Break out the tissues! The Hot in Cleveland series finale delivered all the laughs fans have come to expect from the beloved show — as well as some inevitable tears. Paying homage to the pilot, the action-packed episode began and ended on a plane. Melanie (Valerie Bertinelli) was overjoyed that she actually made the flight and celebrated by downing a glass of champagne, which turned out to belong to the rather handsome gentleman sitting next to her (foreshadowing, anyone?).
She then began to tell her seatmate about all of the events that led up to her almost missing the plane. Her story began with a what was probably the world's worst bachelorette party, where she, Victoria (Wendie Malick), Joy (Jane Leeves), and Elka (Betty White) rehashed their failed attempts at love, Victoria announced she was moving back to Los Angeles, and Joy decided that Melanie should be the one to give the speech at her wedding in Paris. Meanwhile, Joy's fiancé, Bob, celebrated his bachelor party by accidentally getting a tattoo of Melanie's face instead of Joy's on his chest. Oops.
Just as the ladies were about to leave for the City of Light, Joy found out that her adoption papers went through and she had to go pick up her baby — in Las Vegas. That's when things started to get interesting.
The ladies, plus Bob, his father, Bob Sr. (who had recently divorced and was on the prowl for "loose women and no consequences"), and Mamie (a gambling fiend) headed to Sin City to pick up the new addition to the family. When they couldn't get off the plane in Vegas fast enough because no gates were available, Joy broke open the emergency exit door. She magically escaped unnoticed — leaving Melanie to take the rap. And that's how Melanie ended up in jail.
Melanie wasn't alone for long, though. Mamie's gambling problem quickly caught up to her, and Bob Sr. inadvertently sexually harassed a casino dealer whom Elka then punched. The four of them hung out behind bars while Joy and Bob continued their quest to reach their baby and Victoria met with a producer to discuss her Hollywood comeback (which turned out to unfortunately hinge on her starring in a show that promoted Japanese adult diapers for women).
It turned out that getting to the adoption center was harder than Joy or Bob anticipated. Traffic, followed by a car accident, followed by Joy discovering Bob's Melanie tattoo, all served as roadblocks preventing them from reaching their child. Oh, also, a pregnant woman slid into their taxi and Bob was forced to deliver her baby.
But just when it seemed like they might never make it, Bob sidled into the driver's seat and assumed the role of taxi driver. They ended up making good time to the agency, only to learn that they couldn't pick up their baby without a marriage license. Naturally, since they were already in Vegas, they decided to tie the knot there.
Old Flames Rekindle Between Victoria and Johnny
In a convenient twist of fate, Victoria discovered Johnny Revere — who happened to be doing a Las Vegas residency and sleeping with as many twenty-something women as possible — in the hotel room adjacent to hers. "I do hope she's getting college credit for that relationship," Victoria quipped to her ex of his current gal pal (who had stepped out of their room to photograph dolphins in a pool below).
After some more romantically charged banter, Victoria crawled over to Johnny's room, causing them to both fall into the previously mentioned dolphin pool. After a bit more discussion, Victoria discovered that Johnny promoted a Japanese product of his own. Though he didn't go into detail about what it was, exactly, it's called Happy Penis Pow Pow, so it really needs no explanation. It was obvious these two belonged together and shortly after this moment, they realized it too.
New Flame Ignites Between Elka and Bob, Sr.
Of course Elka found a way to get herself and Bob Sr. out of jail before the others (by promising to testify against Melanie!). Though Elka offered to help Bob Sr. pick up women, he seemed content to hang with Elka — which is good, considering the fact that his best pickup line involved a reference to vegetables and the word "leggplant."
By the time they got to the chapel to watch Joy and Bob get married, they'd decided to be together too. "I realized what I was looking for was right in front of me," Bob Sr. mused.
A Double Wedding
Though there was talk, briefly, of a triple wedding with Joy and Bob, Elka and Bob Sr., and Victoria and Johnny, the last pair decided that they couldn’t get married in such a non-star-studded event. (They were both ready to give up show business, but only to a point.)
The double-ceremony was ironically officiated by a Johnny Revere impersonator. Right after tying the knot, Joy realized, with a mix of delight and fear, that Elka would now be her mother-in-law. "Everyone's in love except Melanie!" Joy happily declared, though Melanie seemed less thrilled by the reality. (But the finale wasn't over yet!)
After the ceremony wrapped, Joy and Bob finally made it back to the adoption agency, where they get to meet their daughter. "The first time I saw you, I imagined this moment and I thought, 'No way,'" Bob said to his bride. "And now that it's actually happening you know what I'm thinking? 'No way.'"
Joy was equally consumed by the power of the moment. "I'm going to teach you to wait for the right man," she cooed to her baby girl. "Even if it takes a really long time." Time's a ticking, however, and they soon hustled back to make their flight to Paris (which brought us full-circle to the beginning of the episode). Once on board, Joy revealed that they named their baby Betty, which Elka approved because women named Betty "are always so pretty."
Melanie Finally Gets to Make Her Speech
"It seems so unreal to me — flying to Paris again with all of you — only this time with a baby and a wonderful man," Joy mused to her friends. "The last time we were on this plane, we were all so unhappy." Victoria jumped in, adding, "We felt invisible and unwanted. We thought our best years were behind us." And that's when Melanie finally got to make her much-anticipated wedding speech. Only it wasn't really about Joy and Bob, specifically. And it wasn't given at a wedding.
"And then we crash-landed in Cleveland of all places, and then we met Elka and had all kinds of adventures and romances and career changes," Melanie reflected. "I just want you all to know that I have never learned more or laughed harder or had as much damn fun as I've had in the last six years. I mean, we doubled each other's joys and we halved each other's sorrows. So yeah, things are going to change, but I know one thing that will never change: You're my friends. You're my family. You really are the loves of my life. I love you." (If you weren't crying when Joy first held her daughter, you were definitely crying by now.)
Melanie (Might) Get to Be in Love After All
After delivering her killer non-wedding speech, Melanie returned to her seat, where her dark and handsome seatmate asked her how her story would end. "I don't know," she said before adding, "I have a feeling something big is about to happen."
That's when the plane hit turbulence and Melanie got scared. "It's going to be okay," he assured her. "Take my hand." Something tells us they're both right.
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