Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1, Episode 9

The Puppet Show (5 May 1997)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Fantasy
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,402 users  
Reviews: 7 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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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


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?


The idea of a demon slayer being turned into a live puppet is later repeated in Angel season 5's Angel: Smile Time (2004). 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 »


Willow Rosenberg: I think dummies are cute. You don't?
Buffy: Uuuhhh. They give me the wig. Ever since I was little.
Willow Rosenberg: What happened?
Buffy: I saw a dummy. It gave me the wig. There really wasn't a story there.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The scoobies do their talent show theatrical scene during the closing credits. See more »


References The Shining (1980) See more »


The Greatest Love of All
Written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed
Performed by Charisma Carpenter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the best eps of season 1,
5 January 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Puppet Show;

The Good; The introduction of Snyder. Cordy's performance and the hair gag with Giles. The triple Keyser Soze, Buffy's relationship with Sid. The exciting finale, Snyders reaction to it and the Scoobies scene at the end. Don't you just love the fact that Buffy the superhero runs into her mum's arms when she get's scared in the night? Something only a female hero could do, what would we think of Clark Kent if he did that on Smallville?

The Bad; Not much, a very strong episode, easily one of the best of the first season

Best line; Buffy; "Euuuugghhhh, dummy! They freak me out, ever since I was little" Willow; "What happened?" Buffy; "I saw a dummy, it freaked me out, there really wasn't a backstory there" (anyone else reminded of Gremlins?)

Observations and questions; Our first hint that there are other individuals fighting the forces of darkness like Whistler and Doyle. The scene the Scoobies perform at the end is from Oedipus which Angelus references in season 4 of Angel and American Gothic. It was painted by Grant Wood who Riley refers to in season 4. Cordy sings 'The Greatest Love of all' which she also sings for Lorne on Angel. She hasn't the best voice. Giles in bondage, the first of a long line of Scoobies to be tied/chained up. Snyder obviously going to be a lot harder on Buffy than Flutie was although as an authority figure that probably works better for the series. At this point though he doesn't really seem to know what's going on (does he ever?). Flutie was a nice guy but has the misfortune to be the 2nd recurring character killed in the course of the series. The police put the butcher knife in a plastic bag? Don't they have some better form of container? Willow suffers from stage fright. Willow is clever enough to know that 841 has a square root of 29 but how does Xander know that to ask her? A shame Joyce doesn't come to the talent show. Will plays the piano?

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