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Series / Eerie, Indiana

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Home sweet home.

Eerie, Indiana was a superb nineteen-episode supernatural series that aired on NBC from 1991-92 (in prime time). It ran again on Fox Kids Saturday mornings from 1997-98 as part of their "No Yell Motel" block, which included a lot of scary kids' shows (the live-action adaptation of Goosebumps, reruns of the Australian kids' show Round the Twist, and Steven Spielberg's first animated project from DreamWorks Studios, Toonsylvania). The short-lived series had a mid-season Retool and had an unproduced episode called "The Jolly Rogers". It also spawned a second series, Eerie, Indiana: The Other Dimension, one year after Fox Kids ran out of NBC episodes to show, as well as a series of spin-off novels. The series could be described as Twin Peaks meets The Twilight Zone told from the POV of a snarky 13-year old version of Fox Mulder.


Marshall Teller, a recent transplant from New Jersey whose family has recently moved to the desolate town of Eerie, and Simon Holmes, an Eerie native, investigate the weirdness that inhabited the titular town. It would be easier for them if the town's residents didn't refuse to see themselves as anything but normal. Some of the more bizarre confrontations include such urban legends like Bigfoot and a still-living Elvis Presley.

As of August 2018, the series is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, and one disc collection on DVD is available through Netflix's DVD arm.

Compare Round the Twist, an Australian show with a similar premise, only with more ghosts, gross-out humor, and which is more light-hearted.


This show provides examples of:

  • Adam Westing: The entire cast during "Reality Takes a Holiday" minus Marshall, the actors playing an exaggerated (if not outright deranged) version of their real life selves.
  • Adults Are Useless: Although a lot of the local kids are oblivious and useless too. And sometimes, the adults are in on the plot...
  • Alternate Universe: The Other Dimension, as the title suggests.
  • Anti-Climax: Given the premise of "Reality Takes a Holiday", where Marshall gets a screenplay in the mail and his world devolves into a behind-the-scenes look at the actual show: Marshall re-writes the end of the episode to something more mundane and has to wait on set while the new pages are slowly photocopied by the writer's assistant, then delivered to the cast. When Dash tries to interfere, Marshall complains to the director, who calmly orders Dash to "clear Omri's eye-line". Dash is beaten by the rules of his own game and the script unfolds. Everybody goes to the movies. The End.
  • Art Initiates Life: In the episode "Who's Who," guest character Sara Bob had this power due to a Eerie brand pencil. She first demonstrates this by drawing a picture of main character Marshall's missing bike (for a "lost" poster), but it instead creates a new bike. To escape her terrible home life, she first draws Marshall's mother as her own long lost mom, then drawing a picture of herself with her mother, teleporting to her.
  • A Very Special Episode: "The Broken Record" is a rare, very well done, very profound example that actually realistically depicts parental abuse, its consequences, and to an extent, its causes.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Dash X. Invoked, since he named himself after the symbols on his hands.
  • Bank Toaster: One is stolen by the ghost of Grungy Bill in his first "successful" robbery of of the Eerie Bank so his soul could finally rest in peace.
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre: Mr. Radford's World O' Stuff.
  • Be Careful What You Say: Literally. In "Broken Record", Todd's father accuses a specific rock and roll record for causing his son to act rebellious and states that the record has subliminal messages that makes kids act crazy. When he plays it, he does find out that the record has messages—it's his own voice and abusive words.
  • The Bermuda Triangle: Marshall once discovers that Eerie's town borders create the exact same geometric shape as the Bermuda Triangle.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: One episode had some kind of formula that eventually made ordinary ants grow to enormous size.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: One of them, anyway. It apparently finds human cuisine palatable enough to eat out of the Teller family's trash.
    • Professor Zircon's assistant meets a FEMALE one when he's planting the fake space 'thing'.
  • Bottle Episode: "America's Scariest Home Video" takes place entirely at Marshall's house except for a scene in a car.
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: "The Retainer": Marshall's friend is required to wear one for awhile. It allows him to read the minds of dogs, who are revealed to be plotting the eventual overthrow of the human race.
  • Brotherhood of Funny Hats: The Loyal Order of Corn Lodge.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Pretty much the entire town's attitude toward Eerie's otherness. Lampshaded in "Mr. Chaney" by The Mayor himself:
    "This town — heck, this whole country — has a long... 'tradition'... of looking the other way: the Warren Commission, Watergate, Iran-Contra, the October surprise, Eerie's 'Harvest King'. The people don't want to know about this stuff. Because if they knew about it, they might have to do something about it."
  • Call-Back: In 'Zombies in P.J.'s, Mr. Radford seems to come across some familiar items.
    • In "Reality Takes a Holiday", Radford can be heard singing "Hail To Thee, O Ears of Splender".
  • Cheerful Child: Simon
  • Cinderella Circumstances: Sara Bob in "Who's Who" was a virtual slave in her house of brothers and father. She was the cook, maid, and even forced to mend their clothes despite being about 12-years-old.
  • City of Adventure: Eerie of course, home of the strange and bizarre.
  • Clock Roaches: "The Lost Hour": Marshall sets his clock back an hour despite the town's practice of ignoring daylight saving's time (Indiana did not observe it in 1991), and as a result has to face off against malevolent, trans-dimensional trashmen whose job it is to tear apart reality (in very close similarity to Stephen King's The Langoliers, published one year previously).
  • The Computer Is Your Friend: "The ATM with the Heart of Gold": Simon befriends the inexplicably artificially intelligent automatic Teller machine "Mr. Wilson", who returns his friendship by offering to provide him with "slush fund" money... composed of other people's savings accounts.
  • Crazy Homeless People: Charles Furnell, the smartest man on earth.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Most closing credits do have an aspect of the episode, but a notable one is at the end of "Who's Who" about a family who all have the middle name "Bob", even the daughter Sara Bob. The credits have everyone's middle name as "Bob".
  • Crossover: Charles Furnell from "No Brain, No Pain" appeared on a The Secret World of Alex Mack episode.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Marshall
  • Embarrassing First Name: or is it Embarrassing Middle Name In "Who's Who" Sara Bob is embarrassed by her name. Of course, this was Family Theme Naming as her brothers are Lou Bob, Moe Bob, and Bob Bob while her father is named Dad Bob. She even tries to change her name to Sara Sue.
  • Elvis Lives: ...on Marshall's paper route.
  • Every Episode Ending: Marshall and Simon store an item in the secret evidence locker in Marshall's attic.
  • Everything Fades: "The Losers": the United States federal government has a black budget organization dedicated to "appropriating" the items people forget are sitting around their houses, forcing them to buy new things...and thus keeping the bloated American economy going strong. Easily one of the most believable concepts the show ever aired.
  • Evil Laugh: In the pilot episode, the evil neighborhood woman who has been retaining her youth forever does a rather over the top one (complete with lightning strikes) when Marshall and Simon escape from her house.
  • Face on a Milk Carton: A strange example in "The Lost Hour".
  • Fearsome Critters of American Folklore: One episode of the re-tool revolved around a jackalope.
  • Five-Finger Fillet: Devon does this in classroom in "Heart on a Chain".
  • First Kiss: Actually shown in "Heart on a Chain" with Marshall and new girl Melanie kissing in a graveyard and then Marshall explains How We Got Here for the rest of the episode.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Thanks to a mid-season Retool: Marshall is Mulder Melancholic (minus the depression), Simon is a chipper Sanguine, Radford is as Supine as they get, and Dash is down-right Choleric. Made obvious by the end of Mr. Chaney.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: "Scariest Home Videos": a television remote control is revealed to contain the power to send people into the programs being televised at least, until the batteries run out. This may be one of the first ever of its kind.
  • Free-Range Children: Especially poor Simon
    • Likewise, Sara Bob's family in "Who's Who." Dad's physically present, but Sara Bob has to care for him as well as her hellion brothers.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Whenever there's text big enough to read that goes by too fast, you can bet there's a joke in it. A really fun example is in "Reality Takes a Holiday", when Marshall reads the shooting script for the scene he just walked out on. In the direction, it says Simon sits there, looking "orphanish".
  • Fun with Acronyms: In "The Retainer", the gang goes to the dog pound... owned by the Canine Arrest Team.
  • Happily Married: Marshall's parents.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Dash is a confused guy. His last two episodes confuse things even further.
  • Holiday Episode: "The Lost Hour" focuses on Daylight Savings. Marshall sets his watch forward an hour despite town rules, and things get weird.
  • Human Popsicle: "Foreverware" (pilot episode): the most astoundingly effective tupperware in the history of mankind.
  • Jerkass: Dash X, frequently implied to be a Jerkass Façade. Until he tries to kill Marshall and take over the show.
  • Implausible Hair Color: One guess.
  • Kid Hero: Marshall.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Happens to Sara Bob's family by her when she leaves in "Who's Who". Instead of her being treated like a family servant, she creates a muscular male caretaker who forces them to clean up the house before allowing them to eat.
  • Latex Perfection: Marshall uses a perfect disguise kit, pretending to be an IRS agent to defeat The Donald in "Zombies In P.J.s."
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The opening credit voice-over has the line, "A place so wholesome, so squeaky clean, it could only be found on TV..." However, this might merely be Marshall Telling some future reader of his journals (the viewer) that the place seemed like its veneer was straight out of a sitcom; given the show's nature, both are probably the case.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Sara Bob's family at the end of "Who's Who"; see Laser Guided Karma above.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: "Heart on a Chain" is the only episode in the series that never answers its mystery. A shy, terminally ill girl has a crush on a devil-may-care boy, who dies in a freak accident. A heart transplant from his fresh corpse saves her. She then begins acting increasingly bizarre (with a lot less self-control). It is left completely unclear until the end whether his heart's personality has taken over hers (as the Agent Mulder believes), or whether guilt has made her not herself.
  • Milkman Conspiracy: Milkmen play a subtle but significant role in the series, often appearing in the background or playing an (apparently) unwitting role in the events.
    • In "The Losers," Simon loses sight with the trunk in which Marshall is attempting to Trojan Horse his way into the compound, because his view is obstructed by a milk truck.
    • In "Broken Record," Marshall and Simon's friend tries to escape town to see the "Pit Bull Surfers" by commandeering a milk truck.
    • Bertrand and Ernest appear in a number of different roles after Marshall liberates them in the pilot, including as a milkmen.
    • Likewise, the "serial impersonator" originally posing as Mr Radford appears later impersonating a milkman.
    • And in "Heart on a Chain," the boy whose heart is transplanted into Danielle Harris collides with a milk truck while skateboarding, as the milkman, among others, attends the scene of the accident.
    • While this could just be a motif (the show is about suburban weirdness, after all), in "The Lost Hour," Marshall is rescued from the lost hour by a milkman, who implies that he is, in fact, future Marshall.
  • My Nayme Is: Marshall has disdain for his big sister for spelling her name "S-Y-N-D-I".
  • No Fourth Wall: In the episode "Reality Takes a Holiday" Marshall pulls a television script out of his mailbox, and then suddenly finds himself behind the scenes of the show.
  • No Immortal Inertia: The pilot episode had a woman who uses oversized Tupperware to keep herself and her sons looking that same way they did back in the 1960s (which the mother likes, but the sons don't, because being in seventh grade for all those years is a living hell). When the sons free themselves and their mom from the tupperware, they age 30 years overnight.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Not even in the eyes of most of the "weirdness" in question, which continually sees the rest of the town as the most normal place on Earth.
  • The Nudifier: Sara Bob to one of her brothers in "Who's Who".
  • Number of the Beast: Eerie's official population is 16,661 people.
    • Like that comma actually does anything!
    • 16,661 is also a prime number, and a palindrome— the smallest of what are known as Beastly Primes.
    • A blink-and-you'll-miss-it example: when Simon types in his name as a PIN on the deranged ATM, the last three letters translate as 666 on the keypad.
  • Only Sane Man: Marshall, who seems to be the only person in town who knows Elvis Presley when he sees him.
  • Opening Narration: Marshall on his paper route exposits how Eerie is "the center of weirdness for the entire planet".
  • Out of Order: "Broken Record" was aired as the last episode, but was clearly written and filmed earlier in the season... thus Dash-X is completely absent even though Jason Marsden was still listed in the opening credits. Streaming versions of the show place "Broken Record" as the eighth episode, and accordingly revert to a version of the credits from before Marsden was part of the regular cast.
  • The Place: The series takes place in the town of "Eerie, Indiana".
  • Premiseville: Eerie, Indiana, where the happenings are of an unusual nature.
  • The Quisling: Dash
  • Real After All: "Marshall's Theory of Believability".
  • Real World Episode: The final episode, "Reality Takes A Holiday", has this as its plot. Marshall is sent a script of the episode, and suddenly his home turns into the set of the TV show, with all the actors and actresses who play Marshall's family and friends, and everyone calling Marshall by his actor's name (Omri Katz).
  • Rummage Sale Reject: Janet in "The Lost Hour" dresses this way - her outfit includes mismatched earrings, bright pink sneakers, and what looks to be a womens' suit-jacket accessorized with dozens of pins and brooches. Justified because she's been living in the lost hour for a year with no parental supervision and has literally been rummaging through World O' Stuff for clothes all that time.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Several episodes reference movies, music and television shows, including Twin Peaks.
    • In "Mr. Chaney", Radford, Chaney and Chisel can't wait to get home and catch The Howling on cable. The Howling's director, Joe Dante, served as creative consultant for Eerie, Indiana and frequently directed episodes.
    • In "Heart on a Chain" there's a moment when the camera pans past a spider's web with a fly caught in it. And in the background you can just make out a tiny voice...
  • Shrunk in the Wash: The episode The Incredible Shrinking Stanley, in which Stanley gets splashed with special soap from the Eerie laundry mat and starts shrinking.
  • Soul Fragment: The episode in which an Ill Girl fell in love with a risk-taking skateboarder. When he forgot to Look Both Ways, he died and she got his heart for the transplant she needed. She then proceeded to act like him, skateboarding recklessly and carving graffiti on the desks.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: In one episode a kid's braces give him the ability to talk to dogs.
  • Spin-Off: Eerie Indiana: The Other Dimension which as the title implies takes place in another dimension of the series. By the time they made this the show, it was seven years after the original was canceled so they of course had to recast the characters. The gist of the show was that two new characters in this universe, Mitchell and Stanley, continue documenting the weirdness of their city after an encounter with E.I.'s original characters, Marshall and Simon via a TV set (they reused footage of the old show to make this happen). It lasted fifteen episodes.
  • Subliminal Seduction:
    • "The Broken Record"; subverted when it's revealed that the backwards messages on Todd's favorite rock record are his father's verbal abuse, which is what drove him to be a punk.
    • Simon punching his name in on Mr. Wilson's Dial pad becomes 7-4-6-6-6 which is supposed to be the number of the beast after 74.
  • Sticky Fingers: Again, Dash. In more than one episode, he can be seen at Radford's shoplifting a trench coat's worth.
  • Stupid Crooks: The episode "The Hole in the Head Gang" focuses on the ghost of Grungy Bill, "The Worst Bank Robber East of the Mississippi" ("worst" as in "no good, incompetent"). According to Eerie legend, Bill was arrested twelve times (all for failed attempts to rob the Eerie Bank). When robbing the bank for the 13th time, he forgot to bring his gun, and ended up getting killed by the sheriff's posse at the Eerie Mill, where, rumor has it, Grungy Bill's ghost can be spotted trying to look for his gun. The rumor proves to be true when Marshall and Simon uncover Grungy Bill's gun and his ghost returns to attempt to rob the Eerie Bank for a 14th time. This time, he's able to get away with stealing one of the complimentary toasters the bank was giving away to anyone who opens a new bank account. Grungy Bill determines this to be a successful bank robbery and can finally rest in peace.
  • Super-Sargasso Sea: The Land Of Lost Objects, located in the center of the Earth and run by the US government. Notably, all those "lost" objects are actually stolen objects, to promote consumerism.
  • Tagalong Kid: Simon
    • Lampshaded: "I'm tired of being second banana on this show."
  • Take That!:
    • Several per episode. These include an evil businessman who calls himself "The Donald".
    • Another was an episode revealed that Ronald Reagan was given the brain of MacGyver (quadrupling his IQ) so the republicans could win that election. The same episode had Dash threaten to destroy Simon's brain by saying he'd make him "Vice-Presidential".
  • Tears from a Stone: The end of "Heart on a Chain"
  • The Web Always Existed: Inverted — one of the weird things the main character collected over the course of the series was an old-fashioned radio that only played music from the 1940s.
  • Theme Naming: Marshall Teller and Simon Holmes.
  • Weirdness Censor: Marshall's familly is clueless about the oddities in town. His sister once fainted after seeing a werewolf but rationalized she only saw a huge racoon as she woke up. In another episode, both his parents assist to a Human Alien returning to his planet through a portal but they apparently have no memories of this afteward.
  • Weirdness Magnet: The Trope Codifier for youth-oriented series.
  • Weirdness Search and Rescue: In the episode "The Lost Hour" an old Milkman saves Marshall from The Garbage Men in an empty, alternate dimension of Eerie. The milkman implies that he's an older version of Marshall.
  • We Need to Get Proof: In an effort to back up their claims to any potential future readers, Marshall and Simon make it a point to take, and tag, at least one item involved in each respective adventure, and lock it away in a makeshift wooden safe-deposit box located in Marshall's attic.
  • Wham Line: An interesting case from "The Broken Record", presented without the garbledness: "Todd! Turn that garbage off right now or I'm gonna throw that record player out the window, you hear me?!".note 
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Dash X, Marshall's mysterious Arch-Enemy, is a teenage boy with gray hair to make him look sinister.
  • You Wouldn't Believe Me If I Told You: Marshall's response when his mother asks him to tell her something that isn't scary.
  • Your Favorite: According to "ATM With a Heart of Gold", Marshall's favorite dinner is Swedish Chicken.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: "Zombies in P.J.'s": a strange PR guru called "The Donald" brainwashes most of the town into going on exorbitant shopping sprees, without going into the fine print on the credit rate.


Example of: