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Griff, a little depressed this holiday season

I Can't Believe It's Butter is the thirteenth episode of Season 10, and the 222th overall episode of Married... with Children.


During the Christmas season, Griff becomes quite fond of a phone sex partner named "Butter," whom Al discovers is really Peg's mother.


Al gives Griff 20 free minutes at a sex line, which he hopes will help soothe his lonely friend, especially given that Christmas is coming. Al's friends get addicted to calling a woman named Butter at a 1-900-YUMMY phone sex line, but Al finds out that the woman is Peg's mother. With the money she earns, she buys all a nice Christmas dinner. So Al decides to keep this a secret from NO MA'AM, but when Griff falls in love with her, Al makes a plan. He gets Bud and Kelly to get Peggy's mother to leave the room so Peggy and Al can use the phone. Peggy acts as Butter, and she tells Griff that while they may have had enjoyable experiences of phone sex, they can't spend the holidays together as she already "has someone". Griff comes out of it relatively fine, which pleases Al. Unfortunately, Peggy's mother notices the commotion of the NO MA'AM group and points out their secret names used by them on the hotline, as she reveals to them that she is Butter, which leaves the group aghast in horror, with Al giving her a dirty look as the episode ends.

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Danica Sheridan as Belinda
  • Venessia Valentino as Cindy
  • Dijon Williams as Bobby
  • Jennifer Martin as Butter




  • At the beginning of the episode, Al mentions that the family has a Christmas Club account hidden in one of his socks so he could save up money and buy the family presents. He previously had a Christmas Club account with Kyoto National Bank in the season 4 episode, "It's a Bundyful Life (Part 1)".
    • A "Christmas Club" is a real type of short-term savings account, in which someone puts aside money each week for Christmas spending and receive a check shortly before Christmas. It fell out of favor with customers over the years as it typically had an interest rate that was very low compared to a typical savings account and numerous restrictions made it difficult to maintain year after year.
  • The nicknames that the guys use when talking to Butter are:
    • Al - Double O Shoe
    • Griff - Shoehorn O' Plenty
    • Ike - Hot Pants
    • Officer Dan - Psycho Cop
    • Bob Rooney - Butcher Boy
    • Jefferson - Ken Doll

Cultural References[]

  • When Al tells Peggy to imagine that she is with someone else like they do with sex, she calls him "Fabio" and he calls her "Ginger...and Mary-Ann"
    • Fabio is an Italian born model and spokesperson who at the time of this episode originally aired, was known for being a spokesperson for I Can't Believe Its Not Butter and appearing on the cover of various romance novels. He was previously mentioned during the Five Demands in season 8's "NO MA'AM".
    • Ginger and Mary Ann are references to the females from the television series, Gilligan's Island. Tina Louise, who played Ginger, had previously guest starred on MWC as Miss Beck.
  • Marcy tells Jefferson that she got him a job playing a life size Ken doll in the Barbie Christmas window at Marshall Fields.
    • Marshall Field's was a department store founded in Chicago during the 19th century. It was in operation until being acquired by the retail chain, Macy's in 2006.
    • Ken is a toy doll that is the boyfriend of Barbie, which were previously mentioned in "Guys and Dolls" and "Sleepless in Chicago".
  • After Griff upsets the mother of the young child, Bobby, she tells her son that "...the real Santa is at Kmart!".
    • Kmart is a big box retailer that is headquartered just outside of Chicago, Illinois. At the time this episode aired, the retailer was a successful chain that had stores across the U.S. and several other countries. As of 2021, only a very small but unknown number of stores still operate within the U.S. while KMart Australia still has 200 stores in operation.
    • The chain was previously mentioned in "Reverend Al".
  • Al's nickname, "Double O Shoe" is a reference to the fictional secret agent, James Bond and his code name, "007" (Pronounced "Double-Oh-Seven")
    • Al had previously used this nickname as his code name while covertly talking with Jefferson and Bud in "Dud Bowl II".
  • Griff revealed that one of the things his ex-wife took in the divorce was his collection of films featuring Pam Grier, an actress who was best known for her roles in Blaxploitation and Women in Prison films during the 1970s.
  • After Peggy realizes that the family will have to live on Al's income again if Griff finds out about Butter's true identity, Kelly becomes upsets and says "I hate him! He's the Griff who stole Christmas!". This is in reference to the children's book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.


  • The traditionally Christmas song, "Deck The Halls" is heard thrice: first, when Ike hums the melody of it while at the shoe store, then an instrumental version is played when the Bundys are having a meal together on Christmas eve and finally the NO MA'AM members sing the opening line as they arrive at the Bundy residence near the end of the episode.



  • Bundy Living Room / Kitchen
  • Gary's Shoes Entrance / Cash Register


  • After talking to Al about taking Butter out and saying he trusts his judgment, Griff takes a glass that's supposed to have gravy in it - but you can clearly see that the glass is empty.
  • After Griff leaves the Bundy house, Al calls the sex line to talk to Butter, who is upstairs. The upstairs phone rings and has an older style "bell chime" ringtone. Later in the episode when Griff calls Butter from the Bundy living room, Peg is upstairs pretending to be Butter, but her ring tone is now electric.
  • When Griff rings the Bundy doorbell, Al quickly wraps up the entire family meal in the table cloth and puts it in the closet. When Al runs back to the table, there is a dinner roll near Bud. The roll stays on the table when Bud and Kelly get up and Al sits down. After Peg whispers something dirty into his ear, the roll completely disappears again.
  • After Al comes back to the table, Peg's bib can be seen falling from her lap. After Kelly puts down her dinner bib on the table and calls Griff "The Griff who Stole Christmas!", Bud tosses his down afterward near his spot on the table. When Al sits down and tells his plan to Peg, she now has a neatly placed flat bib in front of her. After she's talks dirty in Al's ear and the camera moves back, Bud's bib moves back to his spot, Kelly's is folded differently, and Peg's is now rolled up.
  • When Al and Griff are taking shots of gravy, there is a can that is at an angle and touching the edge of the "DREAM" magazine under the phone. When then camera widens as Al heads upstairs, the can is now straight and not touching the magazine.
◄ Season 9 Season 10 Episodes Season 11 ►
Guess Who's Coming to Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerA Shoe Room with a View
Requiem for a Dead BriardReverend AlHow Bleen Was My KellyThe Weaker Sex
Flight of the BumblebeeBlonde and BlonderThe Two That Got AwayDud Bowl IIBearly Men
Love Conquers AlI Can't Believe It's ButterThe Hood, the Bud and the Kelly (Part 1)
The Hood, the Bud and the Kelly (Part 2)Calendar GirlThe Agony and the Extra C
Spring Break (Part 1)Spring Break (Part 2)Turning JapaneseAl Goes to the DogsEnemies
Bud Hits the BooksKiss of the Coffee WomanTorch Song DuetThe Joke's on Al