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#1
Old 01-30-2011, 07:26 PM
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Brick from The Middle whispering.

Somewhere along the line I missed the joke. On the show The Middle, the youngest kid, Brick, often mutters under his breath a repeat of a word he just said. What's the joke?
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#2
Old 01-30-2011, 07:32 PM
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It's a compulsion and when he lies the truth still get's exposed. It's not funny, it's just a quirk for his character that causes funny situations.

Last edited by Harmonious Discord; 01-30-2011 at 07:34 PM.
#3
Old 01-30-2011, 07:35 PM
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Luckily, they've cut it down to once per episode, but I keep hoping they'll just kill it completely. It's really an awful gag, has never been funny, and never will be funny.
#4
Old 01-30-2011, 08:11 PM
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Has Brick been examined for Asperger's?
#5
Old 01-30-2011, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picunurse View Post
Has Brick been examined for Asperger's?
That's always been broadly hinted at. For now, I think, he's just "special."
#6
Old 01-31-2011, 04:20 AM
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If it's saying something he's trying not to say, that sounds more like Tourette syndrome.
#7
Old 01-31-2011, 07:45 AM
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Albert Einstein did that as a kid too.
#8
Old 01-31-2011, 08:16 AM
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my friend was at a bar talking to a girl and noticed that she would randomly turn away sometimes mid-conversation. as the night drew on, and both parties got progressively drunker, he got enough liquid courage to ask her why she would turn away periodically. she responded "this is embarrassing to admit but... i have a speech impediment... impediment."

this was before "The Middle" came on TV. nothing really came from the encounter - no digits exchanged, but we wonder to this day if she was for real, or if she was just messing with us.
#9
Old 01-31-2011, 09:10 AM
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My son has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, and he used to do this when he was younger.

I've never been diagnosed, but used to do the same thing when I was a child. I eventually stopped the practice, but it transitioned into this experience in which my last word or phrase would "echo" in my head, especially if it was the end of a conversation. This still happens to me occasionally.

My own theory: I think that people with Asperger's and related Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) get into the habit of constantly self-checking to make sure that what they are doing in social situations is "correct." Repeating a word or phrase is a way of double-checking what they have just said (to verify that it sounds correct), but has the unfortunate side-effect of the practice itself not being "normal" behavior.

I think that this double-checking extends to other forms of communication, like my practice of carefully previewing emails and even posts like this to make sure there aren't any mistakes. I also think it's related to other compulsive behaviors, like double- and even triple-checking that the door is locked when leaving the house.
#10
Old 01-31-2011, 01:09 PM
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I also did this when I was a child. I didn't really say anything under my breath but people noticed that I would say something and then mouth it over again. It was noticable enough that I had to consciously break the habit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robby
My own theory: I think that people with Asperger's and related Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) get into the habit of constantly self-checking to make sure that what they are doing in social situations is "correct." Repeating a word or phrase is a way of double-checking what they have just said (to verify that it sounds correct), but has the unfortunate side-effect of the practice itself not being "normal" behavior.
This is exactly what I was doing. I still find that I can't dial a phone number without re-checking it half way through.

I've never been diagnosed with Asperger's but no one my age would have been.
#11
Old 01-31-2011, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
It's a compulsion and when he lies the truth still get's exposed.
It almost never reveals a lie. Brick just repeats one of the last words he just said, usually the very last word.
#12
Old 01-31-2011, 02:50 PM
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@Ellis Dee,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
It's a compulsion, and when he lies the truth still get's exposed.
Does that help? The latter half of the sentence is a separate quirk. (Edited to add the comma that emphasizes what I think is a compound sentence).
#13
Old 01-31-2011, 07:12 PM
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Not really, because I don't recall him ever revealing a lie through a whisper. The whisper never provides additional information; it's always repeating a word he just said normally.

It did knock him out of a spelling bee when he whisper-repeated the last letter, making his spelling technically incorrect. That's something different, though.

I could have forgotten an example and am happy to be corrected, though.

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 01-31-2011 at 07:14 PM.
#14
Old 01-31-2011, 07:19 PM
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I feel like they included it because the show is so extremely similar to Malcolm in the Middle, and they wanted to separate Brick from Dewey. Malcolm did the whole premise consistently better, but they really didn't need to do this.
#15
Old 01-31-2011, 07:24 PM
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Meh, Malcom in the Middle was a boys' club. I like just about any sitcom but I couldn't get into that one. I dig the feminine energy of The Middle.

The similarity of the two names is pretty unfortunate.
#16
Old 01-31-2011, 07:48 PM
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The title of The Middle is the main thing wrong with it. It's a great show, but a horrible title.
#17
Old 01-31-2011, 08:58 PM
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@Ellis Dee:

As I'm not all that familiar with the show, I had to turn to TVTropes for clarification. Check out the section entitled "You can always tell a liar" here:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheMiddle
#18
Old 02-02-2015, 05:47 PM
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In an interview Atticus Shaffer who plays Brick stated "the character Brick was based on one of the creator’s sons. He actually whispered from time to time, and therefore it went into the character ... Eileen Heisler’s son." He did not go on to say IF Eileens son had autism or aspergers.
#19
Old 02-02-2015, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellis Dee View Post
Not really, because I don't recall him ever revealing a lie through a whisper. The whisper never provides additional information; it's always repeating a word he just said normally.

It did knock him out of a spelling bee when he whisper-repeated the last letter, making his spelling technically incorrect. That's something different, though.

I could have forgotten an example and am happy to be corrected, though.
He'll whisper "I'm lying" when he's, well, lying.

It's his "tell".
#20
Old 02-02-2015, 05:54 PM
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It's called palilalia...certainly kids on the Aspergers spectrum do it, but it's not exclusive to them as far as I know.
#21
Old 02-02-2015, 06:12 PM
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I've only caught a few episodes of this show. Can someone explain why it's called The Middle? They don't seem middle class - going without basic plumbing because they can't afford to fix the sink, in the ep I saw.

StG
#22
Old 02-02-2015, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by StGermain View Post
I've only caught a few episodes of this show. Can someone explain why it's called The Middle? They don't seem middle class - going without basic plumbing because they can't afford to fix the sink, in the ep I saw.

StG
They are middle America (Indiana), basically lower-middle class (though the play up the poverty a little bit, but they do eat out a lot, etc.) and just kinda stuck- not going up but making enough to not crash.

It's one of my favorite shows. I have a son Axl's age and a daughter Sue's age it just rings so true.
#23
Old 02-02-2015, 07:00 PM
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I think the title also referred to taking care of both kids and elderly aunts. The later has mostly dropped in later seasons.

Brian
#24
Old 02-02-2015, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by N9IWP View Post
I think the title also referred to taking care of both kids and elderly aunts. The later has mostly dropped in later seasons.

Brian
That's a good point. Many of us in that age range are sandwiched between kids and caregiving.
#25
Old 02-02-2015, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N9IWP View Post
I think the title also referred to taking care of both kids and elderly aunts. The later has mostly dropped in later seasons.

Brian
Not really. The aunts have never been more than an occasional thing. Not much more a major part of the show Mike's dad or Frankie's parents. Speaking of Frankie's parents, they're who should be looking in on the aunts (well aunt now), anyway.
#26
Old 02-02-2015, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by robby View Post
I also think it's related to other compulsive behaviors, like double- and even triple-checking that the door is locked when leaving the house.
Things like this make me think that Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder might be related to Autism-Spectrum Disorders, leading to something like a Grand Unified Theory of Mental Illness that also includes ADHD.
#27
Old 02-04-2015, 08:10 AM
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I like the show, but I think Brick is the weak link. Axle's character vacillates between being a total jerk and a decent guy, like all teens. Sue is my favorite because she's so relentlessly upbeat. Plus she's cute as heck.
#28
Old 02-04-2015, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
I like the show, but I think Brick is the weak link. Axle's character vacillates between being a total jerk and a decent guy, like all teens. Sue is my favorite because she's so relentlessly upbeat. Plus she's cute as heck.
I agree, but I'm still glad Brick is on the show. He adds different situations than the other two kids. I think the show was cast (casted?) very well. Sue is a terrific character, and deviates from the stock spoiled/nasty/bitchy teen girl. My son cringes whenever Sue does her dorky stuff. Eden Sher does a terrific job as Sue, and should have won an Emmy long before now.
#29
Old 02-04-2015, 09:20 AM
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I worked with a guy who did the repeat thing. If he said something that was even mildly exciting he would then repeat it very quietly. Nobody ever mentioned it to him and we all got used to it. On occasions where he DIDN'T do it we would all pause and stare at him. Really didn't help if he was trying to kick the habit.

Last edited by BubbaDog; 02-04-2015 at 09:20 AM.
#30
Old 02-04-2015, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IvoryTowerDenizen View Post
They are middle America (Indiana), basically lower-middle class (though the play up the poverty a little bit, but they do eat out a lot, etc.) and just kinda stuck- not going up but making enough to not crash.
Slight hijack, but the near-poverty status bugs me. The dad is a foreman at a quarry, which I would guess pulls in 60k at a minimum. The mom works full-time, first at an auto dealership and then as a dentist's assistant, so she probably earns 25-30k. That plus her second job as a work-at-home airline reservation taker must have put them over 100k for the household. In suburban Indiana that ain't chump change. Are they supposed to be that bad with their money?
#31
Old 02-04-2015, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
I like the show, but I think Brick is the weak link. Axle's character vacillates between being a total jerk and a decent guy, like all teens. Sue is my favorite because she's so relentlessly upbeat. Plus she's cute as heck.
Well played.
#32
Old 02-04-2015, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
Things like this make me think that Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder might be related to Autism-Spectrum Disorders, leading to something like a Grand Unified Theory of Mental Illness that also includes ADHD.
Nah. OCD is an anxiety disorder - obsession is exaggerated worry, and compulsion is a mechanism for self-soothing. Best guess on ADHD/ADD is that it stems from a fault in, oddly enough, the sleep cycle - ADDer's brains are never completely awake. That's why stimulants have the paradoxical effect of calming us down.
#33
Old 02-04-2015, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by IvoryTowerDenizen View Post
They are middle America (Indiana), basically lower-middle class (though the play up the poverty a little bit, but they do eat out a lot, etc.) and just kinda stuck- not going up but making enough to not crash.

It's one of my favorite shows. I have a son Axl's age and a daughter Sue's age it just rings so true.
I always assumed it was because Sue was the main character and she's the middle child.
#34
Old 02-04-2015, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by MostlyCarbon View Post
I always assumed it was because Sue was the main character and she's the middle child.
No. Frankie would have to be considered the main character, since the show has revolved around her both at home (and in previous seasons, at least) at work. The three kids are given roughly equal attention.

The Middle refers to being in the middle of the country, middle class, middle-age, middle interests (neither highbrow nor lowlife), etc. I agree they are seemingly too poor for Mike and Frankie's jobs, given their location, house and apparent spending habits. Mike would appear to be the kind of guy who could replace a sink or dishwasher relatively easily and cheaply, but, hey, it's just a TV show.

Last edited by Orwell; 02-04-2015 at 10:24 AM.
#35
Old 02-04-2015, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Orwell View Post
No. Frankie would have to be considered the main character, since the show has revolved around her both at home (and in previous seasons, at least) at work. The three kids are given roughly equal attention.

The Middle refers to being in the middle of the country, middle class, middle-age, middle interests (neither highbrow nor lowlife), etc. I agree they are seemingly too poor for Mike and Frankie's jobs, given their location, house and apparent spending habits. Mike would appear to be the kind of guy who could replace a sink or dishwasher relatively easily and cheaply, but, hey, it's just a TV show.
I agree. Frankie's narration typically starts off with "In the middle..." The show's focus isn't always on Sue, it generally has the typical sitcom multiple subplots focused primarily on one character or one relationship.
#36
Old 02-04-2015, 11:26 AM
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I agree. Frankie's narration typically starts off with "In the middle..."
Yes, this.

As for their income, I do believe they have a history of being bad with money, yes. And Frankie wasn't making $30k/year selling cars. She was awful at it and the place probably didn't pay much of a base.

Don't forget the 18 years Frankie spent as a stay-at-home mom (I'm assuming, since she had 3 kids and no money for daycare) and all the years Mike wasn't the foreman at a quarry.

My (parents) family started out the same way, which meant massive amounts of debt and a lot of odd-jobbing. It wasn't until mom got an office job and dad went in to skilled trades that they started living more comfortably. But that started around the time I was 13 as opposed to the Heck family, who didn't seem to get settled into good jobs until their kids were 18 and 16.
#37
Old 02-04-2015, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by MostlyCarbon View Post
I always assumed it was because Sue was the main character and she's the middle child.
I don't see Sue as the main character at all. It seems to be a good ensemble show, and if anything Frankie seems to be the main character. Not like Malcolm in the Middle, which really was about his perspective and how he addressed the camera to hive his POV.
#38
Old 02-05-2015, 02:15 PM
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That plus her second job as a work-at-home airline reservation taker must have put them over 100k for the household.
That was a one episode thing when Mike and Frankie decided to get second jobs to be able to send Sue to college. And things went to crap and at the end Mike tells Sue that having the second jobs is killing them and she is just going to have to understand they can't afford to send her to college and she tells them she knows she won't be going to college but she acted all excited about it, and like she was, because it was a fun thing to think about.
#39
Old 02-05-2015, 02:24 PM
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Last night's episode was about the death of one of those two elderly aunts. (I think the other one already died, after the actress died in real life.) I suspect that they're going to find that the aunt left money to Sue to pay for college, so that won't be an issue any more.

And as Orwell said above, I'd have expected the father to be handy enough to replace the sink. Instead, they washed their dishes using a garden hose for multiple episodes until their grandfather provided a new-to-them sink (from the pile of stuff in his yard) and forced the older brother to assist him with installing it.
#40
Old 02-05-2015, 04:02 PM
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I suspect that they're going to find that the aunt left money to Sue to pay for college, so that won't be an issue any more.
I hope so, then she can go to Axels school and annoy him there.

Quote:
And as Orwell said above, I'd have expected the father to be handy enough to replace the sink. Instead, they washed their dishes using a garden hose for multiple episodes until their grandfather provided a new-to-them sink (from the pile of stuff in his yard) and forced the older brother to assist him with installing it.
Him not being handy works to play up the, "We're so poor we can't afford a new..." angle.
#41
Old 02-07-2015, 07:37 PM
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Didn't he put in the new dishwasher?
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