Lizzie McGuire

Season 2 Episode 3

Mom's Best Friend

0
Aired Unknown Mar 08, 2002 on Disney Channel
7.7
out of 10
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32 votes
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Episode Summary

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Mom's Best Friend
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Mr. Dig assigns Lizzie a report on a book about a mother-daughter relationship. Lizzie loves the book and decides that she and her mom should become closer friends. Jo McGuire goes along with it and Gordo and Miranda are surprised when Lizzie brings her mom to the Digital Bean to "hang out!" Mother and daughter are enjoying their new relationship until Jo confides in Lizzie about some problems she was unaware of: Nana and Grandpa Chuck are having marital troubles and her dad was once in some tax trouble (he was mistaken for Bill Gates and supposedly owed the government $618 million!) All of a sudden Lizzie knows more than she wants to. Miranda and Gordo decide to follow Lizzie's example and get closer to their parents. Lizzie starts to avoid her mom a little bit, but Jo tracks her down and tells her that Nana and her grandpa worked out their problems. Lizzie admits that she was freaked out by some of the things her mom told her. Jo apologizes and they both decide that maybe they should wait a few years before being so intimate with each other. Gordo and Miranda agree: it's nice being close to their parents, but they both have their own worlds to live in. Elsewhere, Matt and Lanny are looking for something new to do when--surprise!--a chimpanzee jumps in through the window! The animal messes up the house and quickly departs, leaving Matt and Lanny to take the blame for the mess. When it happens again, the boys realize they must catch this "evil" chimp, and they set a trap--using Matt's dad Sam for bait!moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • If I Was . .

    8.2
    Mr. Dig assigns Lizzie a report on a book about a mother-daughter relationship. Lizzie loves the book and decides that she and her mom should become closer friends. Jo McGuire goes along with it and Gordo and Miranda are surprised when Lizzie brings her mom to the Digital Bean to "hang out!" Mother and daughter are enjoying their new relationship until Jo confides in Lizzie about some problems she was unaware of: Nana and Grandpa Chuck are having marital troubles and her dad was once in some tax trouble (he was mistaken for Bill Gates and supposedly owed the government $618 million!) All of a sudden Lizzie knows more than she wants to.



    Miranda and Gordo decide to follow Lizzie's example and get closer to their parents. Lizzie starts to avoid her mom a little bit, but Jo tracks her down and tells her that Nana and her grandpa worked out their problems. Lizzie admits that she was freaked out by some of the things her mom told her. Jo apologizes and they both decide that maybe they should wait a few years before being so intimate with each other. Gordo and Miranda agree: it's nice being close to their parents, but they both have their own worlds to live in.



    Elsewhere, Matt and Lanny are looking for something new to do when--surprise!--a chimpanzee jumps in through the window! The animal messes up the house and quickly departs, leaving Matt and Lanny to take the blame for the mess. When it happens again, the boys realize they must catch this "evil" chimp, and they set a trap--using Matt's dad Sam for bait!



    moreless
  • You've Got A Friend In Me.

    5.1
    It is a well-known fact amongst comicbook circles that apes sell. There have been unscientific studies done that show comics with covers that feature apes sell better than those that don’t. Apparently there is something in the human psyche that draws us to our simian brothers. Bottom line is that we like apes. And this episode seems to bear that out.



    Taking the subplot first, Lanny and Matt find themselves subject to a ‘demon chimp’. Actually, a runaway chimpanzee is wreaking havoc throughout the McGuire house, causing Matt to get the blame for the damages. Seeing Matt and Lanny go on an ‘ape hunt’ is funny. And when we see Matt dressed up as a giant banana, well, what else can one say? Bananas are funny. Apes are funny. Kids are funny. Apes, bananas, and kids all in the same plot? Come now, how could it *not* be great?



    This subplot is a definite winner. Especially the way Matt and Lanny catch the offending chimp. Great stuff. Grade A.



    As for the main plot, for which the episode is named, it too lives up to what we have come to expect. Once again, this is a ‘lesson’ episode. Lizzie learns about what it means to be an actual ‘equal’ to one’s parent. She finds out that there is more to being her mother’s friend than just doing things together. That adults have all sorts of problems that people her age don’t. Problems that are unpleasant and scary. Basically, Lizzie is overwhelmed by the serious nature of these things, and at her age is unable to cope with them effectively. But she is mature enough to realize that she likes spending time with her mother and sharing things with her, and that she would like to be friends with Jo – but in a few years when she’s old enough to handle it.



    This maturity that she gains is an important step for her in her continuing journey in life. That being an adult is not everything it’s cracked up to be is something she is best to learn now instead of having it ‘sneak’ up on her later on.



    We are also treated to Miranda and Gordo’s attempts at ‘bonding’ with their parental figures in response to Lizzie’s experiment. Miranda seems to gain some insight after the experience as well, feeling guilty that she doesn’t spend enough time with her own mother. As for Gordo, well, his trip didn’t come off quite so well. ;-)



    Overall, this is an understated ‘message’ episode. But even so it gets across what it’s meant to. And that is the hallmark of a great show. One comes away feeling ‘warm and fuzzy’ after Lizzie and Jo come to terms at the end of the episode.



    And again, you can’t go wrong with primates. You just can’t.moreless
Michael Mantell

Michael Mantell

Howard Gordon

Guest Star

Dyana Ortelli

Dyana Ortelli

Daniella Sanchez

Guest Star

Christian Copelin

Christian Copelin

Lanny

Recurring Role

Arvie Lowe

Arvie Lowe

Mr. Dig

Recurring Role

Jeremy J. Bargiel

Jeremy J. Bargiel

Bleacher Boy [as Jeremy Bargiel]

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (9)

    • In one shot at the Digital Bean, Miranda can be seen with some fries in her left hand. But in the close up shots before and after that one, she doesn't have anything in her hand.

    • It is stated that Fredo ran away, yet he goes through three changes of clothes in the episode.

    • In the dream sequence, Jo says, "Welcome to The Orchids and Gumbo Poker Club." But when Lizzie talks to her mom, she says, "We can start an Orchids and Gumbo Poker Society."

    • When Lizzie and her mom are painting their pottery, the amount of red on Jo's pot changes from shot to shot.

    • Mr. McGuire grounds Matt after the chimp incident. So if he's grounded, why is Lanny still coming over to his house and hanging out?

    • Mr. McGuire complains about the German shepherd winning the dog show he's watching on television, but the picture shown is of a Bernese Mountain Dog.

    • Near the end when Jo drops Lizzie off at the Digital Bean, Lizzie is wearing her charm necklace that appears to be scrunching her gray top together. In the next shot, the heart is behind the shirt, and in the next, it's back scrunching the t-shirt together.

    • During the pottery-making scene, the shape and the amount of clay on Lizzie's nose keeps changing.

    • Lizzie says, "We made pots and got free facials," referring to the dab of clay her mom put on her face. But Lizzie's the only one who got a "facial," not Mrs. McGuire.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Sam: That's it. You're both grounded.
      Matt: What?! You can't ground Lanny! He's not your kid!
      Sam: You're grounded, as twice as long, Matt.

    • Gordo: Parents scrape and sacrifice to provide us with shelter, support and guidance, and in return, we have as little to do with them as possible. It's nature's law.
      Miranda: Yeah. It's like you come home and they ask, 'What did you do today?' and we say 'Mmm, nothing.' And they ask 'Well what are you doing tonight?' 'n we say 'I dunno!' And they ask 'Why don't you ever talk to us?' We say, 'Why can't you just leave me alone!' And you run upstairs.
      Gordo: As little communication as possible. It prepares us for marriage.

    • Miranda: You smell like a...a pine tree.
      Gordo: That's because I'm wearing a car air freshener.

    • Toon Lizzie: Grandparent's don't split up! They give you money when your parents aren't looking!

    • Matt: I just want you to know that you're an evil, demon chimp and I never want to see your evil face again.

    • Gordo: Yeah, well, there's lots of weird stuff in this world--tofu bacon, hairless cats, country music...

    • Lizzie: ...she's [Mrs. McGuire] gonna hang out with us.
      Miranda (laughing nervously): Uh, why?

  • NOTES (14)

    • This episode can be found in the Lizzie McGuire Cine-Manga Volume 6.

    • The large dog which wins the award is also seen with Melina in "First Kiss" and in the blooper reel of "The Gordo Shuffle."

    • In 2003 a book entitled The Orchids and Gumbo Poker Club was published with the idea that this "lost classic" was the book that Lizzie actually read. It deals with the relationship between Darcy Lou, her mother Tallulah and her "crew of eccentric Cajun poker-playing friends." To make it seem like this is Lizzie's copy of the book there are doodles and comments written in the margins of the pages. It was possibly inspired by the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as a "companion" to the Harry Potter series; this volume was supposedly Harry's own copy, with notes written in by Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione.

    • In one scene, Lizzie is shown wearing the same shirt (bright blue with a heart-shaped American flag and the words "American Girl") that Hilary Duff wears on the Lizzie McGuire soundtrack CD cover. Her hairstyle is almost the same, too! Was the episode filmed at the same time they shot the cover or did they just like the patriotic look and save it for later?

    • Stunt double: Clay Cullen (for Sam).

    • Nicknames Lizzie and her Mom give each other: Sweet Potato (for Lizzie), Tallulah (for Jo McGuire).

    • Characters with no lines: Nana and Grandpa Chuck, who are seen in still-photo montages. (Actually, Grandpa Chuck appears to speak, complaining about a TV program, but the voice is dubbed in.) Sam's often-mentioned cousin ReRe is also seen in a still-photo montage giving Jo the hobo figurine that Miranda mentions.

    • In the blooper reel, Lizzie says something to her mom about boys, a line that was apparently cut out of the final version of the show.

    • Sam's Social Security number is one digit away from Bill Gates'.

    • Music includes the song "Mickey's Monkey," a hit (#8 on the charts) for the Miracles (aka Smokey Robinson & the Miracles) in September 1963. (It's heard when Lanny and Matt are chasing after the chimpanzee, natch!) Another popular version of the song was released in 1977 by the funk-rock band Mother's Finest. The "monkey" in the song refers to a dance, not an animal.

    • Filming dates: October 8-12, 2001. The clapboard on the blooper reel at the end of the show is dated October 10, 2001. On that clapboard, director Steve De Jarnatt's name is preceded by the word "Civilized," an apparent joking reference to the name of frequent Lizzie director Savage Steve Holland.

    • Apparently, there is no such book as The Orchids and Gumbo Poker Club, which Mr. Dig assigned Lizzie and the other girls in the class to read. There is a book called A River Runs Through It and Other Stories that was assigned to the boys. It was written by Norman F. MacLean and was made into a movie in 1992, directed by Robert Redford and starring Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt and Tom Skerritt.

    • Lizzie and Jo McGuire appear in a fantasy black & white movie sequence, supposedly from the story in the book Lizzie was reading.

    • David Alex Rosen and Jeremy Bargiel, frequent guest stars in small roles on the show (they play the chimp's owners here), are listed in the credits as "Bleacher Boy" #1 and #2. This would seem like a more appropriate credit for the episode "Random Acts of Miranda," where they are seen sitting in some bleachers with Jo McGuire during a still-photo montage. They're not credited at all in that episode, however.

  • ALLUSIONS (7)

    • Grandpa Chuck: When did they cancel Hogan's Heroes?
      (Grandpa Chuck is only seen in a still photo montage with a voice-over. He's not listed in the credits.)

      Hogan's Heroes (1965-71) was a sitcom set in, of all places, a German prisoner-of-war camp in World War II! Bob Crane starred as the wiley Col. Hogan, with Werner Klemperer and John Banner as the bumbling prison commandant and guard, respectively. Among those playing POW's was Richard Dawson, who later hosted the game show Family Feud. The show was popular enough to last six seasons and it still has plenty of fans to this day, but from the very start many people complained that the premise was in terribly bad taste. In a recent isssue of TV Guide ranking the 50 worst TV shows of all time, Hogan's Heroes was high on the list.

      When Grandpa Chuck was complaining about the show being cancelled, he must have been talking about when it was on reruns on Nickelodeon

    • Bleacher Boy: I know you ran off, Fredo. You broke my heart.
      Another sneaky movie reference, this one from The Godfather (1972). In it, Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) gives his brother Fredo (John Cazale) a kiss (and it's the Mafia kiss of death!) and tells him, "It was you, Fredo [who betrayed him]. I know it was you. You broke my heart. You broke my heart."

    • Sam McGuire: I'm never watching the Westchester Kennel Club again!
      Sam says "Westchester" but we think he really means Westminster. The Westminster Kennel Club was founded in the 19th century by dog owners and sportsmen to promote interest in dog ownership and breeding. Their name comes from the Westminster Hotel in New York City where they frequently met in the early days. They put on their first dog show in 1876! Over the years it has become the most prestigious competition in the country. For the past several years it has been broadcast annually from Madison Square Garden on the USA Network.

    • Lizzie: "Like the type of friends that you see on Oprah!"
      A reference of course to the talk show of Oprah Winfrey, which began as The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986. It's maybe the most popular and successful daytime talk show of all time.

    • Lizzie: "Oh, mama! It's the bracelet that Ben Turpin gave you!"
      Ben Turpin was a comedian who worked in silent films for many years and continued in movies into the 1930's. His trademarks were his big mustache and his crossed eyes. Lizzie says this to her mom during the fantasy black & white sequence.

    • Toon Lizzie: "I like reading--Harry Potter, Eloise, books about cats who solve crimes..."
      Harry Potter is of course the English boy-wizard who is the subject of the enormously successful series of books by J.K. Rowling. Eloise is the 6-year old heroine of books written by Kay Thompson and illustrated by Hilary Knight who lives in the ultra-posh Plaza Hotel in New York City. As for the crime-solving cat, readers have identified two possibilities as to who that might be: Koko from the The Cat Who... series of books by Lilian Jackson Braun or the cat from the Mrs. Murphy books by Rita Mae Brown.

    • Gordo: "One Hundred Years of Solitude, On the Road, Seven Pillars of Wisdom and Schnozzola: The Jimmy Durante Story."
      One Hundred Years of Solitude is a novel by award-winning Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. On the Road is a fictional memoir of Jack Kerouak, one of the "Beat poets" of the 1950's and '60's. Seven Pillars of Wisdom is an autobiography by T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), the British soldier who helped the Arabs fight against the Turks in World War I. Schnozzola: The Story of Jimmy Durante is a biography of the vaudeville performer written by Gene Fowler. ("Schnozzola" is a nickname Durante got because of his big nose.) That's some heavy reading and Gordo says he did it in a week! It tells us that Gordo is like some other voracious readers--they tend to exaggerate sometimes about how much they've actually read!

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