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Scared Single is the 8th episode of season 8 of Married... with Children, also the 165th overall series episode. Directed by Sam W. Orender and written by Katherine Green, it premiered on FOX-TV on November 7, 1993.

Plot[]

Bud and Peggy are watching a commercial featuring Kelly in her Verminator costume. The commercial is hosted by Billy Ray Wetnap from Pest Boys Exterminators, where the motto is "There's no bug that we can't plug". He tries to show the viewer just how true their motto is by putting the Verminator in an enclosed sound proof glass case with 10,000 Peruvian Stinging Beetles. As Kelly tries to plead not to be thrown in there, Billy Ray informs the viewers that she will be armed with a poison spray gun and  their newest poison "R-U DEAD 42", but to her surprise, the gun doesn't work.  As he continues on, she starts pounding the glass and holds up a sign in red ink (or blood) reading "GUN NO WORK--DYING--CALL 411" . He still continues talking while Kelly frantically tries to get her gun to work, only for it to backfire, spraying a large amount directly in her face, causing her to pass out on the floor. Billy Ray finally notices Kelly passed out, but tells the viewers that unlike her, they won't end up like that if they call the company at 1-800-LEGS-UP where their (2nd) motto is "If you wish it, we will squish it". The commercial ends with a close up of Kelly passed out on the floor twitching and covered by dozens of the stinging beetles all over her body.

After the commercial ends, Bud pulls out a reference book, informing Peg that the sting from a Peruvian Stinging Beetle can cause temporary insanity. We then see Kelly is now in the room, covered in dozens of large bumps, with a bizarre look and screaming out random nonsensical phrases. Al comes home from work to tell the family that he has some good news, but is forced by Peggy to acknowledge Kelly, even though he doesn't want to and points out that she's insane, and then joking that its cute that he "used to call her pumpkin, and now she is one" when she doesn't respond to him. After that, he tells the family that the shoe store will now be selling handbags and will be in charge of hiring a new assistant, but insist he will be cautious, selective and "must not hire the first boob who walks in the door'.

At the shoe store, an extreme close up of the chest of a woman in a purple dress is shown, follwed by Al saying "You're hired". As the camera pans out, we see a ditzy blonde lady who then asks Al if she should fill out an application first. He gives her the application

Al pointing out to Marcy what a real woman looks like

and tells her to take a seat, by grabbing a balding, fat man who was already filling out an application by the neck and throwing him to the floor to let her have the seat. He turns to Al and threatens that he will call his lawyer for what Al just did and Al tells him he isn't afraid of threats because he's married. As the girl looks for a nude picture of herself in her purse, Marcy and Jefferson walk in, mocking Al and his usually empty business. Al brings Marcy over to where the new applicant is at to remind her what a real woman looks like before they both laugh at Marcy. Marcy then reveals her real purpose for visiting the store, and then Jefferson tries to force himself  to tell Al that he would like to apply for the job and then tries to tell Marcy that he doesn't want to work because he doesn't know anything about selling shoes, before smoothly convincing a large lady in the store to buy 12 pairs of the same shoe. Al then turns to Marcy and tells her that he is hiring Heidi (the ditzy blonde), who he feels is more qualified. Marcy, now enraged, tells Al that he is sexist and will definitely bring her feminist group down to the store, pointing out that Jefferson is more qualified while Heidi is nothing more than "a salute to silicone". As she turns around to Jefferson, he is smiling and a caressing the leg of a beautiful brunette while telling her that besides working at the shoe store, he also directs movies for HBO. Seeing this, Marcy walks over to karate chop the lady's knee, causing her to involuntarily kick Jefferson in the stomach. As Marcy tells him that they're leaving and walks out the store, he quickly turns around and tells the brunette that she is actually his mom. As Heidi continues to fill out the application, a young man in a letterman's jack comes in and ask if he could apply for the job, but is immediately shooed away by Al. As he turns to walk out the door, Al looks up and notices the young man is wearing a Polk High jacket and starts to singing the Polk High Anthem and is shortly joined in unison by the young man. The young man then tells Al that he is Aaron Mitchell and he is from the

Al and Aaron singing the Polk High Anthem

class of 1993. When Al reveals that he is the All-State champion Al Bundy, Arron is surprised, stating that he though that he died in Vietnam, which Al reveals it was actually just a rumor he started, saying that he "actually died here at home, victim of Agent Red". Arron reveals how much of a hero Al is to him, for both the famous "Four touchdowns in a single game" story as well as drilling holes into the girls locker room. He also tells Al that he was just lucky enough to be All-City and get a scholarship to college, who then tells Arron that he also got a scholarship, but was tackled and broke his leg. While he is disappoint that the job is filled out, he tells Al that he is happy he got to meet the legend and then tells him to go long and throws a shoe in a football like manner.  After some laughter, Al decides to change his decision and hire Arron instead. As he runs out to get his football for Al to sign, Heidi overhears the conversation and is confused about what to do now, so Al tells her to just keep writing.

Peggy and Kelly, who is on a retractable dog leash, walk in to the shoe store and inform Al that Kelly is doing much better now, as she drops to the floor and nibbles on something while playing with with the foot measuring tool. Al then tells them about Arron, saying that he's the son that he's always wanted. When Peg notices Heidi still filing out the application, he tells her that she the wife that he's always wanted. After they leave Arron comes back with his football and pen. Al tells him that he understands that college is expensive and that's the reason that he is taking the job, but Arron quickly informs that his college tuition is already paid for and the job is actually to help him get an engagement ring for his girlfriend, which shocks Al and causes him to puncture the football with the pen.

Surprised at Al's reaction, Arron then asks him why he feels it would be a bad idea to get married. Al gives him this advice: "Bed 'em, don't wed 'em; Do 'em, don't woo 'em; Date 'em, don't mate 'em". He then tells him that all women start out the same, such as letting her man watcing

Al showing Aaron the mall lounge or "The Valley of the Shadow of Death"

baseball or picking out the movie they're going to watch before they get married, but Aaron still believes that his girlfriend is different and won't change like Al is saying. Seeing that Arron isn't fully getting the message, Al decides to take him to the mall lounge or "The Valley of the Shadow of Death". The mall lounge consist of middle aged married men, with the 1000 yard stare and looking utterly depressed while holding their wives' shopping bag, purses ("The lowest of the lows" as Al described them) and/or watching the baby stroller. Al informs Arron that these men are "The lost souls... The meek. The miserable. The married" and then points to a spot on the bench that will eventually be for him if he continues to follow through with the engagement. Still not convinced, Arron tries to jump in and convince the guys that there is nothing more beautiful than when two people who love each other and sharing good and bad times together. Al and the group then respond back with the Marrying Man's Fight Song. After that, Al wishes him good luck and leaves him to think about what to do.


The next day, Al arrives at the store and is shocked when he turns on the lights to see Heidi still sitting in the same seat. Shortly after, Arron's fiancee, Angie comes in to bring him his lunch, which Al decides to eat in front of her. He then decides to prod her with questions only to find she really isn't like Peggy or other women (in that she doesn't like spending money and loves to cook and watch sports and actually has a job). Shocked at his new found revelation, he comes home and tries to tell Peggy about this and his plans to live vicariously through Arron, but she was too busy to pay attention to him. Kelly comes down to answer the door and Al is surprised and happy to see that she is doing all better now. When she opens the door, Arron is there looking for Al and when he asks her who she might be, she says she is Tumbe

Al mortified at what has Aaron has now done

lina and stats cartwheeling across the room and then ducks under the table nervously twitching and saying "Book 'em Dan-o". When he speaks to Al, he thanks him for what he did earlier and it made him realize that he shouldn't have jumped into marriage. He then reveals that he broke up with Angie and got back with the girl he dated throughout high school, who's name is Meg. As he brings her in the room, Al becomes mortified as he sees that she is a younger version of Peggy. Meg then notices Oprah is on and joins Peggy on the couch for bonbons as Al can't believe what has just happened.

Recurring Cast/Regulars[]

Guest stars[]

Notes[]

Title[]

  • The title of this episode is a reference to a line Al said in season 6's "Rites of Passage", when he mentioned a "Scared Straight" group was sent to his work, before wishing that they had made a "Scared Single" when he was younger, so men could avoid marriage.
    • It is also a reference to the 1973 documentary, "Scared Straight". which focused on a youth program sent to a prison, with the prisoners there using tough love and intimidation to help the troubled juveniles from ending up prison.

Trivia[]

  • This episode marks the first appearance of Aaron and the only appearance / reference of his girlfriends Angie and Meg during his brief appearances in this season.
  • The "Home Made Pizza" sign seen in the mall, was previous seen in season 5's "Look Who's Barking", in the alley where Buck (and later, Al) goes to look for food.
  • Jefferson is shown trying to apply for a job at Gary's Shoes & Accessories for Today's Woman. It was never stated when he lost his previous job as a server / topless bartender at the Manhole Bar. He previously got that job in season 7's "Al on the Rocks".
  • Aaron points out that Al was All State. He also mentions that he holds Al in high regards for his four touchdowns in a single game as well as drilling holes in the locker room that lead into the girl's shower area.
  • Al reveals that he had a scholarship to college, but lost it after a tackle broke his leg and Peggy's water broke, implying that she was pregnant with Kelly while still in high school.
  • At the mall lounge, several men can be seen holding a bag from The Sharper Infant.
  • Rose Jackson, the actress who plays Angie, is the real life wife of MWC co-creator, Michael G. Moye.
  • Mary-Pat Green, who plays Marge, the woman who tells Al "I need shoes!" would later reappear on MWC several more times during seasons 9 and 10, typically delivering the same or very similar line to Al or Griff as a running joke. The one exception is "Kelly Knows Something" in which she plays Max, one of the competitors that Al has to deal with and had several line in that episode.

Cultural References[]

  • In the mall lounge, a poster for the movie Rudy can be clearly seen in the background.
    • Rudy is a film about a young man trying to play college football at Notre Dame, despite having many obstacles in his way. It was released by TriStar Pictures, which is a subsidiary of Columbia Pictures, the company that produced Married...With Children.
  • After Al greets Kelly when he comes back home from work, she makes a reference to the character Br'er Bear.
  • Kelly's line, "Book 'em Dan-o" is a line made famous by Detective Steve McGarret in the 1960's TV series Hawaii Five-O.
  • At the shoe store, Kelly says "Alice, you're the greatest", which is a reference to the 1950's sitcom The Honeymooners.
  • Kelly's company, Pest Boys Exterminators and Billy Ray Wetnap's line "Call Manny, Me or Ma at Pest Boys Exterminators" may be references to the automotive retail store Pep Boys and its mascots, Manny, Moe and Jack.
    • The insecticide that Pest Boys is advertising "RU Dead 42" is a parody on the abortion pill "RU 486", also known as Mifepristone.
  • Al's line about being the victim of Agent Red while serving in Vietnam is a reference to Agent Orange, a chemical mixture used during the Vietnam War as a way to destroy agriculture and reduce the number of hiding spots for Vietnamese guerillas, but ended up leaving many people dead or suffering from permanent side effects due to the exposure.
  • As Al questions Angie about food, she mentions that her guilty pleasure is the Roy Rogers salad bar and feels guilty about spending $1.99 on herself. This in reference to Roy Rogers Restaurants a chain of fast food restaurants named after the singer / actor.
  • After Kelly comes into the shoe store with Peggy and starts playing around with the measurement tools, he asks Peggy "Why can't we just put her in David Letterman's house and get it over with?".
    • David Letterman is a comedian and talk show host, who at the time this episode originally aired, was the host of The Late Show with David Letterman on CBS. That show has premiered 3 months prior to this episode.
    • The line about leaving Kelly at Letterman's house is likely a reference to Margaret Mary Ray, a woman who suffered from schizophrenia and gained national media attention from stalking Letterman as well as NASA astronaut Story Musgraves beginning in 1988. She was caught breaking into Letterman's residence multiple times, often claiming to be his wife and even stole his car at one point. Despite this, he never pressed charges against her and would joke about it on his show. She later served 34 months in prison and was sent to a psychiatric hospital before taking her own life in 1998.

Music[]

  • Aaron and Al sing the Polk High Anthem after Al notices that Aaron is a fellow Polk High Panther.
  • Al and a group of men sing the Marrying Man's Fight Song after he leads Aaron to the mall lounge and shows him what marriage does to men.

Locations[]

Sets[]

  • Bundy Living Room / Kitchen
  • Gary's Shoes & Accessories Entrance / Seating Area
  • New Market Mall Lounge

Goofs[]

  • In the opening scene, Kelly is locked inside a glass cage filled with bugs while filming a pesticide commercial. Once inside, she makes a sign saying the sprayer doesn't work. However, when she holds the sign up against the glass it becomes apparent that some of the bugs were actually placed on the outside of the glass, not the inside.
  • Jefferson is applying for a job at the shoe store and begins helping an attractive brunette. Marcy gets jealous and makes Jefferson leave. When the camera pans back in the next scene as Aaron arrives to apply, the brunette has disappeared.
  • When Al begins talking to Angie as he eats Aaron's lunch, Marge can be seen coming into the store. As she enters, she leaves the door wide open and it stays that way for awhile. Then, when Angie says that she has a cooking class, Al gets up and the door is somehow shut. Afterward, after Al suggest that Angie marry him and she calls him "cute", the door is wide open again and she shuts it on her way out.
◄ Season 7 Season 8 Episodes Season 9 ►
A Tisket, a Tasket, Can Peg Make a Basket?Hood 'n the BoyzProud to Be Your Bud
Luck of the BundysBanking on MarcyNo Chicken, No CheckTake My Wife, PleaseScared Single
NO MA'AMDances with WeezieChange for a BuckA Little Off the TopThe Worst Noel
Sofa So GoodHoney, I Blew Up MyselfHow Green Was My AppleValentine's Day Massacre
Get Outta DodgeField of ScreamsThe D'Arcy FilesNooner or LaterRide Scare
The Legend of Ironhead HaynesAssault and BatteriesAl Goes DeepKelly Knows Something
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