An Unfortunate Episode – Punky Brewster Season 2 Episode 16: Cherie Lifesaver

Punky Brewster (Screen: NBC)

An adorable grocery foundling meets a grumpy old man, warms his heart, and regularly prevents him committing manslaughter. Oh, Punky.

This episode of Punky Brewster begins with Henry and his precocious foster daughter, Punky, sitting at the breakfast table. Punky is chowing on a cereal called “Sugar Beasties”. Though this may inspire the name for her future all-girl rock band, it is also our first hint that Henry is a terrible guardian.

They hear a weird noise. Henry says, “What was that?” Punky tells her dog, Brandon, to excuse himself. “It’s usually Brandon, but this time I think it’s the refrigerator,” says Henry. Looks like puppy’s been taking the fall for a lot of old man farts. Hank opens the fridge and pulls the freezer compartment door, revealing a solid block of ice. “I just defrosted three days ago!”

Punky suggests they get a new fridge but Henry is resistant. “Nonsense! I love this machine. It was built in the day when things were made to last.” Oh, like asbestos? Then the fridge trembles, shakes and extinguishes thick black smoke. Henry admits they need to get a new one as his foster daughter mugs for the camera. We get it, Punky, you’re adorable!

Punky Brewster (Screen: NBC)
Punky Brewster (Screen: NBC)

Enter Punky’s friend Cherie1 and Cherie’s grandmother, Betty. Betty smells smoke and says to Henry, “Were you trying to make French toast again?” Oh, is it “rip on Henry” time? Excellent. He shares the sad news about his beloved appliance. Betty makes a crack about it being almost as old as him. But she’s pretty old, too, so it doesn’t make any sense.

Punky says, “Too bad it’s a refrigerator. If it was a person Cherie and I could give it first aid.” Wow, super smooth segue. That’s when Cherie and Punky inform the grown-ups they’re going to learn CPR in class that day. With that exposition out of the way, Betty tells the girls to get ready for school. Henry, who is still obsessing over his dead fridge, triumphantly shows Betty the warranty he dug out of the junk drawer. She quips, “Warranty? Who printed that, Gutenberg?” Pretty good burn, lady, but your 1986 audience probably thought you meant Steve Guttenberg.

  1. Pronounced like the fruit. Now reread the episode title, GROAN  

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Tara Rose
About Tara Rose 106 Articles
Since 2009, Tara has been writing snarky essays about pop culture, motherhood and her various neuroses at Rare Oats. She spends most of her other time selling cheese, raising a small human and goofing off with her husband Dan. E-mail:
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