10. If your college roommate sucks, it’s probably because she’s a demon. (4×01, “The Freshman” – 4×02, “Living Conditions”)
Sure, it may seem like you’re just exaggerating because you don’t like Celine Dion and it’s all she seems to listen to. You’re having a hard time adjusting to a new environment. But it’s good to get proof. Those toenails might be demonically growing on their own once they’re cut off her body, and if you can use that to show that yeah, she is a demon, well, good for you! (Alternately, if you are a demon, it’s best to make sure that your roommate isn’t the Slayer ahead of time.)
9. Drinks with old buddies known for chaos spells? Really? That’s… just twenty kinds of a terrible idea. (4×12, “A New Man”)
Really, Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) is the smart one. I understand that he was feeling all sad and left out and grown-up emo, and the best reaction to that is of course to get trashed. But doing so in the company of Ethan Rayne (Robin Sachs) is an awful plan. Be careful who you drink with, and don’t leave your drink unattended or attended by the wrong folks. That will lead to becoming a demon, and not one of the ones that can conveniently switch into a human face. It’ll be one of the nasty ones.
8. Proclaiming a desire for everything to go perfect will ensure that it won’t go perfect. Especially on a Hellmouth. (4×08, “Pangs”)
Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is all gung ho about having the perfect Thanksgiving!!! I feel like it needs to have those exclamation marks because of the enthusiasm in her plan. It’s a pretty decent plan. Make a nice dinner for your friends, celebrate peacefully and take a day off from the stresses of slayage. Except for the part where declaring that it needs to be perfect can and will destroy that plan thanks to a supernatural Murphy’s law. You say “I want a perfect Thanksgiving!!!” and the Hellmouth hears “I want to be attacked spontaneously by vengeful Native American spirits!!!” Besides, there’s no such thing as perfect. Don’t tempt fate.
7. Be careful what you absently say after performing a spell to make your will be done. (4×09, “Something Blue”)
Just because you don’t think it’s working, because it doesn’t seem to be working, doesn’t mean that it’s not working. Keep your eyes open. Saying “Amy isn’t a rat” could very well make Amy not a rat. Saying “Spike and Buffy should get married” could very well make Spike and Buffy want to get married. Etcetera. And in poor Willow’s (Alyson Hannigan) case, it also means she attracts unwanted attention from D’Hoffryn (Andy Umberger) the vengeance demon. And nobody wants to deal with that.
6. Beer is bad. (4×05, “Beer Bad”)
Why else would I exclusively drink fruity, girly things with low alcohol content and high berry flavor content? (Except that beer tastes yucky, and I’m a wuss, and wine is also yucky, and. Well.) Too much beer can and will turn you into a caveman, and nobody likes primitive humans. They’re just messy and crude. Also, beer is not a solution to your problems. So don’t go drink a bunch of it to get over something. Because then all you’ll need to get over is your time spent knuckle-dragging.
5. If you’re a vampire, and your psychic girlfriend left you ’cause you’re starting to have feelings for the Slayer, and that Slayer then starts hitting on you, just trust it’s not actually her in her own body. (4×16, “Who Are You”)
Buffy’s not going to relax for a while yet, so Spike (James Marsters) should have sensed that something is up when “Buffy” started propositioning him in the Bronze. Except for Buffy was really Faith in Buffy’s body. That propositioning, though hilarious and kiiinda sexy, didn’t come from Buffy. Spike would have been thinking wishfully to buy into it. Meanwhile, Buffy-in-Faith’s-body is off talking sex and stevedores with Giles, and that’s a much Buffier thing to do.
4. Don’t subject anyone to rigorous abuse in the name of spiritual cleansing. (4×18, “Where the Wild Things Are”)
When Genevive Holt (Kathryn Joosten) ran the Lowell Home for Children, she tried to prevent the kids from behaving un-Christianly by doing things like cutting off their hair and holding them underwater in the bathtub. This then causes the spirits of those children to haunt the house and inflict their torments on the house’s denizens. And, yes, poltergeists are bad. Don’t get me wrong. But poltergeists could have been avoided were over-extremist behavior also avoided. Going that far on the spectrum just… well, it’s never good.
3. Sometimes, those three days of the month can suck. A lot. (4×06, “Wild at Heart”)
Willow shrugs off her boyfriend Oz’s (Seth Green) werewolfism in season two with a glib “I mean, three days out of the month I’m not much fun to be around, either.” But Willow’s three days don’t ever inspire her to cheat on her someone by having primal animal sex in a cage. It’s not a good reason to have avoided the relationship together, nor was it inevitable (nor is Willow entirely innocent of cheating herself, to be fair). But I like to think that Oz wouldn’t have necessarily cheated that time if he wasn’t cheating with a fellow werewolf in werewolf mode. Call me an optimist.
2. Government super-soldiers aren’t a great idea. Especially when the program creating them also pumps them full of drugs. Remember? Those are bad, too. (…the whole season.)
I’ve never been an Initiative fan. They think they have the right idea, and generally, killing demons is a good idea. Experimenting on demons is less of a good idea. And the Initiative boys are just… well, they’re not exactly bastions of individual intelligence. They’re gullible, and they think that guns can solve everything (they can’t, especially in the Buffyverse). Also, the Initiative is drugging them, leading to some pretty epic withdrawal (circa 4×14, “Goodbye Iowa”). That’s just good for nobody.
1. And most importantly, the tech will destroy us. (4×13, “The I in Team” onward)
In this case, the tech is demon/human/cyborg monster soldiers. But still. This is another reason I’m anti-Initiative. They’re trying to control things they can’t really understand by adding in a healthy dose of wires and bolts and programming. And it bites them in the ass. That demon/human/cyborg monster soldier kills its creator. That demon/human/cyborg monster wants to kill everything. And if the stupid Initiative had just stayed out of it (and kept their tech out of it, too) this particular apocalypse could have been avoided.
–your fangirl heroine.