Episode Cast:

Suzanne Sugarbaker
Delta Burke

Julia Sugarbaker
Dixie Carter

Mary Jo Shively
Annie Potts

Charlene Stillfield
Jean Smart

Anthony Bouvier
Meshach Taylor

Belva McPherson
Ann Dusenberry

Mr. Hoffman
Edmund L. Shaff

Mrs. Hoffman
Barbara Beckley

Proxy Pig and Great Pretenders

Directed by: Harry Thomason
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Airdate: September 18, 1989

Ever since Suzanne's pig ran away she's been obsessed with buying things for Charlene's soon-to-be born child. Right after Julia warns Suzanne that she's trying to turn Charlene's baby into her own, Mary Jo gets a phone call from Belva McPherson, a girl she hated in school. Belva's father was the richest man in the area and Belva was spoiled rotten. Although Belva made fun of her and stole her boyfriends, Mary Jo agrees to meet you for lunch.

Anthony has a slight accident at work and sprains his entire body. When he gets to the hospital, he learns that he was a day late on his insurance payment and his policy has been canceled. Since Suzanne has all kinds of room, she offers to take him in for awhile. According to Julia this is good news for Charlene, now Suzanne can make Anthony her own. In no time at all Suzanne is planning a complete makeover for Anthony, including a facial, a pedicure, and a new hair style by Mr. Donnie.

While Mary Jo and Charlene put the finishing touches on the beautiful Hoffman home, Mary Jo tells her how much she'd like to impress Belva. Charlene suggests she pretend the Hoffman home is her own. Mary Jo goes along with the charade and Belva decides to spend the night with her. Unfortunately, Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman come home early leaving Mary Jo with a lot of explaining to do. Luckily for Sugarbaker's, the Hoffman's were so pleased with their work they they decide not to sue.

-- Columbia Tri-Star Marketing

Additional Comments:

The original title for this episode was The Proxy Pig.

In the actual episode, Charlene merely suggests that it was too bad Mary Jo didn't own a house as impressive as the Hoffman home -- it is Mary Jo that decides to tell Belva that the house belongs to her before Charlene is able to intervene.

Also, it is interesting to see how Charlene is all of a sudden very pregnant in order to accommodate Jean Smart's real life pregnancy into the script. No mention was made of Charlene being pregnant when last season ended.

The outside view of the Hoffman house is stock footage used to represent homes in several episodes, including the Kerney house in the series finale Gone with the Whim.

Starting with this episode, Suzanne transitions into more of a busy-body trying to subconsiously mask her loneliness, having spent most of last season lethargicly draped across the sofa and seemlingly disinterested in much of anything.

Mary Jo's hairstyle, outfits, and whole pumpkin-colored look made a lasting impression on the fans, who to this day refer to the early fourth season episodes as being Annie Pott's worst hair days. In actuality, the memorable hair color and style only appeared in this one episode.

Classic Scene:

ANTHONY: I just hurled myself out of bed and down the steps, then I crawled out the front gate. Suzanne doesn't know I'm gone yet. That facialist is over there. I heard them talking in the bathroom -- they're gonna inject me with collagen!! Please . . . you've got to help me!! I don't care what happens, I'm not going back there! Tonight is Austrian night, and Consuela is cooking potato pancakes. And Suzanne told the yardman to dress me up in lederhosen! No way, man -- I'm not gonna wear those things. I can't take anymore. Don't make me go back... I'm begging!!


Designing Women Online, Designing Women Tribute, Women of the House Magazine
and Belled Online 1998-Present. All Rights Reserved.

  Season One
  Season Two
  Season Three
  Season Four
  Season Five
  Season Six
  Season Seven
  Women of the House

  Goofs & Glitches
  Terminator Tirades
  Touching Quotes

Season 4 DVD