BUILD A BETTER MOUSETRAP
AL BUNDY .................. ED O'NEILL
PEGGY BUNDY ............... KATEY SAGAL
STEVE RHOADES ............. DAVID GARRISON
MARCY RHOADES ............. AMANDA BEARSE
KELLY BUNDY ............... CHRISTINA APPLEGATE
BUD BUNDY ................. DAVID FAUSTINO
BUCK THE DOG .............. MIKE, THE DOG
WALLY, THE EXTERMINATOR ... PATRICK T. O'BRIEN
INT. BUNDY LIVING ROOM/KITCHEN - DAY
(PEGGY AND KELLY ARE SITTING AT THE KITCHEN TABLE. PEGGY IS READING A NEWSPAPER. IN FRONT OF KELLY IS
AN EMPTY PLATE)
KELLY Uh, Mom, are you gonna make any breakfast today?
PEGGY Nah. I'm not hungry.
KELLY Well, maybe tomorrow.
(PEGGY SMILES AND PATS KELLY'S ARM. BUD ENTERS FROM UPSTAIRS)
BUD Hey, did anybody hear any noises last night?
PEGGY Well, your father had gas.
BUD No. These were noises I never heard before.
KELLY Well, then it could have been a girl moaning your name.
(BUD GIVES KELLY A LOOK)
AL (O.S.) Peg. We're out of toilet paper.
PEGGY Daddy's up.
(PEGGY GETS UP AND CROSSES TO THE STAIRWAY)
PEGGY (CALLS OUT) Use some tissue.
AL (O.S.) Where are the tissues?
PEGGY (CALLS OUT) On the top shelf of the linen closet. I think.
AL (O.S.) You need anything while I'm up?
PEGGY (TO KIDS) Well, Daddy's gonna be in a mood. Just tell him I went shopping.
(SHE PICKS UP A PILLOW AND A BLANKET FROM THE COUCH AND HEADS TOWARDS THE BASEMENT)
KELLY Could you get us some milk?
(PEGGY LOOKS AT KELLY AND LAUGHS. SHE EXITS DOWNSTAIRS)
BUD Did you hear any noises last night, Kell? I mean, for a while I thought they were coming from
your room, but they weren't the usual noises. You know, the whispers, "Quiet, you'll
wake up my parents." Then the muffled sound of eight footsteps heading for the window.
Then the sound of loose change hitting the pillow.
(KELLY TAKES BUD'S HAND)
KELLY You know, Bud, with your good looks, I think that you should be a model. I mean, I
could see it now: your little face on a poster with the caption, "My Daddy didn't use
(BUD REACTS. AL ENTERS FROM UPSTAIRS)
AL Y'know, I had a horrible dream last night. There was this big mosquito with a huge red
head and tight pants, hovering over me, sucking money from my wallet. Then it wanted
a kiss. (BEAT) By the way, where is your mother?
KELLY Uh, she went shopping.
AL The garage or basement?
(AL NODS AND GOES TO GET A DRINK FROM THE REFRIGERATOR)
BUD Did you hear any noises last night?
AL Well, it might have been me sobbing, son.
(WE HEAR PEGGY SCREAM OFFSTAGE. THEY REACT AND RUSH TO THE BASEMENT DOOR. PEGGY ENTERS AND
THROWS HERSELF IN AL'S ARMS. AL REACTS WITH DISGUST)
PEGGY Al, it was horrible. It was terrible. I - I've never been so scared in my entire life.
AL What's the matter? You see the vacuum?
PEGGY No. Al, it was a mouse.
KELLY Oh, great. This is all our life was missing.
PEGGY Kill it, Al.
AL Don't worry. As soon as it sees how we live, it'll go away. I know I would.
PEGGY Al, you gotta kill it. It was so disgusting. Oh, hold me.
(SHE BURIES HER HEAD UNDER HIS CHIN)
AL Oh, why? I didn't do anything wrong.
(THEY HEAD FOR THE COUCH)
AL Why are you so afraid of a little mouse, anyway?
PEGGY Well, it all started when I was five. You see, I found this little stray Chihuahua puppy in the
yard. I snuck it past my mother and I kept it in my room. I slept with it, and snuggled it,
and kissed it. Then one day it got sick.
AL And still you go on kissing others.
(PEGGY SHOOTS HIM A LOOK, THEN)
PEGGY Anyway, I took it to my kindergarten teacher, and I said, "What's wrong with my dog?".
She said, "That's not a dog, dear. It's a mouse." And then she threw up. And then all the kids
threw up. And then they made up this little song about me: "Mouse in your face / Worms
in your hair / Where's the little mouse girl? / There, there, there". (POINTS)
(AL AND THE KIDS LOOK AT EACH OTHER AND BURST OUT LAUGHING)
PEGGY (HURT) Well, that's sweet. Thank you very much.
AL Well, kids. I think we learned something today. Don't touch your mother. She has cooties.
(HE HEADS FOR THE KITCHEN)
PEGGY Al, call an exterminator.
AL Great. Fifty bucks for someone to kill some stupid mouse? I'll take care of it after
(HE OPENS A CUPBOARD)
AL But I don't know what the big deal is. I mean, what harm can one little mouse do?
(HE TAKES A BOX OF CEREAL FROM THE SHELF. THE CEREAL POURS OUT FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE BOX
WHICH WAS CHEWED OUT BY THE MOUSE. AL REACTS)
INT. BUNDY LIVING ROOM - LATER
(BUD IS READING A BOOK ON MICE. PEGGY SITS WITH HER FEET UP, GUARDING HERSELF WITH A FLYSWATTER. AL
ENTERS FROM THE BASEMENT)
AL Well. That takes care of that. The traps are set, and that mouse has seconds to live.
So as usual, it proves that Daddy's life is dirt, and he's defeated the enemy.
(BUD GETS UP)
BUD Don't be too sure, Dad. It says right here that mice are pretty intelligent.
AL Yeah, right. Look, Bud. A mouse has a brain about this big.
(HE MAKES A TINY CIRCLE WITH HIS THUMB AND FOREFINGER)
AL Mine is at least twice that size.
(AL SITS ON THE COUCH NEXT TO PEGGY)
PEGGY Yeah, but if you only use it half as much, it becomes a fair fight again.
(KELLY ENTERS FROM UPSTAIRS. SHE HOLDS A MOUSETRAP)
KELLY Dad. You cannot be serious. A mousetrap in my room?
BUD The guys under the bed object, Kell?
KELLY Dad, it's a humiliation. I mean, what are my friends gonna think when they come over and see
mousetraps all over the place?
AL (POINTEDLY TO PEGGY) Well, they'll think that unlike Mr. Bundy, the mouse gets to eat
before he dies.
KELLY Mom, how long are we gonna have to live with this mouse?
(KELLY SITS ON THE COUCH)
PEGGY Well, your father's taking care of it.
KELLY Oh, great. We might as well build him a room.
AL Does anybody but me think it's strange that with the three of you here, it's the mouse I'm
after? (SIGHS) Look, I'm going bowling.
(AL GETS UP)
PEGGY Oh, no you're not. You are not leaving this family alone until either you or that mouse is
BUD Wow. What a horse race.
(BUD SITS ON THE COUCH. WE HEAR A MOUSTRAP SNAP)
AL (EASTWOODESQUE) He's done.
(AL SITS ON THE COUCH, PLEASED WITH HIMSELF. THE OTHERS LOOK AT HIM)
AL What? Why doesn't somebody check the trap?
PEGGY Well, I can't. It's just too disgusting.
AL Oh, come on. You used to sleep with one.
PEGGY Well, I sleep with you, too, but you don't see me cleaning up after you, do you?
AL (GETTING UP) This is great. Daddy, I need money. Daddy, I need food. Daddy, we need
somebody to clean up a mouse with a broken neck. Just once I'd like to hear, "Al, I'm
outta here, and I'm taking the kids." But, on the good side, life is half over.
(HE EXITS DOWNSTAIRS)
PEGGY Kids, I am sorry to make such a big fuss over such a little thing like a mouse. But, you know,
there are just some things from childhood you just can't forget.
KELLY I hope that isn't true, Mom.
PEGGY How about a hug?
BUD Can't, Mom. You've got cooties.
(AL COMES UP ASHEN-FACED. HE HOLDS HIS BOWLING SHOES)
PEGGY Is he down there? Did you get him? What happened, Al?
AL He doodied on the trap. And in my bowling shoes.
PEGGY Oh, my God. He was in your shoes and he lived. This is no ordinary mouse.
KELLY Can we call the exterminator now?
AL No. It's personal now. Not only will I kill this mouse, I'll torture it. I'll smack
him around. I'll throw it against the wall. And if there's one spark of
life left in its twitching little body, I'll strap it to a chair, tape its eyelids
open and make it watch "Thirty Something". (BEAT) No one doodies in Al Bundy's
shoes and lives.
INT. BUNDY LIVING ROOM - LATER
(WE SEE VARIOUS HOLES IN THE WALL, AND LOTS OF DAMAGE MADE BY A MADMAN WITH A HAMMER. THE
MADMAN IS KNEELING BY A BASEBOARD WITH A PIECE OF CHEESE IN ONE HAND AND A HAMMER IN THE
OTHER. THE FAMILY WATCHES HIM)
KELLY I'm worried about Daddy.
(HE GOES BACK TO HIS VIGIL)
BUD Mom. Even if the mouse is stupid enough to stick his head out for the cheese, won't
Dad smash his hand with the hammer?
PEGGY Yes, Bud, he will. But, y'know, everyone who watches Roadrunner cartoons knows the
Coyote is going over the cliff, but you watch it and laugh anyway.
(AL THINKS HE SEES SOMETHING. HE TRIES TO HIT THE MOUSE BUT SMASHES HIS THUMB INSTEAD)
PEGGY (A LA ROADRUNNER) Beep beep.
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
(AL AND PEGGY ARE SITTING UP IN BED. PEGGY IS BANDAGING AL'S THUMB)
AL (BEAT) I can hear him laughing, Peg. He thinks he's got me.
PEGGY No, Al. He's laughing because he knows I've got you.
AL Well, you know I have no insurance, so you must be killing me for the sport.
PEGGY Honey, believe me. Don't you think I wish you could do things like kill a mouse, make
love, earn a living? (REASSURINGLY) But sweetheart, you can't. Now, I've learned to live
with poverty and frustration, but I just have to draw the line when it comes to rodents. So
please call an exterminator. Maybe, just maybe, a professional can succeed where an idiot
AL You'd love that, wouldn't you? You get a pro in here, catch him in a couple of seconds, and
leave me standing there looking stupid. Yeah, you and that mouse would really get a
chuckle out of that. Well, don't count on it, 'cause I haven't played all my cards yet.
I went downstairs and I only pretended to take up all the traps. But I left one. A big
one. With a nice juicy piece of cheese. And this one won't go off with just a little
pressure, giving him enough time to escape. Nope. This one takes the entire body of
a mouse to set it off. I checked it myself.
(HE HOLDS UP HIS ALSO-BANDAGED OTHER THUMB AND LAUGHS EVILLY)
PEGGY You know, that's what really sets you apart, Al. An average Joe would have used a
(AL STARTS TO RESPOND, THEN HEARS SOMETHING)
AL Wait a second. I hear something.
(A BEAT, THEN THE TRAP GOES OFF. WE HEAR BUCK HOWL)
AL (CALLS OUT) You stupid dog.
PEGGY Al, honey, listen. You tried. You did your best, but you're just not smart enough. Now
please call an exterminator. No one has to know... You know, we could tell everybody that
you caught it. (LIKE TALKING DOWN A JUMPER) How would that be?
SFX: MOUSE CHEWING ON SOMETHING
AL What's that?
PEGGY He's chewing, Al. He's always chewing. Now, what do you say?
(THE LIGHTS GO OUT)
BUD (O.S.) Dad! Dad, the mouse chewed through the wires.
AL What do I say, Peg? I say stand back. 'Cause I'm kickin' some mouse ass.
END OF ACT ONE
INT. BUNDY LIVING ROOM/KITCHEN - THE NEXT DAY
(PEGGY AND MARCY ARE HAVING COFFEE AT THE KITCHEN TABLE. PEGGY IS TOTALLNG DAMAGES USING A
CALCULATOR. BUCK LAYS ON THE FLOOR. HIS PAW IS BANDAGED)
PEGGY ...And seventy five dollars for the vet. Oh, and then there's the electrician, they're
really expensive -- that's another two hundred dollars... That comes to six hundred and eighty
dollars in damages from one mouse.
MARCY I'm sorry, Peggy.
PEGGY Why can't men ever utter the words, "I don't know how." Even on our honeymoon, Al just
would not admit it.
MARCY I really thought Steve would be able to talk Al into getting an exterminator. But just like a
man, he says "We can do it ourselves."
(AL AND STEVE ENTER FROM UPSTAIRS. THEY WEAR GHOST BUSTER-LIKE OUTFITS, OXYGEN TANKS ON THEIR
BACKS. THEY HOLD SPRAY GUNS. WE HEAR THEIR CONTROLLED BREATHING, DARTH VADER-LIKE SOUNDS. THEY
WALK UP TO THE GIRLS AND REMOVE THEIR HOODS)
AL Don't go upstairs. We set off some bombs. Oh, and tell Bud I think his goldfish is
STEVE How's my oxygen, Al?
AL Good. Mine?
STEVE Check. Let's hit the basement.
(LOOKS AT WIVES)
STEVE And they wanted to hire an exterminator.
(THE GUYS LAUGH. THEY PUT BACK ON THEIR HOODS. WE HEAR THE BREATHING SOUNDS AGAIN. THEY HEAD
FOR THE BASEMENT DOOR)
PEGGY Well, at least yours makes money.
MARCY Yes, and yours -
(A BEAT, THEN MARCY HOLDS PEGGY'S HAND CONSOLINGLY. WE HEAR SPRAYING SOUNDS. WE SEE SOME SMOKE
STEVE (O.S.) It's him!
AL (O.S.) Twelve o'clock, coming hard.
STEVE (O.S.) Watch him! Watch him!
(WE HEAR SCREAMS AND BANGING. THEN CHOKING. A FEW BEATS, THEN AL AND STEVE ENTER. AL HALF-CARRIES A
SEMI-CONSCIOUS STEVE INTO THE ROOM. MARCY RUSHES TO STEVE AND HELPS HIM TO THE COUCH)
MARCY What happened?
AL Steve came up behind me and I thought it was the mouse. I shot from the hip. I'll
tell you this: if that mouse had been where Steve's face was, he'd be one dead mouse.
(THEY HELP STEVE TO THE COUCH AND REMOVE HIS HOOD)
STEVE (WEAKLY) Did we get him?
AL No, buddy. But we took out the water heater.
(STEVE NODS. AL GOES FOR BEERS IN THE KITCHEN)
MARCY Steve? Pumpkin?
STEVE (FEELING MARCY'S FACE) Who's speaking?
MARCY (BEAT) It's Marcy, Steve -- maybe now you'll tell Al to hire a professional.
STEVE That's just like you, Marcy. It's like when we're out driving and I know where
I'm going, and you keep saying, "ask someone." It is so irritating. (COUGHS) By the way, Marcy.
I inhaled a great quantity of poison.
AL Don't worry about it, Steve. It wasn't for nothin'. We may not have got him with a direct
hit, but I'll tell you this. He'll be dropping soon. (PROUD) 'Cause we cut short the lifespan
of every living thing in this house.
(AL GIVES STEVE A BEER. WE HEAR THE MOUSE CHEWING AND MOVING THROUGH THE WALLS)
AL That's him! He's not running as fast as he used to. Saddle up, Steve. We're going
(AL STARTS TO PUT HIS HOOD BACK ON. PEGGY GETS UP)
PEGGY Forget it, Al. The mouse beat you. You know it, we know it, and Steve -
(WE SEE STEVE STARTING TO LOSE CONSCIOUSNESS)
PEGGY Well, if he didn't have toxic poisoning, he'd know it, too. Now, I am calling an
(SHE CROSSES TO THE PHONE)
AL (THROUGH HOOD) Don't call an exterminator.
PEGGY Why not?
(AL REMOVES HIS HOOD)
AL Because we melted the phone line when we took out the water heater.
MARCY It's okay, Peggy. You can use my phone.
(MARCY LOOKS AT STEVE, WHO IS DRINKING HIS BEER)
MARCY Steve, you don't look so good, honey. Come on home and I'll lie you down.
STEVE You'd love that, wouldn't you? Well, I can take care of myself. The feeling is coming
back to my feet and I'm seeing colors again. So I'm fine. You go ahead. I know what
(MARCY LOOKS AT PEGGY AND ROLLS HER EYES)
MARCY Come on, Peg.
(PEGGY AND MARCY GET UP AND HEAD OUT. MARCY LOOKS BACK AT STEVE WITH WORRY. HE WAVES
REASSURINGLY. PEGGY AND MARCY EXIT. STEVE IMMEDIATELY GOES BACK TO LOOKING ILL)
STEVE I think I'm dying, Al.
AL Right. But we won't give her the satisfaction. We'll pretend that you're just real
(STEVE NODS, COUGHING)
STEVE Right, buddy. But I'll tell ya, we made one hell of a team down there, didn't we?
AL (DEFEATED) No we didn't, Steve. We shot each other in the face with poison while
he danced in the walls. What became of my life? I used to win. Sports, fights,
anything I put my mind to, I'd win. You know why, Steve?
STEVE Oh, just tell me, Al. My innards are rotting.
AL Okay. It's because no matter how big the guy was I was up against, I wouldn't quit. I remember
one football game, we were up against this team that had the biggest linebacker in the
city. He was like a building with teeth. I tried finessing him, faking him, but he was
always there. He was real good. Real real cocky. I don't like cocky guys. Anyhow, towards the
end of the game I decided that I was gonna try something that no one else tried before with
this guy. I was gonna run right at him. I ran right over him, like a bus over an ice cream
cone. It was the only touchdown we scored that day, but I was a winner. (BEAT) You know what
becomes of winners, Steve? They become shoe salesmen. And they lose to their kids and their
wives... and to a mouse.
STEVE Y'know something, Al, I think I am gonna go home and lie down. It's not so much the
poison as your life that's making me sick.
(STEVE HEADS FOR THE DOOR)
AL You know what the problem is with this mouse, Steve? We've been too cute with him.
We've been finessing him, we've been faking him. He's cocky. I don't like cocky mice.
So this time, I'm going right at him.
INT. BUNDY LIVING ROOM - THE NEXT DAY - LATER
(PEGGY, KELLY AND BUD ARE LOOKING AT THE LANDING)
PEGGY Al? What are you doing up there?
(A BEAT, THEN AL ENTERS, DRESSED FOR BATTLE)
AL I have a date with a mouse, Peg.
KELLY (TO PEGGY) Dad's gone, isn't he?
BUD Will we be getting a new dad?
PEGGY Al? Honey? I like the mouse. Really. Kids, don't we like that mouse?
BUD (SCARED) Oh, yeah.
KELLY (SCARED) He... he's the coolest.
AL (COOL) He's the deadest.
(AL LOADS AND GOES DOWNSTAIRS)
PEGGY Okay, kids. Now listen to me carefully. Remember when we used to have that fire drill where we
would calmly walk single file to the nearest exit? Well, this is no drill. Let's just get the
hell out of here.
(THEY HASTILY EXIT. A BEAT, THEN)
AL (O.S.) Say cheese. (BEAT, SEES MOUSE) Hel-lo.
(WE HEAR GUNSHOTS, BOOMING ONES. A COUPLE OF BEATS, THEN PEGGY ENTERS. SHE TENTATIVELY GOES TO THE
PEGGY Al? Al, are you okay?
AL (BEAT) Call me a doctor, Peg.
PEGGY Well, what happened?
AL I think I dislocated my shoulder. This thing kicks like a mule. Oh, by the way, I missed it,
and we have no furnace.
SFX: DOORBELL RINGS
(PEGGY OPENS THE DOOR TO THE EXTERMINATOR, WALLY, A LITTLE MAN IN HIS 50'S)
WALLY Hi, folks. I'm Wally, from Wally's Pest Control. We hate meeses to pieces. Yeah, we
stole it, but cartoon characters can't sue.
AL You'll never get him.
PEGGY (LEADING WALLY IN) Come on. He's right down here in the basement.
(WALLY STARTS DOWN)
AL Never. Not in a million years. This is a mouse from hell. (TO PEGGY) He'll never get
him, Peg. A little wimp like that. The mouse'll have him for dinner.
(WALLY ENTERS FROM DOWNSTAIRS. HE HAS THE MOUSE IN A SHOEBOX)
WALLY Well, got him.
AL (HATEFULLY) You didn't get him. Nobody could get him.
WALLY Well, nobody just did. It was easy. Poor thing was trapped on a piece of wood in the rising
water down there.
AL So... technically, I got him. I'm the one who blew up the basement. So I got him, right?
(WALLY LOOKS AT PEGGY. PEGGY SURREPTITIOUSLY NODS BEHIND AL)
WALLY (UNSURE) You sure did.
AL (VICTORIOUS) Hah! (COOLY) Let me see him.
(HE LOOKS IN THE BOX)
AL That's him. (TO MOUSE) You don't look so tough in there, do ya?
WALLY You know, lots of times kids get these little white mice as pets, parents won't let them
keep 'em, so they just turn 'em loose in the street. (TO PEGGY) You wanna see him, Mrs. Bundy?
PEGGY Eww, no. Get him away.
AL Come on, Peg. He can't hurt you. You gotta learn to face up to your fears. Take a look at him.
Just one. Stop being a girl.
(PEGGY HESITANTLY PEEKS IN)
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
(AL AND PEGGY ARE IN BED)
PEGGY Gee, Al, you were right. All these years I've been deathly afraid of mice, and for nothing. It
took you to show me that. Thanks, Al.
PEGGY Goodnight, honey.
AL (LIFELESS) Goodnight, Peg.
(SHE TURNS OUT THE LIGHT AND ROLLS OVER. WE SEE AL, LYING, EYES OPEN. HIS EYES SLOWLY GAZE OVER AT HIS
NIGHTSTAND. WE SEE THE MOUSE, IN A CAGE, ON HIS NIGHTSTAND. IT RUNS ON A TREADMILL. AL STARES HATEFULLY
AT THE MOUSE)
PEGGY Isn't that cute, Al? He's running on the treadmill.
END OF ACT TWO
Modified from the First Draft script by Nitzan Gilkis
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