Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 3, Episode 6

Band Candy (10 Nov. 1998)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Fantasy
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 1,207 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 1 critic

Adults throughout Sunnydale behave like immature teenagers after they eat cursed candy.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Peg Stewart ...
Ms. Barton


The students must study for standardized (SAT) tests and sell candy for the school band's new uniforms, even gang members who aren't in the band, but it's concocted by mayor Richard Wilkins's partner, Mr. Trick, and his subcontractor Ethan Rayne's men. Buffy lies to everyone so she can visit Angel, who is nearly normal again, just weak. Giles and ma Joyce Summers find out they are abused as false alibis but just send Buffy to bed, then work out a coordinated schedule for her and become close. The spiked candy turns adults into uninhibited, irresponsible 'teenagers'. Realizing vampires should be swarming, Buffy knocks their demonic intention out of Ethan... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Drama | Fantasy


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 November 1998 (USA)  »

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The accent used by Anthony Head for Young Giles is his own. See more »


Just before Buffy's auto accident, the camera cranes down from an overhead traffic light to show her car approaching the intersection that the light controls. However, painted on the street below are the standard "Stop" markings for an intersection controlled by stop signs. Obviously, the traffic light is a prop and does not belong there. See more »


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.'
See more »


References Buffy the Vampire Slayer: When She Was Bad (1997) See more »


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
See more »

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User Reviews

A really funny episode
2 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Pretty much any time Ethan Rayne comes to town, things get fun. In this episode, Ethan returns with another scheme to disrupt life in Sunnydale and the results are pretty hilarious. "Band Candy" is a great episode. It explores ideas of growing up and taking responsibility, but still manages to be one of the funniest episodes of the season. It also adds another layer to the often complicated Joyce and Giles relationship, which will be referenced again in season three's "Earshot" and season five's "Forever." All in all, you shouldn't skip this episode.

The episode revolves around the Mayor's newest plan. Unlike other politicians, The Mayor keeps his campaign promises and he's cut some pretty unsavory deals to get where he is today. In an effort to fulfill his obligations, he has to keep the residents of Sunnydale distracted for awhile. Enter Ethan Rayne and his candy plan. Sunnydale High's marching band needs new uniforms and all the students are expected to sell chocolate bars in order to help finance them. But this isn't ordinary candy. It has a little bit of magic mixed into the recipe that makes everyone who eats it act like a teenager. In no time, the adults of Sunnydale are drag racing, partying at The Bronze and generally blowing off their responsibilities to have a good time.

At first Buffy and the Scoobies are happy with the changes. Joyce lets Buffy drive the car, teachers begin skipping school and everyone seems to be a pretty good mood. Things begin to deteriorate fairly quickly, though. Giles as a teenager is kind of... Spike-like. Rolling his eyes, smoking cigarettes and starting fights with everyone he meets. Joyce is totally enamored of him and the two of them are all over each other... Much to Buffy's dismay. In fact, all the adults are beginning to get annoying. Cordy, Oz, Willow and Xander work to undo the candy's spell, while Buffy, Giles, Joyce and Principal Snyder confront Ethan and try to stop the Mayor's plan.

This is a really funny episode. Giles and Joyce are just hilarious together. Their speech patterns, their clothes, and their personalities are all different as teenagers and they play off each other so well. Giles urging Buffy to punch Ethan is great. "You're my Slayer and I say punch his capped teeth down his throat." And Snyder is so, SO fun as he hangs out with the Scoobies and hits on "Foxy Ladies" at The Bronze. Willow and Xander's secret "affair" continues and for some reason I really like that their shoes match as they play footsie under the table. It's just a cute little touch.

"Band Candy" is all responsibility and the theme comes up over and over throughout the episode. Giles lecturing Buffy about the SATs, Joyce refusing to let Buffy drive, The Mayor insisting that he has to keep his word to the big snake demon in the sewer, the children acting MORE responsible as the adults get LESS so, etc... "Band Candy" utilizes the monster-of-the-week format to give us a metaphor for growing up and taking responsibility for our lives. Buffy's becoming an adult. Even when it's not always such a positive experience, like having to pay for the damage to her mother's "Geek Machine," she has to start taking charge of her destiny.

On the downside, I wish Angel had been in this episode more. Granted he gets his own "17 Again" episode over on "Angel." (Season four's "Spin the Bottle.") But, still, I would have liked to see him reacting to the teenagers invasion in "Band Candy."

My favorite part of the episode: Principal Snyder tagging along with Buffy and the others. "Summers! You drive like a spaz!"

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