Buffy, Dawn, and their friends deal with the aftermath of Joyce's death.



(created by),

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video





Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Spike (credit only)
Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
First Paramedic
Stefan Umstead ...
Second Paramedic
911 Operator (voice)


Buffy sees Joyce lying on the couch, calls 911 and unsuccessfully follows emergency procedures. When the paramedics arrive, they realize that Joyce is dead. Buffy calls Giles and goes to the school to tell Dawn. Along the day, the Scooby gang grieves the death of Joyce and sympathizes with Buffy. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 February 2001 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kristine Sutherland (Joyce) is notably absent in much of season 4. She apparently told Joss Whedon that she wanted to leave the show to move abroad. His reply was that "you can't leave because I'm going to kill you." See more »


The drawing on Dawn's easel after she learns of Joyce's death is not the same one she had earlier. The original drawing had large black areas and the new one shows those areas much lighter. See more »


Anya: I wish that Joyce didn't die. Because she was nice and now we all hurt.
Xander: Anya, ever the wordsmith.
Buffy: Thank you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Instead of the regular opening credits, a flashback scene was created that consisted of the whole cast having Christmas dinner at the Summers' house. It was created so as not to have written credits appearing over the dramatic opening scenes. See more »


Featured in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Gift (2001) See more »


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Joss Whedon (almost) goes ingmar Bergman!
25 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If anyone ever asks if a show like Buffy the Vampire Slayer is capable of transcending not just its targeted demographic but just the possibilities of the medium of TV, you don't need to look too much further than the episode The Body. While there were a plethora of fantastic episodes in the first three seasons, four and five were a little more spotty and hit or miss. But when it hit- most often thanks to Joss Whedon's direct involvement in episodes Hush, Restless and this one- it really connected. In this case it's a true heartbreaker of an episode, and one that you shouldn't watch out of context of the season. The build-up leading in season five to what happens with this 'body' brings on an enormous gulf of pain and horror. But it's not of the supernatural. It's something so relatable it stings- a good sting, I suppose, but one that comes out of real art.

What Whedon taps into in his style here (what he calls the "physicality" of people in the first few hours after a loved one has passed) is the inability to cope with mortality. Every character has his or her own way of "dealing"- in quotes since it's a dealing that is about as heavy as one can not hope to imagine- and most significant is seeing Buffy's initial reaction at the start of the episode, of the same disillusionment that sends one into a state of shock (and, frankly, us too), and Anya, who up until now has been mildly or quite annoying as a 'comic-relief' only to provide as the once-demon persona on the show the most profound statement on death heard in a while. Only monologues spoken in Ingmar Bergman films dealing with the matter of life and death (and the incredible, impossible void left for us in the presence of nothingness) top this one for a cinematic depth of this situation.

It's great storytelling, superb and intimate acting, and with a final moment in a morgue that has a poetic flavor. Dare I say it, it's even better than Hush at conveying a breakdown of the human spirit.

34 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: