Charity Case
Season 1, Episode 6


Ken Whittingham
Date Aired: November 2, 2011
episode guide
Sweet Sixteen

"Charity Case" is the sixth episode of season one, it aired on November 2, 2011.

Plot SummaryEdit

In this episode, Tessa is irritated by all the cafeteria waste at school, so she motivates the student body to get involved with giving back. Unfortunately their charity of choice involves helping residents of Florida improve their complexions. When Tessa introduces her homeless transsexual friend named Gladys to the student body as part of a lesson, they decide that Tessa is really the person in need. Meanwhile George receives a large dental bill from Noah, which puts a strain on their relationship.


At the risk of sounding positive, Tessa states she loves whenever rainfall hits Suburbia. When she is seen splashing in the streets on her way to school while it pours down rain, she passes houses. Houses with their sprinklers turned on full blast and one house with a neighbor watering his lawn with a garden hose. When Tessa stops to advise him that it is raining cats and dogs while he is overwatering his front lawn, he apparently dosen't hear and just smiles dopily and waves at her. At the risk of sounding negative, Tessa informs us that the Suburbanites are stupid - and wasteful. Her point is proven when we see Dalia, Kaitlin, Kenzie and Kimantha dump their uneaten salads into the garbage can and walk away during lunchtime. Tessa approaches the four and asks if they ever think about how much food they waste, and the girls say it was garbage so they dumped it. Tessa pulls out an uneaten apple from the trash can and shows them it is still editble, asking "You do eat, right?" They reply with a yes, and Kimantha produces an Altoid's tin and all four gourge themselves for a breath mint. After they digest their mints, they feel bloated and proceed to walk off the calories from the mint they consumed.

Later, Tessa is having a mandatory meeting with Mr. Wolf. He pulls his lunch from the microwave and quickly dumps a bowl of soup into the trash because it was "wrong" because it was chicken and rice - when he asked for chicken and stars. Tessa asks if him and his fellow Suburbanites ever think about how much food they waste and how they could donate their uneaten food to the needy. He agrees (though he is mainly in it for the "colorful, stretchy awareness bracelets!" and the "early Sarah Mclachman soundtrack"). He says that Tessa should prepare a presentation to present to the student body.

In Tessa's presentation, she portrays wastefullness with two cartoon bears - using a red-haired bear wearing a shirt with the letter "T" on it to represent herself. After the presentation, Mr. Wolf announces that there will be a questions/comments window. Dalia rises, raising her hand and Tessa calls on her. She tells her fellow students that she once witnessed "endless suffering" when she was on vacation in Orlando, Flordia and stepped from her hotel room, catching a glimpse of the locals who were doing the "suffering" themselves - the humidity naturally frizzed out their hair while their skin was sunburnt and oily. Dalia says they should donate clarisonic facial brushes to the locals of Orlando - and that germ of an idea expanded, and that's how Chatswin’s first “Semi-Annual Florida Clarisonic Face Brush Fundraiser” was born. Tessa receives credit for helping them come up with the idea.

In the meantime, Noah is giving George the grand tour of his luxury bathroom - equipped with heated floors, a set of towell warmers, a bidet, a steam shower with several heads and a talking toilet imported from Japan. Noah wants George to install a skylight over his king-sized steam shower. After seeing the work done in Dallas’ home, he’s convinced that this is what he needs to make his bathroom complete— as if he doesn’t already have tons of money invested in it. George reluctantly agrees.

With a little time to spare after completing the skylight project, George decides to “test out” the shower that Noah was bragging about— fully equipped with a shower bidet. In the middle of his pleasurable shower, in walks in the maid causing him to get surprised, run out wet and naked on the floor and in turn, bumping his lip on the marble countertop.

Later, Mr. Wolf is holding a meeting for the students volunteering to help raise money to purchase a stock of clarisonic face brushes to donate to Orlando. Tessa leaves the room, frustrated, and in the hall she runs into Dallas, who has two trays of pre-packaged deli meat and cheese to feed the volunteers with. She speaks with Tessa about her charity work to help with the bad skin crisis occuring in Florida, and shortly after their chat, she dumps both trays of deli meat into the trash can.

George later is at Noah's dental practice, Noah and his assistant Cindy are putting a crown in George's mouth for his gum fracture. Later, George goes home and is preparing a sandwitch with the deli meat Tessa fished out of the garbage can at school while Tessa is glumly laying her head on the the table and playing around with a clarisonic face brush. George asks her whats wrong, so she tells him about her dilemma. He gives her advice in that he tells her if she already has the attention of the people, regardless of why, she should lead and eventually they’ll come around to seeing her point.

The next day at school, Tessa gives a speech to the volunteer committee about the real suffering taking occurance in the world. In comes Tessa's friend Gladys, a homeless transwoman who lives out of a shopping cart on her old block in New York. She thinks this is the best tool to help the suburbans understand the hunger epidemic. Gladys talks about a life of poverty and hunger, and it seems to really sink in for the students. Tessa makes a speech about the fact that not all people can afford to get their teeth whitened and go to the mall and spend money trying to fix their oily skin— there are hungry people a lot closer than Florida.

Back at the Altman residence, George finds his bill for the dentist. All $26,000 of it. When George approaches Noah, who is in the middle of his shower, George asks why it will cost him so much, Noah replies that not only is he going to do quality work but he also had to let his maid go home early because she was scarred after seeing George naked in the shower. Afterward, Noah says that he was going to give him a discount but he thought he would be insulted. They argue and George storms out, warning in to be mindful of the hole in his ceiling because it looks like rain.

At Chatswin High, everyone mixes up Tessa’s real message and decides that she is the person they should be worried about. They saw Tessa take the deli meat out of the garbage after Dallas threw it away and they are concerned about her friendships with homeless trans persons. Once word gets around that George made a big deal about the cost for his crown, this doesn’t help Tessa’s case much. The Altman’s are soon known as the charity case of the neighborhood.

Later that night, neighbors bring by tons of stuff to donate to the Altmans - random appliances and gadgets from the shopping network, including a Sno-Cone machine, a pocket Jesus that doubles as a flashlight, a set of bocce balls, a Belgium waffle maker (that makes two at once!!) and several air multipliers. Even a tube of lip gloss for Tessa, which Dalia had shoplifted for her. Though Tessa and George are upset at first, Tessa comes up with the brilliant plan to donate the items to Gladys on West 14th Street.

In the end, George goes back to Noah and apologizes for yelling at him. In turn, Noah admits that he’s always been sort of jealous of George because he always had the looks, party invitations and the girls during their college years. They make up. Also, George gets Tessa to realize that she made a bigger difference that she thought she did. For once, she got people to think about someone other than herself.



  • Alexandra Stan, Mr. Saxobeat - George is in the shower.
  • The Temporary Thing, She's Always in the Wrong Bar - Tessa is walking in the rain.

External LinksEdit

Episode Guide vte
Season 1 Pilot · The Barbecue · The Chatterer · Don't Call Me Shirley · Halloween · Charity Case · Sweet Sixteen · Thanksgiving · The Nutcracker · Driving Miss Dalia · Out in the Burbs · The Casino Trip · Sex and the Suburbs · The Body · Fire with Fire · Poetic Injustice · Independence Day · Down Time · Entering Eden · Hear No Evil · The Great Compromise · The Motherload
Season 2 Homecoming · The Witch of East Chatswin · Ryan's Song · Foam Finger · The Wishbone · Friendship Fish · Krampus · Black Thai · Junior Secretary's Day · Chinese Chicken · Yakult Leader · Body Talk · Blowtox and Burlap · T-Ball & Sympathy · Leaving Chatswin · How to Be a Baby · Eat, Pray, Eat · Brown Trembler · Decemberfold · Go, Gamblers! · Apocalypse Meow · Stray Dogs
Season 3 No Me Gusta, Mami · Victor Ha · Open Door Policy · The Birds and the Biederman · Blame It on the Rainstick · About a Boy-Yoi-Yoing · I'm Just Not That Into Me · Catch and Release · The Ballad of Piggy Duckworth · No, You Can't Sit with Us · Dalia Nicole Smith · Les Lucioles · Stiiiiiiill Horny
See also: Episode Guide