Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Lies My Parents Told Me

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Lies My Parents Told Me
Lies My Parents Told Me
Season 7, Episode 17
Airdate March 25, 2003
Production Number 7ABB17
Written by David Fury and
Drew Goddard
Directed by David Fury
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Dirty Girls
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Seven

Lies My Parents Told Me is the seventeenth episode of the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the one-hundred and thirty-ninth episode overall.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), James Marsters (Spike)

and Alyson Hannigan (Willow)

Special Guest Star: Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles)

Guest Starring: Tom Lenk (Andrew Wells), Iyari Limon (Kennedy), Indigo (Rona), Caroline Lagerfelt (Anne), K.D. Aubert (Nikki Wood), Juliet Landau (Drusilla)

and DB Woodside (Principal Wood)

Co-Starring: Damani Roberts (Young Robin), Ira Steck (New Vamp)


Plot Overview

Buffy tries to discover the trigger the First has been using on Spike, despite Giles's concerns. While this leads Spike to recover the repressed memories of his relationship with his mother, Wood takes the opportunity to get revenge of the murder of his.


Monster of the Week

  • There's no monster of the week in this episode, because it is mainly about Spike and his past, as well as Robin's attempt to cope with working with the man who killed his mother.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Vampire Spike Decapitated Alleyway
2 Vampire Spike Staked Alleyway
3 Anne Spike Staked Spike's Home (1800s)
4 Vampire (Richard) Buffy Staked Graveyard

Arc Advancement


  • Willow gets a call from Fred Burkle and leaves for L.A.


  • Spike: More of Spike's past is shown through flashbacks. This is the first time that Spike is given a proper flashback episode since "Fool for Love". It particularly showcases the relationship with his mother, who essentially abandoned him after he sired her in order to heal her. The trigger that the First set up in his brain is removed in this episode.


  • 7x13 - The Killer in Me: Buffy had the chip that the Initiative placed in Spike's brain removed when given the choice by the active Initiative cell. Most of Buffy's friends believe this to be a mistake.
Giles: I told you my concerns when you recklessly chose to remove the chip from his head.
  • 7x05 - Selfless: Anya makes a reference to when Buffy tried to kill her after she used her vengeance demon powers to kill a room full of frat boys. The spell was eventually reversed, but she was still considered a threat afterwards.
Anya: I mean, he could slaughter a hundred frat boys, and—
  • 5x16 - The Body: In case you forgot, Joyce had an aneurysm after she recovered from her operation to remove her brain tumor.
Buffy: I lost my mom a couple years ago.


The Show

  • Angel Crossover: Willow gets a call from Fred from Angel in this episode and leaves for Los Angeles. Her story is told in the Angel episode "Orpheus". Incidentally, this is the first time that characters have crossed between series since Buffy aired on WB.
  • Product Placement: Wood apparently is using a G4 iMac with iTunes in order to trigger Spike into attacking him. This falls inline with the rest of the show's Apple promotion, as Willow can be often seen with what looks like a G3 Powerbook.
  • While not stated onscreen, William's mother's name is Anne. This is likely not a coincidence as it's also Buffy's middle name and the name she assumed when she was living in L.A. in "Anne".

Behind the Scenes

  • Original Title: This episode was originally going to be called "Mother and Son", but Drew Goddard convinced co-writer David Fury to change it because the episode also deals with Buffy's relationship with her "father" (Giles) and Robin's relationship with his mother.
  • Self-Reference: When Buffy says "have you heard my speeches," this is a wry reference to the criticism that Buffy's speeches attracted from the fan community, particularly on the various Buffy forums and newsgroups.
  • Deleted Scene: During Buffy's long fight with the vampire, a scene in which Giles admitted to killing a human once was cut. Giles did kill a human in the fifth season; He killed Ben in order to stop Glory forever in "The Gift".

Allusions and References

  • Tuberculosis: Although it isn't said specifically in the episode, it can be presumed that the disease ailing Anne was tuberculosis, a disease targeting the lungs and central nervous system. This would explain why she was coughing up blood. Additionally, tuberculosis was thought of as vampirism during the Industrial Revolution because when one person died in a family, the remainder of the family would also get ill and people thought it was the original sick person cursing their family. People with TB had symptoms of sensitivity of light due to swollen eyes, pale skin and coughing blood (which people presumed that needed to be replaced through sucking blood). This is often cited as the beginnings of the vampire myth.
  • Dr. Gull: When Spike offers to send for Dr. Gull, he almost certainly means Dr. William Gull, a doctor who was in service to the Royal Family during the time period this flashback took place in. Gull was most notably the man who gave name to Anorexia Nervosa and was theorized to be Jack the Ripper.
Should I send the coach for Doctor Gull?
  • Pink: Buffy references the song "Get This Party Started" by Pink, a pop artist popular in 2003. The song hovered around the Billboard hits chart for several weeks and has a high ranking video on the various countdown shows on MTV and VH1.
Buffy: It wasn't like it had a catchy hook or anything like "I'm coming up, so you better get this party started."
  • Yul Brynner: Yul Brynner is an Americanized Russian actor who immigrated to the United States and starred in movies like The King and I and The Ten Commandments.
Buffy: It was boring, old, and English. Just like you—ull. Yul Brynner.
  • Hamlet: Spike quotes a line from the "To be or not to be" soliloquy from Shakespeare's Hamlet. In the play, Hamlet reflects on his cowardice that's preventing him from committing suicide when he says, "to sleep, perchance to dream. Ay there's the rub. For in the sleep of death what dreams may come." He fears what might come after death and thus refuses to commit suicide.
Spike: Well, that's the rub, innit?

Memorable Moments


  • Buffy: Maybe you're right. Maybe everything is fine.
Giles: Everything's terrible. Total catastrophe.
Buffy: Giles, what's wrong?
Giles: Have you seen the new library? There's nothing but computers! There's not a book to be seen! I don't know where to begin, Buffy. I mean, who do - who do we speak to?
  • Giles: It has to access the cerebral cortex via the optic nerve.
Spike: Oh, bollocks. All the rubbish people keep sticking in my head, it's a wonder there's any room for my brain.
Giles: I don't think it takes up that much space, do you?
  • Andrew: Uh, Willow. Call for you from L.A. Somebody named Fred. Guy sounds kinda effeminate.
  • Drusilla: You wanna bring your mum with us?
Spike: Well, yeah. You'll like her.
Drusilla: To eat, you mean?
  • Giles: Spike's a liability, Buffy. He refuses to see it and so do you. Angel left here because he realised how harmful your relationship with him was. Spike, on the other hand, lacks such self-awareness.