Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Real Me

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Real Me
Real Me
Season 5, Episode 2
Airdate October 3, 2000
Production Number 5ABB02
Written by David Fury
Directed by David Grossman
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The Replacement
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Five

Real Me is the second episode of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the eightieth episode overall, and generally speaks from Dawn's perspective. She accounts for how she gets along with the various Scoobies and acts as if she's been in the previous four seasons.

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

and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles)

Guest Starring: Mercedes McNab (Harmony Kendall), Bob Morrisey (Crazy Guy), Amber Benson (Tara)

and Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers)

Co-Starring: Brian Turk (Mort), Chaney Kley Minnis (Brad), Faith S. Abrahams (Peaches), Tom Lenk (Cyrus)


Plot Overview

We follow a day in the life of Buffy's little sister, Dawn, as she spills her thoughts into her journal.

Meanwhile, Buffy begins her training with Giles, and Harmony - much to everyone's amusement - tries to start her own gang.


Monster of the Week

  • There was no monster of the week due to the return of Harmony.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Mr. Bogarty Vampire Neck Bites The Magic Shop
2 Cyrus Buffy Crossbow Arrow to the Heart Harmony's Lair
3 Peaches Buffy Staked Harmony's Lair
4 Brad Buffy Decaptitation Harmony's Lair
5 Mort Buffy Staked Harmony's Lair

Arc Advancement



  • Giles: Giles decides to buy the magic shop when the proprietor turns up dead.


  • Graduation Day (2): Faith's dream causes her to reference Little Miss Muffet regarding the approaching appearance of Dawn. An insane man in this episode recants the same reference.


The Show

Behind the Scenes

  • Nielsen Ratings: This was the highest charted episode of the series. On its first showing, it placed 62nd out of all Primetime shows.

Allusions and References

  • Fortress of Solitude: The Fortress of Solitude is where Superman created his home away from Metropolis. It was first formally introduced in Action Comics #241, published in 1958. The fortress resides at the north pole and is the storeplace for Superman's various souvenirs, as well as a zoo, robot duplicates and the Bottle City of Kandor. Alternatively, Doc Savage (a pulp comic hero) also had a fortress of solitude which the Superman version was likely based on.
Xander: She can turn this place into the fortress of solitude again.
  • Spinal Tap: Spinal Tap was a mockumentary directed by Rob Reiner and written by Christopher Guest about a heavy metal band of the same name. The film satirized bands like Led Zeppelin and Judas Priest, as well as the entire heavy metal movement of the 1970s. In the film, the band's drummers all seem to undergo bizarre accidents. The band loses drummers in various ways including spontaneous combustion, asphyxiation, and a bizarre gardening accident.
Buffy: Most magic shop owners in Sunnydale have the life expectancy of a Spinal Tap drummer.
  • Invasion of Normandy: The invasion of Normandy, also known as D-Day, was a pivotal battle in World Ward II when the allies invaded the shores of Normandy on June 6, 1944 in order to take back France. The battle was crucial in the Allies' plan to defeat the Axis Powers and win the war.
Riley: Not the invasion of Normandy, but still a plan.

Memorable Moments

  • Dawn being confronted with the insane rambling man outside of the magic shop.
  • Xander mocking Harmony from the other side of the threshold until Dawn accidentally invites them in.


  • When Giles is looking through the Magic Shop's inventory book, his left hand jumps about between shots.
  • When Dawn readies to open the door for Xander, you can see him through the glass at the side of the door. As she opens it, both his arms are hanging low. But in the very next shot, both have jumped up - now holding the pizza box up high while his left arm is propped against the door frame.
  • Xander tells Joyce to have fun, but then wedges in "not too much fun, though." This part is an obvious dub, especially as his mouth is not seen moving when he says it.


  • Dawn: (while writing in her journal) I don't think Buffy's Watcher likes me too much. I think it's 'cause he's just so... old. I'm not sure how old he is, but I heard him use the word "newfangled" one time, so he's got to be pretty far gone.
  • Buffy: Giles, are you breaking up with your car?
Giles: Well, it did seduce me, all red and sporty.
Buffy: Little two-door tramp.
  • Dawn: Like Tara. She and Willow are both witches. They do spells and stuff, which is so much cooler than Slaying. I told mom one time I wished they'd teach me some of the things they do together. And then she got really quiet and made me go upstairs. Huh. I guess her generation isn't cool with witchcraft.
  • Anya: (playing Life) Crap! Look at this. Now I'm burdened with a husband and several tiny pink children and more cash than I can reasonably manage.
Xander: That means you're winning.
Anya: Really?
Xander: Yes. Cash equals good.
Anya: Ooh! I'm so pleased. Can I trade in the children for more cash?
  • Harmony: I'm not going to make the same mistakes you did. I've been doing my homework, reading books and stuff.
Spike: What? Evil for Dummies?
  • Harmony: So, Slayer. At last we meet.
Buffy: We've met Harmony, you half-wit.
  • Buffy: Harmony, when you tried to be head cheerleader, you were bad. When you tried to chair the homecoming committee, you were really bad. But when you try to be bad, you suck.
  • Buffy: Giles, are you sure about this?
Giles: Why wouldn't I be?
Buffy: Well, aside from the fact that most magic shop owners in Sunnydale have the life expectancy of a Spinal Tap drummer... and have you ever run a store before?
Giles: I was a librarian for years. This is exactly the same, except people pay for the things they never return. It'll give me focus. Increase my resources. And it'll prevent you lot from trampling all over my flat at all hours. There may even be some space for you to train in the back.
Buffy: Boy, you really thought this through. How bored were you last year?
Giles: I watched Passions with Spike. Let us never speak of it.