This article is about the episode. For other uses, see Ted.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 2, Episode 11
2x11 002
Air date December 8, 1997
Written by David Greenwalt
Joss Whedon
Directed by Bruce Seth Green
Episode Guide
"What's My Line, Part Two"
"Bad Eggs"
Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy
Nicholas Brendon Xander
Alyson Hannigan Willow
Charisma Carpenter Cordelia
David Boreanaz Angel
Anthony Stewart Head Giles
Special Guest Starring
John Ritter Ted
Guest Starring
Kristine Sutherland Joyce
Robia LaMorte Jenny
Ken Thorley Neal
James G. MacDonald Detective Stein
Co Starring
Jeff Langton Vampire
Jeff Pruitt Vampire

"Ted" is the eleventh episode of the second season of television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the twenty-third episode in the series. It was written by Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt, and directed by Bruce Seth Green. It was originally broadcast on December 8, 1997.

Everyone’s taken a liking to Joyce’s new boyfriend except Buffy, who is subject to his threatening language and behavior when others aren’t around. But when Buffy seemingly kills Ted, she begins to wonder if it was really just self-defense or if she used her Slayer powers to murder a human being.


As Buffy, Xander, and Willow return from patrolling, they discuss the lack of vampire activity with Spike and Drusilla presumed dead. Angel, who is still recovering from his ordeal with Drusilla, has also confirmed the Order of Taraka has been called off. However, when the three enter Buffy’s house, they find Joyce kissing a strange man.

Misinterpreting an odd situation, Joyce introduces her friend, Ted Buchanan, a salesman. He tells them that he has been seeing Joyce for quite some time now. He charms Willow and Xander with computer talk and cooking, respectively. Ted promises to make it up to Buffy for surprising her. Buffy becomes uncomfortable with Ted’s traditional mannerisms; this is not calmed by Ted’s offer of miniature golf.

That night, Buffy beats a vampire to an unusually bloody pulp before killing him, worrying Giles that something is troubling her. She refuses to divulge, but Giles secretly has a good idea of what is happening. Later that night, Buffy asks Angel for his take on things, while she tends to his wounds. He says that her mother shouldn’t be forced to be alone, and she should give Ted the benefit of the doubt. She reluctantly complies with this idea. Meanwhile, Giles approaches Jenny for the first time since she was possessed. She tells him that she’s still not fully over what happened, and asks that he gives her space until she feels ready. He regretfully leaves, while Jenny is also left unsatisfied with how the encounter went.

The golf outing goes poorly, as Joyce has revealed Buffy’s anti-social behavior. When Buffy cheats, Ted lectures and threatens her with a slapping out of sight of the group, but his cheerfulness comes back full force when rejoining everyone else.

Joyce doesn’t believe this incident happened, claiming Ted thinks the world of her. Buffy recruits her friends to spy on Ted. Under an assumed name, Buffy talks her way into Ted’s work space. He has never missed a day of work, doesn’t get sick, and is getting engaged. Ted has a picture of Joyce on his desk but the part with Buffy is folded under.

At dinner, Ted denies the engagement, but confesses to Joyce that he has hopes they will one day get married. Buffy slips out for some slaying and on her return, finds Ted has read her diary. He threatens to tell Joyce about her being a Slayer unless she toes the line. She defies him and is slapped. In the resulting brawl, Ted falls down the stairs; Joyce then finds him, seemingly dead.

The next day, after a talk with the cops, Buffy is in a haze of guilt. Willow and Xander discover Ted’s cookies are drugged. Cordelia finds Ted has had four wives since 1957, all of whom have since disappeared. That night Giles patrols since Buffy is dealing with a lot already. Jenny surprises him to apologize for her earlier harsh words, but the conversation is derailed when a vampire attacks and Jenny attempts to shoot it. Instead of hitting the vampire, she accidentally shoots Giles in the side. As the vampire bursts into laughter, Giles uses the distraction to pull the bolt out of himself and dust the vampire. He and Jenny then laugh over the misfortune, as she takes him to the hospital.

File:211 Ted.jpg

Buffy again finds Ted in her room; this second fight reveals he is a robot. He escapes to find Joyce. The Scooby Gang investigate Ted’s bunker, decorated in 50s style. Xander finds the four wives, all of whom are dead. Ted confronts an astonished Joyce. His malfunctions reveal his true intentions, and Buffy knocks him out with a frying pan. The next day, Joyce swears off men forever, and says that from now on, the two Summers women shall be manless. Buffy suggests renting a chick flick.

The gang returns to school the next day, with Buffy cleared of all charges, and discussing their discoveries about Ted. Apparently the real Ted Buchanan was a sickly and unsuccessful inventor in the 1950s whose wife left him. In desperation, he built a robot version of himself, "a better Ted," possibly to be the man he thought his wife should have. The robot then kidnapped Ted’s wife and held her captive in his bunker until she died. The robot then sought out other women resembling Ted’s dead wife and repeated the process again and again.

All seems to have returned to normalcy, although Buffy is once again disgusted to walk in on adults kissing, this time the two being Giles and Jenny in the library.


  • Ted is the first human-impersonating robot to appear in the series. The theme will be reused many times in later episodes.
  • Giles approaches Jenny for the first time since she was possessed. She tells him that she’s still not fully over what happened in "The Dark Age".
  • During the episode, Ted and other characters use specific language to tease the audience about Ted’s robot personality. Ted uses the phrase "I’m not wired that way" a couple of times, an employee at Ted’s workplace describes him as a "machine," and Joyce tells Ted that every home "should have one of him," implying that he is like a house robot.
  • In "I Was Made to Love You", Dawn wonders if April might be like Ted, noting that, in the timeline according to the characters’ altered memories, she’d always wondered if there was more than one of him.
  • Willow kept parts of Ted for educational purposes which certainly helped when she reverse engineered the Buffybot.
  • Cordelia turns out to be a better investigator than Willow and Xander, when she uncovers the past of Ted, foreshadowing her future partnership with Angel in Los Angeles.
  • Xander notes at the beginning of the episode how quiet Sunnydale’s undead population has been since the events of the previous episode, but quickly stops to chastise himself for potentially jinxing their good fortune. Buffy and Willow criticized him for doing almost the exact same thing in "School Hard".
  • Giles and Jenny Calendar rekindle their relationship (at least until "Innocence").
  • Ted threatens to put Buffy in a mental institution, which we later find out she has been in before. (If the "Normal Again" alternative is to be believed, Buffy remains in the institution for a further 5 years until regaining her sanity at the end of "Chosen".)
  • Giles mentions that killing a human being is a hard thing to bear, ignoring the fact that Buffy killed a human assassin two episodes earlier. (Presumably self defense might make the difference.) Ironically, he himself would murder Ben Wilkinson in "The Gift."



Organizations and Titles



Weapons and Objects

Death Count

Behind the Scenes


  • During the filming of the final confrontation between Buffy and Ted, both Sarah Michelle Gellar and John Ritter were ill. Gellar had the flu while Ritter had food poisoning from the night before.[1]
  • John Ritter claimed this episode influenced his understanding of his own step-daughter.[2]
  • This is the last episode of the series to air in 1997.
  • According to David Fury when he questioned the amazing technological abilities of Sunnydale residents (reanimating the dead in ’Some Assembly Required’, making lifelike robots in ’Ted’ and ’I Was Made To Love You’) Joss Whedon replied "You’re just way overthinking it. The Hellmouth should be able to provide us with anything we want to do; the energy that comes out of it makes mad scientists out of humans who then go ahead and create something evil"


  • "Ted" had an audience of 3.9 million households.

Pop Culture References

  • Ted’s cooking skills are an inside reference to John Ritter’s famous sitcom Three’s Company where his character is a chef.
  • Xander quotes: "So many have come, so few have conquered," a reference to the famous Latin phrase "Veni, vidi, vici" – "I came, I saw, I conquered."
  • Buffy references the Stepford Wives.
  • Upon seeing Ted’s multiple marriage certificates, Xander suggests that Ted might be Mormon. This is a reference to the no longer practiced polygamy by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints aka the Mormon religion.
  • Buffy to Joyce: "I guess we’re Thelma & Louise-ing it again." In the 1991 movie Thelma & Louise, two women (played by Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon) go on a road trip during which they kill a would-be rapist, blow things up, break numerous laws, and generally bond with one another.
  • The Captain and Tenille are a married pop music duo (Toni Tenille sings and the Captain – whose real name is Daryl Dragon – plays the keyboards) who are most famous for their soft-rock hits "Love Will Keep Us Together" (1975) and "Do That To Me One More Time" (1979).
  • "I think maybe we’re in Sigmund Freud territory." The Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud (1865-1939) is known as "the father of modern psychoanalysis." His theories revolutionized the field of psychiatry by introducing such now-common concepts as unconscious repression, defense mechanisms, and the ego and the id.

Deleted Scenes

  • One of Willow’s lines in the teaser was cut:[1]
Willow: I’m just saying that if Tennille were in charge, she would have had the little captain hat.


  • Christophe Beck - "Accused"
  • Christophe Beck - "She'll Come Around"
  • Christophe Beck - "I Hit Him"
  • Christophe Beck - "Robot Rampage"
  • Christophe Beck - "Ted Attacks Buffy"
  • Los Angeles Post Music - "Untitled" (uncredited)

Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors

  • There’s no way Willow could have done a chemical analysis on the cookie Xander was eating just by looking at a few crumbs under a microscope.

International Titles

  • Finnish: Ted
  • French: Le Fiancé (The Fiancé)
  • German: Ted


  • John Ritter’s father, Tex, was also an actor and worked with Joss Whedon’s father Tom Whedon.
  • This episode starts with adults kissing (Ted and Joyce) and ends with adults kissing (Giles and Jenny).
  • Xander mentioned "Creature Feature." Dawn Summers later says "Feature Creature" in Tabula Rasa.
  • The plot of the episode is similar to that of the 1987 horror film The Stepfather, where a teenage girl suspects her new stepfather (who is obsessed with "old fashioned values") is a serial killer who marries women, and murders them when they fail to live up to his exceedingly high expectations.
  • One of Alyson Hannigan’s favorite episodes, largely because of the participation of John Ritter.




Buffy: (to Ted) "What are you doing here?"
Ted: "I'm updating the software in the guidance office — which reminds me." (He pulls several disks from his pocket and hands them to Willow) "Your upgrades."
Willow: (eagerly accepting the disks) "Oh, what a day! Thank you!" (Buffy gives Willow a look)
Ted: "Think nothing of it. Buffy, do you like miniature golf?"
Xander: "Who doesn't!"
Ted: "Well, your mother and I were thinking maybe this Saturday we could drag the three of you out to the course, spend some time swinging the iron with the stuffy old people."
Buffy: "Well, uh..."
Ted: "I'm making a picnic basket."
Xander: (eyes wide) "With mini pizzas?"
Ted: "And cookies!" [Xander inhales in wide-eyed, open-mouthed rapture]
Buffy: "You know what, we, we would love to. Honestly, but, um, unfortunately we have that [looks to Willow for support] thing on Saturday."
Willow: "Ohhh, that thing." (they look at Xander) "That thing."
Xander: "Hey, we can do that thing anytime. I'm tired of doing that thing." [to Ted] We're on!"
Ted: "Great!" [Willow and Buffy can only smile — Willow widely, Buffy half-heartedly]
Buffy: "What are you doing in here?"
Ted: "Your mother told you to go to your room, Buffy. You and I both know she didn't mean climb out a window and go gallivanting about town."
Buffy: "First of all, this is my room. Second... [sees her Slayer stuff lying on her desk] You've been going through my things?"
Ted: "Yes, I have."
Buffy: "That's my personal property! How dare you?!"
Ted: "I don't see how it's any different from you snooping around my office, do you? [raises her diary and reads] What exactly is a Vampire Slayer?"
Buffy: "It's none of your business."
Ted: "Beg to differ, little lady. Everything you do is nothing but my business from now on."
Buffy: "I think you better get out of here. Now!"
Ted: "Or what? [stands up and steps toward her] You'll slay me? I'm real. I'm not some goblin you made up in your little diary. Psychiatrists have a word for something like this: delusional. So, from now on, you'll do what I say, when I say. [He holds up her diary] Or I show this to your mother, and you'll spend your best dating years behind the wall of a mental institution. Your mother and I are going to be happy. You're not going to stand in the way. Sleep tight!"
Det. Stein: (to Joyce) "We're not bringing anything up against your daughter right now. She says Mr. Buchanan struck her, and if that's the case..." [shrugs] "Anyway, we've gotta examine it further. Right now I think you should just take her home, and the two of you should try and get some rest." [Cut to the street. They're driving home in Joyce's Jeep. Cut inside the car. Buffy is looking down sadly; she glances over to her mother briefly, then out the side window. Cut to school the next day. Buffy comes into the hall from outside. Everyone seems to be looking at her as she slowly makes her way to the lounge; Xander and Willow catch up with her when she gets there]
Xander: "Buffy!" [They climb the steps up to the couches] "Are you okay?"
Willow: "How come you're here?"
Buffy: "I couldn't stay at home." [she and Willow sit] "Mom won't even look at me."
Buffy: "Vampires are creeps."
Giles: "Yes, that's why one slays them."
Buffy: "I mean, people are perfectly happy getting along, and then vampires come, and they run around and they kill people, and they take over your whole house, they start making these stupid little mini pizzas, and everyone's like, 'I like your mini pizzas,' but I’m telling you, I am..."
Giles: "Uh, uh, Buffy! I-I believe the... subtext here is, is, rapidly becoming, uh, uh, text."
Buffy: "So mom's like, 'Do you think Ted will like this?' and 'This is Ted’s favorite show,' and 'Ted's teaching me computers,' and 'Ted said the funniest thing,' and I'm like, 'That's really great, Mom,' and then she said I was being sarcastic, which I was, but I'm sorry if I don't wanna talk about Ted all the time."
Angel: "So, you gonna talk about something else at some point?"
Buffy: [realizes what he means] "Sorry."
Xander: "Can you say "over-reaction"?"
Buffy: "Can you say "sucking chest wound"?"
Xander: "So you want to go to the utility closet and make out?"
Cordelia: "Is that all you ever think about? [pause] Okay."
Xander: "Whatcha got in the closet, Ted? [he opens the door, and his eyes widen in shock at what he sees] Let’s go."
Cordelia: "But we need evidence!"
Xander: "We got it."
Willow: "What's in there?"
Xander: "His first four wives."
Joyce: (about Ted) "I just wish I could be sure he’s gone."
Buffy: "Trust me, he’s on the scrapheap... of life."
Giles: (about being shot) "I think I'm alright."
Jenny: "No, you're just in shock."
Giles: "No, no, really. I, uh, I don't think it went in too deep. The... advantages of layers of tweed. Better than kevlar."
Xander: "So, I'm Ted, the sickly loser. I'm dying and my wife dumps me. I build a better Ted. He brings her back, holds her hostage in his bunker o' love until she dies. And then he keeps bringing her back, over and over. Now, now that's creepy on a level I hardly knew existed."
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The Watcher's Guide, Volume One"
  2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Second Season on DVD. Perf. John Ritter. DVD. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2002.
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