Changing Rodney

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#443: “Changing Rodney”
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34: In Your Wildest Dreams
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Ephesians 4:32
32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

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Changing Rodney

“Changing Rodney” is episode #443 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Kathy Buchanan, and originally aired on April 22, 2000.

Summary

Mandy goes on a mission to turn Rodney Rathbone into a “good” guy, but it's more difficult than she thinks.

Plot

Mandy is taking a high school class with Rodney Rathbone and notices how mean he is to everyone else, including her. She heads to Whit’s End after school to find that Connie is trying to be a world famous chef to impress her dad. She tells Eugene about Rodney and he agrees to help her. He first suggests that Mandy show kindness to Rodney, which doesn’t quite seem to work. Then Eugene begins to dish out advice from a psychology textbook that he’s been reading, but nothing seems to work. Finally, Rodney suddenly asks Mandy for help on an algebra test. Mandy helps him study and things seem to be taking a turn for the better as Rodney actually starts being polite to people. Then Rodney comes to her with a big problem. He has stolen the answer sheet for the test, he says, and feels guilty about it. He and Mandy go to the school to return it. Just as Mandy is returning the answer key, Rodney disappears and Miss Hamer shows up. Mandy gets in big trouble for stealing the answer key and Rodney doesn’t even seem to show any real remorse. Whit explains to her that only God can truly change someone. However, unbeknown to either of them, Rodney hides the stolen answers from his gang, complaining to himself about his own new found "conscience".

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did Mandy want to change Rodney?
    • How did Rodney respond?
      • Why?
  2. How can you best respond to people who are mean to you?

Cast

Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Connie Kendall Katie Leigh
Eugene Meltsner Will Ryan
Miss Hamer Pamela Hayden
John Whittaker Paul Herlinger
Mandy Straussberg Aria Curzon
Rodney Rathbone Steve Burns
Rodney's Friend Katie Leigh
Principal Skinner Will Ryan

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Bill Kendall Connie Kendall
Tom Riley Eugene Meltsner
David Straussberg Rodney Rathbone
Bart Rathbone Rodney Rathbone
Doris Rathbone Rodney Rathbone


Notes

VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] This episode originally had an AIO shorty in the middle of it. The shorty was titled "Apostle Paul - Armed and Ready."

  • The character of Miss Hamer from this episode was named after Kathy Wierenga's roommate, whom people often call "Miss Hammer" by accident. Additionally, Miss Hamer's ordering Mandy to "March, march" is a reference to the real Miss Hamer's first name, March. Hammer would go on to play one-time character Bridget Becker in #491: “The Black Veil, Part 2”.
  • This is, to date, the last episode featuring newly-recorded dialogue from Pamela Hayden. Interestingly, Hayden and Will Ryan — who portray Katrina Shanks and Eugene Meltsner respectively and both of whom act in this episode — would both disappear from the program either immediately after this episode or soon thereafter. Though Ryan would return five years later, Hayden has never acted in another episode since.
  • Connie's decision not to go straight to college, mentioned here in this episode, was established in #406 – #408: “Malachi's Message”.
  • The mistake Connie makes in this episode of substituting three cups of yeast for three cups of flour is the same mistake made by a girl in her cabin at the Timothy Center, Wendy Annex, earlier in the season.
Allusions
  • The TV show Mandy mentions after witnessing Connie's out-of-control bread is I Love Lucy — specifically the Season 1 episode "Pioneer Women," which features a giant loaf of bread that ends up reaching out of Lucy's oven and across her apartment.
  • The music being played after Miss Hamer tells Mandy to march is from the TV show Hogan's Heroes.
Reviews

Quotes

Rodney Rathbone: Outta my way losers, I'm a busy man! I've got places to be, people to beat up and problems to cause!


Rodney Rathbone: Move, please. Do you know you're a large person and you're in my way?
Mandy Straussberg: Maybe "excuse me" would work better, Rodney.


Connie Kendall: You think I should be a paramedic now, Dad? Does that mean you don't like the brownies?... Dad?... Well, what are you calling me for? Hang up and call 9-1-1!


Eugene Meltsner: Take Miss Kendall; she was a snippy, argumentative agnostic when she arrived.
Connie Kendall: I heard that!
Eugene Meltsner: But because people here cared about her, she eventually became the snippy, argumentative Christian...
Connie Kendall: I heard that, too!
Eugene Meltsner: ...we know and love today!


Rodney Rathbone: Well, I haven't taken that class three times because I think the seats are well-cushioned!


Rodney Rathbone: Yeah, and I haven't been able to sleep real well the last few nights because I've been feeling guilty.
Mandy Straussberg: What about?
Rodney Rathbone: What, do you want an alphabetical list or one that goes chronically?


Rodney Rathbone: I just wanted help on my algebra, not a personality transplant!


John Whittaker: Mandy, I can understand you being upset, but I think Rodney had a point.
Mandy Straussberg: Yeah, two of them, coming out of his skull!