30 Rock S05E13: "¡Qué Sorpresa!"


Liz helps Avery against her work competition, while Jack works to impress the new boss.

Episode Details

S05E013 (513)
First aired
View full dialogue
Matt Hubbard
John Riggi
Frank's Hat
Straining Order, Wet Tacos

This episode’s title, “¡Qué Sorpresa!” means “What a Surprise!” in Spanish.

Everyone, I need your attention. Gather up. I said “everyone,” Sketch-Tron 6000. Mr. Hank Hooper, the owner of our new parent company Kabletown, is touring 30 Rock for the first time today. I WILL make a good first impression, so I need all of you to be your most normal. Tracy, do not mention where you think dinosaurs come from.
Do not mention the underwater city of Sironicon. Got it.

Sketch-Tron 6000 is back? Right on! We first saw Mr. 6000 in S01E03 “Blind Date” where Frank was directing him to kick a bear in the knees. Except he didn’t have a name yet.

And I can find no mention of Tracy’s Atlantean “Sironicon.” How will we ever find out where the dinosaurs came from? Oh I know! The Creation Museum, where they explain how the earth really is only 6,000 years old, and has dioramas of humans co-existing peacefully with dinosaurs! Mill Maher also did a hilarious bit on this museum in his movie Religulous.

That’s nice. Actors deserve gifts. Without us who would present awards to actors?
[sort of nods and leaves]
[pulls computer out of bag] So. Which one of us is going to get this computer? Just kidding! [pulls second computer out of bag] We both are!
Wow, I’ve always wanted one of these. The box would make a perfect coffin for my teddy bear.

Nice gift bags! They seem to have received:

  • 2 Apple MacBook Airs at $950 – $1750 each
  • 1?? expensive-looking watch
  • 2… MP3 players? I can’t figure out what these are or what brand.
  • 1 Kabletown Zip Hoodie. Yes, you can buy one from the NBC store.

There’s two of everything! Look at us. When we met four years ago we were fighting about the silliest things. Dressing rooms, air time, you coming in and ruining my show.
You taking my nephew’s virginity.

Nephew. Why does this sound familiar. Oh yes, in S05E11 “Mrs. Donaghy,” we meet Angie’s meth addict nephew Michael. Angie is married to Tracy, making Michael Tracy’s nephew as well. So Jenna took Tracy’s meth addict nephew Michael’s virginity. Tracy may have other nephews, but this is the reality I prefer to live in.

Um, Lemon this is a little delicate but I wonder if you might take Avery shopping for baby things.
Oh, sure.
You know, a crib, small clothes, a tiny desk with a miniature pen set on it. I don’t know a lot about babies but I know Avery would enjoy having another woman go with her.
Of course. I’m just a little surprised. I assumed Avery would have a terrifying best friend she’d do stuff like that with.
Avery does have a sister, but Eugenia is currently institutionalized for nerves – [whispers] lesbian – and all of her work friends are out because she’s still trying to keep her pregnancy a secret.

“Nerves!” How deliciously archaic! Like when women used to be diagnosed with “hysteria” (prescription: vibrators!) or people used to die of “consumption.”

Really? She’s eight months. How is she possibly hiding it?
Michael Kors is a friend. We own a gay race horse together. And I convinced him to make wizard cloaks fashionable for ladies this winter.

Michael Kors is an __American women’s__ fashion designer. That’s an American who designs women’s fashion, not a designer specifically for American women. You’d think it would be quicker for me to just re-word that first sentence that write up this explanation, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong.

And he doesn’t seem to own a horse, gay or otherwise.

The problem is that Avery is very close to being named the financial reporter for NBC Nightly News. If anyone finds out she’s pregnant she won’t get the job.
Och, see, that would never happen if men could get pregnant. Which is the premise of my one-act play “The Seahorses of Warwickshire Abbey.”

I just love this line;) Warwickshire Abbey: not a real place. But seahorses! Seahorses are real. And the male seahorses actually carry the eggs until they hatch. And they’re fish! I wasn’t sure until I looked it up, and it kind of makes sense now that you think about it, but seahorses are actually fish. There. You learned something today.

Avery just needs to keep her condition under wraps until her contract is signed. Unfortunately her competition for the job is Carmen Chao from MSNBC.
Oh, I know her. Hey what ethnicity is she?
No one knows.
Carmen Chao
[flash to Carmen Chao on TV] In international news, Mexican president Felipe Calderón is travelling this week to China to meet with premier with Wen Jiabao and then stopping for a well-deserved vacation in Negril, Jamica, mon.

Nice work on the accents! And someone did their research. Felipe Calderón is the president of Mecixo, Wen Jiabao is the premier of China, and they do say “mon” a lot in Jamica.

Negril is a tiny (pop: 3000), spread out tourist town on the very western tip of Jamaica. It looks gorgeous.

I’m going to the Executive Dining Room to meet with Hank Hooper. I can’t wait to shake his hand. You can tell a lot about someone by their handshake. [shakes Liz’s hand]
You are confident!
And you… ate dinner in front of a mirror last night.
Carol’s away a lot.

Liz is still dating Carol?? We haven’t seen him since S05E04 “Live Show.”

Hank Hooper
Let me ask you a question. Do you know who came up with the idea for the DVR? It was the guy who drives me home every night. The original name for the DVR was “The Thing Carlos Thought Of.” Since then I make sure that once a month, anyone who works here can pitch any idea they have to upper management.

A DVR is a Digital Video Revoder, also knows as a Personal Video Recorder (PVR), most famously the TiVo. They first appeared in 1998 at the Consumer Electronics Show, by ReplayTV and TiVo. I can’t find who specifically invented them, so I can’t rule out “Carlos.”

What is this green stuff? [holds lobster it out to Jack] Wipe it off! Wipe it off!

That green stuff is tomalley. It’s the green crap inside of lobsters that some people (#gag#) eat (#hack!#). God I get all queasy thinking about that stuff. It’s actually the (#gak#) hepatopancreas (combo liver/pancreas) of the lobster. Okay if you want to know more go read about it yourself. I’m going to go throw up a little.

Uch, these pregnancy photos are SO tacky! There’re like those knock-off bags you get in Chinatown.
Really? I like my Pradar bag. [holds it up and it falls apart]

I’m guessing a Pradar is a knock-off of Prada. Hey look, you can buy almost the same one here! It’s missing the big floppy flower and extraneous zipper, but what you can expect from cheap Chinese knock-offs?

Carmen! What are you doing here?
Carmen Chao
Oh I just love babies. Love their creepy little hands and the way they crawl fast like a rat monster. Question is, what are YOU doing here?
Oh she’s here with me. I’m pregnant and Avery is helping me decide… what kind of baby megaphone to buy. [picks up breast pump and pretends to play it like a trumpet]

Yeah that’s a breast pump. Specifically it’s a Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump. You’re happy I found that for you, aren’t you?

You’ll also note Avery is wearing a fetching wizard’s clock complete with little golden stars and moons on the collar.

Miss Lemon, Carmen Chao called about an interview. Is she doing an expose on how feminism has led to a happiness crisis among educated women?

Okay so originally I thought “happiness crisis” meant everyone was too happy, but then realized “happiness crisis” is more like “water crisis”, i.e. “happiness shortage,” which makes more sense coming from Kenneth. Kenneth’s rube upbringing would teach him happy women are uneducated subservient women. Like the salad days of the 1930s.

Check this out. I was up in the Everybody Dining Room, sharing a table with Bee Dubs, here. And guess what he told me?
Brian Williams
Okay, gossip alert. According to my colleague Carmen Chao, our friend, Liz Lemon, is pregnant. [everyone gasps]

Bee Dubs = Brian Williams. Okay, okay, you figured that out for yourself. Nice work. They probably used it, though, becuase Bee Dubs sounds like “Vee Dubs” which is slang for Volkswagen cars.

And Frank is wearing a Toxic Avenger t-shirt! Fantastic. It’s a 1984 movie about a picked-on nerd who gets turned into a disgusting Hulk-like superhero and takes his revenge!

So what, now people think I’m pregnant. Do I have to do this “mom” news story?
There is no news story. Carmen isn’t getting anywhere with Avery so she’s calling your bluff.
Well it is CALLED. I am telling everyone here there’s no way I could be pregnant. Because I have had my period for the last sixty-one days.

Oh my. Liz probably has either menorrhagia (excessive but regular menstruation) or menometrorrhagia (excessive and irregular menstruation). Either one sounds unpleasant and may explain why we haven’t heard from Carol in awhile.

Lemon, please. Avery’s career has never been more important because I just don’t know what’s happening with mine!
What? Why?
Oh, the Everyone Dining Room, open office hours, memos with emoticons in them. If this is how Kabletown does business I don’t know if I have a future here. I’m Jack Donaghy! Don Geiss gave me this watch for firing a man on his death bed!

Emoticons are little characters in a message to indicate mood. Like this;)

I don’t remember Jack firing a man on his death bed. Oh wait, was that Jack firing a man who was dying, or Jack firing a man while Geiss was on his death bed? Either way, I still don’t remember it happening. Which means either I forgot or it didn’t happen. Anyone?

Hiyee ya! [karate kicks] So that’s basically the show. And my sidekick is a hot black chick who can read minds.

Again, like last episode, this has got to refer to Judah Friedlander’s book How to Beat Up Anybody: An Instructional and Inspirational Karate Book by the World Champion. I wonder why this keeps getting in there. I like it!

[in meeting with Jack] So much of television is really not fit for children or Christians or the elderly [points to himself], so what if there was a black bar on the lower half of your TV screen that kept you from seeing bad things? Like nudity. Or soccer.
Congratulations. Worst so far.
[very happy]

A sharp-brained reader pointed out that the bit where Kenneth points to himself is just one of many bizarre hints throughout 30 Rock that Kenneth is somehow extremely old. Or maybe immortal. Or a vampire. Note in this episode when he says “the elderly” and points to himself.

The Wikipedia site on Kenneth’s age is fascinating. Go read!

Guys. Lay off Liz, okay? You know she’s pregnant.
Yeah. Super pregnant.
Congratulations. I am not interested in godfather duties.
Now’s not the time to discuss this, but I will need to eat your umbilical cord.

Tom Cruise said he was going to eat the placenta and umbilical cord of his unborn child, carried by Katie Holmes. One would hope he would do this after the child was born. He was kidding, but the fact so many took him seriously either says something about how weird Cruise kept getting or how sensationalist the world has become. Or a lot of both.

Some people do eat the placenta, but it’s not as widespread as anyone imagines.

Hank Hooper
Oh, speaking of new experiences, I ate at an Indian restaurant last night. I had naan!

Naan is delicious! I’ve been on a bread-making kick recently. I have to try making naan.

Sir, I- I- I mean Hank. I appreciate you have your way of doing things, but so do I. I am a Six Sigma Black Belt Ultra with the groin branding to prove it.
Hank Hooper
What’s… Six Sigma? Rock band?

Six Sigma is a very Jack-like statistical management technique originally developed by Motorola in 1981.

What if you didn’t need a remote control because your remote control was your own voice. Television on. [TV turns on] Channel NBC. [TV changed to NBC]
Detective Odafin Tutuola
[on TV] Crew out of the Bronx called the Ace Deuces.
Hank Hooper
I give you “Voice Activation.”

These don’t actually exist yet! I could have sworn they did. There are a bunch of super-crappy looking add-ons that give you voice control for your TV, but I’m sure they’re as stellar as I just made them out to be.

They could totally do this. Scientists, I mean. All the technology is there. Some cell phones have extra microphones that pick up the ambient noise so they can cancel it out. Speakerphones do the same thing. They know what sounds they’re making so they can filter them out and listen to you. TVs could do the exact same thing, without the comical side-effects.

The TV show messing up the TV is Law & Order: Special Victims Unit which started way back in 1999.

Crap. [TV switches to “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”]

Ha! You had to be quick to catch this. It’s because “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” is crap. Get it? Because Jack said “crap.” The Kardashians are famous because one of the sisters, Kim Kardashian is famous for… well no one’s quite sure. These talent-free celebrities are a side-effect of the intellect-free reality TV movement.

Carmen. What are you doing here?
Carmen Chao
Well, you didn’t call back to schedule our interview so I thought I’d just ambush you with some pregnancy questions. I hope you’re not unprepared.
Of course not.
Carmen Chao
When are you due?
April 20th, Hitler’s birthday.
Carmen Chao
What is your pediatrician’s name?
Doctor Rufus T. Barleysheath.
Carmen Chao
Where was the baby conceived.
In my vagina.
Carmen Chao
What named are you considering?
Rufus T. Barleysheath.

I love this scene. Liz’s answers are wicked funny.

Weird. When you Google “Hitler” the FIRST thing that comes up is “Adolf Hitler!” How convenient. He was born on April 20, 1889.

Carmen Chao
[to cameraman] Owen, screw. [cameraman leaves] I don’t know why you’re doing this for Jessup. She’s a blonde. Don’t you know there’s a war going on? Or you’re doing it for her old man husband. He’s your boss.

Because there’s a war between blondes and brunettes. Or maybe it’s blondes vs. the rest of the hair colours. Hopefully they televise it. I’d watch that.

First of all, Jack means nothing to me. Shoot him in the throat and let the dogs eat him, I don’t care!
Carmen Chao
What- What’s wrong with you?
Almost everything, but let’s get back to the interview.

Wow. I thought this would be a line from some twisted movie or book. Nope! Go 30 Rock writers! That’s messed up;)

An innovation that is both family- and bottom line-friendly, gentlemen, I give you… Blah Bar.
Female Model
[on TV with an ad for Kernel’s Popcorn Palace on the bottom half] You’re really sexing me right now.
Male Model
[on TV] It’s filthy.
Hank Hooper
[claps along with everyone else, and chants] Jack! Jack! Jack! Jack! Jack! Jack! Jack! Jack! Jack! Jack! Jack! [whistles] Jack! Jac`k!

There is a Popcorn Palace, but it’s in Illinois. There are a few gourmet popcorn shops in NYC like Garrett Gourmet Popcorn and Dave and Thomas Popcorn in NJ, but I can’t find anything on 11th.

[gets in elevator with Kenneth]
One time a saw a turtle-
Who the hell do you think you are? [stops elevator] This is not the way the world works, Kenneth. Bosses steal and employees use it for leverage. So what do you want? Money? A promotion? I can get you into a restaurant where you watch a child play with a bunny, then you eat the bunny.
Isn’t that just “Easter?” And I don’t want anything, sir. I’m just happy to spend all day here helping my work family.

That’s because Kenneth grew up in Stone Mountain, GA, a little backwater farming/coal mining town where that sort of thing may happen.

I am ordering you to strike me. There will be no retaliation, but if you refuse you’re fired.
No! I don’t even know how.
Do it! Hit me now!
[swings at Jack]
[ducks, puts Kenneth in a choke hold and knocks his out] Oh damn my Krav Maga training and lighting reflexes. [to Kenneth] Release me you hillbilly Circe!

Nice! Krav Maga (Hebrew: קרב מגע “hand-to-hand combat”) is one of the most efficient martial arts in the world, mostly because it was designed to be that way. Many martial arts have deep tradition or a self-defense slant. Krav Maga was created in the 1930s for the Israeli Defence Forces to disable an opponent as quickly as possible.

Circe is a minor Greek goddess most famous for messing with Odysseus’ crew in Homer’s The Odyssey by turning them into animals that Odysseus had to free.

Hank Hooper
What’s going on, Jack? I was just about to hop on my bus back to Philadelphia. I don’t fly, but I got my own bus with a pool table in it. We’ll drive to Branson together sometime. Take you to a Yakov Smirnov show. Doesn’t Russia sound like a crazy place?

Yakov Smirnov is a Ukranian actor/comedian of Jewish descent. He was big in the 80s and known for lines like:

In America, you drive car.

In Soviet Russia, car drive you.

He now has a theatre in Branson, Missouri where he performs year-round.

Here’s my letter of resignation. It’s probably for the best since this is obviously not a good fit. If you call security to escort me out you should know I have several pistols hidden on me.
Hank Hooper
Hold on, Jack. No one’s quitting. I’m impressed you told me that. You have a reputation, Jack. As a shark. Kabletown, we’re not sharks. We’re more like… whatever the friendliest fish is. I’m not a science guy. The point is, I wasn’t sure how you were going to fit in, but you doing something like this tells me we’re going to be just fine.

Apparently the Eastern Blue Groper is the friendliest fish in the sea. There you go. Mystery over. In his defense, Hank didn’t have access to the Internet right then. One day we’ll all have chips in our head and we’ll be able to Google things on the spot. One day.

Hank Hooper
And Jack should give you something for that idea, son.
Finally! Thank you. [to Kenneth] Quid pro quo.

Quid pro quo (from the Latin meaning “this for that”) is often used to mean “a favor for a favor,” “what for what,” “give and take,” “tit for tat,” “this for that,” and “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.”

[on TV] And as excited as I am to be joining the team on Nightly News, I will miss my dear friends here on basic cable, but Carmen, you have an exciting new assignment, right?
Carmen Chao
Yes. I will be covering hurricanes.

You do not want to be a hurricane reporter.

[knocks and comes in with Tracy] Hey, Liz. Can we get you anything?
Do you need some lineament rubbed on your perineum?

The perineum is the region on a man between the base of the penis and the anus. Also known as the “taint” or the “choda.” I wouldn’t use those last two around children. Or the elderly.

No, guys, I’m not really pregnant. I was just pretending to help Jack.
Why would you pretend to help Jack? Help him for real! It takes the same amount of time.
No. Tracy. She lied to us. And she ordered us around like we were a couple of normals!
You will be punished! Can I have my nunchuks back?

Nunchuks are NINJA WEAPONS! Well, I like to think so. They were originally peasant weapons, adapted from the flail, which is a farming implement.

Tracy may have also been talking about the G.I. Joe character. Yes, he may have had a pair of them. I like to think maybe he tied their heads together with a length of string and used them as nunchucks.

Or… we could call it even. [hands “pregnant” photos to Jenna who starts going through them]
Good God!
I have been punished! These are yours to keep.
[flipping through photos] Ugh.
[looking at photo with Liz’s breasts covered by a black man’s hands] What?! Who’s the black guy?

Almost identical to the cover of Janet Jackson’s 1993 album “janet.”

[in meeting with Jack] How about a button you push on your remote and you can buy anything you see on TV. Like if you’re watching Sex and the City and you just HAVE to have Mr. Big’s spaghetti.

Sex and the City is a 1998-2004 TV series set in Manhattan. Mr. Big was the love interest for the main character, Carrie Bradshaw. Also funny: Carrie was obsessed with fashion. Liz is obsessed with food.

Brian Williams
[in meeting with Jack] And then I pull off MY mask and I’m a lizard person, too. Black out. End of episode.

Sounds like he’s talking about V, the TV series where human-looking “visitors” come to earth but secretly want to… kill us… or… steal and eat out mice… or something. There were two series, the original 1983 series or the new 2009 series.

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26 Responses to 30 Rock S05E13: "¡Qué Sorpresa!"

  1. Blake says:

    I think at about 6-7 minutes there is a Star Wars reference. Carmen says "So by the law of rebel traps, you have to do it"

    I had no clue what she was talking about till I realised it was probably another SW reference. Though a quick google didn't lead me to the rules of Rebel traps.

  2. Blake says:

    Ah verbal, couldn't tell what she was saying but it sounded like Rebel and given their habit of SW references, was my first though. Plus I was sure I'd heard "its a rebel trap" in the movies. Oh well.

    I need to find copies with subs.

  3. Gillian Marsollier says:

    Hahaha!! Awesome…such a brilliant show…Thank you CAM!!

  4. John Colman says:

    Brilliant work, as usual.
    You missed a really good piece of meta while Kenneth is pitching the black bar to Jack.
    When he lists the people potentially offended by program content he mentions the elderly and points to himself.

  5. Matt says:

    Warwickshire is a place is the UK and yes it has at least one Abby in the shire… not a real place….

    • Cam says:

      Okay TRUE, Warwickshire is a real place, and yeah, I looked it up and there ARE several abbeys there, but I mean there is no Warwickshire Abbey specifically that's a know home to seahorses. Of any kind;)

      The abbeys look super cool, though.

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