Buffy the Vampire Slayer is, at face value, a pretty campy show. At its best, it could be an expertly crafted a mix of quirky humor and genuine creepiness, and at its worst — well, it could be downright cringe-worthy. As far as the season-long arcs and Big Bads go, while some were stronger than others, most of them achieved some level of success on the whole. The area where the series mostly fell flat was during some of the Monster of the Week filler episodes, with one-off villains could range anywhere from laughable to horrifyingly embarrassing. Here are eleven of the worst.
11) Ted — Season 2 — “Ted
This was probably Buffy’s biggest cameo in the entire series, shot only about five years before John Ritter’s death (RIP) — and although John Ritter is great, he deserved better than a sexist robot from the 1950s who wanted to kidnap Buffy’s mom and lock her in an underground bunker. Ritter would have actually made a perfect Mayor — the season three big bad — so talk about wasted opportunities.
10) A Demon Loan Shark That Was Literally A Shark — Season 6 — “Tabula Rasa”
Overall, “Tabula Rasa” was actually a pretty good episode, which left the Scooby Gang amnesiac and vulnerable thanks to Willow’s magic f*ckuppery — an overall plot arc that season. But it doesn’t change the fact that Spike was being pursued by a demon loan shark. Because he owed it kittens. What, that doesn’t make perfect sense to you?
9) A Jacket — Season 7 — “Him”
Not only was this a dumb episode, which involved a high school football player named RJ’s enchanted letter jacket which caused women to fall in love with him — but it featured Dawn at her screechiest, most awful worst. It did have one somewhat redeeming scene in a multiple panel montage that involves Willow trying to cast a spell to turn him into a girl and Anya inexplicably robbing a bank, but on the whole it was a pretty crappy episode. Especially for a final season episode.
8) Anya’s Troll Ex-Boyfriend — Season 5 — “Triangle”
Anya and Willow were fighting, because blah blah blah, Anya was Xander’s boyfriend and Willow was Xander’s best friend, and Anya ran the magic shop and Willow kept stealing sh*t to do magic, and then they both screw up and release Anya’s ex-boyfriend who she formerly turned into a troll. It wasn’t a very good episode.
7) A Reptile Demon Summoning Fraternity — Season 2 — “Reptile Boy”
As a series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer featured some pretty heavy handed messaging about the evils of drinking and addiction, and this was one such episode. After shirking her slayer duties to accompany Cordelia to a frat party, Buffy finally gives in and takes a drink — but finds herself and Cordelia drugged and chained into a basement where the fraternity plans to sacrifice them to a reptile demon. As one does in a fraternity. Unfortunately for the fraternity, they managed to kidnap the one high school girl in all of Sunnydale with super powers, so Buffy quickly ruins their plans.
6) A Giant Praying Mantis — Season 1: — “Teacher’s Pet”
When Xander, who is stupid, is presented with the following two possibilities: That A) his hot teacher is a man-eating bug or that B) a hot older woman wants to have sex with him — he stupidly goes with Possibility B despite the fact that he lives in a town full of vampires and monsters and that his teacher being a giant praying mantis is much more likely than her wanting to have sex with a dorky high school student. You can barely even see the bug but I’m pretty sure the costume came from the Halloween Adventure store. Mmm. Sexy bug.