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Great Heckspectations is the 20th episode of season nine and aired on May 1, 2018.


Frankie and Mike catch Brick driving Aunt Edie's Cadillac, and forces him to take Cindy to the prom. When Frankie invites his former social skills classmates to join the young couple, she begins to worry when she finds out they lost many of their quirks, and Brick hasn't. Meanwhile at Lexie's urging, Axl tries to get Sue a gift for her belated 21st birthday.


Mike and Frankie are on their way home from a local taco-themed restaurant when suddenly they spot Brick driving Aunt Edie's Cadillac. Later at home, they reprimand him for taking the car without a license, but he reveals that he already has one because Sue helped him get it. His parents ground him for two weeks, which keeps him out of the library and from hanging out with Cindy, but he takes comfort in the fact that he'll have the chance to avoid an upcoming prom. Until some recent school budget cuts, proms were only for Juniors and Seniors but now involve all grades, and Frankie decides that his punishment involves taking Cindy to the prom.

At Lexi's apartment, which is now shared by Axl, Lexi arrives home overwhelmed from her day working at "The Cattle Prod," which seems to be some kind of fast food steakhouse. She slams the door, darts to the couch and lays her feet in Axl's lap, knowing he'll rub them without even asking all while they discuss her day at work. During their conversation, she reveals that she never got the chance to take Sue out for her 21st Birthday (see Toasted), and Axl casually mentions that he didn't either. Perturbed by this revelation, Lexi urges him to make up for his lack of a gift, even if it's not something elaborate or extravagant.

Back at the Heck household, Frankie wants to know how Brick plans to invite Cindy to the prom. Partially influenced by elaborate prom-posals she saw on the internet, Frankie urges Brick to do the same, rather than simply approaching her and asking her to go. Brick decides he would've preferred the previous standard punishment. Axl returns to the Heck house to meet Sue with the false promise of a belated birthday present, which he claims he's going to give her the next time he sees her, which makes his sister giddy with anticipation, as one might expect. Brick decides that his prom-posal will involve dressing as Bernie the Bookmark and using book-related puns as part of his invitation. Frankie recommends that he should take a different approach, preferably something elegant and memorable. The scene is cut to school where the Orson High marching band approaches Cindy at her locker with some members holding up a paper banner reading "PROM?" Brick tries to break through the paper but has to receive help from one of the drummers. He approaches her dressed in a tuxedo with a red rose in one hand, calls her by her full name, and asks her to go to the prom directly. Unimpressed, she bluntly tells him no.

Again at home, Mike is having trouble controlling the new remote control being used on their television. Axl walks in, and Sue approaches him inquiring about her present. Just then, Brick walks into the house, obviously disappointed over his rejection. Frankie tries to find out how the prom-posal went while he drinks glasses of apple juice like an alcoholic at a bar. Brick reveals that his mother's suggestion was a failure and is baffled over why she turned him down. He also missed the chance to ask her why, after he paid the band member the $10 he promised them. Frankie urges him not to give up, reminding him of a disastrous rope-climbing incident that at least allowed him to read more books while he was recuperating from his injuries.

The next morning Sue peers by Axl's bed and wakes him up to inquire about her birthday experience, basically trying to get an idea over what she should wear as part of it. Axl stalls over the answer, as expected. Later, Frankie offers to set Brick up with another girl, specifically her hairdresser's niece. Brick discourages her from the effort and insists that his "Bernie the Bookmark" disguise actually got Cindy to go with him after all. Suddenly Frankie decides to invite the former members of Brick's social skills group for a pre-prom party. On Saturday, Sue sits in a chair that she placed at the front door, awaiting Axl's arrival for her birthday experience. Completely caught off guard with a basketball in his hands (which Sue interprets as possibly part of the experience), Axl takes a scarf and uses it as a blindfold for his sister. He spins her around and guides her outside of the house.

While Mike struggles to fidget with the inner workings of the old remote control, despite Frankie urging him not to do so, Axl walks around the streets of Orson under the guise of preparing her for her birthday experience. She bumps into a mailbox and falsely assumes it's part of some teacup-type amusement park ride. Immediately, he places her in a chair outside of a local ice cream/frozen yogurt shop and leaves her there to go inside. She takes a taste of a serving of cookie dough ice cream that's already placed at the table with a cigarette stuck into the cup. She offers some to Axl, believing he's still with her, but a large dog approaches her and takes some licks until Axl chases it away.

That night, Brick approaches his parents dressed in his tuxedo, reading a book, which Frankie takes away from him and replaces with the corsage he's supposed to pin on his girlfriend's dress. Cindy arrives at the door without her hat, in a colorful one-shoulder long dress with her hair pulled back into a partial ponytail and very little makeup, if any. Needless to say, Frankie is stunned by her beauty. Later, Brick's former social skills classmates arrive with their own dates. Meanwhile, Axl arrives at home with the still blindfolded Sue being lead around the house. She inadvertently feels her way around and believes she might be at a fancy hotel with a discotheque. Frankie offers various snacks that she knew the boys were into when they were younger, but they all reveal they grew out of their childhood quirks. Much to her chagrin, as well as that of his former friends, Brick hasn't.

Finally, in Sue's room, Axl removes her blindfold, and she becomes infuriated when she realizes he never got her a present in the first place. Sue reminds him that for his 21st birthday, she got him a monogrammed tie clip and an hour at a flight simulator. Axl admits that Sue is difficult to buy gifts for because she has unrealistic expectations, and he has no idea what she would want in the first place. Sue reminds him that she actually did take the time to find out what he likes. She also reminds him that when they were mere babies, she learned to walk early so she could follow him around. Suddenly, Axl attributes his inability to come up with a gift to being born first in the family, which he also blames his neglect for showing any appreciation for her. Fed up with his excuses, Sue kicks her big brother out of her room.

After all the kids leave and get their group picture, Frankie is frantic over the fact that Brick never lost all his quirks, while all his friends turned out normal. No longer worried about his driving, she fears that another guy will try to take Cindy away from him while he's too busy with maximum occupancy signs. Mike tries to reassure her that he still has a driver's license, a girlfriend, and a night at the prom despite all his quirks, which he actually enjoys from time to time. As it turns out, Brick double-crossed his parents. He and Cindy arrive at the local library, which is completely unoccupied, and he boasts about his private key to the library. Cindy mentions that she's just as indifferent about the prom as he is, but both go along with the façade of going to please their parents. The weird couple grabs each other's arms, and he offers a hidden snack in the botany section, which she accepts. She also wants to look at a series of books on "fashion through the ages," reminding him of some of her hidden girlier characteristics.

The next morning, Frankie walks into the kitchen to find Sue lamenting over her place in the family, convinced that Axl wouldn't dump on her all the time if she had been born first. Frankie reassures her that Axl did love her. She tells her daughter that while she was pregnant, he talked to her in her womb. Once she was born, he lavished attention on her, even going so far as to boast about being her "big bwovver" to everybody he met. When it finally came time to make them sleep in separate rooms, he got upset until their parents talked him into letting his stuffed animal "woofy dog" to her for protection. Completely perplexed and flabbergasted over this revelation, she leaves the kitchen in a much better mood. Just then, Brick walks into the kitchen and inquires about his time at the prom, and he tells her he had a wonderful normal time. Finally, after much struggle, Mike fixes the remote control. But as he invites Frankie into the living room to see the results of his work, the TV dies on him as he's watching a basketball game.


  • The final episode featuring "Cindy Hornberger."
  • The basketball game that Mike tries to watch appears to be a college game rather than an Indiana Pacers game.