Hitch-Hiking Hitch

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Hitch-Hiking Hitch
Episode # 117
Air Date February 9, 1978
Briefing The weather
Title screen

Brief Plot

Thumb a ride with danger: Two teenaged girls seem unaware of the perils of hitch-hiking.


A couple of guys are out having fun sailing down a closed section of freeway when one of their sail vehicles jams and sends it sailing out of control and onto the open freeway. Nearby, Ponch and Jon pull over and tell a couple of hitch-hiking girls to get off the highway. As the sailor rides by, Ponch runs interference while Jon catches up and cuts the line to the boom with his knife. The sailor is finally able to stop. A CHP cruiser pulls up and Jon turns the "admiral" over to that officer. When he goes back to meet up with Ponch, who is directing traffic, he spots the hitch-hikers again. Jon offers them a ride in a two-toned sedan with a uniformed driver and one of the girls calls him a creep.

At Central, Ponch and Jon head in to turn in their reports to Getraer. There's a photographer there taking pictures for a "Sergeant of the Month" profile in the CHP magazine. Getraer swears them to secrecy because he doesn't want to get "a swelled head". As they leave, Jon checks in on the hitch-hikers. Mary Kate, the older sister of one of them has come to pick them up. She pulls Ponch aside and asks for Ponch to speak to her sister, Jenny, and make her realize that her friend, Marge, is a bad influence. Ponch agrees to listen to her story over pizza and a movie.

Outside, Ponch and Jon discuss the situation. As Ponch puts on his helmet, he comes up with the idea of making Getraer's head seem smaller by making Getraer's helmet a couple sizes larger.

Out on patrol, Ponch and Jon find a house that's going to be moved. A woman's father is still inside and refuses to come out. Ponch and Jon go in and bargain with the man. The woman agrees to her father's terms of being able to live in the house in its new location along with "Leroy". After Jon threatens to remove her father "bodily", they agree to the terms. The old man is happy with the outcome...as is his dog Leroy.

Meanwhile, on a nearby hill, a sports car swerves in front of a truck causing the truck to lose its brakes. Ponch and Jon come to the rescue as the truck speeds down the hill. Ponch clears the way while Jon radios ahead to Baricza. Baricza pulls his cruiser in front of the truck and uses his brakes to stop the truck just before crashing into a construction site.

That night, Ponch has dinner with Mary Kate and talks about the situation that the girls are in. Mary Kate finds it hard to believe that Jenny is the troublemaker of the two. While they dine, the girls hitch a ride in a Mercedes.

The next morning, Getraer finds that Ponch has shrunken his head. It starts to rain and Ponch and Jon head in to lunch at Chew's Cafe. As they eat, a large man moves a Volkswagen Beetle out of its parking spot, lifts Ponch and Jon's motors onto the sidewalk, then he parks his van in the empty spaces. Seconds later, Getraer drives up and orders Ponch and Jon outside to blame them for parking on the sidewalk. As they get confused, they spot the large man carrying a barrel and figure out what happened. Getraer confronts him and makes him move everything back while he writes a ticket.

After the weather clears, Jenny and Marge are hitch-hiking again. Jenny backs out at the last second and the van takes off with Marge inside. Ponch and Jon spot Jenny alone. She says Marge was taken screaming in a van. Ponch chases after the van while Jon calls it in and waits for transport for Jenny. Jon meets up with the chase shortly before Marge pulls the key out of the van and it drives up onto a sidewalk. The two men in the van are arrested and Marge is clearly shaken up, but okay.

After the briefing, Ponch and Jon are called into Getraer's office for photos. As they put on their helmets and their pictures are taken, they find they're a few sizes too big.

Great Quote

"Your share's seven bucks."
-Ponch (on a date)

Guest Stars



Fun Facts

  • Ponch and Jon eat lunch at Chew's Cafe, located at 12114 W. Washington Blvd. View in Google Maps
  • George Chandler (Elmer) played the DMV clerk who finally gave Ma her driver's license in Every Which Way But Loose (1978). His credited acting roles date back to 1928.
  • The pursuit of the van with Marge inside goes down Foothill Boulevard and ends on Arroyo Street outside what is now a huge UPS depot (it was a vacant lot when this episode was filmed). View in Google Maps


  • Okay, so the sailing vehicle's sail is stuck and he can't stop. He can still steer by turning the front wheel. Why not just turn and avoid going on the highway?
  • The sailing vehicle's not going that fast, but it seems to take Jon a long time to catch up to it.
  • The number of cars around the sailing vehicle seems to vary depending on the shot and they all seem to be moving far below the speed limit.
  • Before Jon started to reach down to help the sailor up, he took the glove off of his right hand. When they cut to the close-up, he has the glove on.
  • In some of the shots of the sail-racer and Ponch and Jon, there's a white Volkswagen Beetle visible. As Ponch leaves Jon before Jon writes the ticket, we see it drive by twice.
  • When Jon writes the ticket, he takes both gloves off. When he hands the guy the ticket, both gloves are on.
  • Getraer doesn't seem to want anyone to know he's having photos taken of him, yet there's a window to another room right next to him and anyone can see in.
  • On the street with the house being moved, there are an unusually high number of cars waiting on such a small street. Also odd is that there are no cars waiting on the other side of the truck.
  • If Baricza's really slowing down the truck with his brakes, he shouldn't be bouncing on and off the bumper of the truck.
  • Why does Getraer wear his helmet in a cruiser?
  • When the guy is moving the motors to the sidewalk, the radio handset on one of them falls off and is dragged along the ground. When he sets the motor down, it swings up and slams against the seat.
  • After Getraer puts the magazine down on his podium and the applause stops, you can see Ponch still clapping but cannot hear it.
  • While Jon is telling Baricza how he wants him to slow the runaway truck, there's a close-up of Jon's radio showing the mic in its holder and the bike's speedometer at 0 MPH.

Buy this episode

Preceded by:
"Vintage '54"
Hitch-Hiking Hitch
Followed by:
"Cry Wolf"