Where the Wild Things Are (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

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"Where the Wild Things Are"
Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 18
Directed byDavid Solomon
Written byTracey Forbes
Production code4ABB18
Original air dateApril 25, 2000
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"New Moon Rising"
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season 4)
List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes

"Where the Wild Things Are" is the 18th episode of season 4 of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

At a fraternity party, Buffy and Riley are compelled to have sex by a mystical influence. The party is held in a house which was formerly a home for wayward children, that is haunted by the angry ghosts of children who were physically and emotionally abused by the Christian fundamentalist who managed the home.

Plot synopsis[edit]

Buffy and Riley fight a vampire and a demon in the cemetery, finally disposing of both of them. While they intend to go tell Giles about the odd pairing of demon and vampire, they opt instead for sex at Riley's dorm at Lowell House. Riley gets up in the middle of the night, acting as if he hears something from the restroom. All he finds is a dripping faucet in the tub. Xander's driving an ice cream truck for his new job, and Anya rides along with him to complain about their diminishing relationship. Trying to convince her that there is nothing wrong with him or their relationship, Xander suggests they have sex right there in the truck. He doesn't realize that there is a group of kids waiting outside for their ice cream.

The gang talks about patrol the night before, and they realize that Adam is bringing the races of demons together. Buffy and Riley escape for some alone time, which is no secret to the rest of the gang. The two continue their sex romp through the night. While the rest of the house is freezing cold, Buffy and Riley continue to keep occupied, and warm. An initiative agent is badly burned when a fire in a fireplace bursts forth into the room. The next night, Spike jumps out at Anya in the streets, trying to scare her into giving him her money. At the party, Buffy and Riley are making eyes at each other from across the room while their friends attempt to talk to them. Spike and Anya bond over a couple beers at the Bronze, complaining about what it's like to be without their harmful demon powers.

A guy is talking to a girl, when he places his hand on a wall and suddenly gets very excited. Xander flirts with a girl named Julie. Riley and Buffy escape upstairs to resume their own private party. Willow and Tara talk about horses, but Willow had a bad experience with them and she's very afraid of them. Willow touches Tara's knee, but Tara backs away, inexplicably disgusted with the gesture. Anya and Spike then arrive at the frat party and the two verbally gang up on Xander.

A group is playing spin the bottle and Xander joins in. On Xander's turn, the bottle lands on Julie, and he kisses her on the cheek. She suddenly jumps him and starts kissing him aggressively. After she runs away, Xander follows and finds her in the closet cutting off her hair. Willow goes to the restroom looking for Tara and instead finds a body drowning in the bathtub. When she reaches for it, it disappears and reappears behind her. All this time, Buffy and Riley have barely come up for air, not even stopping when they hear Willow scream or the gang calling for them outside the door.

The house begins to shake violently, and vines begin to cover the walls. Forrest and Graham run downstairs for instructions from their commanding officers. A ghost, which resembles a girl, runs straight through Anya, via intangibility, and Spike is strapped to a chair. Spike breaks free of his bonds and everyone escapes outside. The gang goes to Giles for help and find him singing and playing the guitar at the Espresso Bar. He's surprisingly very good, which Willow, Tara, and Anya all find appealing.

Research leads them to information about the Lowell building, which used to be the old Lowell Home for Children. They find the woman, Genevieve Holt, who ran the children's home and she confesses that she rewarded the children when they were good and punished them when they were dirty. She'd cut off the hair of the girls who would preen their hair in the mirror in order to "remove the temptation" of vanity and "baptized" them by holding them under water in a bathtub. After leaving Ms. Holt's place, they conclude that a group of poltergeists is now releasing their pent up sexual energy thanks to the repetitive acts of sex by Buffy and Riley. When Buffy and Riley are drained of all their strength, they will die.

Willow, Tara, and Giles perform a spell to stop the ghosts. Xander and Anya hack their way through the vines and try to reach Buffy and Riley. Anya is knocked across the house while Xander is dragged into the bathroom and held underwater. Anya makes her way upstairs to save Xander and they fight against the vines and finally open Riley's dorm. The next day, the gang talks about Giles's "mid-life crisis" and the consequences of Buffy and Riley's endless sex. Unconvincingly, Buffy and Riley say how horrible the experience was.


  • This episode marks the first time in the series that Anthony Stewart Head displays his singing talents. Giles will sing on screen again in three more episodes: in his apartment in "The Yoko Factor", during his dream sequence in "Restless", and the musical episode "Once More, with Feeling".
  • Anthony Stewart Head only sings "Behind Blue Eyes", and music supervisor John King plays guitar. Later, in the episode "The Yoko Factor", Head will both sing and play "Free Bird".
  • Roy, the boy who first touched the enchanted wall, played by Bryan Cuprill, was also one of the students who turned into a caveman in the episode "Beer Bad".
  • When Anya and Xander are alone in the house fighting through the vines to get to Buffy and Riley, a pair of arms from off camera entangle Anya with the vines.

Cultural references[edit]

  • Felicity - In response to the girl pulling off all of her hair in the closet, Xander comments that "people are going all Felicity with their hair," a reference to the show's star cutting off her hair.[1]
  • Where the Wild Things Are is the title of an award-winning children's book. A mischievous young boy, sent to bed without supper, goes into a land of mythical monsters, becomes homesick and returns to find his supper on the table, still warm.
  • The song Giles sings is "Behind Blue Eyes".


Arc significance[edit]

  • Anya and Spike first bond in this episode. This becomes important in Season 6's episode "Entropy" where they find physical comfort in each other after being rejected by their lovers.
  • Willow tells Buffy and Riley that the events at Lowell House weren't their fault, since they were under the influence of powerful magic. From Season 6 onward, Willow struggles with her addiction to magic.


External links[edit]