UC Sunnydale. Why? More than anything, Willow wanted to help people and fight evil. Any Ravenclaw in her place would be packing for Harvard at the first opportunity and never looking back.
Ravenclaws also possess a cool mind, even when things get heated. Willow doesn't always have that trait. Remember when Warren killed her girlfriend, Tara? Her knee-jerk reaction was to gobble up all the dark magic she could, use it to hunt Warren down and flayed him alive. Most Gryffindors don't go that dark, but definitely display a similar hot-headedness.
9 Rupert Giles - Ravenclaw
Like Willow, Giles isn't afraid to get his hands dirty on the battlefield. But the man literally makes his living by keeping his nose in a book. So he has to be Ravenclaw. When there’s a new demon in town, Giles becomes visibly giddy because that gives him an opportunity to research and learn new things. His Watcher smarts have been instrumental in helping the gang in battle, like when his ability to speak Sumerian helped Buffy and co. cast a spell to defeat Adam who seemed like he was invincible.
Ravenclaws can think they’re smarter than everyone else, which means not being able to appreciate other helpful abilities and Giles is definitely guilty of this. As valuable as Giles is, he at times fits the stereotype of the stuffy librarian. For example, when he looked down his nose at Jenny’s online coven, which proved its mettle by defeating an Internet demon. However, a few years as a member of the Scooby Gang saw Giles loosening up a bit though he was always ready for research mode, book in hand and teakettle on.
8 Cordelia Chase - Slytherin
Queen C ruled Sunnydale High with an iron fist. She wielded such power, her friends were even called the Cordettes. Anyone not hand-plucked to be in Cordy’s clique was a loser. Even when Cordelia left her drones behind and joined the Scoobies, she still possessed a brazenness that is unmistakably Slytherin. She’s not one to let something as pedestrian as being nice get in her way of telling it like it is. At times, Cordelia’s brutal honesty could be downright mean but every now and then a Scooby needed a verbal smack upside the head that only she could deliver. Plus at Homecoming, Cordelia was able to scare off a demon simply by fixing him an ice-cold mean girl stare. Only a Slytherin could do that.
7 Angel - Gryffindor
To be clear, we’re talking about Angel the vampire with a soul not Angelus (who is Slytherin through and through). Even when he stuck to the shadows, Angel frequently put his life on the line to help Buffy and friends. Other vampires saw Angel as a betrayer of their species and he was targeted many times but that never stopped him from using his strength and supreme combat skills to fight the good fight.
Angel has always been a man of action. He’d rather be throwing punches in the cemetery than flipping pages in the library. This is a total Gryffindor mindset. When Angel moved to L.A., he opened a detective agency whose slogan was, “We help the helpless.” This business venture is not unlike Harry Potter’s secret organization, Dumbledore’s Army.
6 Daniel "Oz" Osbourne - Hufflepuff
Of all the Scoobies, Oz is the most difficult to sort. His intelligence almost made him a Ravenclaw, but no Ravenclaw would flunk their last year of high school. What makes Oz a true Hufflepuff is his ability to keep cool, even in a crisis. The only time Oz—the man, not the werewolf—has come close to losing his temper is when Willow, the love of his life, was in danger. That is because Oz is also extremely loyal, another Hufflepuff trait. Really, Oz’s only flaw is that his intense feelings for Willow make him unable to keep his werewolfiness under control. In other words, his downfall is his feelings. That’s a Hufflepuff.
5 Anya Jenkins - Slytherin
As a former vengeance demon, Anya found humans to be inferior beings...even when she was one herself. This is not unlike Slytherins believing pure-blood wizards are superior to Muggle-borns. Like Cordelia, Anya has a penchant for speaking her mind, even when her thoughts are hurtful or inappropriate. She is also utterly obsessed with money, much like the elitist Draco Malfoy of Slytherin house.
Unlike most Slytherins, though, Anya is a very compassionate person. When she and Xander were together, Anya frequently professed her love (and lust) for him. When Xander left her at the altar, Anya deployed some sneaky, strategic measures in an impassioned quest for revenge. That level of cunning definitely points to a Slytherin.
4 Spike - Gryffindor
Nobody loves a good brawl like Spike, even if it puts him in physical danger. Even though he used to be a Big Bad, he’s still not a Slytherin. Given the choice, Slytherins prefer not to get their hands dirty, whereas Gryffindors relish good, old-fashioned fisticuffs. When the Initiative put the chip in Spike’s head, he almost staked himself because he couldn’t bear to give up violence.
His reaction when he learned that he was still able to hurt demons was one of primal ecstasy. In the Potterverse, we could definitely see him cleaning house as a Beater on the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
3 Riley Finn - Gryffindor
I know, right? How can Spike the fan favorite and Riley the fan punching-bag be in the same house? Hear me out. Riley was in charge of most military operations during his Initiative days. These often involved direct combat with demons in the field. Only someone with courage and strong physical capabilities, like a Gryffindor, could fill that role.
Furthermore like Ron was envious of Harry’s celebrity status, Riley began to envy Buffy’s Slayer strength. This resentment, combined with their relationship problems, caused Riley to lash out, behaving in rash, dangerous ways. In other words, nobody embodies a Gryffindor’s worst traits like Riley Finn.
2 Dawn Summers - Hufflepuff
One of Dawn’s deepest desires is to belong, especially to the Scooby Gang. Though she’s not an expert in anything, Dawn always wants to lend a helping hand, whether it’s helping Willow with research or going on patrols with Buffy. Dawn has been known to be a bit of a brat, especially when she feels neglected and unimportant. This is a trait she shares with Xander and she feels connected to him on a deep level.
Dawn has one huge defining Hufflepuff moment. In Season 7, the gang briefly thought Dawn was a Potential. She was thrilled, because to her that meant she was special like her sister. However, it turned out that the Potential was Dawn’s classmate, Amanda. Instead of throwing a fit or going into a state of denial, Dawn passed off the baton to Amanda with the grace worthy of a Hufflepuff.
1 Tara Maclay - Hufflepuff
It's people like Tara who make a strong case as to why Hufflepuffs are awesome. She is arguably one of the kindest souls of the show. When Oz came back, Tara sat by patiently waiting for Willow to figure out her feelings. Tara has never been one for blind, emotional action no matter how provoked. She may be a powerful witch, but you’ll never catch Tara using strong magic unless it’s to save somebody’s life.
Hufflepuffs are also known to be a little too trusting and Tara definitely fits this bill. She repeatedly ignored signs of Willow’s magic addiction and gave her far too many chances before finally breaking up with her. Still, Tara sees the best in people. When Willow showed that she had cleaned up her act, Tara took her back with open arms. The rest is heartbreaking history, but fans will always hold a special place in their hearts for Tara Maclay.