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"The Unusual Suspects" is the 21st episode of the first season of Pepper Ann. It aired on January 17, 1998.


In this parody of hardboiled detective stories and The Usual Suspects, the Hazelnut Middle School Otter Statue is stolen, and Principal Hickey calls up Pepper Ann and four suspects to find out the truth.


The episode is presented with a back and forth between the actual events and the characters imagining a black and white noir scenario. Pepper Ann addresses the audience with the story of The Case of the Missing Otter. The Hazelnut Middle School statue of their otter mascot has been stolen and Principal Hickey suspects Pepper Ann, Milo, Nicky, Trinket and Dieter as the suspects and has them all come in one by one to give their testimonies.

Dieter explains that Pepper Ann gave him a tip for his food column for the school paper. He heads to a pancake house where he encountered Gwen and danced with her. With a strong alibi, Trinket gives her testimony next. She had left cheer leading practice early when she encountered Pepper Ann who gave her a coupon for her mom's clothing store. When she got there she got into an argument with the cashier over the prices. Nicky explains her story next; she was in the lab when Pepper Ann left and discovered a formula for a special kind of Mildew. She got into a fight with Mr. Carter who planned on getting famous from it, but Nicky managed to eat the formula to hide it. Milo, Pepper Ann's last hope, reveals that he and Pepper Ann were supposed to meet at the Brain Dead Arcade, but she was arriving late. Milo ends up going on a hopeless search for a quarter which leads to him losing his money.

Pepper Ann finally goes in to give her testimony, but Hickey immediately assumes that Pepper Ann stole the otter; giving a lengthy and ludicrous explanation that involved her selling the otter to a big time crime lord. Just when he is about to throw the book at her, Vera comes in and reveals that Hickey had actually asked her to remove the otter so that she could clean it. Humiliated and embarrassed, Hickey lets Pepper Ann go free. Pepper Ann summarizes that not jumping to conclusions is the best way to find the truth and reveals that she is actually in detention for releasing frogs in the chemistry lab. As she tries to tell the story, the episode irises out with her trying to tell the viewer not to leave.



  • The note Vera hands Principal Hickey is dated 4/18/87 and signed Vice Principal Hickey, meaning Principal Hickey was originally the vice principal of Hazelnut Middle School.
  • This episode's title is a twist on the title of the 1995 film The Usual Suspects.

External links

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Season 1: "Ziterella" • "Romeo and Juliet" / "Food Barn" • "Old Best Friend" / "Crunch Pod" • "Psychic Moose" / "Doll and Chain" • "Megablades of Grass" / "Family Vacation" • "The Big Pencil" / "Sani-Paper" • "Uniform Uniformity" / "Snot Your Mother's Music" • "The Environ-Mentals" • "Crush and Burn" / "Soccer Season" • "Thanksgiving Dad" • "Sketch 22" / "Manly Milo" • "Have You Ever Been Unsupervised" / "The Unusual Suspects" • "Nicky Gone Bad" / "In Support of"

Season 2: "Quiz Bowl" / "License to Drive" • "Cocoon Gables" / "Green-Eyed Monster" • "Hazelnut's Finest" / "Cat Scan" • "An OtterBiography" / "GreenSleeves" • "Vanessa Less Tessa" / "Peer Counselor P.A." • "A 'Tween Halloween" / "Mash into Me" • "Presenting Stewart Waldinger" / "P.A.'s Life in a Nutshell" • "Like Riding a Bike" • "Radio Freak Hazelnut" / "Framed" • "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Milo" / "The Sisterhood" • "Impractical Jokes" / "Cold Feet" • "Doppelganger Didi" / "Pepper Ann's Day Off-Kilter" • "A No Hair Day" / "That's My Dad"
Season 3: "You Oughta Be in Musicals!" • "Dances with Ignorance" / "Girl Power" • "Beyond Good and Evel" / "One of the Guys" • "The Wash-Out" / "Def Comedy Mom" • "The First Date Club" / "Unicycle of Life" • "A Kosher Christmas" • "Effie Shrugged" / "Mom Knows What P.A. Did Two Nights Ago" • "The Spanish Imposition" / "Single Unemployed Mother"
Season 4: "Burn, Hazelnut, Burn" / "Career Daze" • "G.I. Janie" / "Miss Moose" • "Pepper Shaker" / "Flaw and Order" • "Baggy Bean Buddies" / "The Beans of Wrath" • "The Velvet Room" • "One Angry Woman" • "The Sellout" / "The Telltale Fuzzy" • "A Valentine's Day Tune" • "Sammy's Song" / "Permanent Record" • "Live and Let Dye" • "Remote Possibilities" / "Considering Constance" • "To Germany with Love" • "Bye, Bye Trinket" / "P.A.'s Pop Fly" • "My Mother, Myself" • "The Amazing Becky Little" • "The Untitled Milo Kamalani Project" / "Guess Who's Coming to the Theater" • "The Great Beyond" / "Jaybirds of a Feather" • "The Way They Were"
Season 5: "The One with Mr. Reason" / "Sense and Senselessness" • "Forging Ahead" / "Reality Bytes" • "Carmello" / "Strike it or Not" • "Complimentary Colors" • "The Merry Lives of Pepper Ann" • "A is for Average" / "Alice Kane Went Down to Calcutta" • "Spice of Life" / "T.G.I.F." • "Dear Debby" / "Too Cool to Be Mom" • "Moose in Love" / "Two's Company" • "Zen and the Art of Milo" / "That's My Mama Destructo" • "Unhappy Campers" / "Searching for Pepper Ann Pearson" • "The Word" / "The Perfect Couple" • "The Finale"

Hazelnut Middle SchoolPepper Ann's House
See also
House of Mouse