Recap / Pete and Pete S0 E5 "New Year's Pete"

The fifth and final special of "The Adventures of Pete & Pete" before Nickelodeon promoted it up as a TV series. Originally aired in December 1992.

As kids, we always think about what is really 'special' about New Year's Eve, given that the hype is completely pointless... and what about making resolutions for the next entire year? Those promises of changing some habits... that not everything really changes, especially since when someone grows up, the possible not always happen, and this is applied to every single one of those resolutions such as 'losing weight' or 'quit smoking', which keep going on and on as old habits don't die. For Little Pete, his New Year's resolution was that he wanted to change the world, and it didn't happen, so what would give in?

How it all started, though, was because he really WANTED to change the world. A resolution that would matter most than what grow-ups think about. And he thinks, as a kid, that he would do it by getting a jet pack just like the one it's announced in one of his comic books, but the price of it ($456.98) it's too expensive for him to get it. If he wanted to do something that mattered, it was for the better in getting more money to get his goal.

However, every single plan he made alongside the way really made so much of a profit: the landminers' detectors gig, recruiting his older brother came out wrong when they were tricking their neighbors; then recruiting Artie, to help him with the newspaper route and also giving him a hand in his dad's bowling league team, backfired entirely when he got recruited by a professional bowling scout... and then, he finally started hanging up with Frank, the crossing guard. Not afraid of his insults, Frank tells him about the reason of why he doesn't leave his post in the crosswalk, ever, which Pete doesn't take a grain of salt with it, until Frank lets him being a crosing guard to take a well-deserved rest. And this backfires for him, again, because he was till on the road to his goal of changing the world. Not matter how hurt people will get in his way.

But, he started realizing that changing the world was only something for himself, and not for someone else, when he gets dissapointed at what the jet-pack really was when it arrived home.

And then the story goes back to the present, and New Year's Eve still hasn't ended. He resents the holiday as much since he ended up just like everyone else with their resolutions... but at the same time, what would give in if he didn't change the world? It shouldn't make him feel bad about New Year's Eve or his resolution. And out of nowhere, it didn't mattered that his brother, or that his superhero or that even his own dream betrayed him, he knew what to do and returned to Frank who was still guarding the crosswalk, and celebrated with him the New Year's Eve.

Frank's resolve is, again, 'quit smoking', and little Pete was 'trying to change the world', because at the end, he knew he would have so many opportunities to do so.

"This is 'New Year's Pete'. And these are its tropes.":

  • Adults Are Useless: The way little Pete sees the world about the whole hype of New Year's Eve and the selfish resolutions they promise to do, but not accomplish.
  • The Cameo: Deborah Harry as the second landmines' insurance customer, and Vincent Pastore as the professional bowling scout. And no, the Hunter Thompson credited as an extra is not Hunter S. Thompson.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': When little Pete tries to do all of his money schemes, they backfire on him. However, he got the whole quantity of money for the jetpack... which at the end resulted to be a leafblower.
  • Diving Save: Big Pete saves Ellen from a landmine this way (complete with Big "NO!" and slow motion). She kisses him on his hazmat suit as a thank you.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Take in mind this was the last episode (if it should be counted as one) of the whole project/series if it wasn't greenlit by Nickelodeon to be a TV Show.
    • The fact that Little Pete mentions that Artie was not seen again... at least not in physical but in TV and newspapers, after signing with a Professional Bowling League deal.
    • Krebstar as such, didn't exist yet as a Brand X of products, so, that's why Pete was buying a Riley jetpack.
    • It is kinda seen as a closure for Pete & Pete if you think about it. Especially giving little Pete his own time to shine as a narrator rather than big Pete.
    • Little Pete in general: he is not seen with half of his Iconic Outfit nor his red flannel hat almost the 80% of the special, except at the "present time", given it is December 31st... if you compare it with the start of the TV first season.
    • Does this episode takes note that it takes place in New Jersey? Something that shouldn't really be that weird if you consider that the whole series was shot in location in several parts of the state.
  • Edited for Syndication: As the rest of the specials, at the time it got incorporated with the rest of season one, the title sequence and theme song were added, but also it probably had some re-scoring.
  • First Appearance: Frank Gulcher (played by James Lally), the crossing guard.
  • Get Rich Quick Scheme: The first elaborated scheme for little Pete to get money: tricking neighbors to buy a landminers' insurance (with him and his older brother putting them in the gardens, as a cheat). Of course, bites them back earlier or later... when Ellen's life was in danger if she stepped too close to one of them.
    • A Simple Plan: And getting Artie into Don's Bowling League Team was so simple, huh? Even him being the Strongest Man in the World, doing a bit of cheat on a telepathic bowling ball (managed by a running hamster), was an easy win... when it wasn't at the end. Poor Pete, he didn't have a rest on these plans...
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Sort of justified, giving that it was 1992, and Frank is seen openly smoking a cigarrette. On a TV special with a demography for kids.
  • Interactive Narrator: Doubling as The Narrator, Little Pete takes its role rather than his older brother. This only happens twice in the whole series, the other episode being "Crisis in the Love Zone" in season three.
  • New Year's Resolution: The plot of the special revolves into this and it's completely Serious Business for a kid like little Pete, because meanwhile every other adult makes selfish resolutions, he just want to change the world. But at last minute, he also realizes he is being selfish, because he was just thinking in getting a jetpack to do so.
  • Platonic Life-Partners/Ship Tease: This is the first time that technically, Ellen kisses Pete... but... it was not completely physical as in "Day of the Dot" and since the series worked on the Negative Continuity towards their friendship-love relationship...
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having: Say... did you expect little Pete to receive his jet pack at the end of the episode after several backfirings?
  • The Workaholic: Frank Gulcher, the crossing guard, never leaves his post, ever since a cat got a close call with a car. And he never sleeps either.