The Scooby Gang, or "Scoobies", are a group of characters in the cult television series and comic book Buffy the Vampire Slayer who battle the supernatural forces of evil. The team consists of Buffy Summers and her friends and colleagues who assist her in her duties as the Slayer. First forming in the Season One episode "The Harvest" to prevent The Master from opening a portal to hell, the line-up of the group varied from year to year, but the core that remained intact throughout the series' run was Buffy herself and her best friends, Xander Harris and Willow Rosenberg, as well as her Watcher, Rupert Giles.
The group was first referred to as the Scooby Gang by Xander in the Season Two episode "What's My Line, Part One" as a reference to the group of ghost-hunting teenagers from the cartoon Scooby-Doo. Sarah Michelle Gellar, the actress who plays Buffy on the show, would later also appear as Daphne Blake in the films Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.
The Scooby Gang usually take an unimpressed, flippant attitude towards extraordinary events and supernatural occurrences. Originally a group of teenage friends attending Sunnydale High in a town built on top of a Hellmouth, the group gradually expanded, eventually merging with the Watchers' Council to become a global organization dealing with demonic threats worldwide and training thousands of Slayers. In the beginning, Buffy often had to protect her friends from monsters, but over the course of the series most of them gained superpowers and fighting skills of their own, with Xander the only notable member with no mystical abilities or connection to the supernatural, though he does acquire extensive military knowledge thanks to a spell. Due to the show's strong themes of female empowerment, the most powerful members of the team are often female (Buffy and Willow), while the men play passive roles such as that of father-figure (Giles) and supportive best friend (Xander). Also, in keeping with the show's themes of redemption and moral ambiguity, Willow, Angel, Spike, Faith, Giles, Anya, and Andrew have at some point in their lives descended into darkness. Each of these characters has murdered at least one person during their life, although for most it was substantially more.
At least initially, in Season Eight (a canonical continuation of the series in comic book format), the Scoobies are scattered across the world. In addition to the primary gang, there are short of 2000 Slayers, many of whom work with the expanded organization in addition to witches, psychics and other staff. The core Scoobies now each act as important figures in the new Watcher's Council and maintain a role of leadership and authority amongst the Slayers they employ. With the group scattered, communication is maintained primarily through phone calls, and the group leaders (in particular the core three) now assume more superheroic positions and parallels than in previous seasons. Former allies in Season 7 such as Andrew and Rona now lead squads of their own.
The group is also sometimes referred to as the "Slayerettes," mostly in early episodes or later in the scene descriptions to refer to the Potentials, but mostly it didn't catch on with fans. Both Willow (in the season one episode "Witch") and Spike (in the season four episodes "The I in Team" and "The Yoko Factor") have used the term in the show on different occasions.
Scooby Gang members
(In chronological order)
- Buffy Summers — As the Slayer, Buffy possesses enhanced abilities that enable her to battle the forces of darkness. She is the focal point of the Scooby Gang, as the team initially formed around her responsibilities as the Chosen One, and she is very close to most of its members. Although Buffy had initially been reluctant to accept her destiny, by the end of Season One she faces the prophecy of her death head-on. By Season Eight, she has become a leader as well as a Slayer, training her fellow Slayers in the fight against evil.
- Rupert Giles — As Buffy's Watcher, and a father-figure and mentor to the entire group, Giles is a founding figure of the Scooby Gang, although his British upbringing resists the lighthearted nickname at first. Even after the Watchers' Council stripped him of his title in Season Three, he continued to support Buffy. He remained with the Scoobies until the end of Season Five, when he returned to England at Buffy's death. In Season Six he returns after Buffy is resurrected, then leaves again so that his presence won't hold her back from growing strong and independent. Thereafter, he is based in England where he is training a squad of Slayers, and Andrew as a Watcher. Giles was almost killed by the evil Angelus toward the end of Season Two. In Season Eight, a possessed Angel snapped Giles' neck, killing him instantly.
- Xander Harris — The most consistent and reliable member of the Scoobies, the wise-cracking Xander is notable for being one of the few characters in the show with no "superpowers". Instead, his insight, compassion, and support is how he helps his friends in the battle against evil; for example, he brings Willow back from the brink of darkness with his unconditional love in Season Six. Xander also possesses some knowledge of military combat and weapons after being turned into a real soldier in a Halloween episode.
- Willow Rosenberg — Willow's abilities as a witch make her one of the most powerful members of the Scooby Gang. She is also a gifted hacker. Originally she sometimes resented being known as a "sidekick", but she grew to lead the Scoobies during Buffy's temporary death between Seasons Five and Six. Although she nearly causes the end of the world after her soulmate Tara is killed, she is also responsible for magically activating all of the Potential Slayers in the world.
- Angel — Angel is unique among vampires because he is cursed with a soul. He is also Buffy's lover in Seasons One through Three. Angel's ability to work with the other Scoobies on the side of good is completely dependent on his soul. Without his soul, Angel becomes Angelus, a vampire with no humanity whatsoever. In Season Two, his soul was briefly stripped from him after a forbidden moment of utter happiness. During this time he killed Jenny Calendar and tortured Giles; causing his relationship with the group remained strained even after his soul was restored. Angel leaves the Scoobies at Buffy's graduation. Together with Cordelia, he starts his own group, Angel Investigations, in Los Angeles. Though he returns to Buffy in Season Eight, Angel was possessed and killed Giles. This caused a rift between Angel and Buffy, and Angel decided to search for a way to resurrect Giles with the help of Faith.
- Jenny Calendar — The computer science teacher at Sunnydale High, who holds a secret allegiance to her gypsy clan. Her real name is Janna of the Kalderash tribe, and her secret motivation for being at Sunnydale is to make sure the curse her clan cast on Angel remains intact. However, she didn't know that a single moment of perfect happiness would break the curse, and thought it was enough just to ensure that Angel still suffered. She joins with the Scoobies while falling in love with Giles during Season Two. The discovery of her secret in "Innocence" creates a permanent rift between her and the Scoobies, which lasts until her death at Angelus' hands.
- Cordelia Chase — A snobby cheerleader at Sunnydale High, Cordelia looks down on the Scoobies, whom she dismisses as unpopular. However, she often finds herself in perilous situations and relies on Buffy to save her. In Season Two, Cordelia becomes Xander's girlfriend and an official member of the Scooby Gang until she leaves for Los Angeles and joins Angel Investigations. She dies after being the vessel for a demonic force.
- Daniel "Oz" Osbourne — Willow's boyfriend throughout Seasons Two to Four, Oz is a werewolf and the guitarist for local band Dingoes Ate My Baby. With his stoic sense of humor, Oz is a loyal and popular member of the Scoobies, although he does have to be locked in the library's cage for three nights each month during the full moon. He leaves the group in Season Four to learn how to control his wolf side and ends up living in Tibet with his new wife and infant son.
- Faith Lehane — A troubled girl who becomes a Slayer as a result of Kendra's death, Faith arrives in Sunnydale in Season Three after her Watcher is killed. Although she works with the Scooby Gang and even starts to accept Giles' authority, she never really integrates with them. During one desperate fight in partnership with Buffy, she accidentally kills a man, creating a permanent schism between her and the Scoobies and eventually leading Faith to join up with The Mayor. In Season Four Faith awakens from a coma and flees to Los Angeles, where Angel again offers to help her. This time Faith repents and turns herself in to the police, remaining in jail until her escape in Season Seven to help the Scoobies fight the final battle. In Season Eight, she and Giles decided to partner together in a "Slayer social worker" program to keep Slayers from going to the dark side. After the Watcher's death, Faith accompanied Angel to both aid him in his quest to resurrect Giles and to make sure that he does not become evil again.
- Anya Jenkins — Born mortal a thousand years ago as Aud, Anya became the vengeance demon Anyanka after turning her cheating boyfriend into a troll. She specialized in cursing men who had wronged women. When one of her curses went in an unanticipated direction, the breaking of a curse stripped her of her powers and made her mortal again. During her struggles with her unwanted mortality, Anya falls in love with Xander, who helps her to understand human conventions. Anya often offends people due to her frank honesty and literalness. Initially very selfish, she eventually comes to respect humans and proves her loyalty to the team many times. She is killed by a Bringer during the series finale.
- Riley Finn — Buffy's college boyfriend, Riley is a soldier for the government demon-hunting operation the Initiative. Riley joins the Scoobies after he learns that the Initiative has become corrupt. However, his relationship with Buffy gradually disintegrates, and in Season Five he leaves to join another army unit. In Season Eight, he returns to work as a mole for Buffy, infiltrating the villain Twilight.
- Tara Maclay — Willow's girlfriend in Seasons Four to Six. Like Willow, she is also a witch. On her own, she is nowhere near as powerful as Willow, but together they make a formidable magical team. Before meeting Willow, Tara had been painfully shy, in part due to a father who led her to believe that she was demonic. Her confidence improved steadily as she formed strong friendships with several members of the Scoobies. During Buffy's temporary death between Seasons Five and Six, she became Dawn's surrogate mother. Tara is killed when Warren Mears accidentally shoots her, launching Willow's spiral into Dark Willow.
- Spike — A punk vampire who has killed two previous Slayers, Spike took his nickname from one of his former killings which involved a railroad spike. His real name is William. Although he enters the series as a villain, Spike allies briefly with the Scoobies during Season Two to save his vampire lover Drusilla and stop Angel from destroying the world. Part of the deal was that he and Drusilla leave Sunnydale. However, he returns several times after Drusilla leaves him. When Spike tries to return for good in Season Four, the Initiative promptly captures him and fits him with a tracking device and a microchip that prevents him from harming humans. As a result, he allies again with the Scoobies. Over time, Spike falls in love with Buffy, and he briefly becomes Buffy's lover in Season Six. Her rejection of him inspires him to recover his soul. Most of the Scoobies remain somewhat wary of him right up until the series finale, when he fights side by side with them and, with help from an amulet given by Angel, sacrifices himself to save the world. Following his mystical resurrection, Spike joined Angel's fight in Los Angeles. Spike later went off on his own, inherited a ship full of giant insects and reunited with Buffy.
- Dawn Summers — Buffy's younger sister, Dawn, is actually a mystical orb of energy who was turned into human form by her guardians. She and all those around her were also given false memories to conceal the fact that Dawn was not always part of the human world. Dawn suffers from abandonment issues due to both her mother and Buffy having died in the same year she entered Buffy's life; she considers the Scooby Gang to be her surrogate family and is very close to them.
- Kennedy — One of the potential Slayers of Season Seven, Kennedy is outgoing, impulsive, and a natural leader. She also becomes Willow's lover. Along with the other potentials, her Slayer nature is activated in "Chosen". In Season Eight, Kennedy heads and trains all the Slayers in the New York City area.
- Andrew Wells — Another former villain, Andrew is an immature nerd who was captured by the Scoobies. Over time, he learns to show remorse for his past crimes. Although the Scoobies are slow to accept him, he fights side by side with them during the season finale and starts training to be a Watcher in Season Eight.
Along with variations in the team roster, the place which serves as a sort of "headquarters" for the Scooby Gang has also changed a few times over the series. The most notable of these headquarters, before its explosion in the Season Three finale, is the Sunnydale High School library. However, after the events of the series finale, the Scoobies have, as stated above, been spread across the world, with Buffy and Xander maintaining a "command center" in Scotland.
To the crew of Buffy, the headquarters was the set where the most exposition writing of the show took place, and thus was the most used and most hated of the Buffy sets.
- Giles' apartment until Giles buys the Magic Box
- The Magic Box, under the ownership of Giles in season 5, and later Anya's ownership in season 6, with Giles as a silent partner. Until Dark Willow destroys it.
- Buffy's apartment in San Francisco.