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Recap / Milo Murphy's Law Season 1, Episode 21: The Little Engine That Couldn't

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When Melissa’s dad drives her and Milo into town on a decommissioned old fire engine, chaos ensues.


  • Absentee Actor: First episode Zack's not in.
  • Anachronism Stew: While describing the old fire engine, Milo shows the engine's radio and points out radios hadn't been invented by the time the engine was.
  • Brick Joke: When Milo radios for help, the operator starts playing the proper background music. At the end of the episode, Mr. Chase has an epiphany and Milo gives the operator the all clear. The sad music stops.
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  • Call-Back: Remember the T-Rex that Phineas and Ferb brought back from their dinosaur adventure? It's become a very popular museum attraction.
  • Character Witness: Dakota points out that Milo just saved a bunch of kittens. Cavendish doesn't notice.
  • The Ghost: A yell is heard from an unseen person getting struck by parts that break off the fire engine, then Milo calls out, "Sorry, Eliot! " continuing Eliot's status as the show's regular Butt-Monkey, along with Dakota and Cavendish.
  • Left the Background Music On: When Milo radios for help, the operator on the other end starts playing ragtime music with appropriate sound effects. He only stops at the end when Milo gives him the all clear.
  • Literary Allusion Title: Named after The Little Engine That Could.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Apparently, firemen once had to save Milo's grandfather after he swallowed a bunch of balloons.
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    • Last summer Milo apparently saw/created/rode/etc. a wave of fire. Somehow.
  • Not So Different: Milo and Mr. Chase are the only people who find fire engines interesting (Milo to a ridiculous extent). The episode also ends with Mr. Chase realizing that living with Murphy's Law is basically like doing his job 24/7.
  • Save the Villain: Well, not villains per se, but Milo saves Cavendish and Dakota (apparently without getting the former's animosity toward him).
  • Skewed Priorities: No matter what's going on around them, a man wants his daughter to eat her veggies.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: A trifecta: Mr. Chase explains that, it was believed if they go faster then 35 miles per hour, their lungs will collapse. When Milo radios for help, the operator is also afraid their lungs will collapse. After they temporarily stop at a diner, Melissa says her lungs had collapsed.
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  • Uncatty Resemblance: Dakota notes that one of the cats they run into looks remarkably like Cavendish. The cat also mocks Cavendish when he denies the resemblance.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Milo saved Cavendish and Dakota's lives, but Cavendish refuses to believe Milo is a good guy, even when Milo also saved a bunch of cats as well, thinking it's all an act.
  • Watch the Paint Job: The firetruck barrels through the agents' tandem bike with the pistachio delivery. It's barely bikeable, because Cavendish stubbornly catches up to Milo.


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