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Pairing: Buffy/Spike
Alternative name(s): Spuffy
Gender category: het
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Canonical?: yes
Prevalence: popular
Archives: The Spuffy Realm


Elysian Fields
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Canon Relationship

Spike was introduced as Season 2's Little Bad and was shown to have a certain fondness for Buffy as an opponent.[1] Indeed it was later revealed that Spike's interest in Buffy affected his relationship with Drusilla[2] Spike's return in Season 4 as a series regular led to more non-violent interaction between the two, though it was not until Season 5 that Spike "realised" he was in love with Buffy.

Spike's pursuit of Buffy in Season 5 was controversial, running the gamut from violent stalking to surprisingly selfless (for a vampire) acts such as withstanding Glory's torture to protect Dawn. However, this was nowhere near as controversial as their Season 6 relationship, which incited criticism from practically all sections of the fandom at one point or another. In the early episodes, some fans objected to Buffy taking Spike into her confidence and spending time with him at the expense of the Scoobies; as the season progressed, Spike and Buffy's violent affair was often described as an abusive relationship, but people argued at length over which of the two was the abusive partner (and which the victim); Spike's post-break-up, post-fling-with-Anya assault on Buffy in her bathroom was seen by some as an unforgivable rape-attempt, by others as an understandable extension of their greatly dysfunctional affair. Spike's quest for (and regaining of) his soul, the ultimate consequence of the Season 6 Buffy/Spike relationship, only brought more contention. Fan opinions of the Season 6 relationship, it should be said, were never (and have never become) either binary or linear between two opposing extremes. Barb Cummings, for example, wrote a review of the sixth season in which she discussed Buffy/Spike as "BtVS's real queer relationship."

((And people got stressed about S7 as well.))

Fandom & Fanon

People began shipping Buffy/Spike almost immediately after Spike's introduction in the second season.

When Buffy and Spike's relationship became canon in the sixth season, some fans saw Buffy as exploiting and abusing Spike. Others felt that they could have a functional relationship, and wrote fic about that relationship.

Seasonal Spuffy was a regular Spuffy challenge.


Common tropes and different Spike flavours/eras...

  • Victorian-era human William
  • Evil-unchipped-Spike: pre-series (relatively rare), S2, Spike meeting Buffy outside Sunnydale between S2 & S3, "Harsh Light of Day" AUs
  • S4 evil-but-chipped-Spike eg "Something Blue" AUs
  • S5/6 chipped-Spike, especially alternative S6 where Buffy is more accepting of the relationship, "Tabula Rasa" AUs
  • Souled Spike, often going AU after the S6 finale and ignoring S7 canon
  • AtS S5 Spike, especially "The Girl in Question" AUs
  • Post-NFA Spike
  • Amnesia
  • Human Spike, eg post-shanshu
  • All-human AUs
  • Vampire Buffy
  • Time travel, frequently where white-hat or souled-Spike visits evil-Spike eras resulting in season AUs
  • Pregnancy (magical or via time travel)
  • Magic made 'em do it, ritual sex
  • Claiming (vampire form of mating for life)

Notable Fanworks

Influential Authors




Communities & Rec Sites


Ship Manifestos & Meta


  1. For example, see What's My Line II (accessed 10 Aug 2009), when Spike responds to Buffy swapping in as his opponent (rather than Kendra) with "I'd rather be fighting you anyway."
  2. In Fool for Love (accessed 10 Aug 2009) we are shown a flashback to 1998 when Drusilla confronts Spike with "Why can't you kill her? ... You're all covered with her. I look at you; all I see is the Slayer."