Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a show of many funny moments. From anything Cordelia Chase has ever said to Clem’s kitten-betting poker game, the comedy is just rampant. There are those who might even say that it would be too difficult to narrow down these funny moments to a list of only ten. That may be so, but I’m willing to try.
So here they are, in no particular order, and certainly subject to much debate and possibly revision: The ten most hilarious moments in BTVS.
- Harmony and Xander’s cat-fight: In a show about bad-ass supernatural beings beating the crap out of each other in spectacularly epic battles, Harmony and Xander’s cat-fight from the season four episode “The Initiative” is a thing of true comic beauty. The two characters (valley-girl-turned-vampire Harmony and lovable-but-slightly-pathetic sidekick Xander) are evenly matched in the slow-motion duel of hair-pulling and slaps. The absurdity of the less-than-impressive fight is enhanced by the dramatic soundtrack and cinematography.
- Out for a walk, bitch: Most exchanges between Buffy and Spike are memorable for one reason or another, but none are quite so memorable as their conversation in the season five episode “No Place Like Home”, in which Buffy asks Spike to explain what he’s doing outside her house in five words or less. He responds, ticking the words off on his fingers: “Out. For. A. Walk… Bitch.”
- The Mayor’s to-do list: The mayor was one of the most original and beloved Big Bads of the series. A germophobe and manners-enforcer, the evil version of Mr. Rogers had more than a few odd quirks. One of these was his daily to-do list, which appeared in the season three episode “Bad Girls.” It read: “Call temp agency; Become invincible; Meeting with PTA; Haircut.”
- Giles’s open-mic night: After blowing up the high school library, Giles had some time on his hands. He filled that time by playing 1970’s-era rock covers on his acoustic guitar, as was revealed when the Scooby Gang walked in on his open mic night performance of “Behind Blue Eyes” by The Who in the season four episode “Where the Wild Things Are.” We’re not sure what was more funny: His genuinely heart-felt and talented performance in the midst of a demonic crisis, or the looks on Anya, Willow, Tara, and Xander’s faces.
- The Mustard Guy. Nay, every minute of “Once More With Feeling”: The musical episode of BTVS needs no introduction. From series producer David Fury’s cameo singing about the wonders of dry-cleaning to Xander and Anya’s duet about the challenges and rewards of their soon-to-be-married life, the whole thing is comedic gold.
- Wesley and Cordelia’s kiss: Most of Wesley and Cordelia’s interactions in season three were ripe with humor (Wesley’s brave rescue of Cordelia, followed by his panicked scream of fear in “Dopplegangland”), but nothing so amused (and disgusted) viewers as much as their first, incredibly awkward kiss in the season three finale “Graduation Day Part II.” They just couldn’t get it right.
- The Danse Macabre lecture: How does the Scooby Gang work through a demon-related problem when they can’t speak? Season four’s “Hush” (the dialogue-free episode, for those of you following along at home) featured Giles’s lecture on the monster of the week via illustrations on an overhead projector and a recording of “Danse Macabre.” Couple this with the Scooby Gang’s popcorn munching and awkward hand gestures and what you have is one of the funniest moments in the series’s seven-season run.
- Andrew’s drawing of the Hellmouth: Speaking of hilarious non-verbal communication, Andrew’s fully-illustrated diagram of the Hellmouth, along with his awkward lecture to the Potential Slayers on said dangers in the season seven episode “Storyteller” was both entertaining and educational.
- Joyce meets Spike: Season two ends with an uneasy alliance between Buffy and Spike. This results in Buffy’s mom Joyce hanging out in their living room with Spike. Joyce breaks the uneasy silence between the two of them by asking if they had met before. Spike responds, “You hit me with an ax once. Remember, ‘Stay away from my daughter?'” It’s one of the best (and most unlikely) interactions in the whole series.
- Every prop from “Superstar”: In this season four episode, series regular Jonathan (little more than That Guy) casts a spell to make himself the best at everything, including Buffy’s job. This unusual turn of events comes with no explanation until the end, so the characters spend the entire episode blissfully living in a Jonathan-ruled world, where he starred in The Matrix, counsels the Initiative on military matters, plays pro basketball, graduated from med school, is a saxophone-playing god, and just published his autobiography. While the whole episode is a knee-slapper, one of the best parts is noticing all the Jonathan-related props in the background, from billboards to cereal boxes to a swimsuit calendar.
Can’t stop the signal: Did I miss your favorite hilarious moment from Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Well darn. Nobody’s perfect! Tell us all about it in a comment below.
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