90s, Quick Lists, TV, Wrestling — June 17, 2014 7:34 am

7.5 Must-See Episodes of The Adventures of Pete & Pete

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I was surprised recently on two counts: 1) a very good pop culture nostalgia expert friend of mine who may or may not also write for this site had never seen The Adventures of Pete & Pete 2) Googling “best Pete and Pete episodes” did not find an easy list to send along.  Well, readers, today that problem is solved.  Whether you’re a Wellsville graduate or about to be introduced to Artie the Strongest Man in the World, get ready to go on a journey through time with two brothers named Pete.

Here are seven must-see episodes of The Adventures of Pete and Pete.  If you’ve never actually seen the show, you may want to start with #1 and work your way back to #7.

7 – “Space, Geeks, and Johnny Unitas”

Random cameos were scattered throughout the series and this episodes was no exception.

This episode, which wins the “Best Episode Title Ever” Award, originally aired a special long before the first season began.  Pete and Ellen discover more than they expected about the new kid while finishing a science project.  Keep an eye out for Steve Buschemi as Ellen’s dad and Syd Straw as Miss Fingerwood.  I always wished John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants had played the angry science teacher.

6 – “The Call”

A ringing phone disturbs an entire town.

The general attitude toward making the show was that every scene had to be “funny, sad, strange, or beautiful”.  “The Call” is probably the most strange and surreal episode in the series.  A phone has been ringing for twenty-seven years in Wellsville – who’s going to take the call?

5 – “Field of Pete”

Just win.

Legend has it that this is the one episode that raised eyebrows of Nickelodeon executives across office corridors everywhere.  I still don’t see what the problem is.  A group of youngsters just need their fix of an addictive frozen beverage known as Orange Lazarus.

4.5 – “Halloween”

Check out that costume!

You were wondering what the .5 was all about.  Before it was a series proper, Pete & Pete started out as 60-second short films during commercial breaks on Nickelodeon.  You will notice the significant age difference since the shorts began airing in 1991 and the first season started in 1993.  “Halloween” is one of the most memorable shorts, featuring the villain Hathead.

4 – “Pinned!”

Parts two, three, and four.

A few years back, I was horrified to discover there was an episode I had somehow never seen.  I was immediately delighted that the episode became an instant favorite, though.  My favorite villain, Endless Mike, finds new and disturbing ways to fill Big Pete’s life with misery.

3 – “Inspector 34”

Kreb is the brand for almost every product on the show.

Ever see one of those “Inspected by #34” tags fall out of a new package of underpants?  One of those tags would change the lives of people in Wellsville forever, as Little Pete befriends Inspector 34.

2 – “Tool and Die”

“Tool and Die” kept me away from shop class in high school.

The visuals, the mystery, and the best appearance of Endless Mike make this one of the most solid episodes of the series.  To think, it all started with Big Pete’s “take my C and see you later” approach to shop class.

1 – “What We Did On Our Summer Vacation”

What I wouldn’t do for a blue tornado bar…

This episode cranks the nostalgia knob up to 11 and serves as a pretty solid introduction to the series.  Neighborhood kids are determined to discover the whereabouts of their favorite ice cream vendor, running into Michael Stipe as a sludgesicle man and Kate Pierson of the B-52s along the way.  Ellen works at one of those parking lot photo developing booths, which I thought only existed as a plot device in Back to the Future.

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