The Nanny

Season 1 Episode 22

I Don't Remember Mama

Aired Wednesday 8:30 PM May 16, 1994 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

I Don't Remember Mama
Fran convinces Maxwell and the children to celebrate mothers' day, by taking Grace to a mother-daughter beauty pageant, but another contestant complains about Fran not being Grace's mother, which makes Grace run home crying.

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  • One of the better episodes in a fairly lightweight series, but showing the best qualities of the show.

    Young Gracie does remember her mother after Fran goes to lengths to help her.

    Much of this episode runs in strict Nanny formula -- in this case Fran trying to help the children, but getting involved in a situation with a lot of comedy value, Here, Fran performs with Gracie in a "mother" - daughter talent show that pits them against impossible competition.

    What sets this episode apart is the interesting scenario of why Maxwell avoids Mother's Day since the death of his wife and how that is nicely picked up in the end when Fran convinces Maxwell to show home movies of life with the children when she was alive -- a thoughtful reminder that Fran has special insight into the family and is more than just a broadly drawn character from a different background. As usual in the series' best episodes, the comedic centerpoint of the story is supplanted by a small and more meaninful one. There are generally 1 or 2 episodes of this quality in every season of The Nanny, and along with some nice shticks that re-occur throughout the series, episodes like this are worth watching.moreless
Ann Morgan Guilbert

Ann Morgan Guilbert

Yetta Rosenberg

Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher

Fran Fine Sheffield

Charles Shaughnessy

Charles Shaughnessy

Maxwell Sheffield

Lauren Lane

Lauren Lane

Chastity Claire "C.C." Babcock

Daniel Davis

Daniel Davis


Nicholle Tom

Nicholle Tom

Margaret "Maggie" Sheffield

Bess Armstrong

Bess Armstrong

Sara Sheffield [ uncredited ]

Guest Star

Kimberly Ali

Kimberly Ali

Patti's daughter

Guest Star

Madison Wright

Madison Wright

Betty Jo

Guest Star

Sylvia Drescher

Sylvia Drescher

young Sylvia Fine [ uncredited ]

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • If you look when Fran puts in the tape that Mr. Sheffield gives her, you can see the white reels on the bottom of the tape, meaning that she put the tape in upsidedown.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Brighton: So these are you from the olden days?
      Niles: Yes if you look hard, you can see a stegastaurous in the background.

    • Maxwell: Why is Gracie so upset?
      Fran: She has to go to the bathroom real bad?
      Maxwell: Miss Fine!
      Fran: Well this nutjob mother made this big stink because I'm not Gracie's mother I'm her nanny and Grace had to admit she doesn't have a mother, and it kind of went downhill from there.

    • C.C.: Nanny Fine's pageant has gone up in flames. Niles, break out the bubbly!
      Niles: You have no power here. (Waves his dust druffel) Be gone before someone drops a house on you!

    • Niles: At least your mother only makes you take her to dinner. Mine used to make me take her to Bath?
      Fran: My neighbor used to take her son Sheldon into the tub with her till he was six! They both ended up on a very special Geraldo.
      Niles: Bath is a town in England.
      Fran: I don't care where you do it, it's still weird.

    • (Fran and Gracie try to do a Magic Act of Sawing Fran in Half)
      Gracie: I found the instructions.
      (Gives it to Niles)
      Niles: (reads the instructions) "Now take a knife and cut into even pieces."
      Fran: What!? Let me see that! (niles holds instructions in front of her face) These are the instructions to your Easy Bake Oven!
      Niles: (joking) Yes, but you'll serve eight.

    • (Fran is talking to Silvia on phone)
      Fran: No Ma, we can't go to Sizzler... (listens) Why? Because you're not welcome there anymore. You took half the dessert bar home in your purse! (Hears Silvia's reply) I know it's all you can eat... AT THE RESTAURANT!!

    • Maxwell: Sweetheart, can we talk to you for a minute?
      Grace: No, I'm busy. (brushes her doll's hair)
      Fran: You're doing a beautiful job there, except Ollie's beginning to look like Sinead O'Connor.
      Maxwell: Sweetheart, I made a mistake. I should never have let you into that pageant and...
      Fran: Oh, no no no no. It's all my fault, your father didn't want us to enter but I wouldn't listen. I was just too busy talking. I do that sometimes, I just talk and talk and talk and I...
      Maxwell: Miss Fine?
      Fran: What?
      Maxwell: You're doing it.
      Fran: Oh right. Well I'm gonna stop now. The talking, not the listening. The listening I'm gonna keep on doing. It's the talking I'm gonna stop. Okay, I've stopped. Go ahead.
      Maxwell: Thank you. Sweetheart. I do understand how you feel. All those other girls with their mummies, it just reminded you how much you miss yours.
      Grace: But that's what's wrong. I don't miss her.
      Maxwell: You don't?
      Grace: No I... I don't remember her.
      Maxwell: Oh. Ooh. Gracie, oh come here. (Maxwell sits down and takes Gracie on his lap)
      Grace: Brighton and Maggie do. But I can't. Is that bad?
      Maxwell: Oh no. Of course not, sweetheart. They're older than you.
      Grace: How come you never talk about her?
      Maxwell: Well, because sometimes, it's very difficult for daddy.
      Grace: Oh, you can't remember her either?
      Maxwell: Oh no sweetheart, I remember everything. I remember the first time I saw her, I remember her sweetness and her laugh. And I especially remember how much she loved you.
      Grace: She did?
      Maxwell: Oh, more than anything and I should never have let you forget that. I was just trying to protect you and I suppose myself. Can you forgive me?
      Grace: It's okay, daddy. (Maxwell kisses Gracie's temple and Fran blows her nose and sniffles)
      Fran: Well at least now you two can remember her together.
      Grace: Do you think that mommy would want me to be in the pageant?
      Maxwell: I think she would want whatever you want.
      Grace: I wanna do it. (gets up from bed) Me and Fran are gonna kick some country club butt. (drags Fran out of the room)
      Fran: Oy, I don't know where she gets these things.

    • Brighton: Aren't you ever gonna take that stupid sash off?
      Grace: No.
      Maggie: Oh leave her alone. How many times in your life do you become first runner up in a beauty pageant?
      Fran: Counting this one: 12.

    • Barbie Jo: I'm telling you, this woman should not be allowed to compete in the pageant. She's a fake!
      Fran: I'm a fake? Let she who is without silicone cast the first stone.

    • Grace: I can knit a sweater.
      Fran: I can fill it better.
      Gracie: I can do most anything.
      Fran: Can you make a pie?
      Gracie: No.
      Fran: Neither can I.

  • NOTES (4)


    • Fran: I'm a fake? Let she who is without silicone cast the first stone. This is an allusion of the Jesus Christ's words of the Bible: "Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone" to defend Mary Magdalene who was arrested for prostitution.

    • The title of this episode is based on the 1948 movie I Remember Mama.

    • Niles: (To C.C.) Be gone, before someone drops a house on you!

      This is a reference to The Wizard of Oz, and the Wicked Witch of the East. After the tornado, Dorothy's house landed on the witch, killing her and incurring the wrath of the Wicked Witch of the West.

    • Fran: Call Gillooly.

      This is a reference to Jeff Gillooly, the ex-husband of figure skater Tonya Harding. He served 2 years in prison when he hired Shane Stant to attack Nancy Kerrigan.

    • Fran: (To Betty Jo) Don't ever go out for cheerleader.

      This insult, directed at Betty Jo's mother, is a reference to Wanda Holloway, a Texas woman who made headline news when she hired her brother-in-law to kill the mother of her daughter's competition.