Joy in a Bubble is the 3rd episode of Season 4 of My Name Is Earl, and the 72nd episode overall. Earl gets a hot tub for Joy from a dubious source, and in return, Joy gets a toe infection from it, confining her to her home. Earl has to take over Joy's role and do all the things she would normally do, which gives him some revelations about the Turners and his kids.
Catalina is late for her shift at Club Chubby so gets Earl to give her ride. Suddenly, Earl spots a hot tub by the side of the road and remembered he owed Joy a hot tub, as she once got a job doing some spoke modelling at the Camden Hot Tub and Barbecue Convention and was going to get paid with a free hot tub, but Earl lit a cigarette near her hair spray, and caused both of them to lose their hair. Earl and Catalina lift the hot tub to find out that Homeless Joe lives under it. After a hard bargain, he trades the hot tub for a borrowed deodorant and Earl drives the hot tub to the trailer park to give to Joy. She makes a promise never to leave the hot tub and stays in it all night. Joy and Darnell thinks it funny how the way the light hits the water makes it look like she had a giant toe, until Joy lifts her foot out of the water, discovering it wasn’t the light and her toe has become enormous.
At the hospital, Joy discovers she caught a contagious infection from Homeless Joe. When Earl finds out he offers to help, but Joy refuses to accept it. Darnell had previously worked in bio weaponry and knows to take infections seriously so lays down aluminium foil for Joy to walk on, sleeps in a sleeping bag in bed and boils his clothes after Joy touched him. Joy gets angry with Darnell for making her feel dirty in her house, and afterwards she ends up trapped in a bubble in the corner of the room.
Earl feels terrible and ends up doing everything Joy does while Darnell went to work. He also learns stuff about the Turners, like Darnell gets migraines and Dodge and Earl Jr. had no friends. Earl tells this to Randy and asked him what he did in Junior High when he couldn’t make any friends. Randy explains that their mom got them deodorant and then met Bill, but Earl points out that Bill was imaginary and moved to Canada. When Earl goes to pick up Dodge and Earl Jr. from school, he sees one of the parents, Phyllis Woohoo, handing out birthday invitations for her son Dennis' birthday party, but hiding them behind her back when Dodge and Earl Jr. walked past. Earl confronts Phyllis and tells her Dodge and Earl Jr. should be allowed to come to the party. Phyllis tells him the boys are fine, but it was Joy that was the problem, and as long as she was out of the picture, the boys could come to the party.
Earl goes back to the trailer park and tellz Joy that Dodge and Earl Jr. have gone to Dennis’ party and that they had friends. Joy thinks it’s a prank and tells Earl to get them. Earl told her that she was the problem and the other moms didn’t like her because of her lewd behaviour. Joy then punches Earl, escapes from the bubble and drives away in Earl’s car. Earl runs after Joy, thinking she will ruin the party, but when he arrived, he sees Joy sitting in the car park watching. When Earl joins Joy, she tells him she doesn’t care what the other parents think of her and asks if he thinks she is a bad mom. Earl tells her if she was, she wouldn’t be letting the boys play with their friends. Joy thanks him and tells him he might want to wipe his toe pedal.
That night, Randy starts laughing and tells Earl that he was spending so much time with Joy, that he reconnected with imaginary friend Bill, who is apparently now working at a gas station and getting married, but is worried he was going to start drinking again. Earl tells Randy that since Bill is imaginary, he could pretend he’s sober, but Randy tells him that it’s not that easy, as Bill has to want be sober as well.
Amigos de Garcia Productions Vanity Card
- Introduced and crossed off in this episode
- 72 Cost Joy a hot tub.
- "Rock Lobster" by The B-52's (Joy in the hot tub)
- "Whipping Post" by The Allman Brothers Band (Earl does Joy's work)
- "Evil Woman" by Electric Light Orchestra (flashback: issues with Joy)
- "Barracuda" by Heart (Joy on a rampage)
- "Just Like a Woman" by Bob Dylan (Joy and Earl watch their kids)
- Joy: (to Earl) You run like a fairy.
- Jason Lee as Earl Hickey
- Ethan Suplee as Randy Hickey
- Jaime Pressly as Joy Turner
- Nadine Velazquez as Catalina Aruca
- Eddie Steeples as Darnell Turner
- Suzy Nakamura as Phyllis Woohoo
- Brandon Soo Hoo as Dennis Woohoo
- Gwen McGee as Dr. Brown
- Lee Weaver as Homeless Guy
|< Season 3||My Name is Earl Season 4|
|#01||The Magic Hour||#08||Little Bad Voodoo Brother||#15||Darnell Outed (Part 1)||#22||Pinky|
|#02||Monkeys Take a Bath||#09||Sold a Guy a Lemon Car||#16||Darnell Outed (Part 2)||#23||Bullies|
|#03||Joy in a Bubble||#10||Earl and Joy's Anniversary||#17||Randy's List Item||#24||Gospel|
|#04||Stole an RV||#11||Nature's Game Show||#18||Friends With Benefits||#25||Inside Probe (Part 1)|
|#05||Sweet Johnny||#12||Reading is a Fundamental Case||#19||My Name is Alias||#26||Inside Probe (Part 2)|
|#06||We've Got Spirit||#13||Orphan Earl||#20||Chaz Dalton's Space Academy||#27||Dodge's Dad|
|#07||Quit Your Snitchin'||#14||Got the Babysitter Pregnant||#21||Witch Lady|