Convinced that their scrapbook isn't good enough for Dad's birthday, the Loud kids seek out the perfect gift.
Today is Lynn Sr.'s birthday, and the kids are hard at work on creating a scrapbook filled with many of the kids' precious memories. As they work on the scrapbook, Lori is suddenly informed on her phone that Carol Pingrey's father's birthday was yesterday, and she gave him a statue of his head made out of Belgian chocolate. This causes the kids to question if the scrapbook is a good gift, since it pales in comparison to the chocolate head. When Leni mentions that the mall opens in ten minutes, they promptly begin heading to the mall, tossing the scrapbook into the trash can.
At the mall, the kids first stop at a glass menagerie store. They all settle on a glass dolphin, since they remember the time Lynn Sr. swam with a dolphin named Kenny, but when the store owner mentions that it's a porpoise, the kids remember that Lynn Sr.'s experience with the porpoise (which they mistook for a dolphin and Lisa pointing out the main difference between the two) wasn't good, since it stole his wallet. The kids venture around the mall some more and Lori suggests that they go to the tie store, since Lynn Sr. loves funny ties. However, it turns out that they got their father nearly every kind of tie there is, prompting them to look elsewhere. They attempt to have Lynn Sr.'s name engraved into a spatula, but the store owner states that their order will be ready by next Tuesday, since the engraver lives in Germany, prompting them to look elsewhere again. Arriving to an antiques store, Luna discovers a nutcracker that looks exactly like a British Beefeater, and considering their father's affinity for British things, they proceed to buy it. Unfortunately, when the kids arrive home, they notice that Kotaro has given Lynn Sr. an actual Beefeater from England, making the kids consider their gift worthless.
Arriving to Flip's Food & Fuel, they ask Flip for some tickets. After changing his store to Tucker's Tix & Tux, he hands the kids some brochures, and they all settle on parasailing. As they head home, Leni sees that Becky's father had gone parasailing not too long ago, and when they see him crashed out, the kids immediately state that parasailing is too risky, so they head back to Flip's. Looking through the brochures again, the kids settle on a cooking class with renowned chef Guy Grazer. After purchasing their tickets, they start to head back home, but when Luan brings up a video of Guy Grazer, they discover that Guy is a really harsh chef, and when they take note on how much Lynn Sr. hates raised voices, they head back to Flip's again. With very little money left, Flip suggests that he give Lynn Sr. a horseback ride, but the kids state that it's not good enough, prompting them to head back home.
Arriving back home, the kids hear Lynn Sr. sobbing in his bedroom. This makes the kids come to the conclusion that they missed out on his birthday, and Lucy declares that the only thing that they can do is apologize. Entering the room, the kids attempt to apologize, but Lynn Sr. tells them that there's no need to apologize, since they got him the perfect gift: the scrapbook, since Cliff pulled it out of the trash can. This makes the kids happy, knowing that this whole time, the scrapbook was the perfect gift. As the kids sit on their parents' bed, they start to reminisce on some of their past memories, with Leni commenting that they'll never forget the time they made the scrapbook, despite doing it that very morning.
Hey Loud Crowd! Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode #PresentTense boarded & directed by the fantastic @Asylum_26! The wikia correctly identified the ref to Kenny the dolphin from Future Tense. After we took Kenny out of that ep I made it my mission to bring him to the screen!! Jul 17, 2019
This episode has a unique little nod to "Future Tense": Lana mentions that at one time, Lynn Sr. swam with a dolphin named Kenny, which is a reference to a deleted scene in the aforementioned episode, where instead of an endangered turtle that the family saves, it was going to be a dolphin named Kenny. The scene was removed when it was realized that dolphins don't live in lakes. Sammie Crowley also acknowledged this in a tweet.
This episode reveals that the majority, if not all, of Lynn Sr.'s ties are gifts from his children, and due to him owning so many of them, they have run out of options for more ties to buy him, as they gave him nearly every tie that they found.
When shopping at the tie store, the tie Lola was holding has a small sketch of Lincoln on it.
According to Lori, she has a habit of hitting trash cans when driving.
This episode reveals Carol Pingrey's dad is two days older than Lynn Sr.
Darin McGowan @Asylum_26
Replying to @JoseMat587150 and @LoudFamily11 It was a gag I wanted to try - but it wasn’t really very funny AND it 100% took away from the touching family moment that I wanted to end on. Jul 18, 2019
Darin McGowan remarked on Twitter that the episode originally ended with a gag revealing that the Beefeater was still in the house. The scene was removed because it undercut the sentimentality of the family moment at the end and it wasn't as funny as he originally envisioned it.
Irony: The Loud siblings thought their scrapbook is a bad gift for their father, but it turned out that their father actually liked it.
Present Tense - The title may be a reference to the writing term of the same name, which means talking about something that's currently happening.
Bed Bath & Beyond - While going around the mall, one of the store signs reads "Dad Bath & Beyond", referencing this retail store.
The Muppets Take Manhattan - According to Darin McGowan, the sequence with the Louds walking towards the camera past various store signs is an homage to the "You Can't Take No for an Answer" sequence from the 1984 musical comedy.
Super Mario - The coin sound effect from this franchise can be heard in Flip's cash register.
Like "Washed Up", Lana is seen with front teeth in several scenes.
When Lisa realized that the glass dolphin was a porpoise, Lincoln appears to have no face.
When the kids decided not to buy the glass porpoise, Lincoln is the same height as Luan.
In most scenes, Lana is seen with full teeth.
Luna's right paperclip earring is missing when the kids are at the tie shop and when she finds the nutcracker.
After the kids saw pictures of Becky's dad parasailing, Luna is seen with her guitar, which she did not have with her at any point.
In the family photo shown at the start of the episode, Lily has a chipped tooth.
When Lana told Lisa that they aren't getting the porpoise as a gift, Lynn's and Lola's eyes looked to the left without any motion or animation.
At the end of the episode, the sisters' eyelashes were disconnected in some shots.
The Loud House "Present Tense" promo - Nickelodeon