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



(created by), (story by) | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video


IMDb at Comic-Con 2016

Visit our Comic-Con section to see what's trending, watch celebrity interviews, follow event coverage, browse cosplay photos, take our Fan IQ quizzes, and more.

Browse IMDb's Guide to Comic-Con


1 video »


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)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Willow has a "Nerf Herder" poster in her locker. The Buffy theme is by "Nerf Herder", and it was Alyson Hannigan, who plays Willow, that turned Joss Whedon onto using them for the theme. See more »


When Buffy and her mother are in the car outside the school at the start of the episode talking about Buffy's father, her mother is not wearing her seat belt. But she is as Buffy gets out the car. See more »


Wendell: [about his spiders] I had the best collection in the tri-county area. Browns, tarantulas, black widows... then my folks ship me off to Wilderness Camp. All my brother had to do was maintain the habitats. Instead he left the heat lamps on for a week! When I came home they were all dead. That's when the nightmares started.
Willow: The nightmares?
Wendell: It's always the same. I'm sitting in class, the teacher asks me to read something. I open the book and... there they are, coming after me. God... can you blame ...
See more »


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


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Performed by Nerf Herder
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
was buffy being stupid when she sleep with angel wiccancharmedguy
So what happened to human Liam and William's soul? tinysnapdragon123
Was the master being a Turk? Buffysummers96
Buffy Question? tinkerbells_sweetheart
Joyce/Giles shippers austin-pearce
Willow getting into Harvard mybabyblue
Discuss Nightmares (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: