04x14 - The Spencer's Gift

Back in the '80s, before you could buy everything from your couch, you had to drive to an actual location to get stuff. This magical place was known as "The Mall." It was the center of every teenager's universe. And nobody loved the mall more than my brother and sister.

Mmm! Hickory Farms samples!

What's better than free meat?

Do you even know what you're eating right now?

Hello? It's summer sausage.

It's delicious because it's made by the sun.

This just might be the best day of my life.

Oh, no!

For my brother, the mall took a dark turn when it was time to make the lemonade.

Attention, perverts!

Look away from the Hot Dog On A Stick girl or face my fury!

Uh, Barry? What's the deal?

Well, honey, similar to Bruce Lee in "Enter The Dragon,"

I am about to fight everyone!

Erica, hold my meat.

Hold your own meat!

Babe, these guys aren't here just to watch me make lemonade.

They do it for everyone. See? Look at Dave Kim.

Boo! (Crowd groans)

That's right, that's right.

Walk away.

Will you stop it?!

I want to keep this job.

The money's good, and I got my eye on one of those.

The best yellow boom box money can buy.

Look at all that yellow!

It's so compact and waterproof.

That's perfect for my swim routine.

Well, keep dreaming, 'cause there's no way Dad's ever gonna buy us one.

Well, you could always get jobs.

A job?!

How would I be able to spend time after school at the mall if I already have a job after school at the mall?

Eh, too bad, 'cause they're hiring at Spencer's Gifts.

Ah, Spencer Gifts... The mall's one and only novelty store that specialized in wacky gag gifts guaranteed to offend.



I can actually get a job at the store I bought two of my four Spuds MacKenzie posters?

This is a dream come true!

'Cause I need money and they're hiring!

Dad, we need you to sign a permission slip.

Ask your mother.

She's not home.

I hope it's not time-sensitive.

Good luck to both of you.

We both got jobs at Spencer's Gifts, and we can't start until we get parental consent.

Give it to me! I'll sign it right now!

Before you do, you should really understand what you're agreeing to.

I agree.

Just know if you sign that slip, there's a good chance we'll become fully independent and move out.

Damn it, where's my pen?

You might not even have to pay for college.

I need my pen!

Here you go, Father.

Let's sign this baby.

And that's just one of the many hilarious items we'll be selling at Spencer Gifts.

Not even you being a moron can spoil my mood.

This is the greatest day of my life!

Uh, this'll work.

♪ 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 ♪

♪ I see your true colors shining through ♪

It was February 15th, 1980-something, and I was hard at work honing my skills as a VHS home-movie maker. Not everyone was a fan, but there was one blond-haired lady who couldn't get enough.

Yeah, I stare at him, too.


It's hard to believe that the bigger he gets, the more delicious he becomes, huh?

Are we looking at the same thing?

The hell is in your son's hands right now?!

Why does he have a waterproof Sports Boom Box with mega bass when we had to get jobs to get one?!

Adam is not like the two of you.

He can't just work any old job.

He's, uh... What do I want to say here...

Better than you.

He's better than you!

You can't say that!

I knew you'd understand.

Dad, tell your wife to tell your boy son that he needs to get a job, like the rest of us.

Hey, moron!

Get a job, like the other two morons.

No, thanks. See, I'm not so much the job guy.

I'm more the guy behind the job guy who just sits there and plays with his toys.

You get it.

I don't. Get a job.

No, n-n-n-n-n-n-no. Adam doesn't need a job.

He's already got a career.

Doing what?

Adam is going to be a famous director.


And if you don't believe me, just ask his guidance counselor.

No, your son would do miserably in Hollywood, and that's a fact.

My son is a star, and you're gonna die alone!

While I do feel that way, I'm just stating the hard truth.

It's more likely that your puny son will become a power forward for the Sixers than a big Hollywood muckety-muck.

Oh, no, Mama.

I don't want to play whatever sport he's talking about.

Don't worry, sweet potato.

Mr. Glascott doesn't know anything.

Oh, but I do.

You see, I once made my way out to L.A. with my own foolish dreams.

I thought I'd become a big-time Hollywood scriptwriter.

I even wrote a teleplay.

"Sole Brothers"?

That's "sole" spelled S-O-L-E.

Upon their father's death, two brothers take the reins...

Or laces... of the family shoe store.

They're detectives, but they have different styles.

You really need to read it.

No, I don't.

What are you telling my boy?

I'm telling your son the same thing Robert Wagner told me when I approached him in the men's room at Chasen's...

This is inappropriate.

Okay, let me clean this up.

He's saying you're definitely not gonna make it.

Good talk.

But Mom believes in me.

Yeah, well, she also believes that Erica's gonna be on the cover of Rolling Stone and Barry's gonna be a surgeon.

Oh, sweet balls! None of those things are ever gonna happen!

I have to get a job.

But you already have one... making wonderful home movies and winning the Academy Award of my heart.

Mom, it's okay.

Based on Mr. Glascott's tale of broken dreams, I should explore my options.

Okay, fine. You can try one job.

But as soon as everyone realizes that this a detour from what is obviously your destiny, you're going back to being my little moviemaker.

Boom! He's getting a job.

There you go.

Oh, speaking of my screenplay, I mocked up a poster to help sell it in the room.

These are twin shoe salesmen/detectives, Jeffrey Sole and David Alan Brothers.

If they're brothers, why do they have different last names?

If you read the script, you'd understand!

While I was warming to the novelty of having a job, Barry and Erica were warming to their jobs of selling novelties.

And last but not least, we have our edible underpants in all flavors and sizes.


I got one.

This place is awesome.

That's not a question, kiss-ass.

That's all right.

I share young Barry's verve for the gag game.

Well, sir, I'm gonna learn everything about this place, starting with the exploding golf balls.

Sorry. Barry offers enthusiasm, but not much else.

Really? 'Cause on his application, he said he was a genius who was studying pre-brain-surgery.


(Coughs) They explode, all right.

Okay, here's what you need to know.

Barry's gonna break stuff, scare customers, hurt himself.

But he's my brother and I love the dope, so I'm offering to be a buffer.

Thanks for the heads-up, Erica.

How could you!


I heard everything, thanks to this!

You sold me out on the first day?

I'm just protecting you from the biggest danger in your life... You.

You really think you're better than me at everything?

That I'm a joke?

Barry, you're covered in exploding golf ball dust.

Well, you're the joke.

'Cause I'm not just gonna be the greatest brain doctor...

I'm also gonna be the greatest Spencer Gifts employee.

How, you ask?

I'll out-Spencer Gifts you.

Now, I got to get myself a new shirt, 'cause this one's ruined.

And so began the great Goldberg Spencer gift-off.

Sold my first item. Suck it.

Yep, my brother was convinced he would walk away the winner. Meanwhile, I needed a job myself, and it was gonna take a true miracle. Wait a minute. Help found! If I could pass the impossible interview.

How many quarters are in a dollar?


I'll be in the back, taking a nap.


Oh. And we're running a promotion.

Every "A" a kid has on his report card, he gets a quarter.

Got it?

Sir, yes, sir!

Don't do that.

Dad, today I became a man!

Go brag to your friends and your grandpa.

That's not a "me" thing.

No, no! I got a job!

A real one?

Yep, at my favorite place in the world...

The arcade.

All my children have jobs?!

This is my dream.

I close my eyes, and this is what I see.

That's a sad dream, but you have a sad life, so I get it.

Come here!

What's happening?

This is me hugging you.

No! I'm hugging you! Just accept it!

Mom! Dad's trying to hug me!

Oh, Murray, you're finally expressing your love and affection towards your children!

No, the little weird one got a job!

What?! Who would hire him?!

Don't know. Don't care.

I thought he'd be singing in a wig for years.

Me too.

Now, if you don't mind, I'm gonna go adjust my change belt.

It was hanging a little low.

(Clicks tongue)

How could you let him accept a job and be part of the world?

I didn't do anything. It was easy.

It's fine. I'll just wait it out until he quits or gets fired.

Or he'll learn responsibility and pride from a job well done.

Oh, shut the f*ck up, Murray.

As my parents debated my new job, Erica was settling into hers.

Welcome to Spencer's.

Shopping for anything in particular?

We're looking for party favors for Billy's birthday.

I'm turning this much!

Okay... Whatever that is.

Well, we have great stuff for kids...

Balloons, fake tattoos, bouncy balls.

Boring! (Chuckles)

Let me guess, William, You like poo-poo?

You like fake barf?

You like big ol' farts?


Then come with me, 'cause you're gonna have the best birthday farty ever!


Let's go, little man.

I know you were worried about your brother, but he's actually doing great.

I'd say he's really embraced the spirit of Spencer's.

Yeah, well, he's not the only one.

Watch this.

Hey, handsome. Welcome to Spencer's.

Can I help you with anything?

Nah, just kinda browsing.

Dude! You like chicks?

Um... Yeah.

I'm kind of talking to one.

Yeah, he's kind of talking to one.

What about chicks in bikinis suntanning on rad sports cars?

Isn't that better than this dud?

Yeah, probably.

Then step to your right and check out our sweet posters!

And for the first time, Barry was out-Spencering Erica.

My Lord, look at that boy!

Scooping up ever super car and boobie poster we got.

Just doing my job, sir.

I know this is a small detour on your way to becoming a big-time brain surgeon, but how would you like to be assistant manager?



I've been looking for somebody to help me run this place.

I found him. What do you say?

I say you're gonna be out of business in two weeks.

Thank you for this opportunity.

Erica, your brilliant brother's in charge.

Now, I'm gonna go lose myself in a Cinnabon.

Well, well, well.

Looks like the master has become the student.

That's not the expression.

It is now, 'cause Barry's the boss.

And the boss Barry says clean all the dribble glasses and restock the fake turds.

As Erica faced the wrath of a new boss, I was facing bossy customers.

Hey, there. Nine quarters, please.

What's this?

It's my report card.

I'm a straight-A student.

But I go to school with you, and the report cards haven't come out yet.

Then why am I holding one?

That's from three years ago!

Plus, those aren't A's. They're F's you turned into A's.



A's don't have right angles.

You should know that, 'cause you got an "A" in geometry.

Well, here's something you should know.

Give me a fistful of quarters before I give you a faceful of fist.


Oh, yeah... she's got nine A's too.

What?! No way!

I've got my report card right here.

That's a napkin!

Less talking, more clicking.


That's it.

Look me in the eye as you do it.

Don't you look away!

Still day 1 at my new job, and I was already feeling like it was "Game over."

Dude, where'd all these people come from?

Everybody heard I was giving out free money!

But that's not even a report card!

That's a Sbarro box!

I know, Dave Kim!

I've lost control.

I'm gonna get fired.

Oh, for sure.

Ah, dang it! I'm all out!

You're gonna need more quarters.

Wait! I've got all the quarters in the world!

I had the perfect plan. I would just borrow a couple quarters from the machine.

Free quarters! Oh, God! Not part of the plan!

What the hell is going on?

It's a funny story, really.

I gave out free money. (Laughs nervously)

It's not funny.

Okay. Those beer helmets are clean enough.

Go tidy up the naughty novelty section in the back.

No. There's creepos over there.

And they're not buying anything.

Erica, you're objecting to a direct order from your superior.

Know what would happen if this was the Army?

Uh, this isn't the Army. We sell butt mugs.

Watch yourself.

Oh, Leon, I'm gonna need the keys to the glass case.

The glass case?

With the pewter dragons holding the crystal balls?

I haven't opened this case in years.

Yeah, I saw this stupid goth kid in the mall, and I said to myself, "That kid'll buy a dragon."

So I struck up a convo, and he's coming in.

Oh, my God.

Son, you've got it.

The gift.

The Spencer's gift.

Come on, That's not a thing.

(Sniffles) This is a big moment for me.

(Laughing) I've never said this before.

You can lock up tonight.

You sure?

I've never been more sure about anything in my life.


Learn from him.

He has the gift.

Spencer's gift, sure.

Well, would you look at that.

First, I'm made the boss.

Now I get the keys to the store.

I don't even have the keys to the house.

I have to sit in the tree until someone comes home!

I have to hand it to you...

You really did out-Spencer Gifts me.

Eh, don't feel bad. Not everyone has the gift.

If anything, I feel bad you don't get to see Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris? What about him?

Oh, he's signing his new book at B. Dalton.

What's it called?


"Punching America in the Throat."

Damn it!

Why are the two most important things that ever happened to me tonight?

I guess... I could cover for you.

Thank you, Erica.

You know, you're not a good employee, but you're an average sister.

Erica knew that in order to beat Barry, she'd have to play dirty. Meanwhile, I had to clean up the mess I made at work.

It was terrible.

They shook me down for all my quarters.

Was one dressed like a ditzy redhead and the other like a smart-alec shoeshiner?

Albert, not everything is a grift.

Face it, Mom was right.

I'm not qualified to do anything besides make stupid home movies.

We can fix this, together.

How much they get you for?


You're gonna fix this on your own.

Fine. I'll think of something.

Just don't tell Mom I got fired.

Yes! I heard everything, thanks to Barry's stupid giant ear.

Our Hollywood dreams are back on the table.



Mom, you got to stop. I just lost a real job.

You know what else is real?

You walking me down the red carpet at the Academy Awards.

To be clear, if I ever get a job in show business, I am not taking you as my date to anything.

Of course you are.

(Scoffs) I'm super not.

Well, who else are you gonna take?

Um, my wife?

Oh, it's cool. She'll understand.

No, she won't.

I'll talk to her. She'll get it.

You stay away from her... Seriously.

She didn't sign up for this.

So, What... I'm the only one who believes in you, but I have to read about your successes in People magazine, like some poor slob at a dentist's office?

I'll tell you before the article comes out, okay?

If I pay back the arcade, can I go to the Oscars then?

You can ride with me and my wife in the limo, but you can't go in.

I'll find a way.

No! You're not bailing him out of this.

This is his job, not yours.

You got to find a way to solve it on your own.

And I just did... by trading in my future happiness for cash.

Here's your money, plus a little extra because you're a special boy.

Hey, my special-boy money!

I'm gonna be brutal here because your mom's in la-la land.

You're not a boy, and you're not special!

What are you saying?!

He's not some magic star.

He's a regular Joe who's got to learn the value of a hard day's work.

By wearing wigs and making home movies.

Oh, my God! What are you doing to this kid?

I'm being his mother.

Well, I'm being his father.

Welcome to reality.

You go down to that job, and you solve it any way you can!

(Music playing)

Solve it!

What a rip!

Chuck Norris wasn't even there... just some lady named Maya Angelou.

She didn't know anything about karate.

Barry. We need to talk.

Leon. What are you doing back?

Someone paged me to come back to the store.

When I got here, you were gone... and so were all the bottled farts.

Oh, no! Not the bottled farts!

Yes, the bottled farts.

When I saw all the bottled farts were gone, I was excited.

I thought you sold the bottled farts. But now it seems you lost the bottled farts.

I'd never lose the bottled farts.

Barry, do you understand that each bottled fart was ass-crafted by a third-generation fartist in Pueblo, Colorado?

So they just fart into the bottles?

Oh, it's so much more than that.

Inside every bottled fart lives a child's wish.

And now all those wishes have vanished, like... Something in the wind.

A squeaky fart?

Damn it.

No one gets it like you, Barry.

But I still need that name tag.

Wait! You can't fire him for just losing some farts.

It's not about the farts.

It's about trust.

You broke my heart, son.

You did this.

You couldn't deal with the fact that I was better than you, that I was good at something, that I'll be a doctor one day.


No! Just don't talk to me.

My arcade job was a bust, but I had the perfect way to get my money back.

Yo, ponytail! Give me my damn money!


Okay, that didn't work.

Please do the right thing and give me my money.

I've considered your offer, and I have a counteroffer.

Eat my butt.

I totally thought you were gonna do the right thing, and then you offered your butt!

Can you guys please just give me the money back?

Sorry, man. I need that money to feed my family.


No. My dad's a lawyer.

He has that commercial where he wears a neck brace and tells you his number is dos dos dos, dos dos dos, dos dos dos dos.

Wait! That's it! I know how to fix this!

Is it by you giving us more quarters?

No, but what if I told you I could make you stars?

Johnny's already a star. You're a star, Johnny.

I know, girl. Everybody knows.

So, you'll do it?

Sure. But I got two questions for you.

Can I play my sax?

And how loud can I play my sax?

(Music playing)


Do you like video games?

Do you like girls?

Do you like girls who like video games?

Hey, big boy.

How 'bout we make that two-player?

Well, all right.

Come on down to Challenges Arcade.

All the latest games, from Asteroids to Zaxxon.

Did somebody say "Zaxxon"?!

More like sax-on.

(Saxophone solo)

Dude, this commercial's gonna be awesome.

Commercial, huh? Not a bad idea.

And it can be yours for only $5,000.

How about no dollars and you can have your job back?



Go away, fart thief.

Well, maybe this will cheer you up.

Eh? Whoopee cushion?

Bug in an ice cube?

Even though all those items are hilarious, you can't make up for what you did.


Okay, fine.

I paged Leon, and...

I hid all of the stinky bottles in the stockroom.

I did it because I was jealous.

You're better at Spencer's Gifts than me.

And I'm sorry.

No, I don't want another gag gift.

No, it's a real one.

("True Colors" plays)

A stethoscope?

For when you're a doctor.

You don't believe that.

Look, I know I'm always really hard on you, but watching you at that job made me see that when you're passionate about something, you can do anything.

So you're gonna be a doctor, all right?

And a damn good one.

You may not be a good employee, but you're a great sister.

Challenges Arcade, Willow Grove Park Hall.

Is this going on TV?

My boss bought local air time, and now the manager of Spencer's Gifts wants me to shoot one for him, too.

Oh, my baby!

Told you, Murray! He is special!

That's his job, being amazing!

You know, I think I'm gonna keep my actual job at the arcade.


Truth is, without it, I never would have gotten my first real directing gig.

Dad's right... a real job is a good thing.

Well, you're still gonna take me to the Oscars, though, right?

I'm taking my wife.

You'll take me to the Emmys.

Eh, I'm taking my wife.

Sure you are.


Fine. I'll stop.

You know, your mom may be onto something.

You might be more special than I'm giving you credit for.

You really think so?

Don't get a big head about it.

But, yeah, keep making your movies with the, uh, singing and the wigs.

I thought you hate the wigs.

Oh, I... I really hate the wigs.

Sometimes the people who push us the hardest are the most encouraging of all. Sure, growing up's messy, but when we accept the love around us, that's when our true colors shine brightest.

♪ And I see your true colors shining through ♪
♪ I see your true colors ♪
♪ And that's why I love you ♪
♪ So don't be afraid to let them show ♪

Come on down to Spencer's Gifts at the Willow Grove Mall, where our gag gifts are a sight for sore eyes.


We've got fake barf!

Underpants wallet!

Real lava lamps!

Whoopie cushions!

(Air hisses)

Joy buzzers!


"No Fart Zone" tape.

Wind-up chattering teeth!

Wacky shirts!

Silly wigs!

Edible underpants!

And, of course, our best seller...

Bottled farts!

And for the woman in your life, We have lilac hand lotion, for some reason.


So, come on down to Spencer's.

We've got shenanigans for you!