Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003)
12 user 3 critic

Buffy vs. Dracula 

The one-and-only Dracula makes his way to Sunnydale and immediately has everyone enchanted. Even Buffy might not be able to resist his charms.


David Solomon


Joss Whedon (created by), Marti Noxon




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Michelle Gellar ... Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon ... Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan ... Willow Rosenberg
Marc Blucas ... Riley Finn
Emma Caulfield Ford ... Anya (as Emma Caulfield)
James Marsters ... Spike
Anthony Head ... Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Rudolf Martin ... Dracula
Michelle Trachtenberg ... Dawn Summers
Amber Benson ... Tara Maclay
Kristine Sutherland ... Joyce Summers
Edward James Gage ... Mover #1 (as E.J. Gage)
Scott Berman Scott Berman ... Mover #2
Marita Schaub Marita Schaub ... Vampire Girl #1
Lesli Jean Matta Lesli Jean Matta ... Vampire Girl #2 (as Leslee Jean Matta)


While chasing a vampire in a cemetery, Buffy meets Dracula, who has come to Sunnydale to meet her. Buffy feels proud with the revelation of the greatest vampire in the world knowing her name. Meanwhile, Giles secretly tells Willow that he will return to England since Buffy does not need his service as Watcher anymore. Dracula turns Xander into his slave, and during the night, he visits Buffy, bites and put her under his thrall. Buffy hides the bite with a scarf and becomes powerless and seduced by the dark prince, who promises to disclose to her the darkness of her powers and increase them. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Did You Know?


The first of the Three Sisters is portrayed by Jennifer Slimko, who would also portray the unidentified Romanian woman in Angel: Five by Five (2000). See more »


The beach barbecue is constructed out of cinder blocks which are made out of concrete - not the material of choice for a public fireplace since due to the water trapped in its structure, it can violently crack under the heat, throwing hazardous debris around. See more »


[first lines]
[Buffy catches football at the beach]
Buffy Summers: Ha! Touchdown! Oh, yeah! Go, Team Me!
[tosses football back]
Riley Finn: Anybody ever told "Team You" the quarterback throws like a girl?
[tosses back to Buffy]
Buffy Summers: I do?
[tosses back with a lot of strength knocking Riley down]
Riley Finn: Ohh! Uhh.
Buffy Summers: Oh, sorry.
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References Sesame Street (1969) See more »


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
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User Reviews

Entertaining, but strangely out of place
23 January 2021 | by nightwishougeSee all my reviews

Buffy vs. Dracula is possibly the strangest season opener of the series. It doesn't really wrap anything up or continue where season 4 left off (then again, Restless was also a strange season finale). Apart from the last 15 seconds it doesn't introduce anything new for the episodes that follow. Thematically, Dracula's interactions with Buffy set up a thread the rest of the series will explore more deeply--the relationship between a Slayer's nature and the darkness of the supernatural world--and that's probably about the strongest through-line linking this episode to the show proper.

Perhaps that is why it feel like a non-canonical episode to me. Like fan fiction. Nothing within it engenders consequence. I guess the same could be said of many season one episodes but the show has tended much more toward serialization since then. The characters also feel off-model, like caricatures of themselves, drawn with unsure strokes. Xander in particular feels like a cartoon. I guess it's the thrall that's to blame, but making him the weak-willed, mind-controlled servant for the sake of comedic shenanigans just feels easy, a superficial understanding of Xander as a dimensional being. Like if you're having a conversation with your friends about which Scooby would fill the Renfield role and you all immediately shout in unison, "Xander!" Buffy at its best is a show that defies expectations. This choice is too obvious. It lacks in depth. It would have been more interesting, and perhaps brought something new out of her character, to have Tara fulfill that function. Just as an example.

Dracula himself also fits uneasily into the show. He has powers no vampire before has possessed. (Drusilla has demonstrated hypnotic abilities, so at least there is precedent for that. But none have become fog.) These powers don't necessarily correspond to Bram Stoker's novel, in which Dracula walks around freely in sunlight. These abilities are dismissed by a chagrined Spike as parlor tricks, but they're pretty effective. Why wouldn't more vampires learn them? Maybe it goes back to their aversion to tackiness, the same disdain that keeps them quiet (usually) on Halloween. Dracula's presence would seem to open a door into a world of new possibilities for vampire foes, but as far as I recall that is never explored. Goes further to making this episode feel isolated from the rest of the show.

Anyway, if you treat Buffy vs. Dracula as a non-canonical TV event, like the Star Wars Holiday Special, those problems fall away and it becomes entertaining. It is fun to see the Scoobies having a day at the beach, though that is brought to an unceremonious end when Willow's pyrokinesis backfires. (Her magic is such an inconsistently treated plot device it is really starting to bother me. Her spells work effortlessly when the writers need them to and then fail spectacularly when they're scrambling for a punchline.) Enthralled Xander is, admittedly, pretty funny and has the episode's best lines.

Side note: Interestingly, Xander is at his grossest/horniest/most inappropriate when Marti Noxon writes him and I think it's supposed to be endearing? When he requests details about Willow and Tara's lesbian sex life, I cringe. I guess I knew teenage boys like that when I was in high school (I knew better than to request lap dances from my female friends) but they made girls uncomfortable, which is never textually acknowledged within the show. So it makes me surprised that a female writer would seemingly be most gung-ho about representing him in such a way.

I also enjoy the looming castle and the throwbacks to Hammer movies and Victorian novels, especially the inclusion of Dracula's brides. (They are not taken seriously as threats, which furthers my non-canonical interpretation. Can you imagine in another episode Giles being overwhelmed by three vampires without anyone displaying alarm?) Buffy as a show has often engaged with Gothic pastiche in its own suburban idiom but never with this level of purity. It makes me wish there had been a time-travel adventure where Buffy wound up in Whitechapel around the time of the Ripper murders, or something.

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Release Date:

26 September 2000 (USA) See more »

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Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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