My Favorite Thing
Ed Washington surprises his wife with an early birthday trip to a fancy restaurant. Marvin has an unfinished report which requires him to interview someone about their job which he hopes to be able to complete at their dinner. Unfortunately, when they reach the restaurant, there has been a mistake with their reservations and no table is available. Luckily for them, Bart and Doris Rathbone are there with a reserved table and dinner guests who won't be coming. Hoping that the Washingtons will offer to pay for their dinner if they allow them to sit at their table, Bart invites the Washington family to sit with them.
Predictably, the night is fraught with mishaps. Bart forces Doris to order pats of $.20 butter to save money while Marvin goes to interview the maître d' for his school report. Tamika discovers that the live lobsters in the tank at the restaurant are intended to be boiled and eaten. She stomps off to protest the presumed animal rights violation while Ed pushes Elaine to order oysters to enable him to put her birthday gift (pearl earrings) inside them.
While Tamika confronts guests who have ordered lobster, Marvin's interview does nothing but upset the maître d'. Bart's covert hints that he and Doris don't have the money to pay for their food aren't working, so Bart offers to pay for the Washingtons' dinner in hopes that Ed will then counter-offer. Unfortunately for Bart, Ed only offers to pay for their own food and to cover the tip.
Marvin moves on to interviewing the wash room attendant and concludes the interview by convincing him to resign to follow his dream of becoming a wash room attendant at Carnegie Hall. When Elaine's oysters arrive, Doris helps herself to one and swallows Elaine's earrings. While Doris is trying to swallow and Ed is trying to force her to spit, a lobster that Tamika freed is running across the floor. They are all kicked out of the restaurant and dejectedly return home. Ed bemoans his inability to provide Elaine with a good birthday, but Elaine decides to give herself a perfect birthday surprise: an evening playing games with her family at home. They even invite the Rathbones!
- Why did the Washingtons' want to do what Elaine liked instead of thinking about what she wanted?
- This is the first episode in which Doris Rathbone is played by Diane Hsu rather than by Pamela Hayden.
- The name of this episode, " My Favorite Thing", is a reference to the song "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music.
- Doris's complaint that Bart doesn't respect her is a reference to #243: “Family Values”.
- Doris offers the Washingtons their favorite snack: Cheese Doodles.
- Jack leaves the restaurant to become a washroom attendant at Carnegie Hall.
Doris Rathbone: How 'bout pulling out one of your hairs and putting it in your soup so they'll give it to you for free!
Bart Rathbone: You're not getting the lobster; we can't afford it.
Doris Rathbone: Oh! Well, what can we get, then?
Bart Rathbone: Let me see, ah...there we go! Here's something for 20 cents: extra butter.
Tamika Washington: Do you think your lobster even got a chance to say goodbye to his friends in the tank over there? How could he? He was swept away by a guy with tongs before he even noticed what was happening!
Customer: You saw that?
Tamika Washington: Yes, and I could almost hear his lobster screams: "Goodbye, friends! Goodbye, world! I'm off to be buttered and cracked open with metal pliers!" Enjoy your meal!
Customer: Did you happen to hear my lobster...scream when it came out of the tank?
Doris Rathbone: Elaine, I have to say, your kids don't seem to be cut out for the elegance of the fine dining experience. HEY YOU! WAITER WITH THE TOUPÉEE! I NEED YA!