7th Heaven
Season 5, Episode 10
Air date December 18th, 2000
Written by Chris Olsen
Directed by Bradley Gross
Episode Guide

Surprise! is the tenth episode of the 5th season and the 98th episode overall of 7th Heaven.


Despite the disapproval from the rest of the family and his own hesitations, Eric takes in Mary's ex-boyfriend, Robbie Palmer to live with the Camdens for the night after learning that he's homeless. Matt also shows up unexpectedly after being kicked out of his apartment by John, who needs quality time with his girlfriend. Meanwhile, Mary calls home again and hears Robbie's voice on the other end and assumes he's dating Lucy now. Also, John proposes to his girlfriend Priscilla in front of Matt.


While walking down the Promenade, Eric sees Robbie reading a book with a flashlight. Robbie tells him that he is studying for school and he just did his laundry that's why it's there and also that he and Cheryl split up. Eric asks if he has somewhere to live and Robbie tells him that he does. Robbie reassures him that he's fine and Eric walks away, but stops and turns around to invite him at Pete's Pizza. Eric and Robbie are at Pete's Pizza enjoying a cup of coffee and Robbie explains that Cheryl kicked him out, his mom lost her house, he has school so he can't go to Florida with his mom, his car got towed, and there is no room in a shelter. He goes on to say that he just needs to focus on school and when Eric points out the differences between him and Mary and how he wished Mary had that kind of attitude, Robbie lets it slip that he and Mary were dating over the summer and he broke up with her because she wouldn't go to school. Eric pours the whole cup of sugar in his coffee in frustration. Later, Eric arrives home and goes to his bedroom to tell Annie that he has a surprise for her, but Annie says that she also has a surprise for him. When Eric walks out of the room to show Annie his surprise, Annie takes off her robe and poses suggestively with a negligee on and they all yell when Robbie walks in. Annie tells Robbie to go downstairs to the kitchen. Eric asks if it is a special occasion and Annie explains that it is Friday night. Eric explains that Robbie is homeless and has no where else to go.

Robbie is downstairs in the kitchen getting something out of the refrigerator when Lucy walks in in her underwear catching her off guard. Lucy is shocked to see him and asks he is here to see Mary, but he explains that Eric brought him over to get some sleep because he's homeless and after Eric finds him a place to stay, he's out of there. Lucy goes upstairs into her parent's bedroom to complain that no one told her that Robbie is there, but she sees what Annie is wearing and leaves. She then goes to Simon's room and tries to interrupt his phone conversation where's he's calling a woman's hair "sexy", but he kicks her out of his room. Lucy then goes into Ruthie's room and but can't seem to find her in her bed. Meanwhile, Ruthie is downstairs talking to Robbie about where he has been sleeping. Ruthie offers him Matt's pajamas and that it's a house rule not to walk around in your underwear. Eric comes in and sends Ruthie to bed and then tells Robbie that Annie said that it's ok for him to stay and she is excited helping out a friend. Eric tells Robbie yet again what Ruthie said earlier, that they have a rule about wearing clothes when walking around the house, contrary to what Lucy showed earlier. At the apartment, John and Priscilla are constantly kissing and Matt tries to get their attention by coughing repeatedly. John asks for him to step outside with him so that he can talk privately to him. John explains that he has seen Matt with other girls constantly and he just wants to spend time with one girl and Matt complains about it. John also explains that Priscilla is "the one." and then sends him on a walk so he can have privacy, so Matt has to walk out of the apartment building only wearing his pajamas. Back at the house, Simon is talking to someone on the phone about how well they know each other already and how great it is. Eric answers the door to Mike who desperately needs to talk to Lucy. Eric lets him in and introduces Mike to Robbie and Mike realizes that Robbie is the guy that tried to sleep with Mary and almost got married. Lucy walks downstairs in a robe and they go off to the living room to talk alone. This prevents Eric from making the coach ready for Robbie to sleep in so they decide to talk. Eric tries to offer to talk over a sandwich and to which Robbie generously offers make it himself. Mike tells Lucy that he got accepted early into college, but Lucy is a little let down that she hasn't gotten her letter yet. Mike tries to reassure her that she will get a letter someday. Lucy realizes that he came over so late because he was on a date and Lucy tells him that they aren't exclusive and he can date whoever even though she is still a little disappointed. Eric and Robbie are eating a sandwich and gets interrupted by Matt walking in. Matt tells Eric that he needs the couch and asks what Robbie is doing there and Eric explains that Robbie is staying on the couch, so Matt decides to sleep on Mary's bed. Lucy briefly comes in, upset that Mike had a date that night before leaving to her room before Eric can console her. Eric tells Matt that it's a long confidential story as to why he can't tell him why Robbie is staying there and when asked about Matt's story and why he needs to sleep on the couch, Matt gets a bit upset and makes a snarky response to say that his story is also confidential.

In the morning, Ruthie is watching cartoons in the living room when the phone rings, who turns out to be Mary calling. Mary calls again in frustration and Ruthie angrily picks it up again. Mary tries to tell her that it's her sister but Ruthie just hangs up again. Ruthie hangs up on her, and when Mary called back demanding for her to give the phone to Annie, Ruthie continues to hang up on her. Robbie is in the bathroom without a shirt on and a phone starts ringing in the hamper bin. Robbie answers it and finds Mary on the line but she hangs up in thinking she must've had the wrong number. She tries calling the house again with Ruthie picking it up and hanging up yet again. Ruthie asks if she knew Robbie was staying with them but Robbie says he doesn't think so. Annie comes upstairs and asks who was calling when the phone was ringing all morning and Ruthie admits she hung up on Mary and she doesn't like her and they can't make her like her. Eric comes upstairs and informs Robbie that he will have to stay at their house until he can find a place in a shelter. Eric talks to Annie privately about how Robbie might have to stay for a couple of nights and defends him saying he's working hard at school and if he didn't know him any better he would've wanted to adopt him. Annie leaves in frustration and walks into Ruthie's room where she scolds Ruthie for hanging up on Mary and not letting Mary speak to the people she wants to speak with. Ruthie asks if she should let her speak to Robbie if she calls, prompting a response from Annie that Robbie won't be there much longer. In Simon's room, he impatiently waits for a call but just decides to make the call himself to speak to a women. Meanwhile, Lucy answers the door to the mailman, takes a look at the mail, and then asks if college acceptance letters come in big mail envelopes. Lucy asks the mailman to open it but he declines saying it's a federal offense. Eric walks into Simon's room and asks who he was talking to on the phone all day. Simon doesn't answer and tells him it's not important. Eric tries to wiggle himself in his business and tries to figure out if it's a woman. Eric admits he's nosey and just wants to know who he's been talking to. Simon still refuses to say anything. Meanwhile, John is preparing food and tells Matt that Priscilla is coming over for dinner and Annie said that Matt could eat over at their house instead of his apartment. Matt gets angry and tells him he can eat in his own apartment if he wants. Eric and Robbie are in the living room where Eric tells Robbie he found a shelter for him to stay at. Robbie graciously accepts and once again thanks Eric for his help. They head to the shelter, which is packed with people of all ages and has little to no room. Robbie tries to reassure Eric that he'll be fine, but Eric looks worried. After taking another look at the shelter, Eric decides to take Robbie back home instead of leaving him there. At home, Annie asks Eric constant questions about how long Robbie will be staying and who will tell Mary. Annie tells Eric that she thinks that he is only helping Robbie just to make amends with Mary and make her happy, but Eric denies this and says he would do this for anyone and tries to defend Robbie by saying he's working hard on getting his life back on track. They argue about why Eric is helping Robbie, while Simon makes a mysterious call to a woman in his room where he vaguely asks if they are going through with their secret plan of theirs. Eric walks in the kitchen while Robbie is studying and Eric tells him that Annie is ok with him staying there. Lucy comes down and tells him that she's going to see Mike to apologize for the way she acted earlier from not being super excited about his college acceptance. Robbie questions Lucy if she would go to his house randomly because she's never met his mother first, while Eric keeps repeating what Robbie says. Upstairs, Ruthie comes out of her room and tells Annie that she didn't like Robbie when Mary first dated him, but he's growing on her now. Simon comes out and says he only has one bed and he can't stay in his room. Ruthie offers to put him in her room but Annie says that's definitely not happening to which Ruthie replies that he can just put Robbie in Mary's old bed in Lucy's room. They all eventually decide to put Ruthie in the attic with Lucy and put Robbie in her old room. Meanwhile, Matt is at the apartment trying to get through to John and Priscilla through their constant kissing but they keep ignoring him and continue kissing.

At the house, the phone starts ringing and Robbie answers it revealing to be Mary who hears Robbie's voice and asks him why he's at their house. Mary gets the wrong idea though and thinks he's dating Lucy and that's why he's there. Eric comes in and Robbie tells him what's happening and he thinks letting Mary think that he's dating Lucy is better than Eric letting him stay there. Eric tries to speak to Mary but she hangs up on him and Eric leaves disappointed. Lucy walks into Mike's house and introduces her to his mother, who suffers from major depression. Mike pulls Lucy to the side and tells her she's the first person he let met his mother since she got sick. He explains how they both had a tough time dealing with his father's death, with Mike trying to commit suicide and his mother "checked out". He goes on to explain their insurance pays for hospital bills and the nurse and how he understands where his mother is coming from and expresses his optimism that his mother will get better. He also explains how grateful how he's alive for every second of every day, and that he understands more than most people that if you just hang in there, it'll get better. They both say goodnight and Lucy leaves. Matt is at the apartment trying to make conversation while eating dinner but John keeps ignoring him and instead focuses on Priscilla. Back at the Camdens', they all are having dinner together, including Robbie who starts grace and delivers an emotional speech and says how thankful he is that the Camdens brought him in when he had nowhere to go when he was hungry, and never knew how a family acted before. Back at the apartment again, John tries to push Matt out of the apartment but says he's fine where he is. John reluctantly goes on one knee to purposes to Priscilla and asks her to marry him. Meanwhile, Mary enlists a boy from the Colonel's house in Buffalo to call Lucy with a fake deep voice and then Mary grabs the phone thinking Lucy is dating Robbie and that's why he's at the Camden's house. Not knowing what she's actually talking about and Mary being vague with her wording, Lucy thinks no one told her Robbie was staying with them and says the wrong stuff which further leads Mary into thinking they're dating instead of Robbie just staying there because he was homeless. Meanwhile, Matt asks Eric and Annie for a place to stay, and they tell him Robbie is in Ruthie's room. Matt opts to sleep on the couch. He informs them that John proposed to Priscilla, and she said yes. He gets unhappy with how happy they are about John's engagement because he is in a bad mood. Ruthie brings Robbie to her room, where there is Hello Kitty merchandise everywhere. Matt walks in, and they make conversation. Robbie apologizes for wearing his pajamas, and Ruthie explains that his clothes were being washed, so she lent him some. Simon walks out of the room and tells Eric that he's going out to hang with the woman he was talking to on the phone. He also says they can't keep Robbie, but Eric insists that he stay until they find him a permanent home. The doorbell rings, and they rush down to greet a woman who is slightly older than Simon but still legal. Eric mistakenly thinks she's there to see Matt, but she's actually Simon's date, who's taking him out for ice cream. Lucy is in the kitchen helping Annie with the dishes and asks about Robbie. Annie tells her that he's staying until they find him a permanent home. Until Robbie leaves, Ruthie will have to stay in her room. Lucy is happy and doesn't have any problems with this, which prompts Annie to ask why she's okay with it. Lucy explains that she has gained a different perspective on other people's lives and that her own life doesn't seem so bad after all. She opens a college letter she received earlier and smiles. Eric walks in, and they share a father-and-daughter moment.


  • This episode is the first time Jessica Biel (Mary) shows up since her departure in the 7th episode Bye.
  • Robbie, Mary's ex-boyfriend, moves in with the Camdens in this episode.


  • Brooke Ramel, a singer-songwriter, was the street performer who played her guitar at the beginning of this episode. Her musical compositions have been showcased in a variety of other WB shows such as Gilmore Girls, Charmed, and Dawson's Creek.
  • Mike's mother, portrayed by Ellen Crawford, is a recurring character in the television show "ER", where she has the role of a nurse.
  • This episode marks the first time Chris Olsen is credited as the main writer.
  • Allen Lulu, the actor who portrayed the mailman character, experienced the loss of his daughter to Cystic Fibrosis in 2006. Similarly, Mackenzie Rosman's sister also passed away from the same illness during Christmas in 2008.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]

  • Jeremy Lelliot as Mike Pierce
  • Andrea Pearson as Priscilla Carter
  • Ellen Crawford as Mrs. Pierce
  • Allen Lulu as Mailman


  • Sami Simkin as Sasha
  • Grady Hutt as Kid


  • Brooke Ramel as Street Performer

Opening Credits[]

Featured in the opening credits are: