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Al Bundy, Shoe Dick is the 11th episode of Season 6 of Married... with Children, also the 116th overall episode in the series. Directed by Gerry Cohen, and written by Larry Jacobson, the episode premiered on the FOX network, airing on November 24, 1991.


In this episode, Al leads a diffrent life as a detective who's being framed for the murder of a rich woman's father. By solving the case, he earns $50,000. He wakes up and realizes that it was a dream. He also realizes that his wife and Marcy's pregnancies were also just dreams.


In the sixth season's eleventh episode, Al applies for a cleaning job, and finds himself mistaken for a PI by a femme fatale named Vanessa Van Pelt, (Traci Lords) a young temptress who fears that her family members may interfere with her expected bequest of a priceless gem from her uncle. Before that can happen, the uncle is murdered, the gem disappears... and Al is left holding the knife straight out of a Raymond Chandler story!

Recurring cast/Guest stars[]

Cast Regulars

Guest starring[]


To be added.



  • The title of this episode is a reference to Al Bundy playing a private investigator and nicknames commonly associated with private investigators ("Dick" and "Gumshoe")


  • Ted McGinley does not appear in this episode.
  • This episode marks the return of Katey Sagal, after missing a few weeks of work due to experiencing a stillbirth.
  • At the end of this episode, it is revealed that all major events from the beginning of season 6, such as Peg and Marcy's pregnancies and Bud's alternate persona, Grandmaster B, were all just part of Al's dream.
  • Traci Lords, who played Vanessa Van Pelt, previously appeared on the show in season 4's "Tooth or Consequences" as T.C. and in the previous episode as the blonde in The Homeless Detective poster at NSB studios.
    • The poster also features MWC co-creator Ron Leavitt as The Homeless Detective, who also plays Jack Dallas in this episode.
  • David Sederholm, who played Bruce Van Pelt, would later appear on the show again in season 10's "Love Conquers Al" as Philip.
  • Frank Lloyd, who usually plays Al's friend, Norris plays Leonard Van Pelt in this episode.
  • Ed O'Neill had previously played a detective during the 1980s in films such as Cruising, Farrel for the People and Popeye Doyle. He would also play a detective after MWC had ended, in shows and films such L.A. Dragnet and The Bone Collector.
  • This is the second episode in the year 1991 where Al has a second side job ( even though it was a dream). The first one was "All Night Security Dude", which kind of bookends with this episode. ''All Night Security Dude" was shown February 24th 1991, while this episode " Al Bundy, Shoe Dick" was shown November 24th 1991.
  • The second episode in 1991 where Al is shown out at night in the city looking for a bathroom. The first one was " A Man's Castle" from the previous season.

Cultural Reference[]

  • Peggy says that she had a dream that Lee Iacocca came into Gary's Shoes & Accessories for Today's Woman to offer Al a job, but he declined. Lee Iacocca, at the time, was the CEO of Chrysler Corporation, the maker of Dodge cars and responsible for reviving the brand during the 1980s.
  • When Jack Dallas' door opens, you can see the office across from the detective agency is the Acme Rocket Company, a reference to Acme Corporation, a fictional store in the Road Runner cartoons that sells outlandish products that end up backfiring on Wile E Coyote.
  • When Peg is talking to Al about getting another job, he grabs a book from the nightstand titled Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying, which is an actual book published in 1991.
    • Another man is seen reading the book in season 10's "The Weaker Sex".
  • The family's surname may be a reference to the Peanuts comic strip characters Lucy and Linus Van Pelt.
  • During Al's monologue as Vanessa talks to him, he mentions the Matterhorn ride at Disneyland.
  • While observing the family, Al says that the uncle "was as tight as the skin on Joan Rivers face". Joan Rivers was a comedian, actress and host, who was known for her self-deprecating humor and constantly getting plastic surgery.
  • Al refers to the uncle as "Colonel Van Sanders" mixing his name up with Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of the fast food chain, KFC.



  • Al & Peggy's Bedroom
  • Jack Dallas's office
  • Van Pelt Dining Room
  • Van Pelt Living Room
  • Bundy Living Room / Kitchen
  • Downtown Chicago skyline


  • When Al drops Vanessa Van Pelt's dress shoe into a fish tank to show how it would fall apart when wet, the shoe sinks to the bottom of the tank. In the next shot, a close up of Al (wearing a suit jacket) reaches into the tank to retrieve the shoe, but when he pulls it out, neither his hand nor jacket are wet.
  • When Al turns off the lights to see if Tonya Van Pelt is the culprit, you can see her arms move up to her chest before she starts to scream, as she is sitting next to the fireplace and not fully hidden in the dark like the other actors.
  • It is not clear how the curator would be able to walk right in during the arrest, have already known Al's name or given him a personalized check on the spot, when the Pharaoh's Eye would likely be taken in as evidence.

External Links[]

◄ Season 5 Season 6 Episodes Season 7 ►
She's Having My Baby (Part 1)She's Having My Baby (Part 2)If Al Had a Hammer
Cheese, Cues and BloodLooking for a Desk in All the Wrong PlacesBuck Has a Belly Ache
If I Could See Me NowGod's ShoesKelly Does Hollywood (Part 1)Kelly Does Hollywood (Part 2)
Al Bundy, Shoe DickSo This is How Sinatra FeltI Who Have NothingThe Mystery of Skull Island
Just Shoe ItRites of PassageThe Egg and IMy Dinner with AnthraxPsychic AvengersHi I.Q.
Teacher PetsThe Goodbye GirlThe Gas Station ShowEngland Show (Part 1)
England Show (Part 2)England Show (Part 3)