The Prodigal, Jimmy

From AIOWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
#57: “The Prodigal, Jimmy”
Paired with
Original Release Date
Date Recorded
Recorded at
Cassette No.
[[:Category:Episodes with {{{intro}}} intro| {{{intro}}}]]
Click to show or hide ↓
  • [[:Category:Episodes with {{{intro}}} intro| {{{intro}}}]]
[[:Category:Episodes with {{{wraps}}} wraps| {{{wraps}}}]]
Click to show or hide ↓
  • [[:Category:Episodes with {{{wraps}}} wraps| {{{wraps}}}]]
[[:Category:{{{genre}}} Episodes| {{{genre}}}]]

Luke 15:11-32

11Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons.

12The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them. 13"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' 20So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 22"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate. 25"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' 28"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!' 31"'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.

32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"

1 John 1:9
9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Songs Included
Inventions Used
Featured Charity
Spanish Name
Jaime el pródigo
Spanish Airdate
Error: Invalid time.
Soundtrack length
Previous title
Written by
Directed by
Produced by
Executive Producer
Post-Production by
Production Assistant
Engineered by
Music by
Songs by

Current user rating: 89/100% (44 votes)

 You need to enable JavaScript to vote.

The Prodigal, Jimmy

“The Prodigal, Jimmy” is episode #57 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on January 14, 1989.


When Jimmy Barclay realizes he's spent all his savings on pizza and video games, he finds it difficult to confront his father.



Jimmy Barclay is rolling in dough — almost $50 worth, to be exact. He decides to spend the money and his entire Saturday playing video games at the arcade. But his father, George, nixes that idea, thanks to the C-minus Jimmy got on his spelling test. George rightly surmises that the poor grade is due to Jimmy’s lack of study and his tendency to goof off lately. George orders Jimmy to stay home, finish his chores, and study.

But Jimmy’s money is burning a hole in his pocket and his piggy bank. He decides that he’s old enough to come and go as he pleases. So when George goes to work, Jimmy sneaks out and heads off to Pizza City. His plan is to have some fun in the morning, then return home before his dad does that afternoon at 3:30.

At Pizza City, Jimmy meets up with two unsavory men named Mook and Howie, who con Jimmy into spending all his money on them. They teach him how to play video games and tell him jokes, living it up at Jimmy’s expense. But when his funds run out, Mook and Howie quickly leave. Jimmy is embarrassed and hurt at being taken for a sucker — until he remembers to ask about the time. It's 3:30.

Jimmy is so scared, he doesn’t go home. He goes to Whit's End and plays with the trains. Whit, who has already talked with George, wheedles the story out of Jimmy, who doesn't know what to do.

For guidance, Whit tells him the story of another fellow who disobeyed his father, spent all his money on no-good friends, and ended up feeding pigs for a living. Jimmy recognizes the story as the parable of the prodigal son. With Whit's help, Jimmy realizes that just like the son in the story, he, too, must repent and return home.

Whit takes Jimmy home, and he immediately confesses his sins to George. Jimmy waits for his punishment. But before George punishes his son, he welcomes Jimmy with a hug, showing him the real meaning of the prodigal story: forgiveness.

Discussion Questions

  1. Jimmy said he was old enough to make his own decisions. Was he?
    • When is someone old enough to make his or her own decisions?
    • Explain.
  2. Why was Jimmy so afraid to go home?
    • Was his fear justified?
  3. What does it mean to repent?


Heard in episode

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Mary Barclay George Barclay
Donna Barclay George Barclay
Connie Kendall John Whittaker
Eugene Meltsner John Whittaker


  • The last scene between George and Jimmy was performed "free-form" — that is, the actors ad-libbed the entire scene!
  • The sound effects for the video games in the arcade come from an Atari 2600. One of the games sounds used in the episode comes from the 2600 version of Pac-Man.
  • This episode was Steve Burns's AIO debut. Notably, the voice Burns used for Howie sounds like a deeper voiced version of that used for his later role as resident Odyssey bully Rodney Rathbone.
  • This episode introduces Jimmy's passion for video games — something that would appear in later episodes in reference to the Zapazoids game franchise, specifically.
  • Writer Phil Lollar's line about "sticking with a story" until "I can come up with something better" would be heard again in his later Barclay family episode #236: “Into Temptation” (in which the line is spoken by Lawrence Hodges to his conscience, played by Whit).
  • The events of this episode would be referenced later in the episode #62: “Let This Mind Be in You”, and many years later in #536: “Living in the Gray, Part 2”.
  • This episode's entire cast and characters are male.



Howie: You thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?
Mook: I think so... what are you thinkin'?
Howie: I'm thinkin' we just found somebody with lots of money here!
Mook: Oh. Then I'm not thinkin' what you're thinkin'. But if you're thinkin' now, what I think you're thinkin', then you're thinkin' a good thought, I think.
Howie: Would you come on?!

John Whittaker: Well Jimmy, you know you're gonna have to go home.
Jimmy Barclay: But my dad will kill me!
John Whittaker: You don't know that.
Jimmy Barclay: You don't know my dad!

Herbert: What'sa matter, kid? What happens at three thirty? You turn into a pumpkin or somethin'?
Jimmy Barclay: No, not a pumpkin — dead meat. Three thirty is when my dad gets home.