Family Ties

The Fifth Wheel

Season 1, Ep 20, Aired 3/28/83
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  • Episode Description
  • Alex gets stuck babysitting for his little sister Jennifer. She is tired of feeling in the way at his poker game so she decides to disappear.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Michael J. Fox

    Alex P. Keaton

  • Tina Yothers

    Jennifer Keaton

  • Michael Gross

    Steven Keaton

  • Justine Bateman

    Mallory Keaton

  • Michael J. Weithorn

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Notes (1)

    • Moosie Drier is best-known as Riley from the TV series Kids Incorporated.

    Trivia (7)

    • In this and at least two other episodes, the Keatons live next door to the Obecks. In "Have Gun, Will Unravel" the Obecks are across the street.

    • In this episode, we get a thorough look around Jennifer's room. For as much as Jennifer is a tomboy and obsessed with baseball, it's odd that her room is so frilly. It is decorated primarily with pictures of animals and unicorns, and virtually no baseball memorabilia.

    • Jeff and Mallory went to a Truffaut movie. Fran├žois Truffaut was a French filmmaker of 25 years. The episode doesn't state the exact movie, but the implication was that the movie was in French, and likely without subtitles. In French Lessons, we learned that Jeff speaks fluent French, while Mallory struggles with French I. Nonetheless, Mallory loved the movie.

    • Alex criticized Dale Lewis for supporting the Equal Rights Amendment (the ERA). The ratification deadline for the ERA was June 22, 1982, nine months before this episode aired. Ohio was one of 35 states to ratify the ERA.

    • When the Keatons borrowed the neighbors' phones to find Jennifer, Alex went next door to the Obecks, and Elyse went to the Bartons. The Bartons have never been mentioned before. It's curious that nobody went to the Handelmans.

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (1)

    • When Alex tells Jennifer to get her coat, she fears that he's kicking her out of the house, and that she'll end up like Nicholas Nickelby. Nicholas Nickelby is a Charles Dickens novel about an affluent boy who was condemned to the streets after his father died.

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