Jerry (Terry), Joe, and Donna sample wedding cakes from the finest bakeries in Pawnee to determine which one to serve at Donna’s upcoming wedding. Donna and Joe both select the same cake, which is revealed to be the local grocery store cake. Billy claims that he placed that cake in the lineup to weed out the low quality palates, but preferences are often subjective.
See more: preference ranking, preferences, ranking, subjective value, transitivity
Tom and Donna are doing one last Treat Yo Self journey before Donna’s wedding. As the Butler of Honor, Tom takes Donna to eat at the hottest sushi restaurant in LA. All of the fish served has been previously owned by celebrities as a way to differentiate it from standard sushi.
See more: advertising, celebrity endorsement, monopolistic competition, product differentiation
Donna and Tom are curious about what the newest fad is in Pawnee. Annabel Porter tells Ron, Donna, and Tom about milk with a flourish that makes it worth $60 a gallon instead of $3 a gallon. Ron isn’t fooled, he realizes it’s just milk.
See more: advertising, demand shifts, monopolistic competition, preferences, product differentiation
Gryzzl wants to bring in a celebrity to help distinguish the company so that they can win the bid. Tom and Donna list other instances where celebrity ownership or endorsement have helped companies. Celebrity endorsements may serve as a signalling device for companies.
See more: advertising, celebrity endorsement, monopolistic competition, product differentiation, signalling
The Parks Department is trying to determine where to eat and Donna suggests sushi. Andy initially declines because he claims that he is allergic, but it turns out he just thinks he’s allergic. Every time he eats 80 pieces of sushi he gets sick. He probably isn’t allergic, but instead is experiencing decreasing returns (negative marginal returns).
See more: decreasing utility, diminishing returns, negative utility, utility
Craig has to keep it together in the face of very strange requests during his interview to be the sommelier for Tom’s Bistro. While professional sommelier’s are known for being able to pair wines and meals, they must maintain their composure when customers ask for something different. While some may have odd preferences, its important to respect others’ utility functions.
See more: behavioral, preferences, subjective value, utility, utility maximization
Tom incentives the department to come to his club and try his newest drink by threatening to place them on his “done-zo” list. The Parks Department decides to go to the Snake Hole Lounge to try Tom’s new drink, but instead they all have a bit too much and go through the next day feeling terrible. One of the other issues shown in this video is diminishing marginal utility. As the night goes on, each member of the group gets a bit happier, but they eventually peak and see negative returns the next morning.
See more: decreasing utility, diminishing returns, externalities, health economics, negative externalities, negative utility, private benefits, private costs, social benefits, social costs, unintended consequences, utility maximization
Neighboring city, Eagleton, has decided to build a fence around a small park they used to share with the citizens of Pawnee. Throughout the episode, we learn of various quality-of-life factors that Eagleton excels in relative to Pawnee. Things like obesity, height, income, wealth, and life expectancy are all much higher than in Pawnee, and the citizens of Eagleton want to keep it that way.
See more: inequality, isolationism, life expectancy
Tom pranked Anne by putting glitter in her laundry detergent and she decides to return the favor by putting glitter in Tom’s moisturizer. She pitches it as a new product gimmick, but Tom supports the idea of this new product, “Sparkle Skin.”
See more: entrepreneurship, monopolistic competition, product differentiation
Donna and Tom take Ben on a “Treat Yo Self” day to help him relax, but he just buys socks, which he feels like he needs. Donna and Tom challenge him to think about what he would buy for himself if he could get anything he wanted. Ben decides he wants a Batman costume.
See more: elasticity, income effect, income elastic, luxury goods, necessities, normal goods, preferences, subjective value, utility