Buffy the Vampire Slayer Plot Analysis & Plot Summary

An Analysis the Show

Sayville High School Symbol

Sayvilles Symbol is the lightning bolt.

Sarah Michelle Geller as a Child  Sarah and Melissa Joan Hart were childhood friends.

         There was a time when Sarah Michelle Gellar only friend was Melissa Joan Hart. Sarah’s mother would arrange meetings so that Melissa and Sarah could play. Often after auditions, they would have something to eat together. "Then we'd all go out to eat after," said Sarah. A common topic of conversation was Melissa’s school life. Sarah Geller knew a lot about the kids in Sayville, and had an intimate knowledge of the goings on in the town. This was the closest that Sarah ever got to a real school. Sarah was fascinated by what a real school was like. It was almost like Sayville was her school. She would often drive by a public school, see the children playing, and wonder what it was like to be there. As a child star, she often went for large parts of the year without coming in contact with another child. That is why Melissa was so important to her. She felt so close to Melissa that when she got the role in "All My Children" there was a request that her character's name be "Kendall Hart" the same last name as Melissa Joan Hart. According to a student at the Professional School in Manhattan, "Sarah felt like a sister to Melissa."2

       In a telling comment, Sarah said in regard to the school in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "After all, it's based in reality," and "What's more horrific than …school?" The closest she got to what regular people would call a real school was Sayville. Furthermore, "I thought, homecoming queen; I could open a yearbook someday and say, `I was there. I went to high school and had friends and for just one minute, I GOT TO LIVE IN THE WORLD.'” Sarah did not live her childhood in the world of reality, the closest to reality of a school was though the eyes of Melissa. And this school was normal only to the casual observer.

Sarah Michelle Geller Stake Sarah told Melissa not to put up with the bumpkin's BS.

      Sarah, unlike Melissa, lived in a sheltered, posh life amongst the rich and famous. A student that went to the elite Professional Children’s School in Manhattan said she lived a life similar to the little boy in the movie, “The Last Emperor.” For example, she would be with only adults for many months at a time and not have anyone to play with. In Buffy, there was an episode called the “Invisible Girl,” about a child that was so lonely she became invisible. Sarah said that girl was her, because that is how she felt growing up, and said, “I came very close to having a nervous breakdown. I could not function on a normal level at that point.” The episode was her favorite. Friendship with Melissa went back the longest, but it was on and off. Sarah was lucky to know Melissa. Sarah was Sayville’s invisible student. Sarah said "I was the girl nobody liked, who was weird and quirky. That's another reason I can relate to Buffy." 1  According to Nikki Stafford Sarah said when she was a child, "I was wanted to be like one of the kids in 'The Craft'" which was a movie about teen witches. Sarah said she dressed "Gothic."

       Since Sarah had a sheltered existence, and never went to what regular people would call a normal school, Sayville became her vicarious school. If you look at the shows Sabrina and Buffy, you will see they are almost the same show, which started at almost the same time. They are about an outcast girl new to the school, and that is attractive with a few nerdy friends who has the burden alone of fighting the forces of evil in a high school. Both also deal with the supernatural and are influenced by Sayville. 

       There are also huge similarities between childhood friends Sarah and Melissa. Both were lonely outcasts, got good grades, beautiful, used there middle names, and had similar shows that started at about the same time. However, there was a personality difference. Melissa had a more peaceful, shy personality, but Sarah was more aggressive. Sarah has a tattoo with a knife and a heart. “The knife dangling over the heart, about to strike," explained Geller. 

       Although Sarah was really the invisible student, but she really wanted to be the “Slayer” going out and finishing off the bad kids. 

Who does the vampires represent according to the show? Here are some quotes that may enlighten us:

Lorne nodded, "Vampires represent the people who have hurt her (Buffy). Who have caused her pain both physically and emotionally?"

Cordelia frowned, "But why vampires?" 

     Who caused pain and suffering to Melissa Hart in school? The rotten kids. And what represents the people who caused Melissa Hart to suffer? Vampires and Demons?

And what does Sarah Geller do to vampires and demons? Eliminates them.

So in others words, it represents getting back at the rotten kids in Sayville. 

Old 88 Sayville High School   The old Sayville High School (SHS) - Burned Down, just like Buffy's H.S.!

        Melissa was often pushed around in school, and Sarah’s attitude was give em’ hell. This was part of the reason why Melissa dared to fight back. Sarah would tell Melissa that if people are mean to her, fight back, and fight back hard. Not only were the kids mean to Melissa, but they were also unpleasant to about 5 other kids in her grade. So Melissa became the “Chosen One.” There is always someone that takes in this role. As one leaves, another one replaces him. This is what goes on in Sayville. After all, Melissa knew many famous people and was constantly on TV, and the kids that ran the school in Sayville were nothing than a bunch of nobodies. So tell them off!

Similarities Between Sayville High School and Sunnydale High School

      When the movie “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was transformed into a TV show, the name of the town was changed to Sunnydale. Why would it be so important to change the name? Because that is a town that Sarah Michelle Gellar identified with. Sarah had quite an influence on the show. In addition, there were also other Hollywood people that heard the Melissa Joan Hart stories of Sayville.  

    Besides the treatment of Melissa in the Sayville schools, suburban Sayville is a town known for big creepy Victorian houses, lots of swamps, old cemeteries, and a rich collection of teenage urban legend about ghosts. For example, the symbol of the Sayville schools is the lighting bolt. The bible said the Satan and the demons entered heaven through a lightening bolt. Jesus said, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning." (Luke 10:18)   A Sayville urban legend says that is why the symbol of Sayville is the lightening bolt.. Thus, Sayville High School is the entry point of Satan entering Earth. In Buffy, Sunnydale High School is the entry point of the demos and vampires into Earth is called “Hell Mouth” and it is located at the High School. In other words, according to the popular MYTH, Sayville High School sits atop the gates of Hell!

Second Sayville High School  Sayville High School (SHS) after the wooden one burned. 

  Sunnydale High School Sunnydale High School (SHS) - Named in honor of Melissa Joan Hart.

     As far as the name, slightly changing the letters of a real place is a common literary device when fictionalizing a real place. Here is an example. The most liked and prettiest girl in Melissa Hart’s school was called Nicole Mills, who was the daughter of the kindly gym teacher Mr. Mills. Melissa said a lot of the character she played was in her. In Melissa Hart’s movie “Drive Me Crazy” there is a character called Nicole Maris.

Here is what the results of the research: 

Nicole Mills


Prettiest in the school.

Friends to everyone, no matter who, even the most outcast Sayville kid..

Most popular in the school.

 Nicole Maris


Prettiest in the school.

Friends to everyone, no matter who, even the most outcast kid.

Most popular in the school.


   A researcher called the Sayville Library, and they told him that the yearbook lists her as the one voted best looking. She also was just about the only person that was nice to Melissa. The two main characters, Nicole and Dee are composites of each other, for example according to Melissa, “There's a lot of Melissa in Nicole.” Each of the two are a little bit of each other, and are a mix of each other. Melissa is more than just an actress, she writes, and has influence in the making of her shows. The similarity in the names is no coincidence! 

Now this: 

Sayville High School    - SHS

Sunnydale High School – SHS 

    According to researches, that is the reason the name of the town was changed form the movie to the TV show. Also, Buffy went to becoming what the show called a “freak,” an unpopular outsider, like Melissa was in Sayville. Like the name Nicole Mills was slightly changed to Nicole Maris, Sayville became Sunnyvale. 

    There are countless similarities. For example, both schools are known as “SHS”, the colors of the letters are both yellowish, and there are lots of rotten kids. According to Ben “As for the kids at Sayville school district, they were spoiled, selfish , arrogant and the worst bunch of kids anyone could ask for. I only hope adulthood has changed them.” A students at the Professional Children's School in Manhattan said, "I'm glad I went to the Professional School." Who can blame her?

  Amityville is a nearby town, and sports team rival to Sayville.

    There is another link of the town to Hollywood and Broadway. The town is the gateway to the world renowned homosexual resorts of the Fire Island Pines and Cherry Grove. As there are a large number of homosexuals in show business, Sayville is a place they know well. They come in by the thousands on weekends and walk to the ferries. The nickname of the town is “Gayville.” Furthermore, the way to the ferries is along Railroad Ave. On 46 Railroad Ave. is located the most important witch center on Long Island. There is even a school that teaches kids witchcraft. The second Sayville High School is located within view of the train station. Therefore many people from show business are familiar with the town. As the Sayville kids would often yell insults at the fags, the Hollywood people would be very receptive ideas that would put Sayville in this light. 

     There was an off-Broadway play called “The Sayville Train Station” about two lesbians that meet there and the world’s first gay suburban high school prom was in Sayville! 

Why was Buffy's School's Purple and Gold Changed?

Buffy the vampire Slayer movie - Cheerleader Original movie - Buffy the Vampire Slayer The reason why Buffy's high school colors changed from purple and gold was because from the movie to TV she changed schools. The new colors would be a combination of Sayville's and Amityville's colors.

Amityville High School Buffy the Vampire Slayer Cheerleader New school's colors become a combination of Sayville's gold and Amityville's maroon.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Logo

Show colors are purple and gold.

Sayville’s Columbine Connection

       There was a Buffy episode that Sarah Michelle Geller called her second favorite. It was an episode that was scheduled to air about when the Columbine Massacre happened. The episode was called “Earshot.”  It was about a student that was one of the nicest kids in the school, and was a good, sweet person. But what happened was he took a rifle up the clock tower of the school, and Buffy started reading other people’s thoughts and one person was planning to shoot the other kid’s in a massacre. So Buffy assumed that it was him since the kids were so cruel to him and had to save him.

      When Columbine happened. the network immediately pulled it. One of the reasons why the network executives was because a character in the show called Xander made a comment about sometimes thinking about shooting the other students with a gun. Further getting the network brass nervous were comments by Geller such as “it's not our responsibility to teach children right from wrong.” According to the July 25, 1999 edition of  the Denver Rocky Mountain News “Geller said she understands, to some degree, how being an ‘outsider’ can influence high school behavior.”  

Sayville FlashesThis is a Harry Potter shirt. Compare the lightening bolt symbol and colors to Sayville.

      When the show Buffy was blamed by many for the shooting, Nicholas Brendon exclaimed, “If some kid watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer and then blows the high school up, then goddamnit... start parenting better." So, in other words, if the show lit the fuse, so what. Professor Kathy Mac of St Thomas University wrote "Chaos at the Mouth of Hell: Why the Columbine High School Massacre Had Repercussions for Buffy the Vampire Slayer." She said that the show influenced the events at Columbine, "Harris and Klebold used their considerable intelligence, … to annihilate them."

     After an intensive study of Columbine, and of the Sayville schools the research team discovered that they are quite different. The people in Columbine are religious middle American people that care for each other. There was an event at Columbine that showed what bravery is all about. One of the criminals at Columbine pointed a rifle at a girl called Cassie Bernall. 

     During the killings at Columbine a brave girl called Cassie Brenall was reading her bible in the library. Many believe Dylan Klebold pointed a gun at her and said, ''Do you believe in God.'' ''Yes, I believe in God,'' she said in a loud voice even though she knew that nonchristian would shoot her. He then laughed and said ''Why?'' Dylan Klebold then shot her.  Dylan Klebold was known as someone that hated Christianity. Thus, Cassie died as a Christian martyr. One former Sayville student said, “Klebold and Harris reminded me of some kids I knew in Sayville.”   

      The concept that should have been learned in Buffy was that people should fight against evil, not perpetrate it. Those two in Columbine became like the Vampires in Buffy, even if they thought otherwise. Something to remember about Sarah was that she never had a clear view of what a school was really like. Her view may have been that every school was like Sayville, where a brave few fought the rotten kids, but this was not the case in Columbine. Experts believe Sarah’s sympathy for the Columbine killers was misplaced. 

        The show was not shown for some time. It turned out the kid was not a mass killer. It really was the lunch lady that had the diabolical plan.


       There is a Sayville influence on the Buffy show. However, the show is not about Sayville, it is about a fictional town that is takes many Sayville aspects and adds it to the program. There were many people putting input into the show, so it is based on many things. Melissa is also a writer and producer, and Sarah also had a lot of input into her show..   

Sabrina & Buffy Similarities

New girl at school
Arch-Enemy – Head Cheerleader, nasty with black hair.
Lived in old house
Lived in town with lots of Victorian houses
Supernatural powers
Not only a member of the hated outcasts, but the leader.
Suburban high school
Divorced parents
Started on TV at almost the same time
Good friend is a nerdy bookworm
Both stars claim that show is based somewhat on real experiences.
Comedy aspect
Double life

     It is almost the same show. Also, starting in the 3rd episode of Buffy there is an blonde beautiful outsider/outcast witch that Buffy calls "...our Sabrina," with an overbearing mother, that wanted to live through her daughter. This is an inside joke alluding to Melissa's overbearing mother, who lived through her daughter's acting. Amy the witch became a recurring character. They are similar because they both spoke for years about making a show like this. The difference in the two shows is largely based on their personalities. In both shows, the actresses had a lot of input in the development of the show, which is unusual, the Harts even owning the production company. Melissa had a quiet, shy personality, while Sarah was more aggressive and outgoing. Thus, their childhoods were a big influence in there shows.

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1 High School Horrific by Frazier Moore, Associated Press , Sunday, March 30, 1997  2 Stafford, Nikki "Bite Me! An Unofficial Guide to the World of Buffy the Vampire Slayer" ECW Press 2002





Writer Joss Whedon created the show as an intentional departure from the typical horror film formula, and also as a "replacement" (of sorts) for the 1992 film. Traditional horror films included countless scenes of young blonde girls either portrayed as hysterical victims or being rescued by handsome well-armed male heroes. By reversing the cliché of the helpless female victim, Buffy presented an alternative paradigm which has been embraced by popular culture as an emblem of female power - in Whedon's narrative, Buffy's male friend Xander is more likely to need rescuing, while Buffy is more than capable of looking after herself and those around her. However, her personal life is as painful and confusing as any teenage girl's. This combination of empowerment and empathy has earned Buffy a passionate following among fans.

Amber Benson - Tara (2002)
Marc Blucas - Riley Finn (2000-2001)
David Boreanaz - Angel (1997-1999)
Nicholas Brendon - Alexander 'Xander' Harris
Charisma Carpenter - Cordelia Chase (1997-1999)
Emma Caulfield - Anya (2000-2003)
Sarah Michelle Gellar - Buffy Summers
Seth Green - Daniel 'Oz' Osbourne (1998-1999)
Alyson Hannigan - Willow Rosenberg
Anthony Stewart Head - Rupert Giles (1997-2001)
James Marsters - Spike (1999-2003)
Michelle Trachtenberg - Dawn Summers
Alyson Hannigan
Amber Benson
Anthony Stewart Head
Charisma Carpenter
David Boreanaz
Emma Caulfield
James Marsters
Marc Blucas
Michelle Trachtenberg
Nicholas Brendon
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Seth Green
Joss Whedon, writer from New York

Recurring Guest Stars

Adam Busch Adam Kaufman
Alexis Denisof Andrew J. Ferchland  Andy Umberger Armin Shimerman
Bailey Chase Brian Thompson  Charlie Weber Clara Bryant
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Mercedes McNab  Nathan Fillion  Robia La Morte  Robin Sachs First Season Episodes. Second Season Episodes third season episodes.
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Abraham Benrubi  Alastair Duncan  Alex Breckenridge Alexandra Johnes
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Sara Michelle Geller Biography and filmography, Gay and  queer influences and story lines Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie and TV show.Bio


Amityville Horror & Ronald Defeo, Indians, John Ketcham, The  legends, truth and history.  Night courses available. .  Amity and Long Island History.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Plot Analysis. Plot Summary for the show. Joss Whedon the writer of the show.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a U.S. television series loosely based on the original script for the 1992 movie of the same name. It was created by Joss Whedon, who also wrote the movie, and was produced by Mutant Enemy Productions. The show's title is often abbreviated simply to Buffy or BtVS.

The series follows the life and trials of Buffy Summers, a teenage girl chosen by fate to battle against vampires, demons, and other supernatural foes, usually with the help of her Watcher and her loyal circle of misfit friends. Info on SarahMichelle Gellar. An analysis of Buffy the VampireSlayer and Joss Whedon. who was the creator of Buffythe Vampire Slayer. The Truth about the Amityville Horror.