Buffy: It's my first week actually talking to the kids. What if their problems are all weird and tricky?
Xander: I think you underestimate your familiarity with the world of weird and tricky. This job's perfect for you.
Buffy begins work as school counsellor, and tries to save a girl who has predicted her own death.
- Absentee Actor: Anya and Giles.
- Abusive Parents: Averted. Buffy's initial assumption that Cassie's divorced alcoholic father will be the one who kills her; when she tells him, he's horrified and comes out of it looking more like The Woobie.
- All Therapists Are Muggles: Averted
- An Aesop: You can't save everyone, but you need to keep trying.
- Arrow Catch: Buffy catches a crossbow quarrel just before it kills Cassie — who then dies of a heart attack.
- Bait and Switch: Ominous music plays as coffin lids rise...to reveal Buffy and Xander hiding inside so they can check out a funeral home for vamps.
- Cassie's predicted death is from a heart attack, not some supernatural menace.
- Big Damn Heroes: Spike with his flaming torch.
- Bond One-Liner: The Scoobies comment on how peaceful the woman in the coffin is.
Buffy: That, I can help with. (dusts her) I always thought closed caskets were more tasteful anyway.
- Bound and Gagged
- Bully Hunter: Amanda comes to Buffy about being bullied. Buffy tells her she needs to stand up to the boy. Amanda admits that's why she's there — because she pounded his face into the pavement and should she do it some more? Buffy, a long-time bully hunter herself, is at a loss for words. The scene becomes even more ironic when we later discover Amanda is a Potential Slayer.
- Call Back
- The fraternity in "Reptile Boy" also sacrificed women to a demon in exchange for wealth.
- Joyce Summer's death, which was also due to natural causes despite Buffy's attempt to discover a supernatural menace behind it all.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Booby Traps. Subverted when they fail to kill anyone.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Cassie will return as a ghost (actually the First) who communicates with Willow in "Conversations With Dead People". Amanda is revealed to be a potential Slayer in "Potential".
- Comically Missing the Point
Wood: Talk like that was taken pretty seriously where I come from.
Buffy: The hood?
Wood: Beverly Hills... which is a hood.
- Continuity Nod: Xander is very interested when Willow mentions she used to write love poems. Willow replies, "I am over you, sweetie" referring to how she fancied Xander in Seasons 1 & 2.
- Curse Cut Short
Buffy: You need to show this bully that you're not gonna take any more of his sh—guff. Uh, any guff.
- Cut Himself Shaving: On seeing two familiar puncture wounds on a corpses' neck.
Xander: Maybe she cut herself shaving and then died naturally of embarrassment.
- Kill It with Fire: Buffy uses the flaming torch to set fire to the demon, which then explodes for no apparent reason.
- Face Palm: Buffy's reaction to a student who says he believes he's gay, and wants to test that theory by asking Buffy on a date. She's still in the same position when dealing with Dawn.
- Foreshadowing: Cassie says to Spike, "She'll tell you. Someday she'll tell you." Buffy will finally tell Spike she loves him in the Grand Finale "Chosen".
- Grave Marking Scene: Willow places stones on Tara's headstone.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Amanda is Millie. And from 24 Aaron Pierce joins Wayne Palmer for this episode.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Willow discusses Doogie Howser, M.D. fanfiction. A couple of years later there'd be a show that had Willow and Doogie.
- Human Sacrifice
- In the Hood: Good for Dressing as the Enemy.
- Life Will Kill You
- Mandatory Line: Averted with no Giles, and a scene where Anya accidentally counsels a woman seeking vengeance was cut.
- Meaningful Name: Cassie. As in, CASSANDRA? (though Buffy takes little convincing to believe her).
- No Sympathy: Peter gets bitten by the demon he summoned.
Peter: Help! Help me, please! I'm bleeding!
Buffy: Sorry. My office hours are 10 to 4.
- "Open!" Says Me: Averted
Xander: And Buffy the counselor?
- Perp Sweating
Buffy: Do you know why I came back to Sunnydale High?
Boy: To creep me out?
- Prophecies Are Always Right: Even more trivial ones, like Cassie's warning about Buffy staining her shirt.
- Reveal Shot: Buffy is counselling a student who's complaining about her overly-controlling big sister — it's Dawn.
- Running Gag: Another pointed comment by Dawn re her 'big' sister's height.
You know, I'm not the shortest one here. I don't know why I had to be in the kid coffin.
- Secret Circle of Secrets / Ominous Latin Chanting
- Self Fulfilling Prophecy: Cassie is depressed because she knows she's going to die, so the boys pick her for their Human Sacrifice because when she disappears everyone will assume she killed herself.
- Add to this the stress she must have felt knowing she was going to die, which no doubt aggravated the heart condition that eventually killed her.
- Self Harm: Buffy stops Spike from punching himself in the head in punishment for trying to rape her. Later Spike is fighting the boy who's trying to kill Cassie, but his chip is inflicting pain every time Spike hits him — he keeps right on hitting.
- Shout-Out: Cassie is shown reading Slaughterhouse-Five, a book about a man who knows exactly when and where he's going to die and has accepted it.
- Suspiciously Apropos Music: Lampshaded by Buffy, who tells the boys they failed to raise a demon because they forgot the Blue Oyster Cult soundtrack.
- Technology Marches On: Xander assumes "Have you googled her yet?" is an Unusual Euphemism.
- Tempting Fate: Buffy is ridiculing the boys lame-ass attempt to raise a demon...like the one that's just appeared behind her.
- Terrible Interviewees Montage: The students Buffy is counselling.
- Tear Jerker
- The War on Terror: Touched upon with a tough guy who goes to see Buffy for help. Turns out it's an act because his brother is a marine being sent to Iraq, and he's fronting while revealing he's scared he might die.
- Twerp Sweating: Buffy the Big Sis.
You're asking my sister to the dance, and she's your second choice? I'll be keeping an eye on you.
- Viral Marketing: The website showing Cassie's poetry was recreated online (though the site is now defunct).
- You Can't Fight Fate: Oh, the many ways that may end up with Cassie dead and then a simple heart attack gets her.
- Your Days Are Numbered