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Intangibility

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Willow passes through xander halloween

Willow, a ghost, phases through Xander

"Ooh! Ow! It burns as it passes ineffectually through me! I'm not corporeal, remember?"
―The First as Jonathan Levinson[src]

Intangibility was the ability, or more permanently state, to have one's own body pass through solid matter without touching it.

Description

Intangibility rendered the user immune to physical harm of any sort. With it they could pass through walls and objects alike. Some beings were not intangible as an ability but rather a fixed state, providing them with limited opportunity to interact with the outer world. However, beings like this, such as Spike and Sahjhan have demonstrated some ability to touch and lift objects. These type of beings could affect their surroundings by concentrating hard enough. Others, such as ghosts, could apply force by other supernatural means such as Telekinesis.

Intangibility was usually the case for incorporeal beings (beings without a physical body but remain a spiritual consciousness). Incorporeal demons could be made corporeal again with a spell

Interestingly, in all cases of intangibility, the being with said ability was still able to be supported by the ground or floor below them as wells as sitting on chairs. 

Examples

  • Ghosts and poltergeists could manifest as their visible bodies but remained unable to be touched. For instance, when Willow Rosenberg was briefly turned into a ghost on Halloween, she was able to pass through objects and walls.
  • The First Evil most notably could take the shape as anyone who died but could not be physically touched or touch anybody else. This lead to some suspicion to who could be the First in disguise. 
  • Thesulac demons were mainly in-corporeal unless under the influence of a spell or full with a large presence of insecurity. The Thesulac haunting the Hyperion Hotel was made corporeal by Wesley Wyndam-Price with a ritual and was then killed by Angel with electricity.
  • The demon created through Buffy Summers' resurrection was invulnerable to Buffy's punches but was capable of hurting her back until Willow Rosenberg and Tara Maclay cast a spell to make the demon corporeal, allowing Buffy to kill it. 
  • On her 21st birthday, Cordelia Chase entered the astral plane after her visions knocked her unconscious. In the astral plane, she was unable to touch anything in the physical plane and had to possess Angel's in order to write a message.
  • The demon Sahjhan, along with the rest of the Granok species, was rendered incorporeal, forcing him to employ the skills of vampire hunter Daniel Holtz to kill Angel. In desperate vengeance for his son, Angel had Sahjhan recorporealized in order to kill him. While Angel failed, Sahjhan was trapped in a Resikihan Urn for two years before being released and killed by Connor.
  • After Faith incapacitated Angelus, the two astral projected into Angel's mind, experiencing the moments in his past but being unable to interact with anything until Willow released Angel's soul into the ether at which point Angelus, Faith and Angel as a memory were able to fight each other.
  • After his resurrection, Spike returned as an incorporeal ghost. Though initially unable to touch anything, he learned to do so to some degree by concentrating. This allowed him to lift mugs and even punch enemies. He was eventually returned to physical form by Lindsey McDonald

Non Canon 

  • The Master was resurrected as an incorporeal ghost for a short time. Even after he was returned to flesh and bone, the Master could still alternate between corporeal and incorporeal form at will.

Appearances

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