David Harley

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David Harley
Jacob Arley, David's Harley's ghost, appearing to Bernard Walton in #173: “A Thanksgiving Carol”.
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Episode appearances
Episode mentions
Officer Harley
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First episode
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David Harley was a dim-witted police officer played by Will Ryan who was later replaced by detective Harlow Doyle after some parents complained about Harley's poor representation of authority. David Harley left Odyssey and all of his episodes were withdrawn from release or remade to exclude him.


In 1987 and early 1988, Officer Harley was an Odyssey regular, along with John Whittaker and Tom Riley, appearing in eight of the first fifteen episodes of the series. The writers initially intended for Harley to become a main character to harness his "comedic potential." However, several parents complained that Harley's dim-witted jokes made him a poor representation of authority. At the request of Dr. Dobson, the Odyssey team removed Harley from the show.


Episode status

See also: Remade episodes#Shows with Officer Harley

After Dr. Dobson requested that Harley be removed from the series, his episodes were either edited to remove him or pulled from broadcast.

While the Odyssey video series was being produced in he early 1990s, a lack of scripts prompted the Odyssey team to rewrite several shows that originally included Harley:

The episodes #3: “Lights Out at Whit's End” and #11: “Addictions Can Be Habit-Forming” were pulled from broadcast. Both episodes were eventually released on the Official Podcast during The Washington Secret Word Contest in 2009.

The episodes #5: “Gifts for Madge and Guy”, #19: “Recollections”, and #54: “Peace on Earth” were the only episodes with Harley that were kept in the broadcast cycle and placed in albums. However, some of Harley's dialogue was removed from #19: “Recollections” in later releases. For a long time, it was difficult to find any episodes with Harley aside these three, although a portion of his appearance in #14: “Missed It By That Much” can be heard in a special feature included in the album The Adventure Begins.

In 2014 all Harley episodes were released exclusively to the Adventures in Odyssey Club in the The Officer Harley Collection, making some of the Harley episodes available for the first in over 25 years. Currently the original versions of #7: “Promises, Promises”, #12: “The Tangled Web” and #29: “Rumor Has It”, which all contain Harley, are unavailable.


Even though Harley had been just about removed from the series by the end of 1988, various references to the officer were made in later episodes:

Harley's replacement, Harlow Doyle, continues to be on the show continuously since his introduction in #196: “Harlow Doyle, Private Eye” (1992). Harlow has been known to say "ignorance is no excuse," a reference to Harley's signature line, "ignorance of the law is no excuse."


John Whittaker: Now, the first thing people usually do at a time like this is panic.
David Harley: Then it looks like we're doing things in the right order!

#3: “Lights Out at Whit's End”

Connie Kendall: Okay, everybody on the bus!
David Harley: Alright children, we don’t want a riot here. Let’s have a little orderly dispersal: I want everybody to line up alphabetically according to their height!

#14: “Missed It By That Much”

David Harley: I've got just the thing! The NFL diet!
Joey Donovan: NFL? Like the Football league?
David Harley: Yeah! Every time she reaches for food, <chuckles> you tackle her!

#11: “Addictions Can Be Habit-Forming”

David Harley: Ah, Trickle Lake, ey? It's not too far from here! Right near, uh... Trickle Lake!

#70: “The Return of Harley, Part 1”

David Harley: Well, you know what I always say...
Unknown: Ignorance of the law is no excuse!
David Harley: <chuckles> Ah, I love comin' back here.

#71: “The Return of Harley, Part 2”

David Harley: Oh, hi, Whit! Caught this suspect committing a 414.
John Whittaker: What's a 414?
David Harley: Grand Theft Mozzarella!

#11: “Addictions Can Be Habit-Forming”

David Harley: Okay, I'll whistle for him. <shouting> Yoo-hoo! Scott!

#23: “The Quality of Mercy”

Warren Summers: Fine, I didn't have any cavities. Of course, I never do.
David Harley: Really? You know my mother was that way. She never got any cavities either. Of course she had false teeth. I wonder if that had something to do with it?

#21: “The Case of the Missing Train Car”

David Harley: You're not making a movie without a permit, are you?
Bobby Novak: Permit? I didn't know you needed a permit to make a movie!
John Whittaker: You don't, Bobby. Not as long as you own private property or you're not obstructing traffic or something like that. Isn't that right, Officer Harley?
David Harley: Well, it isn't exactly wrong. Not that it couldn't be, mind you 'cause ignorance of the law is no excuse! But as far as wrong goes, yes, you're right!

#3: “Lights Out at Whit's End”

David Harley: Freeze! Police! Back away slowly, go for the cheese and you'll have it!

#11: “Addictions Can Be Habit-Forming”

David Harley: Uh, oh. I know that tone on your face.

#23: “The Quality of Mercy”

David Harley: So, I think you'll agree that the single biggest cause of juvenile delinquency in the country these days is young people! Now, I realize that may sound like a generalization, but if you take a look at a cross-section of all J.D.'s — uh, that stands for "juvenile delinquents" — you'd probably find that most of them — most of them — are between the ages of five and eighteen years of age. Coincidence? Maybe. But do we really wanna take the chance? I, for one, don't think so!

#19: “Recollections”

David Harley: Well after looking at this with an expert eye, there is only one possible conclusion.
Warren Summers: And that is?
David Harley: The Silver Streak is missing.

#21: “The Case of the Missing Train Car”

David Harley: Communicate, communicate, just open up your heart and communicate. We gotta share ideas, there’s no time to wait, and the best way to do it is communicate.

#3: “Lights Out at Whit's End”


David Harley is voiced by Will Ryan, has appeared in 20 episodes, and has received an average user rating of 86.6%.

David Harley has been mentioned in 2 episodes.