Season 1 exemplifies the "high school as hell" concept. Buffy Summers has just moved to Sunnydale after burning down her old school's gym and hopes to escape her Slayer duties. Her plans are complicated by Rupert Giles, her new Watcher, who reminds her of the inescapable presence of evil. Sunnydale High is built atop a Hellmouth, a portal to demon dimensions that attracts supernatural phenomena to the area. Buffy meets two schoolmates, Xander Harris and Willow Rosenberg, who help her fight evil through the series, but they must first prevent The Master, an ancient and especially threatening vampire, from opening the Hellmouth and taking over Sunnydale.
Buffy Summers is the Slayer, but after being expelled from her old high school for burning down the gym (it was full of vampires) she just wants to forget about her destiny and be a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She and her mother move from L.A. to Sunnydale, California. A new school, new friends, and a chance to start over. But Sunnydale is on top of a Hellmouth -- a center of mystical convergence that draws evil and demonic forces -- and Buffy soon realizes that she will have to pick up her stakes and holy water in order to save her new friends.1.2 - The Harvest
Buffy rescues Willow and Xander, but Jesse is left in the hands of the vampires. Buffy no longer resists her calling, but immediately begins to plan a rescue. Because they are already involved, Giles tells Xander and Willow about vampires and demons, and that Buffy is the Slayer. They are overwhelmed by it all, but they insist on helping Buffy. Meanwhile, Luke and the other vampires are planning to begin The Harvest, a dark ritual that will free the Master from his underground prison. Needing to slaughter innocents for the ritual, they descend upon The Bronze to feed. And only the Slayer stands in their way.1.3 - Witch
It's time for cheerleader tryouts, and Buffy can't resist! However, when the girls start getting knocked out of the competition by spontaneous combustion, sudden blindness, and other freak accidents, Buffy and the gang begin to suspect that someone may be behind these not so normal occurrences. Could someone be using dark magicks in order to make the squad?1.4 - Teacher's Pet
Xander, and most of the male population of Sunnydale High, are falling all over themselves trying to impress the new substitute Biology teacher, Ms. French. When Buffy sees this femme fatale scare off a particularly nasty vampire, however, she begins to suspect that Xander may be in serious trouble.
Yearning for a normal life, Buffy agrees to a date with the mysterious and brooding Owen. Giles discovers a prophecy of coming danger which would interfere with her plans, but she chooses Owen over battling the forces of darkness. When Giles goes out on his own and is trapped by a group of vampires, Buffy must figure out a way to balance dating and Slaying.1.6 - The Pack
While enduring the annual field trip to the zoo, Xander and several other students enter the quarantined Hyena pen and become possessed by the demonic spirit of the wild animals. When Buffy notices a significant change in Xander's personality, she must figure out what happened and how to reverse it before something terrible happens.1.7 - Angel
After Angel saves Buffy from a gang of vampire warriors, their relationship starts to become more intense. As their love blooms, Buffy learns that Angel has been hiding a dark secret. She hesitates, not sure what to believe, but when Angel's secret puts someone she loves in danger, she knows what she has to do.1.8 - I, Robot... You, Jane
In 1418, a group of Italian priests use magick to trap the demon Moloch in a book, only to be released if the book is ever read aloud. In 1997 Sunnydale, the computer teacher, Ms. Calendar, is working on a project to digitally scan all the books in the library. When a new arrival, in a strange language, is scanned, Moloch is released into the computer... and into every computer connected to it. Now Buffy must face Moloch's human minions, while Giles must figure out how to exorcise a demon from the Internet. Meanwhile, Willow meets a nice boy online. His name is Malcolm...1.9 - The Puppet Show
The new principal forces Giles to run Sunnydale High's annual talent show, and Buffy, Willow and Xander have to perform against their will. As if this isn't bad enough, things go further awry when one of the talent show participants is found with her heart removed. Buffy and the gang race against the clock to find the killer, and all the clues point to Morgan and his ventriloquist dummy.1.10 - Nightmares
When strange things start happening to the students at Sunnydale High, it seems that everyone is living their worst nightmares. Buffy and the gang must hold together to stop the phenomena before reality and the nightmare world become one.1.11 - Out of Mind, Out of Sight
An invisible force is attacking the students and teachers at Sunnydale High. Buffy and the gang must find a way to stop this unseen menace, and determine why it seems to be centering its attacks on Cordelia.1.12 - Prophecy Girl
Giles discovers an ancient prophecy which states that Buffy will face The Master and she will die. Upon hearing this, Buffy breaks down and tries to quit her Slayer duties. But when vampires massacre a group of students on campus, she realizes that she must face her destiny in order to save her friends... and the world.