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Recap / Littlest Pet Shop 2012 S 3 E 22 Proud As A Peacock

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"The entire city's been talking about this guy's big plumage presentation! It's all over the news, billboards, skywriting..."

Written by FM DeMarco

With Blythe lying on the armchair in the day camp studying algebra, Pepper walks on by, rummages through her chest of comedy props, and when trying to tell a joke, pulls out the wrong one, leaving everybody confused. Blythe advises Pepper to keep her chest organized as Pepper slams the bicycle horn she pulled out in frustration. At that moment, Mrs. Twombly steps into the room to introduce Blythe and the pets to the day's guest, a peacock named Basil who will showcase himself at Downtown City Botanical Gardens. The other pets instantly get nervous, with Russell and Zoe thinking Basil will be a big-shot egotist, whereas Vinnie sees Basil as a hostile robot who relentlessly chases him down with his laser. Blythe attempts to get him out of hiding, but Vinnie just runs away again when Basil appears at the door.


As Basil walks into the room, he hits himself with the pet door and causes himself to fall to the ground. Putting his thick eyeglasses back on, he immediately asks if the building has been inspected for mold, to which Minka asks in disbelief if it's actually him. Basil confirms his identity and then asks about a breeze coming in through the window, which makes Minka even more confused. As Basil rubs his wings with hand sanitizer and talks about germs with Russell, Blythe interrupts Russell to assure Basil that the pets will make sure he feels welcome, then heads up via the dumbwaiter to study algebra with Youngmee.

As Blythe reaches her room, she finds Youngmee excitedly waiting for her there. Blythe asks Youngmee if she's ready to study, but Youngmee would rather discuss how to help the world with Blythe's ability to talk to animals despite Blythe's insistence otherwise.


In the day camp, the other pets marvel at how Basil has sorted all of the small objects in the day camp into their own compartments within another chest, with Russell walking over to take a look. With Russell and Sunil giving him their compliments, Basil tells them he wants to start a business organizing closets and that it's his passion. Penny Ling segues the conversation to Basil's upcoming performance, which gives him a panic attack and causes him to itch all over and demand antihistamines. Sunil figures that thinking about going onstage gives him hives, so Minka tests it out, confirms Sunil's assertion, and leaves, annoying Sunil. As Basil recovers, he explains that he's incredibly worried about having to display his plumage as he has never been able to lift his train the way other peacocks can. Pepper tries to get him to calm down by saying that it's not nearly as hard as he might think and that people have kept quiet, but Vinnie rolls in the TV and presents to Basil his marketing and how much hype he's accumulated. By the time Pepper yells at him to shut him up, Basil has retreated inside one of the benches, hyperventilating, and exclaims that he's never coming out.

Back in Blythe's room, Youngmee suggests to Blythe to launch a program called Barks on Tape, which would help explain canine sounds to laypeople. Youngmee then goes into a fantasy sequence where she and Blythe host an infomercial pitching Barks on Tape as audio CD sets. In response, Blythe tells Youngmee that her idea is good but that there would be problems manufacturing that many discs, that each type of pet would need its own content, and that CDs have fallen out of popular use. With Youngmee convinced Barks on Tape was a bad idea, Blythe attempts to get back to studying algebra, but Youngmee stops Blythe and says Barks on Tape was only her first idea.

Worried that Basil will stay holed up for the rest of his life, Pepper decides that the pets must find a way to get him out and ready to perform. Although she doesn't have any ideas in particular, she figures that no one can be so hopeless as to be beyond help and that she'd be qualified to try to work up some courage as she's performed for audiences before. Upon that, however, Basil notices a spider in his hiding spot and starts panicking.

Youngmee pitches her next idea to Blythe: Animal-assisted weather forecasting, playing on urban legends of animals being able to sense weather patterns better than humans. To that end, she then imagines Blythe as a weather reporter getting tips from various animals about meterorological events present and future, where a bird tells Blythe of snow the following day and Sunil warns Blythe of an oncoming storm. Again, Blythe tells Youngmee that it's a good idea but that such an undertaking would be too expensive. Youngmee realizes Blythe is right, but when Blythe suggests, once again, to start studying, Youngmee yanks the textbook from Blythe's hands and readies for her next idea.

Penny's attempt to coerce Basil to come out with a bottle of mentholated ointment fails with Basil staying quiet, so Zoe pulls out a throat lozenge claiming that peacocks love them. Zoe turns out to be right, with Basil instantly appearing in front of her. Pepper takes this opportunity to shut the compartment and guard it from him, then tells him that the maladies that appear when thinking about performing are all psychosomatic. She then turns to the other pets for help, and while initially reluctant, Zoe is the first one up. Zoe asks for a demonstration of how Basil struts, and when he tries walking down a red carpet, he trips on a squeaky toy and stumbles, making a mess of himself and wrapping himself in yarn. Zoe tries taking off his glasses, with Pepper creating a scent trail for Basil to follow. Basil soon finds out he's allergic to Pepper's scent and sneezes, causing him to stumble and crash into furniture, again tying himself to some yarn. With Pepper back to the drawing board and Vinnie packing and screaming, the two find the other pets having caught Basil trying to get back in the bench compartment and attempting to pull him back out.

Having talked Blythe into hearing her out again, Youngmee provides her third pitch: Finding animal witnesses for crimes that would have otherwise had no witnesses. Youngmee then imagines herself and Blythe as investigators, with Blythe finding a snail who saw an incident, hearing what it has to say, and deducing what happened. This time, Blythe believes it's a good idea, and an excited Youngmee scrambles back home to build upon her plan.

Without much time left, Pepper engages Basil in more rigorous training. Although slow, Basil is gradually able to lift up more and more of his train until he can do so for every feather, but in doing so, he also kicks up dust, causing him to sneeze and injure himself offscreen. With Pepper ready to give up, Blythe heads down the dumbwaiter to see how Pepper's been doing. Pepper admits that she's utterly failed to instill confidence in Basil but shows Blythe her newly organized prop chest. Looking at the prop chest, Blythe suggests to Pepper to provide him an object that will help overcome his mental blocks, but soon receives a text from Youngmee with a list of local unsolved crimes and has to leave. Taking Blythe's words to heart, she searches the day camp for something and finds a polka-dotted bow tie underneath the armchair's cushion. Grabbing it, she calls Basil over and tells him of an object that's endowed its owners of amazing skill and talent. Although initially skeptical once he sees it's a bow tie, he still displays great interest in it with Pepper listing a series of celebrity pets who have achieved fame with it, including pulling out a photograph of Old Bananas wearing the bow tie. Basil, being a fan of Old Bananas during his younger years, is convinced that the bow tie works and enthusiastically wears it around his neck.

At Downtown City Botanical Gardens, a large crowd of people have gathered to watch Basil. Backstage, Basil tells the other pets how much confidence he has and that nothing can stop him, and he emerges to the crowd's cheering and hollering. As he walks to the center, however, the bow tie gets snagged to a potted rose bush, untying itself, unbeknownst to Basil until it comes time for him to adjust it, only to realize it isn't there. Without the bow tie, he starts breaking out in hives, so Pepper releases a sweet smell Basil's way to bring him over to the rose bush where she's hiding. There, she tells Basil that the bow tie had no magic powers and that it fell off him some time before he noticed. She then tells him to tap into that confidence organizing things, gives his glasses back, and sets him back. Thinking about what had happened, he walks back, and this time, he effortlessly raises his plumage for the crowd and for audiences watching on TV.

With Basil's performance a success, Blythe gets back to studying. Youngmee bursts into her room wearing a trenchcoat and says that it's necessary to solve cold cases. Blythe, however, says that she likes the idea, and appreciates Youngmee's effort in finding ways to help people, but would rather make the most of her youth when she still has it. Youngmee considers that a good idea and asks Blythe if she'd like to study algebra with her. As Youngmee takes the panda hat in Blythe's room and puts it on her head, Blythe is reminded of Kora's suggestion to think of pets while designing for people and gets the idea of a "Pet Fest," an event designed to strengthen the bond of people and their pets, though Blythe decides it should at least wait until they're done studying. Nevertheless, Youngmee pulls out and gives to Blythe another list of unsolved crimes, which they both get a laugh out of—except that an awfully concerned snail is peering into the room.

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

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The "Perfect Plumage Presentation." This phrase, or parts of it, are spoken by Pepper, Vinnie, Basil, and Zoe at different times through the episode.
  • Animal Gender-Bender: Zoe imagines Basil with eyelashes and purple feathers, with an overall feminine body shape, though she has a large train to show off.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": During the informercial for Barks on Tape, Youngmee unconvincingly fakes astonishment at Blythe.
  • Bat Deduction: Zoe figures that holding up a throat lozenge will cause Basil to come out of hiding, after the other pets have tried and failed. Zoe is absolutely correct.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Basil must rely on his other senses to navigate when not wearing his glasses. Zoe makes him walk around without them anyway in Act 2 to disastrous results even with Pepper leading a scent trail.
  • Breath Weapon: Robo-Basil can shoot lasers from his mouth.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Blythe's Algebra book has a big "A" taking up most of the cover.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: When hiding in a pitch dark place, Basil's eyes are not only visible, but his glasses too.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Basil, despite his frail demeanor, can apparently carry a full-size dehumidifier with no effort whatsoever. It also takes the combined strength of Russell, Sunil, Penny, Zoe, and Minka pulling on his train to keep him from climbing back into the bench compartment.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Pepper's messy prop chest, which is featured in the first scene of the episode and becomes important in Act 3.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Robo-Basil's laser disintegrates a hole into Vinnie's coiffure.
  • Collective Groan: When Pepper tells the other pets they're going to help Basil get some confidence.
  • Cool Shades: On Basil, for all of 4 seconds. The clip-on shades fly right off when he trips, and he never wears them again.
    • Blythe and Youngmee wear sunglasses in Act 3's fantasy sequence.
  • Continuity Nod: Blythe's panda hat she made for Sue in "Why Can't We Be Friends?" is hung on one of Blythe's bedposts. Not explained is why it's back in Blythe's room.
    • Also from "Why Can't We Be Friends?" is a cameo of Weber.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Zoe's rather random plan of getting Basil out of hiding with a throat lozenge works. Apparently, peacocks universally love them.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: Except with a horrified snail peeking into the room.
  • Expy: Basil seems to be a peacock version of Woody Allen, or at least the personality he frequently plays.
  • Eyedscreen: Right before Basil raises his first plumage feather.
  • Fainting: Clarissa faints when Basil is about to appear onstage.
  • Frames of Reference: The shy, meek Basil has rounded trapezoid frames on his glasses.
  • Furry Reminder: When Zoe looks at herself in the mirror in the Cold Open, her tail is wagging.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Zoe takes Basil's glasses off as her first pointer to strutting. It causes Basil to become even more clumsy than normal.
  • Hammerspace: Basil keeps a room dehumidifier with him. It is unknown where he pulled it out from.
  • Hypochondriac: Basil, possibly even more so than Madison. Like Madison, he carries a bottle of hand sanitizer at all times.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Basil's hand sanitizer splashes all over the screen in Act 1.
    • Later into Act 1, algebraic equations fly across the screen (all of which are correct).
    • The yarn ball Basil traps himself in rolls across in Act 2.
  • Imagine Spot: Zoe imagines Basil as self-centered (but female and with a train), and Vinnie imagines Basil correctly as male but as a robot.
    • From Act 2 and onwards, Youngmee goes into a series of them, imagining how Blythe might be able to help the world at large.
  • Infomercial: Youngmee imagines herself and Blythe hosting an infomercial for Barks on Tape.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Minka tests Basil's nervousness by saying "televised debut" over and over and watching him swell up further each time. It is either this trope or her feeling slighted over Basil being less than impressive, however. Sunil is visibly annoyed at Minka's callousness.
    • Twice later, Vinnie says some not-so-encouraging things to Basil simply trying to point out the facts. Pepper has to stop him both times.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Basil's name rhymes with "dazzle," not "hazel," and he is pretty insistent about it. Mrs. Twombly pronounces his name wrong in the Cold Open.
  • Just for Pun: The entire SCI sequence led up to one:
    Blythe: That's right. I snailed it.
  • Killer Robot: The robotic Basil in Vinnie's fantasy.
  • The Klutz: Basil's clumsiness becomes well-established when he attempts to dramatically walk through the pet door, then gets hit by the door swinging back. Basil trips again attempting to strut in Act 2.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: When Basil sneezes during Pepper's training, causing him to crash offscreen.
  • Literal-Minded: When Pepper tells Basil that his allergies are in his head, Basil takes it to mean that the symptoms all manifest from his head, which they do.
  • Magic Feather: The bow tie.
  • Matrix Raining Code: Goes into overdrive when Robo-Basil identifies Vinnie.
  • Narcissist: What Russell and Zoe initially believe Basil is like until they meet him.
  • Nerd Glasses: On Basil.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Basil is capable of this when someone presents a throat lozenge.
  • Open the Iris: Seen to some extent with Basil when he hears about Pepper's good luck charm, though partially obscured due to his glasses.
  • Overly Nervous Flop Sweat: Basil is prone to this.
  • Performance Anxiety: Basil takes it to new levels, breaking out in hives even thinking about going onstage. His apprehensiveness is so bad, the normally-apprehensive Sunil is worried about him.
  • Robo Cam: Robo-Basil's POV shot indicates he has binary readings on the left and right with everything tinted green until he identifies Vinnie, upon which everything turns red and there is a revolving CGI head of a scared Vinnie.
  • Running Gag: Basil keeps getting entangled in yarn that appears out of nowhere. Zoe always points it out.
  • Shout-Out: The title is based on NBC's slogan, "We're proud as a peacock," after switching to color broadcasting.
    • Russell, upon seeing the organized chest, says, "A place for everything and everything in its place," a quote commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin.
    • Pepper spitting each time she says a word that starts with the letter P may be based on Sylvester the Cat's Verbal Tic.
    • Blythe's graphic card she uses for a Catnado resembles the movie poster for Sharknado.
    • "You're the One" seems to be based on "Eye of the Tiger."
    • SCI is already established as a parody of CSI. But this episode takes it even further, with Blythe making an crime themed Pun which was made infamous with the first CSI Spinoff, CSI: Miami.
  • Shrinking Violet: Basil. Not good because he's a peacock.
  • Sickly Neurotic Geek: Basil. Again, not good because he's a peacock.
  • Stylistic Suck: The demonstration for Barks on Tape has a number of video distortions common to worn magnetic tape, not to meniton the Bad "Bad Acting" (see above).
  • Sunglasses at Night: Blythe and Youngmee as investigators, except when Blythe is hearing out the snail's story.
  • Super OCD: A trait Basil shares with Russell. They briefly connect particularly well when Russell sees how Basil has sorted everything in the chest.
  • Terrified of Germs: Basil introduces himself asking about things that could make him sick, and he carries a bottle of hand sanitizer on him at all times.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Blythe groans when she finds out Youngmee has at least three pitches for Blythe.
  • Training Montage: In Act 3, where Pepper works Basil hard to get him to fully lift his train.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The A-story is about giving Basil confidence; the B-story is Youngmee thinking about how Blythe can put her animal-hearing skills to good use.
  • Understatement: Basil says he gets a "little" nervous when thinking about performing.
    Zoe: A "little"?
  • Visual Pun: During Youngmee's fantasy about weather reporting, Blythe says that "a little bird told" her something. She means it literally. When Sunil's report comes in, it is literally raining cats and dogs.
  • What Are Records?: Blythe points out to Youngmee that discs have fallen out of popular use.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: No explanation was given as to why Sue has returned her hat back to Blythe.
  • Wheel o' Feet: When Vinnie panics and runs away fearing Robo-Basil. Happens again when Basil reaches the door of the day camp.


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