Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 33 - Your Cheatin' Heart

First Air Date: October 28, 1987
Nielsen Rating: 13.6 HH

TV Guide Description: Jennifer's frequent visits to the office to see Balki make Larry think he's being stabbed in the back by his best friend.

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
Rebeca Arthur: Mary Anne
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons

Guest Cast:
Jo Marie Payton-France: Harriette Winslow

Dimitri Appearances: Dimitri is not seen in this episode.

"If Cousin Larry sees you again, heís going to start to put two and four together!"
"I give, give, give until Iím blue in the head !"

Donít be ridiculous: Said once.

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
"Donít do that, baby!"
Balkiís "Huh?"
"Oh right!"

Other running jokes used in this episode:
Larry answers a misdirected Balki question with a pat answer instead of explaining what he originally meant.
Balki shrugs off compliments
Larry drinks antacid from the bottle when heís upset

Songs: "Barbara Ann" - sung by Balki as he rings for Harrietteís elevator.

Notable Moments:
We learn that Balki is the first best friend Larry has ever had.

Interesting facts:
The title of this episode is the name of a 1952 Hank Williams' country song.
This episode is often cited as a fan favorite for many reasons.  Mark is seen at his frenzied best, the girls have pivotal roles in which they get a chance to really show their comedic talents, and the revelation that Balki is the first best friend Larryís ever had make this a really notable episode!
- When Larry tells Balki he can see right through Jennifer, Balki asks if Larry sent away for those special glasses.  This is in reference to ads which appear on the back of comic books and other kidsí magazines which advertised a variety of bizarre items, usually for sale in conjunction with selling magazine subscriptions or something similar.  The questionable novelty items, shown as illustrations, included "X-Ray Specs" which claimed to give the wearer X-Ray vision (actually all it did was create a double optical illusion).  Sea Monkeys (which, in actuality, are brine shrimp) were also sold by these means.
- This episode marks the first (and one of the few) times we see Mary Anne and Jenniferís upstairs apartment.  When the camera shows the exterior of the building it pans up to the third floor apartment (technically the fourth floor if one counts the storefront level) on the corner of the building two apartments down from the Cousinsí.
- Making a special guest appearance in this episode is Rebecaís toy poodle, Emmy.  Emmy often appeared with Rebeca on talk shows and game shows, so she became pretty well known to the fans, but this would be her only actual appearance on the series.
- Balkiís comment "State Street, that great street" is a reference to a line in the song Chicago (That Toddliní Town), most famously sung by Frank Sinatra.

Bloopers and Inconsistencies:
When Jennifer exits the basement she goes out through the door which supposedly leads to a storage area for the archives.  This was rarely used as an exit by any character on the series, only Mr. Burns who, since he works at the Chronicle, would have cause to go in there, but nowhere else is it ever implied that there is an actual exit through that door.

Larry and Balki are working in the basement of the Chicago Chronicle.  Balki is sorting mail and Larry is slowly typing.  Balki asks Larry how his article is coming.  "Well, itís coming along fine, considering the J, the K and the period donít work," Larry answers.  Balki walks to Larryís desk, carrying a wire basket of envelopes to deliver.  "Do you want me to take anything upstairs?" he asks.  "Yeah, give me a minute," Larry says, "Iím almost finished."  He hits the return lever on the typewriter and the entire top slides off and into Balkiís basket.  "Did you want an envelope for that?" Balki asks.

Larry bemoans that the newspaper canít give their reporters typewriters that work as he retrieves his article from the broken instrument.  He gets up, saying, "Iím going to have to use the typewriters upstairs . . . again!"  Larry runs up the stairs as Balki goes to the elevator and presses the button, which makes a buzzing sound.  He presses it repeatedly, singing "Bah bah, bah bah bah," along with the noise.  He pauses, then starts singing the Beach Boys "Barbara Ann" as he dances and continues to push the button to accompany the number.

The elevator door slides open and Harriette looks out sternly, saying, "Donít do that, baby!"  Balki stops, looking chastened.  Harriette looks around and then steps out of the elevator, motioning behind her for someone to come out and telling them Larry isnít around.  Jennifer steps out and Balki is surprised to see her, saying, "What you doing here?  If Cousin Larry sees you again, heís going to start to put two and four together!"  "Excuse me, baby," Harriette interrupts, "Iím not one to pry . . . wait a minute, back that up . . . I am one to pry!  Why all the sneaking around the past three days?"

"Balki, Mary Anne and I are trying to surprise Larry and buy him a new typewriter!" Jennifer explains excitedly.  "Not just a typewriter!" Balki corrects, setting down his wire basket and fishing in his pants pocket for a flyer, "No, no . . . a Wellington 4000 with . . . " (his voice becomes breathy) " . . . feather touch control."  "Balki, Iíve been everywhere and the Wellington 4000 is just too expensive," Jennifer reports sadly.  "Oh . . . bummer!" Balki sighs.

"Have you tried Andersonís Office Supply?" Harriette asks.  When Jennifer says no, Harriette continues, "Itís out the front door, two blocks west on the left, down an alley.  Knock twice and ask for Malcolm.  And whatever you do, donít stare at his tattoo!"  A couple of people have walked into the elevator so Harriette goes inside and closes the door.  "Terrific!" Jennifer says sarcastically, "Iím going down an alley to talk to a man with a tattoo!"

Jennifer heads for the stairs just as Larry is coming back down them.  "Jennifer!" Larry says happily.  "Larry!" Jennifer replies.  "Cousin!" Balki steps in, walking to Larry, "Look who came to visit us!"  "Again?" Larry asks as he walks to his desk to put down his article, "thatís three days in a row.  Are you placing another ad in the classifieds?"  Jennifer hesitates, so Balki says, "Yes, she just came to visit us right after she placed her ad in the classifieds . . . in the Chronicle . . . in Chicago."  "Great," Larry smiles, "What are you selling this time?"  "My toaster," Jennifer answers at the exact same time Balki says, "Her oven."  "Her toaster oven," Balki quickly adds.

"Are we still on for tonight?" Larry asks, still smiling.  "Tonight?" Jennifer asks.  "Dinner?" Larry clarifies.  "Oh dinner!  Sure, right!" Jennifer answers, then says, "Well, I gotta run!"  She walks out through the storage area.  Balki returns to his work table and Larry approaches him, looking like the cat that swallowed the canary.  "You know, Balki . . . I can see right through her."  "Did you send away for those special glasses?" Balki asks.  "No, Iím talking about that classified ad nonsense," Larry explains, "The first day she said she was selling her sewing machine?  I checked the ads.  The only sewing machine listed was by some guy named Malcolm.  The next day she was supposedly selling her WaterPik?  No way, she loves that WaterPik!  And today, her toaster oven?"  He huffs loudly, making Balki jump.

"Balki, I think I know whatís going on!" Larry hums.  Balki looks guilty, asking, "You do?"  "Obviously Jenniferís got a bad case of Ďthe Larrysí!" Larry offers.  "Well, of course she does, donít be ridiculous!" Balki states, then asks, "Are Ďthe Larrysí anything like Ďthe williesí?"  "No, theyíre nothing like Ďthe williesí," Larry assures him, "Balki, I think sheís falling for me!"  "Interesting," Balki notes.  "Tonight, Iím taking Jennifer out to dinner and Iím going to pull out all the stops!" Larry enthuses.  "Oh Cousin, are you going to let her order the Double Whopper?"  "Better!" Larry says, "Tonight I am taking her to a restaurant with waiters!"  Balki looks upset, asking, "Youíre taking waiters and youíre not taking me?"  Larry eyes Balki impatiently, but only says, "Iíll take you next time," which cheers Balki up.

That evening at the apartment there is a knock at the door and Balki calls out that heíll get it.  Wearing an apron, Balki opens the door to Jennifer, who quietly asks where Larry is.  "Oh, heís in the bedroom getting ready for your date," Balki reports, then asks, "Did you get the Wellington 4000 with feather touch control?"  "Now listen, Andersonís is still too expensive," Jennifer explains, "but they told me the supplier is having a clearance sale and maybe I can bargain with him."  "Oh I love bargaining!" Balki says enthusiastically, "I got this vest by bargaining!"  "Well, I hate it," Jennifer sighs.  "Well, letís not mince words," Balki says in a hurt tone.  Realizing why heís upset, Jennifer quickly explains, "Oh no, not the vest!  I hate bargaining!  Balki, you have to come with me!"  "Well, no problem . . . tomorrow after work you come . . . . "  "No, no, no . . . tonight!  Itís the last night of the sale!"  "Well, what about your date with Cousin Larry?" Balki asks.  "Donít worry about it, Iíll just make it up to him another time.  Just meet me downstairs in five minutes."

Before Jennifer has time to leave Larry comes out of his bedroom, wearing just an undershirt and holding up two different colored shirts.  "Balki, which of these shirts do you think Jennifer will like?"  He sees Jennifer and shyly holds the shirts in front of his chest. "Oh, Jennifer!  Youíre . . . youíre here already."  "Larry, Iím terribly sorry but I canít go out with you tonight," Jennifer explains, "Something came up."

Larry canít hide the disappointment on his face as he says, with each one increasingly more disappointed, "Oh. Oh. Oh."  He then asks, "What?"  "What what?" Jennifer says.  "What came up?" Larry asks.  "Oh!  Well, you see . . . I . . . I got a chance to work the Concorde flight to Paris!  Itís a once in a lifetime opportunity," Jennifer ad-libs.  "Oh, I didnít know the Concorde flew out of Chicago!" Balki states.  "Thatís why itís once in a lifetime!" Jennifer says sternly, making eyes toward Larry so Balki will understand.  "Oh!" Balki gapes, finally catching on.

Jennifer tells Larry sheíll see him when she gets back and turns to leave, making a sign to Balki to remind him to meet her downstairs.  After she leaves, Balki turns to Larry and says, "Pretty lucky break for Jennifer, huh?"  "Concorde?  Please!" Larry sighs, throwing his shirts over the back of the couch, "If sheís going to lie to me I deserve better than that."  He walks toward the kitchen with Balki following.  "Oh Cousin," Balki sighs, "What makes you think sheís lying to you?  Sheís your friend.  Friends donít lie to friends."  Balki makes a disgusted face, knowing heís lying even then to keep their surprise for Larry a secret.

"Thanks," Larry offers as Balki takes his hand in comfort, "I know youíre trying to cheer me up.  At times like these, itís really important to have a friend like you to talk to."  "Oh Cousin, thank you.  Iím glad I could be here for you," Balki smiles, then looks down and says, "Well, I gotta go."  Balki walks away, taking off his apron as he gets his jacket.  "Where are you going?" a confused Larry asks.  "Well, you know at times like these itís also very important that you spend time by yourself, so I think Iím just gonna go to a movie," Balki fibs as he heads out the door.

"Iíll go with you!" Larry says, walking to the door to get his jacket as well, "Might cheer me up."  Balki comes back into the apartment, saying, "You know, on second thought, I really donít feel like a movie.  But why donít you just go ahead?"  Larry stands, looking perplexed, then sighs as he hangs up his jacket, "Well, who am I kidding?  A movieís not gonna help.  Iíd rather stay here with you and talk it out.  That always makes me feel better."

Balki cringes, knowing he has to get out of the apartment somehow.  "Okay fine," he finally says with a strange expression, "I spend all evening trying to cheer you up . . . I . . . I give you one pep talk after another . . . I invite you to go to a movie but you insist I go with you . . . I give, give, give until Iím blue in the head . . . but you want more.  Well let me tell you something, buster, I have no more to give!  The cupboard is bare!"  A startled Larry tries to interrupt but Balki continues.  "So if you want to sit by yourself and feel sorry, go ahead . . . but donít make me look at it.  Now if youíll excuse me, I need some fresh air!"  Balki runs out the door, leaving a confused and hurt Larry behind.

Later that evening Balki and Jennifer happily hurry to the guysí apartment through the hallway outside.  "Balki, I still canít believe we got such a great deal!" Jennifer says, "Where did you learn to bargain like that?"  "Well, on Mypos only a fool buys retail!" Balki explains.  Inside the apartment we see Larry, who has already gone to bed, coming out of his bedroom.  He hears Balki and Jenniferís voices from outside the front door and stops to listen as Jennifer is shushing Balki, saying, "Larryís going to hear us!"

"Oh, Iím sorry, Iím sorry" Balki whispers, "I just donít know how much longer I can fool Cousin Larry."  "Well, just remember if Larry finds out it will ruin everything," Jennifer urges.  "Okay, Iíll try. See you tomorrow," Balki says as he starts to open the door, "Get some sleep.  Youíve earned it!"  Larry runs into the kitchen and ducks down behind the counter as the front door opens.  "I will," Jennifer replies, "Iím exhausted.  Balki, you were great."  Balki shrugs her off but she insists, "Well, you were!  I learned a few things from you tonight!"

With each statement Larry reacts behind the counter in disbelief and frustration, misinterpreting the conversation to assume the worst.  "You know, itís like I always say," Balki replies, "the more you do it the better you get at it."  "Well, youíre the best!" Jennifer assures him, turning to leave and saying goodnight.  Balki closes the door as Larry starts to peek over the counter.  Angry, Larry stands up but Balki is sneaking into his own bedroom and doesnít see this.  Balki goes into his bedroom and Larry walks after him, stopping outside the door looking flustered.

The second act begins the next morning when Larry, still wearing his pajamas with his coat over them, knocks on the door of Jennifer and Mary Anneís apartment.  Mary Anne opens the door, holding her pet poodle, as Larry steps past her to enter.  "Hi, Larry, címon in!" Mary Anne offers, too late, then adds, "Nice robe!"  Larry thanks her in a dismissive manner, then asks, "Is Balki here?"  Mary Anne gives Larry a patient look, saying, "Larry . . . Balkiís your roommate!  I live with Jennifer!"  "Is Jennifer here?" Larry asks.  "She left early this morning.  Is anything wrong?" Mary Anne asks.  "Mary Anne, I think you had better sit down," Larry suggests.

Looking worried, Mary Anne sets her poodle down and walks to the couch, sitting down with Larry.  "I have some rather shocking news to tell you," Larry begins.  Mary Anne looks shocked, asking, "Have they discontinued this pattern?"  (The wallpaper, accessories, pillows and even Mary Anneís robe are all in the same pastel striped pattern).  "Mary Anne, listen very carefully . . . Jennifer and Balki are having an affair."  "What do you mean?" Mary Anne asks.  "An affair.  A tryst.  A liaison!" Larry tries to explain.  "Yeah?" Mary Anne asks, still not getting it.  "Balki and Jennifer are having a cheap, sordid sex thing!" Larry finally clarifies.

Mary Anne is shocked at this news.  "Balkiís the sweetest guy I ever met!  And Jennifer and I have been friends since we were eight!  How could they do this?" Larry places a sympathetic shoulder on Mary Anneís knee, grateful to finally find someone to share his distress with.  "Love hurts . . . doesnít it, Mary Anne?"  "It sure does," Mary Anne sighs, then looks at Larry with confusion, "But Larry . . . why are you so upset?"

Downstairs at the guysí apartment, Balki unlocks the front door and looks around inside.  He turns back to report, "Heís still asleep," after seeing Larryís bedroom door is closed.  Balki steps outside then comes back in carrying a box containing the new typewriter.  Jennifer follows closely with a roll of wrapping paper and they tiptoe into Balkiís bedroom.

Seconds later the front door opens again and Larry enters, shutting the door loudly behind him and going into the kitchen to get some antacid from the refrigerator.  Balki comes out of his bedroom, leading Jennifer to the front door, when he spots Larry.  He quickly turns around and shoves Jennifer into the hall closet.  Balki walks up to Larry, who is swigging antacid from the bottle, and says nicely, "Good morning, Cousin!"  Larry shoots daggers at Balki with his eyes.  "Good morning, Cousin," he repeats sarcastically, "Well, youíre just as smooth as you can be, arenít you?"  Balki smiles shyly, saying, "Well, I do use a moisturizer."

Balki comments that Larry looks hungry and suggests they go out for breakfast, leading him to the front door.  "Iím not hungry," Larry states coldly.  "Well, then why donít we take a stroll?" Balki suggests, "Weíll just walk down State Street, that great street, and beat up an appetite."  "Right," Larry smirks, setting down his antacid and moving to take off and put away his coat.  Balki steps in front of the closet door, saying, "Cousin, donít put your coat in this closet.  Because the other day I saw a roach in there the size of a Winnebago.  Oh boy, was it a big roach!"  He then pretends he sees it and stomps on the ground, telling Larry they have to catch it as he leads Larry away from the closet, giving Jennifer a chance to get out of the closet and hide in Larryís bedroom.

Larry pulls Balki upright and says, "Okay, Balki . . . when youíre ready to be honest with me, let me know."  He puts his coat in the closet, then adds, "Until then Iíll be in my room."  Larry starts for his bedroom but Balki grabs him and turns him around in a kind of swinging motion, not unlike an odd waltz, repeating it several times until he has moved Larry well away from the bedroom door.  "Donít go to your room!" Balki insists, "Letís just be honest!  Letís sit down and letís just be straightforward and honest and . . . "  Jennifer has come out of Larryís bedroom and Balki motions for her to go into his room again, " . . . and just let our hair down." Balki sits on the couch next to Larry, saying, "You go first."

Finally having had enough, Larry stands up.  "Okay, Balki, letís stop the charade!  I know whatís going on!"  "You do?" Balki asks in a disappointed tone.  "Yes, I do . . . I know all about you and Jennifer," Larry states.  "Oh," Balki sighs, sitting down, "You take my breath away!  If you only knew how hard we tried to keep it from you!"  "AH HA!" Larry shouts, pointing an accusing finger as Balki, "So you admit it!"  "Cousin, I am so bummed you had to find out," Balki says sadly.  "Just tell me," Larry asks, "how long has this been going on?"  "Well, weíve been kicking around the idea for a couple of months," Balki explains, "but we really didnít do anything about it until last week."

"How could you deceive me all this time?" Larry asks in a pained voice.  "Youíre asking me?" Balki asks incredulously, "It wasnít easy! But you know, it got kind of fun when we pictured how surprised youíd be when we sprung it on you."  Larry looks shocked.  "When you sprung it on me?  What were you going to do . . . send me a telegram??"  "No, we were going to invite you over for dinner and then right before the dessert come out we were going to yell ĎSurprise!í" Balki says proudly.

Larry is even more mortified.  "Thatís how you were going to tell me that you and Jennifer are lovers?"  Now itís Balkiís turn to look shocked, but Larry continues, "You steal my girl, you lie to me, and then you throw me a party to tell me about it?"  Balkiís shocked and hurt look is even more intense.  "Have you no guilt?  No shame?  No remorse??"  Balki continues to stare at Larry in stunned and hurt silence.  "Well, obviously not!" Larry concludes, walking back toward his bedroom.

Jennifer storms out of Balkiís bedroom, yelling, "Larry Appleton!"  "AH HA!" Larry shouts again, pointing his finger at Jennifer.  "How dare you talk that way to Balki!  Heís your best friend!" Jennifer scolds.  "My best friend?" Larry scoffs, "Oh really?  Really?  And where did my best friend take you last night?  Dinner?  Dancing?"  "An office supply clearance sale," Jennifer answers.  Larry eyes her a moment then snaps, "Kinky!"

"Actually, we were buying a present for you," Jennifer says smugly.  "Oh . . . is that why you were in Balkiís bedroom?" Larry asks accusingly.  "Thatís exactly why I was in Balkiís bedroom!" Jennifer confirms, marching into the room.  "And what were you doing?  Gift wrapping it?" Larry continues to storm.  Jennifer stomps out of the bedroom with the box and sets it down roughly on the coffee table, slapping a bow on it harshly and stepping back.  Larry eyes the box and says, in his still angry voice, "Thatís a Wellington 4000!"  Balki gets up from the couch and goes into the kitchen as Larry eyes the box more carefully and adds, "With feather touch control."

After a few moments Larry puts it all together and realizes what heís done, looking pained and ashamed under Jenniferís glare. "Oooh boy," Larry sighs.  At that moment the front door opens and Mary Anne storms in, yelling "Ah ha!"  "Mary Anne!" Jennifer says with surprise.  "Donít you Mary Anne me!" Mary Anne continues angrily, "How dare you try to steal the man I like a lot away from me!"  "Mary Anne, I wasnít stealing Balki away from you!  We were shopping for a typewriter, remember?" Jennifer asks.  "Oh right!" Mary Anne realizes, then smiles and says, "Larry . . . they werenít having a cheap, sordid sex thing!"  Jennifer eyes Larry in disbelief.  "I know that . . . now," Larry offers.  Jennifer suggests to Mary Anne theyíd better go, telling Larry, "Letís talk later, Larry, okay?"  As the girls walk out the door Mary Anne asks, "Whatís going on?"  "Mary Anne, you never know whatís going on," Jennifer sighs.

Larry is left standing near the front door with Balki standing at the kitchen counter with his back to him.  Slowly Larry walks to the typewriter box, running his fingers over it and fiddling with the bow.  He walks behind Balki and motions to the box but Balki wonít turn around.  Larry then forces a laugh to make light of the situation, offering, "What crazy things people do when they misunderstand each other!  I mean, when you think of the stupid things I did . . . when I thought you and Jenn . . . well, it just makes you want to laugh out loud, doesnít it?  Huh?  Huh?  Huh?"  Balki, still upset, is not buying it and Larry knows it, dropping the act.

Speaking sincerely, Larry says, "Balki, I . . . donít know what to say.  I am so sorry.  Itís just that when I thought you and Jennifer were . . . involved . . . I kind of overreacted."  At this Balki finally turns around, eyeing Larry in disbelief.  "Kind of overreacted?  You had a meltdown!"  "Well, I thought you stole my girl!" Larry explains, "But you didnít."  "No, I didnít," Balki confirms.  "You were buying me a Wellington 4000."  "With feather touch control!" Balki cries.

"Why would you do that?" Larry whines, "Itís not my birthday!  Itís not Christmas!  Why would you buy this for me?"  "Why would I buy this for you?" Balki asks in surprise, "Why would your best friend buy you a present?  What am I . . . the first best friend youíve ever had?"  Larry laughs off the question with a raise of his hand.  "Am I the first best friend you ever had?" Balki repeats.  Larry again laughs, but less emphatically this time, looking in Balkiís eyes.  With shock Balki realizes, "I am the first best friend youíve ever had!"  Larry lowers his eyes, shrugging sadly, "Maybe.  But I guess after what I did thatís all over, huh?"

Balki smiles sympathetically, saying "Oh Cousin . . . Cousin . . . so much to teach you . . . so little time!  Of course our friendship isnít over. Best friends forgive each other.  And I forgive you."  Balki hugs Larry and Larry hugs him back. Balki then walks over to the typewriter box, suggesting, "Now, letís open this baby up and see what she can do!"  "No, Balki I donít deserve this," Larry sighs.  "Oh Cousin, please take it!" Balki asks.  "No, I canít!" Larry insists.  Balki keeps asking Larry to take it and Larry keeps saying no until Balki finally drops the box and grabs Larry by the shirt, threatening, "Take the typewriter!  Itís a gift from a friend!"  "Okay," Larry finally agrees.  "Okay," Balki smiles nicely and they look at the box as the show ends.

Continue on to the next episode . . .