Most Memorable Demons In The Buffy The Vampire Slayer Universe

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a beloved television series that has captured the hearts of fans for decades. One of the most compelling aspects of the show is its portrayal of demons, which are often complex and multi-dimensional characters that add depth and intrigue to the series. We're exploring the most memorable demons in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, examining their origins, motivations, and contributions to the series' overall mythology. 

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a beloved television series that has captured the hearts of fans for decades. One of the most compelling aspects of the show is its portrayal of demons, which are often complex and multi-dimensional characters that add depth and intrigue to the series. From fearsome monsters to sympathetic allies, Buffy's demons have left a lasting impact on viewers and remain some of the most memorable characters in the show's history. 

We're exploring the most memorable demons in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, examining their origins, motivations, and contributions to the series' overall mythology. 

Judge (Surprise - Season 2 Episode 13)

“A demon brought forth to rid the earth of the plague of humanity. To separate the righteous from the wicked... And burn the righteous down. They called him the Judge.”  - Angel

An ancient demon known as The Judge possessed a unique power to burn the humanity out of his victims, and was sent to wipe out the human race. However, he was dismembered and his remains were sealed in iron boxes and scattered across the Earth.

Centuries later, Drusilla and Spike found the scattered pieces of The Judge and successfully reassembled him, bringing him back to life. Once his powers were restored, Angel and Drusilla led him to a local mall to start a massacre. Despite being impervious to all conventional weapons, Buffy managed to defeat him by firing a rocket launcher.

Angel and Drusilla fled the scene, leaving The Judge to be blown apart. The Scoobies collected his remains and made sure to keep them separate as they disposed of them.

Der Kindestod (Killed by Death - Season 2 Episode 18)

“The name means "child death". This book says he feeds off of children by sucking the life out of them… it looks like they died because they were sick.” - Cordelia Chase[

Der Kindestod killed children by literally sucking the life out of them and made it look like they died of a fever. It preyed on children who were already ill in hospital leaving little evidence to suspect their deaths were unnatural and suspicious. One of his victims was a girl named Celia, whose death was witnessed by her cousin the now Slayer, Buffy Summers.

In 1998, Buffy encountered Der Kindestod again as an older teenager while being treated for flu at Sunnydale Memorial Hospital. Der Kindestod was invisible to all other adults and could only be seen by those feverishly ill. Buffy ends up killing Der Kindestod by snapping its neck.

Norman Pfister - Order of Taraka (What's My Line? Part One - Season 2 Episode 9)

“I am Norman Pfister with Quintessence Skin Care and Cosmetics. I was wondering if I could interest you in some free samples?” - Norman Pfister

Norman Pfister, the notorious demon assassin, was believed to have originated from Latvia, as per the records of the Order of Taraka. He arrived in Sunnydale after Buffy Summers, the target hired by the vampire Spike for elimination, killed Octarus. Unlike his fellow assassins who relied on physical strength, Pfister preferred to use deception as his method of operation. He disguised himself as a courteous door-to-door cosmetics salesman, offering free samples to his victims before revealing his true identity and executing them.

Xander led Pfister in his maggot form into a doorway where he and Cordelia had applied glue. With Pfister ensnared in the adhesive, Xander and Cordelia stomped on the maggots until they were all dead, ultimately defeating Pfister.

Acathla (Becoming, Part One - Season 2 Episode 21)

“Acathla turned to stone and was buried where neither man nor demon would want to look. Unless of course they're putting up low rent housing.” - Angel

A virtuous knight plunged a sword through the heart of Acathla before it could open its mouth, turning it into a dormant stone-like state. Eventually, Acathla was entombed and buried in a place "where neither man nor demon would want to look."

In 1997, the tomb of Acathla was discovered by archaeologists from the Sunnydale Natural History Museum. According to Whistler, it was the ensouled vampire Angel's destiny to prevent Acathla from opening the gate to his hell dimension. However, Angel had lost his soul by then and had reverted to his evil persona. He took Acathla from the museum and placed it in the Crawford Street Mansion to awaken it.

According to Rupert Giles, Angel's blood was the key to awakening the demon and opening the door that would lead to Acathla's hell. The Slayer, Buffy Summers, attempted to stop Angel, but after he awakened Acathla, she ran him through with a blessed sword, sending Angel to hell.

Balthazar (Bad Girls - Season 3 Episode 14)

“It's been a hundred years since my enemy crippled me. Now, ultimate power is within his grasp, and I shall not let it be.” - Balthazar

Lord Balthazar, a mighty demon, was served by the El Eliminati, a duelling vampire cult that followed a strict code of honour. Balthazar travelled to Sunnydale to battle Richard Wilkins for control of the town. Although he was a formidable foe, Balthazar was defeated and his powerful amulet was taken by a landowner named Gleaves. Crippled and defeated, Balthazar was forced underground and was believed to be dead for the next hundred years.

In 1999, upon learning of his enemy's Ascension, Balthazar dispatched the El Eliminati to recover his amulet, which would help him regain his lost powers. The demon attempted to kill Angel by smashing his head, but Buffy intervened just in time and electrocuted Balthazar, putting an end to his plans.

Wig Lady (Doublemeat Palace Season 6 Episode 12)

“Did I tell you?You're my favourite, Doublemeat workers. You're so full of Doublemeat burgers, and you just slide down so smooth. Oh I just love the paralysis, it means I can eat you slowly. ” - Wig Lady

The employees of Doublemeat Palace dubbed a worm-like demon as "Wig Lady" due to her deceptive old lady guise. This phallic-looking demon had a penchant for preying on the employees of the establishment. However, Willow ended her reign of terror when she caught sight of the worm protruding from her scalp while attempting to eat a paralyzed Buffy. Willow severed the worm, ultimately killing Wig Lady, and fed the still-wriggling creature into the meat grinder.

Mok'tagar ( The Freshman Season 4 Episode 1)

“But while the Mok'tagar can assume many forms and guises, including human, they can always be recognized by others of their kind due to the lack of a soul.” - Rupert Giles

Kathy Newman, a young female Mok'tagor demon, assumed a human guise to attend UC Sunnydale. However, her father, Taparrich, vehemently disapproved of her actions and dispatched two demons to locate her.

Kathy's roommate at the time, Buffy Summers, unknowingly became the target of several soul-stealing rituals performed by Kathy in an effort to evade detection by her father's minions. Due to the supernatural effects of the rituals on Buffy, Taparrich's henchmen deduced her true identity and summoned Taparrich to retrieve his daughter.

To counter Kathy's manipulations, Buffy's watcher, Rupert Giles, conducted a spell that reversed the effects of the rituals. This allowed Taparrich to recognize his daughter and take her back to their dimension.

Fyarl (A New Man Season 4 Episode 12)

“Funny. Hearing a Fyarl demon say 'serviceable.' Had a couple of 'em working for me once. They're more like 'Like to crush. Crush now?' Strong, though. You won't meet a jar you can't open for the rest of your life.” - Spike

The Fyarl demon was a species of humanoid foot soldier known for their aggressive and simple-minded nature. They were often enlisted by other demons, including vampires, due to their loyalty. Humans could be transformed into Fyarls through a spell that amplified their natural inclination towards violence.

In January 2000, Rupert Giles was transformed into a Fyarl by the Chaos-worshipping sorcerer Ethan Rayne. The transformation caused minor chaos in Sunnydale as Giles' appearance became monstrous. Buffy Summers, mistaking him for an actual Fyarl, almost killed Giles, but recognized him when she stabbed him with a silver-coloured letter opener. Ethan reversed the transformation with a spell before he was captured by the Initiative.

Polgara (The I In Team Season 4 Episode 13)

“This is your objective: Sub-T 67119 demon-class, Polgara species.”  - Maggie Walsh

The Polgara Demons were a hybrid species with both humanoid and reptilian characteristics, and were equipped with sharp skewers extending from their forearms. Their keen vision and frequent feeding habits made them difficult to miss.

One of these Polgara Demons was caught by The Initiative and was subjected to experimentation under Project 314. Maggie Walsh and Francis Angleman dissected the demon and even took its left arm, which was later transplanted to the Frankenstein-like creature known as Adam.

Brachen Demon (City Of Angel Season 1 Episode 1)

“Too bad we'll never know... If this is a face you could learn to love.” - Doyle

The Brachen demons were a unique species that had both human and demonic traits. They had a distinctive green skin colour, red irises, and blue spines that covered their faces. One of their notable abilities was their strength, which surpassed that of humans. In addition, their necks were double-jointed, allowing them to survive neck injuries that would kill a human.

Their enhanced sense of smell was another characteristic that made them stand out. Brachen demons were known for having an exceptional sense of direction and were skilled trackers.

One notable feature of the Brachen demons was their ability to breed with humans, resulting in offspring that were half-demons, like Doyle. Half-Brachens had the unique ability to shape-shift into a human form, but in doing so, their demonic powers were diminished to human level.

The Gentlemen (Hush Season 4 Episode 10)

“The Gentlemen are coming by. Looking in windows, knocking on doors… They need to take seven and they might take yours..” - Buffy’s Dream

The Gentlemen were a sinister group of demons who had originated in fairy tales. They travelled from town to town, stealing people's voices to gather seven human hearts. The Gentlemen were aided by a group of demonic footmen who wore straight jackets and did all the dirty work for them.

In 1999, Buffy Summers, the Slayer, had a prophetic dream about the Gentlemen's impending arrival in Sunnydale. That very night, a group of six demons arrived and used their supernatural abilities to silence the entire town. They kept the stolen voices in a box and set up their base in a clock tower. The Gentlemen managed to collect five hearts, including two from UC Sunnydale students and one from a fifteen-year-old girl.

Buffy, with help from the Initiative soldier Riley Finn, fought the Gentlemen in the clock tower. Riley broke the box, freeing the voices of the town's inhabitants. This allowed Buffy to use the power of their voices to scream and obliterate the Gentlemen's heads.

Anyanka Vengeance Demon (The Wish Season 3 Episode 9)

“What is it like to be a vengeance demon? Power. We can alter reality. Travel through space and time. Even, under certain circumstances, return the dead to life. But with one crucial limitation. We cannot do these things of our own volition. We require the wish of a human.” - D'Hoffryn

The society of Vengeance demons, also known as Justice demons, hailed from the dimension of Arashmaharr and were led by D'Hoffryn. They had the power to grant wishes of vengeful intent and recruited women who sought to curse those who had wronged them.

These immortal beings travelled the world carrying out curses on behalf of their victims, including women who had been mistreated and children who had been abused.

The Vengeance demons were bound to fulfil the exact wording of the wish, but they did not necessarily grant the wish-maker what they truly desired. For example, when Cordelia Chase wished to Anyanka that Buffy Summers had never come to Sunnydale, Anyanka created an alternate universe in which the Order of Aurelius ruled Sunnydale because Buffy was not there to stop them.

Lurconis (Badn Candy Season 3 Episode 6)

"Lurconis dwells beneath the city, filth to filth" - Rupert Giles

Lurconis, named after the word "Glutton," was a serpent-like demon that resided in the sewers of Sunnydale and played a part in Richard Wilkins' ascent to power. Every thirty years, Lurconis' devotees would offer a tribute to the demon, consisting of a ritualistic feeding of infants.

At the tribute, four vampire minions served as intermediaries between Lurconis and Richard Wilkins. Two of them were killed by Buffy Summers, while the other was devoured by Lurconis, either due to hunger or anger. Buffy ultimately defeated Lurconis by igniting a gas pipe, setting the gluttonous demon ablaze.

Groosalugg (Through The Looking Glass Angel Season 2 Episode 21)

The Groosalugg was a native of Pylea, a dimension where humans were enslaved and called cows. He was part demon and part human; because of his appearance, he was banished to the Scum Pits of Ur. 

The Groosalugg, a hybrid of demon and human, was ostracised to the Scum Pits of Ur due to his appearance. He hailed from Pylea, a dimension where humans were enslaved and referred to as cows. 

A prophecy predicted that the Groosalugg would mate with the entity that carried "the curse," which would then transfer the visions of the Cursed One to him. Cordelia, who was crowned princess after falling into a portal to Pylea, was revealed to be the Cursed One. At first, she was hesitant to mate with the Groosalugg because she believed him to be too demon-like. 

However, she eventually found him attractive and saw that he was nearly human. Despite this, Cordelia was unwilling to consummate their relationship because she did not want to lose her visions.

Sweet (Once More, With Feeling Season 6 Episode 7)

“I come from the imagination / and I'm here strictly by your invocation / So what do you say? / Why don't we dance a while?” - Sweet

Sweet was a powerful demon whose presence caused the inhabitants of an area he visited to burst into song and dance, which would lead to some of the victims spontaneously combusting.

In 2001, Xander used Sweet's talisman to summon the demon, believing that his presence would bring "dances and songs" and guarantee him and Anya a "happy ending." However, Xander was unaware that the spell would inspire uncontrollable dancing and singing, confessions of secrets, and spontaneous combustion. However, Dawn took the talisman that summoned him due to her kleptomania, which prompted Sweet to believe she had been the one to invoke him when she wore the necklace.

Sweet established his lair at the Bronze and sent his henchmen to kidnap Dawn and bring her to him, intending to make her his queen and take her to his hell dimension. 

Gnarl (Same Time, Same Place Season 7 Episode 3)

“Gnarl makes a pretty picture. It's easy when you know how. It's easy when everyone helps. They helped me. Too bad there's no one to help you.” - Gnarl

During 2002, a demon known as Gnarl took refuge in a cave located in Wilken's Grove. His first victim was a boy who was working in the construction pit for the Sunnydale High School gym, leaving behind only a skinless corpse. Willow and Anya performed a demon locator spell to find Gnarl's hiding place, while Spike led Buffy, Xander, and Dawn to the cave by following the scent of blood the demon consumed.

Buffy defeated Gnarl by gouging his eyes with her thumbs, which freed Willow and Dawn from their paralysis.

Turok-Han (Never Leave Me Season 7 Episode 9)

“As Neanderthals are to human beings, the Turok-Han are to vampires. They're primordial, ferociously powerful killing machines, as single-minded as animals… And until this morning, I thought they were a myth.” - Rupert Giles

Turok-Han, also known as "ubervamp" by the Scooby Gang, was an ancient demon species that predates vampires. The First Evil, through its Harbingers of Death, used the combined blood of Jonathan Levinson and Spike to initially open the Seal of Danzalthar, thus releasing the first Turok-Han.

Buffy and the other Slayers bravely entered the Hellmouth to confront the Turok-Han. In the end, it appeared that they were all defeated, including the destruction of thousands of Turok-Han by the mystical amulet that entrapped Spike.

Old Ones (Prophecy Girl Season 1 Episode 12)

“The Old Ones were demons pure. They warred as we would breathe — endlessly. The greater ones were interred, for death was not always their end.” - Drogyn

During the creation of Earth through the Seed of Wonder, the Old Ones were summoned from a dreadful dimension. They shared the planet with other higher beings, known as the Powers That Be. However, the emergence of the Old Ones forced the Powers to abandon the world. The demons established themselves as rulers of vast territories, leading enormous armies that worshipped them as deities. They waged ceaseless wars against each other, turning Earth into their home and their hell.

Eventually, the Old Ones lost their hold on Earth. Some perished in their own battles, while others fled or were banished to other dimensions. The emergence of humankind was believed to have played a significant role in the Old Ones' downfall.

Beast (Spin The Bottle Angel Season 4 Episode 6)

The enforcer of Jasmine, formerly known as the Powers That Be, was an unnamed but powerful demon called the Beast. Cordelia, who was possessed by Jasmine at the time, and Connor were the first to encounter the Beast when it arrived on Earth at the exact spot where Connor was born. During the fight, Cordelia was injured.

Angel, Gunn, and Lorne attempted to defeat the Beast, with Wesley rejoining the group to help in the battle. However, they were all badly injured and failed to stop the demon. The Beast conjured a rain of fire over Los Angeles with the help of a large human sacrifice at the Sky Temple.

As their options dwindled against the Beast and Angelus, Wesley freed Faith from jail to help capture Angelus and fight the Beast. Although the Slayer was no match for the physically imposing demon, Angelus ultimately betrayed Wesley by stabbing him with the dagger the Beast had carved out of his own bones as a tribute to his master.

The First Evil (Amends Season Three, Episode 10)

“I am something that you can't even conceive. The First Evil. Beyond sin, beyond death. I am the thing the darkness fears. You'll never see me, but I am everywhere.” - First Evil

The First Evil was a primordial being that existed before humans and demons. It was believed to embody the very essence of evil and was the origin of all malevolence. The First did not possess a physical form but could manifest as the likeness of any deceased individual, including vampires and those who had been brought back to life. This shape-shifting ability allowed the entity to manipulate those it sought to control by taking on forms that were familiar or emotionally resonant with its target. It often appeared as a towering, hooded figure.

Following its final confrontation with Buffy in the Season 7 finale of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the First Evil was not encountered again.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer has introduced us to some of the most memorable demons in television history. From the imposing Master to the manipulative Wolfram & Hart, each demon brought their own unique brand of evil to the series. Some, like Glory and The Gentlemen, were terrifying in their execution, while others, like Lorne and Anya, provided moments of levity amidst the darkness. These demons served not only as formidable foes for Buffy and her friends, but also as windows into the intricacies of the Buffyverse. They showed us the complexities of the supernatural world and the struggles of those who navigate it. Though the show ended over a decade ago, the demons of Buffy continue to captivate audiences and remain an integral part of the show's enduring legacy.

Memorable Buffy Demons - Most Memorable Demons In The Buffy The Vampire Slayer Universe

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