In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 5, episode 1, Buffy vs. Dracula Dracula gets into Buffy's house and bites her.

We learn that Joyce invited him in.

While Tara and Willow are performing a spell to keep Dracula out of Buffy's house:

JOYCE: I'm not like this. I don't invite strange men over for coffee, it's just ... Oh, when you girls are older you'll understand. (Sits on stairs) It's hard to date. Sometimes you just ... feel like giving up on men altogether.

Willow and Tara sneak little looks at each other and try not to grin.

At this point in the series, Joyce is not aware of Willow and Tara's relationship.

However, later in the season,

Joyce dies

Does Joyce learn of Willow and Tara's true relationship before that event?

  • Having difficulty understanding why it matters whether she knew or not.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 13:01
  • @Steve-O - Because her knowledge (or lack thereof) impacts on what she said/does in the episode. If she knew, was her lapse an early indication of her mental decay, for example.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 13:36

2 Answers 2


In Buffy: Dracula (Season 5 Episode 1) she seems clueless.

JOYCE: ...Sometimes you just ... feel like giving up on men altogether.

[Willow and Tara sneak little looks at each other and try not to grin.]

But in Buffy: Real Me (Season 5 Episode 2) she seems pretty knowing. Probably she was told between the episodes, or just plain worked it out for herself (note also the stage direction above. They aren't being especially clever about hiding their amusement at what she said, nor at hiding their obvious affection for each other).

Dawn [VO]: She and Willow are both witches. They do spells and stuff, which is so much cooler than slaying. I told mom one time I wish they'd teach me some of the things they do together. And-and then she got really quiet and made me go upstairs.

Pretty much every subsequent conversation she has after this (and for the next 7 episodes until her death) is about her health, interspersed with occasional chats with Spike. She doesn't interact with or talk about Willow and Tara from this point onward so it's difficult to tell what she does or doesn't know.


She does find out after Dawn is introduced. This is another difference between the world with Dawn, and without. Before Dawn came Joyce did not know, after the false memories came into play, she does know.

Joss or one of the writers actually comments on this in one of the special features

  • 1
    Seems strange that the guys who created Dawn would add that titbit of info into Joyce's memory. It's not required knowledge for explaining Dawn's existence.
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 0:01
  • Can you provide a quote? "in one of the special features" isn't in the least bit helpful
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 0:03
  • I know but I think they were going for what changed after Dawn was introduced into the world. I'll watch it again and tell u exactly what the writers say.
    – Flitoangel
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 0:04
  • I will find it and quote it. I keep remembering, I believe it was actually Jane Esperson who comments on the fact about Joyce not knowing before Dawn came into the picture, then knowing after the false memories are put in place.
    – Flitoangel
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 0:46
  • The monks added other memories. . In the new implanted Dawn memories, Buffy was a slayer from childhood and Joyce always knew about it? Like when Dawn is talking with Xander and Anya and said Buffy used to chase her around when Dawn was 5 saying."I'm the Slayer I'm going to get you"
    – Flitoangel
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 1:15

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