Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Buffy vs. Dracula

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Buffy vs. Dracula
Buffy vs. Dracula
Season 5, Episode 1
Airdate September 26, 2000
Production Number 5ABB01
Written by Marti Noxon
Directed by David Solomon
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Real Me
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Five

Willow: A good Sunnydale rule of thumb -- avoid white-skinned men in capes.

Buffy vs. Dracula is the first episode of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the seventy-ninth episode overall, and features Dracula coming to town. His appearance in Buffy's world begins a sequence of events that calls Riley and Buffy's relationship into question.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Marc Blucas (Riley Finn), Emma Caulfield (Anya), James Marsters (Spike)

and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles)

Guest Starring: Rudolf Martin (Dracula), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), Amber Benson (Tara Maclay)

and Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers)

Co-Starring: E.J. Gage (Mover #1), Scott Berman (Mover #2), Marita Schaub (Vampire Girl #1), Leslee Jean Matta (Vampire Girl #2), Jennifer Slimko (Vampire Girl #3)


Plot Overview

Dracula, the most famous of all vampires, arrives in Sunnydale with his sights set directly on Buffy. Having been questioning the origin of her nature as of late, the legendary count offers the Slayer a taste of the source of her powers.


Monster of the Week

  • Dracula: The king of the vampires, Dracula is the most famous vampire of all time. It is apparent that he and Spike knew one another, but abandoned the normal vampiric lifestyle to play out life as how people saw him once he got famous. Dracula can do all of the classic things, including turn into mist, turn into a bat, turn into a wolf, hypnosis, the ability to read and control minds and the ability to enter dreams. He is practically unkillable and derives his power from, what Spike calls, gypsy magic.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Vampire Buffy Staked Graveyard
2 Mover Dracula Slashed Neck Outside Dracula's Castle
3 Vampire Buffy Staked Graveyard
4/5 Dracula Buffy Staked Dracula's Castle

Arc Advancement



  • Giles: Giles's crisis of confidence is ended when Buffy tells him she need more training from him.
  • Willow: We get an early hint that Willow is not fully in control of her magic as she accidentally creates a storm and then denies responsibility.


  • Pangs: Xander comes down with a mystical disease that he refers to as "the funny syphilis."
  • This Year's Girl: Faith's dream refers to getting the bed ready for "the new sister." It's very possible that it is in reference to Dawn's sudden appearance.
  • Graduation Day: Dracula reopens Buffy's bite wounds from when she forced Angel to bite her.


The Show

  • First Appearance: However brief it was, this episode marks the first appearance of Dawn in the series.
  • Emma Caulfield is added to the opening credits starting with this episode.

Behind the Scenes

  • Alternative Title: This episode was also known as "Before Dawn", a reference to this being to this being the first episode before Dawn, Buffy's sister, appears. It also works on a second level in that vampiric activities are confined to being before dawn. It also refers directly to Tara's cryptic statement (Restless) "Be back before Dawn".
  • No Joss?: This is one of the two season premieres not written by Joss Whedon. The other is the premiere to Season 6, "Bargaining".
  • Rumor Mill: There were rumors prior to the episode's airing that Freddie Prinze Jr. would play Dracula.

Allusions and References

  • John Wayne Gacy: John Wayne Gacy was a serial killer who was most active between 1972 and 1978 when he was arrested. During his reign, he raped and killed 33 men and gained notoriety as the "Killer Clown" in the media. Gacy often attended block parties dressed as a clown to entertain children. Additionally, Gacy painted clowns as a hobby.
Buffy: Like I paint clowns or something.
  • Puffy Shirt: On Seinfeld, Kramer asks Jerry to wear one of the shirts his girlfriend designed during his appearance on The Today Show. The shirt turns out to be a ridiculous looking white puffy pirate shirt and Jerry goes through with it, much to his chagrin. The episode, entitled "The Puffy Shirt", aired on September 23, 1993 on NBC. It was written by Larry David.
Xander: C'mon, puffy shirt.
  • Lestat: Lestat is the charismatic main character of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. The first novel to feature him in this series was entitled Interview with the Vampire, written in 1973 and published in 1976. The novel is notable for presenting the story from the vampire's point of view. It was most recently adapted to film in 1994, featuring Tom Cruise as Lestat. The role was later taken up by Stuart Townshend in the 2002 film Queen of the Damned.
Buffy: I've fought more than a couple pimply, overweight vamps that called themselves Lestat.

Memorable Moments

  • Xander being approached by Dracula and forced into servitude as his liaison in the day.
  • Dracula coming to Buffy in the night and biting her while she is under his thrall.
  • Buffy killing Dracula three times, the last time yelling at him when he attempts to reform in front of her yet again.


  • Xander: It's comforting to know that I lack the culinary finesse of a caveman.
  • Buffy: And you're sure this isn't just some fan boy thing? 'Cause I've fought more than a couple of pimply, overweight vamps that called themselves Lestat.
  • Dracula: Why else would I come here? For the sun? I came to meet the renowned killer.
Buffy: Yeah, I prefer the term "Slayer". You know, "killer" just sounds so...
Dracula: Naked?
Buffy: Like I paint clowns or something. I'm the good guy, remember?
  • Riley: What can you tell me about Dracula?
Spike: Dracula? Poncy bugger owes me £11, for one thing.
  • Willow: Well, I think we have Dracula factoids.
Xander: Like any of that's enough to fight the Dark Master... (everyone look at him) bator.
  • (after breaking Dracula's hypnotic spell)
Buffy: You know, I really think the thrall has gone out of our relationship.
  • Buffy: (upon staking Dracula) How do you like my darkness now?
  • Xander: Where is he? Where's the creep that turned me into a spider-eating man-bitch?
Buffy: He's gone.
Xander: Damn it! You know what? I'm sick of this crap. I'm sick of being the guy who eats insects and gets the "funny" syphilis! As of this moment, it's over. I am finished being everyone's butt-monkey!
Buffy: Check, no more butt-monkey.