They Shoot Fonzies, Don't They? is the eighth episode of Season 4 of Happy Days, also the 71st overall episode in the series. The episode was written by Steve Zacharias and directed by Jerry Paris. It was originally aired on November 16, 1976 on ABC-TV.
When Joanie is cut from the cheerleading squad, she persuades Fonzie to help her retailiate by being her partner in a dance marathon to win a bet with Jill (Charlene Tilton), the head cheerleader and Joanie's rival who bumped her from the squad. But after Fonzie's bike breaks down and he has to push it twelve miles home, will he be able to summon the stamina to see the marathon through?
It starts at Arnold's Drive-In, where Richie is talking to Al, who is impressed at the popularity of his fish. Richie talks about the upcoming dance marathon, which the band will play at. Ralph brags that he drives a hard bargain, but Richie disagrees as he feels the band is not being paid enough as they will work for fifteen hours.
A group of cheerleaders, Joanie and a boy enter. Joanie is disappointed she did not make it into the group, who are called the Pom Pom Girls. Richie wonders if she was not good enough, but Joanie shows them her cheer, which is good enough. Joanie complains about the captain Jill Higgins, who is her rival. Jill walks off with the boy Jimmy, which Joanie doesn't like, and she complains about her white mouse Herbert getting eaten by Jill's snake in science.
In the living room, Richie is talking about Jill, and how Joanie could beat her at the dance, and Joanie says she's not going. Howard says he is being the judge and Marion will be the first aid lady. Joanie says that Jill is hard to beat as Bubba is her partner. Marion doesn't think he's hard to beat, but Richie says he is strong. Then, Fonzie enters, excited as they are serving his favourite foods. He then wonders if his hair is out of place, and Marion asks if he'd like to be Joanie's partner.
Fonzie says he won't be able to as he needs to fix something in Chicago, but Richie says he could make it back, and Howard says "It's not as if he's one of the family." Fonzie then puts his food back and says he doesn't do things out of guilt and is a free spirit. Joanie says she wants to beat Jill and Richie says Fonzie's her only chance. Fonzie says his work is never done. Fonzie agrees, and then the Cunninghams and Fonzie eat.
The evening of the dance, Mr. and Mrs. C are dressed up. They reminisce on when they had Joanie. Richie, in his finery, comes down. Howard wonders when Richie will go to college, and Richie wonders about Fonzie. Howard says the Fonz is always late. Richie leaves as he needs to be easy to defrost the fish. Fonzie enters, leaning on the door, says "Better late than never", and flops onto the couch. He talks about his bike breaking and him having to push it twelve miles, the last three on his knees. Joanie comes in, wondering why Fonzie isn't ready. Howard wonders if Fonzie's not coming to the dance and he says he is. He says he'll take a shower, and bumps into the desk.
At Arnold's, Potsie is singing, the band is playing, and they are dancing. After the song, a couple leaves, and Richie announces it while saying "Yowsah, yowsah, yowsah!". The prize is a shoe. Jill wonders if Joanie's giving up, and Fonzie says Joanie will win and calls Bubba an elephant.
Jill makes a challenge: the Jitterbug. At the end, Richie says "Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah" again, and four couples are eliminated. Then, there's a break, as Joanie gets a drink. Fonzie tells Richie not to say "Yowsah". Richie then suggests to Fonzie to tell Joanie about his accident, but Fonzie doesn't want to. Potsie doesn't want to sing. Just as Richie is about to say "Yowsah" again, but Fonzie give him a thumbs down. Fonzie then suggests a waltz, which Ralph starts singing.
Jill asks Fonzie if he's tired, but he's not. Jill says if she wins, Fonzie gets a crewcut. Fonzie says if he wins, Joanie becomes a cheerleader. Joanie says she will knit Fonzie a cap if he gets a crew cut, but Fonzie says that if that happened he would "go to Peru".
In the 14th hour, Fonzie takes off his jacket as another exhausted couple is eliminated from the dance, leaving only two couples left: Fonzie and Joanie, and Jill and Bubba. During another break, Howard sees how dead-on-his-feet Fonzie is and explains his motorcycle accident to Joanie. She understands and throws in the towel, but as Fonzie is being carried out on a stretcher, Jill makes the mistake of telling him she knows where they give good crew cuts. That gives Fonzie a whole new burst of energy and issues a challenge for a Greek dance. Before you know it, Fonzie is dancing up a storm that Jill and Bubba cannot keep up to. They collapse and Joanie and Fonzie are declared the winners.
- Ron Howard as Richie Cunningham
- Henry Winkler as Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli
- Marion Ross as Marion Cunningham
- Anson Williams as Potsie Weber
- Don Most as Ralph Malph (credited as Donny Most)
- Erin Moran as Joanie Cunningham
- Tom Bosley as Howard Cunningham
- Al Molinaro as Al Delvecchio
- Charlene Tilton as Jill Higgins
- Gary Epp as Bubba
- Marc McClure as Jimmy Bradkip (as Marc A. McClure)
- Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
- Debbie Chaffin as Dancer Number 14 (uncredited)
- Hillary Horan as Girl Playing Drums (uncredited)
- Heather Warren as Girl Dancing with Jimmy (uncredited)