Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1, Episode 9

The Puppet Show (5 May 1997)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Fantasy
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,200 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

Buffy suspects that a ventriloquist's dummy may be harvesting organs from classmates performing in a talent show.



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Title: The Puppet Show (05 May 1997)

The Puppet Show (05 May 1997) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Episode cast overview:
Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Rich Werner ...
Morgan Shay (as Richard Werner)
Burke Roberts ...
Mrs. Jackson
Tom Wyner ...
Sid (voice)
Krissy Carlson ...
Emily (Dancer)
Michelle Miracle ...
Locker Girl


Mr. Snyder, Sunnydale High's new principal after the devouring of fatherly Mr. Robert Flutie, believes in order and discipline to instill school spirit, so he orders Giles to produce a talent show and punishes the absentee trio by forcibly enrolling them as candidates. Then dancer Emily is found with her heart cut out, but demons don't usually use a knife, yet one was found next to her, so the human student contestants are screened. The weirdest suspect proves to be gifted ventriloquist Morgan Shay, who treats his inseparable wooden dummy Sid as real, in fact takes orders from it in private, and if it is as Giles suspects one of seven demon who take possession of human bodies, anybody may be turned bad by it... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Drama | Fantasy


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 May 1997 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


During a panel discussion that was a DVD extra for the Season 7 DVDs, Joss Whedon said that after they shot this episode, they got a note from the network asking for the talent-show scene from Oedipus to be removed. The note said: "We realize that it's Shakespeare, but does he have to talk about sleeping with his mother?" The ancient Greek play Oedipus Rex was actually written by the Athenian playwright Sophocles about two thousand years before Shakespeare was born. See more »


While Buffy is searching around in the backstage area, there is a mirror in the background of the shot. For a brief second, you can see the reflection of a crew member. See more »


[Cordelia's droning on and on. Giles starts staring at her hair]
Cordelia: What?
Giles: Oh, I-I'm sorry. Um, you're hair, uh...
Cordelia: [concerned] There's something wrong with my hair?
[she touches her hair for a second]
Cordelia: Oh my God.
[She runs off]
Giles: Xander was right. It worked like a charm.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The original US WB airing had a sequence where Buffy, Xander and Willow performed their theatrical scene in the talent show during the closing credits. See more »


References The Shining (1980) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the best episodes of the season
13 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Its time for the annual Sunnydale talent-less show! Being a high school on a hellmouth, though, the program features more than just Codelia singing "The Greatest Love of All" and Giles cringing through tuba acts. It has demons, a puppet that may be alive, and the still-beating hearts being ripped out of students' chests. Anyway, not only is "The Puppet Show" one of the best episodes of the season, but it also introduces Principal Snyder,who will gleefully hate and belittle the student body for the next several seasons. His snide remarks about the recently eaten Principal Flutie's touchy-feely leadership style are hilarious. Sid the puppet is actually pretty fun. And its hard to top Xander's pop culture remark,"Does anyone else feel like they've been Kaiser Soze-ed here?" All in all an excellent episode.

I really don't have any complaints about "The Puppet Show," except Angel wasn't there to see the acts. His face during Cordelia's singing or Buffy, Xander and Willow murdering a Greek tragedy would have been priceless. Of course, he does get to hear Cordelia sing "The Greatest Love of All" to Lorne over on "Angel" season four. Well, it's at least sort of her... I think... Whatever, it's still funny.

My favorite part of the episode: Buffy, Xander and Willow's "dramatic scene" at the end. Their performance of "Oedipus the King" is the highlight of the entire season.

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