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Playing House: The Hilarious Story Behind That Warm Banana, Halved

Who in their right mind would do this?

Sadie Gennis

Sometimes, there's a moment on TV that you know you will never forget. The kind of moment that you will quote and reference for years to come. The kind of moment that will make you laugh every single goddamn time you think about it, no matter how long it's been since you've actually watched the episode.

That's exactly the type of moment Playing House delivered in the Season 3 premiere.

In the episode, Mark (Keegan-Michael Key) attempts to cook Emma (Jessica St. Clair) a romantic meal to help set the mood for some serious sexy times to come. The candles are lit. The wine has been poured. Everything is ready for a romantic meal for two -- that is, until Mark actually sets the meal down in front of her. That's when Emma realizes that Mark's big romantic gesture is actually a Rice Krispy crusted chicken, a side of dry pasta and a warm banana, halved and microwaved for two minutes.


You probably either think this is the funniest thing in the world or you've probably stopped reading this article by now. But if you're in the former category, we feel you! The first time we saw this scene, we laughed so hard we got tears in our eyes. But after the laughter died down, we were left with some very serious questions. Specifically: What? Why? And who in the right mind would think it's OK to microwave a banana for two full minutes? That's far too long!

Not one to let a mystery of this nature rest unanswered, we tracked down creators and stars Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham, who were gracious enough to give us some answers.

Playing House: 6 reasons you'd be a fool to miss out on Season 3

As it turns out, this entire meal from hell -- including the already iconic warm banana -- is actually based on a true story. "My really, really good friend, this is what her now-husband cooked for her for the first time," Parham revealed to TVGuide.com.

"She married that man," added St. Clair.

"And they were meant to be," Parham explained. "Because when you're meant to be, you can make it past Rice Krispy crusted chicken and dry pasta."

At the time of our interview, Parham had yet to tell her friend that she had stolen her husband's bizarre menu for the season premiere of her USA comedy. But if you ask us, the woman should be honored that such greatness can come out of such a truly terrible, terrible meal.


Playing House airs Fridays at 11/10c on USA. The entire third season is also available to watch on VOD, USANetwork.com and the USA Now app right now.