The Goldbergs (2013–…): Season 2, Episode 13 - Van People - full transcript

When Murray takes Erica's car privileges away, Erica and Barry retaliate by buying their own shabby used black van. Meanwhile, Adam gets voted in the yearbook as "nicest guy," which results in a suspension when he objects.

Back in the '80s,
stand-up comedy exploded.

We'd spent hours watching
the greats like Sam Kinison,

Garry Shandling, Billy Crystal,

and, my personal favorite, the Diceman.

I can't believe he said that!

I know!

They weren't just my heroes.

They were my inspirations.

Sure, I never stood

in front of a red brick wall
with a microphone.

But I still fancied myself
quite the comedian.

Nothing but rim.

Yep, I wasn't afraid to get
my hands dirty to get a laugh.

- Oh, you got a little something.
- Uh, right here?

Right here. Oh, right...
Right... right here, yeah.

And I knew one day I'd get

the get the ultimate
achievement in comedy...

- Class clown.
- Sorry I'm late. Yearbook is killing me.

Here, let me carry that for you.

So you can see
who's getting voted class clown?

Nice try.

Please. Just let me see it.

For your sugar bear?

Just take it.

Yes! I got best hair on a man.

- Oh, yeah.
- Shut up, Dave Kim.

Read it and weep. I am...

Unfortunately, I got the opposite of that.

"Nicest guy"? Are you freaking kidding me?

- What? It's a good thing.
- No, it's not.

"Nicest guy" is code

for "boring guy who just has okay hair."

So, who's getting class clown?

Better not be Mike Levy

'cause he didn't choose for milk
to come out of his nose.

He has a deviated septum. So lucky.

David Sirota... by a landslide.

Are you kidding me?

People think that putz is funnier than me?


Whoever's doing that, just stop it!

Just stop right now.

David Sirota isn't funny. He's ridiculous.

Always dancing in the halls
and talking trash at gym.

And this bit with Mr. Woodburn...

Amateur hour.

Everyone knows making poots is cheap.

I am an adult and an educator,

and I command you to stop right now

in the name of Stephen Hawking.

Just stop it!

Is Sirota funnier than me?

For sure, bro. You're not funny.

Of course I am! It's a fact.

Like Africa's hot
or the sun sets in the west.

I don't know about that stuff,

but I definitely know you're not funny.

Erica, back me up here.

I'd like to, but Barry's right.

You use comedy as a defense mechanism,

but that doesn't make you

a funny person that people laugh with.

It makes you a lame-o that people laugh at.

But funny's my thing.

I mean, I'm not an athlete
or a brain or a theater star.

So, if I'm not funny, what am I?

You're really nice.

Stop saying that!

I'm funny,

and there's nothing you
or anyone else can say

that can change my mind.

That's right, squishy.

I think you are the funniest boy
in the whole wide world.


We rest our case.

You're a wild and crazy guy!

Again, we rest our case.

The Goldbergs - 02x13
van People

It was may 10, 1980-something,
and my dad was pondering

the number-one issue plaguing all fathers.

Okay, I'm going to Lainey's.

Not so fast!

You didn't fill up the car last night.

I want a full tank
when you get home, no excuses!

Like all dad's, mine was
obsessed with the gas tank.

I drove the car this morning.
There's a ton of gas in it.

All right, let's take a walk, shall we?

Look at the gas gauge! Look at it!

Yeah, so? It's half full.

Which is as good as empty!

Ugh, not this again!

We never break the half-a-tank threshold.

My car, my rules!

Fine, then I'll just walk everywhere

for the rest of my life!

Ho, ho!

Yeah, go out walking in that.

This is how it went with my dad and my sis.

They were the two most stubborn
people on the planet.

I told you, no chewing gum
with your braces!

God, it's just a pinch!
I can do what I want!

My gum, my rules.

Yep, the tiniest of arguments
could last months.

Both had to win, and neither
would ever back down.

Ha! I win!

Even if it meant

going to the hospital with
a bubble-gum-related injury.

Erica, please.

- There might be lightning outside.
- Good.

I would rather get struck
by a bolt of red-hot sky fire

than cave to his stupid will.

Okay, you know what? I'll fill up the tank.

No. You got to back me up on this.

My car, my rules.

I support you on every stupid,
little thing.

You mean sit in your chair
and blindly yell,

"listen to your mother"?

- Exactly.
- No.

Do not back him up on this.
He is wrong, and you know it.

Just do what your father says.

I can't deal with you people!

It seemed round one went to Erica.

God, I can't wait to get out of this house

and get away from you!

But actually, round one went to my dad.

And that is how you parent.

Man, Barry and Erica
have really got in my head.

Am I unfunny?

Are people laughing at me, not with me?

Absolutely not.

You got your sense of humor from me,

and I'm hilarious.

♪ My girlfriend had a kitty ♪

- ♪ she came from Kansas city ♪
- Oh, my God, stop.


But I still need to find a way

to beat David Sirota for class clown.

Well, then, let me help.

You know, when I was your age,

I was busboying in the catskills.

I saw all the greats.

Really? Like who?

Harry "Bottles" McNaughton, Stubby Kaye,

the Kippleman Brothers.

One would talk and then
the other one would talk,

and then the first one would talk.

Their act was actually just okay.

Yeah, it doesn't sound very current.

But I've, like, memorized tons of jokes

from all my favorite comedians.

Maybe I can bring
some of their stuff into school.

Yes. Let others do the work for you.

And so, I pulled out all the greats.

Great Wall of China!

- First, Sam Kinison.
- Aah! Aah! Say it! Say it!

Aah! Aah! Aah! Aah!

And then I sprinkled in a little Gallagher.

And then finish them off

with a classic poem by Andrew Dice Clay.

Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard

to get her dog a bone.

When she [Bleep] rover took over

and gave her a [Bleep]


Go to your room!

I'm sorry I yelled and punished you.

Yeah, I hadn't
seen that side of you before.

I just don't understand how you could say

those horrible things
about old Mother Hubbard.

That's her dog. They're friends.

I guess Barry and Erica
are right. I'm not funny.

Pal, you're funny, but comedy is personal.

Think of jokes from your world,
stuff you know about.

- You think?
- Of course.

Take my favorite comedian, Don Rickles.

He tells jokes about the people
in his world.

And he keeps it personal.

- Keep it personal.
- Yeah.

Yeah. I think that could work.

Thanks, pops.


Old Mother Hubbard just wanted
to feed her poor dog, and he...

Got to let it go, man. Got to let it go.

Meanwhile, Erica had a plan
on how to defeat my dad,

and it required stirring up

the most easily stirred-up
person on the planet.

Damn it! I'm so mad at dad!

Aren't you mad?

No. Why? Should I be? What did he do now?

Well, he's always saying,
"my car, my rules,"

and forcing us to fill up his gas tank

like we're his slaves.

He is always talking about that stupid gas!

It makes me very angry.

Well, we can fight back.

I say we pool our money together
and buy our own ride.

That way, dad can never say
"my car, my rules" ever again.

Yes! Let's fight!

God, I have so much rage
in my body right now.

Well, let's do this.

I only have 60 bucks. How much you got?

Oh, I have to move some stuff around,

but roughly $1,200.

Dollars? How?

Basically, you've inherited
dad's stubbornness,

and I inherited his cheapness.

You see, every day for lunch,
mom gives me $2.

I spend 25 cents on chocolate milk

and eat food scraps

off friends' plates and random tables.

We can get any car we want.

See? Right here. Look at
this sweet, little Cabriolet.

No, no, no!

It's my cash, and I know
exactly what we're buying.

- A crappy van?
- Better.

Better, indeed. Like every kid back then,

Barry dreamed of being part of the A-Team.

They were soldiers of fortune

who drove the toughest, most badass,

most red-striped ride to ever hit the road.

Barry, we are not buying the A-Team van.

It's not happening.

Oh, it's happening.

And I'll be Hannibal
'cause I'm the smart one.

We're getting my sporty
little soft-top, understand?

End of discussion.

And with that, Barry did
exactly what he wanted.

He bought the van.

♪ Duh-duh, duh ♪

♪ Duh, duh-duh, duh, duh ♪

♪ Duh, duh-duh-duh, duh ♪

Stop sign! That's a stop sign!


What's that smell?

The smell of action.

What the hell is this thing?

Freedom. My van, my rules.


This is why I eat garbage.

In the standoff of stubbornness
with my dad,

Erica had taken the upper hand.

What's wrong with you?

Who buys a crap van

with bald tires, a broken headlight?

And look... it's leaking oil
on my driveway.

It's even worse in here. No way!

You're not driving this. It's a death trap.

Forget about driving it.
They're not keeping it.

Oh, yes, we are. Face it. I won.

My van, my rules.

Oh, that's too bad

because it's my house, my rules.

House trumps van.

You can't do that.
You can't just change the rules.

Well, that is a valid point,
but, uh, tough crap.

This isn't fair. We paid for it.

- Paid for it!
- With our own money.

- Money!
- And if it's your house, your rules,

then we'll just move out
and live in the van.

Live in a van!

Wait, what?

Don't think of it as a van.

Think of it as
a studio apartment of freedom.

I don't think I can agree to live in a van.

Well, I love this idea.

Murray, no!

Our babies can't live in a van.

They could get snatched

by a kidnapper
who wouldn't need a creepy van

because he's being
conveniently provided with one.

But none of that matters

'cause you completely back me up, right?


Blindly and without question?

Fine, I'll back you up.

Even though I did make cobbler à la mode

for dessert tonight.


That's French talk for "pie and ice cream."

Stay with me, and I'll let you
paint a red stripe.

How does that sound, Hannibal?

Erica wins!

She called me the TV character I like.

Both Erica and my dad
refused to stand down,

so I decided to lighten the
mood with a little stand-up.

Hello, there, everybody.

Seemed like it was a good time
for a little comedy.

- No. No, thank you.
- Go away.

So, I hear

Erica is gonna be hanging out
in the back of a van.

Or as she likes to call it,
a typical Saturday night.

- Zing!
- What is this?

And, of course, there's my mom.

Always saying, "I have failed as a mother."

Crazy, right?

Although, if you think about it,

two of her kids are living in a van,

and the other one's gone into comedy.


What is this?

And look... there's the Mur-man.

My dad is such a slothful sack of crap,

even his armchair's like, "really? Again?"

- What the hell is this?!
- I bombed.

See, the problem here

is you horribly misinterpreted my advice.

You said, "do rickles." I did rickles!

No, I said come up with
personal material like Rickles,

not do insult jokes about
your family to your family.

The good news is,

you had no problem
coming up with the funny.

Now all you got to do
is find the right audience.

Really? You think
if I come up with something big,

I still have a shot at class clown?


Now, don't misinterpret my advice again.

Don't be hurtful. Just be funny.

I 100% got it.

But I didn't.

Desperate for an easy laugh,
I iced a hat box

to give to my overly sensitive
science teacher.

And it would be epic.

What's this? It's not even my birthday.

Trust me. You deserve this.

So, you just...


You don't know how much this means to me.

I...I honestly thought
about quitting this job.

I thought you kids
didn't care about science.

But this cake means the world to me,

changes everything.

Thank you so much, Adam.

My new life starts today!

Who wants a piece?

We're looking at what?
A mean-spirited prank?

Pretty much.

Okay, then.

Everyone read chapter six.
I'll be in my office.

I need some time to think.

Do not knock on this door.

Dude, that was brutal.

Come on, guys. It was a joke.

I-it's me, the class clown.

It's not official,
but it could be, right, guys?

I don't know what that was,
but it was mean.

Well, at the very least,

maybe now I won't be voted nicest guy.

Just so you know,
I was the one who nominated you.

What? Why?

Why not? Since when
is being nice a bad thing?

Since we're in middle school.

It's basically the worst thing
you can say about a dude.

Not to me.

Everyone is always
trying to be funny or cool

or someone they're not.

The last thing I want
is to be with some clown.

I just want to be with you.

Or at least, I did.

I was no longer the class clown
or the nicest guy in school,

and it felt awful.

Meanwhile, Erica and Barry
were feeling even worse

in their stinky new home

adorned with a poorly painted red stripe.

God, come on! Would you quit moving?!

You keep kicking me in the face!

Hey, you're the one who wanted
to sleep head-to-feet.

Well, I am not sleeping face-to-face
with you. It's super weird.

No, what's super weird is
we're living in a fricking van.

Look at us. We're van people.

I don't want to be van people.

You should have just filled up
his damn gas tank.

Barry, this is not about the gas.

It's about freedom, honor,

and rubbing it in dad's face when I win.

But how long is that gonna take?

Until he cracks.

But dad's too stubborn, and I'm too hungry.

Can't I just sneak in and grab
a giant hunk of brisket?

No brisket!

Our days of food and comfort are over.

This van is our home now,

and this canned tuna, our brisket.

Now eat it.

Stop! What are you doing?!

- I can't... I'm tilting it.
- You're tilting it!

- I don't belong here, okay?!
- Stop tilting it!

- Just take it outside!
- Brisket!



It's me, lovebug.

What are you doing out here?

Eating tuna and getting ready
to use the potty bush.

I hate being van people.

Shh. I brought you a home-cooked meal.



Go to town.

Good boy. Like a little badger.



What is wrong with you?!

You couldn't even last one night?

You were supposed to back me up, Bevy,

and that doesn't mean
bringing the boy dinner.

Dear lord, what did he do to that corn?!

Well, I'm sick of this, Murray.
Adam was right.

I have failed as a mother, literally.

Our children are van people.

Please end this.


Barry, I will buy
your portion of the van...

Full price, in cash.

- Deal.
- Boom!

My van, my rules! I win!

You will never win.

You see this face?
This is the face of a winner.

And I don't care how long it takes.

I will crush you with
the weight of a thousand suns.


I will douse your suns with
a thousand buckets of water.

Stop. I hate how you two always do this.

Me? It's his fault.

No, it's both of you.

You both think you're so different,

but you're exactly the same.

So, if you're not gonna end this, I will.

I demand that you hug each other.

Where are the damn huggies?

Turns out my fake cake for Mr. Woodburn

got me in a very real amount of trouble.

Thanks for coming.

As you know, Adam's little joke

has sent Mr. Woodburn to
a very dark and horrible place.

I can assure you, Adam
is very sorry for what he did.

I'm really, really sorry.

That's... that's fine.

But we may be dealing
with larger issues here.

When a nice boy like Adam acts out,

it's usually because...

Something's going on at home.

What are you saying, Earl?

Well, I'm saying it came to my attention

that a couple of your children
are van people.

No, no, no. None of our children
are van people.

They tried to live in a van,

but those morons didn't even
make it through the night.

What my husband means

is that there was a minor disagreement

that resulted in our kids briefly moving

into a carpeted vehicle.

What you doing?

Um, I'm just taking some notes.

Looks like a "V."

You better not be writing "van people."

I can confirm that the "V" is for "van."

How dare you question our parenting?

I'll have you know that
we are very loving and kind,

and each one of our little angels

cherishes every moment spent in our home.

There you are!

Erica's at the bus station.

She told Lainey she's buying
a ticket to New York

so she never has to live
in your stupid house again.

True to her word,

my sister went to new stubborn
heights by fleeing the state.

We're blocked in by a bus?!

How is that even possible?!

It's a school!

We're never
gonna make it in time.

Oh, yes, you will.

♪ Duh-duh, duh, duh ♪

- Oh! Ohh!
- ♪ Ba, ba, ba ♪

Stop with that song!

Shut up! I love you, but shut up!

No, no,
no, no, no, not slower! Faster!

Hit the gas, Barry!

What's happening?

Why isn't my "A-Team" van working?

Look. You ran out of gas.

But there was half a tank this morning.


Okay, we got to mobilize
and track down my little girl.

I'll call the police
and set up a roadblock.

Murray, you call all your new
York city furniture contacts.

Honey, she's right there.

Ohh, my little munchkin.
I got to go squeeze her.

No, no, no, no.

I think I should be the one to talk to her.

Well, if you were trying
to kill us from worry,

you're the big winner here.

No, you are.

I know I always talk about

how much I hate this house
and your dumb rules.

But when I actually got a chance to go,

I couldn't do it.

Yeah. This one really got away from us.

I am so damn stubborn
that I almost ran away

because I didn't
want to put gas in the car.

All right.

So, you and me, we don't back down.

I don't see that as a bad thing.

- You don't seriously believe that, do you?
- Oh, yeah.

When I was your age,
I was a crappy student.

There was this guidance
counselor who told me

that I should take up a trade

'cause no college would
ever take a guy like me.

So out of spite, I worked my butt off.

I got into penn state,

and that's where I met your mother.

So, I literally wouldn't be here

if you weren't such a pigheaded jerk?

That is correct.

And mark my words, when you do
finally leave this house,

the world better watch out.

But give me a few more years.

I'm not ready to let you go just yet.

As my dad and my sister
finally embraced who they were,

I realized it was time
for me to do the same.

Mr. Woodburn, I made you this.

I don't get it. What's the joke?

No joke.

Just wanted to show my favorite teacher

that I'm sorry.

Favorite? Wow. Thank you.

'Cause in the end, it's not
about labels people give you.

It's about being okay
with who you really are.

That was nice, Adam.

Yeah, well, that's what I was going for.

And I may not have been the class clown,

but lucky for me,

nice guys don't always finish last.



Please welcome David Sirota!

Okay, enough with this potty mouth
in the leather trousers.

I'm gonna show you what
funny was back in my day.

♪ I took my new girl to the fishing hole ♪

♪ I gave her my jacket 'cause she was cold ♪

♪ I puckered my lips I offered my tongue ♪

♪ And that's when she said,
"No, thank you we're done." ♪


That was...


Yeah, I liked the part
about the...

What was it?
The fishing place?


He said "hole"!