Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5, Episode 16

The Body (27 Feb. 2001)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Fantasy
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Ratings: 9.5/10 from 2,886 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 1 critic

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



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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)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


After Xander removes his bleeding hand from the drywall, he is asked if it hurts and replies "It doesn't matter. The Avengers have to get with the assembling." Joss Whedon wrote and directed this episode and would go on to write and direct the live action adaptation of The Avengers (2012). 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 »


Tara: [to Willow] Oh, baby. Want me to rub your tummy?
[to group]
Tara: She likes it when I, uh... S-stop explaining things.
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 »


References The Powerpuff Girls (1998) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Counterpoint to "Hush"
16 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Where "Hush" told its story through intricate music and no words, "The Body" tells its story with the necessary minimum of words and a soundtrack that is completely ambient sound. The episode screams reality because of the everyday sounds Buffy and the Scoobies become aware of once they know of Joyce's death. There is no musical soundtrack, but there is a rich soundtrack, none-the-less. That makes the emotions written on the faces of the characters ever more powerful.

Buffy reverts to a child about the same age as Dawn when she discovers the body. Anya is more human than she is at any other moment of the series when she admits her profound confusion over Joyce's death, and cries. Zander, ever male in his childishness, wants to hit someone--or something--in his anger at the injustice of natural death. Willow can't find who she is, because she can't define herself without the "right" top. And Dawn has to see the reality of her mom's death with her own eyes, because her own reality is so iffy. Powerful moments for each character to face and it's the soundtrack of everyday life that frames each character's confrontation with reality, not music. Another brave choice by Joss Whedon and the perfect counterpoint to his "Hush" that succeeds just as perfectly.

34 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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