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1. Pilot: Lindsay's family and friends fear the worst when she quits the academic decathlon team (a.k.a. the "mathletes") and begins hanging around with a new crowd. Her depression grows after her attempt to stop the teasing of a special education student goes terribly wrong. She turns to the guidance counselor for advice, but he only cares about getting her back in the academic decathlon. A new friend tries to help her find her way. Sam ponders asking cheerleader Cindy Sanders to the homecoming dance, while trying to cope with persistent teasing and torture at the hands of a savage bully.
The series is set in suburban Detroit in the fall of 1980-spring 1981. Theme song is "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett. This episode received an Emmy nomination in 2000 for Best Writing in a Comedy.
2. Beers & Weirs: Lindsay's friends learn that her parents are going away for the weekend and suggest having a kegger. She hesitantly agrees in the hopes of impressing Daniel, who has broken up with Kim. Sam and Neal become worried after a school assembly focusing on alcohol-related deaths. Neal is especially concerned because he has a crush on Lindsay. He convinces the guys to get a keg of nonalcoholic beer and switch it with the other keg. Despite the lack of alcohol, the party quickly gets out of hand (even Millie's pious rendition of "Jesus Is Just Alright With Me" fails to kill the mood). Lindsay catches a reunited Daniel and Kim making out in her bedroom. When she turns to Nick for comfort, he tries to feel her up. Neal comes up with a way to break up the party before it turns into a riot. While watching his beloved Dallas in Sam's bedroom, Bill samples the real keg and gets a little carried away.
3. Tricks & Treats: Lindsay agrees to uphold a family tradition by staying home to hand out candy with her mom on Halloween night. She later changes her mind and decides to go out with her friends, leaving Jean disappointed and hurt. Sam decides that he is too old to go trick-or-treating. Angered when his stuffy English teacher hands out a major reading assignment for Halloween weekend, he reverses his decision because he wants to stay a kid for a little while. Sam, Bill (dressed as Jaime Sommers of The Bionic Woman), Neal and Harris run into Alan and his buddies, who steal all of their candy. Lindsay and friends go on a vandalism spree that ends abruptly when she accidentally pelts Sam with eggs. Jean also has a miserable evening; the parents throw all of her homemade cookies onto the lawn because they fear she is trying to poison the neighborhood children. A guilt-ridden Lindsay tries to make things up to her mom by donning a costume and handing out candy for the remainder of the evening.
4. Kim Kelly Is My Friend: Sam inadvertently runs afoul of Kim's bitchy friend Karen, who writes "geek" on his locker with lipstick. After he removes the message, she writes "pygmy geek" in permanent marker. Mr. Kowchevski sees Sam trying to cover the graffiti and orders him to complete an anti-vandalism essay. Neal finds Sam's plight very amusing. They argue over which of them is the bigger geek, and Sam ends up pounding Neal. Nick tries to convince Kim to be nicer to Lindsay. Kim suddenly acts very friendly toward Lindsay, reasoning that they should make an effort to get along if they are going to hang out with the same group. Sam is disgusted by Lindsay's friendship with Kim, whom he considers a "psycho." Kim invites Lindsay to dinner, explaining that she needs to introduce a nice friend to her parents so they will stop hassling her to sell her car. She reveals that she has been using sleep overs at Lindsay's house and weekend trips to the Weirs' fictional cabin as her alibi when she stays out with Daniel. Kim's mother quickly exposes her lies and starts screaming at her. She concludes that Kim should not have a car because she uses it to "whore around town." Kim's mother and stepfather physically attack her and try to take her car keys. Lindsay and Kim flee for the car, which Kim's parents attempt to flip over while the girls are inside of it. They escape, only to find Daniel fooling around with Karen in the park. Kim tries to run them over, and then breaks down in tears. She explains that she acts tough to keep other girls away from Daniel because she fears losing him. Although her demeanor frightens them, the Weirs allow Kim to stay over for dinner. Daniel shows up and insists that he did not sleep with Karen, as he only cares about Kim. Lindsay's parents are pleased to see the couple make up, until they start a make-out session in the middle of the kitchen. The next day, Karen arrives at school to find that Kim has painted "slut" on her locker in giant letters. Kim threatens to beat up Karen, thereby becoming Sam's new hero.
This episode aired on some West Coast stations on 30 Apr 00.
It was scheduled to air 6 Nov 99, but was replaced by another episode because of concerns over its "violent content."
Writer Mike White appears as Kim's slowwitted brother Chip. Seth Rogen does not appear in this episode.
5. Tests & Breasts: Lindsay tries to tutor Daniel in algebra, but the situation seems hopeless. He steals a test from the teacher's office and asks Lindsay to help him fill in the answers. Mr. Kowchevski, suspicious of Daniel's surprisingly high grade, accuses the duo of cheating. Lindsay comes to realize how manipulative Daniel can be. Sam, Neal and Bill begin sex education class. They feel overwhelmed by the subject, so Daniel loans Sam a porno flick in a misguided attempt to help them. The film leaves the boys nauseated and even more confused.
6. I'm With the Band: Nick's father threatens to force him to join the Army unless he can maintain a C+ grade average. Lindsay encourages him to pursue a music career, then discovers that the band he has organized with the other freaks is really, really horrible. She suggests that they spend more time rehearsing; Nick agrees, but Daniel feels that rock and roll should be spontaneous (probably because he is too lazy to make an effort at anything). The other band members accuse Nick of being a tyrant and decide to quit, and everyone blames Lindsay. Lindsay urges Nick to try out for drummer of a local band; but, as the audition proves, his enthusiasm for drumming does not necessarily mean he has any talent. As he laments his seemingly dreary future, Lindsay consoles him with a kiss. Nick is excited, while Lindsay seems ambivalent the next day. Bill, Neal and Sam are mortified when a new district policy requires them to shower after gym class. Bill and Neal decide to endure the taunts of the bullies and go through with it, while Sam goes to great lengths to avoid his fate. When he finally decides to shower, a confrontation with Alan leaves him in the hallway without clothes or a towel...as the end-of-class bell rings.
After this airing, the series went on hiatus for nearly two months before moving from Saturdays (where it had picked up awful ratings) to Mondays.
7. Carded & Discarded: Sam, Neal and Bill befriend a pretty new transfer student, but she quickly becomes friendly with cheerleaders. Terrified by the possibility of losing her, the guys undertake a series of measures to steer her away from the popular crowd (including having Eli interrupt a conversation in order to defend the artistic merits of Three's Company). Kim reveals that she has a fake ID. Lindsay, Nick, Daniel and Ken decide to get fake IDs of their own so that they can see a hot local band perform at a bar. After one source falls through, Lindsay must turn to Millie's psycho ex-convict cousin for help. The group gains entry to the bar, only to discover a horrifying secret about the headlining act.
In spite of poor ratings, NBC ordered an additional four episodes the day after this airing (bringing the grand total to 18).
As he accosted Vicki for reportedly disliking Three's Company, Eli began to explain why Mr. Roper didn't want Jack Tripper living with two women. However, Mr. Furley had been the trio's landlord for over a full season by this point. Norman Fell and Audra Lindley left the series in the spring of 1978 for the spin-off The Ropers.
Joel Hodgson created Mystery Science Theater 3000 and starred as Joel Robinson. Trace Beaulieu costarred as Dr. Clayton Forrester and the Voice of Crow T. Robot.
8. Girlfriends & Boyfriends: Lindsay feels confused about her relationship with Nick, but reluctantly agrees to come over to his house while his parents are away for the weekend. Her friends and family only add to her apprehension. Millie warns Lindsay that freaks only date girls who will go all the way, while Mr. Rosso gives her a pamphlet and tells her about his bout with herpes. After Nick sends a rose to the house, Lindsay's parents force her to endure a lecture and hear about her father's first sexual experience during the Korean War. ("I wish I could get that five dollars back," he declares.) Lindsay discovers that she had little reason to worry, as Nick isn't even interested in making out. He serenades her and assures her that he doesn't want to rush things. Sam becomes jealous when Bill is named Cindy's lab partner and works with her after school. Sam is paired with Gordon, an overweight boy with a chronic body odor problem. The two become friends, and Gordon gives Sam advice on getting closer to Cindy. Sam joins the yearbook and gets to spend time with Cindy, only to find that she thinks of him as a "sister." However, he still accepts the role of her confidante.
Seth Rogen does not appear in this episode. The scene where Sam and Cindy go out for burgers at "Sackie's" appears to have been filmed inside a Wendy's.
9. We've Got Spirit: Lindsay wants to break up with Nick because she considers him too needy and is tired of his constant pot smoking. Her friends beg her not to do this, and Kim warns that Nick becomes a different person after a breakup. Nick's ex-girlfriend Heidi tells Lindsay that Nick stalked her and broke into her house after she dumped him. Jean is thrilled when Lindsay confides in her about her love life. Nick explains what happened with Heidi; she humiliated him by showing his love poems to the entire school, and her father caught him trying to retrieve them. Jean tries to console Nick, unaware that Lindsay had not broken up with him after all. A shaken Nick decides to save face by telling Lindsay that he doesn't want to see her anymore. Lindsay forgives her mother for her gaffe and cries on her shoulder. After the school mascot (the Norse man) is injured, Sam tries out for the position in order to impress Cindy. He wins the right to serve as mascot at the basketball team's big playoff game. Disheartened after Cindy begins dating star player Todd Schellinger, Sam lashes out at her and lets Neal be the mascot. Sam talks with a nervous Todd before the game and realizes that he might be a decent guy, even though he is popular. Neal alienates everyone in his quest for big laughs; he causes a human pyramid to collapse and must run from a throng of furious cheerleaders. Daniel, Ken and Kim suddenly become the basketball team's most rabid fans following a series of run-ins with jocks from rival Lincoln High.
10. The Diary: While hitchhiking, Lindsay and Kim get picked up by one of Mr. Weir's regular customers, who insists that he must tell Harold about the incident. Harold and Jean invite Kim's mother over for dinner to discuss the situation. The trio gets along well, but Lindsay's parents forbid her from hanging out with Kim because they consider her a bad influence. Kim is angry and hurt, although she doesn't want to admit it. Harold and Jean, following the advice of Kim's mother, snoop in Lindsay's room and read her diary. They discover that she considers them to be incredibly boring, so Jean searches for a way to shake things up. Daniel tries to arrange a reconciliation between Kim and Lindsay, and explains the Weirs' point of view to Kim. Lindsay stands up for Kim in English class, and decides to ignore her parents' objections and bring her to the house. Harold and Jean are too busy having sex all afternoon to worry about Kim. Meanwhile, Nick ignores Lindsay in the aftermath of their breakup. Bill grows tired of being picked last for teams in PE class and not being allowed to really participate. He gets revenge by making prank phone calls to Coach Fredricks' house. After the coach exposes him as the culprit, Bill airs his gripes and convinces Coach Fredricks to let him be a team captain. Bill and his friends go crazy when he actually catches a fly ball, even though it is only the first out of the game.
Seth Rogen does not appear in this episode.
11. Looks & Books: Lindsay's friends convince her to take her parents' car without permission so that they can run an errand. She is distracted by the group's antics and slams into a car backing out of a driveway, resulting in damage to both vehicles. Harold grounds her and orders her to stop hanging around with the freaks. She is more than happy to oblige this request, as she is tired of getting into trouble. When her friends insult her, Lindsay tells them that they are hopeless losers with no future. Her remark prompts Kim and Daniel to give some serious thought to their future plans. After reminiscing about old times with Millie, Lindsay decides to rejoin the math team. She develops a rivalry with the team's cocky new star, and trains aggressively. She convinces the coach to immediately put her into the starting lineup, unwittingly displacing Millie in the process. Lindsay delivers a perfect performance and leaves Shelly befuddled. The freaks surprise her by showing up to cheer her on. Lindsay promises to remain friends with Millie, but decides that she doesn't belong with the mathletes. She sneaks out of a slumber party at Millie's and patches things up with the freaks. Sam adopts a new hair style in the hopes of impressing Cindy. When this fails, he seeks out a new wardrobe. He shows up at school in a powder blue jumpsuit, and endures taunts and harassment from everyone. Mr. Rosso has a talk with Sam and tells him that attitude and self-esteem are the keys to being cool.
The series was pulled for the remainder of February sweeps.
12. The Garage Door: Sam sees Neal's father embracing a woman in a department store. Dr. Schweiber claims that the woman is just a friend, but asks Sam to keep it a secret. He also buys Neal an Atari game system, apparently as a means of assuaging his guilt. Bill insists that they have to tell Neal the truth. Neal blows up at Sam and Bill and accuses them of jealousy. Dr. Schweiber tries to convince Sam that nothing is going on. Neal snoops in his dad's car and finds a mysterious garage door opener. He gets the guys to ride their bikes around town and help him search for his father's love nest. After several hours, Sam and Bill give up and head home. Harold and Jean surprise Sam with an Atari as a reward "for being a good kid." The realization of what Neal is going through suddenly hits Sam, as he bursts into tears and hugs his dad. Neal gets a garage to open and finds his father's car parked inside. Ken develops a crush on the tuba player in the school's marching band. Lindsay talks to her on his behalf and is surprised to learn that she likes Ken. Daniel frustrates Kim by refusing to argue with her. Kim encourages Lindsay to act bitchy around Nick to avoid leading him on. At the same time, Daniel suggests that Nick hide his true feelings by giving Lindsay the cold shoulder. Everyone goes to the planetarium to see a Laser Floyd show (or so they think). Nick and Lindsay apologize for their behavior, but become very uncomfortable as the other couples make out.
13. Chokin' & Tokin': Bill embarrasses Sam and Neal by disclosing their various physical ailments in history class (in an effort to bond with the pretty young teacher). They criticize him for making them look bad in front of Maureen and Vicki. Sam and Neal announce plans to spend Saturday with the girls instead of joining Bill at a sci-fi convention. Bill fears that they are leaving him behind. Alan insists that Bill is lying about his severe allergy to peanuts. He tries to prove that Bill is faking by slipping some peanuts into his sandwich. Bill is hospitalized in critical condition. Jean consoles his mother, while Sam and Neal try to deal with the idea that they may lose their friend. Alan's father drags him to the hospital and orders him to apologize. While Bill is unconscious, Alan slips into his room and pleads with him to recover. Alan says that he has the same interests as Bill and his friends, and harasses them because they have always ignored him. After Bill awakens that night, Alan tries to mock him; but Bill had heard his earlier apology. He asks Alan to join them at the sci-fi convention. Alan cannot bring himself to go through with it. Lindsay worries that Nick is addicted to marijuana. They get along well when he is forced to stay clean for a few days, but he immediately drops everything when a new supply comes in. Nick snaps that Lindsay has no right to judge him, as she has never smoked pot. Lindsay tries smoking a joint and gets completely wasted. She calls on Millie to help her through a baby-sitting assignment, and Millie immediately realizes what is going on. ("I know what high people look like. I went to a Seals and Crofts concert last summer.") Lindsay is grateful when Millie takes care of her throughout the ordeal. However, Millie suspects that their renewed friendship will be forgotten once Lindsay has recovered.
This episode opened with the Weir family watching Charlie's Angels. Coincidentally, time-slot competitor That `70s Show aired a scene (at nearly the exact same time) with characters watching that program. Suffice it to say, Sam's choice of Bosley as the highlight of Charlie's Angels was not shared by the characters on the other show.
The show was canceled the day after this episode aired.
14. Dead Dogs & Gym Teachers: Lindsay tries to convince Harold to let her join her friends at a Who concert. Kim insists that Lindsay cannot miss the show because she "heard this will be their last tour." As she drives down Lindsay's street at night, Kim accidentally hits something. Kim refuses to stop, as she believes that it was just a squirrel. The next day, she and Lindsay encounter a sobbing Millie and learn that her beloved dog was run over. A guilt-ridden Kim bonds with Millie over her own experience with a dead pet (her parents put her epileptic dog to sleep without telling her), and begins hanging out with her. When Millie neglects her studies, Lindsay worries that Kim and the freaks will lead Millie astray and ruin her life. Kim angrily retorts that Lindsay is afraid that she will no longer have Millie as a backup when she gets angry with her "bad friends." She threatens to kick her ass if she tells Millie the truth about her dog's death. The Weirs give Lindsay permission to attend the concert and keep an eye on Millie. Millie's mother shows up at Daniel's house, where the freaks are hanging out before leaving for the show, and gets into a screaming match with her daughter. Kim confesses the truth to keep Millie from drinking a beer. Millie storms off, but Lindsay follows and elects to skip the concert to spend the afternoon with her. Meanwhile, Nick teaches himself to play guitar and writes a love ballad for Lindsay. Ken, who has heard the song in question, stops Nick by smashing his guitar in the street. He assures Nick that he was doing him a huge favor. Mrs. Haverchuck stuns Bill with the news that she has been dating Coach Fredricks. Bill mouths off to him and walks out on gym class. Coach Fredricks tries to bond with Bill by taking the geeks to a go-cart track, but angers Bill after he challenges the guys to a race and causes Bill to spin out. Coach Fredricks insists that he really loves Mrs. Haverchuck, and wants to get to know Bill better. Bill later lets the coach join him for Dallas and explains the show's plot to him.
This episode was scheduled to air 27 Mar 00. It had its first broadcast 10 Oct 00 on Fox Family Channel (where use of words such as "ass" is forbidden).
15. Noshing & Moshing: Neal wrestles with the dilemma of whether to tell his mother about his father's affair. His grades slip, and he gets into trouble with his teachers. He devotes all of his time to a ventriloquism act. Sam is embarrassed to be seen with Neal, while Bill freaks out because he once saw a movie about a dummy that came to life. Neal's brother Barry comes home from college for the weekend. He is aware of his father's philandering, but warns Neal to keep quiet for the good of the family. During the Schweibers' annual dinner party, Dr. Schweiber goads Neal into performing his act. He makes many cutting remarks about his father, and then runs out. When his mother comes to see him, Neal tearfully tells her about the affair. She says that she already knew, and assures Neal that he doesn't have to bear the burden of his parents' marital woes. Lindsay is given detention after coming to the aid of a girl being attacked by a large, stupid boy. She receives further punishment for complaining about a school policy that forbids students from doing homework during detention. She is cheered by Barry's arrival, and goes to the Schweibers' party to see him. Barry raves about college, and assures her that she will be able to forget high school and reinvent herself. Neal is distraught when Lindsay and Barry share a kiss. Daniel deals with pressures at home, where he is expected to help care for his disabled father. Kim breaks up with Daniel because she considers him unreliable. He escapes from his problems through punk music. A girl who dropped out of McKinley invites him to a club, so he tries to impress her by adopting a punk persona (even using raw eggs on his hair). After being physically abused in the mosh pit and discovering that Jenna has a boyfriend, a defeated Daniel seeks comfort in Kim's arms.
Aired 17 Oct 00 on Fox Family Channel.
In the original version of the episode (seen only in a few museum screenings during the spring), the song played during the final montage was "Only Love Will Break Your Heart" by Neil Young.
16. Smooching & Mooching: Nick is outraged to discover that his father has sold his drums, which Mr. Andopolis considered an unnecessary distraction. When his father refuses to apologize (or give him the money from the sale), Nick leaves home. After getting kicked out of Daniel's house for a bathroom violation, Nick turns to Lindsay for help. Lindsay claims that she would be happy to have Nick stay over, but believes her parents would disapprove. She is shocked when Harold agrees to let Nick sleep on the couch. Harold provides Nick with encouragement and gives him a part-time job to fund drum lessons. Lindsay becomes jealous, and wonders why her father cannot be more supportive of her. After a few days, Mr. Andopolis comes by the Weir house and asks Nick to return home. However, he rebuffs Harold's parenting advice. Cindy, who has recently broken up with Todd, reveals to Bill that she has a crush on Sam. She asks Bill to convince Sam to invite her to a party. Sam is freaked out to learn that the event is a make-out party. Neal insists that he and Bill be allowed to tag along, as he believes he has a way to rig Spin the Bottle. Neal is furious when his "surefire" technique fails (the bottle repeatedly points at Bill), while Bill gets some action with an initially disgusted Vicki in a closet. Sam finally gets the chance to kiss Cindy, although he is a little bewildered when she then turns the lights off and jumps him.
17. The Little Things: Sam discovers that life as Cindy's boyfriend is not nearly as exciting as he had imagined. They do not have any common interests, and Cindy seems incredibly bossy and shallow. After she expresses disgust for the movie "The Jerk" and refuses to wear the heirloom necklace he had given her, Sam decides to break up with Cindy. Neal and Bill believe that he is crazy to throw away a chance at popularity, but eventually realize that he made the right decision. Ken's girlfriend Amy confesses a shocking secret: At the time of her birth, she had both male and female genitalia. Ken has a difficult time coming to grips with this news. He considers breaking up with her, even though he might be in love with her. Ken misinterprets Daniel's innocent greeting "Hey guys" as a joke about Amy, and punches him out. Amy is horrified that Ken has revealed her secret to Daniel and Nick, and refuses to speak to him. A talk with Sam about his problems with Cindy forces Ken to realize how lucky he is to have a good relationship. He tracks down Amy to apologize. Vice President George Bush plans a public appearance at McKinley. Jeff convinces an unenthusiastic Lindsay to ask the Vice President a question, but advisors reject her topics and give her a prewritten question about restaurant preferences. After the Secret Service bars Jeff from the event because of his history of political activism, Lindsay decides to fight back. She asks Vice President Bush why he rejected her issue-oriented questions.
18. Discos & Dragons: The freaks are baffled when Nick takes up disco dancing at the behest of his perky new girlfriend, Sara. Ken is certain that Nick is only dating Sara in an attempt to make Lindsay jealous. Nick continually dismisses this theory, and insists that he has never been happier. Lindsay seems heartbroken by this news, particularly when Nick declares that he has given up pot smoking for Sara. Nick tries to hide the fact that he is still obviously hung up on Lindsay. Daniel is sentenced to audiovisual squad duty as punishment for pulling a fire alarm in an attempt to postpone his math final. The other geeks are terrified by the prospect of having Daniel invade their territory, while Sam insists that he isn't a bad guy. Daniel agrees to join the guys for an evening game of Dungeons and Dragons. He really enjoys it, and asks to play again the next night. Sam, Neal and Bill decide that this doesn't make Daniel a geek, but rather signifies their evolution into "cool guys." Lindsay is accepted to a two-week academic summit at the University of Michigan as one of the top one percent of students in the state. She is not sure that she wants to spend her summer this way, while Kim expresses envy at the fact that Lindsay gets to leave town. Jeff loans Lindsay a copy of the Grateful Dead's American Beauty album to help ease her stress. Neal, Bill and the Weirs see Lindsay off as she leaves for the summit. She gets off the bus in Ann Arbor to find Kim waiting for her. They board a van with two Deadhead classmates and depart to follow the group on its tour.
This is the series finale.
There are many differences between the master copies of the show, and the versions that aired. Some scenes are added in the masters, and some of the music is changed. This may have been due to time problems with the network and copyright problems with music, but nothing is confirmed.
Some differences between the master copies of the show, and the versions that aired:
In the first episode, when we first meet the freaks, the background music playing is the song "You Really Got Me", instead of "Runnin' With the Devil".
Also in the first episode, there is a scene added in which Kim comes up to Sam, and jokingly asks him if he wants to kiss her. Sam stops, not sure what to say. Kim then pushes him away, saying "In your dreams, geek!" This scene occurs right before Lindsay asks Eli if he wants to go to the dance with her.
In the episode "Noshing and Moshing", the song that plays during the final montage is "Only Love Will Break Your Heart" instead of "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You".
Incorrectly regarded as goofs: Nick asks if anyone wants to see Pink Floyd's The Wall with him. While the movie was not released until 1982, he was probably referring to the laser show.
Factual errors: Neal asks the other geeks if they saw "Dukes of Hazzard, The" (1979) the night before. However, they're eating lunch at school and "Dukes of Hazzard" always ran on Friday nights.
Continuity: During "I'm With The Band," when they are discussing the band in the cafeteria, Daniel's snack cakes.
R.F. Daley, the real-life father of star John Francis Daley, appears as the yearbook teacher in the episode "Girlfriends and Boyfriends."