Strangers Episode Guide
30 - Weigh to Go, Buddy
First Air Date:
September 30, 1987
Filmed On: June 19, 1987
Nielsen Rating: 16.3 HH
TV Guide Description: Larry
diets without shedding a pound until he agrees to go on Balki's Mypos Diet,
consisting of fish-eye soup and pig snouts, which does reduce Larry -- to a junk
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Paula A. Roth
Directed by: Joel Zwick
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons
Rebeca Arthur: Mary Anne
Dimitri first appears on the main counter between the kitchen and living room
with what looks like a scale in front of him. When Larry is raiding the
refrigerator he is on the same counter but with a little piece of cake in front
of him. When Balki serves Larry fish eye soup Dimitri is still on the
counter wearing what looks like a chefís outfit. And finally he can be
seen in the next to last scene on the other counter closer to the window.
"Well, you wouldnít have to iron your will so much . . . "
"They give me the pants off their backs."
"I wash my feet of the whole business!"
ridiculous: Said once
used in this episode:
"Oh my Lord!"
"Let me get this straight."
"Balki, Balki, Balki . . . "
"Po, po . . . "
Other running jokes
used in this episode:
Balki throws Larryís own words back at him, to which Larry comments that Balki
isnít going to make it easy for him
Balki cries until he gets something he wants
The Mypos Ritual of Promise
- The title of this episode is a pun on the
expression "Way to go, buddy."
- This is only the second time in the series we see Balki with an actual
sheepherderís crook. He used one in The Rent Strike to awake the
tenants sleeping in Twinkacettiís store. Oddly enough the two crooks are
not even remotely the same.
- When Balki says "soup is good food"
heís quoting the then popular advertising slogan for Campbellís Soup.
- This episode marks the first time that Pioliís
Pizza, which is located downstairs in their building, is mentioned. The
name was probably a tribute to Judy Pioli, who would direct later episodes of
- One of the funniest jokes of this episode
involves Larry telling Balki that the pizza man is a census taker, then opening
the door and yelling out, "Two!" The United States Constitution
mandates a census (a count of the population of the country) be taken every ten
years when census bureau workers go door to door to compile information on how
many residents live in different cities. While much of the census work has
been computerized there are still census takers who go door to door to compile
- When Balki makes the comment that he will use
Larryís conscience as his guide, itís a pun and reference to the song
"Give a Little Whistle" from the Disney animated classic Pinocchio.
- The line "I havenít got time for the
pain" is from a Carly Simon song by the same name. Balki says this
right after mentioning 7-11, but if there is a connection between the two I am
not aware of it (can anyway shed some light on this? The laugh the lines
get seems to indicate thereís more to the reference than just the song).
The episode begins with Balki entering the living room from his bedroom carrying
an armful of clothes. He walks past Larry, who is reading a book
on the couch, and drops the clothes onto the coffee table where he starts to
fold them. There are already piles of clothes around and a big cardboard
box on the floor. Larry comments that if Balki gives away any more stuff
to the neighborhood clothing drive he wonít have anything left for himself.
"Well, Cousin, I like to live by one principle," Balki explains,
"Happy is the heart of the cheerful giver." After a pause he
adds, "Besides, these arenít my things, theyíre yours."
Larry is shocked and gets up to take back
the jacket Balki is holding. "This is my high school chorus
jacket!" Larry says as he puts it on, "Got a lot of memories in this
jacket." As Larry attempts to button the front he realizes he
canít. Balki comments, "Maybe you should take some of the memories
out of the jacket." Larry doesnít understand, saying the jacket
always fit him perfectly. With a sudden realization, Larry runs to the
bathroom. "Now Cousin, hiding is not the answer!" Balki calls
after him. Larry steps onto the bathroom scale and cries out, "Oh my
Lord! Iíve gained seven pounds!"
is a knock at the front door and Balki goes to answer it. Jennifer and
Mary Anne enter wearing their stewardess uniforms and carrying bundles of
clothes. Mary Anne explains theyíll be in Australia all week so they
thought theyíd drop the clothes off. Larry comes out of the bathroom and
Balki points out the beautiful things the girls have donated, setting them down
on a chair by the fireplace. "All that stuff is too big for us
now," Jennifer sighs. Larry sets his chorus jacket on the couch and
tells Balki he can take it, too. Jennifer picks it up and comments on what
a nice jacket it is. "Why donít you want it?"
"Well, for one thing itís out of style now . . . " Larry begins.
"And for another thing he gained seven pounds and it donít fit,"
Balki adds. "Of course most of itís muscle," Larry is quick to
comment. Jennifer assures Larry he looks just fine, asking Mary Anne for
confirmation. "Well, if I gained seven pounds, Iíd die!" Mary
goes on to try to appease Larry by saying, "I think a little tummy on a man
is cute!" Larry and Mary Anne both look at Jennifer incredulously.
Realizing she put her foot in her mouth, Jennifer suggests they leave, saying
theyíll see the guys Saturday. After the girls have left, Balki smiles
at Larry. "Did you hear that? Jennifer thinks that you and your
tummy are cute!" "Sure! Like the Pillsbury Doughboy is
cute!" Larry snaps. He immediately gets in a frenzy, shouting,
"All right, all right! No need to panic!" "Well, I
wasnít aware I was panicking," Balki says calmly.
Larry calculates that Jennifer and Mary
Anne will get back in seven days so if he loses a pound a day . . .
"I can do it! Iíll eat nothing and exercise continually!"
Larry starts jogging in place as Balki says, "Now Cousin, you know how much
I think of you and that I have
your best interest at heart so youíve got to believe me when I tell you, no
way!" Larry infers that Balki doesnít think he can do it.
"Well, I guess you donít know Larry Appleton as well as you think you do!
All this takes is self-discipline. Sheer iron-willed
"Well, you wouldnít have to iron
your will so much if you let me put you on the Mypos Diet," Balki suggests.
Larry scoffs at the Mypos Diet, asking "What do you do? Cut down on
the pig snout?" "No, it isnít the pig snout itself thatís
fattening, itís all that junk you put on top of it," Balki explains.
"The Mypos Diet, please!" Larry continues, "A country whose King
weighs three hundred pounds?" "He has a gland problem,"
Balki points out. "Balki, you told me he holds the world record for
eating jelly donuts." "Heís also very competitive," Balki
Larry says that if heís going to go on a
diet heíll choose an American diet. "We know about dieting!
We happen to be the fattest country in the
world!" Larry starts jogging around the couch, saying the only diet
he needs is the Larry Diet and that all it takes is willpower. "And
when it comes to food, I am Mr. Willpower." Balki again tries to
convince Larry to put him on the Mypos Diet. Larry finally stops jogging and
turns to Balki. "Balki, listen very carefully to what Iím about to
say." Balki leans his ear closer to Larryís mouth. "I
donít want to hear another word about the Mypos Diet in my lifetime,"
Larry says seriously. Larry starts jogging again and Balki looks at him
scornfully. "Well, donít worry about that, Mr. Gut Buster!"
Balki says, and turns to go back to his bedroom. Larry jogs alongside of
Balki, then Balki realizes he forgot something and Larry follows him forward
again. Larry keeps aside of Balki as he walks back toward the bedroom
again and Balki stops, eyeing his Cousin who continues jogging in place.
Finally Balki fakes Larry out by going forward then running back into his
Later that night we see the dark living
room as Larry comes out of his bedroom, then sneaks into the kitchen. He
hesitates a moment, then goes
to the refrigerator and opens it to rummage inside. Balki exits his
bedroom, carrying a large sheepherderís crook and looking around for the
source of the noise heís heard, thinking it may be a prowler. Larry
realizes Balki is coming but his arms are full of food and the refrigerator
light is on so he reaches down and presses the button to turn the light off.
Balki enters the kitchen and turns the
light on, shouting, "Freeze!" He is shocked to see Larry raiding
the icebox. Larry tries to act casual, saying, "I noticed earlier
this evening the refrigerator needed a good cleaning." But he
doesnít fool Balki for a second. "So! This is what happens to
Mr. Willpower when the sun goes down!" Balki marvels, taking the food from
Larry and putting it back into the fridge.
admits he was lying and says Balki was right, that he canít do it on his own.
"All that exercise and no food, thatís no way to lose weight! I
donít know what I was thinking!" Larry continues to suck up, finally
saying, "So, maybe you could give me that Mypos Diet." "Let
me get this straight," Balki muses, "You want me to give you that
Mypos Diet." "Yes, give me the Mypos Diet," Larry repeats.
"Well, Iím going to have a little bit of trouble with that. Why?
Because Iím not allowed to mention it in your lifetime!"
"Youíre not going to make this easy for me, are you?" Larry asks.
"Nnnn.... no," Balki confesses.
Larry begs Balki but Balki moves to the
couch, saying, "We donít want to be hasty! Are you sure you want to
give up the Larry Diet? You know, the one where you eat nothing all day
then at night you eat everything in the refrigerator except the light
bulb." Larry says he renounces the Larry Diet and asks again if Balki
can give him the Mypos Diet. "I canít," Balki says flatly.
"Why not?" Larry asks. "You made fun of my King!"
Balki points out. "Iíll take it back!" Larry says, "I
love the King! Iím sorry about his gland problem!" "He
has big bones, too," Balki adds. "The biggest! The
best!" Larry boasts. "He is the envy of monarchs
everywhere!" Balki suspects Larry is just saying this to get the
Mypos Diet and Larry insists heís not, but after a couple of "No, Iím
nots" and "Yes, you ares" Balki says seriously, "Yes, you
are!" to which Larry admits he is.
Balki agrees to give Larry the Mypos Diet
as Larry grovels, saying, "But only because youíre so pathetic."
Larry thanks Balki over and over. "Balki, I donít have to eat any
strange native dishes, do I?" Larry asks as they get up from the couch.
"Well, of course you donít, donít be ridiculous," Balki says, then
asks, "Youíre not allergic to fish eye soup, are you?" Larry
gags but Balki assures him it isnít as bad as it sounds.
insists that Balki promise to help him stay on the Mypos Diet. "You
want me to promise?" Balki asks. "Yes!" Larry confirms.
Balki gets a screwed up expression on his face holding his hands to his chest
and then moving them to his head before placing them on Larryís head and
running his hands down Larryís face to his chest. He finishes by arcing
his arms in the air. Larry stands, looking shocked and confused.
"There . . . I did it," Balki announces. "What did you just
do to me?" Larry asks. "I just performed the Mypos Ritual of
Promise," Balki explains. "Am I still a Presbyterian?"
Larry asks. "It means the Earth may crack, the sky may fall, but I
will never . . . never . . . never break my promise," Balki says
passionately. "You wonít?" Larry asks. "What did I
just say?" Balki asks.
The second act opens with Larry standing
on a scale in the living room saying he canít wait to see how much weight
heís lost. He looks down and
is excited to see heís lost three pounds. Larry thanks Balki for the
Mypos Diet but Balki insists, in a somewhat guilty tone, that Larry doesnít
need to thank him. Larry insists he does and they argue, which dissolves
into them giving each other curious little shrugging smiles.
Balki moves to the table to serve Larry
dinner, but Larry gets the idea that if he weighs himself without his shoes on
it might be even less. But as Larry moves to removes his shoes he looks
down at the scale and realizes it says minus 5 pounds. "What did you
do to the scale?" Larry asks. Balki says he was afraid that Larry
would get discouraged so he fixed it. "Two pounds?" cries Larry,
"Iíve gained two pounds? Balki, I gained weight! I couldíve
eaten chocolate and gained weight! Instead Iíve spent four days
eating fish eyes and pig snout and little squishy things I donít want to know
about!" "Oh those are . . . " Balki starts to offer.
"I donít want to
know!" Larry insists.
Balki explains that on the first few days
of the Mypos Diet you bloat up a little bit but that the weight will go away.
Balki encourages Larry to have something to eat and sits him down at the table.
"Fish eye soup again?" Larry asks in dismay. "Fish eye soup
again," Balki confirms, adding, "Soup is good food." As
Balki starts ladling the soup Larry stares down into it with his eyes wide open,
staring back at the eyes that are staring up at him. "Now I want you
to eat it while itís hot," Balki explains, "If you let it get cold
the eyes will get tough."
the next scene Larry is at the kitchen counter on the phone with Pioliís
Pizza, saying, "This is Larry Appleton. Yes, itís me again. I
want that pizza now! Because there is a man here who has not had real food
for five days and he is very, very hungry!" There is a knock on the
door and Larry tells the person on the phone itís there, adding sweetly,
"You have a nice day now." Larry runs to the door and opens it
only to have Balki enter with another big bundle of clothes. "Balki!"
Larry says with surprise as Balki puts the clothes onto a chair, "I thought
you were out collecting clothes for the poor!" "Cousin, I
was," Balki explains, pointing to the clothes, "Look how generous
people were. They give me the pants off their backs."
Larry tells Balki that itís not enough
and that with winter coming he should get back out there and get wool.
Larry herds Balki to the front door, but upon opening it they can just see the
pizza delivery man standing outside so Larry slams the door shut again.
"What am I saying?" Larry improvises, "Wool is itchy."
"Who that man?" Balki asks. "Census taker," Larry
lies, then opens the door a crack and yells out, "Two!"
continue to distract Balki, Larry says heís lost quite a few inches around the
middle and that many of his clothes are just way too big for him.
"Why donít you go back, go through my closet and take whatever you
like!" Larry pushes Balki into his bedroom, closing the door behind
him. He runs to the front door but Balki comes back out of Larryís
bedroom and says, "But Cousin, you know, you were already so generous this
morning." "Well, Iím being generous again," Larry says,
grabbing Balkiís chin and pushing him back into the room, again closing the
Larry runs to the front door where the
befuddled pizza delivery man stands waiting. Larry pays the man, saying,
"I wanted it to be a surprise, itís his birthday . . . you keep the
change now." He closes the door but Balki comes out of the bedroom
with one of Larryís shirts so Larry opens the front door and throws the pizza
box out into the hallway. Balki points out that he thinks that shirt still
fits Larry. "Oh, doesnít
matter," Larry insists, "Did you get the sweaters?"
"What sweaters?" Balki asks as Larry leads him back to his bedroom.
"All my cashmere sweaters!" Larry says, "Take them! Take
them!" Larry closes the bedroom door behind Balki again and runs back
to the front door, racing into the hallway and shutting the front door behind
Balki comes out of Larryís bedroom and
looks around, then opens the front door to find Larry holding the pizza box with
one slice of pizza in his hand and another in his mouth. Larryís eyes
are wide open in a startled look at having been caught. Balki takes the
slices of pizza out of Larryís hand and mouth, then hits the back of Larryís
head, making his drop the bite of pizza in his mouth into the box, which Balki
then takes inside the apartment, Larry close on his heels.
Giving Larry an incredulous look, Balki
scolds, "You should be ashamed of yourself!" Balki takes the
pizza box into the kitchen and dumps it into
the trash can. Larry is thinking fast, trying to come up with a way out of
this. "Well, you know, ordinarily I would be ashamed of myself but,
oh . . . hey, I decided I donít need to lose all that weight anyway.
Iím perfectly happy the way I am! Iíll go get the pizza."
Larry moves toward the kitchen but Balki grabs the back of his sweater and holds
him in place.
Larry snaps his fingers saying, "Oh,
I know . . . itís the promise thing, right? Balki, you can forget about
your promise and we can go on with our lives! Iíll go get the pizza."
He tries again to go to the kitchen but Balki wonít let go. Larry tries
again. "Balki, Balki, Balki . . . this isnít Mypos. Itís
America! People break promises all the time! Thatís why we have
all that Indian land! Iíll go get the pizza." But of course
Balki still wonít let go.
Larry says, "Forget about the pizza!" and Balki lets go of his
sweater. Larry announces the diet is over and thatís that, laughing it
off. "I mean, itís just a few extra pounds! I can learn to
live with it! Hey, it may be a good thing . . . the world loves a fat man!
Tell you what . . . Iím gonna go out and grab a bite to eat." Larry
moves toward the door but Balki grabs him around the middle and picks him up,
holding him perpendicular. "Youíre not going anywhere," Balki
says calmly. "Iíll stay, Iíll be good, just put me down!"
Balki turns around and drops Larry down on
the couch, which causes a strange sound. "What was that?" Balki
asks. "What was what?" Larry replies, feigning ignorance.
Balki reaches down and lifts the sofa cushion (and Larry with it) to find a
package of cookies underneath. "Oh goodness gracious!" Larry
gasps, "Those are cookies! I wonder who put them there."
"I bet it wasnít the cookie monster," Balki says. He pulls the
cushion up from the other side, tossing Larry forward, then lets it drop again.
"Balki, I donít know what
youíre talking about," Larry insists, putting his legs up on the couch.
"Those things have probably been in the couch for years! I bought it
"Well, Iíll just have to look
myself," Balki says, grabbing Larry and throwing him over the back of the
couch as he searches under the other cushion. He find a bar of chocolate
and holds it up as Larry pops up from behind the couch. "Is this all
of it?" Balki asks. "Yes . . . yes!" Larry answers.
"You know, I can always tell when youíre lying because you say everything
twice," Balki points out. "Iím not lying . . . I am not
lying!" Larry insists, then winces, realizing what heís done.
"Well then, I will find the things myself and Iíll use your conscience as
my guide," Balki announces.
Balki makes his way around the living room, working off Larryís guilty and
worries expressions to find a variety of treats hidden in odd places; he finds a
bag of chips in a container next to the fireplace, some M&Ms in a
candlestick holder, and a box of donuts (or something similar) in amongst the
books on the bookcase. Balki tells Larry he should be ashamed of himself.
Larry acts humble, saying he is and thanking Balki for saving him from himself.
Balki walks away, waving a finger at Larry and saying "Po po," then
stops and walks back to get the container heís put all the treats into and
carries it into his bedroom.
Larry watches until Balki has closed the
door to his room then reaches over and picked up a sugared donut from the top of
the orange lamp next
to the couch. He stands, sniffing it and savoring the smell, not noticing
Balki has come back out of his bedroom. Larry is about to take a bite when
he sees Balki and smiles coyly instead. Balki asks Larry to, "Give me
that." Larry becomes defiant, insisting, "Iím eating this and you
canít stop me!" Balki makes a grab for the donut and they wrestle
over it a bit before Larry manages to throw Balki over the couch.
Running to the fireplace, Larry grabs a
boot and holds it up, yelling, "Stay back! Iím not afraid to use
this!" This is the last straw for Balki, who sighs and tells Larry to
go ahead and eat his stupid donut. Larry is shocked, saying,
"What?" "Go ahead and eat it, if itís that important to
you, go ahead!" cries Balki, walking into the kitchen in disgust, "I
donít care! I wash my feet of the whole business!"
not going to stop me?" Larry asks in surprise. "No!" Balki
answers. "But youíre supposed to stop me! You promised!"
Larry says. "Well, I break my promise!" Balki states.
"Balki, you told me a Mypiot never breaks his promise!"
"Well, a Mypiot never lived with you!" Balki cries, "On Mypos
when you ask somebody to help you, you let them help you! You donít
fight them. You are the one who want to lose weight and you make me do all
the work. You lie to me and you trick me and now this! You have made
our living room into a 7-11. And I canít take it any more, I havenít
got time for the pain."
Balki says he is breaking his promise and
motions with a twisting, breaking turn of his hands over his chest.
"There . . . I hope youíre happy you make me the first Mypiot in history
to break a promise." A very humble Larry says heís sorry he did
this to Balki. "When I asked you for help I meant it. I never
had to lose weight before. Whenever people said how hard it was I never
understood why they didnít just eat less. The past few days Iíve
learned how hard it is. I should never have made you take all the
responsibility. I wish there was some way I could make it
up to you."
"Well, there is one way," Balki
ventures. "There is? Iíll do anything!" Larry states.
"You could go back on the diet," Balki says. "I canít do
that," Larry answers quickly. "Well, then Iíll just have to be
a Mypiot without honor," Balki sighs, "I suppose I could get used to
wearing the hood." "The hood?" Larry asks. "Yes,
itís made from stinky itchy goat hair and it makes your skin break out but
that donít matter so much because no one will ever see my face again."
Balki dissolves into tears. "All right, Iíll go back on the
diet," Larry agrees. "Okay!" Balki says, brightening
The final scene shows Balki, Jennifer and
Mary Anne waiting in the living room next to the scale. Balki calls to
Larry to hurry up, that the sooner he weighs himself the sooner they can get
something to eat. As Larry walks over to them Jennifer says, "Larry,
you look great!" "Yeah, have you lost weight?" Mary Anne
asks. "Mary Anne, heís been on a diet!" Jennifer reminds her.
"Oh, right," Mary Anne answers. Balki tells Larry that
they want to see how much less there is of him. Larry starts to get on the
scale but stops, saying, "All right, now you know the important thing is
not whether I gained or lost weight. Itís that Iíve grown as a person.
The inner me is stronger." "Well, we want to see how much the
outer you weighs!" Balki says impatiently, picking Larry up and setting him
onto the scale.
"My self esteem does not depend on a
bunch of numbers on a scale," Larry insists, then looks down to see the
reading and shouts, "Yes! Yes! I did it! I lost seven
pounds!" They congratulate him and Larry says, "Come on, letís
go to dinner." They are walking out the front door when Balki stops
and walks back to the scale, stepping onto it. His expression is one of
shock as the others re-enter and stand at the door, looking at him.
on to the next episode . . .