Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Teacher's Pet

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Teacher's Pet
Season 1, Episode 4
Airdate March 25, 1997
Production Number 4V04
Written by David Greenwalt
Directed by Bruce Seth Green
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Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason One

Teacher's Pet is the fourth episode of the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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

and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles)

Guest Starring: David Boreanaz (Angel), Ken Lerner (Principal Flutie), Musetta Vander (Miss French), Jackson Price (Blaine), Jean Speegle Howard (Real Natalie French)

Co-Starring: William Monaghan (Dr. Gregory), Jack Knight (Homeless Guy), Michael Ross Verona (Teacher), Karim Oliver (Bud #1)


Plot Overview

A substitute biology comes to town, and it turns out she's a "She-Mantis." She preys on virgin males - capturing them, mating with them, and then biting their heads off. When Xander is taken, Buffy must find him and save him.


Monster of the Week

  • Natalie French: Substitute teacher Natalie French turns out to be a "She-Mantis," a giant praying mantis that preys on virgin males. In order to find men to fertilize her eggs, she releases a pheromone which attracts all males. From there, she picks them off, drugs them and locks them in a cage where they're kept until needed. At that time, the mantis lays its eggs, forces the male to fertilize them and bites his head off. Like regular mantises, the She-Mantis has a natural aversion to bat sonar. Vampires like the one with the claw hand also seem to find her unsettling.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Dr. Gregory "Miss French" Decapitated Offscreen
2 Clawed Vampire Buffy Staked Picket Fence
3 "Miss French" Buffy Hacked to Pieces Basement


  • "Already Met You" by Superfine: At the beginning of the episode, Superfine is the band playing on stage at The Bronze. The song they're playing is "Already Met You," which also appears on the first soundtrack release for the series.
  • "Stoner Love" by Superfine: At the end of the episode, starting when Xander starts smashing mantis eggs and ending in The Bronze, "Stoner Love" by Superfine can be heard in the background.

Arc Advancement



  • Buffy and Angel: While delivering a vague warning about something coming for her, Angel gives her his leather jacket. Not only does the coat foreshadow their future relationship but also will be seen regularly from time to time as a visual motif through out the series.



The Show

Behind the Scenes

  • International Titles: Because Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an international phenomenon, the title of this episode has been translated into several different episodes to go along with the redubbed show. Some of these names are listed below:
    • French: "Le Chouchou du prof" ("The Teacher's Pet")
    • German: "Gottesanbeterin" ("Praying Mantis")
    • Italian: "La mantide" ("The Mantis")
    • Japanese: "先生のお気に入り" ("Sensei no Okini'iri" - "Teacher's Pet")
    • Portuguese: "O Queridinho da Professora" ("The Teacher's Favorite")

Allusions and References

  • The Exorcist: In the 1973 horror film The Exorcist, Regan MacNeil (portrayed by Linda Blair) is possessed by Pazuzu, a demon which causes her body to do things that would otherwise be impossible. At one point in the movie, Regan's head turns 180 degrees to look behind her, just as Miss French does when she senses Buffy looking at her through the window.
Buffy: We are talking full on Exorcist twist.

Memorable Moments

  • Xander admits that his middle name is Lavelle.


  • After finding Gregory's glasses on the floor, Buffy puts them on the table with the legs folded out. However, in the close-up shot, they're folded in.
  • When Miss French makes the bug sandwich, her sleeves alternate from being rolled up to down between shots.


  • Buffy: I'd say it's nice to see you, but then we'd both know that's a big fib.
Angel: I won't be long.
Buffy: No. You'll just give me a cryptic warning about some exciting new catastrophe and then disappear into the night.
  • Angel: He's coming.
Buffy: The Fork Guy?
Angel: Don't let him corner you. Don't give him a moment's mercy. He'll rip your throat out.
Buffy: Okay, I'll give you improved marks for that one. Ripping a throat out - it's a strong visual. It's not cryptic!
  • Xander: It's funny how the Earth never opens up and swallows you when you want it to.
  • Xander: Those that can, do. Those that can't, laugh at those who... can do.
  • Xander: So there's something else out there besides silverware man? Oh, this is fun. We're on Monster Island.
  • Buffy: Do you know Miss French, the teacher that's subbing for Dr Gregory?
Giles: Yes. Yes, she's lovely. In a, a common, extremely well proportioned way.
Buffy: Well, I'm chasing Claw Guy last night, and Miss Well Proportioned is heading home. The Claw Guy takes one look at her and runs screaming for cover.
Giles: He what? Ran away?
Buffy: He was petrified.
Giles: Of Miss French?
Buffy: Uh-huh! So I'm an undead monster that can shave with my hand. How many things am I afraid of?
Giles: Not many. And not substitute teachers, as a rule.
  • Principal Flutie: We all need help with our feelings, otherwise we bottle them up, and before you know it, powerful laxatives are involved. I really believe if we all reach out to one another, we can beat this thing. I'm always here if you need a hug, but not a real hug, because there's no touching in this school. We're sensitive to wrong touching.
  • Cordelia: (talking to the school counsellor) I don't know what to say, it was really, I mean, one minute you're in your normal life, and then who's in the fridge? It really gets to you, a thing like that. It was... let's just say I haven't been able to eat a thing since yesterday. I think I lost, like, seven and a half ounces? Way swifter than that so-called diet that quack put me on. Oh, I'm not saying that we should kill a teacher every day just so I can lose weight, I'm just saying when tragedy strikes, we have to look on the bright side. You know? Like, how even used Mercedes still have leather seats.
  • Buffy: No, I'm not saying she craned her neck. We are talking full-on Exorcist twist.
  • Giles: This computer invasion that Willow's performing on the coroner's office, one assumes it is entirely legal?
Willow: Entirely!
Buffy: Of course!
Giles: Right. Wasn't here, didn't see it, couldn't have stopped you.
Buffy: Good idea.
  • Xander:: Well, needs should, uh, you know, needs should definitely be met as long as it doesn't require ointments the next day.
  • Giles: You were right, all along, about everything. Well, no, you weren't right about your mother coming back as a Pekingese.
  • Buffy: Virgins? Well, Xander's not... uh... uh... I mean, he's probably—
Willow: Gonna die.
  • Buffy: There are no books, but it's dark and musty. You'll feel right at home.
  • Blayne:: Hey, all right, now I can get out of my cage... into yours. What'd you do that for?
Giles: Recording bat sonar is something soothingly akin to having one’s teeth drilled.
  • Willow: What do we do now?
Giles: Abject prayer and supplication would spring to mind.