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"There's a demon on the internet."—Giles
Willow meets a guy online and when meeting him, discovers he is a demonic spirit in a robot's body. Yeah... this is a weird one
- All According to Plan: Buffy kicks in the door. Cut to Molloch saying, "Here they come."
- Anachronism Stew
Jenny: You think the realm of the mystical is limited to ancient texts and relics? That bad old science made the magic go away? The divine exists in cyberspace same as out here.
Giles: Are you a witch?
Jenny: Mm. I don't have that kinda power. 'Techno-pagan' is the term.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Averted. Giles -- worried about how he's going to convince Jenny that there are such things as demons, let alone one on the internet -- finds out she already knows all about the supernatural.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Who didn't think Jenny Calender was meant to be Giles' future Love Interest the moment you see them engaging in Snark to Snark Combat?
- Blank Book: Moloch's prison-book after he escapes.
- Conspicuous Trenchcoat: When Giles suggests Buffy tail Dave, she sarcastically replies, "What, in dark glasses and a trenchcoat?" Gilligan Cut to Buffy following Dave in a trendy short trenchcoat and pink-framed sunglasses.
- Date My Avatar: Willow setting up a date with her nice charming chat-buddy Malcolm... who is actually a incorporeal murderous demon possessing the computer system.
- Deadly Dodging: Buffy stands in front of an electrical junction box and taunts Moloch into putting his fist through it, frying himself.
- Deadly Gas: The halogen gas system is used against Buffy and Xander.
- Distant Prologue: Cortona, Italy, 1418
- Digitized Hacker
Xander: "He's in a computer! What can he [Moloch] do?"
Buffy: "You mean besides convince a perfectly nice kid to try and kill me? I don't know. How 'bout mess up all the medical equipment in the world?"
Giles: "Randomize traffic signals."
Buffy: "Access launch codes for our nuclear missiles."
Giles: "Destroy the world's economy."
Buffy: "I think I pretty much capped it with that nuclear missile thing."
Giles: "Right, yours was best."
- Electrified Bathtub: Buffy is set up to shut off the water in a locker room shower just as the puddle reaches a live wire. She sees the trap and jumps out just in time, with only static-frazzled hair to show for it -- much to her annoyance.
- "Everybody Laughs" Ending: When Xander and Buffy tell Willow not to be too upset that her dream guy turned out to be a demon because Xander's crush turned out to be a giant praying mantis and Buffy is in love with Angel, the three conclude that they have no chance of having a normal relationship, ever, and then start laughing...and then descend into awkward silence when they realize the significance of this conclusion. Cue credits.
- Haunted Technology
- I Comma Noun
- In a Single Bound: Buffy jumps the chain-link fence while Xander falls off it trying to climb over.
- It's a Small Net After All: Buffy consults a computer geek who informs her that anytime you have an e-mail address to start from, "you can pull up someone's profile based on their user name." Although this may have been slightly more likely to be true in 1997 than it is today.
- And actually more likely now, thanks to all the facebooks and stuff. Using e-mail instead of username also appears to be gaining on popularity (with or without another screen name). The Internet changes fast.
- It Won't Turn Off: Willow's computer monitor.
- Killer Robot: When Moloch becomes confined to his robot body, he is not pleased.
- Kubrick Stare: Fritz
- Last-Second Word Swap: "You're a computer geek...genius."
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall
Buffy: He's gone binary on us.
Xander: Okay, for those of us in our studio audience, who are me -- you guys are saying that Moloch is in this computer?
- Literary Allusion Title: To I, Robot on the one hand and to Tarzan on the other.
- Make It Look Like A Suicide: When Dave won't go through with Buffy's murder, Moloch prints out a suicide note and has Fritz kill him. Buffy finds him hanging from the roof of the computer lab with the note attached to his chest.
- Mailer Daemon
- More Than Mind Control
- Mother Nature, Father Science: inverted with Giles and Miss Calendar, if books count as "nature."
- Neck Snap: Moloch's modus operandi
- New Media Are Evil
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Remote Body
- Rewriting Reality: Jenny types in the evocation that Giles is reading aloud.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: in a book, in this case.
- Self -Harm / Madness Mantra: Fritz carves an "M" in his arm while saying, "I'm jacked in. I'm jacked in. I'm jacked in."
- Sinister Surveillance
- Space Whale Aesop
- Speak of the Devil: It appears scanning him also applies.
- Spot of Tea: Giles' cure-all for recovering from near-electrocution.
- Spider Sense: Lampshaded
Buffy: I can just tell something's wrong - my spider sense is tingling.
Giles: Your spider sense?
Buffy: Pop culture reference... sorry.
- Skyward Scream: Moloch when he's originally bound into the book.
- There Was a Door: Robo-Moloch
- Took a Level In Badass: Both Xander and Willow get physical in this episode; Xander even lampshades it.
Xander: Hey! I got to hit someone!
- Technology Marches On: Oh yeah. In particular, the episode comes from the days when everyone was completely freaked out that every person in an online chat room was some kind of horrible pervert. Also, exchanges like this:
Willow: I met him online.
Buffy: On line for what? (beat) Oh.