"Cheap Show" is the second segment of the forty-sixth episode of Big City Greens.
In this special meta episode, the family wants to visit a street fair, but Bill wants to stay home to save money.
The fair has moved into town and Cricket, Tilly and Gramma Alice are excited about attending. When they ask Bill if they can have money to go, he politely declines and suggests that they stay home for the night and save money due to the constant overuse of their "production budget", in other words their budget for produce. He suggests that they reminisce on old adventures such as the events of "Fill Bill". Alice follows up by recalling the events of "Gramma's License", but cannot remember what they all said during that time. Cricket tries to follow it up with one of Weezie's quotes, but cannot recall what it was. Tilly decides to use a storyboard to help tell the tale about how she was in Japan and fought a giant monster in a mech suit. Nancy calls the family to tell them that she is at the fair. When Cricket and Tilly desperately ask that she describe it to them, she says that it is "indescribable" and hangs up.
Bill suggests that they simply sit and be with their thoughts, but they all quickly get tired of this idea. Cricket finally decides to watch TV, but discovers that Bill cut the cable to save money and he attacks him. When Bill reveals that they only have ad supported streaming, Tilly attacks him too. To make make matters worse, Bill has become frugal to the point that he has set a timer so that the power goes out at night, which Cricket angrily points out is when they ironically need it. When Bill states that it was supposed to do so when they were asleep, Tilly adds that it is only 6:00. Cricket apparently battles something in the dark, but when Bill finally turns the lights back on, sees that nothing was actually destroyed.
Bill finally gives in and admits that he messed up. Cricket, Tilly and Alice agree that they will save money by going to the fair and just not buy anything and only take in the sights. Bill is happy about this and suggests that they go without him, but they convince him to come along. As they leave the house, the camera remains inside the living room as they can be heard reuniting with Nancy and having fun with her; agreeing that the sights are indescribable. They run into actor Tom Hanks who offers that they join him on an adventure and they happily agree.
- Chris Houghton as Cricket Green
- Marieve Herington as Tilly Green
- Bob Joles as Bill Green
- Artemis Pebdani as Gramma Alice
- Wendi McLendon-Covey as Nancy Green
- Lamar Woods as Weezie
- Tom Hanks as Himself
- The entire episode plays off of various tropes including the bottle episode format and briefly teases the clip show format.
- The title of the episode is a play on the fact that the episode is a "cheap show" in that it has budget constraints.
- Bill refers to his produce budget as a "production budget", in reference to episode production budget.
- Clips from the episodes "Fill Bill", "Gramma's License" and "Cricket's Shoes" are shown.
- Additionally, Bill reveals that they are still banned from Sea Fusïon. He is also apparently unaware of the events of "Gramma's License".
- Bill has Nancy listed as "Nance" on his phone.
- It's revealed Bill's full first name is Billiam.
- Cricket states that the "people at home" expect something exciting. He says that he is referring to themselves, though contextually it means the viewers watching the show.
- After Cricket wrestled with whatever was in the dark and Bill turns the power back on, Bill utters, "Hope the damage isn't too expensive to draw..." before noticing that the living room is intact.
- Tilly refers to one of the walls in the house as a literal "fourth wall" that has been broken. The term "breaking the fourth wall" means that a fictional character is made aware of their existence as a work of fiction.
- Tom Hanks makes an unexpected "appearance" in this episode. His children, Elizabeth and Colin Hanks, had voice roles in the episode "Skunked".
- Cricket is apparently afraid to admit that his "wacky antics [aren't] as endearing as [he] thinks".
- Cricket is revealed to own a pair of shoes, but does not wear them because he does not want to get them dirty.
- Tilly's story is a nod to the storyboard format as well as anime. The monster in her story resembles Godzilla and her wearing a body suit while controlling a giant mech is a reference to Pacific Rim.
- In said scene, Tilly uses a giant robot to fight a giant monster, similar to the long-running Tokusatsu franchise, Super Sentai.
- Cricket watches a show called Little Country Blues which is, of course, a reference to their own show. The protagonist resembles a goofier version of Cricket and his catchphrase is "Dingo-Dango", a reference to Cricket's catchphrase "Bingo-Bango".
- You don't have to spend money to have fun.
- Sometimes whatever seems expensive is not as expensive as it looks like.
- The idea for the episode came during the crew's annual production meeting. Tired of hearing how they are over budget, Chris and Shane Houghton came up with the idea of doing a "cheap show" for Big City Greens. One idea they had that did not make it into the episode was to have the family sit around a radio for 45 seconds listening to an old fashioned radio show. Tom Hanks was added because they wanted to the punchline to be that they had an expensive celebrity, but that you only heard his voice.
- August 16, 2020 (Canada)
- December 6, 2020 (Latin America)
- January 29, 2021 (Southeast Asia)
- April 11, 2021 (Portugal)
- "Tumblr Cheap Show Post". Tumblr (August 18, 2020).