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You Better Watch Out is the thirteenth episode of Season 2 of the FOX sitcom Married... with Children, as well as the 26th overall episode in the series. Written by Katherine Green and Richard Gurman, the episode was directed by Linda Day and premiered on FOX on December 20, 1987.


The Bundys' Christmas Eve is rudely interrupted when a parachuting mall Santa crash-lands into their backyard, attracting the neighborhood kids.


To be added.


Regular Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


  • Bud: Dad, can we go to that new Lakeside Mall? Kelly can shop, you can get bombed, and I can ride Santa's very special reindeer. [slyly grins]
  • Kelly: Dad, why don't we get Bud one of those scratching posts to rub against? You know, it'll save the furniture.
  • Bud: You really wanna save the furniture, Kel? Why don't you stop putting notches on your bed posts?
  • Al: Now Bud, apologize to your sister.
  • Bud: No!
  • Al: [shrugs] Okay.

  • [Al confronts Peg after she comes into the house with bags from the Lakeside Mall and sings their Christmas jingle]
  • Al: Peggy, I'm ashamed of you!
  • Peggy: I know, Al. [shoves him aside to walk towards the kitchen]
  • Al: [frustrated] Don't you understand?! If people keep shopping there, we'll be broke and living under the 'L'!
  • Peggy: Oh, not me. I can always remarry.
  • Bud: And we'll be in a foster home.
  • Kelly: Let's go shopping!
  • Al: Uh, family, before you go, would you bring ol' Dad his shotgun and stand close together?

  • Bud: Uh, Dad, I don't see any presents!
  • Kelly: He probably has them in the car, stupid! Don't you, Dad?
  • Al: [puts his arm around Peg] Well, you know how... even when we didn't have too much, we could always look at the poor people who were less fortunate then us and feel better? Well... let's find a mirror. [walks over to Kelly] Business was so bad, I didn't get a Christmas bonus this year!
  • Peg: [disappointed] Oh, Al, no! You mean we told you we love for you nothing?!
  • Kelly: So you're telling us there's no reason to live?!
  • Al: Yes, I am! [Kelly quickly walks over to Peg and hugs her]

  • [The coroner and his assistants are clearing up the Bundy backyard, where a sky-diving Santa fell to his death; in the living room, Steve is attempting to pour himself a drink as his hands tremble, while Marcy is fidgeting with her hands and rocking back and forth. Both are visibly disturbed after seeing what happened]
  • Marcy: Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god...
  • [In the kitchen, Al, Peg, Kelly and Bud are happily eating pizza]
  • Al: Hey Peg, you know what we ought to do tonight? We oughta make some Christmas cookies.
  • Peggy: Oh yeah, and maybe some eggnog, with nutmeg.
  • Bud: Mmm! [Al and Kelly smile and nod in agreement]
  • Steve: You ghouls! Don't you understand, there's a splattered Santa all over your yard!
  • Al: What do you want me to do Steve? Quit eating?
  • Marcy: Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god... [Steve chugs down his drink]
  • Al: Could you keep her quiet, we're trying to have a Christmas here!

  • [Steve and Marcy try to head back home, but are stopped by a group of kids waiting to see Santa]
  • Carl: Is Santa OK? We heard he landed in your yard.
  • Neighborhood Kids: Yeah!
  • Marcy: [smiling while trying not to break down] Oh yes, he's fine. He's a fat, jolly man and he'll never leave us. As long as there's a Christmas, there'll be... [breaks down in tears and shuts the door. She cries into Steve's chest and then turns to the Bundys] KILLERS!



  • The episode title refers to the line "You better watch out" from the Christmas song, "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town".


  • This is the first Christmas episode.
  • Before the beginning of the episode, a warning is shown on-screen: "The following depicts a Bundy Christmas. It could be upsetting to small children and others. Parental guidance is suggested."
  • Nestor, one of the neighborhood kids asking about Santa, is played by Michael Faustino, the younger brother of David Faustino.
  • Carl, another neighborhood kid asking about Santa, is played by Edan Gross, who would later play a young Al Bundy in the season 3 episode "He Thought He Could".
  • After Santa lands in the Bundy's back yard, Ed O'Neill can be seen trying his best not to break character and laugh.
  • Mike Hagerty, who plays the coroner in this episode, would later appear with Ed O'Neill again in the 1992 comedy film Wayne's World.
  • This is the first time the rivaling Lakeside Mall is mentioned.
  • David Faustino has mentioned on multiple occasions (including My Favorite Married, Fox's 25th anniversary special and his radio show when he interviewed Ed O'Neill) that this is one of his favorite episodes. Katey Sagal mentioned in the 25th anniversary special that they all had trouble containing their laughter and were biting the insides of their cheeks to keep from laughing.

Cultural References[]

  • The idea of Al dressing up as Santa after a different Santa died during a parachute jump is based on a real life incident that took place in 1932 in Mesa, Arizona.
    • John McPhee, editor of the Mesa Tribune had a plan to bring some cheer during The Great Depression, which involved having a Santa jump out of a plan and parachute down to lead a Christmas parade. The Santa actor was too drunk to jump on the day of the parade and McPhee decided to use a store mannequin dressed up as Santa and equipped with a self deploying parachute to do the jump. Unfortunately, the parachute did not deploy, and parade onlookers watched what they thought was Santa Clause plummeting to his death. He went to find the mannequin, put on the costume and convince the town that he was alive and ok, but instead was greeted by a virtual ghost town with many of the spectators scared, astonished or angered at McPhee and his failed plan. McPhee fled town and was labeled "The Santa Claus Killer", living the rest of his life outside of Mesa until his death in 1968.[1][2]
    • Some of the references to this incident in the episode include:
      • Santa jumping out of a plane as part of a promotion.
      • The coroner revealing that the Santa had jumped out of the plane while intoxicated and carrying wine bottles in each hand.
      • Marcy calling the Bundys "Killers" and blaming Santa's death on them.
      • A group of kids saying they saw Santa parachuting and wanting to know if he is ok.
      • Al having to wear Santa's costume and attempt to convince the children that he is alive and well.
  • Al mentions that if Peggy and the kids keeps shopping at the Lakeside Mall, they will be broke and living in a cardboard box under the "L".
    • The Chicago "L" (or "EL", as both mean "Elevated") is the rapid transit system serving the city of Chicago and some of its surrounding suburbs in the U.S. state of Illinois.
  • Al mentions that they received Aunt Pu's fruitcake and that he previously punt kicked it before eventually regifting it to Steve and Marcy.
    • In American culture, fruitcakes are often viewed as an unwanted cheap holiday gift that is usually re-gifted and passed around for years, due to the high alcohol content (or other preservatives).
  • The coroner mentioned that Santa jumped out of the plane with a bottle of muscatel in each hand.
  • When Steve suggests that he'll take Marcy home, she mentions Perry Como, an American singer, actor and television personality who was known for his yearly Christmas television specials and Christmas songs such as "(There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays".
    • At the time this episode originally aired, Como had cancelled his Christmas special with ABC, due to the network wanting to move it to a later time slot.
  • The coroner calls Al "Grinch", in reference to the character from the Dr. Seuss book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
  • After Al dresses up as Santa, he tells the kids that he needs to get back to the North Pole with "Dancer and Prancer and uh... Donald and Goofy."
    • Dancer and Prancer are two of the eight named reindeer that Santa Claus uses to pull his sleigh.
    • Donald and Goofy are references to Disney characters Donald Duck and Goofy


  • Peggy sings "Santa Claus is the Lakeside Mall", which parodies the Christmas song "Santa Claus is Coming to Town".
  • Steve and Marcy sing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" to the Bundys when dropping off their Christmas gifts.
  • "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole plays after the Bundys find the gift certificates and decide to go shopping.



  • Bundy Living Room/Kitchen
  • Bundy Front Porch


  • When the mall Santa lands in the Bundys' back yard, everybody looks toward the backyard, and when they turn back around Al can be seen trying his best not to break character and laugh, while Peggy is biting her cheeks to keep from laughing.
  • When the Bundys eat pizza, the coroner asks if anyone actually saw Santa fall and Bud replies "I wish." However, in the scene where he falls, they all turned around and saw the fall.
  • Near the end of the episode, Buck is shown playing with one of Santa's shoes. When he lays downs and then rolls around, you can see the snow lift and move, indicating he is laying on a thick white carpet.
  • Right before the scene of Buck holding Santa's shoe in his mouth by Marcy and Stve, you can clearly see him hop on to the back of the couch minus the shoe.
    • This can seen exactly as the coroner kneels by Bud and tells him that the real Santa will come visit him soon. He can still be seen staying on the back of the couch without a shoe as Bud then tells the coroner that Santa should be able to find the Bundy Residence from the buzzards flying over their house.


External Links[]

◄ Season 1 Season 2 Episodes Season 3 ►
Poppy's by the Tree (Part 1)Poppy's by the Tree (Part 2)If I Were a Rich Man
Buck Can Do ItGirls Just Wanna Have Fun (Part 1)Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Part 2)
For Whom the Bell TollsBorn to WalkAlley of the DollsThe Razor's Edge
How Do You Spell Revenge?Earth AngelYou Better Watch OutGuys and Dolls
Build a Better MousetrapMaster the PossibilitiesPeggy Loves Al, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
The Great EscapeImpo-DentJust Married... with ChildrenFather LodeAll in the Family