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Recap / Kids Incorporated S 2 E 5 The Big Lie

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This episode marks the first episode of Season 2 where the focus is on one of the younger cast members; in this case Renee.

We start things off with a performance of “Don’t Make Me Sorry” before the kids congregate at the counter. Riley eventually reminds Renee and Gloria break time’s over, though not before talking about new plans for the P*lace; specifically turning it into an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant at lunch (cost: $2). The catch: You only get one chopstick (Gloria jokes about Riley inventing an alarm clark that applauds instead of ringing). Riley then gets a call from someone named Nancy, referencing a medical problem that was a knee scrape when he fell off his skateboard that needed to be taken care of before it got infected.

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Unfortunately, Renee — across the room — completely mishears the comment, then runs off after turning down the last of a malt Riley had. During the 2nd song (“Good Lovin’”), Renee begins freaking out after seeing Riley serving customers during the bridge. After the song, Renee then tells Stacy what she heard, only by this time the medical problem had mutated to a kidney problem (with Renee warning Stacy not to tell anyone because of her reputation of not being good at keeping secrets {as Stacy puts it, it was “like trying to sneak daylight by a rooster”}). Kid then shows up trying to get the secret out of Stacy, and it doesn’t take much effort to get the story from his best friend (by now, the condition had morphed into Riley needing to have a kidney removed); with Kid’s version further distorted to become Riley needing a kidney transplant by the time he tells Gloria. As this happens, Riley walks by carrying boxes of ice cream cones — and limping — with Kid’s attempt to help causing Riley to drop 2 boxes, then when Renee explains they didn’t want him to strain himself; Riley notes that the kids are treating him like he’s dying. Bad choice of words, Riley; as Kid, Stacy and Gloria run off while Renee lingers briefly (“You’re My Friend”).

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Back in the break room, the distraught band members are joined by Ryan — who somehow has managed to avoid the swelling inaccuracies about Riley’s health — who jovially enters before being told; and then the story finally begins to get cleared up when the others notice what they heard in each case was completely differentnote . The moral here proves to be, as Ryan puts it, “unspreading a rumor is harder than unscrambling an egg” (which Stacy didn’t immediately realize was a metaphor); demonstrating with an example (“I hope the concert goes great” mutating into Stacy thinking “I heard Billy the Gweeb got thrown in a lake”) — leading to Ryan growing somewhat frustrated and the next number (“Dead Giveaway”; complete with the younger members and dancers wearing Pinocchio-themed costumes; complete with the long noses).

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Riley then walks (limps) in to see if they’re ready to go back on stage and explains he injured his knee (which due to Riley being on the phone while the malt machine was on led to Renee mistakenly hearing kidney); eventually resulting in a group hug as the situation finally clears up and Riley is then informed of what happened, setting up closing song “Over and Over”.

Songs performed in this episode:

  • Don’t Make Me Sorry“ (Patti LaBelle cover; lead vocals by Kid & Gloria)note 
  • “Good Lovin’” (The Olympics cover {also recorded by The Young Rascals and later The Grateful Dead}; lead vocals by Stacy)
  • “You’re My Friend“ (Kids Incorporated original; lead vocals by Renee)
  • “Dead Giveaway’” (Shalimar cover; lead vocals by Gloria & Kid)
  • Over and Over“ (Madonna cover; lead vocals by Renee)note 

Tropes associated with this episode:

  • Bungling Inventor: Riley’s attempts at this are briefly alluded to in a joke by Gloria.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Stacy, who when told of Riley’s “medical problem”, goes so far as to warn Renee she’s not good at keeping secrets, and sure enough it doesn’t take much effort by Kid to get it out of her, only even more distorted.
  • Gossip Evolution: How Riley suffering a knee infection morphed to Riley dying.
  • Mistaken for Dying: Riley by the time the miscommunication and subsequent rumor completely gets out of control.
  • Only Sane Man: Ryan is the only one who does not get involved in the rumor and actually points out the folly of the others.
  • Serial Escalation: By the time the rumor is finally dispelled, what had been in actuality a knee scrape suffered by Riley had mutated; first to a kidney problem to needing to have said kidney removed to needing a kidney transplant to the band members sans Ryan thinking Riley was dying.
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