Season 1, episode 9
Lydia and Stewart argue
Episode Information

November 21, 2005

Written by

Christopher Lloyd

Directed by

Mark Cendrowski

Episode Guide

The Wedding


Guilt Trip


Thanks is the ninth episode of Out of Practice.


Lydia tells Regina she set the table in a way that's lovely and perplexing. The doorbell rings and Regina goes to get it. It's Oliver and Ben, who are late. Regina shoves their heads together to punish them, since she's been alone with their mom for 20 minutes. They greet Lydia and apologize for being late. She says it's okay, that some of them need a few extra minutes to get their outfits right, while others, like Regina, are early settlers. She leaves to tend to setup and Oliver tells Regina that Thanksgivings there are always a disaster. Regina wonders why Lydia invited Stewart, but Ben admits that he told her to invite him. Crystal's out of town. Regina and Oliver are both upset with him. Oliver thinks they should have an exit plan. Regina says she'll have a friend page her at nine saying it's the hospital and they'll all share a cab downtown. Ben says that's great because it could actually happen, like when she got paged at his Christmas party. Oliver and Regina nod along when he doesn't realize he was tricked.

The doorbell rings and Regina lets in Stewart. He says this is where they're keeping the turkeys. Lydia wonders if they'll be subjected to his turkey humor every year. Oliver then asks if something's burning and Lydia rushes to check on her rolls. Stewart follows to help her and Oliver tells Regina to have her friend page at eight.

Lydia pulls out her rolls and they're hopelessly burned. Something has to go wrong every year, but Stewart say it's nothing compared to what they did last year. She reminds him that it was just him. He says he was married to her at the time, so he was clearly not thinking straight.

One Year Ago

Lydia carried out a tray of food as Oliver asks why Stewart is late. Lydia asks Ben about Naomi and is told she has a headache and is lying down. Lydia offers her pills and clarifies to Regina that she mans sleeping pills as she goes to get the door after the bell rings. It's Stewart with some wine. He says it's a nice picture, three turkeys stuffing themselves. Oliver asks if he lost his keys since he rang the bell. He says he actually left them there and he's forgetting things a lot lately. He asks Lydia if they can pour the wine and they play up the affection as they walk to the kitchen, confusing their kids.

In the kitchen, they fight about their separation. Lydia has re-arranged, so Stewart can't find the wine glasses.

They come back out to the living room. Stewart asks about Naomi and Ben gives the headache excuse again. They hear a popping noise and he says someone's car keeps backfiring. Regina points out that Stewart has dragged his sleeve through the dip and asks if he wants to go change his shirt. He says he will, but Lydia stops him and he remembers that he doesn't have clothes there anymore, so he says club soda will get it out. He asks Lydia where they're keeping the club soda these days. She goes to get it for him. The kids are weirded out.

Lydia berates Stewart for getting dip on his sleeve. He says he was trying to pour the wine, which he calls "Lydia gets bearable juice." She thinks Ben is catching onto them. They join hands and go back out to the living room with smiles on their faces.

Stewart grabs his wine and goes to make a toast, but they hear the popping noise again and Stewart spills his wine on his shirt. Regina offers to get him a clean shirt, but he stops her and says he can do it. Ben goes to check on Naomi.

Regina and Oliver confront Lydia about Stewart's strange behavior. She denies that he's acting strangely. Just then, he comes back out wearing one of Lydia's sweaters and sits down at the table to eat. Oliver asks him about it, but he denies that it's Lydia's. Oliver says he gave it to her for Mother's Day. Stewart says thank you from both of them. Lydia says there's a few more things to do in the kitchen and calls Stewart back to help her.

In the kitchen, Stewart and Lydia fight again. Lydia doesn't think they'll away with it, but Stewart says they can't ruin the kids' Thanksgiving. He grabs a dish and goes to head back out, but Oliver starts to enter the kitchen, hitting Stewart and causing him to spill the dish onto his pants. He asks Lydia if her plaid skirt could pass as a kilt.


Stewart notes that everything is out in the open now. They bring the food out and Lydia calls all of them to action to get ready to eat. Stewart says burning the rolls got the disaster out of the way early. Just then, Oliver comes out of the kitchen and knocks the turkey out the window.

Stewart opens the door and greets Joe, who brings them Chinese food. Joe apologizes for dropping their soup. His bike hit a turkey in the street. Stewart says not to worry about it; there's plenty to share. He leads Joe into the kitchen as Oliver says that sharing is a Thanksgiving tradition. Regina says she apologized for that.

Seven Years Ago

Lydia tells Regina she's a pretty girl, but that particular look is a bit casual. Regina says it's how people are dressing, but Lydia meant her hair. She asks Regina at least to lose the gum. Regina wonders why Lydia cares so much. It's just family. The doorbell rings and Lydia tells her to fix her hair. Regina deduces that they invited someone there for her. Stewart says it's been so long since she's had a boyfriend, her mom is just trying to help. Regina says it's not happening. She hopes they like their turkey rare, because she's going to use the oven for her head.

At the door is Oliver and his date, Sharon. Lydia thought he was going out of town. They were, but they decided to surprise his family last minute. Sharon even brought a sweat potato dish, which she takes to the kitchen. Once she's gone, Stewart says Sharon's adorable and Ben's girl is coming, too. They struggle to remember that her name is Naomi. Lydia says she just wishes that Regina could find a guy she could stick with. Oliver says she's afraid of commitment. Ben says Regina's a grown woman who knows what she wants.

Ben enters the kitchen to find Regina kissing Sharon. Sharon excuses herself and Ben questions Regina about it. Regina explains that she'd gone out with Oliver and Sharon and shared a cab home with her and found out they had a lot in common. Ben asks if she's gay and she says that's one of the things they have in common. Ben asks if it's just an experiment. She says she did the experiment before and this just confirmed the results. Ben asks what about Oliver. They're not sure how to tell him. Ben says not like he found out.

Ben comes out of the kitchen to find Oliver and Sharon kissing. Oliver asks Sharon where she got the gum. Ben asks Oliver to get him a bottle of wine from the kitchen, but Sharon jumps to get it over his objections. Oliver says she won't let him lift a finger. She's very traditional. Stewart wishes she'd rub off on Regina. Lydia asks where Regina is. Lydia goes into the kitchen to get her and comes out a moment later, stunned. She tells Ben it's fine as Regina and Sharon come out of the kitchen. Lydia suggests that they start eating. Stewart asks if he's the only one who hasn't had any of Sharon's sweet potato. Lydia says it would seem so. Regina says there's no sense running away from it and confesses that she's gay. Stewart is confused and Regina says she should have told them sooner. She thought they might have suspected. Oliver says he did. He's intuitive like that. Lydia says they should start eating and Regina says that's their way. Don't deal with it. Just bury it. Lydia says it's the one day a year that she gets her family together and she wants it to be nice. She tells Regina to sit down and pretend she's having a nice time and adds to fix her lipstick when the doorbell rings, signaling that her date is there. Oliver says the poor bastard has no idea what's about to hit him.


Oliver tries to claim that he knew all along she was gay. Regina says that's why he bought her those diamond earrings. Oliver says she had no right to keep those, but Regina says she didn't and shows them off.

Joe leaves and Lydia says they're all set to eat. Stewart says the year's disaster is out of the way, but then they see that Joe has collapsed in the doorway. Regina runs to his aid as Lydia tells her to stop saying that.

Regina says that Joe is stable and he just fainted. They posit reasons why he might have fainted and Stewart, Lydia, and Regina to back to check on him. Ben says this reminds him of the Thanksgiving he became a second-class citizen. Ben, the one everyone ignores. Oliver interrupts him to tell him to grab a sparerib because they're awesome.

Six Years Ago

Ben's on the phone, telling Naomi he hasn't told his parents yet that he dropped out of medical school. When Lydia comes out of the kitchen, Ben hangs up the phone. Lydia asks after Naomi. She says it's nice having home and she hates that he has to go back to school so soon. Stewart comes in, followed by Curtis, a homeless man who lives on a bench in the park. He invites Curtis to make himself at home. Lydia calls Stewart into the kitchen.

In the kitchen, Lydia asks what's going on. Stewart says it's freezing outside and he told Curtis they'd have a little food for him. Lydia doesn't trust him. Stewart says he'll give Curtis a to-go container and send him on his way.

They come out to the living room to find Curtis talking to Ben about how kind Stewart is for inviting him for dinner. They go back to the kitchen and Stewart says they'll feed him quickly and send him on his way. Lydia says he doesn't trust him because he got in a fight with the doorman. He actually threw a squirrel at him.

In the living room. Regina and Sharon are fighting over whether or not Regina checked out another woman. Stewart wants them all to get along because Ben only has a few days off of medical school. Ben starts to correct him, but Oliver comes in, complaining about his mom's friend who came in to Oliver's practice to see him. She needed a mole removed and Oliver says it was not a small mole. Stewart says that Lydia has made them a beautiful meal and soon-to-be-doctor Ben should carve the turkey. Curtis asks if he needs a knife and pulls out a small blade. Stewart says he can put it back in his boot because they have sharp knives there that will cut through anything. Oliver says he used to think that about the one in his office. It took him four hours to remove the mole. They all start to fight and the power goes out. It's out in the whole city. Oliver asks Sharon to take her hand off his leg, but it's not her hand. It's Curtis's. Ben confesses that he dropped out of medical school.


They send Joe off after making him promise to see his doctor. Stewart also tells him to relax. They found out that he'd had a gigantic argument with his wife before leaving for work. Ben feels validated, thinking there was a psychological cause for the fainting, but the argument was over her forgetting to pick up his blood pressure medicine, which is why he fainted. Regina laughs and Ben says it's not funny. But she's thinking about last year.

One Year Ago... Again

It shows again Stewart coming in with a bottle of wine. But instead of following Lydia and Stewart into the kitchen, we see the kids in the living room. Ben says he has a problem and Oliver offers up pills for Naomi's headache, saying they might make her a little drowsy. Ben says she doesn't have a headache. She thinks one of the balloons in the parade is offensive to Native Americans, so she's got firecrackers and she's going to try to pop it as it goes by. Lydia and Stewart come out of the kitchen and Stewart gets his shirt in the dip again, so they go back to the kitchen to clean him up.

Once they're gone, Oliver says that he thinks their dad is starting to lose it, with forgetting his keys and where things are. They think that's why Lydia is treating him so nicely. Stewart and Lydia come back and Stewart spills the wine. Stewart goes to get a clean shirt and Ben goes to check on Naomi. Regina and Oliver ask Lydia about Stewart acting strangely. Stewart comes back in Lydia's sweater. Lydia calls him into the kitchen and Oliver and Regina talk about Stewart losing it again. Oliver goes to into the kitchen, but knocks into Stewart. Ben comes back out and says that all of Stewart's stuff is gone from their parents' bedroom. They figure out that Stewart moved out. They wonder why their parents didn't tell them. They're stunned that it's actually happening. They think it'll be the last Thanksgiving the five of them spend together.


Stewart and Lydia come out of the kitchen. He tells her to stop saying she overcooked the turkey when they never even got to taste it. She says it's been hit by two cabs and a UPS truck and it's still intact. That's more than can be said for the UPS truck. Stewart says at least he didn't spill on himself this year. Oliver says that's too bad because he got Lydia a silk blouse for her birthday that would bring out his eyes. Lydia offers them all wine. Regina's pager goes off. She says it's not important and says she'll have more wine. They all agree and they sit down to start to eat.


  • Ben Barnes
  • Regina Barnes
  • Oliver Barnes
  • Stewart Barnes
  • Lydia Barnes
  • Sharon
  • Curtis
  • Joe

Main CastEdit

Guest StarringEdit


Notes and TriviaEdit

  • This episode has no intro scene and instead jumps right into the credits.


See AlsoEdit

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.