02x06 - Big Baby Ball

Adult Adam: Back in the '80s, this is what gaming looked like.

Just a fold-out board, assorted plastic pieces, and a pop-o-matic bubble. The competition was fierce, and there were no bigger rivals than my brother and sister.

Board games gave them an outlet to channel their anger.

Don't mess up!


Oh! Paging Dr. Sucks at operation.

Come in, Dr. Sucks at operation.

Sure, winning felt good.


But the real prize was gloating as you crushed the loser's fragile spirit.

[quietly] You sank my battleship.

I-I can't hear you.

You sank my battleship.

Look at me in the eye when you say it!

Erica had smarts and strategy. Barry had trash talk and a psychotic desire to win no matter the game, even Girl talk.

"The last digit of your phone number indicates how many boys you will kiss."

Six! Yes! Girl talk!

They were worthy adversaries until a new board game changed everything.

Check it out! It's called Trivial Pursuit.

Yes! A new game to dominate.

Okay. "Sports and leisure.

What team has won the most Stanley cup championships?"

[scoffs] Montreal Canadiens.

Swish, baby. This game is too easy.

"Arts and literature.

"Whose autobiographical masterpiece was entitled 'Long day's journey into night'? "

Pass! Sports again.

Not how it works, dummy. My turn.

"What sailor's disease resulted from a deficiency of vitamin C?"

Mm, scurvy?


Looks like someone's gonna be tough to beat.

The game was simple.

You either knew the answer or you didn't, and Barry didn't. For the first time ever, the scales were tipped firmly to Erica.

[exhales sharply]

Oh, this one's super easy. "Who wrote 'The diary of Anne Frank'?"

Uh... uh...


It's ... it's called "The diary of Anne Frank."

Don't help me! I know what the answer is!

It's... It's...

Aah! I-I hate this!

Who's up for Girl talk?

[title music]

♪ I'm twisted up inside ♪
♪ but nonetheless I feel the need to say ♪
♪ I don't know the future ♪
♪ but the past keeps getting clearer every day ♪

It was November 12, 1980-something.

I was in gym class, and today's lesson to nurture the young blossoming athlete ... scooter ball. It was a lot like soccer except with an 80% better chance of injury.

Aah! My fingers!

I'm so sorry! He's hurt!

Scoot it off!

The overlord of this insanity was Mr. Mellor, A gung-Ho ex-Jock filled with stupid sports clichés.

No pain, no gain! There is no "I" in team!

Winners never quit! Quitters never win!

And some of his sayings we just found confusing.

It is never okay to put butter on a doughnut!

Dance like no one's watching!

Love like you've never been hurt!

Don't trust your cousin on a road trip with your wife.

[whistle chirps]

All right! Think you guys are ready for the apex of rubber-ball-based sports.

Dodgeball. [bell tolls]

For kids like me, this was our waking nightmare from which there was no escape.

Grab a ball! Same teams.

On my whistle.

This is bad.

I want the "Star Wars" theme played at my funeral.

What are you guys doing? Posing for a trophy?

Let's go!

It wasn't pretty, but as much as dodgeball hurt me, it hurt someone else even more.

Oh! My schmoopies are home.





Mwa... oh! Who did this to your kissable face?!

Mom, please don't. I'm fine.

Who? I want names.

It's from dodgeball. Mr. Mellor lives for it.

It's like his air.

It's like a violation of human rights.

Here we go. Bevy, it's not a rights violation.

It's gym class.

Well, I think he's an animal.

How much does it hurt, schmoo?

On a pain scale from I to 10, how much?

Um... I'd say fi... three...

One? One.

It should be zero.

I also would have accepted the word "nothing."

I'm marching down there first thing.

Bevy, no.

They don't need your angry rants on how to educate.

Mom, please don't make a thing of this.

You got to let teachers teach.

I don't want to be on his bad side.

Don't worry about him.

He doesn't want to be on my bad side, 'cause it's much badder.

It really was.

My mom marched down to school so often that the teachers could almost sense she was coming.

[door opens]


[door closes]

[keys jingling]

Don't worry, cinoman. Today's not your day.

I'm here for Mellor.

Third door on the left.

Cute top.

You want me to cancel dodgeball, one of the seven pillars of fitness?

What are the other six?

Look, canceling dodgeball would be like canceling science.

Is that what you want? A world with no science?

Why do you hate NASA? Why?

I don't hate it. They gave us tang.

What I do hate is dodgeball.

Dodgeball is an essential part of strengthening a young man's character, and nobody needs that more than your son.

[sternly] How dare you?

My son has the strength and character of three lou Ferrignos!

How dare you invoke Lou Ferrigno? How dare you?!

I'm not gonna stand here and let you push me around!

I'm not scared of you.

Well, you should be.

I'd think twice about this if I were you.

No. I will not think at all.

If there's any more dodgeball in this school, you will regret it. Mark my words.

I will mark no words.

Mark them!

While my mom was putting a stop to the game she hated, Barry was ready to give the game he sucked at another try.

Oh, hello. I did not see you sitting there.

We're not sitting. What you're doing is called sitting.

Potato, potato.

Care for a rematch, Erica?

And crush your fragile spirit again? Gladly.

Um, I don't think I want to be here for this.

You shall witness the battle, old man! I mean...

I cherish our time together. Please, sit.

Ooh. Science and nature. Challenging.

"What animal does a hippophobe fear?"

Horses. The answer is horses.

That's right.

Yellow. Ooh. History.

"How many children does Queen Elizabeth ..."


[chuckles] Wow.

You sure seem to know a lot of stuff all of a sudden.

There's no reason to be "patronibing."

Okay, next card.

"What city was called the Paris of the South?"

Maya Angelou.

That's the answer on the card you wanted me to choose, you knob.

You're clearly cheating.

How dare you?! I am a sportsman!

You insult my honor!

Hey, Bar, I-I-it's kind of obvious you're cheating.

I am not. I simply memorized the answers and put the cards in a particular order so I can win!

That's cheating!

That's preparation!

Preparation for cheating.

Don't blame me!

This game is impossible and has no point!

What's the point of mouse trap?

To boot a marble down a flight of stairs onto a slide and into a bathtub, which, in turn, another balls falls onto a see-saw, backflipping an old man into a kiddie pool, causing a trap to fall on a mouse! Duh!

That he knows.

Face it ... this is one game you can't win.

Say I'm better than you. Say it.


I will do everything in my power to learn knowledge.

I will go to school, and I will read books, and I will study art, and I will drink in life just so I can beat you at this board game! Oh!

He should probably do all that stuff regardless.

Ladies and gentlemen, due to aggressive parental interference, there's been a change in the phys-ed curriculum.

What? Could be any of our moms.

Effective immediately, there will no longer be dodgeball in my class.

Instead, we'll play an all-new safer, kinder game called big baby ball.

We'll choose teams by counting off ones and twos.

Goldfarb, begin.


Everybody else is a two.

Let's get the ones on that side, twos on the other.

Mr. Mellor, is it too late to switch my number to two?

Well, your mother demanded that we play something else, so you can let her know that her voice was heard today.

Good luck and cover your nards.

I was in a tight spot, so I decided my only choice was to fight my way out.

[whistle blows]


I don't know!



Beverly: I don't understand. Mellor didn't cower?

Why didn't he cower?

It's on you, Bev.

The boy was singled out because you mixed in.

He's right, mom. You made it worse.

Why can't you ever listen? You want to protect the boy, and you always end up making it a million times worse.

No, you're completely right. I know it in my heart.

Good. It's nice to finally be on the same page.


What's with the coat?

Are you marching down to school again?!

I want to say no, but that would be a lie.

But I thought we're on the same page.

We are, and yet, here I go.

Just stop! Just tell your body to stop!

I want to. I really want to.

But I can't.

I thought we're on the same page!

[door closes]

And the next item of business is scheduling teacher conferences.

[door opens]

Blonde monster.


Mrs. Goldberg, this is a private meeting.

Not anymore. Got to go, people!

Don't care where. Just not here.

Don't leave. She looks really mad.

I'm sorry, Earl.

Mr. Mellor is no longer with William Penn Academy due to a concern raised by a parent... who shall remain nameless.

This one's tough to deny.

Thanks to my mother, I got out of dodgeball.

All it took was ruining a man's life.

Oh. Hello, again. I did not see you sitting there.

Again, you're the one sitting.

Potato, tomato.

Come sit. I've been thinking.

We've completely lost track of what board games are all about ... family fun.

That's why I invented a new gaming experience for the whole family to enjoy.

I call it... Barry-nopoly.

"Do a freestyle rap as good as big tasty or nunchuck better than Barry"?

I've made sure it caters to all our strengths.

For you, trivia. Physical challenges for myself.

And for pops, frequent bathroom breaks.

I like this game.

You actually created a board game that only you can win.

Do you realize how sad that is?

Does this mean you forfeit and I'm reigning champion forever?

No. I'll play.

And I'll literally beat you at your own game.

Let's do this! What'll it be, pops?

Rap or an elaborate nunchuck routine?

I have to go to the bathroom.

[bell dings]

40 bonus points for pops!

I really like this game.

Okay, your turn.

Ooh. "Arm-wrestle Barry."

Easy. You're so hosed.

Am I, now? Have you ever heard of a little Sylvester Stallone arm-wrestling drama called "Over the top"?


Well, you're about to live it. Go.


Oh, no! He's losing!

Or is he? Over the top!

What are you doing?!

Going over the top!

What are you doing?!

I'm going over the top!

You can't go over the top! I'm going over the top!

I'm going over your top!

Yes! Yes! In your face!

This game is rigged!

It's your game, and I still beat you!

Say it. I'm better than you in every way.

Fine! You're better than me.

You're smart and you're cool and everyone likes you.

And I'm nothing.


For the first time ever, crushing Barry didn't feel like such a triumph.

Meanwhile, my dad stumbled upon another man down on his luck, coach Mellor.

Oh, god.

You need a curb painted, hoss?

Suggested donation $5.

Yeah, actually, I'm Adam Goldberg's father.

Oh. So your wife is...

Yeah, blonde monster.

Love her dearly.

So, is this what you're doing for money?

For now. Turns out there's not a great demand for a phys-ed specialist in the middle of the school year.

I don't mean to tell you your business, but I don't think that's the right address.

It is not. I lost my 3.

You know, I know my wife can get carried away with things, and I just want to let you know, I'm really sorry about all this.

Don't be. Your wife plays hard. I respect a winner.

She's a good woman who does not know the word "quit," although she does know the word "fired."

Can I give you a ride somewhere? Maybe a hot meal?

That's very kind of you, but I only got about 10 more blocks to go, and I got a fanny pack full of turkey jerky, so...

I told you, I don't want the numbers!

It's donation only! Just pay what's fair!

You know what? He's getting the hose. You better open up.

Those are fresh numbers!

Where's the 3?!

I got to tell you, he's not the same guy without the whistle and the short-shorts.

A guy like that belongs in a gym yelling at kids.

It's in his blood.

Look, I never intended for Mellor to get fired, but this is on him. He singled out my boy.

Okay, he was wrong, but you took it too far.

Now do the right thing and put that loose cannon back in charge of children.

I go easy on one teacher, then the rest won't fear me.

Fine. You won't help the poor b*st*rd, I will.

What's that supposed to mean?

Mr. G, I really appreciate this opportunity.

You got my word, I will give you 110%.

Call me Murray. 110%, that is not necessary.

On a good day, the best Vic gives me is what? 50%?


There he goes, busting balls. It's ... it's what we do.

No. What we do is sell furniture.

Bring it in. "Furniture" on three.

Yeah, okay, what Vic and I do is we sell the furniture, and what I need you to do is to move the coffee table over by the sofa set.

Sir, yes, sir! Time me.

Whoa, whoa. It's not a race.

Take your time.

One, two, three. [grunts]

Oh, whoa.

That's oak. That's heavy. I thought it was pine.

Excuse me, sir.

Excuse me.

Is this in stock?

Yes, it is.

And you can have that in your house today.

I don't know. It's ... it's kind of pricey.

Tell you what.

You pay cash, I'll take off 5%.

I'll just come back another time.

There is no other time.

Clock's winding down. Ball's in your hands.

You gonna put the ball in the hole, or you gonna go home a loser?

I don't really understand what's happening right now.

He's new.

We're team players in this store.

We don't sell to anybody who doesn't pass the ball.

You keep referencing a-a ball. Is it the same ball?

Let me make it simple.

There's no "I" in team, man.

We only sell to winners, so get the [bleep] out!


I am sorry! What?!

Okay. We need to talk.

Sure thing, boss.

What are you doing?

Taking a knee.

Just take an early lunch.

You got it, boss.

Juice time.


So many bananas and beets.

[sniffs] Ahh. Let's go.



Finally got some energy! Let's go!

So, before, that was him without energy?

After my dad's horrible day at work, he had to face an even worse night at home.

Hey, could I, uh, have some ranch dressing for my salad?

Oh, of course, honey.


That's what you get for hiring the enemy to work in our store.

Don't worry about Mellor. You're not gonna see him.

He's working all the way across town.

Hey, boss! Sorry to interrupt!

It's me ... Rick Mellor! I work for you!

I can see you're eating dinner.

Oh, is that lamb?! That looks like lamb.

What are you doing? You're supposed to be out making deliveries.

Yeah, well, here's the thing.

I decided to do all this week's drop-offs in one day.

I told you, you can't load that much furniture on the truck at once.

I thought you said that because you believed I couldn't do it!

And I proved you wrong.

[chuckles] But I broke the truck.

Fine. Where is it?

It's a couple blocks down. Address is 466.

Although the actual address is 366.

Haven't been my best this week.

Balls! He's come for me!

He's seeking vengeance!

No vengeance. No. I just came to apologize to your old man for breaking his truck.

But while I got you here, I guess I owe you both an apology myself.

I ... Mrs. G, you're a strong woman, and I respect the hell out of you.

Do you?

Do you?!


And, Adam, I was dead wrong to single you out.

The truth is, I'm only hard on you 'cause I'm rooting for you.


You know, as you get older, you'll realize that life ain't easy and things fly at you that are a lot harder than a stupid red rubber ball.

And I just want you to learn that you're strong enough to face it and there's nothing you can't overcome.

In that moment, I realized my biggest foe was really my biggest advocate.

Well, enjoy your dinner.

Wait. Are you hungry? I could fix you a plate.

A plate? Ha.

Hell, just point me to the blender.

Oh, hello. I did not see you sitting there.

I agree.

So, I was thinking, how about one more game of Trivial Pursuit, winner takes all?

So you can take all? No, thanks.

Okay, how about this? If you can beat me, then Trivial Pursuit is banned forever from this house.

Sounds awesome. The only problem is, I can't win.

"Who had an encounter with the three bears?"


That's right.

Game on!

As fate would have it, that game, Barry knew every question my sister threw at him.

It was as if he was suddenly the smartest man on the planet.

Or Erica was picking cards from the little kid's edition, suggested ages 8 through 12.

Cookie monster! Pigeons!

♪ you run, run, run away ♪

The number 4. Trees.

♪ it's your heart that you betray ♪

Purple. Turtles.

That's the one.

Clouds. Beanstalk. Unicorn. Butterflies.

♪ Well, isn't love primitive? ♪


Can I get a full name on that?

Santa Claus.

♪ a wild gift that you wanna give ♪

Okay. This one's for the win.

♪ break out of captivity ♪

"What has the scientific formula H2O?"

Water! It's water!

♪ and follow me, stereo jungle child ♪

I'm the smartest man alive! Say I'm better than you.

You're better than me.

♪ your heart's still wild ♪

Yes![exhaling sharply]

♪ shooting at the walls of heartache ♪


♪ Bang! Bang! ♪
♪ I am the warrior ♪

I'm all right! Yes!

Way to go, kiddo.

♪ well, I am the warrior ♪

Yeah, well, he needed the win.

♪ and heart to heart you'll win ♪

Sometimes the best way...

♪ if you survive ♪

.. to get the win is to lose, and other times, you just have to admit defeat.

Well, I would consider...

♪ the warrior, the warrior ♪

.. bringing Mr. Mellor back on one condition.

♪ you talk, talk, talk to me ♪

You don't step foot in this school ever again.

One year.


♪ your eyes touch me physically ♪

My mom wasn't many things, but she was a woman of her word.

That year, she never went back to school to complain.

Yoo-hoo! Sorry to interrupt, Earl... but technically this isn't school, and I do have bones to pick.

Ooh, is that brisket?

Although winning never came easy to me... Mr. Mellor actually did end up teaching me how to duck anything life might throw at me.

♪ victory is mine ♪
♪ shooting at the walls of heartache ♪
♪ the warrior ♪



Okay. You rolled a 2.


Now cruise down the big tasty river and draw a Barry card.

Oh. Your face is on these.

I love this game. [chuckles]

"Roundhouse kick better than Barry."

Better than my kara-te master? It can't be done.

Right answer!


50 points!


Challenge card.

"Arm-wrestle Barry."

Oh, we get to hold hands.

Oh, you're even turning your hat backwards.

How macho.



Over the top!


That's how you do it!

Oh! Oh!

Let's go! Let's go! Whoo!

You're so strong, honey.

[robotic voice] I... know I am so... strong.

Let's go, Barry! [laughs]

Oh, I'm so proud of you, honey, the way you beat mommy like that.

I'm the best!

Let him win, huh?

He needs it.