Mama's Family

Many Unhappy Returns

Season 5, Ep 5, Aired 12/3/88
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  • Episode Description
  • It's the day before Mama's birthday and Vint decides to make her a present instead of buying her something. It ends up being a really ugly cocktail belt, which Bubba's not sure what to think of when he sess it. A little later, a knock comes at the front door and it's Vint's boss, Mr. Carstairs. He wants Vint to hold on to a gift he bought for his "Mother", his pet name for his wife. A $200 diamond bracelet. The problem's start when Mama finds it and thinks it's for her after she reads the card and it says "to my darling mother." So not being able to except such an expensive gift she takes it back to the store and exchanges it. Buying gifts for everyone else in the process. Bubba gets an LP, Naomi gets her bed sheets and Vint's get the watch he wanted. While Mamma get the thing she wanted all along, a cordless electric mixer. Then the whole story comes out about how Mama got the money for the all the gifts. Right as Mr. Carstairs arrives, Vint explains to Mama that the bracelet wasn't for her. But the whole situation is resolved when Mr Carstairs excepts Mama's electric mixer as a replacement and says he'll dock Vint's pay for the rest.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Vicki Lawrence

    Mrs. Thelma "Mama" Crowley-Harper

  • Ken Berry

    Vinton Harper

  • Dorothy Lyman

    Naomi Oates Harper

  • Karin Argoud

    Sonja Harper (episodes 1-35)

  • Beverly Archer

    Iola Boylen (1986-1990)

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (15)

    • *Mama opens her gift from Vint* Mama: What the hell is this? Vint: It’s a cocktail belt. Mama: Oh I get it. You need a couple drinks to put it on.

    • *Vint is reading the features of the watch* Vint: It’s even got a smoke detector. Mama: It’s so important to know when your arm is on fire.

    • Mama: What the hell do you call your kids anyway, Grandma and Grandpa?!

    • *Mama gives Iola her imitation satin sheet set* Naomi: Oh Mrs. Harper. I’m speechless. Mama: Good. Let’s keep it that way.

    • Iola: Thelma, what are you doing? Mama: Well Iola, my only son just paid a small fortune on a gift for me. I’m doing what any grateful mother would do. I’m taking it back.

    Show More Quotes

    Allusions (1)

    • The title of this episode is an allusion to the saying, "Many Happy Returns." The meaning of "Many Happy Returns" is: May you have many, many more happy birthdays! This expression was first recorded in a letter of 1779 where the writer meant ‘Happy New Year.' Up until the 19th century, this was a New Year’s Day and even April Fool’s Day greeting as well as a birthday greeting.

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