During quarantine, I decided to undertake a life goal of mine and finally watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience* — but as I was watching, I couldn't help but notice a few similarities to one of my other favorite shows, another supernatural one about vampires: The Vampire Diaries.
In fact...there were a bunch of times The Vampire Diaries was a straight up rip-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'll show you what I mean:
1.Both shows feature a 16-year-old supernatural teenage girl at the heart of a prophecy (Elena and Buffy). Both meet a mysterious, dark vampire in the first episode (Stefan and Angel) and begin a romance with him — though neither realizes he's a vampire until episode 6/7.
2.But not to worry! The vampire is "good." In Buffy, this means he has a soul, and in The Vampire Diaries, this means his humanity is on.
3.This romantic lead also reveals he has been watching the protagonist, and inserted himself into her life.
4.However, there's another main vampire in the series: a "bad" vampire (Damon/Spike) that's got a centuries-long history with the good vamp.
5.We get flashbacks into the "bad" vampire's past — turns out they were once a sweet romantic led astray by a seductive, bad female vampire (Katherine/Drusilla), who they've kept a flame for all these years. Actually, that's who turned them into a vampire.
6.This woman also has a history with the "good" vampire.
7.We also get a bunch of flashbacks to the "good" vampire's past — however, these aren't so positive, and we learn he's killed at least hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
8.At one point, the "good" vampire is consumed with guilt over their past actions, and resolves to let themselves burn when the sun comes up. Minutes before morning, the protagonist approaches and encourages them to keep fighting, but leaves the choice up to them.
9.The main character eventually develops feelings for the "bad" vampire, which horrifies the "good" vampire — though in the end, this "bad" vampire becomes good.
10.Although their actual first kiss (not the one pictured above, which many fans would consider their first "real" kiss) was a pity kiss/a single peck because the protagonist felt the "bad" vampire deserved it.
11.The two only start sleeping together (a fact that many other characters on the show disapprove of) after the protagonist dies (for a second time) and comes back feeling like a different person. The "bad" vampire helps them feel more alive.
12.The main conflict in the protagonist's relationship with the "good" vampire is actually not the "bad" vampire, but the "good" vampire losing their soul/humanity. After this, he fixates on and attacks the protagonist, actually forcing her to team up with the "bad" vampire.
13.In fact, the bulk of the protagonist's relationship with the good vampire happens in the first two seasons. At the end of Season 2, the good vampire and protagonist have to say goodbye to each other. In this case, The Vampire Diaries straight up copied Buffy's exact dialogue and movements.
14.Let's get back to this prophecy, which states the protagonist must die. Many try to protect her, and she tearfully admits she doesn't want to die, before ultimately deciding to sacrifice herself.
15.The main character's best friend is a witch who doesn't know her powers at the start of the series. However, the witch starts to delve more into dark magic after she uses it for a resurrection, angering the spirits and getting into magic they don't understand.
16.There are immediate repercussions to this resurrection spell, which messed with the forces of nature.
17.After continuing to suffer losses, they use even more dark magic, and become cocky about it.
18.And after the death of their love, they go dark and completely defy nature, using dark magic again to disastrous consequences — which makes them go a long period without using magic.
19.At one point, they have gone completely dark and try to kill their friends, and their male best friend has to talk them down by telling them how much they love them.
20.The other female protagonist is a pretty queen bee type, who has a dicey relationship with the lead, though they go through an arc where they become a better person, particularly when they date the protagonist's sweet guy friend who still holds a bit of a candle for the protagonist.
21.At some point, the protagonist and this queen bee character fight for a homecoming title.
22.This is sort of random, but in both shows, the "bad" vampire is weirdly friends with one of the main character's moms. Even though he's physically hurt her daughter on multiple occasions.
23.Also, this mom (the main parent of the series) gets cancer in a later season, and her daughter tries to solve it through supernatural means.
24.After this storyline, the mother dies, and her daughter misses her final moments.
25.In the direct aftermath of this death, the daughter and one of the male vampires talk about how it's not the direct aftermath of the death but after the funeral that's the hardest.
26.One of the main characters dates a man who ends up being a werewolf.
27.However, they make it work, locking him up for the full moon.
28.Although things get dicey when a female werewolf who can understand the boyfriend better comes into the mix, causing the girlfriend to get jealous.
29.The werewolf is forced to leave his girlfriend (against her wishes) to go figure out how to control his werewolf side.
30.Back to other characters: The protagonist has a male teacher who acts as a parent, even having some kind of relationship with the protagonist's guardian — but after this guardian dies, the teacher still remains like a father.
31.The protagonist also has an enemy who mirrors them in some way — this enemy at one point switches bodies with them, and says something along the lines of "you stole my life."
32.In a later season, there is a villain character who only talks through other characters. No one knows what they look like because it appears as the main characters of the show.
33.Alright, let's move on to some smaller things: There is a ring that allows vampires to be seen in the daylight.
34.One of the main characters dies, and whispers something to someone they love — the viewers don't hear it until later.
35.There's some sort of cure a vampire needs at some point — and he needs to drain the blood of one of the female characters to get it.
36.In both cases, the vampire does drain the girl of blood and is cured — but the girl inexplicably survives.
37.Draining blood is kind of a theme — there's also a complicated ritual that involves draining a girl of her blood.
38.The "bad" vampire has a vision of the protagonist rescuing him while he's chained up — but it's not real.
39.At some point after the "bad" vampire has gotten with the protagonist, they talk about the awful things they've done, and the protagonist defends them. The "bad" vampire then gets angry and tells them to stop defending/rationalizing their actions.
40.During one of the times the protagonist rejects the "bad" vampire, they immediately go try to kill someone to prove to the protagonist just how bad they really are.
41.At one point, the "bad" vampire stands naked in front of the protagonist, and they quickly turn around in annoyance, which the "bad" vampire thinks is funny.
42.In both shows, there's a a scene with the "good" vampire when he's starved for blood, and the protagonist asks for him to drink from her, which he does.
43.Also in both shows, one of the main characters becomes catatonic with grief, and the others must use witchy magic to go into their subconscious to get them to come out.
44.Death isn't always permanent in these shows — but it's much easier to resurrect someone supernatural than it is someone human who died a regular death.
45.In fact, at one point the characters try to resurrect a human character who died by human means, but it goes horribly wrong.
46.In one of the protagonist's first meetings with one of the vampires, they have this little exchange where the vampire presumes to know what they want and steps forward intensely.
47.At one point, one of the main vampires gets sent to hell and when they escape, they're pretty feral and dangerous.
48.And finally, both series feature their version of the first-ever vampire, who is buried deep in a crypt in the ground. They're unleashed and then fight our main characters.
In conclusion...there is a LOT that seems to have been copied here. What do you think? Am I onto something here, or am I totally off base? Let me know in the comments below!
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