Round the Twist is a classic Australian children's TV show about a family who move into a lighthouse and discover something strange – it's haunted! But that's not the only thing that is odd about their new home in Port Niranda. There are also cabbage plant babies, ghost dogs, magic underpants, ghost birds, haunted toilets, cloning machines, magic remote controls, dragons and so much more. This show was a huge part of my childhood when I was growing up. I loved how Australian it felt and the stories were fun and silly and that theme song! It was the best. Have a listen.
What's great about Round the Twist is how well it has aged. The special effects are not the best anymore, but the acting is still good and the stories are still great. I still love listening to the theme song. It fills me with so much nostalgia now. It was hard to pick five episodes to write about in this article because the show had so many great ones to choose from. But after much thought, I finally settled on five episodes that I think were really great examples of children's entertainment.
1. Episode Title: Nails Season Info: Series 2 Episode 5 Airdate: 1 May 1992 Best Quote: Linda: "I'll never forget the time..."
Mr Shelford: "...we pissed on the cold ear."
There's something strange about the new boy in Linda's class
Nails is at the top of this list for its excellent storytelling. In this episode, a new boy enrols in Linda's class at school called Andrew Shelford. There is something mysterious and dignified about him, which causes Linda to develop a crush on him. After he stops coming to school, Linda takes a boat and goes to the island where he lives to find out more about him. She discovers that Andrew has come down with a strange illness. He is growing an extra set of fingernails on his hands. Andrew is understandably distressed about this and doesn't want to go back to school. He also suspects that his father knows more about what is going on with him then he is letting on. Over time, the illness gets worse, and Andrew ends up in a wheelchair. The truth is finally revealed when Andrew dives into the ocean to save his dad after he slips off some rocks and falls into the water. Andrew is half human and half merman and his long-lost mother is a mermaid. This was the secret his dad was keeping from him. Linda is sad to let Andrew return to the sea, but she recognises it is where he belongs. This is such a magical episode. It is wonderfully written and acted and I love the twist at the end.
2.Episode Title: Without My Pants Season Info: Series 1 Episode 12 Airdate: 27 June 1989 Best Quote: Pete: "I can't go to school tomorrow...without my pants!"
Pete falls under a strange spell which makes him unable to stop saying the phrase 'Without my pants!'
Without my Pants is one of the most quoted episodes of Round the Twist. The episode begins with the Twist kids at the beach whale watching. They spot a ghostly dog wandering down the beach so they head down to check it out. The ghostly dog is named Shovel. Pete touches him and then suddenly finds himself unable to stop saying 'without my pants' at the end of every sentence. This leads to a lot of funny situations like when Pete tries to tell his dad that he can't go to school without his pants. "I don't know what you mean," his dad replies, completely confused, much to the amusement of Linda and Bronson. "You have plenty of pants." Pete is forced to go to school where he is laughed at for his strange behaviour. Determined to figure out what is happening to him, he goes looking for Shovel. Shovel leads him to the bones of his master, Ben Byron. But Ben is missing his pants! To break the spell on Pete, the Twist kids have to re-assemble Ben's skeleton and find his missing boots and give him a pair of pants. Without my Pants is a fun episode with great acting from Sam Vandenberg as Pete Twist. Here's a fun trivia fact: the actor who appears in this episode as Ben Byron is author Paul Jennings! The first two seasons of Round the Twist were based off Paul Jennings short stories. Without my Pants is based off a short story of Jennings' called Without a Shirt that appeared in a book of short stories called Unreal!
3. Episode Title: Spaghetti Pig Out Season Info: Series 1 Episode 5 Airdate: 2 May 1989 Best Quote: Bronson "I wouldn't want to get in Gribble's bad books. What if he froze you while you were in the bathroom doing..." Linda and Pete "Bronson!" Bronson "Shower. I was going to say having a shower."
The kids discover a magic television remote that can manipulate things
In Spaghetti Pig Out the Twist kids discover a television remote control that can control people that it is pointed at in real life. If you press "pause" you can make people freeze, if you press "fast forward" you can make them go fast, if you press "rewind" you can make them reverse their actions, and if you press "play" you can make them move. Delighted, the kids begin to experiment with their new find. Pete zaps his dad and makes him repeatedly drop and pull up his pants in front of his romantic interest, Faye. The Twist children lose control of the remote after that and it ends up in the hands of James Gribble and his friends. This worries the Twists because there is a Spaghetti Pig Out happening at school to raise money for the gym. They're worried Gribble might zap Pete, who is taking part in the charity event, and make him throw up spaghetti. Spaghetti Pig Out is one of the more gross episodes of Round the Twist because it features a lot of vomit and disgusting scenes with food, but it is also a lot of fun.
4. Episode Title: Wunderpants Season Info: Series 1 Episode 8 Airdate: 23 May 1989 Best Quote: Pete: "My underwear feels funny...all tingly"
Pete puts on a pair of unusual underpants and is surprised to find they provide him with super strength and speed
In Wunderpants Pete Twist microwaves his underwear to warm them up and accidentally infuses them with superpowers. His new sparkly undies give him super strength and super speed abilities, which Pete uses to impress girls at school. Pete's fun experimenting with his new powers comes to an end after he goes for a swim and the undies shrink. After dashing home in the nude and putting on some new clothes, Pete comes up with a new use for the Wunderpants. He brings them to a frog race happening at school and puts them on Bronson's pet frog, Loopy Leaper, giving him the power to beat Gribble's giant toad, Mugger. The special effects in this episode are pretty dated and the Japanese tourists that feature in it are a cliché and politically incorrect now. The episode is still a lot of fun though and well worth watching.
5.Episode Title: The Copy Season Info: Series 1 Episode 11 Airdate: 20 April 1989 Best Quote: Other Linda: "Don't marry a dork..." Linda: "A dag..."
Other Linda and Linda together: "Or a total dipstick."
Linda clones herself after she and the other Twist children discover a cloning machine
In this episode, the Twist kids discover a cloning machine hidden in a cupboard in the lighthouse. The machine has the ability to copy an item and then reverse the process and make it disappear. There is just one small flaw: the copies come out unstable and disappear after a couple of hours. Unable to resist their curiosity, the kids begin to experiment with the machine. Pete clones himself a pile of cash and Bronson clones himself a lollypop. Linda takes it one step further and clones herself. Her double steps out of the machine with all of her memories and the two of them instantly bond. Linda uses her double to win a running race to impress a boy, but discovers soon after that her crush is not a very nice person. When Other Linda discovers that her time is up, she tells Linda not to be sad about her passing, because she will always be with her and it's just like loving yourself anyway. This episode is one of the sadder ones in the series because it shows how much Linda wishes she had a sister.
What are your favourite episodes of Round the Twist?
Why? Round the Twist was a popular Australian children’s TV show that aired between 1989 and 2001 that followed the adventures of a family who experience a lot of strange events after moving into a lighthouse in a quiet seaside town.