Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003)
12 user 2 critic

Teacher's Pet 

Buffy's biology teacher is killed by a giant praying mantis that assumes the form of a beautiful substitute teacher.


Bruce Seth Green


Joss Whedon (created by), David Greenwalt | 4 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Sarah Michelle Gellar ... Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon ... Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan ... Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter ... Cordelia Chase
Anthony Head ... Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
David Boreanaz ... Angel
Ken Lerner ... Principal Bob Flutie
Musetta Vander ... Natalie French
Price Jackson Price Jackson ... Blayne Moll (as Jackson Price)
Jean Speegle Howard ... Real Natalie French
William Monaghan ... Dr. Gregory
Jack Knight ... Homeless Guy
Michael Ross Verona Michael Ross Verona ... Teacher
Karim Oliver Karim Oliver ... Bud #1


Xander dreams of greatness. In Biology class the teacher, Dr. Gregory, is secretly eaten afterward, disappears, and is declared missing. Meanwhile, Angel gives Buffy another cryptic warning (and his black leather jacket) but no real personal info. A substitute teacher Ms. Natalie French steps in to continue the Biology lesson on insects, and her good looks guarantee volunteers after class. Later, Cordelia Chase finds Dr. Gregory decapitated. To Buffy's surprise vampires flee from Ms. French, leaving her and Giles to wonder why. She asks pheromone-soaked Xander to come study with her after class. Another student, Blayne also went to her house, but he didn't return from his previous appointment with Ms. French. When Xander arrives at her house he ends up drugged and locked up in her basement. He still refuses to believe his 'hot date' is a shape-shifting bug, even after being trapped with Blayne, but when she resumes her mantis-form, the and puts Xander in the cage with Blayne he ... Written by RubyRed67

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

24 March 1997 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the dream sequence at the beginning, Xander is playing a guitar, the significance being that this happens to be a "Warlock" model guitar made by B.C. Rich guitars. See more »


Buffy finds the science teachers glasses on the floor, and she puts them on the table. In one shot she places them with the legs folded out right side up, and then in the close-up, the legs are folded in. In the next shot, the glasses are upside down on the table. See more »


[first lines]
Xander Harris: May I cut in?
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Crazy Credits

Misspelling: "Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation is the aurthor of this motion picture for purposes of copyright and other laws." See more »


Referenced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: What's My Line?: Part 2 (1997) See more »


Stoner Love
Performed by Superfine
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Buffy the bug-hunter.
14 June 2015 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

When Buffy's biology teacher Dr. Gregory (William Monaghan) goes missing (only to turn up later minus his noggin), sexy substitute teacher Natalie French (Musetta Vander) takes over his classes, much to the delight of the male pupils who are only too happy to help out with the class project. What they don't realise—until it's too late, that is—is that Miss French is actually a shape-shifting she-mantis, a giant cannibalistic insect looking for virgins to fertilise her eggs, after which she devours their heads!

As a fan of cheesy science fiction films, particularly those featuring giant man-eating bugs, I think I enjoyed this one a little more than your average Buffy fan. The episode starts off in fine form with Xander fantasising about Buffy, impressing the girl with both his vampire killing and fret-widdling skills, but he soon forgets about the slayer once Miss French starts to release her pheromones. Xander is lured to the home of his new teacher, who is waiting for him in a cleavage enhancing dress, clutching a pair of Martinis; his dream of scoring with an older lady turns into a nightmare, however, when he wakes up in a cage in the basement, with Miss French now in mantis form, preparing to lay her eggs.

Xander's awkwardness with women provides some genuinely funny moments, and Musetta Vander is a nice distraction, but for me this episode is a winner thanks to the terrific mantis monster at the end, a cool animatronic creation that reminds me just how much I prefer practical creature effects over CGI.

7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb.

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