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The idiot's guide to continuity on Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Dear Marti and Joss,

We appreciate everything you've given us… pre-mopey Buffy, pre-crackwhore Willow, Giles (on and off a horse), Xander in a toolbelt, six years of Cynthia Bergstrom's greatest hits… and we know how hard you work. We appreciate the strain being a new parent and a runner of three or four shows and a tiny empire puts on one. We know we pick on you a lot, but consider our incessant bitching as a form of flattery. With this in mind, we'd like to offer you our assistance. Clearly, the lack of sleep and running in ten different directions has started to affect you. Hell, even Buffy needs to rest-as we heard many, many times during Bring on the Night, and she's not even real. You, in theory, are in fact flesh and bone, which requires a break every month or so. But if you find that it's just not possible, if there's just no way you can allow yourself to rest your weary heads before writing the next episode, we'd like to offer you our help. It's just our way of saying "thanks."


So to you, Joss and Marti, we offer you this How not to piss off the fans The Idiot's guide to continuity on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Feel free to refer to it at any time. If you feel we have not been clear on something, please contact us immediately and we will gladly clarify.


No, please, no need to thank us. This is us, thanking you. Now get some sleep. And happy holidays.


Joss and Marti's Guide to the Buffyverse*


Vampires do NOT breathe.

(Please refer, if there are any questions, to season one, episode 13 Prophecy Girl. Marti, we realize you have not seen this episode, so please refer to the shooting script, available at any quality bookstore such as Barnes & Noble or the like.) That being said,

a) there will be no drowning of vampires, no near drowning of vampires, no spitting up of water from vampires' lungs and no gasping for air after spitting up of water from said vampires' lungs.

b) cutting off a vampire's supply of oxygen will not cause the vampire to pass out. If a writer demands you present the logic behind this, as they have just written a really cool scene with tons of witty dialogue that requires a vampire to pass out due to their oxygen supply being cut off and they don't want to scrap it, please attempt to explain to them that since a vampire does NOT breathe (as in does not breathe, does not require oxygen), its brain does not require oxygen to maintain consciousness. Upon request, diagrams of the human body can be provided, with helpful arrows and comments to show how and where the blood does not flow and such.

c) cigarette smoking is completely illogical, though grudgingly allowed, as we are willing to make an exception based upon the fact that it appears to be a badass way for not-so-good people and/or things to express and get down with their evil selves. (Read: it looks cool.) However, with this in mind, we ask that no vampire at any time:

1) inhale deeply or


2) appear to overly enjoy the nicotine high, as the nicotine would not be flowing through their system because nothing flows through the system, as it is dead. Please refer to the anatomy chart, once it arrives, for any clarification needed on this subject.




Vampires, traditionally, fear sunlight.

It causes them to burst into flames. We have seen evidence of this in Seasons 2 (the immolation-gram in Becoming) and 3 (Spike's hand bursting into flames in Lover's Walk). Please note, this excludes the following from occurring, no matter how well it services the script:

a) Long walks in the sun. (Though we have noticed that a blanket seems to protect a vampire from harmful UV rays, we feel this is bullshit. If there is absolutely no way to get around a vampire needing to go for a jog in the sunlight, we bitterly agree to a blanket, though it'd better be a damn thick one. We suggest flannel. Or one of those soft fluffy ones one can buy at a Mariner's game.)

b) Tanning.

c) Daytime picnics.

d) Shopping in an outdoor mall during the day.

e) Driving a car in the daytime. (We realize the windows are painted black. We also realize this is retarded. Please stop.)



A Slayer is strong.

So strong, in fact, that she is the only girl in the world that stands between the forces of darkness and the end of the world. She is the Slayer. Sound familiar? That was your opening tag at the beginning of the show. To help us get back to that, and in honor of this season going "back to the beginning", try to remember that:

a) other, normal girls cannot fight like Buffy. Other, normal, 90 pound waifs should not be able to pound a stake home. Nor should they be able to restrain a vampire.

b) while men are traditionally stronger than women, mortal men should not be able to knock out a vampire, nor should they be able to hit it with such a force that it spins in the air, with one punch.

c) given that a Slayer's super punches knock out vampires, it is therefore logical to think that the same punch applied, with near the same force, would decapitate a human, or at least kill them.

d) super powers mean being able to do super cool things. These have included, in the past,

1) hopping over huge fences without breaking a sweat


2) leaping over large divides

3) matching stripes with tie dye

4) fighting in a mini-skirt

5) executing perfect spin kicks in high heels

6) opening crates of zombie death masks for her mother

7) mad karate skillz

8) running super fast

More skillz may be added as deemed necessary, so long as they do not get obnoxious or ludicrous. Examples of super powers that it is advised you avoid would be:

a) telekinesis

b) mind reading

c) flying

d) ability to become invisible

e) ability to do complicated algorithms in head

f) x-ray vision



Mortals are not slayers.

They are not vampires. Therefore mortals, and this includes our Scooby gang:

a) should not be able to subdue or knock out a vampire on their own. This includes men, women and Justine from Angel. If a mere human should be required to participate in a fight, the following guidelines are recommended:

1) Females 80-110 lbs may slap hard enough to turn a foe's cheek red (if fighting a foe whose blood flows) and may use foe's movement against them (a la Dawn's roll of the vampire in Lessons).

2) Males 130-180 lbs may force a vampire to stumble with a punch, if forcibly applied. May not EVER send a vampire or other demon across the room.


3) Anything above or below these parameters is considered an exception, and you may use your best judgment on what feats they may and may not perform…wait, maybe we should say our best judgment…

b) should incur injuries to head and limb when smacked around. Hospital visits should be fairly frequent. Workers in the local ERs should be fairly familiar with their medical history and be on a first name bases.

Given that the distinguishing characteristics between a mortal and a slayer have been sporadic at best, we'd like you to refer to the below "recommended slayer skillz" and the "slayer/human/demon" comparisons below when mapping out a fight scene.


Slayer/Human/Demon Fighting Comparisons



Recommended Slayer Skillz






Ages. Most living, and not living, creatures have one.

This tends to be a constant. As in "I was born in 1974." Note, that as the years change ones age changes, but the date of birth does not. Therefore, ones date of birth is a constant. It is generally advised, when creating an age for a character, to come up with a date of birth. If time does not permit for the exact calculation of a date, a year will suffice. The year chosen should be noted and tacked up somewhere, preferably somewhere prominent in large, easy to read writing for future reference. When a question of age surfaces, it is best to refer back to the agreed upon year of birth. Math may be required from this step on. If, as we suspect in the past, math is an issue, standard calculators can be sent out with the anatomy chart. With extra batteries, in case of emergencies.



History. Humans have it. Demons have it.

Much like the date of birth, it is often preferred that this stays consistent. Please see the sample charts, attached, for you to hang in the office for ease of consistency. With the use of these charts, one can avoid plot inconsistencies and holes, such as Anyanka's history and source of power, who sired whom in the Spike/Dru/Angelus relationship and Angelus' rather convoluted timeline. We recommend this be instituted straightaway.


Xander's Handy History Chart



Willow's Handy History Chart



Anya's Handy History Chart






In the series premiere, you may recall that this was defined as a "whole big sucking thing". Meaning they have to suck your blood, then you have to suck theirs. It then became, with the introduction of Dracula in season five, a whole big "sucking until near death, then you suck" thing. Excellent in theory, shoddy in practice. We've seen time and time again a vampire suck a victim, with no mention of the victim sucking the vampire in return, only to have that victim reappear. In the interest of pretending that you care about your product, we suggest the following:

a) If a victim is to be more than Schmucky McBait, the vampire must suck on the victim, or it must be implied that there has been extended suckage, for a full 30 seconds.

b) Said victim must then be shown, for a minimum of 4 seconds, drinking from said vampire. If this is not possible due to time constraints, showing the siring vampire slitting himself somewhere in preparation for return suckage is acceptable.



Death by suckage.

This has obviously been a tough spot for the show, as one time someone will be dead after 3 seconds of suckage, while someone else will endure extended suckage (read: 30 seconds or what feels like longer) and will survive. Might we suggest, for the remainder of the show that:

a) Any suckage meant to instill death on its victims should last 15 seconds or more-or, as stated before, should at least be implied. Cutting away is allowed.


b) Should the writer and/or director insist on a faster suckage:death ratio, an exception can be made, provided the vampire is blatantly gulping.


c) Any suckage that does not end in death should last no more than 10 seconds.




The use of metaphors.

Metaphors, when applied, should be subtle, ie Angel turning evil after having sex with Buffy and killing her friends in place of him just becoming apathetic and not calling. Heavy-handedness is for reruns of ABC's much-missed "Afterschool Specials". Therefore the following are automatically excluded:

a) Magic as a drug. (right. We're late on this one, we know. We just sort of wanted to hit it home there.)


b) Vampires craving blood like it's junk. They're evil. Blood is their thing, but there's more to them than that. They should never have withdrawals stronger than a normal person's shakes after giving up cheeseburgers.


c) Overly phallic snakes to represent man's stifling, evil hold over and oppression of women who like to kick ass in tight skirts.





Dates, unless there is a strict timeline that is being followed, should be implied, but never actually stated. This prevents there being any confusion over, say, a timestamp that reads "November 12, 2002" being immediately followed by an episode that supposedly takes place a day or two later making reference to the fact that it is now December. Towards that end, a reminder:

a) 30 days hath September, April, June and November

b) all the rest have 31

c) save February, which has 28, and in leap years 29

*When time does not permit the reading of this document, you might find this quick reference color-coded chart helpful.


EZ Quick Reference Chart on Character Histories





Tell us what else Marti and Joss need to keep in mind when plotting the show in the discussion forums.