Debut -- Welcome to the Hellmouth (Season 1)
In WTTH and part 2, The Harvest,Willow is introduced as a shy, unpopular student who's very intelligent and a quick thinker. She's put down by Cordelia, and seems confused when Buffy tries to befriend her. The premiere also serves to lay the foundation for Willow's unrequited love for Xander.
Most Ironic Line:
"We could tell them..there's a bad man.." -- to Buffy & Co. on how they could get the authorities to help them beat the vampires.
Other 1st season appearances -- The Witch; Teacher's Pet; Never Kill a Boy on the First Date; The Pack; Angel; I Robot, You Jane; The Puppet Show; Nightmares; Invisible Girl, Prophecy Girl
In The Witch Willow coins the term Slayerettes when she says to Buffy, "You're the Slayer, and we're like, the Slayerettes." Willow does some research in this episode, and also puts together the formula that will tell them if Amy is the witch. First episode that Xander tells Willow he likes Buffy.
Teacher's Pet showcases the hacker at her best -- she accesses files from the coroner's office; pulls up addresses, and outs Xander as a virgin. Notice how in the beginning of the episode, Willow is all too eager to help Xander look like a stud in front of Blayne.
NKABOTFD showcases Willow as gal pal. She's excited to hear that Owen might be interested in Buffy; later she helps Buffy get ready for her date. Also she shows concern for Giles, and makes Xander come with her to follow Giles to the funeral home. Notice how Willow enjoys playing one-half of the happy couple (with Xander acting as second half) at the Bronze. This episodes marks Willow's coining of the phrase: "You vixen!"
The Pack marks the first time that Willow feels major angst. Before she knows that Xander's been possessed, she doesn't know what to make of his behavior towards her. Xander's at his cruelest in this episode, but Willow remains strong enough to deal with it when she has to. This is the first time that Willow tells Buffy about her relationship with Xander, and how it's changed since Buffy came along. Xander saves Willow's life in this episode.
Angel again shows Willow as gal pal. She and Buffy talk about guys at the Bronze, in the library...Willow's given to romantic flights of fancy, and it's fun to see that side of her. Notice her satisfied yet hopeful look at the end when Buffy and Angel are talking.
I Robot, You Jane is the Willow stand-out episode of the first season, mainly because the episode revolves around her online romance with someone named Malcolm. Willow's angst becomes apparent in her dealings with Buffy..she can't understand why Buffy doesn't like the looks of the situation. Willow talks about how she might not be someone's ideal. At the end of this episode, Willow and Xander and Buffy bemoan their romantic situations and realize that they're doomed to be unlucky in love. But oh, just wait until Season 2, Willow!
The Puppet Show is an episode that can stand alone, but it also contains some foreshadowing, too. For example, it's here that we learn of Willow's fear of public performance. We also see for the first time that Willow's not just going to accept what Buffy says as gospel all the time. She at first discounts Buffy's claim that Sid was in her room the other night. Willow does the hacking thing again, though this time it's to get into the student records. Her notable feat in this ep. is when she hacks off the lock on the contraption that Giles is trapped in.
In Nightmares, Willow's fear of public performance is realized when she's suddenly a world-famous singer. She gets to see Xander in his skivvies, and also is the first one to realize what's going on..that people's nightmares are the link to the craziness that's ensuing.
Invisible Girl is amusing in that here Willow signed Marcie's yearbook with words that people write in unpopular kids' yearbooks. Willow doesn't do too much in this episode, but then again, I really wouldn't have noticed since I can't stand this ep. Sorry.
Prophecy Girl is the last first-run episode of season 1, and everything that's come up so far in the season seems to be addressed. Major story arcs are seemingly resolved, and it's in this episode that Xander asks Willow to be his date to the spring fling. He's first seen practicing on her at The Bronze while he waits for Buffy; after Buffy rejects him, he asks Willow, who also refuses him. For someone who seemed to be pining away for Xander, Willow's got enough smarts to realize that if she went with Xander, he wouldn't really enjoy himself, and for that matter, neither would she. Willow also hangs out a bit with Cordy in this episode, and the two of them find some of their classmates dead. This is enough to send Willow into the depths of emotional despair, but she still finds strength to go help Giles at the library. Way to go, Willow!
When She Was Bad, Some Assembly Required, School Hard, Inca Mummy Girl, Reptile Boy, Halloween, Lie To Me, The Dark Age, What's My Line parts I, II, Ted, Bad Eggs, Surprise, Innocence, Phases, Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered, Passion, Killed By Death, I Only Have Eyes For You, Go Fish, Becoming parts I, II
When She Was Bad marks what could have been a turning point in Willow's and Xander's relationship -- they almost smooch, but pull apart in time to see a vampire standing over them. Willow's responsible for helping Xander coin the term bitca when she tries to describe Buffy's change in behavior by spelling out b-i-t-c-h. Willow's kidnapped along with Giles, Cordy, and Ms. Calendar in an attempt to resurrect The Master. Willow's able to forgive Buffy by the end of the episode, since she realizes that Buffy's had some major issues to deal with, what with having died at The Master's hands. Willow and Xander also maintain their level of being best friends, despite the almost-smooch.
SAR gives Willow some good lines and has her doing the research thing again. She and Xander are seemingly the only two who aren't in a relationship, also, and Xander remarks on this. No big developments here otherwise. We do learn, though, that Willow likes "those little powdered donuts" and field trips (even to the cemetery!).
SH features Willow as stick-by-Buffy gal. She helps Buffy with the parent-teacher thing, but unfortunately has to sample some of Buffy's sugarless lemonade. Later when Cordy is being nasty to Buffy, Willow suggests that Cordy try the lemonade. Later she successfully saves Cordy from a vamp attack by braining the vamp with some kind of small statue/bust thing. Basically, Willow gets holed up in the janitor's closet with Cordy while the vamp attack is going on. She's none too pleased about this, but it's probably better than getting bitten....
In Inca Mummy Girl, Willow's the one who tells the gang that Rodney's missing; on her way to do so, she overhears Xander and Buffy talking about her. She hears Xander tell Buffy that he loves Willow, but he doesn't think of her in a romantic sense. Later, Willow's got to deal with the fact that Xander is chasing yet another girl, Ampata. But Willow's a good friend, though, and tells Xander that he should take Ampata to the dance. Willow knows she can wait around for Xander, or get over him. It's not clear if she ever really decides, though. This is the episode where Willow sports her inimitable Eskimo outfit and catches the eye of Oz, even if she isn't aware that he's lookin'...
Reptile Boy is a great Willow episode, if only for the fact that Willow gets to yell at Angel and Giles for being hard on Buffy. She also does some research in this episode. Another classic moment is when she's looking for Angel's reflection in the window and asks him how he shaves!
An Amusing Exchange:
Willow: "I can't believe she lied to Giles, my world is all askew."
Xander: "Buffy's lying, Buffy's going to frat parties -- that's not askew, that's cockeyed!"
Willow: "Askew means cockeyed."
Xander: "Oh." -- on the fact that Buffy's lied to Giles so she can go to a frat party.
Halloween is one of the strongest (literally!) Willow episodes to date. At the beginning of the episode, Willow's her usual not-very-confident self. She puts her Ghastly Ghost costume sheet over the sexy outfit that Buffy helped her put together. When Willow turns into a ghost, though, she loses the sheet, takes control of the situation, and figures out what happened. When Ethan Rayne's spell is reversed and Willow loses her ghost status, she picks up her sheet and...throws it into the trash can! Willow makes her second appearance in front of Oz.
LTM marks the first time that Angel and Willow have a just-the-two-of-'em scene. When Buffy's friend Ford comes to town, Angel's suspicious -- he goes to Willow's house so she can dig up stuff about Ford on the net. Angel asks Willow not to tell Buffy what they're doing. It's in this episode that we learn Willow's reaction to coffee: "It makes me jumpy." Also classic is Willow's trip with Xander and Angel to check out the Sunset Club, the only address she could find for Ford.
Classic Willow Wit:
Xander: "Angel was in your bedroom?!"
Willow: "Ours is a forbidden love." -- Xander's reaction upon hearing Willow tell Buffy how they found the goods on Ford.
TDA puts Willow in the driver's seat. More about that in a second. In the beginning of the episode, Willow casts a romantic eye towards Giles's and Jenny's budding relationship. It pretty much sickens Buffy and Xander (and possibly even herself!)
Okay, so about Willow in the driver's seat....When Giles is sorta incapacitated due to the big Eyghon problem, Willow takes charge of the research party. When Xander and Cordy are involved in a shouting match, it's Willow who brings them back to focus on what their task at hand is. She does this by yelling a bunch. It works. So much for quiet in the library. Willow's also the one who comes up with the perfect plan to get rid of Eyghon once and for all...later Buffy asks her if she's thought about becoming a Watcher, too.
WML part I doesn't do much in the way of Willow-development. She does find out that after taking the test for Career Day that she's one of two students selected for a career with a high-tech computer company. The other student? None other than Oz himself. Willow does the research thing, too, and falls asleep. When Giles wakes her up, she screams, "Don't warn the tadpoles!"
Should've Been in Nightmares?:
Giles: "Don't warn the tadpoles?"
Willow: "I - have frog fear."
WML part II is quite possibly the first time that Willow actually stakes a vampire. She tells Giles to "hold it steady!" and then she stakes it, patting the dust off of Giles's jacket.
In Ted, Willow first thinks that Buffy's going overboard about her suspicions towards Ted, but later she does the research thing when it's apparent that there's something funky with Ted. Willow discovers that Ted's secret ingredient in his cookies, "is not love." She discovers that Ted's been drugging everyone into a relaxed, happy state, and thus the gang begins their investigation into Ted's life....We also learn that Willow kept a few parts of Ted "for research." Maybe she really is an evil mastermind!
In BE, Willow lets on that she's Jewish, and she also attacks Xander when she's possessed by the Bezoar offspring. There's a step forward for you...
Surprise is a landmark episode for Willow in that she takes Buffy's advice and goes over to talk to Oz...she also ends up asking him out, to Buffy's surprise party!
Willow: "I said, 'date.'" -- to herself, after asking Oz out.
Willow gets the shock of her life in Innocence when she spies Xander and Cordelia doing the smooch thing. She lets Xander know how hurt she is, and then she tries to make a play for Oz to get back at Xander. Willow's got the unlucky part of being Angel's first almost-kill, too. She also catches on that Jenny Calendar knew that Angel had changed before anyone else did.
In Phases, Willow gets a boyfriend in the form of Oz. She also calls Cordelia "a skanky ho" to Buffy. Willow and Cordelia seem to bond in this episode, and that's sort of a new thing.
BBB puts Willow in high gear when she's under the love spell cast by Amy Madison. Willow's at her most aggressive...she's in Xander's bedroom, in his bed, waiting for him...she bites his ear, heck, she even tells him, "Force is okay," when he tells her that he doesn't want to have to use force [to get her away from him]. In this episode, Willow brandishes a fire-axe, saying that she'd rather see Xander dead than "with that bitch" (Cordelia). Yow. It's safe to say Willow's none too pleased with the aftermath of this situation.
Passion has Willow, "the only daughter of Ira Rosenberg" nailing a crucifix (actually just a cross, though) to her bedroom wall. Angel's killed her goldfish, and she's at Buffy's house when they learn that Jenny Calendar has been killed by Angel. Willow takes the news pretty hard, and that's understandable, not just because Jenny had asked Willow to substitute teach for her while she ran an errand. This episode sets up Willow as the computer teacher replacement, a trend that lasts throughout the season, and possibly through Season 3.
In KBD, Willow and the gang are out trying to do vamp patrol since Buffy's sick. Willow uses her knowledge to help Buffy get infected with the same virus the kids at the hospital have. It's in this episode that Willow uses her frog fear to her advantage when she distracts the hospital security people who are after Buffy.
In IOHEFY, Willow tells Buffy that maybe she should consider dating again. Later, she points out to the gang that Buffy probably went back to the school to face the ghost that's terrorizing everyone. Also, Willow dispels Giles's notion that the spirit might be Jenny Calendar by saying, "Giles, Jenny could never be this mean." I just realized that it's interesting that she refers to her as "Jenny" instead of "Ms. Calendar." Hm.
In GF, Willow spies Xander in his Speedos, and she also gets to grill Jonathan about his involvement with the swim team. Willow does enjoy doing the grilling thing...heh.
Becoming parts I, II have Willow taking on the role of spirit channeler, sort of. She performs the spell that will restore Angel's soul -- the first time, they're interrupted by the vamp gang, and Willow gets crushed underneath a bookcase. When she comes out of her coma in the hospital, it's to Xander's voice saying that he loves her. Attempt number 2 to restore Angel's soul is successful, unbeknownst to Willow and the gang. Later, we see Willow at school, in a wheelchair. Yowch.
More Willow! Season 3.
Story Arcs: Xander & Willow, Willow & Oz