• Angel’s faux seduction of Faith causes tension between him and Buffy, leading to a pivotal moment in their relationship.
  • Angel’s loss of soul transforms him into one of Buffy’s most iconic villains, Angelus, with intense resentment towards Buffy.
  • Angel’s finale emphasizes the message of the series: the fight for good is continuous, and champions live as if the world were as it should be.

The titular hero of Buffy the Vampire Slayer had numerous unsuitable love interests during the show’s seven-season run, but one of the most notable was Angel. As a vampire with a soul, Angel blurred the line between dreamboat boyfriend and mortal enemy (especially after losing his soul). Indeed, Angel’s conflicted personality made him one of the franchise’s most interesting regular characters.


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As the titular heroine, it comes as no surprise that Buffy has some of the series’ most iconic quotes.

This was reflected in the choice to continue Angel’s story in an eponymous spin-off series, which ran from 1999 to 2004. Given the quantity of material featuring the heroic vampire, it’s unsurprising that he’s delivered more than a few franchise-defining lines.

8 “Second best.”

“Enemies” (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 3, Episode 17)

Angel in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode

In “Enemies”, Faith, a rogue Slayer, apparently causes Angel to lose his soul, unleashing the villain within. The evil duo works together to capture Buffy, who is shocked at Faith’s rage and resentment towards those around her.

Faith argues that she is able to conceal her anger by being the world’s best actor. Angel tells her that she is only the second best, revealing that his apparent corruption has been a ploy to extract information from her. It’s a pivotal moment not only in the arc of Buffy‘s third season but also in Buffy and Angel’s relationship, as Angel’s faux seduction of Faith causes significant tension between them.

7 “She made me feel like a human being. That’s not the kinda thing you just forgive.”

“Innocence” (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 2, Episode 14)

Angelus in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode

The loss of Angel’s soul transforms the good-natured hero into Angelus, one of Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s most iconic villains. Angelus feels an intense resentment towards Buffy, who he views as having corrupted his evil nature.


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To exact revenge upon the Slayer, Angelus embarks on a campaign of deadly harassment against Buffy and her friends. Angelus’ final act of vengeance is to suck the world into a hell dimension, which is only averted at the last moment thanks to Buffy’s intervention. Angelus showed viewers a new side of the vampire and gave the character tangible sins for which to atone.

6 “No weapons. No friends. No hope. Take all that away, and what’s left?”

“Becoming, Part Two” (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 2, Episode 22)

Angelus in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode

The duel between Buffy and Angelus is one of the franchise’s most memorable moments. Buffy has finally come to terms with the fact that she must kill the man she loves to save the world. It’s an emotionally charged encounter that sees the Slayer come very close to defeat: Angel disarms her partway through the fight and taunts her before striking the killing blow.

Yet his cruel words give Buffy a chance to assert herself. She may be backed into a corner, but she knows that she can rely on herself to come out on top. She regains the initiative and prevents the world from being pulled into hell, although she loses Angel in the process.

5 “Just because you’ve decided to change doesn’t mean the world’s ready for you to.”

“Sanctuary” (Angel, Season 1, Episode 19)

Angel in the episode

  • “I won’t lie to you and tell you it’ll be easy, because it won’t be. Just because you’ve decided to change doesn’t mean the world’s ready for you to. The truth is, no matter how much you suffer, no matter how many good deeds you do to try and make up for the past, you may never balance out the cosmic scale. The only thing I can promise you is that you’ll probably be haunted. And maybe for the rest of your life.”

Angel feels intense guilt for his past wrongdoing and this drives him to improve himself by helping others. However, these good intentions can lead him into conflict with his closest allies. When former villain Faith appeals to him to help her change, he’s forced to fight Buffy to protect the reformed rogue Slayer from her vengeance.


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However, while he believes that Faith can be redeemed, he makes it clear that the process will be a difficult one. Other people may never forgive her—in fact, she may never be able to forgive herself for what she’s done. It’s a powerful message that reflects Angel’s own troubled road to redemption.

4 “Let’s go to work.”

“Not Fade Away” (Angel, Season 5, Episode 22)

Angel, Spike, Gunn, and Illyria prepare for their final battle in Angel's

Angel‘s excellent finale manages to balance an action-packed narrative with strong theming that restates the central premise of the series. Faced with impossible odds and with many of their closest allies either dead or dying, Angel and Spike confront a demonic horde on the streets of San Francisco.

Some fans have criticized the show for ending on an apparent cliffhanger. However, Angel‘s climax is simply true to the message of the show: the only way to win is to fight, and the fight will always continue.

3 “We live as though the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be.”

“Deep Down” (Angel, Season 4, Episode 1″

Angel in the Angel episode

  • “Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It’s harsh and cruel. But that’s why there’s us. Champions. Doesn’t matter where we come from, what we’ve done or suffered, or even if we make a difference. We live as though the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be.”

Most Angel fans admit that the spin-off series stumbles when it introduces the character of Connor, Angel’s angst-ridden son. While not an inherently bad idea, this mix-up of the status quo never quite succeeds in breathing new life into the format (although it certainly annoyed a lot of viewers). Yet for all of the flaws in the Connor arc, it did give Angel a chance to deliver at least one iconic speech.

Angel has escaped from a trap set by Connor which resulted in him being trapped under the sea for several months. Despite his anger towards his son, Angel takes the chance to deliver an important life lesson: even though they are both imperfect people, they still have the potential to do good in the world.

2 “It’s not the demon in me that needs killing, Buffy. It’s the man.”

“Amends” (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 3, Episode 10)

Angel and Buffy in the episode

  • “Because I want you so badly! I want to take comfort in you, and I know it’ll cost me my soul, and a part of me doesn’t care. Look, I’m weak. I’ve never been anything else. It’s not the demon in me that needs killing, Buffy. It’s the man.”

While fans remain divided on whether Buffy and Angel are a healthy couple, episodes like “Amends” demonstrate their intense emotions for one another. Haunted by his past actions, Angel attempts to commit suicide by burning up in the daylight.


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Although Buffy is able to talk him down, their conversation is a reminder that for all his physical strength, Angel is incredibly vulnerable. It’s impressive, then, that he manages to overcome his self-doubt to help others.

1 “If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do.”

“Epiphany” (Angel, Season 2, Episode 16)

Angel and Kate in the episode

  • “If there’s no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do. ‘Cause that’s all there is. What we do. Now. Today. I fought for so long, for redemption, for a reward, and finally just to beat the other guy, but I never got it. […] All I wanna do is help, because I don’t think people should suffer as they do. Because if there’s no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness is the greatest thing in the world.”

Angel goes off the rails following the return of his vampiric sire and former lover, Darla. He is determined to take her down—when his friends urge him to be cautious, he cuts contact with them. He sleeps with Darla in an attempt to lose his soul, but things don’t go as planned.

Angel recognizes that he has reached his lowest point and that the only way out is to carry on fighting. There may not be a grand plan, but his good deeds are nonetheless profound. This philosophy is at the core of Angel and represents the clearest insight into the character’s soul.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Release Date
March 10, 1997

Main Genre

Action, Horror, Drama, Comedy


Joss Whedon

Number of Episodes


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