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Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Things You Forgot Happened In Season 1

Despite Buffy the Vampire Slayer having been around for over 20 years, the amount of rewatches one can do in that amount of time is immeasurable. And fans just can't get enough of Buffy, her cronies (lovingly referred to as the Scooby Gang), and their Sunnydale shenanigans. While you'd be hard-pressed to find a fan who can't pop off some of Buffy's famous puns at the drop of a hat, they may draw a blank when it comes to the very first season.

Why's that? Well, for one, the first season only has ten episodes compared to the typical 22. It also has its fair share of forgettable and less-than-impactful moments. On the other hand, some scenes are so cringe that slayerettes have tried to forget them, and there's also all the foreshadowing that was missed by fans of the time. While Buffy fans may have romanticized Angel more than he deserves or remember Xander much more fondly in the early days, these season 1 events are more than likely to make fans go "huh?" 

Xander accidentally kills his friend in Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 1

Let's be real. It's pretty easy to forget that Xander's friend, Jesse, exists, let alone that he gets slain by the Scooby-in-training during the second episode of the series. No one seems to mourn him all that much, and he's mentioned less than a handful of times even in the first season. Given that Jessie spends 90 percent of his screen time awkwardly (and forcefully) flirting with Cordelia, it's not surprising that no one remembers him. Take a hint, dude.

Jesse's fate is sealed even before his death in the pilot episode "Welcome to the Hellmouth," when he gets kidnapped by Darla. While he's hanging out with the Master in his dingy cave, the vamps use Jesse as bait while simultaneously giving him fangs. As he squares off with Xander at the local club, the Bronze, someone knocks into Jesse, and he falls on Xander's stake — an anticlimactic end for an exceedingly unremarkable character.

Cordelia tries to befriend Buffy

Believe it or not, Cordelia, Sunnydale's most popular mean girl, was one of the first people to be friendly to Buffy. And really, that shouldn't be too surprising, as the slay queen was popular at her old school before she, uh, burned it down. But who hasn't accidentally lit their high school on fire while slaying a bunch of vampires? Come on. Anyway, it's not surprising that given her fashion sense and her L.A. background that Buffy would appeal to Cordy (who had a far-fetched acting dream), but the friendship was short-lived.

In the pilot, Cordelia loans Buffy a book and shows her around the school, all while tormenting Buffy's future best friend, Willow. However, Buffy is clearly not a fan of Cordelia's treatment of the unpopular kids. The forced friendship quickly turns sour when Buffy befriends Willow and goes slaying at the Bronze. To Cordelia's minimal credit, Buffy does almost stake her at one point, which would put a damper on any budding friendship. It's easy to forget that Cordelia was pleasant to Buffy for five minutes, given that she spends the rest of her high school days tormenting her and her friends (while occasionally helping with them take down a baddie).

Xander creeps on Buffy while she's changing

Xander has made some pretty sketchy choices in the series when it comes to Buffy, but this one takes the cake. 

In "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date," the slayer trusts him enough to change in a room while he's still there. It's bad enough that Xander puts up some resistance when she and Willow turn him around (which is framed like funny dude behavior, but spoiler alert, it's creepy and predatory). But the scene quickly turns darker when Xander finds a mirror to creep on Buffy from the other side of the room. He goes as far as tilting the mirror to provide himself a better vantage point. Given that Xander frequently touts himself as a good friend, he should probably look up the definition of "friend" because they don't watch their unsuspecting buddies get changed.

It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it kind of scene that was clearly meant to be funny in the late '90s, but rewatching the show in the 21st century makes it abundantly clear that much of the show hasn't aged well at all, including Xander's frequent incel behavior.

Willow gets catfished by a demon in season 1

When kids started using the internet, most parents were worried about stranger danger, but no one thought a demon would catfish their kids. Most '90s teenagers just sent cringe glitter gifs to their exes on AIM. But Willow, being the computer wiz she is, unknowingly scans a spell to unleash the demon Moloch onto a school computer in "I, Robot ... You, Jane." The devious demon then starts mind-whammying the computer geeks into becoming obsessed with him to gain power. You know, the usual '90s after-school special.

Moloch, whose usual MO is romancing then slashing people in the physical realm, quickly adapts to the times, giving him far more reach with an entire school to put under his spell. During the demon's schtick as Malcolm Black, he sends Sunnydale High students romantic messages that quickly turn threatening. That is, until Buffy catches on to his game and rips off his new shiny robot head. As it turns out, tech demons are easier to slay than fleshy ones. Who knew? 

Fans often forget the episode, but it's one of the more genius premises of the series, and it truly captures the fear of technology people felt during its rapid development in the '90s. Buffy frequently finds new ways to incorporate tech into slaying, making it a much richer and more relatable show. The moral of the story? Make sure your Tinder match is actually human. 

The whole school watches the aftermath of a Buffy slay session

Puppet shows have long been fuel for nightmares, but Buffy turns the typical tale on its head. When Buffy and co. are forced to partake in the school's talent show, they befriend Sid the pervy dummy, who turns out to be a hundreds-year-old demon hunter. His mission? Kill one last demon so he can free his soul from the dummy body and die. Buffy, Sid, and the Scoobies then manage to kill a demon on the stage right before the curtains go up, and the whole school sees a dead guy chilling on the stage. Principal Snyder asks if it's avant-garde, and the gang proceeds to do an awful version of Oedipus Rex.

The scene was mostly a funny bit at the time, but in season 3's "Prom," Buffy fans find out that Sunnydale High students aren't as oblivious as they seem to be throughout Buffy's time in high school. The slayer is given the title of "class protector" in one of the most heartwarming scenes in the show's history. Maybe Buffy's classmates were paying attention to the talent show, after all. They did basically see a dummy kill a demon. There's only so much repressing one school can do.

The invisible kids' classroom foreshadows the Initiative

In the aptly titled episode "Out of Mind, Out of Sight," unpopular girl Marcie's feeling of invisibility turns very real when she disappears during class. Literally. Plagued with impersonal messages like "have a great summer!" on her yearbook, the invisible student vows revenge against all of the popular kids who ignored her.

After tying up Buffy and Cordelia before the May Queen dance, she tries to carve up their faces to take away their beauty. After Buffy thwarts her, two sketchy FBI guys come to cart Marcie away to join a school where the government trains other invisible kids in the art of espionage for shady government missions. Because why not use a bunch of unstable, emotionally abused kids as government pawns?

While the scene doesn't mean too much in the first season, it foreshadows that the government knows a lot more about the supernatural than they let on, and it gives fans the first tease of organizations like the Initiative in season 4. Even Buffy's future boyfriend, Riley, comes to work for the secret military organization that fights the supernatural. It looks like Buffy's not the only slayer in town, and fans first got a tease of it all of the way back in season 1. They just didn't know it yet.

Cordelia bites a vampire in Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 1

Cordelia makes a pretty good sidekick when she spends more time sassing the enemies than trash-talking the people trying to save her life. For example, when the library is under siege in the season finale, she proves herself capable of holding her own. In fact, she even bites a vampire's hand, saying, "See how you like it!" 

The vampire doesn't, in fact, like it, backing off almost immediately. Who knew that the best weapon to fight off something with fangs is to bite it? Maybe there's some credence to the old tale that biting a dog back will stop it from biting people. (Please do not bite your dog.) While the iconic line gives even Buffy's puns a run for their money, it's easily forgotten in the drama of the Master rising and the Hellmouth opening. However, Cordelia's help at the library cements her place as an unofficial Scooby.

Darla starts a gunfight

Most people think of blood and fangs when vampires come to mind, but the villains in Buffy love to mix modern technology with the supernatural elements on the show, which is one thing that makes the series so compelling. Darla — the Master's right-hand woman since Angel went all turncoat when a Romani tribe cursed him with a soul — is more than happy to back up her fangs with some firearms when she's out causing mayhem. 

Not even guns are enough to save the wayward vamp, though. Darla's ex-lover, Angel, dusts her shortly after her dramatic shooting scene in the episode "Angel." Given that Darla is the fanged fury who bit Angel in the first place, his vengeance is just a couple of centuries too late. And while her guns 'n glory scene is a cool smoke show, it's quickly forgotten in the Angel-centric episode that holds more than a few juicy details about the vampire's past.

Xander asks Buffy out (and acts like a real jerk about it)

On more than one occasion, Xander has adopted the "nice guy" persona, where he thinks he's owed a relationship for "not being like other guys." Buffy continually spurns his advances throughout the first season, but he finally gets the courage to ask her out in "Prophecy Girl." Xander flips out when he forces Buffy to very delicately tell him that she doesn't feel the same way. When he rants about being spurned to Willow, he says manipulative things like, "She's still jonesing for Angel, could care less about me." Sorry, Xander, but here's a wild concept. Buffy can care about you as a friend without being in love with you.

To make matters worse, he knowingly uses Willow's crush on him to his advantage. Whereas Buffy never intentionally gives Xander the wrong idea in season 1, he repeatedly toys with Willow's emotions. Listen, Xander, you don't get to play the victim with Buffy while intentionally manipulating your best friend. That's not a good look, dude.

It's easy to forget that Xander asked Buffy out when he continues to aggressively pine for her throughout the entire series. Between trying to sabotage Buffy's relationships, getting aggressive with her boyfriends, and continuing to get jealous when she clearly told him no, Xander needs to chill. He never really gets called out on it, either, and he does it even when he's in relationships himself.

The hyena pack kills Herbert the pig

When a bunch of mean kids (and Xander, who may or may not deserve the mean kid title himself) get possessed by hyena spirits, all hell breaks loose at Sunnydale High. The high school hotspot for demonic energy doesn't exactly have a great track record for its principals' life expectancies, and Principal Flutie joins the disturbing list of Hellmouth casualties. The two-faced principal meets his maker when he gets eaten by the merry band of hyena people during an annoying monologue no one wants to listen to.

While fans generally remember Flutie's mildly hilarious end, the newly minted school mascot, Herbert the pig, meets a similar and much more tragic fate. However, the scene is fleeting in the midst of the episode's mayhem, and most people aren't keen on remembering Herbert's sad squeals.

Even Xander feigned amnesia surrounding the events that took place when he was lowkey possessed by a hyena. None of the students can get the horrible image of eating a live pet pig out of their minds, but they'll darn well try (and so will we). RIP Herbert. You were a good dude.

In season 1, Angel lets Buffy take on the Master alone

Before Buffy finds out that Angel has fangs (and right after she finds out his name), he lets her go into the tunnels alone to face the Master because he's freaked out. He vaguely references the Harvest and the Master's plans to unshackle himself from the tunnels beneath Sunnydale. But as usual, he doesn't offer much help beyond that. Buffy calls him out on his unhelpful behavior, saying, "Well, if this Harvest thing is such a suckfest, why don't you stop it?" To his credit, Angel answers honestly, "Because I'm afraid."

Yet given that Angel's entire shtick is making amends for his vampiric misdeeds, letting a 16-year-old face a swarm of centuries-old vampires alone isn't a good look when you're a 200-plus-year-old vampire. Much of the damage these vamps have done over the years has been alongside Angelus. So maybe, just maybe, offering a helping hand (or fang) to the teenager tasked with saving the world might make up for nearly causing its destruction numerous times.

It's later revealed that Angel used to be the Master's right-hand man before he got a soul, but he lets the young slayer he supposedly cares about face almost certain death alone. However, it's such a fleeting moment before they have much screen time together that it's easy to forget. Stop being a coward, Angel. You've had a bicentennial.