Eerie, Indiana is one of the most unique, spooky, and fun kids TV shows of all time. It tells the story of Marshall Teller, who’s recently relocated to the creepy suburb of Eerie, Indiana (pop 16,661) and spends his time exploring the mysteries of his strange new hometown. Working as a kids version of Twilight Zone with a recurring cast, the show was a fun twist on anthology sci-fi that played with the medium and dissected classic genre tropes.
The show is often forgotten when it comes to our fave kids TV shows due to the fact that its original 18 episodes only ran from September 1991 to April 1992 on NBC, before disappearing off our screens until 1993 when Disney picked it up for syndication (giving us an extra episode in the process); it eventually moved over to Fox Kids in 1997. For those who do remember it, the strange show holds a special place in our hearts. Luckily, if you’re desperate to revisit Eerie or have yet to discover it, fret not, for it’s currently streaming on Amazon! So for your viewing pleasure here are our top seven essential episodes to start your Eerie, Indiana binge!
“Foreverware” (Episode one)
Directed by Joe Dante, the first episode Eerie, Indiana really set the bar for the rest of the cult classic kids show. From the vibrant, abstract opening titles that pay homage to Hitchcock’s Vertigo, you know that you’re watching something truly special. In this fun take on The Stepford Wives, Marshall and his best friend Simon explore a group of local moms who have a penchant for vintage clothes. After some investigation, it turns out they keep themselves forever young by sleeping in Tupperware-style containers. A classic episode, this one will likely you give you instant nostalgia if you ever watched the Fox Kids Saturday morning schedule!
“The Retainer” (Episode two)
Marshall and Simon’s adventures get even weirder in the second episode of the series when their friend Steve visits Eerie’s local orthodontist. He gets an extravagant retainer that happens to give him the power to read the minds of local dogs! A super fun entry in Eerie canon, this tale takes a humorously dark twist when Marshall hooks a tape recorder up to Steve’s retainer and the crew discover that man’s best friend isn’t actually that friendly at all.
“ATM with a Heart of Gold” (Episode three)
When Marshall’s dad invents a Max Headroom-style ATM called Mr. Wilson. It’s meant to make banking friendlier… so friendly, in fact, that Simon become firm friends with him. That’s strange enough, but this tale really kicks off when Mr. Wilson starts giving his new friend Simon money, which ends up throwing the entirety of Eerie into bankruptcy. A cute sci-fi parable about greed, friendship, and loneliness, “ATM with a Heart of Gold” is a total gem.
“Heart on a Chain” (Episode seven)
My personal fave ever episode, “Heart on a Chain” takes a classic genre trope and flips it on its head. We meet Melanie, a girl with a serious heart condition who sets the young men of Eerie’s hearts aflame. As Marshall and his bad boy friend Devon compete for her affections, Devon dies in a car accident, leaving Melanie with a brand new heart and a whole new personality. This is a radical episode as it stars horror icon Danielle Harris and has one of the creepiest moments of the series. (Keep an eye out in the background of the final scene!)
“The Lost Hour” (Episode 10)
Every good science fiction movie needs a time loop story. When Marshall decides he doesn’t want to respect Daylight Saving Time, he ends up in an alternate dimension where people who don’t change their watches get trapped… forever! This version of Eerie looks the same except everyone Marshall’s ever known or loved is gone. There’s just Marshall, a mysterious milkman, a young girl who got trapped the year before, and a group of creepy garbage collectors who appear to be after them!
“Tornado Days” (Episode 12*)
Things go awry in Eerie as the town gets ready for its annual picnic celebrating the local tornado, Old Bob. Marshall decides to ignore the festivities until a tornado hunter crashes into his front lawn, claiming that Old Bob is trying to kill him and Marshall might just be next! See, Old Bob is a tornado with an ego and he doesn’t take being ignored lightly. “Tornado Days” pokes gentle fun at the kind of hilarious local traditions that we’ve all grown up with while being an engaging story about a sentient natural disaster!
“Tornado Days” is listed as episode 13 on Amazon.
“Reality Takes a Holiday” (Episode 17*)
Introducing kids to metacommentary way back in 1992, Eerie, Indiana went full self-referential when Marshall finds himself backstage on the set of a TV show with everyone calling him by his IRL name Omri Katz! This was the official final episode of Eerie, Indiana, though a secret last episode—”The Broken Record”—was aired by Disney (and later by Fox) when the show was picked for syndication. A true exercise in pushing the boundaries of a half hour kids show, this is one of the absolute highlights of Eerie, Indiana’s short life span.
“Reality Takes a Holiday” is listed as episode 19 on Amazon.
Will you be checking out Eerie, Indiana? Did we miss you favorite episode? Was Omri Katz your first crush? Let us know in the comments!
More essential episodes lists!
- The essential episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- The essential episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- The essential episodes of Game of Thrones
[brightcove video_id=”5733259641001″ brightcove_account_id=”3653334524001″ brightcove_player_id=“rJs2ZD8x”]