Classic TV Episodes: All In The Family – Edith’s Problem

This particular episode was about women going through menopause which today would not receive a second notice…but then, comedy shows just didn’t feature subjects like this. All In The Family had so many great episodes that it is hard picking out one. In this one, the tables are turned and Edith rounds on Archie with a vengeance because of her mood swings caused by menopause.

All in the Family changed the game in sitcoms and television. In the early seventies, many country type sitcoms were canceled when this show debuted in 1971. As Pat Butram of Green Acres said: “CBS canceled everything with a tree including Lassie.

The show tackled controversial subjects such as racism, rape, gun control, feminism, and homophobia. It was under fire from the first episode for its controversial subject matter. Critics and viewers were divided on what they were seeing…some saw it as comic genius and some as tasteless bigotry. The backlash did not come only from the public and the reviewers. Several actors including Harrison Ford turned down roles in the show because they were offended by the script’s humor.

Lucille Ball lambasted CBS for running such an “Un-American” show on the same network her own series was airing on. I seriously doubt if the show could be made today on network television. The show was a huge success in the seventies.

Mike Stivic: [Edith is going through menopause] What did the doctor say?
Archie Bunker: He just said that menopause is a pretty tough time to be going through; especially for nervous types.
Mike Stivic: So?
Archie Bunker: So he prescribed these here pills.
[takes bottle of pills out of paper bag]
Mike Stivic: Oh, good.
Archie Bunker: I gotta take three of ’em a day.


“If you’re gonna change, Edith, change! Right now! CHANGE!”


All In The Family: Edith’s Problem

Characters: Edith Bunker, Archie Bunker, Mike Stivic, Gloria Stivic, and The Waitress

The Bunker family is thrown into an uproar when the normally docile Edith undergoes several sudden and unexpected mood swings, yelling at her family and displaying a foul temper that makes Archie look like a pussycat! Though the men in the family don’t quite know what is happening, Gloria does: Edith is going through menopause. Perhaps the best and funniest line of the episode is when an upset Archie, who’s frustrated at his wife’s sudden and constantly unpredictable mood changes, yells at Edith: “If you’re gonna change, Edith, change! Right now! CHANGE!”

The short scene starts at 15 seconds.

The complete episode

Boy, the way Glen Miller played…”

Those Were The Days

Boy, the way Glen Miller played.
Songs that made the Hit Parade.
Guys like us, we had it made.
Those were the days
Didn’t need no welfare state.
Everybody pulled his weight
Gee, our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the days
And you knew where you were then
Girls were girls and men were men.
Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.
People seemed to be content.
Fifty dollars paid the rent.
Freaks were in a circus tent.
Those were the days
Take a little Sunday spin,
Go to watch the Dodgers win.
Have yourself a dandy day
That cost you under a fin.
Hair was short and skirts were long.
Kate Smith really sold a song.
I don’t know just what went wrong
Those Were the Days

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

24 thoughts on “Classic TV Episodes: All In The Family – Edith’s Problem”

  1. It was a great and ground-breaking show . I liked it at the time, even though some of the humor went over my head … probably would have idolized it if I’d been a decade older and understood all the social ramifications. Show dealt with a lot of hot button topics – Edith got raped as well at one point, I seem to recall.
    Many hate Archie’s character but I think he was one of the best-written characters ever on TV. Sure he was ignorant and a racist, but we saw WHY he was like that (witness the one where he’s locked in the basement with Mike and tells him about his dad and his upbringing) and we see him TRY to adapt and change with the times. And as ignorant as he was with Edith, he loved her and was always there for her in shows like this. One of the bits that stands out most to me was the one where Mike & Gloria are separating and when he finds out his “little girl” was having an affair, he turns to Mike and says something like “Well Meathead, I never thought I’d say this but turns out you’re too good for her!” That was a powerful bit of TV!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I forgot about the basement one…you are right that was a powerful one. There are so many and that is what made it so great.
      Archie at the end finally started to act more normal but that is when the show…Archie’s Place I believe started to fade away. He did love his family no matter what but just didn’t like to express it.
      It wasn’t just a run of the mill comedy that is for sure. I didn’t like the purge of some of those older shows in it’s wake but that was the network’s decision.. you could have had both.

      It’s funny because televison for awhile got more sophisticated but then by the end of the seventies it went back to the more dumbed down shows with Three’s Company…although I liked it also don’t get me wrong…but the purge only lasted for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep! Green Acres is on the top of my list in shows… I do like the others also but yes I like Petticoat Junction etc… and I watch them


  2. One of my favorite shows. It was brilliant. You are right that it wouldn’t fly today and what a shame. We could learn a lot from a show whose protagonist is racist, bigoted, sexist, unreasonable while at the same time he is loyal, faithful, hardworking and sometimes heartbreakingly tender. Archie was not a one dimensional man. He was not a hero, though he could be heroic. He was not a gentleman, though he could be gentle. He was human. Just as Edith, Mike and Gloria were. Just as we are.
    Great post, Max. Thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Jim hits on an important point there , I think – ALL the characters had major flaws, liberal or conservative, but were all very human and had redeeming features that made us viewers care.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I never missed All in the Family. I used to jump for joy when Mike/Meathead called Archie out on his bigotry. Also loved it when the “ordinarily docile” Edith got “unstifled.” It’s an American icon in TV and I agree it was a big turning point. I know Archie’s chair is in The Smithsonian.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That chair is one of the reasons I want to go to the Smithsonian. This show just changed a lot of things…the silly humor was out for a while at least.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. My dad thought All in the Family was a damn scream. I always watched it as he controlled the TV when he was home. In 1971, I wasn’t even in elementary school, yet, so, a lot went over my head. But, as I got older, I enjoyed it (I have my dad’s sense of twisted humor). I remember the episode…to this day…where Archie & Mike are in the bedroom, arguing about putting on shoes & sox.

    My first hubby was a Bernatowicz…Polish Catholic. My dad took great joy in calling him Meathead and himself, Archie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I learned a lot at a young age about the topics they brought up. A very funny show… a smart one.
      Funny about your dad and your first husband.


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