Is it easier to be a kid and not have to worry about anything, or to be an adult and be independent and have money? Whit has an interesting way for the Washington family to find out the answer to that: switch roles! Whit switched with his children when they asked him the same question, and now he volunteers to serve as a referee for the Washington family’s experiment.
At first, Marvin and Tamika are thrilled with their new freedom. Since Marvin will be going to work in Ed’s place, Whit gives him an advance of $150 dollars, which Marvin splits with Tamika. They now have the freedom to buy things they want, only to eventually realize that being an adult comes with more responsibilities. Marvin is late for work because he stayed up too late. Tamika can’t cook and has to figure out how to feed the whiny kids (Ed and Elaine).
Meanwhile, Whit makes it even more interesting by representing different institutions that need to be paid regularly: the government, the landlord, the electric company, and an insurance agent. Because they spent all their money, Tamika and Marvin don’t have enough to put a decent meal on the table or pay all the bills, which results in the Washingtons' electricity being shut off. Tamika and Marvin are left to re-evaluate how much they really need the extravagant things that they bought in light of their current situation, and Ed and Elaine take what they see as an opportunity to point out what they’ve been trying to tell the kids all along — they can’t always afford everything they want, and managing money can be a difficult thing to do.
With that lesson learned, the Washington family goes back to normal — but this time with new appreciation and respect for each other.
- Was this a good idea to switch roles?
- Do you think that your family might do this?
- Do you think it helped the Washington family?
Heard in episode
|Ed Washington||Mark Christopher Lawrence|
|Elaine Washington||J Karen Thomas|
|Mr. Jenkins||Bob Hoose|
|Jenkins's Market PA Announcer||J Karen Thomas|
|John Whittaker||Paul Herlinger|
|Marvin Washington||Kendre Berry|
|Tamika Washington||Courtney Brown|
Mentioned in episode
|Jason Whittaker||John Whittaker|
|Jana Whittaker-Dowd||John Whittaker|
|Jerry Whittaker||John Whittaker|
|Jenny Whittaker||John Whittaker|
|Connie Kendall||Marvin Washington|
|Nick Mulligan||Marvin Washington|
- The plot of this episode is reminiscent of #376: “Chores No More”, in which the parents "go on strike" and lounge about during the day.
- The cliché Ed Washington makes in this episode about money growing on trees is a reference to George Barclay's similar statement in #63: “A Good and Faithful Servant”.
- Marvin asks for the new season of Zapazoids on DVD in this episode, marking the first mention of the franchise since #536: “Living in the Gray, Part 2”.
- This episode shows the Washingtons buying Cheese Doodles — a snack they first referenced in #302: “Share and Share Alike” and featured in #546: “No Way Out”.
- Whit's mention in this episode of an overabundance of peaches because "someone messed up an order" may be a reference to #351: “What Are You Gonna Do with Your Life?” when Connie accidentally ordered too many prunes.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Jenkins's Market (and Mr. Jenkins) since #133: “Cousin Albert”.
- An audio commentary on this episode by Marshal Younger, John Fornof, and Jonathan Crowe is available in the CD set and on the Odyssey Adventure Club.
- Ed asks Tamika to buy him the new edition of Golf Magazine.
- Marvin compares Whit's portrayal of an IRS agent to Elmer Fudd.
- There is a different music cue behind each accent that Whit does to impersonate bill collectors.
Tamika Washington: Marvin, I can't believe you just slammed the door on Mr. Whittaker!
Marvin Washington: That wasn't Mr. Whittaker. That was a big Girl Scout with a mustache.
Tamika Washington: That's even worse!
Marvin Washington: But, Dad, you get to buy stuff you want all the time!
Ed Washington: Such as?
Marvin Washington: Uh, well, toothpaste!
Tamika Washington: And don't forget the new toilet plunger!
Ed Washington: Toothpaste and a toilet plunger! Suddenly I feel like a very rich man.