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Business Sucks (Part 1) was the 188th overall series episode of Married... with Children also the 5th episode of Season 9 of the series. Directed by Gerry Cohen and written by Larry Jacobson, the episode originally aired on FOX-TV on September 25, 1994.


Part one of two. NO MA'AM counter-protests against Marcy and company when Al banishes a customer for nursing her baby. Peg gets stuck on a train during her journey home and finally comes home to find Al on news. Kelly becomes the wink-wink girl in a new commercial.


In this first part of two-episode story, it starts off as another boring day at the shoe store, when suddenly Al sees an act that greatly displeases him: a woman publicly breast-feeding her baby in the store. Al will not stand for this, and kicks the woman and her baby out of the store. However, she is only gone for a small amount of time.  The woman returns to the shoe store, accompanied by none other than Al's next-door-McNugget, Marcy D'Arcy. Marcy confronts Al on his sexist attitude toward women and their duties as mothers. (Marcy: Breast-feeding is a natural, biological function!  Al: So is peeing, but you don't see me doing that in public!).  Al continues to stand his ground,  which leads to a heated battle between breasts and beer-bellies!

Recurring Cast/Regulars[]

Guest starring[]



  • The title of the episode is a reference to the expression "" which is used to indicate that someone or something is not doing well at a particular activity, as well as a play on suckling, which is what a baby does when it is being breastfed.


  • Jean Speegle Howard, who played Sylvia, the woman who sells Peggy a piece of pie, was previously on MWC as the woman in front of Al at the store in "Assault and Batteries".
  • This episode marks the debut of news reporter, Miranda Veracruz de la Jolla Cardinal. She would appear in several episodes in the last few seasons of the show, reporting on events involving Al and/or NO MA'AM.

Cultural References[]

  • The train that Peggy rides on, Amtrain, is a parody of Amtrak, a passenger railroad service that provides medium and long-distance intercity service within the United States and parts of Canada.
    • The Amtrain motto, "I think I can, I think I can..." is from the children's book The Little Engine that Could.
    • The multiple train derailments is likely a refence to Amtrak's noted record for accidents.
  • After Bud and Kelly inform Al about Peggy now arriving at 1am, he asks them "Ok, Eric and Lyle, what else do you have to put me out of my misery?".
    • This is in reference to Lyle and Erik Menendez, two brothers who were accused and eventually convicted of brutally murdering their parents in 1989.
    • The brothers were previously referenced in "The D'Arcy Files".
  • When Kelly mentions to Al that she has a new acting job for Khalil's False Eye Emporium, she says that the commercial she'll be in is for the "Peter Falk Birthday Sale".
    • Peter Falk was an American actor who was best known for his role as Lt. Frank Columbo on the television series Columbo, which he starred in from 1968 until 2003.
    • Falk had his right eye removed as a child due to disease and used a prosthetic eye for most of his life, giving him a distinct squinty look.
  • After Al gives Marcy one more chance to leave, she tells him "No, Old Smeller". This is in reference to the Disney film Old Yeller.
  • While sleeping on the couch, Bud is heard saying "Oh La Toya, did you foresee our love in advance?!". After Kelly wakes him up and he asks if it was the Judds, she tells him it was the Jacksons and makes him believe that he was actually dreaming of Tito.
    • The Judds were a mother-daughter country music duo, consisting of Wynonna and Naomi Judd. They would be parodied in the season 11 episode "The Juggs Have Left the Building" when Peggy and Kelly become a mother-daughter duo known as "The Juggs" and sing the Judds' song "Rockin' With The Rhythm Of The Rain".
    • La Toya Jackson is a singer and television personality. At the time this episode originally aired, she was known for her multiple appearances in Playboy magazine, and serving as a spokesperson for the Psychic Friends Network. By the mid 1990s, her career had dwindled and she was often designated as the "Black Sheep" of the Jackson family.
    • Tito Jackson is a musician and original member of The Jackson 5. Like his sister, La Toya, his name was commonly associated as a joke for being someone who was unwanted or the least successful at something, especially when compared to their brother Michael Jackson and other siblings.
  • While covering the protest at Gary's Shoes, Miranda says that if anyone is watching the continuing coverage at that time, "You're either watching 'Gilligan's Island' or you're on it", referring to the 1960s sitcom.
  • After Al finds Jefferson dressed as a woman in Marcy's group and sends him out on a mission, he tells the rest of the group "Let's see if we have anymore Mrs. Doubtfires here!".
    • This in reference to the 1993 comedy film, Mrs. Doubtfire which starred Robin Williams as a recently divorced father with limited visitation rights. He attempts to be closer to his kids by donning prosthetics and imitating a British accent to become the family's new nanny, Euphegenia Doubtfire.
  • The entire plot of this episode and "Business Still Sucks" (Part 2) is most likely based on a short scene during the Seinfeld season 5 episode "The Stand-In." That scene featured Jerry showing disgust at a woman breastfeeding her baby in public.
    • Naturally, MWC took the issue much further with the battle between Marcy and her feminist group and NO' MA'AM after Al kicked out a mother and her breastfeeding baby.


  • Marcy and her feminist group sing the protest song, "We Shall Not Be Moved".
  • "Maniac" by Michael Sembello is played twice during NO MA'AM's counterprotest.



  • Gary's Shoes Seating Area / Cash Register
  • Amtrain Railcar Seats
  • Bundy Living Room / Kitchen


  • When the train is derailed a second time, just before the lights go out, you can see Katey Sagal deliberately move her face into the pie.
  • When Dot tells Al "And you're a comet!" after he pulled on her hair, you can see Ed O'Neill partially squat and lean back even before her punch comes anywhere near him.
◄ Season 8 Season 9 Episodes Season 10 ►
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Business Sucks (Part 1)Business Still Sucks (Part 2)Dial B for VirginSleepless in Chicago
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Ship Happens (Part 2)Something Larry This Way ComesAnd Bingo Was Her Game-OUser Friendly
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