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Archie's Weird Mysteries
Season 1, Episode 39
Little Chocklit Shoppe of Horrors
Episode Information
Air date February 21, 2000
Credits
Chris Lundquist Jughead
Camille Schmidt Veronica
Andrew Rannells Archie
Paul Sosso Reggie
Danielle Young Betty
Ben Beck Dilton
Episode Guide
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This was the 39th episode of Archie's Weird Mysteries.

Synopsis[]

A computer processing unit takes over Pop Tate's Chock'Lit Shoppe. Initially it was thought to revolutionize his business, but it was soon realized that it has a mind of its own and has no love for humans. Will the gang shut the thing down or things get really out of control?

Storyline[]

The story begins with a special gathering at the Mega Micro Industries company. The gathering is for debuting a new computer processor called the "Stanley 9000". It is programmed to control machines and causing them to operate by themselves; giving humans all the rest they need and causing everything to go faster. Production manager Dr. Nora Clark, installed one in the electrical unit of a taxicab with dummies inside it for a demonstration. The demonstration is designed to have the dummy riders arrive at the airport quicker by having the cab with the 9000 in it to find the quickest, most efficient route to the airport and not waste time with chit-chats, sob stories, sing alongs or worrying about high cab fares (maybe). But the demonstration went with a hitch, as instead of taking roads & highways, the 9000 has the cab trek though grasslands and plants and fall off a cliff and crash, before finally exploding in a fireball. Realizing how dangerous the Stanley 9000 can be to humans, Dr. Clark orders the company to destroy all Stanley 9000s, not put them out on the market and cancel the project.

Meanwhile at Pop's Chock'Lit Shoppe, Reggie is angry over the fact the Pop is slow as he is yelling for his bill. So he decides to quit coming to Pop's diner and go to Speedy Burger. Archie console Pop, telling him that Reggie is just impatient and that everything will be fine. But Pop tells Archie & Jughead that everything is not fine because the new Speedy Burger place taking all his customers plus some new ones and is on the verge of closing down. So Archie gathers the gang together to come up with a plan for Pop to compete with Speedy Burger and stay in business. Betty suggests that she can work as a volunteer waitress, Veronica suggests that she'll create new designer uniforms for the workers, and Jughead wants to make burgers as the new cook. But Pop turned everybody down by telling them that Betty can't work for nothing, he can't afford new uniforms and Jughead will just eat up the profits. So Pop resigned to the fact that he'll have to close down because he's too friendly. Finally Dilton says that friendliness is neither helpful nor hindering and that technology & speed are the keys. So he shows everybody the new Stanley 9000, to which he claims that he found it in a magazine article and he volunteers to build automated machines which will do all the work for Pop. Archie doesn't believe that a mini AI device nor automated machines will solve all the problems as there's no such thing as a computer device doing all the work and using automated machines only triggers more work. Plus Pop thinks that this is all so impersonal and that customers still need human attention. Archie realizes that something is up, but he couldn't figure out what.

Later, the new fully automated Pop's Chock'Lit Shoppe opens for business and true to Dilton's idea, everything runs automatically. The Stanley 9000 Dilton installed is hooked up to the restaurant's electrical system in Pop's office. Plus there are special cameras on the ceiling, so that Stanley knows where the meals will go and who gets them. But Archie still thinks that something weird is going on, even as Dilton changed his story by saying that he found it in the trash can by a computer facility, which was revealed to be Mega Micro Industries. This indicates that the defective device is not destroyed. As Archie tried to touch it, the 9000 shocks him and tells Archie to leave the office as it is now off limits to unauthorized personnel. Growing more curious, Archie leaves the office as instructed and then leaves the diner to do some investigating. But even as Archie left the diner, things started to go a-rye: Stanley tells Pop to put in more ground beef in the burger machine, making Pop virtually a slave, it won't give Veronica avocados after putting Thousand Island dressing on her burger, as it claims that cooking avocados is too time consuming and it forces the girls to leave after giving them the bill, claiming that they only have a small amount of time to eat there. And to make matters worse, Pop has been ordered not to chat with his customers anymore, just to speed things up and not have customers get human attention anymore.

Later that night, Archie arrives at Mega Micro Industries. Before going in, he sees Dr. Clark in the dumpster, searching for all the non destroyed Stanley 9000s, for she found out that her assistant did not destroy the Stanley 9000s and threw them away instead. Together, they find out that Dilton has been poking around the place, finding one of the Stanley 9000s while searching for new inspirations and ideas for new inventions. Dr. Clark tells Archie that he must go to Dilton and tell him to shut down 9000 he found as the computer will eventually find out that it hates humans and wants to kill them.

Back at the diner, Dilton unveils his newest invention. He calls it, Dilton's Dispenser of Delicacies. It's a chair that's designed to cater the customers to their every need, fast and efficient-like. Stanley sends a meal to Jughead who tries it out. It went cleanly at first, but things start to go out of control as Stanley continues to feed Jughead at an alarmingly fast pace rate and not stopping. As Pop & Dilton struggles to stop it and save Jughead, Archie arrives to save the day. Jughead is grateful despite not wanting to turn down free food. But of course there's a first time for everything, especially with a computer involved. Archie asks the boys to step outside so that can have a private chat, seeing that the Stanley 9000's got microphones everywhere and can hear everything they say. Archie tells Dilton that the Stanley 9000 is dangerous and needs to be shut down immediately. Dilton resisted the idea at first, but then he realizes that the Stanley 9000 is a self-learning computer, meaning that it can eventually care more for computers and less about humans, eventually deciding to kill them. So Dilton sadly shuts the thing down after lying to it, that it needs one more adjustment. Little did the boys know that Stanley read their lips while they were outside for a private chat. So after the boys left for the night, Stanley reactivates itself and secretly makes a few phone calls in preparation for the wildest day ever.

The next morning, as Pop tries to open up for the day, Pop sees that his diner has been fully remodeled, making it more efficient and faster than ever. And as feared, it now realizes that humans are too slow, hungry, messy and want not. For it tricked Dilton, Betty & Veronica to come to the shoppe by using Pop's voice, and naturally they got captured by Stanley and using them as demonstrations. It sends the kids to a trash compactor to kill them and other humans. Fed up with Stanley's antics, Pop calls Archie for help. Archie instructs Pop to keep Stanley busy while Archie attempts to shut down Stanley permanently. While distracting Stanley, Pop fights cleaning robots, and tries to disable the trash compactor to no avail. Meanwhile, Archie sneaks into Pop's office and takes out the memory cards, causing the 9000 to shut down for good and freeing the others.

Pop's Chock'Lit Shoppe eventually went back to normal. Dilton removed all the automated machines and returned the now deactivated Stanley 9000 to Mega Micro Industries who presumably finally destroyed the 9000s for good. Jughead quickly forgot about the Stanley 9000 incident and quickly starts to eat Pop's burger's again. Reggie gets his comeuppance by having an avocado thrown to his nose. People start to appreciate Pop's Chock'Lit Shoppe even more and presumably and eventually starts to come back to eating there. In his column, Archie reminds us all that even though personal attention can be slow, ineffective, silly and downright boring, it is still the way to go. And while we appropriately let computers & machines do the work for us, they still need human help. Computers & people need balancing out and to work together.

Trivia[]

  • The Stanley 9000 may be based off of the HAL 9000.
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