The Top 10 Adventures Of Pete & Pete Episodes
(Over the years, I’ve written a variety of articles that have not always seen the light of day. Editors leave sites, things fall through the cracks, etc. They just end up sitting on my desktop without a home. I decided to use Medium to give them a home, so they can at least see the light of day. Fair warning: These were initial drafts sent into editors in many instances, so they may not be meticulously pored over. They are good enough for me to want to publish them, but maybe aren’t perfect.)
The Adventures of Pete & Pete has been off the air for almost 20 years, but its legacy remains strong, thanks to a generation of people who grew up watching one of the rare kid’s shows that remains entertaining when you are an adult. Pete & Pete was a strange, delightful show full of odd characters and weird occurrences, which created a perfectly offbeat world that clearly resonated with people. What are the 10 best episodes about the titular adventures of the titular brothers Pete? That is the question that this article is here to answer for you.
As a show for children, Pete & Pete often dealt with issues that kids had to deal with. They just handled them in more eccentric, cinematic ways. “Halloweenie” deals with deciding when you are too old to go trick-or-treating. It just also involves a bunch of no good punk teenagers who go around wearing jack-o-lanterns on their heads. The stakes feel high, at least for the characters in the show, and it just makes sense within this world.
9. Yellow Fever
There are two great bus related episodes in Pete & Pete history. This is because, of all the tertiary characters on the show, bus driver Stu Benedict is the best. The man is barely clinging to his sanity at all times, and here he is pushed over the edge by a bus full of obnoxious, annoying students. It’s enough to drive a man to attack a scarecrow. Also, it’s a very funny episode.
8. Sick Day
What if you could fake being sick and spend the day home alone? What would you do? Well, if you are Little Pete Wrigley, you go on a wild adventure (fittingly) that takes you all around your town, allowing you to see it in a way you’ve never seen it before. It’s such a simple premise, but handled greatly, thanks in part to some excellent guest stars. Chris Elliott, LL Cool J, and Bebe Neuwirth? What more could you want?
7. What We Did On Our Summer Vacation
Before Pete & Pete began airing actual seasons of television, they aired five specials, with “What We Did on Our Summer Vacation” being the second one. It’s an episode about kids on summer vacation, and the end of summer. That’s pretty much one of the most important concepts for a child. However, even as an adult who has left the world of summer vacation behind, there is still a lot to like about this episode. It’s about the mystery surrounding Mr. Tastee, the local ice cream man who always wears an ice cream head to hide his identity. It’s like Frank, but it’s a kid’s show. And Michael Stipe plays an ice cream man called Captain Scrummy. It’s all so wonderful.
In the third season of Pete & Pete, Little Pete and his friends took on a bigger role in the show. The episodes focusing on them are a step down from the first two seasons of the show, but Big Pete still had some great episodes in season three. “Pinned” is completely nuts. Endless Mike, Big Pete’s nemesis, transfers to another school so he can wrestle against Big Pete. He basically turns himself into a pro wrestling heel. It’s the best thing to ever happen on the show, and that’s saying something.
Children are often embarrassed by strange things. For example, being a “Rangeboy,” aka a boy who works on a driving range, going around collecting golf balls. This is the fear Big Pete has to face in this episode, but he makes due by dressing up as a bear to do his job. Oh, and Artie, the Strongest Man in the World gives his turtle friend Clark amnesia when he hits him with a golf ball. It’s a funny episode, but also strangely affecting. You almost feel proud, in an odd way, for Big Pete.
4. Farewell My Little Viking
OK, this is a bit of a cheat, because “Farewell My Little Viking” is a two-part episode. It deserves to be two parts, though, because we say goodbye to Artie, the Strongest Man in the World. The show figured, as Little Pete was getting older, having him hang out with his own personal superhero made less sense. It was a shame, because Toby Huss was excellent as Artie, and he’s such an iconic character. However, from a story standpoint, it made sense, and they sent him out in a blaze of glory.
3. Hard Day’s Pete
This is, perhaps, the iconic Pete & Pete episode, because of the presence of so much Polaris, the house band of Pete & Pete. Little Pete gets his first favorite song, and he starts a band and he plays “Marmalade Cream.” It’s the quintessential Pete & Pete episode, or at least the quintessential Little Pete episode.
2. Time Tunnel
Big Pete and Ellen. They were friends, but would they ever be anything more? While this was a show for kids, things get a little Y7 in this episode, thanks to Big Pete finally taking Ellen on a date, but also unfortunately taking some advice from Endless Mike. Oh, and what did Endless Mike ask for in terms of payment for loaning Big Pete his car? Why, Neapolitan ice cream, of course! On top of that, Little Pete is planning for traveling through time, which is to say he is preparing to “fall back” due to Daylight Saving Time. Pete & Pete was a very “autumn” show so it’s only fitting one of the best episodes took place at such a decidedly autumnal moment.
1. Das Bus
Stu Benedict is the best. This has been said already. Here, though, he’s even better than in “Yellow Fever.” This is a completely insane episode, but wonderfully so. Thanks to career day, Big Pete becomes a bus driver, mostly to try and make time with Selma Blair. Ellen, of course, gets into the vending machine business, a business that quickly begins selling meat and plane tickets in vending machines. Stu has so many hilarious lines in this episode. Damian Young is brilliant, and it carries this episode to the top spot. Just the line “Carrot top Judas, thou hast forsaken me!” gets it in the top 10. Everything else, though, is what makes ”Das Bas” the best episode in The Adventures of Pete & Pete history.