As I mentioned in another question, Joss Whedon is known for planning his storyarcs out years in advance. Friends have told me that there were clues planted as much as 2-3 years in advance about Dawn appearing in Buffy. Apparently one was a time that showed up on a clock repeatedly. I know there was a scene where Buffy is dreaming and she and Faith are making a bed and Faith comments about her needing to get ready for her sister to appear.

What are the clues and foreshadowing that Dawn would come into the series?


In Graduation Day, Part Two (S3E22) there's a dream sequence with Faith:

BUFFY: Who's going to look after him?

FAITH: It's a she. And aren't these things supposed to take care of themselves?

BUFFY: A higher power guiding us?

FAITH: I'm pretty sure that's not what I meant.

BUFFY There's something I'm supposed to be doing.

FAITH Oh yeah. Miles to go. Little Ms. Muffet counting down from 7-3-0.

BUFFY: Great. Riddles.

"Little Ms. Muffet" is a reference to Dawn - the 730 is the number of days until The Gift (this is confirmed by David Fury & Joss in the season five featurette, Spotlight on Dawn). This gets referenced later (after Dawn arrives) when a crazy man in Real Me (S5E02) tells Dawn she is "curds and whey".

In the opening of This Year's Girl (S4E15), we again have a dream sequence with Buffy and Faith:

BUFFY: Smell good, don't they? (They are making a bed, in the bedroom where we first see Dawn)

FAITH: What?

BUFFY: Clean sheets. Like summer.

FAITH: I wouldn't know.

BUFFY: Right. I forgot.

FAITH: I noticed.

BUFFY: I wish I could stay, but- (Buffy notices the clock, which shows 7:30)

FAITH: You have to go.

BUFFY: It's just, with…

FAITH: Little sis coming. I know. So much to do before she gets here.

In Restless (S4E22), it's Buffy and Tara, in the bedroom again:

BUFFY: Faith and I just made that bed.

TARA: For who?

BUFFY: I thought you were here to tell me. The guys aren't here, are they? We were gonna hang out and, watch movies t-

TARA: You lost them.

BUFFY: No. No. I think they need me to find them. (We see the clock again showing 7:30)

BUFFY: It's so late.

TARA: Oh ... that clock's completely wrong. Here.

BUFFY: I'm never gonna use those.

TARA: You think you know ... what's to come ... what you are. You haven't even begun.

BUFFY: I think I need to go find the others.

TARA: Be back before Dawn.

This is the episode immediately before Dawn is introduced.

  • 2
    Also, in restless, Olivia is pregnant while Giles, Buffy and her are a family. Pretty self explanatory foreshadowing
    – user28891
    Jul 1 '14 at 5:47

In “Restless” (S04E22) Riley mentions the key:

RILEY: Oh. (Looks at the other man ) We’re drawing up a plan for world domination. (Looks back at Buffy, pleased.) The key element? Coffeemakers that think.

  • The only time that the word “key” is mentioned in that episode, it’s not used in the sense of an object or person. Nonetheless, I edited in that reference, since it is by Riley, as you say.
    – Adamant
    Nov 7 '16 at 5:25
  • Sounds more like foreshadowing the Terminator series, or perhaps post-shadowing The Jetsons.    :-)    ⁠ Nov 7 '16 at 7:24

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.