"Like Virgin" was the eighth episode of the first season of Veronica Mars.

In this episode, when someone publicly releases the results of an online purity test and causes chaos at the school, Veronica goes on the case. Meanwhile, Veronica attempts to obtain information from the confessed killer of Lilly Kane, Abel Koontz.


Veronica looks at photos of Lilly Kane's murder site that she found earlier. Then, Cliff McCormack enters and Veronica asks him for entry into death row to see Abel Koontz. Cliff denies her advances, telling her to write Abel a request asking for a visitation.

After gym class, Veronica returns from a shower to find that her clothes are missing and have been stuffed in the toilet. A cheerleader, Meg Manning, gives her uniform to Veronica. Meg goes over to her friends, one of whom is Duncan Kane, and they talk about a popular purity test which allows people to see how pure they are based on their sexual activity, drug use, etc.

Later, Veronica and Wallace are hanging out and Wallace's mom, Alicia, eventually walks in on Veronica jokingly flashing Wallace to help reduce his purity score. Alicia berates Wallace privately for being friends with Veronica because of the Mars' family reputation. Veronica finds a website that enables people to look up the results of anyone's purity test. There is chaos at school the next day as students buy other students' test scores. After learning that someone completed a test on behalf of Meg and scored intentionally low, Veronica promises to help Meg catch the culprit. The next day, Veronica is introduced to Mac when she tries to learn more about Neptune's computer security system. They start to investigate who would be able to access Meg's account to take the test on behalf of her.

Mac leads Veronica to an attractive IT faculty member, who refuses to give her a student's password. Meg continues to be bullied for her alleged test results, and fails her audition for Cabaret when other students harass her. Veronica emails Abel Koontz under the guise of being from his hometown in order to encourage him to meet with her. Veronica eventually receives a call which states that Koontz has accepted her visitation request.

After discovering that Mrs. Fennel is having trouble with an unruly tenant, Keith fails to convince Mrs. Fennel to let him help, as she is skeptical with his family's reputation. Wallace is forced to sleep over at Veronica's house after the tenant becomes more disruptive, but he has to lie to his mom about his whereabouts. Keith ignores Mrs. Fennel's wishes and works the case. Keith successfully evicts the tenants using unconventional approaches. Mrs. Fennel eventually visits Keith and thanks him, also indicating that they will allow their children to still be friends.

Veronica questions Meg's sister, who admits to living in Meg's shadow but denies any wrongdoing. Veronica does some more research with Mac, and they eventually find that someone is logged onto Veronica's account at the same time that Veronica is trying to access it. The person who used her account to forgot to sign-out of a computer in the journalism room, where Veronica is able to access the computer. Veronica finds that the person using the computer sent Duncan an email telling him that she has an STD. Immediately after, someone sends the computer an instant message, and Veronica immediately knows who the culprit is given that the message was sent while classes were in session.

Abel Koontz reveals that who knows who Veronica is.

Veronica tracks down the suspect (the IT guy) while he is having sex in a car. She confronts Kimmy, the girl who is sleeping with the IT guy. Veronica secretly records her confession on video, where Kimmy states that she was responsible for Meg's purity test. She blames another student, Pam, for Veronica's cyberbullying. Veronica deducts that Mac must be the one who created the website that allows students to purchase other students' test results, but decides to let it slide. Later, Meg thanks Veronica and reminds her that she does in fact have friends. Veronica talks to Duncan and says that the email was fake. However, he jokingly responds, indicating a possible new emotional connection between the two.

Veronica visits Abel Koontz. The visit starts to go well, but Abel maintains he committed the murder and states that he sees through Veronica's disguise. Abel laments that Veronica is not Keith's daughter, but the daughter of Lianne and Jake Kane. Veronica gets into her car and breaks down sobbing.

Arc Significance

Cultural references

A variety of pop culture references are made in the episode:

  • The episode's title refers to Madonna's sophomore album Like a Virgin and its lead single of the same name.
  • Meg and Kimmy both audition for the lead role of Sally in Cabaret. In addition, the episode mentions the title song of the musical.
  • Meg was the lead role in Guys and Dolls.
  • Cole references the Lewinsky scandal when describing his relationship with Meg by using the phrase, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
  • Veronica refers to the science fiction comedy film Repo Man.
  • Cliff jokes that Abel Koontz turned down representation from the likes of "Dershowitz, Cochran, and Shapiro." This is a reference to three of O.J. Simpson's lawyers: Alan Dershowitz, Johnnie Cochran, and Robert Shapiro.
  • A sticker of a banana on a black background is shown on Veronica's locker. This picture is the cover of The Dandy Warhols single, "We Used To Be Friends." This is the same song for the shows opening credits.


Main Cast

Guest Stars


  • "Hands on the Money" - Kid Symphony
  • "Don't Let It Get You Down" - Spoon


[ Veronica asks Cliff McCormack about visiting Abel Koontz.]
Cliff: You crazy kids! The stuff you're into. Hula hoops, cramming into phone booths, visiting death-row inmates… what's it gonna be next month?

[Veronica reads the results of Wallace's "purity" test.]
Veronica: Wow. You are thirty percent danger-loving, girl-touching rock star!

Wallace: Why are you holding your hands like that?
Veronica: So that one day in your memoirs, you'll describe me as "inscrutable".

Wallace: I just about merc'd my mom’s crazy, no-rent-paying tenant this afternoon.
Veronica: That guy's sleazy. So I hope merc'd means something bad. You know, my dad's still got that sheriff sheen. He's great at scaring people away.
Wallace: No, I got it covered.
Veronica: Seriously, you should talk to him.
Keith: (coming in) Am I giving you the birds and bees again, Wallace?

Alicia: The fact that you helped me… even though I was awful to you, you’re a very decent man.
Keith: I’d like to think that. But really I just like tossing people out, it's kinda a hobby.
Alicia: I dunno if you’ve heard some of the things they say about you.
Keith: Oh, I know, trust me, they barely let me socialize with myself, I’m a bad influence.

Meg: I, I didn't even do anything!
Veronica: I know.
Meg: You believe me?
Veronica: Meg, you're the last good person at this school. I'd believe cartoon birds braided your hair this morning. If you want, I can find who posted that test for you. We'll clear your name and make somebody pay.
Meg: Really?
Veronica: Unless there's a fairy godmother already on it.


  • When Meg is trying to erase the "48" on her locker, the traces of the deleted "8" change between shots.

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