Pre-Credits Gag: The girls all go to a shoe store at the mall. Kimmie Gibbler takes her shoes off and the salesman is disturbed by how bad her feet be stankin’ and finds a notice behind the counter that says that she’s banned from the store. The salesman then measures Michelle’s feet and comments about how “healthy” they are, which prompts all the girls to make jokes about how freakishly fast her feet are growing. Even though this seems like the most disposable content in the history of pre-credits gags, it’s actually a crucial scene that sets up the premise of the episode. I don’t know why the pre-credits gags have been so essential to the episodes lately any more than I can comprehend why we’re about to watch an entire episode about Michelle’s feet.
The dads all sing a harmonized lullaby to the twins and then Becky joins in and boy does she suck at singing! After they put the twins to bed, Becky starts raving about how great they sounded and planning for nightly bedtime performances. She abruptly goes downstairs and then Jesse starts talking about what a big problem her shitty singing is. Wait… how is he just now learning about this? And who really gives a shit if she sucks at singing, anyway? But, also, I can recall at least one previous occasion in which her singing was just fine. I definitely remember that she sang at their wedding, and I think maybe she sang in one of the telethon episodes, too. Jesse continues to worry about how to improve her singing for when they perform for their two little kids who don’t even give a shit about how she sounds and he decides that he’ll figure out a way to discreetly give her instruction without her realizing it.
Michelle looks in the “Children’s Book of World Records” (presumably because they weren’t going to pay Guinness to use their name) to see what the world’s biggest feet look like because she’s sure that she’ll be the next to take the title. Stephanie comes in to ask her what she’s doing and Michelle says that she’s going to sleep and then Stephanie says that she’ll see her in the morning and leaves the room. Wait… how come Stephanie’s just going about her business but it’s Michelle’s bedtime? I guess that maybe it makes sense that Stephanie has a later bedtime because she’s older… but why was Stephanie in this scene at all? Her presence has no function. Anyway, Michelle goes to sleep, which prompts a dream sequence.
First Michelle is plagued by floating head clips from the pre-credits gag, then there’s a full-fledged dream sequence where she’s dressed like a clown for some strange reason. Even by dream logic I think that’s pretty weird.
Joey decides to tickle her feet as a means of defense and then there’s a cut to Michelle in bed and I thought that the feet tickling would be explained by the dog licking them or something but there’s actually no explanation at all. Michelle wakes up and looks at her feet and discovers that they’re still enormous.
This turns out to be one of those dream-within-a-dream things that happen on tv so often. Michelle starts screaming and Stephanie, who has come back in the room and gone to sleep since we last saw her, wakes Michelle up. Stephanie tells her to chill the fuck out because everything’s fine but then Michelle looks down at her feet and says, “I’m not fine. I’m a big foot freak,” which is too ridiculous to make the audience go, “aww,” even though they’re usually total rubes for these abrasively manipulative act breaks.
Lisa, who we haven’t seen in a while, walks into Michelle’s room and finds her measuring her feet. Michelle tells her about the totally ridiculous premise of the episode and Lisa says that she can help her shrink her feet.
Becky comes upstairs and tells Jesse that she’s written a list of songs to sing to the twins because she’s just so excited about singing all of a sudden. Jesse says that he’s written her a special part that he wants to practice with her, which is of course a ruse so he can secretly coach her.
He starts to instill a militaristic regime of techniques that involve frantically pinching her face and correcting her posture and pretty quickly she realizes that he’s trying to give her a singing lesson. She admits that she’s not a great singer and asks who it’s hurting (which is a perfectly valid point) and he tells her that as a professional musician her singing offends his ear, which is pretty goddamn shitty if you ask me (especially since referring to himself as a professional musician is a real stretch). Man, she’s put up with him being terrible at every single thing that he does for years, but now that she’s suddenly not good at something that’s pretty incidental he totally can’t handle it. What an asshole. He tells her that she can’t take criticism and then she lays into him with a string of unfavorable adjectives that are pretty tame, although quite racy for this show. Even though I’m proud of her for finally calling him out on his bullshit, I’ve been waiting for this outburst for quite a few years and now that it’s finally arrived it’s pretty underwhelming. The phrase “greasy, unemployed piece of shit” is conspicuously absent.
Meanwhile, Lisa wraps Michelle’s feet in shrink wrap and then convinces her to stand in ice water.
Becky finishes reading a story to the twins and then they ask her to sing them a song. She self-consciously refuses but then their hypnotic, unintelligible droning requests finally convince her. She starts to sing to them, sounding remarkably different than she did before (she’s not great or anything, but she’s not delivering over-the-top off-key notes like she was in all the previous scenes, either), and then Jesse comes in and listens to her. She stops singing when she sees him but he encourages her to continue, then the music comes on as he says that he wasn’t considering the love that was behind her singing before and didn’t realize how beautiful it was. But…she really did sound totally different before. I’m confused… is this like artistic license or something? Are we supposed to be experiencing Becky’s singing through Jesse’s subjective lens or something? Anyway, Becky and Jesse both apologize to each other because the music’s on (the healing power of music being an overt theme here) and then they make out while the twins watch.
DJ and Stephanie walk in on Michelle standing in ice water and they’re like, “what the fuck is wrong with you, you big weirdo?” There’s some commotion and then Danny and Joey come in to see what all the fuss is. Joey sees the bucket of ice and puts some in his glass of sarsaparilla and takes a big sip but then when Stephanie explains that the ice was being used to soak Michelle’s feet he does maybe his first appropriate spit take in the entire series.
Once Michelle admits to Danny that she has some weird complex about her feet, Stephanie and DJ take responsibility and apologize for making fun of her during the pre-credits gag. I guess it makes sense that she’d be so unaccustomed to any sort of teasing or behavior that wasn’t totally bent in her favor that she’d completely freak out the second anyone gave her a hard time.
Danny tells an uninteresting anecdote about how he used to be teased for being tall, making the point that everyone is different and it’s nothing to be ashamed of (except that Danny totally should be ashamed of being the way he is. Maybe not physically, but in every other way for sure.). Joey says that his head is shaped like a toe, which is why kids used to say that he was “toe headed,” and then Danny patronizingly explains that “towheaded” is an expression used to describe kids with very blond hair. I guess you can’t really blame Danny’s tone here because how the fuck did Joey go his whole life without learning that? Anyway, Danny tells Michelle that she’s beautiful and normal and then they hug and the audience go, “aww.” So, there you go: as long as you’re beautiful and normal, there’s nothing to worry about.
That was the fucking dumbest episode ever. It wasn’t the worst, but those were definitely two of the most ridiculous premises in the history of the show. Either one would have been a real stretch as a b-story in any episode, but putting them together like that was a real achievement in absurdity.