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Written by: Jane Espenson
Directed by: Nick Marck
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers
James Marsters as Spike
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Guest Starring: Elizabeth Anne Allen as Amy Madison
Pat Crawford Brown as Old Lady
Brent Hinkley as Manny
Kirsten Nelson as Lorraine Ross
Kali Rocha as Halfrek
Co-Starring: T. Ferguson as Gary
Marion Calvert as Gina
Douglas Bennett as Phillip
Andrew Reville as Timothy
Kevin C. Carter as Mr. Typical
John F. Kearney as Elderly Man
Sara LaWall as Housewife Type
Victon Z. Isaac as Pimply Teen

Plot Summary

Buffy went to work at a fast-food restaurant where a penis monster was feeding on the employees.

Plot Details

Willow told Xander and Anya about what they learned about Warren, Jonathan and Andrew in "Gone." Buffy went to bust them at their lair, but they had fled, leaving only some magical items and pictures of T'Pol from Enterprise. Anya interrupted to give a pro-money speech only to be interrupted by Buffy in a fast-food worker's uniform, complete with a creepy cow on her cap.

The fast-food manager, Manny, showed Buffy a video about the Doublemeat Palace. Afterward, she was introduced to her semi-catatonic co-workers. Manny wanted her to be like them and aspire to work at the Palace for life. He then brought her on a quick tour of the kitchen with more semi-catatonic workers, dehydrated pickles, and identical chicken slices. Finally, she was brought out to the counter where the only non-catatonic worker, Gary, trained her how to work the cash register.

Later, Anya, Dawn, Xander, and Willow came to give Buffy some moral support. She rewarded them with a free meal. Anya suggested serving Doublemeat Palace food at the reception, which pleased Dawn. However, Anya went on to suggest that she was counting on Willow using magic to make wedding planning easier, which upset Willow.

That evening was slow, so Buffy wanted to take a break. However, a customer walked in, Spike. He wanted to talk her out of working there, but she did not budge. Meanwhile, Gary went out side and saw someone familiar, who then turned scary.

The next day, Manny told Buffy that Gary did not show up for work. This meant that Buffy was going to work on the grill, despite not knowing how. It was not that difficult. It mostly involved buttons and beeps. Manny called her to say that she was working a double shift that day because Gary and another person did not show up.

Buffy called to tell Xander about this. Once he got off the phone, he was startled by a demon threatening to wreak vengeance on him. It turned out to be Anya's old friend, Halfrek. Apparently, Anya invited her to the wedding, but the message got garbled. Xander was quite eager to leave and let the two of them catch up.

Amy decided to pay Willow a visit, allegedly to fetch her old cage. However, her real reason appeared to be to lure Willow back into abusing magic. She dosed Willow with magic that appeared to destroy whatever Willow touched.

Buffy was busy grinding meat when she found a finger in the mix. She panicked and ran to Manny. He appeared not to have a clue and made lame guesses about an accident six weeks ago and the possibility of Gary being at the hospital. Buffy decided instead that the episode was a Soylent Green homage and started to do a Charlton Heston impression. This resulted in a firing.

Meanwhile, Halfrek questioned Anya about Xander. Halfrek never said so directly, but her questions made it very clear that she did not think that Xander was good enough for Anya.

Buffy sneaked a Doublemeat Medley sandwich home. She wanted to analyze it to see if it were Gary. Unfortunately, Xander ate the evidence. Willow arrived and used science (that is, colored water in glassware) to examine what was left of the Doublemeat Medley. Willow figured out that the burger part of the sandwich was not human. Instead, it was vegetable matter.

Meanwhile, Buffy went to investigate the Doublemeat Palace. She ran into Manny, or at least, what was left of Manny. She also saw what she thought was a scalp but was really a wig worn by one of the regular customers. It turned out that she has a phallic monster hiding in her skull that comes out and sprays paralyzing mist on Doublemeat Palace workers. It then feeds on them.

Unfortunately, it sprayed the mist on Buffy. Buffy crawled around the restaurant as Willow arrived to tell Buffy what she discovered. Willow heard something fall and went in. She dodged the mist and, as the lesbian character on the show, sliced the penis demon off and shoved it into a meat grinder.

The next day, Amy arrived, allegedly to borrow laundry detergent. Willow was very upset at what Amy did to her and told her to leave. Meanwhile, Buffy went to the new boss of the Doublemeat Palace and told her what she knew about what the burgers were really made of. This knowledge allowed Buffy to keep her job.

The Good

This episode is a reasonably good satire of the fast-food industry.

The Bad

This is a very bland episode.

The main plot made no sense. See Imponderables below for more analysis.

Overall Rank: 119

Action: 3

Buffy and Willow fought the penis monster.

Comedy: 5

The whole episode was a satire of the fast food industry.

The fearsome demon who came to tear Xander apart turned out to be an old (probably very old) friend of Anya's.

Drama: 2

Xander was worried that he ate a human burger.

Willow dealt with her magic addiction.

Romance: 3

There were a few wedding plans discussed.

Halfrek quizzed Anya about her relationship with Xander.

Buffy and Spike raised this score a little bit behind the restaurant.

Character Development: 2

Buffy works for the Doublemeat Palace.

Dawn is worried that Buffy will never be able to hold a good job.

Amy is no longer on good terms with Willow.

Importance: 3

Buffy has a new job.

This episode introduced a minor recurring character.

Some sponsors (i.e., fast-food companies) became upset at the show.

Most Valuable Player: Willow

Willow scored four awards in her first two magic-free episodes in a long time. Plain, ordinary Willow indeed. This time, she gets the MVP for castrating the penis-demon and saving Buffy.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Willow

Buffy thought that she had this award wrapped up, but she kept being wrong about what was going on at the Doublemeat Palace. This allowed Willow to swoop in and take the award by figuring out that the burgers were really vegetable matter. Buffy gets some credit for figuring out that there was something wrong at the Palace.

Goat of the Week: Buffy

There was not a clear Goat in this episode, but Buffy could have done a lot better. Even if we grant the fact that there was no reason for Buffy to realize that the penis monster would spray paralyzing mist on her, Buffy still fought poorly. She had the use of her arms and a lot of objects that could serve as improvised weapons. She instead crawled around a lot to little effect.

Random Commentary

Ordinarily, it is best when the audience feels what the main character feels. When the main character is happy, the audience should be happy. When the main character is sad, the audience should be sad. When the main character is scared, the audience should be scared. If this is true, how should the audience feel when the main character is bored?

Fan consensus has declared this to be the worst episode of the entire show. I disagree. It is not a good episode, but it is more forgettable than bad. It clearly does not reach the depths of episodes like "Some Assembly Required," "Gingerbread," and "Pangs." Furthermore, the episode ranked at #144 is still to come.


The Doublemeat-Medley-burgers-are-really-vegetables plot makes no sense. It is very difficult to keep a secret when many people know about the secret. Yet, a restaurant manager with only five years working for the company knows about it. By now, a disgruntled manager or a manager with a conscience would have revealed the secret. It is not as if it would be difficult to prove that the burgers were really vegetable matter. Willow was able to do so quickly using only colored water and a microscope.

Furthermore, It is illegal to mislabel food products in the United States. Once the secret is reveled, fines and lawsuits would probably bankrupt the company. For example, if the burgers are made out of soy, people allergic to soy might think that they would be safe eating a Doublemeat Medley. Those who suffered health problems afterward would be able to sue for serious damages. This would be another means by which the secret could be revealed.

I do not see how the company would benefit from doing this. I ate a vegeburger once. It tasted awful. I do not see why someone other than a vegetarian would prefer to eat it than a beef burger. The expenses involved in tricking people into thinking that the burgers were really beef would be greater than simply serving beef. This is not including fines, legal expenses, and hush money to potentially disgruntled managers.

DVD Extras

Buffy Goes to Work contains interviews with Jane Espenson, David Solomon, David Fury, Drew Z. Greenberg, Michelle Trachtenberg, Adam Busch, Christopher Buchanan, Joss Whedon, Steven S. DeKnight, Rebecca Rand Kirshner, and Alyson Hannigan discussing some of their early work experiences and their dream jobs. There is a minor spoiler for "As You Were."

Memorable Dialogue

"When I was a vengeance demon, I caused pain and mayhem, certainly, but I put in a full day's work doing it, and I got compensated appropriately." Anya
"Welcome to today's episode of Go, Money, Go. I hear it daily." Xander
"Yup, for the rest of your life." Willow
"But super-villains want reward without labor to make things come easy. It's wrong. Without labor, there can be no payment, and vice versa. The country cannot progress. The workers are the tools that shape America." Anya

"You chose to be in the consumer service profession, and I'm a consumer. Service me." Spike

"I don't know how to grill." Buffy
"Just think, this is the last day you'll ever be able to say that." Manny

"You put the beef on the grill. You hit the button. Then it beeps. You flip the beef. Hit the other button. Then it beeps. Put it on the bun. There's not a button for that."
"Repeat until insane." Buffy
"Eliminates variation. Every burger at every Doublemeat Palace is the same. People don't like variation."
"Got it, variety is the spice of bad." Buffy

"I'm here. I'm here." Anya
"We're doing chemistry." Dawn
"Oh, so sorry I hurried." Anya

"I'm opposed to using demon meat no matter how much money it saves." Anya

"Amy, if your really are my friend, you better stay away from me, and if you really aren't, you better stay away from me." Willow

Characters in Peril


Evil Escaped

Buffy and the Law

Unusual Pairings

Spoiler Questions

Highlight the space after each question to find the answer. It is strongly recommended that you do not do so if you have not seen episodes through the episode indicated.

This page was last modified on December 4, 2012