According to Jim (2001–2009): Season 4, Episode 20 - Spelling Bee - full transcript

Jim's pride in Gracie's newfound spelling-bee aptitude quickly turns to dismay when he has to drive her to tournaments all over the state.

Malt ball combo

into the corner
of Andy's mouth for the win.

Jim, you don't have to
keep calling the pocket.

It's the only one we have.

Chalk me, please.

Combo, very difficult shot.

I know.

Oh!
How about that?

Nice shot!

Say what you want about me,

but I never choke
under pressure.



You got to keep
your eye on the ball...

Hey, you all right?

Oh, my God.
What?

I almost died.

Are you all right now?

Yeah.

Let's do meatballs.
Meatballs!

All right.

Ta-da!

Hey, Gracie, what's
the blue ribbon for?

First place in the school
spelling bee.

Gracie, you give that back
to Ruby right now.

No, it's mine.

It's true.



Really? I thought Ruby
was the S-M-A-R-T one.

W-R-O-N-G.

Good for you, girl.

Daddy, since Gracie won,
could Kyle and I have popsicles?

How does that make sense?

She's our sister.
We're part of her posse.

All right, they're in the
freezer in the garage.

Go ahead.

Baby, we are so proud of you.

Way to go, Grace.
Come here.

Finally someone else in this
family with brains and looks.

Welcome to the club.
We meet on Tuesdays.

Next weekend at the high school,

district championships.

Come on.
Yes!

That is fantastic.

So, little Gracie's
made it to the show, huh?

Here's a bit of advice from
the guy who spelled his way

to fifth-round
city championships.

And wet his pants on stage.

In front of the whole class.

Well, at least he kept it
in his pants. That's class.

Look, I was looking
for an edge, okay,

and it turned out my young
bladder couldn't handle coffee.

My point is, these district
kids, they aren't amateurs.

They take the game
to a whole new plateau.

Plateau:
P-L-A-T-E-A-U.

Way to go!

Oh, yeah? Try that with a
belly full of French roast, girly!

All right, Andy, calm down.

Let's not tease him
any more about this.

Obviously, he's still
in pain about it.

Thank you.

Uh, hey, Andy,
if you're going to do that,

you might want to put
some newspaper down.

For the record,
with two exceptions,

it hasn't happened since.

Listen, you did great,
and I want you to do better.

I want you to go upstairs
and practice, all right?

I'll come upstairs
and I'll help you.

We'll make a game out of it.

How?
Oh, I don't know.

You know, if you make
a mistake, I drink a beer.

Hey, I can advise you on
hair, clothes, and attitude.

Now listen to me, when you
get up on that stage,

you throw this at them.

It says, "I'm better
than you. Step off."

No, this says,
"I'm better than you."

Okay, I feel like crap.
Can I be part of your posse?

Sure.

My God, that is so great.

Isn't that great?
I know!

I know!

Daddy, can we play
pretzel stick pool?

Oh, I don't know. Your
Uncle Andy went home, honey.

Please!

All right, but I get winners.

CHERYL: Oh, yay!

JIM: Oh, baby!

Honey? Hey! Hey!
Stay with me.

Here's the word.
"Plebeian."

"Plebeian."

Daddy?
Yeah?

I'm tired.

Tired? Come on, you're not
carrying rocks.

You're spelling words.

But we've been doing it
for, like, four hours.

Honey, I know this is
difficult for you,

but you know what? I also know
if you don't challenge yourself,

you're not gonna win
at anything.

Here's the word.
"Plebeian."

Can you use it in a sentence?

Okay.

Gracie, spell "plebeian."

Hey. How's our little
pocket-sized dictionary doing?

She's fading. Go get some
table sugar and a jump rope.

Oh! Jim.

Hey, Gracie, what's your
favorite kind of food?

Shrimp.

All right. So if you
practice hard

and win tomorrow night,

we'll take you to Red
Lobster for dinner.

Yes!

Okay. The word is...

Okay, but I want my own plate,

because I'm sick
of sharing with Daddy.

Okay. Okay.

You drive a hard bargain.

Bargain:
B-A-R-G-A-I-N.

Plebeian:
P-L-E-B-E-I-A-N.

Let's go, let's go. Give me
more practice. Come on.

Daddy! Daddy,
I called that shrimp.

Then why don't you call
the check when it comes, too?

So, Gracie, what'd you get,

a crown or a trophy
or something?

I got a certificate.

Oh. Well, still nice
to win.

So when's the next one?

Next what?

Next spelling bee.

There isn't one.

Gracie's the champ.

She's top dog, right?

Woof.
(BARKS)

You people obviously
don't understand

the spelling game.

She's on the circuit now, babe.

Next stop, city championships.

Yeah. Saturday morning
downtown.

Where was I
when they announced that?

Carrying Gracie on your shoulders for
her victory lap around the parking garage.

You know, I still have
that bump on my head.

Are you groggy or confused?

No.
Then it's nothing.

Don't worry, baby.
You're fine.

You got your daddy's
thick skull.

It's at the Whitsitt.
Registration's at 7:15.

7... Holy...

Holy smokes, that's
gonna be a lot of fun.

I know it's early,

but luckily it's before traffic,

so we don't have to leave
the house till like 6:45.

(GRUMBLES)

Ha! That is lucky.

Yeah, yeah.

How many more lucky weekends
do we have left?

Depends on how good
she is, and she's good.

She could be another
Billy Jindahl.

Who's that?

Oh... (CHUCKLES)

The best I ever saw.

Two-inch glasses.
Orthopedic headgear.

Spelled "loquacious"
with a 104 fever.

He walked among us like a giant.

Blew himself up in a meth lab
a few years ago.

Thank you, Andy,
for that pep talk.

Do you have any other stories
that end in a violent death?

So bottom line it for me.
When's this end?

Well, if she keeps winning,

the national finals are in June.

Fan-freakin'-tastic!

Boy, nothing says
spring in Chicago

like sitting indoors
watching kids spell.

(BLUES MUSIC PLAYING)

(INAUDIBLE)

(ALARM SOUNDS)

What? What? What?
What is it?

Oh, honey, we got to get up.

We got state finals today

and a long drive to
Springfield ahead of us.

Come on.

(SHOUTS)

Oh...

Great.

More driving.

Yahoo.

Yeah, well, yeah, yahoo.

I'm excited, too, you know?

'Cause if I weren't, I'd
be a really bad parent.

Right?

Right.

So we're in agreement, then?
We're good parents?

The best.

Ow!

Ow!

What's wrong?

Oh, my stupid back.

I just can't pick
Kyle up anymore.

He's too big.

Nuts!

This just could not have
happened at a worse time.

So you're not going?

Well, I can't!

No, you're right.
I have to.

Gracie needs me.

Oh!

Ah, man!
But you know what?

But she also needs me
when I'm older.

Not out of commission
'cause I'm writing checks

my body can't cash.

Yep.

Yes, siree, Bob.

Bed rest is the only thing
that's going to fix this old back.

Yeah.

Tough break.

Ah.

Yeah.

I mean, that means you're going
to miss five hours of car bingo.

Yeah. Not really my game.

Hit the light on your
way out, would you?

Hey. Since you're not coming,

is it all right if I take our wedding
picture so I can set it next to me?

Whoops.

Why did you do that?

I did that because I thought
you'd jump out of bed

and grab it, 'cause I know
you're faking.

Well, I didn't, so
obviously I'm not faking.

(SCOFFS)

The light, please?

Well, if you're
not faking, then...

Then you won't be able to
catch your grandmother's vase.

Okay, Cheryl.

I got all day and a house
full of breakables.

Okay, okay, stop it.

Ugh. I hate
spelling bees.

Thank you.

I didn't mean to do that.
I'm just so tired.

You know, so what
if I'm a bad parent?

Who cares?

If I have to watch one more
8-year-old spend ten minutes

misspelling "necessarily,"
I'm going to scream.

Oh, I would have screamed but I
was too busy gnawing off my arm.

And will you explain
something to me?

Why don't they have
any time limits?

Yeah, what is with that?
If ever a sport cried out

for a 30-second clock,
this one does.

You know what? Give me
a stopwatch and an air horn,

and I'll have you a winner
in 20 minutes.

Ten if you let me
pick the words.

Hey, hey, "Can you use
it in a sentence?"

"What's the language
of origin?"

"Are there any alternate
pronunciations?"

Just spell the damn word
and sit down,

you freaky little creep!

What was that?

I don't know,
but it really felt good.

It looked like it felt good.

Honey, I don't want to go.

I don't want to go either.

What are we gonna do?

Would it surprise you
if I had a plan?

Gracie's still asleep, right?

Right.

We let her stay asleep,
and when she wakes up,

we say there was a power outage

and our alarm didn't go off.

Oh, no, no, honey,

'cause then we'd really
be bad parents.

Yes.

Yes, and the forecast
for Bad Parentville

is continued warm and toasty
with a love front

moving in from the south.

Gracie's up.
I need your hairdryer

and... Ew.

Ah, you woke her up?

Well, yeah. I can't do
her hair while she's asleep.

If she wants to spell perfect,
she's got to look perfect.

Confidence comes from
the outside in.

Oh, baby, that's it.

I'm gonna go take my shower.

We're just gonna have to
keep going to these things

till Gracie loses.

Look at all these kids.

They look like smart ones, too.

Too bad they all
can't be winners.

Somebody's got to lose.

Someone else.

Hey, you know what?
I don't know about you,

but I've been really missing
Ruby and... The little one?

Kyle.
Kyle.

What do you say
all of us get together

next weekend and go ice skating?

Really, Daddy?
That would be awesome.

Yeah, we'll go ice skating,
we'll have some hot cocoa,

we'll go out for lunch.

Red Lobster?

Red Lobster, sure.

Oh, wait a minute.

If you win today, we got to
go to St. Louis next weekend

for the tri-state finals.

Do they have ice skating
in St. Louis?

Against the law.

Oh, man.

"Oh, man" is right.

Hey, no big deal.

We're having fun
doing this, you know.

Spelling and driving
and winning...

And driving some more.

Actually, driving's
kind of boring.

Really? You think?

Yeah. But, Daddy,
winning's the greatest.

Then let's get 'em.

Okay, you were having
trouble with that word

"perennial" last night, right?

All right, "perennial."

P-E-R-E-N-N-I-A-L.

Good.

Perennial.

"Red Lobster is
a perennial favorite."

Attagirl.

What is with you
and Red Lobster?

I just like it. Going there
is the best part of winning.

Really?

How big of a part?

All of it.

What about the trophies
and doing your best?

Trophies are stupid,

and all of the other kids
are giant nerds.

It's like being in a room
with 50 Uncle Andys.

I don't care if they're
better at spelling than I am.

Honey, listen.

You don't have to do the
spelling bees if you don't want to.

I'll still take you out
for shrimp.

Yeah? Yeah. I mean,
we can't do it every week.

I don't want Mommy getting
in the habit of going out.

Can Mom make popcorn shrimp?

If your mom could sleep
in on a Saturday morning,

she'd catch
the damn shrimp herself.

But you know what that
means? You gotta... You know.

What are you saying?

I'm saying, kid,

it ain't your night.

Are you telling me
to take a dive?

You know what
"take a dive" means?

Daddy, I know
what "insouciant" means.

Of course I understand
"take a dive."

Okay, then.

Here's the thing.

You've got to go out there
and lose one for your pop.

For tonight only,
wrong is right,

and right is very, very wrong.

That's a paradox.

Yes, it is.

Cheryl, Cheryl.

Ah! Gracie,
way to go! Whoo!

Cheryl, it hasn't started yet.

Oh, God.

Got some great news for you.

Gracie doesn't feel like
a winner today.

What?

Well, I had a little
talk with her,

and we made a little
agreement, so to speak.

Let's just say
it ain't her night.

Jim! Did you tell her
to take a dive?

No, she knows what
"insouciant" means.

What?

I don't know.
Whatever it means.

I just know that she doesn't
care about winning or losing.

What?

No, all she cares about
is the shrimp at Red Lobster.

I swear to God,
I just talked to her.

I knew it.

What?

Well, hello!

That's why I couldn't get
out of bed this morning.

A mother senses these things.

Does a mother say these things?

Because you could have saved
us a 10-hour round trip.

So, after this
competition, we're done?

After this word, we're done.

Come on, baby, do it
for Mama! Lose!

(GASPS)

Don't judge me.
It only helps your kid.

ANNOUNCER: Our first contestant is
from Hayvenhurst Elementary School.

(APPLAUSE)

She gave us the wink.

Start the car.

Just a reminder, the winner
of today's competition

will move on
to the tri-state finals

next weekend in St. Louis.

Have a nice drive, suckers.

And as a bonus, they will also
receive free dinner for one full year,

courtesy of our corporate
sponsor, Red Lobster.

No.

No.

No!

ANNOUNCER: Your word is...

Oenophile.

O-E-N-O-P-H-I-L-E.

Oenophile.

ANNOUNCER: That is correct.

GRACIE:
An oenophile is a lover

or connoisseur of wine.

Connoisseur:

C-O-N-N...

ANNOUNCER: All right, thank
you. Please, take your seat.

Crap.

Kid, it ain't our night.