|Season 1, Episode 3|
|Air Date||November 4th 2014|
"Hard Times at the Huskin' Bee"
"Songs of the Dark Lantern"
Schooltown Follies is the third episode of Over the Garden Wall.
Wirt, Gregory, his Frog, and Beatrice stumble across a school run by Miss Langtree where all the students are animals. Miss Langtree's father, who invested in the school to teach animals how to read and write, threatens to shut it down. Also, there's a gorilla on the loose!
The chapter starts off with Greg, Wirt and Beatrice walking along a path. Greg is singing a song about visiting Adelaide's house. Wirt stops to tie his shoes and Beatrice complains that Wirt is slowing them down. Greg is bored, so he urges Wirt and Beatrice to do something fun with him. Beatrice sarcastically remarks that Greg should be more like Wirt, who according to Beatrice, is a "pushover" who always does what he is told. As the three are walking, Wirt and Beatrice lose track of Greg. Greg, wandering alone through the woods, finds a small school house, but he steers away from it because he doesn't want to go to school.
Meanwhile, Wirt and Beatrice come upon the exact same school house and they walk in. They are greeted at the door by the school's teacher, Miss Langtree. She tells them to sit down and Wirt, trying to annoy Beatrice, does what she asks. He sarcastically reminds Beatrice that he's such a pushover that he has to do everything he is told to do. Beatrice tries to get Wirt to leave by suggesting that Greg could be in trouble, but just then, they see Greg running around outside through the school's window. Miss Langtree tells Wirt to stop talking, stating that she won't tolerate his nonsense. Her usage of the word "nonsense" reminds her of Jimmy Brown, a man whom she once loved, but who ran away. Miss Langtree goes on to sing Langtree's Lament, which expresses her sadness regarding Jimmy's disappearance while also teaching the alphabet.
Outside of the school, Greg is talking to a raccoon, a deer, and a possum, none of which attend school. Greg tells the animals they should play "two old cat," which he believes is played by literally finding two old cats. He finds one, and the deer finds the second, but Greg says this cat is too old. As they are searching for another old cat, a gorilla jumps out of the bushes, scaring them away. Greg and his animal friends hide on the bell atop the school house which causes the bell to ring. Due to the ringing of the bell, Miss Langtree sends her students off to the dining area for meal time. The gorilla, still chasing Greg and the animals, is knocked out by the possum, who hits the gorilla in the head with a stick. Greg and his animal friends walk inside and join the students at meal time. Each student is served a plate of very bland potatoes. Greg notices how sad the bland potatoes make the students so he comes up with a plan to make them tastier. Greg sees a bottle of molasses on Miss Langtree's piano and he grabs it and asks her to play a more cheerful song on the piano. As Langtree plays the piano, Greg sings Potatoes and Molasses. The performance features Greg walking across the dining hall tables and passing the bottle of molasses to the different school animals to pour on their potatoes. Many of the school animals play instruments to accompany the song. The song cheers all of the students up until the owner of the school, Mr. Langtree, orders the students to stop playing music. Mr. Langtree takes all of the students' instruments and tells Miss Langtree to send all of the children to bed. Greg feels as if he has let everyone down since he failed to "Have fun, change the world, and make it a better place." Wirt, on the other hand, tell Beatrice that he might never give up his stubborn act of being a "pushover." Greg, hearing Wirt say that he'll never give up, uses this as motivation to not give up on the school and school animals.
He, Wirt, and Beatrice sneak out of the school and find Mr. Langtree crying in the forest. Speaking to himself, he expresses his regret in investing in a school for animals, stating that it was a bad idea. Desperate, Mr. Langtree decides he must sell the instruments to keep the school open. He goes to sleep in the forest by the instruments and Greg immediately says they should steal them. In the morning, Mr. Langtree wakes up in a panic, seeing that his instruments have been stolen. However, he soon discovers that they are being used by the school animals in a fundraising concert for the school. Just then, the gorilla returns. Mr. Langtree tells Wirt to do something about the gorilla, and Wirt makes a move toward him and immediately trips over his untied shoelaces, knocking the gorilla down as he falls. It is then revealed that it was only a man in a gorilla costume. The man is Jimmy Brown, Miss Langtree's love. He explains that he joined the circus to earn the money for a wedding ring, but he got stuck in the gorilla suit and everyone was too scared of the gorilla to help him out. Everyone is happy and Greg and the band perform a reprise of Potatoes and Molasses. Wirt asks Beatrice if they should leave, but Beatrice tells Wirt to let Greg have his fun while also reminding Wirt to tie his shoe.
- It can be argued that all the animals in the schoolhouse are animals that can be, at least to some extent, be domesticated. Domesticated foxes are a rarity, but they exist. The animals that Greg finds outside of the school, a raccoon, a deer and a possum, cannot be domesticated. Still, they are shown wearing clothes in this episode.
- During the lunchroom scene, Miss Langtree can be heard playing a more somber version of Patient is the Night, which is then changed to Potatoes and Molasses.
- When Greg is playing with the animals outside the school, he attempts to get them to play a game of "two old cat." He does this by trying to find two old cats. But the game "two old cat" is an actual, real game that does not include the participation of any actual cats. It is mentioned in episode 9, "Into the Unknown." Just before Wirt enters the Halloween party, two boys are standing in front of the house and talking about bat and ball games. One says that there are many bat and ball games besides baseball. He lists for, among them "two old cat."
- The animal characters in the school may be a reference to the Richard Scarry books about Busytown, a town full of anthropomorphic animals.
- They may also be a reference to Beatrix Potter's illustrations and children's books about anthropomorphic animals.
- The scene featuring Greg singing the song, "Potatoes and Molasses," may have been inspired by the Shirley Temple song, "Animal Crackers in my Soup," featured in the 1935 film Curly Top.
- The chase scene featuring the gorilla is very similar to a scene in the 1930 "Our Gang" short "Bear Shooters."
- During the "Potatoes and Molasses" song, the kitten seems to keep changing seats.