|Buffy the Vampire Slayer|
|Season 1, Episode 10|
|Air date||May 12, 1997 (USA)|
|Written by|| Joss Whedon (story)|
David Greenwalt (teleplay)
|Directed by||Bruce Seth Green|
"The Puppet Show"
"Out of Mind, Out of Sight"
|Sarah Michelle Gellar||Buffy|
|Anthony Stewart Head|| Giles |
|Mark Metcalf||The Master|
|Andrew J. Ferchland|| Collin |
|J. Robin Miller||Laura|
|Terry Cain||Mrs. Tishler|
|Scott Harlan||Aldo Gianfranco|
|Johnny Green||Way Cool Guy|
|Patti Ross||Cool Guy's Mom|
|Sean Moran||Stage Manager|
"Nightmares" is the tenth episode of the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and is the tenth episode overall. It was directed by Bruce Seth Green and written by Joss Whedon an David Greenwalt. The episode originally broadcasted on May 12, 1997.
The residents of Sunnydale are in a dilemma when their Nightmares start to come to life.
Buffy has a nightmare about going to The Master's lair and being choked by him. Her mother shakes Buffy awake, and, as Buffy wakes up, she is excited to be spending the coming weekend with her father. Buffy confides to Willow that she thinks she might have something to do with her parents' divorce. In a class, when the teacher asks Wendell to read from the text book, he opens it. However, tarantulas crawl out of it. Buffy then sees Billy standing in the doorway, saying he is sorry.
The next day, as the Master explains to Collin, the Anointed One, how wonderful he finds fear, Buffy is nervous about being picked up by her father after school, and her mother calms her down. At school, Willow and Xander are worried about the spiders, and want to talk to Giles about it. Giles mutters that he "got lost", seemingly in the stacks of books, and we assume that something that he fears happened to him. Giles has no information on the spiders, and suggests talking to Wendell. Wendell explains that he loves spiders, but says that the spiders hate Wendell because Wendell's brother killed his pet spiders when he was off at camp. He explains that the spiders crawling out is a recurring nightmare for him, but this is the first time it happened. In the meantime, Cordelia lets Buffy know about a history test that Buffy has not studied for. Buffy has a hard time even finding the class, and the test is over in what feels like little time, and Buffy has not even filled in her name. She once again sees Billy, outside the class. As break-time begins, Laura takes a smoking break in the basement, where she is assaulted by an ugly man saying "Lucky nineteen".
Buffy and Giles interview Laura in the hospital, where they hear about "lucky nineteen". Outside, they are shocked by the doctor saying that she got off easy, until the doctor explains about Billy, who has been in a coma from assault with the same M.O.. Back at school the Scoobies are trying to come up with an explanation while a greaser kid's mother embarrasses him in front of his friends. As they are talking, Xander finds out he is in his underwear. As Buffy goes into the library to consult with Giles, he says that he has forgotten how to read. He has, however, managed to find a newspaper with a picture of Billy in an article. The article says that Billy has been in a coma for a week, which contradicts Buffy having seen him. Giles theorizes she might have been seeing Billy's astral projection.
Buffy's father shows up, and asks to talk to her. Outside school, he tells Buffy that her parents' divorce is indeed her fault. Furthermore, he claims to be bored by their weekends together and decides to call the whole thing off. As Buffy is crying, he scolds her. Xander and Willow show up in the library, and they realize Wendell's, Giles's and Xander's mishaps were all based on their nightmares, which seem to be coming true for everyone. Buffy finds Billy's astral body, and the ugly man who assaulted Laura finds both of them.
As Buffy and Billy run away, the Scoobies decide to find Buffy and explain the situation to her. As Buffy and Billy run away from the ugly man, Billy explains to her that he was responsible for his baseball team losing, and that it is a bad thing to lose at games. As Buffy and Billy find themselves in the cemetery at night-time, Willow finds herself starring in the Madame Butterfly opera. Willow is overcome by stage fright, and runs away. Xander is chasing one chocolate bar after another, until he finds one he has not had since his sixth birthday. However, he is soon assaulted by a knife-wielding clown. Back at the cemetery, the Master buries Buffy alive.
Still chased by the clown, Xander teams up with Willow and Giles. He decides to confront the clown, punching him and feeling liberated. As Willow, Xander and Giles find Buffy's grave, Giles claims it is his nightmare, letting Buffy die. Buffy crawls out of the grave — a vampire. They all decide to wake up Billy from his coma to stop the nightmares. In the hospital, they find Billy's astral body near Billy's comatose body. As the ugly man finds him, Buffy confronts him. After knocking him out, she forces Billy to face him. Billy wakes up and everything is back to normal.
As Billy's Little League coach shows up, it is obvious he is the inspiration for the ugly man, and that it was he who put Billy into a coma after they lost the game. He tries to run after Buffy confronts him, but is stopped by Giles and Xander and put into jail. Buffy and her father leave for their weekend together. Willow then asks Xander if he was still attracted to "Vamp Buffy" and he at first nervously denies it, but then admits he was, calling himself "sick" and need help"; Willow agrees.
- Buffy's father, Hank Summers, makes his first appearance on the show. He would later be seen in only a handful of episodes.
- Willow's fears of appearing on-stage return later.
- In this episode are confirmed some fears discussed in the previous episode The Puppet Show. Willow Rosenberg afraid of the audience, Xander Harris is afraid of clowns. But make no reference to the fear of Buffy Summers with dummies. On the other hand, Buffy has other fears, such as the fear of not seeing her father more, having been responsible for their separation, the fear of not being able to solve a proof, fear of being buried alive, being weaker than the demon she faces, and being transformed into a vampire.
- Giles' fear was revealed to Buffy dying, causing him to consequently fail in his duty of being a Watcher. Giles would later be forced to deal with this fear when Buffy died more permenantly in "The Gift". ("Bargaining, Part One").
- Buffy's fear of being buried alive comes to pass when she is resurrected and awakes in her coffin in which she had to claw herself out of.
- The Master burying her alive also foreshadows that he is going to kill her in the Season Final "Prophecy Girl".
- This is the first time The Master and Buffy actually meet face to face. Although they were only dreams.
- This is the first time we see one of the Scoobies transformed into a vampire.
- This is the first of Buffy's birthdays we see and it is confirmed that she is turning 16.
- This is marks the first occurance of Astral Projection.
- Cordelia Chase
- Laura Egler (1st Appearance)
- Aldo Gianfranco (1st Appearance)
- Rupert Giles
- Xander Harris
- Kiddy League Coach (1st Appearance)
- Killer Clown (1st Appearance)
- The Master
- Billy Palmer (1st Appearance)
- Willow Rosenberg
- Wendell Sears (1st Appearance)
- Buffy Summers
- Hank Summers (1st Appearance)
- Joyce Summers
- Mrs. Tishler (1st Appearance)
- Ugly Man (1st Appearance)
- A punk tribe (1st Appearance)
- A mother punk (1st Appearance)
- The History Teatcher
- The Opera backstage
Organizations and Titles
- The Church (Order of Aurelius)
- Summers' residence
- The Cemetery
- Sunnydale High
- Sunnydale High School library
- Sunnydale High School gymnasium
- Sunnydale High School baseball field
Behind the Scenes
- This episode features the only time in the series Buffy appears in vamp makeup.
- "Nightmares" pulled in an audience of 2.4 million households.
- A line of Xander's was cut from the original script due to length:
- Xander - Okay, despite the rat-like chill that just crawled up my spine, I'm going to say this very calmly: Helllppp ...
- An exchange between Giles and Buffy was also cut from the original script due to length:
- Giles - Are you all right? You look a bit piqued.
- Buffy - Hospital lighting. It does nothing for my fabulous complexion.
- Giles - Are you... sleeping all right?
- Buffy - I'll sleep better when we find this guy. Nothing like kicking the crap out of a bad guy to perk up my day.
Pop Culture References
- Before burying Buffy alive, the Master quotes Walt Disney's Cinderella by saying, "a dream is a wish your heart makes."
- Billy's statement, "I had the strangest dream, and you were in it, and you" is a reference to Dorothy Gale's awakening in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.
- Speaking of Cordelia Chase, Willow Rosenberg asks, "Why is she so Evita like?" a reference to Eva Peron on whose life the musical and later film Evita is based on.
- Nerf Herder can be seen briefly inside written inside Willows locker. Nerf Herder is the band that composed the theme song for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- Orquesta y Coros del Teatro Nacional - "Madame Butterfly 'Bimba Dagli Occhi Pieni Di Malia' - Puccini" (Sung during Willow's nightmare.)
- Walter Murphy - original score
- French: Billy
- Portuguese: Pesadelos (Nightmares)
- Finnish: Painajaisia (Nightmares)
- German: Die Macht der Träume (The Power of Dreams)
- Sarah Michelle Gellar has revealed in interviews that she shares the same phobia as her character, fear of being buried alive, and that it made filming in graveyards and mausoleums especially difficult during her time on Buffy.