Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 4, Episode 10 - How Do You Sleep? - full transcript

Alex hasn't slept in over a week. Lonely nights are spent triggering the smoke alarm, and even asking Skippy to spend the night. Elyse confesses that she has battled insomnia as well, and she is able to help Alex finally fall asleep.

3:00 in the morning.

I can't believe
this is happening again.

Why can't I sleep?

It's dark.

I'm tired.
I'm in bed.

I've slept successfully
in the past.

Maybe these pajamas
are defective.

This is ridiculous.

I've slept a total
of a minute and a half

in the last six nights.

I got midterms coming up.
I got papers to write.

Got a million things to do.

If I don't get to sleep soon,
I'm gonna be...


All right, okay,
don't panic.

I can still get four hours,

if I fall asleep
right now.



So far, so good.

I'm falling asleep.

Here I go.

I'm on my way.



I'm gone...


I'm back.

♪ 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

Okay, if you'll just hand me
that screwdriver, Jen,

we'll have the smoke alarm up
in no time.

Oh, no, no, not the Phillips.
I want the flathead.

Trust me, dad,
you want the Phillips.

You're right.

it's all set to go.

Why don't we test it out?

Well, here's some matches.

Nice work, dad.

burglar alarm.

Those are tough to install.

I'm impressed.

It's not a burglar alarm.
It's a smoke alarm.

Oh, nice work, dad.

Maybe it needs
a minor adjustment.

Right back.

Oh, excuse me, mom.

You're home late,
aren't you?

Yeah, I was, uh,
at the library...


You know, I got a B-minus
on my anthropology test?

Don't feel so bad, Alex.

I got a B-minus
on a test last week.

Oh, okay,
I feel better now.

You look awfully tired, honey.
Why don't you go on up to bed?

What are you implying,

That I'm afraid
to go to bed?

That I'm afraid that I won't
be able to sleep?

That I'll stare at the walls
all night...


Desperate, and alone?

Is that what
you're implying?


Does anybody else
think that?

Because if you do, why don't you
just come out and say it

and stop snickering
behind my back?

What's he talking about?

You know,
you all look tired.

Why don't you all
go to sleep?

See how that feels?
How do you like it?

Well, actually,
going to sleep isn't a bad idea.

I'm exhausted.
Good night, mom.

Yeah, me too.
Good night, mom.


Okay, all fixed.

Should be working
like a charm now.

Oh, boy, I'm bushed.

I can't wait to get to bed.
I'll probably be asleep

before my head
hits the pillow.


Rub my nose in it.

Are you ready, Elyse?


Wait, wait, wait a minute.
You guys are goin' to bed?

Now? Together?

I'm sorry
if that shocks you, Alex.

Are you all right,

Yeah, I'm, uh...
I'm fine. Really.

Uh, go to sleep.

Are you sure?
Yeah, I'm positive.

Good night.
I, uh, love you.

Good night, Alex.

Well, here I am again.

Alone for another
sleepless night.

Hey, I don't care.

I enjoy having
these hours to myself.

Yeah, I kind of love
being alone.


Sorry to bother you
so late, Alex.

I just want
to borrow a dictionary.

Aw, hey.
Uh, well, uh...

Skip, gee,
the dictionary's upstairs,

But maybe I can
help you out.

I know a lot of words.

today in biology class,

Lauren Harris told me
I reminded her of a Mandrill.

What is that?

Uh, well, Skip, uh,

a Mandrill is a large,

fierce, uh,

foul-smelling baboon...

...of West Africa.


Do you think
I should ask her out?

Go for it, you big ape.

Alex, thank you very much.
Uh, listen, Skippy,

Um, why don't you sit down
for a minute, okay?

I want to ask you


How do you sleep at night?


after my mom straps me in,

I usually
just drift right off.

I wish I had
a ritual like that.

You know, I haven't slept
in eight nights?

Well, congratulations.
How many are you going for?

No, Skip, I want to sleep.
I just can't.

I don't know, I completely
psych myself out.

I-i just lie in bed,

feeling completely alone.

Would you like me to sleep
with you tonight, Alex?

What was that, Skip?

Maybe it'll help
to relax you

to have somebody else
there in the room.

I'll sleep on the floor.

I'm not sleeping.

I'm exhausted,
I'm in bed,

and I'm not sleeping.

And I have Skippy
in my room.

This is worse than last night.

All right. Okay.

Just don't get upset.

Stay calm.



$100 million.

$200 million.

$300 million,

Tax exempt.

I'm gettin' too excited here.

All right, all right, okay.

Maybe I should just
walk around a little.

Man: This is WADW.

I'm Sonny Henderson,

and you're listening to
"The Night Owl Show."

It's 3:24,

And now here's Buddy Budson
doing "Alone and Blue."

Hey, don't I know it, buddy.

Shut up.

What's going on?


What's the matter?
Couldn't sleep?

I heard the smoke alarm.

Well, that was...
That was the radio.

They were playing
"Smoke Gets in Your...

Smoke Alarm."

I don't know, dad. I mean,
that thing just went off.

I was getting some food
out of the refrigerator,

and it went off.

It must be
the smoked salmon.

What's all the noise down here?
I heard the smoke alarm.

If there's not a fire,
I'm gonna be really mad.

Look, I-I set it off
by mistake. I'm sorry.


Skippy, what are
you doing here?

Trying to help Alex sleep.


Did you know he hasn't slept
in over eight nights?


Alex, is this true?
You're having trouble sleeping?

No, no,
it's just a rumor.

why didn't you tell us

you were
having this problem?

it is not a problem.

How come you're having
trouble sleeping?

What is this,
a not-sleeping witch-hunt?

Why don't you just tie me up
to a stake and burn me?

as long as we're up.

All right, okay, look,
I'm sorry I woke you all, okay?

And if you don't mind, I'm tired
and I'm going back to sleep.

So, Mallory,

you been having
any trouble sleeping?

This is ridiculous. We're all
exhausted because of Alex.

Yeah, we finally get the baby
to sleep through the night

and now Alex won't.

Come on,
we have to be patient.

Alex has a problem.

I was patient at first,

but Alex has kept us awake
for a week.

It's like being
in a family of owls.

Hey, Alex.


Good morning.

Whose turn is it?


Uh, Alex,
how did you sleep last night?

Oh, fine.

Oh, yeah?
Then why did you ask me

to go skiing with you
at 2:00 in the morning?

I have no memory of that.

sit down for a second.

Sure, mom.

What's up?

You are.

Every night.

you're not sleeping.

It's got to
be bothering you.

I know it's bothering us.

What do you mean?

Well, for example,
what happened last night.

Oh, look,
I'm sorry about that, okay?

I-i tried to do it
as quietly as I could.

Alex, you crawled
into bed with us.

Did that bother you?

Look, I'm sorry, okay?

I've got a little problem,

but it's under control.

I can handle it.

You know, Alex,

I had a friend
who had trouble sleeping

and she went to a therapy group
for people with sleep disorders.


I'm sure your friends
have a lot of disorders,

but I'd prefer
not to be lumped together

with that group of misfits.

Alex, you have to get
some kind of help.

Or a hotel room.

Hi, Alex.

We just wanted
to wish you good luck

on getting to sleep

I'll be fine.

I hope so, Alex,

'cause you're really
starting to fall apart.

let's be kind to Alex.

I read somewhere
if you don't get enough sleep,

your brain cells
start to die.


One by one.

Will you knock it off?

Sorry, Alex. Look, good luck
falling asleep tonight, really.

And that's another thing.

Just don't ...
Don't wish me good luck

falling asleep, okay?

It only gets me worried
about it.

Just don't even
mention sleep.

Hey, kids.
Good luck falling asleep, honey.


He doesn't want anyone
to mention sleep.

Oh, I'm sorry.

Well, I brought you
some warm milk,

for no particular reason.

Thanks, mom.

You know, I always thought that
was just an old wives' tale.

Well, your mother
is an old wife.

Seriously though, uh,

milk contains tryptophan,

a chemical that, uh,
promotes sleep.

And - come on - just to ensure
a good night's sleep,

we picked up

this little item.

What do you think?

It's no use, dad.
I know it's you.

This is Sylvester.
He used to be my favorite doll.

We've grown apart.

He's been looking
for a companion lately.

Oh, thanks, Jen.

here's my geometry book.

Just read it
and you'll fall fast asleep.

Thanks, you guys.

Good night.
Good luck, Alex.

May sleep be with you.

I'm not sleeping yet.

Together: oh, sorry.

What are you staring at?

All right.

No more fooling around here.

This time I'm going to sleep.

This time I mean business.


That's it.

That's beautiful.

Boy, nothing like sleep.

It's the greatest.

How would I know?

I can't take it anymore.

I got to get out of here.

This is unbelievable.

I've forgotten how to sleep.

What's next?

Am I gonna forget
how to breathe?

How to eat?
How to walk?

How to calculate
simple interest?

What has become of me?!


Everything's fine.

The sleeping
is goin' a-okay.

Just takin'
a little break.

Come on, mom.

Can't you see
I'm trying to sleep?

Alex, I hate
seeing you like this.

Remember how much
I used to love

goin' to sleep
when I was a kid?


I used to read you
"The Three Little Pigs."

Before I got to page 5,
you were out.

Yeah, well,
those days are gone.

more complicated now.

You know,
I get into this bed at night

and a million different
things rush through my mind.

I mean, I worry
about me and Ellen,

And I worry about,
uh, my classes,

and my tests,
my future.

About my past,

about my present,

and I worry
about my future again.

Then I worry
about Ellen again,

and then I worry
about Ellen's future.

Hey, everything just
gets so crazy.

Guess I'm crazy, huh?

No. No,
You're not crazy, honey.

You're just not
a little boy anymore, you know?

You're an adult.

There are a lot of things
going on in your life,

and that's bound
to create some anxiety.

but what if that anxiety

keeps me up
for the rest of my life?

I mean,

what if I never
get to sleep?

Stop worrying about sleeping.

Now, when your body needs it,
it'll go to sleep.

In the meantime,
just enjoy the night, you know?

Read a good book,
look at the stars,

talk to your picture
of Nixon.

He doesn't look
like he slept much either.

I'll try that.

I guess what I'm trying to say,
honey, is...

Just try and relax,
you know?

Use the time.

That's what I try to do.

Wait a minute,
you've had insomnia?

From time to time.


I always figured you were
the "out like a light" type.


That's your dad.

In fact,
I remember one night,

he fell asleep
before he even got to bed.

I found him.

He was asleep in the sink

with a toothbrush sticking out
of his mouth.

I guess what
I'm trying to say, honey,

is that an occasional
sleepless night

goes with the territory
of being Alex Keaton.

Despite the worries
and the anxieties,

I think you enjoy
being Alex Keaton.

Thanks, mom.

Love you.

Good night, babe.


Uh, just wondering
if you'd mind, uh,

telling me
the "Three Little Pigs" story.

Just for old times' sake.

Pick it up
midway through the action.


Uh, well...

See, these pigs built
three different kinds of houses.

Um, one house
was made out of...


And the other house
was made out of...



And the third house
was made out of...

Aluminum siding.

That's good enough.

And then the wolf came along

and he wanted to blow down
the pigs' houses.

So he said,
"I'll huff

"and I'll puff

and I'll blow
your house down."

Well, the pigs got very scared.

So the first pig said
to the other two pigs...

No, no, wait a minute.

Actually it was
the second pig

Said to the first
and third pig...

Oh, which pig was it?
They look so much alike.

Do you remember which one?


Well, I was up anyway.