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Recap / Littlest Pet Shop 2012 S 1 E 7 Russell Up Some Fun

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Written by Julie McNally Cahill, Tim Cahill, and Cindy Morrow (as Cindy Banks Morrow)
Teleplay by Cindy Morrow (as Cindy Banks Morrow)
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Russell is sorting squeaky toys between loud ones, quiet ones, and broken ones when he sees Pepper doing a comedy routine with a gag arrow. Horrified that someone could get hurt, Russell jumps onstage, wraps the arrow with a thick layer of bandages, and hands it back to Pepper. Everyone walks away, Russell having ruined Pepper's act.

At Downtown City Park, as Blythe takes Minka and Zoe out for a walk, she bumps into Sue, who's jogging backwards. When they both get up, Sue notices that she's a mess whereas Blythe is still as clean as ever. Blythe invites Sue over so she can clean herself up. After they arrive at Blythe's room and Sue changes into some of Blythe's clothes, Sue is awestruck by Blythe's accomplishments in fashion design and feels humbled by Blythe's intelligence and sense of style. She starts bombarding Blythe with questions about her preferences, but Blythe tunes them out.

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With Russell's neatfreak on overdrive, Vinnie and Sunil take to purposely rearranging everything Russell has neatly organized for the day. Russell eventually finds out it's them, but they've had their fun. Russell goes around the day care room making sure everything else is in order, and when he's done, he asks Penny Ling if he's too serious. Penny recalls how Minka's last birthday party got interrupted because he put out her cake's candles with a fire extinguisher before she could blow it out, concluding that Russell is too serious and that Russell should learn to relax.

The next day at school, Sue continues to wear the clothes Blythe provided and asks if she can wear them for longer. Once Blythe tells her that she can hold on to them for as long as she likes, Sue starts finishing all of Blythe's sentences for her, which causes Blythe to feel nervous. At lunch, Sue follows closely behind Blythe at the cafeteria line and picks up the same food Blythe picks up, constantly telling her that she's perfect (and still finishing Blythe's sentences for her). Blythe attempts to fake Sue out when grabbing beverages but fails. Blythe insists for Sue to be unique, even offering her suggestions, but Sue ignores them. Before long, Sue has changed clothes to be identical to Blythe's, then her hair, and then her school schedule so she can be with Blythe all day.

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The Littlest Pet Shop gets a new arrival: Mary Frances, a pig. Because of Mary Frances's name, all of the other pets assume this visitor to be female, which drives him up the wall. He points out he's male before the situation worsens, however. Russell goes off with Mary Frances to conduct a survey with him. When he finishes, Zoe, Pepper, Vinnie, and Minka have dressed themselves up in flamenco attire to sing and dance around him in an attempt to get Russell to loosen up. This only irritates Russell further.

Blythe returns to The Littlest Pet Shop to see "Fun Russell," who wears an aloha shirt and sunglasses and drinks out of a coconut. He tells her that he wants people to see him in a certain way by wearing a new shirt, which gives Blythe the idea to come to school the next day in a gaudily colorful outfit. Instead of being eye-poppingly clashing, the Biskit Twins take an instant liking to it, and every girl in school now wants one, and Sue comes to class the next day in that attire.

Fun Russell, taking Vinnie and Sunil's lead, proceeds to mess up everything he had neatly sorted out. He sees Pepper juggling some balls and puts her gag arrow back on. He adds bowling pins, an anvil, and a chainsaw, then blasts an air horn in her ear to make her fall. Pepper takes it in stride, however, and as Fun Russell continues to live hedonistically and make a mess of the room, the other pets have a blast, except for Mary Frances, who's spent his time hiding behind a chair. Having had enough, he leaves the day care room with nobody noticing.

Blythe discusses with Youngmee and Jasper her concerns about Sue's behavior. She lets them know that Sue's been trying to imitate Blythe with the impression she's perfect to which Jasper knows but also doesn't have the heart to tell it. Unbeknownst to the three of them, Sue is nearby and overhears Blythe. As Sue goes off to contemplate what she's done, Blythe sees a poster showing off varsity tryouts for the long jump and gets an idea.

Back at the pet shop, all of the pets except Fun Russell have noticed Mary Frances is missing. Fun Russell initially doesn't take it in, then thinks that it's a trick to get Fun Russell to go back to the way he was before so they can make fun of him. Sunil figures this means they'll have to look for Mary Frances without Russell's help. Their search ends in a flop, however, as no one is able to find Mary Frances. After seeing their failure and Penny cry, Fun Russell hangs up his Viking helmet and helps the other pets find Mary Frances. Russell, back to normal, retrieves his clipboard from the survey to figure out where Mary Frances would be most comfortable and splits the pets up to those locations.

At the tryouts, Sue tells Blythe that she overheard the conversation and realized it's best to do what she wants to do and not to imitate Blythe all the time. Blythe, who intended to show how imperfect she is through the tryouts, no longer has a reason to be there and attempts to quit, but the coach refuses. Blythe gives it a shot anyway and, right before she reaches the sand, trips over her shoelaces and falls flat on her face, but Blythe gets back up unhurt. Sue, on the other hand, pulls a new school record and makes the team. With newfound confidence in herself, Sue gets carried off in pride by the other students.

Back at the pet shop, Russell discovers a trail of food and follows it to a sleeping Mary Frances under a table. Mary Frances is safely reunited with his owner, and while Russell is back to how he used to be, he has loosened enough to be okay with being called Rusty and wearing a gag arrow on his head.

This episode contains examples of (YMMV entries go here):

  • Animal Stereotypes: Inverted. Mary Frances, a pig, is downright frightened at the messy behavior the Littlest Pet Shop regulars have taken to and wants some peace and quiet.
  • Arc Symbol: The bone-shaped pillow on the armchair represents order. Russell repeatedly moves it back to a specific location and position. When he becomes Fun Russell, the pillow has been tilted out of position, and Mary Frances hides behind the armchair it's on. The pillow also shows up rather frequently in the background whenever Fun Russell and the other pets get really out of control.
    • The gag arrows may also represent a carefree attitude. Pepper has one at the beginning of the episode but Russell quickly suppresses it. When he becomes Fun Russell, he returns it to Pepper. By the end of the episode, all of the pets don one including Russell.
  • Berserk Button: Mary Frances does not like being mistaken for a girl. Once addressed as male, however, he calms down immediately.
  • Be Yourself: What Blythe is constantly trying to tell Sue in the B-plot. The accompanying song even has that exact phrase in the title. Ultimately, Sue finds value in herself by discovering she is much better at athletic activities than Blythe.
  • Book-Ends: Blythe's story begins with Blythe falling to the floor and staying clean. It ends with her falling to the floor and becoming a big mess.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes":
    Russell: Are you mocking me?
    Vinnie: No! No, no no no, no, no. (beat) Yes.
  • Call-and-Response Song: "Be Yourself/Just Like You." Lines alternate between Blythe, who's trying to tell Sue to do what she likes to do; and Sue, who sings lines of wanting to be just like Blythe.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The survey.
  • Continuity Nod: Mary Frances's owner previously appeared in Penny's Imagine Spot in "Mean Isn't Your Color."
  • Finish Dialogue in Unison: Sue tries this on Blythe—she can succesfully guess how Blythe will end her sentences, but this only annoys Blythe.
  • Hippie Teacher: One of Blythe and Sue's class is taught by one.
  • I Just Want to Be You: Sue wanting to be as much like Blythe as possible forms the core of the B-story.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Vinnie suggests referring to Russell as "Serioussell." Sunil only starts laughing when Vinnie starts laughing.
    • Mrs. Twombly warns the day care regulars not to hog Mary Frances. She (and only she) gets a kick out of it.
  • Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: Blythe has to put up with Sue trying to look and act as much like Blythe as possible until Sue finds some self-confidence.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Blythe notices the common thread of the A- and B-story being a character trying a new persona.
  • Ocular Gushers: Coming from Penny to try to convince Fun Russell to go back to normal. It works.
  • Off-Model: Fun Russell seems to be drawn a little bit looser than normal Russell. Likely intentional.
  • Played for Laughs: "Be Yourself/Just Like You" is entirely from Blythe's perspective. For someone to try to copy someone else to the extent Sue does (and it does happen) indicates a crushingly, almost suicidally low self-esteem, but Blythe simply expresses increasing annoyance at Sue trying to mimic her.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Upon passing by Fun Russell, Blythe backs up making forklift noises.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Russell describes himself as "intellectually aware," "formidably disciplined," and "instinctively committed."
  • Shout-Out:
    • Sue asks Blythe if she prefers Edward or Jacob.
    • Russell's checking to make sure he checked his checklist properly is likely a reference to the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Lesson Zero," where Twilight Sparkle did the same thing. The episodes have similar premises too.
    • Paralleling another episode of MLP:FIM, Fun Russell has the same justification for refusing to go back to normal as Fluttershy in "Putting Your Hoof Down."
    • Fun Russell runs and laughs like Daffy Duck after blasting an air horn into Pepper's ear. This behavior is also similar to Clown Dexter's run and laugh in the Dexter's Laboratory episode "The Laughing."
    • Fun Russell name-drops Safety Last! in "Fun Being Fun."
  • The Southpaw: Sue is shown writing down notes about Blythe with her left hand.
  • Stealth Pun: Russell finds a book where "Safety" is the first chapter and "Fun" is the second. He interprets this to mean "Safety first, fun second."
  • "Walk on the Wild Side" Episode: This series gets this one over with soon.
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: Mary Frances was given a feminine name because the owners wanted a sow but kept the name anyway upon finding out the truth.
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