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"Reptile Boy" is the fifth episode of the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the seventeenth episode in the series. Written by David Greenwalt with Joss Whedon and directed by David Greenwalt, it was originally broadcast on October 13, 1997, on The WB network.


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST — Buffy and Cordelia become unlikely party pals when at a fraternity bash they are offered as human sacrifices to Machida, a horrible half-man, half-snake creature.[1]


Buffy, Xander, and Willow are hanging out at Buffy's house watching a Hindi movie. Xander points out, despite having no money or place to go, they are still having fun. Willow gives them an option to go out, but Buffy says she's happy to stay home and be a regular girl. She says that there have been no demons or vampires to slay and she's happy with the apparent lack of activity at the Hellmouth.

Meanwhile, a girl jumps out of a second-floor window of a frat house. She is chased into a cemetery by three guys wearing ceremonial robes. Before she can get any further, another guy in a ceremonial robe steps in front her. He admonishes the girl and asks where she's going, telling her the party is just getting started.

The next day at school, Cordelia is talking to one of her friends about laughing uproariously at anything that a guy might say and to always maintain eye contact. Buffy and Willow discuss Buffy's dreams about Angel and how frustrated they are making her. Willow points out that she thinks that Buffy and Angel are perfect for each other, other than the fact that Angel is a vampire. She tells Buffy to ask him out for coffee, that way they can spend time together without too much of a commitment. Cordelia then brags to Xander that she is dating a college guy. She points out that she is more sophisticated because she is now dating a Delta Zeta Kappa fraternity boy.

Giles presses Buffy to train harder, but she just wants to be a teenager. Later that afternoon, Richard Anderson comes by the school to see Cordelia, and his friend Tom Warner becomes interested in Buffy. Cordelia introduces Buffy to them, and Tom invites her to the party, but she turns him down claiming she is involved with someone. Giles calls Buffy and she leaves.

At night, during patrol, Buffy encounters Angel. He smells blood on a bracelet Buffy finds on the ground. When Buffy asks Angel about getting coffee, Angel tells Buffy that their age difference is a problem and that she does not know what she wants in life. She runs off. At school, Buffy agrees to go to the frat party with Cordelia.

Later that night, Giles and Willow discover that the bracelet is from Kent Preparatory School, just outside of Sunnydale. Several girls have gone missing over the past few years, which is located near where Buffy is partying. Angel appears at the library and asks about Buffy. Willow then reveals to them that Buffy is at a party. They question Buffy's reason for lying to them and Willow yells at them, reprimanding Giles for pushing her too hard and Angel for stringing Buffy along and not making time for her. They rush off to help Buffy and Cordelia.

At the party, Buffy notices the immature behavior by drunken frat guys. Xander has sneaked in to protect Buffy, but other party-goers recognize him for a crasher. They force him to put on some women's clothing and dance. Meanwhile, Buffy decides to accept a drink after Tom calls her "too mature." Buffy then stumbles her way up to a bedroom to lie down and is soon unconscious. Richard comes in and starts touching her, until Tom pulls him off, saying that the girls are not for him, but for the one 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 demon named Machida, along with Callie, the girl who tried to escape the frat house. 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. Willow realizes the girls are in the basement, and they enter as Tom and Buffy fight. Buffy get's the sword and cuts the demon in half, and the frat guys are arrested. Though Giles is still not entirely happy that Buffy lied to him, he realizes that he's been pushing Buffy too hard and promises to take it easy on her from now on.

Afterward, everyone gathers at the Bronze, where Cordelia 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 past victims, dating back fifty years, have been found. Additionally, many corporations founded by former Delta Zetas have suffered because of the fraternity's inability to feed Machida. At that moment, Angel appears and asks if Buffy would like to get coffee with him sometime. She agrees and says she'll let him know.


  • The term "patrolling" is first used in this episode. Prior to this, Buffy's graveyard exploits are referred to as hunting. Furthermore, this marks the first time that she patrols with no specific purpose. From this point on, she will patrol nightly.
  • This episode has Cordelia reiterate her belief that older boys are the ones she wants to date, as first mentioned in "The Harvest."
  • Cordelia teases Xander by saying "You could belong to a fraternity of rich and powerful men. In the Bizarro World." In "The Wish," Cordelia refers to the Wishverse as "Bizarro World."
  • Giles asks Buffy how many people her age can say that they have a purpose, a commitment in life. Although she answers "none," five years later in the episode "Potential," she says a similar thing to the Potential Slayers — that although most people have no idea why they exist, the potentials do: they have "a mission, a reason for being here."
  • Buffy and Cordelia will once again find themselves targeted together by demons in "Homecoming." They were tied together as well and about to be victimized in "Out of Mind, Out of Sight."
  • A similar worshiping scenario is seen in "Help," when another group of young men attempt to sacrifice a girl to the demon Avilas to improve their success in life.
  • Buffy agrees to have coffee with Angel, marking the beginning of their formal dating relationship. They will ultimately break up one year later in the episode "The Prom."



Organizations and titles[]




Rituals and spells[]

Death count[]

  • Brittany Oswald and Kelly Percell, devoured by Machida (only mentioned).
  • Machida, cut in two by Buffy Summers.
  • Unknown number of fraternity alumni, committed suicide following Machida's death (only mentioned).

Behind the scenes[]


  • David Greenwalt says that when he wrote the episode he thought that he had invented a great demon name, Machida. He later realized that "Makita" was the brand of some of the equipment used on the show. Machida is also the name of a city in Japan.[2]
  • Marti Noxon has acknowledged the "phallic imagery" in this episode and confessed: "Yes, it's a metaphor."[3]
  • Robin Atkin Downes, the actor who portrays Machida in this episode, returns in Angel to portray an unidentified Pockla demon in the episode "Dead End."

Deleted scenes[]

  • Machida originally survived this episode:[4]
    Tom comes to near the alter. And, unbeknownst to any of our heroes, the snake body begins slowly moving. Until it joins up with the torso. A squooshy sound of flesh and protoplasm meeting and the two halves re-join!
    Cordelia: "You're going to jail for about fifteen thousand years. Oh god, it's over… it's really…"
    That's when Machida, re-joined, suddenly pops up again. Angel takes a threatening step forward next to Buffy, growls. Machida towers over Tom.
    Machida: "For a hundred years I have given your forbears wealth and power. And this is how you repay me. From this day forth you are alone in the world."
    Machida slides back down. Cordelia is afraid to breathe. With good reason. Machida pops back up, grabs Tom.
    Machida: "One for the road"
    Machida disappears into the pit with Tom. We hear Tom's screams, a quick couple of chomps and then silence.


  • "Reptile Boy" had an audience of 3.5 million households.[5]

Pop culture references[]

  • Buffy says "There's a kind of hush all over Sunnydale," paraphrasing the song "There's A Kind Of Hush."
  • Xander's line, "Okay, boots, start-a walkin'," paraphrases the song "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'."
  • Cordelia teases Xander by saying, "You could belong to a fraternity of rich and powerful men. In the Bizarro World." This is a reference to DC Comics' fictional planet where everything is backwards or distorted.
  • Cordelia mentions "48 inch televisions on satellite feed." At the time, most televisions were based on CRT technology and limited to less than 40 inches, and satellite reception was not common for consumer use.
  • Richard mentions his "junk bonds," a term used for bonds considered high risk but also high-yield. In his case, them being from Argentina, which at the time was considered an emerging market and therefore high risk.


  • When Buffy is fighting Machida, her shoes are black flats. Her shoes are chunky black heels when she is finished talking with Giles and walking up the stairs.
  • Even though the frat boys were just caught, Xander reads in the paper that "they've all been sentenced to consecutive life sentences."


  • Louie Says — "She"
  • Act of Faith — "Bring Me On"
  • Shawn Clement & Sean Murray — "Graffiti Sound"
  • Shawn Clement & Sean Murray — "Devil's Lair"
  • Shawn Clement & Sean Murray — "If I Can't Have You"
  • Shawn Clement & Sean Murray — "Wolves"
  • Shawn Clement & Sean Murray — "Secrets"

International titles[]

  • Czech: "Hadí chlapec" (Snake Boy)
  • Finnish: "Liskomies" (Lizard Man)
  • French: "Dévotion" (Devotion)
  • German: "Der Geheimbund" (The Secret Society)
  • Hungarian: "A hüllőember" (The Reptile Man)
  • Italian: "Festa macabra" (Macabre Party)
  • Japanese: "気持ち悪い男の子" (Disgusting Boy)
  • Polish: "Gadopodobny" (Reptile-like)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "O Garoto Réptil" (The Reptile Boy)
  • Romanian: "Băiatul Reptilă" (Reptile Boy)
  • Russian: "Парень-рептилия" (Reptile Boy)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "El Réptil" (The Reptile)
  • Spanish (Spain): "El Demonio Serpiente" (The Snake Demon)
  • Swedish: "Reptilkillen" (Reptile Boy)



Promotional stills[]

Behind the scenes[]



Xander: "Is she dying?"
Buffy: "She's singing."
Xander: "To a telephone, in Urdu... now that's entertainment. Why is she singing?"
Willow: "She's sad because her lover gave her a dozen gold coins but then the wizard cut open the bag of salt and now the dancing minions have no place to put their big Maypole... fish thingy."
Xander: "Uh huh. And why is she singing?"
Buffy: "Her lover? I thought he was her chiropractor."
Willow: "Because of that thing he did with her feet? No, that was personal."
Buffy: "I was... just thinking, wouldn't it be funny some time to see each other when it wasn't a blood thing? Not funny ha ha."
Angel: "What are you sayin', you wanna have a date?"
Buffy: "No."
Angel: "You don't wanna have a date?"
Buffy: "Who said 'date'? I never said 'date.'"
Angel: "Right. You just wanna have coffee or something."
Buffy: "Coffee?"
Angel: "I knew this was gonna happen."
Buffy: "What? What do you think is happening?"
Angel: "You're sixteen years old. I'm two hundred and forty-one."
Buffy: "I've done the math."
Giles: "Miner's Woods, which is...? —what are you doing?"
Willow: "Oh. Sorry. The reflection thing, that you don't have... Angel, how do you shave?"
Willow: "Buffy!"
Giles: "We don't know that it's concrete. Uh, let's not disturb her until..."
Willow: "Is there! With Cordelia. They went to a party at the Zeta Kappa house."
Giles: "She lied to me?"
Willow: "Well..."
Angel: "Did... she have a date?"
Willow: "Well... Well, why do you think she went to that party? Because you gave her the brush-off! And you [Giles] 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! And you [Angel]! I mean, you're gonna live forever! You don't have time for a cup of coffee?! Okay, I don't feel better now, and we've gotta help Buffy."
Cordelia: "You did it! You saved us! I've never been so happy to see anyone in my whole... You guys. I just... hate you guys! The weirdest things always happen when you're around! And you! You're going to jail for fifteen thousand years!"


  1. "The Mortuary." Buffy.com. Archived from the original on June 9, 2001.
  2. David Greenwalt. The Complete Second Season on DVD; audio commentaries for the episode "Reptile Boy." [DVD]. 20th Century Fox, June 11, 2002.
  3. The Complete Second Season on DVD; "A Buffy Bestiary." [DVD]. 20th Century Fox, June 11, 2002.
  4. David Greenwalt, Joss Whedon, et al. The Script Book: Season Two, Volume 1. Simon & Schuster, July 2001.
  5. "Nielsen Ratings for Buffy's Second Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on April 13, 2008.