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Recap / Littlest Pet Shop 2012 S 4 E 2 Pitch Purrfect

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Written by David Shayne
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Blythe, having obtained Betty's journal from Speedy Shellberg, is reading it in the day camp, too absorbed in it to notice that Zoe wants to talk to Blythe about her upcoming audition for the Pitch Purrfect tryouts or that Penny is causing a mess with paint with Minka and Pepper. To that end, Russell voices his concerns about Blythe not supervising the pets as she's supposed to do, though he is interrupted mid-way seeing Vinnie frantically rolling Sunil, trapped in a hamster ball. Still failing to get Blythe's attention, Russell climbs onto Blythe's head and addresses Blythe from there. He finally gets her attention, but she proves to have been completely unaware of the pets' antics or that Russell had been trying to address Blythe for a while. Noticing that, Russell tells Blythe that, although he understands it contains information very relevant to Blythe, Russell feels she's become obsessed with the book. Blythe feels insulted in what Russell said and that he distracted her from reading it, so she excuses herself to continue reading the journal. Russell takes offense that he has been accused of not knowing the meaning of "obsessed," so he heads over to the store area to use Mrs. Twombly's dictionary in her office. As he looks up, however, Russell notices that all of Mrs. Twombly's doorknobs are gone, freaking out so much he falls off the table.

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Zoe heads out into an alleyway full of singing cats and meets Delilah, a cat Zoe had previously met at the Pet Fashion Expo, who is holding an audition for a spot in Pitch Purrfect, her team for the upcoming Alley Cappella singing competition. Around her are large quantities of cats, all of them also singing, but Zoe notices one conspicuously missing individual: Though Delilah's other singing partners Milah and Chilah are still around, Twila is not present. When Zoe asks Delilah, she explains that Twila is on maternity leave and is why the auditions are happening in the first place—they desperately need a soprano voice, or they will certainly lose the competition. With those introductions done, Delilah immediately proceeds with the tryouts.

Russell wakes up on the floor, with Blythe and most of the other pets staring down at him. When Blythe asks why Russell was lying on the floor, he instantly screams that Mrs. Twombly's doorknob collection has been stolen, pointing to the empty wall nearby. The others look up and also notice the missing doorknobs. Flabbergasted is Blythe, who wonders who would even want Mrs. Twombly's doorknob collection. Mrs. Twombly appears from the adjacent room, however, and wonders what Blythe is concerned about and who she's talking to. Needing a quick lie, Blythe suggests Mrs. Twombly go take a nap because Blythe is concerned about her looking tired. However, Mrs. Twombly says that she's far too excited to sleep because she's out to go get a surprise. Blythe, confused, asks what's going on, to which Mrs. Twombly asks if Blythe knows what the word "surprise" means. This fills Mrs. Twombly with the urge to look it up in the dictionary in her office, but Blythe recites the definition verbatim, calming Mrs. Twombly down and getting her out of Littlest Pet Shop for an hour to go obtain something.

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The Littlest Pet Shop regulars regroup, with Blythe telling them that together, they need to find the doorknobs before Mrs. Twombly gets back. Vinnie is worried that they'll fail because they've never had to look for her doorknobs before, but Russell, ever ready with a plan, cordons off the front area with police tape while dressed as an FBI agent. He tasks Blythe with dusting, then hands Sunil, Vinnie, and Penny Ling a tablet and tells them to search online to see if the thief is attempting to sell it. Russell brings up the possibility of the thief disposing of the doorknobs and assigns Pepper to the dumpsters. This leaves Minka, who forcibly becomes Russell's assistant, then aggressively orders everyone else to get to work, causing everyone to run around in panic. This greatly pleases Russell, who accepts Minka as his assistant.

In the alleyway, Fluffy sings on the dumpster for Delilah the way a cat would typically sing but gets so into it that she walks off the dumpster and into a puddle. Delilah is not pleased and requests the next potential singer come up. That next one is Zoe, who tells everyone she has never lost an audition she applied for, then goes into a fantasy sequence about how she'll be the face of the band as she sings her piece. Delilah, Mila, and Chilah are thoroughly impressed, but because the substitute role must be filled by a cat, they settle on Fluffy. When Zoe asks why she was even invited in the first place, Delilah answers that she forgot Zoe is not a cat.

It has been a little bit under half an hour since Mrs. Twombly departed the building, and Russell checks up on the group assigned to scour the Internet. They haven't turned up anything because the three of them are unable to agree on which search engine to start with. Russell, livid, tells them to pick one and stick with it with Minka equally incensed (or pretending to be). As soon as the two of them leave, however, and Sunil finds a link to a site showing old pet food commercials. This also catches Vinnie and Penny's interest, and they wind up looking at those instead of looking for leads. A strange smell then wafts into the room, and Pepper comes in carrying two big bags of trash. Russell thinks she's found the doorknobs, but Pepper is just there to tell Russell that the Littlest Pet Shop is good at separating recyclables from trash. She sees Russell's unimpressed look on his face and goes back to the dumpsters to continue searching. Russell goes over to Blythe, who has gone back to reading Betty's journal while remarking on her fashionable rebelliousness. Russell hands Blythe her fingerprints back to her, and Blythe gets back to work dusting the office.

As the three pets continue watching old pet food commercials, they stumble across one for Hearty Time. When it finishes, Penny wonders if that's Zoe in the commercial, and as Sunil lowers the tablet, they see a depressed Zoe confirming that it is indeed her. She laments about how she can no longer win auditions, and the three on the couch, especially Sunil, are aghast that Zoe was turned down. Zoe complains in the corner about how she was the best singer but that Delilah rejected her for being a dog. Sunil perks up upon hearing Delilah's name and starts thinking fondly of her but is snapped out of it via a slap from Penny. When Zoe talks about how she really wanted to compete in the Alley Cappella championship, Penny accidentally gives Zoe the idea to start her own singing group.

Russell spends his time creating a diagram of possible leads using cut-outs, pushpins, and strings, conspiracy-style. His diagram demonstrates that the most likely thief is himself. Minka, always ready, slaps a pair of handcuffs onto Russell and drags him away. Russell soon convinces Minka that he couldn't have stolen the doorknobs though, so Minka sets him free. Russell heads back to his diagram, frustrated that he cannot deduce anything himself.

Near the Blythe Style rack at the front of the store, Zoe gathers Sunil, Vinnie, and Penny, giving them berets similar to her own and calling the quartet There's Note Stopping Us Meow. Penny and Sunil love the name, but Vinnie doesn't understand it.

Blythe gets pulled back into the journal, not noticing Russell and Minka have entered the office. Russell, once again, has to pull Blythe's attention out of the journal and onto him. Blythe assures Russell that they still have plenty of time, but Russell tells her that they don't and that the hour is almost up. Hence, Russell will now handle Blythe's part of the investigation, and Blythe will now have to stall Mrs. Twombly and prevent her from entering her office until Russell can determine what happened. Blythe rushes over to the front, with Russell warning her not to get distracted again.

When asked what There's Note Stopping Us Meow will sing first, Zoe suggests "Not Every Star Is in the Sky," but Vinnie would rather sing "Old McDonald," Sunil wants to sing "Frere Jacques," and Penny requests to sing "Jingle Bells." Zoe, angered by the noise, tells them that the rules are that they cannot sing the same song as another entry and that they cannot sing kids' songs, which shuts them up. Blythe runs by, determined to stop Mrs. Twombly, when she sees the four of them and asks why they're all wearing Zoe's berets. Penny responds that they're going to try to compete in the Alley Cappella championship as their own entry. Before Blythe can inquire further, Russell yells at Blythe to go stall Mrs. Twombly, so Blythe runs outside to the bus stop. She then opens her journal and continues reading.

At a stage made of badly-crafted wooden boards and a curtain made of rags in a different alley, the Alley Cappella championship is about to begin, with the announcer mentions Pitch Purrfect as the reigning champions. Backstage, Delilah sees Zoe and asks how she's been doing; Zoe tells Delilah that she founded a singing group, There's Note Stopping Us Meow, to give Delilah some competition. It is Pitch Purrfect's turn to come up, however, so they take the stage and sing "Not Every Star Is in the Sky" to roaring applause. Zoe becomes outraged, with Vinnie, Sunil, and Penny pointing out that they effectively stole Zoe's song. Penny asks if they can sing the same song but better, but Zoe says they shouldn't. As Pitch Purrfect returns backstage, Zoe accuses Delilah of stealing Zoe's song. Delilah tells Zoe that Mila obtained permission, but Mila points to Chilah, while Chilah points to Fluffy. The other cats back away, but Delilah says to Zoe that there's no changing what's already happened. When the announcer calls for There's Note Stopping Us Meow, Zoe makes the decision to drop out of the competition, at a loss for what to do. At that moment, Vinnie's stomach growls and he starts talking about what to eat. This gives Sunil an idea.

At the bus stop, Blythe continues to read Betty's journal. The bus comes by, picks up the old man at the stop, and drops Mrs. Twombly off. It takes Blythe a moment, but she remembers to try to stall her. At the Littlest Pet Shop, Russell actually finds a fingerprint on one of the glass vases, and he calls for Minka to bring the tablet back so he can compare fingerprints using an app.

The spotlight turns on in the middle of the stage, and Vinnie walks out, followed by Sunil and Penny. They start singing backup as Zoe lowers herself down on a pet-bowl-shaped platform, singing an a cappella version of the Hearty Time Pet Food Jingle. This rendition captivates the audience and the judges alike, though Delilah considers it "bonkers."

Mrs. Twombly heads back to the Littlest Pet Shop, with Blythe trailing behind, completely unable to stop her. Blythe is unable to find a reason for Mrs. Twombly to not go into her office, but Russell, Minka, and Pepper beckon Blythe to come over. With Mrs. Twombly heading over to her office, Russell shows Blythe that the thief is actually Mrs. Twombly herself. Mrs. Twombly notices Blythe being confused regarding the doorknobs, so Mrs. Twombly offers an explanation: She had sold her doorknob collection for a fortune, which she then spent to buy the property needed to open Littlest Pet Street, an outdoor mall dedicated to pet products.

Later, Blythe sits on the armchair with Russell, Pepper, and Minka, apologizing for getting far too caught up in Betty's journal and that she doesn't need to rush through it. Vinnie, Sunil, and Penny then enter the day camp through the hamster tubes, proclaiming that There's Note Stopping Us Meow has dethroned Pitch Purrfect as the Alley Cappella champions. Zoe decides to celebrate by eating from her personal stash of Hearty Time pet food that she's kept for many years—while most of the others in the room find it smelly and gross, Vinnie loves the way it tastes like old tires.

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

  • A Cappella: The basis of the Alley Cappella championships.
  • Ahem: Russell uses one while standing on Blythe's forehead to get her attention.
    • He uses another one to Blythe in Act 2 to remind her to get back to work.
  • As You Know: Russell tells Blythe about how Speedy gave her a journal written by her mother. Blythe should know all about that; the real purpose of that line is to get viewers who haven't seen "The Tortoise and the Heir" up to speed.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Vinnie, Sunil, and Penny Ling become quickly distracted by random links instead of zeroing in on any potential leads looking for the doorknobs. It turns out to be exactly what they need to help Zoe gain her dignity back.
  • Bishie Sparkle: On Zoe as she sings the Hearty Time Pet Food Jingle in Act 3.
  • Bland-Name Product: Yeehaw! in place of Yahoo!
    • Lithium Seek is a bit less obvious, but Penny Ling's mention of the pretty colors means it's most likely their counterpart to Google.
  • Blatant Lies: Blythe says Mrs. Twombly looks tired and needs a nap to try to buy time to figure out what happened to her doorknobs.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Zoe borrows Blythe's "What the what?"
  • Broken Win/Loss Streak: Zoe's audition for Pitch Purrfect is the first audition she's lost. She was the best singer Delilah heard, but Zoe is not eligible due to being a dog.
  • Call-Back: The episode picks up directly from the previous one, with Blythe reading Betty's journal. The journal would become a major component of this episode's B-story.
    • Mrs. Twombly's doorknob collection was first seen in "Mean Isn't Your Color." It has since been a recurring part of the series, most notably in "Door-Jammed."
    • Mrs. Twombly was shown to willingly sacrifice a doorknob in her collection in "The Expo Factor, Part 2" to help Blythe. This indicates her interest in her collection has waned since "Door-Jammed" (where she would go to any length to get a doorknob and selfishly hoarded them to herself) and culminates in this episode, where she sells it off completely.
    • Zoe introduces herself as having not lost an audition ever since her first one, for a pet food commercial. She tells a story of romance as an actress for pet food commercials in "So Interesting." This episode fills in the holes by showing how Zoe got started.
  • Cat Concerto: The auditions for Pitch Purrfect give off this vibe, as it consists of a lot of cats singing in a trash-filled alley surrounded by wooden fences.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Hearty Time Pet Food commercial.
  • Continuity Nod: Zoe's mention of "hamster habi-tubes" in a Cockney accent refers to Dodger and Twist's underground network of such tubes from "Hamster Hoods."
  • Cool Shades: Seen briefly on Zoe and the cats during "Not Every Star Is in the Sky."
  • Delayed Reaction: In Act 3, due to Blythe forgetting what she's supposed to do because she's so distracted reading the journal.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Penny takes a big liking to Zoe's band name and explains the puns immediately. Even then, Vinnie still doesn't understand it.
  • Dope Slap: Sunil to Vinnie. Normally, Pepper has to do it. Sunil then goes crazy himself and needs a slap from Penny.
  • Eureka Moment: After Penny says that it's too bad Zoe doesn't have her own a cappella group, Zoe decides to make one herself.
    • Vinnie complaining that he's hungry when backstage in Act 3 gives Sunil the idea to sing the Hearty Time Pet Food Jingle.
  • Eye Am Watching You: Minka shoots one to the Internet search trio in Act 2.
  • Fainting: Russell faints upon seeing the missing doorknobs.
  • Fantastic Racism: Delilah rejects Zoe purely on the grounds that she's a dog.
  • Freak Out!: What Blythe and the other pets expect Mrs. Twombly to do upon seeing the blank wall where her doorknob collection used to be. It turns out Mrs. Twombly removed the doorknobs and sold them herself.
  • Funny Background Event: On Russell's conspiracy board, one of the pushpins is way up in a corner and isn't even connected to any clipping or photograph.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Russell immediately and impulsively hires Minka as his assistant.
  • Hammerspace: Lampshaded. Penny and Pepper wonder how Russell was able to conjure his agent clothes and police tape from out of nowhere.
  • Heart Symbol: Emanating out of Sunil when he finally meets with Delilah again in Act 2.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Fluffy's singing. Then again, she is a cat. She is accepted anyway.
    • Later on, Sunil, Vinnie, and Penny decide to each sing their own songs. The result is cacophonous. Zoe teaches them how to sing together in harmony though, and as it seems, even do so with perfect coordination without practice, as was seen during their Alley Cappella performance.
  • Hypocrite: Blythe is unaware that she's become addicted to Betty's journal and refuses to admit it.
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: Betty's journal, of all things. Blythe becomes addicted to it, constantly feels compelled to read it, and suffers withdrawal if taken away from her or rendered unable to read it.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Purple stars in "Not Every Star Is in the Sky."
    • A truck zooms by in Act 2.
    • A fingerprint brush whips up a cloud of talcum powder in Act 3.
  • Imagine Spot: Zoe as an idol star.
  • Innocently Insensitive: A Running Gag is that Vinnie cannot see when the other pets around him are sad. He quickly corrects himself the second time though, and by the third time, he accidentally gives Sunil an idea.
  • Irony: One of the entries Blythe is reading off of Betty's journal is a warning to not ignore porcupines on missions. Except that Russell is a hedgehog, this is exactly what Blythe is doing.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: When Blythe angrily brushes Russell off for interrupting her reading and tells Russell he doesn't know the meaning of the word "obsessed," Russell finds the most insulting part being that he has been accused of not knowing something.
  • It's All About Me: "Not Every Star Is in the Sky" depicts Zoe's fantasy band as Zoe taking center stage with Delilah gladly as a backup singer. Delilah is also absent in the last part of the fantasy, if it's not an error on the animators part, then Zoe might have actually wanted to get rid of Delilah at some point.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Young Zoe.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After rejecting Zoe's audition, then stealing her song, Delilah and Pitch Purrfect end up getting beaten by Zoe and There's Note Stopping Us Meow, ending their winning streak at the Alley Cappella competition (which was stated to be the only reason they were in the country at the time).
  • Love Floats: Sunil hovers over to Delilah using The Power of Love.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Zoe does it at the end of "Not Every Star Is in the Sky."
  • Mr. Exposition: The announcer for Alley Cappella explains how it works and that the current champions are Pitch Purrfect.
  • Nice Hat: Vinnie, Sunil, and Penny get replicas of Zoe's beret as part of There's Note Stopping Us Meow.
  • Odd Name Out: Fluffy is the only member of Pitch Purrfect without a rhyming name.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: Delilah describes Zoe's performance at the audition as the best they've heard from a dog. This should've set off red flags for Zoe, but it didn't due to her ego.
  • P.O.V. Cam: When Russell finally gets Blythe's attention in the cold open. Russell's head takes up most of the screen, giving the effect that Russell has to be really, really close to pry Blythe's mind away from the book.
  • "Psycho" Strings: When Russell notices the missing doorknobs.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: On Zoe after being rejected at the audition.
  • Revenge: Zoe founds There's Note Stopping Us Meow solely for revenge against Delilah.
  • Running Gag: Characters keep wanting to look up common words in the dictionary in Mrs. Twombly's office.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: The Alley Cappella judge in the middle is a three-toed sloth. If not for the Madagascar franchise, the judge on the left, as a ring-tailed lemur, would be one too.
  • Shout-Out: This episode's title is based on that of the movie Pitch Perfect. See Whole Plot Reference below.
    • Blythe's recitation of the definition of "surprise" is taken word for word out of the New Oxford English Dictionary.
    • The lowering of a tablet to reveal a big creepy face staring back may be a quick reference to Five Nights at Freddy's.
  • Spontaneous Choreography: Only minutes, at most, after There's Note Stopping Us Meow is called up on stage, they are able to create and flawlessly perform an a cappella rendition of the Hearty Time Pet Food Jingle.
  • Start My Own: Zoe decides upon this after getting rejected from Pitch Purrfect, forming her own a cappella group, There's Note Stopping Us Meow.
  • Theme Naming: Delilah and her posse all have rhyming names, except for Fluffy of course.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Delilah is rather mean compared to her last appearance. She rejects Zoe in her group and then steals her song.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The A-story is one of the movie Pitch Perfect, particularly in Act 3 and its a cappella singing competition.
  • Wingding Eyes: Sunil's eyes become hearts when he finds out Delilah was in the area.
  • Your Makeup Is Running: Zoe, upon returning to the Littlest Pet Shop after getting rejected at the tryouts.

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