Buffyverse Wiki
Buffyverse Wiki

Okay... Let's deal with this. Jesse was an excruciating loser who couldn't get a date with anyone in the sighted community! Look at me. I'm a new man!

Jesse McNally was a Sunnydale High School student and close friend of Alexander Harris and Willow Rosenberg.[1] In 1996, Jesse was sired as a vampire and became a member of the Order of Aurelius, but was dusted shortly afterward by Xander, who accidentally staked him.[2]



Jesse had a crush on Cordelia Chase about the time that Buffy Summers transferred to Sunnydale High. While at times summoning enough confidence to talk to Cordelia, she constantly dismissed him due to his nervous "puppy attitude" around her, which caused him to temporarily back off.[1]

One night, at the Bronze, Jesse was seduced by the vampire Darla to be taken to the Master, while Willow was also lured by Thomas. Although he was briefly rescued,[1] the Aurelian vampires kidnapped Jesse back from Buffy, Willow, and Xander.[2]


In their lair at a sunken church, Darla offered Jesse for the Master, stating his blood was "pure." The Master was offended that she would offer him a human who had already been fed off. Jesse was then sired as part of a trap for the Slayer, the vampires describing they were promoting him from "food" to "bait."[2]

B1x02 Jesse

Jesse is confronted by Xander.

The newly sired Jesse went alongside Darla, Luke, and other vampires to the Bronze for the Harvest, a ritual which would release the Master from his mystical prison. Jesse went after Cordelia and took her to dance. He was then annoyed when Darla took Cordelia as the next to be sacrificed to the Master's Vessel.[2]

While Buffy arrived to stop the Harvest, Jesse was confronted by Xander. While they talked, he was dusted when a girl accidentally knocked Jesse onto the stake Xander had been wielding against him.[2]


Years later, Xander revisited the experience of having to stake Jesse when talking to San Francisco Police Department detective Robert Dowling, who was reluctant to stake his newly sired partner Miranda Cheung. Xander remarked that, even to this day, when he thought back to it he could only see the face of his friend.[3]

Powers and abilities[]

I feel good, Xander! I feel strong! I'm connected, man, to everything! I can hear the worms in the earth!

Jesse possessed the common powers and weaknesses of a vampire. He also showed the typical attitude of newly-sired vampires, astonished by his newfound powers and immortality.[2]

Behind the scenes[]

  • He was portrayed by Eric Balfour.
  • The script for "Welcome to the Hellmouth" described Jesse's entrance: "They are approached by JESSE, their bud. He is a little more awkward than Xander, a little less likely to become a lady killer in his later years."
  • Joss Whedon planned to include Balfour in the opening credit sequence of the first episode, to make it even more shocking when this supposed main character was immediately killed off. There was not enough money to do this at the time,[4] but Whedon later used the trick in the sixth season, putting Amber Benson in the credits for "Seeing Red," the episode in which her character Tara is killed.
  • An original plotline for "Conversations with Dead People" would have involved the First Evil taking Jesse's form to taunt Xander.[5]
  • Danny Strong claimed in the book Into Every Generation a Slayer Is Born that Joss Whedon originally wrote the role with him in mind after being impressed with him on the unaired pilot. Strong auditioned for the role, but was unsuccessful, though he was later cast as Jonathan Levinson.




Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Classic