The Bad Hair Day

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#252: “The Bad Hair Day”
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Proverbs 22:24-25

24Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, 25or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

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The Bad Hair Day

“The Bad Hair Day” is episode #252 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on December 11, 1993.


When it's apparent that a petty thief is on the loose in Odyssey, Rodney Rathbone convinces 10-year-old Henry Thomas to take the law into his own hands.


Henry is upset, his comic books are missing. He and Sam Johnson tell Whit about it, and Henry immediately accuses Rodney Rathbone. Whit actually defends Rodney. But there's no need because Rodney bursts in a few moments later with accusations of his own. He left his favorite pocketknife at the Wonderworld Treehouse. When he returned for it, it was gone. It appears Odyssey has a thief on the loose. Whit tells everyone to calm down and report the losses to the police.

Later, Rodney has different ideas. He gathers the Bones of Rath and Henry. They all take off to find the culprit and punish the person. After hunting for a while, they come across Charles Thompson, whom they believe is the guilty one. Charles loudly professes his innocence, but Rodney does not listen. He starts to brand Charles's hair with blue paint. But when Henry acts nervous about Rodney doing that, Rodney threatens him as well. Rather than stand up for Charles, Henry backs down.

Meanwhile, Sam and Harlow Doyle discover that the comic books and the pocketknife were actually taken by a scavenger raccoon. When Henry discovers this, he gets physically ill. He tells Whit, who also grieves for Charles. But Whit comes up with a unique way for Henry to make it up to Charles. And Henry does.

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

Discussion Questions

  1. Why were Henry and Rodney so quick to accuse other people of stealing their things?
  2. Why was Whit so quick to dispute both the boys' theories?
  3. What does the phrase "Innocent until proven guilty" mean?
    • How could the boys have implemented that even while they were searching for the thief?


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Charles Thompson Mark Shillinger
Harlow Doyle Will Ryan
Henry Thomas Andrew Gillespie
John Whittaker Hal Smith
Rodney Rathbone Steve Burns
Rusty Gordon (Malone) Shawn Svoboda
Sam Johnson Kyle Ellison

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Mr. Thomas Henry Thomas
Bart Rathbone Rodney Rathbone
Brian Evans Rusty Gordon (Malone)


  • Sam likely thinks to seek help from Harlow Doyle due to his initial experience with him in #213: “Best Intentions”, despite the fact that Doyle's investigation in that episode led nowhere.
  • The first scene of this episode is similar to that of #207: “The Case of the Candid Camera” (another Phil Lollar-penned episode), with Henry delivering a closing line about someone being a thief; Rodney Rathbone issues a very similar line at the end of the first scene in Candid Camera. The "sleuthing" musical cues beginning and ending the commercial break here were also introduced in that episode.
  • Butch is first mentioned in this episode, though he isn't heard.
  • This episode was part of a Chick-fil-A package.
  • This episode was made into an AIO Activity Pack: The Harlow Doyle Mystery Files, Volume 2.
  • The boys discuss Mattie Stanson being a "left fielder for the Hawks" in Chicago. Chicago's baseball teams (a sport with left fielders and dugouts) are the Cubs and the the White Sox; the Chicago "Blackhawks" is a hockey team (a sport that has left wings but not left fielders).


Harlow Doyle: A brilliant idea!
Sam Johnson: What?
Harlow Doyle: That's what we need, a brilliant idea.

John Whittaker: You know, you two might just start a trend.
Charles Thompson: You mean of people painting their hair blue?
John Whittaker: Actually I was thinking more of responsibility and forgiveness.

Sam Johnson: Hey! There's something here I didn't notice before! Look!
Harlow Doyle: By George, you're right! It's... dirt?

Sam Johnson: I'm Sam Johnson, and I don't do anything. I'm a kid!
Harlow Doyle: Is that with an "i" or a "y"?
Sam Johnson: "Kid" is spelled with an "i."
Harlow Doyle: Oh. Well I was talking about "Johnson," but since you brought it up...

Harlow Doyle: Sounds like you need a detective! Want me to help you find one?
Sam Johnson: What about you?
Harlow Doyle: Well... okay. Though I wouldn't advise it.