Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 2 Episode 3

School Hard

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Sep 29, 1997 on The WB



  • Trivia

    • Goof: Right after the vampire Sheila runs from Buffy in terror, there is a shot of Joyce staring through the hole in the classroom door - the one that the vampires made with the axe. The hole had definitely been at eye level, because we had previously seen Buffy talking to her mother through it and she didn't need to crouch to do so. Seconds after Sheila runs off, Buffy hurries to the door to rush her mother and the others out... but the eye level hole in the door has mysteriously vanished.

    • Goof: When Buffy and Spike first meet outside the Bronze, the vampire Buffy is fighting calls out to Spike and there is a closeup shot of Buffy turning around. About 10 seconds later when Spike starts clapping, the same shot of Buffy turning around is used again.

    • Nitpick: When Giles is researching Spike, he says that Spike is barely 200 years old. However, it is stated in several later episodes that Spike was turned into a vampire in 1880. At the time of this episode, Spike had been a vampire for 117 years and does not appear to have been past his twenties as a human.

    • Spike calls Angel his sire. Taken literally this term refers to the vampire who turned someone into a vampire. This is the vampiric equivalent of a parent. In this case, however, we learn in the episode "Fool For Love" (5x07) that Angel did not turn Spike. Either this comment is a continuity error or else Spike means it in a metaphorical way because Angel is the one who taught him how to be a vampire.

    • Spike is driving a 1959 Desoto Sportsman in "Starlight Black."

    • Nitpick: After leaving Snyder's office Buffy, Xander, and Willow are walking from the school to the street. As they do, you can see several of the extras pass through the scene more than once; including a blond girl in a short blue dress with black boots and a girl in denim dungarees pushing a bicycle.

    • This is the first episode in which we get a hint that Principal Snyder might be more than he appears to be, when he's talking with the Police Chief at the end of the episode.

    • Willow: You said, "The cow should touch me from Thursday." And... you said it wrong.
      If there is a "right" way to say this, it might be "La vache devrait me toucher du jeudi." Actually, "La vache doit me toucher jeudi" ("The cow must touch me on Thursday") seems closer to the sounds Buffy was making. It doesn't make much more sense, but at least it's grammatical. Of course, only Buffy and Willow know what she meant to say.

    • According to the "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign, the current population is 38,500.

    • This is the first episode to note that intoxication is absorbed by the vampire when he/she feeds. It is referenced again in several episodes of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.

    • This is the first episode where Joyce is referred to by name. Previously she was known only as "Buffy's Mom" or "Mrs. Summers."

    • Nitpick: When Spike grabs the Anointed One, we see a female vampire in purple running down the stairs to aid the Anointed One. But when the large vampire is kicked to the ground, and the camera switches back to the stairs, she is nowhere to be seen and does not reappear for the rest of the scene.

    • Goof: When Cordelia and Buffy are talking near the punch table, Cordelia's arm positions change from crossed, to on her hips, and continue alternating for the rest of that scene. This happens from various camera angles and shots and occurs far to quickly for Cordelia to have moved them naturally.

    • Goof: When Spike is walking down the school hallway, you can briefly see his reflection on the lockers.

    • Goof: In The Bronze, Buffy and Willow have several books spread over the table. But when Buffy sends Xander to get her a stake, the books have vanished.

  • Quotes

    • Xander: C'mon, one dance. You've been studying nearly twelve minutes.
      Buffy: No wonder my brain's fried.

    • Spike: Nice work, love.
      Buffy: Who are you?
      Spike: You'll find out on Saturday.
      Buffy: What happens on Saturday?
      Spike: I kill you.

    • Xander: So, this night of St. Vigeous deal. If they're going to attack in force, aren't we thinking vacation?
      Willow: We can't run, that would be wrong. Could we hide?

    • Cordelia: (to Buffy) Giles has us locked up in that library working on your weapons. Even slaves get minimum wage.

    • Cordelia: (to Buffy) Is that your mom? Now that is a woman that knows how to moisturize. Did it, like, skip a generation?

    • Cordelia: (about Joyce and Principal Snyder) When they're done talking...
      Buffy: What?
      Cordelia: My guess? Tenth high school reunion, you'll still be grounded.

    • Giles: Our new friend Spike. He's known as "William the Bloody". Earned his nickname by torturing his victims with railroad spikes. Very pleasant. Well, here's some good news: he's barely two hundred. He's not even as old as Angel is. Oh...
      Xander: That's a bad look, right?
      Giles: I think your suggestion of running away this Saturday might have been a good one. Spike has fought two Slayers in the last century, and... he's killed them both.

    • Spike: A Slayer with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the brochure.

    • Joyce: Principal Snyder said you were a troublemaker. And I could care less. I have a daughter who can take care of herself. Who's brave and resourceful and thinks of others in a crisis. No matter who you hang out with, or what dumb teenage stuff you think you need to do, I'm gonna sleep better knowing all that.
      Buffy: About how long 'til this wears off and you start ragging on me again?
      Joyce: Oh, at least a week and a half.
      Buffy: Very cool!

    • Spike: Slaaayer! Here, kitty, kitty. I find one of your friends first, I'm gonna suck 'em dry. And use their bones to bash your head in.

    • Buffy: La vache... doit me... touche... de la... jeudi. (looks at Willow) Was it wrong? Should I use the plural?
      Willow: No. But you said, "The cow should touch me from Thursday."
      Buffy: Maybe that's what I was feeling.
      Willow: And you said it wrong.
      Buffy: Oh, je stink.

    • Giles: This Saturday's going to need a great deal of preparation.
      Willow: Well, we'll help.
      Xander: Yeah, I'll whittle stakes.
      Willow: And I can research stuff.
      Xander: And while I'm whittling, I plan to whistle a jaunty tune.
      Giles: Yes, your help will be greatly appreciated, but when it comes to battle, Buffy must fight alone. You are, after all, the Slay... (sees Snyder in the hall) ...slay-ve. Slaves. You're, you're all slaves to the, uh, television.

    • Giles: Ms. Calendar has been researching, well, surfing on her computer, and she's... Well, according to her calculations, this Saturday is the night of St. Vigeous.
      Buffy: Let me guess: he didn't make balloon animals.

    • Buffy: What can you really tell about a person from a test score?
      Joyce: Whether or not she's ever going out with her friends again.
      Buffy: Oh, that.

    • Buffy: Ow!
      Joyce: What's wrong?
      Buffy: I spent a good part of my allowance on this new cream rinse, and it's neither creamy nor rinsey.
      Joyce: Life is hard, dear.

    • Buffy: Do you think any other Slayers ever had to go to high school?
      Xander: It's no biggie. You'll have a nice soirée. The parents will love it. As long as nothing really bad happens between now and then, you'll be fine.
      Buffy: Are you crazy? What did you say that for? Now something bad is gonna happen!
      Xander: Whadaya mean? Nothing's gonna happen.
      Willow: Not until some dummy says, "as long as nothing bad happens."
      Buffy: It's the ultimate jinx!
      Willow: What were you thinking? Or were you even thinking at all?

    • Xander: (About Angel) Okay, that's it. I'm putting a collar with a little bell on that guy.

    • Buffy: We were at The Bronze before. Thought you said you might show.
      Angel: You said you weren't sure if you were going.
      Buffy: I was being cool. C'mon, you've been dating for what, like two hundred years? You don't know what a girl means when she says maybe she'll show?
      Willow: Wow, two centuries of dating. If you only had two a year, that's still, like, four hundred dates with four hundred different... Why do they call it a mace?
      Giles: We do have slightly more urgent matters to discuss.

    • Police Chief Bob: I need to say something to the media people.
      Snyder: So?
      Police Chief Bob: So, you want the usual story? Gang related? PCP?
      Snyder: What'd you have in mind, the truth?
      Police Chief Bob: Right. Gang related. PCP.

    • Willow: She was already smoking in fifth grade. Once I was lookout for her.
      Xander: You're bad to the bone.
      Willow: I'm a rebel.

    • Snyder: She ditched. Hmmmmm. I feel an expulsion coming on.

    • Xander: So, when you gave him my neck to chew on, why didn't you clock him before he had the chance to clock you?
      Angel: I told you. I couldn't make the first move. I had to see if he was buying it or not.
      Xander: And if he bit me, what then?
      Angel: We would've known he bought it.

    • Joyce: (Joyce hits Spike with an axe.) You get the hell away from my daughter!
      Spike: Women! (Spike gets up and leaves the school.)

    • Parent: Who are those people? What do they want?
      Joyce: I didn't get much of a look, but is there something wrong with their faces?
      Snyder: Yes. PCP... It's a gang on PCP!

    • Snyder: A lot of educators tell students "think of a principal as your pal". I say "think of me as your judge, jury, and executioner". Tell me, who do you think is the most troublesome student in this school? Well, it is quite a match between you two. On the one hand, Buffy hasn't stabbed a horticulture teacher with a trowel.
      Sheila: I didn't stab anyone with a trowel. They were pruning shears.
      Snyder: On the other hand, Sheila has never burned down a school building.
      Buffy: Well, that was never proven. The Fire Marshall said it could have been mice.
      Snyder: Mice.
      Buffy: Mice that were smoking?

    • Drusilla: (to a gagged doll) See, Annabelle, if you hadn't been bad you could have watched.

    • Spike: (sing-song voice) Somebody's in the ceiling...

    • Spike: I'm a veal kind of guy, you're too old to eat...(snaps man's neck) but not to kill.

    • Spike: Do you know what I've found works really good with Slayers? Killing them.

    • Angel: I taught you to always guard your perimeter. Tsk, tsk, tsk. You should have someone out there.
      Spike: I did. I'm surrounded by idiots. What's new with you?
      Angel: Everything.
      Spike: Yeah? Come up against this Slayer yet?
      Angel: She's cute. Not too bright, though. Gave the puppy dog "I'm all tortured" act. Keeps her off my back when I feed.
      Spike: People still fall for that Anne Rice routine. What a world!
      Xander: I knew you were lying! Undead liar guy!

    • Cordelia: And if you get me out of this, I swear I'll never be mean to anyone ever again. Unless they really deserve it. Or if it's that time of the month, in which case, I don't think you or anyone else can hold me responsible...
      Willow: Ask for some aspirin.
      Cordelia: And can you please send some asp... hey!

    • Cordelia: (making stake) My fingers are cramping. How long have I been doing this?
      Xander: Three minutes.
      Cordelia: So, can I go now? She doesn't need this many stakes. I mean, if this guy Spike is as mean as you all said, it should be over pretty quickly. (Buffy looks up at her) We're still all rooting for you on Saturday. I'd be there for you myself if I didn't have a leg wax.

    • Joyce: So, what do you think your teachers are going to tell me about you?
      Buffy: Well, I think they'll all agree that I always bring a pen to class, ready to absorb the knowledge.

    • Spike: You were my sire, man! You were my Yoda!
      Angel: Things change.
      Spike: Not us! Not demons. Man, I can't believe this. You Uncle Tom!

    • Drusilla: Do you like daisies? Hmm? I plant them, but they always die. Everything I put in the ground withers and dies. Spike? I'm cold.
      Spike: (putting his jacket around her) I've got you.
      Drusilla: I'm a princess.
      Spike: That's what you are.

    • Drusilla: You'll kill the Slayer, and then we'll have a nice little celebration. With streamers... and songs.

    • Drusilla: I think sometimes that all my hair will fall out, and I'll be bald.

    • Spike: Oh yeah. I did a couple Slayers in my time. Don't like to brag... Oh, who am I kidding, I love to brag!

    • Spike: Oh, please! If every vampire who said he was at the crucifixion was actually there, it would have been like Woodstock... I was actually at Woodstock. That was a weird gig. Fed off a flower person and spent the next six hours watching my hand move.

    • Spike: From now on, we're going to have a little less ritual and a little more fun around here!

    • Giles: For three nights the unholy ones scourge themselves into a fury, culminating in a savage attack on the night of St. Vigeous.
      Xander: Does anyone remember when Saturday night used to be date night?
      Cordy: You sure don't.

    • Buffy: Do we really need weapons for this?
      Spike: I just like them... they make me feel all manly.

  • Notes

    • Featured Music: The song heard in the background while Willow is helping Buffy with her French at the Bronze is "1000 Nights" by Nickel.

      The song that plays in The Bronze while Spike watches the Slayer and her gang dance is "Stupid Thing" by Nickel.

    • James Marsters practiced diligently with Anthony Stewart Head as his "mentor" to make sure he got his English accent right. Marsters said Spike's accent is very largely based on Head's off-screen accent, which sounds far more Cockney than his proper, stalwart intonation on Buffy.

    • James Marsters originally auditioned for the role of Spike using a Texan accent for the character. He and the writers eventually decided that this was not a good choice for the character, and so instead of a cowboy, Spike became a Brit.

    • Overnight Rating: (each 1/2 hour) 5.0/7 & 4.5/6. Wb Rank: 5/12.

    • The French title for this episode is "Attaque a Sunnydale" which translates into English as "Attack at Sunnydale".

    • The death of the Anointed One was forced upon the writing staff when they realized that Andrew J. Ferchland (Colin) had grown significantly during the off-season, and vampires aren't supposed to age.

  • Allusions

    • Jenny: Rupert, you have got to read something which was published after 1066.

      1066 is the year of the Norman invasion of the British Isles. William, the Norman leader, became King of England, and was known thereafter as William the Conqueror.

    • Buffy: I'm gonna take 'em on 1-on-1: Set 'em up, knock 'em down!

      This is a bowling reference. You set up the pins only to knock them down.

    • Spike: A Slayer with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the brochure.

      An unexpected negative aspect of a situation can be described as something that wasn't in the brochure. The term probably derives from the travel industry where hotels or travel destinations are described in a glossy brochure which leaves out or down-plays negatives.

    • Spike: Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum! I smell the blood of a nice ripe girl.

      A play on the line from Jack and the Beanstalk. "Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman!" The line is spoken by the villainous Giant, when he senses the presence of the hero, Jack.

    • Spike: Man, I can't believe this. You Uncle Tom.

      The character Uncle Tom, from Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was a slave who went along with his slave masters. In general, describing a person as an "Uncle Tom", means that they are a traitor to their own group of people.

    • Spike: You were my sire, man. You were my Yoda.
      The character of Yoda, from the Star Wars saga, was a wise, mysterious teacher. He was responsible for the training that would make a man into a Jedi Knight.

    • Spike: People still fall for that Anne Rice routine.
      Anne Rice is the author of the Vampire Chronicles series of books which includes Interview with the Vampire. Rice's vampires are not the pure evil characters of other vampire stories. They struggle with questions of right and wrong.

    • Giles: That's a little unorthodox, isn't it?
      Buffy: Maybe he's reform.

      Two branches of modern day Judaism are Orthodox and Reform. Buffy is actually correct in saying reform though the term reformed is probably more common in everyday usage in the U.S.

    • Spike: If every vampire who said he was at the crucifixion was actually there, it would have been like Woodstock.

      The 1969 music festival near Bethel, NY (named for the nearby artist community Woodstock) was one of the defining moments of the hippy culture of the 1960's and 70's. At it's peak, the festival was attended by approximately 500,000 people. Spike's allusion to Woodstock may also have another deeper meaning. Because of the cultural importance of the event, there are many people who claim to have been at Woodstock that were not, in fact, there.

    • Title: School Hard
      The title of the episode, "School Hard", is a play on Die Hard, a 1988 action movie starring Bruce Willis. In the movie, Willis must save a loved one from a group of terrorists who have taken a building. Both the movie and this episode involve the hero crawling around in duct work.

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