The Ropers

Season 2 Episode 16

Family Feud

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Feb 16, 1980 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • Can you divide a birthday cake down the middle?

    One of the cutest stories ever, starts with David Brookes' sharing a birthday the same day as Helen's. So the neighbors start off with planning a joint party. This episode is very cute and fun with lots of laughs and with some surprises, so it's my favorite of The Ropers that I've seen (about half).

    First, you get to see one of the loveliest TV cakes with those candle sconces they used to use in the 1970's and 1980's that matched the color of the candles. Jenny and Helen are talking while Helen makes the cake. Also, you get to see Stanley being excited to "practice for the puppet show" they are having for David. Jenny has bought the puppets and it was her idea. So oddly enough, everyone's very happy and Jeffrey and Stanley are actually spending quality time bonding and such. Jenny is thinking about coming home early from art school to catch the party but is only doing so at Helen's request (she is too studious to cut class for a party).

    Over at the Brookeses, David and Jeffrey read a book together and naturally Jeffrey makes a very bad joke about Flopsy and Mopsy rabbit (it's a bad joke but I don't remember the punchline but it rhymed with Mopsy). As usual, David just gives him a look. So the Brookeses are having one of those typical conversations where Jeffrey and David just don't see eye to eye, this time, it's about what types of presents are considered good presents (David wants bigger ones). Unbeknownst to David, he'll be getting a bicycle but it's being stashed in the Ropers' garage. So as David goes out to play, Anne and Jeffrey discuss the bike and Jeffrey reveals that the gift is just as much to him as it is to David, seeing David's eyes light up and the joys of being a dad, etc.

    Outside, Stanley is working on a handmade spice rack as a gift to Helen and he's about to complete it. David comes outside to play and starts to quiz Stanley about knowing where any gifts for David might be. of course, Stanley isn't swift and can't come up with a good story and Stanley accidentally gives away that there may be a present in his garage. As Stanley goes about sanding his spice rack, unphased about David catching on, he starts resuming work on the rack. Out comes Mr. Brookes to look for David and notices Stanley's handiwork. After a minute, David rides by on his brand new bike and rings the bell.

    Knowing how Jeffrey wanted to have the gift delivered at the right time and place, he starts fuming at Stanley who can't hide he blew the secret. In their rantings at each other, Jeffrey predictably steps on the spice rack which Stanley had set down. Before their husbands storm off, the wives come out to try to figure out what's the problem and it turns out that now they end up fighting about who's more at fault, Stanley or Jeffrey. Each one starts defending their own husbands more and more and Anne finally comes to the conclusion that maybe they shouldn't talk to each other.

    Later that night, Stanley and Helen start eating their leftover meatloaf together instead of coming to the Brookeses as planned because of the fight. They start talking about what to do for dessert since they have cake, but only half of it belongs to them. The Brookeses are not faring any better--you learn that David is bored and he had his heart set on seeing Mrs. Roper and the puppet show. You're happy when Anne comes to the door, if only to invite the Ropers over for the sake of David.

    The most bizarre part of the episode is the the puppet show. You're watching the puppet show at first until you realize that the puppets are satirizing the other puppet's holder. Jeffrey's puppet--in character--starts making jokes up about Stanley. Then Stanley's puppet does the same. Until a point where the puppets are now fighting and biting and going crazy. Now Helen and Anne are fighting too.

    Just at the peak of dissent, in walks Jenny, who has cut out early from school for the joint party. With a few winks and a nod, she blames it all on David because if it weren't for his birthday, there would be no fighting. David takes the lead and says the fight is all his fault and he wishes he never would have had a birthday. Then the fighting stops and Jenny sings "Happy Birthday" to calm everyone down. Episode ends with everyone looking remorseful and hopeful to make peace and Jenny and David smiling.
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