Follow TV Tropes


Radio / Adventures in Odyssey

Go To

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 A Boy, a Girl, and a Baby Family 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 Take Over the World 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, (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, away on a secret archaeological expedition 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, 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 official website, about five at a time. An Animated Adaption airs on some Christian broadcasting stations.

Now has an in-progress Recap page. (Which, for obvious reasons, goes by album release rather than individual episode.)


  • A Storm Is Coming: 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).
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Jack tells the story of when he and Whit, then voiced by Hal Smith, visited Bath, North Carolina, where they met Uncle Randy and his Deputy Arny.
    • In "The One About Trust", Margaret Faye incorrectly guesses Connie's name as "Katie".
    • In "The Malted Milkball Falcon", after an all night rocking chair competition, Emily Jones says "The sunrise... It's so pretty..."
    • The 1994 episode "The Fifth House on the Left: Part 1"note  has an early scene where Bernard, having traveled to California to buy a truck, decides to go sightseeing in Hollywood when Eugene mentions that Bernard had been looking for Shirley Jones' house before Bernard says he gave up on that idea. Bernard's voice actor, Dave Madden, co-starred on The Partridge Family alongside Shirley Jones.
  • Adorkable: Eugene falls into this sometimes.
  • Adult Fear: 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", especially since it was later revealed that it was actually an assassination.
    • Mitch 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 Connie Kendall's life in order to keep Whit away from stopping the worldwide launch of Novacom's technology.
    • "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" has 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 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 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. With the exception of Grady's kidnapping, this was actually an elaborate Batman Gambit on Whit and Jason's part in response to the Whisperer escaping prison, but the concept and its execution are still pretty intense.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: 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.
  • Adventures in the Bible: 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.
  • Affectionate Parody: "Hidden in My Heart" is based around three: Rescue 119, Laffy the Wonder Dog, and Star Trip (starring William Shattered).
  • All Up to You: Tom Riley in the conclusion of the Novacom arc.
  • Alpha Bitch:
    • Whether her last name was Everett or Ellis (it's unclear whether this was a Series Continuity Error or whether her change in last name was due to family events outside of the series), Shannon most definitely counts, whether she's snubbing Robyn for refusing to attend an unchaperoned party or stealing Courtney's diary and using its contents to embarrass her.
    • Liz Horton was also something of this in her early appearances, although her character eventually Took a Level in Kindness.
    • Valerie Swanson in the three-part "Kidsboro" episode and several later episodes is this as well as a Big Sister Bully to her younger brother Nelson.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: 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.
    • Jack has a daydream about being on a date with Donna and Donna's father, Rev. Barclay, showing up to not only chaperone but criticize the movie they're watching for contradicting Scripture and mooch off their popcorn.
    • In the early episode "Honor Thy Parents," Laura Fremont is embarrassed by her "hick" parents, Homer and Eula, because of their Southern "country" mannerisms and behavior, until Whit shows her what good people her parents really are.
  • Ambulance Chaser: Howard J. Wiezel ("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.
  • And Starring: 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.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Jana (Whit's daughter) responds to the comatose Whit in "The Mortal Coil: Part 2" (following Whit's heart attack after trying out a new Imagination Station program on death) by complaining about the programs Whit worked on (specifically that program) before begging her father to come back.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Jimmy Barclay to Donna, Tamika Washington to Marvin, Bethany Shepard to Aubrey, Camilla Parker to Olivia, Melanie Jacobs to Robyn.
  • The Atoner: Richard Maxwell, Monica Stone (although slightly subverted, since neither wished to become Christians and were not pressured afterwards).
  • Bald of Evil: Bennett Charles in the Novacom arc.
  • Back from the Dead: 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.
  • Banana in the Tailpipe: Invoked in "Accidental Dilemma".
  • Beauty Contest: 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.)
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: This trope formed the basis of many adventures in the Room of Consequence - for example, the episodes "Soaplessly Devoted" (Erica wants to live her favorite TV soap opera) and "The Eternal Birthday" (Liz wishes every day could be her birthday).
    • Donna Barclay also got a taste of this (pre-Room of Consequence) in the episode "Wishful Thinking," when, after Jimmy got on her nerves one time too often, she wished she were an only child, and woke up the next morning to discover Jimmy didn't exist.
    • Another pre-Room of Consequence episode, "Forever... Amen," put a darker twist on this when little Danny Schmidt, after being told that being a big brother wouldn't be as fun as he had thought, silently wished his mother's baby wouldn't come. Shortly afterward, his mother miscarried, and Danny was inconsolable, believing he was responsible because of the wish he'd made, until Whit assured him it wasn't his fault.
  • Being Watched: Jason, Tasha, and Mitch, respectively, all observe this in "A Name, Not A Number", "The Search for Whit", and "Exit", among others.
  • Big Labyrinthine Building/Building of Adventure: Whit's End. Even Whit indicates in some episodes that there are places in it that he doesn't know about.
  • Big Red Button: Used to start up the Imagination Station, though the newest model (introduced in album 50) doesn't have it.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: 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.
  • Black Box: Novacom's technology, literally called a "Black Box" when it's first released.
    • As well as the parts of the Imagination Station that Novacom stole.
  • Blackmail Backfire: 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 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
  • Bland-Name Product: Strangely enough, names like "TwitFace" and "AppleBerry" are used in conjunction with McDonald's and Krispy Kreme.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In "Connie Goes to Camp," Connie has to contend with a television addict named Alison in her tent. In helping Alison with one of her bags, Connie notes how heavy it is and asks what's in it. Alison replies (paraphrased), "Oh, just the essentials - clothes, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, television, teddy bear..." (Note that this episode was made in the late 1980s before technology made it possible to access television content without being glued to a set.)
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    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?
  • Breakout Character: Mailman Wooton Bassett in the more recent episodes.
  • Burger Fool / Bad Job, Worse Uniform: Bernard recounts meeting his wife Maude while she was dressed in a chicken costume promoting a fast-food joint.
  • Cacophony Cover Up: 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.
  • Cast as a Mask: Bob Lutrell plays AREM while Steve Burns plays AREM's secret identity, Robert Mitchell.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: 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 Regis Blackgaard, the Novacom Saga, and some extremely dramatic episodes such as "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 Travellersnote  and A Twist In Time and its starkly grim Bad Futurenote .
  • Chain Letter: Robyn gets one in "Bad Luck," which she throws away without answering it. She scoffs at her superstitious friend Jessie (who even gives her a rabbit's foot meant to counteract all the bad luck Robyn will get from throwing away the chain letter) - until she has a severe run of bad luck and becomes convinced herself, and ends up digging in a dumpster to try to find the letter.
  • Chalk Outline: Played for Laughs in "Opportunity Knocks", where Connie publicly apologizes for Harlow Doyle after he mistakenly draws them on a family's driveway.
  • Character Outlives Actor: Whit's first actor, Hal Smith, died in 1994 and was not replaced for over 2 years, and Whit was temporarily 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.
  • Chekhov's Gun: 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. 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.
    • In "The Return", Blackgaard has Jellyfish record a conversation between him and Jason in the Harlequin Theatre, which is then spliced together and sent to the police to make it seem as if Jason threw death threats at Blackgaard.
  • Christmas Episode: 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.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Most of the child voice actors (and consequently their families, Dr. Morton and Dale Jacobs being a couple of exceptions) 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.
  • Circus of Fear: Uncle Archie's carnival, a G-rated version, appears in The Green Ring Conspiracy.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Harlow Doyle (Private Eye!) and to a slightly lesser extent, Wooton Bassett.
  • Clueless Aesop: Averted in an episode that teaches An Aesop 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.
  • Clueless Detective: Harlow Doyle, Private Eye.
  • Co-Dragons: When Dr. Blackaard attempts to take over Odyssey, Professor Bovril, Jellyfish, and Philip Glossman assist him with brains, brawn, and public appearance, respectively.
  • Collapsing Lair: 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.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • "Accidental Dilemma, Part 1" has this exchange when Connie shows Whit and Jason a blog post by Rusty Gordon where Gordon revealed Jason was a secret agent.
    Connie (quoting Rusty's blog): "Odyssey has its own James Bond! That’s right, quaint little Odyssey has a field agent for the intelligence community living right there pretending to live a normal life. But then, he disappears and travels around the world on top secret missions. Yet to meet Jason Whittaker, you’d never guess it."
    Whit: "I don’t know what to say!"
    Jason: "I do. I look like I have a double chin in that picture. Do I have a double chin?"
    Connie: "JASON!"
  • Concealing Canvas: A safe hidden behind a picture of a safe in the episode "Hold Up!". Mr. Whittaker has a weird sense of humor.
  • Continuity Nod: 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.
  • Cool Old Guy: Whit is the normal, down-to-Earth variety. Usually.
    • Also Jack Allen (rational and calm advice-giver) and Tom Riley (snarky and practical farmer).
  • Couch Gag: 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.
  • Courtroom Episode: "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 only Eugene believes that 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).
  • Crack Fic: Bethany's Flood. The Ark is a wet dry vac, Shem, Ham, and Japheth are really Sam, Hamlet and Jefferson, and Christopher Colombo caused the flood!
  • Credit Card Plot: "A Little Credit, Please"
  • Crossover: Jason Whittaker appeared in a story in radio episodes of The Last Chance Detectives, also produced by Focus on the Family.
  • Dating Catwoman: Jason and Monica
  • Deadpan Snarker: Bernard Walton is the main example; though other characters that fit this trope of note include Connienote ; Jason, newspaper reporter Dale Jacobs and even Whitnote .
  • Denser and Wackier: The animated series in some episodes, particularly Flight to the Finish and Electric Christmas.
  • Destruction Equals Off-Switch: The conclusion of the Novacom arc.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Dr. Blackgaard — he even had a cat!
  • Did You Die?: Tamika Washington asks this when Bernard tells her a story from his childhood in "The Girl In The Sink."
  • Disability Immunity: 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).
  • Disabled Snarker: Jenny Roberts, as evidenced by this exchange in "The Perfect Witness: Part 1".
    Russell Kosh (one of the robbers): "Hey kid, what's your name?"
  • Double Aesop: Kids frequently went on an adventure in the Imagination Station and learned an Aesop from the Aesop the characters in the adventure learned.
  • Downer Ending: 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 Connie and Eugene getting fired.
    • "Home Is Where the Hurt Is," which introduced Curt's alcoholic father, is another dramatic example. The episode ends with Curt rejecting Whit's and Lucy's offers of help, then crying while fishing alone, followed by a short message from producer Chuck Bolte explaining what listeners can do for a child in Curt's position.
    • 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. 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 Mandy's parents' separation looking worse than ever and Mandy crying and pleading with God to fix it.
    • In "Blind Girl's Bluff" (a split-era episode), Aubrey gets the idea of pretending that Lisa Mulligan (who is blind) is psychic through the use of a two-way radio system Bart Rathbone pawned off on the two girls. Lisa goes along with the scam at first until she becomes uncomfortable over tricking the kids of Odyssey and convinces Aubrey to call off the scam, planning to return the radio to the Electric Palace after school. Unfortunately, Lisa ends up being found with the two-way radio at the worst place at the worst time (right after an important test at school; resulting in her being accused of cheating) and ends up unwittingly taking the fall for the entire scheme, getting in trouble at school and with her parents. The episode ends with Aubrey and Lisa's friendship in shambles and Aubrey despondent over the ordeal.
    • "A Class Act" ends with Edwin Blackgaard, having started the episode in dire financial straits, remaining only in his offer to be an acting teacher for the money and produces an absolutely disastrous performance as a result. The man who had offered him the money is so disgusted by his careless behavior and the emotional damage it caused to his daughter that he firmly refuses to make good on his initial bank offer, leaving Edwin exactly where he began the episode.
    • "The Good, the Bad and Butch" is set up with Sam Johnson's former friend, now a part of the Bones of Wrath, in a position of potentially being able to turn away from their negative influence and call off a prank he was pressured into pulling. He doesn't follow through on it even after seemingly having second thoughts, leading to Sam calling him out on it and refusing to make amends with him.
  • The Dragon: Mr. Charles to The Chairman's Big Bad.
  • Easy Evangelism: 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.
  • Eccentric Townsfolk
  • Election Day Episode: "By Any Other Name" and "It Takes Integrity" for Student Council President; "Tom for Mayer, Parts 1 and 2" and "The One About Trust, Parts 1 and 2" for the mayorship of Odyssey.
  • Elevator Failure: In "Real Time", Whit and Cryin' Bryan Dern find themselves trapped in an elevator in the middle of a bomb threat.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Jellyfish, a small-time hood in the Blackgaard saga. Notably his first name (and only name given) is the equally embarrassing Myron.
  • Everyone Can See It: 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.
  • Everything Is Online: Justified for Whit, as he is a legitimate computer wiz and a retired NSA technical analyst.
  • Evil Twin: 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.
  • Face Death with Dignity: In fact Whit was so dignified and calm that it unnerved the would-be-killer into running away.
  • Face Your Fears: "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.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • 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 placed in the Witness Protection Program during the Novacom fiasco.
    • 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".
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell/Fluffy Cloud Heaven: 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).
  • Flash Forward: "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 she eventually marries Trent DeWhite, whose journal entries she was using to tell the story.
  • Flatline: In "The Mortal Coil", 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.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Eva Parker and her sister Rosalita provide an unusual example in that both of the siblings are adults. In the episode "Grandma's Visit"; Eva Parker's mother Lucia (referred to by the Parker kids as their "Abuelita" {Spanish for grandma}) attempts to arrange a wedding for Eva's sister Rosalita with fiance Rodrigo while Rosalita's ex Orlando tries to woo her back, to the point of going to the Parker house attempting to serenade Eva (who Orlando mistook for Rosalita) while Lucia arranges the wedding while other family members crashed the house...only for Rosalita to elope with Orlando.
  • For Inconvenience, Press "1": The episode "Breaking Point" sees Nick Mulligan run into this trope when calling customer service about what to do if someone washes his hair with their product.
    • Also an issue Robyn Jacobs runs into in "The Second Coming" when trying to figure out how a televangelist who had announced Jesus was coming the following Saturday; which Melanie had gotten duped into believing to the extent of putting up posters related to that proclamation.
  • Former Friend of Alpha Bitch: Michelle in "The Courage to Stand." Although under Shannon's thumb for most of the episode, she never quite rises to the level of Beta Bitch as she isn't snarky and abrasive the way Shannon is. She turns into Former Friend of Alpha Bitch at the end of the episode when she tells Robyn that because Robyn refused to attend Shannon's unchaperoned party, Michelle refused to attend as well, and furthermore accepts Robyn's invitation to come to church with her, which she had earlier turned down.
  • Foreshadowing: Bart Rathbone gives a statement to the news media at the end of "A Touch of Healing, Part 2" that uses Jason's attempt to modify the Imagination Station such that disabled children can experience life without their disability and the chaos that ensues as a way to try to discredit Whit's End, which he and the rest of Blackgaard's group continue to try to do throughout the Blackgaard saga in the next album.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: 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). They actually win, but the jury only awards them a dollar in damages, which promptly goes to pay for lawyer's fees.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Whit, Eugene, and Matthew Parker. Jason has displayed some limited skills as well.
  • Gambit Pileup: "A Name, Not a Number"
  • Geographic Flexibility: 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.
  • "Get out of Jail Free" Card: Subverted; Richard Maxwell serves his time for arson and other crimes before coming back to town to make peace.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Almost played literally, in "Best Intentions."
    Harlow Doyle: Wait here while I put on some camouflage!
    Sam: How?
    Harlow: By wiping this dirt all over my face. There. How do I look?
    Sam: Like somebody who needs to wash his face. Is that how you blend in with the scenery?
    Harlow: No, so they'll think I'm down on my luck and give me some lunch. Only one problem...
    Sam: What?
    Harlow: I'm not sure it was dirt. Whoo!
    • In "Family Values", Bart gets away with slyly mentioning having a secret stash of "stuff [he] wouldn't want the wife to see".
    • While commenting on the filthy lyrics of songs written by his son Rodney in "You Gotta Be Wise", Bart shrugs the complaints off with "Okay, so the kid has a lot to learn about anatomy!"—exacerbated by the fact that Dale Jacobs calls it "pornographic".
    • In "Sixties-Something", Bart declares that "everybody tuned in and dropped out" in the sixties—a reference to the phrase "turn on, tune in, drop out", coined by Timothy Leary in a speech advocating for psychedelic drug experimentation.
    • In "The Y.A.K Problem", Sarah explains to Mandy that they've got "candy hangovers".
    • In "Green Eyes and Yellow Tulips", Bart Rathbone shouts that Novacom cannot bring their "smut" to Odyssey's TV programming.
    • In "The Buck Starts Here", Jared accuses Whit of telling the mayor of Odyssey to pass a new puberty tax. (It was actually a property tax.)
  • The Ghost: The Chairman of Novacom, up until the arc's Grand Finale.
  • Golden Moment: Usually executed quite well. This never stops Chris.
  • G-Rated Drug: Talking toy chickens in "The Twilife Zone." It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Green Aesop: 1990's "One Bad Apple" (in which Tom finds out water polluted by the Edgebiter Chemical Company is contaminating the apples on his farm) serves as this; with Jerry Edgebiter using as his excuse that Tom, Whit and Curt aren't any better at protecting the environment than he is because they don't recycle.note 
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: In "The Eternal Birthday," Liz has such a wonderful time on her birthday that she wishes every day could be her birthday. Whit and Eugene devise a Room of Consequence program that makes this wish come true. Liz is thrilled - until she isn't anymore.
  • Halloween Episode: They had a "please-don't-celebrate-Halloween" episode called What Are We Gonna Do About Halloween?
  • Happily Married: Eugene and Katrina, Jack and Joanne.
  • 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, 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.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Dr. Blackgaard's hacker lackey Richard Maxwell; Novacom's mercenary Monica Stone.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Dr. Blackgaard.
  • Hobbes Was Right: 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 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.
  • Hollywood Atheist:
    • Leonard Meltsner, who was 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.
    • Also, Connie's dad.
  • Hollywood Law: 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 Insanity Defense, 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".
  • Homage: The members of the Barclay family are named 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 McTeague by Frank Norris. Both narratives revolves around two men fighting over an accidentally stumbled upon stash of gold in a desolate locale, 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 It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The opening scene of "The Smiler" ripping the map in half was taken directly from the start of the film nearly verbatim.
  • Hostage Situation: Usually with Connie as the hostage, although Whit, Eugene, Jason, Mitch, Tasha Forbes, and Grady McKay have also played that role.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Between Eugene and Katrina in "A Book By Its Cover".
  • Hypocritical Humour: In "Life Expectancy: Part 1" Bill Kendall blasts Connie over the phone for not contacting him immediately after learning her mother (and one of Bill's ex-wives) June had died from a massive heart attack. At the end of Part 1; Bill casually mentions to Eugene that he had brought his other daughter Jules - even acknowledging Connie had no idea she had a step-sister.
  • I Have Your Son: "Cover of Darkness" reveals that 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.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: "Soaplessly Devoted," in which Erica gets to play her favorite character in her favorite TV soap opera. Said character rigged the Academy Awards in order to win every award.
    Lt. Mitchell: I'd like to speak to Miss Donahue, please.
    Trevor: [laughing nervously] Miss Donahue? Who's that? There's nobody here by that name. And how dare you accuse her of rigging the awards!
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: 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.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Broadly speaking the series does not utilize this, but on a few albums this has been done. For example, every episode name on the album "On Earth as it is in Heaven" is a line from the Lord's Prayer to the point that you almost recite the entire thing if you name each episode in order, and the first five episodes of "Wish You Were Here" all have the corresponding number somewhere in the title.
  • If My Calculations Are Correct: Eugene.
  • Informed Obscenity: "Millijoit," from the episode "War of the Words" (actually a mangling of the word "maladroit", which some kids heard Eugene call Connie.
  • Insufferable Genius: 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.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Lucy Cunningham-Schultz takes her position as a reporter and writer for her school newspaper very seriously, and bristles when adults don't take her seriously because she's a kid. She gets some assignments that seem rather weighty for a school newspaper, but tackles them all with gusto and enthusiasm - which, as in "Muckraker" (when she went after a shampoo manufacturer for allegedly using an illegal, rash-causing green dye in its product) occasionally gets her into trouble.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: The 2-part episode "It's a Pokenberry Christmas" is an almost word-for-word remake of It's a Wonderful Life.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: Not a direct example, but what are the chances that Whit would have two high school valedictorians (Eugene and Connie) working for him simultaneously? (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.
  • Kid Detective: 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.
  • Knight of Cerebus: 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.
  • Lampshade Hanging: 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 perpetual young adult.
      • "Feels like I've been sixteen FOREVER."
  • Large Ham: Connie whenever she really gets excited or irritated.
    • The character of Edwin Blackgaard (played to Shakespearean perfection by Tony Jay soundalike Earl Boen) was created largely for this very purpose, serving largely in stark contrast to his more quietly menacing twin brother Regis.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: 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.
    • This exchange from the 1991 episode "The Vow" (involving Donna fearing that her parents were getting a divorce after being told of a similar set of events involving another classmate whose parents divorced):
    Jimmy Barclay: Dad's going on a trip, and he wants to take me with him.
    Donna Barclay: Oh, no!
    Jessie Morales: (in flashback) He came home, picked up her little brother, and split.
    Donna: Just like Wendy.
    Jimmy: Donna?
    Donna: Huh?
    Jimmy: You okay? You look the way people look on TV when they're remembering what someone said in an earlier scene.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Averted in the series itself. What do you expect? It's a radio program. Played straight in the official artwork, though.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Nick Mulligan's garage band is named "10W40".
    Nick: We were in the garage when we came up with the name.
  • Local Hangout: Whit's End, natch.
  • Long-Runner Tech Marches On: There is a marked difference in technology used on the show during an early episode compared to the more recent episodes.
  • Lopsided Dichotomy: 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.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: 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 Heroic BSoD surrounded by handicapped children desperately pleading for an extra moment in the Station.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Dalton Kearn.
  • Loving Bully: In the episode "Afraid, Not!", Danny is stalked by a girl from another school who has a crush on him and ends up roughing him up when he won't say he likes her. One of the female police officers who handles the case admits that she once did the same thing to a boy she had a crush on.
  • Magical Computer: The one that ran Whit's End is close enough.
  • Married in the Future: "The Present Long Ago" reveals that Mandy Straussberg will eventually marry Trent DeWhite.
  • Meddling Parents: Lucia, the mother of Eva Parker and grandmother to the Parker kids, makes her first appearance ("Grandma's Visit") filling this role by commandeering the Parker house for guests in an attempt to prepare for Eva's sister Rosalita's upcoming wedding - to the point where the Parkers end up having to leave for a hotel due to the house being crowded; only for Rosalita to elope with her ex-fiance at the last moment; resulting in a stressed-out Eva telling Lucia (in Spanish) that she drove her crazy.
  • Meganekko: Katrina Shanks and Lucy Cunningham-Schultz.
  • Meaningful Name: Edwin and Regis Blackgaard.
  • Millennium Bug: Done in a sense (that was both somewhat satirical and somewhat serious at once) with "The Y.A.K. Problem", where the kids of Odyssey end up leading themselves to believe that a new school councilwoman in Odyssey is planning to eliminate all traces of fun and games from town and proceed to live it up; stocking up on ice cream and candy, hiding their toys, binging on video games, and mobbing Whit's End and its inventions (though in the end it's simply a new educational program at the Odyssey schools and not a big deal). It's worth pointing out that the episode first aired in November 1999, weeks before when the actual Y2K bug was supposed to occur and supposedly cause The End of the World as We Know It, suggesting that this episode was made as an allegory to the worries people had about the issue (and reminding them that God is in control no matter what happens).
  • Mistaken for Cheating: George Barclay, of all people, in the 1991 episode "The Vow"; when Donna takes a message from a woman who had called about wanting a meeting she was supposed to have with George and Donna over dinner in Washington, only for Donna to assume the woman's name is Carol. The episode ends with the revelation that the Carol Porter in question was George's male former history professor named Caroll Porternote  and the woman who called was Porter's wife. Happily, things work out with the situation cleared up and George and Mary taking the opportunity to renew their vows.
  • The Mole: Mr. Glossman, Monica.
  • Mr. Imagination: 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).
  • Musical Episode: There have been a number of these; among them the Wizard of Oz spoof "The Great Wishy Woz"; the Christmas show "Caroling! Caroling!"note ; the historical trilogy "The Jubilee Singers"note , "A Thankstaking Story"note  and the 2-part "Legacy" episodesnote 
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: "Eugene Meltsner here, inviting you to join today's assemblage of characters (and myself)..."
  • My Own Private "I Do": 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.
  • Mythology Gag: In the Novacom saga, the Imagination Station 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", 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).
  • Nested Story Reveal: 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.
  • Nightmare Sequence: A fairly uncommon occurrence but they do still happen in a few episodes:
    • The nightmare had by young Shirley in "Nothing to Fear" over her brother's pet mouse ended up being so infamously scary that it drew complaints from parents whose kids ended up being scared by the sequence as well.
    • "Better Late Than Never" (and the Missing Episode it was based on: "Missed It By That Much") culminates in the chronically tardy Robyn Jacobs (Rachael Weaver in "Missed It...") having a nightmare where she is late for everything; an important soccer match, a beauty pageant, and her own funeral!
    • In "Choices", Lucy, anxious about having to write a school report on something (the theory of evolution) that conflicts with her core beliefs, has a bad dream where she pours out her worries to Whit at Whit's End. After she does so, however, Whit suddenly announces Lucy's problem to all of Whit's End and ridicules her over it, causing everyone else in Whit's End to also tease and mock her over it and prepare to kick her out of Whit's End before she wakes up.
  • No Indoor Voice: Connie whenever she gets excited.
    • Local disc jockey "Cryin' Bryan" Dern is, naturally, quite loud even when not on-air.
  • No Name Given: "The Chairman" of Novacom.
  • Noodle Implements: 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... and it explodes.
  • Noodle Incident: 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".
  • Noir Episode: "Heatwave"
  • 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.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: 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).
  • Not Disabled In VR: 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.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: 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.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Millie Shanks plays this role in "For Better or For Worse", although as 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.
  • Official Couple: Eugene and Katrina (got married), Connie and Mitch (broke up), Penny and Wooton (got married), Jack and Lucy ( got engaged), and Trent and Mandy ( eventually marry).
  • Off to See the Wizard: The 2-part episode "The Great Wishy Woz", in which Mandy Straussberg writes and stars in a Kids Radio story based on The Wizard of Oz.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Walter Madison, the pastor Jason works with in Alaska, who appears in several episodes during the Novacom Saga and comes across as Whit-level competent. In his short appearance, he not only calls Jason out when under the influence of the black boxes, but deduces Monica Stone's identity and reacts with calm-verging-on-sarcasm when she forces him to open a safe at gunpoint.
- Walter: "Curtland doesn't have a blueberry festival; it's a strawberry festival. Kind of hard to confuse the two, isn't it? One is blue, the other's red."
  • One Steve Limit: 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 obtaining the technology of the Imagination Station.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: On the part of Chris. If something very serious or sad occurs in an episode directly before a break or when a Downer Ending, Bittersweet Ending, or a 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. Tropes Are Not Bad, as it avoids Mood Whiplash. (Would Chris sounding light and cheerful directly after, say, someone witnessing the crucifixion of Jesus sound right to you?)
  • Our Lawyers Advised This Trope:
    • The 2007 episode "Best of Enemies" has a subplot where Connie temporarily has an intern named Lindsay become a roommate while in Odyssey. During the episode, Lindsay inexplicably eats some pancakes Connie made after telling Connie she was allergic to peanuts but could just use something equivalent to an epipen before her throat swelled upnote . When Focus on the Family received several complaints from parents worried that scene made light of food allergies after the episode originally aired, the tag was re-recorded to have Chris emphasize that it isn't wise to eat something one is allergic to.
    • Similarly, "Two Sides to Every Story" has Chris warn against using water to put out an electrical fire at the end.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: 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.
  • Papa Wolf: 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.
  • Parting Words Regret: Connie experiences this in "Plan B: Resistance" after 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 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 telling Whit that she loves him.
  • The Patient Has Left the Building: The Green Ring Conspiracy arc has 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.
  • Pet the Dog: Dalton Kearn: kidnapper, trafficker of archeological artifacts, instigator of a minor genocide, kind and caring father. 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.
  • Phrase Catcher: When Eugene lapses into his overly complex way of explaining something, he is frequently met with cries of some variation of, "In English, Eugene!"
  • Playing Cyrano: 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. Naturally, as these things go, Mandy ends up falling for Trent instead.
  • Poor Communication Kills: 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.
    • Played for Drama in "Life Expectancy: Part 1" when Connie - rushing to the hospital after learning her mother June had suffered a heart attack - learns from a doctor that June had secretly been battling heart problems and didn't tell Connie. Connie even vows to question June on that before learning that June had passed away.
  • Positive Friend Influence: Usually illustrated through a character's becoming a Christian or accepting an invitation to come to church. The trope isn't limited to school friends either, as shown by how Connie's mother June accepts Jesus.
  • Power Trio:
    • Back in the good ol' days:
      • Id: Connie
      • Superego: Eugene
      • Ego: Whit
  • Prayer Is a Last Resort: 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.
  • Put on a Bus: 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 plot device in the Novacom Saga. The Bus Came Back.
    • 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, left 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 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.
  • "Rashomon"-Style:
    • "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  This leads to humorous moments such as Eugene's account of the story having everybody speaking in his signature Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness style.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: Whenever something went wrong with the Imagination Station, which always happens when someone is in it.
  • Rearrange the Song: The theme has had 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. There's also been a Christmas theme and an Old West theme.
  • Record Burning: In "You Gotta Be Wise," Odyssey parents organize a rally to burn copies of Rodney Rathbone's rock band's album due to its offensive content. Dale Jacobs - who believes that reactionary techniques such as book or record burning are no substitute for sitting down and talking honestly with children about why a book, record, etc. is offensive - tries in vain to stop it.
  • Recycled In Space: "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 (think Narnia if they didn't bother with the allegory).
  • Red Herring: In "The Perfect Witness". The assumption is that the thieves who broke into Holstein's Books were after a rare Haugaard book set to be delivered to a professor at the college; they were actually hired by that professor to steal a report written by Eugene that the professor could publish under his own name, and took the book as a distraction.
    • AREM, as well as his alter ego Robert Mitchell:
      • At first, the AREM persona's breaking and entering into computer systems is portrayed as morally dubious at best and malevolent at worst, and the Campbell College investigators finding him piggybacking off of a modem in Whit's office appears to be an attempt by AREM to frame Whit for AREM's computer hacking. It turns out that Mitch, acting as the AREM persona, used those morally shady means to expose the corruption at Novacom from the inside, and he was trying to draw attention to the modem planted by Novacom at Whit's End so that it could be quickly disposed of.
      • Mitch comes under suspicion in "Grand Opening" and "Secrets" when he's revealed to have purchased a large number of the same types of security cameras Whit found hidden around his shop in Connellsville, and when Connie finds a photo in Mitch's briefcase of the woman who planted the suspicious modem in Whit's office. Mitch's innocuous explanation for the cameras—that they're being used as part of a Novacom show about secret agents—is never confirmed as true or false, and he has the picture because the woman, Monica Stone, is working for Andromeda and Mitch wants to find her and bring her, and the rest of Andromeda, to justice.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Connie's red, Eugene's blue.
  • Renaissance Man: 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 ( 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).
  • Repetitive Name: "I'm Digger. Digger Digwillow." "Digger Digger Digwillow?"
  • Ret-Canon: The main characters didn't have fixed character designs initially, but the ones that the Animated Adaptation 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. (For example, Connie still wears a green shirt and Whit's face and hair is largely unchanged.)
  • Retired Badass: Whit and Jason.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The 1991 episode "The Second Coming" appears to be a response to then-recent publications suggesting Jesus would return at a specific year (such as "88 Reasons Why Jesus is Coming Back in 1988"); though predictions such as the one dealt with in the episode continued even after the episode's premiere (such as Harold Camping's failed predictions from 1994 and 2011).
  • Road Trip Plot: 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 Real Life Writes the Plot, 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 This Is Spın̈al Tap, 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.)
  • Running Gag: 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.
    • The 2005 episode "Odyssey Sings" has Connie" interrupted on three occasions when attempting to sing a song she wrote called "The Trip of a Lifetime", never making it beyond the first two words.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: 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".
  • Script Wank
  • Secret Diary: "Melanie's Diary"; the episode that introduces Robyn Jacobs' previously unmentioned sister Melanie, has this at the center of their squabbling during the episode.
    • In "The Election Deception," Courtney Vincent's diary is stolen by Alpha Bitch Shannon, who is running against Courtney for class president and uses its contents to try to ruin Courtney's campaign and life - and almost succeeds.
  • Secret Keeper: In "Accidental Dilemma", 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.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Used on the Imagination Station in the Novacom Saga finale, It Makes Sense in Context as the machine was the key to their global mind-control plan.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Eugene; his Catchphrase used to be ending sentences that use slang and idioms with "... to borrow the colloquialism."
  • Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: 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.
  • Ship Sinking: The Eugene/Connie pairing is sunk when Eugene dates and marries Katrina.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The original art for the 25th album, "Darkness Before Dawn", bears a suspicious resemblance to the famous painting "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog".
    • Connie watches a talk show called "The Opera Geraldohue" show in one episode, a fairly obvious portmanteau of talk-show hosts Oprah Winfrey, Geraldo Rivera, and Phil Donahue.
    • In another episode, Connie (in character in a KYDS Radio drama) tells a friend, "Whatever will be, will be; the future's not ours to see," and quips, "I think that might make a good song someday."
    • In "You Gotta Be Wise," Rodney's gang-cum-rock-band, the Bones of Rath, releases an album titled "As Crusty As They Wanna Be."
    • 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.
    • In "Soaplessly Devoted," Erica gets the chance to live as Holly, a character in her favorite soap opera, "Medical Center of Love." When Holly sweeps the Academy Awards, she gives an acceptance speech: "You like me. You really like me."
    • The three characters Trent DeWhite comes up with in "The Present Long Ago" are fictionalized versions of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger (Arnold Schwarzenbanger), comedian Bill Cosby (Bill Crosby), and fictional detective Columbo (Detective Colimbo).
    • The 2006 Christmas Episode "The Undeniable Truth" has a sequence where Eugene (whose foundation "Hand Up" was supposed to be sending Christmas packages to Africa but was falsely accused of failing to deliver and of stealing money from the foundation) demands to know why his father Leonard had signed those packages Gordon Shumway.
    • Resident Shakespeare nut Edwin Blackgaard's rival in "The Taming of the Two" is named Malcolm Lear.
    • The theatre critic that Edwin is desperate to impress in "A Class Reenactment" is named Duncan Banquo.
    • The Old Testament Action News segments of the Show Within a Show KYDS Radio feature a news anchor named Brink Chetley; a portmanteau of the names of early television news anchors Chet Huntley and David Brinkleynote ; who anchored The Huntley-Brinkley Report (the precursor to today's NBC Nightly News) from 1956 until Huntley's 1970 retirement.
    • The 1994 episode Two Brothers and Bernard: Part 1note  includes a scene where Esau bargains with Jacob over the birthright nearly taken verbatim from The Little Mermaidnote .
    • Also from 1994, the episode "A Name, Not a Number: Part 1"note  contains an interesting example. According to the Official Guide, Miles Filby was named after a character played by Alan Young. Alan used the same accent for Donovan (Jason's superior)note . Afterwards, the AIO team discovered that there was a real-life British turncoat agent named Kim Philby; who was convicted of being part of an espionage ring known as the "Cambridge Five" which supplied secret information to the Soviet Union during World War II and the early years of the Cold War.
  • Show Within a Show: KYDS radio and BTV.
  • Spanner in the Works: Tom in the Novacom Saga. There was no way they could have foreseen Whit bringing him with to the tower and Tom being able to destroy the Imagination Station with long-distance help.
  • Stealth Pun: "Two Friends And A Truck" opens with Connie and Bernard discussing Bernard's new truck, and Bernard complains to Whit that Connie wants him to purchase one with a lot of "bells and whistles". Almost immediately, the bell above the door to Whit's End rings as Eugene walks in whistling.
    • In "Called on in Class", when Trent tries to hide in a bathroom to help him think of ways to get out of an oral report, his teacher comes to call him back to the classroom, and he mutters, "Great. No more stalling."
  • Story Arc: Innumerable ones, both large-scale and small, have been spread throughout the show's almost-thirty years.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: Jimmy Barclay (Straight Man) and Lawrence Hodges (Wise Guy).
  • Superstition Episode: "Bad Luck".
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: 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.
  • Take Over the World: 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, although Darkness Before Dawn reveals that he too has more megalomaniacal motives.
  • Take That Me: The rap song "Communicate" (from the pulled episode "Lights Out At Whit's End") gets this treatment in a scene from the 2015 episode "Out of the Woods".
    Detective Don Polehaus: "And the old cassette player?"
    Eugene Meltsner: "I unearthed it from Mr. Whittaker's archives. When I push the button..." <pushes it>
    Whit/Kids (on tape): "...Share the gospel before it's too late, and the best way to do it is communicate!"
    Detective Polehaus (overlapping): "You’ll wanna change that."
    Eugene: "Well, Perhaps so."
  • Teens Are Short: Thirteen-year-old Graham Barnett, whom Bernard and Eugene meet along their road trip in "Second Thoughts", is described as "four-foot-five" and unable to see over a car dashboard by a police officer.
  • Tell Her I'm Not Speaking To Her: "Red Wagons and Pink Flamingos," in which Courtney becomes the one carrying messages between quarreling friends Erica and Kim.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Each of Bill Kendall's wives has a name at least tangentially related to a month of the year (first Junenote ; April; May and Jannote ). Also, Bill's daughter with Jan, Julesnote  keeps the months of the year theme continuing.
    • The 1993 album "On Earth as It is in Heaven" has all 12 episode titles based on the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Part of the AIO theme starts playing on Bernard's radio as he switches through stations in "First Hand Experience".
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Alluded to in "Bad Luck" during Robyn's dream sequence, in which Robyn yells out, "I'm not superstitious!", and Jessie (who IS superstitious) tells her, "Superstitious - that word has 13 letters in it! 13 is bad luck!"
  • Those Two Guys: Odyssey's resident Large Ham Edwin Blackgaard and assistant Walter Shakespeare (also an example of Fat and Skinny). The episode Odyssey Sings is the only episode where Shakespeare appears without Edwin.
  • Time Machine: The Imagination Station VR, but close enough.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Camilla Parker, the youngest of the Parker children, is primarily depicted as the athlete of the family and is not written as particularly girlynote , but she is also depicted taking crochet lessons.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: 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-Heel–Face Turn 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 suddenly becomes a bully who uses his knowledge of computers to torment the other kids and is unrepentant when caught. Even Whit is surprised.
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • Liz Horton, after her first couple of appearances. She became a much nicer girl after starting off as a 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 Mandy Straussberg's best friend and her confidant during 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 Heel–Face Turn.
  • Training Montage: In "Do or Diet", as Whit, Bernard, and Wooton exercise to try to lose ten pounds each, set to a song oddly similar to "Gonna Fly Now".
  • Trash of the Titans: Billy and Sam find the Bones' hideout to be filled with this in "Checkmate".
  • Tropical Epilogue: Well, French Riviera epilogue, anyway; in "Accidental Dilemma", it's where Jason is heard from at the end after going into hiding after faking his own death.
  • Truncated Theme Tune: 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.
  • Tuxedo and Martini: 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".
  • Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000: Video games occasionally get names like this, such as Demon Racer XR425 from "All the Difference in the World".
  • Unusual Euphemism: The 2003 episode "Black Clouds" takes place mainly at a roadside diner where the owner uses the names of past American Presidents as exclamations of surprise where some would use profanity.
    • Jebidiah Skint, a main villain in the "Green Ring Conspiracy", uses a series of odd euphemisms.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: In "The Final Conflict", Bernard siphons all of the gas out of the tank of Professor Bovril's getaway van. Carson McKay does the Banana in the Tailpipe version in "Accidental Dilemma, Part 2".
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: 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!"
    • Slightly subverted; in reality, Richard was holding a very realistic-looking water gun, and just wanted to 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.
    • A less dramatic example is in the episode "Melanie's Diary," when Robyn reads Melanie's diary and then blabs the contents to all her friends. A furious Melanie exacts revenge by rearranging the contents of Robyn's school folders so that she loses track of a book report and a speech, then fixes it so that the book report appears in Robyn's "speech" folder and Robyn starts reading her book report aloud when it comes time to deliver the speech. Later, Robyn offers Melanie a heartfelt apology, saying she now understands how Melanie felt when Robyn violated her privacy. Melanie, who didn't expect Robyn to be sorry, now feels remorseful herself and comes up with a unique way to apologize: by writing it in her diary and then asking Robyn to read it.
  • Villain Episode: Rodney Rathbone once starred in and narrated his own episode.
  • Virtual Ghost: Dr. Blackgaard as a rogue Imagination station program.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Eugene's father Leonard.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: 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.
  • We Will Meet Again: Dr. Blackgaard and his mole, city councilman Mr. Glossman, in "The Nemesis".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: 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".
  • 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.
  • White Collar Crime: 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".
  • Whole Plot Reference: "Blind Justice" to 12 Angry Men.
  • Who's on First?: In "Best Intentions," when Tom Riley invites Harlow Doyle to read the dialogue from Pilgrim's Progress.
    Tom: Well, this book here looks like it's split up into dialogue, so I could use the help.
    Harlow: Okie-dokie. Who should I play?
    Tom: Obstinate.
    Harlow: All right, but what's the character's name?
    Tom, Whit: [in unison] Oh boy.
  • Why Waste a Wedding?: 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.
  • You Are Not Ready: Whit to Connie and Eugene in "A Bite of Applesauce", with full Adam and Eve and Forbidden Fruit analogy.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: 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).
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: The Imagination Station, the Room Of Consequences, and the Transmuter. They all run according the rule that governs the Star Trek holodeck: it is perfectly safe until it isn't.
    • The Inspiration Station falls under this as well.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: