"Welcome to the Hellmouth" and "The Harvest " originally aired as a 2 hour series premiere event on The WB in March of 1997.
The WB originally opted not to pick up Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the Fall 1996 TV season. They then changed their minds and aired it as a mid-season replacement in March of 1997.
This episode ranked 2nd out of 12 WB shows for the week.
Brian Thompson would return in the future, but to play an entirely different character.
This episode scored a 3.4 in the fast nationals.
Creator Joss Whedon stated on the DVD commentary that he had hoped to include actor Eric Balfour in the title credits to shock viewers
. Unfortunately, the show could not afford the extra set of title credits at the time. However, Whedon granted his own wish with .
Certain scenes, such as the argument between Giles and Buffy in the library, and Buffy's first meeting with Angel, were re-shot eight months after the first episode was recorded. Whedon says in the episode commentary that he decided to make Buffy less angry and more vulnerable.
Xander: I kind of had a problem with the math.
Willow: Which part?
Xander: The math.
Principal Flutie: You burned down the gym.
Buffy: I did. I really did, but... but you're not seeing the big picture here. I mean, that gym was full of vampi... asbestos.
Xander: Well, uh, maybe I'll see you around. Maybe at school... since we... both... go there.
Buffy: Great! It was nice to meet you.
Xander: We both go to school. Very suave. Very not pathetic.
Cordelia: Willow! Nice dress! Good to know you've seen the softer side of Sears.
Willow: Uh, oh, well, my mom picked it out.
Cordelia: No wonder you're such a guy magnet.
Cordelia: It's in the bad part of town.
Buffy: Where's that?
Cordelia: About half a block from the good part of town. We don't have a whole lot of town here.
Girl #1: The new kid? She seems kind of weird to me. What kind of name is Buffy?
Girl #2: Hey, Aphrodisia!
Girl #1: Oh, hey!
Buffy: Hi! Willow, right?
Willow: Why? I mean, hi! Uh, did you want me to move?
Buffy: Why don't we start with, "Hi, I'm Buffy," and, uh, then let's segue directly into me asking you for a favor. It doesn't involve moving, but it does involve hanging out with me for a while.
Willow: But aren't you hanging out with Cordelia?
Buffy: I can't do both?
Willow: Not legally.
Willow: Buffy, this is Jesse and that's Xander.
Xander: Oh, me and Buffy go way back, old friends, very close. Then there's that period of estrangement where I think we were both growing as people, but now here we are, like old times, I'm quite moved.
Jesse: Is it me, or are you turning into a bibbling idiot?
Xander: No, it's, uh, it's not you.
Buffy: To make you a vampire they have to suck your blood. And then you have to suck their blood. It's like a whole big sucking thing. Mostly they're just gonna kill you.
Buffy: Oh, why can't you people just leave me alone?
Giles: Because you are the Slayer. Into each generation a Slayer is born, one girl in all the world, a Chosen One, one born with the...
Both: ...strength and skill to hunt the vampires...
Buffy: ...to stop the spread of their evil blah, blah, blah. I've heard it, okay?
Buffy: First of all, I'm a Vampire Slayer. And secondly, I'm retired. Hey, I know! Why don't you kill them?
Giles: I'm a Watcher; I - I haven't the skill.
Buffy: Oh, come on. Stake through the heart, a little sunlight. It's like falling off a log.
Giles: A - A Slayer slays, a Watcher...
Giles: Yes. No! He - he trains her, he - he - he prepares her...
Buffy: Prepares me for what? For getting kicked out of school? For losing all of my friends? For having to spend all of my time fighting for my life and never getting to tell anyone because I might endanger them? Go ahead! Prepare me.
Giles: Something's coming, something, something... something is - is going to happen here. Soon!
Buffy: Gee, can you vague that up for me?
Joyce: Are you going out tonight?
Buffy: Yeah, I'm going to a club.
Joyce: Oh. Will there be boys there?
Buffy: No, Mom. It's a nun club.
Angel: Let's just say... I'm a friend.
Buffy: Yeah, well, maybe I don't want a friend.
Angel: I didn't say I was yours.
Willow: I thought Xander was gonna show up.
Buffy: Oh, are you guys going out?
Willow: No, we're just friends. We used to go out, but we broke up.
Buffy: How come?
Willow: He stole my Barbie. (Buffy gives her a strange look) Oh, we were five.
Willow: I don't actually date a whole lot... lately.
Buffy: Why not?
Willow: Well, when I'm with a boy I like, it's hard for me to say anything cool, or - or witty, or at all. I can usually make a few vowel sounds, and then I have to go away.
Buffy: It's not that bad.
Willow: No, it is. I think boys are more interested in a girl who can talk.
Buffy: You really haven't been dating lately.
Buffy: The Harvest is coming. I know. Your friend told me.
Giles: What did you say?
Buffy: The Harvest. That mean something to you? Because I'm drawing a blank.
Giles: I'm not sure. Who - who told you this?
Buffy: This... guy. Dark, gorgeous in an annoying sort of way. Well, I figured you two were buds.
Giles: No. The Harvest. Did he say anything else?
Buffy: Something about the Mouth of Hell. I really didn't like him!
Giles: Will you be ready? There’s so much you don’t know about them, about your own powers. A vampire appears to be completely normal, until the feed is upon them. Only then do they reveal their true demonic visage.
Buffy: You’re like a textbook with arms. I know this.
Buffy: Now, we can do this the hard way, or... Well, actually, there's just the hard way.
Darla: That's fine with me.
Buffy: Are you sure? Now, this is not gonna be pretty. We're talking violence, strong language, adult content...