Pee-Wee's Playhouse
Series Name
Season 5, Episode 2
Air date September 22, 1990
Written by John Paragon
Directed by John Paragon & Paul Rubens
Episode Guide
Conky's Breakdown
Front Page Pee Wee

Mystery is the 2nd episode of Pee-Wee's Playhouse season 5.

Episode Plot[]

Herman plays with a bilboquet (ball-and-cup) game but fails, so Yvonne plays one later when she visits. Conky shows home movies of his family. Herman's things are mysteriously disappearing and he questions his friends about the disappearances. A man named Busby—apparently new to the neighborhood—ends up taking them without Herman's permission, and decides to return them before Herman can find out about their disappearances. Busby learns that in order to make friends, he should just be himself and not be like another person.


  • Miss Yvonne visits in this episode.
  • Conky's family is revealed in this episode.
  • This is the first and only appearance of Busby.
  • Actor Leslie Jordan played Busby and Max Robert played The Organist.
  • The ominous music The Organist plays is a response to someone’s saying, “It’s a mystery!” similarly to when the secret word is acknowledged.
  • The word "around" is said and screamed six times...actually seven, counting the ants forming the sentence "Just hanging around."
  • When Conky is describing his grandfather, he says the word around, and no one screams (probably out of respect).
    • Despite the fact that Conky is present at the interrogation, Herman does not question him, Magic Screen or Globey.
  • When Pee-wee goes in the refrigerator, the food is watching a clip from "Big Top Pee-wee", a movie that was made during Season 2's development. The movie was less successful than Big Adventure, only bringing in a return of $15 million. To this day, the movie is considered one of Paul Reubens' biggest embarrassments.


  • Secret word: around
  • Connect-the-dots: none (aborted since all of Pee-wee's dots except one were stolen)
  • Snack: Kellogg's Corn Flakes (aborted because Pee-wee's cereal bowl and spoon were taken)
  • Wish: none
  • Featured Cartoon: Farm Frolics (1941)
  • This is the last episode to feature El Hombre.


  • Pee-wee: Hold it! Who are you?!
  • Busby: Nobody.
  • Pee-wee: (stops him from escaping) Hold it, Nobody! Where do you think you're goin'? (points at the missing items) That's my cereal bowl, that's my cereal spoon, this is my photo album, and you're wearin' my suit!
  • Pee-wee: (angrily) That does it! I HAVE HAD ENOUGH! (walks slowly toward the camera) They can take the suit off your back. They can take your special cereal bowl and spoon.
  • Audience: OOH!
  • Pee-wee: They can even take your album of photo memories. (he comes his closest to the camera)
  • Pee-wee: But when they mess with your dots,... they go too far!