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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 5 Episode 1

Buffy vs. Dracula

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Sep 26, 2000 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
584 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

When Dracula himself arrives in Sunnydale, he leaves the entire gang star struck. Buffy must find a way to stop him before she falls completely into his thrall, but his powers may be greater than even she can overcome.

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  • And so S5 begins!

    Overall, I felt the plot serviced the characters rather than the other way around. Plus, this episode is really funny, in the good way. These are ultimately the reasons why I really like this episode and consider it a pretty solid season opener, flaws included. Before I conclude, let me just say how awesome I think Dawn's introduction at the very end of this episode is. The first time I saw it I was completely shocked and even thought I'd missed an episode. It made me want to rewatch this one again. Joyce's comment about how it will be lonely again without Buffy around the house proved that Whedon had something interesting in store. Thankfully, he did.moreless
  • The Master...

    Bater. Ah, classic Xander lines.
  • The arrival of the dark prince (bator)

    The Good;

    Lots of it, Buffy vs the dark prince (bator!). If I was to pick out a special performance it would be NB's excellent Renfield especially his wonderful Sesame Street impression.

    The Bad;


    Best line;

    Buffy; "I'm standing right here!"

    Women good/men bad;

    Buffy rejects Dracula's male domination.


    The killing of the delivery men is vicious but it's there to remind you that Dracula isn't all slow seduction, he's as evil as any other vamp

    Kinky dinky;

    The whole thing is one big seduction of Buffy by Dracula. Also of course Giles 'making time with the Draccy babes' as Riley memorably puts it and seems to enjoy a good nuzzling. And Dracula and Joyce? Those Summer's girls, they have the worst taste in men. Anya's bikini is also a highlight, odd that the rest of the Scoobygirls are pretty covered up at the beach. Check out the sexy nightie Buffy just happens to choose to sleep in that night, makes her look like the heroine in a classic Hammer vampire film. Does she subconsciously choose it as she wants to please Dracula, hoping he'll come to her? Buffy tries to reassure Riley that Drac has no attraction for her but her declaration that there was 'no penetration' is a poor way to put it. She also says that she can't go back to Revello Drive as 'He got inside once', she means the house right? Unusually it's Riley who figures out Buffy is enthralled. Buffy seems to prefer being bitten and controlled to biting and feeding/being evil suggesting that when it comes to S&M she's more into the M than the S.

    Captain Subtext;

    Joyce bemoans the perils of dating in Sunnydale and tells Will and Tara she feels like giving up on men altogether (Jowillta anyone?). She seems unaware of their relationship although this might change in The Real Me which we'll talk about then. Joyce seems lonely with Buffy at college but she'll soon have Dawn to cure that. Willow and Tara just advise her to avoid pale-skinned men in capes. Oddly Willow seems extremely attracted to Dracula 'Long slow neckbites that last for days' which perturbs Tara rather and adds to the bi-Willow theory (and the 'very naughty girl behind the softer side of Sears theory'). Xander comments that everyone knows about Willow and Tara but would still like to hear more about their love life. The first of the Riley/Spike bonding, Spike refers to Riley as 'cowboy' which he was in Restless. .

    Xander refers to himself as Dracula's 'man-bitch' and this is a homosexual subtext that is greatly expanded upon in the comics.

    Where's Dawn?

    Here's Dawn! When you're accustomed to seeing MT on 'Gossip Girl' and '17 Again' you forget how young she was when she started on Buffy, I remember seeing her for the first time and thinking "Oh, it's Harriet the Spy" which was one of my favourite books when I was younger and I quite liked the movie too. Oddly enough the first time Buffy finds her she's snooping about in her room.

    Missing scenes;

    Rumoured-Dracula "You are born of the darkness"

    Buffy; "Whoa, not born of the darkness pal, born of the Joyce thank you very much"

    Apocalypses; 5,

    Scoobies in bondage:

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 5

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 4

    Oz: 1

    Faith: 3

    Joyce: 1

    Wes: 1

    Xander; 1

    Scoobies knocked out: Anya and Xander

    Buffy: 15

    Giles: 10

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 9

    Will: 5

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 2

    Wes: 1

    Anya; 1


    Buffy: not including Dracula Buffy kills 2 vamps so 81 vamps, 28 demons, 6 monsters, 3 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot

    Giles: 5 vamps, 1 demon

    Cordy: 3 vamps, a demon

    Will: 4 vamps

    Angel: 3 vamps, 1 demon, 1 human

    Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie

    Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans

    Xander: 5 vamps, 2 zombies, a demon, a demon

    Anya: a demon

    Riley; 12 vamps + 7 demons

    Scoobies go evil: Xander falls under the thrall of his master

    Giles: 1

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 1

    Oz: 1

    Joyce: 1

    Xander: 3

    Alternate scoobies: Renfield Xander

    Buffy: 6

    Giles: 3

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 2

    Joyce: 2

    Xander: 4

    Recurring characters killed: 9

    Jesse, Flutie, Jenny, Kendra, Larry, Snyder, Professor Walsh, Forrest, McNamara

    Sunnydale deaths;

    82; including the delivery men

    Total number of scoobies: 7

    Giles, Xander, Willow, Buffy, Anya, Tara, Riley

    Xander demon magnet: 5, ummm, should we add Dracula?

    Preying Mantis Lady, Inca Mummy Girl, Drusilla, VampWillow, Anya (arguably Buffy & Faith with their demon essences?), Dracula?

    Scoobies shot:

    Giles: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 4

    Notches on Scooby bedpost: now I know we've always wondered exactly what happens between Buffy and Dracula when the screen goes dark so I'm going to put him down as a possible? But you know, what I've always wondered is does anything happen between Dracula and Joyce? We do know that Anya and Dracula used to be involved in her demon days.

    Giles: 2; Joyce & Olivia, possibly Jenny and 3xDraccy babes?

    Cordy: 1?

    Buffy: 3 confirmed; Angel, Parker,Riley, 1 possible, Dracula(?)

    Angel: 1;Buffy

    Joyce: 1;Giles, 2 possible, Ted and Dracula(?)

    Oz: 3; Groupie, Willow & Verucca

    Faith:2 ;Xander, Riley

    Xander: 2; Faith, Anya

    Willow: 2;Oz and Tara

    What the fanficcers thought; Plenty of Buffy/Dracula sex stories. Also Buffy/Drusilla fic cleverly called 'Buffy vs Drusilla' and 'At Last' and 'Never Part'

    Questions and observations;

    Very interesting. Once again Buffy rejects the traditional role of the horror heroine and be seduced into being a vampire by Dracula. But is there something between them? Maybe. But again it's Buffy's family and friends that anchor her, the traditional Slayer without love in her life might well have surrendered. But Buffy is about saving rather than the kill despite her feral hunting.

    Jelly doughnuts again, nice little gag when Riley offers it to Buffy. This is the third time Buffy will have been bitten by a vampire. Dracula notes the previous bitemarks, The Master's or Angel's? Riley observes that no one in Sunnydale seems to have noticed this big castle just outside of town. Buffy mocks Anne Rice for the second time, such a pity they never have a chance to knock Twilight. Reputedly Dracula was going to be played by Freddie Prince (aka Mr SMG) but he dropped out. As with Adam, Dracula hints to The Slayer's demonic nature which we will discover in 'Get It Done'. We have hints that Xander is going to make moves to get out of the cellar. Dracula has the same powers as he has in the book which make him far superior to the average vamp.

    So what if Buffy had surrendered to Dracula or Drusilla or whoever? Would a vamped Slayer be evil? Or would they still be the Slayer no matter what? What would feasting on Slayer blood do to the vamp, is Spike's unusually human nature due to him feeding on the Chinese Slayer? Lot of fanfic on the subject and all with a happy ending, most based on the internet rumour that in season 5 Buffy would be vamped and form her own undead Scoobygang whilst Faith would be released from jail to lead the Scoobs against her. Eventually Buffy would either have her soul restored by sorcery (like Angel) or bite Dawn and be returned to normal by The Key's magic blood.

    Buffy is apparently very famous in the supernatural world, the most successful Slayer ever. Love to see Spike and Drac's backstory? Riley says that he's lived in Sunnydale for a couple of years now so that probably means the Initiative were up and around at very least throughout season 3.

    Marks out of 10; 9/10

  • Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Marc Blucas, Emma Caulfield, James Matsters, and Anthony Stewart Head as "Giles". Dracula comes into town to kill the infamous slayer, Buffy Summers.moreless

    I was very excited to see this episode bringing in a legend like Dracula (guest star Rudolf Martin) to the program. I thought the fight scene between Dracula and Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) was very well done, and i enjoyed it. I really enjoy that Willow's (Alyson Hannigan) is getting stronger, and i also really support the relationship with Tara (guest star Amber Benson). Now the bad, Xander (Nicholas Brendon) continues to get more and more annoying as the episodes continue, and i really am not a particular fan of the romantic relationship between Buffy and Riley (Marc Blucas), and have always thought that they should be friends not boyfriend/girlfriend. But what they heck is it with "Buffy take your sister with you." Buffy has a sister (Michelle Trachtenberg), since when.moreless
  • A very solid episode; Buffy does it's version of Dracula. A really fun episode but ultimately forgettable.

    Buffy vs. Dracula is a great episode that starts off the season in a good way- all our characters are here and the storyline is easy to follow and has some laughs along the way. The infamous Dracula comes to town and mayhem ensues.

    Dracula was used to great effect; I liked that they made him a bit of a cheesy, comedic villain that a dark one. I hear he was originally meant to be the season's big bad but I am glad he isn't as while he's good for an episode, he would grate after a while and I love the big bad for this season anyway. The accent, the mist, the wolf and bat transformations and the over the top castles and coffins were used really well. I always love when Buffy does a spin on something like this.

    The whole undercurrent of the episode "What is a Slayer?" is especially noticeable here as Buffy is hunting instead of patrolling these days and Dracula tells her her powers are rooted in darkness. I liked that this was continued from Restless as I really like that storyline. The scene where Buffy drinks Dracula's blood was interesting and very, very gross.

    Xander was great here- very funny and producing some really great lines like "The Dark Master! Bator" always gets a laugh. Willow also had some great lines and the two brought a good comedy side to the episode.

    Riley unfortunately was not good here. It is around this stage where I start to get really, really sick of him. The whole Buffy/Riley drama is so played out now that you're just sort of waiting for their scenes to be over. He gets more pathetic with each episode and unfortunately Marc Blucas can't act to save his life. Not to be mean but he's so wooden he could stake himself.

    The shock at the end was very big when the episode first aired and of course caused much controversy. Buffy has a sister? Since when? It is at this point where the show becomes instantly more adult and the dynamics completely change with the introduction of Dawn. Some may dislike her but she was absolutely necessary in my opinion.

    Buffy vs. Dracula was a great episode with some really good moments and a shocker end. It is unfortunately a bit forgettable but it still enjoyable.moreless
Rudolf Martin

Rudolf Martin


Guest Star

E. J. Gage

E. J. Gage

Mover #1

Guest Star

Scott Berman

Scott Berman

Mover #2

Guest Star

Amber Benson

Amber Benson


Recurring Role

Kristine Sutherland

Kristine Sutherland

Joyce Summers

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • Goof: When Buffy dusts Dracula for the first time, the English subtitles on the original DVD release read "[Dagger thrusts]", even though she has obviously used a wooden stake.

    • Goof: At 7:14 when Joyce says "It's so quiet." there is a plate in front of her, but when the shot changes the plate is gone. Then suddenly, when the shot changes again, there is a large salad bowl in front of her.

    • Goof: After Buffy first attempts to stake Dracula, when she says "OK, that's cheating", she is standing with a stone pillar behind her on her left. She hears Xander say "Hey Buff, what's up?" and turns around 180 degrees and the stone pillar is still behind her on her left. There was no need to turn around as Buffy was already facing the direction from which Xander and Willow were coming.

    • Goof: When Buffy is talking with Dracula in the cemetery near the beginning of the episode, there is a water droplet or something on the camera lens that moves off the right side of the screen as she says "like I paint clowns or something".

    • Nitpick: The basement of Dracula's mansion that is shown when Giles falls through the door is the same set that was used in "Fear, Itself" when Buffy fell through the door into the basement of the Alpha-Delt house.

    • Goof: Although in "Angel"(1-07) we learn that Buffy lives at 1630 Revello Dr, the plaque above the door of the Summers' house reads 1313, not 1630.
      The address actually changes within this episode. The front of the Summers' home has several changes after Dracula visits Buffy in her bedroom. In the establishing night shot of the house the number 1630 appears on the right entrance column. There is a white vertical rectangle on the left column, and an overhead light enclosed in a glass bowl fixture. There are also several hanging plant baskets across the porch.
      The shot of the house the next morning shows that the house number not only has changed, but has moved. Also, the white rectangle is now a tan color, the light fixture has changed, the hanging baskets are gone and there are now several potted plants on the porch railings and the addition of two large potted plants, one one either side of the front door.

    • This is the third time Buffy is bitten by a vampire: The Master ("Prophecy Girl"), Angel ("Graduation Day Part 2"), and Dracula.

    • Goof: In the beach scene after the opening credits, you can see a small red tattoo in the back of Buffy's right shoulder. Aside from the tattoo of the Mark of Eyeghon that Ethan has given her in "The Dark Age" (which was removed), Buffy isn't supposed to have a tattoo. It probably belongs to Sarah Michelle Gellar, and was not covered by make-up.

    • Nitpick: You can really see the turf laid out in the graveyard at the beginning. Surely the caretakers would need some way of covering over all the vamps that claw their way out of their graves, but the entire cemetery has been freshly turfed.

    • Goof: When Buffy meets Dracula in the cemetery, Willow and Xander join her. After finding out who the vampire really is, Xander runs to stand behind Buffy. But in the shots afterwards, which are quite fast, you can see him stand there, than disappear, and then stand there again. But in all shots he didn't plan on going anywhere.

  • QUOTES (20)

    • (After the defeat of Dracula, he comes back to life, but Buffy is standing right there to stake him again as he materializes)
      Buffy: I've seen your movies, you always come back. (Dracula dusts again, and after a brief pause, the clouds of his resurrection start to swirl again) I'm standing RIGHT here! (The clouds vanish)

    • Xander: I'm supposed to take you to the master now. There's this whole thing where I get to be immortal, you cool with that?
      Buffy: Take me to him.

    • Dracula: I knew you'd come.
      Buffy: Why? Because I'm under your thrall? (whips out her stake) Well, guess again, pal.
      Dracula: Put the stake down.
      Buffy: Okay. (puts it down) Right. That... was not... you. I did that. I did that because... I wanted to. Maybe I should rethink that thrall thing.

    • Buffy: (to Dawn) What are you doing here?
      Joyce: Buffy? If you're going out, why don't you take your sister?
      Buffy and Dawn: Mom!

    • Riley: (to Buffy) It could have been worse. At least you weren't making time with the Dracu-babes like Giles here.
      Giles: I was not making time! I, I was, uh, just about to kill those, uh, loathsome creatures when Riley interrupted me.
      Riley: (grins) You were gonna nuzzle 'em to death?

    • Dracula: Very impressive hunt. Such power.
      Buffy: That was no hunt. That was just another day on the job. Care to step up for some overtime?
      Dracula: We're not going to fight.
      Buffy: Do you know what a Slayer is?
      Dracula: Do you?

    • Buffy: Who are you?
      Dracula: I apologize. I assumed you knew. I am Dracula.
      Buffy: Get out!

    • Buffy: Wow. That was gross.
      Dracula: You are resisting.
      Buffy: Looks like.
      Dracula: Come here. Come to me.
      Buffy: You know, I really think the thrall has gone out of our relationship.
      Dracula: What is this?
      Buffy: My true nature. You want a taste?

    • Buffy: Stay away from me.
      Dracula: Are you afraid I will bite you? Slayer, that's why you came.
      Buffy: No. Last night... it's not gonna happen again.
      Dracula: Stop me. Stake me.
      Buffy: I... Any minute now.
      Dracula: Do you know why you cannot resist?
      Buffy: 'Cause you're famous?

    • Joyce: He seemed so nice and normal. A little pale...
      Willow: A good Sunnydale rule-of-thumb? Avoid white-skinned men in capes.

    • Spike: (to Riley) You can take the boy out of the Initiative, but you can't take the Initiative out of the boy.

    • Anya: (about Dracula to Xander) I doubt he'd remember me. I was just a silly young thing. I mean, like 700 or so. But he did say that this guy I cursed was doomed forever, which was really sweet, don't you think?

    • Buffy: So let me get this straight. You're... "Dracula." The guy. The Count.
      Dracula: I am.
      Buffy: And you're sure this isn't just some fanboy thing? Because... I've fought more than a couple of pimply overweight vamps that called themselves Lestat.
      Dracula: You know who I am. As I would know without question that you are Buffy Summers.
      Buffy: You've heard of me?
      Dracula: Naturally. You're known throughout the world.
      Buffy: Naw. Really?
      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?
      Dracula: Perhaps, but your power is rooted in darkness. You must feel it.
      Buffy: No. You know what I feel? Bored.

    • Willow: It's just, you've been Mr. Project all summer. Labeling the amulets and indexing your diaries. I draw the line at making giant rubber-band balls. That's when you'll just have to get a life.
      Giles: That's what I'm trying to do, actually, is get a life.
      Willow: It might go better if you left the house.

    • Buffy: Go, Team Me!
      Riley: Anyone ever told Team You the quarterback throws like a girl?
      Buffy: I do?
      Xander: I'm exhausted just looking at those two. All this splashing and jumping and running... shouldn't relaxing involve less exertion?
      Anya: Absolutely. Exertion can lead to sweatiness.
      Tara: Which can cause the pain and heartbreak of stinkiness. Better to just stay put.
      Willow: I think we've just put our finger on why we're the sidekicks.

    • Xander: I'm tired of being the one who eats the bugs and gets the funny syphillis! I'm tired of being everybody's butt-monkey!
      Buffy: Check. No more butt-monkey.

    • Riley: What can you tell me about Dracula?
      Spike: Dracula? Poncy bugger owes me £11, for one thing.

    • Willow: Now that I know there's something to know, I can't not know, just because I'm afraid somebody will know I know. You know?
      Giles: Did that mean yes?

    • Xander: Like that's enough to fight the Dark Master... bator.

    • Xander: Where is he? Where's the guy who turned me into a spider eating man bitch?

  • NOTES (17)

    • After recurring on the show for the past two seasons, Emma Caulfield finally becomes a series regular credited on the opening titles in this episode. In actuality, Emma has been a regular since season four's "New Moon Rising", in which she was credited with the regulars in the shooting script.

    • Prior to the release of this episode, there were rumors that Sarah's husband, Freddie Prinze Jr., was going to play Dracula.

    • Although this episode marks the beginning of Michelle Trachtenberg's run as Dawn on the show, she does not appear in the regular credits, presumably so that those watching wouldn't know there would be a new character introduced, and is instead credited as a guest star in the end credits. This would have presumably been done to make Dawn's appearance more of a shock to viewers.

    • In the season four finale "Restless" Tara says to Buffy "Be back before Dawn". This is a reference to Dawn appearing in this episode.

    • In the episode "This Year's Girl", Faith says (in one of her dreams) "Little sis coming. I know. So much to do before she gets here." This could have been referring to this episode.

    • Spike mentions that Dracula's powers are just Gypsy magic.

    • The alternate title to this episode was 'Before Dawn,' in reference to this being the first episode that Buffy's sister, Dawn, appears. It is also a pun as vampires' activities are confined to being 'before dawn,' at which point they turn to dust if out.

    • Dracula mentions that Buffy's power "is rooted in darkness." In Season 7's "Get it Done", Buffy learns from the Shadow Men that the First Slayer was created by using "the energy of the Demon" - a power that Buffy turned down.

    • It would appear that Dracula is invincible as Buffy was able to stake him twice (and he was about the materalize for a third time until Buffy quipped, "I'm standing right here!").

    • This is one of the two season premieres not written by Joss Whedon (the other would be "Bargaining (1)").

    • Dracula has "the power to read and control minds and enter dreams."

    • Xander makes a reference to when he got syphilis in season four's "Pangs".

    • Two other cast members receive promotions this series. Amber Benson and Kristine Sutherland are now credited, respectively, as "Amber Benson as Tara" and "and Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers" in the guest credits.

    • Sarah Michelle Gellar and Rudolf Martin had an ongoing storyline together in the soap opera All My Children, she as Kendall and he as Anton.

    • Dracula is the first and only vampire (to date) in the series seen to have the ability to shapeshift, as he turns into a bat, a wolf and into mist.

    • Within the same month that this episode originally aired, the actor who played Dracula also played Vlad the Impaler (whom the story of "Dracula" is based on) in a made for TV movie.

    • Dracula repeats the lines that the first slayer and Tara said to Buffy in last season's finale, "Restless": "You think you know. What's to come. What you are. You haven't even begun."


    • A lot of elements of Bram Stoker's book Dracula are in this episode. The transformation into a wolf, bat or mist; the servant who eats bugs looking for life; Dracula eating a woman slowly; the three sisters seducing a man; a storm announcing Dracula's arrival and him being transported in a box to a incredibly big house.

    • Title: "Buffy vs. Dracula"
      "Dracula" is a popular vampire character in many books and movies. The first appearance of the character "Count Dracula" was in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, written in 1897. Stoker based the character on a real "Dracula," Vlad III Dracula, is also known as Vlad the Impaler. The name Dracula means "Son of the Dragon" in Vlad's local language. Although Vlad was never associated with vampires before Stoker's book, the two of the them have become confused by many people. Many of the elements associated with Dracula are shown in this episode such as his ability to turn into a bat or mist, a thick foreign accent, having a hypnotic effect on people (especially females) and him having vampire brides and a crazed servant that eats bugs.

    • Buffy: Like I paint clowns or something.
      When Dracula refers to Buffy as a killer, she objects saying it makes her sound like she paints clowns. This is a reference to famous serial killer John Wayne Gacy who painted clown pictures as a hobby, and also enjoyed dressing as a clown.

    • Xander: C'mon puffy shirt...
      This could be a reference to the Seinfeld episode in which Jerry has to wear a puffy shirt as a favor to Kramer, which makes him look ridiculous.

    • Xander: I wonder if he knows Frankenstein?
      For the culturally challenged, Frankenstein is a classic monster novel written by authoress Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, published in 1818; about a brilliant scientist, Victor Frankenstein who builds a man from various dead parts and brings him to life.

    • Buffy: 'Cause I've fought more than a couple pimply, overweight vamps that called themselves Lestat.
      Lestat is the good looking, charismatic main character of Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles. The first book of the series Interview with the Vampire was made into a movie in 1994, with a blonde Tom Cruise as the vampire Lestat.

    • Xander: And where'd you get that accent, Sesame Street? Vun, two, three -- three victims. Mwa ha ha!
      Xander pokes fun at Dracula's accent by comparing it to the Count on the PBS children's show Sesame Street. The Count character looks like Dracula but is harmless and teaches kids to count.

    • Willow: Just call me the computer whisperer.
      Willow compares herself to the title character in the movie The Horse Whisperer, starring Robert Redford and Kristin Scott Thomas. Redford's character is a horse trainer that has a strong relationship with the animals.