Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 24 - Snow Way to Treat a Lady, Part One

First Air Date: February 18, 1987
Nielsen Rating: 17.4 HH

TV Guide Description: Larry tries to transform himself into an expert skier overnight to impress Jennifer on the gang's ski trip.  Part 1 of two.

Co-Producer: James OíKeefe
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Robert Griffard & Howard Adler
Directed by: Joel Zwick

Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton

Guest Cast:
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons
Rebeca Arthur: Mary Anne

Dimitri Appearances: Dimitri can be seen on the kitchen table while the guys are trying on their skis.  He is standing on skis and wearing a jacket, ski goggles and a scarf which is pulled back to make it look as if he is sailing down the slopes already.

"Because Cousin Larry have a recess in his jeans."
"It ainít over Ďtil the fat lady eats."

Donít be ridiculous: Said twice.

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
"Donít do that."
Balkiís "Huh?"

Other running jokes used in this episode:
Balki runs in the door and jumps on the couch (also this time he misses)
Balki tries to explain something but Larry keeps interrupting him until he gets Balki to respond, never hearing what Balki has to say (which is usually pivotal)
Larry lies to impress Jennifer, getting everyone into trouble
Larry comes up with a plan, getting everyone into trouble
Balki says something in Myposian then translates it into English
Balki laughs at his own joke

They grab each other by the shirt, noses and hair
The guys and gals go on a horrible vacation where they nearly die
Joking about Larryís lack of an upper lip

Notable Moments:
This was the first of several disaster vacations that Larry planned (even though technically he didn't originally plan this one).

Interesting facts:
The title of the episode is a pun on the saying "No way to treat a lady."
When Balki makes the joke about "the agony of da feet" he is referring to the opening credits of ABCís Wide World of Sports.  Part of the theme song for long running anthology series featured the line "the thrill of victory . . . and the agony of defeat."  Footage of ski jumper Vinko Bogataj crashing as he competed accompanied the latter half of that sentence, tying in with Balkiís use of the phrase while they are learning how to ski.
- This is the first time that the blue screen effect and on-location stunt doubles would be used on the series for an extensive sequence.  This would be done again on their second disastrous two-part vacation in Up a Lazy River and in several episodes to follow.
- The producers had a $20,000 ski slope constructed on the set, using carpeting for snow, much to the surprise of the cast who had to admit that none of them knew how to ski!  Ski instructors were then hired to give the cast skiing lessons on the snow carpeting!
- The line "bodies all achiní and racked with pain" is part of the the song "Old Man River" from the musical Showboat.
- The sight gag with Larry pressed against the cabin door by the avalanche remains one of the most memorable and hilarious moments of the entire series.

Bloopers and Inconsistencies:
At the beginning of this episode Larry explains how his family went skiing every winter, but in the previous episode Life Savers Larry told the burglar that heíd never been skiing.
snowway1grab25.jpg (59638 bytes) - Many thanks to Cousin Moki from Larry_and_Balki - Livejournal for making this interesting observation about the "skiing in the living room" scene.  Cousin Moki points out in the photo to the left (click to enlarge) that Bronson and Mark's "marks" (referring to marks made on the floor of a stage to show actors where their positions are for filming . . . it's important for actors to adhere to these for the camera work to come out right during filming) are clearly visible on the carpet!  Cousin Moki also notes that the upstage of the set is slightly elevated.

Larry is sitting on the couch in the apartment reading a book when Balki runs in excitedly, saying that Larry will never guess what as he runs and jumps on the back of the couch, promptly falling off behind it.  He pops back up and Larry asks if heís all right, which Balki confirms saying "I couldnít be better."  Balki tells Larry that heís signed them up for a three day, two night ski trip to the Hidden Mountain Ski Resort.  "Weíre going skiing!" Balki says excitedly.  "Skiing?  What are you talking about?" Larry asks.  "That nice game where you put sticks on your feet and slide down a mountain," Balki explains.

Larry clarifies that he knows what skiing is and he hates skiing.  Balki asks how Larry knows . . . has he ever tried it?  Larry explains that his family used to go skiing every winter.  "And every winter I spent a week with my face in the snow.  My brothers and sisters would use me a as ski jump.  Iím the only Appleton who canít ski . . . dad thinks itís a recessive gene or something."  Balki says Larry hasnít even heard the best part yet but Larry interrupts him, saying Balki signed him up for something without his permission.  Balki keeps trying to tell Larry the rest but Larry continually interrupts, trying to get Balki to admit heíd done something wrong.  Balki finally admits to the blame, then sighs, "Iím drained."

There is a knock at the door and Larry gets up to answer it, saying that no matter what Balki will not get him on a pair of skis again.  Larry opens the door and Jennifer steps inside saying, "Hi, Larry.  Ready to hit the slopes?"  Balki tells Jennifer heís sorry but that he and Larry canít go skiing with he and Mary Anne.  Larry is startled to hear Balki say this.  Jennifer is disappointed because they needed two more people to get a group rate.  "Why canít you go?" she asks.  "Because Cousin Larry have a recess in his jeans," Balki explains, not understanding himself what he means.  Larry quickly cuts in, improvising that what heíd said was heíd have to "reassess my means.  Oh, and great news!  I can afford it."

Jennifer is relieved, saying she needs his deposit of $45.  Larry starts to write her a check, working in a boast by saying that price is cheap when youíre used to skiing at Aspen or the Alps.  Balki jumps in, saying, "But Cousin, you told me hate skiing!"  "Alone," Larry covers.  "I hate skiing alone.  Going down the face of a mountain where no man has skied before.  I want somebody to share it with."  He gazes at Jennifer longingly.  She notices this and quickly explains, "Well, there will be twenty of us!"  Once again Balki tries to be helpful by offering, "Cousin Larry used to be a ski jump!"  " . . . er," Larry quickly covers, "Ski jumper, yeah.  Used to be a ski jumper.  But this trip weíll all keep our skis on the snow."  Larry, befuddled, hands Jennifer his checkbook then she hands it back so he can tear the check out and give it to her.  Jennifer says sheíll see them Friday and leaves.

Larry stands at the door daydreaming about the impending trip with Jennifer.  "Me and Jennifer . . . long talks by the fire . . . jacuzzi . . . moonlight . . . I wish I had time to grow a beard."  Balki approaches him.  "Observation," Balki begins, "a man says he hates skiing.  A woman he yearns for walks into the room and suddenly that same man is skiing the Alps.  Now, Cousin, konk me on the head with an anvil if Iím wrong, but didnít you just tell one lallopalooza of a lie?"  "Not at all," Larry answers.  "You told me you hate skiing!" Balki insists.  "Balki, thereís a difference between skiing and skiing with Jennifer.  One of them is a sport.  The other is something worth dying for.  So technically I wasnít lying."

Balki says that in Myposian they have a saying and proceeds to recite it in Myposian.  "Do you want me to translate?"  "No, not really," Larry admits.  "It says he who lies falls into a deep pit," Balki explains anyway.  "In America we have a saying," Larry counters, "Butt out!"  Larry continues to daydream about candlelit dinners and romantic music and wonders aloud that maybe he should take his Julio Iglesias tapes.

In the next scene Larry and Balki are in the living room with ski equipment.  Larry has his ski boots on already and Balki is trying his on.  Larry asks how they feel and when Balki gets up to walk he does so awkwardly, stating "Well, ooh . . . kind of make you walk like Lee Majors."  Balki walks over to the couch and picks up a set of skis, posing with them over his shoulder.  "How do I look?"  "Like six million bucks," Larry answers.  Larry goes on to say he got them a book to teach them everything they need to know and asks Balki if heís seen the book.  Larry looks down on the coffee table as Balki turns around, the skis just missing Larryís head as they swing around.  Larry sees it on the couch and bends down in that direction as Balki turns back, the skis again missing Larryís head.  Larry notices how close the skis are when he stands up and tells Balki to be careful.  Balki says maybe he should put them down and swings around again; this time the skis hit Larry on his bottom.

Larry says heíll put the skis down on the floor if Balki moves the coffee table.  As Balki pulls the table aside he comments, "These boots are killing me.  Is that what they mean by the agony of da feet?"  Balki laughs at his own joke.  Larry shows Balki the book, called The Zen Book of Skiing: Achieving Oneness with the Snow.  The book says it will help them think like an expert skier.  Larry opens to the beginning and reads, "Chapter One: Putting on Your Skis."  He looks around then tosses the book aside, saying "I can get us that far."

Walking over to the two sets of skis, Larry demonstrates how to put them on by pushing your toe in and then pressing your heel down so the skis lock onto the boots.  They are both standing in the living room with their skis on, stepping from one to the other to get the feel of them.  "Boy, these little babies really lock on," Balki comments, then asks, "How you get them off?"  "Well, usually I fall and they pop right off," Larry explains.

Realizing that he needs to get the book, Larry tries to maneuver around Balki but they end up crossing their skis in front so that neither of them can move or step away.  Larry wants Balki to back up and pushes him so that Balki ends up leaning far back.  Larry helps to pull Balki forward again but Balki canít resist pushing Larry back in turn, who sways backwards and then forwards.  "Donít do that," Larry warns when he stops.  Larry again urges Balki to back up and pushes him so that Balki sways backwards then forwards.  Balki in turn pushes Larry, who pushes Balki as he sways by and the both of them stand, swaying back and forth past each other.

Finally Larry grabs Balki by the shirt and Balki grabs Larryís shirt in return.  Larry in turn grabs Balkiís nose and Balki grabs Larryís nose.  Finally Larry grabs Balkiís hair and hangs onto his shirt as Balki does the same and they stop swaying, eyeing each other menacingly.  Larry suggests that on the count of three they both let go.  They count to three but neither releases their grip.  "Okay, on the count of three weíll really let go," Larry offers, and this time they do both let go on.  They finally work out how to get free from each othersí skis but they have the same problem of not being able to turn to reach the book.

Balki asks if Larry has any ideas how they can get over there and Larry remembers a way to do it.  He works out to move his downhill ski over his uphill ski, which they both do so theyíre standing cross legged.  "Now remember this move," Larry suggests, "because my brothers and sisters used to use it to step over me."  As they struggle to remain standing Balki asks Larry if he really thinks he can be an expert skier by tomorrow afternoon.  Larry says heís going to try, then says they should move their uphill ski over their downhill one and they will be home free.  They try doing this but both end up falling over onto the floor.

Larry says that Balki is right.  "Who am I trying to kid?  I canít even ski in my own living room."  Balki admits that heís glad because now Larry can make a new beginning and tell Jennifer the truth.  "Who said anything about the truth?" Larry asks, "I just need a better plan."  "You say plan but you mean lies," Balki points out.  But Larry offers a new plan anyway.  "As soon as we get up there Iíll insist we go for one run before the lifts close.  Then after about a hundred yards Iíll fall in a soft spot, fake an injury and spend the rest of the weekend getting sympathy from Jennifer."  "Listen to yourself!" Balki sighs, "You want to tell one more lie to cover up another!  Itís like a snowball rolling down a hill.  By the time it get to the bottom it will be one humongous snowball of lies!"  "What happened to the pit?" Larry asks.  "Where do you think the snowball lands?" Balki answers.

The cousins have managed to face one another and pull themselves up into a standing position.  Larry complains that Balki thinks everything is black and white and insists itís not, that thereís a lot of gray in the world.  "I am not lying.  Iím simply reshaping the facts into a greater truth."  Balki leans into Larry, pushing him backwards as he asks why Larry has to reshape the facts.  "Why canít you just be Larry Appleton?"  Larry pushes Balki backwards as he responds, "Balki, where have you been?  I have been Larry Appleton for the past six months and Jennifer isnít interested in him!"  Balki pushes Larry backward again as he points out "Thatís because she never sees him!"  Larry says that after Jennifer has been blinded by love he will show her the real Larry Appleton.  "But tomorrow all Jennifer is going to see is Larry Appleton, downhill racer!"  They try to walk away from each other but end up falling onto the couch in a heap.

At the ski resort, Balki and Larry are at the top of the mountain, moving toward a remote spot.  Balki is going on about how fun the ski lift was.  Larry asks if Balki thinks anyone noticed that he fell when they got off and Balki assures him that "those people were laughing about something else."  Balki apologizes for running over Larryís hand and Larry assures Balki heís used to it.  Larry points down the slope and says heíll look good for about a hundred yards then fall in a soft pile of snow and fake an injury.  "The pit deepens," Balki warns.

Larry notices the girls coming and suggests they look cool, so they cross their skis and pose as Mary Anne and Jennifer approach.  "What are you guys doing over here?" Mary Anne asks.  "Trying to look cool," Balki explains.  "Iím just a sucker for fresh powder," Larry explains.  "But the run is over there, this side isnít even marked," Jennifer points out.  "Looks to steep for me!" Mary Anne comments.  "Címon, take a bite out of life!" Larry states boldly as he puts on his goggles.  "No guts, no glory!"  Larry starts down the slope and immediately starts screaming in fear.  "Cousin, I think you missed your soft spot!" Balki calls.

Screaming for help, Larry continues wildly down the hill, veering dangerously close to some trees.  "Boy he really likes to show off, doesnít he?" Mary Anne asks.  "No, heís screaming for help!" Balki realizes.  Larry continues to cry until he finally slams face first into the snow.  The girls start skiing down to help him and Balki reluctantly follows, unsure on his skis as he starts.  Balki manages to ski pretty straight and he yells excitedly, "Iím skiing!" before he, too, crashes onto the snow.  As Balki lays prone on the slope he calls out, "Cousin, are we having fun . . . or what?"

The second act begins with a shot of a cabin in the woods as night is falling.  Balki and Mary Anne peek in as Mary Anne calls to ask if anybody is home.  When no one answers they enter the cabin, relieved to have found a shelter from the cold.  Jennifer suggests they rest there for a couple of minutes and then make their way down the hill to try to find the highway.  She takes Larryís broken skis to set them aside.  "Weíve been walking for two hours, Iím exhausted," Mary Anne complains.

Balki walks over to Larry and says, "Well, Iíll say one thing for us.  I think we all achieved oneness with the snow.  And you . . . you achieved oneness with that tree, huh?"  "Do I have any more pine needles sticking out of my forehead?" Larry asks.  "No," Balki replies after checking.  "Now I know what it feels like to have acupuncture at sixty miles per hour," Larry sighs.  Jennifer suggests that Larry sit down, that he must be really shaken up.  Larry assures her heís fine, then thinks twice about it and adds, "except for my ankle.  I think I twisted it."  They move to sit down and Larry suggests that since itís getting dark they should stay there for the night since he doesnít think he can walk on his ankle.  Balki rolls his eyes at this.

Mary Anne approaches them showing that sheís found a blanket and a bottle of wine.  Jennifer suggests that Larry and Balki get out of their wet clothes while they go get some of the firewood they saw outside.  Larry offers to open the wine for Mary Anne as the girls go outside.  Larry gives Balki a smug look of satisfaction.  "Well, well, well . . . Mr. Liar Liar Pants on Fire!" Balki scolds.  "I hope youíre happy!"  "Yes, very happy!" Larry confirms.  "How can you say that?" Balki asks in disbelief.  "We slide down the wrong side of the mountain, wander around for two hours, bodies all achiní and racked with pain, and now we stuck in this cabin with the girls for the whole night!"  Balki suddenly realizes what heís said and Larry offers, "You donít have to thank me now.  Looks like fate has put right where we wanted to be."  "Cousin, no, not fate!  Itís your lies that put us here!" Balki warns.  "Fate, lies, whatís the difference?" Larry asks.  "My plan is working."

Balki points out that every since Larry started to lie things have been going wrong.  "Going wrong?" Larry asks with surprise.  "Balki, look around.  I have wine . . . a beautiful woman . . . a mountain cabin.  I guess this puts an end once and for all to the great Myposian pit theory."  "Well, maybe things look good now," Balki sighs, "but you mark my words . . . it ainít over Ďtil the fat lady eats."

Later that night the couples are gathered on the floor around the fireplace where a comfortable blaze is burning as Larry continues a story heís telling about participating in the giant slalom finals at Insbrook and how it came down to a duel between someone named Ingmar and himself.  As Larry continues this wild fabrication Balki warns that "Itís getting deeper . . . and deeper."  Unabated, Larry continues his story, saying that at the last second a snowshoe rabbit was in his path and to save the rabbitís life he lost the race.  "I grew up a lot on the mountain that day.  See, I could have skied right through that furry little creature but I learned there are a lot of things more important than winning."  "Is the truth one of them?" Balki asks.

Finishing his story, Larry says his racing days are over and he likes to live in the present.  "Thereís so much I donít know about you," Jennifer smiles.  "You can say that again," Balki agrees, "and that reminds me, I have a story."  He babbles in derogatory Myposian then explains the story is called The Little Goat Herder Who Lied.  Larry suggests the girls may be tired of stories but Jennifer encourages Balki to continue.

"Once upon a time there was a little goat herder and he had curly brown hair and little round cheeks and no upper lip at all."  Larry tries to interrupt but Balki continues.  "It came to pass that the King announced a royal yak hunt.  It was the day of the hunt and the little goat herder decided to show off for the fair maiden, so he shot an arrow into the air and where it landed he didnít care.  But he should have, because it hit the king right smack in the royal buttocks.  The king was exceedingly angry and he threw the little goat herder into the dungeon . . . a dungeon not unlike a pit!"  "I think I saw that on TV!" Mary Anne interjects.  "Didnít Richard Chamberlain play the little goat herder?"  Everyone stares at her in surprise, until Larry finally sighs, "Ah those Mypos tales.  Who knows what they mean?  And who cares?"

Mary Anne announces theyíre using their last log as she puts it on the fire.  Larry remarks that a good way to fight off the cold is with body heat and eyes Jennifer longingly.  Jennifer reacts nervously, saying "Thatís a great last resort but we have a fire."  Jennifer says sheíll go get more wood but Larry volunteers to go out and get some instead.  As he gets up Balki asks how his ankle is doing and Larry remembers to limp, saying "Comes and goes."  "Changes legs, too," Balki observes.  Larry puts on his jacket and goes outside, commenting on how cold it is as he closes the door behind him.

Jennifer says sheís getting hungry and goes to check if thereís any food.  As Balki and Mary Anne sit by the fire Balki apologizes for ruining her ski trip.  She says itís okay, that sheís having fun.  "But a little body heat would be nice," she adds.  Balki picks up on her signal and slyly places his arm around her, saying, "Well, itís a good thing I brought my body."  He leans in to kiss her and as he does the whole cabin begins to shake violently.  They finally part as the shaking stops and Balki sighs, "Wwowww!"  "Did you feel that?" Mary Anne asks.  "Well, of course I did, donít be ridiculous!" Balki answers, then looks at her knowingly.  "I still respect you," he assures her.

Jennifer worriedly says she thinks they just had an earthquake.  "They donít have earthquakes in Wisconsin!" Mary Anne points out, "It was probably just an avalanche."  Suddenly realizing what this means, they run to the front door of the cabin and Balki opens it to reveal Larry pressed against the door by a wall of snow, a stunned expression on his face.  "I found the wood," he manages to say, dropping the log he was carrying.

Larry collapses onto Balkiís shoulders, who carries him over to the tiny couch.  Jennifer asks Larry if heís okay and Larry explains, "I was outside . . . I was happy . . . Iíd found the perfect log.  And suddenly I heard this . . . this . . . . "  "Rumbling?" Jennifer offers.  "Yes, this rumbling!  I turned around and saw this big . . . this big . . . . "  "Mountain?" ventures Mary Anne.  "Yes, mountain!  The mountain started chasing me towards the . . . the . . . the . . . . "  "Pit?" asks Balki.  Larry eyes him in frustration.  "No, not the pit.  Where we are now . . . the cabin!  I never saw so much snow!  There was enough snow to cover this entire . . . . "  Larry and Balki jump up worriedly and run to the windows as the girls sit together on the couch.  The guys open to windows to find only snow, then close them, switch windows with one another and open them again.  Balki and Larry grab each other worriedly.  "Oh Cousin, weíre buried alive!" Balki stutters.  "Not for long," Larry answers, "Very soon weíll all be dead."

To Be Continued . . .

Continue on to the next episode . . .