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No Place Like Home

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 5, Episode 5
505 NoPlaceLikeHome
Air date October 24, 2000
Written by Douglas Petrie
Directed by David Solomon
Episode Guide
"Out of My Mind"
Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy
Nicholas Brendon Xander
Alyson Hannigan Willow
Marc Blucas Riley
Emma Caulfield Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg Dawn
James Marsters Spike
Anthony Stewart Head Giles
Guest Starring
Clare Kramer Glory
Charlie Weber Ben
Ravil Isyanov Monk
Kristine Sutherland Joyce Summers
Co Starring
James Wellington Nightwatchman
Paul Hayes Older Nightwatchman
Staci Lawrence Customer
John Sarkisian Old Monk

"No Place Like Home" is the fifth episode of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and is the eighty-third episode altogether. It was written by Douglas Petrie and directed by David Solomon. It originally broadcast on October 24, 2000.

Buffy Summers looks for a mystical source behind her mother's illness, but finds out more than she bargained for.


505 NoPlaceLikeHome1

The monks perform the ritual to turn The Key into a human.

Two months ago, several monks rush to perform a ritual while a powerful force of some sort threatens their lives. In the present, Buffy stakes a vampire outside an abandoned building, and then gets caught by the night watchman, who thinks she's a teen looking for a rave. As she turns to leave, he tells her not to forget her glow-ball, an orb which Buffy doesn't recognize but takes to investigate.

Buffy makes breakfast for her mom, who is still suffering from headaches that the doctors can't explain. Dawn takes credit for the breakfast, telling Joyce that Buffy only helped. Joyce and Dawn bond (Joyce calling Dawn her "little punkin' belly"), which leaves Buffy feeling like an outsider. Rupert Giles' big opening is less than successful at first, but eventually, the Magic Box gets to be so popular that he can't handle it all on his own. Buffy presents the orb to Giles, who can't explain it right away.

505 NoPlaceLikeHome2

Giles before his grand opening.

While picking up a prescription for her mother at the hospital, Buffy encounters the night watchman again as he's being strapped down to a gurney. He's less than stable, but he manages to warn Buffy that she will be attacked through her family.

A monk works on a blueprint in an empty building just as the Beast smashes through a large steel door, revealing itself to be a blond female. The Beast tries to torture information about The Key out of the monk, but he won't tell her anything. She starts to speak crazily until she puts her fingers to the head of a security guard and seems to suck the life force from him.

Buffy assumes that the danger she was warned about is what is causing her mother's headaches. Anya Jenkins recommends to Buffy that she perform a ritual to reveal any spells that may be affecting her family. Buffy, eager to help Riley feel needed, offers to let him help her with the spell. He realizes what she's doing; then they talk and agree to take care of each other.

505 NoPlaceLikeHome3

Buffy performs the Tirer La Couture ritual.

Buffy performs the ritual in her bedroom, then walks around her house to look for anything unusual. She runs into Joyce, and finds nothing strange about her which proves that the headaches are not being caused by supernatural means. However Buffy does see something unusual... Dawn's image flashes in and out of pictures around the house. When she enters Dawn's room, Buffy sees Dawn's possessions, bed, desk, and decorations also fading in and out, as well as Dawn herself. Buffy confronts Dawn about it, and she concludes that Dawn isn't her sister. Buffy physically attacks and threatens Dawn, telling her to stay away from their mother, but Dawn appears truly confused and doesn't understand Buffy's sudden change in attitude.

Giles calls to tell Buffy about the orb, a Dagon Sphere, and its purpose of protection from an unnamed evil (warning her that things that are unnamed are usually very dangerous). Buffy returns to the abandoned building in hopes of finding more information. Buffy encounters Spike lurking outside her home and demands to know what he was doing there. She is unsatisfied with his explanation, but lets him off with a warning, and he becomes frustrated.

505 NoPlaceLikeHome4


Looking down, Buffy notices a bunch of Spike's discarded cigarette butts; he must have been loitering there for quite some time. Shaking her head, she proceeds to return to the warehouse as Dawn watches the whole exchange from the window.

Buffy comes up against the Beast, who quickly proves to be far too powerful for the Slayer to handle. After taking quite a beating, Buffy is able to escape with the monk. The Beast throws a tantrum, causing the room to collapse on her, which delays her pursuit. Back at the Magic Box, Giles offers Anya a job when he realizes that the job is too much for just one, and that she enjoys handling the money.

In his last moments of life, the monk warns Buffy that she must protect The Key. He tells her that The Key is a collection of energy put into a human form—Dawn's form. They sent her to the Slayer to be protected from those looking for it. Buffy doesn't understand as she, her mom and all her friends have memories of Dawn's whole life, but the monk tells her that her memories are false. He also tells her that Dawn has no idea she is anything but human, and now not only needs the protection of the Slayer, but also the love of a sister. The monk dies, and Buffy returns home shaken by her new knowledge to find Dawn and Joyce waiting for her. Buffy apologizes to Dawn, who eventually accepts and the two girls are able to relate on at least one subject: their concern for their mother.


  • Giles officially opens The Magic Box. While the Scooby Gang met in the library during Seasons 1-3 and at Giles' apartment in Season 4, the Magic Box will be the gang's HQ until it is destroyed at the end of Season 6.
  • Dawn was fading in a family photograph, emphasizing she was not real. A similar occurrence happened when Dawn fell in a coma because of the end of magic in "The Watcher"
  • Anya gets her first job: as a retailer in the Magic Box.
  • Giles said for someone to rip the Magic Box's bell off it's hinges since it always meant someone was coming to buy items. Ironically, Buffy would actually do this when she was stuck in a time-loop by The Trio in "Life Serial".
  • This is the first episode to mention Joyce's illness.
  • This is the first time Spike sees Buffy after he came to the realization that he loves her in "Out of My Mind". It's also the second of three occasions when she calls him 'William.' The first is in "Something Blue," when they get engaged under the influence of Willow's spell, and Buffy asks if he wants "William the Bloody" or just "Spike" on the invitations. The third and last is in "As You Were", when she ends their sexual relationship.
  • In Glory's rant, after interrogating the monk, she mentions "someone sits on a tuffet". Dawn has been referred to as Miss Muffet in other episodes, like in the dream that Faith had before emerging from her coma in "This Year's Girl".
  • Joyce refers to Dawn by her pet name, 'Little pumpkin belly'. Buffy never had such a name although Joyce sometimes calls her 'Sleepyhead'.
  • The security guard will reappear in "Listening to Fear" along with the wife and two daughters he mentioned.

Body Count

  • Two monks, tortured and killed by Gloryficus
  • One vampire, dusted by Buffy
  • The last monk, tortured by Glorificus and dies having been saved by Buffy

Behind the Scenes


  • The original run of "No Place Like Home" attracted 6.4 million viewers, the highest rated episode of the season.

Pop Culture References

  • The episode's title is a reference to a line from The Wizard of Oz.
  • There are several references to the Marvel Comic Book continuity in this episode.  Riley refers to the training area in the back of The Magic Box as the "Danger Room" the training center for the X-Men; and when Buffy helps Ben hold down the security guard and Ben remarks about her strength she is about to give a answer when he replies "Radioactive spider bite?" a reference how to Peter Parker became Spider-Man.
  • The vampire Buffy fights in the beginning is wearing a shirt of German heavy metal band Accept showing the Cover of their "Russian Roulette" album.


International titles

  • French: Soeurs ennemies (Enemy sisters)
  • German: Sein und Schein (Reality and Illusion)

Goofs, Bloopers and Continuity Errors

  • When Buffy apologized to Dawn and the camera angle switches to behind Dawn facing Buffy, you can see the boom mic bobbing in the upper left-hand corner.
  • When Buffy is sent flying, there are faint traces of visible wires supporting the stunt woman against the wall in the background.
  • Buffy picks up her mother's medication at the hospital. She sees Ben Wilkinson, and you hear him say "not to be rampantly sexist, but you have some serious muscles for a girl". However, his words don't match his mouth.
  • At 24:14, as the camera tracks Buffy stepping back into her circle of sand, it also picks up the boom microphone in the upper left corner of the frame. 
  • During Buffy's brawl with Glory, Glory grabs and wrenches Buffy's arms, causing her body to descend in pain. However, in the next shot on Glory when she is talking about regenerating worms, Buffy is standing up before she head-butts Glory.
  • At the end of the episode right after Dawn storms upstairs, Joyce is reading a magazine and there is an advertisement that features Sarah Michelle Gellar in the ad.



Buffy - "What are you doing here?"
Spike - "Look..."
Buffy - "Five words or less!"
Spike - "Out ... for ... a ... walk ... Bitch."
Buffy - "Out for a walk at night by my house. No one has time for this William."
Spike - "On your merry way, then. You, know contrary to ones self involved world your house happens to be directly between parts...and, and other parts of this town. And I would pass by during the day, but I feel I'm outgrowing my whole "burst into flames" phase."
Buffy - "Fine. Keep going, I'll cut you a break."
Spike - "Oh, yeah. Okay, let me won't kill me? Wooo...the whole crowd-pleasing threats-and-swagger routine. Outstandingly original. I'm just passing through, satisfied. You know I really hope so, God knows you need some satisfaction in life besides shagging Captain Cardboard and I never really liked you anyway and...and you have stupid hair."
Vampire - "I've always wanted to kill the Slayer."
Buffy - "And I've always wanted piano lessons. So really... who's surprised we've got this unexpressed rage? But honestly, I think I express mine better. Tell you what... you find yourself a good anger management class, and I'll jam this pokey wood stick through your heart."
Buffy - [pulls a glowing orb out of her bag] "What the hell is it?"
Giles - "It appears to be paranormal in origin."
Willow - "How can you tell?"
Giles - "Well, it's so shiny."
Anya - "[to a customer who just finished her purchase] Please go."
Xander - "Anya, the Shopkeepers Union of America called. They wanted me to tell you that 'Please go' just got replaced with 'Have a nice day'."
Anya - "But I have their money. Who cares what kind of day they have?"
Xander - "No one. It's just a long cultural tradition of raging insincerity. Embrace it."
Ben - "You know, not to be rampantly sexist in the workplace, but you've got some serious muscles for a girl."
Buffy - "I ... um ..."
Ben - "Radioactive spider bite."
Buffy - "How'd you guess?"

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