02x17 - The Adam Bomb

Adult Adam: Back in the '80s, America had one clear enemy... the Russians.

It was the age of the Cold War.

Capitalism vs. Communism.

Reagan vs. Gorbachev.

Rocky vs. That roided-out monster who killed Apollo Creed.

But the only war I knew was the one with my brother.

And like any superpowers, most of our fights were about border disputes.

Dude! You're in my space.

You're in my space!

Beverly: Stop it.

Don't you... Stop fighting.

Like any warring factions, we didn't understand each other and had nothing in common.

Barry roller-skated to Wham! to impress the ladies while I roller-skated to "Starlight Express" to impress the theatergoers.

I barely survived gym class...

[Whistle blows] ... While Barry thrived as an athlete.


My dream was to be the next Steven Spielberg.

Barry's dream was to be the next Charles Barkley.

Swish, Baby!

I collected garbage pail kids while Barry loved his baseball cards.

Dude, check it out.

I just got Hairy Mary and Oozy Suzy.

Oh, really?

I got Nerdy Adam and Punchy Barry.

My most prized possession was my Castle Grayskull, and Barry's was this enormous shoe.

Behold, my lady.

The actual high-top of basketball's greatest badass, sir Charles Barkley.


Let me see...


Your hand contains damaging oils.

You can admire it quietly.

At a distance.

How did you even get this thing?

Dave Sirota hooked me up.

His dad's a team doctor.

All I got to do is his math homework for the rest of year.

That is a horrible deal for him.

Yeah, it is.

Sorry to be this dude, but it's just a shoe... who cares?

"Who cares?"

This is Charles Barkley.

The round mound of rebound.

The greatest sixer of our time.

Yeah, basketball's not my sport.

Well, sports aren't your sport.

Even my shoe thinks you're a nerd.

Huh? What was that?

"Punch your brother in theards"?


Your shoe sounds a lot like you.

Hey! Knock it off.

What did we discuss? Which Barry do I like?

Sweet Barry.

Whh Barry do I hate?

Yelly, Punchy Barry.


Yep, Barry and I forever lived in a tense and bitter Cold War.

We were always on guard, never knowing when the other would strike.

And this year, I decided to mount an epic attack on April Fools' Day.

My target was the one thing he told me never to touch with my human oils.

Where's my Barkley shoe?


I spilled some water on it, so I threw it in the dryer.

I told you not to touch that thing!



Gone. [Sniffles]

Gone forever.

Fly away, little size 16.

I'm a better person for having known you.

Well, who knew that high heat for an hour would do that to rubber?


I... Feel... Anger!



April fools'!

Oh, balls!

Dude, it was an April Fools' joke.

Here's the real shoe, idiot.

[Laughing] Oh, man.

That... yeah.

It's April already. [Laughs]

You got me good.


Y-you destroyed Castle Grayskull.

You owe me 100 bucks.

Yeah, not gonna happen.

You should know I'm unstable and would react poorly.

This is on you.

By the power of Grayskull, this will not stand.

Thought I lost you, buddy.

♪ 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 April 1, 1980-something, and my sister was spending time in her true home... the mall.

Okay, what do you want to hit next?

Benetton or Sam Goody?

Holy crap!

Every teenage girl has a defining moment in her life.

For my sister, it was the chance to see her rock idol jam by the food court.

Tiffany... is coming... to our mall?

Sweet God, my life now has meaning.

Yep, back before Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, teen pop superstars would visit your tiny town and play a free concert in your local mall.

And the biggest star of them all was Tiffany.

No last name needed.

♪ I think we're alone now ♪

Don't you see what this means?

I can give Tiffany my demo tape, and she can discover me.

Oh. Just one problem.

You don't have a demo tape, and your cheap-ass dad will never pay for one.

Then there's only one play.

What if I told you I could save you $20,000 today?

For the first time in your life, you'd have my full attention.

Well, that's the price of a college education these days.

And for a mere $200, I can record a music demo tape and hand it off to Tiffany, thereby skipping college and achieving my life dream of becoming a teen singing sensation.

Dreams? Who said "dreams"?

Mama's here. I support you.


She wants to sing instead of going to college.

It's a nightmare.

I'm not a total idiot.

I've worked out a surefire plan that will get me to the top.

Listen to our snuggle monkey.

She has a plan. It's surefire.

What's the plan?

I take my awesome demo tape to the mall and hand it to Tiffany.

The minute she hears my soulful voice, boom!

It happens.

What happens?

I open for her in malls across the country.

That's when I get a record deal and meat Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran at Calvin Klein's lakehouse.

Here's a plan... college!

Oh, you're such a grumpy pants.

Just you wait. Her plan will work.

Yes! I love you, mom.

Aww. [Chuckles] [Sighs]


The [Bleep] Murray? Why didn't you stop me?

Stop you? You were chewing my head off!

My baby wants to sing? That's not a job.

But you just told her it was!

You got to go up there and tell her she's got to go to college.

Why? You just told her she didn't!

Because I'm the dream pusher, and you're the dream smusher.

That's how this works.

This is a thing? I'm the smusher?

Yes. I push, you smush.

That's the natural order of things.

I didn't sign up for this! You smush for once.

You know, it's exhausting always having to be the bad guy.

Well, it can't be me!

I'm the loving, supportive one.

You're the grumbling, grouchy one I always hide behind.

Now go!

Smush, smush, smush.

[Groans] [Telephone rings]


Adam: Have you checked on the cards?


[Slowly] Have you checked on the cards?



Yes. [Chuckles]

You drew all over my cards!

Tell me this is a joke.

Say "April Fools'." Say it!

No joke.

One Castle Grayskull for your baseball cards.

Your toy's 100 bucks!

This is a million dollars!

They're $1 a packet.

Everyone knows they triple in value every day.

This was my nest egg.

Well, I guess you're gonna have to work for your money now.


Mark my words... you've waged a war you cannot win.

I'm coming for you, brother.

And I'm coming hard.

Bring your best, bro, 'cause nothing scares Adam Goldberg.

Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh, God.

He's gonna come at me.

I told him to bring his best.

Why would I suggest that?

Just apologize for what you did to Cal Ripken.

We're long past apologies now.

This is all-out war, and I'm gonna win.

Kiddo, I fought in a real war.

Trust me... there is no winner.

Pops was right.

While I protected my toys, I forgot about one crucial item... my video camera.

No! What have you done?!

Okay, Barry, you've gone too far.

You mess with my stuff, I mess with yours.

This wasn't just stuff.

This camera meant everything.

It's like my best friend.

Oh, relax.

All I did was take it apart.

Here's the manual.

Just... just put it back together.

This is in Chinese!

Remember... you smush, I push.

Fair warning... she's gonna get extremely upset, and she will throw something at you.

I apologize in advance 'cause I'm gonna let it happen.

Peanut, we need to talk.

[Sighs] What do you want?

I just want you to know...


That I support your singing 100%.





Forget about college.

Gamble your life in the dangerous and shady world of rock 'n' roll.

For real?

So real.

Unless you mom's got something to add.

Uh, not at this moment.

Um, I'm just letting the news wash over me 'cause it's so positive.

[Chuckles] Dad, I give you my word... when Riki Gold sweeps the Grammys, you're will be the first person I thank.

Riki Gold?

Yeah, it's my stage name.

'Cause Goldberg is... You know.

You can be whoever you damn well please because Daddy believes in you and your plan.

Ooh, thanks, Dad!

With that, my dad became the pusher...

I'm so excited!

... Forcing my mom to become the smusher.

Thank you.

It's a bad plan.


You know I love you, but you are gonna go to college and get a good job so I don't have to stay up late at night worrying.

So, basically, you're a sham.

Every time that you said you believed in me, it was a lie?

Of course not. It's still me.

It's your mama, snuggle monkey.


I am not your snuggle monkey.

You don't mean that.

Oh, I mean it.

And you can never call me Snuggly or Squishy or Boopie or Schmoopie ever again.

Do not take Schmoopie away from me.

Don't you dare!

It's just I... I don't want you to fail.

Well, that makes me want to succeed even more.

I will sing for quarters on the subway.

I will sleep on lumpy couches owned by creepy disc jockeys.

Sure, when times get tough, I may have to go cry in a bank vestibule.

But then, in the end, I will be bigger than Tiffany and Debbie Gibson.

But not Madonna because... I'm realistic.


Since neither of my parents wanted to be the smusher, they turned to Erica's teacher for help.

Thank you so much for meeting with us on a Saturday.

Honestly, we really do appreciate it.

Anything for Erica.

In all of my years of teaching, I have never had a student so passionate and talented.

Oh, that is so nice to hear.

And I'm gonna need you to shut your mouth and never say that again.

What? I...

Let me chime in here.

Actively destroy her dreams.

Thank you so much.

[Chuckling] Yeah, I'm not gonna agree to that.

I'm her teacher.

It is my job to inspire her, not to hold her back.

Let me pipe in here, Mur.

We would appreciate it if you would shame her into quitting using, say, scare tactics or negative reinforcement.

I don't want to tell you how to do your job.

You get it.

I really don't get it.

Let me sound off here, Bev.

What my wife is trying to say... and I think we can all agree on this... a career in music... it's absurd.

[Scoffs] I... Don't agree.

Let me finish this off, Mur.

See, millions of girls want to be stars, but they end up becoming waitresses or dog walkers or music teachers.

And that is no life anyone would wish for their little girl.

No offense.

Literally couldn't be more offended.

Let me take the wheel here, Bev.

Uh, you know what? Don't take wheel.

Okay? [Laughs]

Beverly, I cannot believe this.

I... even though you give me hives and I am stalked in my dreams by a blond monster, I have always respected the way that you support your kids no matter what.

[Sighs] Look. It's just... what she wants to do, it's such a long shot.

It is if you're not there for her.

Do you think that Tiffany or Debbie Gibson would have made it without their mothers?


They not only support their daughters, they manage their whole careers.

What's that, now?

My mom realized that she could hijack Erica's career and be both a mom and a manager.


While my mom was plotting Erica's rise to stardom, I was planning Barry's fall from grace.

I'd win the Cold War by taking away the one thing he loved most... his hot lady friend.

Hi, um, Lainey.

Look, I know I showed my bra to Dave Kim for five bucks, but it's not, like, a thing.

No. I'm afraid I'm the bearer of bad news.

Barry asked me to come here and terminate your relationship.

Yeah, that's just not realistic, Dude.

Damn it.

What's going on with you two?

He broke my video camera.

Why would he do that?

I told him I liked Sweet Barry.

Turns out, there is no Sweet Barry... only Yelly, Punchy Barry.

I don't want to say that you could do better, but we're all thinking it.


You are so dead!

Am I? 'Cause I've never felt more alive.

Lainey said she had to think about our future.

I can't have her thinking.

What if she sees me for what I am?

Well, maybe you should have thought of that before you were who you are.

I... Feel... Anger!

What the hell?!

Where's all your nerd stuff for me to stomp on?

Put it all in storage.

Now I live in a room without joy and happiness.

In... Your... Face.

I can't believe it.

You actually beat me.

April fools.

As my brother was preparing to take me down, Tiffany was preparing to take the stage in front of a thousand screaming teenage girls.

Erica: Sorry, guys.

Just got to squeeze right through you.

Yeah, thanks.

Oh, excuse me. Hi. I'm Er... I'm, uh, Riki Gold.

And, uh, I just wanted to know if you could give this demo tape to Tiffany and let her know that I recorded it on my broken boom box in my bathroom, which isn't totally soundproof.

You can kind of hear my dad yelling in the background.

But in the end, uh, my voice totally shines through.

Sure thing, kid.

Oh, my God. It actually worked.

It did not work.

Every other girl in town had a demo tape, too.

Wow. That's a lot of tapes.

But Riki Gold had a plan "B"... sneak up to the tour bus and get discovered by singing directly to Tiffany herself.

It was foolproof!

What the hell?!

Unfortunately, every other fool in town...

Excuse me. Sorry. Pardon me.

... Had the exact same plan.

Lainey, what are you doing here?

Duh. I want to be famous.

Uh, no, wanting to be famous is my thing.

Hi, girls.

Scooch over. Scooch.

Oh, my God. Why are you here?

You parents maybe made me question some of my life choices.

Sort of my last gasp here. Really need this win. [Note plays]

No, this is my plan.

♪ Children, behave ♪
♪ Running just as fast as we can ♪
♪ Holding on to one another's hands ♪

[Engine revs]

♪ trying to get away ♪
♪ Into the night ♪


Tiffany! Tiffany!

Erica's dreams of stardom were literally driving away before her very eyes.

Meanwhile, Barry's dream of obliterating me was about to become reality.

For years, he held onto a secret weapon... something so powerful that it could only be unleashed in a time of true war.

And that time was now.

Oh, no.

Oh, yes.

Oh, no.

I had taken Barry's girlfriend, and he would take my dignity by unleashing the most embarrassing sears glamour portrait the world had ever seen, knee-high socks and all.

Oh, no! Aah!

Adam: Barry.

Hey, Buddy. What brings you by?

How?! I destroyed this photo!

You mean... This one?

The one where Mom dragged you to a studio photographer dressed like a sad, little dandy?

And I will post it all over the school.

No! You can't!

That will completely destroy me!

Oh, my God. Pops was right!

No one wins a war.

Actually, somebody does win... whoever's got the bigger nuke.

And I've got the Adam bomb. [Atom]

My mom had officially dedicated her life to managing my sister's music career.

Only problem... Erica had no idea.

Erica: What the... why is my awful 10th-grade yearbook photo on t-shirts, buttons, and bumper stickers?

Because your Momager got you your first gig.

You're playing The Del Ennis Bowling Lanes at 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday!

Who's gonna be at The Del Ennis Lanes at 10:00 A.M. on a Tuesday?

Well, Del will be there and Bonnie, his wife.

She rents the shoes.

And, uh, I'll be there [Singsong voice] selling these puffy paint t-shirts.

Hmm? [Chuckles]

[Normal voice] If Del allows it.

He's trying to take a cut of the merch.

I'm into it with him.

You don't need to know the details.

Mom, maybe I should...


You were right about me.

I've supported you your whole life.

But when it really mattered, when you really needed me, I panicked.

Well, from now on, we're in this together... all day, every day, on the tour bus, in hotels, you and your biggest fan, your mama.

That's why I'm gonna momage you straight to the top.

I'm gonna make sure no one ever smushes your dreams again.

You have to smush my dreams.

No, no, no. I'm out of that game.

From now on, I'm a pusher.

No, Mom's the pusher. We can't have two pushers.

Then I'll actually have to follow through on things.

Wait... I-I thought this is what you wanted.

Don't give it up just 'cause your mom bought a bunch of puffy paint.

It's not just Mom.

I went to that mall, and I realized there's a million girls out there just like me.

And the truth is, you were right.

I just don't have a shot.

As Erica was giving up on her dreams, Barry was about to obliterate my reality.

[Cheering in distance]


What's going on?

Dude, it's crazy.

The Berlin wall just fell.

It was one of those moments you remember for the rest of your life... a country divided, coming together for a shining moment of peace.

And as Barry watched it all unfold, he realized it was time to end the war at home.

Adam: My camera!

How did you get the money to fix it?

I sold my Barkley shoe back to Dave Sirota.

But what about the photo?

You were about to drop the Adam bomb.

I saw something today that changed me.

David Hasselhoff was on top of the Great Wall of China in a light-up jacket singing about freedom.

And it occurred to me, if "Knight Rider" can make east and west Russia find common ground, maybe we can, too.

While your facts are wildly off, your spirit is right on the money.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Sure, I'm athletic and enjoy awesome stuff while everything you know and love is for losers who suck at life, but even though we're from two different worlds, I believe we can live in harmony.

Wait. You gave me back what I love.

Time to return the favor.

[Rapping] ♪ I'm a bad boy ♪
♪ But a good guy ♪
♪ On the outside, I'm tough ♪
♪ On the inside, I cry ♪
♪ I'm always on the streets ♪
♪ Rhymin' and schemin' ♪
♪ But when I think of your face, I get sensitive feelings ♪
♪ I mouth off to the cops ♪
♪ And get myself in trouble ♪
♪ But when you bail me out, we watch "splash" and cuddle ♪
♪ See, I'm a bad boy ♪
♪ But a sweet guy ♪
♪ I get in trouble ♪
♪ And I don't know why ♪
♪ So take big tasty back ♪
♪ You know you can't resist ♪
♪ So on a humbler note, I really need this ♪

That was... Uncomfortable.

Point is, he got my camera fixed.

That's sweet.

He really is a good brother.

You're not so bad yourself.

[Tiffany's "I think we're alone now" plays]

Here. For your demo.

But we agreed you were gonna talk to Mom.

And I will.

But I just need you to know that there's nobody else out there like you... nobody.

Look. I got my dream.

I got this house, I got the family, I got you.

And if this is what you really want, I say go for it.

To a parent, that's scary as hell.

But I can't have you live your life thinking I held you back.

♪ Children, behave ♪



What you said... that was really, um...

♪ And watch how you play ♪

Thank you.

♪ They don't understand ♪

Anything for you, Peanut.

That's the thing about family... you fight, you argue, you wage all-out war, but at the end of the day, you're always on the same side.

♪ Tryin' to get away ♪
♪ Into the night ♪

'Cause in a world where everyone tries to smush you down, the one thing you got is your family to push you forward.

♪ I think we're alone now ♪
♪ There doesn't seem to be anyone around ♪

That's my superstar client.

You're not gonna be the momager.

We'll see.

♪ ... Is the only sound ♪

Glad that's gone forever. [Chuckles]


Riki Gold, big tasty, thank you for meeting me on such short notice.

Meeting? We're eating breakfast.

Let me cut to the chase.

What I'm looking at are two musical giants on the precipice of greatness, and as your momager, (Both) No!

I present The Tasty Gold Experience!

Even better I won't even take 10%, you can pay me on huggies and smoochies.

Both: No!