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My Thoughts on Bangel/Spuffy

IndianaSolo221

Potential
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Messages
113
Hey! I just wanted to start out with a post discussing how I feel about the Bangel/Spuffy ships, particularly in relation to the fanbase and fanfictions. As a sidenote: I'm pretty sure this is in the right place, but my apologies if it's not!

Something I've noticed, particularly in Spuffy fanfictions, is the idea that once Buffy and Spike are in a relationship, Buffy not only begins to doubt her previous relationship with Angel, but essentially tells Angel to "get lost" and beats him up, making her (and the other characters) sort of hateful to Angel. I don't really understand this trend.

To clarify: I am a huge Spuffy fan, but I don't understand why in Spuffy fanfiction, and sometimes in the fanbase in general, it seems that being a Spuffy shipper means that you dislike Angel. Yeah, I love Spuffy, but I'm still able to enjoy Angel as a character. Additionally, even though I would love to see more of Buffy and Spike together, I think that Buffy would still have a special place in her heart for Angel, even if she didn't love him anymore, or, at least, love him like she'd love Spike.

I guess I can see this coming from those who might love Spike, and hate Angel. Or, maybe it's just because a lot of Spuffy fics are from Spike's POV? I'd imagine this probably goes both ways; there's probably Bangel fanfictions that make Spike the villain that interrupts the Bangel relationship, but this could be a different discussion altogether. Anyways, I'd just love to see more Spuffy fanfictions where Angel isn't either beat up by Buffy, or just portrayed as a total jerk.

I just want to state that, if you're writing a fanfiction that's doing one or more of these things, I'm not saying that you're a bad author or that your writing is bad. I just want to know why these writing styles seem so prevalent.
 

Moggin

Tasty Townie
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Messages
358
Hey! I just wanted to start out with a post discussing how I feel about the Bangel/Spuffy ships, particularly in relation to the fanbase and fanfictions. As a sidenote: I'm pretty sure this is in the right place, but my apologies if it's not!

Something I've noticed, particularly in Spuffy fanfictions, is the idea that once Buffy and Spike are in a relationship, Buffy not only begins to doubt her previous relationship with Angel, but essentially tells Angel to "get lost" and beats him up, making her (and the other characters) sort of hateful to Angel. I don't really understand this trend.

To clarify: I am a huge Spuffy fan, but I don't understand why in Spuffy fanfiction, and sometimes in the fanbase in general, it seems that being a Spuffy shipper means that you dislike Angel. Yeah, I love Spuffy, but I'm still able to enjoy Angel as a character. Additionally, even though I would love to see more of Buffy and Spike together, I think that Buffy would still have a special place in her heart for Angel, even if she didn't love him anymore, or, at least, love him like she'd love Spike.

I guess I can see this coming from those who might love Spike, and hate Angel. Or, maybe it's just because a lot of Spuffy fics are from Spike's POV? I'd imagine this probably goes both ways; there's probably Bangel fanfictions that make Spike the villain that interrupts the Bangel relationship, but this could be a different discussion altogether. Anyways, I'd just love to see more Spuffy fanfictions where Angel isn't either beat up by Buffy, or just portrayed as a total jerk.

I just want to state that, if you're writing a fanfiction that's doing one or more of these things, I'm not saying that you're a bad author or that your writing is bad. I just want to know why these writing styles seem so prevalent.
I think, perhaps, fanfiction should be approached differently than professional writing. In both cases, the author writes for herself/himself, but in fanfiction there are no expectations beyond that instant gratification. It's like eating candy. It feels good, but it won't nourish. Any fanfic writer with greater aspirations for their work would need to re-examine that work with something more than self-pleasure. To that end, I think spuffy fic is fulfilling something that any spuffy fans were looking for, which was reciprocal feelings actualized between Spike and Buffy in a healthy way, and for the Angel arc to be over. There are more mature ways of arriving here, and much more complex ways of doing so, but fanfic is rarely about that.
 

Priceless

Scooby
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
8,059
Location
UK
I'm also a huge Spuffy fan, and I don't think many Spuffy fans actually hate Angel. They understand the difference between Spike and Angel, and the difference between the relationships they had with Buffy. I don't like any kind of character bashing in fanfic, I think all the characters had their place and reason for being a part of the story. Luckily there are so many Spuffy fanfics out there, if you find one you don't like, just move on to the next one.
 

Faded90

Scooby
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
511
Age
63
I think it’s a common thing in fanfiction. I’ve noticed when you read lots of different pairings there tends to be a common theme amongst a pairings stories. I’m a big Fuffy shipper and that may actually be a ship that doesn’t have a ‘bad guy’ in its theme so doesn’t tend to go that way.
I’ve read a few Willow/Faith fanfiction (a pairing I hate in theory anyway but stumbled across it) that Buffy tends to be the bad guy, including a few rather obnoxious ones where they both come to agreements that it’s all Buffy’s fault both of them went ‘evil’ because she should have stopped it before it got to that point 😂 this obviously has to ignore the canon that Willow was by far the most anti Faith when Faith went ‘evil’

When people write stories there tends to be a ‘bad guy’ and some shippers choose certain characters to be their badguys often. I’ve read a few Spuffy ones where Angel is insanely obnoxious 😂
 

white avenger

white avenger
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
16,036
Age
73
Location
rome, georgia
Something I've noticed, particularly in Spuffy fanfictions, is the idea that once Buffy and Spike are in a relationship, Buffy not only begins to doubt her previous relationship with Angel, but essentially tells Angel to "get lost" and beats him up, making her (and the other characters) sort of hateful to Angel. I don't really understand this trend.
You'll get that a lot, just about everywhere you go and the subject pops up. Buffy shippers tend to be very specific about just who the other half of their ship is, and some get downright abusive if you disagree. Back when I was a strong Spuffy shipper, I got into quite a few debated here and elsewhere, some that went past the friendly mode. They're fictional characters, the subject of someone's imagination, it's not like we are breaking up real living couples, and they the possibilities are limitless. Given that Disney now own both Fox and the MCU, we might even some day see Buffy and Blade hit it off big time. They're in the sane business, after all. No reason why their paths shouldn't cross eventually (I now ship Jandy exclusively, because neither Joan nor Randy have any back history to have to compare themselves to. They're innocent, pristine, and their love is pure, unique, and wonderful in every way)

Buffy will always love Angel, and he will always have a very special place in her heart.. He is her first love, and, without him, she would never get to have a second, or a third, or a twenty fifth love, and they will always be measured by the standard that Angel set, whether that be "not as much," "Just as much," or "way, way more."
 

Antho

Scooby
Joined
Nov 30, 2016
Messages
2,053
Age
26
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Montauban (France)
Fanfiction are just about getting for fans what they want that they coudn’t have in the show. So of course you are gonna see a lot of bashing character that they don’t like.
 

Cangel1987

♥ Cangel ♥ Spuffy ♥
Joined
Oct 17, 2017
Messages
248
Age
33
Location
Germany
I don't understand this hate either. I also write fanfiction and I keep characters that I don't like out of the stories I write. Because I don't like it when characters are taken apart.
 

Wesxfred

You know what they say about payback...
Joined
Aug 21, 2020
Messages
51
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15
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🇬🇧
Personally, I prefer Bangel and they are one of my favourite ships on that show. They were so sweet and innocent and kinda had a Romeo and Juliet 'starcrossed lovers' vibe which was heartbreaking to watch but SO GOOD!
I do like Spuffy but I much prefer Spike with Drusilla. They had such great chemistry and such a deep connection and they are also one of my favourite ships.
Also, Spangel are great too! 😂

The Fanfictions kinda annoy me too tho. I feel like its either Spike and Angel fighting over Buffy or she gets with one of them and the other guy is just rude and jealous. I'm just not a fan of the Buffy/Angel/Spike love triangle in fanfictions because they treat Buffy like a prize and not like her own person. But saying that, I do really like fanfiction. I just try to avoid the Buffy/Angel/Spike triangle, or any other triangle tbh.
 

fivebyfaith

Townie
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Messages
12
Age
19
I am not a Spuffy or a Bangel shipper but I am a fan of both Spike (excluding Seeing Red) and Angel. I don't really follow the shipping war between the two, but it is a trope in fanfiction to put a member of the opposing ship as the "villain". It definitely annoys me beyond the Buffyverse as well, you can find it everywhere.
 

HowiMetdaSlayer

Occasionally, I am callous and strange 🐶
Joined
Dec 10, 2015
Messages
5,363
Location
midwest
Always found the shipping 'feud' kind of silly, to be honest. I mean it's basically the Hatfields & McCoys of the internet.
Frankly, I find all of Buffy's (the character) romances to be pretty meh in general.
 

Puppet

Actual size.
Joined
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32
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Black Thorn
Honestly, I've learned to ignore that stuff; not all fanfics have it, definitely not the majority (and if it is, you're reading it on fanfiction.net and that was your first mistake, lol) and it's so common that when it does happen, I just try to find the fun in it. Like the stories that really hammer out all of Angel's flaws, ignore his positive sides, those just make me laugh, cause I know it's not canon but that's not why I read fanfic. I try to be as fair as possible myself as a writer, but sometimes, a story needs a villain, and in a romance, that villain is often an ex or someone coming in to break up the 'happy couple'. A trope is a trope is a cliche :p

I prefer realistic drama, though, and most of my favorite stories have very little or none Angel appearances, or if he's there it's not to play the antagonist. At least not any more than he would canonically be playing (I'm looking at you, petty speech in Chosen).
 
Joined
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689
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Character bashing happens in just about every fandom and most people who read fan fiction don't like it. There's a long running thread on the T.V Tropes forum about personal red flags in a fan fiction and character bashing being tagged is one that comes up again and again over about 300 pages of posts.

Considering it's unpopularity, I think people who write bashing fics are probably not very mature. Writing a story specifically to make a character you don't like look bad is hardly the mark of a well rounded adult. And while it's true enough that fanfic is written to provide the author with the story they wanted to see and didn't get, presumably anybody writing and publishing their work wants people to read and enjoy it, so writing something that will deliberately alienate half of your potential readership seems a pretty odd choice to me. It smacks of 'I'm right and you're wrong' thinking and suggests a deliberate attempt to stir up trouble and ruffle feathers and maybe even start a flame war ... so like I said, pretty immature. Of course some fanfic writers are very young and for authors and readers on that level, they will very much enjoy the black and white self indulgence of bashing - hence why there is so much of it out there. Most readers and writers grow past that stage though and that's when they start scrolling past bashing stories in favour of something a bit more nuanced, though there are always even younger writers coming up and keeping the basing fics going. And some people never mature.

I'm equal opportunities on Spike and Angel, I love them both and love them both with Buffy, but I dislike Faith, I have very little time for Wesley and I utterly despise Willow - however I've had reason to include all of them in my fanfic. I keep my opinions on them to myself and try to write them as true to the show as possible and give them as much depth and inner life as the characters I do like, because the people reading my stories may well like or even love these characters and I don't want to alienate people who might otherwise enjoy my work. Plus I don't want to mire myself in the negativity of bashing when writing is something I do for fun.

I write Doyle fan fiction. Virtually all Doyle fanfic that exists is Wesley bashing - I don't like canon Wesley, I never forgive him for not being Doyle and yet I still find the characterisation of him in most Doyle fanfic to be deeply unfair and I end up hating the fic version of Doyle and being 100% team Wes. I think writers who tear down one character in order to build up another are just not very self aware (though I'm not sure 'self' aware is quite the word I'm looking for when talking about writing other people). Most people are able to like more than one character or ship at once, they can even like characters who don't get along in canon at the same time - and even when it's a character they dislike, they can usually admit what their strengths are understand what they bring to the table. So to tear down a character, change their personality completely and/ or diminish them just to make them look like the baddie or someone else look better is only going to turn off discerning readers and stop them trusting you as an author. Any good writer would recognise that - but immature ones with tunnel vision and black and white thinking won't.

Sometimes you just have to accept that the idea behind something might be good but the author writing it is just on too different a wavelength to you for you to enjoy it (they're probably only 13) and move on to something different instead. There's hardly a shortage of Buffy fanfics... and if you're that desperate to see an idea done properly, write it yourself! It's the only way that you're ever going to get a story that is exactly what you want.
 

Joan the Vampire Slayer

Carpe Spuffy!
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5,665
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35
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It's been a while since anyone has tried to actively to start a 'ship war! ;)
I'm down! Bring it on. *rubs hands in anticipation*

To clarify: I am a huge Spuffy fan, but I don't understand why in Spuffy fanfiction, and sometimes in the fanbase in general, it seems that being a Spuffy shipper means that you dislike Angel. Yeah, I love Spuffy, but I'm still able to enjoy Angel as a character. Additionally, even though I would love to see more of Buffy and Spike together, I think that Buffy would still have a special place in her heart for Angel, even if she didn't love him anymore, or, at least, love him like she'd love Spike.
I have not noticed this trend! But it's been a whole since I read any Spuffy fic. Maybe this is a trend in the newer stories?

In general, I'd say that yeah most Spuffy shippers dislike Angel, but not for the reasons you think. For me, I dislike Angel because I think he's self righteous. Not because I feel like my 'ship is threatened by him.

Recently, I've been reminded of the dislike I have for him as I'm rewatching Ats now. As a character, he can be entertaining (more so as Angelus) but overall I can't stand him, honestly.

I guess I can see this coming from those who might love Spike, and hate Angel. Or, maybe it's just because a lot of Spuffy fics are from Spike's POV?
There could definitely be truth to this. We all know how much Spike dislikes Angel. However, it's more of a love/hate thing, and I'm one of these who believes that Spike loves Angel. (thats a discussion for another thread ;)
 

Moggin

Tasty Townie
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Messages
358
There could definitely be truth to this. We all know how much Spike dislikes Angel. However, it's more of a love/hate thing, and I'm one of these who believes that Spike loves Angel. (thats a discussion for another thread ;)
Oh, please start that thread. I'm dying to read a lengthy explanation of someone else's theory, and this sounds intriguing.
 

thetopher

Member of the Church Of Faith
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
10,319
Location
The Moot, England
Sineya
I've read quite a few Bangel and Spuffy fics in an effort to really grasp the true essence/appeal of each particular ship (I ship neither).
I have to say that Spuffy fics tend to emphasize 'hot' sex a hell of a lot more, and they take quite a few pot shots at Angel using almost every character as an out-of-character mouth piece. But there is a lot of variety there the main problem I found is the laughable unrealistic way soulless Spike is written. The ones that focus on souled Spike tend to less jarring.

The Bangel fics I've read tend to just...ignore Spike completely. Seriously he's just like another Riley, another mistake Buffy made in her personal life and rarely gets any focus, negative or otherwise. Much more melodrama and 'two champions alone against the world' type stuff, which you either like or you don't.

My problem with both is that none of the relationship scenarios really rang true, they all felt like they trod ground familiar ground, especially in the way Buffy was written.
Ironically it makes me recall S12 where Buffy states that dating a vampire leads to getting stuck in a rut in her personal life, she simply doesn't evolve.
 

Faded90

Scooby
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
511
Age
63
I've read quite a few Bangel and Spuffy fics in an effort to really grasp the true essence/appeal of each particular ship (I ship neither).
I have to say that Spuffy fics tend to emphasize 'hot' sex a hell of a lot more, and they take quite a few pot shots at Angel using almost every character as an out-of-character mouth piece. But there is a lot of variety there the main problem I found is the laughable unrealistic way soulless Spike is written. The ones that focus on souled Spike tend to less jarring.

The Bangel fics I've read tend to just...ignore Spike completely. Seriously he's just like another Riley, another mistake Buffy made in her personal life and rarely gets any focus, negative or otherwise. Much more melodrama and 'two champions alone against the world' type stuff, which you either like or you don't.

My problem with both is that none of the relationship scenarios really rang true, they all felt like they trod ground familiar ground, especially in the way Buffy was written.
Ironically it makes me recall S12 where Buffy states that dating a vampire leads to getting stuck in a rut in her personal life, she simply doesn't evolve.
I know S12 gets a lot of stick but I actually did like that for me other than a couple of fan service Spuffy and Bangel scenes it appeared to me to draw a line under both vampire relationships. Buffy is now cookies and looking at the future, the final image of the scoobies having a BBq and Angel and Spike having to lurk in the shadows I felt like was very definitive . I also felt like they finally threw Fuffy the tiniest bone in the world which I’ve latched on to 😂

I admit I have huge issues with the comics and don’t see them as my headcanon. I feel like Buffy is written during S10 and 11 as a lovesick teenager and not the late 20s woman she is, she didn’t even act like that when she actually WAS a lovesick teenager. A scene of Buffynwith tears streaminf down her face saying ‘he loves me, he really loves me’ I just don’t see Buffy in that at all. Buffy can be melodramatic but she’s no sap. I feel like the issue Spuffy get back together kind of highlights some of the toxic attitudes towards it, starting with Buffy being made to feel by a tantrumming Dawn and Willow that she owes Spike a chance because he’s a better person than he used to be (that’s a shamefully low bar) and then getting slut shamed by Spike because she’s had w couple of boyfriends and a couple of one night stands. I have no idea how this results in them back together. Where’s my independent cookie dough hero gone? Why is she being ‘nice guyed’ into feeling like she should be with Spike

Sorry I’ve rambled and kind of lost my point..... anyway I’ve always felt even if you see S7 as the definitive canon ending or S12, both end with a positive for her future Buffy whose thinking ‘maybes I could have more normal in life?’ And both scenarios kind of draw the line under a vampire relationship
 

thetopher

Member of the Church Of Faith
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
10,319
Location
The Moot, England
Sineya
I also felt like they finally threw Fuffy the tiniest bone in the world which I’ve latched on to
The Buffy and Faith cop show is something I'd watch. :D

I admit I have huge issues with the comics and don’t see them as my headcanon. I feel like Buffy is written during S10 and 11 as a lovesick teenager and not the late 20s woman she is, she didn’t even act like that when she actually WAS a lovesick teenager. A scene of Buffynwith tears streaminf down her face saying ‘he loves me, he really loves me’ I just don’t see Buffy in that at all.
I mean, it does read like fanfic doesn't it? Kinda wish fulfillment that, yet again, Buffy gets to see what Spike did for her. Ye Gods.

But you're right Buffy left behind her teen angst way back in S3- and even then it wasn't so bad- and had matured. I like to think she won't completely leave behind that emotional melodrama but she's much more grounded by S7 and a bit more mature about facing her future. That's undone by S8 unfortunately.

I feel like the issue Spuffy get back together kind of highlights some of the toxic attitudes towards it, starting with Buffy being made to feel by a tantrumming Dawn and Willow that she owes Spike a chance because he’s a better person than he used to be (that’s a shamefully low bar) and then getting slut shamed by Spike because she’s had w couple of boyfriends and a couple of one night stands. I have no idea how this results in them back together. Where’s my independent cookie dough hero gone?
As if anyone could doubt that the comics were written by somebody who had trawled through all the Spuffy comments sections on various boards furiously writing down talking points.
Spuffies tend to talk about 'earning another chance' and entitlement an awful lot. Spike fought for Buffy but Angel walked away, Spike won his soul for her, defeated Angel, is the best at sex and on and on and on, it points to lashings of insecurity regarding 'their' ship, since the only real obstacle that Spuffy ever faced was Buffy's feelings (or lack of) for Spike.
 
Faded90
Faded90
Totally agree
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