When it debuted in 1997, Buffy the Vampire Slayer shook the world. Leaning it genre clichés whilst simultaneously turning them on their head, it was a teen supernatural drama made with the intention of improving on the terrible cult movie that spawned it five years earlier.
Bringing in a cast of unknowns to play awkward high school students, mysterious teachers, vampires and the like, it proved from its debut to be a story as focussed on mythology and pop culture as it was on the real-life drama of the complex characters at its core.
Violent, cheesy and altogether exciting, Buffy's first season hasn't aged particularly well, but what it lacks in timeless effects and heavy-handed themes it more than makes up for with its compelling characters, action sequences, and equally sweet, harrowing and relatable coming-of-age twists.
Next year, the show's debut season will be celebrating its 25th anniversary, and to celebrate we're going to take a trip down memory lane and remember the highs and lows of its iconic first chapter. With that in mind, here are all 12 episodes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer's debut season ranked worst to best. Major spoilers follow.
12. The Pack
Like many great shows, Buffy struggled to find its voice through large portions of its first season, and The Pack represents the worst of what its early years had to offer.
Strange even by the show's standards, the episode follows Xander and the high school's resident bullies as they're possessed by a hyena spirit and begin acting out around town. The results make it a poor attempt at moody drama that comes off as both cringe-inducing and ill-conceived.
Though clearly aiming for something deep and meaningful to say about teenage hormones, The Pack misses every mark it attempts to aim for, but at least killed off Principal Flutie so Snyder could come in and steal the show with his stone-faced cynicism later in the season.