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When a simple lie morphs into an out of control event, CJ and the boys discover the power of words and the messy business surrounding lies, truths and the consequences of telling both.
It is new electives day at Pootatuck; CJ and Fenwick choose to take ceramics, and Crispo takes cooking class. After CJ realizes she, Fenwick, and Crispo lie too often, she decides that the next thing on the list should be always telling the truth.
CJ gets distracted when Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy mistakenly walks into ceramics class instead of drama. She decides to lie to Miss Claymore, her teacher, to get enrolled in drama. Fenwick reminds her that would be against the list thing, but he agrees when she creates a lie coupon that is valid for one emergency lie and gives him one. She manages to get out of ceramics by saying her grandmother was sick and wanted to see her in a performance of "Romeo and Juliet," the play the drama class is putting on.
In cooking class, Crispo avoids hurting Patti's feelings by lying and telling her the strange and unappealing cookie recipe she wanted to make sounded delicious. After she makes them, Crispo tries the cookies and lies to Natasha, telling her they tasted good. Natasha tries it and, after distracting Patti, questions why Crispo lied. Crispo decides he should tell the truth and admits to Patti that her cookies were bad. Because he was so truthful, Natasha chooses to make him the class cookie taster.
Fenwick is having trouble in ceramics class and sees a good vase on a table and picks it up. Miss Claymore sees him holding the vase and asks if it was his, and he lies and claims it. Later, Fenwick accidentally drops and breaks the vase, but Miss Claymore tells him he could just make another one and have the class watch. Fenwick feigns sickness instead.
CJ tries out for Juliet and Mr. Bandt gives her the part because he had heard about her sick grandmother. While rehearsing the play, Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy admits that he wants to be in ceramics and Mr. Bandt allows him to transfer because he was honest, surprising CJ. Mr. Bandt tells CJ that they were going to do a play just for her grandmother on the upcoming Friday and she panics.
The next day, people are sympathetic to CJ and she tells Fenwick and Crispo to keep up with her lie. Fenwick then tells CJ and Crispo about his lie and Crispo is disappointed in the both of them, especially because he was telling the truth. Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy makes a vase for CJ's grandmother and CJ realizes how out of control her lie had gotten when she sees all the gifts for her grandmother at her house. Her parents advise her to tell the truth before it could get any worse.
CJ is determined to tell Mr. Bandt the truth the next day, but she finds that he had gotten the local news to talk about her sick grandmother and she continues with the lie. Crispo tastes the students' cookies and is brutally honest to the point where he comes off as rude. Natasha stops him, but after he tastes the cookies she made and tells her his honest opinion, he is sent to Mr. Roberts's office. Mr. Roberts gives him advice on when to tell the truth and when to tell a little white lie.
Fenwick tells Miss Claymore and the ceramics class the truth about the vase and Miss Claymore recommends he work with Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy to get better. Mrs. Martin sees CJ on the news and informs Mr. Martin. At school, CJ is prepared to tell Mr. Bandt and the drama class the truth, but her parents arrive, Mr. Martin disguised as an elderly woman, and CJ is able to keep her reputation. Crispo goes back to cooking class and apologizes to Patti for being rude. He tries another one of her strange recipes and lies, telling her it was good, but spits it out when she can't notice. When CJ sees Fenwick and Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy working together in ceramics class, she realizes it could have been her if she had been honest from the start.
- Isabela Moner as CJ Martin
- Jaheem King Toombs as Fenwick Frazier
- Owen Joyner as Crispo Powers
- Jack De Sena as Jack Roberts
- Marcus Folmar as Mr. Bandt
- Henry Dittman as Mr. Martin
- Stephanie Escajeda as Mrs. Martin
- Brady Reiter as Mindy Minus (flashback only)
- Debra Christofferson as Natasha Villavovodovich
- Chazz Nittolo as Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy
- Gianni DeCenzo as Arthur Pickwickle (flashback only)
- Shyloh Oostwald as Patti Macabre
- Julie Brown as Miss Claymore
- Nick Furu as Dale Stubbs
- Erin Myers as Jill Jillerton
- Nay Nay Kirby as Ceramics class student
- Piper Watts as Ceramics class student
Crispo: [singing] You say you want a cookie, a really good cookie? Well, we got the best darn cookies, the best darn cookie in the world. At which table? At this here table, where I'm baking with my special girl.
Miss Claymore: Fenwick, is that your vase? It's magnific-splendorific!
Fenwick: [looks at the lie coupon] Yep, it's my vase that I made with clay and love.
Natasha: You, boy with tidal wave hair, how is cookie?
Crispo: [looks at cookie then at Patti's hopeful face] It's amazing!
Natasha: [tries a cookie and coughs] It has kick. Please, celebrate this victory by getting me paper towels in girls' restroom. [Patti leaves] Why did you not tell me this tastes worst than expired yak cheese?
Crispo: I didn't want to hurt Patti's feelings!
Natasha: Your lie nearly cost me life!
Crispo: You're right, lunch lady. I should always tell the truth.
Patti: Here you go, lunch lady. [hands Natasha the paper towels and Natasha uses them to wipe her tongue]
Crispo: Patti, these cookies are disgusting. In fact, if a pregnant fly flew by right now, it would refuse to lay its eggs in these cookies, that's how bad these cookies are. Anti-fly-egg-laying bad. [Patti looks offended] And man, that felt good!
Crispo: I am only telling the truth, which is the list thing, remember? But before I go, perhaps this will help: you all look ugly when you lie. [CJ and Fenwick look offended] Just being honest!
Mr. Martin: Is there something you want to tell us about your grandma?
Mrs. Martin: 'Cause according to these get well cards, she's about to leave us soon.
CJ: Um, I may have told a lie about Grandma being sick so I could switch electives and be in a play with Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy, and it kinda ballooned from there.
Mrs. Martin: Sweetie, what did we tell you about lying?
CJ: You should only do it to get out of bad dinner parties with people who like you more than you like them.
Mrs. Martin: [to Mr. Martin] You did tell her that.
Mr. Martin: Well, you better come clean about this one before things get even more out of control.
CJ: Yeah, it's a little late for that, considering we're putting on a special performance of "Romeo and Juliet" just for grandma and she has to be there...tomorrow.
Mr. Martin: Your nana is healthy and on a river cruise in Europe.
CJ: What about Abuelita?
Mrs. Martin: She's lives 2,000 miles away and she thinks Shakespeare no es bueno.
Crispo: I wasn't being mean, I was just being honest.
Mr. Roberts: So today's list thing is be incredibly rude to everyone?
Crispo: No, it's to always tell the truth. And since I almost killed lunch lady by not telling her Patti's cookies are deathly, I vowed to always be honest.
Mr. Roberts: Well, Christian, it's usually never a good idea to lie, but being brutally honest for honesty's sake can be just as bad. You can end up hurting people's feelings.
Crispo: Okay, I give up. When do I lie and when do I not lie?
Mr. Roberts: It's not always easy to determine, but a good way to tell is to ask yourself, "Will my honesty hurt someone's feelings?" And if the answer is yes, then telling a little white lie is actually a pretty cool thing to do.
Crispo: So you don't want me to tell you that your vest is hideous?
Mr. Roberts: No.
Crispo: But you do want me to tell you if you're about to eat cookies that could potentially kill you?
Mr. Roberts: I would appreciate that. Now, get back to class and good luck with the list thing.
Crispo: Thanks, Mr. Roberts. [leaves]
Mr. Roberts: I like this vest.
Fenwick: Okay, I lied! I said I made the vase, and I didn't, and I took it from someone else.
Miss Claymore: Why did you feel you needed to lie?
Fenwick: I guess I was ashamed that I wasn't great, and I wanted to be great, and I wanted everyone to think I was great.
Miss Claymore: Well, instead of lying, you just need to take the time to be great.
CJ's voice-over: I had to tell the truth, even though it would destroy my reputation.
CJ's voice-over: To lie or be truthful? In middle school, that's a big question. In my case, my out of control lie got so big and dangerous, I needed friends, parents, and my grandma to save me from certain, well, you know. But sometimes the truth can also be painful, so telling lies are actually good, especially when you're saving somebody's feelings.
- This episode was filmed in May 2015.
- This episode reveals that CJ has Spanish heritage on her mother's side.
- Brady Reiter and Gianni DeCenzo do not make new appearances or have speaking roles in this episode, but are credited for appearing in flashbacks from "Sit at a Different Lunch Table Thing!" and "Be a Fairy Godmother Thing!," respectively.
- Julie Brown, who portrays Miss Claymore, is a writer for the show. She wrote "Start a Garage Band Thing!" and "Scavenger Hunt Thing!"
- Erin Myers is mistakenly credited as Erin Meyers.
- Jen's Tire Emporium is a business that exists in this universe.
- Other electives that were being offered include: sculpture, robotics, choir, jewelry, web design, books, creative writing, journalism, fitness, computer music, dance, drawing, and math mania.
- It is revealed that the Pootatuck Middle School gives their students ID numbers. Fenwick's is 7-3394 and Crispo's is 7-3102.
- Except for their electives, Fenwick and Crispo have the same class schedule, which is as follows:
|Period 1||Biology||US History||Biology||US History||Biology|
|Period 2||US History||Language arts||US History||Language arts||US History|
|Period 3||Physical ed||Biology||Physical ed||Biology||Physical ed|
|Period 4||Language arts||Physical ed||Language arts||Physical ed||Language arts|
|Period 5||Geometry||Spanish 1||Geometry||Spanish 1||Geometry|
|Period 7||Spanish 1||Art 1||Spanish 1||Art 1||Spanish 1|
- Scenes from "Run with the Bears Thing!," "Be a Fairy Godmother Thing!," "Get the Most Out of a Sick Day Thing!," "Sit at a Different Lunch Table Thing!," and "Survive the Virus Attack Trapped in the Last Home Base Station on Earth Thing!" are used.
- "Romeo and Juliet" is a play the drama club puts on.
| To view the Always Tell the Truth (But Not Always) Thing! gallery, click here.