Magic Meatball is episode 45b of Rocko's Modern Life. In this episode Ed Bighead, under pressure at his job at Conglom-O, turns to using a magic 8-ball-style meatball to make his own executive decisions.
At the Conglom-O building, employees in the Promotions Department are randomly selecting another employee within Conglom-O to promote to an executive position by oddly throwing darts at a chart on the wall that shows a grid of squares with an employee's name inside each one. A dart is thrown at the chart and it hits the "Ed Bighead" square, granting Mr. Bighead the promotion; the employees laugh out loud at this notion. Mr. Bighead is eventually informed and we fade to a little later on where we see him at his desk in a large room with other desks lined up and alongside and other employees working at them, and Mr. Bighead is packing up his things as he prepares to transfer to his new position; apparently, the other employees are also doubtful that Mr. Bighead could make it as an executive and have loudly and rudely scoffed at the idea. As a slightly irritated Mr. Bighead finishes packing, he angrily tells his coworkers that he'll give them orders. As Mr. Bighead gets up and walks toward the elevator doors, his peers continue to scoff at him, telling him that he'll be back and they'll keep his seat warm. When Mr. Bighead reaches the elevator, he turns toward his peers and says to them with determination: "I will never darken these doors again!" But they all only continue to scoff and one of them throws something across the room and into Mr. Bighead's face (scoffing to Mr. Bighead that he will need it), which then lands in his box of stuff that he's carrying; Mr. Bighead picks it up and sees that it's a "magic meatball" (a meatball version of a "magic 8-ball"). Mr. Bighead, ever more annoyed by his peers' scoffing, turns to the magic meatball and asks it "...don't you think so?" Mr. Bighead holds the meatball so that the die inside can float to the window at the top and show an answer, which in this case is "Probably Not"; not happy about this answer, Mr. Bighead replies to the ball: "Bah, what do you know?"
The elevator arrives and its doors open; Mr. Noway is inside and asks Mr. Bighead: "You 'Bighead'?" Mr. Bighead replies with excitement. But the lizard cuts Mr. Bighead off before he can finish and has him follow him; Mr Bighead squeezes into the elevator just as the doors start to close. We wipe to a little later on as the lizard and Mr. Bighead arrive at a door to the office where Mr. Bighead will now be working; the door oddly has a chalkboard (instead of something permanent, such as plastic name tag) on it to show who's office it is. The lizard erases the name that's already on the chalkboard ("Dug Ninneman") and writes Mr. Bighead's name (misspelling it as "Ded Bigfed"); he then opens the door but finds the that office is a mess with papers all over the place and the previous occupant, Dug Ninneman (a male pig), is still working at the desk inside. The lizard then grumpy asks Dug Ninneman (who apparently was supposed to have finished his work and left by now): "Ninneman! What are you still doing here?" Dug nervously replies: "I-I’m almost finished with form 1 sir." The lizard replies "You've gotta keep up Ninneman! Keep up or get out!", and he then reaches over to a panel on the wall in the office that's on the left side of the door with an "Up" button and a "Down" button on it and pushes the "Down" button; Dug pleads with the lizard, but the floor inside the office opens up and Dug and all the papers (but not the desk and the chair, which are apparently bolted to the floor) fall into a dark abyss under the floor. Apparently, Conglom-O is randomly (and oddly) picking out employees within the company to try an executive position; each employee chosen is supposed to finish up all the work they are given and then leave, making way for the next randomly chosen employee, and an employee who fails to keep up and complete the work on time is dropped into the abyss. And now, it's Mr. Bighead's turn.
Mr. Bighead walks with his things into the now vacant office and NowY tells him that he'll be back to check on him later, and Mr. Bighead thanks him; Noway then adds in that Mr. Bighead doesn't need to unpack his stuff and he then leaves. Mr. Bighead then sits down at his new desk with delight and anticipation, he take a look around at his new surroundings, and he says to himself: "Ooh, being an executive is easy." A hidden door in the ceiling that's above Mr. Bighead's desk opens up and reveals an unusual sort of chute, and a stack of forms fall down the chute and land neatly in the inbox on Mr. Bighead's desk; each of these forms asks Mr. Bighead to make a yes or no decision. Mr Bighead feels confident that he can get the work done with no problem and he gets started with Form 1, which asks Mr. Bighead diffucult financial questions. Mr. Bighead doesn't have a decision immediately off the bat and he thinks about it for a bit (though he starts to nervously sweat a bit); but just then, more chutes in the ceiling open up and more stacks of forms fall down the chutes and land in stacked up piles on the right side (left side when facing Mr. Bighead) of Mr. Bighead's desk, and he begins to feel quite pressured. Mr. Bighead continues to think about Form 1 into the nighttime hours and has been doodling on the form as he thinks; eventually, he begins to hear the Conglom-O lizard tell him (accompanied by a ghostly vision of his head): "Bighead! Get to work! Hurry Bighead! You gotta keep up!" Mr. Bighead loudly replies: "Yes sir! Sorry sir!" But he continues to hear the lizard telling him to hurry up, and we pan up to the ceiling to see a ghostly floating head of the lizard who looks down and tells Mr. Bighead: "Keep up or get out!" [and as he screams out with his mouth wide open, even more forms and papers fall out of his mouth and land all over the office floor]. But we then find that it was only a dream that Mr. Bighead was having as he apparently fell asleep; and he wakes up screaming with the magic meatball from earlier covering his eyes, which he promptly pulls of and puts down on the desk. He then tells himself: "Come on now; I gotta finish this work! Okay, Form 1: Is the derivative share requirement indexed according to the cost and percentage analysis?" He then taps on the desk and looks at the clock and sees that it's near 2 o’clock in the morning! He then notices the magic meatball, and after pondering for a brief moment, he grabs the ball and asks it: "Is the derivative share requirement indexed according to cost and percentage analysis?" The die inside floats up to the window and gives the random answer: "Definitely yes!" Mr. Bighead then marks "Yes" on Form 1, says he's now on his own and moves on to Form 2.
We then fade to the next morning, and the Conglom-O lizard from earlier is bringing another randomly selected employee (this time, a male koala) to the office so that he can give the executive position a try; but Mr. Bighead is still working at the desk, having been there all night, and the lizard angrily tells him (pronouncing his name wrong): "Richhead! You're supposed to be outta here!" We get a view of Mr. Bighead, who's showing great sleep deprivation, as he finishes marking the very last form, puts it among the other completed forms that are stacked up on the left side of his desk, and sleepy says "Finished." The lizard, out of impulse (as he apparently did the same thing to multiple employees given the job beforehand), is about to push the "Down" button on the panel and send Mr. Bighead into the abyss below the floor like what he did to Dug the day before, but he then stops when he realizes that Mr. Bighead actually finished ("What’s that? You-you finished?") and walks over to examine Mr. Bigheads work. The lizard grabs a couple of the forms and reads them, all as Mr. Bighead collapses from exhaustion; the lizard is impressed with Mr. Bighead's work and puts a smile on his face and tells Mr. Bighead that his answers are great. The lizard (who has decided to keep Mr. Bighead in the position) then tells the koala "Beat it you!" and slams the door in his face, and he turns to Mr. Bighead and tells him: "You! You’re the answer man Bighead! You've got the answers we're looking for!" He then reaches over the pushes the "Up" button on the panel next to the door, and the whole office (which is revealed to be much like an elevator) climbs up a shaft to the next floor up (and the lizard excitingly tells Mr. Bighead: "You’re moving up Bighead!"); and the large window on the back wall changes from overlooking a brick wall to overlooking a bit of the city skyline the lizard tells Mr. Bighead: "Look Bighead, you got a little sky there." All of Mr. Bighead's fatigue disappears and he is happy and excited with the lizard's remarks. As the lizard leaves, he tells Mr. Bighead: "Nope! There’s no doubt about it Bighead: If you keep this up, you're going to the top!" One of the chutes in the ceiling then opens up and more forms fall into Mr. Bighead's inbox.
As time goes by, Mr. Bighead continues to happily perform his job as an executive, but he's now consulting the magic meatball for most of (if not all) the answers; but even though these answers are random, the company apparently still seems to benefit from them and Mr. Bighead continues to "move on up" (the office continues to climb more floors until the window now overlooks a view of the entire planet from outer space, although the office is still somehow inside the Conglom-O building). One day, as a now confident and haughty Mr. Bighead (having apparently earned great respect form the rest of the company for the work he's done for them, despite not being capable of it without the magic meatball) is enjoying his phenomenal view of the entire planet, the Conglom-O lizard comes into the office and nervously tells Mr. Bighead that they have a parking problem. Mr. Bighead haughtily replies: "And I have a little hang-nail." The Conglom-O lizard then bits the nail on Mr. Bighead's finger off and Mr. Bighead asks him: "So, what’s the problem 'whatsay'?" The lizard explains that they're having trouble deciding whether to expand employee parking or let everyone fend for themselves, and that they need one of Mr. Bighead's big decisions. Mr. Bighead replies: "Is that all? All right, I'll bail you out, again." The lizard then tells Mr. Bighead that he and the company president will be back at 5 o'clock for his big decision, and he thanks him and walks out to let Mr. Bighead work. Mr. Bighead however (still feeling quite confident and haughty) doesn't get to work right away and instead begins to scoff to himself at the idea that the rest of the company would need to come to him to make such a seemingly simple decision, and he folds the form the lizard gave him into a paper airplane and throws it. As the form flies around, it comes back toward the desk and knocks into the magic meatball, which makes it roll toward the edge of the desk as Mr. Bighead continues to talk to himself; just as the magic meatball is on the very edge of the desk, Mr. Bighead says to himself "I make so many decisions, you'd think I was running this company" and he slams his fist down on the desk, which sends the meatball off the edge and onto the cold, hard floor, and the impact breaks its glass window. All of Mr. Bighead's confidence and haughtiness is suddenly turned to desperation and panic as he finds himself unable to make the big decision without the Magic Meatball, and he immediately attempts to save it. As he picks the meatball up off the floor (a bit of the liquid inside has spilled onto the floor), the die falls out of the broken window and Ed puts it back inside; he then holds the meatball up, shakes it and asks it if it's ok. The die floats up and reads "Ow!" and then sinks back down to the bottom. Ed desperately screams "No!" to the ball and shakes it again; the die floats up again and reads "Cough! Splutter! Cough!" as if it's dying. Ed replies "No! No! No! Come on! Come on!" as he shakes it and tries in vein to save it; but the die doesn't rise back up to the top and Ed comes to assume the worst. He then desperately and sorrowfully drops the broken ball on the desk and begins to cry with his head down on the desk.
Mr. Bighead's crying fit doesn't last very long as he suddenly begins to hallucinate that the magic meatball has come to life; the magic meatball suddenly sprouts two arms, then two legs, and it's broken glass window changes into two eyes and a mouth. The apparently male meatball hallucination rolls himself upright, shakes himself a bit and groans in pain. Mr. Bighead hears this and then stops crying and says to it in great relief: "Meatball! Meatball! You're okay! What do you need, can I get you anything?" The meatball replies: "Wa... Water." Mr. Bighead dashes off and comes back instantly with a large glass of water, he hands it to the meatball and he starts drinking it. Ed then says to the meatball: "Oh, thank goodness! I didn't know how I was gonna make that big decision without you." The meatball, still not feeling good after his fall, replies: "Oh! I don't know Ed, I'm not feeling so hot!" Mr. Bighead asks him to please try, and the meatball does so; he puts as much effort as he can into making a decision, but he can't think of anything "Nope, nothing." Mr. Bighead then replies: "Oh, no! What are we gonna do? Wha-wha-what can I get you?" The meatball then states that it might help if he can get something in his stomach; Mr. Bighead offers him something from the cafeteria, but the meatball feels that the food there would be too greasy and instead suggests some Chinese food. Mr. Bighead then leaves to get some and tells the meatball to think about the question while he's gone. Later on, as the meatball is eating the Chinese food Mr. Bighead has brought for him, Mr. Bighead asks him about the parking question; the meatball thinks for a second, but then replies that he's still drawing a blank. Mr. Bighead frustratingly replies: "What do you mean you’re drawing a blank? The meeting's at 5 o'clock!" The irritated meatball then states: "Hey! I’m the one that’s overworked here!" A frightened and sorrowful Mr. Bighead apologizes for what he said and asks if there's anything else he can get for him and how he can help him remember.
Mr. Bighead resorts to waiting on the meatball hand and foot almost like how the meatball did for him earlier; the first thing we see is the meatball sitting in a large recliner, watching a TV set, and Mr. Bighead bringing him cans of soda on a tray. We also see a large pile of empty soda cans that the meatball has already drunk. The meatball takes one of the full soda cans from the tray, shakes it, opens it so that it squirts some of the soda in Mr. Bighead's face, and then drinks its contents and throws it in the pile of empty cans. He then repeats this for the next can. We then wipe to later on where the meatball is now sitting at a fancy, Italian themed table (accompanied with a three branched candelabra with 3 lit candles in it), enjoying a plate of spaghetti, and Ed dressed as a waiter standing at the side. The meatball splats his head into his plate of spaghetti, pulls it out and munches some down; Mr. Bighead then reaches over with a napkin to wipe his face. The meatball does this again, and Mr. bighead cleans him again. We then wipe to later on where the Meatball is now dressed as a king and is sitting in a throne and is throwing cream pies at Mr. Bighead, who is dressed as a jester and has his head inside a picture frame and smiling at the meatball. Each time the meatball throws a pie, into Mr. Bighead's face, he wipes the cream off and then smiles again, ready to get hit again. We see the meatball throw a pie at Mr. Bighead 3 times; but just as he's about to throw another one, he pauses and stares at Mr. Bighead. And after a brief moment, he begins to get upset for some reason. Mr. Bighead at first feels the meatball is starting to feel bad for hurting Mr. Bighead, and he tells him that it doesn't hurt and pretends to laugh. The meatball tosses the pie aside and states: "It’s no use! I-[sobbing]-I-[sobbing some more]-I feel so empty!" Mr. Bighead comes over and tells the meatball not to get upset, but the meatball continues to cry and tells Mr. Bighead: "This just isn't doing it! I don’t know what's-[sobbing]-I don’t know what’s wrong with me!" Mr. Bighead asks the meatball: "Tell me what can I do for you. Anything, anything at all; you name it." The meatball begins to calm down and then states that there's one thing he always wanted to do; Mr. Bighead replies: "Anything! Anything! What is it?"
We fade to later on and get a view of the now empty office and the door suddenly opens; wedding music begins to play and confetti is thrown onto the floor, and we see Mr. Bighead, who's dressed in a tuxedo and has a zoned out look on his face, walking in and carrying the meatball hallucination who is wearing a wedding dress (despite being male), a diamond ring, eye shadow and lipstick! The meatball is also holding a bouquet of flowers and tosses it away as if "tossing the bouquet" for another prospective bride to catch; and it's now apparent that the one thing the meatball wanted to do is get married, and Mr. Bighead (despite already being married) has just married the meatball! Mr. Bighead sets the meatball down on the desk and he tells Mr. Bighead with the utmost glee: "You've made me the happiest meatball in the world [and he begins to shed tears of joy]!" Mr. Bighead then requests: "Please meatball. I need your decision, I need your answer." This request however intimidates the meatball and leads him to question if Mr. Bighead really loves him or not, and he asks: "Is that the only reason you married me?" Mr. Bighead replies: "No-no-no-no! Of course not! It’s just that they’re coming at 5 o’clock, and time is almost up; and I need to know the answer." The meatball, now feeling unloved and betrayed, immediately starts crying and ponding his fists on the desk and he loudly protests: "You’re not the man I married!" A flabbergasted Mr. Bighead replies: "Not the man you married? Listen you! I've given you everything! Now you're gonna tell me the answer! LISTEN YOU!" A hurt meatball replies: "I wanna call it off!" Meanwhile, back in reality, we find the Conglom-O lizard and none other than Mr. Dupette, the company president arriving on Mr. Bighead's floor and walking out of the elevator and down the hallway to Mr. Bighead's office for the answer, completely without a clue as to what's been going on. As they walk down the hallway, the lizard tells Mr. Dupette: "I have complete confidence in his ability as a decision maker." Mr. Dupette humorously replies "If he’s as good as you say, I better watch my job" and he and the lizard both laugh; the lizard then complements Mr. Dupette on his joke and they both arrive at Mr. Bighead's office door. As the lizard prepares to open the door, he states to Mr. Dupette "Well here we are sir; behind this door lies the answer to all of our problems"; but when he finally opens the door, he and Mr. Dupette get a big surprise. They see that Mr. Bighead is hallucinating and is talking to the inanimate broken magic meatball, which is on his desk and has a bride's veil on it and a wedding ring and bouquet of flowers next to it; Mr. Bighead pleads with the meatball: “Ugh! How can you say that? Haven’t I give you everything? Everything you’ve always wanted and more? [he sobs for a second] I have nothing left to give!” Mr. bighead then turns to the Conglom-O lizard and Mr. Dupette at the door and screams to them sorrowfully "Now it wants to call it off!"; and the two stare into the office with bewilderment, hardly able to believe what they are seeing. Without another word, the lizard reaches over to the panel and presses the "Down" button, sending Mr. Bighead and everything on the desk into the dark abyss below the floor, and he then apologizes to Mr. Dupette for wasting his time.
Mr. Bighead has learned an important lesson that he should accept his limitations and not take on responsibilities that he himself is incapable of handling; and he also realizes that he had become addicted to relying on a mere child's toy for making big decisions, and he goes to seek help. We next see Mr. Bighead at a gathering called "Meatballs Anonymous", which is apparently a fellowship (much like “Alcoholics Anonymous”) for executives who (like Mr. Bighead had just done) had come to rely too much on a magic meatball (or perhaps similar devices/toys as well) for making big decisions; the gathering takes place in what appears to be an auditorium, and we see Mr. Bighead walk up on the stage and up to a podium and introduces himself to everyone: "Hello, my name is Ed Bighead, and... I have a meatball problem." The other executives in the audience then show their respect for Mr. Bighead and all rise to applaud for Mr. Bighead for taking the first important step: Admitting he has a problem.
- This is the second episode where Rocko does not appear, the first time was in "Frog's Best Friend".
- In the beginning of the episode, the three offscreen voices in the closed captioning are named Burt, Ernie, and Walla. The former two are most likely references to the Sesame Street Bert and Ernie.
- It's possible the lizard antagonizing Ed throughout the episode is Mr. Noway from Teed Off. At one point, Ed doodles a lizard and writes "Noway" next to it. However, as almost all of the Conglom-O lizards look and dress virtually identically, we're unsure if the lizard seen in this episode is the same one Ed draws.
- The Magic Meatball is clearly a spoof on the Magic 8-Ball toy.
- The Magic Meatball would be seen in the iCarly episode "iMeet Fred."