Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003)
12 user 2 critic

The Puppet Show 

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


Ellen S. Pressman


Joss Whedon (created by), Dean Batali | 3 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Sarah Michelle Gellar ... Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon ... Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan ... Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter ... Cordelia Chase
Anthony Head ... Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Kristine Sutherland ... Joyce Summers
Rich Werner Rich Werner ... Morgan Shay (as Richard Werner)
Burke Roberts Burke Roberts ... Marc
Armin Shimerman ... Principal Snyder
Lenora May ... Mrs. Jackson
Chasen Hampton ... Elliot
Natasha Pearce Natasha Pearce ... Lisa
Tom Wyner ... Sid (voice)
Krissy Carlson Krissy Carlson ... Emily (Dancer)
Michelle Miracle 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 Buffy, Xander and Willow 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 demons 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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

5 May 1997 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The book with the picture of the Brotherhood of Seven demon will reappear in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Killed by Death (1998) where it also contains an entry about Der Kindestod. See more »


At about 5:40, the girl in the locker room hears a noise. She says "Is anyone there?" and starts to move along the lockers. She then says "Hello?" while she is at the end of the line of lockers but her mouth does not move. See more »


[last lines]
Principal Snyder: I don't get it. What is it, avant-garde?
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Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The original US WB broadcast had a sequence where Buffy, Xander and Willow performed their theatrical scene in the talent show during the closing credits, but it was removed for re-runs and syndication. The season one DVD box-set restores the original closing credits sequence. See more »


Referenced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Amends (1998) See more »


The Greatest Love of All
Written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed
Performed by Charisma Carpenter
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

So dummy
4 January 2018 | by tenshi_ippikiookamiSee all my reviews

Episode 9 of the first season of "Buffy" is probably the funniest of the show so far, and it has also one really neat twist in a show that, in this respect, has not been particularly original.

There is a high school festival but, again, someone seems intend on killing the students. Buffy and Co. suspect that the dummy is doing it.

The episode does a great job in poking fun at the fact that students keep dying on the premises of the high school (who would want their children to go there after the first couple of episodes?) and also does a great job at playing the 'dummy' card. We all know the dolls are scary, but "Buffy" turns this upside down offering a very funny take on it, with a very tongue-in-cheek approach to the plot. It is also has a very nice pace (an upgrade after the previous one's stilted one) and the acting fits perfectly with the mood. Buffy, Willow and Xander's horror at having to take part on the festival is the perfect mood setting for the rest of the episode.

All 'horror' shows have to have one episode with a dummy in them, and this one does the trick for "Buffy". In a really funny way. A winner.

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