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Family Portraits

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Adventures in Odyssey originally began as a 13-part series titled Family Portraits, which consisted of Whit and his family scrambling to show up for their portraits, without realizing that they are being robbed during the middle of it all and that Bart Rathbone is watching their TV. Parts of this series were re-worked into the later episodes No, Honestly! and Sunday Morning Scramble.

Plot

First, in Whit's Visitor, a man walks up to Whit's doorstep to tell him that he found his lost puppy, which then instantly vanishes off of the face of the earth. Whit shrugs and says, "You'll get used to it." The man then offers to take Whit's family's pictures that Sunday. They spend a whole half-hour talking about it, and then Whit accepts.

The portraits, however, interfere with Jeremy's dentist appointment in Dental Dilemma. Jeremy must overcome his completely rational fears that the dentist will physically attack him if he cancels the appointment.

Shortly afterwards, a boy named Ronny Ratburn (whose name is, curiously, extremely different than the name of the boy who replaced him) comes to town and establishes a dishonest reputation in The New Kid in Town, but he later discovers information about a scam relating to the portraits. The next few episodes, No Stupid Questions, You're Not Going to Believe This..., and My Brother's Keeper follow him questioning the townspeople, convincing Whit of the plausibility of his story, and losing his baby brother, Scrubb, in the park.

Things become more suspenseful in While Dad's Away, when Whit decides that Ronny's story may have merit and leaves the portraits to take action. He decides that the only logical thing for a man in his sixties to do would be to confront the burgler head-on. Meanwhile, in The Letter, Ronny receives a cue card from the writers telling him to sneak into the house. The two bump into each other in A Different Kind of Peer Pressure, and then they find Bart watching Whit's TV. He blames the negative pressures of society. As it turns out, that was all there was to the scandal -- the guy took people away from their homes so that Bart could sneak in and watch TV.

The next episode In Memory of Herman actually has little to do with the plot. It instead follows the life of this mystery family that we only see once.

Things return to focus in A Member of the Family, where the portraits are taken. In A Simple Addition, Jeremy copies and edits Whit into the picture, as he was absent, making for a happy ending.

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