Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 7 Episode 17

Lies My Parents Told Me

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Mar 25, 2003 on The WB



  • Trivia

    • When Wood is talking to Spike with his back to him, preparing to fight Spike, as he is putting on his hand and arm weapons, the bandage around his left hand disappears and reappears from scene to scene.

    • Just after Wood tries to stake Spike and Spike pushes him away, the wire pulling Wood backwards is visible and his shirt is noticeably tented.

    • Spike's flashback hair in this episode is very different from his flashback hair in "Fool For Love".

    • Giles says the magical stone/worm will enter Spike's brain through the optic nerve. It enters his eye but then moves up his forehead - the optic nerve goes straight back into the brain, not up and over.

  • Quotes

    • Buffy: It was boring, old and English, just like you...ul Brynner. Yul Brynner. A British Yul Brynner.

    • Buffy: Spike? What happened? (Spike opens the garage door, revealing an unconscious Robin Wood)
      Buffy: Oh my god!
      Spike: I gave him a pass... let him live... on account of the fact that I killed his mother, but that's all he gets. He even so much as looks at me funny again, I'll kill him!

    • William:
      Yet his smell, it doth linger
      Painting pictures in my mind.
      Her eyes, bowls of honey
      Angel's heart's shall laugh.
      Oh lark, grant a sign
      If crooked be Cupid's shaft.
      Hark! The lark!
      Her name it hath spake.
      "Cecily," it discharges
      From twixt it's wee beak.

    • Anya: He could slaughter 100 frat boys (everyone stares at her)... forgiveness makes us human. Blahdy, blah, blah, blah.

    • Buffy: You try anything again, and he'll kill you. And more importantly... I'll let him.

    • Buffy: I think you've taught me everything I need to know.

    • Buffy: The other day I gave an inspirational speech to the telephone repair man!!

    • Buffy: The way I've treated my friends, my family, and....Andrew.

    • Buffy: The mission is what matters.

    • Spike: I don't give a piss about your mom. She was a slayer. I was a vampire. That's how the game is played.

    • Andrew: Er Willow, call for you from LA. Somebody named Fred. Guy sounds kind of effeminate.

    • Xander: This week we need to put the chains back. Couldn't have brought them back last week. Nooo.

    • Giles: Knowledge comes from crafted bindings and pages, Buffy, not ones and zeroes.

  • Notes

    • David Fury says in the DVD commentary that the original title of this episode was "Mother and Son". But Drew Goddard, the co-author, made him realize it was not only about the Woods, but Spike and his mother, Buffy and her father, Giles and the lies each parent told his/her son/daughter: Nicky said she loved Robin, but she didn't leave the slaying (as Spike mentions); Spike's mother was always the loving one, but when she was turned into a vamp she said all those things to him. Spike thinks it was the demon inside talking, but he couldn't be sure; and Giles, of course, the conspiracy to kill Spike

    • Drew Goddard was asked by David Fury to co-write the episode since David was short on time to write the whole episode and prep for directing it.

    • Buffy tells Wood "The mission is what matters," which is what Wood's mother told him before being killed by Spike.

    • Watch the scenes between Giles and Buffy in the cemetary. In most of the shots they do not appear together. This is because the scenes with Buffy were shot separately from the scenes with Giles because Anthony Stewart Head was unavailable. His scenes were shot 10 days later.

    • The original script lists Spike's mother's name as Anne, which is also Buffy's middle name. The actress also bears a slight resemblance to Sarah Michelle Gellar. These facts provide some more insight into Spike's obsession with Buffy. Thematically, this also further connects Spike with Wood, who early in the episode remarks that Buffy reminds him of his mother.

    • This episode can be noted as the sequel to Season 5's "Fool For Love", because the flashbacks of Spike's past continues right where "Fool For Love" left off once Spike was sired by Drusilla.

    • Kristy Wu - Chao Ahn, Sara Hagan - Amanda, Felicia Day - Vi and Clara Bryant - Molly do not appear in this episode.

    • According to the season 7 novelization: In this episode Dawn recieves the Phone call from Angelus that was made in the Angel episode "Salvage." The scene takes place right after the teaser.

    • This marks the final appearance of Juliet Landau as "Drusilla" on this series.

    • The "brain matter" that the janitor was cleaning up in the beginning was probably the nervous, severely stressed-out kid in "Storyteller" who (off-screen) exploded, causing Buffy to say: "Should have had that foot rub."

    • The network advertises for the first time during this episode that "Buffy's Final Hour" is coming.

    • The definition of prokaryote, the name of the stone put in Spike's head, is an organism of the kingdom Monera (or Prokaryotae), comprising the bacteria and cyanobacteria, characterized by the absence of a distinct, membrane-bound nucleus or membrane-bound organelles, and by DNA that is not organized into chromosomes. Also called moneran.

    • Buffy's line to Giles, "Have you heard my speeches?" is a nod to the online fan community who have criticized the number of times Buffy gives speeches.

    • Unlike at the end of Season 5, Buffy is now willing to sacrifice Dawn (or any of her friends) to save the world. This revelation sheds a lot of new light on what the First/Joyce told Dawn in "Conversations with Dead People".

    • Anya makes reference to the time when she slaughtered a fraternity house in 'Selfless'.

    • William reads poetry to his mother about Cecily, who was played by the same actress as Halfrek, who confirmed that they were the same character as well.

    • When Spike's mother was staked by Spike, she give her last human smile to Spike before she turned to dust.

    • Apparently, Giles has a personal library both large enough and complete enough to be used as a school library. It is most likely filled with the books on vampires and the occult that were saved from the Mayors attack in the season 3 finale.

    • Willow left to Los Angeles to help the team of Angel in "Orpheus."

    • 'Orpheus' and 'Lies My Parents Told Me' were played switched around since Willow is in LA on the Angel episode which was aired earlier.

    • It is probable that Spike's (William's) mother had tuberculosis, a disease which causes victims to cough up blood as their lungs deteriorate.

  • Allusions

    • Title: Lies My Parents Told Me
      This title is a twist on the 1960 movie Lies My Father Told Me, remade in 1975. Coincidentally, there is also an episode of Roseanne called Lies My Father Told Me (6x21). This is interesting because Joss Whedon was a writer for Roseanne (though he left the show some time before this episode aired).

    • The Lost Boys:
      In the flashback at the beginning of the episode, when Spike jumps off the bridge and seems to disappear, it's reminiscent of a scene in The Lost Boys in which the gang of vampires jump off a railway bridge into the mist below.

    • Buffy: It was boring, old, and British... like you... le Brynner.
      Yul Brynner (1915-1985) was a Russian/American actor most famous for his bald head and his role as the King in 1956's The King and I.

    • Giles: Knowledge comes from crafted bindings and pages, Buffy; not 1's and 0's!" 1) Another reference to Binary Code, which is used in computer technology... ultimately referencing Giles's total dislike for computers as done in "I Robot- You Jane" in season 1. 2) Another interesting thing: In Episode 5x01 "Buffy vs Dracula", in the very beginning, we see Willow setting up a computer for Giles and starting to scan - presumably - all of Giles books. Even though the intention is to save the knowledge for the group because Giles wants to leave (but doesn't do in the end) he now seems pretty OK with the idea of having a PC. Suddenly, over 2 years later, he's back into hating anything involving binary code!?

    • Spike: By the way, love the coat.
      Possibly an homage to Silence of the Lambs, the tone and delivery echoes Hannibal Lecter's "Oh, and Senator... Love the suit." Beyond that, of course, Spike takes the coat in question as a trophy, which he's kept for over 25 years.

    • Spike: There's the rub, isn't it?
      "Ay there's the rub" comes from the famous "To be or not to be" soliloquy in Shakespeare's Hamlet. The suicidal Hamlet says "to sleep, perchance to dream. Ay there's the rub. For in the sleep of death what dreams may come", reflecting his coward self who wants to die, yet the fear what might come after death acting as an obstacle in preventing him from killing himself.

    • Spike: It only hurts for a few moments.
      This episode has a few similarities to the "The Vampire Lestat" the second book in Anne Rice's "Vampire Chronicles". In the book, Lestat, having not been a vampire for very long, finds his dying mother (the only family member who ever treated him decently) and turns her. They part ways eventually, although not as disatrously as Spike does with his mom in this episode....

    • Buffy: I'm coming up so you better get this party started.
      When Buffy is talking about the song that triggers Spike to be evil, she says it's not catchy like the Pink song titled "Get The Party Started" when she says a line from it.

    • Anya: Spike's got some sort of 'get out of jail free' card that doesn't apply to the rest of us.
      The Parker Brothers board game Monopoly includes a card that allows players to get out of jail for free, aptly called the 'get out of jail free' card.

    • Spike: Should I send a coach for Dr. Gull?
      Almost certainly a reference to Dr. William Gull, a doctor in service to the Royal Family during the time, and who, among other things, gave name to the medical condition, Anorexia Nervosa.

      His reputation has been slandered by numerous theories that name him as Jack The Ripper, most recently in the graphic novel and 2002 movie From Hell, starring Johnny Depp and Robbie Coltrane.