5. Andrew Lawrence to Joey Lawrence in Horse Sense – Disney Channel Original Movie – November 20, 1999
So fine, Andrew Lawrence doesn’t actually utter “You’re not my father,” but the meaning is all the same AND I’ve been dying to mention Horse Sense since this blog’s inception. In a classic diluted-rich-kid-learns-the-meaning-of-hard-work SLASH hardworking-poor-people-are-about-to-lose-the-family-ranch plot, little Andrew teaches Joey a thing or two about hard work and family. Then, in an effort to prove to him how far he’s come (both in work ethic and playing a father figure type) Joey completes the tree house Andrew had been working on alone since his father passed away. When the kid arrives home to find his cousin putting the finishing touches on the LAST REMAINING TIE TO HIS DECEASED FATHER he has a come-apart, scurries up the ladder and starts to rip it apart, all the while yelling, “This is mine and MY FATHER’S! MY FATHER’S!! NOT YOURS” etc. Please FF to the 7 minute mark to see this doozie of a clip.
4. Julia/Baily/Claudia to Charlie in Party of Five – “Pilot” – September 12, 1994
Again, sorry, fine, so “You’re not my father” is only implied here. Lay off, I had a long week (of quality time with my own father no less). At any rate, no show could pull the ol’ dead-parents-heart-string quite like Party of Five, which they did in droves. Remember the pilot episode, when they’re all just becoming accustomed to the lives of well-to-do orphans, as barely-older brother Charlie takes on the responsibility of raising his sassy siblings? First, it’s Julia that tells Charlie to fuck off and then Claudia (AFTER PAWNING HER VIOLIN FOR MONEY!) shuts him down and finally Bailey exclaims, “A piece of paper does not make you a parent.” You’re right, Bailey, so quit bitching about skipping “practice” to supervise annoying baby Owen already.
3. D.J. Tanner to Joey Gladstone in Full House – “Joey Gets Tough” – November 25, 1988
CLASSIC! This blog might as well be called “I ❤ Full House.” Not only does this show make half the lists on here, but this episode appeared as #1 only a few weeks ago and with good reason! When Joey, the house door mat, gets lambasted by Danny for being too easy on the girls, “Joey gets tough,” grounding D.J. for coming home late from karate practice. FORCING her to proclaim “You’re not my father!” before dramatically storming up the stairs to her room, all whilst clad in martial arts attire. Now, first of all punishing your child for coming home late from, say, a drug-induced underground rave is one thing. Grounding them for merely staying after practice to discuss strategy for an upcoming tournament, is quite another. If I were D.J. I’d surely have said, “Good. I hate participating in after school sports activities and I thank you for freeing up my weekend for some serious television time.” This probably spawns from the fact that I was K.O.’d in a karate tournament myself, circa 1993.
2. Steve Sanders to Rush Sanders in Beverly Hills, 90210 – “Angels We Have Heard on High” – December 20, 1995
Sheesh. Steve’s father Rush (what a name!) was such a dick. Sure Steve was a bit of a rich brat but he never did anything that awful, especially in the eyes of an absent father who is generally proud of the early indicators of a future in shady business practices. And poor Steve, adopted son of a family sitcom star and a rich business man and from a broken home! It’s not his fault he delivered the sexy negligee to that dude’s daughter and the Easy Bake Oven (or whatever dumb toy) to the guy’s mistress. SOMEONE ELSE PUT THE LABELS ON THE PACKAGES! And of all things for Rush to really lose his shit over. Like what? You’re mad at me because I accidentally revealed to a nice lady and her young daughter that her husband/father was a cheating bastard. SOOOOORRR—RRRRYY!! Let’s also not forget that Steve finds out that Rush IS his real father, that he knocked up some waitress in the desert, and BOUGHT the baby from her to raise with his wife. Talk about nothing to be proud of, Rush! Unfortunately (and unbelievably) this clip cannot be found on the Intertron. So I offer you this bit of dialogue to act out with a partner:
Rush Sanders: I always knew you were stupid, but I never thought you’d be so self-destructive!
Steve Sanders: Thanks for the support, as usual.
Rush Sanders: Oh, good sonny boy. Keep up that sarcasm on the unemployment line.
Steve Sanders: What does that mean?
Rush Sanders: It means you lost your job at ITM, and you embarrassed the hell out of me considering that I was the one that got you that job in the first place. Scott Coveny told me to tell you that you’re finished there.
Steve Sanders: What are you talking about?
Rush Sanders: You messed up is what I’m talking about! You delivered the present that Scott was sending to his mistress to his niece. His wife’s sister’s kid got a leather bustier. His mistress got a Holly Home Maker oven! What the hell is wrong with you, you idiot? That note that was included in the bustier is gonna cost Scott a fortune now since his wife is now going to sue him for divorce.
Steve Sanders: [incredulous] Dad, I just delivered the packages to the addresses on the labels. I didn’t write them. I didn’t screw up. Somebody else did.
Rush Sanders: Somebody else screwed up. That’s your MO, kiddo. Did you just make that up, or did you rehearse it in front of a mirror before saying it to me? Yeah… sure, you mess up and it’s always somebody else’s fault. You used that same excuse last year for the bloody fire.
Steve Sanders: You know what? I don’t need to take that crap from you. That’s your MO. I didn’t do anything wrong and you never believe me. I got nothing further to explain to you, ’cause you just will not believe me.
Rush Sanders: Sometimes I’m ashamed to call a loser like you my son.
Steve Sanders: Then don’t bother. You’re not my father anyway!
Rush Sanders: Don’t say that.
Steve Sanders: Why not? You’re not my father! You’ve got nothing to be ashamed about and neither do I.
1. Will to Uncle Phil in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air – “Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse” – May 9, 1994
Go ahead and cue the tears. THERE’S SOMETHING IN MY EYE! In a show that was generally zany to the max (I mean look at all the neon up in there- “to the max” is an acceptable phrase) this episode really takes us to a new place EMOTIONALLY. I’m pretty sure that this fine episode is the reason that Will Smith was able to go on to a lucrative career in “dramatic” film acting. Will’s deadbeat father Lou shows up in Bel Air and makes big summer vacay plans with Will. I wonder where this is going! In an effort to “protect” Will’s feelings, Uncle Phil tries to put the kibosh on Will’s trip, leaving Will with only one option: “YOU’RE NOT MY FATHER!” Oh and don’t worry, he eats it later (I mean, I don’t mean to be a dick, Will, but Uncle Phil did tell you so) when bum Lou eludes Will’s undying love yet again. “Why don’t he want me?” OMG! This episode is just heart-wrenching! Question: What is keeping Will’s mom in Philly? Why doesn’t she move in with the Banks? Or at least to L.A.? I feel like she doesn’t really love him either. Is that cold?