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Recap / Dennis The Menace 1986 S 2 E 1

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The first episode of the second season of Dennis the Menace (1986), and the sixty-sixth episode of the series overall.

Frankenstymied

Margaret shows off her new video camera to Dennis and Joey, who get the idea to make a monster movie. They make up a napping Henry to play the role of the monster, but realize there's no tape in the camera, leaving for Margaret's house to get some. Afterwards, Henry wakes up and goes outside, not realizing he's in makeup and causes a panic in the townspeople, who think he's a real monster. He's able to make it back home, where Dennis explains what happened. Afterward, all the town folk see is Dennis with the camera ready to make a monster movie, driving them peacefully away (more or less).

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Space Race

Dennis, Joey, and Margaret are out in the forest when they spot a UFO, which abducts them and takes them into space. The aliens, Captain Rafar and Benneth, tell the kids the Earth's Sun will explode and destroy the planet, taking them as the world's last survivors. The kids eventually escape from the alien mothership, and make it through a meteor shower. However, the pursuit ship isn't as lucky as it crashes and is in danger of burning up in Mars' orbit. Dennis is able to save Benneth. As a token of gratitude, Rafar utilizes his mothership's systems into stabilizing the Sun and in the process, saves the Earth. Afterward, they return the kids home, and Dennis' parents are relived to see them again.

The Incredible Shrinking Dennis

PeeBee's latest invention, the shrinkersizer, shrinks Dennis to one-tenth his regular height. Afterwards, he must avoid becoming a meal for his pet cat Hot Dog, encountering friendly mice, and is eventually saved by Margaret. PeeBee returns with a liquid antidote, returning Dennis to normal. But when the solution winds up in Hot Dog's milk bowl, the cat takes a drink and becomes gigantic!

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"Frankenstymied" provides examples of:

  • Amateur Film-Making Plot: When Margaret shows Dennis her new video camera, Dennis gets the idea to make a monster movie with it, with Henry as the titular monster. Their plan is compromised when Margaret leaves the film for her camera at her house.
  • Butt-Monkey: Henry. He gets mistaken for a monster by the townspeople and tossed into a garbage truck when he hides from them in a trash can.
    Henry: I thought these things only happened to George Wilson.
  • Clothing Damage: Ruff rips a hole in Henry's pants when he bites him on the butt.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dennis, particularly this exchange at the beginning:
    Margaret: Hi, Dennis! Guess what I got.
    Dennis: I hope it's measles.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: When Ruff sees Henry in monster makeup, he bites him on the butt.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Henry. He sleeps right through Dennis, Margaret, and Joey talking near him and applying Frankenstein-esque makeup to him.
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  • Off-Model: When Henry jumps out of the garbage truck after the mob catches up to him, he has his normal skin tone instead of the monster makeup.
  • Shamed by a Mob: The townspeople chase Henry back to his house when they mistake him for a monster.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: When Henry hears everyone freaking out over a monster, he doesn't realize it's him they're talking about until he sees his reflection in a department store window.
  • Trash Landing: When Henry hides from the mob in a trash can, a garbageman picks up the trash can and tosses its contents, including Henry, into his garbage truck.
  • Wild Take: The townspeople have some when they see Henry in monster makeup. Special mention goes to one lady who stretches out her lips as her wig frizzes up and her dentures chatter.

"Space Race" provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: On their way to the Sun, the aliens find out that Henry and Alice are worried about Dennis since he has gone missing, having no idea that he's been abducted by aliens.
  • Alien Abduction: In this episode, Dennis, Joey, and Margaret are abducted by Captain Rafar, an alien who collects specimens who are the last survivors of their planet.
  • Boys Like Creepy Critters: This episode begins with Dennis trying to catch bugs and lizards. When Margaret asks Dennis if he's collected enough, he tells her that a guy can never have enough disgusting things.
  • Dudley Do-Right Stops to Help: Dennis, Joey, and Margaret escape from the mother ship in an escape pod, and Benneth chases them down. The four run into a meteor shower, and although Dennis' escape pod makes it through, the Benneth's escape pod is damaged, stranding him on Mars. Instead of going straight back to Earth as he, Margaret, and Joey originally planned, Dennis heads to Mars to rescue Benneth. This heroic act earns him the admiration of Rafar and convinces him to return the favor.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: After Captain Rafar abducts Dennis, Joey, and Margaret, he shows them that the Sun is in danger of exploding and destroying the Earth.
  • I Owe You My Life: Dennis saves Benneth, and Captain Rafar is very grateful to see his son alive. Rafar suddenly likes the idea of helping others, and repays the favor by stabilizing the Sun's neutrons to save the Earth and everyone on it.
  • Morality Pet: Benneth befriends Dennis, Joey, and Margaret and tries unsuccessfully to convince Rafar to help him. It isn't until Dennis saves his life that Rafar decides to help Dennis to return the favor.
  • Race Against the Clock: After Dennis, Joey, and Margaret get abducted, they learn that the Sun will explode and destroy the Earth in a few hours. When they save Benneth, this convinces Rafar to return the favor by stabilizing the Sun's neutrons before the Sun explodes.

"The Incredible Shrinking Dennis" provides examples of:

  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: This episode ends with Hot Dog growing to an enormous size, due to PeeBee's super growth formula being in his milk bowl.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Hot Dog catches Dennis and is about to eat him, Dennis says, "Uh-oh! One good thing; at least now I won't have to marry Margaret!". Margaret then comes in and scares Hot Dog by swinging a broom at him, having heard that remark. When Dennis thanks her for doing that, she tells him that she was aiming at him, not Hot Dog.
  • Cats Are Mean: When Dennis' cat, Hot Dog sees the shrunken Dennis, he tries to eat him, despite Dennis telling him that he's the one who feeds him.
  • Friend to All Living Things: When Dennis hides from Hot Dog in the mouse hole, he tells the mice that he's the one who gets rid of all the traps Mr. Wilson sets.
  • Nice Mice: Dennis hides from hot dog in a hole in the wall inhabited by mice. When Dennis tells the mice that he's the one who gets rid of the traps that Mr. Wilson sets for them, the mice give him a piece of cheese to thank him.
  • Shrink Ray: PeeBee invents the Shrinkerciser in this episode, and tests it on Henry's bowling ball. When Dennis kicks it out of frustration, it shrinks him.
  • Slippery Soap: When Dennis gets launched into the air while on the run from Hot Dog, he lands on a bar of soap in the sink and rides it like a snowboard.
  • Tempting Fate: When Dennis is returned to his normal size at the end of the episode, he tells PeeBee not to tell Henry and Alice, as if they found out, they'd raise the roof. Cue Hot Dog doing just that when he grows to an enormous size.
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