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"Unto every generation is born one who must run the annual talentless show. You cannot escape your destiny."
Something is killing the school Talent Show contestants and taking their body parts. The Slayerettes suspect a classmate and his dummy.
First appearance of Principal Snyder.
Snyder: There are certain things that I will not tolerate. Students loitering around school after hours, horrible murders with hearts being removed, and smoking.
- All Part of the Show
- Arbitrary Skepticism: With all of the supernatural stuff that the Buffy gang encounters on a daily basis, is it really so far-fetched to think that a dummy might be animate?
- Bad Bad Acting: The Scoobies' stiff, laughable performance of Oedipus Rex.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick
- Bait and Switch: The dummy is actually a cursed demon hunter who believes that Buffy is the demon after seeing her Slayer strength.
- Credits Gag: The Scoobies 'talent' performance is shown during the credits.
- Demonic Dummy: Averted; the dummy is in fact hunting the demon himself.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Sid by Buffy.
Look at you -- you're strong, athletic, limber, nnnnubile....(twigs out for a moment) I'm back!
- Double Entendre: Sid has plenty in his act. It turns out Sid isn't acting though, he really is horny.
Sid: (to Willow) How about you and I do a little rehearsing on our own, honey? You know what they say: once you go wood, nothing's as good!
- Everyone Hates Mimes: Xander yelps at the sight of a mime on stage.
- Falling Chandelier of Doom: Buffy gets trapped under one (rather unconvincingly, as it looks like something an ordinary cheerleader could lift, let alone Buffy).
- Faux Horrific: The Scoobies horror at being forced to take part in the Talent Show.
- Gilligan Cut
Snyder: From now on you're gonna see a very different Sunnydale High. Tight ship, clean, orderly...and quiet.
(Cut to Screaming Woman who's just found Emily with her heart cut out)
- Hollywood Tone Deaf: Cordelia's utter butchering of Whitney Houston's "The Greatest Love of All."
- Hypocritical Humor
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Quark is now a student-hating principal! (Mmm, perhaps it should be Hey, It's That Voice!).
- Imagine the Audience Naked
Cordelia: I, I can't go out there. All those people staring at me and judging me like I'm some kind of... Buffy! What if I mess up?
Giles: Cordelia, there, uh, there-there's, uh, uh, an adage, uh, that, uh, if you're feeling nervous then, uh, you should imagine the entire audience are in their underwear.
Cordelia: Eww! Even Mrs. Franklin? Uhhh!
Giles: Perhaps not.
- Jaws First Person Perspective: Emily's death.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Buffy, Xander and Willow tease Giles for being forced to supervise the school's talent show by Principal Snyder. Moments later, the principal appears and tells all three to participate themselves. Giles fails to suppress a smirk in the background.
- The Mean Brit: Averted as Giles is too polite to tell the contestants they suck.
- Monster of the Week
- Mr. Exposition
Giles: Well it's a welcome relief to have someone else explain these things.
- No Guy Wants an Amazon: Sid is a notable exception, having been involved with a Slayer back in the 1930's and putting the moves on Buffy.
- Off with His Head: The fate of the episode's villain.
- Open Says Me: Buffy spends a second or two trying to pick a combination lock, then just smashes it through the locker door.
- Organ Theft
- Person as Verb
Xander: The dummy tells us he's a demon hunter.... He takes off, and now there's a brain. Does anybody else feel like they've been Keyser Sozed?
- Pieta Plagiarism: Buffy holding Sid after his 'death'.
- Slippery Slope Fallacy: Played for laughs with the new principal.
Snyder: Kids today need discipline. That's an unpopular word these days, 'discipline.' I know Principal Flutie would have said, 'Kids need understanding. Kids are human beings.' That's the kind of woolly-headed liberal thinking that leads to being eaten.
- Throw It In: Willow running away in the middle of the final scene. It's worked in perfectly.
- Nicholas Brendon screaming "REDRUM!!!" while playing with the puppet was shot between takes.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: The Scoobies have just defeated the Monster of the Week when the curtain rises exposing them to the audience. Buffy is cradling a ventriloquist dummy. Willow is holding a hatchet. Xander and Giles are next to a guillotine with a decapitated demon lying on it.
Snyder: I don't get it. What is it, avant garde?