When Buffy premiered in March of 1997, we were all big fans of this magical show starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as a teenage girl making sure that her California town was free of vampires and demons. Unlike some of the other main characters on teen dramas, Buffy Summers doesn't live in a two-parent household with another sibling (particularly an annoying younger brother whom she doesn't enjoy spending time with). Buffy has a solo mother whom she honestly doesn't seem to get along great with, and that informs a lot of the storylines and scenes on the show.
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It's always interesting to look at the parenting decisions made on television shows, particularly teen shows. Are they realistic or something that would never happen? In the case of Buffy, the main character is definitely living in a supernatural world, but beyond that, she's still a regular girl going through regular things. She dates, she has a group of friends, and she has to think about what she's going to do after high school just like anyone else.
Buffy was on the air for seven seasons from 1997 until 2003 and was jam-packed with dramatic plots and character choices. Here are 20 things that happened in Buffy that good moms would never allow.
20 Buffy And Her Friends Always Go To A Club, No Questions Asked
Just like the group of friends on Beverly Hills, 90210 went to The Peach Pit on a regular basis, Buffy and her friends have a place where they go all the time: The Bronze.
This is a club and it's honestly a very sketchy place. It doesn't seem like a place where teenagers would go... which is probably part of the appeal.
The fact that Buffy's mom is okay with her going to this place is confusing and it's not something that a good mom would allow. And if she doesn't know that this is where Buffy goes, that's even worse because she should be much more involved.
19 Buffy Sneaks Out Of The House All The Time (Granted, She's Going After Vampires, But This Is A Parenting No-No)
Another thing that happens on Buffy that a good mom wouldn't allow is the fact that Buffy sneaks out of her house at night. She doesn't just do this once a month or every once in a while but very frequently.
Sure, it's true that she's going after vampires and keeping the town of Sunnydale vampire-free, but still. A good mom would definitely know where her teenage son or daughter is at all times.
According to Very Well Family, parents can ensure this doesn't happen by "talking to your teen about the dangers ahead of time. Make it clear to your teen that sneaking out in the middle of the night isn’t just a harmless prank—it can lead to serious trouble."
18 Buffy Never Tells Her Mom What's Going On With Her
Buffy doesn't have a close relationship with her mom, Joyce. In fact, the two characters don't talk very often, and Buffy definitely doesn't tell her anything that's going on with her.
Good moms will always do their best to get their teenagers to talk to them. Sure, it can be tough with a teen girl because they start moving away from their mom and they want to be on their own more often. But good moms will make it a priority to have regular conversations.
As WebMD says, parents should "Show respect for your teen's opinions." The website continues, "Teenagers can be surprisingly easy to talk with if the parents make it clear that they're listening to the teen's point of view.
17 Buffy Dates An Older Guy
Good moms would never allow their teenage daughter to date an older guy. It just doesn't seem like a smart idea. After all, what's wrong with dating someone your own age?
Buffy dates Angel, who is technically an older guy... although, of course, he is literally hundreds of years older than her, so this is a pretty extreme case. Their love story is a massive part of the show and fans love them together, but there's still a lot of years between them.
A good mom would be involved in her daughter's life and would realize that she's going out with someone who isn't in the right age range. This would be more of a conversation, that's for sure.
16 Buffy's Mom Honestly Seems Completely Checked Out All The Time
Buffy's mother, Joyce, honestly seems very checked out and doesn't seem to have much to do with Buffy's life. As a fan of Buffy posted on Reddit, "She is totally uninvolved." They continued that Joyce is "Absentee and self-involved."
Sometimes when watching the show, it seems like the two characters live totally separate lives, which is strange considering the fact that they are a mother and child living in the same house. A good mom would never allow this kind of disconnect. They would always check in with their teenager and want to know what's happening in their daily life.
15 Willow's Mom Calls Buffy 'Bunny' Which Proves She Doesn't Know Anything About Her Own Kid's Life
Buffy's friend Willow Rosenberg is as sweet as can be, and many of us would have been happy to have a pal like her back in high school. Fans of Buffy will remember that Willow's mother, Shiela, calls Buffy "Bunny" and honestly believes that's her name.
Sure, this is pretty funny and it's probably played for laughs since this show does have a lighter tone sometimes, but when we think about it, this isn't great parenting. A good mom would always know her daughter's friend's name, and even if she didn't remember it, she would make a point of asking and committing it to memory.
14 Shouldn't Buffy Have A Curfew And Some Strict Rules?
One thing that we will notice if we watch enough Buffy is that she doesn't have a curfew... and her mom doesn't exactly create any rules for her, either. A good mom wouldn't allow this because everyone needs rules and guidelines, particularly teenagers.
According to Very Well Family, "a blanket curfew" could be a good thing to do. The website explains, "A blanket curfew is a time set that your teen will have to schedule their activities around. It doesn’t change and helps your teen understand limits and boundaries. It does not have to be the same time on weeknights as on weekends, but it does remain consistent from weekday to weekday and weekend to weekend."
13 Joyce, Buffy And Dawn's Mom, Lets Dawn Be Immature And Complain A Lot
In the fifth season premiere "Buffy vs. Dracula," we learn that she has a sister named Dawn. A lot of fans agree that she's not the best character.
As Bustle says about Dawn, "She was a teenager in high school, and still she felt the need to whine about Buffy or incessantly badger Joyce (R.I.P.) every chance she got." Joyce definitely lets Dawn act very immaturely and complain a lot, and that's just not something that a good mother would do. Instead, a good mom would tell her daughter to start acting more grown-up and to be more polite. It's all part of parenting.
12 Joyce Totally Pretends That Nothing Strange Is Going On, Which Good Moms Wouldn't Do
A lot of fans of Buffy believe that Joyce can't quite handle what's happening in Sunnydale or with her daughter, so she ignores it for a few seasons. It seems like Joyce pretends that nothing strange is going on, and this isn't something that good moms would do.
While it's true that most moms aren't dealing with the possibility of vampires in the town or city that they live in (okay, no other mom would deal with this...), Joyce still doesn't seem very with it or involved. Wouldn't a good mother ask her daughter questions on a regular basis? It definitely seems like it.
11 Buffy Leaves Home Because Her Mom Made Her, But Her Mom Says It's Her Fault
In the season three premiere "Anna", we learn that Buffy has run away from home. She's a waitress in L.A. now (even though, yes, she's still a teenager).
As a fan wrote on Reddit about Joyce, "In my opinion she's at her worst when she blames buffy for running away after she kicked her out of the house."
Buffy leaves home because her mom made her... but her mom literally says it's all her fault? That's just not something that a good mom would do. It's confusing that Joyce acts this way. A good mom would make sure that her kid didn't run away from home and would do anything in her power to mend the relationship and fix the problem.
10 Willow Says Her Mom Never Tries To Be A Good Parent
Willow doesn't think that her mom is a good parent, which is sad and heartbreaking to watch. In the episode "Gingerbread" from the third season, Willow says to Buffy, "At least your mom's making an effort."
A good mom would always do her best to assist her daughter with anything from a hard test to study for to navigating crushes and dramatic friendships. She would be there to talk and would want to know everything about her life (well, whatever her daughter was comfortable telling her). It doesn't seem like Willow's mother, Sheila, is a very good mom at all... or even a decent one.
9 In The Same Episode, Willow's Mom Seems To Give Her A Backhanded Compliment About Her Hair
In the same episode, Willow's mom sees that she has a new hairstyle and gives her what sounds like a backhanded compliment. She says, "Willow, you cut off your hair! Huh. That's a new look."
Would a good mom say something like that? We don't think so. Also, wouldn't a good mom take her daughter to the hair salon and be involved in the whole process? She would make a day of it and maybe they would go for lunch beforehand or something like that.
As Tiny-white-hats.livejournal.com points out, in this episode, "Sheila is truly noticing her daughter for the first time in quite a while."
8 Buffy Acts Like A Grown Adult And Her Mom Does Nothing About It
Good moms definitely don't want their kids to grow up too fast. They are very aware of what it's like to have a teenage son or daughter and while they know that being independent is a good thing, they don't want their child to act too old and mature.
Good moms are involved with how their kids dress, talk, and act, and they get to know their friends and schedule. Joyce doesn't do any of this.
We would have to say that Buffy acts like a grown-up and she doesn't feel like a high school student at all... and Joyce honestly allows it. This, along with the other 19 things on this list, isn't something that a good mother would do.
7 Willow Is Insecure And Doesn't Feel Loved By Her Mom
As Tiny-white-hats.livejournal.com says, "Willow also seems to have some abandonment issues, quite possibly stemming from her parents’ resistant style of attachment and the random withholding of affection that is part of that parenting style."
This makes a lot of sense and is such a smart way of viewing Willow's character. Willow does seem very insecure and it's very clear that she doesn't feel loved by her mom at all. We notice her character arc changing a lot as the seasons go on because she gains more respect and love for herself. It's sad to watch Willow feel so bad about herself.
6 Wouldn't Buffy Have Evidence That She Was Hanging Out In Graveyards And Getting Pretty Messy?
It's not easy going after vampires all the time and being the protector, especially when you're a teenager. Buffy does have bruises sometimes and it seems like would be a lot of evidence that she has been hanging out in graveyards at night... or at least, not really doing something that a teen girl would normally do.
Her mom is pretty out of it and doesn't seem to notice any of this, and a good mom would definitely be aware. It would be hard to hide a lot of this evidence. Buffy has a lot of strength, but she isn't always a match for the demons and vampires that she is going after.
5 Buffy And Her Friends Hang Out With Giles All The Time, And Wouldn't Moms Think This Is A Bad Idea?
It seems fair to mention that although Giles, the librarian who is also Buffy's mentor, would raise some eyebrows with some moms. After all, wouldn't good moms have a problem with Giles hanging out with all of these students all the time? This is something that a Buzzfeed article points out.
As a fan wrote on Reddit, "Giles was born in 1954 so would have been 42/43 when the series started." Since Giles was in his 40s, this seems like something that good mothers would think about. Yes, he's a librarian and technically a teacher at school, but shouldn't Buffy and her friends hang out by themselves?
4 Both Willow And Buffy's Mothers Aren't Super Supportive Or There For Their Daughters No Matter What
If we had to pick a definition of a good mom, we would probably agree that it would be someone who is there for her child no matter what.... with definitely no exceptions. She cares so much about her kids and thinks about them more than she thinks about anything else. She's also her child's biggest supporter and wants to be an inspirational figure in their life.
That's not exactly how we could describe Buffy and Willow's mothers. Joyce and Sheila seem to care more about themselves than their daughters, and they're not as involved in their daughter's lives. They should be a lot more concerned, especially since being a teenager is tough.
3 Buffy Doesn't Care About School, Study Very Often Or Get Involved With Many Activities, Which Good Moms Encourage
Sure, Buffy becomes a cheerleader in one episode, but that seems like more of a vehicle for the supernatural plotline that follows. Besides that, Buffy isn't super involved with school. She doesn't appear to study very often (if at all) and she's not as studious or academic as some other TV characters (like Rory Gilmore, for example).
A good mom would want her kid to care about school and try hard. After all, that's the way to get into college and feel good about your future. It honestly seems like Buffy goes to school because that's a way for her to talk to her friends about all of the wild stuff going on in Sunnydale.
2 Joyce Doesn't Seem To Care About Being Close With Her Daughters Until It's Too Late
Joyce is sick in season five of Buffy and it seems like she doesn't care about being close with her daughters, Buffy and Dawn, until it's too late.
A good mom would always want to be close with her daughters... and even though mothers and daughters do have their issues and problems sometimes, she would still try her best to make things work. It's strange that we only think that Joyce acts like a good mother once she's sick and we see her with Buffy and Dawn. There is a lot talk amongst Buffy fans about Joyce not being the greatest parent ever, and we would have to agree with that for sure.
1 Joyce Lives Her Own Life, Is Preoccupied With Her Job, And Doesn't Give Buffy Good Advice (Or Any Advice, Really)
Does Joyce ever give Buffy advice? We would have to say no. From the very first episode of the teen drama, Joyce is invested in her art gallery and seems to care more about her job.
It would be nice to see some sweet mother/daughter scenes between Buffy and Joyce and have Joyce give her life advice. That can be really heartwarming on a teen drama. We have a feeling that Joyce's advice would be old-fashioned, but even that would be adorable and funny, and a lot better than her character the way that it is. We would have to say that Joyce really lives her own life, totally separate from her daughter.
Sources: Reddit.com, Bustle.com, Buzzfeed.com, Tiny-white-hats.livejournal.com, Verywellfamily.com, Webmd.com