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ONTD Original: Top 5 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Continuity/Inconsistency Errors

Greetings, ONTD.
Welcome to the 12th installment of the ONTD Original Series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Today, I'm doing an installment on the top five inconsistencies in the series that just drove me nuts. Why five? Because these are the only five I could think of that just seemed to carry on and on and on...

Disclaimer: This post is my opinion, and my opinion only. <3 I love commenting back and forth, and I'm absolutely open to opposing views or critique, but please be kind and respectful to each other/me. These posts are bringing me such joy in the middle of intense isolation, and I truly enjoy making these posts and commenting back and forth with my fellow Buffy fans. <3. That being said, let's jump in!

[If the apocalypse comes, beep me]
5. Vampires Breathing
So what's the deal with vampires breathing? They can't breathe, or they can? They can smoke, but they can't breathe? They can't give CPR, but they can get out of breath and pant to...catch their breath? Make it make sense!

Season 1, Episode 12
Xander: There's a shot... CPR...
Angel: (panting, out of breath from running) You'll have to do it...I have no breath...

Season 2, Episode 22
Spike proceeds to choke Drusilla out, so he can throw her in the car and leave town so Buffy won't kill them...

Season 7, Episode 10
The First instructs the Turok-Han to continue drowning Spike as means of torture.

[Hey Ive died twiiiice...]
4. Buffy's Strength
Buffy's strength seems to depend on what's going on. Perhaps this is similar to a Mom getting strength to lift a car because of adrenaline? I don't know. Either way, her strength throughout the series fluctuates considerably.

Season 1, Episode 2
Giles: We're too late!
Buffy: I didn't know I was gonna get grounded!
Xander: Can you break it down?
Buffy: No, not that thing.

Season 6, Episode 7
Cast: Let it burn, let it burn, let it burn, let it burn!
*Buffy kicks down the giant metal door and it goes flying*
Sweet: Show time.

Season 3, Episode 1
Buffy: Ok. This works the abs, and the glutes. *grunts* I'm gonna feel this for a week.
*Lifts a metal gate with seemingly maximum effort*

Season 2, Episode 15
Werewolf Hunter: No wonder this town's overrun with monsters. No one here's man enough to kill 'em!
Buffy: Oh, I wouldn't be too sure of that.
*Buffy bends the barrel of the shot gun with seemingly moderate effort*

[Im under your spellll]
3. Slayer Lore
Into every generation, a slayer is born. One girl in all the world..
One girl? One girl is born in all the world, per generation?
Cut to Kendra being 'chosen' and taken from her family at a young age. Cut to Faith, being ready to be called immediately upon Kendra's death. Cut to Buffy in season 7, asking Giles why when she died, the other slayer wasn't called (even though Faith was alive?) Cut to the small army of girls who migrated to Sunnydale in season 7 that were all 'potential slayers'? I just don't get it. The entire first season is predicated on the "Into every generation, a slayer is born..." only to sh*t on it through the rest of the series? Also, the Oracle, who supposedly knows ALL, says Buffy was the reason the forces around the chosen line to become unstable by coming back from the dead, but Faith is technically the 'active' slayer, who hasn't died. What?

Season 1, Episode 1
Giles: Because you are the slayer. Into each generation, a slayer is born. One girl in all the world, a chosen one. One born with the strength...
Buffy: ...the strength and skill to hunt the vampires. To stop the spread of their evil, blah blah blah...I've heard it, okay?

Season 7, Episode 11
Giles: If the First has been around for all time, then why hasn't it attempted something like this before? Why now?
Oracle: The opportunity has only recently presented itself.
Giles: Opportunity?
Oracle: The mystical forces surrounding the chosen line have become irrevocably altered, become unstable. Vulnerable.
Anya: Something the First did.
Oracle: The First Evil did not cause the disruption. Only ceased upon it to extinguish the lives of the chosen forever.
Giles: Then what has caused the disruption? What is responsible for letting this happen?
Oracle: The slayer.

Season 6, Episode 22
Buffy: I just...I don't understand why I'm back.
Giles: You have a calling.
Buffy: But it was my time, Giles. Someone would've taken my place. So...why?

[Bored now...]
2. How Vampires Die
Did you ever notice vampires deaths seem to depend on who they are, who is killing them, and how it suits the story? Is their heart in their stomach, chest, or neck? Does sunlight cause them to vaporize, or just slowly start to cook? Does holy water hurt like a splash of boiling water, or is it more like a slow burn of a semi-corrosive chemical? Hmm...

Season 4, Episode 3
Spike: Take it off me this way, we both burn!
Buffy: Really? Let's see.
*Spike slowly starts to smoke, but has plenty of time to dive into the sewer opening*

Season 2, Episode 21
Vampire: Tonight. You will come to him. You will come to him, or more will die. Tonight. His hour is at hand!
*Vampire has plenty of time to finish her statement while she slowly starts smoking, then suddenly bursts into flames and disappears*

Season 3, Episode 12
Vampire: Ahh, don't seem to understand your place in all of this. Do you have any ide...oh my. What did you... my pills... *grunts*
*Buffy holds up empty vial of holy water*
Buffy: If I was at full slayer power, I'd be punning right about now...
*Vampire slowly vaporizes*

Season 4, Episode 16
*Riley throws vampire into sunlight without his cover*
*Vampire immediately vaporizes*
Riley: Forgot your coat.

Season 1, Episode 2
Willow: Get off of him!
*Willow throws holy water on Darla's face, it immediately begins smoking and melting her face off.*
*Darla runs away screaming and smoking like a hot dog on the fourth of July*

Season 1, Episode 2
Jesse: Phew. Oh right. Put me out of my misery. You don't have the gu--
*random passerby pushes Jesse onto the stake...into his neck*
*Jesse turns to dust anyway*

[Its in about nine hours, moron.]
1. The Location of Sunnydale
It's got docks. It's got woods. It's got a State University. But, we don't have a whole lot of town...right, Cordelia? The crater that's left also isn't that big (see the last screen cap in this post) ... so how on earth did all of this work? This is a case for the FBI.

Season 2, Episode 15
Here are Buffy and Giles in the lovely woods of Sunnydale.

Season 2, Episode 13
Here are Buffy and Angel, at the lovely Sunnydale docks.

Season 1, Episode 12
Here is a lovely overview of Sunnydale, with tons of beautiful foothills surrounding it. So lovely.

Season 7, Episode 22
And here is what's left when Sunnydale sinks into the Hellmouth. Desert and snow capped mountains in the distance. Not an inkling of ocean, woods, docks, none of it. Hmm.

So, ONTD... what are some of the consistency/continuity errors that bothered you throughout the series? Do you think any of mine are wrong, or do you think I missed any glaring ones? (Probable, to be fair, since I only selected five)

If you're interested in seeing the previous posts:
Post 1: Ranking 'Series Regular' Buffy the Vampire Slayer Characters
Post 2: Top 10 Buffy the Vampire Slayer 'Hellmouth' Metaphors for Real Life Struggles
Post 3: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In Defense of Season 6
Post 4: Top 10 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episodes to Fight 2021
Post 5: The Fashion of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Post 6: Character "Best and Worst Moments" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Post 7: Top 20 Quotes/Lines/Dialogue Moments from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Post 8: Top 15 "Wee Little Baddies" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Post 9: Foreshadowing of Future Events in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Post 10: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Cast: Where Are They Now?
Post 11: Top Episodes with Power Messages from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Sources: My brain, 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
Tags: alyson hannigan, buffyverse / whedonverse, ontd original, sarah michelle gellar

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4 -
She trains to channel her slayer strength.

Slayers are born and trained but 1 slayer is the chosen the lead, the strongest. They can all be called but will never be thee slayer unless..
That's the case later in the show, but the entire first season is all about "into every generation, a slayer is born." A slayer, as in one per generation, is born. I'm not arguing that the slayer line makes sense with potentials for continuity purposes, but it still doesn't add up. :P If it's an assembly line where there are countless potentials at any given time, it kind of takes away the whole lore imo. Then it's just a lottery situation. "Welp. That slayer bit the dust. Who's next?!"
The first season had it seeming so much more mysterious and mystical, and then as it went on it was like "Pretty much any girl could be." Which isn't a bad thing, it's just so different than the first season imo
I hate experiencing inconsistencies but I love reading articles about them.
Death, maybe it has to do with who sired them.

Yeah Sunnydale's location was odd. The crater was just lazy imo.
How easy it was for non-Buffy people to stake vampires.

I haven’t jammed a wooden stake into someone’s chest lately, but I’m guessing it requires a big effort to penetrate through and into the heart. The characters made it look easy. Like vamps are made of butter.
Yeah, like, even stabbing a person in the chest with a very sharp knife is hard because it needs to go through their ribs and you're unlikely to get it THROUGH bone.
The breath and strength ones have long been picked apart. I remember way back someone joking (maybe even Joss??) about how Buffy and Angel's strength changed depending on what the plot needed. I think it was specifically in reference to one episode Angel being unable to get out of a chainlink storage room but other times he had mega strength.

Their ages always bugged me as a huge inconsistency. Once they were out of high school they got weirdly treated like adults even though they were still teenagers. Angel the series just aged Cordelia up to Charisma Carpenter's actual age because they didn't want to do three seasons before Cordelia could legally order a drink.
I always wondered how vampires got erections like there’s no heartbeat so the blood wouldn’t be rushing anywhere...
All that blood they drink just goes right to their dick dontcha know.


May 4 2021, 11:45:01 UTC 3 days ago Edited:  May 4 2021, 11:47:30 UTC

Ooooh love this post for all us nitpickers lol!
#2 The Master has bones is an early but funny example.

This is not so much an inconsistency but the slayer’s power comes from a demon right? So presumably slayers have some kind of essence of demon in them but...Spike gets chip whammied from hitting Buffy, pre-zombification.

Joyce finds out Buffy is the slayer and freaks out in season 2 as though she had no idea. But then in Normal Again they make it so her parents chucked Buffy in a psych hospital when she told them. Apparently having your kid committed for delusions doesn’t have a lasting impression...

Buddy’s* strength growing over the seasons makes sense. Buffy kicking the ass of gods and other monsters then having difficulty slaying a single, newly uprooted vampire...not so much.

* I love this autocorrect
The whole one slayer for the entire world bothered me. Do vampires not exist outside of sunnydale? I know it’s the hellmouth but even vampires migrate. See: drusilla and spike
To a degree i agree lol but they seem to send the Slayer to hot spots that are deemed the most dangerous.
The slayer always kind of traveled, Buffy just didn't need to because she lived on the demonic hotspot. Also season 7 basically confirmed that the original Watchers limit it to one slayer a generation on purpose because it's much easier to control one girl you've been training since childhood to kill demons than an army of them. It's also implied the test they get if they make it to 18 is basically designed to kill them so they don't get too old and unruly and get replaced with another impressionable child.
Slayer lore made sense to me lol. Watchers Council were able to identify girls who had the potential to be Chosen and put effort into training them so they'd be up to speed if they win the Slayer lottery.
Right. The 'into every generation there is a chosen one' part was to gloss over the fact that most slayers get to twenty if they're lucky.
Yeah Buffy was an outlier. Kendra is kind of the ideal of what they wanted a slayer to be: trained since birth for when she would get called, loyal to the mission, absolutely zero life outside of slaying.
Short answer to all your questions: Joss is a hack.
your posts are sooooo good. I love the work you put into them and I always come away from them feeling like i know more about the show
The same one I have with shows like Charmed: in reality (lol), it would be really easy for Buffy/the Charmed Ones to be killed.

It just would be. 1 Slayer vs many bad guys. 3 witches with limited power and vulnerabilities vs God knows how many demons, warlocks, general people they pissed off because they were so particularly heinous (dun dun), etc.

Even though Buffy had help, she was still capable of being killed. Imagine a sniper taking her out. Warren almost killed her by waving his gun around like one of those wacky wavy inflatable tube guys. A real shot could’ve easily done the job.
i rewatched a few seasons recently and Spike is truly in sunlight SO MUCH. Like, I get to have him part of the show he had to have some daytime interactions with the rest of the cast but it's SO MUCH. I feel like they cared about that consistency seasons 1-3 and gave up starting season 4.
Maybe it's because I was some-what in the fandom during Buffy's original run but the Potential Slayer aspect always made sense and it felt like a victory that "fanon" became "canon."
Ever since Kendra's debut, I remember there being debate about what it all meant. There were theories that Kendra came from a superstitious culture that just so happened to get a slayer to the idea that "potential" slayers were a thing and there were "watchers" all over watching for potential slayers (which adds a whole new fucked up/creepy level to the Slayer/Watcher lore). Then when Faith came along it sort of cemented the idea for a lot of the fandom.

I remember the "potential" idea sort of just being accepted theory about Slayer Lore well before season 7. As well as countless threads during season 6 asking "wHy iSn'T tHeRe A nEw SlAyEr????????????????" with the general consensus always being that the Slayer line runs through Faith and that Buffy being "The Slayer with Friends" and cheating death made her anomaly in the chain of succession.

But...yeah....despite all of this being things the fandom debated and discussed for years, it doesn't change the fact that the show didn't do the best job at explaining the lore.


May 4 2021, 14:37:20 UTC 3 days ago Edited:  May 4 2021, 14:48:06 UTC

OP! You and I have a psychic connection! Yesterday I was randomly wondering where Sunnyvale is, and here it is #1 in your post!

ETA: I came up with it being somewhere like San Bernadino, but the beach and docks throw that off.
Right? And when Willow was ending the world, she was up on a hill that overlooked the ocean. Like, what? Where'd the ocean go? And the 12 grave yards in city limits... the size of that crater in the finale would barely be enough to fit those! What about the mall, and the university, the high school, the neighborhood, the area with the warehouses where Buffy fought Glory for the first time... all of that wouldn't fit in that tiny area! It's just insane. lol
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