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Recap / Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 6 E 12 Doublemeat Palace

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Phillip: "You put the beef on the grill, you hit the button, then it beeps. You flip the beef, hit the other button then it beeps. You put it on the bun; there's not a button for that."
Buffy: "Repeat until insane."
"I'm working. Go away."

Buffy gets a job at a fast food place and is overwhelmed by the monotony. Amy infects Willow with a little magic. An old friend visits Anya.

  • Alliterative Name:
    Manny: I'm Manny the manager. It's not a joke, it's just my name.
    Buffy: Right. You mentioned that a couple of times when I filled out the application.
  • Bad Job, Worse Uniform: Especially the hat.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Buffy gets her job back in exchange for keeping quiet about the Secret Ingredient. Her new manager is pleased with her attitude and proudly shows off her 5-year pin.
    Lorraine: See this? I want you shooting for this from here on out.
    Buffy: (looking resigned) Right. Here on out.
  • Beneath Suspicion: The harmless old lady customer turns out to be the killer.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Willow suspects that Buffy is walking into danger when she goes to the restaurant at night to look for clues. She's right, and it's her (as a Badass Normal, no less, having sworn off magic) that makes the kill when Buffy is paralyzed.
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  • Broke Episode: Buffy takes on a fast-food joint job to make ends meet.
  • Buffy Speak: Wig Lady. Double-shiftiness. Veiny-nous.
  • Burger Fool: Played with.
  • Captain Obvious: Buffy goes over to a filing cabinet. On top of it is a large plastic jug marked "Dehydrated Pickles."
    Manny: That's the dehydrated pickle storage. (Buffy tries to open the filing cabinet but it's locked) Those are locked.
  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Buffy being stalked by the Wig Lady. "I know you're under there."
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Buffy mentions working as a waitress "that summer in LA".
    • Xander says he thought Jonathan would have learned his lesson from the events of "Superstar".
    • When Buffy mentions "that summer," Dawn is not quite sure what she means. This is a subtle nod to the fact Dawn's memories of that summer are fake.
  • Description Cut: Spike telling Buffy, "This place will kill you" to Gary's death scene.
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  • Despair Event Horizon: It is clear Buffy has sunk to a new low when you see her having sex with Spike and she's just there going through the motions.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Loads of this starting with the name of the restaurant and eventually ending with a demon shaped like... Well, imagine an eight-foot-long chestburster with no arms and an even larger, rounder forehead, which spits thin streams of pale fluid (and was defeating by a lesbian cutting it off to save her helpless female friend from it, although it is doubtful that that was the intended Subtext).
    Tara: Okay, wait, it was under her wig?
    Willow: Well, it was this thing, it just came out from inside her head.
    Tara: That's disgusting. What did it look like?
    Willow: Well... let's put it this way. If I wasn't gay before...
  • Double Entendre
    Spike: You chose to be in the consumer service profession, and I'm a consumer. (smirking) Service me.
    Buffy: (not amused) Order something or go.
  • Eat the Evidence: Xander eats the burger Buffy wanted Willow to analyze.
  • Environmental Symbolism / Fauxtivational Poster: Spike and Buffy have sex next to a TEAMWORK poster. Buffy finds Manny's foot in the kitchen — behind her is a sign encouraging employees to BE PART OF THE DOUBLEMEAT EXPERIENCE.
  • Evil Sounds Deep / Mood Whiplash: Halfrek threatens to dismember Xander in a horribly low, demonic voice, until she recognizes Anya, adopts a much girlier voice ("Anyanka?? Oh my GOD!") and hugs her, with Xander shitting bricks the entire time.
  • Fingore: Buffy discovers a finger in the grinder.
  • Foreshadowing: For Amy's actions in Season 7 "The Killer in Me".
  • Game Face: Halfrek's features seriously freak out Xander, for reasons other than the obvious.
    Xander: So Anya, the way she looked, with ... the face... (nervous laugh) That wasn't what you used to look like, was it?
  • Gorn. And plenty of Squick too.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Gary's death is shown via a close-up of his fallen Doublemeat Palace cap and a scream.
  • High Turnover Rate
  • Hypocritical Humor: Willow and Buffy have cleaned out the Trio's former hideout.
    Willow: There were, you know, razor scooters and pictures of the Vulcan woman on Enterprise.
    Xander: Ooh! ...I mean, pff! Nerds.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Happens to Xander twice.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Lampshaded by Spike, who asks Buffy if she took this job to prove to herself that she's a normal girl after his claim that she Came Back Wrong.
  • I'm Standing Right Here
    Anya: Well, time is running very short. After Willow gave us the 'whoosh' engagement party, I got slack on the planning 'cause I figured she'd help, but, well, now that's all been blown to hell.
    Willow: Hey, standing right here! Standing right exactly here.
  • Jackass Genie
    Halfrek: Half the time I have no idea if I'm maiming the right guy.
  • "Jaws" First-Person Perspective: Gary's death.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: Buffy explaining away her "Soylent Green is people" stunt to the new manager.
  • Kiss Diss: During the Wall Bang Her scene Buffy and Spike move their faces close to each other, then Buffy turns her head away.
  • Longing Look: A single exchanged glance is enough to tell Spike what Buffy wants.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Played for Fan Disservice when Buffy has sex with Spike in a back alley up against the wall, next to a dumpster, behind the Doublemeat Palace during Buffy's break. Classy.
  • Mystery Meat
  • Not Helping Your Case: Willow tells Amy she's getting her focus back after going cold turkey.
    Amy: Mm. I can see that.
    (Amy indicates Willow's book. We see that Willow has highlighted all the text on the entire page.)
    Willow: (defensively) It's a pivotal page.
  • No Sense of Humor: Manny the Manager.
  • Off with His Head!: How Willow kills the Wig Lady. Or, rather, she chops the thing's feeding tentacle that erupted from her head off. We're not entirely sure what her actual head is, but Willow chops one of them off.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The Doublemeat Palace workers aren't zombies or mind-controlled. They are just stuck in a soul-sucking, desperately-boring job. This is likely a case of Unreliable Narrator, as the episode focues on Buffy's POV and we are seeing events unfold from her own shocked perspective. Scenes set at the Doublemeat Palace in future episodes will show its employees acting more normally.
  • The Paralyzer: Buffy is sprayed by a fluid that immobilizes her from the legs up.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: The Wig Lady is gnawing on Buffy's shoulder, distracted from Willow, who she'd seemingly made retreat by spraying venom at her. Enter Will with an axe.
    "Missed me."
  • Please Keep Your Hat On: The "Wig Lady"
  • Reaction Shot: Buffy watching what happens to the Cow and the Chicken in the Doublemeat Palace workplace video.
  • Red Herring: Buffy's workplace has nothing to do with the Monster of the Week despite its zombie-like staff or creepy vibe — the demon is only a customer and the "secret ingredient" is actually based on vegetables.
  • Revenge: Implied with Amy, because Willow took so long to change her from a rat back to a human.
  • Secret Ingredient
  • The Secret of Long Pork Pies: Averted — Because of the High Turnover Rate and repeated mentions of a "secret ingredient", Buffy thinks the Doublemeat Palace is using human meat in its products. It turns out that the disappearances are because of a demon that likes the taste of people who've eaten lots of fatty foods, and the "meat" is actually a vegetable product, with a secret ingredient of... beef flavoring.
  • Sex for Solace: Buffy is halfway through a double shift and feeling rather down when her supervisor tells her it's time for her break. Just then she sees Spike prowling outside. In an overt mating signal Buffy removes her cap to show off the hair that Spike likes so much. Spike immediately walks around the back — cut to him bonking Buffy up against the wall behind the Doublemeat Palace.
  • Shaped Like Itself
    Buffy: So ... what's the secret ingredient?
    Philip: (not taking his eyes off the grill) It's a meat process.
    Buffy: Well, what does that mean?
    Philip: It's a process, they do it to the meat.
    Buffy: But, what is it?
    Philip: It's just the name of the process.
    Buffy: (giving up) Oh. Yeah.
  • Shout-Out
    • To Soylent Green, when Buffy runs through the restaurant screaming "It's people!"
    • Also to Sweeney Todd: The finger in the meat grinder (Tobias finding a nail in the meat), and the reference to pies made of cat meat (Of course, Mrs Lovett also made pies of people after having made them from cats)...
    • Willow tells Xander that the Trio had "pictures of the Vulcan woman on Enterprise." Both Buffy and Enterprise aired on UPN from 2001 to 2003.
  • Stock Superhero Day Jobs: Averted.
  • Technicolor Science: Willow and her chemistry set.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: All the workers except Gary.
  • Too Much Information: Philip telling Buffy about his ears clogging up with grease.
  • Walk-In Chime-In
    Anya: The workers are the tools that shape America.
    Buffy: Good to know. (everyone looks to see Buffy in her Burger Fool outfit) Cause I was kinda feelin' like a huge tool, and now I know why.
  • With Friends Like These...: Amy for Willow. Halfrek for Anya. The Scoobies gladly accept Buffy's offer of a free burger, even though it comes out of her wages.

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