We’re learning how to play the dozens on what may be the funniest episode of Black-ish yet!
Junior is getting beat up by a white boy from Boston, “the original home of the scary white guy.” Dre tries to advise his son on how to deal with a bully. There are really only two options to handle it: chop him in the Adam’s apple, otherwise known as “the balls of the throat,” or make some jokes to save your life.
According to Dre, there’s long African tradition of trash-talking dating all the way back to the Middle Passage or as he calls it, The Love Boat with all Isaacs. All Black folks must learn the way of the roast. Even President Obama knows what’s up:
And so, Andre teaches his son the art of Word-Fu. There are three essential methods of roasting:
State the obvious. Study the bully, find his flaws and go iiiiin! Example: “Look at him! Wearing a striped shirt!” It’s all in the tone.
The False compliment. Pretend to say something nice, then go iiiiiin! Example: “Hey nice pants, does your momma know they’re missing?” It’s a very subtle way to slam your opponent.
“You Big” Come up with some names to call your bully, and go iiiiiin!!!! Example: “You big Sesame Street lookin’ comb!” It works in theory.
Meanwhile, Dianne boasts that she’s reading at a 10th grade level, and not to be outdone, Jack brags that he can sleep without a nightlight now. Turns out big, bad Diane is secretly still afraid of the dark which she calls “the number one cause of murders.” Without a nightlight, she refuses to go to sleep which means a very tired Rainbow won’t be getting any sleep either.
School’s in session and it’s time for Junior to put his roasting skills to the test. When faced with his bully, Junior trashes everything about his cystic acne until his bully is almost in tears. The roasting force is strong with this one.
Maybe too strong. Junior smack talks his way right into detention and Dre couldn’t be prouder. Now the bullied has become the bully. Oh, how the tables have turned.
Back at home, Jack can’t get enough of finally being able to do something Diane can’t do, and Junior has stepped up from telling “yo momma” jokes to bagging on his actual momma!
Dre has created a monster and needs to do damage control. The dozens are for defense only, not for bullying. Looks like Junior is headed to the dark side.
When he returns to school, Junior is faced with a choice: clown his bully in front of the whole school, or be the bigger man and keep his mouth shut. He decides to turn the jokes on himself to protect his bully from embarrassment. But that doesn’t protect him from getting punched in the ear. Ouch, sometimes the high road can hurt.
And Diane uses her superior brain power to get the nightlight back by tricking Jack into watching The Shining. So now Jack is too afraid to sleep in the dark. Even though her youngest son is probably scarred for life, Rainbow is happy to finally get some sleep and Dre is happy to have his nerdy, awkward son back to normal. Though Junior did save some of his best jokes for last: