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The Barbecue
Season 1, Episode 2


Michael Fresco
Date Aired: October 5, 2011
episode guide
The Chatterer

"The Barbeque" is the second episode of season one, it aired on October 5, 2011.


The episode opens with a group of girls happily playing soccer on a beautiful sunny day. Tessa Altman narrates that she finally found a favorite hobby in the suburbs - sleeping. No, she’s not one of the girls playing soccer in the park, instead she’s the one laying in bed, being antisocial and still hating the suburbs. Once she gets up, she explains to George Altman that she had an amazing dream, in which they were still living in Manhattan. He implies that she needs to get over it because the suburbs is the new place they’ll be calling home and with that comes bigger problems. Such as dodging their neighbor, Sheila Shay, who keeps inviting them over for dinner.

Every morning when Sheila Shay wakes up, she waters the lawn and then walks straight across the street to invite Tessa and George over for dinner at her "Stepford house" for the umpteenth time that week. But unlike most mornings, George is finally out of excuses. George and Tessa hear Sheila’s garden hose turn off, so in a melodramatic sequence of events, George dumps his cereal, Tessa runs for the back door and it looks like they may evade the grips of Suburgatory once again. But then the unthinkable happens: George’s jacket gets stuck in the door. He pleads with Tessa to save herself, and with a soft stroke of his hand to her sweet, innocent face, Tessa leaves George behind to face Sheila’s attack alone.

Somewhat safer at school, Tessa learns that she is akin to the Gentoo penguin. Once taken out of its natural environment, it becomes more susceptible to infectious disease and eventually death. Lisa apologizes in advance for anything embarrassing that will happen at dinner, but Tessa knows that families are never as bad as you think they are. As if on cue, Lisa’s brother, Ryan, yells down the hallway, “Hey Lisa, this is how dad does it to mom!” and proceeds to get intimate with his locker.

On their way to dinner at the Shay's, Tessa and George figure that, even though they have to but don't want to go, they have to be nice neighbors. They come up with the code words “pickles” and “irritable bowels” just in case at any point one of them thinks it’s time to leave. Once they open the door to leave, Sheila is staying there in the doorway beaming and asking what is keeping them.

After some awkward questions are asked over dinner about George's missing wife (the subject of it deemed "George's failed marriage" by Sheila and Fred Shay), the evening is interrupted when Ryan’s friends, including Dalia Royce come over. Sheila and her husband shoo all the teens away to the basement so the grown-ups can annoy George in private. While George is being told he must throw a grand barbeque to warm up to the neighbors and not come on as uninviting, Tessa is being told she must play Truth or Dare with Ryan’s friends. On Dalia's dare to “kiss a lesbian," Ryan kisses Tessa. While it’s shocking that Tessa even lets this happen, it’s even more disturbing that Tessa enjoys it.

The next day at school Lisa confronts Tessa: “I know what’s going on between you and my brother… you should have seen the look on your face. It was sickening.” So, Tessa does what any rational girl would do. She picks an unattractive, self-neurotic Jewish nerd in the middle of the hallway and sticks her tongue down his throat to see if she feels anything. Unfortunately, she doesn’t. George accompanies Noah to the hair salon. To make George’s barbecue a success, Noah offers up his grill – the holy grail of all grills to be exact. Noah has already sent the invites on behalf of George by the time they leave. George is thrilled to finally get over with throwing the barbeque party as now his neighbors will stop roping him into it. On his way out of the hair salon, George stumbles upon Dallas Royce who informs him that Dalia told her that Ryan and Tessa hit "second base" in the Shay's basement rec room.

After taking advice from Mr. Wolfe, Tessa’s guidance counselor, Tessa begins to believe that there may be more to Ryan than meets the eye. While kissing underneath the bleachers, Tessa gives Ryan a small quiz to test him on his intellectual capacity. Ryan naturally fails, of course. She doesn’t even bother explaining that “cliché” is not the name of a new pop star. But Tessa dosen't care though, becasue Ruan is still attractive.

At the barbecue, Lisa shuns Tessa and wisely relates the predicament to eating chips. “Chips are my favorite thing in the world. I could eat two or three bags at once, but I don’t because they’re bad for me.”Tessa realizes that Lisa is right, and "puts away the chips". Meanwhile, Noah’s Holy Grail Grill runs out of gas at the barbecue, so George is forced to use his mini grill, but the barbecue still turns out to be a success.



  • Boys Boys Boys!, Ticky-Ticky Boom - Tessa and her neighbors play truth or dare in her basement. Dalia dares Ryan to kiss "the lesbian" (meaning Tessa).
  • Those Darlins, Boy -Tessa and Ryan makeout under the bleachers.
  • King Juju, Be You Daddy - Unreleased - Tessa and Ryan makeout under the bleachers.
  • Kari Kimmel, Kari Kimmel - Go - Suburgatory 10.5 - Ryan and Tessa kiss.

External Links[]

Episode Guide vte
Season 1 Pilot · The Barbecue · The Chatterer · Don't Call Me Shirley · Halloween · Charity Case · Sweet Sixteen · Thanksgiving · The Nutcracker · Driving Miss Dalia · Out in the Burbs · The Casino Trip · Sex and the Suburbs · The Body · Fire with Fire · Poetic Injustice · Independence Day · Down Time · Entering Eden · Hear No Evil · The Great Compromise · The Motherload
Season 2 Homecoming · The Witch of East Chatswin · Ryan's Song · Foam Finger · The Wishbone · Friendship Fish · Krampus · Black Thai · Junior Secretary's Day · Chinese Chicken · Yakult Leader · Body Talk · Blowtox and Burlap · T-Ball & Sympathy · Leaving Chatswin · How to Be a Baby · Eat, Pray, Eat · Brown Trembler · Decemberfold · Go, Gamblers! · Apocalypse Meow · Stray Dogs
Season 3 No Me Gusta, Mami · Victor Ha · Open Door Policy · The Birds and the Biederman · Blame It on the Rainstick · About a Boy-Yoi-Yoing · I'm Just Not That Into Me · Catch and Release · The Ballad of Piggy Duckworth · No, You Can't Sit with Us · Dalia Nicole Smith · Les Lucioles · Stiiiiiiill Horny
See also: Episode Guide