A series of strange occurrences lead Buffy and her friends to discover that their worst nightmares have literally become reality.



(created by), (teleplay by) | 5 more credits »

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video





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


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?


A line of Xander's was cut from the original script due to length: "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.
See more »


When Giles, Willow and Xander are standing over Buffys grave, the date on the gravestone marks her birthyear of 1981. In the episode "I Robot... You Jane" Malcolm looks at a file on Buffy where her birth year is marked as 1980, and in another shot from the same scene, it states her birthyear as 1978. See more »


Xander: Our dreams are coming true.
Rupert Giles: Dreams? That would be a musical comedy version of this.
See more »


Featured in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Gift (2001) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

When ones nightmares come true
21 February 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As this episode opens it appears that Buffy is fighting the Master and is about to die… then her mother wakes her from her nightmare. She goes to school then something strange happens in one class; a boy opens his text book and suddenly tarantulas emerge; they are soon all over him. As this happens Buffy notices a small boy, far too young to be in high school, in the doorway. As the episode progresses more strange things happen; Buffy discovers that she is due to have a test in a subject she hasn't attended any classes for, Giles can no longer read and a girl is attacked in the school basement. It would appear that everybody's nightmares are coming true. If they are to prevent something tragic happening the gang will have to discover how the nightmares are connected to the little boy then get to the bottom of what happened to him.

This is an impressive episode as rather than featuring the usual monsters it taps into people's innermost fears. This gives us some laughs, such as when Xander turns up to a lesson wearing only his underwear, some scares and one emotionally disturbing scene where Buffy's father explains how he left the family because he found her to be a disappointment as a daughter. The ultimate explanation is effective and the resolution is satisfying. As one would expect the cast does a fine job; I particularly enjoyed the scenes between Alyson Hannigan and Nicholas Brendon as they gentle mock each other's fears. Overall I'd say this was a really enjoyable episode which fans of the series should enjoy.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: