Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 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 food maniac.

Co-Producer: James OíKeefe
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Paula A. Roth
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 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!"

Donít be ridiculous: Said once

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
"Oh my Lord!"
"Let me get this straight."
"Balki, Balki, Balki . . . "
"Po, po . . . "
"Oh, right!"
"Yes! Yes!"

Other running jokes used in this episode:
Larry panics
Balki throws Larryís own words back at him, to which Larry comments that Balki isnít going to make it easy for him
Larry sniffs
Balki cries until he gets something he wants

Myposian Rituals:
The Mypos Ritual of Promise

Interesting facts:
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 the series.
- 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 this information.
- 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!"

There 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 Anne states.

Jennifer 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 self-discipline!"

"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 adds.

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 bedroom.

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.

Larry 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.

Larry 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."

In 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!"

To 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 door.

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 him.

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.

Finally 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!" Larry says.

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 used."

"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.

Slowly 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!"

"Youíre 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 instantly.

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.

Continue on to the next episode . . .