Season 2 Episode 4

Flour Child

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Oct 11, 1994 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
90 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


With Niles unsure he's ready for the responsibilities of fatherhood, he takes to carrying a ten-pound sack of flour around Seattle to simulate a child.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Nilles tries to discover if he is daddy-material! Hilarity follows as usual.

    The third in my top three favourite episodes. After "helping" (aka running to a falafel stand for a pot of hot water) to deliver a baby in a cab, Niles wonders whether or not he and Maris should have a child. When Frasier mentions a test that high school students have to go through, nurturing a bag of flour for a week, Niles decides to take the plunge. Finding his child is already hilarious; he walks into the kitchen and picks up a bag of sugar saying: extra-refined Niles says: it's taking after it's old man already. Frasier: No Niles, that's the sugar. If we're going to do this, we're going to do it right. Now, here is the flour.

    [reads from the label]

    Frasier: Bleached, 100% fat free, best when kept in an air-tight container. It seems this one is taking after its mother.

    Every single time I see Niles wandering around with his flour child, I just have to giggle. Especially when he explains the so-called scuffs that his baby suffers throughout the episode; such as being run through with a hair pin, being kicked into the reflecting pool, bursting into flames and sliding down the front of the car onto the ground and finally being ripped to shreds by the lovely "dingo" Eddie. This episode is a classic must-watch episode of the series.moreless
  • A good mix of slapstick and serious

    Niles is considering becoming a father (at this stage his marriage to Maris is still lumbering along). When a taxi driver goes into labour while carrying him (leading to a comical scene in which Frasier's over-analysis and Niles' wimpishness mean that Martin is far more help to the lady), he decides to do an experiment - he will carry a sack of flour around for a week, to get some idea of what parenthood involves. The thought of childbirth leads Daphne into one of her eccentric moments, a row with her mother in which she plays both parts.

    After a joke comparing a bag of flour to Maris (both are bleached, 100% fat free and best when kept in an airtight container), he proceeds to have several accidents with the bag. He stabs it with his chopsticks while playing Brahms, has him slide off the roof of his car, kicks it into a pool while practising karate, and then finally has it catch fire. As he points out, "it's not as careless as you make it seem; after all, a real child would have cried before bursting into flames". There is another great moment when he describes a paranoid dream he has - the flour sack is kidnapped and the kidnappers send muffins in the mail (watch out for Daphne's bemused but slightly sympathetic laugh at this point). He sadly concludes that he is not ready for parenthood. There is also a side story - Frasier writes "dear Clarence, you're not getting older, you're just getting closer to death" on what he believes is a birthday card. In fact, Clarence (a security guard at the station) has had a kidney transplant! He has to therefore steal the card and replace it with an identical card with identical greetings from everyone else.

    This is one of the best episodes up to this point. The writing is punchy, the concept original, and the conclusion (especially Martin's thoughts on parenthood) strangely touching.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • The baby (Nathan) that Frasier and Niles supposedly delivered and then see again at the hospital is obviously not a newborn - not only by its features, but also by the fact that it is using a pacifier regulated for much older babies.

    • When Eddie chewed up the Flour package and it got all over the couch it seems unusual that Frasier did not get upset or yell at Eddie because in previous episodes he gets mad that Eddie is even on the couch and we know how Frasier is when it comes to his furniture being damaged or stained.

    • The number of the cab where Martin delivers the baby is 804, the same as the one in which Alex (Judd Hirsch) delivered a baby on an episode of Taxi.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Niles: Last night, I actually had a dream my flour sack was abducted and the kidnappers started sending me muffins in the mail.

    • Frasier: Niles, I can't help noticing that your child has a-a little boo-boo.
      Niles: Oh, it's nothing. I was playing him some Brahms the other day. (Never too early to ingrain them). I guess I must have begun conducting with one of the gilded chopsticks that Maris wears in her bun and I accidentally ran him through.

    • Frasier: (discussing Niles' parenting pangs) Have you talked this over with Maris?
      Niles: Not yet. I like to know what I want before Maris tells me.

    • Daphne: I'll bet you have some fond memories of when your son was born.
      Frasier: Oh, yes, of course. I remember the very first time I held him in my arms as a newborn. It was as if everything else in the universe simply melted away. There was just a father, a son...and the distant sound of Lilith saying, "If you ever come near me again, Frasier, I'll drop you with a deer rifle."

    • Frasier: Oh Niles! I haven't got time to sit here and listen to your insanity. I've got to go steal a get-well card from a kidney patient!

    • (Eddie is tearing apart Niles' flour baby)
      Daphne: (to Niles) That dingo's got your baby!

    • Niles: I'm role playing, Dad.
      Martin: Try playing the role of a sane person.

    • Martin: For God's sake, Niles, calm down. I think it's time you realized something - that is not a person it's a bag of flour. There's an easy trick to tell the difference. People don't usually come with pop-over recipes on their backs!

  • NOTES (0)


    • Daphne: That dingo's got your baby!

      Daphne is referencing the 1980 disappearance of Azariah Chamberlain. The phrase (a parody) was popularized, of course, by the 1988 film A Cry in the Dark based on the event and starring Meryl Streep.