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1986

Stuffies

Jeff comes into the children's department with a very large box full of toys for Jodie's display. But when he comes in he can't see her because she's on the floor, searching among some boxes. She calls him over. "I've lost my snake!" she says.

"You've lost your snake?" Jeff somewhat incredulously. "You mean a big snake? That wiggles?"

"Yeah, but he's really cute," Jodie says.

"Excuse me, Jodie, snakes are not cute, they're . . ." before he can finish, Jodie holds up a stuffed snake. "Cute!" he admits. "But it isn't real."

"Nope. No, it's a stuffy." Jodie tells him.

"A what-y?"

Jodie explains that that's what she calls toy animals and birds that are "soft and squishy."

As Jeff goes back to get the last box, Jodie takes some toys out of the box he brought to put them in a display, and she drops a couple. She puts a stuffed cat down on the counter in order to pick up the toys she has dropped. Muffy comes along and is immediately startled by the cat, but when she begins to flee, she runs right into a stuffed lion that Jodie has put on the counter behind her. She yelps.

"Oh, hi, Muff," says Jodie, standing up, "What do you think of my stuffies? Aren't they cute?"

A shaken Muffy begs to differ. "Cute is not the word that I'd use, to a mouse a cat is bad, bad news!"

Sam is equally unimpressed when he sees Jodie's collection. He can't imagine why they're so popular since they don't do anything, they just sit there. Jodie explains that it's how they make you feel when you hug them that makes them so nice.

"When you're in a muddle and you need a little cuddle hug a stuffy," she sings.

Jeff comes in singing, "When life seems like a struggle and you know you need a snuggle hug a stuffy."

Muffy joins in and the three of them sing of the joys of stuffed animals. Sam joins in, getting into the mood and even cuddling with a stuffed rabbit.

"Stuffies never need to eat, they don't get upset! Don't you know that a stuffy never goes to the vet?"

. . . Stuffies always will behave, no need to ask twice."

"A cat like this," says Muffy, "won't even chase mice!"

"They're so cute and fluffy even Muffy loves a stuffy, loves a stuffy!" They conclude.

Just as the song ends, a gorilla wearing a hat and coat and carrying a book walks slowly through the children's department.

"Oh, Jodie," says Sam. "I - I must be sick! I think I'm seeing things."

"Sam," says Jodie nervously, "What you saw, was it very large?"

"Oh, yeah."

Muffy asks, "And fierce enough to be quite scary, with long fur that was very hairy?"

"That's it, that's it!" Sam confirms.

"And Sam," adds Jeff, "did it look something like -" he gulps. "A gorilla?"

"Oh, boy, thank goodness. I'm not seeing things. It's just that there really is a gorilla in the store. A gorilla in the store! Oh my goodness, help! Help! We gotta run!" Sam cries.

Jodie grabs him. "Wait. Sam. Don't panic. We need to be brave."

"Right!" says Jeff, adding melodramatically, "We need nerves of steel."

The gorilla comes back in, looking at his book and making a frightful noise.

That does it. "Help! Help!" everyone cries, running every which way.

Mrs. Pennypacker is in the stockroom and she doesn't even notice when the gorilla comes in and puts a book of magic spells on the desk next to her.

Jeff comes running in. "There is a gorilla in the store, a big one!" he says.

"A gorilla! Now, Jeffrey, don't be silly, what would a gorilla be doing in a department store?" she says mock seriously. "A gorilla would go to the supermarket where he could buy some bananas!" Jeff tries to argue but she shoos him off. "Oh, Jeffrey, run along, I have work to do!" She uses an unusual bit of wrapping paper to wrap a box and chuckles to herself about Jeff's "overactive imagination." Meanwhile, the gorilla returns, grabbing the book. He is carrying a wand and he waves it over the book, and then he leaves, with Mrs. Pennypacker none the wiser.

Meanwhile, in the children's department, Sam is communicating with TXL over a walkie talkie as Muffy stands nearby. TXL has contacted the zoo and all their gorillas are accounted for. "You must have been seeing things," she says to him. "Over and out!"

"No, no, no, TXL, I assure you I was not seeing things!" he says into the walkie-talkie. He looks up and sees the gorilla staring him in the face. "Unfortunately!" he adds. "Hello, there, I uh, um, would you um, care for a banana?"

No! The gorilla indicates by shaking not only his head but his whole body and grunting emphatically.

"Oh, Sam," says Muffy, "I think we're in a jam."

"Don't worry, don't worry, I'll handle this, uh - here, you like a whole bunch of bananas?"

He gets the same vigorous, negative response.

""Whadaya want, the whole tree?" Sam asks, (there's a "banana tree" nearby in Jodie's display), but the gorilla refuses.

Jeff and Jodie rush in. "Sam, Muffy, we're here. Have you seen the -" they see him and stop in their tracks.

"Jeff, what should I do?" asks Jodie through a fake smile.

"Offer it a banana." says Jeff.

"Gee, I bet you'd like a nice, juicy banana."

Of course, it doesn't.

It points to its hat, so they know it's trying to tell them something. Jeff finally notices that his hat and cape are just like Waldo's.

"Hey, I got it! The gorilla wants to be a magician, right?" cries Sam.

The gorilla growls and shakes his head. Then he takes Jeff's hat off!

"Maybe the gorilla wants to be a mannequin!" says Sam.

More growling and emphatic denial from the gorilla. Then he puts the hat back on Jeff's head, and Jodie says the magic words. When Jeff comes to life, she tells him, "I think that he knows about your magic hat!"

"Hey, I got it! The gorilla's a spy, right?" Sam says.

Jeff says the only person besides them who knows about his magic hat is the person who gave it to him, Waldo the Magnificent.

Sam is still confused. "Waldo the Magician! Sorry, Waldo, I guess I didn't recognize you in your fur coat there! My goodness, Muffy, Waldo sure is beginning to look like a gorilla, though, isn't he?"

Jodie realizes that Waldo must have turned himself into a gorilla and that he's here to get their help to change him back into himself. He hands Jeff a book, and Jeff discerns that the spell to change him back must in that book.

"Well, no wonder he didn't want a banana!" cries the still somewhat muddled Sam, "Waldo doesn't like bananas!" He offers to bring him some peanuts. Waldo growls and shakes his fist.

Next we see the mime lady, and TXL asks her if she guessed that the gorilla was Waldo. She shakes her head no. Now it's our turn to guess what animals she is pretending to be. First she pretends to be a cat, and next, a chicken.

An animated cat and chicken are sitting on a couch watching on their television.

"Personally," says the cat, "I liked the cat better."

"Me, too," says the chicken. "The chicken wasn't very dignified."

"Who ever heard of a dignified chicken?" replies the cat.

Meanwhile in the children's department, Waldo is pacing back and forth as Jeff and Jodie search the book for the right spell to help him.

When Jodie says this: "Instead of climbing in a tree, look like people by the sea," Waldo loses his magician's clothes and is in a tropical bikini and pink straw hat. But he's still a gorilla.

Next she tries, "Instead of sitting in a tree, you'll help people like you and me." He now wears green scrubs and a stethoscope, but he's still a gorilla.

"Now he's turned into a physician," says Muffy, "but he's still not Waldo the magician."

Next she tries, "Instead of sitting in a tree, change into something more like me," which results in Waldo wearing a dress with a pink hat. He covers his face with the skirt.

Muffy suggests she try another section of the book. Jodie searches and finds a place which says, "To change gorillas back into magicians, just say. . ." but when she turns the page, the rest is missing! Jeff asks Waldo if the page was in the book when he came into the store, and he nods yes. So they know the page must be in the store. Muffy decides to go look for it, and Sam goes to ask TXL to help.

"And we'll bring you some bananas!" adds Sam. Waldo makes a gesture of disgust. When they've gone, Jodie finds another spell to try.

"Not a test, not a game," she reads, "Make everyone here look the same!" Suddenly, Jeff and Jodie have turned into penguins, though they still have their own faces.

"Jodie what happened?" asks Jeff.

"I don't know, Jeff!"

Waldo still looks like a gorilla, until he turns around. Now, he too, has his own face. "It's quite simple, really." he says.

"Waldo!" Jeff and Jodie say.

"The magic spell made us all look the same, half people and half animals, or birds, penguins in your case. But don't worry, as soon as we find that missing page, I'll change us all back."

"Oh, good," says Jodie. "Well, Sam and Muffy will find it."

But it's worse than that. The magic spell is loose in the store and it won't stop until everyone in the store is changed into a creature. Everyone.

"Oh, no!" says Jodie.

At that moment, Muffy is coming into her room, she has looked almost everywhere in the store without finding the page from Waldo's book. Now, she's beginning a search of her room and poof! She suddenly changes - into a cat! She doesn't notice, however, until she passes by a mirror. She gasps.

"Tell me quick, did you see that? In my mirror there was a cat!" she looks again. "Oh! It's true, a cat is what I see! Oh, but what's going on? . . . That cat is me! Yuck! With pointy ears and a furry paw - I object! There ought to be a law! This change is wrong and quite confusing, and also extremely unamusing."

Meanwhile Waldo the half-gorilla is telling Jeff and Jodie, the half-penguins that they must find the missing page, otherwise they'll be stuck in this state forever. Jodie asks Waldo to tell them where he was in the store. He tells them, and they all rush off to look for the page in those places. Or at least they try. Jeff and Jodie are having a little trouble getting around on their flipper-feet.

"Well you're not exactly Speedy Gonzales are you?" says a frustrated Waldo.

Jodie tells him they'll catch up with him as soon as they figure out how to walk like penguins. Jeff tells Jodie it's easier if they sort of waddle from side to side. Together, they practice, singing, "Dance the penguin waddle, move from side to side, dance the penguin waddle, on the ice you'll slide!" Soon they're adeptly dancing throughout the children's department on their flippers.

Sam is back in the computer room after searching the store. "You can call me a day old bag of radishes, TXL, but I've looked every place I can think of, and still I can't find any sign of those magic pages!" He tells her he's feeling "peckish," so he asks her to send him a medium sized onion and liverwurst sandwich. As she complies, he turns into a bear, but doesn't notice. But he does decide that he'd like a little honey with his sandwich, much to TXL's surprise. When she sends out the honey, he reaches for it, and notices his hand, which has turned into a paw.

"I'm really gonna have to get some new gloves, TXL!" he says. He requests a story while he's eating his sandwich.

"Of course, Mr. Crenshaw. A story about a bear would be most suitable."

"Thank you. Er, a bear TXL, why a bear?"

"You'll find out soon enough Mr. Crenshaw." says TXL. She tells the story of a teddy bear who lived on a shelf in a department store. He was named Buttons, because he had a button nose and three bright golden buttons on his jacket. One day after the department store was closed, Buttons found a doll house with the name "Real Bear Shop." He went inside and paid one of his golden buttons to a piggy bank in order to become a real bear. He went behind a magic curtain, unzipped his fur, and zipped himself into a polar bear suit. But when he went through the curtain he found himself in an icy, snowy world. Too cold, and falling on the slippery ice, Buttons rushed back through the curtain and found himself in the shop again. For the price of another button, he got into a grizzly bear suit. When he stepped through the curtain, he was in a lovely, warm forest, but he was very lonely, because all the other animals in the forest were afraid of him. Back to the shop he went. For the price of his last golden button, the piggy bank told him he could try being a panda. "Everybody loves pandas," he said, "And they live in a nice warm jungle." At first, everything went well as he played happily with the other pandas. But then, when it was time to eat, he was disappointed to find that all they ate were bamboo shoots. Then, it began to rain. "Don't worry," said the other pandas, "The rainy season only lasts about six months!" At this, the teddy bear had had enough. He dashed through the curtain, out of the doll house and back onto his shelf. Being a teddy bear in a department store, he realized, was just what he wanted.

Right after the story, TXL asks us to remember the kinds of bears we saw in the story. A polar bear, a grizzly bear, and a panda. An animated version of each bear tells us, "Right!" after we name them all.

"Wrong, wrong, wrong!" cries Sam, now looking in the mirror and discovering his transformation. "I am not a bear! Who ever heard of a bear being a security guard? Who ever heard of a bear being in the merchant marines? This is all wrong!" He interrupts his rant to take a sip of honey out of a bear-shaped bottle which is now nearly empty. "Do we have any more honey, TXL?" he asks.

Meanwhile, Jeff is waddling through the store for the magic pages, and naturally, he begins dancing. It's a much more complex dance than he was dancing with Jodie earlier. Soon he is joined by three animated, singing penguins, and the four of them dance until an animated hook comes from off screen and pulls the penguins away.

Meanwhile in the children's department, Mrs. Pennypacker, who has been turned into an owl, is saying, "Whooo! I said, Whooo is responsible for this?" She is covered with enormous feathers and topped with a graduate's cap.

Jeff, Jodie, Muffy and Waldo rush in. "Don't worry Mrs. Pennypacker," says Waldo. "Everything will be all right as soon as I find the missing page from my magic book!"

"My goodness you're a gorilla!" Mrs. Pennypacker exclaims.

Just then Sam comes running in. "Hold everything! Hold everything! Something terrible is going on in the - oh, my multiplying menageries," he says as he catches sight of the others, "This whole store is beginning to look like a zoo."

"We know, Sam!" the others say.

"What I want to know is how am I supposed to go home on the bus looking like this - or perhaps I'm supposed to fly! Oh, and I just finished this lovely parcel, too," Mrs. Pennypacker laments.

"There it is!" cries Jodie, seeing the wrapping on the parcel. It's the page from Waldo's book. Waldo picks it up and begins reading it right there on the box.

"If you want to break the spell, behave like your creature and do it well!" he reads. So, they conclude, they all have to pretend to act like the creature they look like in order to break the spell.

Muffy is annoyed. "Oh! Imagine a mouse having to meow! Why couldn't I have been a cow?"

Sam says he's going to feel pretty silly, too, but decides to try it. "Grr!" he says halfheartedly. "See, I did it and nothing happened, I'm still a bear."

"Sam, the spell said, 'do it well!' I mean, I'm sure you can be a better bear than that!" Waldo says.

Jeff suggests they all do it together, and at the count of three, they all begin moving and vocalizing like their animals. All together, they change back into themselves.

Sam, however, keeps growling away.

"Sam!" calls Jodie, "Hey Sam, you can stop now."

They all laugh, and sing the song about stuffies again as the credits roll. "Stuffies always will behave, no need to ask twice," they sing.

"A cat like me won't even chase mice!" Muffy sings with a giggle, making everyone laugh..

"They're so cute and fluffy everybody loves a stuffy loves a stuffy!"


Quizzes:

  • This first episode of the 6th season is the first to employ animation in connection with the quizzes.
  • Which of these five stuffies would be different from the others if they were real? (An elephant, a raccoon, a lion, a parrot and a bear). It's the parrot, he's a bird, has wings and feathers, and can fly. The stuffed parrot leaps up into the air. An animated parrot comments, "Not bad for a stuffy."
  • Another group of stuffies are shown. A gorilla, an elephant, a lion, and a cow. If they were real, one of them would live in a very different place than all the others. TXL gives us a clue. "Most of these animals would live in the jungle or a zoo." So the cow, who lives on a farm would be different. An animated cow says, "I'm kind of glad they don't live on the farm."

Nursery Rhyme:

  • None

Notes:

  • The main plot of this episode had very little to do with stuffed toys, and it's kind of odd that after the spell is broken everyone begins singing, out of the blue, about stuffies again.
  • We never found out why Waldo put the book of magic spells on Mrs. Pennypacker's desk in the first place.
  • Jeff says the only person who knows about his magic hat besides the people in the store is Waldo. That made it easier for them to guess who the gorilla was, but they have told others about the hat in the past: The policeman in "Police," the opera singer in "Opera" and Jodie's Aunt Millie, to name a few.
  • When Jodie read the page before the missing page, she read, "To change gorillas back into magicians, just say . . ." but when they found the missing page, it didn't continue that sentence at all, but instead started a whole new sentence.
  • From this episode on, Mrs. Pennypacker's whole name is used, and no one uses her nickname, Mrs. P anymore.
  • From this episode on, Jodie wears a different uniform, now with two pink pockets on the front, and no slits in the back.
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