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‘The Paper Route’ Quotes Page 1 of 4    

The Middle: The Paper Route

319. The Paper Route

Aired March 14, 2012

Brick wants to earn money so he can afford a pair of night vision goggles, so he gets a job delivering papers from the town's veteran newsman Ben (Ed Asner). Meanwhile, Frankie discovers Mike has been hoarding batteries, and Sue learns that her boyfriend Matt is moving away.

Quote from Brick

Frankie: [v.o.] Out here in the middle, our kids learn early that a penny saved is a penny earned. And the more pennies you save and earn, the more stupid crap you can buy.
Brick: I need $34.95 to buy a pair of night vision goggles.
Frankie: Sorry. Wrong family.
Brick: Let me see if this changes your mind. You could borrow them.
Mike: I've seen this place in the daytime, I don't need to see it at night. What do you need night vision goggles for, anyway?
Brick: I want to read in the dark. Look, if it's too expensive, I'm willing to go for the ones without the no-chafe head strap, but they're clearly not as good.
Mike: Brick, the answer's "no." If you want to buy something dumb you don't need, you gotta be able to pay for it.
Frankie: Well, until you get a credit card.


Quote from Brick

Frankie: What happened to your money from grandma?
Brick: I spent it on books.
Frankie: Christmas?
Brick: Books.
Frankie: Birthday?
Brick: Books.
Mike: Well, that'll teach you to waste all your money on books.
Frankie: Mm. Listen, Brick, if you really want the goggles that bad, you're gonna have to go out and earn the money yourself.
Brick: Okay. Might I either of you be interested in buying some used books?

Quote from Brick

Mike: Hold on, hold on. You know what? I think this might be good for him.
Frankie: You do?
Mike: Mm-hmm.
Frankie: I'd like to remind you that we never did find that gerbil.
Mike: Brick, I think what your mom's trying to say is if we let you do this, you gotta take it seriously. There's no quitting, no "I forgets." People are depending on you... Actual people, not just us. You got it?
Brick: You can count on me... to do whatever it is we were just talking about.

Quote from Frankie

Sue: [phone rings] Aah! That's Matt.
Frankie: Let it ring. Nancy's looking for volunteers to pack lunches for the poor. I do that every morning.

Quote from Mike

Frankie: Might have been nice to say something when you knew we needed 'em. [sighs] So why didn't you?
Mike: "Why didn't I" what?
Frankie: Say something when we needed batteries.
Mike: 'Cause I didn't need batteries. You needed batteries, and those batteries are mine.
Frankie: Yours?
Mike: Yeah. My batteries.
Frankie: But we don't just hoard our own separate batteries. We have a place for batteries... The junk drawer.
Mike: Yeah, the house batteries go in the junk drawer.
Frankie: But there are never any house batteries in the junk drawer.
Mike: Exactly. I know how this place works. Open a pack of batteries, it's like throwing a loaf of bread to pigeons. Hey, great, you missed your throw. Now I gotta back up.

Quote from Axl

Axl: Look, Mom and Dad should be the ones talking to you, but they won't 'cause they're lame and they know nothing about relationships. I mean, if they did, why would they be with each other?
Sue: Axl, I'm sort of busy.
[Axl picks up the collage of Matt photos Sue was working, scattering the photos she hadn't glued down across the floor]
Axl: Here's the deal. You're being a huge dork, and this isn't even about your brace face, even though I have, like, 50 things I could say on the subject, but that's for another day. [Sue reaches for her collage] How can I explain? Sue, when you started high school, you could have stepped it up and hung out with some cooler people, and maybe had a shot at a somewhat normal guy. But what do you do? You join Wrestlerettes.
Sue: I founded Wrestlerettes.
Axl: Making my point for me. Next, you date a hobbit, and never once stop to think how it would affect me. Before you do anything... Anything... You need to ask yourself, "how does this affect my super cool brother?"
Sue: I'm sorry, Axl, but Matt and I are gonna be together forever, so get used to it.
Axl: You're nuts. Long-distance relationships don't work for guys. We need our girlfriends right in front of us, and even that doesn't always work. If they're standing next to their better-looking friend.
Sue: Well, Matt isn't like other guys.
Axl: No argument there, but he's still a guy. Oh, and, uh, just so you appreciate how nice I'm being, I haven't said a thing about your stupid headgear. And the things I have are good... And really funny, but I'm not saying 'em, not even "Cage match," which is my favorite one I came up with, so, yeah, you're welcome.

Quote from Frankie

Mike: Why are you so upset about this?
Frankie: 'Cause we're married, Mike. You don't get to have your own secret stash of bachelor batteries.
Mike: Why not? Why can't I have one thing that's mine?
Frankie: Because that's not marriage. When you're married, you share everything.
Mike: Everything?
Frankie: Yeah.
Mike: What about your frosting?
Frankie: What are you talking about? That frosting's for anybody. It's right there in the cabinet.
Mike: Oh, no, I'm not talking about that frosting. I'm talking about the garage frosting.
Frankie: You know about that?
Mike: A few years ago, I came across a couple cans of frosting hidden behind the paintbrushes. But did I make a big deal out of it? No, 'cause if you want to have something for yourself, I'm okay with that.
Frankie: Yeah, well, you can't possibly compare frosting to batteries. They're completely different.
Mike: Really? In what way?
Frankie: Seriously? You don't know? And why were you snooping around in the paintbrushes, anyway? Hmm? You don't even paint.

Quote from Frankie

Frankie: Knock, knock. Hi. We're just here to drop off the newspaper bag.
Ben: Oh. You're the folks whose kid is quitting the route.
Frankie: Yeah. I'm so sorry. You got our e-mail?
Ben: Oh, sure, sure. 'course, in my day, when you quit a job, you looked a man in the eye and told him you were quitting.
Mike: Uh... okay. We're quitting.
Ben: So you're raising a quitter?
Frankie: Actually, we're raising three quitters. [laughs]
Ben: That supposed to be a joke? 'cause in my day, when you took a job, it meant something... A little thing called "responsibility."
Frankie: Oh, yeah. You don't know us, but we're all about responsibility. We take responsibility very seriously.
Ben: And being responsible's why you let him quit after four days?
Frankie: Oh, no. He actually quit way before that.

Quote from Frankie

Frankie: See, you gotta know Brick. He starts things he can't... Well, tell him, Mike. Tell him what he does. Mike's the one who thought he could do it.
Mike: I never really thought he could do it.
Ben: And let me guess. You encouraged him anyway? [chuckles] Yeah, you parents today, always encouraging your kids, telling 'em what a good job they're doing. It's no wonder they all grow up to be singers.
Mike: Look, uh, why don't we just give you the money back. And call it a day? Now, what was it, uh, 8 bucks for the week? Here's 10. Keep the change.
Ben: Oh, sure, just... just throw your money at the problem. You rich people make me sick.
Frankie: No! Trust me, we're not rich. Between the two of us, we have four jobs.
Ben: Are you gonna quit those, too?
Mike: Hey, now hold on a minute.
Ben: No, you hold on.

Quote from Frankie

Frankie: Okay, let's all hold on. This is crazy. We're all getting worked up. About a silly, little local newspaper.
Ben: "A silly paper." This "silly, little paper" put a roof over my head. Newspapers used to start wars, take down presidents. Now nobody seems to have time to read the paper any more, too busy running around with their iThings and their sketch phones.
Frankie: No, no, I don't have any of those things.
Ben: Jasper Harris died planting tomatoes. He was a World War II Vet who stormed the beaches of Normandy, won the Medal of Honor, so you two could have the freedom to mollycoddle your irresponsible kid. Now, no one's gonna honor Jasper, 'cause CNN isn't coming to Orson. No, no, no, no. And you two don't seem to think it's important that this "silly, little local newspaper" gets delivered.
[cut to Mike, Frankie and Brick in the car delivering newspapers:]
Frankie: Eh. Keep your batteries.

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