School of Hard Knocks (Desperate Housewives)

"School of Hard Knocks" is the 161st episode of the ABC television series, Desperate Housewives. It is the fourth episode of the show's eighth season and was broadcast on October 16, 2011.

"School of Hard Knocks"
Desperate Housewives episode
Episode no.Season 8
Episode 4
Directed byDavid Grossman
Written byMarco Pennette
Production code804
Original air dateOctober 16, 2011
Guest appearances
Episode chronology
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"Watch While I Revise the World"
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"The Art of Making Art"
Desperate Housewives (season 8)
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Bree's daughter Danielle and her son come to stay with her when her marriage fails (as Bree predicted it would). Danielle says she will be starting her own business selling exercise equipment, though it turns out that Danielle was actually selling sex toys such as sex swings rather than actual work-out equipment. After arguing, Bree sees that her once-lackadaisical daughter is finally committed to a career and offers to support her endeavor as a very silent, invisible, anonymous partner.

Gaby, frustrated with the drop-off system at Juanita's school, gets her pass taken away by the obnoxious and rude drop-off supervisor, Dana. Thus, she must park at the "B Lot" and walk Juanita to class. She finds out from other moms that she may never get her pass back, and they plot to stand up against Dana at the Parent-Teacher Association meeting. But when Dana bribes the other moms by giving them back their passes, Gaby is left to fend for herself, resulting in her being sent to the "C Lot." Determined to get revenge on Dana, she drives through the drop-off zone without a pass, crushing several pylons. When she watches Juanita walk off, she accidentally hits Dana with her car.

As she visits Dana in the hospital, who has a broken back, she asks Gaby to assume her role as supervisor and PTA president while she recovers. Gaby, who is not up for that role, kindly turns it down. However, Dana threatens to press charges against Gaby unless she assumes her role. This is strictly for revenge. Dana tells Gaby she was once very much like her, but the overly demanding job turned her into the shrewish martinet she now is—costing her both husband and friends. Desperate, Gaby has no choice but to agree.

Susan begins taking an art class taught by Andre Zeller. She shows him her illustrations, however, he says that they are not what he looks for in art. As he continuously tells Susan that she could never become an artist like himself because of her rather "Soccer Mom" appearance, Susan proves him wrong by angrily splattering paint all over. When she comes back later to retrieve her forgotten portfolio, Andre asks her to join the group; the passionate woman he finally saw is worthy of attending his class.

Lynette suspects Tom is dating someone. To get to the bottom of the situation, she gives Penny a tablet so they can video chat, though more so Lynette can spy on Tom. She eventually discovers that Tom is dating a fitness instructor named Chloe, who is half his age and also is a lingerie model. She and Renee decide to attend her fitness class, where she meets Tom at the end of the class. Lynette confronts Tom about dating Chloe, though he reveals that he is dating Chloe's mother, Jane. Devastated and confused, Lynette tells Tom to forget about their couples counseling appointment, as she sees no point anymore.

The episode ends with Chuck at his desk at the police station, staring at the ring he proposed to Bree with. His partner soon walks in with a pile of missing persons cases, one of them being Gaby's stepfather Alejandro.


According to Nielsen ratings, "School of Hard Knocks" was watched by 8.27 million viewers and held 2.7 rating/7 share among viewers between 18 and 49 years of age.[1] The episode was outperformed by Sunday Night Football on NBC, which averaged 16.57 million viewers and a 10.1 rating/16 share, The Good Wife on CBS, which was watched by 10.33 million viewers but held a 2.1 rating/7 share and The X Factor on Fox which was watched by 8.84 million viewers and held 3.4 in the 18-49 demographic. The episode gained an additional 2.1 million viewers and 0.9 rating in the week following the original broadcast due to DVR recordings.[2]


International titlesEdit

  • German: Die harte Schule des Lebens (The School of Hard Knocks)
  • Polish: Twarda szkoła życia (Hard school of hard knocks)


  1. ^ Seidman, Robert (October 18, 2011). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Amazing Race,' 'The X Factor' Adjusted Up; Vikings-Bears Averages 16.57 Million". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 20, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  2. ^ Seidman, Robert (October 31, 2011). "Live+7 DVR Ratings: 'Modern Family' Tops Absolute Gains, 'Nikita' Tops % Gains In Week 4". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 2, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2011.