Some of the funniest lines in Once More, With Feeling are references
to other musicals, songs, movies, or earlier episodes of Buffy.
You probably picked up most of them, but if you missed any, here's a brief
(and in some cases, probably not quite brief enough,) explanation of them.
If I've missed any - or got something horribly wrong - please let me
the cruller...and tame the donut!
is a very funny reference to the Tom Cruise character in the movie
Magnolia (1999) written and directed by Paul Thomas
Anderson. Cruise plays Frank T.J. Mackey, a motivational speaker
lecturing men on the dating technique of "seduce and destroy":
MACKEY: Respect the ****...and tame the ****
I can't include the full quote here, suffice to say
the shape of those sugary snacks is a clue.
It's also interesting to note that music plays a significant
role in Magnolia, and during one sequence the cast
even "burst into song", each singing along to Aimee Mann's
||Bunnies! It must be
Anya's song is an ode to her ongoing
paranoia about bunnies, previously displayed in such episodes as:
Episode #60: Fear, Itself
ANYA: Bunnies frighten me.
Episode #100: The Gift
ANYA: ...it's an omen. It's a higher
power, trying to tell me through bunnies that we're all gonna
die. Oh god.
line is almost certainly a reference to the 1974 movie That's
Entertainment! which was a tribute to the great MGM musicals,
featuring clips from such talents as Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Liza
Minnelli, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds and Frank Sinatra. It
was followed by That's Entertainment 2, 3,
and a few other variations...
It was also the ironic title of a 1980 song by the
English group The Jam.
UPDATE: The script
book states that That's Entertainment is a song from
the musical The Bandwagon.
||His penis got
diseases from a Chumash tribe!
A reference to episode #64: Pangs, in which
an avenging Chumash Indian spirit infects Xander with the same diseases
that were inflicted upon his people: malaria, smallpox, syphilis...
XANDER : Can we come rocketing back to the
part about me and my new syphilis?
ANYA : It'll make you blind and insane, but
it won't kill you... The smallpox will.
get so worn and wrinkly that I look like David Brinkley
hosted This Week with David Brinkley from 1982 until his
retirement in 1997. In 1992, he won a Peabody Award for his report
on the 50th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
As a news analyst, Brinkley was known for his terse, biting comments
and his dry wit.
(Click for a wrinklier view)
There's a couple of funny jokes on musical / theater
terms in the Parking Ticket scene that are easy to miss:
||It was like we were being
watched...like there was a wall missing in our apartment. Like there
were only three walls and not a fourth wall, and my toes are not hairy!
While Xander is talking at the same time, Anya expresses
her confusion over the sensation that the "forth wall"
was missing in their apartment.
The "forth wall" is the theatrical
concept that the audience is separated from the actors by an invisible
forth wall - the other 3 making up the stage - with the audience
watching through that imaginary wall. This is called Representational
style, and the actors do not acknowledge that there is an audience
In Presentational style, there is no "forth
wall" separating the audience and the stage, and the actors
can speak directly to the audience - just as Anya and Xander do
in I'll Never Tell.
Then, while the broom dance is upstaging the dialogue,
is one of my favorite lines:
||I was able to examine the
body while the police were taking witness arias.
Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- A solo vocal piece with instrumental accompaniment,
as in an opera.
- An air; a melody.