->'''Xander:''' So we're saying he did a spell just to make us ''think'' he was cool?\\
'''Giles:''' Yes.\\
'''Xander:''' That is so cool!

[[caption-width-right:350:"Sounds like you could use my help."]]

Buffy and the Scooby Gang are hunting vampires in a graveyard. When they discover a nest, they decide there are too many vampires to fight, so they go to Jonathan's mansion to ask for help. Later, at Giles' place, Jonathan checks out weapons and even practices hand-to-hand with Buffy. Willow uses her computer skills to find a floor plan of the vampires' lair, but she can see only one way to enter it. Jonathan quickly finds a better way. With a plan in mind, Jonathan passes out weapons, hands out assignments, and wins a chess game with Giles.

At the crypt, Jonathan slays the majority of the vampires, leaving Buffy to feel inadequate, as she allows one vampire to get by her. Jonathan reassuringly tells Buffy that it's okay, "As long as you do your best." As they leave the crypt, Jonathan is ambushed by paparazzi. He senses Spike hiding in the shadows and calls him out to posture and trade insults. Jonathan wins the verbal battle with Spike, while Buffy is at a loss for words (amusingly, Spike refers to Buffy as "Betty" and does for the rest of the episode).

While putting pictures of Jonathan up on a wall, Willow and Tara talk about the fight earlier that night and Buffy's relationship with Riley.

At Riley's dorm room, Riley tells Buffy he is feeling better and is no longer taking the drugs that the Initiative was feeding him. His superiors tell him that the food at the Initiative is no longer doctored, but to be sure, Riley no longer eats it. Buffy jokes about her poor basketball skills as a way to cover the fact that any time he tries to touch her, she moves away. She leaves, cutting the conversation short.

Buffy meets Jonathan at the Espresso Pump to get relationship advice. Jonathan thinks Buffy is still angry with Riley for sleeping with Faith while she had swapped bodies with Buffy. Jonathan advises Buffy to forgive Riley for not realizing that he was really sleeping with Faith, instead of her. While they are talking, one of Jonathan's fans, named Karen, asks him to sign a copy of his book for her.

Colonel George Haviland is the new commander at The Initiative, but he yields to Jonathan, who is consulting with the Initiative on how to find and destroy Adam. Jonathan has noticed that Adam never eats. By examining Professor Walsh's diagrams, he has learned that Adam has a uranium-235 derived power source in his chest. Jonathan explains that Adam cannot be killed by decapitation; he must be annihilated completely.

Outside Jonathan's mansion, the fan from the coffee shop, Karen, is trying to get another glimpse of the amazing Jonathan and uses binoculars to peer in his windows. While spying, she is attacked by a grotesque, long-armed monster in the rain, but manages to escape and run away, terrified.

At the Initiative headquarters, Riley seeks advice from Jonathan about his relationship with Buffy. Riley echoes the same concerns that Buffy expressed to Jonathan earlier at the coffee shop. As he tells Riley not to worry, that "people don't always see what's in front of them," Jonathan nonchalantly dons a blindfold and raises a pistol to shoot apples off the heads of three Initiative commandos.

At The Bronze, Jonathan sings on stage, Rat Pack style, while Buffy and Riley take the dance floor. When Jonathan finishes his song and plays his trumpet ("something from the new album!" exclaims Tara), Xander and Anya, very turned on by Jonathan, leave to have sex. Buffy lets Riley know that she forgives him and wants to move on with their relationship. A still terrified Karen goes to The Bronze to find Jonathan, who comforts her and takes her to his mansion for her safety. Buffy and Riley follow.

At the mansion, Karen describes the monster, "it was ugly... big... ugly!" She draws a picture of a triangular symbol on its forehead. Jonathan recognizes the symbol, but underplays its significance. He says the monster is little more than an animal and not harmful, and promises to take care of the matter. As Jonathan leaves to take Karen home, Buffy looks puzzled, noticing his evasiveness.

Adam sits in front of several television sets at his lair. When he sees Jonathan on the screens, he knows at once that "these are lies" and that Jonathan has cast a spell. Adam claims to be "more awake and alive" than any human or demon has ever been. He sees no need to do anything about Jonathan because "these magics are unstable."

At Jonathan's mansion, twin blond Swedish girls, Inga and Ilsa, call for Jonathan to come back to bed. He drops his robe to reveal a triangular symbol on his shoulder, just like the one on the monster that Karen had described.

Buffy, Willow and Tara are walking on campus. Buffy says that Jonathan seemed scared when he recognized the symbol. Willow protests that Jonathan is never scared. To prove his bravery, Willow reminds Buffy that Buffy had presented Jonathan with a class protector award at their senior prom. Tara then leaves Buffy and Willow to go her dorm room. On the way to her room, Tara is attacked by the same monster that had attacked Karen. She confuses it with a spell and hides in a supply closet. The next morning, Tara identifies the demon by the symbol on its head, and Buffy has even more reasons to question Jonathan.

Buffy stops by Xander's place. He is not there, but Anya lets her in. Xander has a collection of Jonathan comic books and trading cards. Buffy questions how Jonathan could be so perfect. She asks Anya if a person could wish that the whole world would be different. Based on her experience as a vengeance demon, Anya answers yes. Anya then illustrates her point to Buffy by describing how an entire world could exist without shrimp, "...even entire worlds with nothing but shrimp!"

Buffy calls a Scooby meeting at Giles' place, where she expresses doubts about Jonathan. She does not know how he starred in "The Matrix" without ever leaving Sunnydale, or how he graduated from medical school when he's only 18 ("...effective time management," Xander proclaims to defend his idol). She asks the group if Jonathan might not be too perfect, but none of them can see her point. Even Riley thinks her ideas sound like nonsense, but "having learned to trust her," he encourages everyone to follow her lead, in spite of the scoobie's lack of trust in her abilities compared to Jonathan's. They look at Giles' copy of Jonathan's swimsuit calendar to see the monster's mark on his shoulder. Jonathan arrives and explains that he does have a history with the monster and becomes confused every time he faces it. He says that he had the monster's mark tattooed on him so that he "would not underestimate it next time."

Buffy suggests that the two of them go after the monster. Jonathan says it has probably left town, but agrees to try to find it with Buffy. While searching a cemetery, Jonathan and Buffy meet Spike. Buffy threatens Spike, telling him that the butchers in town respect Jonathan, and Spike might get "kinda thirsty" if he doesn't give them some information. Spike tells them several vampires have been kicked out of a cave by something "probably pretty big."
Back at Giles' place, Willow finds the mark in a book and learns that Jonathan did an Augmentation spell to make himself a paragon of all that is ideal and great. The downside is that the spell must create an opposing force of evil to balance the new force of good. Giles concludes that if Jonathan's monster were killed, the spell would be broken and the world, including Jonathan, would revert to "whatever he was before." Anya says that Jonathan will not want Buffy to "get very far."

Jonathan and Buffy go to the cave mentioned by Spike. They see a deep pit. Jonathan reaches for Buffy's hand, and for a moment it appears he may intend to push her into the pit. Instead, he grasps her wrist and reminds her that they are hunting a monster. The monster appears and knocks Jonathan out.

At Giles' place, the gang considers what the world would be like if the spell were broken. Willow can't believe that Buffy was actually right, and Xander dislikes the idea. Giles says the world will be "pretty much the same" except that "our Jonathan" won't be in it, making them all sad. Riley is afraid that if Buffy can't kill the monster, they will be stuck "in this wrong world" forever.

Back at the cave, Jonathan recovers and attacks the monster, but with little effect. He tells Buffy that she will have to do the fighting; he explains that the more she hurts the monster, the more Jonathan will succumb to his true nature. Buffy's fighting skills suddenly improve. The monster almost knocks her into the pit, but Jonathan tackles it from behind and both of them fall in. Buffy grabs Jonathan's ankle, saving him, while the monster falls.

A band of white light passes through Sunnydale, erasing all the signs of Jonathan's celebrity. The next day, under a tree on the UC Sunnydale campus, the Scoobies reflect on how things are changed. Xander misses the way Jonathan made him feel about himself. Riley says that, in the alternate reality, he felt "way too tall." Buffy sees Jonathan standing alone at a distance and walks over to join him. Jonathan explains that he learned the spell from a boy he met during counseling after his attempted suicide. "He glossed right over the monster," Jonathan says. Buffy warns him not to "try to make everything work out with some big gesture all at once." She says "things are complicated; they take time and work." She basically gives him back the advice he gave to her earlier about mending her relationship with Riley.

Buffy and Riley are kissing on his bed, both happy that things are better between them. Buffy jokingly moans, "Jonathan."

!!Tropes in this episode:
* AnAesop: At the end, normal schlubby Jonathan stops by to apologize, and Buffy offers him some advice. Jonathan retains enough of his memories to remind her that he gave her the same advice regarding her relationship with Riley.
-->'''Buffy:''' Jonathan, you can't keep trying to make everything work out with some big gesture all at once. Things are complicated. They take time and work.
* AffectionateGestureToTheHead: Spike does the [[FoeYay creepy villain version]].
* AloneWithThePsycho: Buffy goes off alone with Jonathan to hunt the demon. Then the Scoobies discover that if Buffy kills the demon, Jonathan's alternate universe will collapse.
* AlwaysSecondBest: Buffy is nervous about the prospect of fighting more than two vampires, and [[TheChick the other Scoobies have trouble respecting her ideas]]. Understandable when you're overshadowed by the amazing Jonathan.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Subverted; Buffy realizing that Jonathan is ''everyone's'' Someone Better (even hers, and she's the Slayer) leads her to the conclusion that there's something wrong with the world.
* AndHereHeComesNow: Only the amazing Jonathan realizes that Spike is lurking behind a bush.
-->'''Jonathan:''' Vampires only form nests to make hunting easier. They're not big on the cooperation. They mostly like to hang out all creepy and alone in the shadows. Don't you agree... ''[turns to look]'' ''Spike''?
* AntiMagic: Adam is the only one not affected by Jonathan's spell, because he has absolute knowledge of every part of his body.
* AwesomeButTemporary: Adam doesn't have to kill Jonathan, as the spell is inherently unstable.
* BadassBoast:
** Delivered by the man himself, Jonathan.
--->'''Jonathan:''' Spike, you're the worst type of scum. The second you're back to your old tricks, well; let's just say before you even sniff out your first victim [[ImpliedDeathThreat you'll be pretty indistinguishable from, oh what should we say,]] ''[smirks]'' instant soup mix?
** Adam, too, with his "You are all just shadows" speech.
* BadassInANiceSuit: Who else but Jonathan?
* BadassLongcoat: Jonathan does the [[Series/{{Angel}} billowy coat thing]] in the credits.
* BaitAndSwitch: Jonathan looks like he's going to push Buffy into the abyss, but he pulls her back from it instead.
* BettyAndVeronica: When Riley wonders why Buffy is avoiding him intimately, Jonathan wisely points out that Faith was sexually experienced and Buffy is worried he'll be comparing.
* BigFancyHouse: Jonathan has one in this universe.
* BirdsOfAFeather: Xander feels the loss most when things return to normal.
* BlackComedy: Buffy dusts a vampire and the quarrel she fires sets off the mobile phone in its jacket pocket.
* BlackHoleSue: Used InUniverse when Jonathan uses a wish spell to fold reality around himself and turns himself into an invincible, charismatic hero, admired by everyone. Unfortunately, he forgot to read the [[EquivalentExchange fine print]].
* BottomlessPit: In the monster's lair.
-->'''Buffy:''' Wow! Fall down there and be dead for a while.
-->'''Jonathan:''' ''[eyeing her]'' Yeah. Wouldn't want that to happen...
* BrickJoke:
** The AlternateUniverse consisting only of shrimp. The payoff occurs several years later in the spin-off series ''Series/{{Angel}}'' when Illyria is boasting of all the alternate dimensions she's visited.
--->'''Illyria:''' I walked worlds of smoke and half-truths, intangible. Worlds of torment and of unnamable beauty. Opaline towers as high as small moons. Glaciers that rippled with insensate lust. And one world with nothing but shrimp. I tired of that one quickly.
** Another one comes due in Season 7's "[[Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS7E1Lessons Lessons]]". Anya has a throwaway line describing the vengeance wishes she'd enact on wronged women's ex-boyfriends: "I'd wish he was a dog or ugly or in love with President [=McKinley=] or something." Three years later, chastising Anya for going soft, Halfrek says: "You were the single-most hard-core vengeance demon on the roster, and everybody knew it. Do I have to mention Mrs. Czolgosz?" President William [=McKinley=] was assassinated by a man named Leon Czolgosz.
** Xander gripes that Anya [[WrongNameOutburst said Jonathan's name during sex]] (who wouldn't?). When Buffy and Riley are [[SealedWithAKiss kissing at the end]], Buffy lets slip an "Mmmm, Jonathan!"
* ChairReveal: How the episode introduces us to our real hero, Jonathan.
* ChekhovsGun: Jonathan tells the Initiative about Adam's uranium core, which becomes relevant in the final confrontation with the cyborg BigBad.
* TheChick: Spike is shocked when "Betty" suddenly slams him against the side of a crypt.
-->'''Spike:''' Hey! You're not supposed to do that!
* CirclingMonologue: Spike and Jonathan do this to each other.
* ConvenientSlowDance: Jonathan creates this so Buffy and Riley can make up. What a guy!
* CranialProcessingUnit: Averted with Adam; even cutting off his head won't kill him.
* DamselInDistress: Tara is attacked by the monster, showing how she's taken over the role from [[TookALevelInBadass Willow]]. She does manage to hold it off with a magic SmokeOut, then take cover and hide until it leaves.
* DarkMessiah: A vampire jokingly calls Adam "the evil messiah guy."
* ADayInTheLimelight: The illustrious Jonathan. It's about time, too!
* DifferentWorldDifferentMovies: A movie marquee advertising ''[[Film/BeingJohnMalkovich Being Jonathan Levinson]]'' changes to "Closed for repairs."
* DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale: Retrospectively in the episode's attitude to earlier events. Faith's rape-by-body-swap of Riley is discussed entirely in terms of Riley proving himself to be a bad boyfriend and an imperceptive lout for not noticing the body swap, and the possibility that he might be in any way traumatized by it is never brought up.
* DramaticShattering: Jonathan crashes into the vampire crypt through a stained glass window.
* {{Egopolis}}: Jonathan's face is everywhere in Sunnydale, from billboards to baseball cards. It's a beautiful sight.
* EquivalentExchange: By turning himself into a paragon of all that is good, Jonathan also creates a demon that is totally evil.
* EvenTheGuysWantHim:
** Giles has Jonathan's swimsuit calender. ItWasAGift.
** When Jonathan plays the trumpet, Anya wants to go have sex. Xander agrees.
** Inverted sexually with lesbians Willow and Tara creating a Jonathan collage.
--->'''Willow:''' Ooh, that's a cute one!
%%* EverybodyWasKungFuFighting
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: Once again Buffy has curly hair, as she does when under a spell or otherwise NotHerself.
* EyesNeverLie: Lampshaded re. Faith's GrandTheftMe.
-->'''Jonathan:''' I don't think this about you being angry with Faith; I think you're angry with Riley. I mean you have this amazing connection with him, and then at the one moment when it matters the most, he looks into your eyes and he doesn't even see that it's not you looking back at him.\\
'''Buffy:''' There's no way he could know. I mean you don't just look at someone and say, "Hey that's not your body, get out of that body with your hands up!"\\
'''Jonathan:''' I know you ''know'' that. But you have to ''believe'' it.
* {{Fanservice}}: InUniverse with Jonathan's swimsuit calendar.
-->'''Buffy:''' ''[flipping through pages]'' No. No. No. ''Whoa.'' No.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Jonathan's desire to use magic as a shortcut to the good life causes him to become one of the villainous Trio in Season 6.
* HandsOnApproach: Riley tries to show Buffy how to throw a ball through the mini-basketball hoop in his room. However, Buffy is still upset that [[GrandTheftMe Riley slept with Faith]], so she just walks out the door the moment the sexual tension gets too high.
* HeroicSacrifice: When the demon gets the drop on Buffy, Jonathan throws himself at it, sending them both into the abyss. Fortunately, Buffy grabs Jonathan's ankle to stop him from falling too.
* HypocriticalHumor: Xander is doing a BadassBoast about the importance of dexterity during a QuickDraw, then turns down Anya's request to open a milk carton as he'll make a mess of it.
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty: Spike caresses a [[TheChick frightened Buffy's]] hair in a very suggestive manner.
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: Jonathan, which is the reason he becomes the paragon of excellence.
* IJustWantToHaveFriends: Part of Jonathan's motivation; everyone loves him when he's good at everything.
-->'''Buffy:''' Jonathan, you get why everyone is angry though, right? It's not just the monster. People didn't like being the little actors in your sock puppet theater.\\
'''Jonathan:''' You weren't! You weren't socks! We were friends.
* ImprovisedWeapon: Jonathan breaks off a stalactite and wields it Captain Kirk–style against the demon.
* LameComeback: Buffy's DeadpanSnarker skills have been affected too.
-->'''Spike:''' Yeah, back off Betty.
-->'''Buffy:''' It's Buffy, you [[BigStupidDoodooHead big bleached... stupid guy]].
* TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers: Jonathan [[Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS2E1WhenSheWasBad crushed the bones of the Master]], [[Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS3E22GraduationDayPart2 blew up a big snake made out of Mayor]], and coached the U.S. Women's Soccer Team to a stunning World Cup victory.
* LanguageOfMagic: "You can't just say 'librum incendere' and--" PHWOOSH!
-->'''Giles:''' Xander, don't speak Latin in front of the books.
* MartyStu: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]]. It's Jonathan, and he really is that great. Also, there was magic involved. [[invoked]]
* NiceGuy: Jonathan is unfailingly polite to all his rabid fans (he even lets a chipped Spike know [[VillainCred he's still dangerous]]), and gives Buffy and Riley advice to help patch up their relationship. Part of this is because that's how a superhero is supposed to act (the spell turns him into a paragon of good) but he also enjoys being friends with the Scoobies and clearly still appreciates Buffy saving his life in "[[Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS3E18Earshot Earshot]]".
* OneHeadTaller: Spoofed during the Initiative's MissionBriefing, when all the soldiers tower over the amazing Jonathan.
-->'''Riley:''' Did anyone else feel way too tall? I felt ''way'' too tall.
* PerpSweating: Jonathan roughs up Spike to no effect. Spike is surprised when Betty the Vampire Slayer does the same, pointing out that Jonathan could get every butcher in Sunnydale to stop selling to Spike, in which case he'd get very hungry.
* PowerAtAPrice: Jonathan's spell makes him everyone's greatest dream, but [[EquivalentExchange balance the scales]] creates a monster which is everyone's worst nightmare.
* PreAsskickingOneLiner: Courtesy of Jonathan, naturally.
-->'''Jonathan:''' Everyone, let's show these fiends that they came to the wrong town.
* QuickDraw: Xander is shown practicing this with a stake.
-->'''Xander:''' Quick draw's about more than speed. It's also about pointing a stake the right way. And there can be splinter issues.
* RealityWarper: Jonathan improves the world greatly by making himself a glorious pinnacle of greatness by way of a spell. Unfortunately, [[EquivalentExchange he didn't realize what else his spell did...]]
* ResetButton: ZigZaggedTrope. The death of the demon reverts reality back to normal, and memories of the events fade away over the next few days. (Such a shame.) But Jonathan's advice to Buffy and Riley, [[spoiler: and his theory about how to stop Adam]], still hold up.
* SayingSoundEffectsOutLoud: Willow's description of her fight with the vampire nest.
-->'''Willow:''' Twang! Poof! ''[Tara looks confused]'' That was the sound--the crossbow, vampire dusting...
* {{Sexophone}}: Anya and [[EvenTheGuysWantHim Xander]] stare at the suave and cool Jonathan playing the trumpet.
-->'''Anya:''' Xander, let's go have sex now.
* ShesBack: Living in a world where the Slayer is overshadowed by Jonathan has dramatically affected Buffy's self-confidence and fighting skills. But as she beats on the demon and Jonathan's staggering power wanes, Buffy starts to enjoy herself.
-->'''Buffy:''' ''[smiling]'' I remember this. This good.
* ShirtlessScene: Riley in his dorm with Buffy. But no smoochies ensue.
* ShoutOut: The ''Film/JamesBond'' tux and music.
* SidetrackedByTheAnalogy: After taking on the nest of vampires.
-->'''Xander:''' I think did great. We knocked em dead. Which they already were.
-->'''Willow:''' We knocked 'em deader!
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: During the Scooby MissionBriefing, the brilliant Jonathan takes time out to checkmate Giles.
* SmokeOut: Tara does this with magic to escape the demon.
* SpecialEditionTitle: The spell even spills over into the TitleSequence, with scenes of Jonathan defusing an IncrediblyObviousBomb and doing a PowerWalk in a BadassLongcoat.
* SpottingTheThread: Buffy realizes that Jonathan's heroics don't square with established facts, despite everyone remembering them. There's no reason he should be that much better at vampire hunting than the Slayer, for example, and he starred in ''Film/TheMatrix'' without leaving town.
* StalkerWithACrush: {{Fangirl}} Karen {{squee}}s over Jonathan (as expected, of course), and stops by his house later, only to be the first to encounter the monster.
* SublimeRhyme: "Scampered like a big bumpy bunny."
* {{Superhero}}: Unlike [[HeroWithBadPublicity Buffy in the normal universe]], Jonathan is respected and adored by the public, and [[TheUnmasquedWorld works in cohesion with the police and the Initiative to fight demons]].
* TwinThreesomeFantasy: Jonathan has a couple of [[NorseByNorsewest blonde Swedish twins]] in his BigFancyHouse. Those lucky twins.
* UnnecessaryCombatRoll: Jonathan pulls a couple while slaying the vampire nest. Being Jonathan, they work perfectly, allowing him to hit the last vampire before it escapes out the door.
* VocalDissonance: Jonathan crooning a forties pop song. Pro athlete, military genius, star of ''Film/TheMatrix'', and '''now''' he's [[Music/FrankSinatra Sinatra]]. Because he's Jonathan. He's just that cool.
* WilliamTelling: Jonathan is shown preparing to shoot apples from the heads of several Initiative soldiers [[YourEyesCanDeceiveYou while blindfolded]], because he's that skilled.
* WrongNameOutburst: See BrickJoke.
* YouGetMeCoffee: Buffy makes a cup of coffee for Jonathan. And what an honor, making coffee for the wonderful, talented, appropriately-heighted Jonathan!