Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Family

From The TV IV
Jump to: navigation, search
Season 5, Episode 6
Airdate November 7, 2000
Production Number 5ABB06
Written by Joss Whedon
Directed by Joss Whedon
← 5x05
No Place Like Home
5x07 →
Fool for Love
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Five

Family is the sixth episode of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the eighty-fourth episode overall, and explores Tara's family and character more thoroughly. In the episode, it's Tara's birthday and her family is desperate to have her return home. If she refuses, her family intends to tell her friends a secret about her which may change their relationship forever.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Marc Blucas (Riley Finn), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), James Marsters (Spike)

and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles)

Guest Starring: Mercedes McNab (Harmony Kendall), Clare Kramer (Glory), Charlie Weber (Ben), Amy Adams (Cousin Beth), Steve Rankin (Mr. Maclay), Amber Benson (Tara)

Co-Starring: Ezra Buzzington (Bartender), Peggy Goss (Crazy Person), Torry Pendergrass (Damon), Megan Gray (Sandy), Brian Tee (Intern), Kevin Rankin (Donny)


Plot Overview

Tara's birthday approaches, but the arrival of her family brings about fear that a horrible secret will be revealed to her friends.

Meanwhile, Buffy shows a sudden over-protection for Dawn, beginning a sense of distance from her Riley has been feeling.


Monster of the Week

  • Lei-Ach Demon:

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1/2 Lei-Ach Demon Buffy Broken Neck The Magic Box
3 Lei-Ach Demon Spike Stabbed The Magic Box


  • Melanie Doane - "I Can't Take My Eyes Off You"
  • Motorace - "American Shoes"
  • My Vitriol - "Cemented Shoes"
  • Yo La Tengo - "Tears Are In Your Eyes"

Arc Advancement



  • Tara: Tara's family is revealed to be a sexist patriarchal family unit which used lies about the women of the family being demons to keep them in line. In this episode we also learn that Tara's last name is Maclay. We also find out why Tara sabotaged Willow's locator spell in "Goodbye, Iowa". She didn't want Willow to discover she was part demon.


  • Doppelgangland: Megan Gray reprises her role from the referenced episode as Sandy, the vampire who was sired by the evil Willow.


The Show

  • Final Appearance: This episode is the last to show Willow and Tara's cat, Miss Kitty Fantastico.

Behind the Scenes

  • Six Degrees: Amy Adams previously worked with Nicholas Brendon in his movie, Psycho Beach Party. She also is connected to Sarah Michelle Gellar when she continued the role of Kathryn Merteuil in Cruel Intentions 2 after Gellar didn't return to production.

Allusions and References

  • Miss Congeniality: At beauty pageants, Miss Congeniality is an award given to the most friendly and sociable contestant. The award is voted on by the contestants rather than the judges and the winner generally doesn't win the pageant.
Buffy: So, any breakthrough on the identity of Miss Congeniality?

Memorable Moments

  • Spike punching Tara in the face to prove that she's not a demon.


  • The demon is referred to in the credits as "Damon".


  • Willow: Tell me a story.
Tara: Okay. Once upon a time, there was, um... a kitty. She was very little and she was all alone and nobody wanted her.
Willow: This is a very upsetting story.
  • Anya: But we just helped her move the stuff in a few days ago... (seeing Buffy) and it was fun!
Giles: People help each other out, Anya. It's one of our strange customs.
Buffy: Giles, I noticed you're doing the smallest amount of helping that can actually be called helping.
Giles: Well, I saw myself in more of a patriarchal sort of role. You know, lots of pointing and scowling.
  • Riley: He started it.
Xander: He called me a bad name. I think it was bad. It might've been Latin.
Giles: Stop it, or you're going to break something.
Buffy: Or I'm going to break something.
  • Anya: Thank you for coming. We value your patronage. Please come again for more purchases!
Giles: Could we please be a little less effusive, Anya? Don't want to frighten the people.
Anya: I'm just so excited. They come in, I help them, they give us money in exchange for goods. You give me money for working for you. I have a place in the world now. I'm part of the system. I'm a working gal.
Giles: Yes. Well, why don't you start organising the shipping orders.
Anya: Oh, no, that's boring. I just want to do the money parts.
  • Giles: Well, you didn't give me much to go on. She looks human, so the mug shots aren't any use, and, uh -- You can't be more specific about what she's like?
Buffy: She was kinda like Cordelia, actually. I'm pretty sure she dyes her hair.
Giles: Oh, yes. That one, of course. Our work is done.
  • Giles: Come up with anything yet?
Xander: Well, candles, maybe, or bath oils of some kind.
Buffy: I saw a really cute sweater at Bloomie's, but I think I want me to have it.
Giles: And you are talking about what on earth?
Buffy: Tara's birthday. We're at a loss.
Giles: You're in a magic shop and you can't think what Tara would like. I believe you're both profoundly stupid.
Xander: Well, we don't really know what kind of things witches like. What, are we gonna get her, some cheesy crystal ball?
Giles: You bloody well better not. I've got mine already wrapped.
  • Donny: So all these books got spells in 'em? Turn people into frogs, things like that?
Xander: Yeah, we're building a race of frog people. It's a good time.
  • Glory: A Slayer? Oh, God, please don't tell me I was fighting a vampire slayer! How unbelievably common. If I had friends, and they heard about this.
  • Willow: Hey. Am I late? Did I miss any exposition?
  • Mr McClay: The girl belongs with her family. I hope that's clear to the rest of you.
Buffy: It is. You want her, Mr McClay? You can go ahead and take her. You just gotta go through me.
Mr Maclay: What?
Buffy: You heard me. You want to take Tara out of here against her will, you gotta come through me.
Dawn: And me!
Mr Maclay: Is this a joke? I'm not going to be threatened by two little girls.
Dawn: You don't wanna mess with us.
Buffy: She's a hair-puller.
Giles: And you're not just dealing with two little girls.
Xander: You're dealing with all of us.
Spike: 'Cept me!
Xander: 'Cept Spike.
Spike: I don't care what happens.
Mr Maclay: This is insane. You people have no right to interfere with Tara's affairs. We are her blood kin! Who the hell are you?
Buffy: We're family.
  • Donny: Tara, if you don't get in that car, I swear by God, I will beat you down.
Xander: And I swear by your full and manly beard, you're gonna break something trying.
  • Cousin Beth: Well. I hope you'll all be happy hanging out with a disgusting demon.
Anya: Excuse me. What kind?
Cousin Beth: What?
Anya: What kind of demon is she? There's a lot of different kinds. Some are very, very evil. And some have been considered to be useful members of society.
Cousin Beth: Well, I - I... What does it matter?
Mr Maclay: Evil is evil.
Anya: Well, let's just narrow it down.