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"Buffy vs. Dracula" is the season premiere of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the seventy-ninth episode in the series. Written by Marti Noxon and directed by David Solomon, it was originally broadcast on September 26, 2000, on The WB network.


THE LAST SEDUCTION — Still searching for a normal life, Buffy is shaken by the awesome power — and more than a little star-struck — when she and her friends come face to face with the greatest vampire of all time, Dracula. While Buffy is powerless under Dracula's thrall, Xander becomes the dark one's emissary and leads his friends into peril. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Buffy, Giles is seriously contemplating returning to England as he feels she no longer needs his help.[1]


Unable to sleep, Buffy goes out to patrol the cemetery. After staking a vampire, she returns to bed with Riley.

On a sunny day, Buffy and Riley play catch at the beach. Xander tries to light the barbecue, and Willow helps him with a fire spell. However, a storm suddenly breaks and they frantically gather up their belongings.

Elsewhere, two men deliver a large crate filled with dirt to a mansion. When they drop it, a clawed hand breaks through the wood and attacks one of the men.

Giles has Willow scanning books so that they can be resources for the gang to use. He confides to her that he's going back to England because it seems he's no longer needed by Buffy nor the Scoobies.

Buffy has dinner with her mother but ends the meal quickly by announcing she is going out to patrol. Joyce remarks that she will have to get used to the house being empty and quiet again.

In a cemetery, Buffy encounters a vampire who condenses from a mist and introduces himself as Dracula. She is flattered when he tells her she is known throughout the world, but discomfited when he says her power is rooted in darkness. When she tries to stake the legendary vampire, he disappears. Xander and Willow arrive to see Dracula before he turns into a bat and flies away.

In Giles's apartment, Buffy, Willow, and Anya discuss how amazing Dracula is, and Riley, Xander, and Tara express their jealousy towards the Count. Willow makes an attempt to attract attention to Giles and his usefulness, but the rest seem oblivious to the subtext.

As Xander is walking home alone, he encounters Dracula. Using hypnotic charms and promises of immortality, the vampire persuades Xander to be his emissary and lure the Slayer to him.

Riley goes to Spike to learn about Dracula. Spike warns him that, although Dracula is mostly show and tricks, he is too dangerous for Riley to take on alone.

Buffy awakens to find Dracula in her bedroom. She is helpless against his powers and unable to stop him from biting and drinking from her. Upon waking the next morning, Buffy looks in the mirror and sees the puncture marks on her neck. She hides them with a scarf.

Back in Giles's apartment, the gang discusses their plan of attack. After hearing about Dracula's relationship with his prey, Buffy leaves abruptly. Riley follows her and takes off her scarf, the marks on her neck revealing to the Scoobies that she has been under Dracula's thrall. Meanwhile, Xander has a strange hunger for spiders and attempts to defend the "dark master" to his friends. Xander volunteers to have Buffy stay safely at his place. Willow and Tara use magic to protect the Summers residence, and Giles and Riley go after Dracula.

In Xander's basement, Anya complains about not going after Dracula herself. Xander locks her in the closet and takes the willing Slayer to his master.

Facing Dracula alone, Buffy tries to take control and stake him, but he easily make her put the stake down. Meanwhile, Riley and Giles discover the castle, remarking how they've never noticed it before, and enter carefully. Dracula talks to Buffy of all the things he will teach her about being a Slayer while she struggles to resist him. Xander tries to stop Riley from going after Dracula, but Riley quickly knocks him out. Giles finds himself victim to the Three Sisters, who effectively keep him distracted. Dracula offers his blood to Buffy, and she hesitantly takes a drink.

A flash of memories allows Buffy to break his control over her. Riley rescues Giles from the sister vampires, and they go after Buffy. Buffy and Dracula fight throughout the room until she finally stakes him. Xander complains about being the one who had to eat spiders. After they leave, Dracula comes back from the dust. Buffy stakes him again, knowing he would come back. Dracula attempts to re-form again, but Buffy reminds him that she is standing right there. He slips away in his mist form.

In Giles's apartment, he prepares to tell Buffy about his plans to leave, but she says she wants to talk to him as well. Buffy tells Giles that he hasn't been her Watcher for a while, but she's been wondering about the origin and meaning of her power since they called the First Slayer. Wanting to learn about her power and other Slayers, Buffy asks Giles to be her Watcher again, to train and teach her so she can be better. Pleased, Giles doesn't tell her about his previous plans of leaving Sunnydale.

Buffy comes home and announces to her mom that she's going to the movies with Riley. As she enters her room, she finds a young girl and asks what is she doing there. Joyce tells Buffy that she should take her sister with her if she goes out. In annoyance, Buffy and the girl call out: "Mom!"


  • This episode continues the tradition in the show of Buffy season premiers beginning with a scene in a cemetery ("When She Was Bad," "Anne," "The Freshman," "Bargaining, Part One," "Lessons").
  • Riley retains the scar he got in "Primeval" after removing the behavior modifier from his chest.
  • The Scooby Gang go to the beach, appearing for the second time after "Go Fish."
  • Dracula says Buffy is a renowned killer. In "Bad Girls," Buffy told Faith that "being a Slayer is not the same as being a killer"; in "This Year's Girl," Faith (in Buffy's body) said: "I am not a killer! I am the Slayer!"; in "Restless," Buffy dreamed Riley called her "killer"; and, in "The Gift," Buffy will conclude that "a Slayer really is just a killer after all" until she figures out that death is her gift.
  • Dracula appears for the first time, to eventually become a reluctant ally of the Scooby Gang, mainly due to the connection he forms with Xander in this episode, as it will be seen in Wolves at the Gate, Part One and New Rules, Part Two.
  • When questioning Dracula's identity, Buffy mentions having encountered vampires who named themselves after Anne Rice's vampire character Lestat. This is the first indication that some vampires appreciate Rice's perspective on vampirism; in contrast, "School Hard" and "Darla" depicted some vampires as having contempt for Rice's concepts.
  • Xander wonders if Dracula knows Frankenstein, a creature Angel encounters in the dubious canon story Angel vs. Frankenstein.
  • In "I Robot, You Jane," Jenny had books from the library scanned, and she teased Giles would soon join the 20th century "with three whole years to spare." In this episode, Giles has Willow scan his personal collection — with three months before the end of the century.
  • Dracula will take Xander under his thrall again in "Antique" and New Rules, Part Three.
  • Spike mentions Dracula owning him eleven pounds, which is explained in the dubious canon story Spike vs. Dracula, Part One.
  • Dracula is the third vampire to drink from Buffy. She was previously bitten by two other well-known vampires: the Master in "Prophecy Girl" and Angel in "Graduation Day, Part Two."
  • Spike will drink from Buffy next, in Desperate Times, and Willow will comment she knew Buffy was bitten once again from the moment she saw her scarf, in reference to Buffy's behavior in this episode.
  • Riley gets jealous of Dracula biting Buffy, and he will talk to her about his desire to even the score in "Into the Woods."
  • Xander says that "blood is life" when talking about Dracula, which is later repeated by Spike. This ties into an ongoing theme regarding blood within the season: tasting Dracula's blood assures Buffy of her role, the shared blood between her and her sister ("Blood Ties"), and the key to saving her ("The Gift").
  • Joyce appears to be unaware that Tara and Willow are a couple, remarking to them that she feels like "giving up on men altogether." In the next episode ("Real Me"), Joyce will appear to know about their relationship.
  • Dracula's revelation of the inherent darkness of the nature of the Slayer foreshadows the demonic origin of the Slayer lineage, as it will be revealed in "Get It Done."
  • Dracula says to Buffy: "You think you know... what you are, what's to come. You haven't even begun," echoing the words Buffy dreamed of Tara telling her in "Restless."
  • Xander refers to getting "funny syphilis," which occurred in "Pangs."
  • Giles prepares to leave Sunnydale but changes his mind due to Buffy asking him to be her Watcher once again. In "Tabula Rasa," he will actually leave for England.
  • Buffy turns to Giles to dig into her calling's past, notably deepening her study on past Slayers in "Fool for Love."
  • This marks the first appearance of Dawn, Buffy's younger sister, who will continue to be featured in every remaining episode and will be a very important arc to the show. Her true nature will eventually be revealed in "No Place Like Home."
  • When Buffy complained about Faith in "Faith, Hope & Trick," Joyce replied: "It's probably better that you were an only child." This changes with Dawn's appearance in this episode.
  • Despite only appearing after Dracula already left town, Dawn will mention her memories of the event in New Rules, Part Three.



Organizations and titles[]




Rituals and spells[]

Death count[]

  • Two vampires, staked by Buffy.
  • Two movers, killed by Dracula.

Behind the scenes[]


  • The vampire who was going to show Buffy a darker side of herself was originally envisioned as "just another vampire who rode a horse and was all cool," says writer Marti Noxon. "I kept saying 'Dracula, Dracula,' and Joss [Whedon] was like 'Why not Dracula?' Nobody owns Dracula, he's public domain."[2]
  • Noxon says that the scene in which Dracula implies that Buffy would "make an amazing vampire" thematically resonates with the questions of identity with which Buffy struggles throughout season 5.[2]
  • Michele Waitman and Melissa Barker replace Sophia Crawford as Sarah Michelle Gellar's stunt double from this episode on.
  • Emma Caulfield is added to the opening credits beginning with this episode.
  • Amber Benson is now credited with "as Tara" under her name.
  • The episode includes many aspects from the mythology featured in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula, such as Dracula traveling in casket full of soil, his shapeshifting and hypnotic abilities, Xander eating insects similarly to Dracula's servant Renfield, and the three Brides of Dracula.
  • E.J. Gage, who portrays Mover #1 in this episode, also portrays Mordar the Bentback in the Angel episode "Judgment."
  • Scott Berman portrays Mover #2 in this episode and the toy vendor in the Angel episode "Blind Date."
  • The first of the Three Sisters is portrayed by Jennifer Slimko, who also portrayed the unidentified Romanian woman in "Five by Five."
  • This episode marks Michelle Trachtenberg's first appearance in the series.


  • "Buffy vs. Dracula" had an audience of 3.9 million households upon its original airing.[3]


  • In Australia, this episode was shown as the season 4 finale cliffhanger. Viewers had to wait three months to find out who the new sister was.

Deleted scenes[]

  • Dracula trying to convince Buffy in this exchange was cut due to length:[4]
    Dracula: "I know intimately what it is to be different. Human, but not quite... Of the world but still an outsider... You see? We understand each other. Both of us are born of darkness, masters in the art of death-"
    Buffy: "No. Hold it. Enough with the darkness. I'm born of Joyce, pal."
  • Originally, Buffy would have "defeated" Dracula this way:[4]
    Buffy arms herself with a lit torch, when Giles and Riley burst into the room.
    Dracula: (sends Buffy one final look full of pain and fury) "What a shame. You could have been great, you know." (He jumps out of the window, changes himself into a wolf, and lopes into the dark woods).

Pop culture references[]

  • Buffy mentions vampires calling themselves Lestat de Lioncourt, the fictional character from The Vampire Chronicles novel series.
  • Buffy says the title "killer" sounds like she paints clowns, a reference to the serial killer John Wayne Gacy, known as the Killer Clown, who took the hobby of painting clowns during his time on prison.
  • Xander references the vampire character Count von Count from the children's show Sesame Street.
  • Xander wonders if Dracula knows Frankenstein, referring to the title character of the 1818 horror novel Frankenstein.
  • Willow tells Giles to call her "the computer whisperer," in reference to the 1998 movie The Horse Whisperer.


  • After Buffy is bitten by Dracula, it cuts to day outside of Buffy's house, and the actual address of 1313 can be seen instead of Buffy's address 1630, which has been pointed out/seen in several episodes.
  • When Buffy is in bed with Riley, in the close up shot of Buffy's head, you can see Riley's elbow near the upper left corner. But when it changes to a medium close-up shot with both Buffy and Riley, you can see that Riley's arm is bent with his elbow under Buffy's arm.
  • A water bottle is visible on the mantel in Dracula's mansion, adjacent to more Dracula-appropriate urns and candles.


  • Vertical Horizon — "Finding Me"
  • Thomas Wanker — "Dracula's Power / Opening / Buffy Fights Dracula / Dracula Bites Buffy"
  • Thomas Wanker — original score

International titles[]

  • Armenian: "Բաֆֆին Դրակուլաի դեմ" (Buffy versus Dracula)
  • Czech: "Buffy proti Drákulovi" (Buffy versus Dracula)
  • Finnish: "Buffy vastaan Dracula" (Buffy versus Dracula)
  • French: "Buffy Contre Dracula" (Buffy versus Dracula)
  • German: "Buffy vs. Dracula"
  • Hungarian: "Buffy kontra Drakula" (Buffy versus Dracula)
  • Italian: "Il Morso del Vampiro" (The Vampire's Bite)
  • Japanese: "ドラキュラ" (Dracula)
  • Polish: "Buffy kontra Drakula" (Buffy versus Dracula)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "Buffy Versus Drácula" (Buffy versus Dracula)
  • Romanian: "Buffy vs. Dracula"
  • Russian: "Баффи против Дракулы" (Buffy versus Dracula)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Buffy Versus Drácula" (Buffy versus Dracula)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Buffy Contra Drácula" (Buffy versus Dracula)



Promotional stills[]

Behind the scenes[]



Xander: "I'm exhausted just lookin' at those two. All the splashing and jumping and running. Shouldn't relaxing involve less exertion?"
Anya: "Absolutely. Exertion can lead to sweatiness."
Tara: "Oh, which can cause the, um, 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."
Buffy: "Where's my burger?"
Riley: "Yeah, man, I'm starving. Cow me."
Xander: "The, uh, fire’s not cooperating. It's comforting to know that I lack the culinary finesse of a caveman."
Willow: "Ignis incende."
Buffy: "Willow, check you out! Witch-fu."
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 fan boy thing? 'Cause I've fought more than a couple pimply overweight vamps that called themselves 'Lestat'."
Xander: "Please. He was no big whoop."
Willow: "No big whoop? What about that thing where he turned himself into a bat? That was awesome!"
Giles: "It must have been, yes. I must admit, I’m sorry I missed that."
Willow: "Me, too! The whole time I was thinking 'Gosh, I wish Giles were here. He'd know what to do!'"
Willow: "I think we have Dracula factoids."
Xander: "Like any of that's enough to fight the dark Master... bator."


  1. "The Mortuary." Buffy.com. Archived from the original on June 9, 2001.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Mythology, romance and grabbing ratings." BBC. Retrieved on May 9, 2021.
  3. "Nielsen Ratings for Buffy's Fifth Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on July 8, 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Paul Ruditis, The Watcher's Guide, Volume 3. Simon Spotlight Entertainment, July 2004.