Axl has just made the varsity football team, much to Frankie's delight, and she looks forward to a life-long dream of dressing up and walking him out on the field with Mike during homecoming. However, when she learns that Sue's first cross-country meet is the same day, Frankie and Mike must each make a Sophie's Choice-like decision on which kid's activity to attend. Meanwhile, Mike gets Brick to rake up the leaves in the yard but is thrown when, instead of taking them to the dump, Brick wants to set them free in the forest.
While shopping for baby diapers for Sue, who has run out of them on a baby-sitting job, Frankie is completely humiliated when a clerk assumes she's shopping for adult diapers. Meanwhile, after getting on Mike's case to get a physical exam because she thinks men tend to fall apart faster than women as they age, Frankie proceeds to throw out her back and hides it from Mike, who tells her he received a clean bill of health from the doctor; a clueless Sue falls for Axl's friend, Sean, who barely notices her existence; and Brick begins to test all of the age-old urban legends parents tell their kids - such as not to swallow a watermelon seed for fear one will grow in their belly - after discovering Frankie has used these white lies on him in the past.
When Axl is suspended for skipping school, Mike decides it's time to teach his son a lesson about life and makes him go to work with him at the quarry. But Mike's master plan backfires when Axl likes the job so much that he wants to quit school and lead the life of a quarryman. Meanwhile, Frankie is devastated when she fears that she accidentally prayed away Sue's cross-country team after it's cut by the school; and while practicing a magic trick, Brick makes the main TV remote disappear - and can't figure out how to make it reappear.
Frankie convinces the family to host a Japanese foreign exchange student.
Frankie is excited over being invited to an adult neighborhood Halloween party. But will she be able to get Mike to dress up in a costume, or will he have his own idea of fun? Meanwhile, a melancholy Sue's spirits are lifted when she discovers that Reverend TimTom is back in town and hosting a Halloween church event; things don't go quite as planned for Axl, his friends or their dates as they head out to an exclusive haunted house party; and Brick chooses a unique Halloween costume that is not easily defined.
Frankie and Mike are speechless when, on his ninth birthday, Brick demands to hear the true story about the day he was born, which has remained a mysterious Heck family secret. Meanwhile, Axl's new manager at the movie theater turns out to be a conundrum - hot and dumb - which leaves a confused Axl wondering if her hotness trumps her incompetence.
Brick is sick and tired of being forced to accompany Frankie on her weekend errands and pleads with her to let him stay home alone. Meanwhile, Mike is torn over how to deal with Sue's friend when he overhears her diss his daughter, and with his fellow teammates all growing beards for the football playoffs, Axl tries to grow one of his own - with mixed results.
Mike begrudgingly invites his brother, Rusty, who is temporarily living in a tent, and his father, Big Mike, who has recently broken his hip, to join him for the annual Heck family Thanksgiving. But when Frankie observes the macho Heck men's non-communicative nature, she encourages a not-so-receptive Mike to engage them in a real conversation and express their feelings. Meanwhile, Brick is ecstatic when he discovers that Bob is bringing his girlfriend, Linda - the local librarian who loves books as much as Brick does - to Thanksgiving; and Sue wants to start a mother-daughter tradition of baking a pie for the holiday, but ends up getting more sliced up than the crust.
The Hecks count down the 12 days of Christmas with Frankie's parents, Pat and Tag, when they come to town to spend the holiday with the family - much to Mike's dismay. But when Frankie decides that she wants to take the focus off of the gifts and make it a simple Christmas, Pat and Tag have other ideas.
Mike gets mad at Frankie when she inadvertently pays $200 for eye cream; Axl cares for a mechanical doll for health class; Sue and Brick try to repair a hole in the wall.
Fearing that a friendless Brick could be missing out on his childhood, Frankie makes it her mission to find a suitable friend for him. Meanwhile, after Mike forbids Sue from seeing an R-rated film, she goes against her father's wishes and sneaks into a movie theater with her friend, Carly; and Axl and his band need a hot chick to appear in their online music video and try to shoot footage of their sexy biology teacher, Ms. Devereaux without her knowledge or consent
After Sue wins a family trip to New York, Murphy's Law goes into full effect when the Hecks board a plane and fly to the Big Apple.
Frankie once again goes head to head with Brick's third grade teacher, Ms. Rinsky, when Brick gets a D on his math test and Frankie thinks poor teaching skills are to blame. But Frankie wonders whether or not she can make the grade when Ms. Rinsky requires that she and Mike attend a class to test their own math skills. Meanwhile, while begrudgingly watching over their crusty, old aunts, Axl and Sue mull over a plan to accompany Aunt Edie on a search for a time capsule she buried when she was young.
Spring Break turns out to be anything but peaceful when the Hecks try to clean up 20 years of junk accumulated throughout the house. But digging through the past leads to some things that were better left forgotten. Meanwhile, Brick opens up a lucrative neighborhood information stand, giving advice on everything for a dollar per query.
Guest Stars: Jen Ray
as Nancy Donahue |
After receiving multiple warnings about leaving his dirty, smelly socks lying around the house, Mike has finally had enough and punishes Axl by forbidding him to play in the final school basketball game of the season. But everyone assumes that Mike is being petty when they discover that Axl could end up beating his father's record for most free throws landed in a season if he does play in the game. Meanwhile, Sue is ecstatic - but Frankie and Mike are suspicious -- when she wins an MVP trophy for cross-country, and Brick is humiliated when he's forced to wear hand-me-down clothes from his rebellious cousin.
Obsessed with the upcoming Royal Wedding, Frankie shocks her family when she treats the event like the Super Bowl and begins purchasing commemorative chotchkies - as well as an expensive HDTV - to enjoy the festivities. Meanwhile, Brick tries to teach Sue how to become an on-air reporter when she decides to try out as an anchor for the school's Shucker News Team, and Mike has a mutiny on his hands at the quarry when he's forced to make cutbacks and takes away the one thing his workers care about - free pretzels.
Mike and the kids present Frankie with the perfect Mother's Day gift - a day to herself. But when her day off goes awry, Mike offers a do-over with the family, which comes with its own set of glitches.
After learning that Axl text-invited the wrong girl to prom and plans to solve the situation by standing her up, Frankie and Mike demand that he meet the girl face-to-face in a timely manner to gently break off the date - or face the music and take her to the big event. Meanwhile, Sue and her friend, Carly, try in earnest to fit in with the school's "B" crowd during lunch, and after a successful first show, Brick begins to bore Frankie and Mike with his impromptu one-man plays.