With a title parodying Adventures in Babysitting, “Adventures in Chinchilla-sitting” initially seems like the kind of episode that would derive its jokes from the story, much like one of this season’s biggest highlights “Midday Run.” Unfortunately, the episode’s story is quite forgettable and the best jokes are generally non sequiturs.
The episode opens with Bob and Linda preparing for a date night that Bob has planned. Louise then comes home with her class pet, a chinchilla, which she has volunteered to take home for the weekend, much to the chagrin of classmate Wayne (voiced by Andy Richter), who is obsessed with ensuring that the pet is taken care of properly.
When Wayne comes over to the house to check on the chinchilla, it escapes the house and is picked up by Jonas (making his second appearance after last season’s “Uncle Teddy”), forcing the kids to all go looking for him. This leads them to a high school party and then a roller rink. Meanwhile, Tina, who won’t receive money for babysitting if they aren’t in bed when their parents get home, tries to convince Louise and Gene to come home with her.
In the other storyline, the date night that Bob has planned turns out to be bar trivia, which disappoints Linda. After they are heckled for getting all the answers wrong, though, they begin cheating by using an answer sheet. This plot is not very notable, with a surprising lack of good Linda lines, considering how on fire she’s been lately.
In a season that’s been very much a mixed bag, “Adventures in Chinchilla-sitting” is among the most mixed. This type of story has been done on the show before, and it doesn’t lead to nearly as many laugh-out-loud moments as it should. Wayne is also forgettable, a new character that doesn’t feel new enough. But the episode’s redeeming factor is the little moments, like Teddy’s repeated appearances in his truck and the security guard at the roller rink, which make the episode quite enjoyable for all its faults.
“No problem. We can go to bed in our sleep.”
“Keep things light. Don’t bring up your divorce. Or Nixon. Or Radiohead.”
“I couldn’t stop him. He barreled right past me like a really fast barrel.”
“Iiiiiiiii wish my radio worked.”
“Anything that’s not a dog is a cat to me.”
“You’re in eighth grade? I thought you were someone’s mom.”
“If you were a teenager with a chinchilla, where would you be?” “Chinchilla-Con.”
“Make a jean jacket appear on me.” “Gene jacket!”
“That thing you paid $40 for? It’s ours.” “You guys smoke weed?”