It's time for cheerleader tryouts, and Buffy can't resist! However, when the girls start getting knocked out of the competition by spontaneous combustion, sudden blindness, and other freak accidents, Buffy and the gang begin to suspect that someone may be behind these not so normal occurrences. Could someone be using dark magicks in order to make the squad?moreless
Buffy Anne Summers
Alexander 'Xander' Harris
The cheerleader whose hands caught on fire was named Amber. Amy tells Buffy and Willow that she (Amber) trained with the cheerleading coach Benson. What a strange coincidence that Amber Benson went on to play Tara Maclay in the show's 4th season.
When Cordelia gets out of the car she shuts the door, but in the next shot the door of the car is open just before it is hit by the truck.
In this episode we learn that Giles drives a gray Citroen.
Giles claims that his attempt to negate the witch's magick is his "first casting." This is later proved to be either a continuity error or a lie on Giles' part.
Amy tells Buffy that her mom makes her practice 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening, but later on in the ep, Buffy says that she just doesn't have time to practice 3 hours a day. 3+3 does not equal 3.
It seems odd that the truck driver didn't even try to stop when blind Cordelia was wandering into the road. He had plenty of time and space to swerve out of the way.
During the second cheerleading tryouts Cordelia is seen putting on a pink headband. It's gone while she's cheering, but when Amy falls on her, the pink headband is back in place.
When Willow fills the test tube with yellow liquid, it is filled halfway. But in the next shot, as she hands the test tube to Buffy, it is only filled a quarter of the way.
(Amber's arms ignite)
Willow: She's on fire!
Cordelia (not looking): Enough with the hyperbole!
Cordelia: Hey, I'm really sorry you guys got bumped back to alternate. Hold it, wait. No, I'm not.
Amy: Well, I know that I'll miss the intellectual thrill of spelling out words with my arms.
Xander: (to Willow) I gotta be a man and ask her out. Y'know, I gotta stop giving her ID bracelets, subtle innuendos, taking Polaroids outside of her bedroom window late at night. That last part is a joke to relieve the tension because here she comes.
Xander: (about Buffy) Was she wearing it? The bracelet, she was wearing it, right? Pretty much like we're going out.
Willow: Except without the hugging or kissing or her knowing about it.
Buffy: (singing) Macho, macho, man! I want to be a macho man. Macho... (stops singing as she walks into the kitchen) Oh, hey, juice! Mm... Quality juice. Not from
Joyce: You're in a good mood.
Buffy: I am! I'm on the squad, which is great, 'cause I feel like cheering and leading others to cheer. Ooo, hey, juice!
Joyce: Listen, honey, about yesterday, I really...
Buffy: That is totally yester. Besides, it's not like you were wrong, y'know. I did get kicked outta school. I'm just wacky that way!
Joyce: Still, I just want you to know that, despite the problems you've had, I really...
Buffy: Mom, you just don't get it. And, believe me, you don't want it. Y'know, there are just some things about being a Vampire Slayer that the older generation...
Joyce: A what?
Buffy: It's a... long story.
Joyce: Buffy, are you feeling well?
Buffy: What? Oh, I'm fine, y'know? What, like, I can't be in a good mood? Is it, like, a new house rule? Fine, y'know? It's just fine, fine, fine, 'cause... (sings) I'm a macho, macho man! I want to be a macho man!
Willow: "Witches: Historic Roots to Modern Practice", checked out by Alexander Harris.
Buffy: "The Pagan Rites", checked out by Alexander...
Xander: Alright, alright, it's not what you think.
Willow: You like to look at the semi-nude engravings?
Xander: Oh, well, I guess it is what you think.
Amy: I train with my mom, three hours in the morning, three at night.
Buffy: Hmm, that much quality time with my mom would probably lead to some quality matricide.
Buffy: I love you, Mom. (She jumps up and kisses her mom on the cheek, then runs from the room)
Joyce: I don't get it!
Buffy: You're my Xander-shaped friend. Do you have any idea why I love you so, Xander?
Willow: (to Xander) We gotta get her to a…
Xander: (to Willow) Let her speak.
Buffy: (to Xander) I'll tell you. You're not like other boys at all.
Buffy: You are totally and completely one of the girls. (to Willow) I'm that comfy with him.
Buffy: (referring to Amy) The test was positive. She's our Sabrina.
Xander: First vampires, now witches. No wonder you can still afford a house in Sunnydale.
Xander: (referring to Cordelia) Okay, see how she has no clue that I'm even a mammal, much less a human being?
Willow: I see that.
Xander: This is the Invisible Man Syndrome, blessing in Cordelia's case, a curse in Buffy's.
Willow: You're not invisible to Buffy.
Xander: It's worse. I'm just a part of the scenery, like an old shoe or a rug that you walk on every day but don't even really see.
Willow: Like a pen that's all chewed up, and you know you should throw it away, but you don't, not 'cause you like it so much more 'cause you're used to it…
Xander: Well, yeah, that is the point. You don't have to drive it through my head like a railroad spike.
Xander: That's why you're so cool. You're like a guy. You're my guy friend that knows about girl stuff.
Willow: Oh, great. I'm a guy.
Buffy: So Mommie Dearest is really ... Mommie Dearest.
Cordelia: Just look at that Amber. Who does she think she is, a Laker Girl?
Willow: I heard she turned them down.
Giles: This is madness. What could you have been thinking? You are the Slayer. Lives depend upon you. I make allowances for your youth, but I expect a certain amount of responsibility, instead of which you enslave yourself to this-this... cult.
(we see Buffy is wearing a cheerleading outfit)
Buffy: You don't like the color?
Giles: Why should someone want to harm Cordelia?
Willow: Maybe because they met her! Did I say that...?
Buffy: Mom, I've accepted that you've had sex. I am not ready to know that you had Farrah hair.
Joyce: This is Gidget hair. Don't they teach you anything in history?
Joyce: (about cheerleading) I'm glad you're taking that up again. It'll keep you out of trouble.
Buffy: I'm not in trouble.
Joyce: No, not yet.
Giles: But that's the thrill of living on the Hellmouth! There's a veritable cornucopia of, of fiends and devils and, and ghouls to engage. Pardon me for finding the glass half full.
Buffy: I'm inscrutable, huh?
Joyce: You're sixteen.
Willow: Yeah! You're the Slayer, and we're, like, the Slayerettes.
Xander: For I am Xander, King of Cretins. May all lesser cretins bow before me.
Giles: You have a sacred birthright, Buffy. You were chosen to destroy vampires, not to... wave pompoms at people. And as the Watcher I forbid it.
Buffy: And you'll be stopping me how?
Giles: Well, I... By appealing to your common sense, if such a creature exists.
Amy: I'm thinking about getting fat.
Buffy: I hear that look's in for spring.
Catherine: How dare you raise your hand to your mother! I gave you birth. I gave up my life so you could drag that worthless carcass around and call it living. You've never been anything but trouble. I'm going to put you where you can't make trouble again!
Catherine: She said I was wasting my youth. So she took it.
Xander: I laugh in the face of danger. Then I hide until it goes away.
An unfilmed scene from the original script has Giles suggesting an alternative way of testing whether Amy is a witch: "Yes, the ducking stool! We throw her in the pond. If she floats, she's a witch; if she drowns, she's innocent... some of my texts are a bit outdated."
Prints of this episode that aired in the UK incorrectly credit the band who perform the theme song as "Nerfherder" rather than the correct Nerf Herder.
Twilight Zone by 2 Unlimited - During cheerleader tryouts.
Count The Time by The Children* - At the end of the episode, while Buffy and her mother are talking.
Macho Man by The Village People (sung by Sarah Michelle Gellar) - Buffy sings in the kitchen.
*note: "The Children" later reformed as "Humbucker" and later "God's Children". "The Children" is the name that the band used when recording this track, so it is the name used here.
When Cordelia sees one of the girls trying out for the cheerleading squad, she makes the comment "Who does she think she is, a Laker Girl?". Charisma Carpenter was a cheerleader for the football team San Diego Chargers.
Elizabeth Anne Allen (Amy) originally auditioned for the part of Buffy.
The sign at cheerleader tryouts says it's 1996, setting this episode in 1996, even though it first aired in 1997.
Xander: This is the Invisible Man syndrome. A blessing in Cordelia's case. A curse in Buffy's.
The Invisible Man is a novel by H. G. Wells featuring a main character who becomes invisible due to a scientific experiment. Several films have been made based on the novel, as well as more than one television series.
Xander: She's like the Human Torch.
The Human Torch is a superhero from Marvel Comics. The original was an android who fought against Hitler in World War II, the second (and more commonly known) is a member of the superhero team the Fantastic Four.
Cordelia: These grapes are sour.
From the Aesop's fable where the fox, unable to reach the grapes, determines that they are probably sour anyway. The idea being that when something is unobtainable we declare it to be undesirable. Of course the real Amy probably never was much interested in becoming a cheerleader.
Buffy: She's our Sabrina!
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch first appeared in Archie comics in the 1960's. A TV series about the character began in 1996 starring Melissa Joan Hart and was soon followed by an animated series. The reference to Sabrina may also have been an inside joke, since Robin Riker (Amy's mother, Catherine) had previously made a guest appearance on the TV show.
Joyce: Great parenting form. A little shaky on the dismount.
Joyce speaks of her parenting skills in the language of gymnastics. The dismount from an apparatus is usually an especially tricky move.
Joyce: This is Gidget hair.
Buffy: I'm not ready to know you had Farrah hair.
Farrah Fawcett was a famous actress and sex symbol of the 70's. Her hairstyle was much imitated.
Buffy: So mommy dearest is really ... Mommie Dearest.
Amy: Her nickname was Catherine the Great.
Catherine the Great (the original one) was Empress of Russia from 1762-1796. She is known for making Russia a major European power but also for strengthening the class system and the power of the nobility.
Giles: Well pardon me for finding the glass half full.
A famous test for pessimism vs optimism is whether one calls a half glass of water "half empty" (the pessimist) or "half full" (the optimist). Giles sarcastically apologizes for delighting in the variety of supernatural activity in the vicinity of the Hellmouth.
Amy: Oh how I hate this, let me count the ways.
A play on the opening line of the poem from Elizabeth Barret Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese: "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways."
Cordelia: Who does she think she is? A Laker Girl?
The Laker Girls are the cheerleaders for the NBA's L.A. Lakers.
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