The French on Married... with Children

Last update December 27, 2006

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One running joke on Married... with Children is Al's hatred against the French. He thinks they are cowards and stink. Following Al's opinion, the show contains a lot of jokes about the French. On the other hand, the Bundys sometimes use French expressions. There is also an episode about a French exchange student ("Fair Exchange", 0406), played by Milla Jovovich. However, she is only allowed to stay with the Bundys because they got $500 per month to look after her; they even made her live in the garage during a cold winter. In 0622, Al imagines being in France, wearing a beret and drinking red wine. Sometimes French is mentioned in a neutral way (0409, 0415). Besides, Married... with Children did air in France, usually on Saturday mornings. Finally, the Bundy neighbours - the D'Arcys - have a French name, and even the first family dog was a briard, a French race.

Al as a Frenchman in episode 0622 ("The Good-Bye Girl")

 Al as a Frenchman

Negative Statements about the French

Whose Room Is it Anyway? (0106)
Peggy: So, what are you gonna spend your refund on?
Marcy: Well we were thinking about taking a romantic trip to Paris.
Peggy: Oh, I've always wanted to go to Paris.
Al: Oh yeah Paris - where they hate Americans... where they won't let our bombers fly overhead, oh yeah, until they get invaded, and then they come crawling back, beret in hand, for us to bail 'em out - with "my" tax dollars! That's where your going??
Steve: No, no... we just said that... you know... to kid you. We hate the French.
Al: You know what I would do if I had a few extra bucks?
Marcy: Bomb the French?
Al: No, no, I was talking about a 'little' extra money.

Whose Room Is it Anyway? (0106) again
Al: "Oh, sure, our rights are not important? Anything a woman says is fine with us? Gee, when did men become such losers? It used to be so great to be a man. Women were there to please us. They'd look after the kids and we'd go out and have a good time. That's the natural order of things. What happened, Steve? I'll tell you what happened, Steve. Somebody told women they should start enjoying sex, too. That was the beginning of the end. Now they like it but it's work for us. Everything's work for us. It's this equallity thing, it's killing us. You know who I blame?"
Steve: "The French?"
[ Al nods his agreement ]

Johnny Be Gone (0113)
[ Al reads a an assembly manual ]
Al: "Ah! Here it is, er, Attention vous avez... Oh hell! More people we should have killed!"
[ He comes across another French instruction ]
Al: "Oh, my friends the French again".

Fair Exchange (0406)
Al: "A toast to the French. It's a foul little country but they sure do know how to write a check."

Look Who's Barking (0513)
[ Al is on the phone, trying to find the German chef Hans ]
Al: Listen, you French moron! We saved your cowardly wine soaked behinds in the war! In all the wars!! Every stinkin' war you've ever been in. Now you tell me where you're hiding Hans, before I... Hello!?!
[ He hangs up ]
They really are rude to Americans!

A Man's Castle (0515)
Al: ... running like a Frenchman from a cap gun.

All Night Security Dude (0516)
Spare Tire Dixon to Al: "I dropped you like third period French."

Looking for a Desk in All the Wrong Places (0605)
Al, to Jefferson: "She's got you running like a Frenchman in a thunderstorm."

The Mystery of Skull Island (0614)
News anchor: "Until further information is uncovered, scientists will continue to sift through the giant hole that was until yesterday the Republic of France."

England Show, Part 1 (0624)
Al at Speakers Corner: "Am I alone in hating the French?"
Crowd: "No!"
Al: "I thought not."

England Show, Part 2 (0625)
[ A family screams at the Bundy's and runs away ]
Peggy: "We're only Americans. Why'd they run?"
Al: "They must be French. It takes so little."

England Show, Part 3 (0626)
Upper-Unctonian: "We're not barbarians. We're not the French."

The Chicago Wine Party (0707)
A reporter about riots against a beer tax increase: As if they need to be told, all Frenchmen should stay in hiding.

Death of a Shoe Salesman (0710)
[ Al decides to take a spot to be buried next to Fuzzy McGee ]
Undertaker: Let me know if you DON'T want it. I hear Fuzzy is a big in France, I believed they called him "Le Grand Fuzz".

The Old Insurance Dodge (0724)
Peggy: Listen, Honey, I'm having a little trouble with the insurance company. Did you know that the French claim that the real Mona Lisa is theirs, just like we did?
Al: You know, it's a dark day when someone will believe the French over me!.

The Proposition (0726)
Kelly: "Mom, when you say 'we,' I hope you mean 'oui,' as in French for 'Hell yes we'll sell daddy and collaborate with the Germans.' Ergo, which is French for 'Yes take our country but please let us live to make our creamy sauces,' I say we take the $500,000 and bid daddy adieu, which is French for 'A deer,' 'A female deer.'

Legend of Ironhead Haynes (0821)
Al's voice booms out over the mountains: Don't eat the croissant!"

Legend of Ironhead Haynes (0821)
Commandment #2: It's wrong to be French.

Driving Mr. Boondy (0902)
Bud, to German Heidi: "Pretend like my pants are France and invade me!"

Business Sucks, Part 1 (0905)
Kelly: Some warbreaks out in some country I can't even pronounce.
Bud: That could be France!
Kelly: I said "country".

How Bleen Was My Kelly (1005)
[ Peggy tries to find someone who makes less money than a shoe salesman. ]
Bud: Check "French deodorant salesman."

Dud Bowl II (1009)
TV News Reader: Hundreds of organisations are claiming credit for the bombing of the Al Bundy Scoreboard, including The National Organisation of Women, The National Organisation of Fat Women and The Government of France.

The Agony and the Extra C (1019)
Peg: Al, I'm in Paris. Everyone here is just so rude and smelly. I'm thinking about you all the time.

T*R*A*S*H (1114)
Al: Well family, I'm off to fight the forces of evil.
Peggy: Mmm, that's nice dear.
Al: Hey! Will someone pay attention here, they're having me go out to fight horrible people - probably the French! You may never see me again!

Breaking up Is Easy to Do, Part 1 (1116)
Peggy: Why won't you go to therapy!?
Al: Maybe it's 'you' who don't know 'me'! Because If you knew me, Peg, you would know there are certain things I do not do:
I do not floss, I do not eat vegetables, I do not like French Pastry, I do not like the French...

Damn Bundys (1120)
[ Al is playing "hang-man" with Napoleon in Hell. ]
Napoleon: Could it be the letter "P"?
Al, laughing: Hang-man, I win! It's "French fries" you idiot! You're not too smart, are you Nap?
[ Nap puts his hand in his coat, then Al puts his hand in his pants. ]

Neutral Statements about the French

Thinnergy (0102)
Al watches a French chef on TV.

Kelly Bounces Back (0506)
The show is about the new Allanté.

I Want My Psycho Dad, Part 1 (0913)
Kelly: Oh well, like they say in France, 'comme ci, comme di.'

Breaking up Is Easy to Do, Part 2 (1117)
[ Bruce is subtly commenting on Pegs awful cooking ]
Bruce: Oh no, that was wonderful, it's just that... I hate to see you slaving away in the kitchen. From now on we eat 'out'.
Peggy: Ooooh! Can we go to one of those fancy French places?
Bruce: Oh, my Darling, if this year and 'Yugo Palooza' sale goes as well as I expect, I'll be taking you to dine in Paris. Ever made love in the Eiffel Tower?
Peggy: Ah, well, no... but once, I frenched a guy in the Sears Tower!

The Bundys Speaking French

Au contraire - Bud (0403), Al (0520)
Au revoir - Kelly (0406), Kelly (0518)
Au revoir mes amis - Al (0925)
Bonmots - Kelly (0610)
C'est moi - Jefferson (0704)
Déjà-vu - Al (1007)
Du jour - Al (0317)
Faux pas - Al (0623)
Fin - At the end of Al & Kelly's movie (0925)
Grand - Al (0720)
Je ne sais quoi - Peggy (0718)
Les miserables - Al (0925)
Mais oui - Al (0622)
Moi - Peggy (0703), Al (1009)
Mon chérie - Bud (0904)
S'il vous plaît - Al (0519, 0607)
Vive la coeur des deaths - Al (0520)
Vive la France - Steve (0106)
Voilà - Kelly/Bud (0318), Bud (0421, 0913), Al (0311, 0504, 0505, 0719)

Al's "in lieu" in 1011 is not French, that would be "au lieu". Kelly also tries to say more French expressions, but she fails; e.g. "viola" ("voilà").

Many thanks to Ade Bundy, Ralph Morse, Bob Whitaker, Lars Mørk and "Marriedaniac".

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© Andreas Carl 2002