Bad Earl is the 13th episode of Season 3 of My Name Is Earl, and the 59th episode overall. Earl finally gets out of prison, but he and Randy are broke and homeless. He starts working on his List again, but when he finds that old friend Ralph Mariano is getting rewarded for doing something bad, he follows suit and becomes bad Earl again. Randy plans an intervention for Earl on Christmas morning, but to no avail, Earl declares that there is no karma and throws away the List.
Earl may have gotten out of prison, but the prison isn't quite out of him. At his Welcome Home party at the Crab Shack, Earl tells Darnell he feels good, but truthfully, he doesn't know how he feels. Karma has Earl confused, since doing good things hasn't done him any good, and the only way he got out of prison was by doing something bad. Randy retrieved Earl's List, but Earl decides to get his life back in order before getting back to the List.
After losing their room at the Motel, Earl and Randy are forced to stay in the laundry room, which has a lot of other people sleeping in it. As an ex-convict, the only job Earl can get is a demeaning one delivering foreign food, and the uniform has him feeling grouchy. He's surprised to deliver food to Ralph, who's been living the good life, masquerading as an old man named Stan Johansson. After Ralph escaped from prison, Stan's widow Doris took him in, and dressed him in her dead husband's clothes. As long as he wears them, she thinks Ralph is Stan.
Doris gets nervous with strange men in the house, so Earl and Randy have to keep sleeping in the laundry room. Hoping to make Earl feel better, Randy picks #205 off the list, because mistletoe sounds Christmas-y. A few years ago, Earl caused stripper Mistletoe to fall off the stage while fooling around with Randy's laser pointer, leaving her needed to wear a brace for two years. Earl doesn't apologize, and Randy reminds him that he usually uses his nice guy voice when he talks to people on the List. Earl doesn't want Mistletoe to choose what he's going to do to make things up to her while she's pissed off at him. Still, she wants him to feel the humiliation of being laughed at on stage. Earl dons short shorts and tassels to do a shift at Club Chubby. Feeling stressed, he steps outside to smoke, only to see Ralph drive by in Stan's hot convertible Cadillac, and this proves to be the final straw for Earl. Seeing Ralph living the high life while he is homeless and broke, Earl decides that if karma existed, something good would have happened to him by now. As a result, Earl gives up on karma, throws away his List and stalks off.
Earl, Randy and Ralph hang out at Club Chubby. Ralph smacks Catalina's ass, but when Earl tries the same thing, she gets mad at him, since she expects more of him. Catalina doesn't like the new Earl, but he claims that he's reverted back to the old Earl, before the List. The guys go back to Joy's trailer with a few strippers, since Joy and Darnell are out of town. Jumping around, they tip the trailer over.
Joy and Darnell aren't happy to find the trailer tipped over, and now Earl and Randy have nowhere to stay. Earl steals Stan's clothes while Ralph's in the shower. Now Doris thinks that Earl is Stan, and kicks Ralph out of the house in his underwear. He also throws out Randy, not wanting him to blow the scam, forcing him and Ralph sleep in the car outside of Doris' house on Christmas Eve. The next morning, the whole gang shows up at Doris' house for an intervention and everyone tells Earl (except Ralph, who thought they were teaming up to kick Earl's ass) how much they preferred him when he was doing the list. Randy, in particular, gives a heartfelt speech about how much he enjoyed doing nice things and meeting interesting people when he was helping with the list and he now doesn't like being bad again but wants good Earl back. Earl, however, doesn't care and tells everyone how much he hates them for ruining his Christmas.
In the commotion of the intervention, Ralph steals Stan's clothes back. Wearing pajamas, Earl leaves in disgust. He decides to give up on karma, but running out into the road it catches up on him and he is run down by a car. Before passing out, Earl catches a glimpse of the driver. It's Billie Cunningham, Frank's ex. He remembered his feelings for her whilst in prison, and thought that finally, karma has brought him a good thing. As Billie goes to get help, she is hit by another car, and winds up unconscious in the road, lying next to Earl.
This episode marks the final appearance of Ralph Mariano.
- List items introduced in this episode:
- - #205 Ruined Club Chubby's Mistletoe
- "Oh Well" by Fleetwood Mac
- "Blue Christmas" by Willie Nelson
- "Soulshaker" by Michael Lord
- "Something in the Air" by Thunderclap Newman
- Randy: I've had a candy corn stuck in my ear since I was nine. Sometimes it attracts ants.
- Earl: By the way, you can't sleep inside.
- Randy: What? Where am I gonna sleep? There's no room at the motel, and it's Christmas Eve. I'm just like Jesus' baby.
- Earl: What are you all doing here? Get out, now!
- Randy: Nobody's leaving until you listen to what we have to say. We're here to save you from yourself. It's called an 'invention'.
- Joy: It's called an 'interinvention', dummy!
- Earl: I'm beginning to think this Karma thing doesn't exist. Think about it, Randy. I got the idea from Carson Daly. A talk show host. A talk show host that's on after two other talk show hosts. What's that tell you?
Ralph: (seeing Earl pretending to be Stan Johannson) Get your own sugar granny!
- Jason Lee as Earl Hickey
- Ethan Suplee as Randy Hickey
- Jaime Pressly as Joy Turner
- Nadine Velazquez as Catalina
- Eddie Steeples as Darnell Turner
- Giovanni Ribisi as Ralph Mariano
- Alyssa Milano as Billie Cunningham
- Gregg Binkley as Kenny James
- Timothy Stack as Tim Stack