FINAL DRAFT SCRIPT: (October 28, 1987)

0210 (023)


Regular Cast:

Ed O'Neill..............Al Bundy
Katey Sagal.............Peggy Bundy
David Garrison..........Steve Rhoades
Amanda Bearse...........Marcy Rhoades
Christina Applegate.....Kelly Bundy
David Faustino..........Bud Bundy



Bundy kitchen/living room - evening.
Marcy and Peggy are preparing for a party. Food is set out, on a cloth on the TV, and on the
table. There is a cake, as well. A sign says "WELCOME HOME STEVE". A bucket of confetti hangs 
over the door.

MARCY  I'm so exited. Steve's been gone for five days! That's the longest we've been apart since
       we were married. Well, you know how it is, Peg. What would you do if Al was gone for five

PEGGY  Cash in his insurance policy, give the kids to my mother, and travel.


MARCY  Oh! Here's Steve now! Get ready.

They "hide" so as to surprise Steve. Al enters. The bucket tips and confetti lands on his head.
He's surprised.

PEGGY  Al, did you have to come home?

AL     Well, the summer place is all closed up, the yacht's in dry dock, so I figured, 
       what the hell, tonight I'll stay in the ghetto home. What's going on?

MARCY  We're having a welcome back party for Steve.

AL     So the bucket-of-death wasn't really meant for me? [to Marcy] How come, we're not having
       the party at your house? [looking around] Was it because all Steve's friends couldn't fit
       in there?

MARCY  Well, you see, when Steve comes back from these trips, he comes back... ready. If we had
       the party at our house, it would be a mess. Steve has trouble getting aroused if the house
       isn't clean.

PEGGY  Hmm. Maybe if I cleaned up, Al would get aroused. [she looks at Al] But it's not worth the

AL     So, when's Mr. Popular due in? The party seems to be peaking.

MARCY  Any minute now. Steve loves his river rafting trips. I went with him once. You can't
       imagine what it's like to ride something so wild and uncontrolled.

Al looks at Peggy.

AL     Oh, yes I can.

PEGGY  And Marcy, you don't know what's it's like to ride something short and boring.

Marcy looks at Al.

MARCY  No, I don't.


MARCY  [excited] That's him. Hurry. Everybody hide.

Marcy and Peggy hide. Al just sits on the couch, disgusted.

PEGGY  Al! Get the door!

AL     I can't. I'm hiding.

Annoyed, Peggy crosses to the door and opens it. Steve enters. Marcy leaps up.

MARCY  Surprise!

Steve has grown a beard. he and Marcy hug.

STEVE  [touched] This is great.

Al reacts.

MARCY  Oh, Steve, I missed you. What's that on your face?

STEVE  A beard. Like it?

MARCY  [unconvincingly] Umm.

STEVE  Oh, the stories I have to tell. The very first morning...

AL     Hey, well, all's well that ends well. How 'bout some cake?

During the following, Al and Peggy attack the food. Steve stretches, eyeing Marcy significantly.

STEVE  I don't know Marcy. I'm kind of... tired. Y'know? Really tired. Bone weary.

MARCY  [beat, then] Oh. Y'know, Steve. I'm kind of pooped, too. Why don't you go on home and
       shave? I'll put together some little sandwiches, y'know, in case you want a snack
       between... naps.

STEVE  Actually, I was thinking of keeping the beard.

MARCY  Oh, you can, Steve. After you shave, you can keep it in a little box.

STEVE  No, I'm serious. I like it.

Al and Peg are surreptitiously wrapping the party food and putting it away.

PEGGY  Ooh, look Al, they're gonna fight.

AL     Good. Put the cold cuts where the kids won't find them.

Peggy nods.

MARCY  You are nto keeping that beard.

STEVE  Why not? You know, my Indian guide on the trip, Mrs. Rabinowitz, said it gave me an 
       untamed look.

MARCY  Then "untamed" must be Indian for "white man wears dead rabbit on face." Now come on,
       Steve. Go home and shave.


MARCY  No? No? I must have misheard you, Steve. I thought you said "no". I also thought all our
       decisions were going to be joint decisions. A beard is a decision.

STEVE  Fine, then next time you want to grow a beard... do it.

MARCY  Don't think I won't.

STEVE  The beard stays.

MARCY  It's gone. I'll see to that. You'll have to sleep sometime.

STEVE  Just try it, Marcy. I sleep like the owl!

They exit. Al thinks a beat.

AL     A beard, huh?

He strokes his chin.

PEGGY  It won't work, Al. I don't look at your face anyway.

He shrugs. They go back to gathering the food.




Bundy kitchen/living room - the next morning.
Al, Peggy, Kelly and Bud are having a banquet-sized breakfast of last night's purloined cake.

PEGGY  Everybody like their cake?

The kids make appreciative sounds.

KELLY  Y'know, Mom, I could swear I smell cold cuts. Do we have some?

Al and Peg look at each other guiltily a beat, then walla "Nope, no here", and "cold cuts, I

AL     Hear Steve and Marcy fight last night, kids?

They all make appreciative noises. They raise their forks of cake in acknowledgement.

BUD    I'll tell you this. When I get married, my wife's not gonna tell me when to shave.

KELLY  No. She'll just be going [sheeplike] "Baaa."

BUD    Sure, everybody makes fun of me 'cause I'm the only virgin in the house. [Kelly reacts]

KELLY  He's lying, dad.

BUD    [sheeplike] Naaah.

Al crosses to the door.

PEGGY  C'mon now kids. Is this the way we talk at the breakfast table?

Al opens the door to a still-bearded Steve.

AL     Nope. Sorry Tex, no odd jobs for you today. Maybe you can chop some wood for us tomorrow. 

STEVE  [tiredly] Ha ha. I'm not really in the mood for this, Al. I just came over to say I'm 
       sorry if the noise kept you up last night.

PEGGY  Oh don't worry. We didn't hear a word. Especially when Marcy said, "I don't care how sad
       'Mr. Mike' is. There's no room at the inn." 

STEVE  [beat] Well, in case you did hear something, I'm sorry.


STEVE  It it's "That woman", I'm not here!

Al opens the door to Marcy.

AL     He's over there.

MARCY  Steven Rhoades, don't you dare think you can walk out of this argument!

STEVE  What argument? Do you see an argument? No. All I see is an inn-keeper who doesn't honor

KELLY  [sotto to Bud] What he means is...

BUD    I know, I know.

STEVE  Marcy. It's not so much the beard as the principle. I'm making a personal statement.

MARCY  Well, so am I. Shave the beard!

STEVE  Okay. I'll just have to go where my beard is appreciated. Somewhere where looks aren't

AL     Oh no.

STEVE  [slinging arm over Al's shoulder] With my friends, the Bundys. And I'll remain here until
       you accept this beard and all it stands for.

MARCY  Fine! Stay here as long as you want.

AL     How long is that gonna be Steve?

STEVE  Till hell freezes over, if need be. She's got to learn that a man's face is a man's face.

MARCY  You think I'm right, don't you, Peggy?

PEGGY  [shrugs] I don't look at Al's face.

MARCY  All right, Steve. If you want to play out your macho charade, go ahead. You can come home
       when your face is back to the baby's behind I fell in love with.

She exits.

STEVE  [beat, to Al] Where do I sleep?

Al and Peg look at each other.




Bundy living room/kitchen - that evening.
Peggy sits on the couch, eating bon bons. In the kitchen, Steve is under the sink, installing 
something. Supper is cooking on the stove.

PEGGY  Are you sure I can't help you, Steve?

STEVE  No, I can handle it.

PEGGY  Fine, then I'll just sit back down. Y'know, Steve, I feel kind of guilty having you do all 
       the work [she pops a bon bon into her mouth] around the house.

STEVE  No, no, I want to earn my keep. [finishes up] Garbage disposal's working again.

PEGGY  Dog groomed?


PEGGY  Chimney swept?


PEGGY  Dinner still at eight?


PEGGY  Well, I'm exhausted. I'll be upstairs, resting. [she starts up] I love your beard.

Peggy exits upstairs. 
A beat, then Al enters. He crosses wearily to the couch and flops down.

AL     Hi, hon. What a day. Get me a beer will ya? [Steve brings hima beer. He doesn't see it's
       Steve] Y'know every broad in the store today was complaining their husbands don't pay
       enough attention to 'em. [beat] You smell good today, Peg.

STEVE  You don't.

Al notices Steve.

AL     Steve, what the hell are you doing here?

STEVE  I live here. But, Al, I want you to know I'm not gonna be a bother to you. So if I get on
       your nerves in any way, don't hesitate to tell me. [Al puts his feet on the coffee table]
       Don't put your feet on the coffee table. I just cleaned it. And don't scrunch up the
       pillows. I have to sleep there. And if you're gonna watch TV, remember I go to bed at
       10:30 sharp.

AL     Ten thirty? But that's when Peg goes to sleep. I'd have to go up there with her.

STEVE  Well, I hate to punish Peggy, but I need my sleep.

AL     So how about this? shave that bird's nest and get the hell out! [beat] What's that smell?

STEVE  It's food, Al. 

Al gets up and looks at the stove. He looks in wonder.

AL     How'd you get the stove to work? Peg said it broke, months ago.

STEVE  Nah. I checked it out. Somebody just cut the cord.

Al looks upstairs and reacts. A beat, then Bud and Kelly enter.

KELLY  Hey. Mr. Rhoades is making food.

BUD    Yep and look. He's using the "Bottom thing."

STEVE  That's called an oven.

Bud, Kelly and Al make sounds of awe and amazement.

KELLY  Mom, Mom, did you see this?!

Peggy comes downstairs.

BUD    Guess what, Mom. He's using the [as if showing off a new word he's learned] "Oven".

Al tousles his hair, proudly.

STEVE  Okay, dinner's ready. Come and get it!

Kelly, Bud, Peggy and Al hurry to the table and sit. Steve serves.

AL     Wow! That's the best looking burger I've ever seen! And no yellow paper!

STEVE  Homemade fries, kids?

Holds out a plate of them.

BUD    How do you "make" fries?

STEVE  From a potato.

Al, Kelly and Bud walla one big "wow".

PEGGY  [slightly cold] I knew that.

AL     Yeah, right. [to table] Next thing she'll be tellin' us she knew what the oven was.

They all laugh except Peggy.

STEVE  Anybody want ice?

AL     Ice?!
BUD    Ice?!
KELLY  Ice?!

All stare in wonder at Steve.




Bundy kitchen/living room - a short time later.
They have just finished the meal.

AL     Y'know, kids. We've eaten before, but we've never really eaten. Kids. Thank your
       mother for that terrific meal.

BUD    Thank you, Mr. Rhoades.
KELLY  Thank you, Mr. Rhoades.

Al and Bud get up and go to the living room.

PEGGY  [desperately] I set out the napkins.

Kelly gets up and pats Peg's shoulder consolingly.

They get up and stagger to the couch. Peggy stays at the table.

KELLY  Mr. Rhoades, do you know anything about algebra?

STEVE  Well, I've been known to juggle a few numbers down at the bank.

PEGGY  I thought I was going to help you with your homework.

KELLY  Well, why not pass if you can.

Al, stuffed, sits happily on the couch.
Steve, Bud and Kelly exit upstairs. 

PEGGY  What a show off. All four burners going at once. I saw. He only used three. And that 
       bottom thing. Wait till our electric bill comes in.

AL     It's gas, Peg.

PEGGY  Oh, who cares? [she snuggles up to him] The point is, I think we have made a big mistake
       letting Steve stay with us. [we hear laughter from upstairs] I don't think it's good for
       the children, either. [beat] I've got to go upstairs and put a stop to this nonsense right
       now. [she starts upstairs] You'll get rid of him in the morning, won't you, Al?

AL     Sure.

She exits upstairs.
Al opens it. It is Marcy. 

MARCY  Hi. Is Steve here? I thought maybe we could... talk?

AL     No.

Al swings the door shut in her face.





Bundy kitchen/living room - morning, a few days later.
Peggy is sitting at the kitchen table. She is not happy. Steve clears the table. 
Al enters from upstairs.

AL     [happily] Good morning, Steve. [then unenthusiastically] Hey, Peg. Steve, you're lookin'
       great this morning. I especially like that beard. You want to go out tonight, buddy?
       Bowling, a movie? Let's go shopping. I'll buy you something.

STEVE  Thanks, Al, but I not going to be home tonight.

AL     What? Are you upset about something, buddy? Is it something Peg said? If it is, just let
       me know. She'll be gone by tonight.

STEVE  No, Al. Peggy's okay. 

PEGGY  Oh, thank you, Steve. It would be hard for me to leave, anyhow. Since you since cleaned my 
       closet, I can't find my luggage.

AL     Leave Steve alone. [to Steve] You will be cooking supper though, won't you?

STEVE  Not tonight, Al. There's a banker's banquet tonight. Marcy and I both have to be there. 

AL     [worried] You're not going to... talk to her, are you?

STEVE  No, no. But we agreed to go together, for appearances' sake. This banquet is important to
       both our careers. [Peggy is over the kitchen table. listening. She glumly chews a piece of 
       bacon] It's going to be really uncomfortable for me, being with her. I haven't seen her
       for five days. I haven't touched her, smelled her, [getting horny] buried my face in

AL     Steve! Remember what's important here. You have a beard. And a family to take care of. So
       what's for dinner tomorrow?

STEVE  I'm horny, Al. I'm thinking of shaving.


AL     No!

STEVE  Al, calm down. Can we go someplace private to talk?

AL     Sure, buddy. Peg, get outta here.

PEGGY  Fine. I guess I'll go upstairs and look through the photo album. I think I have a shot of
       Marcy washing the car last summer. The one where her tee-shirt got all wet, and you said
       something about "Taking her for a little spin" but you didn't use the car. [beat] That

She smiles and exits.

STEVE  I'm shaving, Al. I've never seen a tee-shirt that wet.

AL     Sit down, Steve.

STEVE  I can't, Al.

Al eases him down. They sit on the couch.

AL     Steve, I'm gonna tell you a little something I learned about life. 

STEVE  Oh good. At the feet of the master again.

AL     The way I see it, nature played a cruel trick on us. 

STEVE  Well, it did move us next door to each other.

AL     All right. Two tricks. But I was talking about the one that keeps us men from ruling
       the earth. See, nature gave men the urge, and women the answer. Sure, it's all they got,
       but it's all they need. [wishful] Gee, it would have been so much better if nature gave us 
       everything. Like the worm, and that guy who works down at the antique shop. But, no one
       asked me, and now it's too late.

STEVE  God, that was a wet T-shirt.

AL     Steve, think dry for a second here. See, the problem is women know we have these urges.
       But they have the same urges we do. It just doesn't show, because... well, that's how
       spiteful they are. But Steve, they need us as much as we need them. Why? Because we can do 
       the job, and you can't take a battery home to meet your mother. There. I've said my piece.
       What are you gonna do about it, buddy?

STEVE  I'm gonna shave and rock the house. [Al stares at him] The beard itches, Al. I'm sick of
       it and I look stupid.

AL     I know you do, Steve, but at least you've got your pride. I mean a guy like you could get
       sex anytime you want. [Al rolls his eyes] But pride is what keeps our pants up, Steve.
       [beat] Just say "No". 

STEVE  Al, you're right. Evolution may have passed you by, but you're right.

They get up and head for the door.

AL     I know I am.

STEVE  I'm making a point, here. I am fighting the good fight.

AL      Right, Steve. Listen, after you come back from this banker thing, I'll still be up. You
        think you can make me those little brown potatoes? I love those.

They exit. 
A beat, then Peggy hurries downstairs. She goes to the back door and opens it to Marcy.

MARCY  I waited till they left. What's the big news?

PEGGY  Steve is horny. 

MARCY  I could tell. Your place is clean. Is he ready to shave the beard?

PEGGY  Almost. But of course, we have the usual obstacle.

MARCY  What's Al doing?

PEGGY  Making Steve hold out until you give in.

Marcy starts to laugh.

MARCY  It'll be a cold day in... oh, God I need him.

Peggy helps her over to the couch. They sit.

PEGGY  Calm down, Marcy.

Marcy finds a sock

MARCY  This is one of Steve's socks.

She nuzzles it.

PEGGY  Yes. But Al's been wearing it.

Marcy reacts.

MARCY  Peggy, what am I gonna do? I don't know how much longer I can hold out. But I can't give
       up my principles for an hour and a half of pleasure.

PEGGY  You don't have to... an hour and a half? If you add up all the sex Al and I ever had, it
       still doesn't come to an hour and a half. Oh well. Look. You can keep your principles and
       still have Steve, too. I only want your happiness. Preferably at your house, 'cause I've
       got healthy kids, a happy husband, and it has just got to stop. So why don't you do this?
       Tonight, when you come to pick him up for this banker thing, come in the sexiest, slutiest,
       sleaziest outfit you can find. I'll loan you something. 

MARCY  I couldn't do that. Our relationship isn't based on that.

PEGGY  Oh, please. What does it mean when you scream, "Oh, God, oh, God, oh, God," yet you never
       go to church. [Marcy reacts] Look, Marcy, let me tell you a little something about men.
       Nature played a cruel joke on them. It gave them a source of pleasure, but in order for it
       to work the blood has to leave the brain. It leaves them confused, disoriented and eager
       to enter into negotiations. Because the brain wants that blood back. It needs it to go to 
       work to pay for what they agreed to, only moments before. You see, Marce, we may not have
       upper body strength, but we do have sexual kryptonite. Use it, Marcy. Make him shave that
       beard. Hell, while you're at it have him shave his head, too. For me. 

MARCY  No. I will not stoop as low as to use sexual bartering in our marriage. I'll appeal to his
       intellect. We'll have a rational discussion and he'll shave because he'll see I'm right.
       [beat] Do you have any batteries?

Peggy nods.




Bundy living room/kitchen - that night.
Steve is nervously laying out his clothes -- an alternate jacket and tie to the ones he has on. 
He paces, scratching his beard.

STEVE  I hate this beard!

AL     [enunciating] Just -- say -- no.

He tries on another tie.

STEVE  I don't think I can. Marcy's going to be here soon. [beat] Al, I was looking up dresses at
       work today.

AL     Well, that's perfectly natural.

STEVE  It's natural in your business. You're a shoe salesman. A bank manager has to set the
       security cameras on the floor to be able to do that. I did that today. Al, I'm
       going to cave. I just know it.

AL     I know it, too, Steve. That's why I have a gift for you. A very special gift. [pulls
       something from his wallet] I didn't want to do this, unless it was absolutely necessary.
       Sit down. Clear your mind. Think of Marcy... [beat, then swings picture into Steve's face]
       ...and take a look at my... mother-in-law!

STEVE  [bug-eyed, screeching] EEEEYYARRGH!!!

AL     Everybody says that. [keeping it in front of Steve's face] Yep. Look at her. Bending over
       at the beach. Summer of '71. Notice the perspiration percolating in the folds of her
       flesh? You may wonder why her upper arms are blurry. There was a breeze, and we caught
       them in mid-flap.

STEVE  Thanks, Al. I'm okay now.

Steve is pale, shaken, but recovering.

AL     No problem, buddy. Take it. And if you feel the urge coming on at this banquet, have a
       look at this. It's also good for dieting.

Peggy and Marcy enter. Marcy wears a long coat.

STEVE  [cold] Marcy.

MARCY  [cold] Steve.

STEVE  Your hair, you changed it?

MARCY  Yes. Like it?

STEVE  [glances at picture, for strength] Not really. Are we ready?

MARCY  Yes, Steve, but first I have one thing to say. With regards to your beard, though it is
       your face, it has affected both of us. It does not enhance your business persona and it
       makes me terribly unhappy. And so I appeal to your intelligence, sensitivity, and good
       judgement by asking you to please shave your beard.


MARCY  In that case...

She takes off her coat. It falls to the floor. She is wearing sexy lingerie. Steve reacts. She
holds an electric razor. She turns it on. A beat, then she turns and heads out the door. Steve
follows the whirring razor. He hands the picture to Al. Steve exits.

AL     [long beat] Peg, you know those little brown potatoes? Like Steve made? Can you do that?

PEGGY  Al, you know about making love for an hour and a half? Like Steve does? Can you do that?

AL     [beat] Burger King?


They exit.



Scribed by Marriedaniac


would you like to contribute a script?

home on the range