The Good, the Bad and Butch
Sam and his mother are shopping for new school clothes when they run into Brian, one of Sam’s old friends, and Brian’s mother. While the two moms talk, Sam and Brian, who now likes to be called “Butch,” also carry on an awkward conversation. Butch now hangs out with the Bones of Rath. Sam rightly feels that the two of them have little in common.
Later, the Bones decide to pull a major prank at an academic awards banquet. Butch is forced to pal around with Sam again because Sam has an extra ticket to the banquet, a ticket that Butch needs to let the Bones into the building where the banquet is being held. The only problem is, Sam and Butch start to rebuild their friendship. Sam pulls out several mementos he’s kept from their previous friendship. Butch is genuinely touched by them, and by the fact that Sam has kept them.
Things seem to be progressing nicely between the two of them when Rodney and the Bones again rear their ugly heads to get Butch to help them with another scheme. Now Butch is torn between his friendship with Sam and wanting to remain with the Bones of Rath. What Butch is really dealing with, though, is his perception of himself. Is he a “good kid” like Sam, or does Butch belong with the “bad kids” like the Bones of Rath? He ultimately makes a difficult choice that teaches Sam a hard lesson about friendship and loyalty.
- This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »
- Why was Sam hesitant to talk to Butch?
- Sam agreed to go to a Bones meeting if Butch would go to church with him. Was this a smart bargain?
- Why or why not?
- Why did Butch go with the Bones instead of with Sam?
- What would you have done in Butch’s place?
|Brian Evans||John Burdick|
|Kathy Evans||Mimi Monaco|
|Lucy Cunningham-Schultz||Genni Long|
|Nancy Johnson||Rae Ruff|
|Rodney Rathbone||Steve Burns|
|Rusty Gordon (Malone)||Shawn Svoboda|
|Sam Johnson||Kyle Ellison|
- Rusty and Sam provide some amusing background dialogue in this episode while Rodney and Butch talk in the foreground. This can be found in the Quotes section of this page.
- The title of this episode is an allusion to the movie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
- This episode and #282: “The Fundamentals” are both examples of Southern-born Marshal Younger using "tennis shoes" in the mouths of Odyssey characters who otherwise say "sneakers."
- Butch and Sam have a brief conversation about going to see mythical baseball player Cedric Wilson who, while playing a visiting game with the Chicago Cubs that the boys attended, hit a 500-foot home run, ostensibly at Wrigley Field. (Though the exact distance of the longest home runs at Wrigley is a hotly contested topic, the majority of the home runs around the 500-foot range occurred after the airing of this episode. Prior to this episode's airing, two home runs near the 500-foot range were by Doug Frobel in 1984 and Barry Bonds in 1988.)
- Although Sam says in this episode that he knows no dirty jokes, he had no problem telling a few to Isaac Morton in #180: “Isaac the Pure”.
Sam Johnson: I got a new bike. It's a 10-speed.
Butch: Oh, boy, I bet it goes fast.
Sam Johnson: It does, I even got a speedometer for my birthday. I got it up to almost forty-five miles an hour once going downhill.
Butch: Really? Can a person breathe going that fast?
Rusty Gordon: I have a question to see if Sam's rubbing off on you. Answer this question—how much time have you spent in his tree house doing any of the following: finger painting, making baby snow-cones, or pretending to be any kind of crime fighting team?
Rusty Gordon: You really don't know any [dirty jokes]?
Sam Johnson: No.
Rusty Gordon: Well, maybe you can make one up. Let me help you. Try to think of the three most disgusting things you've ever heard of.
Sam Johnson: What?
Rusty Gordon: Okay, I got mine. You got yours?
Sam Johnson: No.
Rusty Gordon: All right, I'll let you use mine. Number one...
Sam Johnson: <interrupting> I don't wanna hear this.
Sam Johnson: All I know is that I'd still be your friend if you quit being Butch and started being Brian again.
Butch: Brian's gone.
Sam Johnson: That's too bad. Let me know if he comes back. I miss him.
Rusty Gordon: Let's find out who it was and just pound him.
Rodney Rathbone: We gotta do more than pound him.
Rusty Gordon: You mean, you wanna do something in addition to pounding him?
Rodney Rathbone: Exactly.
Rusty Gordon: Oh, okay. Just as long as pounding is included.