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"This is the crack team that foils my every plan? I am deeply shamed."
―Spike[src]

The Scooby Gang was the core group formed after the arrival of Buffy Summers to Sunnydale in order to battle the supernatural forces of evil and assist Buffy in her duties as the Slayer.

The Scoobies, as its members were known, usually took an unimpressed, flippant attitude towards extraordinary events and supernatural occurrences. Originally a group of teenage friends attending Sunnydale High in a town built on top of a Hellmouth, the group gradually expanded, eventually merging with the Watchers Council to become a global organization, dealing with demonic threats worldwide and training thousands of Slayers.

In the beginning, Buffy often had to protect her friends from monsters, but over the course of the series, most of them gained superpowers and fighting skills of their own, with Xander the only notable member with no mystical abilities or connection to the supernatural. Because of the show's strong themes of female empowerment, the most powerful members of the team are often female (Buffy and Willow), while the men play passive roles such as that of father-figure (Giles) and supportive best friend (Xander). Also, in keeping with the show's themes of redemption and moral ambiguity, many of the Scoobies have at some point in their lives been evil and even murdered people before, but are now fighting on the side of good.

The group was also sometimes referred to as the "Slayerettes." Both Willow and Spike used the term on different occasions. In fact, this name served as the semi-official name for the group until Xander coined their true name while they were all on the run from the Order of Taraka.

The name, Scooby Gang, is likely derived from the Hanna-Barbera series, Scooby-Doo, which features a group of crime-solving teenagers, similar to the Scoobies. This connection is furthered by a scene in Season 1, episode 11, in which Willow appears wearing a Scooby-Doo tee shirt.

Scoobies

(In chronological order)

  • Buffy Summers — As the Slayer, Buffy possessed enhanced abilities which enabled her to battle the forces of darkness. She was the focal point of the Scooby Gang, as the team initially formed around her responsibilities as the Chosen One, and she was very close to most of its members. Buffy was often reluctant to accept her destiny and leadership position, but was forced to train her fellow Slayers in the fight against evil.
  • Rupert Giles — Originally Buffy's Watcher, Giles acted as a father figure and mentor to most of the Scoobies. Giles was a founding member of the team,[1] before returning to England so that Buffy would take responsibility for her own life.[2] He returned to the Scoobies on several occasions in times of need, and later took control of his own squad of Slayers.[3] Since his death, Angel, his unwitting murderer,[4] took to finding ways to resurrect him with the reluctant assistance of Giles' former partner, Slayer Faith Lehane.[5] Successfully resurrected, he immediately decided to return to the Scooby Gang, explaining the point in his life when he was at his best was with Buffy.[6]
  • Xander Harris — The most consistent, long-term, and reliable member of the Scoobies, the wise-cracking Xander was notable for being one of the few characters in the show with no "superpowers." Instead, his insight, compassion, and support was how he helped his friends in the battle against evil; most notably when he brought Willow back from the brink of darkness with his unconditional love.[7] Xander also possessed some knowledge of military combat and weapons, after being turned into a real soldier during a spell on Halloween;[8] as his carpentry abilities often proved useful. Xander was notable for being the only Scooby that remained consistently on the team; as Giles returned to England for a time, Buffy was in Los Angeles for a summer[9] and was dead for a time,[10] and Willow went to England to rehabilitation.[11]
  • Willow Rosenberg — Willow's abilities as a witch made her the most powerful member of the Scooby Gang. Willow has taken lead of the Gang twice: during the summer when Buffy ran away to Los Angeles,[9] and then again when the Slayer died.[10] Willow frequently struggled to control her own immense power, but was responsible for magically activating all of the Potential Slayers,[12] as well as restorating the Seed of Wonder and the magic in the world.[13]
  • Angel — Buffy's vampire lover, Angel rarely socialized with the other Scoobies, contacting them only when necessary, and meeting up with Buffy and Willow mostly outside of combat situations. His relationship with the group was strained when he lost his soul and murdered Giles' girlfriend, Jenny Calendar.[14] He eventually left for Los Angeles, where he and Cordelia formed their own group, the Angel Investigations.[15] Angel became a "Champion" after leaving Buffy in Sunnydale, and followed his own path away from her.
  • Cordelia Chase — A snobby cheerleader at Sunnydale High, Cordelia looked down on the Scoobies, who were unpopular at the school. However, she often found herself in perilous situations, and relied on Buffy to save her.[16] Cordelia became Xander's girlfriend and an official member of the Scooby Gang. She left for Los Angeles and joined Angel Investigations, until her eventual demise.
  • Oz — A member of the gang and Willow's romantic interest.[17] Oz was a werewolf, the guitarist of Dingoes Ate My Baby, and a student both at Sunnydale High and UC Sunnydale. He was very intelligent and deep, but was known for his trademark stoicism. A valuable member of the team, he eventually leaves to learn to control his werewolf attributes,[18] and ends his relationship with Willow.[19] Years later, he was able to help the Gang again, giving shelter to the Slayer Organization in his own home in Tibet.[20]
  • Faith Lehane — A troubled Slayer, and often referred to as the "Rogue Slayer," Faith was considered to be the anti-Buffy. She arrived in Sunnydale after her Watcher was killed and worked as an ally for the Scooby Gang,[21] until she accidentally killed a man and joined up with Mayor Richard Wilkins. After waking up from a coma that Buffy put her in, and causing trouble for Buffy again,[22] she fled to Los Angeles, where she was helped by Angel and turns herself into the police.[23] Years later, Faith broke out of jail to assist Angel, and decided to work towards an active redemption. Shortly after, she rejoined the Scoobies and temporarily took control of the gang and the Potential Slayers. After the activation of all Potential Slayers around the world, Faith partnered with Giles to rehabilitate Slayers going down the wrong path.[24] After his death, Faith moved to his home in London and partnered with Angel,[25] returning to the Scooby Gang whenever she was needed.[26][27]
  • Anya Jenkins — A 1,120 plus year old ex-vengeance demon, she was eventually a Scooby after becoming mortal and falling in love with Xander.[28] Anya struggled to understand human conventions and often offended people, usually because of her frank honesty and literal approach to speech. Initially very selfish, she comes to respect humans and wanting to help them, proving her loyalty to the team on many occasions, which eventually caused her death.[12]
  • Riley Finn — Buffy's college boyfriend, Riley was a soldier for the government demon-hunting operation The Initiative. When he learned that the institute he was working for was corrupt, Riley joined the Scoobies instead.[29] While on good terms with Buffy's friends, his relationship with Buffy disintegrated and he left her and Sunnydale to join another army unit.[30] Eventually, he and his wife, Samantha Finn, became trustful allies to the team, acting as a helpful bridge to the Scooby Gang and the government.
  • Tara Maclay — Willow's girlfriend and long-time lover. Though she didn't have the same skill as Willow, Tara was a very wise and helpful witch. Initially very shy and feeling an outsider from the group, Tara came to open up to the Scoobies and eventually became a member herself.[31] She formed a special confidante-like relationship with Buffy, and found a kindred spirit at times with Anya, who was also dating a member of the four "core Scoobies." According to Giles, she became the heart of the group, before her untimely death.[32]
  • Spike — Formerly an enemy of the Scoobies, this vampire switched sides after the Initiative implanted a microchip in his brain to prevent him from harming humans. This left him fighting non-humans as the only other alternative left,[33] and ultimately proved himself as a strong asset for the team in their quest for protecting humanity. Spike eventually fell in love with Buffy and began a path to be a true hero,[34] seeking out his soul in order to prove his worth. Although, the Scoobies' opinions of him varied; Buffy, Dawn, and Willow were more friendly towards him and treat him civilly; Xander and Giles were openly hostile towards him outside of combat situations (and vice versa); but all remained somewhat wary of him. After his heroic death at the Battle at the Hellmouth,[12] Spike was resurrected months later and joined Angel's team in Los Angeles, becoming a Champion in his own right, and later going his own way. During the Twilight crisis, he returned to help the Buffy and the Slayer Organization,[35] eventually staying with the Scoobies permanently in the mission to save the world, and established a close and positive relationship with them.
  • Dawn Summers — Buffy's younger sister, Dawn was actually the Key, the mystical energy with the power to open the doors to the multiple dimensions in the universe. She was given human form by the Order of Dagon, magically made from Buffy herself, and embedded into the Slayer's life within a new reality and false memories fabricated to hide her original identity. The youngest Scooby, her traumatic life led her to abandonment issues. However, she was able to have the Scooby Gang as her surrogate family, and was very close to them. Initially only protected by the group, with the time Buffy allowed Dawn to participate and began training her.[36] During the battle with the First Evil, and temporary absence of both Willow and Giles, a matured Dawn, being referred to as "junior Watcher gal," took to being the research expert as well as the multi-linguist.[37] Similarly to Xander, Dawn's help and initiative with mundane tasks proved to be most useful. This was combined with her unique temporary experience as a giant, and when her key powers were then explored and potentiated.[38]
  • Andrew Wells — a former villain from the Trio, Andrew was an immature nerd with notable demonic knowledge, who the Scoobies held hostage in Buffy's house during the battle with the First Evil.[39] He soon showed remorse for his past crimes and tried to join the team, but the other Scoobies found him unreliable and irritating, often mocking his ways. After surviving the Hellmouth battle, Andrew trained to be a Watcher and lead a group of Slayers in Italy, and, during a mission, Buffy finally confirmed his status as one of the Scoobies.[40] After the disbandment of the Slayer Organization, Andrew also relocated to San Francisco along with the other Scoobies.

Relationship/Comparison with Angel Investigations

The Scooby Gang had a conflictuous relationship with their Los Angeles counterparts, the Angel Investigations team, in addition to numerous similarities.

They had similar goals and morals, though the members of A.I. are more willing to kill humans if they were certain the situation required it,[41] while the Scoobies prefer to leave their human enemies alive to face human justice for their crimes,[42] with rare incidental exceptions. Notably, the Scoobies' enemies were primarily demons and vampires, while Angel Investigations dealt with a lot of evil human enemies, mostly Wolfram & Hart employees. Additionally, the human members of the Scooby Gang outnumbered the non-humans; in contrast to the proportion in A.I.

Their combat skills also differed. A.I. regularly employed the usage of firearms, while the Scoobies had a strong distaste for them. The Scooby Gang was somewhat mystically superior to Angel Investigations, thanks to Willow's magical talent, while Angel Investigations tended to have superior fighters and focus on physical training.

Another key difference between the Scoobies and Angel Investigations was the way their groups operated. A.I. was also somewhat more organized than the Scooby Gang, as they are guided by the Powers That Be and people who contact them directly about supernatural problems; while the Scooby Gang become aware of their latest threats though patrolling, Giles's studies, or Big Bads looking directly for the Slayer. Operating as a private detective agency, A.I. publicly offered their services and thus were granted a semi-legal reason for their actions; meanwhile, the Scoobies largely remained underground as a vigilante force, with few close people even knowing of their existence, and gained the reputation as troublemakers and even terrorists.

The two groups have met each other on occasion, and regularly keep in contact. Fred called Willow for help against Angelus, and Willow was aware of Connor's existence and relation to Angel before meeting him.[43] Additionally, Buffy knew where the original Angel Investigations offices were located and went to confront him there,[44] whereas Willow visited the Hyperion Hotel to inform Angel of Buffy's death. Cordelia also called Willow for advice and tips, when attempting to hack encrypted computer files that Angel had stolen from Wolfram & Hart.[41]

List of Members

The Core Four

Other Members

Allies

Gallery

Wiki-wordmark The Scooby Gang article has a Photo Gallery.


Headquarters

Along with variations in the team roster, the place which serves as a sort of "headquarters" for the Scooby Gang changed a few times over the years. The most notable of these headquarters, before its explosion, was the Sunnydale High School library. Other locales included Rupert Giles's apartment, The Magic Box, and the Summers' residence. With the formation of the Slayer Organization, the Scoobies spread across the world, with Buffy and Xander maintaining a "command center" in Scotland. After moving to San Francisco, Buffy's apartment, and the later Scoobies' shared building apartments became their main venues.

Behind the Scenes

  • The group was first referred to as the Scooby Gang by Xander in episode "What's My Line, Part One," as a reference to the Mystery Inc., the group of ghost-hunting teenagers from the cartoon Scooby-Doo.
  • Before it, in episode "Out of Mind, Out of Sight," Willow wore a Scooby Doo t-shirt, Buffy wore a neck scarf like Daphne, and later Xander responds "Can you say, 'Gulp'?" like Shaggy.
  • Aside from "Out of Mind, Out of Sight," Willow also had a Scooby-Doo t-shirt in episode "School Hard," and a Scooby-Doo lunch box in "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date."
  • Coincidentally, Sarah Michelle Gellar eventually played Daphne, a member of the original Scooby Gang, in the live-action Scooby-Doo movies.
  • On the Omnibus volume 3, a cover homage included Cordelia, Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles mimicking a well known pose from the first episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! cartoon series.

References

  1. "The Harvest"
  2. "Tabula Rasa"
  3. The Long Way Home, Part Two
  4. Last Gleaming, Part Four
  5. Angel & Faith Season Nine
  6. What You Want, Not What You Need, Part Five
  7. "Grave"
  8. "Halloween"
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Anne"
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Bargaining, Part One"
  11. "Lessons"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "Chosen"
  13. "The Core"
  14. "Passion"
  15. "Lonely Hearts"
  16. "Out of Mind, Out of Sight"
  17. "Surprise"
  18. "Wild at Heart"
  19. "New Moon Rising"
  20. "Retreat"
  21. "Faith, Hope & Trick"
  22. "Who Are You"
  23. "Sanctuary"
  24. No Future for You, Part Four
  25. Last Gleaming, Part Five
  26. New Rules, Part One
  27. Ordinary People
  28. "The Prom"
  29. "The I in Team"
  30. "Into the Woods"
  31. "Family"
  32. "Seeing Red"
  33. "Doomed"
  34. "Out of My Mind"
  35. "Last Gleaming"
  36. "Grave"
  37. "Potential"
  38. "Own It"
  39. "Never Leave Me"
  40. Predators and Prey
  41. 41.0 41.1 "Blind Date"
  42. "Villains"
  43. "Orpheus"
  44. "I Will Remember You"
  45. "Welcome to the Hellmouth"
  46. "I Robot, You Jane"
  47. "What's My Line, Part Two"
  48. "Faith, Hope & Trick"
  49. "Consequences"
  50. "Dirty Girls"
  51. "Becoming, Part Two"
  52. "Graduation Day, Part Two"
  53. "As You Were"
  54. "First Date"
  55. "Wolves at the Gate"
  56. The Spread of Their Evil
  57. Billy the Vampire Slayer
  58. Welcome to the Team
  59. In Pieces on the Ground, Part Three
  60. Own It, Part Five
  61. 61.0 61.1 Day Off (or Harmony in My Head)

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