Buffy the Vampire Slayer is without question the defining piece of media of my life. I watched it as it aired all throughout my adolescence and it profoundly shaped my life and self in so many ways from big to small (hell, even the way I talk and randomly slap together prefixes and suffixes as a phrase called for can be traced back to Buffy).
While it has its issues, the show taught me to believe in myself, to keep going, to treasure my weirdness and the strange and awkward things that don’t fit are the best things about me and what makes me me. It showed me that superheroes come in all shapes and sizes, with and without capes, in and out of the spotlight. It defined the kind of person I wanted to be and I know there’s a whole generation of people that feel the same.
In honor of the 20th anniversary here’s a list of my personal top ten most meaningful Buffy quotes. There are a billion and fifty amazing, quotable moments and these aren’t even necessarily my favorite. These are the ones that meant the most to me, the ones that stuck with me and I think of when I need them.
“No weapons, no friends, no hope. Take all that away and what’s left?” “Me”
“I’m the thing the monsters have nightmares about.”
"Seize the moment, ‘cause tomorrow you might be dead.”
“To forgive is an act of compassion, Buffy. It’s-it’s… it’s not done because people deserve it. It’s done because they need it.”
“I made it up. I’m making it all up. So what kind of hero does that make me?”
“No guy is worth your life, not ever”
“When I say ‘I love you,’ it’s not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You’re a hell of a woman.”
“I guess I just realized how amazingly screwed up they all are. I mean, really, really screwed up, in a monumental fashion. And they have no purpose that unites them so they just drift around, blundering through life until they die… which they… they know is coming, yet every single one of them is surprised when it happens to them. They’re incapable of thinking about what they want beyond the moment. They kill each other, which is clearly insane. And yet, here’s the thing – when it’s something that really matters, they fight. I mean, they’re lame morons for fighting, but they do. They never… never quit. So I guess I will keep fighting too.”
“They’ll never know how tough it is, Dawnie. To be the one who isn’t chosen. To live so near the spotlight and never step in it. But I know. I see more than anybody realizes because nobody’s watching me. I saw you last night. I see you working here today. You’re not special. You’re extraordinary.”
“The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me.”
I’ve been through more battles with Buffy than you all can ever imagine. She’s stopped everything that’s ever come up against her. She’s laid down her life—literally—to protect the people around her. This girl has died two times, and she’s still standing. You’re scared? That’s smart. You got questions? You should. But you doubt her motives, you think Buffy’s all about the kill, then you take the little bus to battle. I’ve seen her heart, and this time—not literally. And I’m telling you, right now, she cares more about your lives than you will ever know. You gotta trust her. She’s earned it.