[[quoteright:316:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/adventuresinodysseylogo.png]]
[[caption-width-right:316: [[TagLine A place of wonder, excitement, and discovery.]] ]]

Your typical half-hour after-school dramatic comedy show about life in a small town. Except that it promotes Christian values and Biblical messages. Oh, and it's a radio show.

''Adventures in Odyssey'' (1987-present) is set in the fictional town of Odyssey (in an unnamed State, but likely the Midwestern USA--the original version of the show, Family Portraits, identifies it as being in Ohio). The centerpiece of the town is the kids' discovery emporium and ice cream shop, Whit's End, run by John Avery Whittaker ("Whit"), who acts as a wise old grandfather to every kid who walks through the door. Whit is a devoted Christian, the rich owner of an encyclopedia company, former consultant for the National Security Agency, and a somewhat wacky inventor. Most of his inventions are permanent starring attractions in Whit's End. The most famous (and frequently used as a plot device) is the Imagination Station -- in simplest terms, a virtual reality time machine. Whit's End is also home to a fair number of mysterious rooms such as: the secret hidden room in the attic that held clues to a treasure hunt, the secret hidden room in the basement where a murder occurred, and Whit's secret computer room with wall-to-wall TV screens and the master computer that runs every invention in the shop -- and talks.

Some of the most recurring characters are the employees at Whit's End. Over the years, this has included: rebellious teen-turned-convert Connie Kendall; super-techno-genius Eugene Meltsner; his distant cousin and professional window-washer, Bernard Walton; Eugene's wife, a substitute teacher named Katrina; part-time spy and Whit's son Jason; and Whit's friend and local antique dealer, Jack Allen. The show has also had various casts of kids of varying eras. The first included chronic troublemaker Curt Stevens; budding journalist Lucy Cunningham-Schultz; sisters Robin and Melanie Jacobs; all-American siblings Donna and Jimmy Barclay, the boy and a girl of the Barclay's eventual ABoyAGirlAndABabyFamily set-up. The next era included young writer and resident sweetheart Mandy Straussberg, her brother David, and her best friend Liz Horton; cousins Alex Jefferson and Cal Jordan; another rebellious teen-turned-convert, Aubrey Shepherd; Jared [=DeWhite=], who moved away when his father was put into the Witness Protection Program (money-laundering issues involved with a TakeOverTheWorld plot) and his younger brother Trent; Marvin and Tamika Washington; and Grady [=McKay=]. The most recent era (dubbed "the relaunch" by fans) includes the Parker siblings, Olivia, Matthew, and Camilla; junior detective Emily Jones and her older brother Barrett; Barrett's rival Jay Smouse; reformed troublemaker Buck Oliver; and Connie's half-sister Jules.

Aside from the individual half-hour segments, the show has featured two major long-running, ([[CerebusRollercoaster more mature]]) arcs. The first dealt with the plots of Dr. Regis Blackgaard to take over Whit's End to gain access to a rare mineral in the Underground Railroad tunnels below the building that was the crucial ingredient to creating a deadly, invincible virus to use as a bio-terrorism weapon. (Whit was, unfortunately, [[PutOnABus away on a secret archaeological expedition]] [[CharacterOutlivesActor in the Middle East]] during the finale.) The second arc dealt with a plot by the communications company Novacom and a computer program they created that would brainwash the entire world, in which Eugene was a major, [[PutOnABus if completely absent]], player. A third, shorter but sequential 12-part serial "The Green Ring Conspiracy", concerning a counterfeit ring, has been also been released, notable again for its level of maturity in storytelling.

The series is created by the American Christian advocacy group Focus on the Family and is the flagship program of FOTF Radio Theater. It currently airs on numerous radio stations in the US and Canada, and is available in compact disc and cassette albums. Episodes are also rotated daily on the [[http://www.whitsend.org/ official website]], about five at a time. An Animated Adaption airs on some Christian broadcasting stations.
----
!!Tropes:

* AStormIsComing: Thunder rumbles in the background in both "Gathering Thunder" (as the Israelites are temporarily defeated by the Bones of Wrath) and in "The Time Has Come" (as Eugene comes to grips with how helpless he feels in the fight against Blackgaard and Jack straightforwardly tells him that he's being driven toward a decision toward Christianity).
* {{Adorkable}}: Eugene falls into this sometimes.
* AdamAndEvePlot: At least two:
** The first (and the more iconic) is in "A Bite of Applesauce", where Whit tells Connie and Eugene not to touch Applesauce, the shop's computer program, and they do anyway ([[spoiler: and are summarily fired for it]]).
** The second is in "Red Herring", where Alex and Cal, at AREM's prompting, snoop around in the college's computer system.
* AdultFear: Quite a few for what is supposed to be a children's show:
** Danny Schmidt believing that he is responsible for his mother's miscarriage in "Forever, Amen".
** Jenny Roberts, a middle school girl, being kidnapped in "The Perfect Witness".
** The terrorist ring from "A Name, Not A Number", Red Scorpion, working to wage chemical warfare by contaminating the Swiss water supply with a deadly virus.
** Armitage Shanks dying from what appeared to be an unusual inoperable brain tumor, recounted in "Plan B, Part I", [[spoiler: especially since it was later revealed that it was actually an assassination.]]
** Mitch [[spoiler: appearing to be killed in "Plan B, Part 2", which wasn't alleviated that much by the reveal that he was, for all intents and purposes, kidnapped and placed in the Federal Witness Protection Program.]]
*** Even more frightening is that Steven [=DeWhite=]'s discovery of Andromeda's money-laundering scheme and then later finding a hidden camera in his office leads to him and his wife and two sons being placed in the WPP.
** "Exit" has Bennett Charles threaten [[DamselInDistress Connie Kendall's life]] in order to keep Whit away from stopping the worldwide launch of Novacom's technology.
** "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" has [[DistressedDude Mitch get kidnapped]] and nearly taken out of the country by a revenge-driven Bennett Charles.
** Eugene's father Leonard's backstory: he was an archaeologist working in Africa who, along with his wife, was kidnapped and enslaved by his rival for twenty years, with his wife dying in captivity and his two sons [[spoiler: believed to be dead.]]
** Whit explains in "Blood, Sweat, and Fears" that he has a fear of giving blood because he was once injured in combat and woke up to find a nurse taking his blood by mistake.
** "The Other Side of the Glass" features [[spoiler: people being persuaded to emigrate to America, only to be blackmailed by the people who brought them there into working as cheap labor for a glass factory or being outed as illegal aliens. When Whit, Bernard, and Wooton stake out the factory, they discover that even young children are being forced to work midnight shifts.]]
** In "Accidental Dilemma", The Whisperer, a terrorist whom Jason arrested while working for the NSA, discovers his identity, kidnaps him in exchange for Applesauce, and holds Grady [=McKay=], an elementary-school-age boy, hostage in order for Jason to cooperate. [[spoiler: With the exception of Grady's kidnapping, this was actually an elaborate BatmanGambit on Whit and Jason's part in response to the Whisperer escaping prison, but the concept and its execution are still pretty intense.]]
* AdventurerArchaeologist: Whit and Leonard Meltsner, in a slight subversion, they are trained modern archeologists and conduct realistic archeological practices... until villains drive them into adventuring at gunpoint.
* AdventuresInTheBible: Happens frequently though usually it's Virtual Reality.
** They have done so many of these that they've literally ran out of Bible stories to adapt (A quick skim through the Bible will tell you why the stories they have not adapted will ''never'' be adapted). The show now tend to focuses on reenacting events in church history.
* AffectionateParody: "Hidden in My Heart" is based around three: [[Series/Rescue911 Rescue 119]], [[Series/{{Lassie}} Laffy the Wonder Dog]], and [[Franchise/StarTrek Star Trip]] (starring [[Creator/WilliamShatner William Shattered]]).
* AllUpToYou: Tom Riley in the conclusion of the Novacom arc.
* AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents: Deconstructed in "Bringing Up Dads", where the things that embarrass Tamika about her father at present are the sort of things she loved doing as a kid.
* AmbulanceChaser: Howard J. Wiezel ([[RunningGag "That's Wie-ZEL"]]), the Rathbones' lawyer in "A Victim of Circumstance", just happens to show up at the hospital after Rodney was admitted for his injuries after falling through a skylight while snooping around on the roof of Whit's End and convinces the Rathbones to sue Jason for the damages.
* AndStarring: Between circa Albums 44-50, Chris, the show host, would list off the actors and then the actor who played the "major character" featured in the episode. (However, even if Whit was involved, Will Ryan was always credited as either Eugene or whatever character he played if he had a role that wasn't Eugene.) Since the relaunch, however, Chris always credits the actors along with their characters.
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Jimmy Barclay to Donna, Tamika Washington to Marvin, Bethany Shepard to Aubrey, Camilla Parker to Olivia.
* ArtisticLicenseLaw: Justified in the cases tried in Whit's End court (i.e. "The Scales of Justice" and "Broken Window"), but played straight in Tom Riley's trial in which he is accused of blowing up the Novacom broadcasting tower in "Expect the Worst" and "Exactly As Planned":
** To begin with, the trial is implied to take place relatively shortly after the actual incident, because Cal is still in the hospital from relatively minor injuries when it's over; even in small town court systems (and a town that has its own airport really isn't that small when you think about it), it can take months to prepare a trial. Attorneys have to interview witnesses and prepare statements, and there are simply other cases on the docket that have to be taken care of.
** The prosecuting attorney repeatedly uses the phrase "beyond a shadow of a doubt". However, that is not the standard of proof, because nothing can really be proven beyond a ''shadow'' of a doubt (there's always going to be somebody who finds a hole or makes some crackpot theory). The standard instead is "beyond a ''reasonable'' doubt".
** Leading off from that (though this is more of a hole in the dialogue itself), the defense attorney's case rests on exposing all of Novacom's misdeeds to the public to give Tom a motivation for the destruction of the tower under the InsanityDefense, then tells Tom that "the jury will never convict you". But the jury ''would'' be convicting him; that's the whole point of pleading guilty under insanity. They just might not give him a particularly harsh sentence under the circumstances.
*** It's also not really a proper insanity plea; for one thing, there should have been reference to an actual psychiatrist on the witness stand. Simply showing the jury evidence indicating Novacom's culpability for circumstances leading up to the hypothetical situation that Tom really did blow up the tower won't be enough for an actual insanity defense. The proper defense here would be "extreme emotional disturbance".
* TheAtoner: Richard Maxwell, Monica Stone (although slightly subverted, since neither wished to become Christians and were not pressured afterwards).
* BaldOfEvil: Bennett Charles in the Novacom arc.
* BackFromTheDead: Dr. Blackgaard programmed his personality into a virus and planted it in the Imagination Station. It almost tried to possess Aubrey before Whit destroyed it.
* BananaInTheTailpipe: Invoked in "Accidental Dilemma".
* BeautyContest: Two episodes center around the Young Miss Odyssey Modeling Contest, "A Model Child" and "Lost By A Nose". (In the first, it's sponsored by Bart Rathbone's Electric Palace; in the second, it's done through Odyssey Middle School.)
* BeingWatched: Jason, Tasha, and Mitch, respectively, all observe this in "A Name, Not A Number", "The Search for Whit", and "Exit", among others.
* BigLabyrinthineBuilding[=/=]BuildingOfAdventure: Whit's End. Even Whit indicates in some episodes that there are places in it that he doesn't know about.
* BigRedButton: Used to start up the Imagination Station, though the newest model (introduced in album 50) doesn't have it.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: The Bassetts, all of whom—save for Wooton, his cousin Wilma, and their grandfather—are self-serving, avaricious, and arrogant. They are implied to be the reason why Wooton is the way he is; the repressive background in which he grew up prevented him from being a kid, so he gets in touch with his inner child as an adult.
* BlackBox: Novacom's technology, literally called a "Black Box" when it's first released.
** As well as the parts of [[spoiler: the Imagination Station]] that Novacom stole.
* BlackmailBackfire: In "The One About Trust", Whit doesn't mind Bart revealing the information that he pays Eugene more than he pays Connie because he'd rather have that revealed than endorse Bart for mayor. It's also revealed that [[spoiler:Whit ''doesn't'' pay Eugene more than Connie; knowing that a single mother would have a hard time affording higher education for her daughter, Whit set aside around two-thirds of Connie's paycheck into a college trust fund. When all the numbers are added up, it turns out that Connie actually makes a little bit more than Eugene does, making the issue moot]]
* BlandNameProduct: Strangely enough, names like "[=TwitFace=]" and "[=AppleBerry=]" are used in conjunction with [=McDonald=]'s and Krispy Kreme.
* BreakingTheFourthWall:
-->'''Jimmy Barclay:''' I'd tell you more, Dad, but this is a family show.
** Also in the episode "Truth Be Told", Wooton says he'd go over the details of something that happened in his superhero story, but "this is a kid's program."
** In "A Cheater Cheated", Bart imitates Whit by reciting Whit's opening monologue from the show's theme.
** In "Life, in the Third Person, Part 1", Mandy, who has been internally monologuing about her current situation, has a flat tire on her bike, and remarks that it's hard to fly away when your wing has a flat.
--->'''Mandy:''' Okay, I know it's a mixed metaphor, but what do you want?
* BreakoutCharacter: Mailman Wooton Bassett in the more recent episodes.
* BurgerFool / BadJobWorseUniform: Bernard recounts meeting his wife Maude while she was dressed in a chicken costume promoting a fast-food joint.
* CacophonyCoverUp: When Tasha gives Jason a clue that his and Eugene's hotel room is bugged in "The Search for Whit, Part 1", Jason drags Eugene into the bathroom and turns on the shower while they regroup and discuss what to do next. Eugene repays him in kind in Part 2.
* CastAsAMask: Bob Lutrell plays [=AREM=] while [[spoiler: Steve Burns]] plays [=AREM's=] secret identity, [[spoiler:Robert Mitchell]].
* CerebusRollercoaster: The series, for the most part, stays as the mostly down-to-earth slice-of-life program it's known to be...but over the series' run, we've had [[KnightOfCerebus Regis Blackgaard]], [[TakeOverTheWorld the Novacom Saga]], and some extremely dramatic episodes such as "[[NightmareFuel The Mortal Coil]]", "A Name, Not A Number", "The Top Floor", and "Life, in the Third Person".
** Not even the somewhat goofier animated series is exempt from this. Some of the wilder episodes like Electric Christmas, Star Quest, and Flight To the Finish share shelf space with The Knight Travellers[[note]]Where the Imagination Station is stolen and altered into a mind control device[[/note]] and A Twist In Time and its starkly grim BadFuture[[note]]Fortunately, it was just a simulation, and (hopefully) is not the true future of Whit's End and the people associated with it.[[/note]].
* ChalkOutline: PlayedForLaughs in "Opportunity Knocks", where Connie publicly apologizes for Harlow Doyle after he mistakenly draws them on a family's driveway.
* CharacterOutlivesActor: Whit's first actor, Hal Smith, died in 1994 and was not replaced for over 2 years, and Whit was temporarily [[PutOnABus sent on an archaeological expedition in the Middle East]] while Focus found a replacement. When he came back, he was voiced by Paul Herlinger for 12 years until ''he'' died, and Andre Stojka has since taken up the roll.
* ChekhovsGun: In an episode about the underground railroad, a priest at the church that would one day become Whit's End mentions a mineral in the tunnels under the building. [[spoiler: This mineral turns out to be key in a compound to drastically increase the deadliness of the Ruku virus and was Blackgaard's main goal when he took over Whit's End.]]
* ChildrenVoicingChildren: Usually the child characters on ''Adventures in Odyssey'' are voiced by kids (usually with the result being many of the characters getting either several voice actors or dropped altogether), with the most glaring exceptions being Emily Jones and Olivia Parker[[note]]both introduced when the series returned from hiatus in 2010[[/note]]
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Most of the child voice actors (and consequently their families, Dr. Morton being an exception) tend to get quietly dropped from the show around the time their voice changes.
** There have been exceptions, including Jimmy Barclay, Jared [=DeWhite=], and [=Marvin Washington=], though Jimmy is the most notable since it was primarily the first era of AIO kids who were shown becoming adolescents and going from elementary and middle school to high school.
** Many of those characters had cameos during Album 50, and four notable ones (Jack, Lucy, Jimmy, and Curt) had an entire two-parter dedicated to them and their various unwitting love triangle shenanigans.
* ChristmasEpisode: They used to introduce at least one new Christmas episode a year, and as Christmas approaches, the schedule has them play previous Christmas episodes. Given the show has been going on for about two decades, this leads to around a month of Christmas episodes.
* CircusOfFear: Uncle Archie's carnival, a G-rated version, appears in The Green Ring Conspiracy.
* CloudCuckoolander: Harlow Doyle (''Private Eye!'') and to a slightly lesser extent, Wooton Bassett.
* CluelessAesop: Averted in an episode that teaches AnAesop about cursing. Though it would seem impossible to teach such a moral in a Christian children's radio show, where you obviously aren't supposed to use curse words, it manages to pull it off by having some kids thinking that a certain word is a curse word and using it in such a way, leading to a moral about using words wisely, not saying things that you don't understand just because it sounds cool, and speaking to others in ways that encourage them rather than insult them. It's a bit odd, but it actually works pretty well.
* CluelessDetective: Harlow Doyle, Private Eye.
* CoDragons: When Dr. Blackaard attempts to take over Odyssey, Professor Bovril, Jellyfish, and Philip Glossman assist him with brains, brawn, and public appearance, respectively.
* CollapsingLair: Richard Maxwell somehow programs Blackgaard's computer to ''blow up'' his business in "The Battle, Part 2". Blackgaard wants Maxwell to hack into the Imagination Station, but instead the code causes a power surge that sets the building on fire.
* ConcealingCanvas: A safe hidden behind a picture of a safe in the episode "Hold Up!". Mr. Whittaker has a weird sense of humor.
* ContinuityNod: All over the place. Even when they aren't doing clear-cut story arcs of one kind or another, continuity is remarkably strong, even if there are some snarls here and there.
* CoolOldGuy: Whit is the normal, down-to-Earth variety. Usually.
** Also Jack Allen (rational and calm advice-giver) and Tom Riley (snarky and practical farmer).
* CouchGag: The 1987-1991 version of the introduction had Whit introduce himself and explain he was working on his latest invention before saying "Hey, let's see if this thing works." Normally, it didn't (to which Whit would comment that it needed more work, but that's the exciting part because you never know what you'll discover along the way), although a few episodes depicted the invention working properly.
* CourtroomEpisode: "The Scales of Justice" (Eugene is the judge and Connie the bailiff in a dispute between Rodney Rathbone and Isaac Morton over who owns a bag full of money), "Blind Justice" (Eugene and Bernard are both serving jury duty for a case in which [[RogueJuror only Eugene]] [[WholePlotReference believes that]] [[Film/TwelveAngryMen the defendant is not guilty]]), "Broken Window" (Connie is the judge for a case in which Alex, Sarah, and Rodney are all accused of breaking a window at Whit's End), "Exactly As Planned" (Tom is accused of and put on trial for blowing up the Novacom tower on his land).
* CrackFic: Bethany's Flood. The Ark is a wet dry vac, Shem, Ham, and Japheth are really Sam, Theatre/{{Hamlet}} and [[UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson Jefferson]], and Christopher Colombo caused the flood!
* CreditCardPlot: "A Little Credit, Please"
* {{Crossover}}: Jason Whittaker appeared in a story in radio episodes of ''Film/TheLastChanceDetectives'', also produced by Focus on the Family.
* DatingCatwoman: Jason and Monica
* DeadpanSnarker: Bernard Walton.
** Also Connie, though she tends to swing between this and LargeHam quite regularly.
** Jason, too.
* DenserAndWackier: The animated series in some episodes, particularly ''Flight to the Finish'' and ''[[ChristmasEpisode Electric Christmas]]''.
* DestructionEqualsOffSwitch: The conclusion of [[spoiler: the Novacom arc.]]
* DiabolicalMastermind: Dr. Blackgaard -- he even had a [[RightHandCat cat]]!
* DidYouDie: Tamika Washington asks this when Bernard tells her a story from his childhood in "The Girl In The Sink."
* DisabilityImmunity: In the episode "The Perfect Witness," Jenny Roberts is taken hostage by thieves who supposed that because she can't see, she won't know where they're going with her and thus can't tell the police where their hideout is. Jenny, once returned to her friends, is able to nail the criminals by using her other senses to narrow down their location (sounds play a large part in this).
* DoubleAesop: Kids frequently went on an adventure in the Imagination Station and learned an {{Aesop}} from the Aesop the characters in the adventure learned.
* DownerEnding: Although usually upbeat, the show will occasionally throw a curve-ball and produce an episode without any definite happy ending.
** "A Bite Of Applesauce" is one of the more famous ones, ending with [[spoiler:Connie and Eugene getting fired]].
** One episode involved a character's model train getting stolen and a girl with a history of delinquency being the prime suspect. She denied it and Whit acted as the strongest voice in her defense. [[spoiler: It turns out she did throw it away out of spite and was completely unrepentant when caught. Whit was very shaken up and forced to face the fact that treating someone with kindness does not mean they will accept it.]]
** "Only By His Grace", which ends with [[spoiler:Mandy's parents' separation [[DarkestHour looking worse than ever]] and Mandy crying and pleading with God to fix it.]]
* TheDragon: Mr. Charles to The Chairman's BigBad.
* EasyEvangelism: [[ZigZaggedTrope Zig-Zagged]]. In some cases, 5 minutes and a commercial break is all that's required to get a conversion. In other cases, especially those involving main characters, it can take years after they're introduced before they convert, and some simply don't for whatever reason. And you can be sure that recurring characters still have lessons to learn.
* EccentricTownsfolk
* ElectionDayEpisode: "By Any Other Name" and "It Takes Integrity" for StudentCouncilPresident; "Tom for Mayer, Parts 1 and 2" and "The One About Trust, Parts 1 and 2" for the mayorship of Odyssey.
* ElevatorFailure: In "Real Time", Whit and [[ShockJock Cryin' Bryan Dern]] find themselves trapped in an elevator in the middle of a bomb threat.
* EmbarrassingNickname: Jellyfish, a small-time hood in the Blackgaard saga. Notably his first name (and only name given) is the [[EmbarrassingFirstName equally embarrassing]] Myron.
* EveryoneCanSeeIt: Eugene and Connie in earlier episodes. At one point, a man who was in the middle of trying to rob Whit's End says that they were made for each other.
* EverythingIsOnline: Justified for Whit, as he is a legitimate computer wiz and a retired NSA technical analyst.
* EvilTwin: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]]; Dr. Blackgaard has a ''good'' twin, Edwin, who runs the local theater. After his initial episodes, he was used mostly as comic relief -- completely independent from his brother's story-lines.
* FaceDeathWithDignity: In fact Whit was so dignified and calm that it unnerved the would-be-killer into running away.
* FaceYourFears: "Blood, Sweat, and Fears", centering around a blood drive, requires Whit (who fears giving blood as a result of having it accidentally taken instead of given to him after a combat injury) and Eugene (who has a fear of needles) to give blood, and for Trent (who has been shown in the past to have a morbid fear of public speaking) to give live interviews to promote the drive.
* FakingTheDead:
** In "A Name, Not A Number," Dr. Blackgaard pretends to be injected with a strain of a deadly virus so that he can orchestrate his plans discreetly before showing up in Odyssey alive and well. Granted, the only person in town who thought he was dead was Jason, but him showing up in the last few minutes of the "Name, Not A Number" two-parter was still a bit of a shock, considering that the audience last heard what sounded like his death throes.
** Mitch is [[spoiler: [[DeathFakedForYou placed in the Witness Protection Program]] during the Novacom fiasco.]]
** [[spoiler: Jason Whittaker, who fakes his death so his enemies from his spy days won't go after him. This lasts for the next two albums before he shows up in "The Green Ring Conspiracy".]]
** Leonard Meltsner staged and pretended to be killed in a cave-in to escape from slavery in Africa, then returns to Odyssey disguised as a homeless man called "Joel".
* FireAndBrimstoneHell[=/=]FluffyCloudHeaven: One episode has Whit attempting to explore the concept of the afterlife using the Imagination Station. Unfortunately the program succeeds a bit too well, as Whit ends up addicted to the Edenic garden and the presence of his dead wife and son, and Eugene finds himself in hell (while Eugene is an atheist at this point, he has internalized more Christian theology than he realizes; the writers were presenting Christian theology as is, that nonbelievers end up in hell, rather than making any judgments on Eugene's character in itself).
** [[NightmareFuel Whit ends up having a heart attack]] as he doesn't want to leave and Eugene fell victim to a week-long HeroicBSOD. Of note, this is one of the scariest and most [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids mature]] story lines in the entire series.
* FiveBadBand: Two of note from the Blackgaard and Novacom sagas:
** Blackgaard:
*** BigBad: Regis Blackgaard
*** TheDragon: Philip Glossman
*** EvilGenius: Professor Bovril
*** TheBrute: Jellyfish
*** DarkChick: Richard Maxwell [[spoiler:before his HeelFaceTurn]]
** Novacom:
*** BigBad: The Chairman
*** TheDragon: Bennett "Mister" Charles, who pulls double duty as TheBrute
*** EvilGenius: Dr. James [=McKinley=]
*** TheDarkChick: Monica Stone [[spoiler:before her HeelFaceTurn]]
* FlashForward: "The Present Long Ago" begins with an elderly Mandy Straussberg telling a story about an event that happened in current!Odyssey to her grandson, culminating in the reveal that [[spoiler: she eventually marries Trent [=DeWhite=], whose journal entries she was using to tell the story]].
* {{Flatline}}: In "The Mortal Coil", [[spoiler:Whit]] falls victim to this; though the medical cause is a heart attack, the episode indicates that his illness was much more spiritual in nature.
* ForInconveniencePressOne: The episode "Breaking Point" sees Nick Mulligan run into this trope when calling customer service about [[NoodleIncident what to do if someone washes his hair with their product]].
* FrivolousLawsuit: In "A Victim of Circumstance", the Rathbones file suit against Jason after Rodney falls through the skylight at Whit's End, claiming that it's Jason's fault for not having a clear "no trespassing" sign (even though as Jason exasperatedly observes, common sense should tell a person not to go crawling around on a roof). [[spoiler: They actually win, but the jury only awards them a dollar in damages, which promptly goes to pay for lawyer's fees.]]
* GadgeteerGenius: Whit, Eugene, and Matthew Parker. Jason has displayed some limited skills as well.
* GambitPileup: "A Name, Not a Number"
** TheHero: Jason Whittaker
** ReverseMole: Tasha Forbes
** BigBad: Mustafa
** TheStarscream: Abdul
** PlayingBothSides: Filby
** MagnificentBastard: Dr. Blackgaard
* GeographicFlexibility: For a supposed Midwestern small town, Odyssey has multiple malls, a community college, a water park, multiple high schools, a TV/radio station, an airport, and (if the animated series can be believed) multiple skyscrapers. Originally, the writers hewed very closely to the idea of Odyssey being a one-street town, but different buildings and areas got added as the plot required over the years.
** A in-story example appears when a director [[WhoWouldWantToWatchUs making a movie about Odyssey]] tried to add a beach front to the Midwestern town.
* GetOutOfJailFreeCard: Subverted; Richard Maxwell serves his time for arson and other crimes before coming back to town to make peace.
* TheGhost: [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep The Chairman]] of Novacom, up until the arc's GrandFinale.
* GoldenMoment: Usually executed quite well. This never stops [[{{Narrator}} Chris]].
* HalloweenEpisode: They had a "please-don't-celebrate-Halloween" episode called ''What Are We Gonna Do About Halloween?''
* HappilyMarried: Eugene and Katrina, Jack and Joanne.
* [[ShesNotMyGirlfriend He Is Not My Boyfriend]]: During "A Class Reenactment," Mandy Straussberg spends almost all of her time insisting that she and Trent are not a couple, [[spoiler: although ironically they actually will end up married in the future and have at least two grandchildren, a fact that was revealed six albums beforehand.]]
* HeelFaceTurn: Dr. Blackgaard's hacker lackey Richard Maxwell; Novacom's mercenary Monica Stone.
* HiddenAgendaVillain: Dr. Blackgaard.
* HobbesWasRight: Discussed and believed by most of the main characters, and actually the point of an episode where Connie and Eugene debate this (Connie taking Hobbes's stance, Eugene taking [[RousseauWasRight Rousseau's]]); a stranger then comes in, robs them, and even mentions that he personally agrees with Eugene that he really is a good person held captive by his greed.
* HollywoodAtheist: Leonard Meltsner, who was [[spoiler:held prisoner for years, watched his wife die while they were in captivity, and thought that both of his sons had been killed in accidents (though it turned out one was actually kidnapped by his hated rival and raised by him for several years)]]; as a result, he has a rather sympathetic grudge against God. However, he is presented as nothing but an honorable man.
* {{Homage}}: The members of the Barclay family are named [[ItsAWonderfulLife George, Mary, Jimmy, Donna, and Stewart Reed]]. They even star in a Christmas episode based entirely on the plot of "It's a Wonderful Life".
** One episode was a quite blatant homage to ''Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'', with the Cross of Cortez replacing the Grail.
** The episode "It Happened at Four Corners" seems to be a partial retelling of the novel ''Literature/McTeague'' by Frank Norris. Both narratives revolves around two men fighting over an accidentally stumbled upon stash of gold in a desolate locale, [[spoiler:with one managing to kill the other, but not before he handcuffs his killer to his soon-to-be corpse.]] But considering how obscure the source material is, this might be unintentional.
*** The bigger inspiration for this episode was Film/ItsAMadMadMadMadWorld. The opening scene of "The Smiler" ripping the map in half was taken directly from the start of the film nearly verbatim.
* HostageSituation: Usually with Connie as the hostage, although Whit, Eugene, Jason, Mitch, Tasha Forbes, and Grady [=McKay=] have also played that role.
* HurricaneOfPuns: Between Eugene and Katrina in "A Book By Its Cover".
* [[IHaveYourWife I Have Your Son]]: "Cover of Darkness" reveals that [[spoiler: Dalton Kearn intended to kidnap a seven-year-old Eugene, who was supposed to be going to see his father Leonard in Africa by train, in order to force Leonard into working for him on an archaeological dig; Eugene wasn't on the train, which crashed, leaving no survivors, and so Dalton took Leonard and his wife Thelma by force]].
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Katrina explains to Eugene in "The Right Choice, Part 2" that Brandon Teller, who wants to marry her, has still been advocating for Eugene and sticking up for him, because while Eugene is running around on a jet-lagged, paranoid brain and making assumptions all over the place, Brandon wants Katrina to be happy regardless of who she marries.
* IfMyCalculationsAreCorrect: Eugene.
* InformedObscenity: "Millijoit," from the episode "War of the Words" (actually [[{{Mondegreen}} a mangling of the word "maladroit"]], which some kids heard Eugene call Connie.
* InsufferableGenius: Eugene, to the extreme; he softens up a bit after a while, and some of his behaviors have less to do with arrogance and more to do with social awkwardness.
* IvyLeagueForEveryone: Not a direct example, but what are the chances that Whit would have two high school valedictorians (Eugene and Connie) working for him simultaneously? ([[spoiler:And sacking them simultaneously.]])
** Also somewhat averted as both characters winds up attending the perfectly serviceable community college in Odyssey, although Eugene does mention at one point that he could have easily left Odyssey and continued his studies at an Ivy.
*** It's never explained what a genius like Eugene is doing in Odyssey and working part time in a ice cream parlor when he could have had his pick of the universities. One episode tells us that he was framed for plagiarism at Stanford was was blackballed by academia, but the entire thing was made up for a mystery dinner.
* {{Keet}}: Lawrence Hodges.
* KidDetective: Emily Jones and Matthew Parker are shown working together in several episodes as the "Jones and Parker Detective Agency", and Jack Davis has been known to pretend to be a hard-boiled private eye.
* KnightOfCerebus: A good rule of thumb while going through the first 15 years of the series' run, if Dr Regis Blackgaard shows up, things are about to get '''serious'''.
* LampshadeHanging: Several times:
** Bernard Walton once told a new kid, "Whether you meant to or not, you played out a Bible teaching in what you did today." Simon thought it was weird, but Bernard assured him, "Happens all the time around here."
** Whenever a voice actor was unavailable for recording (i.e. Hal Smith, since he died), their character would be represented by a message on a very choppy, staticky answering machine message made of clips from previous episodes. Jason once commented to Eugene while he was fixing one, "Am I the only one who's noticed how often these glitch up around here?"
** In one episode Katrina mentions to Connie that she hasn't changed since she last saw her (5 years ago from the listener's point of view). Connie then says that she never changes, a reference to the fact she's the show's [[NotAllowedToGrowUp perpetual young adult]].
*** "Feels like I've been sixteen FOREVER."
* LargeHam: Connie whenever she really gets excited or irritated.
** The character of Edwin Blackgaard (played to Shakespearean perfection by Creator/TonyJay soundalike Earl Boen) was created largely for this very purpose, serving largely in stark contrast to his more quietly menacing twin brother Regis.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: In "Tom for Mayor, Part 2", the episode opens with Eugene providing narration for Sam Johnson's documentary about the election. Eugene then suggests that he follow it up with a "dramatic musical theme", and the AIO theme song immediately plays.
* LimitedWardrobe: Averted in the series itself. What do you expect? It's a radio program. Played straight in the official artwork, though.
* LineOfSightName: Nick Mulligan's garage band is named "10W40".
-->'''Nick:''' We were in the garage when we came up with the name.
* LocalHangout: Whit's End, natch.
* LongRunners: 23 years and counting, though if you count the series that eventually became Adventures In Odyssey, ''Family Portraits'', then it has been around for at least 25.
* LopsidedDichotomy: Two separate instances in "Plan B, Part I: Missing in Action", both courtesy of Connie.
-->'''Whit''': It's been ransacked!
-->'''Connie''': Or his sense of housekeeping has really gone down the tubes.

-->'''Whit''': Eugene must have been in a hurry to get away.
-->'''Connie''': Or else he was robbed by a vest-lover.
* LotusEaterMachine: Jason Whittaker once modified the Imagination Station to allow disabled children to experience life without their disability. The final scene of the episode finds Jason having a HeroicBSOD surrounded by handicapped children desperately pleading for an extra moment in the Station.
* LoveMakesYouEvil: Dalton Kearn.
* MagicalComputer: The one that ran Whit's End is close enough.
* MarriedInTheFuture: [[spoiler: "The Present Long Ago" reveals that Mandy Straussberg will eventually marry Trent [=DeWhite=].]]
* {{Meganekko}}: Katrina Shanks and Lucy Cunningham-Schultz.
* MeaningfulName: Edwin and Regis Blackgaard.
* TheMole: Mr. Glossman, Monica.
* MrImagination: Lawrence Hodges (specializing in fantasy and scifi), Jared [=DeWhite=] (more into conspiracy theories), and Jared's brother Trent (who dreams up wild, off-the-wall scenarios and has even held conversations with characters that exist in his head).
* MyFriendsAndZoidberg: "Eugene Meltsner here, inviting you to join today's assemblage of characters (and myself)..."
* MyOwnPrivateIDo: Eugene and Katrina have the "Elope first, plan later" variety; they elope at her father's deathbed before they're forced to flee from Andromeda in "Plan B, Part I: Missing in Action", and then in "For Better or For Worse", they've returned to Odyssey and decide to have a ceremony for all their friends.
* MythologyGag: In the Novacom saga, the Imagination Station [[spoiler:is stolen and used to transmit Novacom's mind-controlling technology around the world via satellite]]; this is a similar plot to the first animated episode, "The Knight Travellers", [[spoiler:wherein the Imagination Station was stolen and used as a means of mind control.]]
* {{Narrator}}: Chris, who was visible to the characters on certain occasions (again, usually in earlier episodes).
* NestedStoryReveal: In "It Happened at Four Corners", the entire episode (using Eugene and Bernard to represent a younger and older man, respectively) is revealed to have been a story told by Bernard to show Eugene how proper storytelling is done.
* NoIndoorVoice: Connie whenever she gets excited.
** Local disc jockey "Cryin' Bryan" Dern is, naturally, quite loud even when not on-air.
* NoNameGiven: "The Chairman" of Novacom.
* NoodleImplements: During Whit, Monty, Tom Riley, and Eugene's expedition to go ice fishing in the episode of the same title, Tom fails to get a campfire going rubbing two sticks together. Eugene offers some unknown item to get it lit, which Tom mocks. Eugene tries to use it... [[MadeOfExplodium and it explodes]].
* NoodleIncident: Apparently, the last time Ed used scissors, he was making snowflakes and...
** From Episode 616, "The Other Side Of The Glass":
--> '''Wooton''': I don't do pranks! Ever since that incident with my cousin's whiffle ball bat - that backfired BIG-TIME, let me tell you!
-->'''Bernard''': No, don't.
-->'''Wooton (singsong)''': It required surgery...
-->'''Bernard''': I don't wanna know!
** Eugene and Katrina have apparently had numerous misadventures in at least Zimbabwe, Madagascar, and Portugal, according to "For Better or For Worse".
* NoirEpisode: "Heatwave"
* [[NoPartyGiven No Denomination Given]]: While all the Christians on the show are all vaguely Evangelical, no specific denomination has ever been named and all of the theology and Aesops presented are kept firmly in ecumenical territory. The closest they've ever gotten to acknowledging theological differences is a throwaway mention that the Catholic concept of sainthood carries more baggage than the Protestant one.
* NotAllowedToGrowUp: Played straight for much of the show, where Connie Kendall is the perpetual teenager. Averted with everyone else, leading to Connie still being a teenager even though kids from 20 years ago have grown up. Eventually, Connie graduates from high school, and so in later episodes she just ages very slowly.
** Also seems to have occurred in Rodney Rathbone, since he's been a middle school bully for about fifteen years and has shown no signs of age.
** Whit, on the other hand, is Not Allowed to Grow Old; his official portrait has not changed over the past twenty years, and he maintains the activity level of a 60-year-old man despite the fact that he should be in his late 80s by now, as he fought in WWII (that is, if the show functions in real time).
* NotDisabledInVR: Played with in the two parter "A Touch of Healing", where Jason Whittaker modifies the Imagination Station so that disabled users can experience life without their disability. When he tests it on Zachary Sellars, who became lame through an accident, he can walk, but when he tests it on Jenny Roberts, a girl born blind, it does not make her see. Jason thinks that it works for Zachary because he knows what it is like to walk, but not for Jenny because she was born blind.
* NothingExcitingEverHappensHere: A frequent complaint by younger characters, usually used either to indicate that an intriguing mystery is about to happen or to set up that the character needs to learn to make their own excitement and have fun on their own.
* ObnoxiousInLaws: Millie Shanks plays this role in "For Better or For Worse", although as [[{{Bridezilla}} she's trying to force the wedding to be "traditional"]], she causes much more trouble for Connie and Katrina than she ever did to Eugene.
* OfficialCouple: Eugene and Katrina ([[spoiler:got married]]), Connie and Mitch ([[spoiler:broke up]]), Penny and Wooton ([[spoiler:are engaged]]), Jack and Lucy ([[spoiler: got engaged]]), and Trent and Mandy ([[spoiler: eventually marry]]).
* OffToSeeTheWizard: The 2-part episode "The Great Wishy Woz", in which Mandy Straussberg writes and stars in a Kids Radio story based on ''Film/TheWizardOfOz''.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted; Jack Davis is a prominent child character from the first era of kids, while Jack Allen is a close friend of Whit's and became integrated into the show's adult supporting cast.
** There are two child characters named Erica—one is Erica Clark, an outgoing if somewhat ditzy girl; the other is Erica Colburn, a former friend of Aubrey Shepard's who is directly responsible for Novacom [[spoiler:obtaining the technology of the Imagination Station.]]
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: On the part of Chris. If something very serious or sad occurs in an episode directly before a break or when a DownerEnding, BittersweetEnding, or a [[EarnYourHappyEnding very well earned happy ending]] occurs, Chris typically sounds calm at best, solemn at worst, and generally less bubbly than usual. In the former case, she may not even announce the break at all. TropesAreNotBad, as it avoids MoodWhiplash. (Would Chris sounding light and cheerful directly after, say, someone witnessing the crucifixion of Jesus sound right to you?)
* OverlyNarrowSuperlative: Theatre critic Duncan Banquo's "I thought the [radio] play was the best I've ever seen you do" in "A Class Reenactment", directed at Edwin Blackgaard.
* PapaWolf: Carson [=McKay=] in "Accidental Dilemma"—his son Grady is kidnapped by a terrorist whose cane is a disguised cattle prod; unaware of this, Carson, finally coming face-to-face with the man, promptly punches him in the face.
* PartingWordsRegret: Connie experiences this in "Plan B: Resistance" after [[spoiler: her boyfriend Mitch is seemingly murdered and Eugene and Katrina flee Odyssey to keep Eugene's research safe from Andromeda]], worrying that they didn't know how much she truly cared about them. When she later talks about this with Whit at [[spoiler:Mitch's funeral]] he tells her that they just have to trust that God "fills in the blanks for all the things we should have said"; Connie agrees, but counters that they "shouldn't expect Him to" before [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments telling Whit that she loves him]].
* ThePatientHasLeftTheBuilding: The Green Ring Conspiracy arc has [[TheBusCameBack Monty Whittaker]] (Whit's grandson, now a Secret Service agent) slip out to find out who betrayed him (working undercover) after being in a plane crash attempting to track down counterfeiters.
* PetTheDog: Dalton Kearn: kidnapper, trafficker of archeological artifacts, instigator of a minor genocide, kind and caring father. [[spoiler: Subverted; his "son", Everett, is actually Leonard Meltsner's, whom he kidnapped out of the belief that because Leonard sired Everett with Thelma, Dalton's old girlfriend, Everett should have been Dalton's son instead. He does grow to legitimately love the boy, and Everett clearly loves him back, but that doesn't change the fact that he raised him on a lie.]]
* PhraseCatcher: When Eugene lapses into his [[SesquipedalianLoquaciousness overly complex]] way of explaining something, he is frequently met with cries of some variation of, "In ''English'', Eugene!"
* PlayingCyrano: In "The Present Long Ago", Max makes Mandy a valentine that he's too nervous to deliver, and he has Trent deliver it for him instead. Bernard even references the play in "Mum's the Word" when Max tells him what happened. [[spoiler:Naturally, as these things go, Mandy ends up falling for Trent instead.]]
* PoorCommunicationKills: In "Two Friends And A Truck", Bernard tasks Eugene with watching his old run-down pick-up truck as he looks into buying a new one. Whit points out that the truck has several technical quirks, but doesn't actually say what any of them are until Eugene parks the truck at the top of a hill...and the truck goes rolling down it anyways and crashes. It's only then that Whit points out that the parking brakes have long since quit working.
* PowerTrio:
** Back in the good ol' days:
*** Id: Connie
*** Superego: Eugene
*** Ego: Whit
* PrayerIsALastResort: The show did the "Atheist in the Foxhole" storyline twice, in one case with Cryin' Brian Dern (who gave in and prayed for his life) and once with Leonard Meltsner (who didn't). Interestingly, the writers were much more critical of Dern for his moral cowardice than Meltsner.
* PutOnABus: Eugene, after his voice actor left the show, supposedly due to "creative differences." The actor and character have since returned.
** Jared [=DeWhite=], which actually turned out to be a [[spoiler:plot device in the Novacom Saga. TheBusCameBack]].
** Also, minor villain and {{CorruptPolitician}} Philip Glossman was written out as having been forced to resign due to a scandal involving a racial slur targeting the Japanese. The decision came after Glossman's voice, frequent Odyssey writer Paul [=McCusker=], leaving for a job in London. {{TheBusCameBack}}, though, as Glossman managed to turn up at the state Department of Transportation and finally as part of a crew with the [[FunWithAcronyms Environmental Detection Agency]], before leaving for good when his character was arrested at the end of the Blackgaard/Darkness Before Dawn saga. He was last heard from in a cameo role in "A Capsule Comes to Town", sneering at Odyssey's small town values.
* RashomonStyle:
** "Two Sides to Every Story", where Jimmy and Donna Barclay tell two different stories of how they ended up with a fire truck in front of their house.
** One of the live episodes, "Mandy's Debut", has its first segment dedicated to one of these plots, where Mandy, Connie, Eugene, and Bernard all recount why they think they caused Whit to have to go to the hospital. [[note]] It turns out in the end that none of them did, as Whit was actually ''visiting'' someone in the hospital, rather than having to be taken there himself.[[/note]] This leads to humorous moments such as Eugene's account of the story having ''everybody'' speaking in his signature SesquipedalianLoquaciousness style.
* ReadingsAreOffTheScale: Whenever something went wrong with the Imagination Station, which always happens when someone is in it.
* RearrangeTheSong: The theme has had [[http://www.aiowiki.com/wiki/Theme several revampings]], the most significant being in 1992 (when the original theme was revised to dial down the synthesizers and was based on the video series theme). Other major revisions took place in 1998, 2003 and when the series returned from hiatus in 2010.
* RecycledInSpace: "Passages, Part I & II" and the novel spinoffs. Children from Odyssey are transported to a parallel Earth, where biblical history from our world is repeating itself against a different setting (kind of like ''Narnia'' without the mythological creatures).
* RedOniBlueOni: Connie's red, Eugene's blue.
* RenaissanceMan: Whit—soldier, NSA consultant, businessman, resident theologian, archeologist, encyclopedia publisher, computer, neurology, and engineering (and whatever other subjects are required to build a working Imagination Station) genius, and the maker of the best sundaes in the county.
** Barry Muntz explicitly identifies himself this way in "Breaking Point" and lists off his many skills to a bemused Whit ([[spoiler: though whether or not he actually is good at any of those things or just portraying himself that way to lie his way into the Imagination Station's blueprints is debatable]]).
* RepetitiveName: "I'm Digger. Digger Digwillow." "Digger Digger Digwillow?"
-->'''Digger''': "[[LampshadeHanging Heh, that joke gets around.]]"
* RetCanon: The main characters didn't have fixed character designs initially, but the ones that the AnimatedAdaptation gave the characters were eventually adopted as their official character designs (with a few slight alterations) for years until they were changed slightly starting with the 51st album "Take It From The Top". If you look closely, you can see that the new designs still have some influence from their old designs at their official post-album 51 artwork. (Connie is still a red-head and wears a green shirt and Whit's face and hair is largely unchanged, for example.)
* RetiredBadass: Whit and Jason.
* RoadTripPlot: With Bernard and Eugene, in Album 21: Wish You Were Here; Bernard travels to San Diego to buy a new truck, and Eugene is on a journey to find himself. The trip was a product of RealLifeWritesThePlot, as the actor who voiced Whit suddenly died and the arc was created to give the writers and directors enough time to retool the show.
** Later, a road trip plot arc was given to Connie and Joanne, as both were going to Washington, D.C.—Connie to see Mitch, Joanne to have a compass appraised.
* {{Rockumentary}}: "The Coolest Dog" invokes it as a send-up of Film/ThisIsSpinalTap, chronicling Marvin's attempts to start a garage band with Trent (and later Tamika) called "Los Perros Frescos". (The episode was originally going to be titled "Spinal Trent", but the title was changed likely because of the raunchy nature of the movie it referenced.)
* RunningGag: Connie's complaints about being the last person to learn of something big happening in Odyssey.
** In an early episode, Whit ran out of letters for his menu-board and decided to abbreviate some of the menu items, leading to someone asking for a "Wod-Fam-Choc-Sod" (aka. a "World Famous Chocolate Soda"). This wouldn't be the last time someone asked for one.
* ScrewPolitenessImASenior: Alex's grandparents in "Relatively Annoying".
** Also, Mrs. Kramer, from the relaunch, who crosses from "grouchy elder with a heart of gold" to "flaming misanthrope".
* ScriptWank
* SecretKeeper: In "Accidental Dilemma", [[spoiler:Connie, in a refreshing change of pace, is the only person besides Whit to know that Jason faked his death]].
* {{Seekers}}: Everybody more or less, given the Christian atmosphere, but most obviously Connie, Eugene and Aubrey.
* SelfDestructMechanism: [[spoiler:Used on the Imagination Station]] in the Novacom Saga finale, [[spoiler: ItMakesSenseInContext as the machine was the key to their global mind-control plan.]]
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: Eugene; his CatchPhrase used to be ending sentences that use slang and idioms with "... to borrow the colloquialism."
* SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll: The subject of the episode "Sixties-Something", which was a harsh criticism of the romanticization of the 1960s that not only observed that the decade was a mess of riots and tragedies, but also pointed out that the "if it feels good, do it" line of thought has fed directly into problems of substance abuse and self-entitled avoidance of consequences that people deal with today.
* ShipSinking: The Eugene/Connie pairing is sunk when Eugene dates and marries Katrina.
* ShoutOut: The original art for the 25th album, "Darkness Before Dawn", bears a suspicious resemblance to the famous painting "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog".
** The posters Erica Clark hangs up about bike safety in "Rewards in Full" include one containing a reference to the infamous "This is Your Brain on Drugs" PSA.
** The three characters Trent [=DeWhite=] comes up with in "The Present Long Ago" are fictionalized versions of actor Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger (Arnold Schwarzenbanger), comedian Creator/BillCosby (Bill Crosby), and fictional detective [[Series/{{Columbo}} Columbo]] (Detective Colimbo).
** The 2006 ChristmasEpisode "The Undeniable Truth" has a sequence where Eugene (whose foundation "Hand Up" was supposed to be sending Christmas packages to Africa but was [[spoiler:falsely]] accused of failing to deliver and of stealing money from the foundation) demands to know why his father Leonard had signed those packages [[Series/{{Alf}} Gordon Shumway]].
** Resident Shakespeare nut Edwin Blackgaard's rival in "The Taming of the Two" is named [[Theatre/{{Macbeth}} Malcolm]] [[Theatre/KingLear Lear]].
** The theatre critic that Edwin is desperate to impress in "A Class Reenactment" is named [[Theatre/{{Macbeth}} Duncan Banquo]].
* ShowWithinAShow: KYDS radio and BTV.
* StoryArc: Innumerable ones, both large-scale and small, have been spread throughout the show's almost-thirty years.
* StraightManAndWiseGuy: Jimmy Barclay (Straight Man) and Lawrence Hodges (Wise Guy).
* SuperstitionEpisode: "Bad Luck".
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Harlow Doyle for Officer Harley, after parents complained that a bumbling police officer as a supporting character would give kids the impression that officers of the law are a joke.
** Jack Allen for Whit; lampshaded in his introductory episode, where Connie, who was the most affected by Whit leaving, accuses Jack point-blank of trying to replace Whit.
* TakeOverTheWorld: [[spoiler: This turns out to be Novacom's ultimate goal, intending to use their devices to brainwash everyone via a cell phone tower just outside of Odyssey and the Imagination Station. Fortunately, they don't succeed.]] Ironically, Regis Blackgaard usually only wanted to take over the town, [[spoiler: although Darkness Before Dawn reveals that he too has more megalomaniacal motives.]]
* ThoseTwoGuys: Odyssey's resident LargeHam Edwin Blackgaard and assistant Walter Shakespeare (also an example of FatAndSkinny). The episode ''Odyssey Sings'' is the only episode where Shakespeare appears without Edwin.
* TimeMachine: The Imagination Station VR, but close enough.
* TookALevelInJerkass: Boy genius Nicolas Adamsworth. His first two appearances show him to be a honest (albeit nervous) kid who, in his first appearance, blows the whistle on a pre-HeelFaceTurn Richard Maxwell, who's been forcing him to change grades at the local college. In "The Power", however, he apparently throws all of that out the window and [[SuddenSequelHeelSyndrome suddenly becomes a bully]] who uses his knowledge of computers to torment the other kids and is unrepentant when caught. [[LampshadeHanging Even Whit is surprised]].
* TookALevelInKindness:
** Liz Horton, after her first couple of appearances. She became a much nicer girl after starting off as a [[KidsAreCruel nasty little brat]] who tormented a young girl named Wendy at camp and (nearly drove Connie to quitting her job at the Timothy Center). Liz winds up as [[TheCutie Mandy]] [[AllLovingHero Straussberg's]] best friend and her confidant during [[spoiler:her parents' separation]], and her ability to stir up a crowd and expose ugly truths is transformed into motivational leadership and investigative journalism skills.
** Likewise, Richard Maxwell after his HeelFaceTurn.
* TrainingMontage: In "Do or Diet", as Whit, Bernard, and Wooton exercise to try to lose ten pounds each, set to a song [[SuspiciouslySimilarSong oddly similar to]] [[Film/{{Rocky}} "Gonna Fly Now"]].
* TrashOfTheTitans: Billy and Sam find the Bones' hideout to be filled with this in "Checkmate".
* TropicalEpilogue: Well, French Riviera epilogue, anyway; in "Accidental Dilemma", it's where [[spoiler:Jason is heard from at the end after going into hiding after faking his own death.]]
* TruncatedThemeTune: Sometimes, especially in the later albums, there are no dialogue clips played during the credits, and that entire musical interlude is cut.
** Later episodes simply had Chris introduce the episode with "And now, Adventures in Odyssey!" and the show's {{Leitmotif}} played using instrumentals that fit the opening scene.
** Also in album versions, the theme song is cut entirely, especially if it's the beginning of a multi-parter.
** Other times, there are too many clips to include any introduction by Chris or another character (as in the album version of "Plan B, Part 1"), so the intro is removed and the clips run in its place.
* TuxedoAndMartini: Averted in most cases for Mitch (FBI) and Jason/Whit (NSA), although Jason is quite good at doing Bond-y one liners and even sarcastically identifies himself at one point as "Bond—James Bond".
* UnusualEuphemism: The 2003 episode "Black Clouds" takes place mainly at a roadside diner where the owner uses the names of past [[UsefulNotes/ThePresidents American Presidents]] as exclamations of surprise where some would use profanity.
* VehicularSabotage: In "The Final Conflict", Bernard siphons all of the gas out of the tank of Professor Bovril's getaway van. Carson [=McKay=] does the BananaInTheTailpipe version in "Accidental Dilemma, Part 2".
* VengeanceFeelsEmpty: In the episode "Waylaid in the Windy City, Part 2", Whit gives a speech to Richard Maxwell about the futility of revenge, focusing on how how pursuing it will harm Richard more than help him. Keep in mind that this is while Richard has Regis Blackgaard, the man who ruined his life, at gunpoint.
--> "Don't you understand that when you go out for revenge, you've got to dig two graves—one for the person you're after and one for yourself! Richard, there's no such thing as revenge, not really. It never replaces what you lost. It never restores. It doesn't even satisfy. You're out of the detention center now. You've got your whole life ahead of you! Now please, give me the gun!"
** [[spoiler: Slightly subverted; in reality, Richard was holding a very realistic-looking water gun, and just wanted to [[BreakTheHaughty feed Regis a slice of humble pie by making him beg for his life]]. He even points out to Whit and Connie that he's already out of jail and he isn't going to waste his second chance at freedom on killing Blackgaard.]]
* VillainEpisode: Rodney Rathbone once starred in and narrated his own episode.
* VirtualGhost: Dr. Blackgaard as a rogue Imagination station program.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Eugene's father Leonard.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Monica Stone is wanted by the FBI and does several illegal jobs for Novacom, including infiltrating the Missions Board to steal a disk from Jason, mentally seducing him and threatening to kill his friend in the process—all because she bought the story that the Novacom technology was going to be used to help the handicapped, like her brother. She fully answers for her crimes, even rejecting a plea bargain when she testifies against Novacom, and accepts that she's going to go to prison for what she's done.
* WeWillMeetAgain: Dr. Blackgaard and his [[TheMole mole]], city councilman Mr. Glossman, in "The Nemesis".
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: No further mention is made of Ferguson, the cat Donna Barclay inherited from his previous owner (Karen Crosby, a young girl who died of cancer), after the Barclay family gets a dog named Normal in "Pet Peeves".
* [[WhereTheHellIsSpringfield Where the Heck is Odyssey]]: It's probably somewhere in the eastern Midwest area (it's east of Iowa, west of Chicago, and north of the Mason-Dixon line), but the clues don't get any more specific.
* WhiteCollarCrime: Ernie Myers was imprisoned for it, resulting in a significant amount of drama for his family in "Where's Your Daddy", "Like Father, Like Son", and "Forgive Us as We Forgive".
* WholePlotReference: "Blind Justice" to ''Film/TwelveAngryMen''.
** "A Bite of Applesauce" to [[AdamAndEvePlot the story of Adam and Eve]].
** "An Act of Mercy" to the parable of the unforgiving servant from [[TheBible Matthew 18:21-35.]]
** "Terror From the Skies" to Radio/TheWarOfTheWorlds.
** "The Buck Starts Here" to the parable of the talents from [[TheBible Matthew 25:14-30]].
* WhyWasteAWedding: When it looks like Eugene and Katrina will be late to their own ceremony in "For Better or For Worse", Tom and Agnes Riley take the opportunity to renew their vows instead.
* YouAreNotReady: Whit to Connie and Eugene in "A Bite of Applesauce", with full Adam and Eve and ForbiddenFruit analogy.
* YearInsideHourOutside: Most of the Imagination Station adventures fall into this trope (anyone inside can go through large periods of time in history, but leave with little time having passed outside).
* YourMindMakesItReal: The Imagination Station, the Room Of Consequences, and the Transmuter. They all run according the rule that governs the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' holodeck: it is perfectly safe until it isn't.
** The Inspiration Station falls under this as well.
----