Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 2 Episode 16

Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 10, 1998 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
749 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Xander tries to use Valentine's Day to further his relationship with Cordelia, but she succumbs to peer pressure and breaks up with him. With the help of Amy (who is experimenting with her mother's magickal tricks), he puts a love spell on her which goes horribly wrong, turning him into every woman's desire... everyone's except the one who matters most.moreless

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  • Very funny!

    The funniest episode from BTVS. Cordelia decides to break up with Xander, because her friends humilliate her. With the aid of Amy (the girl from "Witch"), Xander tries to get back with Cordy. But not everything as he thought it'll happen. He becomes the most popular (and loved) man in Sunnydale. Buffy, Willow, Amy and even Drusilla want to be with him, but the only girl that he wants, doesn't show him the minimun attention. The prowl from Willow was hilarious, i was laughing when she was licking Xander's ear. The prowl from Buffy was even more funny, and hot. Another episode which is very clever and interesting, though is not my favorite, is funny, wit and well-written.moreless
  • Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered

    Here's an episode where we finally get a look at Xander and Cordelia's odd relationship. This is an extremely lightweight romp that makes its mark as easily the funniest episode of the season and is also one of the series' overall funnier episodes. There's lots of confusion and fun after Amy's backfired spell kicks in and it never lets up all the way until the, actually somewhat surprising, ending involving Cordelia actually ditching Harmony and her now old group of sheepish friends.

    The craziness begins with Cordelia's 'group' abandoning her simply because she's dating Xander. Cordelia's genuinely upset about this. Like she said back in "Out of Mind, Out of Sight" (1x11), "Well, it beats being alone all by yourself," in response to why she likes being popular. She doesn't fully realize that now she's got the Scoobies to keep her from feeling alone. By the end of the episode that realization comes and she, naturally scared about it, leaves her old friends behind. It becomes quite the whacky adventure before she gets there though.

    First, Cordelia breaks up with Xander on Valentine's Day of all days, right after he gave her a beautiful heart pendent on a necklace. This genuinely hurts Xander and he doesn't try to hide it. We can tell Cordelia also feels quite bad about it as well because the next day she is wearing (although hiding) the same necklace. That leads to the blackmail of Amy and the spell to make Cordelia love him, so he can in turn break up with her instead. Like almost all spells in this series, it backfires and causes chaos to ensue. Every single female except Cordelia ends up falling in love with Xander, including Buffy.

    Buffy coming onto him is his absolute fantasy and he can barely resist kissing her when offered the opportunity to. He gets pulled away by Amy who is also hitting on him in the same way Buffy was. This is when he realizes, in a subtle and heartbreaking way, that Buffy isn't really coming onto him; the spell is talking, not Buffy. This really saddens Xander, especially after the little bit of hope she gave him after hugging him in the previous episode. All of this Xander lovin' going around leads to the fantastically funny scene where he's walking down the main hallway of the school while all the girls are checking him out and making moon eyes.

    By this point absolute chaos is unleashed. Amy turns Buffy into a rat, Cordelia is getting beat up, Ms. Calendar is even coming onto Xander, and Willow tries to axe murder him for not returning her 'love.' In response to all this Xander grabs Cordelia and runs off to Buffy's place for sanctuary. While here Buffy's mom hits on Xander and he, absolutely hilariously, slams his head down on the table and yells "whatever!" Amazingly, the chaos doesn't stop here. They flee up to Buffy's room where Angelus, wanting to finally do in Buffy, grabs Xander instead but Drusilla is under the spell and stops him from hurting Xander! Wow, good times.

    Giles and Amy finally break the spell and everything returns to normal except at the end Cordelia finally shuts Harmony up and says, "You're a sheep. All you ever do is what everyone else does just so you can say you did it first. And here I am, scrambling for your approval, when I'm way cooler than you are 'cause I'm not a sheep. I do what I wanna do, and I wear what I wanna wear. And you know what? I'll date whoever the hell I wanna date. No matter how lame he is." And with that speech Cordelia has grown another step forward. This is great stuff.

    There's also a couple other nice touches that don't involve Xander and Cordelia. Giles shows that he hasn't lost his affections for Jenny and that his devotion to Buffy still comes first. Jenny completely understands, and this is undoubtedly the moment she decides to begin research on how to curse Angel again. The rotten fruits of her labor come up in "Passion" (2x17), the next episode.

    The good guys aren't the only ones celebrating Valentine's Day. Spike gives Drusilla a stunning necklace for the occasion, but Angelus comes in and gives her a fresh heart from a shopkeeper to outdo Spike's gift. Angelus is continuing to steal Dru's affection away from Spike and this naturally infuriates him. Spike will get some satisfaction in seeing Angelus being beat up by Giles in "Passion" (2x17) and then will actively help stop Angelus in "Becoming Pt. 2" (2x22). This is simply a fantastic episode with tremendous fun to be had.moreless
  • The ep that made me a fan

    Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

    The Good;

    Just when you thought it couldn't get any better! Pretty much everything, even the music is superb, especially when Xander does his slow walk through the school. It really does set the bar for other eps.

    The Bad;

    Are you insane? This may well be my favourite Buffy ep EVER!

    Best line;

    Dru; Don't fret kitten, mummy's here. How do you feel about eternal life?

    Xander (terrified); We couldn't just start with coffee?

    Angelus (bemused) Boy I really did drive you insane!

    Wheldon cliches;

    Character death-0


    Knocked out-0


    Women good/men bad-0

    Kinky-dinky; yep, Willow enthusiastically telling Xander that 'Force is ok' showing the naughty girl behind the softer side of Sears (love her impish smile as she says this). Buffy striptease too.

    Questions and observations;

    Lovely to see Amy and Jenny back and Harmony playing a fairly major role. Buffy's slit leopardskin mini-skirt is just SCANDALOUS, is this the outfit Joyce refused to buy her in Bad Eggs? Xander meanwhile seems to be dressed as though he's auditioning for Life on Mars, you could go handgliding with that collar. I always knew Cordy and Buffy and Jenny were lovely but here I think for the first time you realise the incredible sexiness of Alysson Hannigan, all the more remarkable for her wearing a man's shirt at the time. Joyce has been introduced to Cordy and greets her by name when she turns up at the door. Exactly how long are Cordy and Xander running around, it's light when they leave the school but dark when they reach Buffy's house?

    If I was to single one performance out from them all it would actually be Robia LaMorte for playing Jenny, the way she tries to talk to Giles whilst being gradually overcome by her irresistable attaction to Xander. Amy's bitchy comment that Jenny is old enough to be Queen of the World is a bit much as she's only 28 at the time of shooting.

    Note Spike's charming present for Dru contrasted to Angelus' hideous gift, his humanity once more shines through. The jealousy between the three shows through, AngeIus tormenting Spike in all sorts of subtle little ways. I once read a very short but hugely funny slashfic at fanfiction .net calld 'Bewitched, bothered and befuddled' where Amy's spell goes wrong in a slightly different way, resulting in all the boys lusting after Xander rather than the girls, even Angelus. Anyone else read that one?

    10/10, just terrific in every way

  • Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered

    Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered was a Perfectly Classic Episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. This episode had a lot of character growth for most of the characters. This episode is the start of viewers seeing Amy using Magic. Cordelia and Zander once again find themselves hiding together in Buffy's Basement, only this time from a raving hoarde of women. Oz also comes into play, accusing Zander of hurting Willow. This episode definitely asserts that one should be careful what they wish for and don't mess with Love spells. I really enjoyed watching this episode. The ending was nice, as Cordelia stood up to her so called friends. I thought it was funny that Druscilla fell under the spell as well.moreless
  • Love me, love me! Say that you love me!

    When Cordelia dumps Xander on Valentine's Day he blackmails the witch Amy into casting a love spell. His goal is to punish Cordelia by breaking up with her. But the whole thing backfires when everyone except Cordelia falls in love with Xander. After a few strange situations Xander realises his mistake but going back to normal might not be that easy. To complicate things even more Buffy is turned into a rat by the lovesick Amy and the soulless Angel wants to show his affection for Buffy by killing one of her friends.

    In the end all spells are reversed, Cordelia for once sees that being popular isn't the only thing in life and all of Buffy's friends live another day.

    This episode has been one of my favorites right from the very first time I saw it. This is mostly due to the fact that I'm a huge fan of the character of Xander. But there are other things that are great about this episode as well. It is funny and we get to see we normally don't: A very sexy Buffy, a jealous Cordy and Jenny, Joyce and Willow hitting on Xander.

    In my opinion this episode is important because it shows Xander making a mistake and taking responsibility by telling Giles that he messed up. And while the basic tone of the episode is relaxed and funny the love spell and its consequences are dead serious: Angel attacking Xander is real. And the anger of the rejected women makes them very dangerous.

    I also think that it's important that Cordy and Xander are getting back together in the end. We never got a lot of insight into their relationship (except their fighting) anyway which is sad in my opinion. The way they treated each other always made me wonder if what they had was more than a fling. As far as I know we also never learnt whether they ever had sex.

    But still: In this episode we get a glance at their feelings for each other. We never had a doubt about how Xander feels for Buffy and Willow. But here the audiences sees Xander risking something for Cordelia as well. And that's maybe the most important thing about the episode since it puts their relationship into perspective.moreless
Lorna Scott

Lorna Scott

Miss Beakman

Guest Star

Jennie Chester

Jennie Chester


Guest Star

Kristen Winnicki

Kristen Winnicki


Guest Star

Jason Hall

Jason Hall


Recurring Role

Seth Green (I)

Seth Green (I)


Recurring Role

Kristine Sutherland

Kristine Sutherland

Joyce Summers

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • When Angelus says that ripping a person's lungs out lacks poetry, Spike answers: "It doesn't have to, what rhymes with lungs?" This references to his past as a (not very good) poet.

    • Goof: When the Buffy-rat leaves the library she goes through the library doors, one of which is slightly ajar, but the scenes before and after show both doors completely closed.

    • Nitpick: At the beginning of the episode a female student is seen wearing a dark top with a black and white plaid skirt. She is seen wearing this same outfit at school throughout the episode even though the story's events occur over three days.

    • Cordelia and Xander make up/re-unite in Buffy's basement during a crisis--the same place they had their first kiss, while trying to escape the bug man in "What's My Line Part 2".

    • Goof: When Buffy gets turned into a rat Xander is on the stairs, but in the next shot (after the commercial and a continuing scene) he comes onto the screen from the side, away from the stairs.

    • Goof: In the scene where Cordelia is walking up the stairs towards Harmony, right before you see Cordelia you see two people sitting on a bench, and two people walking to the stairs. But when Cordelia enters the shot a second later, there are magically three people on the bench and the same two people are further away from the stairs than they were before.

    • Goof: When Buffy is changed into a rat (and also in later episodes whenever Amy is a rat) the rat is a male. So not only does she change into a rat, but she also has a sex change!

    • Goof: In Xander's slo-mo walk down the hallway, he passes a group of girls right at the start and then again just before he runs into the library. Also, an African American student seen behind Xander at the hallway doors is suddenly ahead of Xander staring at him.

    • Nitpick: When Xander and Cordelia are attacked at the school it is day, but when they arrive at Buffy's house it is night. It must be an awfully long distance.

    • For the love spell, Amy calls upon Diana, goddess of love and the hunt. Throughout history, Diana has been believed to have dominion over many things including the wilderness and untamed frontiers (which may include love). She has also been depicted as a torchbearer or guide, and has been known to be invoked for issues regarding fertility. It is for these reasons that it makes sense to call on Diana for a love spell. However, because Diana is most commonly known as the Roman goddess of forests, animals, and the hunt this could explain why the spell backfired.

  • QUOTES (23)

    • Giles: (after Amy turns Buffy into a rat) We have to catch the Buffy rat.

    • Joyce: (Joyce smashes through the back door window reaching for the lock) Xander, honey, let Joycey in!

    • Cordelia: (Xander gives Cordelia the necklace) Xander, it's beautiful. We have to break up.
      Xander: Not the kind of reaction I was hoping for...
      Cordelia: Come on Xander, who are we kidding? Even if parts of us see good in the other, we just don't fit!
      Xander: Okay, you know what's a good day to break up with someone? Any day besides Valentine's Day!

    • Giles: I cannot believe that you are fool enough to do something like this.
      Xander: Oh, no, I'm twice the fool it takes to do something like this.

    • Cordelia: Your clothes... you look so good.
      Xander: I let Buffy dress me. Well, not physically.
      Cordelia: Perfect. You had to make this harder, didn't you?
      Xander: Okay, clearly the fact that I please you visually has got us off on the wrong foot here.

    • Xander: I wish dating was like slaying. You know, simple, direct, stake to the heart, no muss, no fuss.
      Buffy: Sorry to say, Xand, but slaying is a tad more perilous than dating.
      Xander: Well, you're obviously not dating Cordelia.

    • Buffy: I remember coming on to you. I remember begging you to undress me. And then a sudden need for cheese. I also remember that you didn't.
      Xander: Eat cheese?
      Buffy: Undress me.

    • Giles: (Giles searching through Angelus' history) Oh here's another... ahh yes, Valentine's Day. Angel nails a puppy to the...
      Buffy: Skip it.
      Giles: But, but it...
      Buffy: I don't want to know, I don't have a puppy, skip it.
      Giles: Right you are.

    • Xander: Blackmail is such an ugly word.
      Amy: I didn't say blackmail.
      Xander: Yeah, but I'm about to blackmail you so I thought I'd bring it up.

    • Giles: Buffy. Buffy, might I have a word?
      Buffy: Have a sentence even.

    • Xander: (Xander holding a heart-shaped necklace) So what do you think?
      Buffy: It's nice.
      Xander: But do you think Cordelia will like it?
      Buffy (referring to the heart) I don't know. Does she know what one of these is?

    • Xander: I have a plan: we use me as bait.
      Buffy: You mean make Angel come after you?
      Xander: No, I mean chop me into little pieces and stick me on hooks for fish to nibble at, 'cause it would be more fun than my life.

    • Angelus: I'm still trying to decide the best way to send my regards.
      Spike: Why don't you rip her lungs out? It might make an impression.
      Angelus: Lacks... poetry.
      Spike: It doesn't have to, what rhymes with lungs?

    • Buffy: I'm glad that you guys are getting along, almost really, and don't stress over the gift.
      Xander: Well, this is new territory for me. I mean, my valentines are usually met with heartfelt restraining orders.

    • Buffy: (To Willow, after Amy asks if they're going to the Bronze) Go on, I know you're dying to say it.
      Willow: (To Amy) My boyfriend's in the band!
      Amy: Cool.
      Buffy: There, I think you have officially told everyone in the world.
      Willow: (sheepishly) Only in this hemisphere...

    • Drusilla: Your face is a poem. Oh, I can read it.
      Xander: Really? It doesn't say, "spare me" by any chance?
      Drusilla: How do you feel about eternal life?
      Xander: We couldn't just start with a coffee? A movie, maybe?

    • Amy: Why did you send Xander away? He needs me.
      Jenny: That's a laugh.
      Amy: He loves me. We look into each other's souls.
      Jenny: No one can love two people at once. What we have is real.
      Giles: Instead of making me ill, why doesn't one of you try to help me?

    • Amy: Who made you Queen of the world? Well, you're old enough to be.
      Jenny: What can I say? I guess Xander's just too much man for the pimple squad.

    • Xander: (Willow leans up to the side of his face and starts to suck on his earlobe) I-I don't wanna use force.
      Willow: Mmm. Force is okay!
      Xander: Th-that's it! This has gotta stop. It's time for me to act like a man. And hide.

    • Cordelia: You're a sheep (Refering to Harmony). All you ever do is what everyone else does just so you can say you did it first. And here I am, scrambling for your approval, when I'm way cooler than you are 'cause I'm not a sheep. I do what I wanna do, and I wear what I wanna wear. And you know what? I'll date whoever the hell I wanna date. No matter how lame he is.

    • Amy: What do you want?
      Xander: What do I want? I want some respect around here. I want, for once, to come out ahead. I want the Hellmouth to be working for me. You and me, Amy... we're gonna cast a little spell.

    • Willow: How long have we been friends?
      A long, long time. Too long to do anything that might change that now.
      Well, friendships change all the time. People grow apart. They grow closer.
      Uh, this is good! How close we are now. I feel very comfortable with this amount of closeness. In fact, I can even back up a few paces and still be happy. (steps back) See?
      : I want you Xander. I want you to be my first...
      Xander: Baseman! Please tell me we're talking baseball.

    • Buffy: Hi Oz! I seem to be having a slight case of nudity here.
      Oz: But you're not a rat. So call it an upside.
      Buffy: You think maybe you could get me some clothing?
      Oz: Yes, I can. Just, uh...don't go anywhere.
      Buffy: Really not an issue.

  • NOTES (8)

    • Music:

      At the Bronze, during the Valentine's party, 'Dingoes Ate My Baby' play this song -- "Pain" by Four Star Mary
      Cordelia breaks up with Xander -- "Drift Away" by Naked
      Xander walks in slow motion in the hallway -- "Got The Love" by The Average White Band

    • Tamara Braun "Frenzied girl" also Co-Starred in Season 2's "When She Was Bad" as Tara.

    • Below the Etnies sticker in Xander's room (when Willow tries to seduce him) the word "SHEEP" is painted in red, this is possibly tied to the women who follow Xander like sheep (albeit violent ones) and Cordy's line to Harmony at the end of the episode.

    • The French title for this episode is "Un Amour Deroutant", which translates "A Misleading Love".

    • When Amy does a spell on Buffy, her eyes go pitch-black like her mother's in the episode "The Witch". This, and the mojo she worked on her teacher, suggests that Amy is taking the same path as her mother regarding the use of magic.

    • In this episode we see the grave with the name "Alpert," named after a producer on the show. The same grave is seen a number of times throughout the show, including the pivotal Xander scene in the 6x22 episode "Grave (2)".

    • In the October 1, 1999 issue of Entertainment Weekly, Gareth Davies, the producer, said this was his favorite episode.

    • According to an interview with Sarah Michelle Gellar, they filmed this episode in same week she first hosted Saturday Night Live. They filmed her parts first, then she left for New York, while the rat played her part for the rest of the episode.

  • ALLUSIONS (10)

    • Poster of super-heroes in Xanders bedroom
      The characters on the poster are the X-Men of the year 2099 who appeared in the Marvel comic X-Men 2099 that ran for 35 issues from 1993-1996.

    • Cordelia: Who died and made you Elvis?
      This is a play on the phrase "Who died and made you the king?". Singer Elvis Presley was often referred to as "The King of Rock & Roll" or just "The King".

    • Buffy: She loved you before you invoked the great roofie spirit.
      Roofie is a street name for the drug Rohypnol. Know as the "date rape drug", Rohypnol is related to valium but much stronger. It acts as a strong sedative and is often combined with alcohol or other drugs.

    • Cordelia: Ok Harmony, if you need to borrow my Midol just ask.
      Midol is an over the counter medicine used to treat the symptoms of PMS.

    • Xander: We were both in footy pajamas.
      Pajamas with closed-end feet are worn almost exclusively by small children.

    • Cordelia: Because all you ever gave me was that Wal-Mart looking thing.
      Wal-Mart is a huge discount store chain. By saying that the necklace looked like it came from Wal-Mart Cordelia is implying that it is a cheap inferior quality item.

    • Buffy: He said it with flowers.
      From the advertising tag line "say it with flowers". The florists' idea is that you can express an emotion through the gift of flowers.

    • Xander: A man can only talk self-tanning lotion for so long before his head explodes.
      Self-tanning lotions give the effect of tanning without requiring sun. The implication is that Xander and Cordy don't exactly discuss deep topics.

    • Cordelia: Excuse me, where's the fire sale.
      A fire sale is usually held to sell the possibly damaged merchandise after a fire in a retail store. The line is a play on the phrase "where's the fire" which is often used when someone is rushing someplace (as in a fire fighter trying to get to a fire). The implication is that Harmony and her friends are more likely to be rushing off to a sale than to a fire.

    • Title: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.
      From the Frank Sinatra song "Bewitched" (Written by Rodgers/Hart). Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart wrote this song as part of their score for the musical "Pal Joey" in 1941. The second to last verse seems particularly appropriate to the Xander/Cordelia relationship seen in the episode:
      I lost my heart, but what of it
      he is cold I agree
      She might laugh, but I love it
      Although the laugh's on me

      The chorus of the song is as follows:
      I'm wild again, beguiled again
      A whimpering, simpering child again
      Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am I