Secret Apple Pie Recipe
July 25, 2006 10:11 AM   Subscribe

TV Trivia question - what sitcom was this? Thanksgiving episode, frustrated wife & her mother-in-law's 'Secret Apple Pie Recipe'.

The scene: Two women are in the kitchen during Thanksgiving, one woman expresses her frustration at her mother-in-law's refusal to share the 'secret apple pie recipe'. This same woman has been trying a different recipe every year, hoping to get it right but this year, she was so frustrated that she bought a pie crust, used canned filling & threw it in the oven.

Husband comes in and says 'Honey, you finally got it right! This is Mom's recipe!"

It sort of echoes Phoebe's chocolate chip recipe from Friends and I'm sure, countless other shows. Someone suggested "Everyone loves Raymond" but this show was earlier than that, maybe 15 years ago.

I've googled but I'm not hitting the right combination of words to come up with the answer. Does anyone else have a better memory?
posted by jaimystery to Media & Arts (12 answers total)
You might want to try searching a scripts archive. These look promising, although I can't actually check them right now:

As you mentioned, a variation of this gag has probbaly gone down on any number of shows, so any more clues (type of family, network, family dog, etc) would help out a lot.
posted by mikepop at 10:25 AM on July 25, 2006

Could it have been Home Improvement? That's one of the few sitcoms I watched in that era, and I remember this episode.
posted by nevers at 10:38 AM on July 25, 2006

If you can figure out the show you can narrow it down to an episode by searching around on Episode Guides dot com. I use that site a lot to look up various shows and see where they sit in a season in order to get them on dvd.
posted by routergirl at 10:49 AM on July 25, 2006

Sounds very "Home Improvement"-y. Alternatively, maybe "Mad About You."

Man, this is making me nostalgic for the 1990's.
posted by hazelshade at 10:49 AM on July 25, 2006

Response by poster: Okay, I looked through the episodes and it wasn't Home Improvement or Mad About You. Thanks for those links, mikepop and router girl.

The person started this said it was pre-cable which might make it more like 20 years ago. He said he doesn't remember seeing more than a couple of episodes so maybe it only lasted a season.

4 people remember the scene; we're all between 40-50 so 20+ years might be a better time frame. I think it might have lasted at least until syndication (65 eps) because I remember it from just a few years ago.
posted by jaimystery at 11:53 AM on July 25, 2006

While we're at it...I seem to remember a scene in a film (not a comedy?) where Mom/grandma reveals in a meaningful truth-telling moment that her apple pie secret is that she uses pears. Ring any bells, anyone?
posted by bartleby at 12:04 PM on July 25, 2006

With the revised timeframe, my best guesses are:

Family Ties
Growing Pains
Designing Women
Too Close For Comfort
posted by mikepop at 12:39 PM on July 25, 2006

That scene sounds really familiar, like something I've seen recently. I am guessing it is the kind of canned laughter content that probably gets recycled into various shows. If that is the case, it will probably be nearly impossible to figure out the originalshow. However, since I've also seen my fair share of TVLand and Nick at Night, so that might be why it seems familiar in a recent sense.

Could it have been Bewitched? Now I want to know, too. Please come back and post if you find out through other sources.
posted by necessitas at 1:55 PM on July 25, 2006

Response by poster: I've looked through all the episode guides and it's not Bewitched, Family Ties, Growing Pains, Designing Women, Newhart, or Too Close for Comfort. It's also not Happy Days.

Of course, it might have been a throw away joke that isn't mentioned in an episode guide or such a common joke that's in several shows as necessitas suggests.

I think this is going to be one of those unanswered questions. And I couldn't find any mention of the apple/pear pie - could that one have been the Waltons?
posted by jaimystery at 3:01 PM on July 25, 2006

Is it possible that it was a commercial for something, not an actual TV show?
posted by necessitas at 3:25 PM on July 25, 2006

I'd suggest finding a good TV forums site and posting the question there at this point.
posted by mikepop at 9:11 PM on July 25, 2006

was it King of the Hill? I recall something about Peggy's Apple Brown Betty...
posted by avocet at 6:48 AM on July 27, 2006

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