A girl jumps out of a second-floor window of a frat house and is chased into a cemetery, where she is caught. Meanwhile, Buffy's gang are happy with the apparent lack of activity at the Hellmouth. Giles presses her to train harder, but she just wants to be a teenager. Meanwhile Cordelia tries to look and sound sophisticated, because she has started dating a college guy, part of her plan to become rich and elite. She demonstrates her efforts at laughing uproariously at anything that such a guy might say to her.
The next day at school, Cordelia's boyfriend comes by the school, and a friend of his becomes interested in Buffy and insists that unless she comes to the frat party with Cordelia, Cordelia can't come at all. She introduces Buffy to the two guys, and one guy invites her to the party. She turns him down, claiming she is involved with someone. When Buffy goes on patrol, she meets Angel, who smells blood on a bracelet Buffy finds on the ground. Angel tells Buffy that their age difference is a problem and that she does not know what she wants in life. She runs off.
Upset at being rebuffed by Angel, Buffy decides to go to the frat party with Cordelia. She chooses not to tell Giles or Angel about her date. Later that night, Giles and Willow discover that the bracelet is from Kent Preparatory School, just outside of Sunnydale. Several girls are missing from the school, which is located near where Buffy is partying. Angel appears and asks about Buffy. Willow tells the two men where Buffy is and why Buffy lied to them. They then rush off to save Buffy and Cordelia.
At the party, Buffy tries to look mature and sophisticated, but discovers lots of immature behavior by drunken frat guys. Xander has sneaked in to protect Buffy, but other party-goers recognize him for a crasher and force him into another room where he must put on some women's clothing and a gigantic bra, act like a girl, and dance. Meanwhile, Buffy decides to accept a drink after a lot of offers by the college guys. The drink is drugged, and she stumbles her way up to a bedroom to lie down. One of the frat guys comes in and starts touching her, until another guy pulls him off, saying that the girls are not for him, but for he who they serve. Cordelia, meanwhile is lying unconscious in the same room. When the girls wake up, they find themselves chained in a basement as an offering for a reptile god named Machida, along with one of the other missing girls. Cordelia is chosen to be the first victim, but Buffy distracts the demon and breaks out of her chains just in time.
Willow, Angel and Giles head to the frat party and meet up with Xander. They enter the house and beat up the frat guys. Buffy kills the demon, and the frat guys are arrested. Though Giles is still not entirely happy that Buffy lied to him, he nonetheless realizes that he pushes Buffy too hard, and promises to take it easy on her from now on.
Afterward, everyone gathers at the Bronze, where Cordelia, because of her experiences at the party, has changed her standards and is now advocating dating younger men. Holding a newspaper, Xander reveals that the Delta Zeta Kappas have been sentenced to consecutive life sentences, and that the bodies of their past victims dating back fifty years have been found. Additionally, many corporations founded by former Delta Zetas have suffered a massive decline due to this failure. At that moment, Angel appears and asks if Buffy would like to get coffee with him sometime. Playing it cool this time, Buffy happily agrees.
Tropes featured in this episode:
- All Men Are Perverts: Xander gatecrashes the frat party to keep an eye on Buffy. And one-up the frat boys. And hopefully, catch an orgy. If it's on early.
- An Aesop: High school girls should avoid frat parties and underage drinking.
- Analogy BackfireWillow: You could ask him for coffee some night. It's the non-relationship drink of choice. It's not a date, it's a caffeinated beverage. Okay, sure, it's hot and bitter like a relationship that way, but...
- And This Is for...: Xander gets revenge on the frat boys for his earlier Humiliation Conga.Xander: That's for the wig! (punches again) That's for the bra! That's for the makeup! (punches again, knocking him out) And that's for the last sixteen and a half years!
- Annoying Laugh: Cordelia thinks this is how you attract boys. No wonder they want to sacrifice her to a giant demon snake.
- A Shared Suffering: AvertedGiles: Buffy, you think I don't know what it's like to be sixteen?Buffy: No. I think you don't know what it's like to be sixteen. And a girl. And the Slayer.Giles: Fair enough, no, no, I-I don't.Buffy: Or what it's like to have to stake vampires while you're having fuzzy feelings towards one?
- Big Bad: Tom is the leader of the cult, Richard is nothing more than The Dragon
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Tom
- Butt-Monkey: Xander at the frat party.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin'Buffy: I told one lie, I had one drink.
Giles: Yes, and you were very nearly devoured by a giant demon snake. The words "let that be a lesson" are a tad redundant at this juncture.
- Chained to a Rock: The sacrifices
- Child SoldierGiles: You have a duty, a purpose, a commitment in life. Now how many people your age can say that?Buffy: We talkin' foreign or domestic?
- Covert Pervert: Willow was the one who guessed an orgy, and suggested Xander wouldn't want to miss it.
- Damsel out of Distress: Buffy is able to break her restraints just before the other Scoobies arrive.
- Date Rape Averted: Once Buffy and Cordelia are drugged, Richard wants to rape one of them, but Tom stops him, since the girls have another purpose.
- Deal with the Devil: The members of the fraternity offer virgin girls to Machida in exchange of wealth and power.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The fraternity is a front for a demon-worshipping cult who lures naive girls to parties, gets them drunk, ties them up in the basement and feeds them to their god. Possibly unintentional, but it comes off as an allegory for college rape culture and campus sexual assults.
- Double Meaning: "When you kiss me I want to die" is an interesting choice of words to use to a vampire.
- Dragged into Drag / Gag Boobs: When the frat boys realise Xander is gatecrashing, they force him to dress up as a woman and hit him with paddles.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Xander In the Hood.
- Drives Like Crazy: Or in Cordelia's case, Parks Like Crazy.
- Erotic DreamWillow: You dreamed about Angel again?
Buffy: Third night in a row.
Willow: What did he do in the dream?
Willow: (smiles wide) Oh! Stuff! (Buffy smiles) Was it one of those vivid dreams where you could feel his lips and smell his hair?
Buffy: It had Surroundsound.
- Game Face: Angel of course, when he learns Buffy is threatened. Even Xander is impressed.
- The Glasses Come Off: Buffy removes her sunglasses when one of the frat boys starts hitting on her in a more respectful matter than Richard.
- Head Desk: Buffy listening to Cordelia tell her what she should wear for the party.
- Hollywood KissAngel: This isn't some fairy tale. When I kiss you, you don't wake up from a deep sleep and live happily ever after.
Buffy: No. When you kiss me I want to die.
- Human Sacrifice: With requisite virgins.
- Hypocritical HumorCordelia: Buffy, these people are rich, and I am not being shallow. Think of all the poor people I could help with all my money!
Cordelia: Why did I ever let you talk me into coming here?!
- I'm Standing Right Here: Buffy gets annoyed when Giles starts talking about her in the third person to the other Scoobies.
- Invulnerable Knuckles: Averted. The Scoobies break down the door and Xander, leading them in, decks the first guy he sees. For the rest of the fight sequence, he pops in and out of frame, swinging around in wild agony and clutching his hand.
- It's Quiet... Too Quiet: Buffy wants to have some social life when nothing is happening Hellmouth-wise. Giles argues that now is the time to patrol and train more keenly, because something might be brewing.
- Little Black Dress: Buffy at the frat party (despite being told not to wear black by Cordy).
- Monster of the Aesop: Girls go to a wild party, get drugged and instead of getting raped are fed to a snake monster.
- Monster of the Week: Machida.
- Never My Fault: Cordelia insists that Buffy go to a party with her, over Buffy's repeated objections. The party turns out to be a trap, and Buffy and Cordelia are captured by demons. Cordelia angrily tells Buffy, "I can't believe I let you talk me into coming here!" Buffy does nothing but stare at Cordelia incredulously.
- No Ontological Inertia: After Machida's death, whatever mojo he did to grant wealth and power to his former cultists is undone and so are their fortunes.
- The Nose Knows: Angel can smell there's blood on Callie's bracelet, which Buffy finds in the graveyard.
- Not a Date: Ahh, the implications of asking someone out for coffee...
- Offhand Backhand: Giles is getting on at Buffy for not taking her training seriously. "Are you gonna be prepared if a demon springs up behind you and does this?" Giles then does a karate chop at the back of Buffy's neck; she puts him in an armlock without even bothering to turn round. In fact Buffy does this trope as a Running Gag from the first time we see her stake a vampire; justified due to her supernaturally-enhanced reaction time and awareness.
- Giles does that to one of the fratboys, who tries to attack him while he is trying to open the door. Giles himself looks surprised when the attacker just drops unconscious.
- A Party, Also Known as an Orgy: The college party.
- People in Rubber Suits: The line where the Machida's suit meets his snake body is quite noticeable.
- Playing Hard to Get: Angel finally invites Buffy for coffee.Buffy: Yeah. Sometime. I'll let you know. (walks off smiling)
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:Willow: Guys! Buffy! Snake! Now!
- Puppy-Dog PoutGiles: And don't think sitting there pouting is gonna get to me, because it won't.
(Buffy gives her best pouty look)
Giles: (looks away) It's not getting to me.
- Quizzical Tilt: While watching the Bollywood movie:Buffy: So, how does the water buffalo fit in again?
- Rapid-Fire Typing: A rare aversion - while checking for missing girls in the prep school's online newsletter back catalogue, Willow is seen to actually use a mouse!
- Right Behind Me: Subverted.Xander: Angel, Angel, Angel. Does every conversation we have have to come around to that freak? (Xander notices Angel and doesn't miss a beat) Hey, man, how you doin'?
- The Scoobies walk in while Giles is practicing being badass with a sword (after Buffy's made him look like a prat).
- Running Gag: Giles once again being easily bested by Buffy during training.
- Saying Sound Effects Out LoudWillow: Killer? Now there's a killer? We don't know that there's a—
Giles: No, but this being Sunnydale and all.
- Later Willow says how romantic is was that Angel turned into a GRRRR!!! when he realised Buffy was in danger.
- Secret Circle of Secrets: Machida's cult
- Security Cling: Cordelia enthusiastically thanks Buffy for saving her... then hugs Angel.
- Snake People: Machida is a snake-like demon of the Reptiles Are Abhorrent variety.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Cordelia vs. Xander.
- Suspiciously Specific DenialRichard: Have you seen our multi-media room?
Cordelia: Oh, the one with the cherry walnut paneling and the two forty-eight-inch televisions on satellite feed? No.
- Super Window Jump: When the Victim of the Week does this, you can tell she's really scared.
- Thinks Like a Romance Novel:Angel: I knew this was gonna happen. You're sixteen years old. I'm two hundred and forty-one.
Buffy: (curt) I've done the math.
Angel: You don't know what you're doing, you don't know what you want...
Buffy: Oh no, I-I think I do. I want out of this conversation.
Angel: Listen, if we date you and I both know one thing's gonna lead to another.
Buffy: One thing already has led to another. You think it's a little late to be reading me a warning label?
(She gasps as Angel pulls her close and growls)
Angel: I'm just tryin' to protect you. This could get outta control.
Buffy: Isn't that the way it's supposed to be?
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Cordelia overcompensates for her recent experience by letting Jonathan buy her coffee. Poor Jonathan...
- Twisted Echo CutBuffy: You know what? Look, seven days a week I am busy saving the world. Once in a great while I wanna have some fun. And that's what I'm gonna have tonight. Fun!Cut to Cordelia: This isn't about fun. This is about duty, your duty, to help me achieve permanent prosperity.
- Vanity License Plate: QUEEN C on Cordelia's Chrysler Cirrus convertible.
- What the Hell, Hero? / Rant-Inducing Slight: Willow to both Angel and Giles. Also notable for being an early stage of Willow's Character Development:Giles: She (Buffy) lied to me?
Angel: Did...she have a date?
Willow: Well... (off Angel's reaction) Well, why do you think she went to that party? Because you gave her the brush-off! (turns to Giles) And you never let her do anything except work and patrol. And I know she's the Chosen One, but you're killing her with the pressure. I mean, she's sixteen going on forty! (turns back to Angel) And you! I mean, you're gonna live forever, you don't have time for a cup of coffee? (stops) Okay, I don't feel better now, and we've gotta help Buffy.
- Woman in White: Callie, the Victim of the Week. She even has white shoes! Subverted in that she survives.