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    So I Finally Watched "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" And I'm Starting To Think That "The Vampire Diaries" Completely Ripped It Off

    Buckle up and grab a blood bag, Buffy/Vampire Diaries fans.

    During quarantine, I decided to undertake a life goal of mine and finally watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.

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    With 12 seasons of TV total, I knew it was going to take a while.

    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.

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    *I haven't finished Angel yet.

    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:

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    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.

    Elena asking "what are you" and Buffy saying "I know what you are"
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    Elena is a Petrova doppelgänger unaware of the supernatural, and Buffy is fully aware of her supernatural abilities — but both are still human.

    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.

    Stefan telling Elena he doesn't drink human blood and Angel telling Buffy he hasn't fed on a human being since he got his soul
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    Both men drink animal blood and have gone decades without drinking human blood. The protagonist is initially horrified by them, but the love interest brings them around.

    3. This romantic lead also reveals he has been watching the protagonist, and inserted himself into her life.

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    Which the protagonist somehow...doesn't find creepy?

    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.

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    Their relationship also continues past the protagonist: In The Vampire Diaries, they become the central relationship of the show after Elena leaves, and in Buffy, Spike and Angel's relationship continues on in Angel even after Buffy ends.

    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.

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    They only turn evil after becoming a vampire.

    6. This woman also has a history with the "good" vampire.

    Katherine and Stefan and Drusilla and Angel
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    In fact, she's still alive and seems to still harbor feelings for both.

    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.

    Stefan and Angel as vampires in flashbacks
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    In fact, he seems to have a bloodier history than the "bad" vampire, but that's up for debate. Also, both Angel and Stefan killed their fathers.

    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.

    Elena begs Stefan to keep fighting and Buffy does the same for Angel
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    The storyline is repeated again in The Vampire Diaries (perhaps more closely to Buffy), when Elena is taunted by visions that appear to her as people she knows telling her to kill herself. But I'm including the Stefan scene here because of the parallels between the dialogue.

    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.

    Damon and Elena kissing and Buffy and Spike kissing
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    Spike regains his soul at the end of Season 6, and Damon slowly regains his humanity over the course of Season 1.

    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.

    Elena kisses Damon and Buffy kisses Spike
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    Elena first kisses Damon as he lies in bed dying, and Buffy kisses Spike as a thank you for not giving up Dawn's true identity to Glory.

    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.

    Elena says her feelings for Damon became more intense after she turned, and that Damon makes her feel alive. Buffy says she feels different since she came back and then that the only time she ever feels anything is with Spike
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    They/others fear there is something else at play here (the sire bond, for Elena, and Buffy "coming back wrong") but it turns out they do have feelings for the person.

    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.

    Stefan losing his humanity and Angel losing his soul
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    Damon and Elena grow closer while trying to save/stop Stefan, while Buffy and Spike (previously enemies) first team up to stop Angel.

    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.

    Elena/Buffy tell Stefan/Angel they love them, and Stefan/Angel say "I love you" too. Then Elena/Buffy say "close your eyes" and we see Stefan/Angel's outstretched hand
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    "Can I copy your homework?" "Yeah just change it up a bit so it doesn't look obvious you copied."

    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.

    Elena saying she doesn't want to be a vampire, and Buffy saying she doesn't want to die
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    She actually does die, fulfilling the prophecy — but she wakes up shortly after.

    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.

    Bonnie crying with blood of her face resurrecting Jeremy, and Willow with blood on her face resurrecting Buffy
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    Bonnie resurrects Jeremy after Liz shoots him in Season 2, and Willow resurrects Buffy after her death in Season 5.

    16. There are immediate repercussions to this resurrection spell, which messed with the forces of nature.

    Grams telling Bonnie there are consequences for bringing Jeremy back and she upset the balance of nature,  and Willow, Xander, and Spike realizing the same thing on Buffy
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    They manage to set things right without hurting anyone — but they do discover a heartbreaking implication over what they've done. Bonnie's spell enables Jeremy to contact Anna, which leads to her breakup with Jeremy. Meanwhile Willow's spell rips Buffy out of heaven, and also becomes part of the overuse of dark magic that leads to her breakup with Tara.

    17. After continuing to suffer losses, they use even more dark magic, and become cocky about it.

    Bonnie tells Klaus the spirits don't get to tell her what to do anymore and she's done getting pushed around. Willow tells Giles she's powerful and he shoudln't piss her off after he tells her she didn't respect nature
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    Bonnie goes directly against the spirits at the end of Season 3 to save Klaus, whereas Willow pretty much threatens Giles in Season 6 when he questions her decision to save Buffy.

    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.

    Willow turns into Dark Willow after Tara's death, and Bonnie uses dark magic to resurrect Jeremy
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    Tara dies and Willow goes totally dark. Bonnie's arc towards darkness is much more subtle, and her consequences less permanent — she dies while resurrecting Jeremy, but later comes back (but she's lost her 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.

    Damon tells Bonnie he loves her and wants to be with her in his last moments, and Xander does the same to Willow, as Bonnie/Willow tell them to stop
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    For Bonnie, this isn't related to Jeremy's death and happens seasons later, but it still brings up a super similar scene to the one we see with Xander and Willow at the end of Buffy's Season 6. In both scenes, their male best friend emphasizes wanting to be with them when they die, and still caring about them even in this state, then says they love them before holding them (well, Bonnie's unconscious in Damon's arms, but still).

    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.

    Caroline and Matt and Xander and Cordelia
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    Matt and Elena previously dated, while Xander always had a thing for Buffy. Both characters become better people during this, but the true power of their characters (as well as their supernatural abilities) come in mostly after this relationship.

    21. At some point, the protagonist and this queen bee character fight for a homecoming title.

    Caroline and Elena at the Miss Mystic Falls pageant, and Cordelia and Buffy in their homecoming dresses
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    Caroline and Elena compete for Miss Mystic Falls, and Cordelia and Buffy compete for homecoming queen. Caroline's dress even looks like Cordelia's!

    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.

    Liz and Damon, and Joyce and Spike
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    Damon basically used Caroline as a human blood bag, and Spike tried to kill Buffy and her friends for SEASONS. Still, Liz and Joyce had soft spots for these guys.

    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.

    Damon talking about how it's not a good idea to use experimental magic on Liz, and Giles saying the same about Joyce
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    Buffy has the Scooby Gang look for cures, while Caroline actually ends up giving her mom vampire blood after testing it on another patient.

    24. After this storyline, the mother dies, and her daughter misses her final moments.

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    The episode after their death also starts with a flashback of them.

    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.

    Buffy says she's worried about tomorrow because there's no longer stuff to do and everyday living resumes, and Damon tells Caroline the funeral isn't the hardest, but instead the next week, when everything's quiet
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    Buffy worries about the next day, while Damon cautions Caroline about the next week, but it's the same idea.

    26. One of the main characters dates a man who ends up being a werewolf.

    Quantrell D. Colbert / The CW / Courtesy Everett Collection, 20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Caroline and Tyler date for a long time in Seasons 2–4, as do Oz and Willow.

    27. However, they make it work, locking him up for the full moon.

    Tyler and Oz both locked behind bars
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    Of course, they get loose and wreak havoc once or twice.

    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.

    Bob Mahoney/CW Network / courtesy Everett Collection

    Although Veruca is a lot more of a threat/more evil than Hayley.

    29. The werewolf is forced to leave his girlfriend (against her wishes) to go figure out how to control his werewolf side.

    Caroline listening to a voicemail from Tyler saying he's going to fix himself and come home, and Oz telling Willow he needs to leave and figure out what being a wolf means
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    Tyler actually leaves town a few times, which eventually leads to the end of his relationship with Caroline. Oz only leaves once, but it's for long enough (and enough damage has been done) that Willow doesn't take him back. Also, Caroline is developing an attraction to Klaus, while Willow is developing a relationship with Tara at that time.

    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.

    Alaric and Hiles
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    Alaric dates Jenna, and Giles and Joyce sleep together due to a spell. After Jenna's death, Alaric stays with Jeremy and Elena until Elena turns 18, then leaves but pops in and out of her life. Giles is in and out in later seasons, but does help her financially when her mom dies.

    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."

    Katherine telling Elena she stole her life then pretending to be her in the mirror, and Faith doing the same in Buffy
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    The protagonist has SUPER straight hair, as opposed to this mirror character, who has curly hair. So when the protagonist has curly hair, it's the show's way of signaling to us that something is wrong, like a spell has been cast or they're not themselves. But then in later seasons, the protagonist starts wearing their hair in loose curls, so this logic no longer applies.

    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.

    Klaus telling Silas to show his real face, and Silas as Caroline saying he won't since he can look like whoever he wants. Also, Anya saying The First can look like any person it wants, and The First as Buffy taunting Spike
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    In The Vampire Diaries, this is Silas, and he can appear as anyone. In Buffy, this is the First Evil, who can appear as anyone who's died.

    33. Alright, let's move on to some smaller things: There is a ring that allows vampires to be seen in the daylight.

    Damon with his ring and Angel with his
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    34. One of the main characters dies, and whispers something to someone they love — the viewers don't hear it until later.

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    The message is something about telling someone they love them.

    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.

    Damon telling Katherine he needs the cure and Katherine saying it'll take all her blood and kill her; and Oz telling Buffy that the cure is to drain the blood of a Slayer and Angel telling Buffy it'll kill her
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    Silas wants the cure to vampirism (which Katherine has ingested) and Angel needs a cure to the poison Faith gave him.

    36. In both cases, the vampire does drain the girl of blood and is cured — but the girl inexplicably survives.

    Katherine's blood is drained then she wakes up; same with Buffy
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    TV logic, I guess.

    37. Draining blood is kind of a theme — there's also a complicated ritual that involves draining a girl of her blood.

    Katherine says that Klaus wants to drain Elena's blood as he wanted to do to her, and Giles says that the gates won't close until Dawn's blood stops flowing
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    In The Vampire Diaries, this is Klaus's ritual: He needs to drain the blood from a human Petrova doppelgänger. In Buffy, this is Glory's ritual: She needs to drain the blood of the key, aka Dawn.

    38. The "bad" vampire has a vision of the protagonist rescuing him while he's chained up — but it's not real.

    Elena rescuing a chained up Damon and Buffy rescuing a chained up Spike
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    Though the last time Spike sees this (screencapped above) it actually is 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.

    Elena says she won't judge Damon since he was tortured, and Damon shouts "stop defending me!" Buffy tells Spike he's saved people too and Spike says "don't rationalize this"
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    In The Vampire Diaries, this comes after Elena discovers Damon's been hunting down and killing members of Aaron's family. In Buffy, this comes after the First forces Spike to kill a bunch of girls.

    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.

    Damon tells Aaron Elena thinks he's a monster, and she's right, before vamping out. Spike tells a girl that he's an evil killer, then vamps out
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    For Spike, this doesn't work, as the chip is still working (just not on Buffy).

    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.

    Damon comes out naked and Elena turns around, while Spike stands naked and Buffy turns
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    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.

    Elena tells Stefan to drink from him and he tells her to run, and Buffy tells Angel to drink from her and he tells her to get away
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    Vampire biting is also pretty sexual in these shows.

    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.

    Damon and Buffy sitting catatonic
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    Caroline, Bonnie, and Stefan go into Damon's mind, and Willow goes into Buffy's mind.

    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.

    Alaric says he and Bonnie came back, but Bonnie says there is no Other Side anymore and they can't resurrect people. Willow says resurrecting Bonnie is different from Joyce, because Buffy died by mystical forces, and is told she can't bring back Tara
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    In The Vampire Diaries, Jo can't come back because she's human and there is no "Other Side" anymore. Similarly, Jenna never becomes a ghost because she finds peace right away. In Buffy, the characters are able to resurrect Buffy because she died a mystical death, but not Tara or Joyce, who were human and died by human means.

    45. In fact, at one point the characters try to resurrect a human character who died by human means, but it goes horribly wrong.

    Jo waking up and Joyce as a sort of zombie in the background
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    Alaric and Bonnie try to resurrect Jo, but end up stuffing a different vampire into her body, which then causes the vampire to die as Jo's body is human. Dawn resurrects Joyce, but quickly rips her photo and turns what she's resurrected to dust before Buffy can open the door. This is because she's been warned Joyce won't be the same and she should let her soul rest.

    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.

    Damon says Elena wants what everyone wants, and Elena asks what that is. Angel says Buffy wants the same thing as her, and Buffy asks what that is
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    47. At one point, one of the main vampires gets sent to hell and when they escape, they're pretty feral and dangerous.

    Damon and Angel chained up after escaping hell
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    However, they slowly regain their sanity.

    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.

    Mikael in the ground in The Vampire Diaries and Turok-Han awakening in Buffy
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    In The Vampire Diaries, this is Mikael, who is actually woken up on purpose to kill the Originals. In Buffy, this is Turok-Han, whom the First awakens to kill Buffy.

    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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