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Turning Japanese is the 20th episode of season 10 of Married... with Children and the 229th overall series episode. Directed by Sam W. Orender and written by Fran E. Kaufer, it premiered on FOX-TV on March 17, 1996.


Marcy gets a chance to get promoted, but she has to impress her Japanese boss (Pat Morita). He sets his eyes on Al's Dodge. Marcy tries to convince Al to sell his Dodge by offering a lot of money & taking him to the nudie bar, where she meets her boss too.

Plot Summary[]

Marcy is up for a promotion that will send her to Japan once a month, but to get promoted she needs to impress her Japanese boss, Mr. Shimokawa, who's both the owner and president of Kyoto National Bank, the largest bank in Japan, by serving him dinner. Of course, she needs to bribe the real Bundys to stay out of sight for the duration of the visit, bribing them with money to pay for all-you-can eat clam buffet at the Hobo Motor Lounge. Midway through a dinner involving invoking Japanese culture and karaoke that bores Mr. Shimokawa, Al's Dodge 1971 is heard entering the driveway - a car missing from Shimokawa American junk collection, due to the Lounge kicking the Bundys out.

To ensure her promotion, Marcy needs to secure the car for Mr. Shimokawa to buy from Al. Marcy, desperate to secure the sale of Al's Dodge to her boss, pulls out all the the stops to do so even, of all things, in compromising her principles -- appearing at one of the places she most despises, she being a staunch feminist, and the head of FANG -- The Jiggly Room -- Al and Jefferson's favorite hangout spot -- trying to get Al to agree to a sale price, which eventually goes up to $50,000! Al agrees to sell, but only on one condition, echoing what Mr. Shimokawa said in seeking to buy the Dodge, "Every man has his price!", as he says the ssme about Marcy "every woman has her's!", as she agrees to appear on stage, readying to dance for Shimokawa!

When Shimokawa says that Marcy has the job, though not for her negotiation skills, but, "for the way she shakes it", it irritates Marcy to the point where she angrily responds "consider this my resignation!" as she punches him out into the rows, causing a big bar fight! Shimokawa is arrested for inciting a riot, as the Bundys enjoy their clams from the buffet. However, it is revealed that a rare form of botchalism had been found in clams used at the Motor Lounge - which just happen to have been stolen by the Bundys. They disregard the info and eat the clams anyway.

Recurring Cast/Regulars[]

Guest Stars[]




Cultural References[]

  • At the beginning of the episode, the Bundys are watching the ABC sitcom, Family Matters, with everyone (except for Bud) mentioning Urkel and his fashion sense, as well as "his fat cop neighbor". This is in reference to the show's breakout character Steve Urkel and his neighbor, Carl Winslow who was a Chicago police officer that loved junk food.
    • Pat Morita appeared on Family Matters, as Mr. Tanaka.
  • When Al mentions that he wants Marcy to pay for him and the kids to stay a Howard Bowman's Motor lodge, or "HoBos", it maybe a reference to the Howard Johnson's chain of hotels, motels and motor lodges, sometimes referred to as "HoJos".
    • The shortened name "HoBos" as well as Kelly mentioning that every bed is shaped like a boxcar, is a reference to the term, "Hobo", which usually denotes a homeless person who rides aboard freight trains in order to find steady work in a new place.
    • Al previously mentioned Howard Johnsons in the season 2 episode "Poppy's by the Tree (Part 1)", stating that during their road trip to Dumpwater, they would stop at a Howard Johnsons for Pez.
  • After eating sushi with the D'Arcys and viewing it as patronizing, Mr. Shimokawa mentions the character Gilligan from the 1960s television series, Gilligan's Island.
  • Jefferson tells Mr. Shimokawa that he loved the 1993 film, The Joy Luck Club believing that it is part of Japanese culture. Mr. Shimokawa then points out that the characters are Chinese.
  • After mentioning The Joy Luck Club, Jefferson says that he also liked the Kama Sutra, before Mr. Shimokawa points out that the book is from India.
  • After Jefferson mistakes the Kama Sutra for being Japanese, Mr. Shimokawa thinks to himself that "In my country, this man would be filling water glasses at Denny's!", referring to the family restaurant chain that also has multiple locations in Japan.
  • When the doorbell rings, Mr. Shimokawa mentions the pizza restaurant chain, Domino's Pizza.
  • The first song that Marcy and Jefferson sing is Fame by Irene Cara for the 1980 film, Fame and the subsequent television series of the same name that ran from 1982 to 1987
  • The last song Jefferson sings to Mr. Shimokawa and Marcy is "I Think I Love You" by the Partridge Family for the TV series of the same name.
    • Two of the cast members from the Partridge Family,  Danny Bonaduce and Dave Madden previously appeared on MWC in the season 8 episode "How Green Was My Apple".
  • Marcy tells the Bundys that everything was going fine until they "Mothra'd" on home", referring to the kaiju (strange beast) from Japanese tokusatsu films.
  • Al mentions finding chunks of "Reggie!" bars on his 30 year old toothbrush.
    • "Reggie!" bars are a repackaged version of Bun Bars, specifically its caramel flavor. It was named after MLB player Reggie Jackson. They were first introduced in the last 1970s and received an update in the early 1990s, offering a peanut butter flavor with an Upper Deck branded baseball card.[1]


  • The first song that Marcy and Jefferson sing for karaoke is "Fame" by Irene Cera
  • The song Jefferson sings when Marcy goes to speak to Al about the Dodge is "I'm So Excited" by the Pointer Sisters. It is heard again as Mr. Shimokawa sings it as he runs up to see Marcy onstage.
  • The second song Jefferson sings to Mr. Shimokawa is "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" by Culture Club.
  • The last song Jefferson sings to Mr. Shimokawa and Marcy is "I Think I Love You" by the Partridge Family for the TV series of the same name.



  • Bundy Living Room / Kitchen
  • D'Arcy Living Room
  • The Jiggly Room Bar Area / Stage


  • Mr. Shimokawa is not told that Al is a shoe salesman, as Marcy hired a Japanese man to play Al and said that he sold Acura cars. Then, when Mr. Shimokawa hears the Dodge, Marcy never stated who owned the car or who the real Al Bundy is. However, late in the show he refers to Al being a shoe salesman.
    • It is possible that the "American Junk" that Al owns has Mr. Shimokawa reasoning that he is a shoe salesman because he can't afford anything else. It is also possible that someone could've told him who actually owned the car off-camera.
  • When Bambi gets off of Bud's lap, he moves his arm and snaps his fingers in disappointment. When the camera shifts to Al and Marcy, Bud's arm can be seen at the edge of the screen, making the same motion again before reaching over for his plate.
  • As Al escorts Marcy to the front door as he tells her that his Dodge "was born a Bundy, by God, it will die a Bundy!", a red light from what appears to be either a exit door sign or recording in progress sign can be seen reflecting off of the glass on the Bundy's front door.


◄ 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