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Top 5 Surprising Facts about Buffy the Vampire Slayer

VO: Lisa Yang
You know the show, but how well do you really know it? In this countdown we take a look at the Top 5 facts you may or may not have known about this long running supernatural drama. Did you know that there were numerous casting changes? That Willow almost wasn’t gay? That the gentlemen were inspired by a dream? That you can study Buffy in school and that there was almost an animated version of the show?

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Top 5 Surprising Facts about Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Admit it, at some point you've dreamed of being part of the Scooby Gang. But there are some things about your favorite supernatural-crime-fighting band of misfits that even you don't know.

Welcome to MsMojo and today we'll be counting down the top 5 surprising facts about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Beware of minor spoilers, so if you wig out because you find out something you shouldn't have, don't say we didn't warn you.

#5: There Were Numerous Casting Changes

While the casting of Giles was a no brainer (in fact Anthony Stewart Head was chosen on the very first day of casting), some of the other characters we know and love could have turned out entirely differently. David Boreanaz didn't even mean to audition for the role of Angel; he was literally just walking his dog when a friend of the casting director spotted him. As for the Scooby Gang, Charisma Carpenter and Sarah Michelle Gellar originally wanted each other's roles, and a different actress was first cast as Willow in the show’s unaired pilot. James Marsters– who isn't actually British– auditioned for Spike's character with a Texan accent! How weird would have that been?

#4: Willow Almost Wasn’t Gay

From the get go, creator Joss Whedon knew he definitely wanted one of Buffy's friends to be gay; he just couldn't decide whether it would be Willow or Xander. Obviously he ended up choosing Willow, who came to terms with her sexuality in season four and began dating Tara. But even so, fans have been quick to point out moments from the show that hint at Xander being gay, and contemplate whether Whedon did that on purpose because he still wasn't sure which direction he wanted to go in until much later on in the series. We wonder who Xander’s love interest would have been…

#3: The Gentlemen Were Inspired by a Dream

Remember those creepy ghouls from the episode where everyone loses their voice? Who could ever forget? With their floating bodies and sinister smiles, we wouldn't be surprised if fans had nightmares about them after that episode! In fact, that's actually where Joss Whedon got the idea from, after dreaming about the figures gliding towards his bed. Rather than be disturbed by the nightmare, he brought the idea to a makeup artist so the creatures could be recreated for the show. He wanted viewers to be equally as spooked by them as he was, and also took the opportunity to get artistically creative and create an episode with minimal dialogue.

#2: You Can Study Buffy in School

Did you know that the Buffyverse is the number one pop culture phenomenon studied in academia? They call it "Buffy Studies." Yup, some universities actually offer classes about various aspects of the show, for instance how it deals with gender, family, and feminism. In addition, not only is “Buffy” the most studied subject in pop culture, but according to a study conducted by Slate, there are actually twice as many of these courses, as well as conferences and academic papers, than any other item in popular culture. The “Alien” franchise, “The Wire,” “The Matrix,” and “The Simpsons” all have a decent presence in the academic field, but none come close to the likes of “Buffy.”

#1: There Was Almost an Animated Version of the Show

Joss Whedon was always adamant about wanting an animated “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” And in 2002, an animated version of the show was finally greenlit for production with almost all of the original cast returning, with the exception of Sarah Michelle Gellar who wasn't interested in reprising her role. Buffy would have been voiced instead by Giselle Loren, who voiced her for past video games as well. However, to the disappointment of Whedon, no network was interested in picking up the series. We know it's not the same, but at least Buffy's legacy continues to live on within the comic book universe, with issues still being written today.

Do you agree with our list? Which fact surprised you the most? For more entertaining top 10s and mind-blowing top 5s, don't forget to subscribe to MsMojo.


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