Mary Tyler Moore (1970–1977): Season 5, Episode 18 - Phyllis Whips Inflation - full transcript

Lars and Phyllis are arguing about her exorbitant spending habits, in part because of their stocks taking a tumble and Lars' business being down. He ultimately places her on a budget and cuts off access to her credit cards. So Phyllis decides to look for a job. In her search for a job, Phyllis comes to some realizations about her place in working society, which makes her compare her life to Mary's. Meanwhile, the Lindstroms' money woes make Mary examine her own finances. And Sue Ann, named woman of the year by the local Elks Club, does whatever she can to get her story on the six o'clock news.

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♪ Who can turn the
world on with her smile ♪

♪ Who can take a nothing day ♪

♪ And suddenly make
it all seem worthwhile ♪

♪ Well, it's you, girl
and you should know it ♪

♪ With each glance and every
little movement you show it ♪

♪ Love is all around
No need to waste it ♪

♪ You can have the town
Why don't you take it ♪

♪ You're gonna
make it after all ♪

♪ You're gonna
make it after all ♪♪

[Knocking] [Phyllis] Mary?

Come in.

Hi. Hi, hi.

Mary, you mind if I come in
here and cool off for a minute?

Lars and I just had an argument.

Yeah, sure. Uh, would you
like some lunch? No, thank you.

- What happened?
- I was sitting
on the couch, reading.

Lars came over to me, put
his arm around me and said,

"Darling, don't you think
maybe it might be a good idea,

"in view of the
high cost of living,

if you try to keep your
spending down a little?"

I turned to him
and said, "Darling,

why don't you go suck an egg?"

And that's when Lars
started the argument.

Yeah, he... he always
was kind of a hothead.

He actually had the temerity to suggest
that I start living within a budget.

What does he expect? Want me to
write down every hundred dollars I spend?

You sure you don't want something
to eat? No, I'm too upset to eat.

Phyl, it's not that bad living on a
budget. You know, a lot of people do it.

Not me, Mary.

To me, spending money
is part of living beautifully.

It's an art.

Now, maybe there
are some people...

who can live their lives within
the restrictions of a budget,

but for me, it would be like...

trying to make
love in a straitjacket.

Hey, uh... [Chuckles]

don't knock it
till you've tried it.

Mary. [Chuckles] Phyllis,

it's not bad living on a budget.

I've been doing it for a
long time. It's really easy.

Come here. I'll show
you. Come here.

Phyllis, come here. Here.

Now look. Here's what we have.

My monthly take-home pay after
deductions, $680. Here's my rent.

Here's what I allow myself for food,
clothing, laundry... Wait a minute, Mary.

You've written down $100
a month for clothes. Yeah.

Now, suppose you
go to Hemples...

and you see this marvelous
coat meant just for you,

but it costs $249.50.

What do you do?

Well, I don't buy it.

Oh, come on, Mary. [Chuckling]

Be serious.

What do you do?

Well, I guess I'd save up
for it over a period of months.

And if I couldn't manage it,
Phyl, I just wouldn't buy it. That's it.

Uh, you don't understand, Mary.

This is a beautiful,
beige, camel-hair coat...

with leather trim,
and it fits like a dream.

I still wouldn't buy it, Phyl.

Mary, it's a designer original,
and it's been reduced from $835.

All right, I'll take it. I'll
take it. I knew you would.

Phyl, why don't you try living
on a budget, just for a month?

It really works. No
wonder it works.

You only put down
$145 a month for rent.

Yeah, well, that's what it is.

No, it isn't. They've
raised it to $175 a month.

- Since when?
- Last month. Didn't I tell you?

- No!
- Oh, then the joke's on me. [Laughs]

$175 a month?

Well, it looks like we're in
the same boat, eh, Mary?

Ah, it's my fault.

I could have married into money.

And I don't just mean money,
Mary. I mean real money.

One of the DuPonts, Mary.

You know which DuPonts I mean?

$175 a month.

The "better living through
chemistry" DuPonts.

This was a third cousin.

They had a place next to ours on
Cape Cod when I was in college.

He would have given
anything to marry me.

But I didn't love him,
so I didn't ask him.

[Knocking] Come in.

Mr. Grant, could I
see you for a minute?

Sure. What's up?

Well, Mr. Grant, last month,
when you made me a producer,

you gave me a $20-a-week raise.

Right. Well, I suppose
if I came in now...

and asked for
another raise, you'd...

[Laughs] tell me to go
jump in the lake, right?

Not necessarily. I mean, I might
tell you to go jump in the lake.

On the other hand, I
just might give it to you.

There's only one way for you to
find out, Mary, and that's to ask.

Well, I did feel a little
awkward about coming in here.

Mary, you should always
say what's on your mind.

All right. Well, that... that
$20-a-week raise that you gave me...

amounts to about an eight
percent increase, you see?

But the cost of living
has gone up 9.3%,

which means that I am actually earning
less this year than I did the year before.

On top of which, my rent
has been raised $30 a month.

And I just feel that, in view of
the fact that I'm now a producer,

I have additional
responsibilities and duties,

that it's... it's not unreasonable
for me to ask for more money.

So, Mr. Grant, could
I please have a raise?

Mary, go jump in the lake.

Look, uh, we're, uh, over
budget as it is. Yeah, I know.

Maybe in a couple of months.

Maybe the cost of living
will go down, you know?

Maybe you'll come
up with better reasons.

[Mouths Word]

What's wrong?

Oh, well, I just asked
Mr. Grant for a raise...

and he told me to go
jump in the lake. Hmm.

Well, Murr, I just don't know
how I'm gonna make ends meet.

And I certainly don't know how
you and Marie do it with four kids.

Well, it's not so
bad. We get by.

Marie has started canning fruit.

The girls have started making their
own clothes. My son has a paper route.

And last night I held
up a liquor store.


I just wish I understood more
about economics, you know?

Maybe then I'd understand
where all my money is going.

Oh, nobody
understands. I understand.

You know who's got
all the money today?

The Japanese.

They're takin' over.

Nice people, but everywhere you go,
you see them with their little cameras...

taking pictures of all the
buildings they're gonna buy next.

You know where they
got all that money?

While we were busy
fightin' World War II,

they stayed home
and made millions.

[Knocking] Come in.

Hi, Aunt Mary. Hi, Bess.

Is it all right if I visit? Lars
and Phyllis are havin' a fight,

and they asked me to leave
so it wouldn't scar my childhood.

Yeah, sure. Uh, can
I get you something?

No, thanks. I don't think this fight
can last long. Why do you say that?

Well, it's already been
going on for six hours,

and Lars always fades in
the last couple of rounds.


Phyllis is mad, 'cause Lars
just cut off her charge accounts.

Hi. Hi.

So, what are you kids up to?

Well, well. You certainly
seem to be in a good mood.

Well, Lars and I finally talked the
whole thing out, and I feel much better.

He gave me his point of view, and
I gave him a knee in the stomach.

You didn't.

No, I didn't. I love
him too much for that.

But I pictured doing it.

Even that made me feel better.

Mary, I can't believe
it. We're broke.

Phyllis, come on. How can you be broke?
What about your stocks, your investments?

Stocks were all bought
on borders. Margins.


Our Walt Disney
stock is down to 25.

Isn't that a comment
on our society?

Disney down to 25.

Disney, who's given
us Mickey Mouse,

Bambi, Donald
Duck, Huey, Dewey...

and Louie.

Helen Hayes.

Our Polaroid went from
88 to 14 in six months.

Well, what do they
expect, the dummies?

Getting that Sir Lawrence
Olivier to do those commercials.

They could have saved a
fortune, gotten Durward Kirby.

Come on, Bess. Phyllis,
you can't possibly be broke.

I mean, look. Lars
still has his practice.

Business has
been terrible lately.

In a recession, dermatologists
are the first ones to get hit.

People need brain surgery,
no matter how trivial.

They find the money somehow.

If people get a rash, they
just scratch till times get better.

Hello, newspeople.

Have I got a scoop for you.

I have just...

I say, I have just
been selected...

Woman of the Year by the local
ladies' chapter of the Elks Club.

[Mumbles] Good.

Thank you very much.

As soon as I heard, I
rushed up here to tell you.

I knew you'd wanna
put it on tonight's news.

I mean, a member of your own
station getting a major award like this.

I know you wouldn't forgive me if I... if
I didn't come to you with the story first.

So, Lou, I... I assume
there's still plenty of time...

to get it on tonight's newscast.

Yeah, yeah. Uh,
there's still plenty of time.

You are going to use
the story, aren't you, Lou?

Uh, well, I'll tell
you, Sue Ann,

uh, I don't handle that anymore.

Uh, that's the producer's job.

Mary. Well, I'm sure
Mary won't want to...

turn down a terrific exclusive
like this, will you, Mary?

Well, Sue Ann, it's just that there
are so many big stories breaking today.

You know, I just wouldn't
know which one to bump.

Yeah, we'd sure hate to lose the
one about the two-headed chicken.

Right, right. It's a
big, big story. Big.

I understand. You... You probably
need more time to think about it.

Right. Time to think.

Of course, there's no hurry.

I don't want you to feel you're
under any pressure whatsoever.

You take all the time you want.

I won't come back until I've
finished what I'm cooking...

Minute Rice.

You're... You're not seriously thinkin'
of using that Sue Ann story, are you?

Well, I don't know, Mr. Grant.
It is my decision, isn't it?

This is a news show, Mary, and I
don't want any publicity puffs on it.

I don't care who they're for.

And I want you to tell Sue Ann, if
she ever comes around here again...

asking for a silly plug like that,
I'm gonna throw her out of the office.

Well, why didn't you
tell her that yourself?

Uh, I'm a'scared of her.


Hi, Phyl. Sorry to bust in
like this, but I had to tell you.

Murray, you'll be
interested in this.

I, Phyllis Lindstrom,
have decided to get a job.

Phyllis, that's
sensational news.

Yeah, but somehow I don't think it's
gonna bump the two-headed chicken either.

Aren't you impressed,
Murray? Well, sure I am, Phyllis,

but you've had jobs before.
Ah, but that was different.

That was in order to make
better use of my God-given talents,

to fulfill myself
as a human being.

Now all I want is the bread.

So, here I am out
looking for work.

Lou, I just wondered, are there
any jobs open on your show?

I'll take anything. I don't
care how low or menial it is.

How about Mary's old job?

Phyl, Mary has Mary's old job.

Listen, what about that real estate
office you worked in last year?

- Why don't you go back there?
- People don't buy houses
in a recession, Mary.

The Lakeview Real Estate
Agency is a Japanese restaurant.

I told you. I told you.

What about Chuckles
the Clown? I saw him in

the elevator. Are there
any jobs on his show?

Well, I heard they need
a new Wanda Wishbone.

But I don't know if you've got the
right legs for it. Wanda Wishbone?

Yeah, uh, two
kids come out of the

audience, and each
one of 'em pull on a leg.

The winner gets a bicycle.

Murr, how do they
decide who the winner is?

I don't know, but they have to
hire a new Wanda for every show.

Oh, Murray.

Uh, Mary, can I
see you a second?

Yeah, sure.

[Clears Throat] Have Phyllis
and Sue Ann met since the time...

that Sue Ann had an affair
with Phyllis's husband? No.

Didn't she threaten to rip Sue Ann's
face off the next time she saw her?

Yeah. Well, you'd better
get Phyllis out of here fast.

I just passed her.
She's on her way up. Oh.

Phyl, listen, why don't you and I go
downstairs and get a cup of coffee, huh?

Sue Ann.


Tell me. Are there
any jobs on your show?

[Woman] Come in.

Please, have a seat.

I'm Helen Farrell.
Oh, you're a woman.

That's right.

I'm so glad. I was afraid
you might be a man.

But I know that, as a
woman... A sister, as it were...

You'll be more compassionate,
understanding, sympathetic...

Honey, it's been a long
day. Don't bust my chops.


Full name. Phyllis Lindstrom.

What sort of job
are you looking for?

Well, something interesting.

A position of authority, uh,
that pays extremely well...

but would still leave
me plenty of free time.

Have you considered
running for vice president?

Do you have any
special skills? Of course.

- All right. Computer training?
- No.

- Typing?
- No.

Shorthand? No.

- Can you, uh,
operate a switchboard?
- [Laughing] No.

What are your special skills?

Well, I have an uncanny knack...

of choosing the
right wine for dinner.

That certainly
narrows things down.

Well, why don't we take a look and see
what we've got, Mrs. Lindstrom, hmm? Okay.

Oh, here's one. It must have
come in while I was out to lunch.

"Bright, charming,
intelligent woman...

"for assistant to president
of public relations firm.

No experience necessary.
Expense account plus 15,000 a year."

Oh, that's wonderful.
Mr. Greshner?

I have a bright, charming, intelligent
woman who'd like to apply for that job.

Oh, good. She'll be right over.

Her name? Helen Farrell.

Well, that's terrific, Sue Ann, you
being voted Woman of the Year.

Thank you, Ted. Mar, I sure hope
we're doin' a story on Sue Ann's award.

Well, Ted, I already told Sue Ann
that there's no room for that story.

We're spending a lot of time
on Kissinger's trip to the Mideast.

Kissinger? Why are you doin' a story
about someone we don't even know?

Come on, Mar. I'm sorry,
Ted. The answer is no.

Well, what would the
answer be if I told you...

I was threatening to quit
unless that story were put on?

No and good-bye.


[Chuckles] Sorry,
Sue Ann. I tried.

I know you did, Ted, and I
appreciate it. You're a good friend.

[Chuckling] Now can I
have my 50 bucks back?

Hi, hi. Oh, hiya, Phyllis.

[Phone Rings] Hi,
Phyl. Newsroom.

Any luck with a job? Yes,
and all of it abominable.

Oh, no. Mary, the film on the fire downtown
got here too late for tonight's show.

Oh, terrific. The biggest fire in 10
years, and we don't have any film?

Maybe we should send
an artist down to draw it.

I'm sure you want to hear
everything that happened.

We still have 20
minutes. See if you can get

a remote truck
downtown. We'll do it live.

Right. Mary, I went to six
different employment agencies.

Always it was the same story. I
have no training. I have no skills.

I have nothing to contribute
to society. Of course you have.

It's a chemical factory. Oh,
boy, that must be some fire.

Anybody hurt? No, but they
evacuated five city blocks.

I'm a mere frill, a decoration, a
boutonniere on the lapel of the universe.

Throw me in the gutter, and no
one'd even notice I was missing.

Okay, good. The
crew's on its way.

- All right. I'll see if I can
get a reporter to meet 'em.
- I'm absolutely useless.

According to Darwin, I should
have been extinct a million years ago.

Aw, don't listen to him.

Hello, Frank. It's
Mary. Listen, I want you

to meet the remote
crew downtown at the fire.

We're going to go live. Right.
Okay, Murr, we'll open with the fire.

Then we'll do Kissinger, then the
bus strike and the armed robbery.

How lucky you are,

insulated from reality here in
the fantasy world of television.

Hey, Murr, you know
what I'm thinking? Hmm?

Maybe we should dump the robbery and extend
the fire... Mary, will you listen to me?

Your dearest friend is spilling her
guts out! You could at least listen!

[Sobbing] Phyl.

Phyl, I'm so sorry.

So, any luck with a job?

[Doorbell Rings]

Hi, Aunt Mary. Hi, Bess.
Is your mother home?

She just woke up. Oh.

I haven't seen her in a couple of
days. I just wondered how she was.

Did she get a job? No, and
she's really been trying hard too.

Aw, that's too bad. Yeah.

She was offered one job... a
receptionist at a funeral home.

But she said she'd starve
before she'd wear black every day.

I gotta go to the library.
See you. Bye-bye.

Hi, Mary. Hi.

You all right? I suppose so.


Oh, Phyl, come on. I
hate to see you like this.

You are really taking
this money thing too hard.

It isn't the money thing, Mary.

Even if I don't get a
job, I know we'll get by.

We'll just have to make
sacrifices like everyone else.

- Of course.
- Instead of two cars,
we'll get by with one car.

Lars can take the bus to work.

No, Mary, money
isn't the problem.

You know what's
really depressing me?


Me? Remember when you
came here five years ago?

You were a lost little
lamb jilted by your fiancé...

A single girl, alone and
unwanted in a cold, heartless city.

And I was a secure,
confident, married woman.

Every time I saw
you, I felt sorry for you.

It was wonderful.

But now the tables are turned.
It's you who feels superior to me.

Oh, Phyllis, come on.
I don't feel superior.

Of course you do. This
is the era of the single

girl... free, independent,

Aw, Phyl, come on. Being
single is not all that great.

There's good, but
there's bad too.

There's loneliness.

Loneliness. [Laughs]

You don't know
what loneliness is...

till you get into bed with Lars.

Come on, Phyl. All right,
it's a little rough right now,

but you've got
people who love you.

You've got a husband who's
there when you need him.

I suppose so.

I remember when I
gave birth to Bess.

Lars even stayed in the
delivery room with me.

Of course, after a while,
the screaming got so bad...

the doctor had to slap
his face and throw him out.

But admit it, Mary.

You wouldn't dream of
trading your life for mine.

You've got a terrific life.

Phyllis, I told you, my
life is not that terrific.

Are you saying you would
trade your life for mine?

Well... Would you? Be honest.

Well, to be perfectly honest with you,
no, I wouldn't trade my life for yours.

That's a lousy thing
to say. Oh, come on.

Phyllis, nobody would trade
their life for somebody else's.

Would you trade
your life for mine?

Would I trade my life for yours?

Oh. Getting up at 7:00
every morning. [Laughs]

Catering to the whims of
my boss day in and day out.

- [Chuckles]
- Fending off the grubby
advances of my dates...

and praying desperately I'll meet
somebody I'll really care about.

Would I trade my life for yours?


I wouldn't. Mary.


I'm sorry.

Oh, you're all depressed and feeling
rotten about your life now, aren't you?

Well, no, I'm not
feeling rotten. I... Aw.

Just like old times.

Isn't it wonderful?

Did you hear any more
from Lou about your raise?

No. And to tell you the truth,
I'm a little afraid to ask again.

Afraid? [Chuckles] Well,
I suppose you're not.

That's right. That's right.

In fact, I've been thinking of asking
Lou for a cost-of-living increase myself.

Well, why don't you
go in there and do that?

All right.

And I'm gonna get that raise too.
You know why I'm gonna get that raise?

Because I just figured
out how to handle Lou.

I'm not gonna ask him for a
raise. I'm gonna demand it.

Okay, Mar, heads or tails?
What are we deciding?

Which end Ted will land on when
Lou throws him out of the office.

[Door Opens] [Ted Chuckles]

Thanks, Lou. Nice
doing business with you.

Like putty in my hands.

Looking for me?