Hot Off The Grill is the 1st episode of the 4th season of Married... with Children, also the 58th overall series episode. The episode originally aired on FOX on September 3, 1989. Directed by Gerry Cohen, the episode was written by series creators Michael G. Moye and Ron Leavitt with Gabrielle Topping.


Al has a Labor Day barbecue, where he becomes aroused by the sight of Peg actually doing housework, and Steve and Marcy bring along the ashes of Marcy's aunt, whom Steve hated!


Peggy, Bud and Kelly are sitting on the couch, while Buck is laying on the floor. The trio are watching the local news which is mocking those who aren't able to get outside and enjoy the Labor Day weather, before Peg turns it off in frustration. Kelly, who also frustrated asks them if this is how her Labor Day weekend is going to be, which Bud responds by telling her that they can turn it into a regular day for her by having her jump on the table and dance for money, before getting a slap on the forehead. Peg tries to defuse the situation by telling Bud that "not everything Reverend Felcher says from the pulpit is true" about Kelly.

Al walks in from work, referring to them as "vultures" and tells them that meal ticket is home, which causes them to ignore him while Buck runs upstairs. He walks over and takes a seat between Kelly and Peg, putting his arms around them, revealing huge underarm sweat stains. He then tells them that he has an idea: instead of going to the beach like other families during this holiday, the Bundys are going to have a family barbecue in the backyard, much to Kelly's disappointment. He tries to get a "Whoa Bundy" in support of his plan, but is ignored and the rest of the Bundys go to the kitchen, while Peg explains to him why the family hates spending Labor Day doing a Bundy barbecue.  He then tells her that its Labor Day, "not Leech Day - that's Christmas. It's not Parasite Day - that's Mother's Day" and Labor Day is to celebrate the working man who has support the leeches in his life, so when he gets up the next day, it will be for him to celebrate for him, calling it "Al Bun-Day"

He then tells Bud and Kelly that their job is to get him the necessary ingredients for tomorrow, but Bud asks why doesn't he just get it now, since the stores are still open. Al tells him that if had been paying attention all these years, he would "know that Al Bundy doesn't barbecue with day old fixin's" and tells them to get fresh meat, fresh
cheese and fresh charcoal but to watch out for chips that say "natural ingredients".

As Bud and Kelly go up to their rooms, Al tells Peg that he didn't forget her and that her job for this event is to bring up the benches from the basement and scrape off the bird poop. She then tells Al that in exchange for doing this, he has to have sex with her, which he tries to tell her that he doesn't want to and to just let him rest, but she says the way they have sex, its pretty much just like resting. The doorbell rings and Peggy answers it, to see Marcy, holding an urn and Steve. They come in and she tells Peg that Steve is uncaring, informing her that her beloved aunt Tuney passed away recently, before Steve jumps in and tells them she used to pay for sailors, and then Marcy defends her aunt by pointing out that sailors don't come for free and that she was 67 years old. Marcy continues on that she given the honor of caring for her ashes while Steve notes that her $100,000 fortune was given to her cats, before call Marcy insane and asking if she must carry her aunt's urn everywhere. Noticing their argument, he decides to do something different this year and invite the Rhoades over for the Bundy Barbecue and partaking in having a Bundy Burger, which they gladly accept. He then tells them there's nothing like spending Labor Day with family, good food and good friends, before breaking down into tears and realizing that this is just a charade as Peggy tries to comfort him.

The next day, Al is laying around on a lounging chair with a beer in hand and Buck next to him, singing along with the radio playing "Who'll Stop The Rain". Suddenly, he hears Peg calling out to him, asking if he can help her drag the heavy bench up. He gets and turns the radio off, but then goes back to his chair and as she sarcastically thanks him, he tells that he needs to save up his energy if she still wants sex later tonight. Surprisingly, Peg is now disgusted at the notion that he would even want sex that night, as she is tired, sore, her head hurts and is feeling queasy, saying that it feels like they just had sex. She continues to scrub the bench and complain about doing the work and her aching body, while Al, smiling and leering at Peg's gyrating behind. As she continues, Al walks up to her and grabs her arms from behind and she turns around to see what Al wants, noticing his devilish grin and tries to resist him as he takes her onto the table to have sex.

Later on, Al, with a grin of satisfaction, is laying back on the lounging chair, while Peg is now scrubbing the table and telling him how much she really hates him for this and that a real gentleman would have said: "Thanks for the good time, babe. Let me clean that bird doody while you rest." While she's still scrubbing and complaining about how much her arms hurt, Al continues to leer at her and tells her to scrub harder. Complaining that its not coming off, she asks for help and tells him to not just sit there. Suddenly he is behind her again, tapping her shoulder and realizing the fatal mistake she just made, she turns around and sees him with the same devilish grin and holding his fingers up, indicating that this is going to be round 2 for sex. Now putting his arms around her waist, he starts to drag her away, as she tries to desperately cling to the table and screams "Oh God, No! Oh, no! I'm so tired! Nooooo!"

A now exhausted and disheveled Peg, laying on the table, hoarsely begs for water, as a happy Al, singing "Who'll Stop The Rain" again with a beer in hand, comes by and notices her. Still begging for water, he tells that he's now going to be busy getting ready for the barbecue and to not touch his grill. She forces herself to sit up and sarcastically ask him if she should lick it clean so they can have sex yet again. He tells her that she doesn't need to, saying "Last year's grease on the grill, last year's ashes on the bottom. That's what makes a Bundy Burger special", before pointing out a spot she needs to clean and walks in back to the house.

She continues to scrub and cursing out loud how much she hates Labor Day and seeing buzzards circling overhead while she had sex. As she walks back to get some water from the hose, she accidentally knocks over the grill, spilling out the ashes. Afraid of what Al will do when he finds out, she tries to cover up what happened by first smoking 3 cigarettes at the same time to use the ashes from it. Bud and Kelly, back from the store, see Peggy with the cigarettes and note that she's turning into grandma Wanker. After she tells the kids what happened, there are surprised and think that she's going to be kicked out of the house, but she reassures them that Al doesn't know yet, so they need to help her out by breaking into the neighborhood houses and steal ashes from their grills, fireplaces and anywhere else it can be found in. As they run off to get the ashes, Peggy starts to scream out loud that she can't take it anymore, and suddenly, Al, still inside the house, tells her that he can and to "come to daddy", before hanging her head in shame, crying and slowly walking into the house in shame.

Bud and Kelly are back now, emptying a brown bag of ashes into the grill, while Peggy, barely able to walk, makes her way to the backyard and states how much she hates Labor Day now. Asking if they got the ashes, Kelly tells her it was easy and then hints that one of their neighbors, Mr. Collins is a cross dresser. Steven and Marcy come in through their backyard, sarcastically thanking them for inviting them and then making them pay for the ingredients, before telling them he still has a $5 bill if they need something else to burn. Marcy tells Steve that she want to check on her aunt again, but Steve flat out tells her that she needs to stop checking on her aunt, as she is gone and most likely "paying sailors in hell." She then tells him that aunt Tuney didn't like Steve at all, before coming back and pointing out that aunt Tuney "didn't like anything that didn't rub it's face back and forth across her pot belly."

Kelly starts to indicate that she's hungry and that Peg's underwear is laying underneath the table, before asking where Al is. Peg reassures her that he is getting ready. Al now in the Bundy kitchen opens up a brown briefcase, while Bad to the Bone plays, putting on an apron that reads "Kiss The Cook - Kill The Wife", a chef's hat, a utility belt with his grilling utensils and finally a mitt before saying, "Lets cook".

Al finally goes to the backyard and as Steve thinks they can finally eat, Peg points out that it won't happen just yet. Al then breaks out into a lecture about the history of Labor Day (as according to Al), indicating that from the cavemen to modern times, women have done nothing but sit around, smoke and watch TV while men have done everything else. Meanwhile, everyone else at the table is noticably bored and hungry and when Steve asks Al if its finally time to eat, he says not yet and makes Peg sing an off-tune version of the national anthem. Finally, its time to cook. Al tells them that it will take exactly 11 minutes and 7 seconds to cook, but then Steve comes up to Al with a foil packet, telling him that since he and Marcy rarely eat red meat, they would prefer it if Al could cook the salmon he brought for them. Al agrees to, but immediately chucks it over the fence when Steve turns to walk back to the bench, saying "No fish will ever touch my grill".

Peg is struggling to open a ketchup bottle and Al, seeing this, decides that since he has 3 more minutes before needing to flip the burgers over, its going to be Peg's lucky day, grabbing her arm and with a devilish grin, drags her back into the house for yet another round of sex while her pleas go unnoticed to him yet again.

Al, putting the final touches on the burgers finally brings them to the table and Steve, noticing his fish isn't there, ask him where its at, with Al saying that it fell on the floor and to just eat the burger. The Bundy kids indicate how amazing the burgers taste and as Al ask a disheveled Peg about how they came out, she breaks down, thinking that he wants sex yet again, but he tries to tell her that he was just asking for her opinion about the burger, so in frustration she tells him "You want me to say that it's tough and chewy so you can have your way with me again. Well, it's not. It's light and fluffy and melts in my mouth. Ha!" before walking proudly back to her seat. Al then turns to Steve and ask for his opinion about the burger, he tells him that he was hesitant, but is really enjoying the burger now and ask for his secret. Al tell him that sneaking out and going to the nudie bar twice a month helps him make it through life, but Steve corrects him, telling him that he meant the secret to his burger, which he reveals is never cleaning the grill, believing that "Ashes of the past for the burgers of the future" .

Al then notices a sad Marcy not eating and asks her whats wrong. Having overheard Al's comments about ashes, she tells him that its hard to enjoy the barbecue she's still thinking about her aunt Tuney who's urn was sitting up her mantle. Kelly, overhearing this, looks up with a shocked look on her face and confirms with Marcy about what was in the urn above the mantle. Hearing this and realizing that those ashes she stole earlier are of aunt Tuney, Kelly chugs a large bottle of water, before running over to the fence and spitting out the water. She then tries to talk to Bud, who shoos her away while enjoying the burger, but is finally able to whisper to him about it. He then starts to spit it out and wipe his tongue on his shirt, before whispering to Peg about what Kelly said. She starts to spit it out and then, giving an angry look to Kelly, gets up and starts to chase her around the yard. Bud then leans across the table to whisper to Steve about the ashes, who stops for a second in surprise, but then realizing what really just happened, suddenly puts on a huge grin of satisfaction and takes a big bite out of the burger.

While Peg continues chasing Kelly around, Al keeps encouraging Marcy to finally try the burger. Steve is about to tell her about the ashes, but is told to shut up, which he gladly accepts and walks away from the bench. Marcy, although still hesitant, finally takes a bite out of the burger and realizes that it is a pretty good burger, then apologizes for being such a downer, telling Al that her aunt meant so much to her. Al tells her that he understands, but "sometimes we've just gotta put the dead behind us" and she tells him that her aunt loved a good barbecue. Al then tells her that "If it's any comfort to you, Marce, I'm sure she's with us in spirit." before spitting out a piece of bone and saying that she would agree that they are some amazing burgers. As Al puts his arm around Marcy to comfort her and they happily take some more bites of their burgers, they are oblivious to an angry Peg now mounted on top of Kelly on the grass and violently choking her, and Steve and Bud emptying out the ashes from the grill.

Recurring cast/Guest starsEdit




  • The title of this episode is a reference to the saying that something "is hot off the grill", meaning that grilled meat or vegetables has been taken from a hot grill and placed onto a plate or warming tray for immediate consumption.


  • A new opening was created for this season which features:
    • Ed O'Neill - Al sitting on the couch in a blue dress shirt and brown pants, hands down his pants while looking grumpy
    • Katey Sagal - Peggy smoking a cigarette while tossing a salad in the kitchen. She is wearing the same blue blouse and black pants from the end of the season 3 finale "Here's Lookin' at You, Kid".
    • David Garrison - Steve stepping outside his front door to put his suit jacket on before a newspaper almost hits him.
    • Amanda Bearse - Similar to the previous version, but with Marcy wearing a pink suit jacket instead. Laughs while eating a salad at the Bundy residence before she stops and finds Peggy's cigarette in the food.
    • Christina Applegate - Kelly reclining on the couch while painting her nails
    • David Faustino - Bud talking on the phone before realizing he accidentally pulled out the receiver cord.
  • A new couch gag was also made, with everyone wearing new clothing, but performing the same exact movements from the previous season.
  • This is an almost unique episode, in that it is Al pursuing Peg for sex the whole time while Peg unsuccessfully tries to reject his advances, rather than the other way around.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Bud without his 1980's mullet haircut that he had in the previous season and instead, wears his hair in a slicked back style that would continue on for the next couple of seasons.
  • At the beginning of the episode, Bud is wear is the same blue Quiksilver t-shirt that he previously wore in the beginning of season 3's "Married... with Queen: The Sequel (Part 2)".
  • The blue shirt with pineapples that Al wears is the same one that Ed O'Neill wore on his last day on "The New Hollywood Squares".
  • The rose covered shirt and light blue pants that Peggy wears while cleaning outside is the same clothing she wears during the couch gag for this season's opening.
  • Al manages to have sex with Peggy a total of 4 times in the episode (on the bench, dragging her into the house, calling her to come inside after knocking over the ashes and then dragging her inside again when she couldn't open the ketchup bottle)
  • As hinted by Peggy, Kelly's promiscuity has spread far enough to where even their church knows about it.
  • When Steve mentions that Aunt Tuney "didn't like anything that didn't rub it's face back and forth across her pot belly.", it maybe a reference to a Navy initiation ritual known as "Kissing the Royal Belly", where a Naval officer is stripped down to a diaper and has their belly covered with grease and/or other food condiments. Then, newly enlisted sailors would have to kiss the belly while the officer grabs the sailor's head and rubs it back and forth to smear the condiments on his face. It was part of a larger initiation ritual called the "Line-Crossing Ceremony"  for new sailors who had not crossed the equator line. Steve mentions earlier that Aunt Tuney "used to pay for sailors." and later says that she's "paying sailors in hell".
  • Peggy tells Kelly and Bud to stop by the McGintys and get her a Dr. Pepper. Mrs. McGinty was previously seen in her only appearance in the season 3 season finale, "Here's Lookin' at You, Kid".
  • Kelly reveals that their neighbor, Mr. Collins is a cross dresser, as his closet is filled with women's clothing, despite being a bachelor.
  • This episode marks the first time that the song, "Bad to the Bone" is used as Al's anthem.


  • "Who'll Stop The Rain" by Creedence Clearwater Revival is played on the radio while Al lounges in the backyard. He then sings it out loud again after Peg is laying on the outdoor table asking for water.
    • Though the version heard in the episode is sung by Robert Jason.
    • Who'll Stop The Rain would be used as an episode title later in the season.
  • "Bad to the Bone" plays when Al prepares his equipment for the barbecue.
  • Peggy sings an off-key rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner".



  • Bundy Living Room / Kitchen
  • Bundy Backyard


  • In this episode, Al reveals that they have been married for 17 years at this point in time. This would contradict with the season one episode "Sixteen Years and What Do You Get", though this would actually be in line with season five episode "My Dinner with Anthrax" as that episode claimed they had been married for 20 years at that point in 1992.
  • On the DVD release, at the end of the credits, the Sony Pictures Television logo is displayed but the original Colombia Pictures Television theme played instead. This was likely an editing mistake on behalf of SPT.
  • Al throws away Steve's fish, saying no fish will ever touch his grill, but fish is "food", and this is the same guy who in upcoming seasons in seen cooking one piece of candy, and hunting for a piece of cereal and stealing people lunches at the mall because he was so hungry. Fishing is also one of Al's hobbies, as seen in multiple episodes. So why didn't Al at least keep the fish (after he lied) to eat for another day instead of throwing it out?

External LinksEdit

◄ Season 3 Season 4 Episodes Season 5 ►
Hot off the GrillDead Men Don't Do AerobicsBuck Saves the DayTooth or Consequences
He Ain't Much, But He's MineFair ExchangeDesperately Seeking Miss October976-SHOE
Oh, What a FeelingAt the ZooIt's a Bundyful Life (Part 1)It's a Bundyful Life (Part 2)
Who'll Stop the Rain?A Taxing ProblemRock and Roll GirlYou Gotta Know When to Hold 'Em (Part 1)
You Gotta Know When to Fold 'Em (Part 2)What Goes Around Came AroundPeggy Turns 300
Peggy Made a Little LambRain GirlThe Agony of De-FeetYard Sale
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