Married with Children Wiki

You Gotta Know When to Hold 'Em (Part 1) is the 16th episode of Season 4 Married... with Children, also the 73rd overall episodes of the series. Directed by Gerry Cohen, the episode was written by Sioux Doanham. The episode originally aired on FOX on February 11, 1990.


Part one of two episode story arc. Marcy stays at the Bundys' after Steve leaves her to pursue his dream of being a forest ranger, and Peg takes Marcy to Las Vegas to cheer her up — but not before selling Al's TV and maxing out his credit cards to pay for the trip.

Episode summary[]

The first episode of the post-Steve era opens with Marcy telling Peg how her husband has abandoned her, and Peggy suggesting a road trip to Las Vegas to cheer her up. Marcy stays temporarily at the Bundys' after Steve leaves her to pursue his dream of becoming a forest ranger, and Peg takes Marcy to Las Vegas to cheer her up — but not before selling Al's TV and maxing out all of his credit cards to pay for the trip! The ladies arrive and hit a 75 cent hot streak, followed up by a couple of sevens at the craps table, but inside eight minutes everything they got for selling their husbands' prized possessions is gone! Back in Chicago, Al is annoyed to find his remote not working. Bud remarks that while he is no electrical engineer, he surmises the problem is that the TV is gone. Kelly also remarks Mom is missing, but Al says "Hold it, don't gloss over this missing TV problem!"

With Steve now gone for good (at least until later episodes. when he tries to win her back after she has been happily married to Jefferson D'Arcy) Marcy does not deal with the loneliness very well. She spends her nights on the Bundy couch and Bud has the hots for her and tries to seduce her and failing miserably after Kelly plays a trick on him after he and Marcy, who had too much to drink, doses off on the couch. getting him to think he scored with an older woman (only for a second, until Kelly lets the cat out of the bag), which repulses Marcy! Peggy wants to go on vacation and gets Marcy to sell something of Steve's and she sells something of Al's. Of course, it's the living room television which devastates Al in this post-Steve Rhoades as a regular character episode.

Recurring cast/Guest stars[]


Guest starring[]

  • Michael Stoyanov as Pizza Boy
  • Lawrence Lott as Dealer
  • Michael Saccente as Man



  • The title for this two-episode story arc title is based on the lyric from the Kenny Rogers song "The Gambler"


  • Starting from here, the TV studio audience applauds when Al or other characters walk onto the screen.
  • When Al puts his shoes up on the coffee table, you can faintly see "555" on the right shoe and "SHOE" on the left. The number 555-SHOE is from the episode "976-SHOE" when Al was trying for his own Shoe Hotline as Dr. Shoe and he had "555 SHOE" written on the bottom of his shoes.
  • Al reveals that he previous had surgery for a hernia in April 1989
  • When Al opens the fridge to get a beer while talking to Peggy, Peggy's Mystery Pack can be seen on the second shelf below Al's beer.
  • Marcy confirms that Steve has left her, blaming her for his hair loss and nose growth. He was also suing her for alimony.
  • Michael Styanov, the actor who plays the pizza boy, would later star on the NBC sitcom Blossom, which had a pilot preview 5 months after this episode aired. The show would be referenced in later seasons of MWC.
  • Bud implies that he is still a virgin in this episode.
  • While reading the Garfield comic out loud, Kelly mispronounces lasagna as "lah-sag-nee". This would be heard again in later episodes whenever she talks about Garfield.
  • Near the end of the episode, Bud wears the same orange shirt that he wears during the opening credits.

Cultural References[]

  • Marcy reveals that Steve left her to work at Yosemite, which is a real national park located in Central California.
  • Kelly can be heard reading a comic featuring cartoon cat, Garfield. He would referenced in later episodes as a favorite reading source for Kelly.
  • When Kelly tells Bud that Steve went to work as a park ranger the same place as Yogi Bear, he asks "Jellystone National Park?". This is in reference to the cartoon character and the fictional national park the cartoon took place.
  • Kelly confuses the idiom "The only thing inevitable is death and taxes" with "Its inevitable like death in Texas".
  • When Bud comes to flirt with Marcy, he tells her "Coo coo ca choo, Mrs. Robinson", in reference to the 1967 film The Graduate, in which a recent college graduate is seduced by an older woman named Mrs. Robinson and begins a tryst with her.
  • Marcy tells Peg that she has to ship Steve's stereo to him and remarks that he can't be a real park ranger without the theme from Brigadoon playing on it. Brigadoon was a stage musical that was later turned into a 1954 musical film and then a television film in 1966.
  • When Kelly offers advice to Bud about how to flirt with Marcy, she suggest that he wink and tell her, "This Bud's for you", which was a slogan used by beer brand Budweiser in 1979.



  • Bundy Living Room / Kitchen
  • Casino


  • As Al and Peggy escort Marcy out and reassure her that she will be fine without Steve, Peggy's "I think this is just going to blow over and you're going to be just fine" is obviously dubbed in and appears to cut into her previous line.

External Links[]

◄ 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