Episode 78 - "Christmas Party"


(Sound of people talking and laughing, and clinking glasses, plays in the background. Music "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" - Brenda Lee plays.)

(Still photograph of about 30 people, in Santa hats, holding up drinks and smiling at the camera.)

Every year when I was a kid, my parents threw a Christmas party.

(Fade to black, and "click", as another photo is shown - Norma sitting on a man's lap, laughing, and another couple next to them.)

Everybody in the neighborhood came.

(Fade to black, and "click", as another photo is shown - Jack smiling, in a Santa hat, holding up something - I can't tell what, maybe a martini mixer.)

Dad played the "big cheese"...

(Fade to black, and "click", as another photo is shown - Norma and an older woman standing next to a table, smiling.)

Mom played "Donna Reed".

(Fade to black, and "click", as another photo is shown - A conga-line led by Mr. Wannamaker, then Norma, and others. Note: Mr Wannamaker looks alot like the Mayor of Munchkinland in the "Wizard of Oz".)

And a really stupid time was had by all.

(Fade to black, and "click", as another photo is shown - a closer shot of Norma smiling in the conga-line, unaware of the photographer.)

It was a time when hopes were high. When the neighborhood was young.

(Fade to black, and "click", as another photo is shown - Another shot of the conga-line led by Mr. Wannamaker.)

It was fun, before fun got so...complicated.

(Music and party noise ends.)

Fade to

Int. Evening - Arnold Kitchen

(Close shot of a TV-dinner tray in Norma's oven-mitted hand, as she approaches the camera.)

Before life got so...

(The camera pans as she places the tray on the table in front of Jack's stomach.)

NORMA (V/O): Voila!

(Shot of Jack's knife and fork as he starts to cut the food, and pauses.)

(The camera pans up to Jack's face. He looks down, dumbfounded.)


JACK: What's this?

(Shot of Norma looking over her shoulder toward Jack off-screen.)

NORMA: Salisbury steak.

(Norma holds up the box and smiles.)


(Close shot of Jack glancing down.)

JACK: Oh...

(Shot of Wayne and Kevin.)

By December of 1971...

(Norma walks past the camera and sets a TV-dinner on front of each of them.)

My family was afloat in the conveniences of modern life.

(Wide shot from behind Kevin as Norma returns to the kitchen.)

Whether we liked it or not.

WAYNE: Hey, Mom?

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne.)

WAYNE: What happened to, ya know, like...dinner?

(Close shot of Norma looking toward Wayne off-screen.)

NORMA: Oh, well, with classes today...

(Norma glances to her TV-dinner as she takes the foil off.)

NORMA: I didn't get home in time to cook.

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne.)

NORMA (V/O): So I stopped by the market to pick these up.

(Close shot of Norma smiling, then frowning, as she sits down.)

NORMA: Why? Is anything wrong?

(Shot past Norma of Jack turning to her and smiling.)


(He shakes his head and looks down.)

After all...

(Shot past Jack of Norma as she smiles and scooches her chair forward.)

Mom was goin' to college part-time, now.

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Norma off-screen.)

She deserved our support.

(Kevin takes a bite, and looks toward Jack off-screen.)

As for Dad...

(Shot past Kevin of Jack and Norma.)

NORMA: So how was work today, honey?

JACK: Lousy.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Jack off-screen.)

Well, Dad was Dad.

(Shot past Kevin of Jack and Norma.)

NORMA: Jack - you think you could help me with the party invitations this weekend?


NORMA: Yeah, I have a mid-term on Monday - I've gotta study.

JACK: Well...But, I gotta go to the off -

NORMA: We gotta get that coffee urn out of the garage.

(Close shot of Kevin.)

NORMA (V/O): And I'm not sure that it's still working...

(Shot past Kevin of Jack and Norma.)

NORMA: So maybe you could check it for rust?

JACK: I'll take a look.

(Close shot of Kevin frowning.)

KEVIN: Mom? Dad?

(Shot past Kevin of Jack and Norma glancing up.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning.)

KEVIN: You sure you want to have this...Christmas party this year?

(Shot past Kevin of Jack and Norma.)

Course, I was just an ignorant teen-ager.

(Close shot of Kevin glancing toward Wayne off-screen.)

But it seemed to me this was a bad time to be throwing a neighborhood bash.

(Close shot of Wayne looking at Norma off-screen, then looking at Kevin off-screen.)

NORMA (V/O): Don't be silly, honey!

(Close shot of Norma gesturing as she smiles.)

NORMA: Of course were having the party!

(Shot past Norma and Jack of Kevin and Wayne. Wayne frowns and gestures.)


(Everyone pauses and looks at Wayne.)

(Close shot of Norma.)

NORMA: Well...

(She glances toward Jack, then back toward Wayne, and gestures.)

NORMA: Because we always have a party.

(She looks toward Jack off-screen, and smiles.)

NORMA: Isn't that right, Jack?

(Close shot of Jack smiling half-heartedly at Norma off-screen and chuckling, then glancing toward Kevin and Wayne off-screen. He looks forward as he puts a forkful in his mouth, and sighs.)

(Shot past Norma and Jack of Kevin and Wayne.)

And there ya had it. Come yuletide, high-water, or Salisbury steak...

(Shot of all from behind Jack and Norma.)

The annual Arnold Christmas shindig lived on.

Cut to

Ext. Day - Arnold House

(Shot of Kevin untangling Christmas lights at his feet.)

JACK (V/O): Hurry up with those lights.

Not that I hated parties, you understand.

(Kevin hands a string of lights to Jack off-screen.)

What I hated was...

JACK (V/O): Watch it, Kevin! Hah?

(Wide shot of Jack up a ladder, as Kevin and Wayne stand next to it.)

Helping out.

JACK: Those bulbs cost me thirty-two cents apiece!

(Jack starts to attach the lights.)

KEVIN: Right, Dad.

(Close shot of Jack looking at the lights.)

Every year, for two weeks before the big night...

(Jack twists some wire with a pair of pliers.)

Dad roped us into something akin to indentured servitude.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Jack off-screen.)

Kinda like...elves.

(Close shot of Wayne looking at Jack off-screen.)

WAYNE: Dad? Do I have to stand here?

(Close shot of Jack looking at Wayne off-screen.)

JACK: No! You can go sweep off the driveway...(Gestures.)

(Close shot of Wayne frowning and shaking his head.)

JACK (V/O): And hose out those ice-buckets for spiders.

(Close shot of Jack looking at Kevin off-screen, and gesturing.)

JACK: I don't want you guys to run out of ice Saturday night.

(Close shot of Wayne nodding and looking off.)

JACK (V/O): Got that?

(Close shot of Kevin.)

It was humiliating.

WAYNE (V/O): You know, uh, Dad...

(Close shot of Wayne.)

WAYNE: I've been thinking, you know, maybe I...(shrugs)...wouldn't come to the party this year.

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Yeah, me too.

(Close shot of Jack looking over his shoulder, first toward Kevin, then Wayne.)

JACK: What do you mean not come to the party?

(Close shot of Wayne.)

WAYNE: Well, I don't want to hang out with your friends. I've got my own life.

(Wayne looks toward Kevin off-screen and smiles.)

KEVIN: Me, too!

(Close shot of Jack looking over his shoulder, frowning.)

WAYNE (V/O): You know, I'm not a little kid anymore.

(Close shot of Wayne.)

WAYNE: I could be a father.

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Me, too!

(Close shot of Wayne frowning at Kevin off-screen.)

(Close shot of Jack looking over his shoulder, frowning at Kevin off-screen.)

(Close shot of Kevin. He shrugs and smiles slightly.)

But even iron-clad logic couldn't alter one unescapable fact.

(Kevin looks toward the street.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of a Cadillac honking, and pulling up to the curb.)

The neighbors.

(Wide shot of Kevin, Wayne and Jack looking toward the car off-screen.)

MR. ERMIN (V/O): Heh-heh. Hey, Jack!

(Close shot of Mr. Ermin smiling through the open passenger window.)

MR. ERMIN: Gettin' ready for the big shindig?

(Wide shot of Kevin, Wayne and Jack looking toward the car off-screen.)

JACK: Sure am!

That was Ed Ermin.

(Close shot of Mr. Ermin smiling through the open passenger window.)

King of lawn-care. Biggest wheel on the block.

MR. ERMIN: The whole damn neighborhood's lookin' forward to this party, you know! Wouldn't be the holidays without a night at the Arnold's!

(Close shot of Jack on the ladder, smiling.)

JACK: You bet!

(Close shot of Mr. Ermin smiling through the open passenger window.)

MR. ERMIN: Ya-ha-ha. Seeya later, OK?!

(Wider shot of the car pulling away and driving out of the shot.)

(Close shot of Kevin glancing up at Jack off-screen.)


(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Jack smiling at the diappearing car.)

You bet.

(Close shot of Kevin looking up at Jack off-screen.)

KEVIN: So, Dad?

(Close shot of Jack looking over his shoulder toward Kevin off-screen.)

JACK: What!?

(Close shot of Kevin looking up at Jack off-screen.)

KEVIN: About the party? What do you say? (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Jack frowning.)

JACK: Make sure there's ice.

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Wayne off-screen.)

(Close shot of Wayne shaking his head.)

Well, think of it this way.

(Wide shot of Kevin, Wayne and Jack.)

At least I could take solice in the firm knowledge no one else I knew had any great plans for the holidays.

(Sound of school bell, and a slamming locker.)

Cut to


(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Skiing!

(Kevin turns as Randy walks past the camera to his locker.)

KEVIN: You're going skiing?!

(The camera pulls back slightly to include Ricky at his locker.)

RANDY: Yeah. My parents are takin' me. It's gonna be great!

(Ricky closes his locker and turns around.)

KEVIN: I don't believe this!

(Kevin looks at Ricky.)

KEVIN: What about you? You want to do somethin' over the holidays?

RICKY: Oh, I can't. Going to Montana. Getting my sister out of a commune! (Smiles.)

(Shot past Ricky of Kevin looking a little surprised, then glancing off.)

Made you wonder whatever happened to the days when all people did on Christmas...

(Shot from behind Kevin of all three.)

Was watch football and over-eat.

RANDY: Well...

(Randy slaps Kevin's shoulder.)

RANDY: Seeya on the slopes.

(Shot past Ricky of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Yeah.

(Ricky and Randy exit past the camera.)

My friends were deserting me.

(The camera moves over in front of Kevin, as students walk in the hallway behind him.)

It was clear if I was gonna survive this vacation, I needed -

(Kevin turns around as Winnie approaches, looking off.)

(A short bit of "Winnie's Theme" plays.)

(Winnie sees Kevin and smiles.)

(Close shot of Kevin smiling.)

KEVIN: Winnie!

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie smiling and pausing.)

WINNIE: Kevin, hi!

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Will I see you at my parents' party Saturday night? (Smiles.)

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie frowning.)


(Shot past Winnie of Kevin smiling.)

Yeah. Good old Winnie.

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie frowning.)

WINNIE: Gee, Kevin, I'm afraid my parents already made plans.

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin.)

KEVIN: They did?

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie frowning and nodding.)

OK - a temporary set-back.

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin looking off, then back.)

Still, with the right sales-pitch...

KEVIN: You can come by yourself!

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie smiling slightly.)

KEVIN: I mean, there's gonna be food, and...Twister...

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin.)

KEVIN: It-it's gonna be a blast! (Smiles.)

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie frowning and shaking her head.)

WINNIE: I don't know...

KEVIN (V/O): Oh, Winnie - come on!

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin nodding and shrugging.)

KEVIN: What could possibly be more fun than that? (Smiles.)

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie.)

WINNIE: We're marching in a vigil to end the war in Vietnam.

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin smiling slightly.)

(Sound of a plane screaming in.)

KEVIN: Oh...

(Kevin looks off.)

(Sound of the plane crashing.)

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie.)

WINNIE: Maybe after Christmas.

(Winnie smiles and exits past Kevin.)

KEVIN: Right.

(Kevin turns around and looks after her off-screen.)

(Sound of a dinging bell on a PA system.)

JACK (V/O): I don't believe it.

Cut to


(Shot of Jack holding up a liter-size bottle of wine, and frowning.)

JACK: Four bucks.

Meanwhile, my father was on a vigil of his own.

(Jack sets the bottle down and walks across the store.)

JACK: Four bucks for a lousy bottle of wine...

(Jack approaches a salesman, who turns around.)

SALESMAN: Need any help?

JACK: My wife wants me to buy a bottle of white wine.

SALESMAN: Ah, well, we've got Sauvignon Blanc...

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne resting on a shopping cart, looking bored.)

SALESMAN (V/O): Chardonnay, Chablis, Peignot Chardonnay, Reisling, Fumin Blanc...

(Shot of Jack and the saleman, as the saleman pauses. Jack points.)

JACK: I'll take the one with the handle.

(The saleman frowns as Jack picks up a bottle, looks at it, and nods.)

JACK: Thanks.

(The camera pans with Jack as he approaches Kevin and Wayne.)

JACK: Doesn't anyone drink Scotch, anymore?

(Jack puts the bottle in the cart, and pushes it away. Kevin and Wayne watch him walk away.)

While Dad was pondering economics, we were plotting our escape.

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne.)

KEVIN: Who's gonna talk to him?

(Wayne points and smiles.)


KEVIN: Me?! You talk to him, butthead.

(Kevin looks toward Jack off-screen.)

WAYNE: OK, I will! (Gestures.) I'll handle this. (Frowns.)

Wait a minute...

(Wayne approaches the camera as Kevin follows.)

KEVIN: Wayne? Wayne - no - I'll talk to him.

(Shot of the cashier, and Jack as he pulls his wallet out.)

After all, we were hittin' Dad where he lived.

(The camera pans with Kevin and Wayne as they approach.)

This was gonna require tact...timing...diplomacy.


(Shot of the cashier and Jack, as Jack looks toward Kevin off-screen.)

KEVIN (V/O): Um, we were thing about the party...

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne. Kevin glances at Wayne, then Jack.)

KEVIN: And...we've decided that -

(Wayne gestures.)

WAYNE: We wanna get paid.

(Shot of the cashier and Jack. Jack hands some bills to the cashier while looking at the boys off-screen.)

JACK: Paid?

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne. Wayne nods and looks off.)

WAYNE: Yeah - for the work we're gonna do at the party. (Frowns.)

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: Paid...

(Close shot of the register as the cashier rings up the total - $40.97)

(Close shot of the open cash-drawer as the cashier removes three pennies. The camera pans with her hand as she drops the coins in Jack's out-stretched hand.)

(Close shot of Jack looking at the cashier off-screen, and then the coins off-screen. He turns toward the boys off-screen.)

JACK: Fine! You wanna get paid?! (Frowns.)

(Shot past Jack of Kevin and Wayne as Jack slaps the coins in Kevin's hand.)

JACK: There! Split it up. (Gestures.)

(Jack exits past the camera.)

(Kevin looks at the coins, as Wayne takes them.)

(Wayne walks around Kevin and holds out a penny. Kevin takes it.)

(Wayne exits. Kevin looks after him off-screen, and glances at the coin.)

Cut to

Int. Evening - Living Room

(Close shot of the TV: Q: "Would you like to hear a Christmas song?" A: "Yeah!" "White Christmas" plays in the background.)

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne. Kevin is standing next to the tree, as Wayne is sitting in front ot the TV. Wayne hands Kevin an ornament, and Kevin attaches it to the tree.)

As the party got nearer, two things became obvious.

(Shot past the coffee-table of Jack sitting on the couch, frowning at the plug on the coffee-maker.)

JACK: Shoulda kept the manual.

(Jack holds the coffee-maker and strains while "fixing" it.)

One...the old coffee-maker wasn't working.

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne. Kevin holds his hand out, while Wayne watches TV.)

And two...the elves were getting restless.

KEVIN: Hand me the manger, idiot!

(Close shot of Wayne turning toward Kevin and smiling, then looking back toward the TV.)

WAYNE: No thanks.

(Close shot of Kevin frowning.)

KEVIN: Wayne?

(Close shot of Wayne turning toward Kevin and smiling, then looking back toward the TV.)

WAYNE: I'm on a break.

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne.)

KEVIN: Your brain's on break.

(Wayne kicks Kevin on the leg.)

WAYNE: Shut up, dork.

(Shot of Jack frowning at the coffee-maker.)

NORMA (V/O): Honey?

(The camera pans slightly as Norma approaches behind the couch.)

NORMA: I just spoke to Ida. The Pfeiffer's won't be able to make it.

(Jack turns over his shoulder and looks at Norma.)

NORMA: Alvin has to visit his mother in Florida.

(Close shot of Kevin looking down.)

NORMA (V/O): And I ran into Joyce Medrakis. They won't be able to make it, either.

(Shot of Jack and Norma, as Jack fiddles with the plug.)

NORMA: Jack...

(Norma sits on the back of the couch.)

NORMA: Maybe...having this party wasn't such a good idea after all.

(Jack looks over his shoulder at Norma.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking up.)

And then that's when the first faint glimmer of hope appeared.

(Close shot of Wayne turning over his shoulder toward Norma off-screen then toward Kevin off-screen.)

NORMA (V/O): I mean we're so busy.

(Shot of Jack and Norma as she gestures.)

NORMA: Karen won't be able to make it, anyway.

(Jack looks back to the plug and frowns.)

JACK: Maybe you're right.

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne looking at each other.)

And just for a second...

(They look toward Jack and Norma off-screen.)

It seemed we might actually get out of this wing-ding.

(Close shot of Jack smiling slightly as he spins the plug slowly.)

JACK: Remember when we first got this?

(Close shot of Norma smiling.)

NORMA: With the green-stamps?

(Close shot of Jack as he chuckles and glances at Norma off-screen. She laughs.)

(Close shot of Kevin.)

Just for a second, though.

(Kevin glances off.)

KEVIN: Oh, no...

NORMA (V/O): You remember the kids in the kitchen...

(Close shot of Norma smiling.)

NORMA: Pasting those things into the book...

(Norma looks toward the boys off-screen and laughs a little.)

(Close shot of Jack smiling.)

JACK: Wayne always got 'em stuck on his elbow.

(Close shot of Wayne smirking and glancing at Kevin off-screen.)

NORMA (V/O): They were so cute...

(Close shot of Jack. He looks at Norma off-screen.)

JACK: Seems like yesterday.

(Shot of Norma looking at Jack off-screen.)

"Seemed like yesterday".

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Jack and Norma off-screen.)

Those dreaded three words could only mean one thing.

(Shot of Jack and Norma.)

JACK: Norma?

(Jack holds the plug up and looks at it.)

JACK: I think I can get this to work.

(Wide shot of Kevin and Wayne. They look at each other.)

Wayne and I...

(Shot of Jack and Norma, as Jack leans over to plug in the coffee-maker.)

Were doomed.

(Close shot of the electrical outlet as Jack's hand inserts the plug. Sparks fly.)

Cut to

Ext. Night - Arnold House

(Wide shot of the house. The Christmas lights flicker, and the music "White Christmas" jerks along. The lights flick off as the music grinds down.)

Fade to

Int. Night - Livingroom

(Close shot of a table covered with food. Sound of sleigh-bells fades out. The camera pans across the table.)

Party night. And my parents, through some miracle of modern science, had managed to pull it off.

NORMA (V/O): Jack? Hurry up!

(Wide shot of Norma in the kitchen, and Jack in the dining room.)

JACK (V/O): Norma! Where's my shot-glass?!

NORMA: Oh, it's in the hutch! (Gestures.)

JACK: It's not in the hutch!

(Jack enters the kitchen.)

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne at the table, as Jack and Norma cross the kitchen in the foreground.)

NORMA (V/O): Oh, there it is on the stove.

(Shot of Norma and Jack bumping into each other.)

Even if they did seem a little ragged around the edges.

(They pull apart. Norma sighs, Jack gestures.)

(Shot past Jack and Norma of Kevin and Wayne. Wayne is eating olives off his fingertips.)

We, on the other hand, were just...happy to be there.

WAYNE: So! Dad?

(Wayne picks up the drink-mixer and shakes it.)

WAYNE: How dry do you want your Martinis tonight, ah?

(Shot of Norma near the oven, and Jack near the dining room doorway. Jack looks at Wayne off-screen.)

JACK: Just crack the ice!

(Jack turns toward the living room as Norma looks over her shoulder toward a cabinet.)

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne.)

KEVIN: Nice try!

(Wayne taps Kevin on the arm with the drink-mixer. Norma cuts across to a cabinet with a container.)

Still, for all their hard work and preparation...

(Shot of Norma in the kitchen as Wayne enters past the camera.)

The host and hostess...

(Norma opens a container and pours it into a dish.)

Weren't exactly brimming with cheer.

(Wayne glances at Norma, then moves to the sink and washes his hands.)

NORMA: Oh, no...! This ambrosia's all runny...

(Jack approaches from the dining room.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking up.)

NORMA (V/O): And there aren't any raisins in it.

(Close shot of Norma wiping her hands together.)

NORMA: That's not how I woulda made it - I woulda made it with raisins in it.

(Norma picks up the bowl and turns toward Jack. Jack pauses and frowns at Norma, then the bowl.)

It was almost as if they had lost sight of why they were throwing this bash in the first place.

(Shot past Norma, Jack and the bowl of Kevin frowning and looking off.)

(Sound of the doorbell.)

(Shot of Jack and Norma looking up from the bowl, to each other.)

Cut to

The Front Door

(Close shot of a plastic Santa head on the door. The door opens, revealing a man ("Lou") and woman ("Jeanne"). She holds a tray of Jell-O. Music "Sleigh Ride" - Leroy Anderson plays.)

BOTH: Merry Christmas!

(Shot from behind the couple as they enter. Jack and Norma are smiling.)

(Norma and Jeanne hug and kiss cheeks. Jeanne turns, and Jack takes her coat.)

JEANNE: Oh, Norma! The place looks lovely!


(Lou backs in smiling, looking toward the outside. He takes off his overcoat, smiling at Jack.)

LOU: Jack, You really knocked yourself out on those lights.

(Jack chuckles, as Lou smiles and exits toward the living room.)

(The camera moves in slightly on Jack and Norma. Norma drapes Jeanne's coat over Jack's arm and they smile at each other.)

And then, they remembered.

(Sound of the doorbell.)

(Shot of the door opening, revealing a man and woman, each wearing a Santa hat. They smile as the man waves.)

COUPLE2: Merry christmas!

(Shot of the door opening, revealing Mr. Wannamaker, holding a dish of something.)

MR. WANNAMAKER: Merry Christmas!

(Shot of the door opening, revealing a man and woman standing behind an older woman, who is holding a covered container.)

GRANDMA WEISMAN: The three Weisman's are here!

WEISMANS: Happy holidays!

(Mr. & Mrs. Weisman gesture. Mrs. Weisman holds up an instamatic camera and fires it.)

(Shot of Kevin, Norma and Jack blinking from the flash.)

(Shot of the door opening, revealing Mr. & Mrs. Ermin. He holds up a bottle of wine.)

ERMINS: Merry, merry!

(Shot from behind the Ermin's as they enter past Jack and Norma. Jack starts to take Mr. Ermin's overcoat.)

Cut to

Jack and Norma's Bedroom

(Kevin and Wayne are standing near the bed and open closet. Wayne tosses a jacket on the bed and smiles. Kevin picks it up and frowns.)


(Shot of Grandma Weisman, holding her fur stole, and some people chatting in the hallway.)

MRS. WEISMAN: Make sure you hang that up, young man!

(Shot of Wayne taking it from her and looking at it. Kevin is arranging things on the bed.)

MRS. WEISMAN (V/O): And don't throw it on the bed with everything else!

(Shot of Grandma Weisman as she turns and exits.)

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne. Wayne smiles at the fox head on the stole.)

Yep - all the same old faces were here.


(Wayne sticks the stole in Kevin's face as he squeezes it, which makes a squeaking sound.)

Not to mention the same old furs.

(Wayne looks over his shoulder toward the door.)


(Wayne walks toward the closet and holds out the fur. Kevin and Wayne look at each other.)

Still, you could feel the holiday spirit all through the house.

(Wayne drops the fur, laughs at Kevin, puts his hands in his pockets, and exits past the camera.)

It was positively infectious.

(Kevin heads toward the door.)

(Shot of the doorway as Mr. Wannamaker enters.)

MR. WANNAMAKER: Hey there, you little porcupine.

(Shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Hi, Mr. Wannamaker. (Smiles.)

(Shot of Mr. Wannamaker.)

Al Wannamaker. The guy sold us our first set of used model trains in 1958.

MR. WANNAMAKER: Remember when you used to do your Jimmy Cagney? (Smiles.) Huh? Huh?

(Shot of Kevin smiling and looking off as he gestures.)

MR. WANNAMAKER (V/O): Come on, come on - a little Jimmy Cagney, huh?

(Shot of Mr. Wannamaker gesturing excitedly.)

MR. WANNAMAKER: Come on - come on - come on!

(Shot of Kevin smiling and glancing around.)

Aw, what the hey - for old times sake.

(Kevin strikes a Cagney pose and points.)

KEVIN: "You dirty rat - you killed my brother!"

(Shot of Mr. Wannamaker laughing deeply, pounding his fist in his hand.)

(Shot of Kevin smiling.)

(Sound of Mr. Wannamaker laughing as the camera moves in on Kevin, whose smile fades.)

(Shot of Mr. Wannamaker pulling out his hankerchief as his laugh becomes a hacking cough. He covers his mouth as he coughs.)

(Shot of Kevin as he frowns.)

Cut to

Living Room

(Shot of a couple talking, as Jack approaches between them, smiling.)

JACK: Lou, you old duffer!

(The camera pans with Jack as he walks across the living room.)

And, for a while, anyway...

(A passing man pats him on the shoulder.)

Things went on like they always had.

(Jack approaches Lou. They smile and shake hands.)

LOU: Jack!

JACK: How's the short-game?

LOU: Just great! (Gestures.) I sank a putt last weekend - would have made you weep!

(Jack chuckles.)

(Kevin approaches with hors d'oeuvres on a plate. Lou turns to take one.)

LOU: Oh...

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: Uh...ya need a drink to go with that? Lemme, lemme mix ya one.

(Close shot of Lou.)

LOU: Well, actually, Jack, I don't drink anymore.

(Close shot of Jack in mid-smile.)

LOU (V/O): Yeah, I've been dry for five months!

JACK: No kiddin'...

(Close shot of Lou.)

LOU: Nope - I feel like a million bucks.

(Lou looks down.)

(Shot past Lou of Kevin.)

LOU (V/O): Look at this.

(Kevin looks at Lou's stomach.)

(Lou pats his stomach.)

LOU (V/O): I lost four inches.

(Close shot of Lou looking off.)

LOU: Say, uh...

(Lou looks toward Jack off-screen and frowns.)

LOU: You got any carrot juice?

(Close shot of Jack. He looks off and shrugs slightly.)

JACK: I'll look.

(Shot of Jack, Kevin and Lou, as Jack exits between them.)

(Lou pats Kevin's shoulder.)


(Lou walks off as Kevin smiles.)

(Kevin glances around as he walks toward the camera.)

JEANNE (V/O): Ever since my youngest went to high school...

(Shot past Kevin of Norma and Jeanne sitting on the couch.)

JEANNE: I just didn't know what to do with my time.

(She looks down.)

NORMA: I know what you mean. That's why I went back to coll -

(Jeanne looks toward the ceiling.)

JEANNE: I can't tell you...

(She looks down then to Norma.)

JEANNE: How much therapy has changed my life!

(Close shot of Norma frowning, then nodding.)

NORMA: Mmmm...

(Close shot of Jeanne eating a pretzel.)

You had the feeling this party was losing steam.

(Close shot of Kevin looking down.)

What it needed was a lift.

(Kevin puts a potato chip in his mouth.)

A shot in the arm.

(Sound of a car horn.)

Something like...

(A woman in the background is looking out the window toward the street, and waving a napkin.)

WOMAN: Look!

(Kevin turns.)

WOMAN: The Foster's are here! (Waves.)

(Close shot of Norma looking excited and setting her drink down.)

NORMA: Jack? Bill's here!

(The camera pans with Kevin as he walks to the front door and opens it.)

Just what the doctor ordered.

(Bill sticks his finger out at Kevin.)

BILL: Hey...

KEVIN: Hey! (Smiles.)

BILL: Hey, hey, hey!

(Bill pats Kevin's shoulder and enters. Norma approaches him past the camera.)

NORMA: Bill!

(Norma and Bill hug.)

Dad's old war-buddy, Bill Foster.

(Jack approaches past the camera.)

JACK: Bill, you old...

(Jack and Bill stick their hands out to shake, as a younger woman follows Bill in.)

No party was complete...

(Shot of Jack and Norma smiling. Jack has his hand out. They glance toward the woman off-screen.)

Without Bill and Marsha.

(Close shot of a younger woman.)

(Shot of Jack and Norma smiling. Jack has his hand out.)

Or, in this case...

(Jack and Norma's smiles fade. Jack still has his hand out. Wayne peeks around Jack.)

Bill and a woman half his age.

(Shot of Bill, the woman, and Kevin, as Kevin closes the door.)

BILL: Oh, uh...Jack? Norma? (Gestures.) This is Carol.

(Shot of Wayne, Jack and Norma as they frown. Jack still has his hand out. Wayne ogles the woman.)

Obviously, this was a ticklish situation.

JACK: Where the hell is Marsha?

(Close shot of Bill.)

BILL: Wh - has it been that long? Y-you know Marsha and I split.

(Shot of Wayne, Jack and Norma frowning. Jack still has his hand out.)

BILL (V/O): In April.

(Norma smiles awkwardly.)

NORMA: Of course...!

(Close shot of Carol.)

CAROL: Here.

(Marsha holds up a bakery box.)

CAROL: This is for you. (Smiles.)

(Shot of Wayne, Jack and Norma frowning. Wayne reaches out toward the woman off-screen and sighs.)

Uh-huh. And a partridge in a pear tree.

(Jack steps in front of Wayne, frowning, as Norma frowns at Wayne.)

Cut to


(A "big band" version of "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is playing in the living room.)

(Shot of Kevin putting cheese-whiz on some crackers. Mr. Ermin approaches from the dining room.)

MR. ERMIN: Hey! It's some party in there, huh?

(Kevin turns.)

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Can I get you anything, Mr. Ermin?

(Close shot of Mr. Ermin as he wipes his lip and glances off.)

MR. ERMIN: Uh...no, no, no...

(Mr. Ermin gestures wildly as he turns back to Kevin off-screen.)

MR. ERMIN: Oh! Say! Has your father finished off that basement, yet? (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning.)


(Shot from behind Kevin as Mr. Ermin moves toward the basement stairs.)

MR. ERMIN: Uh, I'm gonna go take a look at this, 'kay?

(Mr. Ermin waves and exits toward the basement.)

The strange thing was, Dad had finished off that basement fourteen years ago.

(Kevin turns back to the table, looking off. He resumes putting cheeze-whiz on the crackers as Norma enters, followed by Jack.)

JACK: We need more chips.

NORMA: Oh, in the cabinet, honey.

(Kevin looks over his shoulder, as Jack gestures and opens a cabinet.)

But it seemed there was more going on here, than just chips and dip.

(Norma crosses to another cabinet and opens it, getting some containers. Kevin resumes cheesing.)

NORMA: Carol seems very, uh...nice.

(Jack frowns at Norma as they cross the kitchen in opposite directions.)

JACK: I don't want to talk about it!

(Kevin looks over his shoulder.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Jack and Norma off-screen.)

NORMA (V/O): I mean, she's very, uh...

(Close shot of Norma glancing toward Jack off-screen.)

NORMA: Sophisticated!

(Norma looks down and shrugs as she gets the food.)

NORMA: For her age.

(Shot of Jack frowning as he pulls a bag of chips from the cabinet, and turns toward Norma.)

JACK: "For her age"?!

(The camera pans slightly as Norma faces him.)

JACK: "For her age"?!

(Carol enters and pauses at the dining room doorway.)

(Shot past Jack and Norma, of Kevin looking at Carol off-screen.)


KEVIN: Uh, Dad?

(Kevin takes a step forward and gestures slightly.)

JACK: Norma, for God's sake!

(Shot of Jack and Norma, and Carol in the doorway, holding a cup.)

JACK: The guy's old enough to be her father!

CAROL: Hhmm!

(Carol touches her throat and looks toward Jack.)

(Shot of Norma and Jack frowning, and Kevin behind them, all looking toward Carol off-screen.)

CAROL (V/O): Um...

(Close shot of Carol glancing at Jack off-screen.)

(Shot of Norma, Jack, and Kevin. Jack steps back, slightly.)

(Close shot of Carol looking from Jack to Norma.)

CAROL: I'm afraid something may be wrong with your urn. (Smiles.) This coffee's a little chilly.

(She smiles slightly, and looks at Jack off-screen.)

(Close shot of Jack with his tongue in his cheek, looking toward Carol off-screen.)

(The camera pans to Kevin.)

And I suppose, there was really only one thing to say.

(The camera pans to Norma, who is still a little stunned.)

NORMA: I have an idea! Let's play Twister!

(Norma looks at Jack off-screen.)

Cut to

Living Room

(Close shot of the spinning Twister spinner in a woman's lap. The camera pans up to the woman, who looks toward the crowd off-screen.)


(She glances down, then back up.)

WOMAN: Left hand...red! (Smiles.)

(Close shot of a Carol's left hand as she sets it on the red dot.)

And so, like some kind of prehistoric beast...

(The camera pans up Carol's arm to the players in various positions.)

The party trudged on.

(Kevin is in the background watching, with his head on his fist.)

(Wide shot of the living room. Norma and Jack are in the foreground, watching the game in the middle. Other people chat in the background.)

The laughter flowed...

(Shot of Norma and Jack. She is smiling slightly, watching. He has his hands together, watching disinterestedly.)

The drinks were poured...

(Close shot of an older woman in glasses, on the couch.)

But something was...different.

(The camera pans across to Jeanne.)

The thing is, no one else seemed to notice.

(The camera pans to the "spinner-woman.")

They just went, on doing what they always had, because...they always had.

(Shot of the Twister players. Carol is bent over, away from the camera. She tugs her short skirt down.)

WAYNE (V/O): Holy cow...

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne. Kevin looks up to Wayne. Wayne is hot-and-bothered, and looking at Carol off-screen.)

WAYNE: I gotta get out of here.

(Wayne wipes his forehead and exits past the camera. Kevin stands up and follows him out of the shot.)

SPINNER WOMAN (V/O): Right hand blue - blue!

Cut to


(Shot of the basement stairs.)

It had all gotten too weird.

(Wayne descends the stairs, followed by Kevin.)

The only escape was...underground.

(Kevin frowns and looks at Wayne.)

KEVIN: What's that smell?

(Shot from Kevin's perspective, of Mr. Ermin sitting on the couch, facing away. He sits up, turning slightly. He has a marijuana roach in his hand.)

MR. ERMIN: Ooh...!

(Mr. Ermin stands up and puts his hand behind his back.)

And right about then...is when it happened.

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne on the stairs, looking at Mr. Ermin off-screen.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective, of Mr. Ermin as he reaches down for his eggnog, and lifts it up toward them.)

MR. ERMIN: Hhh-h-hh - hi there, boys!

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne on the stairs.)

KEVIN: Hi, Mr. Ermin.

(Close shot of Mr. Ermin glancing down, then toward the boys off-screen.)

Now, there was there something wrong about this scene...

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne, as Kevin looks at Wayne. Wayne frowns at Kevin, and looks at Mr. Ermin off-screen.)

Maybe it was -

JACK (V/O): Wayne? Kevin?

(They look up the stairway as Jack approaches.)

JACK: What the hell's goin' on down here?

(Kevin looks toward Mr. Ermin.)

JACK: Smells like a mattress is burnin'.

(Jack looks off and frowns.)

(Close shot of Mr. Ermin looking embarrassed.)

MR. ERMIN: Jah-ah-ah-ah, I - I...

(Mr. Ermin raises his eggnog.)

MR. ERMIN: Hey, hey, Jack...!

(Shot of Kevin, Wayne and Jack.)

MR. ERMIN (V/O): The boys and I were, were...we were just chatting about, uh...

(Kevin looks at Wayne, as Wayne giggles. Jack takes a step down.)

MR. ERMIN: About, uh...uh...

(A seed in the roach pops.)

MR. ERMIN: Ouch! Ouch!

(Mr. Ermin drops the roach and puts his finger in his mouth.)

MR. ERMIN: Mmmm!

(Mr. Ermin steps on the roach with his toe.)

NORMA (V/O): Jack? (Sniffs.)

(Shot of the guys on the stairs. Norma approaches, followed by two more guests.)

NORMA: Ho-ney? (Sniffs.) What's that -

(She pauses, then glances open-mouthed at Jack, then toward Mr. Ermin off-screen.)

(Sitar music starts.)

(Close shot of Mr. Ermin sucking his finger.)

And then came the dawn.

(Mr. Ermin shakes his hand in the air, and frowns.)

After years of sowing it, growing it, and mowing it...

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Mr. Ermin off-screen.)

Mr. Ermin, king of lawn-care...had decided to smoke it.

(Close shot of Mr. Ermin glancing down. Sitar music ends.)

In our basement.

(Shot of all on the stairs.)

NORMA: Oh...!

(Wayne smiles.)

JACK: Wayne. Kevin. Go to the garage and get some sodas.

(Kevin looks over his shoulder at Jack, as Wayne frowns.)


JACK: Because I said so.

Wayne: Oooh...

(Wayne exits. Norma motions Kevin out.)

And the rest...is history.

(Kevin exits past the crowd, as Jack frowns at Mr. Ermin off-screen, and descends the stairs.)

Cut to


(Shot of Kevin kneeling down and handing a six-pack to Wayne, who is sitting on the counter looking off.)

WAYNE: Think Mr. Ermin...buys it, or does he grow it himself?

KEVIN: Ah, shut up!

(Kevin pulls out another six-pack.)

WAYNE: S'matter with you?

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Wayne off-screen.)

KEVIN: Nothing, OK?

(Kevin looks down and reaches for another six-pack.)

But there was something wrong. I knew it, Wayne knew it...

(Kevin stands up.)

(Wide shot of Kevin and Wayne looking toward the door as they hear Jack and Norma outside.)

NORMA (V/O): I'm just saying, you could have handled it a little better.

JACK (V/O): Better?

(Sound of a slamming door.)

JACK (V/O): How was I supposed to handle it better?! Tell me.

NORMA (V/O): You simply could have asked him to leave.

(Kevin walks past the camera, as Wayne follows.)

Maybe Mom and Dad knew it, too.

(Shot of the door to the garage.)

NORMA (V/O): You've known him for twenty years, Jack.

(Kevin and Wayne peek around the doorway.)

JACK (V/O): Then he shouldn't have done somethin' so stupid!

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Jack and Norma standing in the driveway, outside the kitchen.)

NORMA: No - you should not have pushed him all the way up the stairs - he could have gotten hurt!

JACK: The guy's a jerk!

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne peeking around the doorway.)

NORMA (V/O): No - the man is a friend!

JACK (V/O): Look, Norma! It was not my idea...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Jack and Norma standing in the driveway, outside the kitchen.)

JACK: To have this damn party in the first place!

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne as they jockey for position.)

NORMA (V/O): Now it's my fault?!

JACK (V/O): No, it -

(Kevin and Wayne fall forward, and a bunch of stuff clatters to the ground.)

(Close shot of Jack and Norma turning toward the sound.)

(Kevin and Wayne pop up, as a hubcap rattles to a stop.)

KEVIN: Hi, Dad! (Smiles.)

WAYNE: Hi, Mom! (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Jack and Norma. They look at the boys off-screen.)

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne.)

(Close shot of Jack and Norma. Jack jerks his head.)

JACK: Get outta here.

(Jack turns away.)

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne.)

KEVIN: What?

(Close shot of Jack and Norma. Jack waves his hand.)

JACK: Go to the store and get some soda.

(Jack looks down as he pulls out his wallet.)

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne. Wayne points and frowns.)

WAYNE: We got sodas in the garage!

(Close shot of Jack and Norma.)

JACK: Then go get more.

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne glancing at each other, then approaching the camera.)

(Wide shot of Jack and Norma as the boys approach them.)

Fade to


(Shot of a Santa display on the end of a store aisle. Some Snuffy guitar plays intermittently throughout the next scenes. The camera pans down to Kevin and Wayne. They swordfight with rolls of wrapping paper.)

We took our time.

(Kevin smiles as they approach the saleman, who is wearing a Santa hat, reading a store flyer and smoking a cigarette.)

There was no need to hurry.

(Kevin sets a six-pack down.)

Didn't seem there was that much to go back to.

Fade to

Wayne's Car on The Road

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne throught the windshield of Wayne's car. Kevin is looking out the window. The camera moves in on him slightly.)

Still, that night - driving home through the neighborhood I grew up in...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of the houses with Christmas lights on them.)

I realized something. There was a time I knew every family on the block. Their kids...names of their dogs...

(Shot of Kevin looking out the window.)

But most of those families were gone now - scattered.

(Kevin glances toward Wayne off-screen.)

The ones who stayed were not the same.

(Kevin looks out the window.)

The world had moved on. My world...their world.

Fade to

Ext. Night - Arnold House

(Shot of the street and house as Wayne pulls up to the curb.)

And only the lights remained the same.

(Shot through the passenger window of Kevin and Wayne, as the car emits its final backfire. They look toward the house off-screen.)

(Snuffy's guitar ends.)

KEVIN: Where'd everyone go? (Frowns.)

WAYNE: Man, what a bust.

(Shot of the house.)

KEVIN (V/O): It's pretty quiet in there.

(Shot through the passenger window of Kevin and Wayne.)

WAYNE: Yeah.

(Kevin looks at Wayne.)

WAYNE: Come on.

(Shot of the car and house, as the boys get out.)

Cut to


(Close shot of the door as Kevin and Wayne enter. Music "A Christmas Song" - Mel Torme plays in the background.)

I wasn't sure what to expect - chaos...mayhem...

(The boys pause.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Norma and Jack on the couch, alone, watching the fire in the fire-place.)

Or, maybe, two love-birds on a couch.

(Music plays in the background throughout.)

"Chestnuts roasting on a open fire"

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne.)

WAYNE: Ahem!

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Norma and Jack as they look at toward the boys.)

Shot of Kevin and Wayne.)

WAYNE: We got some soda.

(Slightly closer shot of Jack and Norma, as Norma smiles.)

NORMA: Thanks, honey.

"Jack Frost nippin' at your nose"

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne.)

WAYNE: Well, I'll just...put 'em in the 'fridge.

(Wayne exits past the camera.)

In a way, it was crazy.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Norma and Jack snuggled on the couch, as Wayne enters the kitchen in the background.

"Yuletide carols..."

There they sat - amidst the wreckage of a party gone wrong...

"Being sung by a choir"

(Shot of Kevin looking at them off-screen.)

And they didn't seem to care.

KEVIN: Mom? Dad?

(Kevin takes a step forward.)

"And folks dressed up..."

(Shot of Norma and Jack, as Norma turns.)

(Shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Sorry about what happened.

"Like Eskimos"

(Shot of Norma and Jack.)

NORMA: Oh, it's OK, honey.

"Everybody knows..."

KEVIN: Maybe it'll be better next year.

(Shot of Norma and Jack.)

JACK: Maybe...

(Shot of Kevin.)

"That turkey and some mistletoe..."

(Shot of Norma and Jack as Norma sits up.)

NORMA: Uh...I guess I better clean up.

"Can help to make the season bright"

JACK: Oh...let it wait till tomorrow.

(Jack puts an arm around Norma. She smiles and settles back.)

(Shot of Kevin.)

And I guess that's when I understood.

"Tiny little tots..."

(Kevin smiles slightly, and starts to walk toward the hallway.)

For Mom and Dad, the party hadn't been a disaster.

"With their eyes all aglow"

(The camera pulls back past Jack and Norma, as Kevin heads to the hallway.)

"Will find it hard to sleep tonight"

For as much as things were changing all around them...

(Kevin pauses in the doorway, and looks back at Jack and Norma.)

What Jack and Norma had - what drew people to their house every Christmas for sixteen years...

"They know that Santa's on his way"

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward them off-screen.)

Was still the same.

(Kevin exits down the hall.)

(Shot of Jack with his arms around Norma on the couch.)

The thing they started out with.

"He's loading lots of toys..."

(The camera pulls back slightly.)

Cut to

Kevin's Bedroom

(Shot of the doorway as Kevin walks past the camera into his room.)

The one they'd never lose.

(Kevin flops onto his bed and puts his hands behind his head. The camera moves in on him slightly.)

"And goodies on his sleigh"

My parents never did throw another Christmas bash.

"And every mother's child..."

And that was OK - I guess.

"Is gonna spy"

But I still think about those parties.

(Kevin smiles and looks toward the door off-screen. The camera stops moving.)

What they stood for.

(Shot of the crack of light under the door.)

"To see if reindeer really know how to fly"

A time before TV dinners and two-car families. And grass was green and we were young...

"So, I'm offering..."

(The light brightens, as sounds of a party can be heard. The light reaches a little further into the room.)

And those nights when I'd lie awake in my bed...

"This simple phrase"

(Shadows play across the light.)

Watching the light dance under my door.

"To get from one to ninety-two"

(The camera slowly pans away from the door toward Kevin.)

And listening...for my father's laugh.

(The camera pans across a young Wayne sleeping in bed.)

"Though it's been said..."

NORMA (V/O): Bill! Marsha!

"Many times, many ways..."

(Sound of Jack laughing.)

"Merry Christmas..."

JACK (V/O): Son of a gun...

(The camera pans across to a young Kevin in bed.)

"To you..."

(Kevin stretches, then settles down again.)

"Love and joy come to you"
"And to you your carol too"

Fade to


"And God bless you and..."

Supporting Cast
Mr. Ermin - Ben Slack
Mr. Wannamaker - Marty Zagon
Lou - David Selberg
Bill Foster - Parker Whitman
Carol - Kimberley Kates

"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" - Brenda Lee
"White Christmas" - Bing Crosby > ?
"Sleigh Ride" - Leroy Anderson
"Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" - Instrumental
"The Christmas Song" - Mel Torme

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Episode Info
Wonder Years Menu

12/18/98 00:30