In Season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer during the episode titled What's My Line: Part 2, we are introduced to Kendra who will be named as slayer if Buffy ever dies. During the episode Kendra comments that her parents were aware that she was chosen and gave her up for training at a very young age.

Why is Kendra's family privy to this information yet Buffy's mother is totally oblivious to the process?

  • 3
    Well she was a bit dense. She let dracula in.
    – Monkeygirl
    Jan 2, 2012 at 6:11
  • 8
    Actually, Kendra wasn't waiting to be named the Slayer if Buffy died. Kendra was the Slayer because Buffy had already died.
    – Kevin
    Aug 31, 2012 at 19:22

2 Answers 2


The central conceit of the first few seasons is that Buffy is leading a double life. People in "the real world" don't recognize Sunnydale as the supernatural hot spot that it is, and meanwhile Buffy's pressured with normal family-and-school expectations in addition to her slaying duties. The implicit assumption is the Buffy's mom wouldn't believe her, or would freak out and try to stop Buffy from protecting Sunnydale, or would otherwise cause a whole bunch of trouble if she ever found out what was going on.

Kendra is presented as a contrast to Buffy - somebody whose entire life is devoted to being the Slayer. This is portrayed as what's "expected" of slayers, particularly by the Watcher Council - and we can see that Kendra is kind of "all slayer, no teenager." Kendra's parents knowing about vampires and slayage et al, and training her and giving her up, is an expression of how Kendra's total devotion to being the Slayer has wiped away any connection she had to a "normal" life.

In later seasons, Joyce's role in the series changes rather drastically. The truth about Buffy and Sunnydale gradually become public knowledge, and we certainly see that Joyce can know about Buffy. Of course, this comes with tensions and complications as well.

  • 1
    And then in even later seasons, Joyce's role changes even further. ;_;
    – Jeff
    Apr 26, 2013 at 13:38
  • 4
    If I remember rightly, when Buffy first started noticing vampires, before the start of the first season, she was indeed institutionalized for a while. (She only mentioned this once, I think. I'm not sure which episode, but it was one of the later series.) Oct 25, 2015 at 7:48
  • 3
    Season 6, Normal Again Dec 14, 2015 at 22:35

Buffy already has a normal life, and her mother sees her put the smackdown on a bunch of people. She sees her go out and knows that her grades are low. The bad guys all know who the slayer is, so there's no real secret to her identity. I mean obviously if everybody knew what Buffy was then that wouldn't work, but her mother could know and it would be a whole lot simpler. Her mother wouldn't be in any more danger than she already was.

Essentially the answer to the question would be Buffy's mother would freak out that her daughter is in constant danger. But that is the only reason I can think of.


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