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Recap / Angel S 04 E 06 Spin The Bottle

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A spell meant to help Cordelia recover her memory causes the Fang Gang to revert to their teenaged selves.

  • A-Cup Angst
    Teen!Cordy: (groping her own boobs) I've filled out.
    Teen!Fred: (looks down at hers) And I'm... apparently not gonna.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Cordelia knows the name of every shoe store in the Beverly Center.
  • Alpha Bitch: Who else would be mean to Fred?
    Teen!Cordy: Oh, we're both in school. Oh, gosh, let's be best friends so I can lose all my cool ones.
  • Amnesia Danger
  • Angry Black Man: Teen!Gunn was one militant little tyke.
    "I got no problem believin' that The Man is messin' with us!"
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension / Homoerotic Subtext: Teen!Wes is arguing with Teen!Gunn.
    Teen!Cordy: Hey, you two want to stop the homo-erotic buddy cop session long enough to explain this?
  • Birds of a Feather / Freudian Excuse: Teen!Angel doesn't recognise who Connor is, and starts ranting to him about his relationship with his father. Connor can't help noticing how similar Angel's complaints are to some of his own complaints about Angel.
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  • Blade Below the Shoulder / Impossibly Cool Weapon: Wesley's wrist-mounted collapsible swords.
  • Bottle Episode: Appropriately enough, "Spin the Bottle" has at least the tendencies of a Bottle Episode — most of the episode takes place in the hotel, with no guest stars and an "amnesia" concept that makes for a low need of special effects.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Lorne speaks directly to the audience, narrating the plot, and even going as far as to say "Well, those were some exciting products. Am I right?" after one of the act breaks.
    • The episode is framed as Lorne addressing the patrons in a bar. The ending pans out to show that the bar is empty, and we were the audience all along.
  • Breather Episode
  • Brick Joke: Fred Talking to Plants for Season 5.
  • Call-Back: The gag about mistaking cars for demons was used in the Buffy episode "Halloween", where Buffy took on the personality of an 18th century noblewoman.
    • The entire episode seems, in a vague way, to be a Call-Back to two Buffy episodes: "Band Candy", where every adult in Sunnydale ate candy that turned them into teenage versions of themselves (albeit with all their adult memories intact); and Tabula Rasa, where one of Willow's spells misfires and causes the Scoobies to lose their memory.
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    • Fred mentions having had to take a personality disorder test where she was asked if she wanted to be a florist. This is a reference to the test Willow mentioned in "Doppelgangland".
  • Calling Me a Logarithm: Teen!Wes dubs Teen!Gunn a pugilist after catching his fist to the jaw.
    Teen!Gunn: Oh, your ass better pray I don't look that word up.
  • Closed Circle: Subverted in that everyone assumes they've been locked in — halfway through the episode Teen!Angel just opens the door and walks out, but when he rushes back in to tell them they're surrounded by terrifying 'demons' nobody goes to look for themselves.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The whole point of the episode.
    Teen!Wes: Judging from the amount of facial hair I've grown, we've all been unconscious for at least a month.
    Teen!Cordy: (touches her short hairstyle) Oh, God. Oh, God. My hair. My hair. (crying) The government gave me bad hair.
    Teen!Wes: It' attractive. But a clue, nonetheless. Perhaps the whole point of this experiment is hair.
    Teen!Gunn: I vote he's not in charge.
    • Teen!Fred running the cross over her body like a metal detector wand.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Teen!Fred
  • Continuity Nod
    • Cordelia and Wesley in their Buffy the Vampire Slayer personalities.
    • Lorne complains about being tied to a chair again.
    • Teen!Wesley mentions a test done by the Watcher's Council which involves being locked in a house with a vampire.
    • Teen!Cordy exclaims "salty goodness" on seeing Angel, as she did the first time she laid eyes on him in Buffy.
  • Corpsing: They had to structure a comedic scene so that Angel and Wesley didn't have to look at each other because neither actor could keep a straight face.
  • Curtain Camouflage: Teen!Fred hiding from Vampire!Angel.
  • Description Cut: Loads as we switch between Narrator!Lorne and the events he's describing.
  • Dirty Coward
    Teen!Gunn: (introducing self) Gunn.
    Teen!Wes: (ducking) Where?!!!
  • Do I Really Sound Like That?: Teenage!Angel, while insulting the "dirty Brit" Wesley, can't understand why he lost his Irish brogue.note 
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Including tying up Lorne.
  • Easy Amnesia
  • Everybody Must Get Stoned: The trippy sequence when the spell is first cast. Fred asks for weed afterwards, just in case you didn't get the point.
  • Fair for Its Day: Teen!Angel referring to Wes and Gunn as English and a slave, respectively; he holds Gunn in higher regard, for the record.
  • Fake Irish / Not Even Bothering with the Accent: David Boreanaz never really got the hang of the Irish accent. Joss Whedon states that they chose not to use the accent because there was no way that Boreanaz could do it for a full episode.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Teen!Wesley, of course.
    "The simple fact is... the fiend has been under our noses the entire time, waiting for the moment to... (takes cross out of his breast pocket, and puts it in Gunn's face) strike!" (Gunn punches Wesley in the face)
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Liam/Angel.
    Teen!Angel: (after Cordelia turns off a radio) How did—? You stopped the tiny men from singing.
    Teen!Cordy: You really are far from home, aren't you?
  • Five-Man Band: Lampshaded by Gunn.
    Gunn: So, I guess I'm the muscle, huh?
    Wesley: Sorry?
    Gunn: Angel's the man on the card. It's his world. I'm not a leader no more. Don't got that champion's heart like Cordy. And the brains - that was you. So that leaves muscle.
  • Foreshadowing: Our first glimpse of the Beast.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar
    Teen!Wes: Wyndham-Pryce. (grabs his lapels, puffs up with pride) I am from the Watcher's Academy in southern Hampshire. In fact, I happen to be Head Boy.
    Teen!Cordy: Gee, I wonder how you earned that nickname.
  • Gonna Need More X
    Lorne: Well, the fact is, I had every reason to believe that the spell would work. And it did...after a fashion. (sips drink) Well, what happened during it and what came after... Ooh, I'm gonna need a bigger drink.
  • Greek Chorus: Lorne forms a one-man band version.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Connor re Angel/Cordelia. And Gunn tells Wes to back off from Fred or else.
    Wesley: I'm glad to see you have such faith in your relationship.
  • Hey, That's My Line!
    Teen!Wes: (overly dramatic) All right. I'm going to let you all in on something you may have trouble comprehending. I assure you that however-
    Teen!Gunn: Vampires are real.
    Teen!Wes: I was telling!
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Poor Connor. Engine revving and stuck in park.
  • I Can't See Myself
    Teen!Angel: (looking in the mirror) "I'm invisible!"
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Wesley re helping Fred get revenge. "I did...what you weren't prepared to do."
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Teen!Angel needs an ale.
  • Is This Thing On?
  • Kung Fool: Teen!Wes ka-rate technique.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Lorne turns and comments to the camera during Teen!Gunn and Teen!Wes's argument, talking to the in-universe audience.
  • Love Confession: Averted because Angel Can't Spit It Out (mainly because he can't be sure if Cordelia shared his feelings before her disappearance).
  • Love Triangle: Wesley really isn't interested in defusing the tension with Gunn over Fred.
  • Mistaken for Masturbating: Teen!Angel morphing in and out of Game Face in the toilet sounds to Teen!Cordy like he's having A Date with Rosie Palms.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Justified; Fred still dressed next to a shirtless Gunn shows they're not having sex, as opposed to their passion in the previous episode.
  • Modesty Towel: Cordelia decides to shower while she's not in an Abandoned Warehouse, and naturally gets surprised by Angel.
  • Mood Whiplash: From wacky teenage hijinks to our first glimpse of the first major antagonist for the season, Cordelia leaves the group and Angel is alone and heart-broken, and Lorne, who's also been directly addressing the audience the whole episode closes things out by delivering one of the most somber, heart-breaking monologues on the series.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Fred says something to Lorne in his native language that she thinks means "may your words please the gods." Lorne informs us that what she actually just said was "may you orally pleasure the gods."
  • The Narrator: Lorne
  • The Nicknamer: Teen!Cordy really goes to town — Teen!Fred is "Scarlet O'Please-Shut-Me-Up". Teen!Wes is "Princess Charles" or "Head Cheese". Teen!Gunn is "Hair Club For Men". Teen!Angel is "Tall-Dark-And-Slightly-Less-Pathetic-Than-You-Two".
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Teen!Angel maintains Angel's present-day American accent, and even briefly wonders what's up with his voice. Whedon states that they chose not to use an Irish accent because there was no way that David Boreanaz could sustain it for a full episode.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Cordelia thinks she might have been the subject of workplace harassment from Angel.
    Angel: I was never—in the workplace, I— Well, there was that one time with the ballet and the stripping and the roundness, but that was a spell.
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: Played for Drama (Wesley threatening Gunn) then Played for Laughs (Teen!Wes' numerous accidental blade discharges).
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Cordelia getting her memories back.
  • Ontological Mystery: Lampshaded
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: "Liam's" confusion at his sudden lack of an accent.
  • Percussive Therapy: Connor working off his sexual frustration (by beating up vamps) and parental issues (by beating up Dad).
  • Pratfall
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: Teen!Wes keeps having accidental wrist-blade discharges.
    Aargh! (finally getting his sword under control) All right! Nobody scream! Or touch my arms...
  • Rescue Sex: Connor saves a blonde in daisy dukes who's eager to show her appreciation. Unfortunately she turns out to be a prostitute who insists on being paid fifty bucks which Connor doesn't have. Later when Teen!Cordy hints at being very grateful if he kills Vampire!Angel stone dead, Connor is more than eager to oblige.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: During Wes and Gunn's confrontation in the office:
    Gunn: What happened to you, man?
    Wesley: [matter-of-factly] I had my throat cut and all my friends abandoned me.
  • Rule of Symbolism: When Fred and Wesley talk, Gunn is shown between them, standing in the distance.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Cordelia faced with Angel's waffling over last weeks' cliffhanger question.
    Angel: Well, I'm not sure.
    Cordelia: Now, I think that's the sort of thing I'd remember. Hey, maybe you wrote it down somewhere — a note on the fridge, maybe?
  • Screaming Woman: Teen!Cordy's superpower.
    Vampire!Angel: That really is inhuman.
  • Shaped Like Itself
    Lorne: We can stop this talking and cut to the Cordelia Chase in two ticks of a... ticking thing.
  • Something Else Also Rises: When Teen!Fred is talking about aliens probing her helpless, naked body, probably doing whatever they wanted, Teen!Wesley's wrist knife suddenly jerks up.
  • Spin the Bottle: Duh.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the parent show's "Tabula Rasa." Both episodes are mostly lighthearted romps involving the main cast having their memories erased or altered and wacky hijinx ensuing as a result, only to pull a complete 180 in the last act and end things on downbeat note.
  • Spot the Imposter / Holy Burns Evil: The gang pass a cross from hand to hand to find out who's the vampire. No-one notices Angel's hand smouldering because Lorne happens to wake up.
  • Shout-Out: Cordelia referring to Fred as Scarlett because of her accent.
  • The Stoner: Teen!Fred keeps hoping to cop some weed.
  • Take That!
    Cordelia: I know my ABC's, my history, I know who's President, and that I sorta wish I didn't.
  • Talk to the Fist: Angel tries to knock out Lorne who's about to blurt out that he's a vampire, but only gives himself away.
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: Teen!Wes plays up this trope for all it's worth.
    Teen!Wes: Five people, each unknown to each other, far from home, trapped together at night— (Angel eyes Cordelia's neck as she listens intently to Wes) I submit that the blood-sucking fiend may be closer than we dared suspect. That it may be—
    Teen!Angel: (stands suddenly) I'll search the rooms.
    Teen!Wes: I was getting to the good part!
    Teen!Angel: But we can't just wait for the vampire to appear. I'll just flush him out—
    Teen!Wes: (jumping up and down) ...that it may be one of us!
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Teen!Angel finds out he's the vampire that everyone is talking about staking.
  • The Unpronounceable
    Teen!Wes: (re Lorne) It's... a demon. Probably of the Karathmama...nyuhg family.
  • The Vamp: Teen!Cordy
  • Visual Innuendo: Teen!Fred thinks that aliens are responsible for their predicament.
    Teen!Fred: I can just see myself lying on a table — no clothes, no will — while they probed and explored and did whatever they wanted to my naked, helpless body. (Wes's dagger accidentally shoots out of his forearm).
    Teen!Wesley: [later] Well, let's not give up probe. (beat) Hope. Give up hope.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: During the acid-trippy sequence the camera cuts to Fred, who is petting a potted fern with fascination. Right before she vomits off to the side.
  • We Used to Be Friends
    Gunn: What happened to you, man?
    Wesley: I had my throat cut and all my friends abandoned me.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Lorne introduces the Phlebotinum.
    Lorne: A memory spell — provided by one of my clients —- that is guaranteed to bring our Cordy back to the way she was.
    Angel: Guaranteed?
    Lorne: No pain, no side-effects. I'm telling you, swingers, there's no way this can fail.
    Cut to Lorne, narrating
    Lorne: So, I'm an idiot. What are you —- perfect?
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Teen!Wesley and Teen!Gunn are grappling each other.
    Teen!Cordy: Aren't you going to stop them?
    Teen!Angel: It's about time the English got what was coming to them. I'm rooting for the slave.

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