30 Rock S05E14: "Double-Edged Sword"


Avery suddenly goes into labour in Canada, Tracy struggles with newfound EGOT-ness, and Liz and Carol’s similar personalities clash.

Episode Details

S05E014 (514)
First aired
View full dialogue
Kay Cannon & Tom Ceraulo
Don Scardino
Frank's Hat
Hey, do you have a neck pillow? I blew mine up and now it smells like my mouth.
I never sleep on planes. I don’t want to get incepted. Are you going somewhere?

Ahhh referrring to this summer’s blockbuster movie Inception. Excellent use of verbing. MINOR SPOILER: The plot revolves around invading a man’s dreams while he’s asleep on a plane.

Carol has a flight to Raleigh-Durham so I’m going with him and we’re going to drive out and spend a few days at an inn at Nags Head.
You’re going to Nags Head? Isn’t that redundant?
[hands jack an envelope]
[opens envelope and reads letter] “You’re going to Nags Head? Isn’t that redundant?” [hands Liz an envelope]
[opens envelope and reads letter] “You will hand me an envelope predicting my joke about Nags Head.” That is solid.

Raleigh-Durham: The Raleigh-Durham International Airport, in “the heart of North Carolina.” About an hour and a half southbound flight out of NYC.

The Nag’s Head joke is a little weird. Redundant, referring either to Liz being a bit of a nag, implying Liz has a bit of a horse face (nag = crappy horse), or both. Either way, “redundant” only barely makes sense here. Unless I’m missing something.

The bit about trading prognostic envelopes is pretty funny, though;)

Avery and I are also having a little romantic weekend together. Before the baby comes we’re going to Toronto for the G8 Economic Summit. It’s going to be… very erotic.
Look at us being all adulty. I packed underwear [whispers] that isn’t gray! Isn’t it nice dating someone you have so much in common with? Like you, Avery is a Type A nut job.

And herein starts the Canadiana! I love how Canada is considered intrinsically hilarious, even if they do make fun of us like hell;)

Toronto is Canada’s largest city located just north of Buffalo.

The G8 is a group formed in 1975 of the 8 of the most powerful “western” governments: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and later Canada (1976) and Russia (1997). The host country of the Economic Summit rotates between members every year, and the conference focuses on all sorts of major topics like health, law enforcement, labor, economic and social development, energy, environment, foreign affairs, justice and interior, terrorism, and trade. As you may imagine, there are also massive protests surrounding the G8. Take all of the people who would protest any policy of any single one of those huge countries, multiply by eight, and add in those who oppose globalization. It’s a huge security deal to host one of these things.

Toronto actually hosted the 36th G8 Summit last year, on June 25-26, 2010. They’re usually hosted in the summer.

Liz’s comment about her underwear being “not gray” is referring to the fact she always chooses comfort over style. To illustrate, may I direct your attention to her bra from last episode😉

A “Type A” personality (from Wikipedia) is: individual as ambitious, aggressive, business-like, controlling, highly competitive, impatient, preoccupied with his or her status, time-conscious, and tightly-wound. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics” who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.

Have a nice trip, Lemon. Break out those underpants, but be careful: dating yourself is a double-edged sword. It means you also share the same flaws.

A Double-edged sword is one that cuts both ways. The implication being although it helps you, it can also hurt you with the same qualities. And yes, there are single-edged swords.

Tracy! Congratulations on EGOTing! You got an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony! You are more talented than I. [stops holding hand above candle] [into mirror] You’re ready, mirror Jenna.

Tracy first decided to pursue an EGOT in S04E07 “Dealbreakers Talk Show #0001”. He made it. He finally made it! Let’s see if this brings the happiness he always imagined.

The Empire State Building will be lit in the color of your choosing.

Clear!? Can you even have clear light? Although light LOOKS clear because we can’t see it, sunlight is made of basically “white” light which contains the whole spectrum of visible light (and some above and below that). What would “clear” light be?? Tracy, you’ve blown my mind. One of my buddies has a physics degree. I’m sure he could nerd out on this far better than me.

And Steven Spielberg wants you star in his new movie!
Kate Capshaw’s husband?

Ahhh Steven Spielberg! Master of such film classics as E.T., Gremlins, The Goonies, the Back to the Future trilogy, and Schindler’s List. Much like James Cameron, however, his glory days seem to be behind him.

And Kate Capshaw is indeed married to Steven Spielberg. They met when they were doing Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984! Man she can scream.

Woman at Oscars
[flashback to speech] Tracy Jordan asked me to accept this on his behalf because his mouth is full.
[flashback to speech] [with full mouth] Pop Tart! [points to mouth]

I love this image! I mean, it only take a minute to eat a mouth full of Pop Tart, so the only way this would happen is this: Tracy Jordan, at the Academy Awards where he expects to win an Oscar, is in a tux eating Pop Tarts and, just as his name is called, he stuffs one in his mouth and, caring so little about making an acceptance speech, grabs someone as he’s going on stage and mumbles through a mouth full of Pop Tart that he wants them to accept it for him. Wicked;)

Pop Tarts are a far too tasty pastry breakfast food manufactured by Kellog’s. I think raspberry, s’mores, and brown sugar are my favourites.

One reader pointed out Tracy’s speech is very similar to Marlon Brando’s Oscar in 1973 for The Godfather. He also had a woman go up on his behalf, but it wasn’t Pop Tart-related. Check it out on youtube.

So, I guess you made it to the next level. I look forward to how this empowers you to make my life more difficult.
As am I, Liz Lemon. It’ll probably involve a guitar-playing chimpanzee that I bought this morning.
[on phone] No.
Oh, hold on. Dotcom is confirming that he drowned.

I figured this was a reference to something, but it’s not. FUNNY, though!

However, I did find some song called “Chimpanzee Riding on a Segway” that you may enjoy. And to tie it back in, here are the guitar chords for Chimpanzee Riding on a Segway.

Why are you putting me in a suit? I still haven’t memorized my Torah passage.
Oh, you’re going to a lunch for the council on poverty. And this afternoon you’re speaking at the Clinton Foundation.

“I still haven’t memorized my Torah passage” is probably implying Tracy has an upcoming Bar Mitzvah, the Jewish celebration welcoming a young boy into adulthood.

The William J. Clinton Foundation is real. They fight climate change, HIV/AIDS, childhood obesity, economic opportunity, sustainable development, and workplace sexual misconduct. Ha ha! Just kidding about that last one.

Och, look at sweat pants guy. This is a ninety million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club. Stewart, 21-18 that guy.
Excuse me, Mr. Sweat Pants? We’re going to need to check that bag.
And that is Sky Law.

Hey, Boeing has a price list! According to said price list, the closest they have to a $90 million plane is the 737-900ER, which is not actually the plane they show in the episode. Not that I know a lot about planes, but their back window configuration seems off. Airbus also has a price list online, and their A321 is $90 million, but it doesn’t look right either. The closest looking is the Airbus A330-200, but that’s $180 million and they’re huge — they have 3 rows of seats. The one in this episode has two rows of seats. One of my buddies is a plane nut, and he went with  Airbus A320. I’d tend to believe him. Not that we’re demanding utter accuracy in half hour comedy shows, but there you go.

Captain Carol is flying for “Air Bike” which was first mentioned in S02E14 “Sandwich Day,” where Jenna said “No, that’s Air Bike. They also have in-flight pornos and NBC news.”

Carol first mentioned Sky Law in S04E22 “I Do I Do”: “Sky Law. It’s when I put on the ”Fasten Seat Belt” sign and no one’s allowed to move until we’ve had 10 minutes of silence. Well, I made the whole thing up, but, you know, people are stupid, so they don’t question it.”

Hey. Going to Raleigh for a business meeting. I’m a business man. I’m not an Air Marshal.

Air Marshals are better known as Sky Marshals (an Air Marshal is an actual Air Force rank) who are undercover law enforcement or counter terrorist agent on board a commercial aircraft to counter aircraft hijackings. The US began its Sky Marshal program in 1968 which has been called the Federal Air Marshal Service since 1985 and currently operate under the TSA (Transportation Security Administration).

[over intercom] Good afternoon, folks, this is Captain Burnett from the flight deck. There’s some traffic on the runway, should be about a half hour and then we’ll have you on your way, so sit back, relax, enjoy your flight, thanks for choosing Air Bike.

They never mention Carol’s first and last name at the same time, but it’s Carol Burnett, after Carol Burnett, actress, comedienne, singer, dancer, writer, and star of her own 1967-1978 Carol Burnett Show.

Oh, there it is. The Metro Toronto Convention Center, site of the G8 Summit. Let’s do it on the balcony.
You might have to start without me.
No problem.

The Metro Toronto Convention Center is on Front Street in the heart of downtown Toronto. I have no idea if their view out the window is actually Toronto, though.

Well, if you need anything else-
[grabs bellboy’s hand and screams]
Oh! God! You’re breaking the extra bone all Canadians have in their hands!

We surely do not.

Oooo, Jack! I think the baby’s coming!
What?! You’re not due until March. Why did I buy a beryllium mine if her birthstone’s not going to be aquamarine.

Beryllium (Be) is a rare element mostly used for hardening metal alloys and is primarily found in gemstones like aquamarine and emerald. Look at 30 Rock! All teachin’ an stuff.

No, we can’t go to a hospital. This is Canada! If she’s born here…
Good God! She’ll be Canadian.
At the risk of sounding incredibly rude, I would beg your pardon and ask you, in your opinion. What’s so bad about being Canadian? [pronounced “What’s so bod aboot being Canadian?”]
Your milk comes in bags. Bags.
Your pavilion at Epcot doesn’t have a ride!

Heh.. We do tend to be mighty polite up here in Canada. Though we did burn down the White House at one point, so we have our limits. And I’m told we do say “aboot,” but I can’t hear it. I suppose it depends on where you come from in Canada.

It’s sad but true, the Canadian pavilion at Epcot (in Florida’s Disney World) has NO ride.

But I do remember milk in bags! You bought this plastic pitcher, then bought your milk in a bag. You put the bag in the pitcher and snip off a corner, then pour the milk. At the end you’re left with your re-usable pitcher and an empty milk bag, which is far less waste than cartons or jugs. Wow, someone’s created a site devoted to the Canadian milk bag. Nice work;) Ugly pitcher, buddy! BRING BACK THE MILK BAG! I don’t actually remember seeing them for years and years, so I think it’s now an eastern Canada thing (I live in the west).

And if Canada is so nice and friendly, why does most of our meth come from YOUR Asian drug gangs?
[gasps] Are we not even making our own meth? What is happening to American manufacturing?!

It does?? How the hell am I going to find this out? Hmmm.. I could have a sit down over a game of mahjong with some nice Asian gang members (apparently we have illegal back-room mahjong gambling parlours here in Calgary’s Chinatown) and ask about their distribution network and how much of their product ends up going south of the border. Orrrrr I could just Google it.

According to the US Department of Justice’s 2010 National Drug Threat Assessment [very large PDF], the bulk of your meth comes from Mexico, with Canada a “distant second.” In 2009, 3,478 kilograms were seized at the US-Mexico border and only 10 kilos at the US-Canada border. TEN! I mean, that’s just a rounding error. That’s barely one anus full of meth. So that either means that 99.6% of the meth comes in from the US, or we Canadians are WAY better at not getting caught.

Interesting note: the report details the seized weights in kilograms. Why is that? Because the US has actually slowly (very slowly) been moving to the metric system since 1886. Dammit, people GET ON IT! Why has it taken you 125 years and you’ve barely switched yet? Do you know who else is in your rarified group of “not officially on the metric system”? Burma and and Liberia. That’s it. Nice work. Stand proud.

Do you know why I want the US to switch to metric so badly? The US being on the imperial system really messes us up. How much do I weigh? 200 lbs. How far is it to the mountains? 100 km. How far from me to the TV? 10 feet. What’s room temperature? 21 Celsius. How tall am I? 5’11”. It’s messed up! We’re all schitzo up here with this bizarre pidgin measuring system. Switch, dammit! Switch!!

Oh my God, Jack. If our child is born here she can’t be President!
Don’t even say it! We’re having an American, and she WILL be President, no matter how ridiculous that sentence sounds.
If only we were in Kenya right now, we’d be fine. [laughs with Jack, then gasps and starts choking him]

True! The President of the United State, according to the Constitution, must “be a natural born citizen of the United States,” although this has been challenged many times.

President Barack Obama was born in Honalulu, Hawaii, but his father was born in Kanyadhiang village, Kenya. However, there is a controversy saying President Obama was born in Kenya, too, though those people are mostly by fringe crazies or sour grapes over his victory in the 2008 election.

And in conclusion, bless you, Tracy Jordan. Your gripping portrayal of DeJefferey La Cecida in Hard to Watch has given a voice to the voiceless: American’s poor. [audience applauds]
I’m not scared of you people, and I don’t think those cashews look like a bowl of baby penises. Being a EGOT is fun! Here’s to me spending the rest of my life in rooms like this! [audience applauds]

“Hard to Watch: Based on the Book Stone Cold by Manipulate” was one of the two movies Tracy considered doing at the end of Season 4 (S04E21 “Emanuelle Goes to Dinosaur Land”) along with Garfield 3: Feline Groovy. Luckily he went for “Hard to Watch,” which won him the Oscar.

And cashews kind of DO look like baby penises! I’ve never noticed that before. Cashew trees are crazy. The fruit looks like an yellow apple/pepper and the cashew conveniently hangs off the bottom in a green cashew-shaped pod. And you can make all sorts of things out of the fruit and the nut, including cashew wine, which is highly revolting. Do not drink.

Excuse me, while we’re waiting to take off we’re going to go ahead and begin our in-flight entertainment which is the feature film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole. And some NBC sitcoms that didn’t make the schedule. [passengers moan]
We have to find the guardians, Eglantine.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is a 2010 computer animated movie which got 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. Do not watch.

Hey, Lizzie, everything okay?
People are starting to get a little antsy back there.
Yeah, it’s going to be about another half hour.
Really? Because I checked Flight Tracker on my phone, and our status is just an angry red frowny face.
Kay, you want to know a little pilot secret besides the fact that we get a discount at Sunglass Hut? The “half hour” thing, it’s a trick. It’s enough time so that people know they’re going to have to wait, but it doesn’t upset them.

Flight Tracker is an iPhone app that lets you.. track.. flights. Okay it’s pretty self-explanatory, but very useful!

The Sunglass Hut is a sunglass retailer, and the joke is probably that pilots are known to wear aviator-style shades.

So you’re just… lying? That’s not right, we’re paying customers.
Look, Liz, we have reasons for doing things the way that we do them. We say “half an hour” to control the herds of walking mozzarella sticks who think that three hundred dollars and a photo ID gives them the right to fly through the air like one of the guardian owls of legend! God, that’s been our in-flight movie for months.

Walking mozzarella sticks = delicious, but also refers in this case to fat-assed self-entitled people who like to wear things like sweatpants on airplanes.

I just think it’s frustrating for people to know that they’re being lied to.
Maybe you just want to fly the plane yourself. Well good luck pressing Take Off, then Autopilot, then Land!

I’m pretty sure there’s a little more to flying an airliner than this. Let me check……… yep. Here’s some instructions on how to fly a 747 in a flight simulator. But they definitely have autopilot in all larger aircraft. Autopilot was invented in 1912 and you can use autopilot for everything (including takeoffs and landings) except taxiing, and the autopilot ends up flying with more fuel efficiently than most pilots can manage.

I called the concierge service with my Amex Invisible Card. There are no rental cars. The trains and buses are sold out.

American Express has a ton of different card, including Zync (white), Green, Gold, Platinum, Blue, Red (to fight AIDS), their legendary black Centurion Card, and the Clear card, which is being parodied here.

Well how far is the border? Maybe we can run!
I don’t know. When I asked the lady at the desk she told me in kilometers!

Toronto Convention Centre to Mount Saint Marys Hospital (closest US-based hospital and 30km closer than the nearest one in Buffalo) is 130km = 81 miles.

Look, Avery. You and I are cut from the same cloth. It’s one of the reasons we work so well, and why we’re unbeatable at a three-legged race.
Oh, we RUINED those kids’ field day.

Three-legged race! I remember doing this on intramural day in elementary school, and it’s an iconic part of American childrens’ celebrations and picnics. You get two kids, tie one of their left legs to the other’s right legs, do this enough times to have race participants, and then race! Look how fun! Look how idyllic!

Avery, maybe it isn’t the end of the world if our daughter is Canadian. Alexander Hamilton was born in the West Indies, and he went on to-
To what, Jack? Be a mouthpiece for federalism and then die in a duel against someone named Aaron?! Is that what you want our daughter to be? A big government… dual loser? [shakes her head with Jack]

Alexander Hamilton, the 1st United States Secretary of the Treasury, was born in 1789 on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean and died in 1804 of a gunshot wound a day after losing a duel to Aaron Burr. Hamilton was a proponent of strong national government, and the Constitution may have looked different if he had more say, including Presidents being elected for life.

And I think “dual loser” is a play on words. He’s a “dual loser” as in he’s a proponent for big government and he lost a duel, and he’s also a duel loser because he… lost a duel.

Dear God, they’ve restarted the failed NBC shows? Oh no, please, no, not Gals on the Town again.
[theme song] Love and friendship, having it all, or maybe just a great pair of shoes. One of them has to be Asian, can they be good at their jobs?

Gals on the Town is a fantastic parody of Sex and the City, where a set of girlfriends struggle with relationships, their friendship, their jobs, `and fashion. However, no one was Asian! I’m sure the visible minority aspect parodies a whole raft of shows I don’t watch, though.

Please, do something! You said you knew the captain.
All right. You know what? This wrong. I can see the terminal from my window, where people are buying new magazines and crossing their legs, and eating at a Chili’s Express. We were like them once and we can be again.

There’s definitely a Chili’s Express in the JFK Airport. A Chili’s Express is kind of a limited menu Chili’s they cram into locations too small for the full “Chili’s experience.” They used to have fantastic country fried steak which, oddly enough, I’ve only ever eaten in their Abu Dhabi location😉

Okay I can’t turn the air on because I’d have to power the engines up. That wastes fuel. I’m assuming you don’t want to stop for gas in the middle of the ocean.
Okay, what about the bathrooms?
Stewart did not study dance at Carnegie Mellon so become a flight attendant to clean bathrooms.
Well at least give us some food.
Negative. Those potato chip bags are designed to be opened in-flight. You open them at sea level, somebody could be killed.

You don’t need to run the main engines to use the air conditioning. Airliners have something called an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) in the tail of the plane that’s used for starting the main engines and providing power to secondary systems, which is why the lights work when the main engines aren’t on. My airplane-obsessed buddy assures me you can run AC off this.

Carnegie Mellon University is in Pittsburgh, PA. They do have a School of Drama that teaches dance, with notable alumni including Ted Danson (Cheers), George A. Romero (zombies!), and a ton of others.

Really? If this if you doing your job, you’re terrible at it! [silence]
[slowly reaches for button]
Think about what you’re doing. You’re making a choice here. I’m not just a passenger!
[pushes button]
And the Captain has turned on the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign. All passengers, including any lipless middle-aged women in lesbian clown shirts, should please take their seat at this time.
[fist-pumps Stewart]

“Lesbian clown shirt?!” Ha! Is he saying Liz is a lesbian, that she’s a clown, or that she rolled a lesbian clown and stole her shirt? And now I’ve got Crispin Glover’s bizarre Clowny Clown Clown song in my head.

Uh, Mr. Jordan, several messages for you.
Breakfast with Chuck Schumer? I don’t want to watch that guy eat. 5k homeless walk? That just seems cruel. Cornell commencement address? Sorry, but Tracy Jordan doesn’t do safety schools. The next level sucks!

Chuck Schumer is a NY Senator and infamous for claiming Americans don’t care if “’porky’ amendments had been inserted into [bills],” controversial statements over the Gaza strip, calling a flight attendant a bitch, and calling a massive Indian company a “chop shop.” Overall, sounds about par for the course for your average senator so I’m not sure why the singled him out for this joke.

5k homeless walk: WELL normally, you see, a bunch of people get others to pledge money for them to walk 5k, with the proceeds benefiting the homeless. In Tracy’s world it sounds like you force the homeless to walk 5 kilometers. One step up from Vlad the Impaler who invited all of the sick and poor to a huge dinner, then barred the hall and burned it to the ground.

Cornell University is an Ivy League school, one of the most prestigious universities in the United States, and ranked in the top 20 in the world, whereas a safety school is a lesser school you apply to because you know you’ll get in. You apply to those after applying to Cornell.

The reason people are unhappy in their careers is that they keep getting promoted until they’re in over their heads. The Peter Principal says you rise to the level of your incompetence.
But my incompetence knows no bounds!

I’ve seen this in action countless times but didn’t know it had a name! The Peter Principal is from the 1969 book of the same name by Dr. Laurence J. Peter. Pete got it right (and I like that they share the name!) and in addition the Peter Principal states that “work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.” So true!

Ooo I like this, too. Directly from Wikipedia: “One way that organizations can avoid this effect is by having an “up or out” policy that requires termination of an employee who fails to attain a promotion after a certain amount of time. Even in instances where an employee can handle their current job but fail to do any better, they can still cause harm within the company, by way of preventing those beneath them with higher potential of moving up, as well as lowering morale once such employees become aware of this fact. The United States Military for instance requires that certain ranks be held for no longer than a set amount of time, a lack of compliance of which could render grounds for dismissal.”

Stay in your comfort zone. If it was me I’d just hide out until people forgot who I was, but keep in mind we Hornbergers are famous cowards. On D-Day my grandfather wore a German uniform under his American one… just in case. [leaves]
There’s a reason that men like that aren’t chosen for greatness.

Hilarious! So, D-Day refers to the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944 and marks the beginning of the end for Germany in World War II. The allies massed gargantuan forces and punched a hole through the German defences at Normandy, establishing a beach head and shattering Hilter’s control over Europe.

I don’t remember saying you could listen to that conversation, but continue.
Imagine if Mr. Hornberger were in your shoes. He turned his back on his community, on the world. How would he sleep at night? How would he look his children in the eye? Or perform his husband bedroom duties, for instance painting the bedroom. Think about the shame. He would be run out of town.
Al Sharpton would renounce him at a press conference on the street because Al Sharpton doesn’t have an office.

Bedroom duties are normally sex. SEX, Kenneth! Say it out loud! You didn’t come from a stork! Poor, dumb kid.

Al Sharpton is an American Baptist minister, civil rights activist, and radio talk show host. Having this staunch supporter of African American rights denounce a black man would be like a fat man denouncing a deep-fried Twinkie. The “Sharpton doesn’t have an office” joke is two-fold, partially because of Sharpton’s tax issues and because denouncing someone “in the street” normally means to the people, where they live, down in the shops and in the bars, not literally in the street.

You drive while we hide out in the back. Hang out. In the back. Everything’s normal. No smoking.
Yeah, okay. [gets in] Okay. Thanks, honey.
Great. I’m Lorne. If you’re a cop you have to tell me. I’m just kidding. We’re all on vacation. [goes back behind curtain] [curtain falls open] Ah! [closes curtain]
[whispering] Is this a mobile meth lab?
[whispering] Yes it is. Look, if you want to quit…

I love that they named this guy “Lorne.” I’m guessing this is for two reasons: famous Canadian-born Lorne Greene (Captain Adama from the original Battlestar Galactica and of Lorne Greene’s New Wilderness (check the vintage Canadian commerical!)) and from one of this show’s executive producers, Toronto-born Lorne Michaels. No, we don’t all name our children Lorne up here. In fact, those are the only two Lornes I can think of.

Quit? I’ve never quit anything in my life. I’m still in Girl Scouts. I have nine thousand badges.
Hey, I’m still looking for a golf ball I shanked in 1987. I am not taking that penalty stroke!
Good. We agree. Now let’s drive this bum to Buffalo and get this little bitch out of me!

Impressive! I have no idea how many badges, awards, and pins the Girl Scouts have, but they were founded in 1912 and seem to keep making new one up, so there seems to be a lot of them. Nine thousand? Maybe;) The badge thing is genius. It’s like the proto-version of Xbox Achievements.

And we’ll forget any of this ever happened. Like the fact that you insulted me in front of my entire crew, especially Stewart who often makes up hurtful nicknames for me, like Mr. Bumpy Landing.
Great. And I’ll forget the fact that you treated us like animals.
Oh well I’ve already forgotten that you said I was bad at my job, when everything on TGS has been so great recently. Austin Powers on Crossfire. Timely stuff!

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery was funny when it came out in 1997. Crossfire, the CNN debate program that ran from 1982-2005, was never funny. Neither are contemporary.

[laughs] Can I tell you what I hate about you? You’re SO stubborn when you think you’re right, even when the answer in ON the Trivial Pursuit card.
The card was wrong! And you’re no better, Carol. You built that bookshelf incorrectly!
I did not! I wanted the books to slide off! Okay, listen, Liz. We will get through this. IF, for once, you can just let it go. I will take us back to the gate when you stand up in front of my crew and my passengers and admit that you were wrong.

Trivial Pursuit is a trivia game where you answer questions to progress along a circular board. The first to collect a token from each trivia category and answer a final question wins. Hey, they have an iPhone Trivial Pursuit App now, too!

[while filling motor home] All right, you saw the back of the Winnie. You know we picked you up to get past Border Control, so what are you guys carrying?
I’m sorry?
In the fake stomach. You smuggling unpasteurized cheese? Prescription drugs? Male syrup from the Sacred Tree of Souls in Winnipeg?

Winnie = Winnebago = brand of motor home.

It is actually illegal to import over 10 pounds of soft unpasteurized cheese, and apparently pregnant women shouldn’t eat it, so smuggling it in a fake pregnant stomach would be hilarious. He mentions prescription drugs because of the controversy surrounding US citizens purchasing their prescription drugs from Canadian (and other international) Internet sites, which is technically illegal.

And there is no Sacred Tree of Souls in Winnipeg. Anyway, most of our maple syrup comes from Quebec, not Manitoba. Winnipeg is in Manitoba. Most of my readers are from the US, that’s why I need to explain that;) Oh, and Quebec is a province, which is like a state but far larger;) The “Tree of Souls” reference is to the 2009 movie Avatar, which contains said tree.

Uh, no, she’s pregnant.
What? Those contractions she’s been having are real? Because they sound very sitcomy.
[moaning] Oooooooo zoik! What is taking so long?

Zoik?? Wicked;) That sounds totally like Shaggy’s “zoinks!” from Scooby Doo.

Hey you guys should be in a hospital, not driving to Buffalo in a snow storm.
Thank you for your input, Lorne, but Avery and I want out daughter be born in American so that one day she can become President and declare war on Germany like back when we were awesome.

Back when the US was awesome: December 11, 1941, the US declares war on Germany, three days after it declares war on Japan, in retaliation for bombing Pearl Harbour.

You know you remind me of my parents.
I find that very hard to believe.
They were both really intense. They wanted me to grow up to be Prime Minister, so as a kid I had to win the spelling bee. They made me memorize all seven hundred words in the Canadian dictionary, and then I had to go to law school.

Okay there are more than 700 words in the Canadian dictionary! The Canadian Oxford Dictionarycontains about 300,000 entries, including 2,200 true “Canadianisms” (that’s a word??). It’s kind of a mix of British and American. Like our creole mix of metric and imperial measurements up here.

[sighs and pulls out phone]
What are you doing?
I’m quitting. I’m calling 9-1-1 and getting an ambulance to take us to the nearest hospital.
Actually you dial 2-7-2 here.
I will not do that.

It’s 9-1-1, same as the US;) And apparently the same as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jordan, Kosovo, Paraguay, and Uruguay, among others. In fact, the first use of 9-1-1 was in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1959, and didn’t start getting rolled out to the US until 1968. No country uses 2-7-2.

Kenmore! I was thinking about what you said, and you were right. I’m Oscar winner Tracy Jordan, and as scary as it is, I have a responsibility to fix the world starting with the worst place ever.
Ikea on a Saturday?

Ikea is stupid busy on Saturdays. I’m not explaining what Ikea is because it’s the McDonald’s of home furnishing stores. It’s like a Eurotrash Wal-Mart, but everyone still kind of loves it. Oh I just explained it.

[over intercom] Well, folks, from the flight deck it looks like its going to be about another half hour and then we’ll be on our way, uhhhhhh.

I loved this! Carol’s imitating Liz imitating Carol from an earlier scene.

[to the passengers] I have an announcement! Our pilot’s gone insane!
[over intercom] No don’t listen to her! Don’t-
Having seen Crimson Tide on Showtime last weekend, I believe the only course of action available to us is passenger mutiny! I am Denzel!
[over intercom] I am invoking Sky Law! You are now silenced, shrieking harpy! Stop speaking.

Crimson Tide is 1995 movie starring, yes, Denzel Washington. And Gene Hackman. It’s set on a nuclear submarine, and the Executive Officer, Hunter (Washington), defying unconfirmed launch orders and the orders of Captain Ramsey (Hackman) who wants to launch, has Ramsey arrested for attempting to circumvent nuclear launch protocol.

Sky Law: not a thing. But the phrase “shrieking harpy” is awesome;) Harpies are mythical Greek creatures that appeared as ugly screeching winged bird creatures.

[goes toward the back of the plane]
Where are you going?
I am pulling the emergency exit slide and we are ALL getting off of this plane! I’ll be a folk hero like that guy everybody hates now!
Don’t you even think about it, that is a federal offence!

I think she’s referring to JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater, who, after a passenger was rude to him and accidentally hit him in the head with some overhead luggage, got on the PA system, went on a mini rant, quit, grabbed his luggage and two beers, left via the emergency exit slide, and drove home. He was obviously arrested, but the whole thing was hilarious. And of course the always enjoyable Hong Kong news computer-animated reenactment of the entire ordeal. I love these things!

Oh my God, congratulations. Wait, aren’t you in Canada?
Yes, my daughter is Canadian-American, but I’m going to treat her just like a human baby. We tried to get back home, Lemon, in a meth lab. Avery and I fed each other’s craziness, but one of us was brave enough to step back-
And just quit. He quit!
Didn’t they give you Percocet?

Percocet: a.k.a. Oxycodone is a drug synthesized from opium and used for pain relief.

Jack. This woman’s trying to tell me that we don’t have to pay for any of this.
Right. The Canadian health care system-
Oh no you don’t. We will not be party to this socialist perversion. You will take our money.
I’m sorry sir, I can’t do that.
[settling in to the couch] Oh this is gonna to be good.
Avery, can you walk yet?
I am right behind you, Jack.
Let’s go find a Canadian who will take our money.

Okay yes, we have a subsidized health care system, but we pay premiums! They’re just government mandated and you can’t opt-out, but it’s cheap (or free if you’re poor enough). Yes, it’s awesome. Do it. Free health care and education should be a basic human right. Without it you end up with a society crippled with morons and advanced-case health care costs. Both are bad for your GDP.

[over webcam] How’s Africa, sir?
It’s amazing. This morning I taught the local schoolchildren all the words to Monster Mash.

Monster Mash?? Weird. It’s a 1962 song by Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers who did very little else, and it’s popular around Halloween.

I have to go. This was a really good decision. Goodbye, K. [closes laptop and walks across sound stage to his bed] Yup. Really good decision.

So it looks like Tracy has taken the Path of the Hornberger: “Stay in your comfort zone. If it was me I’d just hide out until people forgot who I was.”

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43 Responses to 30 Rock S05E14: "Double-Edged Sword"

  1. Blake says:

    Oh wow, you churned this one out fast, thanks.

  2. Blake says:

    Also, I don't know if it is worth noting but Carol mentioned SkyLaw back in the last episode of series 4 "I do do" as laws he makes up to control passengers.

  3. jasper says:

    Yet again, awesome job!

    I found one missing reference:
    The part where Tracey accepts the oscar is a reference to the 1973 Academy Awards ceremony where Marlon Brando refused to accept the Oscar for his performance in The Godfather, you should check this video!

  4. Hey, just discovered this site… I'm translating the show to Hebrew and some references goes beyond my knowledge of American culture, it's very nice to have it all in one place. Thanks a lot!!

    • Cam says:

      Good to hear! I specifically explain things I'm not sure need explaining sometimes because I seem to have a sizeable audience whose native tongue isn't English. Glad I can help! Enjoy.

  5. Chiyto says:

    I think the "Nags Head" joke was referring to the verb nag, not the noun

  6. Spritle says:

    Loren is plaed by John Cho who is better known for playing Harold from the trilogy of "Harold and Kumar" films which focus on the adventures of the pot-smoking duo.

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  8. ohman says:

    What were those symbols scrawled on the airplane walls that you see around 14:50?

  9. Carly M says:

    Cornell (and Brown) are commonly called safety schools because public opinion is that they're on a lower tier than Harvard and Yale and Princeton (even though they're all Ivy League schools). Prospective students usually apply to Cornell and Brown AFTER applying to Harvard and/or Yale and/or Princeton. I think Cornell's a great school, but, well, it's not Harvard.

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  15. Leonardo Patton says:

    The part where Tracey acknowledges the oscar is a reference to the 1973 Academy Awards service where Marlon Brando declined to acknowledge the Oscar for his execution in The Godfather, you ought to check this video!
    Leonardo Patton

  16. Leonardo Patton says:

    The part where Tracey acknowledges the oscar is a reference to the 1973 Academy Awards service where Marlon Brando declined to acknowledge the Oscar for his execution in The Godfather, you ought to check this video!
    Leonardo Patton

  17. Leonardo Patton says:

    The part where Tracey acknowledges the oscar is a reference to the 1973 Academy Awards service where Marlon Brando declined to acknowledge the Oscar for his execution in The Godfather, you ought to check this video!
    Leonardo Patton

  18. Leonardo Patton says:

    The part where Tracey acknowledges the oscar is a reference to the 1973 Academy Awards service where Marlon Brando declined to acknowledge the Oscar for his execution in The Godfather, you ought to check this video!
    Leonardo Patton

  19. Leonardo Patton says:

    The part where Tracey acknowledges the oscar is a reference to the 1973 Academy Awards service where Marlon Brando declined to acknowledge the Oscar for his execution in The Godfather, you ought to check this video!
    Leonardo Patton

  20. Leonardo Patton says:

    The part where Tracey acknowledges the oscar is a reference to the 1973 Academy Awards service where Marlon Brando declined to acknowledge the Oscar for his execution in The Godfather, you ought to check this video!
    Leonardo Patton

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  36. 30 Rock S05E14: "Twofold Edged Sword

    Avery all of a sudden starts giving birth in Canada, Tracy battles with recently discovered EGOT-ness, and Liz and Carol's comparable identities conflict.

    Hello, do you have a neck cushion? I exploded mine and now it smells like my mouth.

    I never think about planes. I would prefer not to get incepted. Is it accurate to say that you are going some place?

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