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#591: “Switch”
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46: A Date with Dad (and Other Calamities)
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Matthew 25:29

29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

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“Switch” is episode #591 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by John Fornof, and originally aired on April 22, 2006.


Because Marvin and Tamika are convinced that being a grown-up is easy, their parents switch places with them for a day.


Is it easier to be a kid and not have to worry about anything, or to be an adult and be independent and have money? Whit has an interesting way for the Washington family to find out the answer to that: switch roles! Whit switched with his children when they asked him the same question, and now he volunteers to serve as a referee for the Washington family’s experiment.

At first, Marvin and Tamika are thrilled with their new freedom. Since Marvin will be going to work in Ed’s place, Whit gives him an advance of $150 dollars, which Marvin splits with Tamika. They now have the freedom to buy things they want, only to eventually realize that being an adult comes with more responsibilities. Marvin is late for work because he stayed up too late. Tamika can’t cook and has to figure out how to feed the whiny kids (Ed and Elaine).

Meanwhile, Whit makes it even more interesting by representing different institutions that need to be paid regularly: the government, the landlord, the electric company, and an insurance agent. Because they spent all their money, Tamika and Marvin don’t have enough to put a decent meal on the table or pay all the bills, which results in the Washingtons' electricity being shut off. Tamika and Marvin are left to re-evaluate how much they really need the extravagant things that they bought in light of their current situation, and Ed and Elaine take what they see as an opportunity to point out what they’ve been trying to tell the kids all along — they can’t always afford everything they want, and managing money can be a difficult thing to do.

With that lesson learned, the Washington family goes back to normal — but this time with new appreciation and respect for each other.

Discussion Questions

  1. Was this a good idea to switch roles?
    • Do you think that your family might do this?
    • Do you think it helped the Washington family?


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Ed Washington Mark Christopher Lawrence
Elaine Washington J Karen Thomas
Mr. Jenkins Bob Hoose
Jenkins's Market PA Announcer J Karen Thomas
John Whittaker Paul Herlinger
Marvin Washington Kendre Berry
Tamika Washington Courtney Brown

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Jason Whittaker John Whittaker
Jana Whittaker-Dowd John Whittaker
Jerry Whittaker John Whittaker
Jenny Whittaker John Whittaker
Connie Kendall Marvin Washington
Nick Mulligan Marvin Washington


  • There is a different music cue behind each accent that Whit does to impersonate bill collectors.



Tamika Washington: Marvin, I can't believe you just slammed the door on Mr. Whittaker!
Marvin Washington: That wasn't Mr. Whittaker. That was a big Girl Scout with a mustache.
Tamika Washington: That's even worse!

Ed Washington: You kids don't know how easy you have it.
Elaine Washington: That's right. No bills, no budget.
Ed Washington: No worries, no stress.
Marvin Washington: No money...

Marvin Washington: But, Dad, you get to buy stuff you want all the time!
Ed Washington: Such as?
Marvin Washington: Uh, well, toothpaste!
Tamika Washington: And don't forget the new toilet plunger!
Ed Washington: Toothpaste and a toilet plunger! Suddenly I feel like a very rich man.

Marvin Washington: Honey, I'm home!
Tamika Washington: Will you stop that?!

Tamika Washington: These kids are driving me crazy!
Mr. Jenkins: Eh... sorry to hear that.

Marvin Washington: Elmer Fudd works for the government?