Buffy the Vampire Slayer/The Wish

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The Wish
The Wish
Season 3, Episode 9
Airdate December 8, 1998
Production Number 3ABB09
Written by Marti Noxon
Directed by David Greenwalt
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Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Three

The Wish is the ninth episode of the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the forty-third episode overall. Cordelia, while still reeling over Xander, inadvertently wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale—something which has grave repercussions for Sunnydale.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), David Boreanaz (Angel), Seth Green (Oz)

and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles)

Guest Starring: Mark Metcalf (The Master), Emma Caulfield (Anyanka), Larry Bagby III (Larry Blaisdell), Mercedes McNab (Harmony Kendall)

Co-Starring: Danny Strong (Jonathan), Nicole Bilderback (Cordette #1), Nathan Anderson (John Lee), Mariah O'Brien (Nancy), Gary Imhoff (Teacher), Robert Covarrubias (Caretaker)


Plot Overview

Cordelia recovers from her injuries and returns to school. A new girl, Anyanka, befriends Cordelia and grants her a wish... that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale. This new reality without Buffy in Sunnydale is overrun with vampires and evil.


Monster of the Week

Anyanka is a "patron saint of scorned women" who specializes in granting wishes to women who have been wronged by men. The spell is activated after her necklace, which is also her symbol, is placed around her neck and the user makes a wish. In order to reverse these wishes, the power center of the demon must be destroyed. When Anyanka's necklace is smashed by Giles at the end of the episode, everything reverts back to normal and Anyanka becomes a regular mortal—unable to grant any more wishes.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Demon Buffy Stabbed Park
2 Cordelia Willow & Xander Bitten Library
3–4 Vampires Buffy Staked Street
5 Girl Vampires Drained of Blood Factory
6 Angel Xander Staked Factory
7 Xander Buffy Staked Factory
8 Willow Oz Staked Factory
9 Buffy The Master Neck Snapped Factory


  • "Tired of Being Alone" by The Spies: In the first scene of The Bronze, "Tired of Being Alone" by The Spies is playing in the background while Cordelia is attempting to make Xander jealous. The song appears on their album Toy Surprise Inside.
  • Gingersol - "Never Noticed"
  • Plastic - "Dedicated to Pain"

Arc Advancement


  • Vampire Lore: According to one of the white hats in the alternate Sunnydale, vampires are attracted to bright colors and are less likely to notice earth tones. For this reason, the survivors only wear demure colors. However, it should be noted that this is never reinforced in any subsequent episode or throughout the entirety of Angel.
  • Alternate Universe: In the backwards universe, many things are different outside of the obvious change of vampires (led by The Master) taking over Sunnydale. Larry, typically seen as a harmless antagonist, is part of the "white hats" along with Oz, Giles and an unnamed woman. Meanwhile, Angel is kept as a tortured pet of the Master's vampire cronies, Willow and Xander, and Buffy is a war-worn soldier who lives in Cleveland (which has its own share of demonic trouble).



  • 1x13 - Prophecy Girl: Buffy's demise in Cordelia's wish universe mirrors the prophecy laid out in the first season of the show. According to the prophecy, "the Master will rise and the Slayer will die" and, sure enough, Buffy does die briefly in the original world. In the divergent world, however, she isn't so lucky.


The Show

  • First Appearance: Anya makes her first appearance in the series. Although she is a guest star in this episode and was originally only meant to be a one-off character. She will go on to be a series regular starting with the fourth season.
  • Cleveland: In the alternative world, Cleveland is a haven for demonic activity. The show regularly takes shots at Cleveland being hellish, with this being the first mention.

Behind the Scenes

  • International: Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been dubbed into many different languages and the title translated for each different international version. Some international translations of this episode's title are:
    • French: "Meilleurs voeux de Cordelia" ("Best Wishes from Cordelia")
    • Italian: "Il desiderio" ("The Wish")
    • German: "Was wäre, wenn..." ("What If...")
    • Japanese: "ねがい" ("Negai" - "The Wish")
    • Spanish: "El deseo" ("The Wish")
    • Turkish: "Dilek" ("The Wish")

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments


  • When Cordelia and Anyaka are talking inside the school, just before they walk away together, you can see a female extra waiting for her cue to begin walking.
  • When Xander and Willow report of killing Cordelia, the Master's left arm changes positions between shots.


  • Willow: Bored now.
  • The Master: You killed the girl who sought the Slayer?
Xander: It was too easy.
Willow: I felt cheap.
  • Oz: So Cordelia wished for something? Well, if it was a long, healthy life, she should get her money back.
  • Buffy: World is what it is. We fight, we die. Wishing doesn't change that.
Giles: I have to believe in a better world.
Buffy: Go ahead. I have to live in this one.
  • The Master: Some have argued that such an advancement goes against our nature. They claim that death is our art. I say to them - Well, I don't say anything to them because I killed them.
  • Angel: What's the plan?
Buffy: (hands him a stake) Don't fall on this.
  • Anyanka: You trusting fool! How do you know the other world is any better than this?
Giles: Because it has to be.