Connie and Eugene are closing up the shop one evening when they begin talking about the nature of man. Connie takes the Christian perspective that man is basically evil. Eugene takes the New Age theory that man is basically good.
A stranger sitting in the corner booth overhears their conversation and agrees with Eugene that mankind is basically good — it’s simply man’s circumstances that cause him to do evil. The stranger, Hank Murray, uses himself as an example. He has no money and no job. He is basically a good person, but the only way he can pay for his banana split and make a little cash on the side is by holding up Whit’s End! He does this, pulling out a gun to make his point!
Eugene manages to set off the silent alarm, dispatching the police. When Hank realizes that Eugene pushed the alarm button he tries to leave only but cannot escape because a police officer arrives to see why the alarm went off. Hank tells Eugene hide behind the counter and instructs Connie act natural and get the police to leave by telling them that she hit the button by accident. When Officer Kern walks into Whit's End tells Connie that the alarm went off and he was dropping by to investigate. Connie attempts to act casual about the whole situation. Officer Kern then asks Connie if he can have a cup of coffee to which Connie replies by saying, "No we are all out. You know how much Whit hates coffee." Officer Kern then leaves Whit's End, but radios in to headquarters because Connie gave him the "coffee line", signaling that something was wrong. Hank decides not to leave because he believes that, because Whit's End is so nice, there must be more cash in the building and demands Eugene to lead him to the safe.
The police get in touch with Whit who was giving a lecture at Campbell County Community College. Whit meets up with Captain O'Ryan who informs him that Hank Murray is inside and armed. In order to get inside, Whit tells Captain O'Ryan about a tunnel leading into Whit's End from the forest. Meanwhile, Eugene and Connie led Hank to the safe located in Whit's office. Eugene tells Hank that there isn't any money in the safe but Hank thinks that he is lying. Once Hank realizes that Eugene is in fact correct about the safe he decides to tie Eugene and Connie up using the telephone cord. As he is about to leave the lights go out and they hear footsteps and a creepy laugh. Hank is now desperate to leave and asks where the nearest exit is. Connie states that the Bible Room, while Eugene argues that the Little Theater is his best bet. Ultimately, Hank chooses the Bible Room, and then leaves after receiving directions from Connie.
Whit and Captain O'Ryan made it into Whit's End and into the control room, and see Hank heading towards the Bible Room. Whit then instructs Captain O'Ryan to go into his office to untie Connie and Eugene. Whit plans to disarm Hank by using sound effects to scare him hoping that he will shoot out of panic. The plan works, and Hank is arrested. Through this, Whit explains that Whit's End will become whatever you put into it. If kids put in childlike innocence and fun, that's what they will get out of it. Because Hank Murray put in fear and suspicion, that's exactly what he got in return. It all depends on the state of one's heart.
- Why did Whit and Connie think that humans are basically evil?
- Why did Eugene and Professor Ronan believe that people are basically good?
- What do you think?
- Why was Hank Murray so frightened by the displays in the Bible Room?
- Did Connie and Eugene do the right thing when Hank Murray held them up?
- What would you have done?
- PARENTAL WARNING: This episode is about a holdup at Whit's End. Though it is comical and no one gets hurt, several gunshots are fired during the end of the program, which may be too intense for younger listeners.
- This episode introduced the Underground Railroad tunnel.
- Charles Knox Robinson (Hank Murray) also voiced Nathan Hale in The Day Independence Came and Auld Lang Syne.
- In this episode, Officer O'Ryan told Whit that it was a good thing he installed a silent alarm in Whit's End. Roughly 14 years later however, in #612: "The Top Floor, Part 2" he criticized Eugene for installing a silent alarm in his house rather than a traditional noisy alarm that would scare away trespassers. (Although it may be that this is because the two cases are different; in "Hold Up!", the perpetrator was still inside the building and could be apprehended, but in "The Top Floor", Dalton Kearn had gotten away.)
- Hank Murray asks Connie about "an autographed picture of Andy Griffith." Connie says that Whit is "a big fan." This refers to Hal Smith's role as Otis Campbell on "The Andy Griffith Show."
- Officer Dan Kern identifies himself over the radio as "1 Adam 3", a reference to the 70's cop show, Adam 12.
- Hank Murray says he wanted a nice simple job, but he got Burns and Allen and the fun factory, a reference to the George Burns and Gracy Allen Show.
- Connie complains that no one told her about the safe in Whit's office. However, in a previous episode, #113: “Suspicious Minds”, Whit told her that he was going to put money "in the safe". Perhaps she forgot.
- This is better explained in #378: “The Painting” when Jason tells Connie that he cleaned out "the big safe". Apparently Whit's End has two safes - one Connie was aware of and one she wasn't.
Hank Murray: I thought we'd all hold hands and sing. What do you think? I'm gonna tie you up!
Hank Murray: You two yak more than a couple of ba-, uh, yakking things!
Eugene Meltsner: Congratulations for doing something intelligent. It's not often you're complimented for that.
Hank Murray: You kids secure now?
Connie Kendall: Yes; my fingers are getting quite numb, thank you very much.
Eugene Meltsner: I think mine's a little loose.
Connie Kendall: Eugene!
Hank Murray: How 'bout that?
Eugene Meltsner: <squeaking> Much better!