Calvin and Hobbes' attempt at another GROSS meeting gets cut short when Calvin's dad suddenly announces that the family is going camping again. Naturally, Calvin reacts with terror, and after much kicking and screaming, his dad manages to get him into the car along with his mom and Hobbes. He yells and complains during the whole trip, and he only pauses long enough for his parents to rent the canoe and start paddling before starting up again.
They arrive on the island. Dad tries to set up the campsite, but he proves very incapable of setting up the tent. While he struggles, Calvin and Hobbes go off for a walk in the woods. Calvin continues to whine about the mosquitoes. Hobbes brags about how superior tigers are in defending themselves from insects while his friend swats and scratches nearby, accidentally stepping in poison ivy as well. They use MTM to heal the rashes.
When they return to the campsite, they find that Dad has gotten the first tent up. Hobbes then notices that something else has changed about the campsite. He and Calvin try to figure out what, when they notice the canoe is gone. Dad failed to drag it all the way on shore, so it has now drifted away into deeper waters, about a quarter of a mile away from them.
Mom flips out and dives in after it, but it's too far away for her to catch, and she is forced to come back, meaning they are stranded on the island.
Calvin and Hobbes find themselves forced to accept the bad situation. After taking a few minutes to appreciate a quality stick they find, Calvin wanders off into the woods. He attempts to lose himself in a Spaceman Spiff fantasy, only to wind up going in a complete circle and winds up right back at the campsite.
That evening, Calvin and Hobbes watch the sunset, as well as the canoe floating teasingly in the water. Depressed, they go into their tent for the night.To Be Continued in Part 2
- Arch-Enemy: Calvin claims both Susie and Candance are their mortal enemies.
"Hobbes, we have lots of mortal enemies! If this club only had one
mortal enemy, then where would we be? Where would Superman
be if he only had one super villain trying to take over the world every other day? Where would Spider-Man
be if there was only one weirdo out there who managed to find enough time in his day to moonlight as an evil lunatic? Where would Batman
be if all he had to do is defeat one highly unrealistic villain in order to save... whatever it is he aims on saving? I mean, come on!"
- Are We There Yet?: A variant - "When are we going to be there?"
- Blatant Lies:
Calvin: What? No! Of course not! Nothing's going on! We're not going anywhere! We're staying in my room all day! In fact, let me just show you how much I know that we're going to be staying here today!
- Call Back: Like the first season often did, one part of this episode is taken from the original strip.
- Chekhov's Armoury: The canoe is described as about a quarter mile away from the island. Plus, the stick, according to Calvin, has "good balance… not too barky… [and] just the right amount of pointy bits…", and he later makes a board to ride. All these things play an integral role in retrieving the canoe in Part 2.
- Conversational Troping: A fair amount of it.
- Department of Redundancy Department: G.R.O.S.S. has "top secret missions of top secretness".
- Deserted Island: Calvin's family ends up stranded.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Five Stages of Grief: Played With - the narrative introduces Calvin's method of coping with the news of a camping trip.
Calvin has three steps of response when he hears that a camping trip is coming. Step one: three minute long screams. Step two: denial. Step three: Doing everything in his physical power to prevent himself from going.
Hobbes: We're in mid-step two, right?
- Jaw Drop: Mom when she realizes the canoe's drifted off.
- Madness Mantra: A written one:
- Mundane Object Amazement: Calvin and Hobbes really like that stick...
- Know Your Vines: "... Like getting out of all that that poison ivy, for starters."
- Tyop on the Cover: The chapter select menu for Season 4 lists this as "Caming Trip Part 1".
- Troubled Fetal Position: Calvin assumes this when screaming about the camping trip.