Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 1, Episode 11 - A Christmas Story - full transcript

Christmas Day finds the Keaton's reminiscing about the circumstances in which each of the kids was born.

♪ I bet we've been together
for a million years ♪

♪ and I'll bet we'll be together
for a million more ♪

♪ oh, it's like
I started breathing ♪

♪ on the night we kissed

♪ and I can't remember
what I ever did before ♪

♪ what would we do, baby

♪ without us?

♪ what would we do, baby

♪ without us?

♪ and there ain't no nothin' ♪

♪ we can't love
each other through ♪

♪ ooh-hoo

♪ what would we do, baby

♪ without us?

♪ sha-la-la-la.

Elyse, I can't believe
all this luggage.

There shouldn't be
more suitcases

than members of the family.

I don't know how to break this
to you, Steven,

but these are Mallory's.

Ours are still upstairs.

Okay, ready to go.

Let's hit those slopes.

Mallory, where are your skis?

Skis? Why would I bring skis?

It's a ski trip.

Oh, that's
the outdoor part, mom.

Let's not forget
the great indoors.

Parties, boys...

Games, boys.

I'll get your skis.

Are you gonna
ski with me this year, Alex?

No way, Jennifer.

I tried skiing with you
last year,

and it didn't work out.

I'll stay on the bunny slope
with you this time.

I promise.

That's what you said last year,

a-and then as soon
as we got up there,

you dragged me off
to Deadman's Gulch.

Why do you always
have to ski the top?

Because it's there.

Okay, this should do it!

Everybody grab a bag or two,

and let's go for it.

Okay. Okay.


Okay. Oh!

It's coming down pretty hard.

Well, what do you want to do?

I say we all make a run for it.

Ready? Okay!

Come on, bundle up.

Okay, let's go!


Here we go!

Here we come!


Maybe we could go away
for the fourth of July instead.

Well, maybe the storm
will pass in a few minutes.

we'll have to stay here.

Stay here?

For Christmas?

Oh, it'll be nice.

Just the family at home
in front of the fire.

What are we, a hallmark card?

Sounds good to me.

Maybe we could open up
a few Christmas presents early.

Now you're talking
my kind of Christmas.

I don't...
I don't know.

I'm against this.

Tradition says
you don't open presents

till Christmas morning.

Hey, is that
big blue one for me?

Keep your tiny
little hands off that.

That's my present to mom.

Steven, I want you
to open this one first.

It's from me to you.

Well... well, really,
it's for the whole family.

Oh, no.

Another "whole family" gift?

Not another trash compactor.

A photo album.

And unless I missed my guess,

there's a brand-new
camera to go along with it.

No, no camera.

Oh, just an album, huh?

No camera?

Yeah, just the album.
Don't you remember?

We said we were gonna
be creative this year

and make gifts,
instead of spending

a lot of money
Christmas shopping?

Well, I-i know we said it.

I-I just didn't know
we meant it.

Why don't you
just open the album?

Hey, peace corps pictures!

I'd rather have
a trash compactor.

Where'd you dig these up?

Well, that's the surprise.

See, the whole album
is filled with pictures

from the time that we met
until the present.

Oh, thank you, honey.

That's very sweet. Oh!

Hey, look, there's one
of Alex as a baby.

Why is he wearing a tie?

Those are beads.

Alex wearing beads?

I want this one enlarged.

Hey, look.

It wasn't my choice
to be born in Africa.

Oh, I got to sit down.

Me too.

Oh, I'm sorry.

Are you okay?

Yeah, is it hot,
or is it just me?


It's 109.

It's just you.

Did you happen to hear

the weather forecast
for tomorrow?

I did, Elyse.

It's gonna cool off
a little tomorrow.

They say the old Mercury

will be dipping down
to about 105.

The humidity should
be about minus 14.

Is this at least
a record-breaking drought

we're living through?

No, no. There was
a longer one last year.

In fact, this is still
last year's drought.

Sorry I brought it up.

I shouldn't talk about it.

The more I talk about it,
the more it bothers us.

You're right. Let's not
bring up the drought again.

Dry enough for you?


I'm sorry, Elyse.

The drought is really
starting to get to me.

And it's not just me, either.

I saw a camel
buying an airline ticket.

Look. Look, Max.

It's not that bad,
and don't forget,

tomorrow the villagers
are doing that big rain dance.

I'm glad you told me.
I was gonna wash my car.

Look, we can't
let them go through

with this rain ceremony, can we?

Why not? It sounds fascinating.

No. It's ridiculous.

Look, I want to see
the end to this drought

as much as the next man,

but, uh, we can't
have the people going off

and performing some crazy ritual

that perpetuates
superstition and fear.

Why not?

It gives me the willies.

There's something to be said

for their way of life
as it is now.

You know, they...

They live in Harmony
with nature.

They... they have a close,
intimate connection to the land.

You can't take that away.

And... and just give them
a-a toaster oven and...

And an alarm clock in return.

How 'bout we throw in
some flashlights?

Some of those guys get
a big kick out of that stuff.

Can I ask you
a personal question, Max?

Yeah, sure.

Why did you choose
Africa as a place

to do your Peace Corps service?

I didn't.

My first choice was Miami Beach.

I mean, why did you join at all?

Oh, um...

It was Kennedy's speech,
I guess.

It really inspired me.

It made me ask

not what my country
could do for me,

but, rather,
ask not what my country...

had done.

Could do.

O-or I could do.
You know what I mean.

Hey, it's a tough speech
to remember.

Was that a
"here comes the baby" scream?

I'm gonna take that as a "yes."

Max, can you go
get Dr. Ellis, please?


Okay, honey, hold on.
I'm comin'.

You know, I think
I remember it now.

"ask not what your country... "


Oh, oh!

Are you feeling okay?

Fine. I'm just a little nervous.

Okay, okay.

Just relax.

Uh, try to take your mind
off this.

Oh, okay.

So, uh, read any
good books lately?

Forget books.
What... what about movies?

We haven't seen a movie
in 10 months, Steven.


Do you realize
what's gonna happen?

We're going to have a baby.

I know.

It doesn't feel real.

It does from here.


It's raining!

Come on out here!

I'm busy, Steven!

Oh, it's a miracle!

Oh, let me have
a sip of your sleeve.

We're gonna be a mother, Elyse.

I mean, we're not both
gonna be a mother.

One of us will be the mother.

The other one
will be the father.

I'll be the mother, okay?


And I won't be
the kind of father who says,

"do this. Don't do that.

"Eat all your peas.

Eat all my peas."

I-I think we should
treat him or... or her

as an autonomous individual,

a unique personality,

a one in a million...

Steven! What?

Please shut up.

You look beautiful.

So do you.

What a day.

Let's try to remember
every detail.

I don't think it'll be
easy to forget.

So, what happened next?

I don't remember. Do you, Elyse?

Well, of course I remember.
Dr. Ellis came,

and... and pretty soon
Alex was born.

Made a pretty big hit
over there, too.

Everyone thought he was so cute.

Must have been the heat.

Whatever happened to Max?

He lives in Miami Beach,

runs Max's kosher African Deli.

Closed on Saturdays
and Nigerian bank holidays.

Boy, am I glad I was born
right here in the USA.

I'd hate to think I started life

someplace where they'd never
heard of a clearance sale.

Ha. No, when you were born,
there were other problems.

There's one.

Well, Mrs. Keaton,
you are definitely in labor.

Lucky for you, I majored
in labor relations.

See, that's a play
on the word "labor."

It's a joke.

Y-yeah, I know it's a joke.
I didn't think it was funny.

I won't belabor it.

That's one, too.

No, it isn't.

Nurse, could you ask
Mr. Keaton to come in, please?

You're in the very
earliest stages of labor.

I... I think it's gonna be
a while.

How long do you think?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Yours is supposed to be better.

Is everything okay, doctor?

Well, I've got
this pulled muscle in my leg,

but other than that, I'm fine.

Now I see why you two get along.

What do you two do for laughs?

Oh, I see what
you do for laughs.

Why don't I start all over?

I'm Dr. Waxman. Steven Keaton.

Nice to meet you.
Your wife is doing just fine.

Oh, great. Wait a minute.

Wait a minute.

Stevie Keaton?

Camp Cuyahoga, right?


Well, don't you remember me?
I'm Larry Waxman.

Larry Waxman?

Crazy Larry Waxman! Yeah!

No way! No way!

You look great.

Hey, Larry, look.

Ooga, booga, huh, huh!
Ooga, booga, huh, huh!

That's great.

My baby's gonna be delivered

by someone named Crazy Larry?

Hey, Stevie, camp song... ready?


Both: * we'll be
going to Cuyahoga when we go *

♪ when we go

♪ when we get there, we'll be
there, and then we'll know ♪

♪ then we'll know

♪ we'll be roastin'
those marshmallows ♪

♪ with those gals
and all those fellows ♪

♪ when we go to Cuyahoga,
when we go ♪

♪ when we go

Campers! Campers...
Go back to your cabins.

We're having a baby here,

I'm sorry, Elyse.

Sorry. It's just that I don't
get to sing that song too often.

You can sing anything
you want tomorrow.

You can record it tomorrow.

Do you...

Steve, I want you to know

this baby stuff is easy.

You've got nothing
to worry about.

It's... it's a breeze...
Routine procedure.

You're gonna
pull through this just fine.

I know. This is my second baby.

Really? It's my first.

Oh, come on!


Elyse: Yoo-hoo! Yoo-hoo!

Remember me?
I'm the one having the baby.

Oh, yeah. Well, uh...

Everything seems to be okay.

You feel all right, honey?

Yeah, I'm fine.
Hey, what about the test?

You don't need a test.
You're pregnant.

I'm sure of it.

Steven has a Poli-sci final
in about 20 minutes.

Oh. I can skip it.

You can't skip it.
I can't leave here.

Steve, it's gonna be a while.

It could be hours.

It could be tomorrow.

I-I think you should go.

I'd feel better if you did.
I'll be fine.

You sure? Yeah.

Steve, you go take that final.

Cuyahoga guys don't skip finals.

All right. You sure it's okay?

I'm sure, baby.

I'll be back
just as soon as I can.


Hey, remember when they
showed us the movie "Psycho"?

Oh, sure.

That's what made me
want to be a doctor.

Both: * we'll be roastin'
those marshmallows... *

oh! Ohh!



Crazy Larry!

I was delivered by a guy
named Crazy Larry?

That explains a lot.

Did Dr. Crazy
hear you call for him, mommy?

Yeah, and the funny thing was,

he turned out
to be a terrific doctor.

How did you do
on the Poli-sci test, dad?

Uh, not too well.

For "name
the Bolshevik leaders,"

I put, "Mallory if it's a girl,
Lenin if it's a boy."

I got partial credit.

Boy, it's coming down
worse than ever.

Aw, great. Now we're gonna be
stuck here together.

I don't think "stuck"
is the appropriate word, Alex.

Okay, trapped.

Dad, it's light flurries,
that's all.

We can make it.

I can't even see
the car from here.

Dad, you don't understand.

Donny Hayes is up there
waiting for me.

His family went last night.

Mallory, you don't want
your whole family

to risk their lives

just so you can meet
Donny Hayes, do you?


Maybe Alex could drive me.

Maybe we can open up
a few more presents

if we're going to be
in all night.

Good idea. Jennifer: Okay.

Oh, here.

Merry Christmas, Mallory.

Thank you, Jennifer.

What do we get?

Oh, that's...


It's a very nice...


All-purpose, practical gift.

It's a hat.

I made it myself. Shhh.

No kidding.

That's great.

I wish I had a hat like that.

You do.

Oh, I changed my mind.

I love it.

Well, I think
it's beautiful, Jennifer.

Thank you.

Well, I've got something
that I'd like to give now.

It's for you, Elyse.

For me? You shouldn't have.

Should I take it back?

Don't you dare.

A flute! Oh, Steven!

I made it myself.

It's beautiful!

Mommy, I didn't know
you could play the flute.

I've always wanted to learn.

Aren't there supposed
to be holes in this?

I, uh, got a late start.

I'll give you
the holes next year.

Thank you, honey.


Oh, boy, here they go.

They're not even
under the mistletoe.

In a couple of minutes,

they're gonna be
under the table.

Look, maybe you'd better
tell us the story

of when Jennifer was born.

Do you really want to hear it?

No, but it's
probably the only way

to stop the kissing.

Woman on P.A.:
Dr. Caro, surgery please.

Aha. T-this is interesting.

"Childbirth can be
described as four stages...

"effacement, dilation,
transition, and expulsion.

"These stages are accomplished
by the muscular action

of the uterus,
called contractions."

Which stage are you in, Elyse?

I'm in pain, Steven.

We're only on page 114.

You shouldn't be in pain
until page 156.

Turn to page 156.

Uh... Pain... Pa...

They have "discomfort,"
they don't have "pain."

Write it in.

You know, most people
don't cram for childbirth.

You see, she's way
ahead of schedule.

The baby wasn't due until...

next month.

In fact, we were
on our way to vote

when the contractions started.

Yeah, I really think
we should've voted first.

I know what you mean.

I think it's going to be
a very close election,

and our votes could have
put Mcgovern over the top.

Have you heard anything
about the early returns?

Well, I just came
from a Nixon victory party.

Does that give you any clue?

It's a little early
to tell, isn't it?

Well, there's 1% of the vote in,

and Mcgovern's losing
by a 6-1 margin.

1%? What can you tell from that?

It's Mcgovern's hometown.


Shouldn't we get her
into the delivery room?

A delivery room's bound
to open up in a few minutes.

We're very busy today.

Oh, oh, I'm sorry.
Should we come back next week?

Sarcasm is not called for.

Now I need some information.

Name? Oh.

Jennifer if it's a girl.
David if it's a boy.

Not the baby's name, sir.

Oh, sorry. Steven Keaton.

Not your name.
The patient's name.

Elyse Keaton.

Thank you. Believe it?

Four more years with that guy?
I know.

Hey, dad, did you hear
the good news?

Yeah, Alex. We heard.

We're very happy for you.

Guess all my hard work paid off.

Yeah, I think that last-minute
mailing you sent out

had some effect.

Sir, if those are your children,

they must wait
in the waiting room.

That's how the room
got its name.

I know, that's where they were.
Why don't you go on back now?

How are you feeling, mommy?

Oh, just great, honey.

How come when cousin Sandy's
German Shepherd had puppies,

she had eight,
and you're only gonna have one?

It's not the same
as a dog having puppies.

Is that why you're not
having it in the garage?

Dr. Hansen,
report to obstetrics, please.

She's about eight centimeters.

I'll go check
on a delivery room.

Hi, Dr. Rogers. Hi, Steven.

Hi, Elyse. How are you feeling?


I don't think you've met
Alex and Mallory.

Hi, kids.

Hi. Hi.

Well, birth is a wondrous
event, isn't it, kids?

Mystery of nature's miracles.

You must have a lot
of questions about all this.


How much do you make a year?

Alex, you were just leaving.

Right, dad.

Uh, now, Alex,

uh, you look after Mallory.

And, uh, we'll be back
just as soon as we can,

and we'll have
a brand-new baby brother

or baby sister
for you to play with.

I'm hopin' for a brother.

I think I'd rather have
a German Shepherd.

Four more years!

Four more years!

Dr. Rogers: Don't worry, Elyse.

We'll get you into a room
in a minute.

How you doing? Oh, well, I-i...

Well, she started
having some discomfort

about two hours ago.

We were in the kitchen...

That is, the kids and I
were in the kitchen.

And Elyse was upstairs
getting dressed.

See, this is totally unexpected.

N-not... not the baby,

but tonight.

We haven't had a chance to vote.

The... the election's over,

See that? Irritability.

She's right on schedule.

What comes after irritability?

Uh, let's try another
breathing technique.

Uh, the one where
you go like this...

Hee, hee, hee, hee.

They say you should do it
in 4/4 rhythm...

To the tune of "Yankee Doodle."

Really, Elyse. It's in the book.

Here, look. Look for yourself.

Okay. I'll give it a try. Okay.

Do you...
Telephone, please.

Delivery room 4 is free now.

Let's go! All right.

Both: * hee, hee, hee, hee
hee, hee, hee, hee... *

Dr. Rogers:
Okay, you're doing great, Elyse.

Now, during
your next contraction,

I want you to resist
the urge to push.

It says here
that to avoid pushing,

you should relax

and blow out as hard as you can.

That doesn't sound too tough.

Why don't you try it sometime?

Oh! Good.


Slow it down.



Oh, that was perfect!

I can't believe
how well you're doing!

You don't look so bad, yourself.

Oh, well, thanks.
But there's nothing to it.

How about a kiss? Oh, yeah.

Mmm. Mmm.

Oh! Ohh!

Whoa, that must have been
some kiss!

Okay, Elyse, start pushing.

Aah! Good, good.

Oh, hey, I can see
the baby's head.

Is it a boy or a girl?

I can't tell from the head.

I don't see any ponytails
or anything.



There you are!

You have a baby...


Oh, all right!

And then you opened your mouth

and let out a big scream!

And we haven't been able
to shut you up since.

Elyse: It was really terrific

having your daddy
in the room with me, too.

He was such a big help.

So, Alex wanted Nixon.

Mallory wanted a puppy.

What did you want, daddy?


I just wanted one thing...

A healthy, beautiful child.

And that's what I got.

Three times.

I'm a very lucky man.

Well, hey.

As parents go,
you two aren't so bad.

Thank you!

Dad, here's a present
from us kids.

We didn't exactly
make it, but...

But we all worked hard
to earn some extra cash.

And, uh, now that Ron's
got inflation under control

and our dollars are worth more,

we thought we'd
stimulate the economy

by buying an expensive,
American product.

However, we ran, uh,
a little short

in the liquid-assets department.

What he means is mommy
put up the rest of the money.

Well, that's another way
of saying it.

Merry Christmas, dad.

Oh, hey!

Oh, this is great!

It's that new camera!

Oh, this is really fantastic!

Oh, ho, thanks everybody!

It's all loaded
and ready to go, too.

Yeah! I am so glad
it snowed so hard.

I've... I've had
such a good time

looking at these
old photographs.

Yeah, remembering
all the glory years

when I was still an only child.

Do you still see Crazy Larry?

Yeah, we visit him on weekends.

You know, this could
turn out to be

the best Christmas ever.

You're right, dad.

And it's a really special night.

Christmas is a time
for sharing those moments

that are more precious
than any material gift.

It's a time
which renews our spirits

and makes us aware
of the beauty that surrounds us

and of the beauty within us.

Jennifer, that's really lovely.

Yeah, but it's more effective

with the wings.


It's from a part
in my school play.

I was a Christmas angel.


You played an angel?

It was either that
or stick a tree branch

on my head and be a reindeer.


Everybody in front of the tree.

I'm gonna take
a Christmas portrait.

Oh, good idea! Oh!

I got a timer on this thing.


Oh, great. Oh, get down.

Get in place.

Oh, everybody looks great.

You all set? Get down.

All right, now,

leave room for me
right there. Okay.

Okay. Great.

Okay. Come on, dad.

All right, I'm here.

Good. Smile. Okay.

What's happening?

Be just a second.

Oh! Can't win!

One more chance. Come on.

Okay, dad. I can get it.

All right.

One more time.

Let's give it a little
more time okay.

Okay? All right.

Everybody say,
"merry Christmas."

All: Merry Christmas!