He Thought He Could is the opening episode of season 3 of Married... with Children, also the 36th overall episode in the series. Directed by Gerry Cohen, and written by series creators Ron Leavitt & Michael G. Moye, the episode, which was the first episode of Season 3, premiered on FOX on November 8, 1988.


In the season opening episode of Season 3, Al discovers a library book that was due in 1957. He must return it to the library and face up to his worst childhood fear: the librarian.

Episode summaryEdit

In this Season 3 premiere episode, Al dragged back to the library of his nightmares, long ago haunted by the horrible Miss De Groot - and still her domain. This is one of the rare occasions when a younger Al is not played by Ed O'Neill, but rather by Edan Gross, a former child actor (no longer seen onscreen) who was also part of the Child's Play franchise and The Little Mermaid TV series. Gross would once again be matched with Ed O'Neill, albeit not sharing any screen time, in the 1994 film Little Giants, where he plays a younger version of Ed O'Neill's character Kevin O'Shea, who shared similarities with Al Bundy, reminiscing about his football playing days, although in this case he had gone on to the NFL.

Recurring cast/Guest starsEdit


  • The title of this episode is a parody of the story lines of The Little Engine That Could.
  • This is the first episode to show footage of the actors when their name is shown in the opening, instead of a black background that was used during the first two seasons.
  • Edan Gross, the actor who plays the young Al Bundy in this episode, was previously on MWC as a neighborhood child in season 2's You Better Watch Out
  • Ms. Degroot says to Al that he is the Freddy Kruger of the library system. Freddy Kruger is the famous killer in The Nightmare on Elm Street movies played by Robert Englund, who would later appear as Lucifer in the season 11 episode Damn Bundys


  • When Al and the family are watching the news and the security camera footage of Al putting the book back is shown, his shirt and pants are not the same as the ones he actually went in with. It's obvious this was filmed at the end of the episode because the final time he goes back to the library, its the same clothes as shown in the footage.

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