On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Scooby Gang knows how to keep busy. Fighting evil is a 24/7 job. No vacations, no stress leave. Over the course of 144 episodes, the gang killed hundreds of vampires, demons, and bad guys. Some were dusted in the blink of an eye; others took months full of strategizing, planning, and casualties before they could be vanquished.
Admittedly, some of the Buffy villains were kinda lame. The frat house snake. The old lady demon who preyed on fast food workers. All the demons with bad CGI in the early seasons. But there are those that stand the test of time, not just for being deliciously evil, but for the epic way the Scoobies end their reign of terror. From memorable monsters of the week to the Big Bads, here is Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Scooby Gang's 10 Best Kills.
10 The Gentlemen
Can every Buffy fan agree that the Gentlemen were hands down the most frightening villain ever? Especially for those who have recurring nightmares about not being able to scream. The Gentlemen's MO is to sweep into town, steal everyone's voices, then go around cutting out people's hearts in the middle of the night while their helpless victims can't even shout, can't cry. They are almost invincible, but will die at the sound of a human scream.
This is classic Joss Whedon irony. The whole premise of Buffy is that Whedon is taking the horror movie trope of the blonde scream queen and turning her into the Slayer, the thing that monsters fear. However, fists and weapons are useless against the Gentlemen and it's a bloodcurdling scream that destroys them. And does it ever. Their heads pop off like cheap Barbie dolls, erupting in geysers of green goo. In other words, Gentlemen, "You're gonna die screaming but you won't be heard."
Talk about a demon whose bark is worse than his bite. Gachnar unleashes his wrath on a college Halloween party that the Scoobies happen to be attending. A series of weird occurrences makes the Scoobies think it's all part of the party's haunted house theme. But one by one, each of the Scoobies' worst fears start to come true: Oz morphs into his werewolf self, Xander becomes invisible, Willow's magic spirals out of control, and Buffy can't escape death.
Giles' research turns up a picture of Gachnar, and he looks to be the total embodiment of the Dark Lord of Nightmares. Alas, the only way to defeat Gachnar in the flesh is to summon him. So the Scoobies do and after much pomp and circumstance, Gachnar is about the size of a Polly Pocket. In the show's easiest, yet most hilarious kill, Buffy squashes him with her foot. To all future researchers, listen to Giles. Read the captions. The one under Gachnar's photo? "Actual size".
Generally, as a rule, the Scoobies don't kill humans. But Dark Willow doesn't follow the rules—and Warren is barely a human. He commits the worst crime in the series imaginable when he kills Tara. The fact that it's an accident makes it even worse.
Dark Willow avenges her deceased girlfriend by tracking Warren down in the woods, tying him up and torturing him. If Warren didn't regret his actions before, he certainly does when forced to endure the pain of a bullet wriggling around in his body. His pleas to Dark Willow only serve to exacerbate his situation. Her response is an eerie, winking nod to Vampire Willow as she utters "bored now" in a soft, singsong voice. Dark Willow permanently shuts Warren up by magically flaying him alive. The moment is as gross as it is shocking. Even those who were rooting for Warren to meet his end were clutching their stomachs in nausea. What's even more disturbing is Willow's total loss of humanity.
7 Zachary Kralik
Buffy can dust most vamps without batting an eye. Zachary Kralik is a different case. Not only is he as imposing as a small giant, he was also a psychopathic serial killer before he became a vampire. So get Mr. Pointy ready, because this is one fight where you're going to want to bring your lucky stake.
But even Mr. Pointy is no good to Buffy. She was thrown into the pit with Kralik without her Slayer powers, as ordered by the Watcher's Council. This is what makes the Kralik kill so memorable. Buffy proves her Slayer skills not just in terms of brute strength, but resourcefulness too. She notices Kralik takes pills so she replaces his regular water with holy water. Kralik fries and Buffy gets even more Slayer street cred.
6 The Master
Buffy has always been a rule breaker. The prophecy may have stated that Buffy would die fighting the Master, but Buffy flips the script, redefining who is the hunter and who is the lamb. Okay, okay, the prophecy should be given a little credit. Technically it comes true. The Master kills Buffy, but Xander revives her moments later.
And she makes one whammy of a comeback. In her much-complimented, exquisite white prom dress, Buffy may look like a sweet little high school girl. But she is the Slayer, and the Master has been playing on her turf for way too long. She slams him through a skylight and he falls smack in the middle of the library...on a broken piece of wood. With the first Big Bad vanquished, Sunnydale just got a little safer and its vampires just a little terrified.
Over the show's run, Buffy becomes an icon for strong women. So when the end is near, what better foe for the Slayer than a seemingly unstoppable misogynist? After Glory, Caleb is easily Buffy's most deadly villain. He snuffs out the lives of Potentials with the ease of blowing out a candle. He gouges out Xander's eye. Caleb is so strong, the Scoobies opt to turn on Buffy before facing him again.
The Slayer is at a loss. She doesn't even come close to matching his strength. That's when it clicks. Buffy has been fighting Caleb's battle on his terms. She returns to his lair and this time uses her agility and Slayer cunning in battle. It works and she's able to nab the mythic Scythe which she uses to cut Caleb in two, from his genitalia up. Ain't that just like a Slayer?
4 The Judge
As powerful as the Judge may be, he's hardly the scariest-looking villain Buffy has ever faced. With his blue skin, he looks like the Hellmouth's version of a Smurf. But Smurf or not, the way Buffy kills him is one of the most memorable moments of the entire series.
The Scoobies' research tells them that "no weapon forged" can kill the Judge. But this was written back when people said things like "forged." Like, welcome to the 90s. The Scoobies take a gamble and arm Buffy with a stolen rocket launcher. Right before she pulls the trigger, the Judge asks, "What's that do?" Suffice it to say, the pieces of the Judge have their answer.
Some of these kills have an infectious "rah-rah" spirit about them; others leave the viewer buried in a mountain of Kleenex. Angel's death is the latter. Buffy sets off to kill Angelus and stop him from ending the world. However, newbie witch Willow re-curses Angelus with a soul. He becomes Angel again, but it's too late. Buffy is forced to plunge a sword into her soulmate, sending him to hell and saving the world.
The moment Buffy realizes what she must do is sheer agony. That tearful kiss, that love confession, then the sword stab felt 'round the world. Of all the sacrifices Buffy has to make as a Slayer, this is one of the biggest. It may have scarred her for life, but it cements her as a true warrior.
2 The Mayor
Up until this point, all the show's bad guys have been defeated by Buffy and the Scoobies. But the fight against the invincible Mayor means Buffy needs to call in the reserves. While she doesn't have an actual army at her disposal, she has a high school full of seniors who want to graduate...alive.
The Mayor's Ascension has its pros and cons. Pro: the ritual means he's no longer invincible. Con: he turns into a ginormous snake. The Class of '99 pelts him with flaming arrows and eventually Buffy is able to trick the Mayor/snake into chasing her through the high school. She escapes while he's trapped in the library, which is full of explosives. The detonator is pushed, reducing both Mayor and Sunnydale High to rubble. Talk about a graduation to remember.
It's all hands on deck in the fight against Glory, the hell goddess from...well, hell. The fact that the Scoobies are able to weaken her as much as they do is a testament to their strength, power, and teamwork. But it's not enough. Luckily, Glory has a kryptonite. Without warning, she sometimes turns into Dr. Ben...who is very, very mortal. Drat Buffy's moral compass. Even though it would mean saving a whack of lives, Buffy can't bear to kill a human. But she gives Ben a stern talking-to, all but making him and Glory pinky promise to leave and never come back. Yeah, Rebecca of Sunnyhell Farm, that's really gonna work.
While there are some lines that Buffy won't cross, Giles doesn't have that problem. It's been far too long since viewers were treated to some Ripper madness, but it's worth the wait. Giles ever so gently smothers the incapacitated Ben. By unleashing his inner Ripper, Giles smites Ben's inner goddess.