Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 43 - Just Desserts

First Air Date: February 3, 1988
Nielsen Rating: 17.1 HH

TV Guide Description: Larry has no trouble finding a market for Balki's delicious Myposian dessert, but mass-producing it is a different story.

Co-Producer: James OíKeefe
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Robert Griffard & Howard Adler
Directed by: Joel Zwick

Cast:
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Rebeca Arthur: Mary Anne
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons

Dimitri Appearances: Dimitri does not appear in this episode.

Balki-isms:
"Cousin, before you run off half-crocked . . . "
"You canít squeeze water out of a sponge!"
"Youíre a man repossessed!"
"Oh, give me a line of credit!"
"Youíve made your cake, now lie in it."

Donít be ridiculous: Said once.

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
"Get out of the city!"
"Let me get this straight . . . "
"HA!"
"You got that right!"
"Balki, Balki, Balki . . . "

Other running jokes used in this episode:
The use of alliterative sentences, often focusing around the letter "B."
Mary Anne comes up with something amazing or profound then explains it in an illogical way
Larry has a crazy plan that gets everyone in over their heads

Songs: "The Bibbibabka Ditty" - sung by everyone at some point in the episode.  This translated Myposian song is set to the music of "The Limbo Rock."

Interesting facts:
-
This episode focuses on Balkiís love of cooking, particularly Myposian food.  Balki cooked often throughout the series and even got to the point where he became a caterer in season six.
- Bronson once again shows his talent for mimic when he accurately impersonates Scotty played by James Doohan in the original Star Trek series.
- This episode, commonly referred to as the "bibbibabka episode," continues to be one of the most popular of the entire series.  Bibbibabkas are the one Myposian food which didnít seem to include any unusual or repulsive ingredients, unlike most Myposian fare.
- This episode marked the first time fast alliteration was used in the show.  The number of "Bís" in bibbibabka alone made it natural for the writers to throw in a lot of words beginning with "B" for Mark and Bronson to exchange quickly back and forth.  This would be seen again and again throughout the series from this episode on.
- When Balki says the pastry chef at the Hyatt Regency Hotel will have to "make a new plan, Stan" he is quoting the song 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover by Paul Simon.
- Fans loved to sing the bibbibabka ditty and many still remember it to this day!  The lyrics are as follows (there are some variations to the words during the show itself, such as a "when" exchanged for an "if" at different times):

When you rolling out the dough,
Just make sure you roll it slow.
If you make the dough too quick
Bibbibabka make you sick.
When you pour the filling in
Just make sure you wear a grin.
When you smile on what you bake
Bibbibabka turn out swell.


The song is set to the music of the Limbo Rock, a popular song in 1962, first recorded as an instrumental by The Champs and then by Chubby Checker with lyrics, which you can listen to by clicking here.  As Balki sings the song youíll notice he bends backwards as he sings "When you smile on what you bake" in a limbo fashion (as if he is going to move under a limbo pole).  We only ever hear the song in its English version which explains why the last line doesnít rhyme (in Myposian it does rhyme but this is lost in the translation to English).
- Another joke about the show Moonlighting appears in this episode when Balki is listing things that simply canít be rushed.  This was based on the fact that new episodes of Moonlighting were often long in production and therefore took some time getting to air.

Bloopers and Inconsistencies:
-
Cousin nighttime59 on the forums pointed out a couple of interesting bloopers for us.  At the beginning of the episode, everyone is sitting around the dinner table after finishing the meal Balki prepared.  Jennifer has a stack of three empty plates in front of her and Balki has an empty plate in front of him.  After Balki says in a close-up, " . . . Iíve made you the dessert of kings . . . bibbibabkas," the scene cuts back to a shot of all four and the dinner plates are now suddenly gone and Balki starts to hand out dessert plates which have appeared from nowhere.  Look closely, though, and you'll see that between the two cuts, at the very end of Bronson's close-up he is moving to get up to take the plates and get the bibbibabkas and dessert plates.
- Cousin nighttime59 also found this mistake: In the second scene when Balki, Mary Anne and Jennifer are making bibbibabkas, they finish singing the bibbibabka ditty and Balki takes the bibbibabka they completed and sets it on a tray sitting on a stool.  A moment later, Larry runs into the apartment and over to them . . . and the tray on the stool is suddenly gone!
- While filming the scene where Larry is trying to encourage Balki to pick up the pace on the bibbibabka ditty, Mark told Bronson that he was going to add a little something at the end of their exchange.  Bronson decided at the last minute to throw in the word "booby" at the end of his line, which somehow ruined what Mark was going to do, which is why Mark gives Bronson a look and then walks away and Bronson does the little silly dance.  To hear Bronson tell this story on Hour Magazine, go to our YouTube Channel!
-
When the first bibbibabka explodes inside a box it makes the box lid pop up.  The box this happens to is the one on the far left of the work table next to some bibbibabkas on a tray and sitting upon another box.  The second one to explode is in this same box, but somehow the lid has been pushed down again into a closed position without anyone going near it.  Most likely they filmed two different shots of the same box lid popping up, one from a far angle and one from a closer angle and used both shots back to back, hoping viewers wouldnít notice it was the same box and same explosion.


Synopsis:
The episode begins in Balki and Larryís apartment.  They are sitting at the dining table with Jennifer and Mary Anne.  "Balki, I have to tell you, I was a little bit worried about eating a complete Myposian dinner but this was delicious!" Jennifer offers.  "Oh thank you, thank you," Balki says humbly, "It is quite a challenge to use every part of the animal.  Well, a Myposian dinner calls for a Myposian dessert, and Iíve made you the dessert of kings . . . bibbibabkas."  Balki starts handing out plates to his left with everyone passing on the plate they receive to the next person.  "What you are about to have is the Myposian national dessert treat."  Balki then thanks Mary Anne, who hands him one of the plates back, before continuing.  "Legend has it that the first bibbibabkas were made by Ferdinand Mypos to celebrate his ability to grow a moustache."  "Festive occasion indeed!" Larry comments.

Balki motions to the plate in the center of the table where several cream-filled pastries are sitting.  "Well, go ahead . . . I hope you like them!"  Everyone takes a bibbibabka and tries a bite.  They sit, chewing and contemplating, each one saying "Mmm!" in turn then together.  "Does this mean you like them or do we have gas?" Balki ventures.  "Balki, this cream filling is incredible!" Larry says enthusiastically, "These not only taste good, they make me feel good!  Like listening to music . . . like looking at great art!  I feel . . . I feel . . . taller!  Balki, your bibbibabkas are so good I think you could sell them!"  "Get out of the city!" Balki scoffs, "I wouldnít feel right taking your money!"  "No, Balki, I donít mean sell them to us . . . I mean sell them to other people," Larry clarifies, "It could be a nice little business venture.  Youíd make a couple of extra bucks and get a lesson in free enterprise."  "Enterprise?" Balki asks excitedly, "You mean I could meet Captain Kirk and Scotty?"  Balki breaks into an impersonation of James Doohan as Scotty saying, "Iíll have full power for you in an hour, Captain, but I need more dilithium crystals!"

"No, no, Balki, thatís the Starship Enterprise," Larry explains, "Free enterprise is the American way of doing business.  I tell you what . . . you whip up a batch of bibbibabkas and tomorrow Iíll take them to restaurants and see if anybodyís interested."  "Cousin, Cousin, you donít just whip up bibbibabkas," Balki sighs, "These took me all morning nd Iím the best bibbibabka baker on Mypos.  Believe me, baking bibbibabkas is a back-breaking business."  "I understand, Balki, baking bibbibabkas is a back-breaking business but . . . youíre doing it alone.  There are four of us!  Weíll all do it together, itíll be like a party."  "Thatís a wonderful idea, Larry!" Jennifer agrees.  "Yeah, what do you say, Balki?" Mary Anne asks.  "Well, I . . . I guess we could bake up a batch of bibbibabkas and see if anybody bites."  "Beautiful!" Larry smiles.

The next day we see Balki, Mary Anne and Jennifer working in the dining room which has been set up in a kind of small assembly line fashion.  "Ready for the next batch?" Balki asks.  "Can we sing the bibbibabka song again?" Mary Anne asks.  "Well, of course we can, donít be ridiculous!" Balki assures her, "You canít bake a batch of bibbibabkas without belting the bibbibabka ditty."  He then asks if theyíre ready and they begin singing the song, working as they go.  Balki sings the first line as he moves his body in a wave motion, "When you rolling out the dough, just make sure to roll it slow," as Jennifer runs a rolling pin over two circular pieces of thick dough on a wood board.  Balki then sings the second line while wiggling his shoulders and moving from side to side, "If you make the dough too quick, bibbibabka make you sick," as Mary Anne uses a wooden instrument to make indentations in the dough.  Next Mary Anne and Jennifer sing the third line while motioning with their arms, "When you pour the filling in, just make sure you wear a grin," as Balki pipes the filling into the center of one piece of dough.  Finally Balki sings the last line while making a limbo-type motion, "When you smile on what you bake, bibbibabka turn out swell!" as Mary Anne places the plain piece of dough on top of the cream-covered one.  Balki takes the finished bibbibabka and places it onto a baking sheet.

At this moment Larry rushes into the apartment and stops in front of them.  "Youíll never guess where Iíve been!" he says excitedly, then points to Balki and adds, "Donít guess.  I went to the Hyatt Regency Hotel and gave a couple of the bibbibabkas we baked last night to the pastry chef.  He loved them and he wants some for Monday!"  "Oh Cousin, thatís wonderful!" Balki exclaims, "We just made three dozen!  How many do he want?"  "He wants two thousand!" Larry answers enthusiastically.  "Let me get this straight," Balki begins, "Today is Saturday and this chef wants us to make two thousand bibbibabkas by Monday?"  "Right!" Larry confirms.  "Larry, it took us all morning to make three dozen," Jennifer points out, "Do you know how many dozen two thousand are?"  "166 and 2/3 dozen," Mary Anne answers.  When everyone looks at her in amazement she explains, "My father was a carpenter," which leaves everyone looking just as confused.

"Cousin, youíre just going to have to call this chef and tell him to make a new plan, Stan," Balki states.  "I canít believe my ears!" Larry cries.  "Oh, theyíre okay, they just stick out a little bit," Balki tries to comfort Larry as he walks to him.  "I think weíre all agreed my ears are fine," Larry sighs, "We have a golden opportunity!  We have a chance to live the American dream!  To control our own destinies!  Weíll start the first bibbibabka company in America!"  "Larry, arenít you getting a little carried away?" Jennifer asks.  "You bet!" Larry says, "But thatís the kind of guy I am.  I like to take chances, roll the dice, gamble on the future!"  "Uh . . . who are we talking about here?" Balki asks in disbelief, "You?  You donít like to roll the dice!  You donít like to gamble on the future!  You take ten minutes to change lanes!"

"Well, this is different!" Larry insists, "This is the brass ring, this is the whole enchilada!  The four of us could own our own company, be our own bosses!  What do you say?  Are you with me?"  "Iím with you!" Jennifer agrees, putting her hand in Larryís.  "Iím with you!" Mary Anne agrees, placing her hand on theirs.  They all turn to Balki expectantly.  "Balki?" Larry asks.  "Not too much pressure!" Balki sighs.  "Balki . . . " Larry starts.  "What?" Balki asks timidly.  "This is your chance to make Mypos famous!" Larry says, moving toward Balki, "To put Mypos on the culinary map!"  "Well, but Cousin . . . baking two thousand by Monday is impossible!"  "Balki, God made the world in six days!" Larry points out.  "Yeah, but he didnít have to make a special cream filling for it," Balki counters.

"Balki, trust me . . . we can do it!" Larry urges.  "Cousin, before you run off half-crocked I got to tell you that you canít bake bibbibabkas unless you bake them the traditional Myposian way!  Otherwise you run into terrible . . . "  "Well, of course weíll bake them the traditional Myposian way!" Larry interrupts, "After all, thatís the fun part!  Now what do you say?"  Balki is still unsure until Larry starts singing the tune of the bibbibabka ditty.  The girls join in and by the end Balki in convinced.  "Okay babies, letís bake some bibbibabkas!" Balki agrees.  They all sing the bibbibabka ditty together, dancing in a conga line back to the kitchen as the scene fades.

The second act opens considerably later in the living room, which has been converted into a much bigger assembly line.  Balki, Jennifer and Mary Anne, all wearing aprons and bakers hats, are working feverishly, each covered with flour and looking exhausted.  Larry stands to the side with a clipboard making notes, notably free of flour.  "Good news, everybody!" Larry announces, "Weíve only been working for 24 hours straight and weíve already reached the halfway mark . . . one thousand bibbibabkas!"  "Yay," Mary Anne and Jennifer cheer without any enthusiasm.  "Thatís the spirit!" Larry continues, undaunted, "Now letís use that momentum to carry us right through to the end."

Jennifer is shaping the bibbibabka dough on a wooden board when Mary Anne reaches over her to try to get some flour.  "Donít bump me!" Jennifer says sharply.  "I didnít bump you!" Mary Anne argues.  "Youíve been bumping me for sixteen hours!" Jennifer counters, "Itís like flying with Shriners!"  "Oh, so now youíre making fun of my hat!" Mary Anne remarks in anger.  "Iím not making fun of your hat, Iím just saying when you reach for the flour you keep bumping me!" Jennifer explains.  "Well, maybe if youíd stop hogging the flour I wouldnít have to bump you!" Mary Anne snips, then reaches for the flour again, bumping Jennifer, who loses it.  The girls start arguing until Balki comes running between them.  "Ladies, please, what are you doing?!" Balki says in shock, then reaches down and picks up the board with the bibbibabkas and moves them away, sighing, "Arguing in front of the bibbibabkas!  They canít hear ugly sounds like arguing and fighting, theyíve got to hear beautiful sounds.  Sounds of love and gentleness and kindness."

"Love, right . . . okay, look!" Larry continues, still in business mode, "We are falling behind!  We have got to work harder to get these babies out!"  "Larry, why donít you put your clipboard down and get your hands white?" Jennifer asks sharply.  "Hey . . . hey hey hey hey hey hey," Larry says defensively, "somebodyís got to supervise."  "Look," Jennifer continues, "Iím irritable, tired and I just want to go to sleep."  "Listen, girls, why donít you take a little break?" Balki suggests.  "They canít take a break!" Larry insists, "We just broke for dinner eight hours ago."  "Okay, then we wonít take a break," Jennifer says, "I quit!"  She storms out of the apartment.  "And that goes double for me!" Mary Anne adds, turning to head for the door but stopping to say goodnight to Balki sweetly.  Larry chases the girls to the door.  "We only have a thousand more to go!" Larry cries, "We need you!"  When the door slams he turns to Balki and says, "Who needs them?"

"We do, Cousin," Balki sighs, "Weíre up to our buttocks in unbaked bibbibabkas.  If they donít help us we never finish in time."  "Never?" Larry asks, "Did I hear Balki Bartokomous say never?"  "Well, listen Cousin," Balki begin, "There is no way I can bake one thousand bibbibabkas by myself.  Itís as simple as that!  You canít squeeze water out of a sponge!"  Larry puts his clipboard own, saying, "Well, then Iíll help you!"  "You will?"  "Balki, there are times when management has to loosen its tie and join hands with the workers."  Balki looks around him in confusion then says, "Well, on behalf of all of us, I bid you welcome."  Larry takes the board with the unassembled bibbibakas over to his side of the table as they begin.  Balki signs the bibbibabka ditty very slowly, as Larry rushes through the first two steps.  When it comes time for Balki to pipe in the filling, Larry takes over the third line of the song, singly it very quickly in an effort to get Balki to speed up, but Balki still takes his sweet time.  Finally Balki sings the last line of the song slowly as Larry quickly puts the bibbibabka together and puts it on the baking pan.  "Cousin, see?  One down and only 999 to go!" Balki smiles.

"Hold hold hold," Larry motions before Balki can begin again, "Balki, the song is really slowing us down.  Weíre going to have to lose the bibbibabka ditty."  "We canít bump the bibbibabka ditty!" Balki protests, "Itís part and parcel of the point by point process of baking bibbibabkas!"  "I understand that itís part and parcel of the point by point process of baking bibbibabkas, Balki, buddy, but . . . we gotta cut some corners.  Weíre talking mass production here!"  "Donít bring religion into this!" Balki complains, "You canít bake bibbibabkas without belting the bibbibabka ditty . . . if you drop the damn ditty youíre doomed!"  "Okay, okay . . . fine!" Larry agrees, "Weíll keep the bibbibabka ditty.  But weíve gotta pick up the pace, Balki, and really bop with the bibbibabka ditty, buddy."  "All right," Balki agrees, "I can bop with the beat a bit more briskly, booby!"  They begin again, this time working much more quickly as Balki sings and gyrates faster and faster.  Each time they start again Larry gives them a faster downbeat and the production line gets faster and faster until itís going at a ridiculously fast rate, Balki swinging himself all over and hardly able to keep up.  Larry is totally into the swing and ends up grabbing Balki and dancing with him as Balki cries out for it to stop.  Larry finally stops and Balki cries, "Youíre a man repossessed!"  "And loving it!" Larry cries, dancing again, "Balki, rhumba tempo!  Weíve got to get these bibbibabkas baked!"  "Cousin, itís too fast!" Balki protests, "And besides, shouldnít I be leading?"

"Balki, do you want to make Mypos famous or not?" Larry asks.  "Oh, give me a line of credit!" Balki scoffs, "You donít care about making Mypos famous!"  "But youíre right, I donít," Larry admits, "Now are you going to help me or not?"  "Ha ha ha!" Balki laughs, "Iím not!  I quit!"  "Okay, fine, quit, Iíll make all the bibbibabkas myself," Larry states.  "HA!" Balki laughs.  "I beg your pardon?" Larry asks.  "HA!" Balki repeats.  "I beg your pardon?" Larry asks again.  "What did I just say?" Balki asks.  "HA!" Larry mimics Balki.  "You got that right!" Balki agrees, "Iím the only one that knows how to make bibbibabkas with the special cream filling!"  "Oh, whatís the big deal?" Larry scoffs, "Pinch of this, bit of that, dollop of whatever."  "Oh, is that so?" Balki asks, "Well, let me tell you this . . . if you donít make it the . . . . "  "I tell you what, Balki . . . if you canít take the heat, get out of my kitchen!" Larry demands.  "All right," Balki says cooly, "Fine . . . youíve made your cake, now lie in it!"  Balki goes to his bedroom and Larry continues on the assembly line, only humming a quick rhumba rhythm and not using the bibbibabka ditty at all.

The next morning Balki comes out of the bedroom, buttoning up a black shirt.  He pauses to look in the living room where there are racks and boxes of finished bibbibabkas all around.  Balki enters the living room and Larry enters from the kitchen, covered with flour and carrying a box which he sets down triumphantly.  "Two thousand bibbibabkas, buddy," Larry says, brushing flour from his hands as Balki backs away from him, not wanting to get any flour on his black shirt.  "You know," Larry continues, "I think thereís a valuable lesson to be learned here."  "You know, I think Iím gonna hear it," Balki realizes.  "Balki, Balki, Balki," Larry says, stepping closer again with Balki backing away, "We all want to maintain the quality of our product but, you see, to make it in business today youíve got to be willing to sacrifice, persevere, and yes, compromise a little."  Balki manages to avoid Larryís hand until the last line when Larry finally pats Balki on the shoulder.

As they are standing, there is a loud popping noise and the lids of one of the boxes suddenly pops up.  Larry, who was not looking in the direction of the box, asks, "What was that?"  "I think that was one of your compromises," Balki answers.  There is another loud pop and another box lid bounces up.  "Itís coming from the boxes," Larry realizes.   Larry walks to another box and is about to open it when Balki puts his hand on the lid.  "Donít open this box," Balki warns.  "What are you talking about?" Larry asks.  "Iím talking about this box and the act of your not opening it," Balki explains.  "Balki, take your hand off this box!" Larry insists.  "All right . . . if thatís what you really want," Balki agrees.  "Thatís what I really want, okay?" Larry assures him.  Balki takes his hand off the box and Larry goes to open it as Balki leans as far from Larry as he possibly can without moving.  Larry opens the box lid and looks down, only to hear another loud POP and have a bunch of cream filling fly up and hit him in the face.  "The bibbibabka exploded," Larry notes, "in my face."  Balki studies Larryís face carefully, then deduces, "Well, yes it did!  And do you know why?  Because if you donít make bibbibabkas the traditional Myposian way the bibbi in the babka goes boom."  "The bibbi in the babka goes boom?" Larry asks.  "Basically," Balki confirms.  The bibbibabkas begin to explode around them, more and more of them going off until pastry and cream filling is flying everywhere.  Balki and Larry stand perfectly still as this chaos is going on around them, capping off with a giant explosion right behind them.

Later that morning they are cleaning up the mess of flour, sugar and burnt bibbibabkas.  "The chef at the hotel was pretty upset," Larry says, "You know, French is a colorful language.  I donít speak a word of it and yet I understood everything he said."  Larry stops working to sulk.  "Balki, I had it all planned . . . . "  "I know, Cousin," Balki sympathizes.  " . . . . I had a schedule . . . . "  "Oh, I know, Cousin."  " . . . . I had a customer all lined up . . . . "  "I, I know, Cousin."  " . . . . I thought this was how you started a business."  Larry pauses a moment and Balki ventures, "Could I talk now?"  "Where did I go wrong?" Larry asks.  "I guess not," Balki sighs.  "Iím sorry," Larry offers, "What were you going to say?"  "There are some things that just canít be rushed," Balki explains, "Like antiques, redwoods . . . a really good episode of ĎMoonlightingí . . . . . any episode of ĎMoonlighting.í"  "I guess youíre right," Larry admits, then adds worriedly, "You think Jennifer and Mary Anne will still like me?"  "Oh, Cousin, of course they will!" Balki assures him, "Maybe after they rest for a week and if you send them some flowers they might even speak to you again."  "I could send them a few complimentary bibbibabkas," Larry says, motioning to a nearby pan, "There are a few that didnít explode."  As they watch, one of the bibbibabkas swells and swells, finally exploding.  "Flowers," Balki suggests and Larry nods in agreement.

Continue on to the next episode . . .