"Donít be meticulous."
Original: A drunk Balki makes this slip of the
tongue on his most famous catch-phrase!
"So okay . . . when life gives you
lemons, make furniture polish."
Original: One of the all-time great Balki-isms
is this unique version of the saying, "When life gives you lemons, make
"This is what they call throwing out
the baby with the trough water."
Original: The original expression is,
"throwing out the baby with the bath water." Apparently on Mypos
they bathe their babies in troughs!
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here
today to join Cousin Larry and future Cousin Jennifer in holy macaroni."
Original: Balki's mangling of the wedding
vows during Larry and Jennifer's wedding was priceless, starting with Balki
confusing the word "matrimony" for "macaroni."
"Do you, future Cousin Jennifer take
Cousin Larry to be your awful wedded husband?"
Original: Even funnier is when Balki replaces
the word "lawful" with "awful."
"For rich man, for poor man . . . for
butter or moist . . . "
Original: We can understand the look of
confusion on Balki's face as he misinterprets Reverend Peters saying, "For
better or worse," as "For butter or moist."
"By the power infested in me . . .
Original: And finally, Balki sounds like he is
being plagued by fleas or some other parasite instead of holding the power to
perform the wedding ceremony when he says "infested" instead of
"Cousin, I know you think of me as a
simple country pumpkin who just stepped off the goat . . . "
Original: Two Balki-isms in one! Balki
meant to refer to himself as a "country bumpkin" and then he meant to
follow this up with "just stepped off the boat."
"Do you know how many women in
America would give their eyebrow to have a window seat like this?"
Original: The expression should be "give
their eye teeth" instead of "their eyebrow."
"Itís a walk-in fireplace!"
Original: There's something particularly
funny about Balki referring to the huge open fireplace as a "walk-in"
fireplace, along the same lines as a "walk-in closet." Of course
for Balki, who sits among the ashes when he is disgraced, he meant it quite
"Donít keep me in suspenders!"
Original: Balki was trying to tell Larry,
"Don't keep me in suspense!"
"I rest my face."
Original: Balki meant to say, "I rest
my case," meaning he was done arguing a certain point.
"Try me for treason and call me eggs benedict . . . "
Original: This is an interesting and unique
occasion when Balki mixes in a Balki-ism with one of his "Call me something
and call me something" comments. In this case he was thinking of
Benedict Arnold when talking about treason, but instead came up with the similar
sounding breakfast dish, eggs benedict.
"I didnít even know they had
Original: This is Balki's reaction after
Larry tells him that their neighbors, the Finley's, sold him a bunch of
"Cousin, this book is written by a
college professor, Michael Williams Fudd."
Original: As Larry would point out, the
name wasn't actually Michael Williams Fudd but Michael Williams, PhD (Doctor of
"Thatís where youíre wrong, Mr.
Original: Balki calls Larry this when what
he meant to say was "Mr. Doubting Thomas," another word for a skeptic
based on the Bible story of Thomas the Apostle who doubted the resurrection of
Jesus until he was allowed to inspect Jesus' wounds.
"Well, Iíll be an official citizen
of the USA as soon as I go down to the Federal building and get sworn at."
Original: What Balki meant to say was he needed to
go down to the Federal building and get "sworn in," in other words
repeat the oath to become an American citizen.
"She must have ESPN."
Original: It's a classic, which is
probably why it showed up in the series more than once! Balki mistakes
extra-sensory perception, or ESP, with a cable sports channel.
Original: Balki's Mama can come out with
Balki-isms just as well as Balki can, as she does when she comes up with this
variation on Chicago's "Wrigley Field."
"Land of the free, home of the
Original: Mama repeats one of the very
first Balki-isms Balki ever uttered in the pilot episode when she offers up this
classic combination of the National Anthem and a Burger King commercial.
"You can talk until the cows buy
homes . . . "
Original: The expression "until the
cows come home" indicates that something will be a long time in coming or
will never happen. Of course, with so many homes in foreclosure and
interest rates what they are, Balki's version may be even less likely than ever!
"Youíre barking up a dead
Original: This is one of those classic
moments when Balki accidentally combines two sayings, in this case, "You're
barking up the wrong tree" and "It's no use beating a dead
horse," both of which mean that a person is trying to do something that is
"Cousin, you can read me like a book
Original: Another one of Balki's classic
variations on "you can read me like book."
"But you know, Cousin, this is the
dirt is always browner syndrome."
Original: The expression "The grass
is always greener on the other side of the fence" is a way of expressing
how people are never satisfied with what they have. It's possible that
"the dirt is always browner . . . " may simply be a Myposian version
of the phrase.
"Well, that doesnít get the hair
out of the burgundy, does it?"
Original: We're not sure if this is a
twist on another expression, but it certainly could be an idiom all its own!
"When she gets an idea in her head
trying to get that idea out of her head is like trying to teach an old frog new
Original: Of course Balki meant to say
that it is like "trying to teach an old dog new tricks."
"Oh, I guess itís true what they
say . . . birds with no feathers do flock together."
Original: This is Balki's clever way of
turning the phrase "birds of a feather flock together" when referring
to the three frozen turkeys on the counter.
"Well, if theyíre infested we
cannot let them up on the furniture."
Original: Balki mistakes the word
"investment" for the word "infested" after Larry tells him
that the turkeys he's bought are an investment.
"I promise you, you will never live to regret this."
Original: When Balki said this to Mr.
Wainwright, he meant it in the sense of "I won't give you any reason to
regret trusting me with this new job." Instead it comes across as a
thinly veiled death threat since Balki misused the expression, "You'll live
to regret this!"
"Cousin, Iíd love to stay here and tickle your brain . . . "
Original: The expression Balki was
probably trying for here is to "pick your brain."
"And if we are not going to give him that then I wash my face of the whole
Original: When a person doesn't want to
have anything to do with something any more they typically say, "I wash my
hands of this." Balki's only mistake was to wash the wrong part of
"Cousin, I would love to help you, but as you may recall you and I just donít
see ear to ear on how Dimitri should be presented."
Original: Balki meant to say "eye
to eye" here instead of "ear to ear."
"Iím a predator?"
Original: This was Balki's
interpretation of Mr. Wainwright telling him he would become an editor.
"Cousin, congratulations and welcome to the top of the barrel!"
Original: This is a cute twist of
phrase as Balki takes what Larry said about being at the "bottom of the
barrel," or rather a failure, and turns it upside down to suggest that
success must be at the top of the barrel.
"He was on the cover of Cheez Whiz magazine!"
Original: As Larry would explain to
Balki, it was the cover of "Biz Wiz" magazine, not "Cheez
"Yes, weíre here to get the Monet, get the Monet, get the Monet."
Original: This is a very funny mistake
when Lenora Dumont mentions the Monet painting in her art collection and Balki
mistakes this for "money," repeating the selling mantra which Larry
taught him, "get the money, get the money, get the money," but with
the artist's name instead.
"Renaldo Ricardo? Oh, I love him! Why would he never let Lucy
in his show?"
Original: Balki mistook a painter
named Renaldo Ricardo for Ricky Ricardo, the name of Desi Arnaz' character in I
" . . . donít fly off your love handles."
Original: Balki meant to say
"Don't fly off the handle," meaning "Don't get upset."
He replaced the handle in the expression with "love handles," which is
another term for the fat on the sides of one's stomach.
"Well, Cousin, then youíll be thrilled to know that youíre going to be
helping me hold it up!"
Original: This was Balki's response
after Larry makes the point that someone serving as a juror would uphold
justice, which Balki took literally and twisted into this Balki-ism which makes
it sounds as if he plans to rob the courtroom instead.
" . . . and I want you to know that all of the evidence was circumcisional."
Original: What Balki meant to say was
the evidence was "circumstantial," meaning not directly pointing to
the defendant. Circumcision is . . . something else.
"Iím not going to be some scum bug, pig breath robber whose name wasnít
Original: This was how Balki twisted
Larry's earlier description of the defendant with the words "scum bum, pig filth."
"You wait just a cotton candy minute!"
Original: This is Balki's very
creative version of the expression, "Wait just a cotton pickin'
"One manís socks are another manís mittens."
Original: This is what the name for
a Myposian auction translates to. It's an interesting variation on the
expression "One man's trash is another man's treasure."
"Fine! You do that! Iím gonna worship from a-close!"
Original: This was Balki's
response when Larry suggested that Balki worship Wayne Newton "from
afar." Balki's logic naturally assumes there would be an opposite
word for "afar."
"Oh Cousin, I am the happiest Mypiot dead or alive!"
Original: Balki's elaboration on
the expression, "I'm the happiest Mypiot alive," really is
"Look! This is the piano where Wayne tinkles on the ivories."
Original: What Balki meant to say
was that it was the piano where Wayne "tickles on the ivories" or
plays. Tinkling on the ivories is . . . something else.
"Vila the Goat Girl used to say there was a certain magic in my
Original: This comment was made
by Balki after Larry tells him that they need to find the "magic
angle" to be able to get Mr. Wainwright's couch into the elevator.
"I may just have to eat my worms."
Original: As Larry naturally
deduced, Balki was trying to say, "I may just have to eat my
words." But as it turned out, Balki was right all along because on
Mypos when you doubt someone of something and are later proved long you have to
eat actual worms.
"Feed a cold, starve an actor?"
Original: This was Balki's guess
at the old show business saying that Larry was trying to invoke, an interesting
take on "feed a cold, starve a fever" combined with the concept of a
"So thatís why they called you
Original: Balki honestly thought
that when Larry said he was the head ticket taker at his college theater it
explained perfectly why Larry's nickname used to be Stubby (referring to ticket
stubs.) Balki, of course, didn't realize that 'Stubby' is a nickname for a
"Dr. Mike, before we get started I just got to hear your duck
Original: Balki asked Dr.
Aldridge this question because earlier Larry had said to Balki that the doctor
was a quack. Obviously Balki didn't realize that "quack" is a
slang term for a terrible or irresponsible doctor.
"I am a Halloween!"
Original: This is Balki's
classic misinterpretation of Larry's relaxation tapes which urge the listeners
to repeat the mantra, "I am a hollow reed. Trouble blows through me
like the wind." Balki thinks they are saying "Halloween"
instead of "hollow reed."
"Oh no, heís got Binki?"
Original: Balki was worried
when Larry casually remarked that Dr. Aldridge, "really got your
goat," which simply means that Dr. Aldridge got to Balki. Balki takes
it literally, of course, thinking Larry is talking about his goat named Binki.
" . . . but that is water under the fridge."
Original: When something is
over and done with and a person doesn't want to dwell on it they will say,
"That is water under the bridge." Balki's version isn't invalid
because water can drip under a refrigerator as well!
"But in this turbulent sea of emotion you and I can only be two ships that
go bump in the night."
Original: Balki managed to mix
up two different expressions in this Balki-ism, combining "two ships that
pass in the night" with "things that go bump in the night."
" . . . all of a sudden she gets all hot and buttered."
Original: What Balki meant to
say was that Jennifer was getting all "hot and bothered," a euphemism
for romantic arousal.
"What? You think Iím turning into a couch tomato?"
Original: Balki meant to ask
if Larry thought he was turning into a couch potato (a term he actually learned
back in season three but apparently forgot!)
"For your infomercial, I am not depressed."
Original: Balki meant to say,
"For your information . . . " An infomercial is a commercial for
a product which typically runs on late night television.
"Well, where are the caribou?"
Original: This was Balki's
question when he and Larry arrived at the single's bar, which Larry had referred
to as a "watering hole," a place for singles to meet. Balki
thought Larry meant a "watering hole" literally as a place where
animals gather to drink.
"Oh, Iím sorry. I didnít mean to be fresh."
Original: After Amy told
Balki that she thought his innocent approach to asking her out was
"refreshing," Balki mistook her to mean that he was being
"fresh," or over-flirtateous.
"Well, I would but I donít think
any of my nightcaps would fit you."
Original: Balki didn't seem
to understand when a girl he was dating asked if he were going to invite her in
for a nightcap that the word "nightcap" also refers to a last drink of
the evening, usually shared in someone's home before retiring.
"I know you told me the American
bachelorís dream was to juggle three women at the same time. I tried it and I
almost dislocated my shoulder."
Original: When Larry
suggested Balki "juggle" three women at the same time, he didn't
realize Balki might take the word "juggle" literally and actually try
to juggle them instead of dating them.
"And I owe it all to this big
Cucamonga over here!"
Original: Balki meant to
call Larry "this big kook over here."
"Oh, sometimes, you know, love just
hits you in the stomach and makes you nauseous. And this girl makes me
Original: A classic Balki-ism
where he meant to say something flattering but instead had it come out sounding
"Last one up the stairs is a rotten
Original: Balki meant to
say, "Last one up the stairs is a rotten egg!" This is often
said by children when they are racing towards something.
"Before you say anything to these
two, I just want you to know the lights are on but they donít own homes."
Original: This strange Balki-ism
is a twist on the phrase, "The lights are on but nobody's home," which
is meant to indicate someone is crazy or half-witted.
"Listen, Mary Anne and I have decided to join together in holy
Original: Balki mistakes
the word "matrimony" for the pasta popularly served with cheese!
to Season Eight Balki-isms