Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1, Episode 10

Nightmares (12 May 1997)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Fantasy
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 1,372 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

Buffy and her friends discover that their worst nightmares have become reality.



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Title: Nightmares (12 May 1997)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Andrew J. Ferchland ...
J. Robin Miller ...
Ms. Tishler (as Terry Cain)
Scott Harlan ...
Brian Pietro ...


At the hell-mouth, the Master of evil explains to his boy heir Collin that fear rules people better then love or hate. He manages to use the young schoolboy Billy Palmer to make every student of Sunnydale High's terrifying nightmares come true, ranging from Xander appearing in class wearing only boxer-shorts to being chased by murderers, losing one's favorite abilities or poisonous spiders coming out of one's schoolbooks... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 May 1997 (USA)  »

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When they discuss Wendell's spiders, Xander says, "I'm unruffled by spiders. Now, if a bunch of Nazis crawled all over my face..." Later, when he enters a schoolroom where his clown nightmare will take place, swastikas are spray-painted on the wall behind him. See more »


Giles loses the ability to read as one of his nightmares. His other is that Buffy dies. If he can't read, and no one said anything, how does he know that they're at Buffy's grave? See more »


Xander: Probably be faster if we split up to look for her.
Rupert Giles: Good idea.
[Xander and Giles go in opposite directions leaving Willow standing there alone]
Willow: Uh-uh, faster, but not really safer.
See more »


Referenced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Surprise (1998) See more »


Vieni La Sera
(from Madame Butterfly)
Performed by Scott Harlan
See more »

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User Reviews

Nightmares become real.
8 June 2014 | by (victoria b.c canada) – See all my reviews

A boy, Billy Palmer, is in a coma after a controversial incident with his baseball team. Soon after, things start to spiral out of control. The weird, yet harmless, Wendell, has a bunch of tarantula's invade his classroom. Xander finds himself dealing with creepy clowns and being nude in class. Willow bombs on stage, while Buffy has to deal with being a vampire and her absent father. Dreams are turning into reality and the key to stopping all of it may be waking up Billy Palmer.

I honestly thought "Angel" was my favorite episode from season one. It turns out that's not the case. This one is just as good. Not only is it innovative and brilliant, but scary as well. Dreams are supposed to be dreams, that's it. You wake up from a bad dream and usually everything is fine. Dreams are turned into reality in this episode and it made for riveting storytelling. Right off the bat we are treated to a very suspenseful scene, a vampire closing in on Buffy. Everything just clicked in this episode for many reasons. It was great to see Buffy so vulnerable and petrified. It added another dimension to Buffy's character and I was impressed by the range of SMG. She absolutely nailed her performance in this episode, I was wowed by her. Wait until you see the scene with Buffy and her Dad. I won't spoil it, but it's potent beyond belief and had me teary eyed. SMG was getting better and better with each episode. There are other memorable moments. The creepy clown gave me the willies and I felt the buried alive scene was pretty suspenseful as well. This episode isn't afraid to push the envelope. Xander, Giles and Willow's plights are tame compared to Buffy. That doesn't mean they weren't great stories because they were. Even Cordelia is a tad sympathetic in this one.... Just a tad. It's an amazing episode


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