Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Ted

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Season 2, Episode 11
Airdate December 8, 1997
Production Number 5V11
Written by David Greenwalt &
Joss Whedon
Directed by Bruce Seth Green
← 2x10
What's My Line? (2)
2x12 →
Bad Eggs
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Two

Ted is the eleventh episode of the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the twenty-third episode overall. Buffy is disturbed to find her mother kissing a man named Ted in her kitchen and, although everything seems normal, she's still suspicious about Ted's motives.

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)

Special Guest Star: John Ritter (Ted)

Guest Starring: Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Robia LaMorte (Jenny Calendar), Ken Thorley (Neal), James G. MacDonald (Detective Stein)

Co-Starring: Jeff Langton (Vampire)

Uncredited: Jeff Pruitt (Vampire)


Plot Overview

Buffy discovers that her mother has a boyfriend. Everyone quickly takes to Ted, except Buffy. While many dismiss it as stepfather issues, the more Buffy finds out about Ted, the more her dislike for him is justified.


Monster of the Week

Ted, after much investigation, is revealed to be a robot masquerading as a human. Several small references to electronics which hint to his true identity are made through out the episode, particularly him saying that he's not "wired" a certain way and his coworker referring to him as a "machine."

The real Ted was a "sickly loser" who was presumably an inventor during the 1950s. When his wife left him, he built a new Ted with the qualities he thought his wife would want. However, the robotic Ted lacks rationality and held Ted's ex-wife hostage in his bunker until she died. The process was repeated three more times with new wives who fit the same archetype of the first wife.

In addition to being a robot, Ted also draws some elements from The Stepford Wives and the fairytale of Bluebeard. The Stepford Wives is a 1975 horror/science-fiction film about women who are replaced with submissive, "1950s housewife" robot doubles by their husbands. Xander's response to finding Ted's wives in the closet is reminiscent of a similar scene from the Bluebeard fairytale, when Bluebeard's newest wife found the remains of his previous wives in a "forbidden room."

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Vampire Buffy Staked Park
2 Vampire Giles Staked Park
3 Ted Buffy Hit with Frying Pan Kitchen


Arc Advancement




  • 2x09 - What's My Line? (1): Spike put out a hit on Buffy in an attempt to either distract her while he was performing the ritual to restore Drusilla or outright kill her. When Spike was incapacitated and most of the assassins sent after her killed, they've apparently called off the contract.
  • 2x10 - What's My Line? (2): When Buffy is in Angel's home complaining about how much she hates Ted, she's also wrapping his hand in a bandage. The redressing is a result of the wound he suffered during Spike's ritual, which necessitated stabbing a hole in Angel's hand to mix his blood with Drusilla's.
  • 2x08 - The Dark Age: During his youth, Giles and his band of occultist friends would routinely summon the demon Eyghon to possess them for a short time as a manner of getting high. Many years later, the demon began to systematically kill the people who summoned him in order to gain corporeal form in reality, including Giles. Among those killed was Phillip Henry, who Cordelia refers to.
Cordelia: I guess you should know since you helped raise that demon that killed that guy that time?


The Show

Behind the Scenes

  • During the filming of the final fight scene between Buffy and Ted, both Sarah Michelle Gellar and John Ritter were sick; Gellar from the flu, Ritter from food poisoning the night before.
  • Cut Line: In the conversation between Xander and Willow about The Captain and Tennille, Willow had a line that was cut from the episode: "I'm just saying that if Tennille were in charge, she would have had the little captain hat."
  • 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: "Le Fiancé" ("The Fiancé")
    • Italian: "Il fidanzato di mamma" ("Mom's Fiancé")
    • Japanese: "テッド" ("Teddo" - "Ted")

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments


  • Ted: (repeated line) Beg to differ.
  • Xander: Who was the real power, the Captain or Tennille?
  • 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 the mini-pizza," but I'm telling you, I am -
Giles: (interrupts) Buffy! I - I believe the, uh, subtext here is - is rapidly becoming, uh, text.
  • Ted: So, Buffy, I bet the boys are lined up around the block to trying to get a date with you.
Buffy: Not really.
Willow: Oh, they are, but she's only interested in - (Buffy nudges her) uh, her studies. Book-cracker Buffy - it's kind of her nickname.
  • Buffy: Hey, how 'bout that! Got a hole in two!
Ted: Beg to differ.
Buffy: Okay, so fine my score or whatever.
Ted: I think you're missing the point here, little lady. Right is right, wrong is wrong. Why don't people see that?
Buffy: It's just a game?
Ted: Right, it's just a game, do your own thing. Well, I'm not wired that way. And I'm here to tell you it is not a game, it does count, and I don't stand for that kind of malarkey in my house!
Buffy: Then I guess it's a good thing I'm not in your house.
Ted: Do you want me to slap that smart-ass mouth of yours?
  • Giles: Whatever the authorities have planned for her, it can't be much worse than what she's doing to herself. She's taken a human life. The guilt, it - it's - it's pretty hard to bear, and it won't go away soon.
Cordelia: I guess you should know, since you helped raise that demon that killed that guy that time.
Giles: Yes. Do let's bring that up as often as possible.