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La Cucaracha is the twenty-fifth episode of ALF's first season. It originally aired in May 4th, 1987.


Plot Summary

When ALF cleans out some things from his spaceship, he finds a slimeball (a Melmacian snack), unfortunately the bag also contained a Melmacian cockroach.

Willie was considering a plan for collecting the cockroach for study when Kate sprays it with bug spray. A few minutes later, the cockroach grew to several times its original size. Willie tries to spray it again and it continues to grow rapidly.

Kate decides this is a good time to leave the house. She takes the kids to stay with her mother while ALF and Willie stay behind to take care of the cockroach. Willie seeks the services of an exterminator, however the Melmacian cockroach frightens him to the point he runs out of the house. In doing so, he dropped his tank on the front lawn. Willie realizes by now traditional bug spray caused the Melmacian cockroach to grow, so he tries a different approach, boric acid. Trevor comes by, claiming he took the exterminator's spray can and sprayed his house, and as a favor, sprayed the entire area of the Tanner residence for free. Willie says "Oh no!" as this has probably made the cockroach monstrous, and Trevor wonders why, saying to himself "I said no charge".

When Willie goes to the store to buy boric acid to kill the cockroach, ALF is cornered by the cockroach in the bathroom and sprays Kate's perfume on it. It turns out that the perfume, or some component thereof, was fatal for the cockroach. Willie returns home to see a dead roach and sounds the all clear for Kate and the kids. ALF wants to stuff it like a hunting trophy, but Kate and Lynn dispose of the dead roach at some garbage dump whose owner does not ask any questions.


  • ALF brings a Melmac snack called slimeballs. They are packaged similar to donuts and other pastry. Two flavors ALF mentions are slug and wild cherry. There's a surprise in each one. Wild cherry's surprise is cherry. It is unknown if wild cherry slimeballs look as disgusting as slug slimeballs, but judging by the fact the cherry type is still called a slimeball, they probably do look disgusting but less disgusting than the slug type.
  • Material excised from the syndication/DVD versions of this episode include ALF arguing with the Tanners for refusing to buy donuts and Willie pleading to the exterminator that he use non-chemical and more physical methods of killing the roach. The exterminator is sarcastic and has a bad attitude in the original version, as while he seems a lot nicer and more subservient to Willie's orders in the shorter version.
  • Kate proves she has a strong fear of cockroaches in this episode.
  • ALF does not know where toilets flush to like in the pilot episode.
  • Antagonist: Rodney the Melmacian Cockroach.
  • The cockroach was never shown fully on-screen.
  • The episode's plot parodies Alien and Jaws, especially the antagonist as a monster slowly making impact until the ending. Kate referenced Alien by mentioning Sigourney Weaver, an actress who was in the film.

Title Reference

"La Cucaracha" is the name of a Mexican folk song that is still commonly performed by Mexican mariachi bands. It means "the cockroach" in Spanish.