Two and a Half Men might be about the guys in the title, but in reality, fans know that housekeeper Berta is the best part of the show.
Conchata Ferrell had many memorable roles throughout her illustrious career in Hollywood, but none of them earned her as much praise or fame as the character of Berta, the tough-as-nails housekeeper on Two and a Half Men.
The adored actress sadly passed away at the age of 77 on October 12 and fans of the CBS comedy can fondly look back with warm memories, wide smiles, and bellies full of laughter as they remember all of the times that Berta asserted herself as the true head of Charlie’s Malibu beach house.
10 Wednesday (S10, E18)
Berta was never as curt or rude with Walden as she was with Charlie, but the writers would throw always throw in the occasional quick jab or witty comment to remind audiences that she was still the same old Berta. In this season 10 episode, Berta informs Walden that she might be getting in a little late to work on Monday. Thankful for the heads up, Walden tells her it’s no problem and asks when he can expect his housekeeper to show up… and she bluntly says it’ll be two full days later.
9 Guess what? I got a raise (S2, E16)
Berta signed on to be Charlie’s housekeeper and she made it clear that she was never happy about having to pick up after Alan and Jake when they moved in. At one point in season 2, Jake comes to live at the beach house for a whole week instead of the usual weekend and Berta makes it clear that she’ll be compensated appropriately. She wakes Charlie from a nap to inform him she’s heading home, while also letting him know that not only has she already taken her pay out of his wallet but that her employer gave her something extra as well.
8 I like her better so from now on I work for her (S6, E22)
The one rare occasion where Charlie was almost able to make a relationship work was in season 6 with Chelsea, reaching a point where the two were engaged and living together. During the episode where Chelsea moves in, Berta informs Charlie that she prefers his new fiance to him so she’ll now be taking orders from her. Charlie deems this unacceptable and asks if he at least gets a vote, to which Berta responds that of course he gets a vote – 1 out of 3, wishing him luck with those odds.
7 You could get your pampered ass out of bed and let me do my demeaning job and get on with my hellish life (S1, E12)
One recurring trait that the writers gave to Berta’s character was that she seemed to have an endless line of daughters/granddaughters who couldn’t keep it in their pants. In typical sitcom fashion, the audience got to meet a lot of these women when Berta would bring them to the beach house and this episode introduced the very first one – Prudence (Megan Fox).
When Berta brings her granddaughter over for the day it’s clear she’s in a foul mood when she rudely wakes Charlie from his sleep. When he asks if she could come back in a couple of hours, she replies that he should shut his trap and let her do her job.
6 I’d like some new shoes, a jetpack, and a waistline (S4, E10)
This season 4 episode found the entire house dealing with Charlie’s girlfriend, Lydia. While everyone else in the house understood that Berta was in charge, Lydia couldn’t wrap her head around the concept. In the beginning of the episode when Lydia walks into the kitchen and arrogantly declares to Berta what she’d like made for breakfast (expecting Berta to make it for her) Berta condescendingly responds with an equally possible outcome. Jake was even scoffing at Lydia for this one.
5 Charlie, you’d have to pay me not to (S5, E7)
Several episodes occurred throughout Two and a Half Men where Charlie and Alan would argue and it would ultimately end with Alan declaring that he was moving out. In one such episode during season 5 when Charlie informs Alan that after half of a decade he still sees him as just a house guest, Alan and Jake leave in the middle of night. When Berta asks Charlie about the fight the next morning and Charlie tells her that the whole fight stemmed from an ugly bowl, Berta immediately begins mocking him for how childish it is. When he tells her that he doesn’t pay her to mock him, she informs him that would cost extra.
4 Don’t condescend to me, Zippy, I’ll snap you like a butter-bean (S2, E17)
As already stated, Berta hated the fact that she had to take care of Jake and Alan when they moved in mainly because Jake was a disgusting adolescent who apparently couldn’t hit the toilet bowl if he tried.
After Berta has finally had enough and tells Alan that he has to teach his kid not to be a slob, Alan sarcastically responds that he’ll get right on it – prompting Berta to immediately put Zippy in his place.
3 I ain’t hitting any of those attributes so I don’t give a rat’s ass (S4, E10)
Another quote from the season 4 episode where Berta and Lydia bumped heads took place when Berta had finally had enough of Lydia taking advantage of her “easy going nature”. She wakes Charlie up by dumping a hamper of Lydia’s laundry on him and tells him that she’s not putting up with Lydia’s treatment anymore. Charlie immediately tries to defend his girlfriend and states that there are some “positive attributes” about Lydia, to which Berta responds that none of those particular attributes mean a damn thing to her.
2 Don’t get so agitated that your undergarments become entangled within your crack (S4, E21)
Alan’s sexuality was always made fun of throughout the show as he happened to be a tad more pampered and meticulous than traditional (and outdated) ideas of masculinity, but it was Charlie’s sexuality that was questioned when a gay friend of Alan’s took a shine to him. Already feeling emasculated throughout the entirety of the episode, Charlie storms into the kitchen to reprimand Berta for buying him the wrong shampoo, to which Berta tells him “not to get his panties in a bunch”. Charlie immediately becomes offended and asks what she’s insinuating causing Berta to reply with a much more thorough description of her insult.
1 There’s only room for one alpha dog in this house (S4, E10)
In the exact same conversation from season 4 episode 10 where Berta informs Charlie that she isn’t receiving any of the benefits from Lydia’s relationship that he is, she also delivers the ultimate line that definitively proved who ran the Malibu beach house. Berta lets Charlie know that Lydia said “Berta has to learn her place in this house” to which Berta immediately stands over Charlie while leaning directly into his face, threateningly asking if that’s truly the case, while also making the remark that if anybody is top dog in the house, it’s her. R.I.P. Conchata Ferrell.
NEXT: Two and a Half Men: 10 Things About Berta That Would Never Fly Today
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