Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Killed by Death

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Killed by Death
Killed by Death
Season 2, Episode 8
Airdate March 3, 1998
Production Number 5V18
Written by Rob Des Hotel &
Dean Batali
Directed by Deran Sarafian
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I Only Have Eyes for You
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Two

Killed by Death is the eighteenth episode of the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the thirtieth episode overall.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), David Boreanaz (Angel)

and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles)

Guest Starring: Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Richard Herd (Dr. Stanley Backer), Willie Garson (Guard), Andrew Ducote (Ryan), Juanita Jennings (Dr. Wilkinson)

Co-Starring: Robert Munic (Intern), Mimi Paley (Little Buffy), Denise Johnson (Celia), James Jude Courtney (Kindestod)


Plot Overview

Buffy is overcome with the flu and taken to the hospital. She is eager to get out due to a phobia of hospitals that stems from a childhood incident, but soon discovers that something is stalking the children's wing.


Monster of the Week

Der Kindestod is a monster invented for this episode based on something that frightened Joss Whedon as a child. Its name implies that its origin is Germanic, although it also fits in line with eastern European fairytale villains like Baba Yaga as well. The creature's name is not "child death" as Cordelia said, but rather "the child's death."

According to Giles, the monster slowly draws out the life of children while they're pinned down using tendrils that extend from his eyes. It is apparently invisible to those who aren't suffering from the flu or, perhaps, some other altered state of mind.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Dr. Backer Der Kindestod Mauled Hospital
2 Der Kindestod Buffy Snapped Neck Hospital

Arc Advancement





The Show

Behind the Scenes

  • International: Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been dubbed into many different languages and the title translated for each different international version. Some international translations of this episode's title are:
    • French: "Réminiscences" ("Reminiscences")
    • Italian: "Il Mostro" ("The Monster")
    • German: "Der Unsichtbare Tod" ("The Invisible Death")
    • Japanese: "死神" ("Shinigami" - "Grim Reaper")

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments


  • When Backer's dead body is thrown out of the hospital room, in two different shots, his entirely white hair is dark.
  • When Buffy and Willow first look in the empty children's room, the sign on the door to the basement room is absent.
  • When Buffy kills Kindestod, its hat falls off his head, laying just behind his head on the pipe, but it's then inexplicably absent in both of the subsequent shots.


  • Xander: Man, Buffy! My whole life just flashed before my eyes! I got to get me a life.
  • Buffy: Maybe it wasn't Death. Maybe it was something else.
Cordelia: So this isn't about you being afraid of hospitals 'cause your friend died and you wanna conjure up a monster that you can fight so you can save everybody and not feel so helpless?
Giles: Cordelia, have you actually ever heard of tact?
Cordelia: Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass.
  • Cordelia: Eww. What does this do?
Giles: What?
Cordelia: What does this do?
Giles: Uh, it, uh, extracts vital organs to replenish its own mutating cells.
Cordelia: Wow! What does this one do?
Giles: Um, it elongates its mouth to engulf its victims head with its incisors.
Cordelia: Ouch. Wait, what does this one do?
Giles: It asks endless questions of those with whom it's supposed to be working so that nothing is getting done.
Cordelia: Boy, there's a demon for everything.