Joyce Summers: A Mother’s Day Tribute To The Woman Who Gave Us The Slayer


Joyce Summers is a character that Joss Whedon was originally not going to give much screen time to.  I think I speak on behalf of the entire Buffy fandom when I say, “Thank the sweet baby Jesus that he did!”  Joyce has become one of the most beloved characters on the show all the way thru her tragic death in Season 5.  Buffy’s mother always saw the best in people, and she offered a refreshing and real perspective on all sorts of situations.  Let’s take a look at some of the moments that made us fall in love with Joyce Summers, may she rest in peace (you can read more about her death scene in a previous post, Buffy The Tearjerker: 10 Times We Were Slayed With Kleenex).

She Hooked Up With Ripper
Most of the show we have only seen Joyce as the type of mom that we respect looking back, but dread to have as our own mother while we are teens.  She is strict, but kind, when she needs to be.  When we see her let her Juice Newton freak flag fly in “Band Candy,” we are seeing a totally different side of her.  She is almost acting like Buffy herself in certain scenes.  What’s not to love about Joyce running around in a feather boa and sleeping with Giles aka “Ripper?”  On the hood of a police car.  TWICE!



She Hit Spike With An Ax
Buffy’s in trouble at school- it must be Tuesday!  During “School Hard” where Buffy is forced to help put together the parent/teacher conference, Spike and his gang come a knockin’!  Still not out to her mother as The Slayer, Buffy must save her friends, her classmates, and even pesky Principal Snyder from fanged death.  During the pivotal fight scene between Buffy and Spike, we think Buffy may meet her end soon enough!  Then it happens… BOOM!  She hit’s Spike on the head with an ax and commands, “You stay the hell away from my daughter!”  Mom’s got balls!


She’s Had Schnapps
It’s the beginning of Season 3 and Buffy returns home to Sunnydale after running away at the end of Season 2 after she stabbed a sword through her lover’s chest and forcing him to get sucked into Hell…yikes!  Joyce is doing what she can to survive without her daughter.  She has joined a book club with new friend, Pat.  She is diving into work more than ever.  She recently has a Nigerian shipment in for the gallery.  And to make the transition smooth for all, they try to throw Buffy a “Welcome Back Home” party.  Buffy gets a little twitchy and makes us think she is going to run away again and Joyce finds out.  Unwilling to talk about what happened and why she is so unhappy, Buffy says, “Mom, please…”  Who DOESN’T love Joyce’s response?  “You know what? I don’t care. I don’t care what your friends think of me, or you for that matter, because you put me through the wringer, Buffy. (DEEPLY inhales) I mean it. (EXHALES and INHALES) And I’ve had schnapps.”  So sometimes just to add some drama to whatever I am saying, I will end with, “And I’ve had Schnapps!”


Founder of M.O.O.
The episode “Gingerbread” has some amazing quotes and scenes in it, despite having two of the ugliest kids to ever walk the planet as “Hansel and Gretel.”  One of the most memorable aspects of the episode if the creation of M.O.O., Mothers Opposed to the Occult.  Let’s just be glad that whole idea didn’t pan out into fruition and we were able to get the anti-hell sucking book back in the library… before… they.. blew it all up!  And who can forget Joyce’s small talk with Willow’s mom as they are about to light their daughters on fire, “We should stay close, have lunch.”


She Calls Faith Psychotic
I love some Faith.  She likes to dance, party, drink, and have sex.  And she’s got super powers!  Sounds like a catch, right?  In “This Year’s Girl” when Faith wakes up from her coma and goes straight to 1630 Revello Drive, we can really see a stronger version of Joyce.  She is a calm hostage.  Faith dramatically says, “You are thinking, “You’ll never get away with this!” Warm?” And Joyce responds bluntly in almost a Nene Leakes type manner, “Actually, I was thinking my daughter is going to kill you soon.”  BAM.  And who can forget the golden moment where Faith asks Joyce how she looks and she responds, “Psychotic.”

Throwin' Shade All over Faith

Xander’s MILF
We set yet ANOTHER side of Joyce in Season 2’s “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered.”  This time she is the victim of Xander’s love spell he casts on Cordelia gone awry.  Just when you think she might be safe from the spell and is about to help Xander, we can tell that she is totes lusty and wants to be his MILF.  She offers him a drink and then idly asked if he’s in the mood for something *hot.*  And that back rub she proceeds to give him is straight out of the start of a porn scene… #MamaLike

“I think it’s more of a hot night, don’t

When She Comforts Buffy After We Meet Angelus
Moms are experts at making everything feel better when we are sad or broken.  For Buffy’s birthday, we see just how great Joyce is at fulfilling that role.  Unbeknownst to her, Buffy slept with Angel and turned him into a homicidal maniac that is going to need to be put down like a rabid dog before the season is over.  She lost her boyfriend.  She lost her lover.  She lost hot, sweaty, passionate sex after being all wet and cold in Angel’s dungeon-esque apartment.  Damn.  I’d be pretty sad, too!  When given her birthday cupcake, Joyce tells Buffy, “Well, go on!  Make a wish!”  And Buffy just says, “I’ll just let it burn…”  Ugh, who doesn’t need a big hug from Mom when feeling like that?  All the feels…


She Has The Best Conversations With Spike
From their first encounter with an ax to his head all the way until her death and he brings her flowers, Joyce and Spike have always had a great relationship with amazing conversation.  From remembering how they first met to talking about how crazy and unreasonable Drusilla is being to Spike, I always look forward to their onscreen chemistry and dialogue.



She Proves That Mom’s Still Got It
In Season 5 it is refreshing for us to see Joyce done with all the doctors and hospitals and getting back to dating.  We have not seen much of her love life aside from the episode with Ted, but we know she deserves to be happy and to not be alone.  She comes home from a date and Buffy begins to tease her, as daughters do.  Joyce’s response is THE BEST!


There are loads of awesome scenes with Joyce throughout the life of the show; I only spoke about a mere handful of them.  What are some of your favorite moments with her?  What made you laugh?  Or cry?  Or go, “Ooohhh, MOM!”


11 thoughts on “Joyce Summers: A Mother’s Day Tribute To The Woman Who Gave Us The Slayer

  1. You make me feel like I’m missing out in life because I’ve never watched a single episode of Buffy. ._.

    (Before you judge me, lemme preface that I was banned from TV at a young age, so it’s technically not my fault!!!)

    1. No judging… but I feel sorry for you that you’ve missed out on one of the most amazing and iconic shows ever!

      You must start now! 😛 Quit saving lives and binge watch some Buffy!

      1. Completely with drama-rama and everyone falling in love with each other!!

        (I just saw a baby being birthed today and have concluded that I am probably heartless or just born with no maternal instinct whatsoever. Zero feels other than “Farrah, please keep that disturbed expression off your face” and “…the placenta looks like alien jello.”)

      2. AHHH! That’s how I would be… I worked as a CNA in Surgery for 2 years when I was Pre-Med… back in the day…. LOL – I wanted to b e an anesthesiologist. Life would be so diff….. I always wonder…

      3. I know! I have a brother who is one and a sister-in-law… I was obsessed with being one… oh well… c’est la vie! I am a corporate banking risk analyst now! lmao…

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