Fred Burkle Blue

Canon-related questions for Buffyologists

There's a couple of items about Buffy Summers that I've seen in several fanfics and wondered if they were "canon" or "fanon" information. I don't trust my memory, especially when I've probably spent more hours at this point reading fanfiction than actually watching the show. (What that says about me I shudder to imagine.)



By "canon", I am of course referring to BtVS, seasons 1-7 only, not the comics (aka Get behind me, Satan!)
[Weighty questions and pretty pictures after the cut!]
Buffy_5x22_The_Gift_409

1) Is Buffy's given name "Buffy" or "Elizabeth"?  I've read "Elizabeth Anne Summers" used in several fanfics and it feels like it might have been mentioned somewhere in S1-3 on the show, if at all?
Buffy_6x05_Life_Serial_527_LMTW
Actually, I just wanted an excuse to post this screencap. But while you're here:
2) Does Buffy refer to herself in third person at any other point on the show except for Life Serial: "stupid Buffy" "freak Buffy"?  A lot of stories have her refer to herself in this way, usually when she's berating herself, although generally not while drunk. (For someone who can't hold her liquor she seems to drink quite a lot of it in LS. Slayer metabolism, apparently.) 

Also, she generally does so whilst kicking herself mentally over something regarding Spike, so do early season/Bangel 'ship writers have her referring to herself in this manner as well?
Buffy_6x05_Life_Serial_688

No, no further questions; I just love SMG in this episode so damn much I can hardly stand it. I mean - come on, Giles, how can you resist that face? Buttons and puppies are weeping in envy.  Now do your duty to your Slayer and hand her the check without making her feel like it's an act of charity on your part. 


I love Giles, I do. But damn it, he can be an ass sometimes.
LJ is making me nervous! I hope you can read this answer.
So, Buffy's name is Buffy Anne Summers. I think that Elizabeth is something fanon. She's just Buffy, Anne.
And she's the cutest when she's drunk. OMG, I love her so much! But, if you want to know, sometimes she says: "Note to self: do this and that ..." I don't remember her talking in third person about Angel and the Bangel, but it can be my memory.
And "Life Serial" isn't just the best with the cutest Buffy ever? She's beautiful in all the outfits!
Thanks, sweetie!

I remember a commenter at the AV Club saying that Sarah was bad at playing drunk "because she didn't drink in real life" or somesuch. Hello? The two episodes Buffy gets drunk in are Beer Bad and Life Serial and are comedy episodes. Realism is not the point, folks.

"Note to self: do this and that ..." I remember "Note to self: religion, freaky" in "What's My Line" (S2); that's the only "note to self" utterance I remember, which doesn't mean she didn't repeat it.

And as I said - buttons and puppies have nothing her.
1) I've always thought it was just Buffy, though I guess my only real support for that is the dialogue in Something Blue, where they're deciding between William and Spike, and he makes a snide comment about "Buffy," and she says "my mother gave me that name!" which always made it sound like a given name to me.

Now do your duty to your Slayer and hand her the check without making her feel like it's an act of charity on your part.

Seriously. He stood up to the Council for his own paycheck and can't give the Slayer herself her rightful cut? GOD.
You're absolutely right, I'd forgotten that. I'd forgotten that. And then Spike snarks back with; "Your mother. Yeah, she's a real genius."

He stood up to the Council for his own paycheck and can't give the Slayer herself her rightful cut? GOD.

No, SHE stood up to the Council in Checkpoint and negotiated (demanded) his salary be restored; he coughed "back pay" into his fist and she added that to the demand for him. That's what makes it so galling. (This reminds me of Graduation and how Buffy quit the Council and he backed her up - after she informed Wesley - but the gesture was symbolic because he'd been fired in Helpless. Giles hiding behind his Slayer's back in dealing with the WC isn't OOC for him.)

What Kendra says about her Watcher - having been given to him as a child by her parents - suggests that historically, Watchers were in fact the Slayers' guardians; which would not have been a great burden anyway since the all the previous girls died young, or so we are told, or it's implied.

What I can never quite figure out if Buffy's failure to ask for her own income and Giles' failure to care for her is a deliberate "feminist" statement from the writers: a reflection of the patriarchial imbalance as represented by the WC and the fact that in the real world, "women work two-thirds of the world's working hours, produce half of the world's food, but earn only 10% of the world's income and own less than one percent of the world's property. On average, women earn half of what men earn." (The Global Poverty Project http://www.globalpovertyproject.com/infobank/women ).

Or if it was just a plot point to drive home the "If Buffy thought her life sucked before...." theme? But her failure to ask for her own salary still puzzles me unless he was supporting her, which not ever stated on the show other than the one check he gives her. Even in S7, when he brings all those potentials to her house, it's never even suggested that he's contributing.

The whole issue of finances on BtVS is worth a meta in and of itself because trying to parse it out gives me a headache.
I'm pretty sure it's just "Buffy". I think fan fic authors just think it's too ridiculous as a given name so it must be a nickname. And then someone sees it in a fic, and thinks "Oh, that makes sense"; obviously it must really be Elizabeth...

FWIW the only Buffy I know in real life is really, truly "Buffy" on her birth certificate. Though people always ask!

And Our Girl really is adorable in Life Serial. That Blech face!
I think fan fic authors just think it's too ridiculous as a given name so it must be a nickname.

Given that it's a running joke starting with WTTH, I'd say "ridiculous" is exactly the point.

the only Buffy I know in real life is really, truly "Buffy" on her birth certificate. Though people always ask!

Hopefully not in the same tone the Guardian uses in End of Days. Was she born before or after BtVS? (I couldn't resist asking.)

That Blech face!

So much yes to this. Pretty much everything she does in that episode makes me smile thinking about it; and I wasn't sure if I liked the blech face at first but now it's something that never gets old for me. It's not often that someone on the show can out-funny Emma Caulfied, but Sarah nails it in this episode.
Elizabeth is fanon. (Fanon which irritates me out of all proportion to its relatively innocuous nature, for reasons I wot not of.) Every time we see Buffy's full name on the show in any sort of official printed capacity, it's Buffy Anne.

Buffy may have referred to herself in the third person in other episodes - I honestly don't remember. I'm pretty sure I would remember if it had happened consistently. Fandom has a habit of taking stuff which happened once and making a Thing out of it. Be glad you missed the vanilla craze. *g*
As in irritates you more than other fanon errors? I know you are loathe to snark - but I happen to love your snark.

I forgot to ad in the post that this was slightly inspired by spuffy_luvr's post in November about Spike canon/fanon. (She actually made a chart; I'm not that ambitious.

Be glad you missed the vanilla craze. *g*

You mean the stories where Spike notices that Buffy always smells like vanilla? I've seen some of those and wondered why that scent got repeated more than any other. And I really don't think that "vanilla" would turn Spike on (probably too sweet for his super vampire sense of smell); but her natural muskiness and sweat probably would. (And how bad is it that I've actually thought about this?)

The Elizabeth is fanon. I am sure the confusion arose because "Buffy" is a common nickname for girls named Elizabeth (at least if they're preppy - I went to school with an Elizabeth whose nickname was Buffy and I know of several others as well).


Gabrielle
"Buffy" is a common nickname for girls named Elizabeth (at least if they're preppy)

I didn't know that, thanks for the info. I couldn't figure out the connection between the two names, so I must have figured that if Elizabeth was used by fans it must be in the show somewhere because why else would anyone do so?

BTW - I was a little puzzled by your Willow/Angel OTP at first, but your icon here might just be changing my mind: Angel with Willow, Buffy with Spike? Let's see, Willow falls for Riley at first - because hello, chemistry - and then he dies and goes dark Willow, the Scoobies talk her down, she's sent to LA for "rehab" under Angel's care instead of Giles' - yeah, that could work. (My other version would have Willow meet Tara, the gentle witch, whilst recovering. Maybe we could have both. Throw Faith somewhere with pretty much anybody...and god I am a very bad person after all. :) )
The only person ever referred to as "Elizabeth" in canon is... Spike. (In "Chosen", re: his necklace.) Buffy's name on school records, gravestones, work uniforms and in police interviews is Buffy.
The only person ever referred to as "Elizabeth" in canon is... Spike. (In "Chosen", re: his necklace.)


:) :) The pathetic thing is, I had to read all the way to the part in parenthesis to realize what you were referring to. My initial mental image was of Spike in a dress and wondering when that happened. (On the tv show, not fanfic where Spike in a dress happens more than I would've thought.)
Yeah, I concur with everybody on Buffy vs. Elizabeth. Elizabeth is not canon.

I'm less certain about the third person thing. Buffy does tend to use cute phrasing for lots of things, including herself. I mean that in the fondest way. But, I can't think of another specific example of what you're talking about. Maybe in "Beer Bad"? I'm pretty sure Xander uses "Buffy" instead of "you" when he talks to her in that ep. I also recall Spike saying "Good job, Spike" sarcastically to himself, so it's not strictly a Buffy thing, regardless. I can "hear" most characters using the third person on occasion.
Maybe in "Beer Bad"? I'm pretty sure Xander uses "Buffy" instead of "you" when he talks to her in that ep.

Which is the other episode in which she is drunk (and bespelled at that. That is some powerful dope.)

I can "hear" most characters using the third person on occasion.

I've seen Spike and Willow refer to themselves in third person in fic; and I can't remember specific instances on the show, but it seems like a very Willow thing to do. But in fanfic the writers are very specifically borrowing from the exact way Buffy talks about herself in Life Serial and adopting that as the way she talks to herself constantly. And almost always as a two-word sentence, or the start of the sentence preceding mopey self-recrimination. Only the adjectives are changed.
I agree with everyone else that her given name is Buffy. If it wasn't her tombstone would read Elizabeth "Buffy" Anne Summers

Edited at 2013-01-01 03:29 pm (UTC)
Good point, although by that point "Buffy" is so iconic that it would seem wrong to have it otherwise - and since she's not "legally dead" because the Scoobies are hiding her death it wouldn't matter anyway. But then again I guess if they're hiding her death then using "Elizabeth" would have made more sense instead?

I love the icon from The Freshman btw and the little lights in the background. (I can play with photos in fotoflexer some, but I assume it requires photoshop to do the b/w with colored accents?)
Her given name is Buffy and velvetwhip is right that the confusion comes in because Buffy is also a nickname for stuck up Elizabeths. It goes Elizabeth ... Bethy ... Buffy ... if you want to trace how it happened at all. I still don't get it, but hey I don't make these things up. They are too strange even for me.

As for the third person thing ... she refers to herself in the third person in "The Prom" I believe. When she says "I'm over the whole Buffy gets one perfect high school moment thing." I can't remember if she says it elsewhere, but she doesn't do it to the point of being annoying.

*hugs and love*
Very good point about The Prom, that sounds about right.

I just today noticed "Elizabeth" being used in some of those AU 19th century Spuffy fics, which makes sense.

That's a gorgeous icon btw did you make it.
Danke! You think I would have figured that out from the headstone, yes? But the repeated use of "Elizabeth" in fic perplexed me and I haven't done a full rewatch. Also, I don't always have a good memory for small details (and the devil really is in the details in the Buffyverse).
There's an example of Buffy talking about herself in the third person that hasn't been mentioned yet: in 7.04 'Help'. She and Xander have gone to interview Cassie's father, and are getting impatient waiting outside his door:

BUFFY: Buffy the Vampire Slayer would break down this door.
XANDER: And Buffy the counsellor?
BUFFY: Waits.

I mostly remember that as being one of only two occasions in the entire show when its full title was spoken on screen (the other is in 3.01 'Anne': "I'm Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And you are?"), but it is an example of what you're looking for.


Also, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was nicknamed 'Buffy' back in her teenage days, a hundred years ago, which does make me wonder how many other members of the British royal family were Slayers. :)
I'd forgotten about that time in Help, but that's not what I had in mind anyway in terms of a particular pattern. I wasn't addressing any and all instance where she refers to herself in third person - and in this instance, Buffy really isn't describing herself (the person) but her job titles and the circumstances she finds herself in at that moment. Although it ties in neatly with the series-wide theme "Who is Buffy Summers?" and beer_good_foamy>'s fabulous meta on the meta-ness of that dilemma.

What I'm referring to in the post is Buffy's description of herself in Life Serial and the way she says it specifically: "Freak Buffy" "stupid Buffy", which also happens to be only the second time in the entire series she's inebriated. But I see it in fics a lot, often as an internal dialogue rather than external "[descriptive, self-depricating adjective] Buffy" and wondered if she says it elsewhere in the show besides LS because fan writers use it repeatedly. The things that characters say only once on the show but are written repeatedly in fics would be yet another post, wouldn't it? Or the things they say that I don't thing are spoken on the show. (Does Spike ever say "cor" as a term of astonishment, for instance? How many times does Xander actually call Giles "G-man"? etc.)

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was nicknamed 'Buffy' back in her teenage days, a hundred years ago,

Are you kidding? That seems very...un-British? And modern? Maybe because I associate the name with a certain blond California slayer, of course.

which does make me wonder how many other members of the British royal family were Slayers,/i>

Hmmm....time to call Dr Jack Hodgins.
NOt sure how I missed this post...

Can't add anything pertinent, but for "official" word on it, her name is Buffy in the college computer when Spike tracks her down in S4.

The third-person thing is pretty exaggerated. I think most of the characters do it at some point, even Spike.

The vanilla thing comes from SMG, I'm pretty sure. Something else that's probably blown out of proportion, though to be fair, lots of character stuff from the show is drawn from the actors. Angel liking hockey, Buffy ice-skating, that kind of thing.