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What Would Buffy Do?: Making New Friends

In which Buffy the Problem Slayer helps us make new friends!

What Would Buffy Do?: Making New Friends

When I started preparing for these Buffy posts by Googling shirtless vampires re-watching notable eps, I rediscovered the following:

1.  In addition to being awesome in every other aspect, Buffy is super mature. Probs goes with the territory of having the weight of the world on her shoulders since she was fifteen, but still.

2.  Sarah Michelle Gellar is SO PRETTY. If Angel hadn't already won over my pants heart, she would have owned it. Funny, charming, ass-kicking, and gorgeous -- why is/was SMG not the world's biggest star? And why did no one tell her that she was too good for Ringer? WE were too good for Ringer.

3.  Everyone looks so '90s and I LOVE.

4.  I freaking miss The WB. There may be a cantankerous old man rant lamenting its demise in the future.

Since I doubt y'all want to read sonnets dedicated to the exuberance of SMG, this series will only addresss Point #1. Because no matter the sitch, Buffy manages to keep a level head and make far better choices than I ever could . . . which probably says more about my decision-making than hers, so MOVING ON!

Now that we've helped Buffy out with her life, she's going to help US! In this inaugural installment, Buffy's going to show us how a Slayer goes about making new friends.

P.S. This list doesn't include characters that were introduced as adversaries or love interests (which is a shame, 'cause these eps have plenty of charming Oz quips). They'll appear in showcases to come (yes, even Dawn, via proximity to awesome i.e. everybody else).

Welcome to the Hellmouth (Episode 1x1)
The Harvest (Episode 1x2)

DO drop identity-revealing hints everywhere. Sharing is caring!

Buffy meets Xander by literally bumping into him. He's understandably flustered --  afflicted by Point #2, obvs -- and she leaves in a hurry, dropping her stake in the process.

Later on, Xander's also lurking between the library bookcases when he overhears Buffy and Giles engaged in Slayerspeak.

Clearly, Buffy's not too concerned with operating in secrecy. Good thing too, 'cause a Buffyverse without Xander (and Willow) is as crazy as a world without shrimp. Or a world with nothing but shrimp.

DO feel free to admit attraction to James Spader*.

When Cordelia meets Buffy, our favourite Slayer gets quizzed on her coolness quotient re: vamp nail polish, James Spader, frappuccinos, and John Tesh (oh, ep. You so '90s). I probably should reprimand this test, but I also have judgmental tendencies. So.

Howevs, early-day Cordy would be the type to use this kind of gimmick in earnestness, which makes the next word of advice all the more important.

*Not present day, OBVS. Up to and including Secretary.

DO form your own opinions of people.

Buffy sees Cordy teasing Willow, and that does NOT sit well with her. She befriends Willow and Xander, popularity be damned. And thank Joss she did, 'cause the Cordettes would DEF. be Master bait.

DO humour the overzealous librarian. He means well.

Giles is adorably eager for Buffy to get with the Slaying. A little too eager, as he kind of scares her away. As someone who is also prone to excessive enthusiasm, I sympathize. Esp. since OMG HE'S AROUND BOOKS ALL DAY LONG, WHO WOULDN'T BE EXCITED!? Ahem.

Anyway, Buffy's all resistant to coming out of Slayer un-retirement, but CHILD PLZ. You've got 143 more episodes, 3 boyfriends, and 1 annoying sister to go.

DO get the hot shadow-lurking guy on his back the first chance you get.

Wait, that may be a bit too friendly.

Not the most flattering angle. But def. a flattering position.

DO prevent potential friends from becoming juiceboxes. Esp. when it's kind your fault that they're in danger.

During Buffy's first visit to the best teen hangout since the Peach Pit, she succeeds in coaxing Willow out of her shell. Yay! Right into the arms of a poorly dressed vamp. Oops.

(This tactic actually thwarts a vamp in another episode on this list too. How hard is it to pay attention to the packaging of your food? Or just feed on people who wear your size. One stop shopping!)

DO clock some apocalypse-preventing time. Real bonding experience.

Fighting in close quarters is a proven way to make friends -- a method that continues to serve Buffy with others. (Of course, this is less effective if you have tiny ineffectual fists like me.)

What's My Line (Episodes 2x9 and 2x10)

That chick who moves in on your job and leaves your bf to meet the sun? DO kick her ass so hard that she becomes trapped as perpetual teenager.

OK FINE, so Buffy only scuffled with her once, but at least this would explain why Kendra's been a teen since 1992.

Anyway, Kendra is one of those know-it-all, letter-of-the-law types, i.e. NO FUN! But a opening a joint-force can of whoop-ass provides for quality Slayer bonding.

Faith, Hope & Trick (Episode 3x3)

DON'T take it too personally that your friends (and your crush, and your Watcher, and your mom . . . ) are more interested in the new girl than you.

Faith, on the other hand, is nothing but fun*. So learn to curb your jealousy and co-exist, 'cause it's tough for even a Slayer to compete with stories of naked arrests and alligator wrestling.

*Up until the murdery parts, I mean. But even then, she was fun -- not necessarily to hang out with, but at least to watch.

BONUS! What Would Angel Do?

War Zone (Gunn, Episode 1x20)
Judgement (Lorne, Episode 2x1)
Through the Looking Glass (Fred, Episode 2x21 -- or just watch the entire Pylea arc,  Episodes 2x19 to 2x22, like I ended up doing)

Angel's M.O. for winning friends and influencing people basically involves helping the helpless. So unless you've got supernatural fightin' skillz and can wear a trench like nobody's business, I don't advise heeding his advice. Just like he shouldn't heed his shirt.

Will I be using any excuse to insert shirtless photos in these posts? Uh, DER!

So how about it, fellow Potentials and Watchers? What has Buffy taught YOU about making friends?

Mandy Wan's photo About the Author: Residing in Edmonton, AB, Mandy unabashedly loves YA lit, frozen desserts, and terrible puns.