[The mall is decorated for Christmas, complete with a brass band and a gigantic tree in the center of the iced-over mall fountain. Jude sits by the fountain, petting a bunny.]
Jude: "So, little bunny dude, you ever heard the one where the turtle is faster than the rabbit?"
Jen: [walking up] "What is the matter with people? No returns till after Christmas! How hard is that?"
Jude: "Hey, Jen. How's work going?"
Jen: "Christmas shoppers are evil!" [breathing deeply] "No. This year, I will be calm."
Jude: "I bet Coach Halder will be stoked to hear that!"
Jen: "Don't mention his name."
Jude: "Whoa. Sorry I mentioned Coach–"
Jen: "AAAAAAHHH! Do you realize I get a picture in my head each time you say his name?"
Jude: "Okay, you've got to chill. You're freaking out my friend here." [He holds up his rabbit.]
Jen: "Aww! Where did you get him?"
Jude: "Err...yerr..." [Ron rushes up and snatches the bunny from Jen.]
Ron: "So. This is what it's come to. Stealing bunnies. I thought I'd looked evil in the face. But this takes the Christmas cake. I'm taking this poor defenseless creature back to the living manger display."
Jen: "Why is there a bunny in a manger?"
Ron: "They couldn't get donkeys." [Ron leaves, and Jonesy walks up to his friends.]
Jonesy: "Why doesn't he get a dog, like a normal cop?"
Jude: "Sup, J?"
Jonesy: "Got me a sweet new gig, that's what."
Jen: "Doing what?"
Jonesy: "Since I kicked butt on the Christmas decorating crew, they put me on gift-wrapping detail."
Jen: "Hold on. You actually did well at something?"
Jonesy: "Heck yes! Check it out." [He gestures to the tree.] "Pretty sweet, huh?"
Jude: "You put up that tree?"
Jen: "And decorated it?"
Jonesy: "You don't believe me?"
[Jen and Jude look up at the tree. It sways and creaks slightly, tilting to the right.]
Jen and Jude: "We believe you."
Jonesy: "I've gotta get gift wrapping. Aren't you working today?"
Jen: [unhappy] "Don't remind me."
Jonesy: "'Cause if you're late, Coach–" [Jude signals for him to stop. Jen looks angry.] "...Halder..."
The opening credits roll.
The title of this episode is
In a Retail Wonderland
[The gang are sitting around the table. Nikki is looking through a travel brochure.]
Nikki: "My parents are trying to take me to Acapulco for my Christmas present."
Wyatt: "Wow. That's pretty nice of them."
Nikki: "Uh, do you remember my parents? They're like Christmas elves on overdrive! They sing Christmas carols! My mom does nonstop Christmas baking, and my dad ho-ho-hos for the entire month!"
Jen: "I'd love to go somewhere hot!"
Jonesy: "Hey Nikki, it's always sizzling at Chez Jonesy."
Nikki: "Note to skin: start crawling." [Caitlin's phone rings.]
Caitlin: [picking up] "Thanks for calling Gift Girl, how can I help you shop?" [writing the request down] "Yep, I'll have the perfect present for you this afternoon!" [She hangs up.]
Jen: "What's with the gift girl thing?"
Caitlin: "I've started a new business. Say you're a guy, and you've got no clue what to give your sweetie. You call me, and I do the shopping for you."
Wyatt: "You get paid to shop?"
Caitlin: "Can the world be any more perfect?" [She sighs and closes the Big Squeeze.] "Gotta shop! See you later."
Jen: "Wait. You're just gonna close the lemon?"
Caitlin: "That's the great thing about working here. I don't have somebody breathing down my neck all day like you do with that annoying–" [Jonesy signals for her to stop talking] "Coach...Halder–"
Jen: "GAH! HE'S DRIVING! ME! CRAZY!" [Everyone but Jude gets up to leave.]
Wyatt: "Gotta fly."
Jonesy: "Check you later."
Jude: "Okay, you need some serious chilling out, dude. And I know just who to call."
[Starr is doing yoga while on her phone working at Vegan Island.]
Starr: "Hey Jude." [receiving a response] "Oh, for sure." [serving customers with her feet] "I've got some totally relaxing yoga movies for Jen. She'll be Zenned out in no time."
[At Underground Video, Wayne is fiddling with the TV remote.]
Wayne: "What the–okay. Who replaced the titanium batteries with ordinary alkaline ones?"
Jude: "That was all they had at the Nothing-Over-A-Dollar store."
Wayne: "They're crap. Recategorize all the foreign-language documentaries pronto and I may not fire you." [Wyatt walks in.] "You're late. If you're slacking off just because it's Christmas, I'm onto you."
Wyatt: "I'll set up the holiday movies display."
Wayne: "Whoa whoa whoa. We don't have any Christmas movies."
Wyatt: "Sure we do. We have like six of them."
Jude: "Seven if you count this German docudrama on Kris Kringle. It's narrated by David Hasselhoff."
Wayne: "No display, Christmas movies suck."
Wyatt: "But watching Christmas classics is a yearly ritual for lots of people."
Wayne: "Getting a colonoscopy is a yearly ritual for lots of people too, but that doesn't mean I want a colonoscopy display in my store."
[Jonesy is working at wrapping gifts. At the moment, he's on the phone.]
Jonesy: "This is such a great job. I look like a totally sensitive, creative guy. Chicks love that! Later." [He hangs up and services a customer.] "You need your boat wrapped, captain?"
Stuart Goldstein: "Uh–" [Jonesy takes the boat and wraps it up.]
Jonesy: "Ahoy, matey. You have yourself a good day, y'hear?" [Stuart takes his boat and walks away.] "Another satisfied customer."
Ron: [walking up to the booth] "Move along. No loitering in the mall, maggot."
Jonesy: "This is a gift-wrapping table."
Ron: "And you're a gift wrapper?"
Jonesy: "Many would say gifted wrapper."
Ron: [whispering] "Psst. What's the money like?"
Jonesy: "Pretty decent. Plus tips."
Ron: "I'll just make a note of that." [He writes something down on his notepad.]
[Caitlin is shopping at the Khaki Barn.]
Chrissy: "You raise shopping to an Olympic art form!"
Caitlin: "Thanks. I do train a lot."
[Caitlin charges the clothes and leaves. Nikki walks up to her boss.]
Nikki: "Chrissy, could you give me a week off to go on vacation with my family?"
Chrissy: "Oh, I wish I could, but I don't like you."
Nikki: [smiling] "Well, I can't say I didn't ask."
Mrs. Wong: "Hello?"
[Nikki's parents have arrived at the store, wearing blue-and-purple Hawaiian shirts.]
Mr. Wong: "Where's our island princess?" [Nikki walks up to them.]
Nikki: "What are you doing here? I told you I'm not coming. Just–let me stay with Jen."
Mr. Wong: [walking inside] "Hello young lady! We need some wild and crazy resort wear!" [joking] "But I need you to make sure my wife doesn't spend all our trip money before we leave!"
Nikki: [rolling her eyes] "Here we go."
Mr. Wong: [as Chrissy helps them shop] "Did Nikki tell you we're taking her to Acapulco? Well, actually, we'll be just outside Acapulco, in the town of Cost-a-lot-mucha!" [He and Chrissy laugh.]
Nikki: "You know, you could save a bundle by not taking me, Dad."
Mr. Wong: [to Chrissy] "Now listen young lady, what's a dad have to do to get his daughter a few days off, hmm?"
Nikki: "Too bad. They can't spare me, Dad. It's Christmas, remember?"
Chrissy: [giggling amicably] "Just write down what days you want off, Nikki, and they're all yours."
Nikki: [sarcastic] "Gee, thanks."
[Jen peeks into the back of Vegan Island. Starr has created a Zen room.]
Starr: "Hey Jen! Come in." [Jen enters.] "Okay. First, try the Reaching Monkey." [Jen imitates her instructor.] "Good. Now try the Praying Mantis." [Jude enters as Jen makes the pose and gasps.] "Wow. You're really flexible, Jen."
Jen: "Bring it on. I only have a fifteen-minute break from work."
Starr: "The next position is Blowing the Tiger's Mind." [They do it.]
Jude: "Okay, this is kinda hot."
Jen: "What are you doing here, Jude?"
Jude: "Staring, mostly."
Starr: "Jude's here as part of your Zen training. Zen Lotus." [They get into position, and Starr beckons Jude forward.]
Jude: "Coach Halder."
[He ducks, expecting an explosion. None is forthcoming.]
Jude: "Coach Halder?"
[Jen doesn't budge.]
Jude: "Coach Halder Coach Halder Coach Halder Coach Halder!"
[Jen doesn't break formation.]
Starr: "Wow, you totally stayed calm!"
Jen: "I can't believe it! I'm de-stressing! It worked! This is the best Christmas present ever!" [She leaves.]
Jude: "That was awesome! Hmm. I wonder what else I can do for people that doesn't involve buying stuff?"
[Jonesy is at work.]
Jonesy: "So, Nikki, you planning to stay under the table all day? 'Cause I could use a footrub."
Nikki: "Just lemme know if you see my parents."
Jonesy: "Coast is clear."
[Nikki pops out from under the table, and Caitlin walks up, talking on the phone, with a huge stack of gifts.]
Caitlin: "I know we have a date tonight, Connor, but work is really busy now! Oh, Jonesy. Gotta go." [Caitlin hangs up.] "I want these wrapped in twenty minutes."
Jonesy: "Hold on! If you want these wrapped individually, then you're looking at five to seven hours minimum!"
[A hand taps Nikki on the shoulder. She looks behind her and is roughly hauled out of her chair.]
Nikki: "Hey!" [Ron sits down.]
Ron: "We'll have them done for you in twenty." [He takes half of the stack.]
Jonesy: "We will?"
Ron: "Roger that."
Caitlin: "Okay then!" [She walks away happily.]
Jonesy: "How come you're in on my action?"
Ron: "Security may look heroic–glamorous, even–but the pay is noticeably underwhelming. And I've got Christmas presents to buy. Now wrap."
[Jen is hard at work.]
Jen: "And I'm saying that your fifteen percent off coupon has expired, ma'am."
Coach Halder: "Masterson! The customer is always right! So honor that coupon! You got that, missy?"
Jen: "Just a sec. I need one more minute in Dragon pose."
[Jen gets on the counter and gets into the pose. The customer, shocked, leaves. Jude enters the store.]
Jude: "Nice work. And kind of hot." [He holds his purchase up.]
Jen: "Is that all you want? Tape?"
Jude: "I'm making my own Christmas presents this year! I tried to make the tape too, but it's a little trickier than it sounds."
[Jen blinks, shocked.]
[Jude is giving Wayne his gift.]
Jude: "This is for you, dude! It's a leather DVD holder for your belt."
Wayne: "That is the dumbest thing I ever heard of."
Jude: "Whoa. That was harsh." [He slinks away. Wyatt and Caitlin approach the counter.]
Caitlin: "I can't believe you had a copy of Winter Pudding!"
Wyatt: "A Christmas classic?"
Wayne: "Christmas classic–bah!" [Caitlin's phone rings.]
Caitlin: "Gift Girl, how can I hel–Connor! I told you I need to keep my phone free for customers!" [She hangs up.] "Don't forget the pre-Christmas get-together tomorrow."
Wyatt: "I won't." [Caitlin's phone rings.]
Caitlin: "Gift Gi–Connor! Stop calling me!" [She leaves the store.]
Wyatt: [to Wayne] "Why don't you come to our pre-Christmas party?"
Jude: [excited] "Yeah!"
Wayne: [excited] "No!" [normally] "Get back to work."
[Caitlin walks by the iced-over fountain talking on her cell phone.]
Caitlin: "Connor, come on. We do so see each other. Sometimes." [Connor continues talking.] "You're breaking up with me?!?" [The line goes dead.] "Hello? Connor?" [She puts her phone down.] "I can't believe this is happening!" [Her phone rings. Picking up tearfully] "This is Gift Girl. How can I help you shop?"
[Later, Caitlin is in Albatross & Finch, trying to decide between two tops.]
Caitlin: "Uh–uh–I don't know." [She sighs.] "I can't decide. I mean, what difference does it make?"
Greeter Goddess: "Are you okay?"
Caitlin: [gasping] "No! I'm not okay! This should be a no-brainer, but I just don't care! Oh my gosh! I think I've lost my will to shop!"
[Ron and Jonesy are wrapping a book. Ron quickly pulls out some paper, wraps the book in it, ties a string around it in a perfect bow, and as a finale pulls some bells from his pocket and puts them on the present.]
Ron: "Who's your daddy?"
Jonesy: [impressed] "Where did you get those bells?"
Ron: "That's classified. It takes a man to know how to use them."
Jude: [walking up] "Hey hey! Jonesy! I have your Christmas present for you, bro!"
Jonesy: "All right, thanks Jude!"
[Jonesy opens the present and pulls out a cap. On the cap is a twisted coathanger with foliage hanging from it.]
Jude: "Made it myself. It's a mistletoe hat! Whenever you wear it and you turn near a girl, the mistletoe will be right over your heads! She has to kiss you."
Jonesy: [putting it on] "This is the best gift I ever got, dude." [turning to Ron] "Check it out."
[The realization of what the mistletoe hat means hits them both at the same time.]
Ron and Jonesy: "GAH!" [They leap backwards.]
Ron: "Watch where you're pointing that thing, son."
Jonesy: [taking the hat off] "I think I need some space." [He leaves.]
Ron: "Yeah. You go. Good idea."
Jude: "I, uh, guess I'll go too."
[Jude and Nikki are sitting at the usual table.]
Nikki: "I'm worried about Caitlin. She hasn't even opened the lemon today."
Jude: "Bummer. I have a Christmas gift to give her. It's a personal shopping transportation device."
Nikki: "It looks like your old skateboard."
Jude: "Not just my old skateboard, my old Alex Chalmers skateboard." [to the board] "We saw some good times, buddy."
Nikki: "I'm gonna try her again."
[Nikki dials Caitlin. The sound of Caitlin's cell ringing comes from two places at once: Nikki's cell and the Big Squeeze. Nikki walks over and throws it open to find Caitlin standing inside despondently.]
Nikki: "Caitlin, what are you doing?"
Caitlin: "I can't shop!" [She groans and puts her head in her hands.]
Nikki: "Okay, okay calm down. What do you mean you can't shop?"
Caitlin: "I've lost my retail mojo! Connor broke up with me."
Jude: "Who's Connor?"
Caitlin: "My boyfriend."
Nikki: "When did you get a boyfriend?"
Caitlin: "I've been too busy shopping to introduce him to you. Oh, this is the first time shopping has ever caused a breakup!"
Nikki: [dragging her away] "C'mon, you've got to get your mind off this."
[Wyatt has a mug with him. He sniffs it and sets it down.]
Wayne: "What are you doing?"
Wyatt: "Mulling spices. They give the store a Christmas vibe."
Wayne: "Good. 'Cause I've decided we're gonna be open Christmas day."
Wayne: "Yeah, you were right. People really eat up this holiday crap. Be in early to serve up more of that Christmas vibe."
Jude: [walking up] "You look like Santa just brought you a bag of barf."
Wyatt: "This is just not right!" [calling after Wayne] "Where's your heart? Your holiday spirit!"
Wayne: "Bah, humbug."
[Jonesy is working when Ron offers him a tin of cookies.]
Ron: "I baked some Christmas cookies. We've got shortbread Uzis, chocolate grenades, and gingerbread security men."
Jonesy: "I'll take a gingerbread security man."
[Jonesy takes one and bites into it. The camera cuts to a costumed teenage boy playing the kazoo. Caitlin and Nikki walk by the table.]
Nikki: "C'mon, you've gotta help me think up a way I can bail on my folks."
Caitlin: [gasping] "It's Connor!"
[Caitlin and Nikki duck behind some presents to spy on him.]
Caitlin: "That's him! That's Connor!"
Nikki: "The one with the antlers?"
Caitlin: "He said he had a part-time job. I didn't know it was that bad."
Nikki: "Caitlin, I know it'll take some time, but you'll get over him eventually."
Caitlin: "How could he wear antlers?"
Nikki: "This coming from someone who wears a lemon hat to work."
Caitlin: "I used to think he was so hot, and now, he's just Antler Guy." [She stands up.] "Guys all around this mall are counting on me to find the perfect present. Am I gonna tell them I didn't find it because of some goof in an antler hat?"
Caitlin: "You bet I won't! Oh, thank you for helping me get over him, Nikki! You're the best!" [She hugs Nikki.]
Nikki: "No problem."
Caitlin: "Gift Girl has work to do! And the first person I'm helping is you."
[Caitlin has taken Nikki to a tanning salon.]
Nikki: "A spray-on tanning store?"
Caitlin: "What did you say you're getting your parents for Christmas?"
Nikki: "A book on art."
Caitlin: "Nuh-uh. New plan. You're going with them to Acapulco!"
Nikki: "No way."
Caitlin: "Listen to me. Your parents are planning this trip for you. You can't stay behind! You'll have a crappy time and you'll break their hearts! Sometimes accepting a gift is the same as giving a gift."
Nikki: "Huh. That actually makes sense."
Caitlin: "Now get in there, girlfriend, and get sprayed so you don't blind everyone on the beach."
[Wyatt and Jude are working the till while Wayne watches a movie on the couch. He yawns and starts to fall asleep. Suddenly, a voice wakes him up.]
Wyatt: "Uh, Wayne? We're going on a break."
[Wayne yawns and waves them off. He then falls into a dream. In it, everything is tinted blue and the store is cold.]
Wayne: "Guh-uh." [He looks into the face of someone who looks like Jen in a white robe, floating a few inches off the ground.] "Who, and what are you?"
Ghost of Christmas Past: "I am the Ghost of Christmas Past. Your past. And I want to show you something."
[The ghost shows him a vision of his younger self.]
Wayne: "That's me! I used to watch movies all day long as a kid."
Ghost of Christmas Past: "You peed your pants during that movie."
Wayne: "Yeah, yeah. I didn't want to miss anything so I'd never go to the bathroom."
Ghost of Christmas Past: "Did that boy want to grow up to be mean and bossy?"
Wayne: "No." [realizing] "No–he–didnt."
Ghost of Christmas Past: "Two other spirits will visit you."
[The Ghost of Christmas Past disappears, and with it the vision. Wayne rubs his eyes. Snowflakes begin to float down, and the store is filled with snow. A voice, sounding like Wyatt's, breaks the silence.]
Voice: "Come over here, Wayne."
[Wayne walks to the front of the store and is greeted by someone who looks like Wyatt in a Santa costume.]
Wayne: "Are you–"
Ghost of Christmas Present: "The Ghost of Christmas Present. Look."
[A vision of modern-day Wayne is shown.]
Wayne: "That's me."
Ghost of Christmas Present: "Look at you today. You may not pee your pants, but you're a mean, crusty, bossy, sarcastic jerk of a boss, who makes us work on Christmas."
Wayne: "Hey, are you here to teach me a lesson or insult me, buddy?"
Ghost of Christmas Present: "Sorry. What you need to learn about is the real meaning of Christmas."
[The ghost disappears.]
Wayne: "Wait, wait!"
[A black figure rises up behind him.]
Dark Figure: [sounding like Jude] "Duuuudddeee!"
Wayne: "Are you the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come?"
Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come: "Totally. Behold!" [He turns the snow red.]
Wayne: "Why is everything red?"
Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come: "'Cause in the future, we'll all be living on Mars! Dude."
Wayne: "What does that got to do with what I have to learn about Christmas?"
Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come: "Not much, I guess. It just blows me away that one day we'll all be living on Mars."
Wayne: "Oh. Is that it?"
Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come: "Yeah. No, wait! There's something about the real meaning of Christmas!"
Wayne: "Okay. What is it?"
Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come: "You must learn to be a nicer person, before it's too late!"
Wayne: "What do you mean by that, you mean like before like before–I'm dead?"
Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come: "Dude. You don't have to get all heavy on me. I gotta slide."
[The ghost leaves, and Wayne awakens on the couch.]
Wayne: "Whoa...oh, man! I hope it's not too late!"
[Caitlin is waiting outside the tanning salon. Nikki comes out, and she gasps.]
Caitlin: "What happened?"
Nikki: "What, don't I look golden brown?"
Caitlin: "You only tanned half your body!"
Caitlin: "You were supposed to turn around halfway through!"
Nikki: "Well nobody told me that! Oh, I have to go back and get done again!"
Caitlin: "What time are your parents picking you up?"
Caitlin: "It's three now!" [She shows Nikki her cell phone.]
Caitlin: "You have to go."
Nikki: "But I'm only half-tanned!"
Caitlin: "You'll be fine. When you get to the beach, lay white-side-up." [Nikki growls and storms away.] "Oops! Merry Christmas."
[Stanley is eating a candy cane by the iced-over fountain when a giddy Wayne runs up to him.]
Wayne: "What day is it?"
Stanley: "Why, it's Christmas Eve!"
Wayne: "Huh. The spirits did it all in one power nap. Of course they did, they can do anything! Do you know the grocery store at the end of the mall?" [Stanley nods.] "Do you know the big bag of chips in the window?" [Stanley nods.] "Well go get it for me and there'll be a fifty percent off coupon for Underground Video with your name on it!" [Stanley runs off.] "It actually feels good to be nice. Who knew?"
[At the Penalty Box, Coach Halder is lecturing Jen.]
Coach Halder: "Your sales are way down this week, Masterson. With numbers like this, you'll be laid off in January."
[Caitlin rushes into the store. Jen sadly turns to help her.]
Caitlin: "There you are! Okay. I'll need a ski parka, a set of snowshoes, a snowboard, three tubes–"
Jen: "Are you serious? What for?"
Caitlin: "A client just got married and has to buy presents for all his female in-laws, and there's lots. So let's move!"
Coach Halder: [crunching numbers] "Yeah, well. Looks like you came through in the clutch there. Merry Christmas."
[The gang are gathered around the table on a conference call.]
Jude, Jen, Caitlin, Wyatt, and Jonesy: "Merry Christmas, Nikki!"
Nikki: [on the plane to Acapulco] "You know what? I've decided I don't care what anyone thinks." [putting on a sombrero] "I'm on vacation. Hit it, dad!"
Nikki and Mr. Wong: "We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a–"
Nikki, Mr. Wong, Glutes Girl: "–Merry Christmas, and a happy new year!"
Jonesy: "Merry Christmas!"
Caitlin: "We'll miss you!"
Nikki: "Merry Christmas, guys!"
Nikki, Mr. Wong, Random Fliers: [starting another round] "We wish you a Merry Christmas–"
Nikki: "Oh, bite me, Dracula. Where's your holiday spirit?"
Mr. Wong and Random Fliers: "We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas–"
Caitlin: "I love Christmas."
Wayne: [walking up] "Merry Christmas, everybody! It's better to give than to receive!" [He tosses a huge bag of chips on the table.]
Jude: [whispering to Wyatt] "Is this a trap?"
Wayne: "I've learnt the real meaning of Christmas, and I'm gonna spread the Christmas cheer!" [He runs off.] "Hoo hoo! Ha ha! Hee hee!"
Wyatt: "Okay, that was creepy. But I'll take Creepy Christmas Wayne over the usual Wayne any day."
[The tree is noticeably tilting one way as Jonesy, Jen, Caitlin, and Wyatt slide on the ice. Jude skids in front of them.]
Jude: "I made an ornament for the tree!"
Caitlin: "Jude, that's beautiful!"
Jude: "It's a mandala, representing the eternal circle of friendship."
[Jude puts it on the tree, and the tree begins swaying heavily.]
[The five teens vacate the area just as the tree comes crashing down and barely escape being crushed.]
Jen: "Jonesy! Wasn't it your job to make sure the tree was secured properly?"
Jonesy: "The mall must have shifted?"
Wyatt: "Well, at least no one was under the tree when it fell."
Penalty Box Customer: [under the tree] "Ouchy. Ow."
Jude: "Well at least not a lot of people?"
[More voices from under the tree are heard. Jonesy nervously chuckles.]