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The gang becomes inspired by the fact that it takes 10,000 hours to master something, so they decide to master their own things.
CJ, Fenwick, and Crispo are impressed by Tammi Viola's violin playing, which inspires them to add mastering something to the list. Crispo wants to master the violin so he can play "Jingle Bells" year-round. CJ does not know what she wants to master because it is a lot of pressure to dedicate so much time to one thing. Fenwick states that he is the master of straight A's since he had never made anything lower than it before. In English, he receives a B on an assignment and throws a tantrum. Mr. Roberts escorts Fenwick to his office and mentions how stressed he seemed. Roberts then gives him a pamphlet with tips to relax, which helps him discover a happy place.
At home, CJ tells her parents how she is having difficulty finding something to master. Her father brings up wanting to master Kung fu if he could, and CJ finds out the community center is holding a class that day. She suggests they all go and though her parents are averse to the idea, she persuades them go, which Mr. Martin says she is a master at doing. CJ sees that Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy is also taking the class and tries to walk over to him. Dojo Dave, the instructor, stops her and says she cannot go over unless she is also an orange belt. He tells her what she has to do to get an orange belt and she starts training the next day.
Crispo starts practicing the violin, but gets distracted, decides to give up, and throws the violin in a trash can. In gym class, Fenwick goes to his happy place, but it is disrupted when students begin throwing dodgeballs at him. CJ begins her training and is determined to not give up. At the next Kung fu class, CJ receives her orange belt and joins the other orange belt wearers. Dojo Dave tells CJ that she has to spar with Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy, which worries her. She signals her mother to cause a distraction and their spar is halted. Dojo Dave lets CJ know that Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy is not good at Kung fu, which makes CJ question if he would still like her if she beat him in the spar.
Crispo finds Tammi with his violin, and she encourages him to continue trying to master it. He agrees, and she tells him to learn how to pluck the strings to "Jingle Bells" before trying to use the bow. Fenwick throws another tantrum and is taken to Mr. Roberts's office again. Mr. Roberts tells him he should try the other steps in the stress-reducing pamphlet instead of giving up after the first one. The next step is meditation, which Fenwick tries in gym class, but he is once again disrupted by students throwing dodgeballs at him. CJ talks with her crush and then learns from Dale that Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy hates to lose, which worries her again. Crispo gives up playing the violin for a second time.
CJ talks to her parents about whether or not she should throw the match, and they advise her to be herself. Fenwick complains to Mr. Roberts about the pamphlet and tips not helping him relax. Roberts learns that Fenwick never actually tried to play dodgeball and encourages him to play because sports are great stress relievers. Fenwick does not think he is athletic enough, but Roberts knows that Fenwick would find a way to participate in the sport. Tammi tells Crispo that no one sounds good when they first start and that he shouldn't give up. She then has Crispo start off the orchestra members in a rendition of "Jingle Bells." Fenwick uses many tactics in dodgeball and becomes the last one standing. CJ decides to be herself and not throw the sparring match with her crush, and she wins.
At school on Monday, CJ sees Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy in a cast and thinks that she broke his arm in their match. He tells her she hadn't and asks her to sign his cast. He also mentions he would like a rematch when his arm healed. CJ, Fenwick, Crispo and some other students see Moonwalk kid moonwalk down the hall and try to master it, too.
- Isabela Moner as CJ Martin
- Jaheem King Toombs as Fenwick Frazier
- Owen Joyner as Crispo Powers
- Jack De Sena as Jack Roberts
- Chazz Nittolo as Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy
- Nicholas Furu as Dale Stubbs
- Laura Krystine as Lori Loudly
- Gerdan Burton as Mark Chernoff
- Diane Delano as Coach LeBeau
- Will Simmons as Moonwalk kid
- Crystal Yu as Tammi Viola
- Alex Hooper as Dojo Dave
CJ: I'm not sure what to master. It's a lot of pressure figuring out how to spend 10,000 hours of your life.
Mr. Roberts: Fenwick, you seem a little stressed lately. What's going on?
Fenwick: Well, I had three tests this week, two projects due, the usual trying to get girls to notice me, mastering a thing thing, oh, and have you heard? It's dodgeball week, and I'm being pulverized with rubber balls!
Mr. Roberts: I want you to check out this pamphlet. [Hands him a pamphlet.]
Fenwick: "Ten Ways to Decompress Middle School Stress." This is dumb.
Mr. Roberts: Just try putting a little relaxation or zen in your life. If there's one thing I know about Fenwick Frazier, it's he can do anything he puts his mind to.
Dojo Dave: I am Dojo Dave. Welcome to my dojo.
Mrs. Martin: Isn't a dojo specific to karate?
Dojo Dave: Please don't interrupt Dojo Dave 'cause it dojo doesn't matter.
CJ's voice-over: Would Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy like me if I beat him?
[Crispo approaches CJ while plucking the strings on his violin to "Jingle Bells".]
Crispo: [to CJ] I can't do 10,000 hours of this. [Puts violin in the trash can and notices a poster that says "Don't Give Up." He rips the word "Don't" off the poster, crumples it up, throws it in the trash as well, stares at CJ for a moment, then walks away.]
CJ: If I beat him, I'm afraid he won't like me, but if I throw the match, I'm afraid I won't like me.
Mrs. Martin: It's a tough call. I remember in middle school I wanted my gorgeous eighth grade boy to like me, so I pretended to be somebody I wasn't.
Mrs. Martin: [in a high pitched voice] Oh, yeah! I laughed at all of his jokes because he loved it when people laughed at his jokes and I just kept laughing and laughing.
CJ: That sounds terrible.
Mrs. Martin: Right? [Flips Mr. Martin.]
CJ: What about you, Dad?
Mr. Martin: Well, my freshman year, Becky Sherwood told me that she liked cornrows, so I got cornrows even though I hated cornrows. Your nana slapped me. [Mrs. Martin knocks him off his feet]
CJ: So I should lose on purpose?
Mrs. Martin: Another tough call.
Mr. Martin: Do you want him to like the real CJ Martin or the fake, losing-the-match-on-purpose CJ?
CJ: Okay, parents who know everything, what do I do?
Mrs. Martin: Well, sweetie, I'll say this: the first guy I was ever truly myself with, I married. [Flips Mr. Martin again.]
Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy: Hey, I've been looking for you.
CJ's voice-over: What's that mean? Does he want to tell me he hates me? Does he want to tell me he never wants to see me again?
Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy: I want you to sign my cast.
CJ: But I broke your arm.
Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy: What? No. I got this falling off my skateboard on the ride home from our insane match. You're like a Kung fu master or something. [offers her a marker]
CJ: [smiles and takes the marker and signs his cast] CJ smiley face.
Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy: Oh, and when this gets healed, I want a dojo rematch.
CJ's voice-over: Well, I wasn't a Kung fu master yet, but we survived our first ten hours. And if you can do the same, you too could become a "Jingle Bell" king, a dodgeball champion, a concert violinist, a famous artist, a master craftsman, or whatever you want to be. Even - [Moonwalk kid moonwalks by]
CJ: How does he do that?
Fenwick: I wanna be a moonwalk kid.
Crispo: I want to master that!
[they all try to moonwalk]
CJ's voice-over: Only 10,000 hours to go.
- This episode was filmed in April 2015.
- This episode aired at 9:30 PM, which is the latest any episode has aired.
- Chazz, who portrays Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy, says this is one of his top three episodes of the show.
- Will Simmons is credited as William Simmons.
- This is the second episode where Fenwick is shown throwing a tantrum by stomping on the ground, the first being in "Run with the Bears Thing!"
- Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy's interest in martial arts was first mentioned in "Run with the Bears Thing!"
- This is the second episode to feature a montage, the first being "Run with the Bears Thing!"
- This is the second time Crispo is seen wearing a tuxedo (though it's in a figment of CJ's imagination) the first time being in "Scavenger Hunt Thing!"
- "Jingle Bells" is Crispo's favorite song.
- Fenwick did a report on William Shakespeare.
- "Kung Fu Fighting" plays during CJ's training montage.
- CJ thinks about "Romeo and Juliet".
- Moonwalk kid is seen doing the moonwalk numerous times.
- CJ is holding books while she watches Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy and Dale in the hallway, but when they approach her and they talk, she isn't holding any books. The books reappear when the camera cuts back to her.
| To view the Master a Thing Thing! gallery, click here.