THE HARDER THEY FALL
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.......................Mike the Dog
Mr. Williams...............Daniel Frishman
Al is in the kitchen, holding a cereal box. He walks over to a red pot that's sitting on the
counter and tries to pour the contents of the box into the pot. Nothing comes out. Al throws the
box on the floor, takes another one out of one of the cupboards and tries to pour its contents
into the pot. Again, nothing comes out of the box. Al tears the tab off the box and tosses it
into the pot.
AL [calling out] Kids! Let's prove to your Mom once and for all that you don't need food
to eat good.
Bud and Kelly appear from upstairs and the basement (respectively) and walk over to Al.
AL What'd you find for the Bundy snack tray?
BUD [holding out his right hand] Three M&M's, a crouton, and... this.
Bud holds something up by its tail with his left hand.
BUD I found it in the cuff of my pants.
AL Well, cut the tail off and throw it in the pot.
Bud does as he is told.
AL Kelly, how were the pickings in the basement?
KELLY Um, I got a half-eaten piece of cheese from the mouse trap.
Kelly tosses the piece of cheese into the pot.
AL Hmm... Too bad we couldn't get the mouse.
Kelly shrugs apologetically.
AL Anything else?
KELLY Oh yeah, um, I got a half a dozen of these large raisins that were scattered by the
Kelly holds out her hand for Al and Bud to see. Al takes a napkin and holds it up with both
hands, and Kelly pours the 'raisins' into it.
AL Let's save these babies for Christmas. We'll put them in Grandma's fruit cake.
Al folds the napkin and puts it down on the counter.
AL Now, we'll combine the rest of this stuff with the Fruit Loops that I fought the dog
over, and we'll have ourselves some nice little yummy Bundy trail mix.
Al picks the pot up.
BUD Well, I don't know, Dad. I like the way Mom makes this stuff.
AL Well, so do I, Bud, but we're out of cough syrup.
Al starts to head for the living room. Bud and Kelly follow him.
AL All right, let's go. Everybody sit down. Your Mom should be home any minute with the
tapes, and then it's 'Bundy night at the movies'.
They sit on the couch.
AL After that it's 'Bundy night in the bathroom'.
KELLY We never get to rent any good movies. You know why? Because we are the last family on
earth with [contemptuously] Beta.
BUD Yeah, Dad. Why can't we get a VHS machine? I mean, we're missing a lot of good movies.
I heard they made a second "Godfather".
AL Hey, if it was any good, it would've been on Beta. Come on, kids. We're gonna watch a
movie, we've got munchies, and we've got each other. What more could we ask for?
KELLY An alias.
AL Yeah. An annulment. All right, so our life stinks. At least we're gonna have movies...
I sent your Mother to "Bob's Betas and Bell-bottoms" in Milwaukee.
KELLY How come Mom can cross state lines and I can't?
AL Because your Mom didn't go in a van with a bumper sticker that read: "Don't come
a-knocking if you see this van a-rocking".
KELLY That can be taken a lot of different ways.
BUD [to Kelly] And so can you.
Kelly gives Bud an annoyed look and hits him in the thigh. Peggy comes in holding her coat in
one hand and a Beta cassette in the other.
AL Well, it's about time. What do we have, "The Predator"? "The Terminator"?
Peggy hands Al the cassette and he looks at the box.
AL "Oh Heavenly Dog"? Peg, I wanted Schwarzenegger.
PEGGY So did I. But I got you, and you've got Beta.
Peggy sits down on the couch next to Al. Steve comes in.
STEVE Al, I am really upset with your wife.
AL [indifferently] Kill her.
Peggy gives Al a look. Steve shuts the door behind him.
STEVE Anyhow, I'm getting off I94, listening to Toscanini blend precisely with the sound of
my fine German automotive machinery, when a reckless driver cut me off. Well, "live and
let live", I say. But when I pull up next to him at the light, your wife leans over and
gives him the finger.
The other Bundys applaud Peggy for this. Steve raises his hand to silence them.
STEVE Uhh, excuse me, but before the Neanderthal jamboree really kicks in, I might mention
that the guy had a bumper sticker that said "I Heart St. Quentin".
AL [to Peggy] Did you spit on the hood?
PEGGY Well, I spit in that direction, but Steve's window was up.
Al and Bud look at Steve disapprovingly.
STEVE Yeah, enjoy, enjoy, but I'm the guy he followed. God, I hope I lost him.
Steve hurries to the door and leans against it. He chuckles uneasily.
STEVE Well, of course I lost him, with those defensive driving moves I made. You see, a fine
automobile in the hands of a man with cat-like reflexes -
Meanwhile, Bud is looking out the door. He cuts Steve off.
BUD Hey, there is a guy stopping by here.
STEVE Oh my God, it could be him!
Steve rushes back to the door and looks outside.
STEVE [looking outside] Look at the size of him. He looks like acid must've been thrown at
his face. This guy is fresh out of the asylum.
A car horn is heard honking outside.
KELLY Oh, that's my date!
Kelly gets up, picks up her jacket, waves good-bye to her family and heads for the door.
PEGGY Have a good time, Honey.
Kelly leaves. Steve lets out a sigh of relief. Bud stands at the doorway and looks outside.
BUD Hey, here's another car! He's slowing down, now he's coming in -
Steve quickly shuts the door behind Bud, cutting him off, and peers outside through the door.
STEVE [looking outside] That's him. There's the "I Heart St. Quentin" bumper sticker. He
wrote down my license plate number. He's pulling away!
Steve pulls away from the door and walks back to the living room, looking frustrated. Peggy gets
up, opens the door and starts shouting at the car outside.
PEGGY [tauntingly] Hey you! Yeah, you found us. So what are you gonna do about it? Come on,
you nose rag, any time.
Peggy and Bud come back into the house and close the door. Al chuckles.
AL [to Steve] You know, every now and then she makes me so proud.
Bud walks over to Steve.
BUD Gee, Mr. Rhoades, you seem scared.
STEVE [nervously] Oh no, not scared, really. I mean, you know me, I'm not a man who runs from
trouble. Trouble troubles me, I trouble trouble.
The doorbell rings.
STEVE It's trouble.
Steve ducks behind the couch. Peggy opens the door and Marcy comes in.
Steve raises his head. Marcy walks over to him.
MARCY What's going on? I just got back from the video store and I noticed your car smelled
like chicken. But when I looked closer I found six pigeons roasting on your radiator.
PEGGY [to Steve] I told you not to drive through the park.
Peggy sits on the couch.
STEVE Oh, now life means something to you?
AL [thoughtfully] Hot pigeons, you say? Bud...?
Bud holds up a pair of tweezers.
BUD I'm way ahead of you, Dad.
Bud picks up the pot and leaves. Steve is clutching his stomach.
MARCY Steve, are you okay? You look pale. Oh my God, you didn't eat here, did you?
STEVE I couldn't decide which color wine goes with slop. Believe me, Marcy, I'm fine.
Al notices Marcy is holding a nylon bag with several video tapes in it. He snatches the bag from
AL Hey, tapes! Look... [reading the labels on the tapes out loud] "The Predator", "Dirty
Harry", "Judy's Huge Date"...?
Al looks at Marcy questioningly. Marcy shifts about uneasily.
MARCY Those are private tapes, Al.
AL [to Peggy] Why can't we get tapes like these, Peg?
PEGGY They're VHS, Al.
MARCY Well, of course they're VHS. Only an idiot would own Beta.
Al gives Marcy a look.
PEGGY Or someone who believes a woman's orgasm is brought on by yelling: "Come on, will ya?!"
Kelly comes in, looking unhappy.
PEGGY [to Kelly] What happened to your date?
KELLY He wanted to study. So I just had to tell him I'm not that kind of girl.
Bud comes in, holding the pot and the tweezers.
BUD Hey guys! The colonel's here!
MARCY [to Steve] Uh, Steve, let's go home. They don't have a virgin to sacrifice, they may
turn on us.
Marcy heads for the door. Steve stops her.
STEVE Um, listen, Marcy, um... I've been thinking. We don't have the Bundys over at our house
MARCY That's your rule, Steve. Remember the speech that began "I'd watch a colorized version
of Casablanca before I let this -"
Steve cuts her off.
STEVE Yeah, I know, I know. But I was thinking it would be a nice gesture for us to share our
VHS format with our neighbors and good friends the Bundys. [to the Bundys] What do you
AL Well, pigeon IS better the second day... Let's go!
The Bundys all get up and head for the Rhoades' house. Steve and Marcy watch them leave.
MARCY [to Steve] What's this all about, Steve?
STEVE Nothing. I just wanna spend an evening or two with good friends.
BUD [to Kelly] Hey Kel, some guy is gonna beat the tard out of Mr. Rhoades.
KELLY Oh, cool!
Bud and Kelly leave.
STEVE And then there's that.
Steve and Marcy leave too.
The Rhoades' living room. Peggy, Al, Bud and Kelly are sitting on the couch, Steve and Marcy
are standing behind them and Buck is lying on the small couch. All are watching a movie on TV.
Bud is eating popcorn from a bowl on his lap, and Kelly occasionally takes some popcorn from
the bowl and throws it around. From time to time the screeching of tires can be heard on TV.
AL Ah, Peg, this is just like being in a real theater.
KELLY Yeah, but here Bud isn't on the floor trying to look up girls' dresses.
STEVE [to Marcy] You know, Marcy, that jerk just cut me off. Didn't even look, just cut me
off. If he'd just gotten out of his car when it had happened, he and I could have
settled it mano-a-mano.
MARCY You're more of a man for having walked away, Steve.
AL [chuckling] Oh yeah, twice the man that this wimp Eastwood here.
We hear a the sound of a punch followed someone crying out on TV. The Bundys and the Rhoades
all jump a little.
AL Well, Clint said he didn't want mayonnaise.
STEVE Just can't get that jerk off my mind! Ohhh, I just wish I had a second chance. I tell
you, I'd do things a *little* differently in my present state of mind.
The Bundys shush Steve.
MARCY I know you would, Steve. But you chose not to unleash your fury, and I admire you for
PEGGY [watching the movie] Uh-oh. They refused Clint's credit card.
Everyone leans closer to the TV. Another punch is heard. They all jump and Peggy covers her
eyes for a moment.
AL Don't leave home without it.
Al chuckles. The phone rings.
AL Hey, we're trying to watch a movie here, will somebody get that??
Marcy answers the phone.
MARCY [on the phone] Hello? [pause] Yes, this is the Rhoades' residence. [pause] Yes, that's
the correct address. [another pause; to Steve:] Steve, it's for you.
Marcy hands Steve the receiver.
STEVE [on the phone, using a very low voice] Hello? [nervously] Hello? [to Marcy] He hung up.
[shakily] He knows where I live.
MARCY To hell with him. If he's stupid enough to come over here then he deserves what you're
gonna do to him. [grabs Steve] Unleash your fury, Steve. [energetically, demonstrating
every move she names] Give him a right. A left. Break his face. Punch him in the
kidney. Make him puke blood! Oh, how I love you.
Marcy hugs Steve, who looks concerned.
A little later...
Steve walks over to the window, peers outside, and walks back to the living room, looking very
MARCY [to Peggy] Look at him. He's like a caged tiger.
Steve gives her 'thumbs up'. We hear his thoughts:
STEVE [thinking] If I say I'm gonna take out the garbage, I can tunnel out under the fence,
go to the bus station, grab me a handful of Greyhound and get the hell outta Dodge.
Meanwhile, Peggy is talking to Al, who is standing by the TV.
PEGGY See, I told you, Al. If you have one of these VHS machines you can get any movie you
AL Yeah, it's heaven, Peg. Hand me "Rip Out Their Entrails 3".
Peggy hands Al a cassette and he puts it in the VCR.
AL Yep, we have the best of both worlds now, Peg. Beta at home, VHS here, AND a
refrigirator with food in it.
Peggy and Al laugh. Al puts his arm around her shoulder.
AL Take a look around, Peg. It's like the second home we always dreamed of.
Peggy kisses Al. Al laughs.
KELLY Hey, can I make a long-distance phone call?
Kelly gets up and goes upstairs.
BUD I'm gonna go get us some more food.
AL Oh, Peg, don't turn on the tape yet, I gotta go to the can.
MARCY [to Steve] Oh no! There go our pipes.
Steve pats Marcy's shoulder.
STEVE I'll, uh, get the goldfish out before it's too late.
Steve hurries upstairs after Al.
MARCY [calling after him] Get our toothbrushes, too!
Marcy sits on the couch next to Peggy.
MARCY Should we really be worried?
PEGGY Yes. But I'd leave the goldfish in there. It's a good way to test the air before you
attempt re-entry. We used to use parakeets, but then they learned how to talk and
started screaming for help.
Marcy looks at Peggy oddly.
MARCY Uh, I meant should I be worried about the man who's stalking my husband?
PEGGY Not if you leave the bathroom door open.
MARCY Well you know, the man must have no social conscience if he cut someone off like that.
[gets up] What is society coming to? Are we all Barbarians? I'll tell you, if I had my
way, I'd have them round up every one of those inconsiderate savages, bury them up to
their necks and run them over with a grain reaper. [laughs]
PEGGY You know, I feel the same way about that Pippi Longstocking girl. God, I hate her!
The phone rings. Marcy answers it.
MARCY [on the phone] Hello? Hello? [waits] Okay, Mr. Silent Thug, if you won't speak, I will.
We are a peace-loving people here, and you are obviously not college-educated.
Peggy gets up and walks over to Marcy, who continues talking on the phone.
MARCY Now I want you to leave my husband alone. And if you cannot control your wants and
hostility, I have a list of some very qualified therapists that I think would -
Peggy cuts her off.
PEGGY [to Marcy] Let me handle this.
Marcy gives the phone to Peggy.
PEGGY [on the phone] Listen, worm food: you wanna take care of this? Come on over. You've got
the address, you spineless gob of spit! You gutless yellow piece of - [to Marcy] He
hung up! How rude!
Peggy gives the phone back to Marcy.
PEGGY He must be on his way over.
Peggy sits on the couch. Steve comes down the stairs, holding an aquarium.
STEVE Well, I got him out in time, but he won't come out of his castle.
Al comes down the stairs, humming, and walks over to Steve and Marcy.
AL Boy, did I work up an appetite. I could eat a horse. But, since I'm not home, I won't
Al laughs and sits on the couch next to Peggy.
MARCY Steve, the maniac called. Peggy dared him to come over, and I'm afraid you're just
gonna have to give him a sound drubbing.
She pounds on her hand with her fist.
MARCY [smiling] Bring Mommy his ears, baby. I'll wear 'em for a necklace. [to Al and Peggy]
Is there a puppy in here? I thought I heard a whimper.
PEGGY Maybe it's Kong over there.
Steve hands the aquarium over to Marcy.
STEVE Look guys, I may seem a trifle nervous, but let me tell you why.
Steve notices he's still holding the toothbrushes, and tosses them into the aquarium.
STEVE You see, I used to fight. A lot. I have to admit I was pretty handy with my dukes, too.
And I fought for the right. But then, when I was ten, this guy and I got into it. We
were rockin'. I had a short fuse back then - like now. I thrashed him within an inch of
his eight-year-old life. Didn't like the feeling. Right then I vowed I would never use
my hands in anger again. That day I went home and hung up my fists for good.
MARCY Oh, Steve. I never knew this.
STEVE [pretense-heroic] It's not the kind of thing I'm proud of, Marcy.
MARCY Then you must stand by your vow. Do not fight this maniac.
STEVE It's just that I want him so bad!
MARCY [admiringly] You're so brave.
STEVE No, Marcy. I'm just a man. [to Al, quietly] Al, can I talk to you for a second?
Al gets up and follows Steve to the other side of the living room.
STEVE [breaking down] Al, I was never in a fight. I ran home, I cried to my mother, this kid
licked me like a dog. He hung up my fists. I was in them at the time! What am I gonna
do, Al? I'm scared. If a second-grader hurt me, what's a guy from St. Quentin gonna do
AL Steve, let me tell you a little story.
STEVE Is it about what you did upstairs?
AL Uh, no, you'll learn about that soon enough. No, this is a story about fear. See, I
know you look at me, you see my wife and kids, you say to yourself: "There's a man
that's not afraid of anything". That's not true, Steve. I was afraid once. When I was
just a kid there was this beast. It was the scariest thing you've ever seen. We both
wanted Peg, which shows that love is not only blind, it's stupid. Every time Peg and I
went out, it was there. Every time I saw it, I'd run like hell. But I knew that one day
we'd have to settle this thing once and for all. So one day I got sick of running. So
one day in the school yard we went at it. It was long and brutal. I can't say that I
won and I can't say that I lost...
Al and Steve look at Peggy, who is twirling her hair. She smiles at them.
AL Well, I definitely can't say that I won. But after that day, I was never afraid again.
'Cause I stood up to the meanest, biggest, thoughest man I'd ever seen. Steve, that man
was Peg's mother.
AL Yeah, you can say that again, pal. So Steve, I don't care how long that guy was in St.
Quentin, there is no way he'll be as mean and as tough as the product of 150 years of
STEVE Well, I don't wanna fight, Al. I got theater tickets for tomorrow night. Have you ever
tried to yell "bravo!" with a lip the size of a basketball?
AL Okay, well, how about this? Screw a fair fight! Here's what you do. The guy is gonna
knock on the door. Open the door real quick, don't give him a chance to think, and
sucker-punch him in the bread basket. He'll drop like an ox. That's what I should've
done to Peg's mother but, uh, she horned me first.
STEVE Well, uh, I don't know, Al...
Kelly comes running down the stairs.
KELLY [excitedly] He's here! I was calling every country in the world - you know, to track
down that rocker of Guns 'n' Roses - and I saw this car pull up with an "I Heart St.
Quentin" bumper sticker.
PEGGY [calling out] Bud, Honey, come on out. The fight's about to start.
Bud enters from the kitchen.
BUD Who are we rooting for?
MARCY Steve, I just want you to know, I won't think any less of you if you don't answer the
There are two knocks on the door, soon followed by another. Steve looks at Al with alarm.
AL Bread basket, Steve.
Al pushes Steve towards the door. There are several more knocks, louder this time. Steve stands
with his back to the window that's by the door, takes a deep breath, opens the door and punches
the person standing outside at what would be waist-level for an average person. A thump is heard
as the person outside falls to the ground. Steve looks on in shock.
STEVE Uh-oh. Well, he's down... Uhh, you wanna give me a hand here, Al?
Al and Steve go outside.
AL [offscreen] This him?
STEVE [offscreen] Yup.
Al and Steve come back inside carrying an unconscious midget. Al looks the midget over.
STEVE By the way, his bread basket isn't quite where I pictured it. He's got a tough little
The Rhoades' living room.
Mr. Williams (the midget), Marcy and Steve are sitting on the couch, and the four Bundys are
standing next to the couch, watching them. Steve is massaging his fist. Mr. Williams is holding
an ice pack to his head and looking at Steve very oddly.
MARCY Mr. Williams, are you all right?
Mr. Williams removes the ice pack from his head.
MR. W Well, I guess I'm going to live. Would somebody give me back my wallet now?
Steve and Marcy look at each other, then at the Bundys. The Bundys look at each other, then
Bud takes the wallet out of his packet and gives it to Steve, who gives it back to Mr. Williams.
MR. W I don't know why I came over here. I had a feeling you might be an animal.
STEVE Not an animal, really. Just a man who will fight to protect the rule of one car length
for every 10MPH of speed.
Mr. Williams gets up.
MR. W Well, I guess I should say what I came over here to say. I'm sorry I cut you off.
Mr. Williams holds out his hand. Steve shakes it.
STEVE Well, I'm sorry you had to see the ugly side of me, but when challenge challenged me,
I challenged challenge.
MR. W [forcing a smile] Yeah. Right.
Mr. Williams starts to leave.
MARCY [calling out after him] By the way, why were you in St. Quentin?
MR. W I torched Mercedes. They say I'm almost cured. Hey, and you've got a nice one.
Mr. Williams leaves. Steve gets up.
STEVE Well, it's only a car. But the memory of that punch will last me a lifetime.
Marcy gets up and takes Steve's hand.
MARCY You were so brave, Steve.
The Bundys laugh amongst themselves. Marcy gives them a look.
MARCY [to Steve] Ignore them. I think you proved your courage once and for all by beating up
that... little man.
AL Yeah... Just think what you could do to a second grader now.
The Bundys laugh again.
MARCY [to Steve] Let them scoff. I saw the glimmer of the sweat as it glistened on your
brow... The bulging of your muscle as it strained against your sleeve... The clenching
of your buttocks as you leapt into the fray... [amorously] Take me, Big Man, take me!
Steve and Marcy run upstairs. About halfway up the stairway Steve turns around and addresses
STEVE [to the Bundys] By the way, get out.
Steve also disappears upstairs. The Bundys look at each other.
AL Kids, you know what we gotta do.
The kids nod. They all walk into the living room and start lifting anything they can carry.
Al takes the VCR, Bud takes the phone (among other things), and Kelly and Peggy take food.
They leave and the camera zooms in on Buck, who remains in the small couch.
Transcribed by Nitzan Gilkis
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