Considering she's survived a lambasted movie with Luke Perry, a seven-season run on two television networks, and being featured in Dark Horse comics, I'd consider that a reason to celebrate in anyone's book.
Here are a few of my favorite episodes from Sarah Michelle Gellar's run on the show from 1997 - 2003.
An evil god from another dimension opened a vortex that threatens everyone's existence at the end of season five. Buffy must sacrifice herself to save us all. So, she jumps into the ball of light to her death. Be warned: It's a tear-jerker. Keep in mind that she does come back for season six.
ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING
Everything in life is better when set to music and a dance routine. Buffy is no exception. During season six, Buffy writers gave us the musical episode, Once More, with Feeling. The show's opening number, Going Through the Motions is a fabulous anthem to anyone who really just doesn't want to come to work anymore.
This is the last episode of season one. The whole season Buffy has been preparing for a showdown with the Master, an evil vampire trying to take over the world. Before the battle, Buffy hears a prophecy that she'll die when she faces her nemesis. Despite this, she goes after him to save the world. She dies and is resurrected (for the first time).
So, what's more likely, our protagonist is a vampire-fighting hero, or a mental patient?
Thank you to all the people who commented below and reminded me of this amazing episode. In Hush everyone in Sunnydale loses the ability to speak (or scream). Throughout the majority of the episode there is no dialogue, yet so much is conveyed.
Are you a Buffy fan? What episodes am I missing from the best? What
suggestions do you have to celebrate Buffy's birthday?