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?

2 Answers 2


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
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 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
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 5:25
  • Sounds more like foreshadowing the Terminator series, or perhaps post-shadowing The Jetsons.    :-)    ⁠ Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 7:24

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