Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003)
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Lies My Parents Told Me 

Robin Wood seeks revenge on Spike for killing his mother nearly 30 years ago, whilst everyone else tries to find out how The First has control over him.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Principal Robin Wood (as DB Woodside)


Giles returns with a device that may be able to deactivate Spike's trigger. To rob the song of its power, Spike must step into his own past and relive one of the most traumatic experiences of his unnaturally long life. But unknownst to Buffy, Giles makes plans with Wood to make sure that Spike will never hurt anyone again. Written by Alex

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 March 2003 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Spike makes mention of his mother's personal physician - a Dr. Gull. This is Dr. William Gull, Physician-in-extraordinary to the royal family, and who some believe was Jack The Ripper. (see From Hell (2001).) See more »


When Buffy goes to Robin Woods' office to tell him everything is still normal in the school , a crew member can be seen to the left of the screen. See more »


Giles: We have to put this in your brain.
Spike: Bugger that.
See more »


Early One Morning
Performed by Nana Mouskouri
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User Reviews

One of my favorite BTVS episodes
9 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode is so d*nm good that it completely makes season seven for me. Seriously, five episodes from the end of the series, BTVS pulls out "Lies My Parents Told Me" and makes me fall in love with this show all over again. It's got Spike and Dru, real explanations of character history and a fight scene that just flat out rocks. I always enjoy the Buffyverse's vampire flashback episodes, but this one is probably my very favorite.

"Lies My Parents Told Me" is about three sets of children and their "parents." There's Buffy and Giles, who are growing apart. Principal Woods and his mother, the Slayer Spike killed in New York. And Spike and his mum. Yep. Spike had a doting, mother back in the 1880s and her death has been weighing on him for over a century. In an effort to deactivate the First's trigger, the Scoobies put a magical stone inside Spike's head. It turns out that the song that keeps setting him off is the lullaby that his mother always sang to him. Spike acts defensive and refuses to tell Giles anymore. Buffy is on Spike's side and tells Giles to back off. Giles and Mr. Wood come up with a plan to kill Spike... For Buffy's own good.

While Giles keeps Buffy busy, Mr. Wood takes Spike to his "work shop." Really it's a shed covered in crosses. Once he has Spike inside he starts up that song "triggering" Spike to go insane. Mr. Wood wants to kill the vampire who murdered his mother. At first he seems to be winning the fight. But, that's only because Spike is caught up in his memories of his own mother. She was sick, and when Dru made Spike a vampire, he tried to "cure" his mother by making her one, too. He didn't understand that his mother would turn into a demon. When his mother tried to seduce and then kill him, Spike staked her. He's never gotten over the horror of it. Now as he remember it all though, he realizes that his mother really did love him and his trigger is de-activated. He begins fighting Mr. Wood, beating the principal into the ground. Buffy, discovering Giles plan, dashes up just as Spike stalks out of the shed. She tells Mr. Wood that if he ever tries to hurt Spike again, Spike will kill him... And Buffy will let him do it, because Spike is the strongest warrior that they have. Then she goes home and refuses to speak with Giles.

There are some incredibly good parts of this episode. All the flashbacks are great. To Spike admiring Nikki Wood's coat in New York, to William/Spike reciting another terrible poem, to Spike/William and Dru dancing around his mothers' living room... I just love it. It's kinna funny that of everyone in the Buffyverse, Spike apparently had the most privileged, supportive home life. I guess it explains his romantic streak. He grew up with a lot of love. And it makes prefect sense that Spike would try to cure his mother by making her a vampire. He never really lost his humanity the way other vampires do, so he had no idea that anything could go wrong. He was so shocked and scared when his "mother" started tearing into him after her change. The look on his face when she dies just breaks my heart. Finally, I like that Giles' cited Angel and Buffy's relationship as a reason to get rid of Spike. He's never gotten over Angel killing Jenny. I think that a lot of Giles' fears about Spike are actually left over from his experiences when Angel turned on them.

On a side note, "Lies My Parents Told Me" will tie into the "Angel" episode "Orpheus" this season and into the "Angel" season five episode "Destiny." "Destiny" seems to show the events between Spike sireing his mother and his later return home. It explains why he's all disheveled and why Dru's not there. Poor Spike had a rough night.

On the down side, I flat out don't believe that Giles would try to kill Spike like that. Would he try to get rid of Spike to protect Buffy? Yes. Would he even kill Spike himself if it came down to the line? Yes. But, would he send Mr. Wood to ambush Spike? No. Not the Giles I know. Firstly, Giles has always has a frustrated affection for Spike. He'd be sure there was no other option before he staked Spike. Secondly, if Giles was going to execute Spike, he'd do it himself. He wouldn't send Principal Wood. Giles has too much respect for Spike's abilities to think that a regular human guy could take him in a fight. And lastly, Giles knows that Buffy will see this a betrayal. She's the Slayer and she's the one who makes these calls. Giles has always been about Buffy standing on her own. He wouldn't undermine her authority like that. I love this episode, but I have too much respect for Giles to really "believe" some of the scenes. It goes against the heart of Giles' character and suddenly paints him as a pseudo bad guy.

My favorite part of the episode: Spike telling Dru that they will ravage Europe together... And that his mother is coming along. Dru gets this baffled look on her face. "You want to bring your mum with us? To eat, you mean?" Not only did I have to pause the DVD because I was laughing so hard the first time I saw that scene, but I think it also says a lot about Dru. She chose William/Spike because she sensed he was somehow different. And now he's a "different" kind of vampire. Angel ate his parents and all of Dru's family, but Spike wants his mother to live with them. It must be really confusing for poor Drusilla.

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