"Mama Spent Money When She Had None" is the 101st episode of Desperate Housewives.
Bree reaps the success of her new book by treating herself to a new car, while Lynette and Tom resolve to sell his Mustang for some extra cash. Susan is determined to send MJ to the best school, even though she and Mike can't afford it. Meanwhile, Gabrielle joins Edie's no nonsense boot camp to get herself back into shape, and Lee is conflicted over whether to tell Lynette and Tom some disturbing facts about Dave.
Susan is anxious to get M.J. into a prestigious private school, but can't afford the tuition. She pressures Mike for money but he insists he has none to spare. When Susan finds out that Mike just bought Katherine a stunning pearl necklace, she's furious, assuming that he's blowing what money he has on his new girlfriend.
Susan sneaks into Katherine's house to steal the necklace, but Katherine catches her and runs after her, clad only in a towel. Katherine is shocked to hear that Mike bought her jewelry when he can't afford M.J.'s tuition. Both women confront Mike about the necklace and he is forced to admit he only spent $129 on it. Mike asks her how she dares to think he'd put his girlfriend in front of his son, and tells her if they're falling short, it's not because of him. She goes back to the private school and offers to sign on as an art teacher, since faculty members receive a fifty percent discount. She makes such a heartfelt plea that they hire her as an assistant, even though she's overqualified for the job.
Lynette and Tom are forced to sell his prized Ford Mustang to make ends meet after dealing with Porter's legal fees and fading business at the restaurant. Katherine assures her that everyone's in the same boat when Bree drives by to show off her new car, a hybrid Lexus LS. Lynette excuses herself and Katherine reveals that the Scavos are having money problems. Lynette wants to throw a private party at Scavos' to honor their new partnership. Bree proposes having her latest book signing there, so the Scavos can "finally fill the place."
The book signing is underway before Bree learns that the Scavos are making recipes from her cookbook—with pre-grated Parmesan cheese! She tosses the offending items and starts making her own. Lynette spies the tossed pizzas and Bree admits she wasn't comfortable having her recipe made with "substandard ingredients."
Lynette tears into Bree, saying that just because she got lucky, she shouldn't be lording it over her friends who are less fortunate. "I'm not the one who needs $20,000 to keep my business afloat," insists Bree and Lynette snaps, "No, you're the one who's never going to let me forget it." Lynette storms out - and accidentally runs into Bree's car. She pays Bree the damages out of her own pocket and swears to return the entire $20,000, with interest. "I don't want money to get in the way of our friendship," Bree says and Lynette tells her, "Yeah, I think it's a little late for that." After she leaves, Bree tears up the check.
Carlos gets a huge bonus at work and wants to celebrate by taking Gaby out to the priciest restaurant in town. She's going to wear the dress from the night Carlos proposed and when he scoffs whether she can still fit into it, she is insulted that he hasn't noticed how hard she's been working to get back in shape. To lick those last few pounds, she asks Edie about the fitness boot camp she's just joined. Edie is skeptical that Gaby is tough enough for the workout, as is the instructor, an Israeli ex-soldier who makes his clients sign a contract forbidding them to use words like "can't", "doughnut", "cake" and "tired".
The workout is indeed far too intense for Gaby, who quits after the first session. She learns there's no quitting when the entire class shows up in her front yard the next day. She announces she's going back to sleep, but Edie chews her out by telling her that it was the women's idea to show up, since Gaby wanted to fit into that dress so badly. "You wanted the old Gaby back? Well, you got her. A self-centered, obnoxious jerk," says a disgusted Edie. A humbled Gabrielle rejoins the class.
Gaby models the old dress, which now fits perfectly. When her seamstress tells her she looks like she hasn't changed at all, Gaby thanks her for all her help over the years.
Dave, Bob, and Lee comfort Tom about the loss of his car. Tom complains that the pizzeria is suffering because people still suspect Porter of having torched the nightclub. Dave reassures Tom, saying he knows Porter didn't do it. But, as Bob later tells Lee, he's read the police reports and Dave was the only witness to directly implicate Porter in the fire. "Porter wasn't even in the building." Lee wants to tell Tom and Lynette, but Bob says since the charges have been dropped, "It's no longer our business. Besides, there's something about that Dave guy that scares me."
Edie asks Dave what the biggest difference is between being married to her and to his first wife. "Honestly, our marriage is more real," he tells her. Reassured, she asks him how, and he relates that his first marriage was "like a fairy-tale," one he thought would last forever. "Love is just temporary. The way the fairy tale ends is death," he says, making her wish she hadn't asked. At the book signing, Lee watches in disbelief as Dave congratulates Tom on the restaurant's booming business. Lee grabs Tom and tells him the truth about Dave. Tom goes to Dave's house and punches him out, but Dave eventually overpowers him, and their friendship instantly dies.
- The zip code for Wisteria Lane in Fairview is established as 00057, as per Lynette's check ($1500) to Bree.
- Due to the one episode narrated by Rex Van de Kamp(Steven Culp, "My Husband, the Pig"), this is the 100th episode that has been narrated by Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong).
- Although credited, Shawn Pyfrom (Andrew Van De Kamp), Kyle MacLachlan (Orson Hodge), Charlie Carver (Porter Scavo), Max Carver (Preston Scavo), and Kendall Applegate (Penny Scavo) do not appear in this episode.
Bloopers and continuity errors
- When Susan takes out the trash, she puts it in Bob and Lee's trash can.
- This episode either points out a new downturn in the economy or that the economy is still in bad shape after 5 years, since the current year on Desperate Housewives would now be 2014.