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Boy to the World is the 10th episode of Season One of Ally McBeal.


Ally defends and befriends a young trans sex worker; Fish sues for the right to discuss his dead uncleıs prejudices in a eulogy; and Cage ponders dating Ally.


Growing dissatisfied with her latest boyfriend, Jason Roberts, Ally asks Renee to double date with them. Renee asks Ally to invite John Cage as her date. Fish announces his uncle, Kevin Hanson, has died. Fish wants to mention Kevin's phobia of short people in his eulogy, but Kevin's minister won't allow it. Fish brings Billy to talk to the minister, but the minister steadfastly refuses to celebrate 'bigotry' at a funeral. Back at the office. Ally asks Cage if he'll go out with her, Jason and Renee. Cage accepts. Later, at court, Whipper Cone appoints Ally defender for Stephanie, a beautiful young transvestite whose real name is Steven, charged with prostitution. Ally tells Stephanie her or his two prior arrests make a defense difficult. Conviction and jail time are almost certain. That evening, the group date goes very slowly. Ally excuses herself early when she gets an idea for Stephanie's defense. At Stephanie's apartment, Ally marvels at the clothing Stephanie designs and sews, particularly a beautiful wedding dress. Ally tells Stephanie they might be able to win their case if they plead insanity, a transvestitism fetish. Stephanie doesn't want to be labeled insane, but promises to think it over. The next day, Stephanie promises to make Ally a dress in lieu of her fee. He or she also offers to do Ally's makeup. Billy and Fish tell a judge their case has nothing to do with protecting the civil rights of short people, it's about censorship. Later, Fish asks Whipper's advice about the case. She asks if he isn't using the lawsuit to avoid grieving for his uncle.

Back at the office, Cage recommends Ally get a doctor's certification of Stephanie's fetish and then says he'd like to go out with her again. Ally is shocked to realize Cage thought she was his date last night. That night, Ally brings Stephanie home to meet with a psychiatrist. Dr. Harper says Stephanie does indeed have a fetish, and some gender confusion, but knew what he or she was doing when he or she solicited a cop. After the doctor leaves, Stephanie applies Ally's makeup. The next day, Billy and Fish try to consult with Cage about the eulogy case, but Cage is too 'chagrined' over his blunder with Ally to talk. Ally pleads Stephanie's case in court and the judge postpones a verdict for one year, on the condition that Stephanie get a job and stay off the streets. Ally agrees to hire Stephanie and the judge approves the deal. Billy and Fish plead their case to Judge Walworth. The judge is a short person, hates political correctness and rules in their favor.

Cage asks Ally if he would ever consider going out with her. She says she might if he weren't her boss. Later, at the bar, Ally breaks the news about hiring Stephanie to Fish. Ally goes back to her office and finds Cage there, collecting his thoughts about her. She assures him there are no hard feelings, but he remains there thinking, when she leaves. The next day, Fish delivers Kevin's eulogy but makes no mention of short people. Then a soloist begins to sing Randy Newman's, 'Short People' and the choir joins in. Back at the office, Elaine shows Stephanie around. Stephanie gives Ally a beautiful black dress. Ally sees Cage and tells him she would like to have dinner with him sometime. All seems well again until Ally and Renee are summoned to a crime scene that night. Stephanie has been murdered by an 'angry john.' Ally cradles his or her body and cries. Later, Ally realizes there is one last thing she can do for her young friend. She goes back to the morgue and fixes Stephanie's wig and makeup, making him or her look pretty one last time while Fish goes to the cemetery and says good-bye to his uncle.


Full transcript can be found here.


  • This episode is about trangenderism.



This Christmas (cover) | VONDA SHEPARD
Jingle Bell Rock (cover) | VONDA SHEPARD
The Chipmunk's Christmas (cover) | VONDA SHEPARD
Let It Snow (cover) | VONDA SHEPARD

See also list of songs in the episode.



Calista Flockhart as Ally McBeal
Courtney Thorne-Smith as Georgia Thomas
Greg Germann as Richard Fish
Lisa Nicole Carson as Renée Raddick
Jane Krakowski as Elaine Vassal
and Gil Bellows as Billy Thomas

Special Appearance By

Peter MacNicol as John Cage
Dyan Cannon as Whipper Cone

Guest starring

Wilson Cruz as Stephanie Grant
Amy Aquino as Dr. Harper
Armin Shimerman as Judge Walworth
Harrison Page as Reverend Mark Newman
Vonda Shepard as Herself
Jennifer Holliday as Lisa Knowles


Notes and References

20 Years Later, Ally McBeal's Queer Legalese Doesn't Always Go Down Easy (OUT MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER 2017)