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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: How to watch the Buffyverse (including Angel) in release and chronological order

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Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Our media landscape would look very, very different if it weren't for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Not only did the series solidify the idea of "Big Bad" storytelling, it ushered in one of the most successful universes ever to be on television: the Buffyverse.

With the monster-hunting series and its spinoff, Angel, having completely wrapped, now is a great time to get into the world that began at the Hellmouth. But just how should a viewer watch the Buffyverse? Is there a chronological way to view the show, or can you simply start anywhere? Popverse has your answers here, in our offical Buffyverse watch order.

Let's start by getting a handle on...

How to watch the Buffyverse by show

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

If the viewing experience you're after is taking in the canon show by show, the best (and easiest) way to do it is simply by starting at the beginning of Buffy, continuing it to the end, then starting and finishing Angel. That order looks like this:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Angel

And you're done. This really is the simplest way to get through the Buffyverse, since you can pretty much press play on the first episode and let your streaming service play the episodes in order automatically.

The problem, however, is that you're going to have to be ok with returning to familiar plotlines once you get to Angel. Though Buffy and Angel didn't depend on each other's narratives as much as, say, the MCU entries do, they did occasionally cross into each other's storylines. If it's important to you to watch the Buffyverse by era instead of by show, you're going to need to know...

How to watch the Buffyverse in Chronological and Release Order

Though Angel's adventures were distinctly his own, the two shows began their concurrent runs as very much a pair. They'd air back to back Tuesdays on The WB; Buffy would be on at 8PM followed by Angel at 9PM. Occasionally, small story beats would carry over between episodes. For example, a phone call Buffy makes in an episode of her show might make it into the episode of Angel that followed, just from Angel's side of the conversation.

So if you're looking for a Buffyverse watch order that flows in a perfect, linear chronology, look no further. Just be prepared to hop around.

Pre-Angel (1997-1999)

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Fortunately, we start off pretty easy. The chronological order of Buffyverse episodes is straightforward for the first three seasons considering that, well, there was only one show at that time. That show should be watched like this:

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season One
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Two
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Three

It's at this point that things start getting a bit more complicated, with David Boreanaz's tall, dark, and mysterious vampire character getting his own spinoff. The Buffyverse was about to split, starting with...

Buffy S4, Angel S1 (1999-2000)

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Though Angel the series was darker in tone and a little less quirky than its parent, the two were still firmly set within the same universe, a universe they shared in this order:

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode One; The Freshman
  • Angel: Season One, Episode One; City of...
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Two; Living Conditions
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Two; Lonely Hearts
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Three; The Harsh Light of Day
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Three; In the Dark
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Four; Fear, Itself
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Four; I Fall to Pieces
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Five; Beer Bad
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Five; Room with a View
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Six; Wild at Heart
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Six; Sense and Sensitivity
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Seven; The Initiative
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Seven; The Bachelor Party
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Eight; Pangs
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Eight; I Will Remember You
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Nine; Something Blue
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Nine; Hero
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Ten; Hush
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Ten; Parting Gifts
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Eleven; Doomed
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Eleven; Somnambulist
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Twelve; A New Man
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Twelve; Expecting
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Thirteen; The I in Team
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Thirteen; She
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Fourteen; Goodbye Iowa
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Fourteen; I've Got You Under My Skin
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Fifteen; This Year's Girl - Part One
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Fifteen; The Prodigal
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Sixteen; This Year's Girl - Part Two
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Sixteen; The Ring
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Seventeen; Superstar
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Seventeen; Eternity
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Eighteen; Where the Wild Things Are
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Eighteen; Five by Five
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Nineteen; New Moon Rising
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Nineteen; Sanctuary
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Twenty; The Yoko Factor
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Twenty; War Zone
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Twenty-One; Primeval
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Twenty-One; Blind Date
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Four, Episode Twenty-Two; Restless
  • Angel: Season One, Episode Twenty-Two; To Sanshu in L.A.

Not only did this era of the Buffyverse establish a new life and set of compatriots for Angel, it nailed down the previously mentioned airing schedule. It was a format that worked, and one The WB would continue with...

Buffy S5, Angel S2 (2000-2001)

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

This era of the Buffyverse is known for the introduction the character of Dawn Summers, who would become a regular on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the significant expansion of the character of Darla on Angel. It goes:

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode One; Buffy vs. Dracula
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode One; Judgement
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Two; Real Me
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Two; Are You Now or Have You Ever Been
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Three; The Replacement
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Three; First Impressions
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Four; Out of My Mind
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Four; Untouched
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Five; No Place Like Home
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Five; Dear Boy
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Six; Family
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Six; Guise Will Be Guise
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Seven; Fool for Love
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Seven; Darla
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Eight; Shadow
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Eight; The Shrooud of Rahmon
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Nine; Listening to Fear
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Nine; The Trial
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Ten; Into the Woods
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Ten; Reunion
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Eleven; Triangle
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Eleven; Redefinition
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Twelve; Checkpoint
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Twelve; Blood Money
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Thirteen; Blood Ties
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Thirteen; Happy Anniversary
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Fourteen; Crush
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Fourteen; The Thin Dead Line
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Fifteen; I Was Made to Love You
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Fifteen; Reprise
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Sixteen; The Body
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Sixteen; Epiphany
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Seventeen; Forever
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Seventeen; Disharmony
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Eighteen; Intervention
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Eighteen; Dead End
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Nineteen; Tough Love
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Nineteen; Belonging
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Twenty; Spiral
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Twenty; Over the Rainbow
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Twenty-One; The Weight of the World
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Twenty-One; Through the Looking Glass
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Five, Episode Twenty-Two; The Gift
  • Angel: Season Two, Episode Twenty-Two; There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb

By this point, you've probably gotten used to the episode pattern of each era: that is, Buffy, Angel, Buffy, Angel, and so on. But in 2001, that would change. Let's move along to...

Buffy S6, Angel S3 (2001-2002)

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Fans who have seen the end of Buffy Season Five know that a pretty huge change takes place. I won't spoil that here, because for our purposes, the biggest change was that Buffy the Vampire Slayer moved both time slots and networks. Now, it was Angel that would air first (Mondays at 9PM on The WB) and Buffy that followed (Tuesdays at 8PM on UPN). So, the order for this era goes:

  • Angel: Season Three, Episode One; Heartthrob
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode One; Bargaining - Part One
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Two; That Vision Thing
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Two; Bargaining - Part Two
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Three; That Old Gang of Mine
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Three; After Life
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Four; Carpe Noctem
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Four; Flooded
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Five; Fredless
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Five; Life Serial
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Six; Billy
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Six; All the Way
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Seven; Offspring
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Seven; Once More, with Feeling
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Eight; Quickening
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Eight; Tabula Rasa
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Nine; Lullaby
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Nine; Smashed
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Ten; Dad
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Ten; Wrecked
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Eleven; Birthday
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Eleven; Gone
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Twelve; Provider
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Twelve; Doublemeat Palace
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Thirteen; Waiting in the Wings
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Thirteen; Dead Things
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Fourteen; Couplet
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Fourteen; Older and Far Away
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Fifteen; Loyalty
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Fifteen; As You Were
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Sixteen; Sleep Tight
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Sixteen; Hell's Bells
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Seventeen; Forgiving
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Seventeen; Normal Again
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Eighteen; Double or Nothing
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Eighteen; Entropy
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Nineteen; The Price
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Nineteen; Seeing Red
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Twenty; A New World
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Twenty; Villains
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Twenty-One; Benediction
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Twenty-One; Two to Go
  • Angel: Season Three, Episode Twenty-Two; Tomorrow
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six, Episode Twenty-Two; Grave

Notably, the character of Angel doesn't appear at all in this season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, due to a crossover embargo agreed upon by the networks. But come the next season, there was a pretty solid reason to bring Angel back to the Buffy series. That is, it was ending. Be ready to bid adieu as we enter...

Buffy S7, Angel S4 (2002-2003)

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

I'm going to be honest; this era gets pretty messy. There are multiple breaks in both series, meaning the "Buffy, Angel, Buffy, Angel" pattern falls apart a few times. Still, the creators made the chronology of each episode move in order of their release, which went like this:

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode One; Lessons
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Two; Beneath You
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode One; Deep Down
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Three; Same Time, Same Place
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Two; Ground State
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Four; Help
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Three; The House Always Wins
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Five; Selfless
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Four; Slouching Toward Bethlehem
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Five; Supersymmetry
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Six; Him
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Six; Spin the Bottle
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Seven; Conversations with Dead People
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Seven; Apocalypse, Nowish
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Eight; Sleeper
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Nine; Never Leave Me
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Ten; Bring On the Night
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Eleven; Showtime
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Eight; Habeas Corpses
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Twelve; Potential
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Nine; Long Day’s Journey
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Ten; Awakening
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Thirteen; The Killer in Me
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Eleven; Soulless
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Fourteen; First Date
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Twelve; Calvary
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Fifteen; Get it Done
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Sixteen; Storyteller
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Thirteen; Salvage
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Fourteen; Release
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Fifteen; Orpheus
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Seventeen; Lies My Parents Told Me
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Sixteen; Players
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Seventeen; Inside Out
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Eighteen; Shiny Happy People
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Eighteen; Dirty Girls
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Nineteen; Magic Bullet
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Twenty; Sacrifice
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Nineteen; Empty Places
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Twenty-One; Peace Out
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Twenty; Touched
  • Angel: Season Four, Episode Twenty-Two; Home
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Twenty-One; End of Days
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Seven, Episode Twenty-Two; Chosen

And with that twenty-second episode of the seventh season, Buffy the Vampire slayer concluded. Though the story would continue in a much-lauded Dark Horse comic, the show was officially no longer producing new episodes, leading to our final era of the televised Buffyverse...

Post-Buffy (2003-2004)

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

For the first time, Angel would be on its own, and this era of the Buffyverse would not last long. In fact, it only lasts for one season, listed below:

  • Angel: Season Five

If you feel the end of this list is anticlimatic, you're not alone. Angel's cancellation after the fifth season was a surprise to the folks working on the show too, leading Buffy creator Joss Whedon to compare the show's end to a "Healthy man dying of a heart attack." Fortunately, like Buffy, Angel's story would continue on in a canon comic book, one that sees Angel team up with fan favorite Faith.

And with that, our chronological and release order for the Buuffyverse is complete. But before you begin your binge, there's a question you need answered.

Where do I watch the Buffyverse?

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

With a watch order as complex as the one above, you might be a little nervous about finding all the episodes streaming. I have great news, though; streaming the Buffyverse is as simple as can be. All you need is a Hulu account, where both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel are streaming in their entireties. Whew!

Having answered that question so easliy, you can go ahead and jump into a watchthrough. And I have no doubt that, once you get to the end of a it, the first question on your mind is going to be...

Will there be more Buffyverse?

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Technically, the correct answer is that there already is more Buffyverse, in the form of those canon comics I mentioned earlier (and that you should really check out, no?). But I understand that when most people ask about this, they're really asking if there's going to be more Buffyverse on TV. And unfortunately, the answer to that is not a positive one.

As of this writing, there are no plans for or conversations surrounding a televised return to the Buffyverse. In fact, when SFX Magazine asked Sarah Michelle Gellar about the possibility of returning to her character, she said that it "didn't need to be done," but that, perhaps, the story could continue without her.

"We wrapped that up," said the star. "I am all for them continuing the story, because there’s the story of female empowerment. I love the way the show was left: 'Every girl who has the power can have the power.' It’s set up perfectly for someone else to have the power."

Could a Buffyverse exist without Buffy? Angel season five technically did that, so it's not impossible. But possible or not, it's not something studios are pursuing, to our knowledge. And until we get word of that, the stake's been planted in the heart of the Buffyverse, with no word as to whether or not it will rise again.


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Grant DeArmitt avatar

Grant DeArmitt

Contributing writer

Grant DeArmitt (he/him) likes horror, comics, and the unholy pairing of the two. He has written for Nightmare on Film Street and Newsarama, despite their better judgement. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner, Kelsey, and corgi, Legs.
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