All in the Family (1971–1979): Season 6, Episode 11 - The Little Atheist - full transcript

If it's a major holiday and Archie and Mike are sitting at the table, it's sure to mean one thing: verbal fireworks. This time, the holiday is Thanksgiving and the topic is the religion of the Stivics' unborn baby. Archie wants to raise his grandchild as a Christian; Mike suggests that the child will make the decision when he or she is old enough to.

♪ Boy, the way
Glenn Miller played

♪ Songs that made the hit parade

♪ Guys like us, we had it made

♪ Those were the days

♪ And you knew
where you were then

♪ Girls were girls
and men were men

BOTH: ♪ Mister,
we could use a man

♪ Like Herbert Hoover again

♪ Didn't need no welfare state

♪ Everybody pulled his weight

BOTH: ♪ Gee, our
old LaSalle ran great

♪ Those were the days ♪


EDITH: Archie. Yeah, Edith.

Did you kill that
spider in the bathtub?

No, but he's gonna walk
funny the rest of his life.


♪ Oh, Baby Face

♪ You've got the
cutest little baby face

Look at that. Not a
wrinkle on the guy.

♪ Nobody else can
ever take your place

♪ Oh, Baby Face

♪ I'll go... ♪
Oh, no, Archie.

You ain't gonna wear your
sweater to Gloria's house.

What are you talkin'
about? Why not?

Well, this is
Thanksgivin' dinner.

You're gonna
wear your best suit.

The turkey ain't gonna
know the difference, Edith.

Archie... Edith, when I
get dressed, I am dressed.

Oh, no, you're gonna look...

I don't believe
what's happenin' here.

What are you doin'? Edith!

This is a new high in low.

You're wearing your
nice new dark blue suit.

What do you mean
my dark blue suit?

I'm goin' over there to
eat, not to get buried.

Oh, please.

Aw, jeez, goin' over there,

gettin' dressed up just
to eat with the daughter.

Many's the time she ate with
us wearin' nothin' but a diaper.

Well, it won't hurt you to
get dressed up once a year.

Oh, look, you're puttin'
a tie around me, too.

What do I need a tie for?

The only thing I ever see around
the Meathead's neck is a napkin.

Oh, Archie,

this is the first Thanksgivin'
dinner Gloria ever cooked,

and it's very important
to her. I know. All right.

All right, important...

Get out of here, will
you? Get yourself dressed.

Oh, yeah. Archie, I can't decide
between these two dresses.

Which one do you
think I should wear?

Aw, jeez, Edith. Whichever.

Maybe I should wear
my yellow and red dress.

Yeah. Wear the yellow
and red one, Edith.

Oh, but I ain't got no shoes to
go with the yellow and red one.

I'd kill the yellow
and red one, Edith.

Oh, I was hopin' you'd
pick the black and white one.

All right, Edith. Goin' away, you
look like the back end of a zebra,

but wear it.

Do you really like this dress?

Yes, Edith, I really
like that dress.

Oh, you ain't just sayin'
that to make me feel good?

No, I wouldn't say nothin'
to make you feel good.

All right, I'll wear
this one. Swell.

Oh, but if you really like
the red and yellow one... Aw!

Oh, oh, uh, I could wear
my green shoes with it,

because green goes with
red and yellow, don't it?

Yeah, if you want to
look like a traffic light.

Help me decide.

Don't ask me!

I don't know
nothin' about colors.

That ain't no business of mine.

Oh, all right. What the hell do I
look like, an inferior decorator?

I'll wear the red
and yellow one.

Uh, oh... But what
about my green shoes?

Go barefoot in a
bathin' suit for all I care.

The whole thing is ridiculous
gettin' dressed up to go over there.

Who's gonna see me crossin'
the alley, a couple of cats?


Archie, it ain't easy for Gloria to cook
this dinner for us in her eighth month,

and all that runnin' and shoppin'
and everythin'. Oh, all right. Yeah.

And, Archie, this is her first
Thanksgiving in her own home.

All right. All right. I'm gettin'
dressed up for you, ain't I?

Yeah. You look so nice.

I just put the Aqua Velva
on. Don't go lickin' it off.

Oh, Archie, you know what? What?

I think I'll wear
my green dress,

'cause the green shoes go
better with the green dress.

Too much green makes
people throw up, you know.

Oh, I can't wear
this. It's all wrinkled.

I got a great idea
for you, Edith. What?

Put a raisin in your
bellybutton and go as a cookie.

Come on.

And then you fold the
clams into the sour cream.

But if you like a lot of clams,

you could fold the clams...

The sour cream into the clams.

I don't know why
I'm makin' this.

My dog Buster doesn't
even like clam dip.

And that's the truth.


Who is that? The
father of your baby.

Hey, George.

(EXCLAIMS) Hey, the baby kicked.

Yeah. Gee, I... I
wonder if I can hear him.

Oh, don't look, Edith.


What the hell is he doin'?

He's listening to the baby.

What's the baby gonna
tell him at this age?

When am I gonna see you doin'
somethin' that gives me a lift?

Happy Thanksgiving.

Oh, hi, Ma. Happy Thanksgiving.

Now, this is some apple
and this is pumpkin.

Oh, that's great. Oh, Ma.

Hey, the two of
you look terrific.

Gee, you didn't have to
get all dressed up, Archie.

Yes, I did. She forced me.

Why, you look handsome, Daddy.

All right. Here, for you. They
come back to us tomorrow.

Grandma Bunker's
silver candle stands.

Because this is a
very special occasion.

Oh, thanks, Ma. I promise
to take good care of 'em.

Here, honey. Everybody
get out of my kitchen.

Dinner will be ready soon.
Yeah, yeah, well, let's go.

Can I help you, Gloria?

No, Ma, I got it
all under control.

Oh, it smells so good.
ARCHIE: All right.

Oh, ain't this beautiful? Okay.

Yeah, we're having buffet.

I thought we was having turkey.

Hey, Arch, why don't you
try some of this clam dip?

Uh, no, no, no, I
better stick to jam.

You got any of that?

Come on, Arch. Try
some of the cauliflower.

Cauliflower ain't cooked.

He's a goat.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the
baby got here by Christmas?

Yeah. Hey, I'd like
to see him sooner.

Hey, maybe you could spring
him early for good behavior, huh?

Daddy, your cigar's
stinkin' up the house.

Oh, come on.

Oh, I can't wait to
take her to the zoo

and put her on the pony ride.

And maybe on Sundays
I could take her to church.

Uh, well, you could
take him to the park, Ma.

After church?

Uh, no, no. Instead of.


What do you mean the park?

Who is the kid gonna say prayers
in the park to, a water fountain?

Why not? As far as I'm concerned

it makes as much sense
than any other kind of prayers.

Wait a minute.
Wait a minute there.

Just because you're
an atheist, you know,

don't mean that my grandchild's
got to be gypped out of his religion.

That's right. Mike, children ought
to go to church when they're little,

'cause when they get older,

they're havin' too
much fun to be religious.

Ma, we've decided to try not
to influence our child on religion

'cause, you know, first we wanna
let him make up his own mind.

Whoa, ho, ho, ho. Now, that's
where you are 100% wrong-o, little girl.

The parents got to influence their
kids' minds, is when they're young.

Got to teach him to
learn the right things, see.

To be scared of God,
to love the dear old USA,

to defend American shores
in all foreign countries.

Is there anything
else he should know?

Sure. There's a lot
of other little things.

To use his dukes right.

To walk fast through the
Puerto Rican neighborhood.

Arch, I think you're forgettin' to
teach him the most important thing.

Yeah. What? To never
listen to his grandfather.

Why don't you go take a
high dive into the clam drip?

Now, now, little girl. Now, let
me, let me... Aw. Give me that.

All right. Do-Do-Don't
flush it out over here.

All right. Easy on that.

Now, h-h-how far
along are you now?

Eight months. All right.

Now, how long you've been
livin' over here in the toilet house?

Daddy! How long?

Six months. All right.
You've proved my point, see.

The baby got started
over there in our house.

That's a good God-fearin'
Protestant house,

so that makes him a
Christian, ipso fatso.

Suppose the kid were created in a
parking lot outside of McDonald's.

What would that make him,
an ipso fatso hamburger?

In a parking lot?
You dirty guy, you.

Hey, as a matter of fact,

our baby was conceived in
Leo and Mariam's bungalow.

Hey, they're Jewish,
so according to Daddy,

we're gonna have to
send him to Hebrew school.

Come on. Yeah,
that's a great idea.

Lots of famous people turned
Jewish. Elizabeth Taylor.

Oh, that dame would do
anything to drive the world crazy.

Sammy Davis.

And he'd do anything for laughs.

You just do what
I tell you, little girl.

Daddy, it is up to
Michael and me,

and we've decided to let our own child
make up his own mind about religion.

That's tellin' him, fat lady.

Thank you, honey. I
better go baste the turkey...

Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
Wait a minute. Stay here.

Oh, no, Gloria. I'll
baste the turkey.

Uh, thanks, Ma.

Listen. Listen. I'm warning
youse two. You mend your ways,

or one of these days you're gonna be
chased around by a lot of little red devils

with pitch forks who
wanna baste you.

What is all this about
bein' afraid of God?

I was taught in Sunday school
that God loves everybody.

Oh, he does, unless you
rub him the wrong way.

You do that, he sends
down plagues after you,

like he done with them ancient
Egyptian kings, the Ferryos.

God has got one
hell of a temper.

He could hit you with an earthquake
or one of them famous floods.

Yeah. That flood wiped
out a lot of innocent people.

And what about all those poor
animals that were drowned?

Hey, but not the fish.

The fish was havin' a picnic. They
was eatin' Catholics for a change.

Just tell me one thing,
just one thing, Arch?

Is that what you
want for our child,

to worship a God who you
depict as cruel and merciless?

I wanna tell you
somethin', buddy,

that you better keep a
civilian tongue in your head

because the Lord can hear and he knows
what's goin' on every place, every time.

Youse two got to show some
respect for Him. Get away from me.

Oh, wait, wait.
All right, all right.

Assuming there is a
God, which I am not.

Assuming there is.

You say He is everywhere? Yes.

And He knows everything? Yes.

Well, then, he would
know what was in my heart.

He knows you
don't believe in Him.

No, but if I did
believe in Him, Archie,

I'd believe in Him because... because
He's a... a loving and forgiving God.

He won't forgive you for
bein' an atheist, buddy.

He would forgive me anything.

He wouldn't forgive you
for showin' him disrespect.

Sure, he would.
(SPUTTERS) To you.

He... He'd even
forgive me for doin' that.

for goin'... To me?

for going... To Him.



You better find a tailor who can
measure you for a lightin' rod, buddy.

You know what he just said here.

He said it, Lord, not
me. Did you hear this?

You better watch your
step. God forgive you.

Hey, Edith, come out here. Edith.
EDITH: Turkey's almost ready.

I've never seen a man
so low and depaved

that he would go...

(SPUTTERS) To the Lord.

Arch, it doesn't
make any difference.

If I believed in God, I
wouldn't go... To God.

You've done it again. But I don't
believe in Him so I went... To nobody.

You've done it again. I'm
gettin' the hell out of here.

Oh, Archie, you're
missing the point.

Daddy! Oh, no. Come
on, Edith, we're goin' home.

We ain't had dinner yet.

I ain't gonna have dinner.
I'm scared to eat in this house.

You know what that
Meathead just done?

He give the Bronx cheer
to the Lord, so help me.

And he's gonna bring up our
grandson to do the same thing.

Oh, Archie. Come on, Edith.
Come with me, and don't look back.

You'll be turned
into a pillow of salt.

We'll be back.


GLORIA: Yeah. Yes, Ma.

Sure. That sounds fair enough.

Yeah. Would you please put
Daddy on the phone? Okay.

Michael, Daddy admits he
was wrong for running out of here

and he'll come back over here,

if you'll apologize for
giving God the raspberry.

Gloria, I didn't give God the
raspberry. You saw what I did.

Michael, please apologize.

Gloria, Gloria,
please don't start that.

You know I can't handle tears.

I'm pregnant and
I get upset easily,

and you know how hard
I worked on that dinner.

Why should I apologize
to Archie when he's wrong?


Gloria, what kind
of man would I be

if I let your father tell us
how to raise our children?


Who would... Who would...
Who would honor a man like that?

I wouldn't, you wouldn't,
our child wouldn't.


Arch, I apologize. You happy?

Yeah, thank you. See you
in a minute, Daddy. Bye.

Thank you very much, Gloria.

It's Thanksgiving and
you made me eat crow.

Michael, honey. Please.

Try to get along with Daddy.

How can I, Gloria?

The man's mind is a one-way
street leading to a dead-end.

Just avoid arguments.

Michael, you're very bright.

You know the three subjects
you should never discuss with him.

Religion, politics
or anything else.

All right, all right. I'll try to do my
best but I'm not promising anything.

Honey, I never told
you about this wonderful

trick that Ma worked
out with Daddy.

Now, when they go out,
and he's losin' his temper,

she just warns him by givin' him a lovely,
little playful tug on his ear like that.

It's a wonder he
doesn't look like Dumbo.

Sweetheart, it works.

So if I see that you're
gonna lose control tonight,

I'll just tug on your ear

and that'll mean, "I love
you, sweetheart, but shut up."


Here, they are.
Okay, I'll get it.

Why do I get the feeling I'm
gonna lose an ear tonight?

Irene. How!

Indians spend Thanksgiving
with pilgrims, bring firewater.

Oh, you look
terrific. MIKE: Irene.

Honey, look what she brought us.

Yeah, that's nice. Now we don't
have to drink the cheap stuff I bought.

Hey, the place is
really shaping up,

and so are you, little mother.


GLORIA: Ma. Hi, Ma.

Hi, Daddy, give
me that. Aw, jeez.

Oh, Irene, you look
beautiful. You like this?

Archie, don't she look nice?

Yeah, when is she
gonna read the tea leaves?

Was that a compliment?

Sure, it's Thanksgivin'.

Arch, Irene brought
us some nice wine.

Yeah, I see that.

But to this house, I could've wished
you'd have brung some Christian Brothers.


No, no, no, no,
religious offensing thing.


EDITH: Oh. Oh, hey.

Everybody serve
yourself. ARCHIE: Let's go.

Oh, boy, that looks sensational.

I'm gonna have a leg.
Anybody else want a leg?

No legs for me. You can never
tell where a bird's been walking.

I'm starved. Honey, don't
forget the sweet candied yams.

Give me some of them yams.

Yeah, Daddy, I got mashed
potatoes there for you.

You're in my way there.
I'm trying to get the yams.

Honey, make sure you get some
dressing. Yeah, give me some dressing.

Oh, it's beautiful. Daddy, I've made
your favorite baby peas with onions.

I'm staying there. Have you got
any cranberry sauce, little girl?

Oh, yeah, Daddy.
Look, I made it myself.

Oh, ain't you got none of the
real kind that slides out of the can?

Try it.

I'll have it later
with my ice cream.

There we go. Give me
some more of this turkey here.

Oh, look at this. He's
a human derrick, here.

Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!



funny, Arch, human derrick.

He's a liar.

Hey, don't forget,
everybody, we got wine here.

Here, let me pour
the wine, Irene.

All right, where do we go now?

Hey, Irene, why don't
you sit over here?

Come over here.

Nice. Hey, here.

Arch, uh, that's my
place over there.

Well, take the plate over
there. What's the difference?

Hey, Irene, I always
wanted to ask you.

How long do youse Catholics
got to count your beads

to find out how many youse got?

The beads help us pray, Archie.

Yeah. What do you pray about?


Is that a little shot?

Sure, it's Thanksgiving.

Gloria, let me help you down.

Thank you. One, two,
three. Ready. One.

There we go.

All right, everybody, let's eat.

Yeah. Hey. Wait, wait, wait.

Wait a minute. Wait
a minute. Hold...

Hey, hey, hey, hold it here.

You ain't gonna eat nothin'
here without sayin' the grace first.

Grace? Wait just a...

Wait for what, there...
What are you doin'?

There ain't nothin' wrong
with sayin' grace there.

It ain't particularly religious.
Even an atheist can say grace.

It's just thankin', uh, Mother Nature
whose first name happens to be Grace.

Grace Nature?

ARCHIE: You got it there, buddy.

Archie, maybe we can
skip grace, tonight, huh?

Yeah, we've been
skippin' it all year.

You never say it at home.

All right, all right, all right,
then. The hell with grace.

Wait. Wait a minute. Wait a
minute. Wait a minute now.

All right, even so,

gonna have a little
quotation from the Bible here.

Oh, God. Oh, Daddy,
dinner's gonna get cold.

Don't worry, little girl. The
Lord will keep it hot for you.

Now, this is from
my New Testament.

You hear that? New. That means
that everything in here is good today.

Cut that out, will you?

It's my lucky Bible here
in the World War. WW II.

You see, that dent
there in the cover,

that's where it was hit by
a hunk of crowd shrapnel.

I wouldn't be sittin'
here today if I hadn't

been wearin' that
Bible in my back pocket.

And that tells us
where your religion is.


He saw me up there. Now,

this little quotation fits certain
people sittin' at this table here tonight.

Romans 14, two dots 23.

"And he that doubteth
is damned if he eat."

Wow! And the text for
this evening's service is

let's all pray that our host
Mike Stivic goes to hell.

You said that
better than the Bible.

Do you know that hurts me?

How do you like that, if I
do that to you a little bit?

Now here's the other quotation.

Oh, Daddy, come on.

This is Thanksgiving
dinner, not a revival meeting.

What have you
been told, little girl?

My grandchild is layin'
over there inside you

with his little ears
pressed to the walls there.

And he is going to hear the
word of God on Thanksgivin'

whether that
Meathead likes it or not.

Well, I don't like
it. No, no, no, no.

You can pull my ear till it
falls off. That's it, I've had it.

Now, this is my house,
it's gonna be my child,

and no one is gonna force his
religious beliefs on this family.

Oh, sit down in your
chair and shut up.

Yeah, and that's another thing.

I've been waitin' five
years to tell you this.

Get out of my chair.

I'll not only get out of your
chair, I'll get out of your house.

Good! Goodbye.

ARCHIE: Yeah, Mike, so long.

Daddy! ARCHIE: I
don't have to stay here.

Daddy, please.

For us. Stay. Come on.

Please, sit down.

Well, where am I
supposed to sit now?

Well, you can sit next to
me, your little sweetheart.

Now. There, see?

I never sat at this end
of the table my whole life.

Your knife, dear.

Stupidest thing I've ever seen.

A grown man hoggin'
one chair for himself.

It's just we don't want you
forcin' religion on us tonight.

Listen, nobody's
forcin' religion on you.

We're all just calmly tryin' to talk
a little sense into this guy here.

Wait. Wait a second, wait a
second. We? Who... Who's we?

All of us four God-fearers
here exceptin' you.

We don't agree that the child
should be brought up with no religion.

Well, why don't we just
take a little vote on that?

I say that a parent has the right to
raise his child any way he pleases.

And if we wanna raise our child to
believe whatever he wants to believe,

that's our business.

Now, who's with me on that?

Nobody's with you.
Everybody's ashamed of you.

Who's with me on that?
Let me see some hands.

Do I see a hand goin' up there?

I can't believe what I'm seein'.

Okay. Do whatever youse want.

You wanna raise him
an atheist, go ahead.

Raise him a Luferan if you want.

Raise him a Norman
with seven wives.

A Holy Roller, a
Seventh-Day Adventurer.

Anything you want.

I don't give a damn 'cause
I'm gettin' the hell out of here.

Daddy! And I'm
goin' out that way.

I wouldn't be seen leavin' the
front door of this den of inquisitry.

Oh, Archie. No, no,
Edith, it's too late.

Too late. Oh, Archie, Archie.

I don't care. No, Edith.
Archie, please don't leave.

Archie, the baby's
gonna be all right

'cause he's gonna
grow up with a lot of love.

Oh, and no religion, huh?

We don't know that.

Mike just said they was gonna
let him make up his own mind.

And whatever he decides,

he's still gonna be
one of God's children.

Archie, it ain't in our hands.

Come here. Come here.

Yeah, come to think of it,

why spoil our little girl's
Thanksgiving dinner,

not to mention
my own, over this?

Oh. Yeah.

'Cause we'll be takin'
our little grandson

to the parks every Sunday,
put him on the swing.

That'll be nice. Yeah.

Only, he ain't
goin' on no swing.

No? Where will he go?

He will go to church.

Oh, no.

That would be cheatin'
on Mike and Gloria.

I don't care.

We're gonna raise that
grandson of ours a Christian

if we gotta break every
Commandment to do it!

Okay, okay.

Youse can go back to enjoyin' your
dinner now because here I am again.

What's the matter with you,
Meathead? Go ahead and eat.

There, take your fork and
eat. Don't worry about me.

You win, buddy, you win.

the Family was recorded on tape

before a live audience.