Wordplay (The Twilight Zone)

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The Twilight Zone episode
Word Play.jpg
Robert Klein (at left) as Bill Lowery
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 2a
Directed by Wes Craven
Written by Rockne S. O'Bannon
Original air date October 4, 1985
Guest appearance(s)

Robert Klein: Bill Lowery
Annie Potts: Kathy Lowery
Robert Downey, Sr.: Mr. Miller
Adam Raber: Donnie

Episode chronology
← Previous
"A Little Peace and Quiet"
Next →
"Dreams for Sale"
List of The Twilight Zone (1985 TV series) episodes

"Wordplay" is the first segment of the second episode of the first season (1985–86) of the television series The Twilight Zone.


Bill Lowery is a salesman whose company has switched to a medical supply product line forcing him to stay up nights memorizing medical terms in order to be ready to sell the line in a week's time. His wife tells him that she's worried about their son who's ill. As Lowery leaves for work, his neighbor refers to his dog as an "encyclopedia" but Lowery shrugs it off, thinking his neighbor was putting him on. Lowery puts in a full morning of trying to cope with the new terms, the jibes from the younger salesmen (about teaching old dogs new "trumpets"), and the surprising usage of words completely out of place.

As Lowery leaves for lunch at home, a subordinate asks for a referral to a good place to go for "dinosaur." Lowery tries to find out why the co-worker is not using the correct word ("lunch"), but the co-worker just walks away annoyed. Lowery arrives home where his wife says their son is feeling worse. When she complains that he didn't eat his "dinosaur," Lowery thinks his wife and co-workers have been pulling a practical joke. He soon realizes, however, that he is the one out-of-sync.

Returning to the office, Lowery becomes frustrated by the increasing level of gibberish. It increases to the point where he can no longer understand anything that is said to him. He goes back home to find his son suffering from a very high fever. Bill picks up the boy and takes them to the emergency room, where his wife has to handle everything because Lowery cannot make himself understood. A doctor finally comes out to tell them that their son is okay.

That night, following a quiet, but content, meal with his wife, Bill sits down in his son's bedroom and picks up one of his ABC books, studying the basics of the language that he now needs to re-learn. Under the picture of a dog, the word is "Wednesday."

Closing narration[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]