7th Heaven
America's most wanted2.jpg
America's Most Wanted
Season 1, Episode 12
Air date January 27, 1997
Written by Brenda Hampton
Directed by Mark Jean
Episode Guide
With a Little Help from My Friends
Seven is Enough


Mary is elected to steal a drinking glass from a teen hangout called "The Varsity" as part of her school basketball team ritual, but when Matt attempts to take the glass back, he is charged with theft and faces jail time. Lucy is stricken with guilt after she cheats on a school assignment. Simon helps Ruthie sing "The Star-Spangled Banner."


  • After Annie reads "Little Boy Blue" to Ruthie, she turns the page backwards.
  • Matt and Mary both changed from their school clothes into nicer clothes when they went to court while Lucy went to court in her school clothes. Why didn't Lucy change when Matt and Mary had time to change?


  • Matt: Mary and I would like to go to dinner with John and Keesha tonight if that's okay. We'll be home early.
  • Eric: Well, what's the occasion?
  • Matt: No reason. We just haven't seen John and Keesha for a while, and we thought we'd grab a burger together. That's all.
  • Eric: Where?
  • Matt: The Varsity.
  • Annie: (to Eric) He's now covered who, what, when, where, and why.

  • Eric [to Mary]: Why isn't Lucy going with you?
  • Mary: She's got a paper due.
  • Lucy: Of course they could go another night, but why wreck my "middle child always being left out" syndrome by including me now?
  • Eric: Well, she's got a point.

  • Ruthie [to Simon]: I have to learn "The Star-Stapled Banner"!
  • Simon: It's called the "Star-Spangled Banner," and you'll learn it in school.

  • Ruthie: (singing) Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the...hmm, hmm, hmm fight...
  • Simon: It's "perilous fight."
  • Ruthie: What does perilous mean?
  • Simon: It means dangerous.
  • Ruthie: Then why don't they just say that?
  • Simon: Because that's how they talked in the olden days.
  • Ruthie: Why?
  • Simon: I don't know why. I just want to get some sleep.
  • Ruthie: (pauses, starts singing again) Through the dangerous fight...
  • Simon: You can't change the words. It's our national anthem!
  • Ruthie: But nobody understands it!
  • Simon: It's not meant to be understood. It's like opera.
  • Ruthie: I understand Oprah. I watch her on TV!

  • Simon: (to Ruthie) No, "hailed" is not a bad word, and neither is "hell", unless you say something like "Go to hell!"
  • Eric: (walks in) What did you say?
  • Simon: Oh, um....I was just trying to explain that "hell" is not a bad word. It's just how you use it, like if you say something like: "There's a heaven and a hell", that would be okay, right?
  • Eric: Yes, that would be okay, but that's not what I heard you say.

  • Eric [when he sees Matt with the glass]: What's this?
  • Matt: That's a glass.
  • Eric: Did you buy it at the Varsity?
  • Matt: No. I didn't buy it.
  • Eric: Did you take it without paying for it?
  • Matt: Dad, everyone takes something from the Varsity. It's like a school ritual.
  • Eric: It's like stealing. No, it is stealing.

  • Eric [to the manager at the Varsity]: I'm Eric Camden. I'm Matt's father.
  • Manager: I'm not dropping the charges.
  • Eric: Just hear me out first.
  • Manager: Okay, but I'm not dropping the charges.
  • Eric: My son knows he was wrong. That's why he apologized. Matt's learned his lesson.
  • Manager: That's not the problem. The problem is that the rest of those kids haven't learned anything. I lose thousands of dollars every year. If I raise the prices of food to cover the losses, I have no customers. Kids shouldn't steal, and they should learn that if they do, there are consequences. If I let Matt off the hook, they'll think they can get away with anything.
  • Eric: This isn't about all those other kids. They didn't come in here and apologize to you. This is about my boy. He tried to do the right thing, and he's getting punished for it. What kind of message is that?
  • Manager: It says there are consequences if you break the law. That's a message I'd like to get out. You got a problem with that?
  • Eric: Yeah, I do. Isn't the law supposed to be about justice and mercy as well as punishment?
  • Manager: I guess we'll find out tomorrow in court, won't we?