|Archie's Weird Mysteries|
|Season 1, Episode 37|
|Air date||February 17, 2000|
Teen out of Time
Incredible Shrinking Teens
This was the 37th episode of Archie's Weird Mysteries.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Pop Tate revitalizes his restaurant to cater to adults, but when all of the adults in the town become victims of a queen cockroach as they sprout antennas and talk like mutants, he finds that he might need the help of his former customers to save the town.
Storyline[edit | edit source]
The story opens in the sewer system of Riverdale, where we find a power company worker named Amanda Behr, a friend of Jughead's mother, searching for the cause of a recent power outage. She finds the source at a large tunnel. Seeing that the cables may have been eating through, she investigates the tunnel. But before she can go any further, a large cockroach abducts her, leaving only her hardhat.
Meanwhile at the Chocklit Shoppe, Archie is doing a study on zoology much to Ronnie's dismay. Then Pop arrive with their food under fancy food coverings, even though it wasn't necessary. Also he puts their shakes in champagne glasses and give them special napkins. The kids realize that something's up, and Pop sums it up in one word... "Oddsocks." This means that fancy restaurant critic, Horton J. Oddsocks is coming to the restaurant, and Pop is doing everything he can do impress him and get a good review from him. The kids pitch in and help him with the spic & span work. The diner is clean enough and the kids are tired. But Pop wasn't happy; he wants them to do more. He wants his diner to be perfect. He even exterminates a cockroach at first sight of it. The teens notice a sudden change in his behavior and realize that he's not himself anymore. Noticing his bizarre behavior, the kids leave him and the diner. On the way home, Jughead sees Amanda walking down the street, but she too has a strange behavior. Only hers is more zoned out.
Later that night, Pop finishes sprucing up his shoppe and spots two giant cockroaches sitting at the back booth. A panicky Pop Tate runs to Archie's house, waking him up to tell him about his recent bug problem. Archie's not impressed and wants to got back the sleep. But Pop convinces him to come to the diner anyway, when he says that it sounds like a weird mystery. At the diner, Pop takes Archie to the booth he saw the bug at. But by that time, they disappeared and Archie doesn't believe Pop and returns home to sleep and advises Pop to do the same. Pop resigns to the fact that he did imagine the bug big thing, but is not going to let that incident stop him from carrying his mission.
A few hours later, Mr. Oddsocks did show up at the diner. He observes the fork in front of him as Pop approaches him with his burger, delivered fancy-like of course. Oddsocks like the burger, but he's not giving Pop a five star rating yet. He says that if Pop is going to get that big rating, he needs to have adults eating there and not attracting nor allow kids anymore. He thinks that kids are useless.
Pop follows his advice and adds more fancy things to his diner, removes the ornaments, heightens the prices and as advised, the adults start to eat there. He even gives his restaurant a new name. He calls it: Pierre Tate's Beefsteak Chateau. Archie & Jughead are not impressed with the new Pop nor the new look and they prefer the old look. They couldn't believe that Pop let Oddsocks push him around like that. So they decide to not come anymore.
Meanwhile at the new diner, a couple falls through a trap door while sitting at their booth. It was the same booth where Pop spotted the giant cockroaches. Seconds later, they mysteriously return and mysteriously leave to ask more adult customers to come. Still seconds later, Mr. Weatherbee comes to the booth and he too mysteriously disappear and reappear, even though viewers didn't see it happen.
Meanwhile the kids, frowning at Pop's new attitude, start to notice the strange behavior of the adults, just like Amanda. They all request to the normally behaving adults to go to Pop's restaurant and sit at the back booth. Archie did some research and this is what he found: In the late 40s, the area currently inhabited by Pop Tate's Chocklit Shoppe use to be inhabited by an atomic energy research facility. At one time at the old place, an isotope experiment went wrong and two cockroaches were exposed to big doses of radiation. But before they were to be studied on, they escaped through a floor drain. This may indicate that the two escaped cockroaches must have mutated throughout the years and found the perfect time to invade and infest the planet. And they are doing it by kidnapping the adults via the back booth. How they are invading the planet and why are the adult behaving like zombies is still a mystery.
So, the kids return to the diner later that night, enter through the trap door with Ronnie falling through it and discover a tunnel leading to a prison area. Where they find all the adults imprisoned in the prison. They even learn that the giant cockroaches mindfeed themselves from the captured adults transform into them. This means that the zombie-like adults are really the mutant cockroaches. The cockroaches are being called by the queen for an important meeting on how to takeover Riverdale, the USA and eventually the world. As the girls free the abducted adults, the boys follow the cockroaches to the meeting. The queen talks about their plans via a giant screen ala Big Brother. Before the boys can retreat back to the prison area, Jughead accidentally slips a rock to the meeting area. That's actually a good thing, as Archie manages to squish the cockroaches with a boulder which caves in the cave. The Riverdale adult citizens are freed and they all return to the surface where the exterminators would eventually takedown the transformed cockroaches.
But the victory turns out to be short-lived, because the next day, the queen cockroach emerges from the ground. Archie then realizes that the monitor where the queen was being viewed was not a monitor at all. It was really a window. And the queen is really a super gigantic cockroach. Angered by the defeat of her squad, the queen decides to destroy the town herself. In this time of desperation and dire need, the kids turn to Pop for his homemade insecticide. But it isn't enough to stop the queen. So Archie suggests that they make an even bigger batch of the stuff with all the Riverdale teens providing the ingredients.
Armed with Pop's extermination formula and a fire truck, the kids trackdown the queen to their school and waste no time in spraying her with the stuff. Fazed by the formula, the queen escapes and the kids give chase before finally cornering her at the cliff. She makes one last attempt by shoving away their fire truck. But it's too little, too late as Archie sprays more stuff on her; causing the queen to fall into the water. Veronica fears that she may come back even though it's pretty obvious that the queen is dead as the kids watch her sink into the sea. But as Archie says, "Weirder things have happened."
Back at the diner, Pop tells the kids that he's closing down as the adults refused to return to the place and reliving the horror they went through, even though Riverdale is now bug free again. He even fears that the teenagers won't comeback either after his harsh treatment on them. But the kids encourage him to stay open and tell him that he's doing great. It's just that he went too far in perfecting his business. And to add more encouragement, Jughead asks Pop to prepare him burgers, hot dog, french fries, fish & chips, the list is endless. Eventually, the teens did comeback and everything is back to normal.
In Archie's column he tells his readers that Pop learned a valuable lesson: Never throw away what you have just to get a good magazine review and to always be true to yourself.