"Displays of Manhood", alternatively titled "Night of 38 or so Stars", is the seventh episode of Season 3 and the twenty-seventh episode of China, IL.

Summary Edit

Frank proves his masculinity by challenging a boxing legend to a fight while Baby Cakes and Pony battle in a game of Dungeons & Dragons.

Plot Edit

In the history building, Cravid plays Dungeons & Dragons with Pemsy, Matt, Debra and Baby Cakes. Their session is interrupted by Pony, who is preparing for the book club meeting to follow their play date. While the Dungeons & Dragons players file out of the room, Frank dreams of being the star of Black Swan and talks during his sleep about this while he's supposed to be teaching. Woken up by his students' laughter, he gives his lecture on Theodore Roosevelt, only to be interrupted when his students bring up other incidences that make Frank seem feminine. When a man enters and sprays pesticide in the room as a monthly routine, Frank experiences allergic reactions, causing his students to laugh even more.


Pony agrees to play Dungeons & Dragons in Debra's place.

Later at Town Bar, as Frank tries to treat his allergic reactions, Baby Cakes gathers with him and Pony, claiming that Dungeons & Dragons cannot be played without a female player following Debra injuring herself and rendered unable to play. After being begged by Baby Cakes, Pony relents and agrees to play. Seeing Frank's condition, Baby Cakes asks him about this, and Frank informs him about his various incidents in which he's emasculated. Pony encourages Frank to fight a tough, frightening prisoner; Frank considers.

During the next Dungeons & Dragons meet day, the five players meet, Pony replacing Debra. Progress is hindered when Pony argues about her game costume, then attempts to change it as she deems fit. Following more hindrance from Pony, Pony then takes novice actions during the game despite Baby Cakes' warning which leads to Baby Cakes being "killed." Elsewhere in the history building, camera equipment from the Channel 8 news channel is set up all around the room, and as Frank makes his ostentatious entrance to the so-called press conference, his students demand the Theodore Roosevelt lecture and not the show. Disregarding this, Frank informs those in the room that he's challenging Muhammad Ali to a boxing match to the astonishment of everyone.


Frank challenges Muhammad Ali to a boxing match.

Outside, Baby Cakes meets with Pony and claims that Debra is now fit to play Dungeons & Dragons once again, completely lying about her condition. Pony however claims she agreed to another round, and an angered Baby Cakes reveals his true intention to get her to stop playing, angry that he has been killed. Despite thinking of it as ridiculous, Pony reveals she intends to continue playing simply to enrage the man-child, and as an angered Baby Cakes leaves, Frank is asked why he challenged Ali to the fight, and claims to be "badass" by accepting this. A nearby television airs a press conference from Ali that shows that Ali has consented to Frank's fight. After watching this, the students cheer for Frank, who now realizes what he's gotten himself into.

During another Dungeons & Dragons session, Pony deceives her opponents into giving her a game item. Entering the room, Baby Cakes prepares for a rematch, and in the history office, Frank prepares to leave the country in fear of Ali, only to be interrupted by his students. A panicked Frank asks how he can hide, but Kim assures him Ali will be easy to beat, which does nothing to relieve a now-skeptical Frank. When he sees Stacy Megan's lip injection, he gets an idea and leaves the office. Meanwhile, Baby Cakes and the other players continue gameplay. Baby Cakes makes a move that causes anyone whom he kills to be banished permanently from the game unless this condition is changed before the execution occurs.


A collagen-injected Frank prepares for the match.

At a theater, the fight between Ali and Frank is nearing. When he seems to be absent, a collagen-laden Frank makes his entry to disprove these. Meanwhile, the Dungeons & Dragons game continues with Baby Cakes being forced to do a move he grimaces at when thinking about. Suddenly, the game narrows down to Baby Cakes and Pony battling each other in real life when they get excessively involved with the game. Back at the theater, the first round of the Ali-Frank fight begins, quickly finishing after neither of the fighters actually attack.


Pony is permanently banished from Dungeons & Dragons.

Baby Cakes and Pony continue their fight as Frank's fight with Ali proves to be tame; they make it to round six without a single punch being thrown. Baby Cakes and Pony, meanwhile, continue their fight as three more rounds elapse at the Ali-Frank fight without a single attack. The concurrent fights merge at the theater; Frank and Ali fight in the ring, and Baby Cakes fights with Pony on the catwalk above. Grabbing one of the ropes, Baby Cakes and Pony descend, finding themselves in between Ali and Frank. At this point, Pony is banished if she's hit by Baby Cakes. The fights are paused when Pony gives a lecture wherein she states that her book club was a failure and she needed friends to socialize with. Adding that her life is a failure as well, she as she needs the game to stop these negative feelings, but Baby Cakes doesn't heed this and instead goes for the win, expelling Pony from the game. When that fight ends, the other ends in a draw because its competitors never attacked each other. Despite this, Frank's ego remains intact.

Trivia Edit

  • Running Gag: Sunshine mentioning Theodore Roosevelt.
  • In a minor subplot, Steve lists the people with whom he has had sex. After Steve completes the list—whose recitation occupied days—Karen, his date, refuses to have sex with Steve and exits his apartment. The scenes of this subplot total three minutes and nineteen seconds.
    • The girls with whom Steve claims to have sexual relations are Jenny Horowitz, Ginger, Kelly, Dorthy, Margaret, Samantha, Gertrude, Vivian, an unnamed girl, Felicia, Louise, Heather, and Gale.
    • This subplot mimics one from "Crow College", when Baby Cakes says aloud what comes to his mind during his screen time before signing Pony's yearbook.
  • U2's "With or Without You" is briefly sung by Baby Cakes.
  • In Frank's dream at the beginning of the episode, Black Swan is mentioned and performed. Later, Steve mentions the movie Babe: Pig in the City.
  • The book Pony reads is Map City by Tom Red.
  • At one point, Golden jokingly asks Zac Efron if he has any drugs. In real life, Efron was coping with drug addiction in 2014.
  • In "Life Coaches", a flyer announces meetings for Dungeons & Dragons games and that Pony is banned from these.
  • Baby Cakes mentions that Debra does jiu-jitsu.

Quotes Edit

Matt: [In a fantasy scene as he and others play Dungeons & Dragons] Y'all know I just play to try and fuck some elves, right?

Steve: Number of drinks in a day? Well, come on. I drink lots.

[Frank gives a lecture on Theodore Roosevelt.]
Sunshine: You ain't a Teddy.

[Frank suggests that Pony play Dungeons & Dragons with the guys.]
Pony: I'm not jerking in that nerd circle.

[Frank makes an ostentatious entrance in an attempt to make himself seem more masculine.]
Sunshine: Cut the crap, and tell us about the Teddy Roosevelt.
Frank: That's not why we're here today.
Kim: Yes it is; technically, it's the only reason we're here today, lil' dick bastard.

[Frank reveals his plans to fight Muhammad Ali.]
Golden: You know he's got Parkinson's, right?
Frank: Ali ain't shit!

Steve: Nobody fucks like God.

[Pony intends to continue playing Dungeons & Dragons despite Baby Cakes trying to get her to stop.]
Baby Cakes: I can't live—♪with or without you.♪

Frank: Now people think I'm a badass.
Sunshine: Um, people think you're an asshole, asshole.
[Dramatic music plays from a television.]
Kim: What's that on the TV?
Frank: Why is there a TV in here?

[During a press conference]
One of Muhammad Ali's Daughters: My dad says he's so bad he should change his first name to Breaking.
[The caption reads, "Ali attempts to reference 'Breaking Bad' in quip."] Dad, that sucked. What? No, no. My dad says he's so fast he travels 299,792 kilometers per second. Dad, no.
[The caption changes to, "Ali makes oblique speed of light joke."]

Sunshine: Look at Stacy; she done fucked herself up with collagen.

Frank: Thank you, she-pigs!

Steve: She's ready to rumble on my crumble.

Golden: Commentating with me tonight is the completely-naked Zac Efron. How you feeling, Zac?
Zac: Confused.

Golden: Zac, got any drugs?

Karen: [After listening to Steve's list of sexual encounters] Steve, this has been the strangest first date that I've ever been on. First, it's been days; secondly, we haven't left your apartment; and third, why are you wearing a hospital gown?
Steve: Why aren't you wearing yours?
Karen: I can't wait to tell people about this. You're crazy.
Steve: You're not crazy enough.

[Established is the fact that Baby Cakes' attacking Pony will permanently banish her from Dungeons & Dragons.]
Pony: My real life was fake, and your fake life gave me something real. Are you really gonna take that away?
Baby Cakes: [After a pause] Yup. [Attacks Pony] Yes! I win! I am the king!

[The Ali-Frank fight ends in a tie.]
Frank: I'm a Teddy! I'm a badass!

Characters Appearing Edit

Gallery Edit

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