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414 - Mitch's Son and the Unconditional Approval of a Government Agency

Aired Thursday, April 15, 2021
Mitch's Son and the Unconditional Approval of a Government Agency

Sheldon will leave no stone unturned to prove the IRS wrong after they claim he made a mistake on his family's tax return. Meanwhile, Dale is unhappy when his doctor asks him to get a colonoscopy.

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Episode Notes

  • Title Reference: "Mitch's Son" refers to Missy's way of skirting around cursing and "the Unconditional Approval of a Government Agency" refers to Adult Sheldon's remarks about his desire for validation from the IRS.
  • Opening Credits Sequence: Sheldon is dressed in his normal clothes as a cow approaches the family.


Quote from Sheldon

George Sr.: Should we get started?
Malcolm Green: Yes.
Adult Sheldon: I realize some people may find the ins and outs of tax law a little tedious, so allow me to spice this story up. Instead of an audit, imagine this is a showdown between two warriors in the most brutal and exciting form of combat there is... chess. Am I the only one who just got chills?
Malcolm Green: Let's start with the business deductions from Schedule A on the tax return dated 1989.
Adult Sheldon: I know, bold opening move. Don't worry, I came to play.
Sheldon: Happy to. I've got those receipts right here. Dated, highlighted... and itemized.
Adult Sheldon: Told you. For the next three hours, we battled it out. Two mighty brains locked in mortal tax code combat.
Malcolm Green: Justify this expense.
Sheldon: Our AGI was less than $50,000.
Malcolm Green: Improper classification.
Sheldon: Rolled over from the previous fiscal year.
Malcolm Green: The receipt has barbecue sauce on it.
Sheldon: Dad.
George Sr.: Sorry.

Quote from George Jr.

Bruce Willis: [on TV] Yippee-Ki-Yay, Mr. Falcon.
Missy: Wait, who is Mr. Falcon?
George Jr.: No one.
Missy: Then why'd he say it?
George Jr.: Well, in the real version, he said a bad word, but they had to change it for TV.
Missy: TV is so lame. What did he really say? [Georgie whispers in Missy's ear] That's so much better.
George Jr.: This movie works on a lot of levels.

Quote from Meemaw

Dale: Well, you're not a fan of doctors, huh?
Meemaw: They never have good news. They just want to find something wrong.
Dale: It's kind of their job.
Meemaw: If something's wrong with me, I don't want to know about it.
Dale: That's dumb.
Meemaw: No, it's not. If I'm gonna drop dead, I'd rather do it quick and leave lookin' good.

Quote from Dale

Meemaw: I'll have the rib eye, medium rare.
Waiter: And for you?
Dale: Uh, just the house salad, please.
Waiter: Very good.
Meemaw: House salad? You watching your figure?
Dale: I have a physical tomorrow.
Meemaw: Oh, so your plan is to start eating healthy now?
Dale: Can't hurt.
Meemaw: It ain't gonna undo years of red meat and beer.
Dale: I'm not trying to undo it, I'm just trying to hide it under some lettuce.

Quote from George Sr.

Adult Sheldon: I'm very much a creature of habit. Perhaps it's a trait I got from my father. Every night he would go through the mail, and every night, like clockwork, he would get very cranky.
George Sr.: Damn bills.
Mary: George.
Adult Sheldon: You'd think he'd get used to it, but night after night it upset him all over again.
George Sr.: Jury duty? Son of a...
Mary: George.
Adult Sheldon: It was complicated. I didn't like seeing him upset, but what can you do? I love consistency.

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Featured Music

Episode Trivia

  • How much did the IRS claim the family owed on their taxes?
    • 4.22
    • 2.44
    • 5.33
    • 3.11
  • What movie were Missy and Georgie watching on TV?
    • Lethal Weapon
    • Top Gun
    • Beverly Hills Cop
    • Die Hard

Episode Recap

Adult Sheldon explains he’s very much a creature of habit, perhaps a trait he got from his father. Every night, George would go through the mail and get very cranky. One night George is complaining about bills. The next night he’s complaining about jury duty. Sheldon didn’t like seeing his father upset, but he did appreciate the consistency. George fears the worst when he sees a letter from the IRS, though Sheldon says perhaps they’re writing to congratulate him on a beautiful tax return. George and Mary are relieved when the letter says they owe 4 bucks and 22 cents, but Sheldon is shocked and asks to see the letter. Sheldon asks if they realize the government is wrong as his return was flawless. George tells him to forget it; it’s just four dollars. Mary assures Sheldon he did a great job getting them a refund. Adult Sheldon says he appreciated his mother’s love but what he really craved was the unconditional approval of a government agency.

As Georgie and Missy watch Die Hard on TV, Missy is confused when Bruce Willis’s character says “Yippee-Ki-Yay, Mr. Falcon.” After Missy questions who Mr. Falcon is, Georgie says it’s no one, explaining that it’s a sanitized line used on TV. When Georgie whispers the real word in Missy’s ear, Missy says that’s so much better. Meanwhile, Sheldon comes to tell his father he reviewed the tax return and has confirmed the IRS made a mistake. When Sheldon notices his father writing a check to the IRS, Sheldon argues they don’t owe anything. The IRS claims they have under-reported their income but he can prove they’re wrong. George does not think it’s worth arguing over a few bucks. Sheldon wants to call and fix this up, but George would rather stay off the IRS’s radar. Sheldon feels that sending a check would be admitting he made a mistake, which he didn’t. After George says sometimes being right isn’t the most important thing, Sheldon says he’s glad his father feels that way because, boy, is he wrong. George seals the envelope and says they’re done talking about this.

At a steakhouse, after Meemaw orders the rib eye, Dale asks for the house salad. Meemaw wonders if he’s watching his figure, but Dale explains he has a physical tomorrow. So his plan is to start eating healthy now? Dale argues it can’t hurt, but Meemaw points out it’s not going to undo years of red meat and beer. Dale says he’s not trying to undo it, he’s trying to hide it under some lettuce.

When Missy finds the box of Grahamy Bear crackers is empty, she exclaims “Son of a Mitch”. Mary overhears and sternly addresses Missy by her full name. Missy points out she said “Mitch”, so there’s nothing wrong with that. Mary knows she meant another word. Missy wonders what other word, but Mary tells her to watch it. Missy supposes that if she had a friend whose Dad is called Mitch she wouldn’t be able to talk about him? Mary knows what she’s doing. Missy says she just feels bad for her friend, that poor son of a Mitch. Mary once again scolds Melissa Cooper.

Back at the restaurant, as Meemaw eats her steak, she asks Dale how his salad is. It sucks. When Dale asks how her steak is, Meemaw says you know how restaurants sometimes over cook it so it’s a little bit dry. They didn’t do that this time; it’s so good. Although Dale insists his radish is also good, Meemaw asks if he wants some steak. When he says yes, Meemaw tells him he should have ordered some. Dale tells Meemaw she’s not a very nice lady.

That night, Sheldon has a dream that the IRS check envelope is talking to him. The envelope argues Sheldon didn’t make a mistake so he can’t let him be sent. Sheldon says it’s too late, but the envelope points out the check isn’t due for 30 days. The envelope tells Sheldon to go into the kitchen and take him off the pile. Sheldon fears that’s mail tampering, a federal offense, but the envelope argues he’s not mail yet since he hasn’t been put in the mailbox yet. Sheldon wonders what would happen if his father noticed he’s missing. The envelope suggests Sheldon do it after George goes to work. Sheldon says that’s brilliant. The envelope points out he’s not real, so technically Sheldon thought of it. That makes more sense.

The next morning, Sheldon patiently waits for his father to leave for work. As George heads towards the door, Sheldon stares intently at him and asks if he’s going to work. A slightly unnerved George confirms that he is. After George leaves, Sheldon leaps into action and grabs the envelope. Adult Sheldon says he doesn’t know what kind of bladder control professional spies have, but this first-timer needed to pee pronto.

Later, Sheldon makes a phone call to IRS Agent Green. Sheldon explains the IRS sent his family a letter saying they owe $4.22, but Sheldon insists he filed a flawless tax return. Agent Green is surprised to hear Sheldon’s parents let an eleven-year-old file their tax return, but Sheldon points out two years ago they let a nine-year-old him do it. Agent Green says tax codes are complicated, so if he got within $5 that’s not bad. Sheldon reiterates he didn’t make a mistake, Agent Green did. Sheldon returns Green’s condescension, saying tax codes are complicated.  After Agent Green pulls their file up, he claims they under-reported income. Sheldon argues that the garage sale doesn’t count as taxable income as it was donated to charity. When Green says he’ll have to look into that, Sheldon says next time he might consider doing that before sending out the letter. Sheldon wonders how this works. Will Agent Green apologize now or will he get it in writing?

In her kitchen, Meemaw consoles Dale, saying it’s no big deal. Dale reminds her it’s a colonoscopy. One of those words means “colon” and the other means “shoving a camera up it”. Meemaw tells him to stop being a baby - something she’s pushed out of her body, by the way. Dale has an idea: why don’t they get colonoscopies together? It’ll be romantic, he says. Meemaw tells him he’s weird.

As Sheldon watches Professor Proton on TV, George wonders why the hell they’re getting audited. He mailed the check a week ago. About that… Sheldon admits he took the envelope before his mother mailed it. He needed time to make sure he hadn’t made any mistakes. And he hadn’t, so he called the IRS and fixed everything. George says clearly he didn’t, pointing out this could end up costing them a fortune. Sheldon says he can fix it, but George decides instead to hire an accountant and do this properly. After Sheldon says he wants to help, George tells him he’s helped enough and sends him to his room.

As Meemaw and Dale play pool at a bar, Meemaw apologizes for beating him like this after he bought drinks. Dale suggests making things more interesting: if he wins then she’ll get a colonoscopy with him. Meemaw is surprised he’s still on this and says she doesn’t want to. Dale admits he doesn’t want to get a colonoscopy either, but his doctor told him to. After Meemaw points out her doctor didn’t say a word, Dale wonders when she last saw a doctor. Six months ago? Some time around Watergate? After Meemaw tells him to drop it, Dale wonders if they were using leeches the last time she saw a doctor. After Meemaw threatens Dale with the pool cue, he realizes it’s been a very long time. Dale says there’s nothing wrong with going in for a check up at their age, but Meemaw tells him she’s not going to the doctor and he should just mind his own business.

When Missy goes to their bedroom, she asks Sheldon why he didn’t eat dinner with them. Sheldon says he’s not hungry and Dad is mad at him. Missy explains mom’s not thrilled with her either. Over a chicken dinner, Missy mentioned that since chickens cluck, you could call them “cluckers”, and since some chickens are moms, you could call them “mothers”... Sheldon doesn’t care, but Missy says their mom sure did. Sheldon explains George is angry because he got them in trouble with the IRS and it could cost them a lot of money. Missy remarks that makes her not want to have kids.

Back at the bar, Meemaw goes and sits next to Dale at the bar. He tells her she missed some woman who just went crazy over there and threw her cue on the pool table. Dale takes it that she’s not a fan of doctors then. When Meemaw says they’re always looking for something wrong, Dale argues that’s kind of their job. Meemaw says if there’s something wrong with her, she doesn’t want to know it. Dale thinks that’s kind of dumb, but Meemaw says if she’s going to drop dead she would rather do it quick and leave looking good. Meemaw explains her husband went to the doctors and they found something. Two days later, he was in surgery. Nine months later, he was dead. Meemaw doesn’t want that and doesn’t want to put anyone else through that. Dale apologizes for pushing her earlier.

At a strip-mall accountant’s, a nervous George wonders if he owes a lot of money. He doesn’t have a lot of money, he admits. The accountant, Nancy, says she can see that. After Nancy asks who did the returns, George admits his son did. Nancy says they’re impeccable, wondering why he isn’t using him for the audit. George reveals that his son is eleven. Nancy is surprised an eleven-year-old did this, but George concedes he might have been nine at the time; he’s not good with birthdays.

Back home, George goes out to the garage to see Sheldon as he sits in front of his model train set. When George asks if he’s playing with his trains, Sheldon says he’s punishing himself by looking at the trains but not allowing himself to run them. After George tells Sheldon he doesn’t have to punish himself, Sheldon wonders if that’s because he’d rather do it himself. Sheldon concedes he deserves it. George says actually he would like Sheldon to represent them at the audit. Sheldon is surprised as he messed everything up. George says he did, but he also knows that if anyone’s smart enough to get them out of this, it’s Sheldon.  Sheldon wonders why his father changed his mind. No reason. What did the account say? Nothing. They said my returns were perfect, didn’t they? George tells Sheldon to play with his trains.

As Mary prepares dinner, Missy walks into the kitchen reading the Bible. After Mary asks what she’s doing, Missy explains she felt bad about last night so she thought reading the Bible might be good for her. Mary wonders where she’s going with this. Missy claims she just wants to make her happy before reading a quote from Genesis which mentions an ass. Mary tells her to stop, but Missy carries on and reads a quote from Exodus which also mentions an ass. Having heard enough, Mary grounds Missy and sends her to her room. As she leaves, Missy says she doesn’t have a donkey, but if she did she’d take her ass out of there.

George introduces himself and Sheldon to Agent Green in an IRS conference room. As they get started, Adult Sheldon says he knows people might find the ins and outs of tax laws tedious, so imagine this is a showdown between two warriors in the most brutal and exciting form of combat there is... chess. Fantasy: Sheldon and Agent Green play a game of chess after they quibble over tax code minutiae. Reality: Agent Green concedes Sheldon knows a lot about the tax code. After Green says it’s nice how he does his parents’ tax returns for free every year, Sheldon says it’s not for free as his dad buys him a model train afterwards. Interesting. So he accepts payment even though he’s not a registered tax professional? Fantasy: Sheldon and Green are back in a chess match. Green says that’s a clear violation of federal law, before adding “Check.” Reality: A flustered Sheldon excuses himself to go to the bathroom.

When Dale answers the phone in his office, it’s Meemaw, who tells him she finally got a check up, saying he can shut up about it now. After Dale asks how it went, Meemaw says there’s good news and bad news. The good news is she’s fine. The bad news is she needs a colonoscopy. Dale is delighted by the news, saying they can do it together. Can’t she just feel the romance? “No, you weirdo”, Meemaw tells him.

In an IRS corridor, George finds a sobbing Sheldon slumped on the ground with his head between his knees. After George tells him they’re waiting for him, Sheldon asks to go home. George points out they’re not done. Sheldon is upset that he made a mistake that’s going to cost them a lot of money they don’t have. Sheldon admits he feels so stupid. George argues it’s okay to feel stupid, saying that if you don’t look back and feel stupid then you haven’t learned anything. After Sheldon asks what they do now, George says we get back in there. Sheldon wonders what happens if they lose. “Doesn't matter... win or lose, we don't give up, all right? Now let's get in there and show 'em what we're made of... what do you say?“, George says. After Sheldon says he’s heard his dad give that exact same speech at games, George admits he didn’t have a special one prepared. Sheldon says that’s all right, he feels properly prepped.

After George and Sheldon return to Agent Green’s office, Sheldon flashes back to the imaginary chess game where Agent Green said “Check.” Sheldon admits his mistake, saying his dad taught him it’s all right to be wrong. Sheldon realizes that George is a teacher, and argues that his doing the tax returns wasn’t work-for-hire, but an economics lesson his father was teaching him. The model train was not payment for unlicensed tax services, but a reward for completing the lesson. Sheldon says it does not violate the statue and there’s no additional gift tax. Checkmate. Reality: Agent Green says that wraps things up. George is surprised it’s over and that they don’t owe anything. After Agent Green tells George his son is extremely intelligent, George says “Yep.” Sheldon says he hopes he audits them next year so he can run circles around him again. George adds “Until he says something stupid” to his earlier statement.

Over at Meemaw’s, she and Dale are drinking laxatives in preparation for their colonoscopies. After Meemaw says she can’t believe they have to drink so much of this horrible stuff, Dale says the important thing is they get to do it together. When Meemaw tells him he’s full of crap, Dale says not for long and rushes to the bathroom.

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