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Mama's Family: Rashomama

Mama's day of fixing gooseberry jam with Ellen, Eunice and Naomi takes a turn for the worse when a fight over the pot ends with Mama getting whacked in the head. Later, at the hospital, Vint tries to unravel the truth as he listens to three very versions of the same story.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 2x5
Production Number: 206
Airdate: Thursday November 03rd, 1983

Guest Stars
Betty WhiteBetty White
As Ellen Jackson
Carol BurnettCarol Burnett
As Eunice Higgins
Episode Notes
Shown as the 6th episode (19th overall) of the Second NBC season in syndication.

Episode Goofs
Eunice: You bird brain! You bought powdered sugar.
Naomi: Was I supposed to get the liquid?!

(A gurney is being pushed down the hall)
Vint: That wasn't Mama, was it?
Eunice: Too tall! Too tall!

Mama: I swear, I don't know why they can't hold these church bazaars in the dead of winter when people can stand to be in their kitchens.

(during Ellen's tale of the events)
Mama: Well, good lord, what is this green stuff?
Ellen: That's the gooseberry jam, Mama.
Mama: Well it can't be, Ellen; jam tastes good.
Ellen: Well, so will that as soon as we put in the sugar.
Eunice: Boy, if that lady gets any worse, we're gonna have to call out the whoopee squad.

(The women are going to clean off water spots on the jars with towels)
Naomi: Well, how does this thing work? I've never dried a dry jar before.
Eunice: I think you've stepped off one curb too many.

(The gooseberries start bubbling)
Naomi: Listen. (pauses and listens) I'll answer the door!
Eunice: Those are the berries, you nitwit!

Mama: Naomi, did you remember to buy the sugar?
Naomi: Oh I never buy sugar.
(Naomi pours a bunch of sugar packets out of her purse)
Eunice: Well Naomi, you unpredictable little scamp. What is all that?
Naomi: Well this is my sugar packet collection. I pick them up in motels. Each and every one has a different name on it.
Ellen: "Arthur's Hideaway and Launderette. You tumble; we dry?"
Naomi: Yeah.
Mama: Well that is disgusting. I can't take jam to a church bazaar made with X-rated sugar!

Naomi: Oh Lord, it is so hot in this kitchen. (looks down her dress) Whoo! I can practically hear those beads of sweat popping out all over me.
Mama: It's the berries, you tramp!

Vint: Mama, who was it hit you with the pot?
(Mama takes a look at Naomi, Eunice, and Ellen)
Mama: I've never seen any of you people before in my life.

(Eunice says that she was almost killed in an accident on the highway)
Naomi: What was it? A rear ender?!

(Naomi finishes telling her story to Vint)
Ellen: You don't believe her, do you?!
Eunice: He believes she's a natural blonde.

Mama: Eunice, where in blue blazes have you been?
Eunice: For your information Mama, I was almost spalttered over that highway. Naomi, move it! (pushes Naomi out of her chair) Ellen, get me a beer!!!

Mama: Why is it my own girls can't see the beauty in sharing a warm family moment?
Eunice: Well, I'm the one that brought the dirty jars. You wouldn't have this warm family moment if it wasn't for me.

(The women are cleaning the jars)
Naomi: Well, I don't know when I have had so much fun. I've never done anything like this before.
Eunice: It's about the only thing you haven't done before.

(Mama comments on how the jars Eunice got sparkle like diamonds)
Ellen: Let me see? (dumps the gooseberries on the jars) Oops. How clumsy. (in a lower, more sadistic tone) I've ruined the jars!

(Eunice is complaining to Mama about how she is more worried about the jars)
Eunice: I just told you I spent the whole morning dodging semis across three lanes of public highway!
Naomi: Well, isn't that dangerous?!
Eunice: (to Naomi) Come here. Look at me. Are you in there?

Mama claims in this episode that Eunice is her third born and her favorite. Though Vint is actually the youngest according to Eunice in the episode "Positively Thinking" when she referred to Vint as her baby brother.

Cultural References
The title of this episode, as well as the generic theme, comes from the Akira Kurosawa picture, Rashomon. In feudal Japan, a rape and murder is told and retold from the point of view of four different observers, who are each suspects. Each paints himself in a far better light than what they really are; each story reveals a little more detail than the other. The central theme is, in the end, about truth: which story was the real one, and, by definition, what really is truth as a conceptual whole?

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