Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 4 Episode 2

Living Conditions

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 12, 1999 on The WB



  • Trivia

    • In this episode we can hear Cher's hit single "Believe." This is the first time up to this point in the series that we hear music which could already be considered "popular." Buffy's roommate, Kathy is also a big fan of Celine Dion, since we saw that she has her poster in previous episode, "The Freshman". Her song might be featured on the Diva's Audio CD, which Buffy and Willow mention during this episode.

    • Nitpick: When Xander asks where Kathy is from she says Nebraska and he replies, "Big Sky Country." Big Sky Country is actually a motto for Montana not Nebraska.

    • When Buffy is talking to Giles, she mentions his previous attempt to recapture his youth. This is another reference to the episode "Band Candy".

    • Goof: When Buffy and Kathy are fighting at the end, Kathy puts Buffy through the closet door. When she pulls her out, there is a piece of wood under Buffy's back. But in the next shot when Buffy tries to strangle her with the sweater, the piece of wood has disappeared.

    • Goof: When Buffy fights that demon near the beginning of the episode, you can clearly see that the person fighting the demon is not Sarah Michelle Gellar.

    • Goof: When Oz and Xander walk toward the bound Buffy, Oz is on Xander's right. After Buffy knocks their heads together, the shot of them on the floor has Oz now on Xander's left.

    • Goof: When Giles and Buffy are talking outside his apartment, Giles' towel goes from in his hand to over his shoulder in different shots.

  • Quotes

    • Buffy: Listening to the best of VH1 all day sorta put me on edge.
      Willow: Kathy's still spinning the divas?
      Buffy: 'Cause it's the funnest! It's no big. College is a time of change, right? Before too long, she'll be trip-hopping all over the place.

    • Giles: Clearly something is amiss.
      Buffy: Yeah, something's amiss here, a Miss Kathy Newman.

    • Giles: What sort of demon?
      Buffy: He had a cloak on and glowing green eyes. And his skin had a, like, super-bad fake rub-on tan.
      Giles: Translate?
      Buffy: Orangey.

    • Willow: Happy hunting.
      Buffy: Wish me monsters.

    • Buffy: And what are we, if not women up to a challenge?
      Willow: Exactly. I mean, did we not put the "grr" in "girl"?

    • Buffy: Kathy's nice and all, but she's, sort of, I don't know, like, Mini-Mom of Momdonia.

    • (as Kathy starts playing Cher's song Believe)
      Buffy: Wow, this music is so, so...
      Kathy: I know. This song is super fun, isn't it?
      Buffy: You bet. It just gets funner and funner every time you play it.

    • Xander: I... uh... don't think I tied the knots tight enough.
      Oz: I'm not getting near her...
      (Oz and Xander look at each other and hesitantly make their way toward Buffy, as they reach her, she reaches around and knocks their heads together, knocking them out)
      Buffy: Nope! Not tight enough!

    • Xander: Just thought I'd come around and (slaps Oz on the leg) check on my girls.

    • Buffy: She has parts that keep growing after they're detached. She irons her jeans. She's evil! She has to be destroyed.
      Giles: I fear the demon that Buffy met in the woods has somehow possessed her.
      Buffy: Lite FM. Love songs. Nothing but love songs!
      Xander: Ya think?

    • Kathy: I'm 3000 years old. When are you going to stop treating me like I'm 900?

    • Xander: Buffy, this hurts me more than it hurts you.
      Buffy: Not yet, but it will.
      Xander: Don't say that. Please don't say that.

    • Willow: Toenails?
      Buffy: Evil toenails. I took them off the floor last night when she was in the bathroom. She thought I was asleep.
      Willow: Good thinking. 'Cause in the middle of the night, those toenails could have attacked you and left little half-moon marks all over your body.

    • Buffy: So then, Kathy's like, "It's share time," and I'm like, "Oh, yeah? share this!" (punches the air)
      Oz: So either you hit her, or you did your wacky mime routine for her.
      Buffy: Well, I didn't do either, actually. but she deserved it, don't you think?
      Oz: Nobody deserves mime, Buffy.

    • Willow: If it wasn't for this English paper, I'd be there right now, listening, doing the girly best-friend thing.
      Oz: Well, I can do that.
      Willow: You can?
      Oz: Oh, I'm not saying we'll braid each other's hair... probably. But I can hang with her, watch for signs she's going over the edge.

    • Willow: What kind of demon runs around putting ooky blood dreams into people's heads? Like some kind of nightmare fairy. It's not right.
      Oz: Well, I'm against it.

    • Buffy: Cool. You guys can do the brain thing. I'm gonna go to class.
      Oz: Which could also be construed as the brain thing.
      Buffy: Not when you're minoring in Napping 101.
      Willow: Okay, so that was the evil twin, right? 'Cause she was bordering on Cordelia-esque.

    • Kathy: Sounds like somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.
      Buffy: Mm-hmm. And guess what? You were next to it.

    • Buffy: And the worst part? I wake up, and there's Kathy staring at me like I'm some kind of freak.
      Oz: Well, actually, the worst part, I'd have to go with the demon pouring the blood down your throat.
      Willow: Me, too. I would vote for that, too.

    • Kathy: Eww! Who left their gum here?
      Buffy: Gum gnome?

    • Xander: Hey! Say hi to non-college guy.
      Buffy: Not that I mind, but don't non-college guys usually populate the non-campus?

    • Buffy: What are you doing today?
      Giles: It's a big day for me, actually. A friend of mine recently acquired an original Gutenberg demonography, and it suddenly occurs to me that you've never once asked me what my day's plans were, which would lead me to inquire whether you're feeling entirely yourself.
      Buffy: That's not true. I ask about you all the time. Okay, well, maybe the words don't actually make it out of my mouth, but I think about it.
      Giles: And it's appreciated.

    • Buffy: Did you just hear something?
      Willow: I'm chewing my gum kind of loud.
      Buffy: That's not it.
      Willow: My sneakers are squeaky.
      Buffy: I'm looking for something lurky here, Will.

    • Buffy: You run?
      Giles: And jump. And bend. And occasionally frolic.
      Buffy: Okay... and what's with "Motorbike & Scooter" magazine?
      Giles: Congratulations, you found me out. I'm a mod jogger.
      Buffy: Okay, you're not having one of those mid-life things, are you? 'Cause I'm still going "ick" from the last time you tried to recapture your youth.

    • Kathy: I just wanted to make sure that we didn't have a thief or something.
      Buffy: Like who? Sid the Wily Dairy Gnome?

    • Buffy: She's the Titanic! She's a crawling black cancer! (Buffy kicks out and breaks a nearby bench) She's ... other really bad things!
      Oz: Well, on the plus side you killed the bench, which was looking shifty.

    • Giles: You took your roommate patrolling with you?
      Buffy: Well, I invited the whole dorm, but she was the only one who could make it.

    • Willow: Giles. I just talked to Buffy and, yeah, I think she's feeling a little crazy. No, not bitchy crazy, more like homicidal maniac crazy. So I told her to come see you, 'kay?

  • Notes

    • The silent encounter between Oz and Veruca was done because "Living Conditions" was coming in short on time and needed to make the episode 44 minutes.

    • Kendra's lucky stake "Mr. Pointy" from "Becoming (1)" can be seen in Buffy's weapon bag when Kathy searches it.

    • It's possible that the reason why Buffy was reacting so strongly to Kathy is due to her instincts as a slayer.

    • Whenever Buffy thinks that something is wrong or out of the ordinary, her friends think that she is delusional, and it turns out that she is really right. (cf. also "The Puppet Show" and "Ted").

    • Goof: Kathy's conversation with her demon father was originally in subtitles, but for some reason, the subtitles were cut in syndication. For those who missed it, it included Kathy wanting to stay at college and her father not letting her be an adult: "I'm 3,000 years old! When are you going to stop treating me like I'm 900?" The subtitles can be seen on the season 4 DVD.

    • Cordelia is mentioned by Willow.

    • Buffy and Parker's dorms, Kresge Hall and Stevenson Hall, is Writer Marti Noxon's homage to her alma mater, UC Santa Cruz, which has both a Kresge College and Stevenson College.

    • While this is the first time we (and Oz) see Veruca, she has no lines and is uncredited.

  • Allusions

    • Buffy: Okay, you're not having one of those mid-life things, are you? 'Cause I'm still going "ick" from the last time you tried to recapture your youth.
      Buffy is alluding to the Season 3 episode "Band Candy" in which chocolates sold in Sunnydale were turning the grown-ups mentally into adolescents. Giles and Joyce, under the affliction of the candy ended up having sex on a police car twice, as mentioned in the episode "Earshot" when Buffy discovered it.

    • Xander: That's because he got hit by the Buffinator.
      Buffy: You think?
      Oz: No question, he'll be back.
      "The Buffinator" is a play on the movie The Terminator, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger is famous for the line "I'll be back."

    • Giles: A friend of mine recently acquired an original Gutenberg demonography.

      This is a reference to Johann Gutenberg who was a German goldsmith and printer. He is often credited with invention of movable type printing, this is a process that made it possible to publish many copies of a single work at one time.

    • Xander: Wait, are you saying that Buffy's been doing a Linda Blair on us because Kathy's been sucking her soul?
      Xander alludes to Buffy's nasty attitude with a reference to Linda Blair, the actress who played the possessed child in the movie The Exorcist. Linda Blair is also the host of Scariest Places on Earth. They explore haunted areas trying to learn about the world or spirits.

    • Buffy: She's the Titanic. She's a crawling black cancer.
      Buffy's ranting about Kathy includes a reference to the famous shipwreck disaster.

    • Parker: Uh, I'm not sure, we sort of got caught up talking Red Wings. It turns out that Kathy's a closet hockey fan.
      The Red Wings are the Detroit based team of the National Hockey League.

    • Oz: Stuff like, scorpions? And Bloody Mary minus the Mary?
      A Bloody Mary is an alcoholic drink made with tomato juice and vodka. The name is also the nickname of Mary Tudor of England, who ruled for the 5 years previous to Elizabeth Tudor, known as Elizabeth the First. Her hatred of the Protestant religion stemmed from her father's (Henry the Eigth) creation of Anglicanism as a front to cast aside her mother in favor of Anne Boleyn. She was given the name due to her persecution and execution of so many protestants during her reign.

    • Buffy: Umm, had a cloak on, and glowing green eyes, and skin had a, like, super-bad fake rub-on tan.
      Buffy describes the demon's orange skin by comparing it to a bad fake tan. Sunless tanning lotions are supposed to give you a tanned appearance without exposure to the sun or other sources of UV light. The early, cheaper varieties, however, tended to give the skin an orange color.

    • Buffy: I bet before too long she'll be trip-hopping all over the place.
      Trip-hop is a form of moody, downtempo electronic music that originated in Bristol, England. It was very popular with U.S. college students in the late 1990s. Some of the music that appears in Buffy episodes is at least borderline trip-hop.

    • Buffy: Listening to the best of VH-1 all day sort of put me on edge.
      VH-1 is a music video channel (similar to MTV) that targets an older audience. The music on VH-1 is not normally what we'd expect a college student to listen to.

    • Kathy: I figure, "Stitch in time ..."
      Buffy: "... catches the worm"
      Kathy starts the saying "A stitch in time saves nine" and Buffy ends it with the end of the expression "The early bird catches the worm". The sayings have different meanings. Kathy's expression promotes doing work now to save work later and Buffy's is about waking up early in the morning.

    • Buffy: I'm seriously caffeine deprived. Figured I'd head down to the Grotto and get a Jolt and, you know, do some studying.
      Jolt Cola is advertised as having "all the sugar and twice the caffeine". It and Mountain Dew (which is also high in caffeine) are the late night study session drinks of choice on many college campuses.