Btvs The subject of this article is a recurring theme in the Buffyverse, and is told, either partially or completely, from a real-world perspective.
This is a list of running gags in the Buffyverse.



Oz mentions that bunnies are able to take care of themselves in the season two episode "Phases". Bunnies become a running gag thanks to Anya later on in the series.

  • In the season four Halloween episode, "Fear, Itself", Anya dresses up as something truly scary... A bunny. 
  • In "Superstar", Xander accidentally calls Buffy "Bunny" in Jonathan Levinson's universe which Anya strangely doesn't react to. In the DVD commentary for the episode, writer Jane Espenson claims this was a hint to the audience that something wrong was going on.
  • In the season five episode "Shadow", Xander proclaims "Just once I would like to run into a cult of bunny worshippers," to which Anya replies "Great! Thank you very much for those nightmares!"
  • In the finale of season five, "The Gift", Anya finds a plush stuffed bunny and takes it to be an omen of death.
Bunnies aren't just cute like everybody supposes,
They got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses.
And what's with all the carrots?
What do they need such good eyesight for anyway?
  • Apparently, Anya's phobia is so deep-seated and ingrained that, even amnesiac, in the season six episode "Tabula Rasa", she frightens herself by repeatedly summoning bunnies by accident, until the whole room is jammed with hopping white monstrosities.
  • The mere mention of bunnies in "Chosen" fills Anya with grim determination.

Boss of Me

The phrase "boss of me" is mentioned in a few variations (Watcher of me, boss of us), both in the positive and the negative.

  • In the season three episode "Revelations", Xander responds to an unusually agitated Giles "You're not the Watcher of me."
  • In the season three episode "Choices", Willow says "Of the two people here, which is the boss of me?

Cheese Man

In the season four finale, "Restless", in which Buffy, Giles, Xander, and Willow have four equally bizarre and symbolic dreams featuring several common elements, such as the half-seen presence of The First Slayer. Another element weirdly common to all four dreams is the presence of a man offering processed cheese slices and making statements such as "I wear the cheese, it does not wear me." Buffy creator Joss Whedon said himself on season four DVD extras that the Cheese man was the only thing in the dreams that had no purpose except for humor and to make no sense.


To give actuality and veracity to the dozens of other mythical and pseudo-mythical beings populating the Buffyverse, leprechauns are often cited as a truly fictional product of superstitious folklore, with the common understanding "Everybody knows leprechauns are just pretend."

  • In the season three episode "Faith, Hope & Trick", Buffy says "There are two things that I don't believe in: coincidence, and leprechauns."

Mr. Pointy

In the season two episode "What's My Line, Part Two", Buffy learns for the first time that Kendra has named her favorite stake "Mr. Pointy". Just before she dies in the season two finale, "Becoming, Part One", Kendra gives Mr. Pointy to Buffy for luck, which Buffy mentions sorrowfully in the finale's second half, "Becoming, Part Two".

  • In the season three episode "Helpless", Buffy wonders to Angel if she'll spend her retirement in the Old Slayer's Home telling tales of Mr. Pointy, which she's had bronzed.
  • Mr. Pointy is mentioned in the season three episode "Choices", by Buffy and Faith.
  • In the season four premiere, "The Freshman", Buffy refers to Mr. Pointy as her security blanket

"I Have a Thing"

This is a technique used by characters to make an excuse for them leave the area, hide their intentions or just use vague language by claiming that they "Have a thing".

  • In "Prophecy Girl", Xander uses this to have Willow leave and give him and Buffy some time alone so he could ask Buffy to the prom.  

Xander - Willow, don't you have a thing?

Willow - A thing? The thing! That I have! Which is... A

thing that I have to go to.

Buffy - Yeah. Just say, "Hey, I got a thing, you're maybe feeling a thing, and there could be a thing."

  • In "Ted" Buffy tries to get out of going to miniature golf with Ted.

Buffy - You know what, we, we would love to, honestly, but, um, unfortunately we have that thing on Saturday.

Willow - Ohhh, that thing. That thing.
Xander - Hey, we can do that thing anytime. I'm tired of doing that thing.
  • In "Blood Ties", after learning about Dawn's true nature, Xander asks Anya to help him with his "thing" in order to avoid raising Dawn's suspicion.

Xander - Anya, you wanna help me with that thing?

Anya - Heh heh. Xander needs help with his "thing."
  • In "Gone", when a social workers comes to check on things, Buffy gets Spike out of the house by using this technique.

Buffy - Don't you have to go now, Spike? Because of that thing.

Spike - Thing, yeah. Uh, my blanket.
Doris - He sleeps here?
Buffy - What? No. Oh, the blanket? That's... Just a security thing.

World Without Shrimp

Mentioned in episodes dealing with alternate universes and other dimensions, "the world without shrimp" is another theme obsessively promoted by Anya, as is a complementary world with "nothing but shrimp."

  • The converse world with nothing but shrimp is mentioned by Illyria in "Underneath" as one of the many dimensions which she visited during her reign on Earth. "I tired of that one quickly," she says.

"What the fu-!"

Whenever a character is about to use profanity, they are cut off just before they can finish saying the curse word in question

  • In "Doppelgangland", vampire Willow's last words spoken are "Aw, fu—!" before turning to dust, the sound effect of the dusting almost finishing the word.
  • In "In the Dark", Spike announces that he is the "biggest, baddest mother—" before being set on fire.
  • In "Blood Ties", when Glory is teleported away to an open city, standing several hundred meters in the air, she exclaims "Oh, sh—" before the episode then cuts to a long shot of her falling at fast speeds, the sound of the wind making an 's' sound. 
  • In "Life Serial", when Buffy was implanted with a chip that disturbed her perception of time, she remarked "What the fu—? just before the scene cut Warren closing the door of his van.

Pop Culture References

Star Trek

The entire Star Trek franchise is referenced throughout the Buffyverse:

  • In Prophecy Girl, Xander calls Giles Locutus of the Borg.
  • In "Hero", Cordelia wants to hire that bald Star Trek guy to narrate her commercial.
  • Andrew Wells appears to have a crush (which he calls a "man crush") on a Star Trek: Enterprise character. In the season seven episode "First Date", Xander says "You heard me. Just tell me what to do. I'm mentally undressing Scott Bakula. That's a start, isn't it?", and Andrew replies dreamily "Captain Archer..."

Star Wars

  • For the first four seasons of Angel, Cordelia calls her roommate "Phantom Dennis".
  • In the season one Angel episode "Sense & Sensitivity", Cordelia makes a reference to Jar Jar Binks.
  • In a season one Angel episode, Cordelia refers to one of the vamps sired by Angelus as Psycho-Wan Kenobi.
  • Spike holds a rare and valuable Boba Fett figurine hostage to Warren, Andrew and Jonathan, threatening to break it unless they help him.


Buffy makes many references to the Dark Knight, but they really get under way in Angel:

  • Doyle refers to Batman's HQ, the Batcave, in the Angel premiere, "City of".
  • When Spike goes to L.A. in season one of Angel ("In the Dark"), he mockingly calls Angel's Plymouth convertible the Angelmobile.
  • After a make-up mishap at the beginning of the season one episode "Expecting", Cordelia comments that she looks like The Joker.