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Air Date January 15, 1993
Written by David A. Caplan and Brian LaPan
Director Mark Brull

Henri Poupon.

After Earl throws her a disastrous birthday party, Charlene feels totally alienated from her whole family and signs up for a Species Exchange Program at school. She lives with a family of squawking, arrogant, annoying, bird-like creatures, and runs away. In exchange, the Sinclairs' get a teenaged version of this hideous species. Pushed to the edge, the Baby eats the exchange student. Earl creates a fake kid and returns it to the family, and then discovers that he's brought home a Charlene impostor. When the real Charlene returns, father and daughter make a pact to get to know one another better.


It's Charlene's birthday, and Fran is sick, so Earl throws Charlene a birthday party, which includes inviting his co-workers, playing poker, and giving Charlene presents that she doesn't really want. She is disappointed with the way her so-called "party" has turned out, and it makes her feel even worse that her mother knitted her a sweater, instead of buying the sweater at the mall which she had been wanting. At school, Charlene complains to Mindy that her parents don't seem to know her, and she decides to join an exchange program so that she can live with a new family.

When Fran informs Earl that Charlene is leaving, he doubts that she is really planning on leaving. Even when he sees that Charlene's suitcases aren't empty and that she gets on a bus which doesn't stop, Earl thinks that she's just pretending, and doesn't start to believe that she's gone until a few days after she's left. In Charlene's place, the Sinclairs have to take care of Francois Poupon, a rude bird with a French accent.

Charlene finds it uncomfortable living with the Poupons, who live in a tree (which she barely fits inside). The French bird couple get their kicks from insulting Charlene and her culture, and watching movies on TV which star a Jerry Lewis-like dinosaur. Her only sleeping place is a branch (where Francois usually sleeps), but she accidentally breaks it off, and suffers a marathon of the Poupons' endless squawks. Meanwhile, Francois' constant insults, demands and squawking annoys the Sinclairs. Earl and Fran leave Francois alone with Baby, who gets into an argument with Francois. In the kitchen, Fran expresses a desire to kill all birds of Francois' kind, and Earl is surprised that he's hearing these racist thoughts from her. Soon, Fran and Earl notice that Francois is no longer squawking. When they come back to the living room, they find that Francois is no longer there. When the Baby hiccups, feathers fly out of his mouth.

Fran tells Earl that they have to call Francois' parents and tell them the bad news, but Earl chooses not to, instead disguising a small creature as Francois. When Earl brings home Charlene, it turns out to be an impostor as well. The Poupons come to the Sinclair home to discuss where their children are. Henri Poupon informs them that Charlene didn't like it there, and ran away. When Henry and his wife, Simone, find out that the Baby ate Francois, they decide that a big screen TV would make up for it.

Charlene comes home, admitting that the Poupons were a worse family than hers. Earl apologizes for ruining her birthday party, and for not knowing her well, and they decide to start hanging out together.

Guest Stars


  • Taped on August 17, 1992
  • During Earl's poker game, Ralph Needlenose can be heard saying, "Smoo", a profane word first mentioned in "Baby Talk."

Video releases

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