Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 2 Episode 9

What's My Line? (1)

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 17, 1997 on The WB



  • Trivia

    • Goof: When Angel is inspecting the "deceased" assassin's ring on the ice, you can still see him breathing quite rapidly.

    • Willow's frog fear is a condition known as Ranidaphobia.

    • Goof: One of the assassins gets off a bus, in the long shots the steps are one color with a sign reading "Watch your step" at 21:23, but in the close shot the steps are a different color and the sign is gone at 21:26.

    • Goof: When Angel is in Buffy's room, he walks in front of her mirror, which is mostly covered with pictures. Through the spaces between the pictures, you can see his reflection.

    • Nitpick: At the end of this episode, Kendra pushes Angel in a cage and locks it with a simple bicycle padlock. Angel can't break out of the cage, even though breaking that lock should be simple with his supernatural strength.

    • Nitpick: Buffy slashes the assassin's throat with her skate, but there is no blood on the skate blade in subsequent shots.

    • Goof: When Buffy is talking to Angel in her room, she is sitting on the bed, but at a pause in her speech she is shown standing up and leaning on the door frame of her room. At the next cut, she is suddenly sitting on the bed again. The cuts happen far too quickly for the movements to be natural.

    • Goof: After Buffy and Kendra fight and break the table, the remains vanish from the floor.

  • Quotes

    • Spike: (about Buffy) She's the gnat in my ear. The gristle in my teeth. She's the bloody thorn in my bloody side!

    • Xander: Y'know, with that kind of attitude, you could have had a bright future as an employee of the DMV.

    • Cordelia: I can't even believe you. You dragged me out of bed for a ride? What am I, mass transportation?
      Xander: That's what a lot of the guys say, but it's just locker room talk. I wouldn't pay it any mind.
      Cordelia: Oh, great, so now I'm your taxi and your punching bag.
      Xander: I like to think of you more as my witless foil, but have it your way.

    • Giles: Well, maybe Buffy unplugged the phone.
      Xander: No, it's a statistical impossibility for a sixteen-year-old girl to unplug her phone.

    • Giles: Buffy. Thank you. I've been, uh, indexing the Watcher diaries covering the last couple of centuries. You would be amazed at how numbingly pompous and long-winded some of these Watchers were.
      Buffy: Color me stunned.
      Giles: So, uh, I trust last night's patrol was fruitful?
      Buffy: Semi. Mm, I caught one out of two vamps after they stole something from this jumbo mausoleum.
      Giles: They were stealing?
      Buffy: Yeah! They had tools, flashlights, whole nine yards. What does that mean anyway? 'Whole nine yards'? Nine yards of what? Now it's gonna bug me all day.

    • Xander: When you look at me, do you think 'prison guard'?
      Buffy: Um, crossing guard, maybe, but prison guard?
      Xander: They just put up the assignments for the career fair, and according to my test results I can look forward to being gainfully employed in the growing field of corrections.
      Buffy: Well, at least you'll be on the right side of the bars.

    • Xander: Ha, ha, ha, ha! Laugh now, missy, they assigned you to the
      booth for law enforcement professionals.
      Buffy: As in police?
      Xander: As in polyester, donuts, and brutality.

    • Buffy: Uh, we're having this thing at school.
      Angel: Career week?
      Buffy: How did you know?
      Angel: I lurk.
      Buffy: Right. Well, then you know it's a whole week of "What's My Line?", only... I don't get to play. Sometimes I just want...
      Angel: You want what? It's okay.
      Buffy: The Cliff Notes version? I want a normal life. Like I had before.
      Angel: Before me.
      Buffy: No, Angel, it's not you. You're the one freaky thing in my freaky world that still makes sense to me. I just get messed sometimes. I wish we could be regular kids.
      Angel: Yeah. I'll never be a kid.
      Buffy: Okay, then a regular kid and her cradle robbing, creature-of-the-night boyfriend.

    • Buffy: Do I like shrubs?
      Xander: That's between you and your god.
      Buffy: What'd you put?
      Willow: I came down on the side of shrubs.
      Buffy: Go with shrubs! Okay! Uhhh! I shouldn't even be bothering with this. It's all mootville for me. No matter what my aptitude test says, we already know my deal.
      Xander: Yup, high risk, sub-minimum wage...
      Buffy: Pointy wooden things...

    • Buffy: Angel was power-freaked by that ring.
      Giles: I'm afraid he was not overreacting. This ring is worn only by members of the Order of Taraka. It's a society of deadly assassins dating back to King Solomon.
      Xander: And didn't they beat the Elks this year in the Sunnydale adult bowling league championships?
      Giles: Their credo is to sow discord and kill the unwary.
      Xander: Bowling is a vicious game.
      Giles: That's enough, Xander!

    • Buffy: Thanks for the wake-up, but I'll stick with my clock-radio.

    • Willy: I'm staying away from that whole scene. I'm living right, Angel.
      Angel: Sure you are, Willy. And I'm taking up sunbathing.

    • Buffy: Giles, it's one thing to be a Watcher and a librarian. They go together, like a chicken and... another chicken... or two chickens or something.

    • Buffy: Well, there you go. I don't have to be the Slayer. I could be dead .
      Giles: That wasn't terribly funny. You notice I didn't laugh .
      Buffy: That wouldn't be much of a change. Either way, I'm bored, constricted, I never get to shop, and my hair and fingernails still continue to grow.

    • Snyder: It's worth nothing, Harris. Whatever comes out of your mouth is a meaningless waste of breath. An airborne toxic event.
      Xander: Well, I'm glad you feel comfortable enough to be so honest with me. And I can only hope that one day I'm in the position to be that honest with you.

    • Drusilla: I was dreaming.
      Spike: Of what, pet?
      Drusilla: We were in Paris. You had a branding iron. And there were worms in my baguette.

    • Cordelia: "I aspire to help my fellow man." Check. As long as he's not smelly, dirty or something gross.
      Xander: Cordelia Chase, always ready to give a helping hand to the rich and the pretty.
      Cordelia: Which, lucky me, excludes you. Twice.
      Xander: (to Willow and Buffy) Is murder always a crime?

    • Kendra: Who are you?
      Buffy: Who am I? You attacked me, who the hell are you?
      Kendra: I am Kendra, the Vampire Slayer.

    • Buffy: Well, I'll just jump off that bridge when I come to it.

    • Giles: It's a reliquary. Used to house items of religious significance. Most commonly a finger or some other body part from a saint.
      Buffy: Note to self: Religion: Freaky.

    • Xander: What, and suck all the spontaneity out of being young and stupid? I'd rather live in the dark.
      Willow: You're not gonna be young forever.
      Xander: Yes, but I'll always be stupid.

  • Notes

    • Marti Noxon originally envisioned the climax of the ice skating rink scene to be far bloodier, citing on the DVD commentary that she thought it would be like in the 1996 Coen brothers film, Fargo.

    • Cordelia's career aptitude test said she should either be a personal shopper or a motivational speaker. The motivational speaker part was quite prophetic as she would go on to keep Angel motivated like no one else could.

    • Bianca Lawson (Kendra) originally auditioned for the role of Cordelia Chase and won it, but she was opted to take a role in Goode Behavior instead. Producers liked her so much that she was introduced on the second season as Kendra.

    • Patrice the Cop who is a member of the Order of Taraka appears in this episode uncredited with no dialogue, but is credited in the second part of this episode.

    • Co-writer Howard Gordon has worked with Buffy Executive Producer David Greenwalt before, on an episode of The X-Files.

    • This episode introduces the Scooby Gang reference, which has since become a general term when talking about Buffy and her clan.

  • Allusions

    • Buffy: ...my hair and fingernails still continue to grow.

      This is a reference to the fact that, after death, hair and fingernails appear to grow just a little bit longer. This was often considered evidence for vampires back in the day. However, the appearance is actually due to the contraction of the surrounding skin rather than extension of the dead cells.

    • The character "Dalton" may be a nod to the chemistry scientist John Dalton (1766-1844), who introduced the hypothesis of "atomism." While the vampire Dalton wears a beard, unlike the human scientist, their glasses, hair, and clothing are virtually identical.

    • Spike: By George, I think he's got it!
      This is a paraphrase of what Professor Higgins says to Eliza in the 1964 movie My Fair Lady when he is trying to get her to speak proper English.

    • Xander: Come on Cordelia, you want to be a member of the Scooby Gang, you gotta be willing to be inconvenienced every now and then.
      In the Scooby Doo cartoons, the gang of teenagers would solve mysteries involving someone faking some sort of supernatural occurrence.

    • Angel: You're in danger. You know what the ring means?
      Buffy: I just killed a Super Bowl champ?
      The Super Bowl is the American professional football championship game. As in many pro sports, the participants are given a commemorative ring.

    • Buffy: Hellmouth presents Dead Guys on Ice.

      A play on the various ice skating shows, Cinderella on Ice, etc.

    • Buffy: So you're saying these vampires went to all this hassle for your basic decoder ring?
      Secret decoder rings were a frequent tool of radio and television heroes in the 50s. The faithful fans could get the rings which would provide the key to a simple code. The code would allow the fans to read otherwise unintelligible messages. The name most associated with secret decoder rings is Captain Midnight - a children's radio and later television hero. Interestingly enough, while many people claim to have heard of Captain Midnight secret decoder rings, it has not been proven that such an item has ever existed.

    • Recruiter: The jet was delayed by fog at Sea-Tac, but he should be here any minute.
      Sea-Tac is the common shortened name of the Seattle Tacoma Airport. The Seattle area reference, along with the "world's largest software" company line point directly to a not-so-subtle Microsoft reference.

    • Buffy: Have a cow, Giles.
      This is a play on the saying "Don't have a cow". Made popular by the infamous character Bart from The Simpsons television show, it simply means don't get all excited.

    • Buffy: He's on the Tony Robbins hyper-efficiency kick.
      Tony Robbins is a motivational speaker famous for the book Unleash The Power Within.

    • Buffy: But I'm in full see no evil mode.

      A reference to the saying "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil." Normally portrayed as chimpanzees covering the appropriate sense with their hands.

    • Buffy: Oh my gosh. My Dorothy Hamill phase.
      Dorothy Hamill was the 1976 Olympic gold medalist in figure skating. Her "wedge" hairbecame very popular for a brief time.

    • Buffy: Cliff Notes version?

      The savior of many a student, Cliffs Notes are a series of study guides to various literary works. Supposedly intended as a supplement to the reading, many students attempt to get by reading just the much briefer Cliffs Notes version.

    • Xander: You know, with that kind of attitude you could have had a bright future as an employee of the DMV.

      Employees at the Department of Motor Vehicles are often the brunt of jokes. They are thought to be inefficient and gruff.

    • Title: "What's my line?"
      From the TV game show What's My Line. A contestant with an unusual occupation would face a panel of celebrities. The celebrities would ask questions in an attempt to determine the contestant's line of work.

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