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Dad's Car

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16 March 2006
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Dad's Car

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Dad's Car is the eighteenth episode of Season 1 of My Name Is Earl. It's Mother's Day when Earl remembers that he has never given his mother a Mother's Day gift. Just as he and Randy are about to finish carrying out his long overdue gift, his mother decides her repayment should include Earl doing something for his father.

Episode guide[]

You know the kind of guy who does nothing but bad things then wonders why his life sucks? Well, that was me. Every time something good happened to me something bad was always waiting around the corner. Karma. That's when I realised I had to change. So I made a list of everything bad I've ever done and, one by one, I'm going to make up for all my mistakes. I'm just trying to be a better person; my name is Earl.

Earl and Randy prepare breakfast in bed for their mother

As Joy looks forward to a peaceful Mother's Day alone as Darnell takes Earl Jr. and Dodge away to his parent's house, Earl remembers never giving his mother a good present on her special day. He adds her to the List as #267. Earl and Randy snuck into their parent's house the next morning so they could prepare their mother breakfast in bed. However, Carl and Kay believe they heard someone breaking in, and thought there was an intruder, and as Earl came through their door with the breakfast, Carl smashed his head with a safe.

After he recovered, Earl explained what he really planned to do and Kay was overjoyed. She even found out the homemade coupons that Earl and Randy gave her over twenty years before, and they began to do things with her that were part of the coupons such as gardening, having a portrait taken with her and participating in "Hands Across America" with her. As they began to watch old movies Carl became annoyed, remembering all the bad things Earl had ever done. As Carl walked away, Earl apologized to his mother, explaning that he had wanted to make a perfect day for her. Kay picked out her last homemade coupon, which said "Mother's Choice" on it. Kay asked Earl to do something good for his father from his List.

Earl and Randy visit an older Ed and Billy

Back at the Motel, Earl and Randy searched his List for something good he could do on it. After deciding against #42, Randy found #108: Lost Dad's Mustang. Earl remembered back to when he was eleven and had a drag race with Billy Reed, who won the car after Earl lost the race. Earl went to see Billy and his brother Ed, but Billy said the only way he would let Earl have the Mustang was if he raced him, with Earl in his El Camino. Earl eventually agreed to the race.

Earl managed to win, but only because Randy was able to push him further than Ed was able to push Billy after each car broke down. Earl towed the car to his father's house and explained what had happened, but Carl told him that the car was going to be Earl's when he turned 16. Carl rewrote the item to "Lost my own car, because I'm an idiot", before leaving. A shocked Earl then faced a conundrum; he was on his own List. Randy suggested forgiving himself and crossing it off, but Earl said he did not want to forgive himself because his life would have been a lot easier if he had had the car. He decided to fix it up, and his mother said that he could use their garage to fix the car.

Earl and Carl take the car out for a drive

His father came out and saw what Earl was doing, but complained about his methods. He began to help Earl, and after Earl saw all the parts his father had in their cupboard, he realized that his father had planned on the two of them fixing the car together.

Meanwhile, Joy was overindulging on alcohol while her kids were away. Randy drove her home, and his childlike manner made her realise that she missed her sons, and so she acted as a motherly figure towards him while they waited for Darnell, Earl Jr. and Dodge to come home. When they returned early, they were pleased to see that Joy had missed them, and had missed being a mother.

After two weeks of work, Earl and Carl finished the car. Earl decided to leave the car at his father's house, saying that the Motel was not a good place for a nice car, and then his dad would be able to drive it. As Earl crossed himself off the List, they took the newly refurbished car out for a spin.


  • From the DVD commentary: When Joy's chair falls on the floor the pitcher on the table wasn't meant to tip over. It happened by accident but they kept it in because it was funny.
  • We learn that Earl lost his virginity in a public bus while Randy watched.
  • Jason Lee, who played Earl, and Timothy Olyphant, who guest starred in this episode as Billy Reed, both previously acted three years prior to this episode's airing in the 2003 sci-fi horror Stephen King film adaptation Dreamcatcher.


Earl races Billy as an 11 year old

  • Joy is angered on several occasions by things Dodge and Earl Jr. did.
  • Earl and Randy steal a Mother's Day present from Kenny as a child, but are upset to find they are homemade coupons for chores they would have to do. However, they end up not doing the chores.
  • On the family's old movie tapes, Earl, Randy, Carl and Kay see several events from their past.
    • Earl and Randy skateboard
    • Carl makes a Thanksgiving turkey, which breaks the dining table
    • Carl washes his new car
  • An 11-year-old Earl loses a drag race to Billy Reed.


  • Introduced and crossed off in this episode:
    • - #267 Never gave mom a good Mother's Day.
    • - #42 Cut holes in all of Dad's shirts to show his nipples.
    • - #108 Lost Dad's Mustang.
    • - #268 Lost my own car because I'm an idiot.
  • Introduced and not crossed off in this episode:
    • - #67 Ran over Crackers

Featured music[]

  • "The Things We Do for Love" by 10cc
  • "Radar Love" by Golden Earring
  • "Ain't That Bad" by The Go
  • "Highway Star" by Deep Purple
  • "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" by James Taylor
  • "Times Been Changin'" by Judge Jackson
  • "Mustang Sally" by Wilson Pickett

Memorable quotes[]

  • Earl: (voiceover) After 20 years of lying to my dad about what happened to his car, it was time to tell him the truth. (Earl knocks on his parents door)
  • Carl: It's not mother's day anymore Earl. Come back next year.




Guest starring[]