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Fridge Brilliance

  • In the epilogue to "The Angry Family", we learn that Michael's story was based on an animated TV series called "Monster Maniacs", not the Barones. Suddenly it all makes sense why a character based on Robert wasn't in Michael's book: There probably wasn't a fifth character in that "Monster Maniacs" show.
  • It may seem rude for Frank to ask Marie for food when she's upset or angry, but Marie loves to cook, so Frank may very well be trying to calm her down and/or try to get her mind off what's making her upset by getting her to do something she loves. Jerk with a Heart of Gold indeed.
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  • In flashbacks, Marie is shown to be an easy-going, supportive parent who is hesitant to meddle in her children's lives. On its face, this just seems to serve as ironic humor since it contrasts so sharply with Marie's present-day personality. But listen to Marie's speech in "Robert's Divorce." She declares that she is "through sitting idly by" and that "somebody has to protect their family." Perhaps Marie didn't just evolve into a meddlesome parent, but rather decided right then and there that she needed to take an active role in her family's affairs. That scene in "Robert's Divorce" was actually Marie's Establishing Character Moment, presented via Retcon.
  • Crossing over with Fridge Horror: As mentioned above, Frank's mostly a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but he does react extremely strongly to a few things—his love for Marie being questioned ("A LOVELESS MARRIAGE?") and especially his parenting. A few episodes have him becoming genuinely upset to the implication that he was a bad father, with him asking "Are you saying I didn't do right by you?" when Ray and Robert discuss their childhood issues. In "Grandpa Steals," Frank's also shattered when Ally sees him react angrily to a grocery store clerk, and goes out of his way to prove he's a nice guy and not scary. All of this makes perfect sense when we learn more about Frank's past in "Boys' Therapy": his own grandfather and father (Ray and Robert's great-grandpa and grandpa, respectively), were physically and emotionally abusive. Ray comments that Frank, for all of his taunting, never once hit him or Robert; Frank explains "I couldn't...I was never as strong as him." Robert counters: "Maybe you didn't want to be like him," and Frank sincerely replies "I didn't." It all suggests that Frank was absolutely terrified of his grandfather and father, which is likely the reason he's so insecure about his own parenting and relationship with his grandchildren. He knows what it's like to be scared when someone comes into a room, and has spent his whole adult life trying to break that cycle.
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  • Why did Ray goes through a flanderzation? It’s probably because he was tired of always being the straight man of everybody’s problem.
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