It’s Eddie’s birthday on Fresh Off the Boat, and Jessica is excited to use her thrifty tactics to make it another great day. This year though, he wants to have a sleepover, and she is against it because ya know, it’s expensive, he decides that he just wants to do “nothing.”
He tells his parents, to their excitement, “I don’t want to have a party, I just want to chill.” They say sure, “If that’s what you want,” but they also don’t know how to feel about it. On his birthday, his brothers surprise him for his birthday but are disappointed that there is no party.
At the investment property, Honey and Jessica talk about he fact that they have termites (remember the handyman told her to get the house sprayed but she insulted him instead) and Jessica tells her that she has nothing planned for Eddie’s birthday since he said he didn’t want a party. Honey can’t believe it because in her experience, a kid saying they don’t want a party means that they do want a party. This sends Jessica into a panic. And, you guessed it, she decides to plan one anyway.
At the mall, she and Louis get birthday balloons for the surprise shindig they are going to have for Eddie when they see something very disturbing- Eddie with his friends… having a party. They play it off telling themselves he didn’t plan it or that it’s just a spur of the moment thing. But we see that not only is the party at the mall planned; Eddie has even invited Mitch, who called out of work (he works at Cattleman’s Ranch) to be there.
Later that night at the house, when asked how things were at the mall, Eddie tells his parents a dull story about walking through the stores, eating ice cream and just chilling with his peeps. Jessica can’t take it any longer and tells him that she and Louis saw him having a birthday party at the mall with his friends… and Mitch. Eddie gives in telling his parents that he wanted to have his own party his way without all the rules his mother inflicts on him. Jessica objects telling him that the rules are to keep him and his brothers safe. Eddie doesn’t buy it.
After giving it some thought, Jessica realizes that hey, maybe she can tone the rules down a bit. So she starts small. You know, a pop tart here, a pop tart there. Then, the real test of her progression happens- Eddie wants’s to sleepover at Dave’s, one of his “homies.” She makes the grade; he sleeps over at Dave’s!
And it is everything you can ever dream of as a young 12-year-old boy. As far as Eddie is concerned, the way things happen at Dave’s house is the way life should be. They take 2-liter sodas to the head, eat Cookie Crisp cereal for dinner, fart on each other (and Dave’s mom) and stay up as long as they want. He is in heaven.
Jessica and Louis deal with their attachment issues by barging in on Honey during a family crisis (her husband’s brother died) so that they can see into Dave’s house through her window. They have a mini meltdown (well mainly Jessica) but stand strong as their eldest son grows up.
While they put all of their attention on Eddie, Emery and Evan make plans to run away, you know since their parents don’t care about them. All of their other ideas to be “problem children,” like eating Nutella out the jar, going to see a PG-13 movie alone and throwing Legos all over the living room, didn’t work, so it’s time to pull out the big guns. Eddie keeps their parents’ hands full, so they pack their bags and plan the time of their escape. Their parents will be sorry they ever forgot about them; Such a good plan.
Things are going great at Dave’s until things aren’t going great at Dave’s. Yea they can go to sleep whenever they want, and eat cookie cereal until their stomachs hurt. And yes Dave and his mom keep points of who had the best fart between them, but Eddie is used to order and parental authority. So it is a no go for him when Dave’s mom comes into the room, tells them it’s time for bed and they all but cuss each other out. Who lives like that? Dave and his mom apparently.
Back at the Huang house, Louis and Jessica are proud of themselves for letting go, and while talking about how good it feels, Eddie walks into their bedroom. All those good feelings about not being a ‘smother’ go out the door and Jessica takes in her baby. She and her husband are happy he’s home, in the middle of the night, and Jessica gets up to make her first born birthday noodles. Even though they take six hours. Anything for her baby.
In the end, as Emery and Evan get ready to “hit the road” they are shocked to see their parents and brother awake. Their plan is then happily foiled, and they join the breakfast table to eat birthday noodles with the rest of the family.
See everyone wins!