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Mother leads Cindy and Randy to believe that she's a genie who makes wishes come true when they rub her with a magic cloth. The Crabtree kids are soon charging other youngsters to rub and make a wish. Mother is basking in the attention, but Dave wants it to stop immediately.moreless
Prudish building owner Henry Heckendorn hires Dave to close the Greek Grotto, a nightclub he claims is indecent. Dave and Barbara go to check out the supposedly racy club and, to avoid being seen by stuffed-shirt Heckendorn, end up masquerading as exotic Greek dancers.
Dave's new client, wealthy older businessman Conrad Bryon, is in love with the Porter, and Mother is smitten with him. He offers to give the Crabtrees his limousine and chauffeur in exchange for the antique car, but Dave says absolutely not. Mother, lovestruck as a schoolgirl, wants her son to make the deal.moreless
Manzini trains a beatnik hipster dufus who's a lookalike for Dave to act and talk like him. The fake infiltrates the Crabtree household, tells Barbara he's selling the car to Manzini, and gets her to sign the registration papers. The groovy dude was not warned that the car talks, and that makes him freak out, man.moreless
Dave and Barbara are driving the kids to camp before heading off on a second honeymoon. Stopping for gas in the middle of nowhere, a sheriff checks Dave's driver's license and sees that it's expired. Barbara can't drive a stick and Dave can't pass the cop's 1928 driver's test.
Dave's efforts to help an overworked Barbara with the housework causes even more chores. He finally listens to Mother and hires a maid. The efficient woman soon has the home running like clockwork. Barbara, however, is miserable with all the free time and wants the woman fired.
After being smacked by a truck, Mother no longer recognizes her own son. Dave tries everything to cure her amnesia (including screening painfully dull old home movies) before deciding another wreck is the only cure.
Rather than giving each other lousy Christmas gifts they'll just return to the store, Dave and Barbara agree to each buy their own present. The plan changes after taking a night school art class. Both create hideous artworks and then secretly bid on the other's at an auction.
Dave's pushy mother-in-law visits and is soon in cahoots with Captain Manzini. He proposes replacing the Porter with a brand new station wagon. Mrs. Netwick is all for that, so she goes to work on getting Barbara to sign over the car. If only they could find the registration slip.
For her birthday, Dave agrees to take Mother to a surf movie starring her favorite actor, Sonny Tufts. Going to a drive-in during the dead of winter proves a disruptive idea for the family, Mother, and the other customers trying to watch the movie.
Dave's being interviewed for a judgeship in the domestic relations court. To impress the snobs giving him the once-over, he has the family trained to put on royally pretentious show. Sadly for Dave, he hadn't planned on being caught in a pair of roller skates.
Barbara is surprised to hear herself announced as the winner on a TV quiz show, especially since she never entered. It seems Mother was watching the show in the garage, sent in the correct answer, and used Barbara's name. Now Barb has to appear on the program to answer more questions ona topic about which she knows nothing: old cars.moreless
Captain Manzini goads Dave and Mother into a cross-country race between the Porter and a British long-distance walker. With ownership of the car at stake, Manzini employs a plethora of dirty tricks including fake detours, phony train crossings, and flattened tires to insure a win.
Dave is given a petition from the neighbors demanding he get rid of his automotive "eyesore." He gets his revenge when an advertising man offers to star the Crabtrees and their car in a commercial. Filming goes well for everyone except Dave; he's replaced for not looking like an actual family member.moreless
Captain Manzini builds an exact replica of the Porter and hires the the world's three greatest thieves to switch it with Dave's vehicle. To destroy all evidence, he has the counterfeit rigged to explode. Meanwhile, the Captain heads to Phoenix to establish his alibi, which he does by calling Dave and having strangers testify that he's in Phoenix.moreless
Arguments over the wife's horrible cooking has the newlywed couple next door ready to divorce. Dave's efforts to get the couple back together fail and he ends up representing the recent bride in court. The husband's sleazy lawyer brings out the best in Dave in the courtroom.
Dave fails to set the parking break and Mother rolls into an open van bound for a used car lot in Mexico. While a heartbroken Manzini and Crabtree bond in their grief, Mother uses her brains and knowledge of Spanish to get back to the border.
Dave drives the Porter into the mountains to attend a wedding and to meet an important businessman about a job. Due to the cold, he has to fill Mother's radiator with antifreeze. She proceeds to get plowed from the alcohol, making the cops think Dave is driving drunk.
Dave becomes obsessed with protecting Mother when a gang of car strippers goes to work in town. He's so paranoid that he has his family camp out in the garage for the night to keep watch over the Porter.
Lawyer Dave Crabtree's troubles begin with the purchase of an ancient 1928 Porter that claims, through a voice on the radio, to be his dearly departed mother. Though his wife doesn't like the old museum piece, it has an overwhelming appeal to Captain Manzini, a very persistent and dastardly antique car collector.moreless