Perfect Strangers

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Perfect Strangers (1986-93) is an American sitcom that ran for eight seasons from March 25, 1986, to August 6, 1993, on the ABC television network. Created by Dale McRaven, the series chronicles the rocky coexistence of midwestern American Larry Appleton (Mark Linn-Baker) and his distant cousin from eastern Mediterranean Europe, Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot).

Balki Bartokomous[edit]

  • "You don't know what kind of good fellow you dumping to the birds! He was always loyal to you, he make everything perfect for you and you won't find anyone to do better! His only mistake was to be good friend to me. But the customer likes him and that's why they come back! And if you let this good person walk out that door you're makin' one big mistake, ghostbuster!"
  • "Patience is a virgin."
  • "You do that again and you're in big trouble!"
  • "I'm in debt. I am a true American."
  • "Now we are so happy, we do the Dance of Joy!"
  • "America! Land of my dreams, home of the Whopper!" (from the debut episode)
  • [dazed] "Oh, I'll put that in your car for you."
  • "Liar, liar, pants for hire."
  • "Oh, give me a line of credit!"
  • "It's gonna be kind of hard to save you from here."
  • "Once in a while when I know my Mypos family is all together then I wish I was in my chair at the table, because Papa sits here and Uncle Stavlos sits there and it’s a place of honor, you know."

Larry Appleton[edit]

  • "I have... a plan."
  • "Watch... and learn."
  • "Who'd ever heard of a burglar wearing a baseball cap?"
  • "Okay, okay, fine! You didn't lock me in the closet, there was no-one at the door, we are not having this conversation. This whole day has been some cosmic cruelty joke. Ha ha, fine! Oh, and if Tony Perkins shows up wearing a house-dress and carrying a very large kitchen knife... Tell him I'm in the shower!
  • "Having Twinkacetti as a houseguest. It's like Tokyo inviting Godzilla for dinner."
  • "W-well, actually, there is something I... I wanted to talk to you about. But things have been so crazy around here that... it just hasn't been a-a good time. But, I just wanted to-" [He looks and sees that Balki has fallen asleep] "I just wanted to know what you thought about Jennifer and I, you know? I dunno, is she interested in me, or...?"
  • "Look, this is America. We make things a lot more complicated."

Mary-Anne Spencer[edit]

  • Mary-Anne Spencer: You know, having a ghost would explain so many things. Like how when you open the refrigerator, the light goes on.
  • [Larry has asked the gang to help bake 2,000 Bibbi-Bobka's to be sold to a restaurant]
    Jennifer Lyons: Larry, it took us all morning to bake three dozen. Do you know how many dozen 2,000 are?
    Mary-Anne: [instantly] One-hundred and sixty-six and two-thirds dozen. [off their looks] My father was a carpenter.
  • "Sometimes late at night I start to make sense."

Dialogue[edit]

Balki: Well cousin, I guess when they were handing out the lips you only got one! [pause] Why aren't you laughing?
Larry: [stony-faced] It's hard to laugh with one lip. — "The Break In", Season Three


Balki: What do the directions say?
Larry: [haughtily] Directions? I threw them out. My father has made it through his whole life without ever reading a set of directions. He once rewired the entire house without directions.
Balki: Isn't that the house that burned to the ground?
Larry: [sheepishly] They never proved it was the wiring. — "Pipe Dreams", Season Three


[Larry is hanging by the neck of his jacket.]
Larry: Alright, Balki, now help me down.
Balki: [excited] Cousin, do it for me, please?
Larry: [wearily] No, no...
Balki: Oh, please! Please, Mr. Scarecrow, which way to the Emerald City?
Larry: 'Some people go that way, and some people go that way...'
Balki, Larry: '...But, of course, people do go both ways!'
Balki: [gleefully] I love it! I love it! — "That Old Gang of Mine", Season Three


Balki: Cousin, I should have listened to you when you told me not to join the Motor Psychos.
Larry: Well, I can understand why you did it. It's the only thing that kept your mind off Mary Anne. [Balki doubles over, sobbing] Oops. — "That Old Gang of Mine", Season Three


Balki: You know, I really admire you.
Larry: Why is that?.
Balki: Well, because first... you're willing to give up your bedroom to a woman I hardly know....(Larry looks at Balki in surprise).
Balki: (cotd.) ... and then for me, your friend, you're willing to sleep on the hot side of the bed. (Larry begins to lie down, then thinks about it and sits back up again.).
Larry: What do you mean, the hot side of the bed?.
Balki: Well, about 6:00 in the morning... see that little hole in the drapes? The sun comes through that and bores a hole right through your head like a laser beam. — "Hello Baby", Season Two


[Unknown to Sam, Balki has been hypnotised and thinks he is Elvis Presley]
Sam Gorphley: If you don't start acting like yourself by the time I count to three, you are out of a job! One...
Balki: For the money!
Sam: Two...
Balki: For the show! — "The King and I", Season Four


Larry: Let's make believe that this is Tony's Mambo Room. Balki, you're seeing me for the first time since I kicked you out. [ Balki takes a seat on the chair and Larry grabs the throw from the back of the couch and wraps it around his shoulders. Mr. Twinkacetti sits on the end of the couch to watch closely]
Balki: This is how you have to act if you want to get your wife back. [Larry walks across the room in a sultry manner, then eyes Balki as Balki returns the look. Larry acts coy. Balki gets to his feet and reaches out to Larry] Edwina, you look lovely this evening. [Larry takes Balki's hand and steps closer] That dress brings out your eyes.
Mr. Twinkacetti: I'm gonna throw up. [He gets up]
Balki: [sternly] Sit down, Turnip! [Mr. Twinkacetti obediently does so]
Larry: [in a feminine voice] Donald . . . the Mambo Room. How sweet of you to remember.
Balki: How could I forget, my pet? [He and Larry step closer. Larry turns his back to Balki and they take two steps forward in unison. Balki then pulls Larry to one side] It seems like only yesterday . . . you're as beautiful as you were then. [He pulls Larry to the other side] No! I'm wrong! You're even more beautiful!
Larry: I am?
Balki: You are.
Larry: I am?
Balki: You are.
Larry: I am?
Balki: You... Of course you are, don't be ridiculous.
Larry: Donald, I forgot how romantic you could be. How could I ever have kicked you out? [He gasps and looks straight into Balki's eyes] Take me!
Balki: I don't think so. — "Since I Lost My Baby", Season Two


Larry: Say, Chuck, do you have a blueprint for your brain? I'm building an idiot.
Balki: [confused] Cousin, you didn't tell me you were building an idiot.
Larry: It was going to be a surprise. — "The Karate Kids", Season Three


Larry: ... We have the element of surprise.
Balki: You're right there, cousin: even we don't know what we're doing.


[Larry does a rhumba with Balki]
Balki: Stop! COUSIN!... You are a man repossessed!
Larry: And loving it! Balki, rhumba tempo! We've got to get these bibbibabkas baked!
Balki: Cousin! It's too fast! And besides, shouldn't I be leading? — "Just Desserts", Season Three


Larry: If you can't take the heat... then get out of my kitchen.
Balki: Fine. You've baked your cake. Now lie in it. — "Just Desserts", Season Three


Larry: Don't come any closer! [He tries to smash a bottle against a table to use as a weapon, but can't quite manage. Cobra grabs the bottle and smashes it over his head]
Cobra: Is that what you were tryin' to do? [A short pause]
Larry: [simultaneously] Well, I wasn't going for the head. I was going for the... [He mimes smashing a bottle against a table] hoping for a jagged edge... something I could brandish about...
Balki: [simultaneously] No, you were going like this... there's a system to it... we had that whole discussion about the relaxation of the wrist and the elongation of this muscle right here, but, you know, sometimes the label covers over the part of the bottle...
Balki, Larry: [in unison] Yes, that was it! — "That Old Gang of Mine", Season Three


[Balki has placed his toy sheep on the pillow next to him so when Larry lays down and turns his head the sheep's bottom is in his face]
Larry: What's in my face?
[Balki holds up the sheep for Larry to see]
Balki: Dimitri. He always sleeps with me. [He makes Dimitri bounce toward Larry] Ding dang dang.
Larry: Not tonight. [He takes Dimitri and drops him callously on the floor]
Balki: I say my prayers now. [He crawls out of bed, kneels beside it and clasps his hands together in prayer] God? Bless Cousin Larry and Gina and the new baby and please watch over Dimitri who's sleeping on the floor for the first time in his whole young life. [He bounds back into bed, throws the covers over himself and cringes]"Hello, Baby", Season Two


Balki: We witnessed the miracle of birth.
Larry: You witnessed the miracle of birth. I took one look and passed out. Of course, the good news is that while I was unconscious, I couldn't behave like a lunatic.


Larry: I'll hold the wrench, you've got the hammer. When I nod my head, you hit it.
Balki: [incredulously] Come again?
Larry: When I nod my head, you hit it.
Balki: [appalled] I can't do that!
Larry: Balki, don't make this complicated. I'll hold the wrench. You've got the hammer. When I nod my head, you hit it. You hit it! [Balki starts crying] Now do you understand?
Balki: [nervously clutching the hammer] Yes!
Larry: Ready?
Balki: [still crying] Yes! [Balki raises the hammer and waits for Larry's cue. Larry nods his head. Balki raises the hammer to strike]
Larry: WAIT! [Balki stands with the hammer raised, confused] What are you doing? [Balki lowers the hammer]
Balki: You said that when you nod your head I'm supposed to hit it.
Larry: The WRENCH! HIT THE WRENCH! [He snatches the hammer from his confused cousin's hand. He places a hand to his head, frustrated] I'll do it myself. — "Pipe Dreams", Season Three


Larry: And why are you going to get what you want?
Balki: Because I’m selfish!
Larry: And why are you selfish?
Balki: Because I want to make people HAPPY!!! HAPPY!!! [He shakes Larry vigorously back and forth]
Larry: Yes! Yes! You've got it! — "Assertive Training", Season Four
(note: Bronson Pinchot and Mark Linn-Baker accidentally injured each other while filming this scene)


[Balki opens a box and an inflatable woman inflates in their faces, spreading out to take up a portion of the trunk with them]
Balki: You... you live with someone for five years, and you think you know them...
Larry: Balki...
Balki: Then you spend a night in a car trunk with them.
Larry: Balki, this is not what you think.
Balki: [angrily] It's not an inflatable woman?
Larry: ... Well, yes it is.
Balki: Does the lady have a name?
Larry: I use this so I can drive in the car pool lane when I'm driving alone. &mdash "Car Tunes", Season Seven