04x10 - Full Metal Teddy

All right, it's report card day.

The least fun day when I was your age, but the most fun day now.

( both chuckles )

Hand them over.

I think you'll be pleased.

Ooh, A, B, B, A. ABBA. ( laughs )

My favorite band and my favorite grades.

Wow. Nice report card, Katie.

Is it good enough to go to Harvard? No.

Can we afford Harvard? No.

Right in the sweet spot.

I remember what you said, Dad, any college that ends in State.

Wow, all smiley faces.

What can I say? People love me.

Okay, girls, great work.

Keep those grades up.

Excellent job, ladies. Let's get out of here.

Teddy.

Yes, Father?

Where's your report card?

Oh, my school's not doing grades anymore.

It's just based on how we feel, and I feel great.

I saw you shove it in your pocket. Hand it over.

Come on, tight pants.

Good God, a "Z"?

I tried to change a "D" to a "B" on the bus.

It was bumpy.

Your teachers say you're not doing your homework.

Look, your grades don't have to be perfect.

We just expect you to try your best, but this looks like you're not trying at all.

Explain yourself, mister.

I'm just looking for a different lifestyle.

A different lifestyle?

Look, date who you want, but do your homework.

Homework's a bummer, man. I want to be free.

Teddy, go to your room.

( stammers ) That's right.

We need some privacy to talk about your punishment, and I'll just say this... Everything is on the table.

That was good.

"Everything's on the table." Scary.

It's from a Liam Neeson movie.

Did he think we were gonna buy that lifestyle stuff? Ugh.

I mean, if you blow off your homework, you say you lost it or the dog ate it.

They're classics for a reason.

Yeah.

Well, we learned with Katie, at some point, kids stop doing their homework, so we're gonna threaten to send Teddy where we threatened to send her.

Military school.

Military school.

It's a bluff, but he doesn't know that.

Remember, as soon as Kate heard the words "military school," her eyes got big and her lip trembled.

That's when we knew we had her.

( both laugh )

We should write parenting books.

Yeah.

You know, someday they're gonna be too old to scare.

Let's enjoy it while we can.

Your father and I have discussed the consequences of your report card.

And we've decided what needs to be done.

This is very hard for a mother, so forgive me if I get emotional, it's just I'm gonna miss you so much.

Get a hold of yourself, Andi.

It's for his own good. I know.

Teddy, if you don't start doing your homework, we're gonna send you to military school.

What? That's right.

Runcrest Military Academy.

They call it Runcrest because they make you run to a crest.

That's a hill.

Just thinking about my baby running up that scorpion-infested hill, it just, it breaks my heart.

So what's it gonna be, Teddy, huh?

Homework or military school?

Well, that's easy.

Hmm. Military school.

Come again?

What's that now?

I could use the structure. When do I ship out?

Teddy, go to your room.

This is my room.

Then go to a different part of your room.

You heard your father.

There, in-in the dusty corner where the vacuum can't reach.

♪ ♪

"Go to a different part of your room"?

I actually said that.

It's like a dragon opened its mouth and jelly beans shot out.

Don't blame yourself. We were in shock.

( stammers ) What kind of kid wants to go to military school?

That trick used to work so well on Katie.

Yeah, but Teddy didn't give us the big-eye lip tremble.

I want our child sad and scared, so we know we're good parents.

Sad and Scared... that's a good title for our book.

Well, he called our bluff.

Yeah, if the kids know we're bluffing, the wheels come off this whole family, Andi, so there's only one thing left to do.

We're gonna actually send him to military school.

Okay, Runcrest Military Academy.

Whoa-whoa, what-what? What about Scorpion Hill?

You made that up.

Oh, it's so real to me now.

Okay, look.

Tuition, $300, we can swing that.

That's the application fee. This is the tuition.

Oh.

He's gonna flunk out of school and live with us forever.

I don't want to be that lady walking around Target with her giant son begging her for hot dog money.

I can't do it, Adam.

Oh, sorry, Andi, didn't you hear?

He wants a different lifestyle.

Well, he's got to learn that there is only one lifestyle: Work hard, then die.

It's the American dream.

We can fix this, okay? We're still in charge here.

Okay, yeah, you're right.

We'll, uh, we'll just give Teddy a preview of what happens to kids who don't do their homework, yeah.

And we'll make it look real bad.

Yes.

I mean, he can't be that hard to outsmart.

I mean, we saw his report card.

Yeah, yeah, and the best part is, there's two of us and there's only one of him.

You can never tell Mom and Dad I'm helping you.

I won't. You're getting me out of homework, I owe you.

I got to know, what happened when you said you wanted to go to military school?

Dad's eyes got big and Mom's lip trembled.

( chuckles ) This is so great.

I fell for all their tricks and now I get payback.

So what's next?

Nothing. We just blew up their biggest move.

They might try one or two other things, but it won't last.

Every day they get a little older and a little tireder.

All right, smart guy, military school's off.

They weren't as strict as I wanted them to be.

They started letting people smile.

But I can straighten you out right here.

You won't do homework, you'll do work-work.

Meet me in the driveway and get ready to sweat. Hi, honey.

Work? These are video game hands, not real-life hands.

Relax. I know how to deal with this.

How'd he look?

Remember when he was going down the hill on his bicycle and the handlebars came off?

He looked like that.

( chuckles )

Okay, your job is to take this messy pile of bricks over here and turn it into a neat stack of bricks on the pallet over there.

That sounds hard. Because it is.

If you can't be bothered to do homework, the only thing people are gonna trust you with is grunt work.

And the kids who did homework will get nice, cushy office jobs with free muffins.

Free muffins, Teddy. Think about what you're giving up.

So I'm gonna be a bricklayer?

No, no, my friend, you're a brick mover.

You're one step above the brick.

If the brick had legs, it wouldn't need you.

Get cracking.

Look at him out there in the sun, full of sweat and regret. ( chuckles )

( bricks clatter )

Ooh!

He just dropped a brick on his foot.

This is going great. Yeah.

He's really... not doing that right.

Th-Th-There's gaps, Andi, gaps in the stack.

Well, he's just getting started.

Yeah, but the beginning is where you have to be perfect or everything else is out of whack.

Look at his edges... They're all cattywampus.

Hey.

That's-that's-that's-that's not how you do it.

If you got gaps, your corners aren't square.

Have you never paid attention to me when I talk about bricks?

We'll just have to start this whole thing over.

Hmm?

That looks good, Dad.

Oh, you think it looks good now, you just wait till I'm done.


You were right.

I messed the first few up and he just took over.

Yup, I'm good.

If they gave grades for this, I wouldget into Harvard.

Look at that perfect stack of bricks.

Now we accomplished something today.

Did we? 'Cause Teddy's not even here anymore.

Good, he was slowing me down.

Adam, we were supposed to be teaching him a lesson, but instead you did all the work.

It's like he taught us a lesson.

But you saw it, he had gaps.

When Teddy sees this, he will know.

The only thing he'll know is how to get out of stacking bricks.

Wait a minute, do you think he messed up on purpose, knowing I would take over?

Ah, that would require Teddy taking one thought, putting it together with another thought, and making a new thought.

( gasps ) Can he do that?

I would have said no, but I'm the chump out here covered in brick dust.

Getting kids to do homework is a never-ending struggle.

My girls are in their fifth year of Chinese, but they still speak like fourth-years, so I punish them by taking away their cellos.

Our kids are gonna be working for his kids.

Joke's on them.

Our kids'll be terrible employees.

If Teddy doesn't get his act together, he's gonna wind up in summer school like I did.

Hey, that's right.

Don, maybe you could talk some sense into Teddy, huh?

You learned your lesson.

That summer, all my friends went to camp, and I had to sit in the library with Mrs. Branch, a lady so boring she was named after a tree.

You know, that could work on Teddy.

He'd hate the idea of summer school.

Yeah. Take him to lunch, Don.

Tell him what happened when you didn't do yourhomework.

He'll listen to you. He thinks you're cool for some reason.

I amcool.

I hate to break it to you, but you got old and I didn't.

Then take mygirls to lunch.

Maybe you can find out why they've fallen behind in their Russian literature book club.

You know what, Lowell? Just go home for the day.

A woman so boring she was named after a tree.

Mrs. Branch.

Nothing?

Anyway, that's what can happen to you.

See, the thing is, Uncle Don, Teddy wants a different lifestyle.

Yeah. I'm not climbing the corporate ladder just 'cause The Man wants me to.

The Man. I hate that guy.

But you work for The Man.

You're his stooge.

You take that back.

If you know a way off this hamster wheel, I'm listening.

So, did you get through to Teddy?

No, but Teddy got through to me.

He's really zigging where the rest of us zag.

What? What does thatmean?

Well, it means that Kate and Teddy's philosophy really spoke to me.

So, I'm gonna zag on home and take a nap.

Wait. Kate was there?

Yeah. When I went to pick up Teddy, she hopped in the car.

She said lunch was on her, so I stopped asking questions.

Teddy and Katie never hang out together.

Why would she be at that lunch?

Good question.

And you know something else? Hmm?

She was in his room yesterday.

She hasn't been in there since she caught him trying to twerk in front of his mirror.

Something's up.

You don't think...

( both gasp )

She's helping him.

Why do I feel so scared right now?

Because this is Jurassic Park, and we just found out they learned how to work in packs.

So Teddy and Kate formed a criminal conspiracy.

( chuckles )

It is nice they're spending time together, though.

Snap out it, Andi.

I'm gonna put an end to this.

Wait-wait-wait, stop.

Why? I'm all fired up!

Okay. What happens if you go up there and yell at 'em?

I feel better. And then I watch TV.

Yeah, but that won't get Teddy to do his homework and it won't stop Kate from helping him.

Look, our only advantage is that they don't know we know, and we have to use that to take back control.

I want control.

Why did I have kids if I can't tell 'em what to do?

Yeah.

Everything flows from problem number one: how do we get Teddy to do his homework?

Hey, Dad.

"Hey, Dad"?

Why'd you leave a stack of bricks in your driveway?

Are you trying to tell the whole neighborhood you've given up?

I... I was teaching Teddy a lesson.

The only lesson he learned is, his father gives up.

Did you hear that? I certainly did.

My dad can get Teddy into shape.

Just like he did with me when I got bad grades.

He was a terrible student.

All he wanted to do was sit in his teacher's lap.

Aw.

He was 13.

Oh.

Yep. There was no estrogen in the chicken back then.

I was a full man in middle school.

When Dad heard about that, he made me water the whole front yard with a tiny Dixie cup.

Yeah, it's the slowest, most painful way to water a lawn, but delightful to watch.

Joe, we-we've got homework problems with Teddy.

Can you take him to your place and fix him up?

Sure.

That's good, yeah.

He'll be separated from Katie.

She's the brains of the operation.

Sounds like a job for Old Tough Nuts.

That's what he used to call himself when I was in trouble.

And I was in trouble a lot.

I had a full mustache in fifth grade.

He looked like Sonny Bono.

Since we can't get you to do your homework, we're turning you over to your grandfather.

We're sorry it's come to this.

That's okay. I like Grandpa.

Our relationship has changed.

So, I have to water the lawn with this, or do my homework?

No, homework's out. This is just your life now.

Can I talk to Grandma?

I sent her to Atlantic City with a coffee can full of quarters.

No one can save you now.

( sighs ) All right.

The lawn is watered.

Where's my Dixie cup?

It fell apart. I was out there for hours.

That was my favorite cup!

All right, you can pay me back with some elbow grease.

You see those shoes?

Make 'em shiny so I can see my beautiful face.

Dinnertime, grunt.

A can of shrimp?

If you can open it, you can eat it.

( sighs )

Finally done with the dishes.

Can we watch TV now?

Bedtime.

But it's only 6:30.

You're gonna need that sleep.

Tomorrow you're digging holes in the backyard.

For what?

To have a place to put all your questions.

( air horn blows )

Rise and shine, cadet.

It's 4:00 in the morning.

I let you sleep in because I'm a softy.

( air horn blows )

Morning, fellas.

Oh. He's got you counting toothpicks, huh?

There's supposed to be a thousand, but Grandpa says they always short him a couple.

Yeah.

He made me do that after I asked the school nurse to the eighth grade formal.

All right. Keep an eye on him.

I'm going out back to string some barbed wire for the obstacle course.

If he makes it through, he earns a can opener.

You've got to get me out of here. I'll do anything.

Even your homework?

I promise.

Mmm, I don't know.

Maybe you should still try the obstacle course.

Grandpa went all the way across town to get that barbed wire.

No. I'll do all my homework forever.

I swear.

Okay. Deal.

You will thank me for this when you're sitting in your cushy office, eating free muffins.

I know. Can we please leave before he comes back?

Sure.

Now we're both graduates of Camp Tough Nuts.

Did he give you a can of shrimp and no way to open it? Yep.

Ugh, he's been doing that since the '70s.

Might even be the same can of shrimp.

Andi: Okay.

It's time, Teddy.

You need to give up your accomplice.

Who was helping you?

You're the body of the snake, we want the head.

We already have a suspect, so you might as well come clean.

I don't know what you're talking about.

Maybe you can't remember because you're so hungry from Grandpa's house.

I am.

Then let us jog your memory.

Do it, Andi.

It was Kate. It was all Kate. I never wanted to lie to you.

I love you, Mommy and Daddy.

You're back. What happened? Are you in trouble?

I'mnot.

( door closes )

What do you mean?

Hey, Teddy?

Teddy!

Teddy, wh-what happened?

Teddy, open the door!

He's not gonna answer, Kate.

Oh, no.

Oh, look. We finally got our big-eyed lip tremble.

Hmm.

Ooh.

She added a knee wobble.

Well, that's new.

( chuckles ) I like it.

Sad and scared. Now we know we're good parents.

I'm really sorry.

But isn't the guilt I'm feeling punishment enough? I think so.

Is it enough for you, Adam?

Your punishment isn't up to us.

What do you mean?

( air horn blows )

Grandpa?

Our relationship has changed.

Start running.

I've got a Dixie cup at home with your name on it.

( air horn blows )

Hey, if the kids can work in packs, so can we.

That's right.

And our pack is scarier 'cause we got the T. rex.

( chuckles )

There you are. So, you're not coming to work anymore?

It's been two days.

Well, some people are worker bees, some people are butterflies.

Me and Teddy are butterflies.

Well, you have to make up those hours.

And I found just the right person to make sure you do.

Mrs. Branch?

Mm-hmm. Still working at the library.

Here. Have a seat.

Have a good summer, Don.