Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 6 Episode 8

Tabula Rasa

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 13, 2001 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
647 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Willow is devastated to learn that she pulled Buffy out of heaven, not hell, and she resolves to make things better by casting a spell to make Buffy forget her afterlife experience. The spell, however, backfires and causes the whole gang to wake up with no memories. The amnesiac Scoobies must piece together their lives and find a way to reverse the spell while dealing with the usual incursion of demons and vampires.moreless

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  • This is a fun, emotional, and moderately probing episode that unfortunately isn't consistently so.

    The first half or so along with the end of the episode are excellent and provide all kinds of important, memorable, and intriguing moments. All the stuff in between, though, is another story. I'll concede that the middle material is occasionally hilarious but, unlike "Something Blue" for example, it just doesn't have very much depth or value. Did any of the memory-loss stuff propel any character arcs forward? No. Even for Willow, because it was her act of causing the memory loss that was the last straw for Tara. So, this episode marks one of those rare occasions where the main plot did not service the characters and, instead, we got it the other way around, played for laughs. Because of this, I don't feel the plot works very well.

    Since "Tabula Rasa" is so cleanly split into different parts, I'm going to talk about the pre-spell stuff and the post-spell stuff separately -- the former being the much meatier topic. It begins doing something that I never tire of and is extremely rare in television: good, solid, and immediate follow-up from the events of the previous episode. In this case it involves Spike running up to Buffy trying to pry her thoughts out on their big kiss in "Once More, with Feeling". Buffy claims it was the spell and that it will never happen again, although we can see right through her words.

    This episode-to-episode continuity continues strong when the Scoobies discuss the big news of Buffy's deathly whereabouts. Each person has a very unique reaction that's in character and still interesting. Willow says she was selfish, but then suggests another reckless action: doing a spell to make Buffy forget she was ever in heaven. This is typical of the way Willow's been doing a lot of things lately: using spells to make things better in uber quick time. A shame she didn't take what happened in "Something Blue" to heart, but that's not where the character has been heading since then, which is the point. Although robbing Buffy of her heavenly memories would, in the short term, make her happier, it is completely side-stepping the real issues. Plus, heaven was a happy place, somewhere Buffy felt endlessly warm and loved. Even if that memory causes her pain by contrast now, it is still a huge sin to rob someone of knowledge, let alone happy knowledge. Buffy's traumatized enough. The Scoobies must suck it up and deal with the horrible decision they made in resurrecting Buffy, but Willow's not listening.

    Tara's reaction is mute until Willow starts the undoing discussion. This is when Tara angrily bursts out "No! No more spells! ... God, what is wrong with you!?" She's been extremely clear of her opinion of magic and its proper use since she was introduced, but especially clear in S5 up until now. The fact Willow's completely ignoring her partner combines to push Tara to threaten ending their relationship. Tara gives Willow one final chance to show she can live without this magic on a daily basis, and Willow fails nearly immediately while additionally screwing around with everyone's memories again and "fixing things to [her] This episode shows just how much growth Tara's had since S4 and, while very sad to see, she's completely right to show this kind of individual strength.

    Xander's opinion of Buffy's situation is probably the most intriguing of them all. Although he pretty much agrees they made a monumental mistake, I sympathize with him when he says he's having a hard time feeling bad that their friend is alive. While I have sympathy, it doesn't make his statement anything less than extremely selfish. Buffy's in awful emotional torment and pain because they made her 'alive' again. It's time for Xander to see the context of the situation. But as Anya will tell him in "Selfless", "Xander, you've always seen what you wanted Here and throughout most of S6, this trait of Xander is in full effect until he is forced to see what is sitting right in front of his Xander-face. On the other end of the spectrum, Anya's reaction to this Buffy stuff is unsurprisingly superficial: harps and clouds. At least she keeps quiet and is understanding during the rest of the conversation.

    Someone who sure didn't have a superficial reaction to the situation is Giles. His conversation to her about going back to England is just as heart-breaking as Tara telling Willow it isn't going to work out, if not moreso. Right or wrong, Giles has made his choice and Buffy isn't happy about it one bit, going as far as practically begging him to stay and telling him he's making the wrong decision. Both Buffy and Giles have valid respective points -- Buffy's being the emotional one and Giles' being the rational one. Although one may lean to be inclined to agree with Giles here, it's important to remember sometimes that we're all human beings with complex, powerful, and relevant emotions. Although our emotions should never rule our rational thought, the same must be said of the reverse. This whole situation, as pointed out in my "Once More, with Feeling" review, is very complicated and, well, perfectly represents how real life actually is.

    When Xander and Willow enter the Magic Box before the spell occurs Willow says, "Thanks for the jacket. It's cold out Xander replies with something incredibly subtext-filled in "Not a problem, the cold only makes me stronger and more The cold only makes me stronger, huh? Don't I recall hearing Buffy saying something about touching the fire and it freezing her... about her friends not being able to face the cold? Didn't Angel grow stronger after hitting rock bottom and feeling "the cold" in "Reprise"? I think we know the answer to all these questions is a big yes! This will be true of Buffy as well, but it will be a much longer, personally painful, and harrowing internal journey than Angel's in AtS S2 or, for that matter, anything else in the entire Buffyverse. This is also the exact reason why Giles is leaving, of which he's going to tell the group right after Xander's comment. I think we've just witnessed some more sublime writing!

    At the Magic Box a big scene starts unravelling. Willow tells Buffy's she's sorry. Buffy's reaction is fitting: apologies don't help one bit for what the Scoobies did. Normally I'd be pissed that Willow's spell cut Buffy actually verbalizing her feelings out loud short, but in this case there's actually severe consequences from it, and not just for Willow. If Buffy had gotten out what she was trying to say, it would have been an important step to begin her healing process and things may have not dove into living hell for her after this episode. Interesting to think about.

    Anyway, it's at this point in the episode where the interesting material starts to disappear. There's still a few things, though, that I find worth talking about. For one, the initial memory loss sequence is hilarious. Everyone seems to maintain their base feelings for one another. It's like the part of their memories that holds their acquired instincts is still there, and only their raw memories have been lost. The thing I find most fascinating about this entire process is how Buffy begins to stroke Dawn's hair again, something we haven't seen out of her since S5. This is a really nice little touch that reminds us that, yes, Buffy still deeply cares about Dawn, but her revived situation is overriding her normal feelings and reactions. It's also a hint that Buffy didn't "come back wrong" in the demon-y sense.

    It's about at this point where the episode really starts to lose steam. The rest of the memory loss material -- the sewer chase and the Buffy/Spike combo fighting outside -- is quite boring. It's not until after everyone gets their memories back that I become interested in the episode again. When Buffy gets her memory back we see this huge contrast in feeling represented in only her face. Her fun time wailing on vamps with no memory is immediately dampened by this huge visible wave of depression and pain. In fact, being kicked repeatedly in the gut seems to hurt her much less than the emotional pain she's feeling.

    Spike reaches his hand out to help Buffy up. She just looks at him with sickness, disgust, and confusion that is completely meant to reflect her feelings and choices up to this point. Those emotions -- sickness, disgust, and confusion -- are where these two are headed as soon as the next episode, so that look from Buffy says a lot. The ending song "Goodbye to You" by Michelle Branch is very obvious in meaning, but powerful nonetheless as we watch Giles flying away for good on a plane, Tara packing up her stuff and leaving Willow, Dawn in tears, Willow in the corner of her bathroom crying, and Buffy completely failing at listening to her feelings of disgust with herself while having an extremely passionate/hot kiss with Spike.

    And so the extra complicated times begin! To sum this episode up, I enjoyed it a lot but felt that something was lacking. That something boils down to the disjointed and unsupportive nature of the main plot. The memory loss doesn't serve the characters very much and it doesn't show the audience very much either. With that said, the rest of the episode, which is still a sizable chunk, is excellent and does offer up loads of development and assorted character-related goodies. So, like most plots that struggle but still have a lot of excellent material in the episode, this gets an 8.5.moreless
  • Suffers only from comparison to OMWF

    The Good;

    All great, emotional turmoil mixed with side-splitting humour at every turn. Especially love Anya and the bunnies and the beautiful ending song

    The Bad;

    The Loanshark is a funny idea poorly realised (foreshadowed in Restless as is Giles thinking Spike's his son). Works better in the comics although he comes to a sticky end.

    Best line;

    Giles "Welcome to the nancy tribe"

    Women good/men bad;

    Spike refers to Anya as tarty and a trollope. Anya's woman's intuition needs work.


    Once again the creature we don't see behind the counter is the scariest of all, just like in Forever. Seeing Buffy get kicked on the ground also isn't nice.

    Kinky dinky;

    Spike and Buffy kiss again. And the Spuffers did rejoice! Spike is 'Randy Giles' and dresses just as he did in Restless. Anya describes Spike and Giles as 'ruggedly handsome'. Willow in her towel. Dawn seems to like Xander helping her down the ladder.

    Captain Subtext;

    Even when amnesiac Willow and Tara sense they're lovers and Buffy and Dawn sense they're sisters (amnesiac Buffy knows amnesiac Dawn for all of one minute and they're already both enjoying Buffy stroking Dawn's hair in the traditional Summers' way) . How funny would it have been if it was the other way around and both pairs came to each other's conclusion? Check out Dawn's expression when Willow tells her she's 'Kinda gay' (as she remarked of VampWillow). Interesting it's 'kinda' giving another hint of bi-Willow. Willow and Xander also sense their affection for one another. BUT Anya and Xander don't, she's actually attracted to Giles (and still hugely capitalist). Maybe Anya is actually in love with the idea of Xander rather than the guy himself? Even more interesting is Giles' affection for her. Anya looking for a daddy figure (like D'Hoffryn?) and Giles transferring his fatherly love for Buffy to Anya?

    Willow and Tara break up just as another relationship blossoms. Giles threatens to put Spike across his knee (well Buffy already has him spanking Dawn). Spike refers to Giles as 'nancy' and Giles welcomes him to 'the nancy tribe'. Note Spike seems to desperately want to be like Angel (because Buffy loves Angel or does he wants Buffy only because Angel loves her?) Spike refer to Gile's car as 'penis shaped' but then they hug. We never meet Spike's dad, divorce taboo in Victorian society so he may have died young (much more common), perhaps Spike harbours feelings of resentment towards him as his relationship with Angelus might suggest?

    Apocalypses; 6

    Scoobies in bondage:

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 5

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 4

    Oz: 1

    Faith: 3

    Joyce: 1

    Wes: 1

    Xander; 1

    Dawn; 3

    Scoobies knocked out: everyone but Xander also faints

    Buffy: 17

    Giles: 12

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 11

    Will: 6

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 3

    Wes: 1


    Dawn; 2

    Kills: 2 vamps for Buffy, 3 for Spike and 1 for Xander

    Buffy: 103 vamps, 41 demons, 6 monsters, 3 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot

    Giles: 8 vamps, 2 demon, 1 human, 1 god.

    Cordy: 3 vamps, a demon

    Will: 6 vamps + 1 demon +1 fawn.

    Angel: 3 vamps, 1 demon, 1 human

    Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie

    Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans

    Xander: 6 vamps, 2 zombies, 1 a demon,

    Anya: 1 vamp and 1 a demon

    Riley; 18 vamps + 7 demons

    Spike; 8 vamps and 2 demon

    Buffybot; 2 vamps

    Tara; 1 demon

    Dawn; 1 vamp

    Scoobies go evil:

    Giles: 1

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 1

    Oz: 1

    Joyce: 1

    Xander: 4

    Anya; 1

    Dawn; 1

    Alternate scoobies: the whole gang go amnesiac

    Buffy: 7

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 2

    Joyce: 2

    Xander: 4

    Tara; 1


    Spike; 1

    Recurring characters killed: 10

    Jesse, Flutie, Jenny, Kendra, Larry, Snyder, Professor Walsh, Forrest, McNamara, Joyce

    Sunnydale deaths;


    Total number of scoobies: 7 (but not for long!). Note how keen Dawn is to participate in the Scooby meeting, slowly becoming a full member of the gang.

    Xander, Willow, Buffy, Anya, Tara, Spike, Giles

    Xander demon magnet: 5(6?)

    Preying Mantis Lady, Inca Mummy Girl, Drusilla, VampWillow, Anya (arguably Buffy & Faith with their demon essences?), Dracula?

    Scoobies shot:

    Giles: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 4

    Riley; 1

    Notches on Scooby bedpost:

    Giles: 2; Joyce & Olivia, possibly Jenny and 3xDraccy babes?

    Cordy: 1?

    Buffy: 3 confirmed; Angel, Parker,Riley, 1 possible, Dracula(?)

    Angel: 1;Buffy

    Joyce: 1;Giles, 2 possible, Ted and Dracula(?)

    Oz: 3; Groupie, Willow & Verucca

    Faith:2 ;Xander, Riley

    Xander: 2; Faith, Anya

    Willow: 2;Oz and Tara

    Riley; 3; Buffy, Sandy and unnamed vampwhore

    Spike; good or bad?

    Amnesiac Spike doesn't seem to realise he's supposed to be evil and wants to be good. He saves Buffy again.

    Dawn in peril; along with everyone else 7

    Dawn the bashful virgin; 5

    Questions and observations;

    Teeth asks if Buffy has ever considered working as a debt collector. Well it would solve her financial problems. Tara's very right, Willow violating her mind is no joke especially after what Glory did to her. It also makes their sex whilst Tara is amnesiac virtual rape. Buffy wears her cream number she died in for the first time. Xander wears what looks like an army jacket, left over from his faux soldier days? Xander's latent insecurites are very apparent, wondering if Willow is dating his brother. But he still comes the hero in the end. Buffy's choice of 'Joan' suggests Joan of Arc. Note amnesiac Tara begins to stutter, just as she did before she befriended the Scoobs.

    Marks out of 10; 9/10, suffers in comparison with OMWF but otherwise not perfect only because of the loanshark.

  • Hey! Remember Us? We Sure Don't!

    Tabula Rasa-Willow is devastated to learn that she pulled Buffy out of heaven, not hell, and she resolves to make things better by casting a spell to make Buffy forget her afterlife experience. The spell, however, backfires and causes the whole gang to wake up with no memories. The amnesiac Scoobies must piece together their lives and find a way to reverse the spell while dealing with the usual incursion of demons and vampires.

    A straight continuation of the last episode's events, Spike confronts Buffy about their kiss, The rest of the gang deals with Buffy's revelation about being in heaven, Giles finally tells Buffy's he's leaving for good and Tara finally gives Willow an ultimatum if she doesn't her magic addiction. For a comedic episode, the episode starts off on with a very heavy tone (well, besides the part with lone shark being....well....an actual shark!) Buffy's in denial about her new attraction with Spike as well as her dependence of Giles. Giles breaking the news to Buffy wasn't easy, but he had to do it to make her stronger. Buffy is very fragile and emotional now, but if she's to over come her post-resurrection trauma, she has to deal with her issues head on and Giles being there would only delay her dealing with those problems. Then you have the rest of the Scooby Gang's discussion on the consequences of bringing Buffy out of heaven. Everyone involved feels guilty (as they should) butultimatelywant to help Buffy heal.....except Willow. Once again, she thinks a spell will solve the problem and suggests wiping her memory clean. Seriously, Willow's mental state is scary, she already caused a lot of pain by bringing Buffy back, now she wants her to forget about the only time she's ever felt at peace. That would only make things worse in the end! Tara finally can't take it anymore and truly makes Willow enough is enough. Her ultimatum is completely justified! Tara's not only concerned with Buffy's safety but her own, considering she kinda leaving in an abusive relationship now. Whether Willow admits it or not, she mental "abused" Tara with that spell and that crossed the line. It's a heartbreaking development but shows how much Tara has grown since her debut in Season 4 as she won't but up with any kind of abuse from anyone, not even Willow.

    Naturally, Willow doesn't heed Tara's warning and does a spell anyway to make both Tara and Buffy forget. At the Magic Shop, after Giles announces his permanent exit from Sunnydale, things get heated once again. Buffy looks like she's about to have a serious breakdown. No amount of "sorry"from her friends can help her, what she's going through is unimaginable and a part of me would have loved to hear what Buffy would have said if Willow's spells didn't backfire and whammy everyone...oh well! What follows anyway is a series of some the series' funniest gags and jokes! Where to begin? As everyone wakes up with amnesia, every tires to put the pieces together, but fail humorously. Willow and Xander think they're dating, Giles and Anya think their engaged, Giles and Spike think their father and son, Buffy calls herself "Joan" etc. You also got to love Spike making fun of the British only to find he himself is also English, Buffy finding out she's "like a superhero or something" and Spike's declaration that he's a vampire with soul, out to fight for redemption. Buffy's reaction? "A vampire with a soul? Gosh, how lame is that!" If only we could have seen Angel's face at that moment. Anya continuing to conquer bunnies and cringing in fear was also a laugh out loud moment. I also enjoyed how the characters, even without their memories, realized the specific connections that had with each other. Like Buffy and Dawn's hilarious moment as they realize they're sisters and the sexual eye gazes Tara and Willow keep on giving each other. "I think I'm kinda gay?" You have no idea Willow! Surprisingly, Xander and Anya don't realize they're engaged or even sense a connection between them. Maybe another foreshadowing of their sudden break-up? After the spell is broken, once again, the episode gets even heavier than it began. Tara's face after realizing it was a spell like the rest of them was heartbreaking, you knew her and Willow were over. The final sequence with Michelle Branch's "Goodbye To You" wasn't exactlysubtlebut it still pulls at the heartstrings. Everyone is pretty despressed, Giles is finally off to England for good, Willow's a wreck, Tara is packing her things, Dawn's upset that she's leaving and Buffy once again finds comfort in Spike of all people by kissing him again. All and All, "Tabula Rasa" is both a terrific comedy and heartbreaking drama, something Buffy does so well and this is a perfect example.moreless
  • Rehashed plot line with some development in character relationships and advancement in story arc. Buffy and Spike...does she have Stockholm syndrome?

    Willow's selfish actions and abuse of magic continue to have serious consequences, this time when she affects the whole gang and erases their memory. This plot seems very similar to several other plots in this series where the characters lose their memory/identity in one way or another. I know that this kind of device is used to add some development to reveal some hidden truth about the natures of the characters, but I do not appreciate it as much as some, who I suspect are merely getting a kick out of the absurd fantasies that play out (Giles and Anya kissing etc.).

    Overall, the episode was still quite good, and had key advancements in the plot and character relationships with Giles moving away and Tara breaking it off with Willow. I feel this development makes sense and is fair. However, the continued obsession of Spike with Buffy and her again kissing him at the end, this time not under any spell, is just insulting to the viewers. The writers are clearly just pandering to the 14 year old Buffy and Spike 'shippers with no regard to consistent storytelling. Does Buffy have Stockholm syndrome from that time Spike kidnapped her, chained her up, and threatened her life unless she said she loved him? I doubt it. Or was it the Buffy shrine, sexbot, obsessive stalking, unwanted puppy dog eyes all the time, and generally pathetic behavior by Spike that ultimately won her over? That is not attractive to anyone, ever. Whatever happened to the Spike/Quasimodo parallel that they so poignantly illustrated in Season 5? They negated their whole point by putting them together. This is the biggest misstep so far in the writing of this show.moreless
  • Poorly written amnesia episode.

    Two words: loan shark. This episode was total crap, start to finish. Awful attempts at humor, pathetic attempt to retcon the uncharacteristic Willow loves Tara crap. The scene with the guy in the ridiculous rubber shark costume and this sudden idea of using cats as currency could well be the very worst moment in the entire run of the show. This episode is embarrassingly bad.

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • Right after they open the door to the vampires they're crouched down on the floor talking about what just happened and if those were real vampires and Willow says: "It's Halloween, maybe those were just costumes."

      Two things are wrong with this line: 1. This episode was two episodes AFTER the Halloween episode where Dawn snuck out with her friend and almost got bitten by the guy she liked who turned out to be a vampire. And 2. The gang had just woken up from Willow's spell not remembering their own names or anything else so how would Willow suddenly remember the day or even the month? Perhaps, this was an oversight because they wanted to have a plausible explanation for the characters after they encountered vampires for the first times since losing their collective memories. Also, the existence of vampires would not be easy to accept if the gang has forgotten their previous lives and just thought of themselves as regular people instead of monster fighters.


    • When Spike passes out while sitting on the counter he slumps to his right and his legs are hanging down. Later, as everyone is waking up Spike is now lying on the counter on his back fully stretched out with his hands behind his head. It is possible that he moved while unconscious but nobody else moved much, if at all(Except Buffy as noted in another post).

    • The establishing shot of the Magic Box uses film from the same establishing shot in "Bargaining, part 1". Though the actual footage is different, the same two people standing together talking with a large brown shopping bag at their feet can be seen and a woman in a tan coat is walking from left to right.

    • At the moment the gang falls unconscious, Buffy has just walked up all the steps toward the door of the shop and is standing on the landing in front of the table. When she falls to the floor, she is parallel to the steps in front of her facing the gang. Yet when she wakes up she is sitting on the steps, her back to the gang and resting her head on her arms on the landing above her.

    • In the sewers, when the Scoobies were running away from the vampire, Tara finds a tunnel where they run into and hide. In goes Tara first, last is Xander.

      In the shot from their backs, we can see Willow is in front of Xander, Dawn has already climbed in, but in another shot, the one from inside the tunnel, we see that after Willow climbs in, follows Dawn, and behind her is Xander.

    • In the scene near the end when "Joan" and Randy" are fighting the vampires on someone's lawn, Buffy kicks a letterbox, and breaks it in two. She picks up the end with the letterbox on it, and when she stakes a vamp, the letterbox is nowhere to be seen and is not on the ground either.

    • When Buffy and Spike are fighting the vampires, Buffy uses a letter-box pole to stab one of the vampires. From the vampire's point of view we can see that Buffy held out the blunt part of the pole, however when the camera switches to side view we can see that Buffy used pointed bit to stab the vampire.

    • Before the gang all pass out, the lights in the magic shop are on. Next when we see them on the floor, after passing out, the lights are off. Who turned them off, if everyone was unconscious?

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Willow: I just wanted us not to fight anymore. I love you.
      Tara: If you don't want to fight, you don't fight. You don't use magick to make a fight disappear.

    • Buffy: (about Spike) If I would just stop saving his life, it would simple things up so much.

    • Anya: This is the book for us.
      Giles: Oh, good. Does it focus on mind control, or-or memory loss?
      Anya: Not exactly, I just, um ... my intuition tells me this is the book. And I figure being a magic shop owner and a natural at the supernatural, I should trust my intuition.
      Giles: Yes, fine, but as you recall, I too am a magic shop owner.
      Anya: True, but my intuition says that you're not so much the magic guy and more of a paperwork type.

    • "Joan": I kill your kind.
      "Randy": And I bite yours. So how come I don't want to bite you? And why am I fighting other vampires? I must be a noble vampire. A good guy. On a mission of redemption. I help the helpless. I'm a vampire with a soul!
      "Joan": A vampire with a soul? Oh my God. How lame is that?

    • Giles: Clearly that is not a helpful book darling. Come down and we will go about fixing this in a sensible fashion.
      Anya: Sensible? You think its sensible for me to go down into that pit of cotton top hell and let them hippity hop all over my vulnerable flesh?

    • "Joan": Monsters are real. Did we know this?

    • Willow: I didn't mean to...
      Tara: Didn't mean to what? Violate my mind like that?

    • "Randy": Randy Giles? Why not just call me Horny Giles or Desperate-For-A-Shag Giles?

    • "Joan": I think I know why Joan's the boss. I'm like a superhero or something.

    • Spike: Take it easy, you'll get your kittens.
      Shark Demon: Oh, I trust you, Mister Spike.
      Buffy: Oh God, what is it with you guys? Why kittens? Why can't you just use money like everybody else?
      Shark demon: (to Spike) She's funny. I like funny in a girl.

    • "Randy": Oh, listen to Mary Poppins! He's got his crust all stiff and upper with that nancy-boy accent. You Englishmen are always so… Bloody hell. Sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers, bollocks. Oh, God. I'm English.
      Giles: Welcome to the nancy tribe.

    • Anya: I don't see any booze, I don't feel any head bumps, I don't see Allen Funt.

    • Giles: I'm afraid we don't know a bloody thing... except I seem to be British, don't I? Oh, and a man. With glasses. Well, that narrows it down considerably.

    • Dawn: How are you?
      Willow: A little confused. I mean, I'm... all sweaty... and trapped, no memory, hiding in a pipe from a vampire... and I think I'm kinda gay.

    • Xander: So I have decided to simplify the whole thing. Me like Buffy. Buffy's alive. So me glad.

    • "Randy": I'm a hero, really. I mean, to be cast such an ugly lot in life, and then to rise above it. To seek out better, nobler things. It's inspirational, isn't it? And the two of us -- natural enemies thrown together, to stand against the forces of darkness. Utter trust. No thought of me biting you, no thought of you staking me.
      "Joan": Depends on how long you keep on yapping.

    • "Randy": I'm sure he has some kind of midlife crisis transport. Something red, shiny... shaped like a penis.

    • Anya: What? I'm just saying what everyone else is thinking, right sweetie?
      Xander: You are attractive and have many good qualities.

    • Spike: We kissed, Buffy.
      Buffy: So?
      Spike: We... we kissed, you and me all Gone with the Wind, with the rising music and the rising... music and what was that, Buffy?

    • Spike: Can we talk?
      Buffy: Vocal chord wise? Yes. With each other? No.

    • Anya: They're blood suckers, they kill by sucking blood, take it easy Joan.

    • "Joan": Hey, stay away from Randy!

  • NOTES (10)

    • In this episode, a statue of the two-faced Roman god Janus can be seen briefly. Ethan Rayne used a statue like this one to turn everybody into their costumes in the series 2 episode "Halloween". Presumably this is a different statue, as Giles had to destroy that one to reverse the spell.

    • This episode is tenth in Joss Whedon's list of his top ten favorite episodes (which is more of a top twelve list) according to his personal letter included in the Australian Chosen Collection Box-set. The episodes on this top ten list are not ranked, but are put in order of which episode aired first.

    • When Spike thought his name was Randy, he said "Randy Giles!? Why not just call me Horny Giles or Desperate-for-a-shag Giles!?" It's not common and rather embarrassing for the British to have Randy as a name, because "randy" is a British slang word which means "aroused," or "feeling great sexual desire." In other words, "horny" or "desperate for a shag."

    • Joan, the name Buffy gives herself, was the real name of Chanterelle/Lily to whom Buffy gave her middle name, Anne, in the season 3 premiere, also entitled Anne.

    • In that same segment of the "Restless" dream where Spike is shown wearing a tweed suit, there is some discussion of "a shark, but on land. A land shark."

    • Randy comes to the conclusion that he is a righteous vampire as he doesn't want to bite Buffy and attacks other vampires. He thinks of himself as a vampire with a soul. Buffy says 'a vampire with a soul? How lame is that?' This is a funny stab at Angel. Spike also says "I help the helpless," which is the slogan for Angel Investigations.

    • Michelle Branch performs her song 'Goodbye To You' in The Bronze.

    • When the memory-lacking gang decides to head to the hospital, Randyspike suggests they take Giles' car, adding "I'm sure he has some sort of mid-life crisis transport. Something red, shiny... shaped like a penis." Giles does indeed have a mid-life-mobile which was introduced in season 5's 'Real Me', and it is both red and shiny. Not so much penis-shaped, though.

    • The suit Spike wears for most of the episode is quite reminiscent of the one he wore in Xander's dream in the season 4 finale 'Restless'. During the same dream, Giles said he thought of Spike as a son, and during the memory lapse Spike comes to the conclusion that Giles and him are father and son.

    • At one point during the memory lapse, Willow tells Dawn "I think I'm kinda gay."
      Willow said the same thing about the Vampire Willow in episode 'Doppelgangland'.


    • "a shark, but on land. A land shark."

      The term "land shark", dates back to sailor's chanties, referring to merchants who cheated sailors. In more recent usage, however, it refers to a classic Saturday Night Live skit spoofing Jaws shortly after it was released.

    • Giles sword-fighting the skeleton is a possible reference to Ray Harryhausen's skeleton fight scene in Jason and the Argonauts, where he animated 7 skeletons fighting a live-action Jason with stop-motion photography.

    • Xander: Sorry, I just got back the memory of seeing King Ralph.
      King Ralph is a 1991 comedy starring John Goodman as a brash, loutish American man who is identified as the next in line for the British throne when the Royal Family are all killed.

    • Title: Tabula Rasa
      Latin for "blank slate" (Literally blank tablet).

    • Anya: I-I don't see any booze. I don't feel any head bumps. I don't see Allen Funt.
      Allen Funt was the creator/host/director/producer of the show Candid Camera which premiered in 1948. On Candid Camera unsuspecting people are placed in confusing, impossible, embarrassing, ridiculous, and hilarious positions, while their reactions are recorded on a hidden camera.

    • Spike: We... we kissed, you and me. All Gone With The Wind, with the rising music, and the rising... music, and what was that, Buffy?
      A reference to the 1939 Victor Fleming film Gone with the Wind staring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.