Family Ties Wiki
Family Ties Wiki

Episode Info[]

Episode #36 - Season 2, Episode 14

First Aired: January 26, 1984

Title:  A common phrase among kids.


Uncle Ned (played by Tom Hanks) shows up and Steven gets him an interview to work at WKS.  It soon becomes clear, however, that he has a drinking problem (which strains his relationship with everyone and causes Ned to blow the interview).  Alex tries to remind Ned of his business prowess, only to be physically assaulted by Ned. Steven angrily puts his foot down, and a bereaved Ned is finally convinced to get help.


  • Jennifer has taken up the clarinet.
  • Alex apparently used to play "Lady of Spain" on the accordion.
  • Ned sings that Mallory is an "Uptown Girl".


  • Uncle Ned bemoans his ruined life because of his actions in "The Fugitive."
  • The board game of the episode is Trivial Pursuit.
  • Ned relates the old Miller beer commercial, "If you've got the time, we've got the beer."  (YouTube) -  would have been much more familiar in 1984 than now.
  • Ned says he is, along with Olga Korbut and the Mouseketeers, washed up before the age of 30.
  • An alternate title considered for this episode was "Tears of a Clown", after the popular Smokey Robinson tune.