Hear Me, Hear Me
On the day of the Whit's End science fair, Eugene and Connie stage a contest to see which one is the better listener. Back in the Little Theater, Liz Horton gets frustrated when Trent won't listen to her instructions.
After Eugene feeds Connie brownies with walnuts in them, Connie complains that Eugene never listens to her, since he did not remember that she is allergic to the nut. She insists that she, a good listener, knows everything about Eugene, while Eugene never pays attention to anything she says. Wooton offers to moderate a contest to determine which of them is truly a better listener. To make it interesting, the loser has to wash the winner's car.
Meanwhile, at the Whit's End science fair, Trent and Liz are partners in a project to train a rat to run a maze. Trent begins to daydream immediately, picturing himself accepting awards for maze creation and failing to listen to Liz as she suggests a way to divide up the assignment. When they meet back up to compare notes, they have both done the same portion of the project since Trent was not listening. Again falling into a daydream, Trent again misses what Liz is saying and agrees to what she asks him to do without paying attention.
Connie asks Whit to cover the front counter while she and Eugene engage in their contest. As he agrees, his chatty cousin Evelyn arrives. She pauses only for breath and wanders off to investigate the shop as Connie and Eugene begin their competition. They go back and forth answering questions about each others' preferences. Incorrect answers merit punishments, and as they are fairly evenly matched they both get into trouble fairly quickly. However, they are tied for the majority of the contest. Tired of their bickering, Wooton sends them both into the cooler for a break. Meanwhile, he meets with Evelyn and attempts to speak more than four words without being interrupted by her. While in the cooler, Connie and Eugene reconcile. Unfortunately, their reconciliation is ruined when Eugene inadvertently insults Connie and they agree to resume the competition.
Trent again failed to do what Liz asked him to and their project is in jeopardy. Liz chides Trent for not paying attention to her and tells him that not listening hurts. When Whit announces the end of the competition, Trent again begins to daydream as Liz gives him instructions about what to do next, but jerks himself out of it in time to pay attention.
Back at the competition, Connie inadvertently forfeits when she gets so frustrated at Eugene she quits the contest. Evelyn finds Whit as he is about to judge the science fair and Whit advises her that, with Evelyn's penchant for interruption, Whit never gets to speak. He feels disrespected, and is sure that they aren't actually communicating. Evelyn apologizes and tries to do better.
Trent returns with everything Liz sent him for, as well as an item she had mentioned in an offhanded manner before the contest began. The judges arrive at their table and give them high marks for their efforts.
Eugene taunts Connie about her loss as she washes his car and they again bicker about how well they know each other. Eugene brings Connie the only kind of hot chocolate that she likes and Connie is impressed with his recollection. They share a fond memory and discuss why listening is important. Connie decides that Eugene is a good friend after all.
- There are no discussion questions listed for this episode. »
Heard in episode
|Connie Kendall||Katie Leigh|
|Eugene Meltsner||Will Ryan|
|John Whittaker||Paul Herlinger|
|Liz Horton||Lauren Schaffel|
|Trent DeWhite||Corey Padnos|
|Wooton Bassett||Jess Harnell|
Mentioned in episode
|Katrina Meltsner||Eugene Meltsner|
|Robert Mitchell||Eugene Meltsner|
|Bill Kendall||Eugene Meltsner|
- The plot of this episode is similar to #254: “Truth, Trivia and 'Trina”, in which Eugene and Connie previously competed after an argument about their respective superiority in a given subject. Wooton takes the role of mediator/host in this episode in place of Bart Rathbone from the former episode.
- Wooton's contest between Connie and Eugene in this episode includes reference to various plot points from previous episodes:
- Connie's yellow sweater that she wore when she met Mitch (#463: “Green Eyes and Yellow Tulips”.)
- Connie's unfortunate hair-dye job (#483: “Secrets”)
- Eugene's unsuccessful healthy ice cream flavors (#379: “Best Face Forward”)
- Eugene's failed driving test attempts (#193: “A Tongue of Fire”, #194: “A License to Drive”)
- In addition to this episode, Connie previously referred to a food court as a "library of food" in #544: “Split Ends”.
- Strangely, Trent refers to Mr. Whittaker as "Whit" in this episode when he is approaching their science fair project. It's very rare for the children of Odyssey to call him anything but "Mr. Whittaker."
- This episode marks Liz Horton's final episode appearance to date.
- This is Katie Leigh's 300th episode acting.
- Evelyn mentions the American political dynasty of the Kennedy family in this episode, wondering aloud if one of them is "still around." This would be a reference to Ted Kennedy, who was still alive when this episode originally aired.
- When Connie tells Eugene in this episode that his tortoiseshell vest makes him looks like an armadillo, Eugene surprisingly remarks, "No I don't! An armadillo is a reptile!" However, an armadillo is, in fact, a mammal — something the hyper-erudite Eugene should definitely know.
- Lauren Schaffel's voice has deepened considerably by the time of this episode. This may explain the absence of Liz from any future episodes.
QuotesTrent DeWhite: It all started out with a simple quest of excellence in rodentry!
Eugene Meltsner: Do you understand what life would be like without amoebae?
Connie Kendall: Do you understand what life would be like without pants?
Eugene Meltsner: <beat> Hmm.
Connie Kendall: Okay, I just met this woman who talks more than anyone I ever met!
Wooton Bassett: Oh, have you ever met--oh, wait a second, You're her!
Trent DeWhite: You don't have to be so mean about it.
Liz Horton: You know why I'm mad, Trent? Because I thought we were friends, but you don't even care about what I have to say. And that hurts.
Trent DeWhite: That's not true, I do care about what you have to say.
Liz Horton: Then maybe you should start acting like it!
Evelyn: I know I have a tendency to talk a lot, Whit! But I had no idea that—
John Whittaker: Evelyn! I wasn't finished!
Evelyn: I'm so sorry, Whit. My husband uses masking tape. Shall I get some?