It's Your Move/Put to the Test

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Put to the Test
Season 1, Episode 2
Airdate October 3, 1984
Written by Al Aidekman
Directed by Linda Day
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Dating Games
It's Your MoveSeason One

Put to the Test is the second episode of the first season of It's Your Move, and the second episode overall.

Guest Stars: Adam Sadowsky (Eli), Leigh French (Miss Feldman), Tim Brantley (Ernie), Bradley Gregg (Jim), Marc Bentley (Mark), Evan Arnold (Ted)


Plot Overview

Matt and his friends are ready for another term-paper sale and they seem to have all the bases covered. During class they throw an impromptu baby shower for their pregnant teacher, snapping pictures as she opens her gifts. In fact they are actually taking photos of the test answer-key that Eli has lifted from her briefcase. She then unexpectedly goes into labor and the kids see her off to the hospital. This makes the ruse seem all the easier with a substitute teacher coming in.

Norman, who had earlier tried to dissuade Matt and Eli from selling tests and was only laughed at by the boys, ends up being hired as the class' substitute teacher. He of course knows the plans to sell the test, so he trashes the test and tells the class that he was free to alter the teacher's plans...and the test.

Matt and Eli attempt to make peace with Norman by offering him a light bulb since they had earlier broken the bulbs that Eileen had picked up for Norman and asked Matt to deliver. Norman advises the boys that he wasn't going to assist them in the ruse and advises them to merely study for the test.

Matt decides to convince his Mom to take Norman out to dinner and even gives her the money to do so, plotting to search Norman's apartment for the test while they are out. Norman is onto their scheme but instead of taking the test with him, he leaves Matt a note that leads Matt on a scavenger hunt throughout the apartment that ultimately leads to the location of the new test. However, Norman had fed Matt a red herring by stating that he was "top drawer" in one of the notes. Matt had of course emptied all the top drawers in Norman's apartment and was faced with cleaning up a huge mess alone. He had cautiously advised Eli that in case he failed in his mission, he would feel better knowing that Eli was home studying.

The next day at school when Norman arrives with the test, he announces that he had had no right to change the real teacher's plans and began to pass out the original test, stating that if everyone had studied, "it should be no problem at all."

After the exam, Eli remarks to Norman that he felt like he had done well on the test by studying. The bullies who had threatened Matt if they didn't pass their test after shelling out six bucks ask Eli where they might find Matt since he had finished the test early and left the classroom. As the show ends, Norman says goodbye to Matt who is hiding in one of the lockers, bemoaning "yeah, yeah, yeah."

Arc Advancement


  • Norman begins his association with Matt's school when he is hired as a substitute teacher.


  • The show opens in a very similar fashion as the Pilot, with Matt, Eli, and their friends gathered in the Burton apartment discussing plans for the next term paper sale.
  • Matt advises his Mom to slip money under the cushion of Norman's couch, find it, and pretend that it's his. Eileen seems surprised that anyone would fall for that, although she fell for the exact same thing when Matt put money into her purse in the Pilot and into her glasses case earlier in this episode.


The Lead-in

  • The Pilot and second episode of the series featured a different lead-in than the more familiar checkerboard intro. Extra scenes that would never be viewed in the series were filmed to introduce the characters. Eli is shown holding a boom box to Matt's ear as they walk down the hall in the school. Eileen is exercising and bends over to grab a handful of snacks from Julie's bowl next to her on the couch. Matthew is shown helping a puzzled Julie get ready to leave; when she turns around it is revealed that she has a paper taped to her back saying "I stuff my bra." Norman and Eileen are shown trying to arrange one lone book on Norman's bookshelf. Julie is shown talking on the phone, while a split screen reveals Matt listening in with a tape recorder. And finally a genreric shot inside Norman's apartment of Matt and Norman shaking hands.

Allusions and References

  • A Car 54, Where Are You? reference is made when Norman announces to the class that Officer Muldoon (the character played by Fred Gwynne) was the father of their teacher's baby. This effectively put an end to the class' 'Name the Father' pool.
  • Matt tells Julie to 'think Mr. T', meaning that he was going to cut her hair when she least expected it.
  • Matt credits watching a Sherlock Holmes movie for giving him the idea to tell Norman that the building was on fire, so Norman's eyes would go to something this case, the test.

Memorable Moments

  • Julie convinces her Mom to buy Matt a 'flap cap'. Matt not wanting to hurt his Mom's feelings is forced to try it on. Julie tells him to say "I'm gonna get you, you wascal wabbit."
  • When Matt goes across the hall to deliver Norman's light bulbs that his Mom had picked up for him, Matt knocks on the door using the bag of light bulbs.
  • Matt and Eli visit Norman and catch him scraping the bottom of a peanut butter jar with a slice of bread. Eli get excited and exclaims "Oh wow! Peanut butter wipes!"


  • Julie: Eli, don't you see that everyone with brains is leaving?
    Eli: Yeah...see ya' guys!
  • Matt: Miss Feldman, may I say a few words?
    Miss Feldman: You usually do, Matthew.
  • Matt: Now where wouldn't we expect to find the test?
    Eli: Egypt?


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