Season 4 Episode 7

Changing Nature

Aired Friday 9:30 PM Jul 20, 1994 on ABC



  • Trivia

    • In syndication broadcasting, when all the plants have been destroyed, after Fran tells Earl "we can't live on Ho-Hos!", they would have followed through with Earl's response; the Baby's in-between follow up line, "I can!" is cut.

  • Quotes

    • Earl: (to family) Hey! Let's not get panicky. Our tactical supervisor will know exactly how to bring back the plants.
      (Earl and Roy go to see Mr. Richfield)
      Mr. Richfield: How the heck should I know? I'm a captain of industry, not a gardener!
      Roy: Well golly Mr. Richfield, we really ought to do somethin'. I mean folks get a little antsy when they suspect they may never eat again.
      Mr. Richfield: Oh okay, hold on, gimme a minute...we're talking about plants here, right?
      Earl: Yes.
      Mr. Richfield: Well, what makes plants grow?
      Earl: Uh...dirt?
      Roy: Talking to them in loving tones?
      Mr. Richfield: Rain! We gotta make it rain! That's all there is to it! But how...?
      Earl: ...oh! Tell everybody to wash their car! That always makes it rain!
      Roy: Or, everybody could take a bath! ...no wait, that makes the phone ring.

    • Earl: It sounds like we'd be declaring war on nature.
      B.P. Richfield: Exactly!

    • (Earl chuckles as he sees the cloud cover, thinking the world's problem will be fixed soon)
      Earl: Look at those big black clouds! If that doesn't mean rain, I don't know what does! Say Frannie, could you mind turn up the heat in here? It's getting a bit nippy. Frannie?
      (Earl sees the family huddled around the TV, looking depressed)
      Earl: Hey, what's wrong with you guys? This is cause for celebration!
      Ethyl: You might want to hold off on the victory dance, fat boy.
      Fran: Earl, you better have a look at this.
      Earl: What?
      (The family is watching Howard Handupme's weather forecast)
      Howard Handupme: Unfortunately, once again the task force's latest tactic has gone tragically awry, as thick black clouds of sulfurous gas and soot now surround the entire planet, blotting the sun from the sky and causing global temperatures to drop precipitously.
      (Everyone shoots a quick glance at Earl)
      Earl: So maybe we'll get snow instead of rain. What's the diff? When the sun comes out and melts all the snow, we'll have plenty of water. And then all those plants will come up like gangbusters!
      (Howard Handupme continues his report)
      Howard Handupme: Considering the thickness of the cloud cover, scientists predict it may be tens of thousands of years before the sun shines over Pangaea again.
      (Everyone glares at Earl, who figures he's just turned the world into a giant icebox)
      Earl: ...Would anybody like a...refreshing beverage?

    • (Earl calls Mr. Richfield about the Dinosaurs' impending doom)
      Mr. Richfield: What are you whining about now, Sinclair?!
      Earl: Sir, I think we may have gone just an eensie bit too far this time.
      Mr. Richfield: I don't know what you're talking about. This sudden coldsnap is a godsend. Dinosaurs are flocking to stores buying WESAYSO heaters, WESAYSO blankets and WESAYSO old-fashioned hot cocoa mix! (chuckles) We're going to have the best third quarter in history!
      Earl: Uh...sir, I think this could be the last third quarter in history.
      Mr. Richfield: Oh, don't turn into one of those environmental doomsayers, Sinclair. "Boo-hoo!" "It's raining acid!" "There's a hole in the ozone!" "You're hurting Flipper!" Bah! Bunch of tree-hugging pantywastes! They're always standing in the way of progress and it's our job to pave right over 'em!
      Earl: I think you're missing the point, sir. The world may be coming to an end!
      Mr. Richfield: Well, that's a fourth quarter problem. We'll drop a bomb on that bridge when we come to it! Right now, my biggest problem is trying to figure out what to do with all this money!
      (Mr. Richfield starts to laugh wildly in his greed, and Earl shivers)

    • (On seeing the poison sprayed on the window, while it's sprayed everywhere to kill the poppy)
      Baby: Look! Pudding!
      Fran: Oh dear, maybe I should've taken in the laundry.

    • Charlene: Your stupid spray killed all plant life.
      Earl: Hey, what are you complaining about? You never liked salads anyway.

    • Fran: We understand, sweetheart.
      Baby: Understand what?
      Earl: Well, you see little guy, what happened was...Daddy got put in charge of the world, and he didn't take real good care of it. And now it looks like there's not going to be much of a world left for you and your brother and your sister to live in.
      Baby: Are we gonna move?
      Earl: Well, no. There's no place to move to, this is the only world we got.
      Baby: But what's going to happen to us?
      Earl: Well, I don't exactly know...
      Robbie: (to Baby) But whatever it is, nobody's going to leave you.
      Charlene: That's right, little guy. We'll all stay together.
      Earl: Yeah. And hey, I'm sure everything will work out okay. After all, Dinosaurs have been on this Earth for 150 million years, and it's not like we're going to just...disappear.
      (Fran looks sad, as she knows their survival is at stake)

    • Earl: It's so easy to take nature for granted because it's always there, and technology is so bright and shiny and new.

    • Howard Handupme: And taking a look at the long range forecast, continued snow, darkness, and extreme cold. This is Howard Handupme, goodnight...(pause)...goodbye...

    • Ethyl: (regarding Earl) I always knew you'd screw things up. I just didn't know how bad.

  • Notes

  • Allusions

    • Flipper the Dolphin

      When Earl is trying in vain to convince Mr. Richfield of the Dinosaurs' impending doom over the phone, Mr. Richfield starts to mock him for thinking he's turned into a tree hugger. Among his mocking, Mr. Richfield says, "You're hurting Flipper!", referencing the famous movie and TV series dolphin from the 1960s.