Buffy the Vampire Slayer

TV review by
Paul Trandahl, Common Sense Media
Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Cult vampire series has witty bite and strong role model.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 41 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 129 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Themes include courage and teamwork. Gender roles are progressive, and everyone works as a team to support a female hero. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Buffy is a strong, nuanced role model. She's powerful, loyal, and committed to her role as fighter-of-evil. She sacrifices herself for others regularly, and is a thoughtful, caring friend.


Cartoonish action violence, including stabbing vampires with stakes, fighting sequences, and a scene in which Buffy is attacked by a severed arm.


Sixteen-year-old Buffy has sex with her vampire boyfriend, who is considerably older. Many romances among the teen characters, including a lesbian relationship. The vampire myth is traditionally a very sexualized one.


Ocassional mild cursing -- "hell," "damn," etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while even grade-schoolers may enjoy the horror-movie aspects of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the mature themes of this hugely popular vampire series are not a good fit for kids that young. Even kids as young as 12 -- who will enjoy the action and have fun with the one-liners -- probably aren't quite ready for the dark, adult issues the show tackles. Buffy is in mortal danger in most episodes, she loses her virginity to her (much) older boyfriend, and monsters are everywhere. On the upside, the series encourages strength in girls, mentoring, and teamwork. The series is best for teens and adults, who will appreciate the multi-leveled story and the Romeo and Juliet subtext of some of the episodes.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byslayer165 September 20, 2015

Buffy seasons 1-6 Review

Hey Guys!
I'm going to split my review up into the individual seasons to do with content and will try avoid spoilers
Season 1:
Season one is the most tame... Continue reading
Parent of a 7, 12, and 15-year-old Written byThricePai January 11, 2012

Fun, witty, enjoyable and positive role models galore

Superlatively fun to watch, OK for kids 10+ except for some episodes on later seasons which would be more along the lines of 12+
Still, the violence is never to... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byUSER12321 January 27, 2021

Very good

This is a great show but there is a good bit of violence.
Teen, 14 years old Written byBallet_Dance January 30, 2011

Really like this show for so many reason.

I started watching this show when I was younger and then stopped when I was about 11. When I was 12 I became anorexic. I started to watch this show again when I... Continue reading

What's the story?

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER contrasts the bright, mundane world of high school with the menacing, shadowy world of the vampires. Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as Buffy, the tough, blonde titular slayer; the rest of the group includes friends Xander (Nicholas Brendon) and Willow (Alyson Hannigan), mentor Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), werewolf Oz (Seth Green), vampires Angel (David Boreanaz) and Spike (James Marsters), and many more. Buffy just wants to be a normal teenager, but she can't escape her destiny as the Chosen One when she moves to Sunnydale, Calif., which happens to be right over the Hellmouth -- a mystic spot that allows demons and other evil creatures into the world.

Is it any good?

Clever writing and an appealing cast make this cult series eminently watchable. The show's content can sometimes be gruesome and disturbing for younger or more sensitive teens, but excellent writing and a light hand take away some of the intensity. Teens will definitely identify with Buffy's sense of dread, even if their own dread is over a test, rather than the appearance of vampires.

Though Buffy the Vampire Slayer is by no means educational, characters place a great deal of importance on integrity, working as a team and learning to sacrifice for the greater good.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Buffy deals with the pressure of her "calling" in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. How do teens deal with the pressures they face every day? Can they draw any parallels between Buffy's life and "normal" high school experience?

  • The show's characters place a great deal of importance on integrity, working as a team, and learning to sacrifice for the greater good. Families can talk about how they apply those values in their own lives. What do they consider the greater good?

  • Families may also want to discuss the series' sexual content, including their views about virginity and sex.

  • How do the characters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer demonstrate courage and teamwork? Why are those important character strengths?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love strong characters

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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