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The 200th

‘The 200th’

Season 9, Episode 9 -  Aired December 5, 2017

On the 200th episode of The Middle, Orson is named one of the top 200 most livable towns in Indiana ahead of a ceremony to unveil the newly rebuilt Orson cow. Mike is stunned when Bill Norwood reveals that he and Paula have split up. Meanwhile, Brick must complete three acts of bravery to win Cindy back, while Axl has Sue pretend to be his assistant to impress prospective employees.

Quote from Mike

Nancy: Um, o-o-okay, well, if anybody else wanted to talk about our town or...
Mike: I'll do it. Hi. Mike Heck. Uh, born and raised in Orson. Uh, listen, when I first heard about this whole, um, 200th thing, I thought it was dumb. But the more I thought about it... the more I thought about it... I started to think maybe it isn't such a bad idea. 'Cause this town deserves to be noticed. But not by some magazine, by us. Now, I'm a guy who gets up and puts on the same thing every day... a plaid shirt and jeans... just so I don't have to think about it. And we all do that... we get up, we go to work, we make dinner, put the kids to bed, and we forget... how lucky we are, how fortunate we are to live in a town where, uh, Maricela stands out in front of her store with a plate, asking if you want to try a butter cookie. Or... Or... Or Joe at the stereo store... Well, that's what they called it when I was growing up. You go in there, he always says hi, you ask him how his day's going, he always says, "Great." Or how 'bout Lee? She's the... She's the heart and soul of this town. I think she was here when it was founded. [light applause] And Bill... When my roof was leaking, Bill came over and helped me patch it, and he left his hammer at my house. So I returned it to him, but he said, "It's not even my hammer." Somebody else had left it at his house when we were all there fixing the fence. So, that's why, yesterday, I put that hammer in our family's time capsule. 'Cause I think people in the future should know that this is a town where people help each other out. 'Cause you do for family. And that's what we are. So, you know, uh, we're... we're, uh... we're lucky. We're really lucky. Uh... okay. I guess that's all I got. [cheers and applause]


Quote from Brick

Frankie: "Three acts of bravery"?
Brick: Yep, and I have to have them done by the cow rededication ceremony. So, I jotted down a few ideas on the bus, and I want to run 'em by you guys.
Brick: Rank them one to five, with five being the bravest.
Frankie: Brick, this Frugal Hoosier chicken's on the clock here.
Brick: First one... foiling a bank robbery.
Mike: Five for bravery, one for how the hell are you gonna make that happen?
Brick: Hmm. Walking through a hail of gunfire like Wonder Woman?
Frankie: Please don't dress like Wonder Woman.
Brick: Holding in my poop all day?
Mike: Solid three.
Brick: Hmm. How upset would you be if I set fire to the house if I was reasonably sure I could put it out?
Mike: [sighs] Could you make it look like an accident?

Quote from Mr. Ehlert

Nancy: Attention, Orsonites! We're lucky to have one of our own here to express what this town means to us. He's the one that paid for the refurbishment of our beloved cow. He's been elected mayor three times, one of them legally. I give you, Mr. Don Ehlert! [cheers and applause]
Mr. Ehlert: Look at this crowd size! Ha! Ha! What a turnout! Well, let me tell you what I love about Orson, Indiana. It's a wonderful place... to buy a car. In fact, we've got a special all weekend... buy a car at twice the price, and get the second half off. Okay, let's get this thing done and go home. And now, I give you the new and improved... Orson Cow.
[The crowd's cheers turn to gasps as they see the cow has "Ehlhert Motors 'Udderly Great Deals'" printed on it]
Mr. Ehlert: So come on down to Ehlert Motors. Free coffee! Just leave a dollar in the cup, hmm?

Quote from Mike

Frankie: God, I guess we're lucky we found each other. We're soulmates, right? One in a million.
Mike: I don't know about that.
Frankie: What?
Mike: I mean, I'm glad it worked out, but if I hadn't met you, I'm sure I would've found someone.
Frankie: Mike!
Mike: What? There's millions of people in the world. Are you saying I wouldn't have found one? I'm not hideous.
Frankie: Yes, and then you wouldn't have our kids.
Mike: Yeah, but I would have other kids that I loved. I would love whatever kids I had.
Frankie: [scoffs] I can't believe you.
Mike: Even this whole town thing. I mean, yeah, Orson's great and all, but if I had lived somewhere else, I'm sure I would've found a lot of things to like about that place, too. There's hundreds of thousands of towns across America. It's a big place, Frankie.
Frankie: You're lucky you buried that hammer. [kisses Mike]
Mike: Aw.

Quote from Axl

Sue: Oh! Axl! I told you to stop making jokes about freezing my head!
Axl: I'm sorry. I just can't help myself.
Sue: Okay, I'll tell you what. I'll help you out. But, if I do, you can never make another head-freezing joke again... ever.
Axl: Done, done. I promise. No more head-freezing jokes for the rest of your life.
Sue: Okay.
Axl: But once you're dead, all bets are off... and so is your head.
Sue: Axl!
Axl: Last one, I promise.

Quote from Mike

Frankie: I still can't get over what an amazing speech that was. Who knew you had it in you? See, you should talk more.
Mike: Every so often, I have something to say, and I say it.

Quote from Axl

Axl: You are looking at Jackson Plumbing Supply's newest junior sales rep for the tri-state area.
Frankie: Ooh! Which states?
Axl: I don't know, but there's tri of them.

Quote from Nancy Donahue

Nancy: Knock, knock! Sorry to barge in, but we have big news, and it just couldn't wait! I'm sorry, we're not interrupting dinner, are we?
Frankie: No, we're almost done.
Nancy: Anyway, we didn't know if you saw, so we thought we'd be the first ones to tell you.
Ron: Orson made the list of the top 200 most livable cities!
Frankie: [gasps] In America?
Ron: No, Indiana!
Sue: Oh, my God! What number were we ranked?
Nancy: 200. It's the first time we made the list! It's right here in Distinctly Indiana Magazine. Looks like we bumped Porterdale off the list from last year. You know, they had that big kerfuffle about the diving board at the municipal pool.

Quote from Cindy

Brick: Hello, Cindy. It's me... Brick.
Cindy: I know. I recognize your voice. And your face.
Brick: Listen, you may have heard I had a little dalliance with the new girl, Lilah. Anyway, she got some notes containing some pretty disturbing threats, and, well... might one dare to dream that they were from you?
Cindy: They were.
Brick: Really? That's great! I was hoping you still had feelings for me, 'cause I have feelings for you!
Cindy: My passion does burn bright for you, Brick.
Brick: [sighs] What a relief. I'm so glad we're back together.
Cindy: Slow your roll. Breaking up with me like you did was very cowardly. So, in order to win me back, you have to perform three acts of bravery.

Quote from Axl

Sue: Ugh. Okay... boss. The HR guy at Jackson Plumbing Supply has your number. He'll call to FaceTime you. All you have to do is pick up. All right?
Axl: Okay, great. Here's a list of other people I sent my résumé to, if you could just follow up with them and make sure they got it?
Sue: Axl, no! I helped you out once, but I am done. You're on your own.
Axl: Whoa! Hey! Come on, Sue. Don't you get it? When they thought I had an assistant, they set up the meeting. I mean, think about it. Who are you gonna call back... the guy who makes 25 cents over minimum wage at Spudsy's or the guy who has an assistant?
Sue: [gasps] You make 25 cents over minimum wage?
Axl: See? The world's unfair, Sue. That's why you got to take every advantage you can get.
Sue: Axl, no! I'm sorry, but I'm not lying for you. At Lexie's lake house, her mom made us daiquiris, and even though I'm not 21 yet, I had a little sip and I liked it! I can't afford to have anything else go against me in the eyes of the Lord.
Axl: Okay, well, think about it this way. What if, for helping your brother out, when you get to Heaven, they give you a sweet angel job.
Sue: You mean like taking care of pets whose owners haven't arrived yet?
Axl: Yep, they're gonna let you right in. That is, if they recognize you without a head.

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