Back in the '80s, before social media, the only way to show off your family was with your annual holiday card.
Matching sweaters and smiles sent to family and friends near and far.
My mom always had a strong opinion.
Who takes a picture in a field of cornflowers?
We all know this is the park behind the interstate.
No one thinks you have a summer home.
I'm gonna regret this, but they seem pretty happy.
Well, so do lobsters before you boil them.
Who's boiling a lobster?
Everyone, shut your nog holes!
Look at the Kremps' Christmas card.
[ANGELIC MUSIC PLAYS]
They're literally glowing.
They look like the Kennedys But with no Teds.
These beautiful blond turds are not gonna outdo me this year.
The Goldbergs are having a professional holiday photo taken.
" You can't "nah.
" I "nah" your "nah.
" Murray's right.
You can't just force us to take a photo out of some sort of vindictive personal jealousy.
That's why all photos are taken.
Except you're forgetting one thing.
We had our own crazy holiday cards.
But the matching outfits and stupid poses hid the fact that every single session was torture.
It looks like a yearbook for an insane asylum.
He got you good, Bevy.
Hey, kid, I like having you around.
Thanks, I guess.
I'm your son who lives here, so it's a little weird.
No, no, no.
The full package.
- No expenses spared.
- I booked studio time.
Why'd I choose to have a family?
Guess who's home for winter break!
It's Erica, and she brought me and laundry.
Yep, I'm back, and it's time not to reconnect or catch up at all.
I'm just gonna sleep and do nothing.
Not nothing, 'cause Mom's making us take a family photo.
You never saw me!
'Tis the season to pre-treat some stains for my lady love.
You need to do some self-reflecting, kid.
Oh, I'm going down!
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 December 11th, 1980-something, and the JTP were preparing for their first holiday together as roommates.
Merry Christmas, George!
I love It's a Wonderful Life.
It reminds me it is a wonderful life.
Of course, one roommate didn't quite have the holiday spirit.
Turn the black-and-white nonsense off.
I demand we watch a true holiday classic Lone Wolf McQuade.
Is that even a holiday movie?
It stars a jolly bearded man, Chuck Norris, who delivers joy to children by killing drug kingpins.
So, that's a no.
Time to kick our eyes with some action.
That was my copy of Lone Wolf McQuade.
Uh, we've been talking and feel you could be a little more Respectful of our stuff.
When am I disrespectful, stupid Matt Bradley?
For instance, you constantly use my toothbrush.
To clean the shower, so you're welcome.
And every time I get home from work, you "ninja surprise" me with a bo staff to the belly.
I thought you were a burglar.
And you ate my allergy medicine.
I regret that one.
Tasted real bad.
So, you're gonna change your ways and become a better roommate?
Over some ticky-tack stuff, like wearing your shirts and socks and underwear?
Plus, when we talk, you always interrupt Silence, okay?
You've made your mediocre case, JTP, and since it's the season of forgiveness, you'll be happy to know I forgive you for attacking me in my own home.
I apologize for using this language, but Barry's a crummy roommate.
It's like no matter what we say, he still wears our underwear.
Tasty needs to be stopped.
As the JTP wished Barry would chill out, my mom was firing up the Festival of Lights.
We just had to sit through all that Hebrew jibber-jabber.
Now where's our presents?
Gotta start off Hanukkah with a bang.
These stripey bad boys will fit in all my shoes.
As your romantic partner, the sock excitement isn't working for me.
I'm gonna do better.
Now we discuss the most important part about Hanukkah.
Our people's struggle?
Our family photo.
That's still a thing we're doing?
Let these impossibly colorful sweaters be my answer.
Socks and a sweater!
It's no big deal.
No way am I squeezing into this itchy yarn vomit.
I think it's beautiful.
Not just the sweaters, but the fact that you're including me in your holiday card.
Yeah, that's not what's happening here.
Geoff, that's Barry's sweater.
But since you have it on, could you do me a favor and do something punchy and kicky so I can see if it has enough elasticity for my hyper monkey?
What is that?
Okay, well, clearly, you're not into it, so why don't you just take it off, and I'll put it on the dog.
Well, I hope you guys enjoy your Family photo.
Erica, I think your boyfriend wants to be in our family for some reason.
That makes me sad.
It makes us all sad, buddy.
Dude, my mom's down there trying to talk Pops into being the top of our human pyramid.
Is this really what you want to be a part of?
I'm not married to a pyramid, but some sort of people-stacking with your family is what I want.
I mean, we've been dating for years now, and I'm with your family all the time, and now we're living together.
That last thing being our very carefully guarded secret.
And it might be corny, but it's what I want.
Geoff, you're such a sweet and sensitive boy, which is why I say this in the gentlest way possible.
Don't be a [BLEEP]
- Not in front of Bear-rah Fawcett!
You need to accept it's not gonna happen.
It's my parents.
They're just old-fashioned that way.
Well, then I guess I'll just have to get your family - to see what they're missing out on.
- My Geoffer-vescence.
But it's best to just sit this one out.
But that photo pyramid sounds so fun.
I just want so badly to be under your dad or on top of your grandpa.
I know you don't know why, but we are not gonna kiss for a while.
While Geoff was stressing out he couldn't be in the picture, Dave Kim and I were relaxing with a neighborhood stroll Until this happened.
Tell no one, or I'll erase your bloodline!
Why'd you guys snatch me off the street like that?
What a rush!
Now I get why kidnappers like this.
Super awesome and dramatic, right?
Again, why am I here?
Well, we figured you lived with Barry your whole life basically problem-free.
And since you know how to handle him better than anybody, we thought you'd have some suggestions on how to prank him.
You couldn't have just lobbed in a phone call?
Tell me how bad you wanna hurt him.
Well, he's rude, inconsiderate, and destructive.
- He did unspeakable things in my BVDs.
- Say no more.
He soggied my cotton bottoms.
What part of "no more" don't you understand?
- He freckled my Fruit of the Looms.
- I get it.
He skidded my scanties!
I have a full picture!
Just take away the thing Barry loves most.
- Apples with caramel?
- For sure caramel.
But more specifically, himself.
Could you be even more specific?
Barry's ego is so big.
If you want to get back at him, make him feel like he doesn't matter.
You mean erase him from existence, like George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life.
And so, the next day, the JTP played the meanest prank ever They pretended Barry didn't exist.
Who wants to start this day by tossing this bowling ball I found off the roof?
Can we help you, stranger?
You seem to have wandered into the wrong house.
Don't be stupid, stupid Matt Bradley.
And you are What?
Your charismatic and angry leader who doesn't like to be questioned before his morning Hawaiian Punch.
Take it easy, okay?
We just don't know you.
Of course you do, you ship-in-a-bottle captain, Andy.
Look at the photo of us inside the What?
Where's my gorgeous face and rugged features?
Not in that picture of the J. A. G The Jenkintown Association of Guys.
J. A. G.
- J. A. G. !
- J. A. G. !
Hello, male peers and roommates.
I live here.
This is my beloved home.
Johnny Atkins isn't a part of our friend group.
He's more than just a part of it.
He's our emotionally in-control leader.
This is my beloved home.
I live here.
I demand you explain what is happening right now, JTP.
What's happening is, we don't know who you are, and you're not demonstrating the calm and cool the J. A. G. is known for.
Oh, my God.
There's only one explanation for this.
You realize the error of your ways and you're ready to treat your roommates with kindness and respect?
I've been erased from history.
That's your takeaway?
My dominance was never born.
Oh, he is taking this way harder than I thought.
Johnny Atkins is second-guessing his role in this hateful prank.
What's he talking about?
I'm talking about how your closest friends bought me tacos to question your existential value in the world.
I don't know what that means, butJTP?
Bud, it was a prank, like how you sullied my under-khakis.
Uh, now we're even.
I merely wore your most intimate apparel.
You stole my place in this world.
The important thing is, we can resume our lives and put this to rest.
I'm coming for you guys.
It may not be today or tomorrow, 'cause I got some stuff to do, but it'll be sometime convenient for me, probably Wednesday, and it will ruin your lives forever.
While Barry was dead set on revenge, Geoff was dead set on being part of our family photo.
Why is this meshugenah blocking the tube?
I want to see if Simon makes up with Simon.
I stand before you with a comprehensive presentation of why I should be in your family photo.
I'm not looking at any of that.
And I knew you wouldn't, because, as a fixture in this home, I know everything about you.
Then you know I'm irritated.
Which is why I brought you a bacon and egg sandwich with a side of another bacon and egg sandwich.
Do what you do, egg man.
You are an important part of this family, and I'm sorry I didn't ask you to be in the picture.
Oh, my God.
This is such a big moment for me.
I don't even know what to say.
Say you'll pull it together.
I don't need you puffy for when we take the pic that will devastate that Christmas clown Jinzy Kremp.
I'm the favorite holiday boy now.
Let me see your pearly whites, huh?
Those are gonna shine up nicely.
Uh, what's going on in here?
Your mom's inspecting your boyfriend like he's some kind of show pony.
It's invasive, but I'm gonna be in the photo!
- You guys don't want him in the photo, right?
Fine by me.
Murray, you cool with it?
I've never cared less about anything in my life.
We are going to be on all the fridges - and mantels throughout the suburbs.
- It's happening!
It really is.
So, so fast.
The JTP had made Barry feel like he didn't even exist [DOOR SLAMS]
So, he was determined to get back at them in a way they would remember forever.
Where do we keep the rat poison?
Do we have a rat?
My friends hurtfully pranked me, and now I want to even more hurtfully prank them back.
- With poison?
- Hilarious, I know, but I'm open to suggestions, just as long as it's something that destroys their lives and forever changes us all.
Every week, I caution you with advice in difficult situations.
It's basically all you do, besides snarf down our baked goods.
No matter my advice, you do the exact opposite.
I am a little frustrating.
So, I'm gonna give you bad advice - in the hopes that you'll do the right thing.
- Getting bored.
Destroy your buddies with extreme malice.
So, you're kinda saying I shouldn't seek revenge because it will irreparably damage my friendships?
Wait, are you really hearing me?
[AIR HORN BLARES]
Good morning, tired amigos.
What's with the horn, man?
It's 6:00 a. m.
Apologies have no sense of time or place.
You're here to acknowledge the error of your ways, and you're ready to move forward as an equal respectful partner in our home.
Something like that.
I even brought you all holiday gifts.
I don't understand.
You were super angry and irrational yesterday.
But then my wise old grandpa suggested I stop this senseless cycle of pranking.
What's in the boxes, Barry?
Just a little reminder of how I feel about you guys.
Ah, screw it.
I'm going in.
My dress slacks?
You've been pranked!
I've got my sister's engagement dinner tonight.
I guess you'll have to hit the boys section of Sears.
Dude, that's not a gift.
That's just mean and destructive.
You're up next, Naked Rob.
My Nudist Enthusiast magazines?
These are expensive and European.
Now they're confetti.
I had to learn French for these.
Finally, for my favorite person in the world, stupid Matt Bradley.
I don't wanna open mine.
Your instincts are good.
Is this my birth certificate or the last letter my grandfather wrote me?
Those are your last three paychecks from The Gap.
Now I don't have money for presents for my family.
It's even funnier than I thought!
Dude, this is way too far.
Yeah, you made Matt Bradley weep.
I actually cry every day, but this one hurt.
Barry, you need to get out.
Because I brought our prank war to its naturally devastating conclusion?
You're not just a horrible roommate.
You're a horrible friend.
We're gonna go grab breakfast.
When we get back, you need to be gone.
Guys, come back.
How will I learn if you don't immediately forgive me and move on?
As Barry couldn't see the error of his ways, the next day, Geoff was about to witness a traditional Goldberg family holiday card catastrophe.
Oh, my God!
My scrumptious family looks amazing.
Paul, is it true that when a family looks this pretty, you pay them to take their picture?
Okay, Goldberg clan.
Let's see those smiles.
Uh, young man in the back?
You look really sad.
My boy friends dumped me.
So it begins.
You know, we might as well just cut our losses - and head on home.
- No way.
All right, come on.
Smile for Mama, Barry.
[CAMERA SHUTTER CLICKING]
Barry's grimace doesn't express family unity and joy.
His stink face is the least of it.
My grandpa can't stand this long.
Hey, Pops, how ya feeling?
All my fluids are in my feet.
I think I'll lie down for a minute.
Dad, what the hell are you doing?
You got a pillow or a couch cushion?
Your grandpa just made the ground his bed!
- It's what he does.
- All right.
Just like how my dad always gets overheated.
Hey, Mur-Man, how's that sweater treating you?
Make it stop!
Get it off!
Just keep clicking.
We'll get one.
Maybe even one with some fun props?
What do you say, Ad?
Who screams holiday cheer more than flamboyant pop icon Elton John?
Are we sleeping or pop stars?
Let's pick a lane!
Pull it together, Geoff.
Please tell me you're getting some keepers.
[CAMERA SHUTTER CLICKING]
It all fell apart so fast.
Yeah, I tried to tell you.
Just be happy you never have to do this again.
Okay, I think we got it.
But we didn't.
Back at home, Barry still didn't get why he lost his place in the JTP pad.
You've been given a great gift, George A chance to see what the world would be like without you.
I wish I had someone old and wise who would guide me through life.
I'm going back to focusing on Adam.
I'm gonna crash here tonight.
Sure, there's 12 minutes left, but let's turn it off.
This isn't where I fell asleep.
Have I been gently kidnapped?
Your body is right where you left it.
You're dreaming of what the world would be like if you didn't exist.
This isn't the JTP pad.
It has no holes in the wall.
Of course there's no holes.
You weren't here to punch them.
Go for Mr.
Who are you, your stepdad that officially adopted you?
He can't hear you.
And he's now a successful Gap businessman.
Without you making him late for work, he became Worldwide Head of Jean Shorts.
Oh, hey, there, friend.
How's the weather up here, you ask?
Why, it's great, because life for the very tall always is.
Who stretched Andy?
Without you stealing his lunch, Andy had a growth spurt.
He's been helping people grab things off the top shelf ever since.
You're Naked Rob, and that's all you'll ever be.
Without you to pants Rob in second grade, Naked Rob never came to be.
He built his identity based on a love of high-quality Italian menswear.
Hope you guys don't mind.
I brought a party sub.
And a party.
It's our wives, who cherish us not just for our success, but for our high self-esteem.
Let's kiss them and watch football.
You don't have wives!
You have me!
And I matter!
I make your lives better!
That Wonderful Lifemovie taught me I need to fix everything!
But you were asleep for 10 seconds!
I've been asleep my whole life.
So George Bailey, you listen to.
Your name is Al something.
Anyway, I gotta go.
While Barry ran off to save his friendships, Geoff was about to run into my sister at the mall.
Geoff, what are you doing here?
I thought I'd get your family a little thank-you for including me.
Oh, you'll be happy to know that Jinzy will be crying into her nothing-flavored holiday cookies because we nailed it.
You took the photo without me?
- Yes, 'cause they are the worst - The worst.
So, let's just rush away and never speak of this again.
Wait a minute.
We wanted Geoff in the picture.
You're the one who said he had explosive diarrhea.
And I definitely did not say "explosive.
" You did, and it read as true.
It's our people's burden.
Shame only makes it worse.
I don't have diarrhea.
Uh This is a guess, but she definitely doesn't want you to be in our picture.
Is that true?
Please, I can explain.
Enjoy being with your family.
Well, it's not a Goldbergs holiday unless someone runs away upset and possibly with diarrhea.
Even though the JTP had kicked Barry out, he was still determined to pull off a holiday miracle.
JTP, I have returned.
I thought we took your key.
You did, but I made dozens of copies of the JT-Key, all of which I lost, except for this one.
What do you want?
Just one thing Your forgiveness.
What's in the bag, man?
I think it just moved.
It's definitely full of spiders.
I know what's in there.
My greatest fear Speaking in public.
I had a dream about you guys, and you were all better and way more successful, and I hated it.
You hate the idea of us being successful?
I love the idea of you guys crushing life.
I just hated that I wasn't a part of it.
That's Really nice, Bar.
So, I emptied my bank account and replaced all the gifts I shredded.
Your nudie mags.
And your paychecks.
They're all Kinda here.
And I got a little something extra for each of you.
For Naked Rob, a Miami Vicesuit, 'cause in my dream, you looked amazing with or without clothes.
For Andy, a 76ers Dr.
J jersey, 'cause you stand taller than anyone I know.
And for my dear friend Matt Bradley, I got you nothing, 'cause you're perfect the way you are.
You ran outta money?
Get in here.
While Barry had finally found his way, Geoff had never felt more lost.
I'll be out of here soon.
You got it all wrong.
No, I think it's pretty clear.
You're ashamed of me.
You don't want me in your permanent picture for everyone to see because you're the cool, hot girl and I'm just the sweet, little puppy dog who follows you around and folds your clothes, but when it comes time to [THE CURE'S PICTURES OF YOU PLAYS]
Geoff, I am never ashamed of you.
There's nothing better in my life than you.
Then why can't I be in your family's stupid holiday card?
Because I'm not ready.
How does that even make sense?
It was your idea to live together, secretly, in this little room.
And I am loving it.
But you being in that picture with my family, it made me anxious about the future.
About getting married and starting our own family and being together forever.
Barry and Lainey.
You're scared this card will be a permanent reminder of us if things don't work out.
All I know is, right here, right now, I am so happy, and I don't want to think about anything beyond right now.
I'm willing to take this as slow as you want.
But I'm starting to think you might be right about that photo.
[CAMERA SHUTTER CLICKS]
With that, Geoff got a version of the photo he liked even more.
That's the thing about the holidays.
They may not always turn out like you'd imagined.
It's not great.
But it's us.
There was nothing in the world But then you're reminded that the little imperfections are what make life special, those moments between the ones in all the pictures, the littles ones with the real smiles.
Those are the sweet spot.
'Cause after all, in the end, when we learn to savor those moments, the tiny snapshots, [CHUCKLES]
Well, it really is a wonderful life.
Everybody's nice and neat.
Let me get your tie.
Adam needs his hair combed.
That's one handsome boy here.
Now you're in on this?
I heard we had a new way of getting information out of you, and we need to know Where's that deli that lets you taste the meat before you buy it?
It's the one on Main Street.
Is breakfast truly the most important meal of the day?
Is a frog an amphibian or a reptile?
Does Matt Bradley need to go to the doctor for this?
Forgot what I was gonna ask.
Put the hood back on him.