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The episode opens with ALF drilling holes into coconuts and speaking some vaguely Hawaiian gibberish. This is because he’s preparing himself for some event television: a rerun of Gilligan's Island. Brian and ALF are both watching an episode of Gilligan's Island but Kate comes in to tell Brian to get ready for bed, and he joins ALF in the Gilligan’s Island quote-fest by forcing his way through history’s most tortured “Aye aye.” Willie comes in and ALF complains to him that he’s only happy when Gilligan’s Island is on. Willie dismissively replies, “That’s four hours every day right there.”. At nighttime, ALF tells Willie and Kate some stories about the show and he knows that the fun never stops. Willie asks if ALF can return to reality, and possibly, he can make a little lagoon. The next morning, Willie tells Kate that there is no water coming out of the faucet. Willie goes into the backyard, then promptly falls into a water-filled hole. When Kate asks what happened, ALF said he could build a lagoon and Willie authorized it. Willie angrily remarks "I said a little lagoon, not the Great Tanner Reef!" Willie makes ALF sleep in the backyard as punishment and bans him from coming indoors until the lagoon is filled and the backyard is level again. That night, ALF tries to dupe Lynn into filling the lagoon just like the other castaways dupe Gilligan. Lynn does not fall for it, but gives ALF some lemonade.
While asleep from working hard, he has a dream where he actually finds himself on Gilligan's Island. He meets with Gilligan and Skipper, who are fishing. They take ALF to meet Mary Ann and the Professor. For lunch, Mary Ann said that they're going to have mangoes. ALF learns that there are no more coconut creme pies due to the castaways' aging and being concerned about blood sugar, and Gilligan remarks he is fine with that as they were sick of coconut creme pies anyway. ALF also learns that the castaways are depressed from being away from civilization for so long. They are bored and tired from doing the same thing for 23 years like eating fruits, coconut pies, Gilligan get hit on the head with a hat, and being called "Little Buddy" when he's in his 40's. ALF tries to make them be their funny selves, only for them to order him to fill their own lagoon for them to build a miniature golf course. Through a makeshift TV built by the Professor, (made from bamboo, transistor tubes and a 19-inch tube that fell off a cruise ship and washed ashore), the castaways watch their favorite TV show, The Adventures of the Tanner Family, a program about the Tanner family! Gilligan and the castaways pine for a mundane life in suburbia like the Tanners, where they could take warm baths, have a wardrobe of more than one set of clothes, and eat meatloaf with apple pie for dessert. ALF shows up and asks the cast if he can watch a little. He can dig as he goes home and he knows that he doesn't want to be a castaway since it's only fun in half hour chunks. Through the TV, Willie tells ALF that he wanted to be on Gilligan's Island since the fun never stops, and he got it. ALF begs Willie to rescue him. He is then woken by Willie at the Tanner residence, who said ALF was talking in his sleep. ALF says he realizes now that he should grateful for what he has with the Tanners. Willie says ALF is still responsible for rectifying the damage to the yard, but is happy about the apology. Left alone, ALF puts his back into restoring the yard.
Later, now welcome back in the house, ALF thanks Kate for cooking a dinner of meatloaf. When Kate says that she has coconut cream pie for dessert, ALF decides to pass. Willie is glad the backyard is nice and level, but Kate remarks that it looks a lot like a Western ponderosa. The Tanners realize ALF has become a fan of Bonanza and traded one fandom for another!
The transcript for the episode can be found here.
"The Ballad of Gilligan's Island" is the title of the theme song to the Gilligan's Island TV series.
- Paul Fusco – ALF (puppeteer, voice)
- Lisa Buckley - ALF (assistant puppeteer)
- Bob Fappiano - ALF (assistant puppeteer)
- Max Wright – Willie Tanner
- Anne Schedeen – Kate Tanner
- Andrea Elson – Lynn Tanner
- Benji Gregory – Brian Tanner
- Bob Denver – Gilligan
- Alan Hale, Jr. – The Skipper
- Dawn Wells – Mary Ann Summers
- Russell Johnson – Professor