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Once Upon a Joe

13th of 30 episodes in Sunbow season 2. Written by Buzz Dixon. First aired October 1, 1986.

Previous episode: The Rotten Egg
Next episode: Glamour Girls

When Cobra raids McGuffin Labs and steals an experimental device, the Joes scramble and shoot down the Firebat carrying it. The Firebat crashes into an orphanage, which burns down, though all the Children are rescued. The Joes remain to rebuild the orphanage while Cobra sends Zartan to locate and recapture the McGuffin Device.

Shipwreck avoids work by telling the orphans a story until he is sent into the forest, where he finds the device. There he is captured and impersonated by Zartan, who steals the device but is reassigned by Beach Head to watch the kids. His failure to resume Shipwreck's story drives off one of the orphans, who finds Shipwreck and frees him. He confronts Zartan, who calls in an air strike. Shipwreck activates the McGuffin Device, which causes characters from his story to appear and drive off Cobra.

Appearing Cast and Equipment

Featured Characters
Shipwreck389 seconds70 linesdriving HAVOC to defend lab; telling story to orphans; impersonated by Zartan
Polly151 seconds11 lineswith Shipwreck during raid and storytelling; alerting Jenny after Zartan arrives
Beach Head110 seconds20 linesdriving HAVOC to defend lab; supervising rebuilding of orphanage
Zartan83 seconds12 linesimpersonating Shipwreck to steal McGuffin Device; trying to escape in Raven drone
Leatherneck71 seconds11 linesdriving Recon Sled to defend lab; helping rebuild oprhanage
Wet-Suit43 seconds7 linespresent when orphanage burns; helping rebuild orphanage; finding Zartan's Swampfire
Lifeline28 seconds5 linesrescuing children in burning orphanage; present after Cobra raid
Dial-Tone27 seconds2 linesplaying pool; left with orphan children during second Cobra raid
Dr. Mindbender23 seconds4 linesleading Night Ravens to recover McGuffin Device
Cobra Commander22 seconds5 linesrebuking Strato-Vipers; recruiting Zartan to recover the McGuffin Device
Lift-Ticket11 seconds2 linesflying Tomahawk to defend labs; present after Cobra raid
Background Characters
Ripper12 seconds1 linebrawling with other Dreadnoks
Zandar12 seconds1 linebrawling with other Dreadnoks
Low-Light11 seconds (silent)riding in Shipwreck's HAVOC
Cross-Country10 seconds (silent)finding Zartan's Swampfire
Scarlett10 seconds (silent)driving Armadillo to defend lab; helping rebuild orphanage
Zarana9 seconds1 linebrawling with other Dreadnoks
Mainframe7 seconds (silent)riding in Shipwreck's HAVOC
Buzzer5 seconds1 linebrawling with other Dreadnoks
Roadblock5 seconds (silent)helping rebuild orphanage ; present after Cobra raid
Thrasher5 seconds1 linebrawling with other Dreadnoks
Torch5 seconds1 linebrawling with other Dreadnoks
Gung-Ho4 seconds (silent)helping rebuild orphanage
Bazooka3 seconds (silent)helping rebuild orphanage
Footloose3 seconds (silent)helping rebuild orphanage
Lady Jaye3 seconds (silent)helping rebuild orphanage
Alpine2 seconds (silent)helping rebuild orphanage (7:16-17)
Cover Girl2 seconds (silent)helping rebuild orphanage (7:18-19)
Dusty2 seconds (silent)helping rebuild orphanage (7:20-21)
Flint2 seconds (silent)helping rebuild orphanage (7:16-17)
Rock 'n Roll1 second (silent)helping rebuild orphanage (7:18)
Troops Appearing
Strato-Viper60 seconds15 linesdriving trucks to attack lab; escaping in Firebats; flying Night Ravens in second raid
BAT29 seconds one dispatched to fight Joes; drives a HAVOC after losing its head
Greenshirt18 seconds driving Silver Mirages and HAVOCs to defend lab; helping rebuild orphanage
Vehicles Appearing
Night Raven67 seconds used to extract Zartan and recover McGuffin Device in second raid
HAVOC46 seconds used to defend McGuffin lab; hijacked by headless BAT
Firebat38 seconds used to steal McGuffin Device
Tomahawk28 seconds used to defend McGuffin lab
Armadillo17 seconds used to defend McGuffin lab
Swampfire10 seconds left by Zartan near orphanage site and found by Joes
Thunder Machine8 seconds seen at Dreadnok base
Recon Sled7 seconds used to defend McGuffin lab; Zartan tries to escape on one
Mauler6 seconds used to defend McGuffin lab
Silver Mirage2 seconds used to defend McGuffin lab
Dragonfly1 second seen defending McGuffin lab (3:22)
Skystriker1 second seen after second Cobra raid (20:30)
Non-Toy Characters: Jenny, Bobby, De Duke, Shipshape, Frog-Face, Big Bad Cobra, Evil Fairy Stepmother, Big Ugly Giant, Princess Scarlett, Princess Jaye, Princess Cover Girl

Misc. Notes

  • On the DVDs from Shout! Factory, this episode is included in the Season 2.0 set (Disc 2, Episode 2).