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"Forging Ahead" is the 3rd episode of the fifth season of Pepper Ann. It aired on September 16, 2000.


Sick of her mom doing what she thinks is best for her, Pepper Ann decides to get her ears pierced, but the piercing kiosk clerk doesn't pierce anyone under 18 without parental permission, so Pepper Ann decides to forge her mom's signature.


As usual, Lydia continues to look out for Pepper Ann's well being with her mom like instincts. Pepper Ann is annoyed and wishes that she could make her own decisions. At the mall, Pepper Ann vents her frustrations onto her friends. When she wins a pair of earrings at a crane game, she takes this as a sign that she needs to get her ears pierced to prove to her mom that she can make her own decisions. They go to the piercings store and Pepper Ann and Milo ask to get their ears pierced, but the vendor tells them that they need to get parental permission first.

Pepper Ann sets up an entire presentation about ear piercing, only to be given a hard no by Lydia. She explains that she is uncomfortable with the procedure and does not want her to get an ear infection. Pepper Ann is further mortified that Milo got permission from his dad (he wanted to be cool). Pepper Ann tries to get her father's signature, but Lydia beats her to it. She tells her that she is her mother and wants her to be safe. As she leaves, Pepper Ann recognizes Lydia's signature and decides to forge it, despite her better judgment.

Pepper Ann, Milo and Nicky arrive for the piercing, but upon hearing the noise of the machine, suddenly begin to have second thoughts. Pepper Ann goes into a fantasy where Lydia has moved away, she has dropped out of school, run the water out, has a job scraping gum and lost her ear. In reality, Pepper Ann admits to the forgery and backs down with the vendor letting them go. Pepper Ann returns home with Lydia happy that she listened to her. However, Nicky reveals that she got her ears pierced after being in the store and is exuberant.


Desk Gag

"Scuff marks! ... Uh, I can't show 'em to you 'cause I can't pick 'em up."


  • On Disney+, the episode segment is second next to "Searching for Pepper Ann Pearson".
  • This episode contains a rather dated reference to Tiger Woods with Pepper Ann commenting on how dreamy he is. It was unknown at the time the scandal of his massive infidelity.
  • The clerk is wrong about forging a signature. The penalty is jailtime with the length varying depending on the state.

External links

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Season 1: "Ziterella" • "Romeo and Juliet" / "Food Barn" • "Old Best Friend" / "Crunch Pod" • "Psychic Moose" / "Doll and Chain" • "Megablades of Grass" / "Family Vacation" • "The Big Pencil" / "Sani-Paper" • "Uniform Uniformity" / "Snot Your Mother's Music" • "The Environ-Mentals" • "Crush and Burn" / "Soccer Season" • "Thanksgiving Dad" • "Sketch 22" / "Manly Milo" • "Have You Ever Been Unsupervised" / "The Unusual Suspects" • "Nicky Gone Bad" / "In Support of"

Season 2: "Quiz Bowl" / "License to Drive" • "Cocoon Gables" / "Green-Eyed Monster" • "Hazelnut's Finest" / "Cat Scan" • "An OtterBiography" / "GreenSleeves" • "Vanessa Less Tessa" / "Peer Counselor P.A." • "A 'Tween Halloween" / "Mash into Me" • "Presenting Stewart Waldinger" / "P.A.'s Life in a Nutshell" • "Like Riding a Bike" • "Radio Freak Hazelnut" / "Framed" • "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Milo" / "The Sisterhood" • "Impractical Jokes" / "Cold Feet" • "Doppelganger Didi" / "Pepper Ann's Day Off-Kilter" • "A No Hair Day" / "That's My Dad"
Season 3: "You Oughta Be in Musicals!" • "Dances with Ignorance" / "Girl Power" • "Beyond Good and Evel" / "One of the Guys" • "The Wash-Out" / "Def Comedy Mom" • "The First Date Club" / "Unicycle of Life" • "A Kosher Christmas" • "Effie Shrugged" / "Mom Knows What P.A. Did Two Nights Ago" • "The Spanish Imposition" / "Single Unemployed Mother"
Season 4: "Burn, Hazelnut, Burn" / "Career Daze" • "G.I. Janie" / "Miss Moose" • "Pepper Shaker" / "Flaw and Order" • "Baggy Bean Buddies" / "The Beans of Wrath" • "The Velvet Room" • "One Angry Woman" • "The Sellout" / "The Telltale Fuzzy" • "A Valentine's Day Tune" • "Sammy's Song" / "Permanent Record" • "Live and Let Dye" • "Remote Possibilities" / "Considering Constance" • "To Germany with Love" • "Bye, Bye Trinket" / "P.A.'s Pop Fly" • "My Mother, Myself" • "The Amazing Becky Little" • "The Untitled Milo Kamalani Project" / "Guess Who's Coming to the Theater" • "The Great Beyond" / "Jaybirds of a Feather" • "The Way They Were"
Season 5: "The One with Mr. Reason" / "Sense and Senselessness" • "Forging Ahead" / "Reality Bytes" • "Carmello" / "Strike it or Not" • "Complimentary Colors" • "The Merry Lives of Pepper Ann" • "A is for Average" / "Alice Kane Went Down to Calcutta" • "Spice of Life" / "T.G.I.F." • "Dear Debby" / "Too Cool to Be Mom" • "Moose in Love" / "Two's Company" • "Zen and the Art of Milo" / "That's My Mama Destructo" • "Unhappy Campers" / "Searching for Pepper Ann Pearson" • "The Word" / "The Perfect Couple" • "The Finale"

Hazelnut Middle SchoolPepper Ann's House
See also
House of Mouse