(Strip Number 5084, Original Publication Date, 24 January 1989)
Panel 1: Since John probably did point out that what her teacher actually meant was to explain why her friends make her life better, he's baffled by the fact that Liz feels upset for no reason that he feels comfortable acknowledging. When he asks why she's lying on her bed crying, it confuses him when she says that no one likes her and she has no friends.
Panel 2: He makes the same mistake he will in the future by pointing out that she's 'friends' with him, Elly, Michael and Farley.
Panel 3: Since she's talking about being friends with children her age, she tells him that she doesn't mean that kind of 'friend'.
Panel 4: He's baffled by her wanting 'real' friends who aren't obliged to associate with her but do so voluntarily.
Summary: This is the first on a long line of strips that depict John as being utterly baffled by the fact that Liz isn't as happy as she's 'supposed' to be. His confusion would go away in a heart-beat if he could learn to hate the dimwitted mongrel spouting off about problem hair and raising princesses as much as all decent people do.