- “Welcome to Sunnydale! A clean slate, Buffy, that’s what you get here. What’s past is past. We’re not interested in what it says on a piece of paper, even if it says…”
- ―Robert Flutie[src]
On Buffy’s first day, Principal Flutie ripped up her transcript to let her start the year on a clean state. However, when he began looking at its torn pieces, he discovered that she burned down the gym of her previous school, Hemery High, which was the reason why she transferred to a new school. As he taped the transcript back together, Buffy concealed the fact she was the Slayer, and claimed she did it because of asbestos. Flutie instead hesitantly dismissed Buffy and allowed her back on her way.
The next day, he caught her trying to leave out from the school gate to investigate a crypt where she fought vampires the night before. Buffy claimed she was leaving to receive a book for librarian Rupert Giles, but he didn’t believe her and closed the gate. Despite this, Buffy was still able to leave by jumping up over the gate.
Principal Flutie acquired a school mascot for the Sunnydale Razorbacks via a piglet named Herbert. Unfortunately, Herbert was eaten by the Pack, a group of school bullies that were possessed by demonic hyenas during a field trip to the Sunnydale Zoo. He called four of them (Kyle DuFours, Tor Hauer, Rhonda Kelley and Heidi Barrie) to his office for a punishment but ended up being devoured himself. This death was discovered moments later, and a teachers’ meeting decided the official theory was that wild dogs somehow got into his office.
Unlike his successor, Principal Snyder, Flutie was dedicated to helping students. He sought to “understand his students better” and believed in student-centered education, their self-esteem, and socialization. Snyder later quipped, “It’s that kind of fuzzy-headed liberal thinking that leads to being eaten.” Ironically, Snyder suffered a similar fate two years later.
According to Flutie, students were free to call him “Bob," but they didn’t.
Behind the scenes
- He was portrayed by Ken Lerner in the series and Stephen Tobolowsky in the pilot episode.
- Actors Armin Shimerman and Harry Groener, who respectively portrayed Principal Snyder and the Mayor Richard Wilkins, initially auditioned for the role of Robert Flutie.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer pilot
- "Welcome to the Hellmouth"
- "The Harvest"
- "Teacher's Pet"
- "The Pack"
- "Beneath You"
- "The Puppet Show"
- "Graduation Day, Part Two"
- Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, Slayers & Vampires: The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Buffy & Angel. Pan Macmillan, 2017.