"Prank Week" is the ninth episode of Season 2 and the nineteenth episode of China, IL.
As the Smiths prepare for the upcoming History Department debate, they discuss a prank Steve played on Frank the night before. While Frank takes the humiliation and embarrassment he experienced personally, Steve justifies his prank, noting it's Prank Week, but assures Pony he won't prank her. Meanwhile, Baby Cakes falls asleep during a lecture about witch-hunts—Joe McCarthy's way of hunting down Communists. In Baby Cakes' dream, he envisions the term "witch-hunts" as its literal meaning: hunting witches rather than Communists; he then receives word from Joe McCarthy to trap all witches and agrees to this task as he awakens.
During the debate, Frank retaliates by urinating on Steve but faces consequences—his professorship is revoked and he has to leave UCI for breaking Prank Week's rule: "No piss play." Meanwhile, as Baby Cakes begins his witch-hunts and captures anyone he deems a witch, an unemployed Frank loses his sanity, urinating on various objects, due to his inability to stop his "piss play" once it's started. In Chinatown, Frank spots a sign asking for help and gets an idea.
That night, the Dean suggests that Steve show a history movie to his classes, but Steve refuses, claiming he doesn't show his students movies. Instead, Steve hands it to Pony for her to show to the classes who are affected by A.W.O.L. professors. Meanwhile in Chinatown, Frank finds himself suffering abuse similar to that he experienced at UCI—the monks for whom he cooks poke fun at him and his cooking. While pretending it doesn't offend him, Frank then leaves and angrily continues his "piss play," getting the attention of the monastery's head monk.
Baby Cakes keeps the "witches" he captured locked in his basement. Just then, a news report on the missing teachers airs on television, Golden claiming a serial killer is on the loose. When a sketch of the suspect of shown, Baby Cakes assumes the sketch is of a witch, not knowing it's supposed to be him. Elsewhere, Pony confronts Steve for his suggestion on showing the film—the film turned out to be pornography in disguise. Steve states that the Dean asked him to show the movie to his class instead, then states he didn't know its true content when he handed it off to her. Not believing the story, Pony storms off.
During another newscast in the Channel 8 News building, turmoil erupts as it's reiterated that there's a serial killer running amok. Getting everyone's attention, Baby Cakes claims he'll hunt and capture the wanted "serial killer," still unaware that it's him, thinking instead that it's a witch who's wanted. Later, Baby Cakes still cannot come to the fact that it's him who's wanted, and doesn't connect the dots when he notices the victims of the supposed serial killer are the "witches" he's holding hostage. Meanwhile, Pony searches for Frank, taking notice of areas affected by his "piss-play."
Back at the monastery, the head monk teaches Frank anger management, thinking Frank urinating is him dealing with his anger. Frank finally learns to adjust when the head monk claims holding in his "anger" gives him power within himself. Elsewhere, Baby Cakes analyzes the police sketch on the wanted poster. When he places his beer bottle on the sketch and lifts the bottle up, it leaves an imprint around one of the eyes. Doing this to the other eye, Baby Cakes thinks the sketch now resembles Steve, and after capturing him, Baby Cakes welds a metal box around the professor.
Later, Baby Cakes and Pony gather at Town Bar. The latter notes Chinatown is the only place which she hasn't checked for Frank, thinking Frank's conundrum is all Steve's fault. Baby Cakes claims Steve's always saying goofy things, misinterpreting his commands to set him free as nonsense. A news report claims the "serial killer" has killed Steve, and Baby Cakes states he has Steve locked in his basement. Pony struggles to comprehend what's happening, and rushes out of the tavern. Before her departure, a conversation with the Dean makes her realize Steve was truthful when discussing the pornography incident.
Entering the the monastery, Pony finds Frank, whose bladder by now has swelled to an unrealistic size. She tells the ex-professor about the situation involving Baby Cakes' game, and the duo head to the Cakeses' house. Due to the urine buildup in his body, Frank is able to break through the front door by urinating on its lock. Once inside, they go into the basement, and Frank urinates on the locks holding the professors. By urinating in Steve's box, Frank is able to save his brother as well by creating pressure inside the entrapment thus breaking it. Baby Cakes comes downstairs, and Frank angrily pees on him for causing so much chaos.
Exiting the basement, Baby Cakes remains confused due to the press releases claiming there was a serial killer in the midst. Frank explains that the press jumped to the conclusion that the missing profs. were killed by the "serial killer," and only now does Baby Cakes understand what he's done. Pony worries about the consequences that await Baby Cakes, but instead Baby Cakes is rewarded. He gets a parade in his honor—the press assumes the missing professors' "return" meant Baby Cakes' witch hunts were a prank for Prank Week. Baby Cakes doesn't learn his lesson, claiming he'll still hunt witches.
- Steve mentions he does not show movies to his students.
- The pranks that take place:
- Steve pranks Frank into showing up to a formal in a speedo.
- Flip Flop pantses a cop.
- Spider places a "Kick me" note on Leonard.
- Frank urinates on Steve.
- Matt sits on a whoopee cushion planted by Pemsy.
- Crystal falls victim to a "snakes in a can" prank.
- The Dean gives Pony a pornographic video disguised as a documentary to show to the classes she will cover, the former having originally planned this prank for Steve.
- A group of students litter the Cakeses' house with toilet paper.
- Flip Flop pantses the same cop again.
- Spider puts a "Stab me" note on a student's jacket.
- The things on which Frank urinates:
- a twig.
- soda cans.
- The "witches" Baby Cakes gathers, and the reasons why:
- Falgot: for smoking a cigarette.
- Crystal: for the "snakes in a can" prank.
- Sammy: for operating her wheelchair.
- several monkeys: for unknown reasons.
- Anne Hong: one of her chemistry experiments makes him think she' is a witch.
- Leonard: for asking why the "witches" are being captured and noting they are his friends.
- Steve: for Baby Cakes thinking a wanted poster depicts Steve instead of himself.
- Running Gag: Characters refusing to admit something when told to by someone else.
- Early in the episode, Baby Cakes claims the Smiths should "marinate." Near the end, Steve considers being drenched in Frank's urine an act of marinating.
- Frank regains his professorship between this episode and "Wild Hogs" for unknown reasons.
- This is the third episode in a row in which "shit" is uncensored.
- While Frank is exiled from UCI, Steve deems Pony his "new Frank" until she quits due to a misunderstanding over the pornography incident.
- During the History Department debate, Anne is seen in two places at once: Town Bar and the Channel 8 News building.
- Steve: You gotta admit, last night was kind of funny.
- Frank: No I won't admit it! What you did to me was—bad people stuff.
- Steve: Pony Girl, I promise you're not on my to-do list—or my to-prank list.
- Steve: When young, eager females come to me, looking for experience, sure, they find a teacher, but if they dig a little deeper—they can be the teacher.
- Steve: [Frank having urinated on him] What you did to me was bad people stuff.
- Falgot: [Captured by Baby Cakes] I need cigarettes, man. I don't care if I ever see my wife and kids again; I just need some smokes.
- Pony: [About a movie titled "Aristotle"] Aristotle? Try An Ass is Throttled!
- Frank: [Smacked by the head monk] Aah! You rat dick!
- Steve: [In a holding cell courtesy of Baby Cakes] Hey Cakes, don't you have, like, a safe word when imagination time's over?
- Leonard: Fuck you, Steve; he's special.
- Pony: [Unsure of Frank's whereabouts] This is all Steve's fault. You know, he tricked me into showing a porno in class. He said that it was the Dean's, but that's just crazy.
- Baby Cakes: Uh huh. Yeah, he's always telling me crazy stuff too, like, "Get me out of this dungeon you built in your basement," and, "I'm not a wizard," so yeah. I feel ya.
- The Dean: Just hangin'?
- Baby Cakes: Hangin' and bangin'.
- Crystal: Hey asshole, we're downstairs!
- Steve: Pony, I'm sorry for treating you like Frank, and Frank, I'm sorry for treating you like Frank.
- Frank: [Gasps] An apology!
- [Frank and Baby Cakes fight.]
- Steve: Watching two grown men throw piss and glitter really puts things in perspective.
Characters Appearing Edit
- Anne Hong
- Baby Cakes
- Chinese Precious
- Flip Flop
- Gale (mentioned)
- Jesus Christ
- Joe McCarthy
- Kim Li
- Matt Attack
- Stacy Megan
- Sweater Beard
- The Dean
- The Dean's Assistant
- The Mayor
- Trouble Bubble
|"Surfer God"||"Wild Hogs"|
|Pilots||"China, IL: The Funeral" • Unaired Pilot|
|Season 1||"Rewind, Pause, Pay!" • "Dean vs. Mayor" • "Baby Boom" • "Coming Out of the Casket" • "Secret Society" • "Prom Face/Off" • "Frankensteve" • "Chinese New Year" • "Dream Reamer" • "Dean's List"|
|Season 2||"The Perfect Lecture" • "Is College Worth It?" • "Do You Know Who You Look Like?" • "The Diamond Castle" • "Kenny Winker Rules" • "China-Man Begins" • "Total Validation" • "Surfer God" • "Prank Week" • "Wild Hogs"|
|Season 3||"A Gentleman's Bet" • "Best Face Forward" • "Charlize" • "Crow College" • "Bi-Topping-Ality" • "Parent's Day" • "Displays of Manhood" • "Life Coaches" • "Gummie World" • "Magical Pet"|