The Facts of Life: Dope

Guys, we’re finishing up our first week of The Very Special Summer! How dope is that? Okay, bad pun. Anyhow, today’s episode is about marijuana. The first season ofThe Facts of Life had approximately seventy-two characters, but the names you need to know for today are: Blair, Sue Ann, and Helen Hunt. Yes, that Helen Hunt. This episode guest stars Helen Hunt.

Blair gets Sue Ann into a cool clique called “The Group.” (Helen Hunt is in The Group). But they all smoke pot. Meanwhile, sixth-graders Natlaie and Tootie have a plot to crash The Group’s hangout because Tootie overheard Blair discussing their secret knock. So Tootie rolls into the room on her roller-skates under the guise that she needs to ask Sue Ann and Blair whether they prefer an 8-track or a cassette player on the new dorm stereo. The leader of The Group tells Tootie that Mrs. Garrett can buy her super expensive stereo at a very low price.

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 10.56.12 AMWhile Blair and Sue Ann are trying to get rid of her, Tootie notices the bong and asks what it’s for. They tell her it’s for jelly beans and run her out of the room while the leader of The Group is trying to tell her what it’s really for. They freak out and want to know why she offered a twelve year-old pot, and she says she was just kidding. Then Helen Hunt starts talking about how cool pot is and Sue Ann is like hey, I might actually be down for this. But Blair realizes she actually doesn’t want to get high. She’s looking at everyone around the room and she decides that it doesn’t look like something she’d be into, so she tries to say no. When they peer-pressure her into trying it, she’s like fine I”ll just go home then, you jerks.

So then things get kind of weird. The cool girls are all like, Sue Ann we like you for you and not because of Blair so you can hang out with us all by yourself. And Blair is all like they’re lying to you so you’ll smoke with them and they really only did invite you because of me. And the cool girls are all like that’s not true. Blair is just chicken! And I would like to know in what world–especially a world where you’re selling your cool stereo to buy better pot–are you peer pressuring some chick to smoke with you? From the looks of this, I’d say they were trying to get her involved in some high stakes amphetamine ring. I feel like in the real world, they’d just be like bye and keep the pot for themselves.

The next morning Sue Ann feels a little sick. Pot hangover? She’s also very proud of her book report, which she finished all 20 pages of in 30 minutes. She asks Mrs. Garrett to read it and share her opinion. But it’s like one sentence per page and kind of weird and rhyming and ridiculous. Blair (who I think I actually did like better in the early episodes) covers for her and tells Mrs. Garrett that Sue Ann has been playing a joke. The book report is pretty funny, so it does play well as a joke and no one is none the wiser…until Tootie and Natalie come in with three bongs that they bought at the record store.

Natalie and Tootie have purchased one each for themselves and one for Mrs. Garrett. “We’re a three bong family,” Natalie says. Hahahaha. Mrs. Garrett is horrified. Of course, the girls still think they’re for jelly beans. Well, Natalie says she’s going to use hers for root beer because “it comes with a built-in straw.” [You can see why these girls got to stick around for season 2.] Mrs. Garrett asks why they bought the bongs, and Tootie tells her about seeing one when she went to visit The Group. This leads to a massive raid and those cool girls get kicked out of school. Sue Ann decides never to smoke again and Blair says, “I’m going to stick to being high on me.”

Very Special Lesson: Pot kills (your ability to write book reports).

3 thoughts on “The Facts of Life: Dope

  1. I forgot about this one! It cracks me up how people always went the “peer pressure” route on these stories. Like you said, most people (as in 99% of people and the 1% left were people trying to get you wasted so they could take advantage of you) were like “more for me” at least when it came to alcohol or pot. So maybe it was more than pot in this episode because they book report…people who are high on pot don’t want to do anything but eat really. It would have taken Sue Ann forever to write a book report.

    I loved Blair. She was always my favorite. Really the 4 girls who made up most of the Facts seasons were all good in their own ways and very different, at least at first, so I can see looking back on it why it was such a good show in that way. (The one I liked least was Jo really and that was only after her first couple of seasons on the show. I liked her a lot at first but they made her kinda dull in latter seasons IMO).

    1. I feel like Tootie and Natalie were the only ones I consistently liked. Blair was my favorite in the first season, but she got kind of stupid as the show wore on. Jo was cool for a while and then got dull. But yeah. If they were like drug pushers or trying to take advantage then this episode would have made sense. But they were just kind of mean girls and as desperate as they got about having money for pot, then it didn’t make sense that they were also peer pressuring girls to join their group.

  2. Undoubtedly the hottest episode of the entire series. I’ve always had a thing for bad girls, and this episode made SueAnn my favourite character. It definitely sucks that she didn’t continue on in the series. I taped this episode on VHS, back in 1987 and ended up literally wearing out the scene in Tumpy’s room. Shout out to Hilary Horan as well… definitely sexy as hell.

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