"Band Candy" is the sixth episode of the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the fortieth episode in the series. Written by Jane Espenson and directed by Michael Lange, it originally broadcast on November 10, 1998 on The WB.
AGE BEFORE DEMON — Buffy is forced to grow up even faster when Mr. Trick executes a devious plot to render the town defenseless by causing Sunnydale's adult population to inexplicably behave as irresponsible adolescents. Meanwhile, Buffy struggles to keep Angel's return and recovery a secret while her mom and Giles conspire to schedule her 24 hours a day.
Buffy combines her slaying with studying for the SAT in the graveyard with Giles. At school the next day, Buffy tells Willow and Oz of a test-related nightmare. Oz offers to help her study and Willow brags about how smart Oz is. Buffy tells them Giles and her Mom have her scheduled 24/7 to keep her out of trouble. They find Principal Snyder in the cafeteria handing out boxes of Milkbar chocolates, which they are forced to sell to pay for band uniforms.
Meanwhile, at Sunnydale City Hall, Mayor Wilkins speaks to Mr. Trick about a 'tribute' he needs to make to a demon. Mr. Trick assures his boss that the matter is well in hand, as he has hired an outside contractor who has caused trouble in Sunnydale before.
Buffy sells half of her candy to her mom, and Buffy tries to convince her mom to let her get her driver's license. Joyce refuses, at least in part because she is worried that if Buffy has a license, she might leave again and not come back. Buffy then leaves for the library, telling her mother that Giles is making her practice all night. She sells the other half of her candy quota to Giles, and leaves, telling Giles her mother is making her go home. Instead, Buffy visits Angel, bringing him blood. He is quickly getting better and is practicing Tai Ch'i. He asks her about Scott, but she doesn't tell him they've broken up. When she arrives home, Buffy finds her mother and Giles waiting, angry at her lies. They send her to bed and proceed to munch on the chocolate bars.
The next day, Giles fails to show up for study hall, and Xander and Willow secretly play footsie under the table. Worried, Buffy goes to Giles's place and finds her mom sitting on the couch. Giles explains that they are rescheduling her activities to lessen her burden, and Joyce gives Buffy her car keys and tells her to drive herself home. After a surprised Buffy leaves, they conspiratorially hope she's not noticed anything amiss, and then Giles lights up a cigarette and Joyce pulls out a bottle of Kahlua she had quickly hidden when Buffy arrived.
Giles, now "Ripper", offers to take Joyce out for some fun while Buffy decides to go with Willow to the Bronze, despite the SAT exam being the next day. Buffy frightens Willow with her crazy driving. At the Bronze, Buffy and Willow discover the place now packed with adults who are acting like teenagers, including Principal Snyder, Mrs. Bartrum, and Willow's shirtless, stage-diving doctor. Snyder starts following Buffy and Willow, who take off, along with Oz, to find out what's going on — they've noticed the manic eating of band candy, and suspect that it is causing adults to act like teenagers, with all the attendant irresponsibility, lust, and emotionality. Oz initially isn't too worried, assuming that even as a teenager Giles would still be responsible. Buffy and Willow, however, know better and tell him that rather than being responsible Giles was an out-of-control dark magic user.
Mr. Trick checks up on Ethan Rayne, the "outside contractor," and the production of the chocolate bars, then leaves to perform the "tribute."
Meanwhile, Joyce notices a coat in the window of the April Fools store, and Ripper shatters it to steal the coat. The ensuing alarm attracts a cop, who Giles beats unconscious. They steal his gun, cuffs, and cruiser. He and Joyce start making out on the hood of the police car.
Buffy gets into a car accident and damages her mom's car. Snyder knows the factory where the candy came from, so Buffy sends her friends to the library to do research just before finding her mother and Giles kissing in the middle of the street. Buffy tries to reason with her mother, with no luck. She enters the factory, taking Joyce along; Giles and Snyder follow. Inside, Buffy finds Ethan and catches him. Her fist persuades Ethan to give up all that he knows. Trick needs to dull Sunnydale adults in order to take the tribute for Lurconis.
Meanwhile, four vampires enter an unguarded hospital to remove four newborn babies. The Scoobies' research reveals that the demon Lurconis eats babies, and Giles remembers that the demon may be found in the sewers.
Buffy, Giles and Joyce crash the party in the sewer, and the Mayor flees unnoticed. Buffy defeats the vampires while Giles and Joyce rescue the babies. Mr. Trick escapes and the demon appears. Buffy pulls down a gas pipe, igniting it, forming a jet of fire with which she attacks and kills Lurconis.
Later, the Mayor and Mr. Trick discuss the debacle. Although the Mayor isn't happy, he is placated when Mr. Trick points out that now there's one less demon he needs to pay tribute to. Despite this, the Mayor warns Mr. Trick not to do him any more favors.
The next day, the adults have returned to their senses. Snyder promptly chooses Willow, Oz, Xander, and Cordelia as "volunteers" to clean up the mess in the hall. Buffy complains to Giles about the SATs. They meet Joyce, but Buffy fails to notice their awkwardness upon seeing each other.
- After Joyce's funeral ("Forever"), Giles listens alone (but for a drink) to the song he played for her.
- This is the first episode since Faith's first appearance in which she does not appear.
- In "Earshot", Buffy learns that Giles and Joyce actually did have sex during the band candy mayhem — twice.
- Due to the events under the candy's influence, Joyce and Giles avoid each other for the next few episodes. In "Gingerbread", he rashly asks her if a rumor was about them.
- Ethan escapes for the third time, after "Halloween" and "The Dark Age". Although, it'll be his last, as he's imprisoned in "A New Man" until his death (The Long Way Home, Part Four).
- When they were young, Joyce was somewhat of an outsider at school, Snyder was the uncool kid who thought he fit in, and Giles exhibits his rebel "Ripper" personality. Giles's actions confirm his confessions from "The Dark Age", while Joyce had previously admitted to being on the Yearbook committee in "Witch". Principal Snyder's awkwardness towards Joyce gives Buffy's words towards him in "Becoming, Part Two" more validity ("You never ever got a single date in high school, did you?").
- Giles steals a gun from a police officer which Buffy takes away and places in her belt. Its fate is never revealed (though given Buffy's occasional comments about how much use a gun is in her work [starting from "The Harvest"] it's doubtful she kept it). Also, Giles (by the sound) cocks the gun when he points it at Ethan, and Buffy appears to put it in her belt still cocked — not a great idea.
- Snyder tells Buffy she "drives like a spaz", something she will hear again in Time of Your Life, Part Three while attempting do drive a flying car.
- The Mayor once more shows his character, while Snyder, who works as principal at his behest, proves to be unaware of the deeper workings of his evil schemes.
- Xander had Cordelia's flyer for Homecoming Queen on his locker door ("Homecoming").
- More on Giles's past before Sunnydale was revealed more in depth through flashbacks in the comic continuation Angel & Faith.
- According to the Sunnydale High Yearbook novel, the chocolate sale earned $600,000 for the band.
- Carol (Only mentioned)
- Mr. Chase (Only mentioned)
- Mrs. Chase (Only mentioned)
- Cordelia Chase
- Dave (Only mentioned)
- Rupert Giles
- Alexander Harris
- Scott Hope (Only mentioned)
- Devon MacLeish
- Daniel Osbourne
- Ethan Rayne
- Willow Rosenberg
- Buffy Summers
- Joyce Summers
- Mr. Trick
- Richard Wilkins
Organizations and titles
Weapons and objects
- Three vampires, dusted by Buffy Summers.
- A factory guy, killed by Mr. Trick.
- A vampire, eaten by Lurconis.
- Lurconis, burned with a gas pipe and torch by Buffy.
Behind the scenes
- This is the first episode to be written by Jane Espenson.
- The accent Giles speaks with as a teenager is Anthony Stewart Head's authentic, actual voice.
- This comment was cut for length:
- Buffy: "I love that you guys love torches."
- A chant by the Lurconis summoners was also cut.
Pop culture references
- Buffy mentions the Real World reality TV series.
- Buffy's line, "Let's do the time warp again..." is a reference to a song in The Rocky Horror Picture Show musical. Anthony Head performed the role of Dr. Frank N. Furter in a London production of The Rocky Horror Show for over a year.
- When faced with the prospect of selling the band candy, Buffy compares herself to fictional character Willy Loman, from the play Death of a Salesman.
- Principal Snyder tells Buffy and Willow, "Call me Snyder, just the last name like Barbarino," the character from Welcome Back, Kotter series.
- Xander asks Principal Snyder if he was visited by fictional character the Ghost of Christmas Past, from "A Christmas Carol".
- Joyce mentions the band Seals and Croft.
- Joyce compares Giles with actor Burt Reynolds.
- Joyce says the coat she wants is "very Juice Newton," a reference to the pop and country singer.
- The song Giles plays for Joyce, Cream's "Tales of Brave Ulysses", is one of the few rock or pop songs referencing Classical Greek mythology, and so is apt for Giles, who almost certainly has read the Greek myths in their original forms, even when he's trying to look cool.
- Armenian: "Քաղցրավենիքներ դեպի դպրոցական նվագախմբի ֆոնդը" (Sweets to the School Band Fund)
- Czech: "Zakázané ovoce" (Forbidden Fruit)
- Finnish: "Makeaa mahan täydeltä" (Stomach Full of Sweet)
- French: "Effet chocolat" (Chocolate Effect)
- German: "Außer Rand und Band" (Going Wild)
- Hungarian: "Csokit, vagy csalunk" (Chocolate or Treat)
- Italian: "I Dolci della Banda" (The Sweets of the Band)
- Japanese: "バンドのためのチョコバー" (Chocolate Bar for the Band)
- Polish: "Batoniki, cukiereczki, ciasteczka" (Bars, Candies, Cookies)
- Portuguese (Brazil): "A Banda do Chocolate" (The Chocolate Band)
- Romanian: "Dulciuri rele" (Bad Sweets)
- Russian: "Сладости в фонд школьного оркестра" (Sweets to the School Band Fund)
- Spanish (Latin America): "Los chocolates Embrujados" (The Bewitched Chocolates)
- Spanish (Spain): "Dulces para la Banda" (Sweets to the Band)
- Mad Cow — "Blasé" (Plays as the group talk about S.A.T.s.)
- Cream — "Tales of Brave Ulysses" (Played by Giles at his apartment with Joyce.)
- Four Star Mary — "Violent" (Played by the band at the Bronze as the adults dance.)
- Every Bit of Nothing — "Slip Jimmy" (Plays at the Bronze when Snyder comments on Oz's hair.)
- The Kingsmen — "Louie Louie" (Sung by the group of drunken men on the stage of the Bronze.)
- Christophe Beck — "Sugar High"
- Christophe Beck — "Tai Chi"
- Christophe Beck's compositions for this episode were included in The Score album.
- The episode script was included in The Script Book: Season Three, Volume 1.
- An unreleased Buffy the Vampire Slayer action figure was based on Giles in this episode.
- Scenes from this episode were included in the Big Bads & Monsters Adult Coloring Book.
- The comic issue Buffy the Vampire Slayer #9 has a tribute variant cover to this episode.
- Kristine Sutherland has named "Band Candy" as one of her favorite Buffy episodes, along with "Ted", "When She Was Bad", and "Innocence".
Behind the scenes
|Xander - "I don't get this. The candy's supposed to make you all immature and stuff, but I ate a ton and I don't feel any dif— never mind."|
|Willow - "'Kiss Rocks'? Why would anyone want to kiss... Oh wait, I get it."|
|Willow - "It'll be okay when we get to Giles."|
|Oz - "Of course. I mean, even if he's sixteen, he's still Giles, right? He's probably a pretty together guy."|
|Willow - "Yeah, well..."|
|Oz - "What?"|
|Buffy - "Giles at sixteen. Less 'together guy', more 'bad magic, hates the world, ticking time bomb guy'."|
|Oz - "They're teenagers. It's a sobering mirror to look into, huh?"|
|Giles - "'And on that tragic day, an era came to its inevitable end'." That's all there is. Are you ready?"|
|Buffy - "Hit me."|
|Giles - "Which of the following best expresses theme of the passage? A) Violence breeds violence, B) All things must end, C)..."|
|Buffy - "'B'. I'm going with 'B'. We haven't had 'B' in forever."|
|Giles - "This is the SATs, Buffy, not connect-the-dots. Please pay attention. A low score could seriously harm your chances of getting into college."|
|Buffy - "Gee, thanks. That takes the pressure right off."|