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Ranking Buffy Big Bads

Worst to Best

By Alexandrea CallaghanPublished about a month ago 3 min read

Buffy the Vampire Slayer fought many demons, vampires and forces of darkness but there was a particular “big bad” for each season. Some were actually bad and a few were just kind of a nuisance, so we are ranking them. Since we have finished discussing Buffy the Vampire Slayer season by season I thought that we would rank all of the Buffy “big bads”. Eventually might rank the Scoobies as well but let’s just do the bad guys for now.

Starting at the very bottom, the most annoying and least scary but ironically the big bad that probably caused the most damage, The Trio. Warren, Andrew and Jonathan all had been thwarted by Buffy by the time they actually banded together. And they were really bad, comic book camp level supervillains. The reason they are on the bottom is because Andrew and Jonathan were really inconsequential, they really contributed nothing to these master plans and they were pretty useless. Warren was the biggest problem and though you could say that he accomplished his goal; hurting Buffy, and he did take Tara away from us, he never demonstrated any actual power. I get that his purpose was to show that even as strong and super as she is the Slayer is still vulnerable to human damage, but he was a creep and rapey and he deserved a slower and more painful death. Willow took it way too easy on him. Comparatively to her other villains he just didn’t measure up.

Next we have Glory. Power wise she dwarfs everyone else on this list. But I think by now we know how I feel about season 5 and I think putting a literal god into a pretty grounded supernatural show was a huge mistake that I largely ignore. So here she goes at the bottom with a human villain because she wasn’t actually interesting, she was just strong.

Pretty run of the mill was The Master. This was only really interesting because it was Buffy’s first big fight, the first time she died, and the first time she really had to work through some PTSD. The Master gave Buffy great character development as well as really pushing her to be a better slayer. I will always go back to season 1 because he was also built up really well, even in a much shorter season.

Next we have The First, a villain she had a run in with earlier in the show before they became the main star. The First was probably her most complicated villain, not only because it could take the form of anyone but because Buffy really had to dig deep. This big bad nearly tore the scoobies apart and Buffy had to become a better, stronger leader.

Simply for the fact that the team up made things more fun and complicated we have Faith and The Mayor. Yes they both get top billing here because The Mayor managed to reduce a slayer to a simple henchmen by playing on her emotions. Her loneliness and desperation was her downfall and this season gave us a really great look at why Buffy is so good as the slayer. It's her relationships. Her friends keep her grounded and keep her from going off the deep end.

More fun as an ally but at one time he was a villain we have Spike. Spike was a fun villain because he was never really that intimidating. He was always kind of a goof who was just a boy in love. Drusilla is really his motivation for his actions, that infatuation then shifts to Buffy later in the series but his obsession is probably the scariest thing about him.

And last but not least probably the most emotional, heartbreaking villain, Angelous. I am calling Angelous the best big bad for a lot of reasons. The most obvious being that he was able to hurt Buffy in ways none of the others could because of his relationship with her. Because she loved him he could terrify her and get under her skin like no other villain could. That’s also way he was so terrifying because he operated more like a serial killer obsessed with his subject, and Jenny Calender’s death is still one of the most haunting things that this show ever did.

Like I said Buffy had some great big bads, and a lot of them were a perfect fit for the show because they had something to say about what the scoobies were going through. They were representative of a part of growing up that isn’t often reflected well in television. That said some of the villains were terrible because the best parts of Buffy the Vampire Slayer were the parts that Joss Whedon didn’t write and when he came back to the show from Angel everything got rapey and weird.

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About the Creator

Alexandrea Callaghan

Certified nerd, super geek and very proud fangirl.

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