The Diaper Incident is the third episode of season two.
While buying diapers for Sue, who is baby-sitting, Frankie gets humiliated when the sales clerk assumes she's shopping for adult diapers. At home, Frankie pressures Mike into getting a physical because she believes men fall apart faster than women; however, when Mike receives a clean bill of health from the doctor, Frankie proceeds to throw her back out and hide it from Mike. Meanwhile, Sue falls in love with Axl's friend Sean, who pays no attention to her and Brick begins to test some of the "urban legends" that parents tell their kids.
Everyone gets older except for Frankie Heck, who refuses to admit that she may be aging ungracefully. Frankie gets a rude wakeup call when Sue asks her to pick up some diapers for a babysitting job. The young clerk at the store thinks she’s inquiring about products for incontinent adults. Frankie says, “Look, I might sneeze-pee once in awhile, but I don’t need diapers!” Oops.
Brick discovers that his mom has been lying about lots of things for lots of years. Apparently, the President did NOT outlaw candy for kids under 10. Brick’s not the only victim of Frankie’s legacy of deception. Axl says, “She once told me kids who talk during Wheel of Fortune go blind.” We’re thinking such an affliction would make it tough to know when to buy a vowel.
As Brick uncovers more fibs mom told, Frankie continues to lie to herself about being as youthful as ever. She then lies to Mike by refusing to admit she threw out her back while reaching down to adjust a plug. The Hecks remember it’s their anniversary after getting a card from Bob. Mike wants to take his loving wife out to dinner. But Frankie’s not going anywhere. She’s stuck supine on the bedroom floor with a still-smarting back.
Frankie tries to soothe her aching back in a warm bubble bath. She asks Brick add a little hot water to the tub. But Brick was always told he isn’t old enough to use the hot water by himself. Guess that was just another one of his incapacitated mom’s lies. When the water reaches a boiling point, Frankie screams for a panicked Brick to turn it off. Clearly he wasn’t ready for any of this.
Things eventually cool down and Frankie asks Brick to keep her back issues a secret from Mike. She says lying is bad but sometimes necessary to protect people, as well as make life a little easier. So when Mike wonders why the bathroom floor is so soaked, Brick rattles of an impressive, elaborate lie that makes mom proud. She’s also kind of horrified.
Frankie finally admits to Mike that she’s falling apart. Much to her surprise, Mike admits that he’s not a healthy as he may have led her to believe. A recent physical revealed that his cholesterol is through the roof. The news that they are falling apart together makes this the best anniversary ever!
Sue has a little crush on Axl’s always-upbeat football buddy, Sean. Okay, it’s a big crush. Axl and Sean are involved in school project that involves 36 hours of continuous video game playing. They’re well on their way to an A when Sue and BFF Carly determine that Sean’s innocuous comments are a sign that he’ll surely propose marriage someday. This inspires Sue to present him with a romantic poem.
There’s trouble in Sue’s imaginary paradise when former flame Brad stops by on his way to tap class. Sue says, “I can’t handle a love triangle. I’m not a Kardashian.” Nevertheless, they sure could use some of that Kardashian wisdom right about now. Sue realizes her relationship issues are a distraction to the one thing that matters most: cross country. She must break things off with Sean.
You get the sense that Sean didn’t even know he was getting dumped during Sue’s super-sincere breakup speech. That’s because he didn’t. In fact, he didn’t even know they were going out! Axl is also pretty clueless while listening to his sister’s heartfelt monologue. He figures things out later when Sean starts reading the poem Sue penned.
To save Sue from humiliation, Axl claims to be the author of the romantic ramblings. He says he was jotting down lyrics for a song. Oh, and those little hearts above the i’s are actually butts. Nice save, Axl. And we’re not talking about the little hearts on the letter. We’re talking about the big heart Axl shows in looking out for his sister.