by Billie Doux
Buffy the Vampire Slayer began airing as a midseason replacement in the winter of 1997. After three seasons, Angel was spun off. Angel initially aired directly after Buffy on Tuesday nights, which made it my favorite night of television for quite awhile, and there were several crossovers. When Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended, one of the Buffy characters moved over to Angel for its fifth and final season.
This little article is intended to help new viewers figure out when to watch what. I'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but a little bit of spoileryness cannot be helped.
To lessen the confusion of the show names and the character names being the same, I'll refer to the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer as BtVS, and the show Angel as AtS (Angel, the series). Plus I am only counting crossovers when actors appear. If I counted every mention, this would be really, really long.
The seasons ran as follows:
BtVS 1 (1997)
BtVS 2 (1997-1998)
BtVS 3 (1998-1999)
BtVS 4 -- AtS 1 (1999-2000)
BtVS 5 -- AtS 2 (2000-2001)
BtVS 6 -- AtS 3 (2001-2002)
BtVS 7 -- AtS 4 (2002-2003)
AtS 5 (2003-2004)
And here we go!
BtVS season four, AtS season one
BtVS 4.1 "The Freshman"
AtS 1.1 "City Of"
Angel calls Buffy on the phone, but hangs up without saying anything. We see Buffy's side of the phone call on BtVS, and Angel's on AtS.
BtVS 4.3 "The Harsh Light of Day"
AtS 1.3 "In the Dark"
Two-part story about the gem of Amarra that begins on BtVS and ends on AtS. Oz and Spike cross over to AtS.
BtVS 4.8 "Pangs"
AtS 1.8 "I Will Remember You"
In "Pangs", Angel arrives in Sunnydale, but stays in the background; Buffy doesn't know he was there until the last moment of the episode. In "I Will Remember You," Buffy goes to Los Angeles and confronts Angel. (If you're just watching BtVS, you don't want to miss "I Will Remember You".)
AtS 1.10 "Parting Gifts"
Wesley Wyndam-Pryce from BtVS season three arrives at Angel's office in Los Angeles and becomes a cast member on AtS.
AtS 1.15 "The Prodigal"
Includes flashbacks of Darla.
BtVS 4.15 "This Year's Girl"
BtVS 4.16 "Who Are You?"
AtS 1.18 "Five by Five"
AtS 1.19 "Sanctuary"
Faith returns for a four part cross-over that begins with a two-part story ("This Year's Girl" and "Who Are You?") on BtVS and ends after skipping an episode with a two-part story on AtS ("Five by Five" and "Sanctuary"). Darla appears in flashback in "Five by Five." Buffy appears in "Sanctuary."
BtVS 4.20 "The Yoko Factor"
Angel comes to Sunnydale to argue with Buffy about what happened in "Sanctuary" and has a delightful encounter with Riley.
AtS 1.22 "To Shanshu In L.A."
BtVS season five, AtS season two
BtVS characters Darla and Drusilla are prominent continuing characters on season two of AtS. Darla is in nine episodes (2.3-2.5, 2.7, 2.9-2.11, 2.15-2.16), and Drusilla is in four (2.5, 2.9-2.11).
AtS 2.1 "Judgment"
Faith appears briefly.
BtVS 5.7 "Fool for Love"
AtS 2.7 "Darla"
"Fool for Love" and "Darla" are my favorite crossover episodes, with many shared scenes and flashbacks, plus all five of the Buffyverse's most popular vampires: Angel, Darla, Drusilla, Spike, and the Master. "Fool for Love" is Spike's backstory, and "Darla" is Darla's.
AtS 2.12 "Blood Money" and 2.14 "The Thin, Dead Line"
Chanterelle/Lily/Anne (played by Julia Lee), who appeared in the BtVS episodes "Lie to Me" and "Anne", appears on AtS.
BtVS 5.17 "Forever"
Angel visits Buffy in Sunnydale.
AtS 2.17 "Disharmony"
Harmony visits Cordelia in Los Angeles. Cordelia and Willow talk on the phone.
AtS 2.22 "There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb"
Willow stops by to give Angel some news.
BtVS season six, AtS season three
BtVS 6.4 "Flooded"
AtS 3.5 "Fredless"
Buffy and Angel meet off camera in between these two episodes. Not much of a crossover, and that's it for BtVS season six/AtS season three.
BtVS season seven, AtS season four
The final season of BtVS and penultimate season of AtS includes something very like a Firefly crossover, with Nathan Fillion appearing in the final five episodes of BtVS (7.18-7.22) and Gina Torres appearing in five episodes of AtS (4.18-4.22).
The producers of the two series wanted Angel to be in the final two episodes of BtVS, so they staggered the air dates of the last half of this season. "Lies My Parents Told Me" (BtVS 7.17) aired *before* "Orpheus" (AtS 4.15). The season finale of AtS occurs before the last two episodes of BtVS.
AtS 4.13 "Salvage"
AtS 4.14 "Release"
AtS 4.15 "Orpheus"
Faith returns for three episodes of AtS, and then returns to Sunnydale for the final five episodes of BtVS. Angelus calls Dawn on the phone in "Salvage". Willow appears in "Orpheus."
BtVS 7.17 "Lies My Parents Told Me"
Fred calls Willow on the phone, before Willow arrives in Los Angeles in "Orpheus".
BtVS 7.21 "End of Days"
BtVS 7.22 "Chosen"
Angel crosses over for the final two episodes of BtVS, bringing something he was given in AtS 4.22.
AtS season five
The entire fifth season of AtS includes Spike as a cast member and Harmony as a recurring character. Adam Baldwin, who played Jayne in Firefly, appears in five AtS episodes: 5.17-5.19, and 5.21-5.22.
AtS 5.11 "Damage"
A visit from BtVS character Andrew.
AtS 5.16 "Shells"
Angel calls Giles on the phone.
AtS 5.20 "The Girl in Question"
Buffy is supposedly in this episode, but we never see her face and Sarah Michelle Gellar does not appear. Unfortunately.
AtS 5.22 "Not Fade Away"
And that's it. People have written and asked me for something like this several times, and now it's finally done. And all revisions mentioned in the comments are now included.