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A Glitch in Time
Animated series episode
Epi GlitchTime.JPG
"I know that this can never replace the one you lost, but... Here."
Episode # 09
Original airdate November 1, 1997
The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police
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"Big Trouble at the Earth's Core" "That Darn Gator"

A Glitch in Time is the 9th episode in the series The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police.


After discovering that his new watch has time travelling capabilities, Max accidentally changes history so that Sam never joined the Freelance Police.

In-Depth Synopsis[]

After fighting an octopus in the north Atlantic, Max discovers that it's stolen his pocketwatch. Sam buys him a new one from a suspicious looking street vendor, and it turns out to have a time machine function. They travel back to the dawn of time, and Max kills a dragonfly, causing present day humans to be replaced by giant bugs. This does not bother Sam and Max. They then go back to human prehistory and give a caveman a big gun, causing Jetsons-like futuristic technology in the present.

Max begins to worry that he's learning something from all the time-traveling, but Sam wants to visit "soft, marketable, baby versions" of themselves. They witness their younger selves getting attacked by a bully, Melon Hargraves, and Sam is incensed at the sight of his younger self receiving a pink belly. Max convinces him not to interfere with their past, but straight afterwards induces his younger self to attack Melon and prevent him from stealing Sam's lunch.

Upon returning to the present, Max finds himself alone in a cage, in a roomful of caged rabbits. He learns from a nearby television that Sam now runs a discount pet wash. Then he is taken from the cage and manacled to a table so that Melvin Hargraves can inject him with a green liquid. He escapes and finds Sam, who doesn't recognize him.

Sam explains that he ate a bad head cheese sandwich, the same sandwich that Melvin nearly stole in the past, and woke up fifteen years later having joined a Tibetan monastery and attained inner peace. The phone rings and Max gets it, at first assuming that Sam will take the receiver from him as he invariably did in the past. It's Sam's booking agent, who tells him that there's a rogue octopus in the north Atlantic.

They travel to the north Atlantic to find that the octopus is the same one as in the start of the episode, prompting Max to comment that this must be the way all those time travel shows go. Sam is a pacifist now and refuses to attack the octopus, until it gives him a pink belly. Sam snaps and bites it, then decides to close his pet washing business and become a freelance cop. Max decides not to meddle with history anymore and sends the octopus back in time, returning everything to the way it was before.

One last scene before the episode ends shows the adult Melvin manacled to a table and about to be injected with something by the octopus.


The Octopus
Young Max
Young Sam
Melon Hargraves
The Street Hawker


  • The dawn of time appears to be no earlier than the Carboniferous Period, which lasted from 359 to 299 million years ago, due to the presence of winged insects.
  • Max's IQ is 23.
  • Sam still learned to play the banjo in the altered timeline.
  • Max's line "From heck's heart I stab at thee! For Pete's sake I spit my bad breath at thee!" is an altered version of a famous line from Moby Dick. The original line was "From Hell's heart I stab at thee! For hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee!"

See also[]

The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police
Recurring Themes and Items