27 November 2012 4:00 AM, PST | TVGuide - Breaking News | See recent TVGuide - Breaking News news »

Frankie Heck is not going to let the pinch steal Christmas.

The Middle's stretched-thin, harried mother (played by Patricia Heaton) has a scant $20 to spend on gifts for her three kids this year. Ever the problem solver, she cracks to her unflappable quarry-manager husband Mike (Neil Flynn): "I'll fake my own death!" This way, she says, when she appears very much alive on Christmas morning, her children will be so happy they won't care that there aren't any presents.

Too dark?

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- Kate Hahn

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