Whit's Flop

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#1: “Whit's Flop”
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Romans 8:28

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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El disparate de Tio Juan Ca
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September 28, 2013
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“Whit's Flop” is episode #1 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar and Steve Harris, and originally aired on November 21, 1987.


Davey Holcomb learns that failure is important when Whit shows him how to turn a failure into a great success.



Davey Holcomb is a walking disaster. It seems everything he touches or attempts ends up in failure. At a Little League baseball game, Davey strikes out three times, knocks over the portable backstop, cleats his own second baseman, and causes the entire team to trip over him when he bends down to tie his shoe.

After the game, the team goes to Whit's End to commiserate about their loss. At Whit’s End, Davey meets Whit, who shows him around. As they talk, Whit learns that Davey is interested in inventing things. Whit suggests Davey try out the Inventors' Corner, but Davey is afraid he'll fail again. Whit asks Davey to help him bring out a new display called "Whit's Flop," an invention Whit couldn't get to work. Davey tries to fix "Whit's Flop" and nearly succeeds — until he accidentally breaks off a lever on the machine.

Davey runs out of the shop, feeling very sorry for himself. Whit follows to bring him back inside, telling Davey that he must fix what he has broken. So Davey returns, and he and Whit work on the flop together, creating a new invention. They unveil it later that afternoon, but when Davey proudly turns it on, it shorts out and nearly blows up. He leaves again, feeling sorry for himself.

A short time later, Whit finds Davey and offers him a piece of freshly-made pizza. They talk, and Davey learns that the machine fizzled out because of a short in the wiring at Whit's End, not because of anything Davey did. The machine, a pizza oven, works wonderfully and is a big hit with the kids. Davey has succeeded — without even knowing it! Whit explains that this is an example of how "God works all things together for good."

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did Whit say failing is important?
  2. How long should you keep trying to do something at which you've failed?
  3. List some ways God has worked things out for good in your life.


Heard in episode

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Gladys John Whittaker



  • In the opening wraparound of the original Odyssey USA version, Chris shows different examples of failure, including a boy trying to spell "soliloquy" (Official Podcast 31). At the end of the episode Chris advertises a book called Abraham Lincoln and Clubhouse Magazine. She also offers a free cassette to listeners and a preview for #2: “The Life of the Party” is also heard. Chris signs off with her signature line, "I hope you spend some time exploring our side of the radio next week in Odyssey USA!"
    • This version was re-aired on November 18, 2017 in commemoration of Odyssey’s 30th Anniversary and included an introduction by Phil Lollar.
  • The Complete Guide lists Phil Lollar as "Sally's father" in this show. This is probably a reference to the father and daughter who appear in the introduction to the Odyssey USA version. However, the girl in the introduction is not identified as "Sally."
  • Starting with the second broadcast on September 24, 1988, the episode begins with Chris talking to a plumber. All references to Odyssey USA were also removed.
  • Several minutes of the episode were later removed after the first Adventures in Odyssey revision, presumably to make Odyssey's first episode faster paced. Also, the scene where Davey turns on the first version of his Pizza Oven now includes a different sound effect.
  • When Davey tells Whit about the backstop falling over, Whit says, "That was just a coincidence." However, it is established in all subsequent episodes, such as #47: “A Single Vote”, that Whit doesn't "believe anything is a coincidence."
    • This can be explained in the following way: When Whit says that it's a coincidence that the backstop fell over near Davey Holcomb, he means that the backstop is unrelated to Davey. However, when Whit says that nothing is a coincidence, he means that everything has a purpose and is part of God's plan. The sense is different, so it should not be considered a contradiction.



Ralph (a): When it got next to Davey, it crashed right over!
John Whittaker: Well, that was just a coincidence.
Ralph (a): No, that was just the beginning.

Davey Holcomb: I broke your machine, Mr. Whittaker! I broke it!

John Whittaker: When you're a Christian, nothing you do in faith is really a failure. God's gonna use it somehow — maybe not in the way you expect. But He'll use it. You just have to be patient, and persistent, even if it takes... well, years.