Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Fear, Itself

Season 4, Ep 4, Aired 10/26/99
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  • Episode Description
  • To help Buffy get over the pain of having been used by Parker, the gang head to a fraternity Halloween party expecting a few cheap scares and a bit of harmless fun. Unfortunately, some accidental magic turns the party into a house of horrors where everyone's fears come to life.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar

    Buffy Anne Summers

  • Nicholas Brendon

    Alexander 'Xander' Harris

  • Alyson Hannigan

    Willow Rosenberg

  • Anthony Stewart Head

    Rupert Giles

  • David Fury

  • Fan Reviews (25)
  • Fear, Itself

    By arkanitoo, Aug 14, 2014

  • This is the best this season has put out yet!

    By tarafan2, Jun 15, 2013

  • Happy Halloween

    By joxerlives, Jan 20, 2012

  • Fear, Itself

    By Phunner1416, Jun 21, 2011

  • The idea here tries to evoke the classic season 2 Halloween, but this comes way short

    By RobGrizz, Feb 04, 2009

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (17)

    • Giles: (reading from the book) There are two ways in here to get rid of Gachnar. Destroying the symbol... (Buffy walks past him and punches into the floor, destroying the sigil on the floor and tearing up the boards, she stands up with an accomplished look on her face) ...is not one of them and will immediately conjure the fear demon itself!

    • Xander (observing Anya's costume): So... this is your scary costume? Anya (defensively) Bunnies frighten me.

    • Buffy: Like the tux, Xander! Xander: Bond. James Bond. Insurance, you know, in case we get turned into our costumes again. I'm going for cool, secret agent guy. Buffy: I hate to break it to you, but you'll probably end up cool head waiter guy. Xander: As long as I'm cool and wield some sort of power.

    • Anya: Well first there was no door where the door should be, and then I saw a girl in a window and then she was gone! Giles: She disappeared from the window? Anya: No, the window disappeared from the house.

    • Buffy: Thank the Lord. Oz: You're welcome.

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    Notes (4)

    • Giles' Mexican costume and Anya's bunny suit were so popular with fans that special variant editions of their action figures were made with these outfits. These quickly became two of the most popular figures in the entire line, and the "Bunny Anya" was even reissued years later.

    • Music: Students are preparing the party -- "Kool" by 28 Days People arrive at the party -- "Ow Ow Ow" by Third Grade Teacher The Scooby Gang arrives at the party -- "Pretty Please" by Verbena

    • Buffy is dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. When Xander asks what is in her basket, she replies, "Weapons." There is a character in a series of Japanese fighting video games dressed as Red Riding Hood who carries a basket full of weapons. Whether or not this was an intentional reference is unknown.

    • This is the first episode David Fury writes as an official Mutant Enemy writer. His scripts in seasons two and three were freelance work since he initially turned down a Buffy writing job in 1997 (season one).

    Trivia (5)

    • The party house featured in this episode is the "Murder House" from American Horror Story.

    • Goof: Willow claims the book from which the mark of Gachnar was taken is written in Gaelic, however, when the book is shown to Buffy (both in the frat house and at Giles'), the writing in it is in plain English (describing exorcisms).

    • We learn in this episode that Anya is afraid of bunnies, a humorous and recurring theme for her character.

    • Anya tells Xander that his uncle, Rory, let her in his house and that he smelled like peppermint. Xander replies "the man likes his Schnapps". In the season three episode "The Zeppo", Xander mentions that Uncle Rory is an alcoholic, and in season six we get to see him briefly.

    • Goof: When Anya goes to Giles' apartment dressed as a bunny, she takes the "paws" off of her hands. She isn't wearing them when Giles cuts a hole in the house with the chainsaw, but they are back on her hands when she hugs Xander after she and Giles find the gang.

    Allusions (16)

    • Oz: She's still suffering a little post-Parker depression. This is a play on "post-partum depression", a common—and sometimes very serious—problem among women shortly after giving birth.

    • Xander: What'cha got in the basket, little girl?
      This is a reference to Buffy’s Little Red Riding Hood costume. In some versions of the Little Read Riding Hood fairy tale she meets a wolf in the woods on her way to her grandmothers house and he’ll often ask her what she has in her basket. When she gets to her grandmothers house, the wolf has locked her grandmother in the closet (or eaten her, depending on the story version) and dressed up in her clothes to trick Red Riding Hood in an attempt to eat her.

    • Xander: The man likes his schnapps.
      Schnapps is a generic name for a flavorful, usually clear alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain and flavored with various herbs or fruits. Schnapps can come in a variety of flavors including strawberry, peppermint, orange, butterscotch, and many others.

    • Buffy: If I were Abbott and Costello this would be fairly traumatic.
      This is a reference to the comedy duo of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello that had a show together and made several movies in the 1940’s and 50’s. In many of their movies Abbott and Costello would meet various monsters such as: Frankenstein, The Mummy, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

    • Willow (about the camouflaged guys): What are they supposed to be?
      Oz: NATO?
      NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a military alliance established in 1949. Its aim was to safeguard member nations from attack with the end of the Cold War, NATO has increasingly concentrated on extending security and stability throughout Europe, and on peacekeeping efforts in Europe and elsewhere.

    Show More Allusions
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