Outside of the opening and closing credits, this episode is devoid of any music. Nevertheless, score composer Thomas Wanker remains credited in the episode.
Sarah Michelle Gellar got her first acting nomination for this show at the end of this season. The Golden Globes nominated her for Best Actress in a Drama series. Many believe it had to do with her fantastic acting job in this episode.
This episode scored a 5.5/8 in the ratings.
This episode ranked 2nd out of 17 WB shows for the week.
TV Guide hailed this episode as "The Finest Hour of Television This Year".
This episode scored a 3.5 in the national ratings.
Ranked 82 out of 134 prime time shows.
Although Joyce Summers dies in this episode, she would still appear subsequently, in flashbacks or as a ghost. This follows through with the Buffyverse rule that not even death can end a characters run in a show.
Tara reveals that she lost her mother when she only 17.
The scene where the cast is shown enjoying a big holiday dinner was included so the guest starring and production credits would not run through the scene of Buffy discovering Joyce on the couch.
This episode marks the first on screen kiss between Willow and Tara, which was previously not allowed due to WB's policy against same-sex kissing.
Joyce's death is the first of only two deaths in the series that came about by natural causes.
Series star James Marsters does not appear in this episode. This marks his only absence since becoming part of the main cast in Season 4.
Anya: No, I mean, it's a myth that it's a myth. There is a Santa Claus.
Xander: The advantage of having a thousand year old girlfriend. Inside scoop.
Buffy: She's cold.
911 Operator: The body is cold?
Buffy: No, my mom! Sh-Should I make her warm?
Giles: (on phone) Hello?
Buffy: Giles, you have to come.
Buffy: She's at the house.
Anya: Are they gonna cut the body open?
Willow: Oh my god! Would you just stop talking? Just shut your mouth, please!
Anya: What am I doing?
Willow: How can you act like that?
Anya: Am I supposed to be changing my clothes a lot? Is that the helpful thing to do?
Willow: The way you behave --
Anya: Nobody will tell me.
Willow: Because it's not okay for you to be asking these things!
Anya: But I don't understand! I don't understand how this all happens, how we go through this. I mean, I knew her and then she's - there's just a body. And I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead anymore. It's stupid; it's mortal and stupid. And Xander's crying and not talking and I was having fruit punch and I thought, "Joyce will never have any more fruit punch, ever, and she'd never have eggs, or yawn, or brush her hair, not ever." And no one will explain to me why.
Xander: In my defense, some crappy wallmanship here.
Willow: Yeah, you can hear everything next door...
Xander: Who did the drywall on this place?
Willow: I always forget to ask.
Tara: Did I miss something?
Anya: Xander decided that he blames the wall.
Buffy: Giles says he's gonna go over the paperwork.
Xander: Man, if there's one day they should not give you homework.
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.
Buffy: Was it sudden?
Buffy: Your mother.
Tara: No. And yes. It's always sudden.