Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Triangle

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Season 5, Episode 11
Airdate January 9, 2001
Production Number 5ABB11
Written by Jane Espenson
Directed by Christopher Hibler
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Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Five

Triangle is the eleventh episode of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the eighty-ninth episode overall, and expresses the complications of Spike's feelings over Buffy, Buffy's feelings over Riley's departure from the previous episode, and the friction between Anya and Willow.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), James Marsters (Spike)

and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles)

Guest Starring: Abraham Benrubi (Olaf the Troll), Amber Benson (Tara)

and Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers)

Co-Starring: Ranjani Brow (Young Nun)


Plot Overview

Giles takes a leave for England to seek information about Glory from the Watchers Council. In his absence, Anya is left in charge of the Magic Box, upping the bickering between she and Willow, which begins to wear on Xander. When this leads to the conjuring of a troll, they have to work together as it rampages through Sunnydale.


Monster of the Week

  • Olaf the Troll: Olaf was once Anya's boyfriend, she turned him into a troll after she caught him cheating on her (an act that allowed her to be come a vengeance demon). He was later imprisoned in a crystal by a group of witches. It is unsure that his brutish nature is because of being a troll or if it was his original ways.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Vampire Buffy Staked Nun's Covent


  • Blur - "There's No Other Way"
  • The Dandy Warhols - "Bohemian Like You"

Arc Advancement



  • Willow: This is the first time in the series which Willow refers to herself as gay.


  • Homecoming: Anya talks about how Willow broke up Cordelia and Xander's relationship.


The Show

  • The Bronze: Because of Olaf's outburst in the Bronze, the club closes and reopens with an entirely new look in future episodes.
  • Gay: Willow definitely refers to herself as gay. In previous episodes her sexuality was vague and generally danced around.

Behind the Scenes

  • Credit Change: Beginning with this episode, Marc Blucas does not appear in the opening credits.
  • The penultimate scene where Olaf is sent away originally featured Giles.. A still of this with him was even taken. For whatever reason, he was edited out (although his shoulders and arms can be seen in the widescreen version) with his lines overdubbed.

Allusions and References

  • Wimple: A wimple is the part of the nun's uniform which looks like a close-fitting hood.
  • SeaWorld: SeaWorld is a chain of amusement parks based on sealife and marine animals, there are currently four locations (Florida, Texas, California and Australia). The line refers to the shows where the bleachers set up have designated splash zones where the brave onlookers in the first few rows will most likely get wet.
Buffy: It's like being at SeaWorld - "the first five rows will get wet."
  • Cat in the Hat: Although Willow explains what the fish is in the episode itself, the Cat in the Hat was a children's book published in 1957 by Theodore Geisel (otherwise known as Dr. Seuss). The story follows a cat in a hat causing rampant destruction in a house with the fish acting as the voice of reason, trying to get the children to not go along with the cat's mayhem.
Willow: The fish in the bowl, in The Cat in the Hat.

Memorable Moments

  • Spike practicing asking out Buffy but getting pissed off and throwing things when he completely fails.
  • Olaf attempts to make Xander choose whether he will kill Anya or Willow.


  • While being driven by Anya in search of Olaf, Willow has her left hand on the book. In one angle, she is holding it from beneath, while in another she is holding it on top.
  • Olaf points his hammer at the barmaid in front of him, but it cuts to another angle on him, it appears to be the same barmaid standing to his side.


  • Anya: Xander? If you ever decide to go, I want a warning. You know, big flashing red lights and one of those clocks that counts down like a bomb in a movie? And there's a whole bunch of coloured wires and I'm not sure which is the right one to cut, but I guess the green one and then at the last second, no, the red one and then click, it stops with three-tenths of a second left. But then you don't leave. Like that, okay?
Xander: Check. Big bomb clock.
  • Anya: Humans make the same mistakes over and over. I saw it when I was a vengeance demon. Some guy dumps a girl, she calls me, I exact vengeance, blah, blah, blah. The next year, same girl, different guy. I mean, after you smite a few of 'em, you start going, "my goodness, young lady, maybe you're doing something wrong here, too."
  • Buffy: Don't talk about the books again. You get all... and sometimes there's drool.
  • Buffy: I know, it's just that I trust these Watchers about at far as... you could throw them.
Giles: Thank you very much.
  • Tara: I'm envious, Mr Giles. A trip to England sounds so exciting and exotic... unless you're English.
  • Willow: We can come by between classes. Usually I use that time to copy over my class notes with a system of different coloured pens, but it's been pointed out to me that that's, you know, insane.
  • Xander: Hey, how goes the slaying?
Buffy: I killed something in a convent last night.
Xander: In any other room, a frightening declaration. Here, a welcome distraction. Tell us all about the killing, Buff.
Buffy: Pretty standard. Vampire staking. Oh! But I met a nun and she let me try on her wimple.
Xander: Okay, now we're back to frightening.
  • Anya:: You're trying to make me feel left out, and you're stealing!
Willow: I'm not stealing. I'm just taking things without paying for them. In what twisted dictionary is that stealing?
Tara: Willow, maybe we should just pay.
Willow: Anya, Giles would be totally fine with this. Come on, it'll be fun. We could show you how to do some stuff. You could be floating pencils by the end of the day.
Anya: Sometimes I miss having powers... Oh. Oh! I know what this is! This is peer pressure! Any second now you're gonna make me smoke tobacco and have drugs!
  • Anya: Did you hurt the money? Money good? She endangered the money!
Willow: Of course, that's what she cares about. "I like money better than people. People can so rarely be exchanged for goods and/or services."
Anya: Xander, she's pretending to be me!
  • Willow: (about Olaf) He's not a ball of sunshine.
  • Buffy: The professor spit too much when he talked. It was like being at Sea World. "The first five rows will get wet."
  • Willow: Giles can be an idiot. The smart kind, but still.
  • Olaf: You do well to flee, townspeople. I will pillage your lands and dwellings. I will burn your crops and make merry sport with your more attractive daughters.
  • Xander: They get in these fights and they're both looking at me like I'm the referee. Also, sometimes I'll say something about Anya, and Willow will get this look, this, uh, "what the hell do you see in her" look.
Spike: I know that look. Lot of people never really got Dru, you know?
Xander: Well, she was insane.
  • Olaf: Barmaid, bring me stronger ale and some plump, succulent babies to eat.
  • Xander: I'm gonna run and get Buffy, or maybe you could fight him.
Spike: Yeah, I could do that, but I'm paralysed with not caring very much.
  • Olaf: You there! Do you know where there are babies?
Spike: (turns to Xander) What do you think, the hospital?
Xander: What? Shut up.
Olaf: I find myself very hungry. And when I'm hungry I grow short of patience.
Xander: Well, we can take care of the hungry, so how's about you just sit down in one of the sturdier chairs, and we could have a calm talk and something to eat.
Olaf: Can it be babies?
Xander: Well, not so much.
Olaf: Oh.
Xander: But maybe some roast pigs, and stags, and much hearty grog.
Spike: They've got this onion thing...
  • Xander: Big guy? Hammer? Think I noticed him.
Willow: I wish Buffy was here.
Buffy: I'm here.
Willow: I wish I had a million dollars. Just checking.
  • Xander: You dated him?
Buffy: You dated a troll?
Willow: And we're, what, surprised by this?
  • Buffy: What are you doing?
Spike: Making this woman more comfortable. I'm not sampling, I'll have you know. I mean, look at all these lovely blood-covered people. I could, but not a taste for Spike, not a lick. I knew you wouldn't like it.
Buffy: You want credit for not feeding off bleeding disaster victims?
Spike: Well, yeah.
Buffy: You're disgusting.
(Buffy walks away)
Spike: What's it take?
  • Willow: I'm taking everything on relocation spells, suspension spells and, what the heck, spells to make him really sleepy, because - slightly better.
  • Anya: How can I help?
Willow: Uh, distract him from Buffy. Uh, piss him off.
Anya: I don't know how.
Willow: Anya, I have faith in you. There is no one you cannot piss off.
  • Anya: Your menacing stance is merely mildly alarming and your roar is less than full-throated!
Olaf: Desist! My God, woman, it's been a thousand years and, yet, you are as aggravating and emasculating as ever you were.
  • Giles: I cringe to think what the place would've looked like if I'd been away for longer than three days.
Buffy: Well, maybe we would've had time to clean it up. You know, if Willow used some magicks to help.
Giles: Yes, because nothing could possibly go wrong with that.