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


Buffy suspects she has a witch on her hands when the cheerleading squad falls victim to sudden blindness and spontaneous combustion.


Stephen Cragg


Joss Whedon (created by), Dana Reston | 4 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
Elizabeth Anne Allen ... Amy Madison
Robin Riker ... Catherine Madison
Jim Doughan Jim Doughan ... Mr. Pole
Nicole Prescott Nicole Prescott ... Lishanne
Amanda Wilmshurst Amanda Wilmshurst ... Senior Cheerleader
William Monaghan ... Dr. Gregory


Against her Watcher Giles' wise advice, Buffy decides to get a normal life, trying out for cheerleader, but it is more competitive then she imagined. Amber spontaneously catches fire on both hands and, soon, various other girls have disabling accidents. Xander feels frustrated when even giving her a cool bracelet doesn't seem to catch Buffy's romantic attention. After some study, the gang concludes it's a case of witchcraft. Suspecting Amy, a girl who trains heavily, coached by her mother, a former champion and homecoming queen Catherine Madison, of using it to eliminate competitors, the run a test and Amy is positive but seems ignorant. Next, Buffy looses her self-control and blurts out she likes Xander, but only because he is not like other boys, rather 'one of the girls.' Giles researches how to break the spell, then Buffy guesses how Amy and mother switched roles and more. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

17 March 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 following was cut from the episode:
  • Xander's take,
"Hey, we've fought vampires. Anything else'll be a walk in the park."
  • Insight from Giles,
"If I had the power of the black mass, I'd set my sights a little higher than making the pep squad."
  • An exchange between Xander and Willow
Xander: "Wow, you've got a killer streak I've never seen before. Hope I never cross you." Willow: "I do, too. Then I'd have to carve you up into little pieces."
  • An oldie but a goodie from Giles,
"Yes, the ducking stool! We throw her in the pond. If she floats, she's a witch; if she drowns, she's innocent...[then off their looks]...some of my texts are a bit outdated." See more »


Giles states that the spell he cast here was his first casting. It will be revealed that this is not true. Whether this is a continuity issue or Giles is lying is unknown. See more »


[first lines]
Rupert Giles: This is madness. What can you have been thinking. You are the Slayer. Lives depend upon you. I make... allowances for you youth, but I expect a certain amount of responsibility, instead of which you enslave yourself to this-this... Cult?
[cut to Buffy in cheerleader outfit with pom poms]
Buffy: You don't like the color?
See more »


Referenced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: What's My Line?: Part 2 (1997) See more »


Macho Man
Written by Jacques Morali, Henri Belolo, Victor Willis, and Peter Whitehead
Performed by Sarah Michelle Gellar
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Buffy the Witch Slayer.
14 June 2015 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

It's try-out time for the Sunnydale High cheer-leading squad, so Buffy decides to give it a shot, along with bitchy Cordelia Chase and pretty blonde Amy (Elizabeth Anne Allen), whose mother was a top cheerleader back in her day. Buffy and Cordelia make the cut, but Amy is put on the reserves. When the girls chosen for the squad start to meet bizarre fates, Buffy and her pals believe that someone is using witchcraft, and that that someone is Amy!

Call me shallow if you like, but any episode that gets both Sarah Michelle Gellar and Charisma Carpenter into cheer-leading outfits is already a winner in my book. But perky young women jiggling their pom-poms aside, I enjoyed this episode for its nifty Wiccan storyline that keeps the viewer guessing until the end, the inventive fates dished out to those who get in the way of Amy's ambitions, the battle between Buffy and the witch, and a creepy final shot that feels like something out of a Twilight Zone episode. With this episode, I really feel like Buffy Season 1 shifted up another gear.

7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb.

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