Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Homecoming

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Season 3, Episode 5
Airdate November 3, 1998
Production Number 3ABB05
Written by David Greenwalt
Directed by David Greenwalt
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Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Three

Homecoming is the fifth episode of the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the thirty-ninth episode overall.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), David Boreanaz (Angel), Seth Green (Oz)

and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles)

Guest Starring: K. Todd Freeman (Mr. Trick), Jeremy Ratchford (Lyle Gorch), Fab Filippo (Scott Hope), Ian Abercrombie (German Boss) Harry Groener (The Mayor), Eliza Dushku (Faith)

Co-Starring: Danny Strong (Jonathan), Jason Hall (Devon), Jack Plotnick (Deputy Mayor), Billy Maddox (Frawley), Joseph Daube (Hans), Jermyn Daube (Frederick), Lee Everett (Candy Gorch), Tori McPetrie (Michelle), Chad Stahelski (Kulak)

Uncredited: Jennifer Hetrick (Ms. Moran)


Plot Overview

Fearing that she won't be remembered at Sunnydale High, Buffy engages Cordelia in a battle for homecoming queen. Little does she know that Mr Trick has gathered an assortment of rogues to compete in a contest to kill both the two Slayers. Meanwhile, Xander and Willow hide from everyone that they've discovered their feelings for each another.


Monster of the Week

Mr. Trick organizes a hunting party called "Slayerfest" in an attempt to kill both Buffy and Faith at the same time. His safari brings together four groups of would-be assassins including a pair of German terrorists named Frederick and Hans Gruenstahler, a Miquot demon named Kulak, vampires Lyle and Candy Gorch and a bounty hunter tracker named Frawley. The concept has frequently appeared in fiction, most notably in the short story The Most Dangerous Game.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Kulak Hans Blown Up Cabin
2 Candi Buffy Staked Library
3 Hans Fredrick Shot Sunnydale High
4 Fredrick Hans Shot Sunnydale High


  • "Fire Escape" by Fastball: During the montage of Buffy campaigning and the assassins preparing for their hunt, "Fire Escape" by Fastball plays in the background. The song first appeared on the band's 1998 album All the Pain Money Can Buy and was released as the second single from the record.
  • Four Star Mary - "She Knows"
  • Lisa Loeb - "How"
  • Lori Carson - "Fell Into the Loneliness"
  • The Pinehurst Kids - "Jodie Foster"

Arc Advancement


  • Big Bad: After the Slayerfest event goes south, Mr. Trick is arrested by Mayor Wilkins and offered a job working for him in his "very important year." He doesn't exactly say what he's up to, but he assures Mr. Trick that it is far more important than a simple election.


  • Buffy: Scott ends his short-lived relationship with Buffy, reasoning that she's distracted all the time now.
  • Xander and Willow: In a moment of weakness, Xander and Willow share a kiss which they spend the rest of the episode regretting.


  • 3x02 - Dead Man's Party: What was first a small get together between friends transformed into a raucous party in Buffy's house, filled with people she didn't know who thought she had just gotten out of rehab. The party was dispersed when zombies broke through a window and tried to kill the guests.
Buffy: A lot of people came to my welcome home party.
  • 2x12 - Bad Eggs: The Gorch Brothers attacked Buffy while she was attempting to save her friends and family from a parasitic demon that possessed their minds and bodies. During the fray, Tector Gorch was consumed by the mother of the demons, something which his brother blames squarely on Buffy.
Candy: I want to do Buffy: my weddin' present for what happened to your poor brother.


The Show

  • The Competition: In order to win the title of Homecoming Queen, Buffy makes up a chart which displays the strengths and weaknesses of all her competitors. The lists are:
    • Cordelia Chase
      • Strengths: Popular With Boys, Makes Friends Easily, Has Money To Buy Votes, Expensive Clothes, Perfect Teeth
      • Weaknesses: Manipulative, Two-Faced, Bad In Sports, Superficial, No Sense of Humor, Fake Smile, Brie, Xander
    • Michelle Blake
      • Strengths: Popular Cheelearder, Athletic, Yearbook Editor, Friendly, Good Cook, Nice
      • Weaknesses: Bad Skin, Wears Polyester, PB Crazed, Dandruff, Too Much Makeup, Never Studies
    • Holly Charleston
      • Strengths: Debate Skills, Straight As, Drill Team, Good in Sports, Always Studying, Nice
      • Weaknesses: Few Friends, New Student, No Boyfriend, Introvert, Always Studying
  • First Appearance: Harry Groener makes his first appearance as The Mayor and also shows a disturbing attention to cleanliness which will follow his character through out the season.

Behind the Scenes

  • International: Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been dubbed into many different languages and the title translated for each different international version. Some international translations of this episode's title are:
    • French: "Le bal de fin d'année" ("The Prom Dance")
    • Italian: "Il ballo di fine corso" (Roughly; "The Prom")
    • German: "Die Qual der Wahl" (Idiom; "Spoilt for Choice")
    • Japanese: "学園祭" ("Gakuensai" - "School Festival")
    • Spanish: "El baile de bienvenida" ("The Welcome Dance")

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments


  • Xander: Buffy and Faith are in the library getting all sweaty.
Cordelia: They're training.
Xander: I stand by my phrase.
  • Cordelia: I don't see why your pathetic need to recapture your glory days gives you the right to splinter my vote.
Buffy: How can you think it's okay to talk to people like this? Do you have parents?
Cordelia: Yeah. Two of them... unlike some people.
Buffy: Your brain isn't even connected to your mouth, is it?
  • Xander: Okay, let's not say something we'll regret later, okay?
Cordelia: You crazy freak!
Buffy: Vapid whore!
Xander: Like that.
  • Cordelia: (to Lyle Gorch) I hear you, you redneck moron. You got a dress that goes with that hat?
  • The Mayor: That's an exciting suit.
Mr Trick: Well, clothes make the man.
The Mayor: Well, as I understand it, you're not a man... exactly. Mr Trick, I've been the Mayor for quite some time. I like things to run smoothly. This is a very important year for me.
Mr Trick: Election year.
The Mayor: Something like that.
Mr Trick: If this is the point where you tell me that I don't fit in here in your quiet little neighbourhood, you can just skip it 'cause, see, that all got old long before I became a vampire. Do you know what I'm saying?