Strays is the fifth episode of season one of One Day at a Time.
Lydia grows suspicious of Elena and Carmen's intense relationship. Penelope later discovers that the inseparable friends are keeping a big secret.
Penelope Alvarez comes to find Elena Alvarez and Carmen sleeping on the sofa. Penelope is planning Doctor Berkowitz birthday party because last year he went to Medieval Times and got bit by a horse. Alex Alvarez comes in and tells them about a fundraiser and how they need to help him sell candy. Penelope tells him to sell it himself. Elena asks if Carmen can sleep over and Penelope says sure. Lydia recommends that she sleep on the sofa but Elena says she just sleeps in the same bed as her. Schneider walks out of the bathroom and says that he fixed the water pressure and that he can't eat rice cause he's doing a paleo diet. Lydia Riera says that people definitely feel at home here.
Penelope is decorating the office when Lori and Scott walk in. They were supposed to pick up cake and balloons but forgot. Doctor Berkowitz shows up and is upset because nobody remembered his birthday. Penelope invites him and the rest of the office over to her house later for a birthday dinner. Penelope has everyone helping out for the party. Lydia is making dinner, Schneider made a centerpiece, and Alex is selling his candy. She makes Carmen go home to save her from having to attend the party but this upsets Elena. Doctor Berkowitz arrives with Lori and Scott. They sit and have dinner and tell stories from work. Lori flirts with Schneider. Alex sells chocolate to Lori and earns 5 dollars. Lydia serenades Doctor Berkowitz by singing the "Happy birthday" song. Penelope goes to get a knife to cut the cake and catches Carmen trying to sneak back into the apartment. She tells Elena that they are going to talk after the party. Elena goes to her room and Penelope apologizes to everyone saying that Elena and Carmen are just stressed over their immigration project. Schneider asks why they didn't go to him and reveals that he immigrated illegally from Canada.
Penelope says that if you want to hear a real immigration story to listen to Lydia tell of how she immigrated from Cuba. Scott comments that at least Lydia did it the right way and Penelope asks him to please not ruin the party by being him. He says he's just being honest and that there is a right and wrong way to immigrate. They start to argue about immigration. Elena comes in and tells her that Carmen is in her room right now because her parents were deported to Mexico. Penelope talks to the girls and learns that the immigration project was a cover for Carmen to be over all the time. Penelope asks how long did they think they could keep this up and Carmen says a year because she wants to graduate with her class. Penelope asks what her parents want her to do and she says to go to Austin, Texas to be with her brother. Penelope lets her stay with them until they can send her to Austin. Elena is upset because her friend is leaving. Schneider bought her a plane ticket to Austin. They say goodbye before he takes her to the airport. After she leaves, they all start crying.
- Justina Machado as Penelope Alvarez
- Todd Grinnell as Schneider
- Isabella Gomez as Elena Alvarez
- Marcel Ruiz as Alex Alvarez
- Stephen Tobolowsky as Leslie Berkowitz
- Rita Moreno as Lydia Riera
- Schneider immigrated to the United States illegally -- from Canada. He overstayed his student visa.
- Lydia immigrated to the United States from Havana, Cuba in 1962 through Pedro Pan (Operation Peter Pan).
- Penelope calls Alex "Willy Wonka" in addition to him telling Dr. Berkowitz about his candy.
- When Lydia sings "Happy Birthday" to Dr. Berkowtiz, her dance parodies Marilyn Monroe singing "Happy Birthday" to JFK in 1962.