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Recap / Kids Incorporated S 1 E 14 Funny Money

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This episode marks the first of two consecutive episodes focusing on the Kid.

Following opening song "I Do' Wanna Know"; Gloria announces the band is holding a community car wash immediately in order to make enough (at least $200) to buy new costumes (though Kid wants his own cassette player); and there's a line awaiting the band, which they get to - though not before playfully flinging their towels at each other before Mario reminds them they've got work to do, setting up "Fun, Fun, Fun". At that point a gray car then pulls off, having left a briefcase - which Kid quickly notes. Opening the briefcase, he sees images of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln along with an ID identifying the owner as J.J. Jansen. Immediately, the Kid begins hoping for a reward - especially considering the band made only $140 on the car wash.

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Back at the P*lace, the other kids learn from Riley that Kid got a $150 reward for returning the briefcase (which would more than cover the cost of costumes)...only for Kid to enter having already spent the money on some new threads of his own plus the aforementioned tape player, leading to an argument with the others over what the money was going to be for (with the others noting they were there with Kid at the time plus it was Riley that first called Mr. Jansen) before "Some Guys Have All the Luck"note .

Kid's still trying to explain while the others give him the silent treatment, ultimately suggesting that the others could still enjoy his items, as explained by his tape player...only for the song to be interrupted by a news bulletin where it's announced that J.J. Jansen had just been arrested for being the ringleader of a major counterfeiting ring - and both the police and stereo shop owner have some questions for Kid (Kid tries consoling himself that the clothing store owner hadn't called yet. Guess who calls next?). Kid quickly starts panicking and fearing he would be on his way to jail despite Renee's attempt to convince him that the police and store owners would realize he was an innocent bystander ("Trouble").

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The others are still struggling to figure out what to do, not just about Kid but the costumes (the others contributed an additional $16 while Kid had $14 in his piggy bank) when Stacy suggests using the costume money for paying the store owners (the $140, combined with the total $30, would be more than enough to cover the costs of the phony cash); but Kid is nowhere near calmed down yet (not helping was Renee using terms related to prison twice in attempting to cheer him up).

The police have arrived and want to talk to Kid...after the concert (much to Kid's relief). It turns out all they needed him for would be for a couple of questions and to identify Jansen. As for the costumes the band was hoping to buy, perhaps another car wash is in order. In any event, we go to closing song "Vacation".

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On a production note; this marks the first change of cast for the series, as one of the dancers; Shanice Wilson, left the series after this episodenote . Replacing her for the balance of Season 1 would be Carletta Prince.

Songs performed in this episode:

  • "I Do' Wanna Know" (REO Speedwagon cover; performed by Mickey and Gloria)
  • "Fun, Fun, Fun" (The Beach Boys cover; performed by Gloria and Mickey)
  • "Some Guys Have All the Luck" (The Persuaders cover {also recorded by Rod Stewart}; performed by Mickey and Kid)
  • "Trouble" (Lindsey Buckingham cover; performed by Kid)
  • "Vacation" (The Go-Go's cover; performed by Gloria)

Tropes associated with this episode:

  • Coincidental Broadcast: A news report playing on the stereo Kid purchased (with the counterfeit money) to announce that J.J. Jansen had been arrested for instigating a massive counterfeiting ring...and that the cops and stereo shop and clothing store owners want to have a word with the Kid.
    • A print variant appears at the end when at the end of the closing song, Riley holds a newspaper with the headline "Kids Inc. Heroes in Funny Money Caper".
  • Counterfeit Cash: What the pictures in J.J. Jansen's briefcase were used for, and what the Kid is given when he returns Jansen's briefcase
  • Early Installment Weirdness: This marks one of the few times the song in the middle of the episode was performed on stage (usually this would involve the character alone by himself or herself or an Imagine Spot)
  • Funny Background Event: The end of "Fun, Fun, Fun" includes Shanice and Andrea using Aaron as a towel while Mario spins on the trunk while seated.
  • Imagine Spot: This marks one of the first episodes to use this trope, for a brief segment during "Fun, Fun, Fun" (where Mickey is shown driving a convertible while the others are seatednote ) and "Trouble" (where Kid imagines himself in jail due to his unwitting use of counterfeit money)
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Renee does this twice while trying to cheer Kid up by using words associated with prison.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: This proves to be the Kid's undoing, as his head quickly swells upon receiving the phony reward, irritating his friends in the process.
  • Vague Age: During the "Fun, Fun, Fun" Imagine Spot, Mickey is seen driving a convertible for a brief segment; implying that Mickey is - if not of driving age - at least the oldest of the band members. (In real life; Mickey's actor, Jerry Sharell, is close to a year younger than Martika).
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