Tag Archives: buffy the vampire slayer

tv’s best birthday themed episodes

Birthdays are generally a time for celebration, presents, cake and all those other festive trappings. There are the milestone birthdays that mean you can drive or legally drink or even magically turn into an adult (Hi 30!), as well as those where you’re just happy to see another year.

With my own 26th birthday coming up – I’m not quite at the point in my life where I lie about my age – I decided to celebrate the successful completion of 365 days by recalling my favorite birthday-themed TV episodes. Some made me cry, a few made me laugh, while several of these aren’t more than a year old so it’s too soon to wax nostalgic over them just yet.

Best Birthday Episodes…Ever (in order of birthday character’s age)

Rubber Band BallParenthood (S1Ep8)
Jabbar has a birthday party that’s heavy on the familial tension. I’m sure I had an awkward moment or two at one of my childhood birthday parties, but similar to Jabbar and other little kids at that age, if wasn’t toys and/or cake it happily went unnoticed.
Best Quote:
“Amber is from a broken home. She doesn’t know a real relationship from a sandwich yet.”

Stark Raving DadThe Simpsons (S3Ep1)
Simpsons never age, so arbitrary nature of her birthday aside, it was cute seeing Bart try to do something nice for his little sister. But try as I might, I could never make my name casually slide into the “Happy Birthday Lisa” song.
Best Quote:
Things change when you hit the big 1-O. Your legs start to go, candy doesn’t taste as good anymore.”

The AftermathSaved by the Bell (S3Ep3)
Although it was Lisa’s Sweet 16, the majority of this episode was focused on the legendary Kelly-Zack-Jeff love triangle. I never understood why Lisa was so rich and stylish, yet had such a milestone birthday party at her house.
Best Quote:
“Honey, if I were Kelly, you’d still be pulling a hairbrush out of your ear, now don’t get me started.”

Surprise/InnocenceBuffy the Vampire Slayer (S2Ep13+14)
Buffy never had especially enjoyable birthday celebrations and this was the episode where it all started. Teenage heartbreak is painful enough, but imagine the guy you love and passionately give your virginity to turning into a monster…literally. And I’m sure I wasn’t the only girl that asked her boyfriend for a Claddagh ring after seeing this episode.
Best Quote:
(Xander) “You coulda just said, ‘shh!’ God, are all you Brits such drama queens? Buffy, I feel a pre-birthday spanking coming on.” (Jenny) “I’d curb that impulse if I were you, Xander.”

Mixology CertificationCommunity (S2Ep10)
This was the episode when Troy realized that turning 21 doesn’t mean you’re a grown-up who is immune to being an idiot. We also saw the serious side of this character expertly played by Mr. Donald Glover. I’d have preferred Troy’s birthday filled with childlike merriment, there’s plenty of time for the disenchantment of being an adult.
Best Quote:
Hello during a random dessert, the month and day of which coincide numerically from your expulsion from a uterus.”

The Agony and the ‘Ex’tacySex and the City (S4Ep49)
Carrie turns 35…alone. It was pretty depressing watching the usually fabulous Ms. Bradshaw have such a lackluster birthday, but it also brought some realism to what your 30s are like if rom-coms and Cosmo are any indication. Big capped off Carrie’s birthday evening with red balloons and champagne, which was simple yet romantic…classic Big.
Best Quote:
“No special guy to wish me happy birthday. No goddamn soulmate. And I don’t even know if I believe in soulmates.”

Cliff’s BirthdayThe Cosby Show (S1Ep24)
Clair was the perfect wife and Cliff was the (very) deserving husband. On his birthday she did what any fictional, ridiculously upper-middle class wife does for her husband and got him a personalized birthday performance by Lena Horne. These two were always so cute because although Cliff was the man of the house, Clair ran the show.
Best Quote:
The joy of a birthday, is finding out what the present is, before one gets it. And you know I always do.”

Honorable Mentions:

Birthday Angel
Time FliesSix Feet Under
Michael’s BirthdayThe Office
Be Careful What You Wish For – Dawson’s Creek

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five pitiful chicks that graced my tv screen

Not everyone can be a Buffy and slay vampires, as well as gender stereotypes about physical strength. Some characters were just born (or rather, written) to be pitiful. Sad. Limited on strength, both emotionally and physically. Whether they’re playing off of a stronger character, fodder for our funny bones or just so poorly written that they become a waste of screen time, these women know how to raise the bar on low self-esteem.

Tara Thorton from True Blood

“I didn't plan it. I just saw the bottles and I thought... enough. I deserve some peace.”

Tara has been the victim and Bon Temps’ very own damsel in distress for the last four seasons. If vamps aren’t beating her down, she’s throwing herself a big ol’ pity party every single week. It’s not that she doesn’t have her strong points (newly acquired MMA skills) and a smart retort for every situation, it’s that she’s so annoyingly defeated about everything that happens to her. I’d love to see a “just because I felt like it” moment from Tara.

Kimber Henry from Nip/Tuck

“I don't want to be pretty. I want to be better. I want to be perfect.”

I assbackwardsly watched the sixth (and final season) of Nip/Tuck first, so I saw this character’s demise before knowing how she got there. She managed to have love affairs (with less than fairytale endings) with all of the show’s main male characters, which resulted in a daughter whose grandfather and stepfather were the same person, and was a consistent emotional dump for all of Christian Troy’s issues. Kimber was always more Marilyn Monroe than Margaret Mead, but I loved her all the same.

Dawn Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

“They were talking about me, just like everybody is.”

Dawn was the worst thing about the fifth season of BTVS. She was an annoying and unwelcome addition to the show. Buffy spent more time saving her than any of the other ‘Scoobies’ and the levels of hate she inspired are a testament to the acting talents of Michelle Trachtenberg. I’m sure the bratty, self-centered and shrill parts of her personality were to remind viewers that she was a little sister, but it just made me wish they would kill her off.

Peyton Sawyer from One Tree Hill

“Is it me? Am I the reason people always leave? Am I the reason all these things keep happening to me? Maybe I'm just destined to be alone.”

Peyton was perpetually emo (which is annoying enough all on its own) and could find something to complain about in every aspect of her life. The only time I didn’t hate Peyton was when she was snippy, but even then it always felt like she was pseudo-bitch and would never graduate to full on bitch (ala Brooke). Outside of perfecting whiny and winning the record for having multiple dead moms, Peyton really didn’t bring anything to OTH. The only way I will be happy to see her return to the show is if Lucas is trotting right behind her.

Claire Bennet on Heroes  


“I'm not normal. I tried to pretend that I was and I just hurt everyone; my Mom, my Dad. I ruined everything because of what I am. I hated it…”

I never took the whole “save the cheerleader, save the world” thing to mean that Claire was weak; I just saw it as a part of Hiro’s mission. But watching Claire waste her indestructible powers on doing absolutely nothing relevant to anything…ever…was tiresome. I blame the writers, as they were the one that initially made her such a big part of the show and then turned “blah, blah blah, no one gets me, blah blah blah I’m a lesbian now” into the biggest parts of her storyline until the ultimate demise of the show. A waste of a character on a waste of a show.


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