Early in the episode, Ruthie has to ask Lucy what the word "gossip" means. It seems very unusual that a fifth grader--not to mention a fifth grader who attends a high-profile private school--doesn't know that word.
Lucy: You told your principal that I have a learning disability, Simon doesn't talk, Matt lives in his car, Dad lost his job, and Mom drinks??? And how am I responsible for this?
Ruthie: Your friend Mike. He said that if people felt sorry for us, then they'd stop gossiping about Mary, so that's what I did to make people feel sorry for us.
Lucy: Well, you made your principal feel sorry for us.
Ruthie: No, just like Mike said, I told someone in authority, someone people listen to. Mrs. McCool will tell other people. It'll work.
Lucy: I notice that you didn't tell your principal that you have any problems.
Ruthie: My problem is that I have you guys for a family!
Teenager #1: So, are the rumors really true? Is Mary really pregnant?
Teenager #2: Some guy who has a brother who works at the hospital swears that Mary came in last month, and she was pregnant.
Lucy: Some guy who has a brother? What a reliable source.
Teenager #2: If she's not pregnant, then why did she leave?
Lucy: I don't want to talk about why my sister left. It's personal, private family business.
Man #1: (gossiping in Church as Eric gives his sermon) I heard they sent Mary off to rehab.
Woman #1: I heard she's pregnant.
Woman #2: She had to get married.
Woman #3: No, she's in prison!
Man #2: She just went crazy. They put her in an institution.
Woman #4: An institution? How could they have a daughter like that? The Camdens are such good people.
Man #3: I heard Mary ran away, and they don't know where she is.
Teenager #1: She's pregnant, and she robbed Pete's Pizza.
Teenager #2: No way!
Teenager #1: It's all over town!
Mrs. Beeker: She stole money out of the register at the pool hall.
Woman #5: I heard she dropped a baby on its head.
Mrs. Beeker: Her baby, right?
Woman #5: I don't think so.
Man #4: I heard she has a drinking problem. That's how she got pregnant. The drinking!
Mrs. Beeker: She was drinking and driving.
Man #4: In the nude!
Mrs. Beeker: It's just another case of a good girl gone bad.
Eric: (unaware of the gossip going around) Amen.
Simon: (to Carol) Shoplifting, running out on checks, sneaking into movie theaters, pinching people in line. This is not what I thought tonight was gonna be like. Look, don't take this the wrong way, because I like you, and you're the most beautiful girl I've ever been out with, but I don't think I can take any more surprises. I'm done. Finished. I'm not the bad boy you think I am. (Carol leans in and kisses him passionately, he pauses) Forget everything I just said!
Sue: (to Simon and Luke) Okay. Our dad is picking us up around 10:00.
Carol: And we need 30 minutes to change and take off our make-up.
Sue: So that leaves us with about four hours to do whatever.
Simon: Why do you have to change?
Carol: Do you think our parents let us out of the house looking like this? So, let's go do something.
Simon: Shouldn't we wait for the rest of the group?
Sue: (she and Carol laugh) There are no other people.
Carol: That's just a lie we tell our parents so they'll let us go out with boys.
Luke: I'm telling you. You can use Mary's bad girl reputation for your own good.
Luke: I'll telling you, you can use Mary's "bad girl" reputation to boost your own profile at school. Everybody thinks Mary left town because she's bad, and bad is good. Bad is cool. Man, we're gonna ride your sister's bad rep all the way to Babe Town!
Simon: I don't think we're allowed in Babe Town.
Simon: I um-
Carol: Sure we'll go out with you.
John: (to Matt) You're the boy who cried...love.
Eric: But that's just the cover story. The real story is Annie and me. She's dating an old boyfriend and I'm dating…Ruthie's principle.
Matt: (to John) I found my mystery woman.
Lucy: You told your principal that I have a learning disability, Simon doesn't talk, Matt lives in his car, Dad lost his job, and Mom drinks?
Matt: (To a girl) Do you want to stay and make out like crazy until your plane leaves?
Lucy: I noticed you didn't tell your principal you had any problems.
Ruthie: My problem is I have you guys for a family!
Simon: (To Sargent Michaels) Well my friend Luke convinced these girls that I was bad, which is fine because they're bad, but, it turns out they're a lot more bad then I can handle.
Luke: (To Simon after seeing the twins) Tell your dad, there is a God.
Eric: (About Robin) I hate that guy. (Happy barks) I really, really do.
Eric: I'm Annie's husband.
Robin: Right, right, Edward.
Robin: That's what I said.
Eric: Uh... No it isn't.
Eric: (To himself) Annester?
Annie: Are you going to stop playing Ricky Nelson songs and help me?!
Paula: Have you two hugged today? Hugging is very important. Hugs plus love equals marriage. In fact I think a hug can solve all trouble in the world. Famine, disease, war... Just give it a hug.
Eric: Did you learn that in hug class?
Annie: We both appreciate your offer of help, but the truth is, if there are any problems with the family or Mary and there aren't, Eric and I are fully capable of handling them.
Eric: I'm a family counselor.
Paula: A counselor who counsels himself... That's a fool for a patient.
Annie: Did you just call me a tart?
Eric: Ahh, honey... Come on, hugs plus love equals marriage! Gimme a hug!!
Lucy: Did you try to kill yourself because your girlfriend broke up with you?
Mike: (chuckles) No. I've heard that one before, though, and I hate it. I hate it because it romanticizes suicide. There's nothing romantic about trying to take your life. Now if you want romantic, this is romantic. Being alive and happy, and dancing with the most beautiful girl in the senior class.
Lucy: I don't even want to know what Mom and Dad are going to do when they find out what you did.
Ruthie: They're gonna thank me! They didn't like people talking bad about Mary, either.
Lucy: I don't think they're going to thank you.
Eric: We talked to Mrs. McCool.
Annie: Why would you make up stories about the family like that?
Ruthie: I thought that if I got people to feel sorry for us, they'd stop talking about Mary. I thought that if Mary knew everyone was talking about her, she wouldn't want to come home. I'm still mad at her for messing up, but I want her to come home.
Paula: Isn't that Annie Camden?
Mrs. Beeker: Mmmhmm.
Paula: But that's not her husband.
Mrs. Beeker: Uh uh.
Paula: Should we get a table?
Mrs. Beeker: Most definitely.
Mary is credited in this episode but does not appear. This is the first of only two episodes in the series in which a character appears in the opening credits but does not appear in the episode.
In Germany this episode is known as, "Bad Tongues," translated.
Music featured in this episode was a track from Rick Nelson's Legacy album.