Trick or Trick

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Trick or Trick
Episode # 206
Air Date October 21, 1978
Briefing Only use the radio for official business.
Title screen

Brief Plot

Halloween finds Ponch and Jon searching for a missing boy and a ghost that is robbing supermarkets


Ponch and Jon are on patrol on Halloween. They chase a speeding van through the city that ends up at a movie studio and crashes through a backdrop. Thirteen black cats run out of the van. The trainer says he was late to the set and the cats were going to be the killers in a movie.

At Central, Ponch walks under a ladder. In the locker room, Grossie shows up with a Jack-o-lantern that's supposed to look like Getraer and Ponch nicks himself shaving. Grossie hears about the cats and ladder and says Ponch should be worried. After Grossie and Jon leave, Ponch shuts his locker door and accidentally breaks his mirror.

In the briefing, Getraer says he'd rather see everyone get the witches and goblins home safely than write citations. Baricza asks about the hobgoblin and Getraer says he would prefer that the radio be used for official business only. He explains that on Halloween someone prefers to use the radio to broadcast "original material". When the briefing ends, Getraer asks Grossman to find a candle for his Jack-o-lantern. Luckily, he has one in his locker...for some reason.

At a house, a woman is putting on white makeup and a wig. Her husband, with his arm in a sling, comments that nobody will recognize her. We learn that some "goons" broke his arm and they need money.

Back at Central, Grossie hands out hobgoblin times to is fellow officers. After they head out, Ponch and Jon encounter some trick or treaters. A kid asks Ponch for a treat, but Ponch gets a trick from a perfume filled squirt gun. Ponch threatens to put handcuffs on him.

Down the road, two men are taking sod from the lawn of a house. Ponch and Jon chase their truck as one of the men begs the driver to stop. As they drive, sod falls from the back of the truck. They try to explain that it's just a prank, but Jon doesn't find speeding through a residential neighborhood funny.

Later, Ponch stops at a store to fill his saddlebag with candy. An angry father walks up and blames Ponch for making his kid run away when Ponch told him he'd put handcuffs on him.

In a residential neighborhood, Ponch and Jon stop some trick or treaters to see if they have seen Tommy Stone, the missing kid. They tell the kids to tell him to go home if they see him. While giving the kids candy, they hear the first hobgoblin broadcast warning that a sergeant will "approach from the rear". Moments later, Getraer rides up. After he leaves, Ponch reveals it was actually his turn to be the hobgoblin, but he forgot. They figure it must have been Grossie on the radio.

Down the road, Ponch and Jon find two women trying to steal a street sign for a scavenger hunt. They convince them to forget about the scavenger hunt and get invited to a party.

That night, a woman dressed as a ghost robs Triangle Liquors. The owner runs out calling for police and Ponch and Jon chase after her. As she runs through a park, Jon circles around and Ponch chases on foot. The ghost causes an accident and Ponch tends to the drunk victim.

After a second hobgoblin broadcast, a woman steals candy from a child. After Ponch and Jon arrive, Ponch offers the kid a few handfuls of candy from his saddlebag. This makes him very happy. The other kids get some candy too.

Meanwhile, the ghost counts her money and they got away with $1022. They've got $22 extra and she wants to do one more robbery so they they have enough to get by on for a little while.

Ponch and Jon arrive at the local "haunted" house, just as the third hobgoblin broadcast comes over the radio. Jon admits that was supposed to be his turn and he forgot. They decide to check out the house for the missing kid. The house is full of spider webs and has litter in the hallways. Walking down the hall with flashlights, they hear a noise and find a cat running down the stairs. As Jon goes upstairs, Ponch peeks into the basement and a room near the stairs. Jon comes back down after putting his foot through a floor. While checking out the kitchen, they find Tommy hiding under a box.

Back on the road, Ponch notices the speed limit sign the girls tried to steal earlier is gone. Jon thinks they came back and took it. Jon doesn't want to go to the party since he doesn't want to spend the night cataloging stolen goods, but Ponch talks him into it.

After a fourth hobgoblin broadcast, Jon notices a woman stealing candy. They chase her to her house where they find out she's just looking for her engagement ring. Jon finds it in her own candy bowl.

At another liquor store, the ghost is at it again. The call comes in and Ponch and Jon respond. The ghost's van speeds down a street where it gets egged by kids and comes to a stop and the ghost and her husband are arrested.

At the party, Ponch and Jon discover their fellow officers are also there because one of the items on the scavenger hunt was to bring a police officer. As he proposes a toast, Getraer reveals that he knew everything that was going on because Grossie left an impression on the page under the one he wrote his plans on.

Great Quote

"Be careful, watch out, the hobgoblin's near to warn you of sergeants who approach from the rear."
-the hobgoblin
"When eavesdropping sergeants are around and about, your alert hobgoblin says 'over and out'."
-the hobgoblin
"The hobgoblin's warning to patrolmen out there: remember the schedule, this just isn't fair!"
-the hobgoblin
"Your hobgoblin's peeved as he fades out of sight 'cause his pals let him down on this Halloween night."
-the hobgoblin

Guest Stars

Special Guest Star

Also Starring




Fun Facts

  • Having a Halloween marathon? Check out "Rock, Devil, Rock".
  • Gas is 65 cents per gallon.
  • Some of the trick or treat scenes were filmed at Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank. The site also includes Clark Griswold's house from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Darrin and Samantha's house from Bewitched, and the fountain from the opening credits of Friends. (The Bewitched house can be seen clearly right after Getraer tells Ponch to change his aftershave and again when the woman steals candy.) View in Google Maps
  • Ponch was supposed to broadcast as the hobgoblin at 6:15pm. Sindy Cahill had 8:15pm. Jon had 11:30pm.


  • The "ghost" already has long blonde hair. Why wear a long blonde wig?
  • Why are the kids out trick or treating in the middle of the day? Traditionally (even in 1978), kids started trick or treating in the evening.
  • When the ghost lady robs the first liquor store and runs away, Ponch and Jon give pursuit after the store clerk tells them he's been robbed by a ghost. When Ponch gets off his bike at one point to pursue the ghost lady on foot, the camera remains on a shot of a yellow car in the foreground as Jon rides away in the background. A crew member's shadow can be seen briefly on the back of the yellow car as they stand up before it cuts to the next shot.
  • While checking the haunted house for the runaway, both Jon and Ponch carry their flashlights in their right (gun) hands. Although they aren't expecting trouble, it is highly improbable that they forgot their training.
  • Also in the haunted house, while walking down the long hallway and just as they reach the stairs, Jon has cobwebs hanging from his left glove and Ponch has cobwebs on one of his boots. When the cat jumps down the stairs and Jon and Ponch are shown immediately after, the cobwebs are gone.
  • The second ghost robbery is reported at the corner of "Whitsett and Capistrano". There is no such intersection in the Los Angeles area. Jon says they're turning onto Capistrano from Haynes, which also has no intersection with Capistrano or Whitsett.

Buy this episode

Preceded by:
"Neighborhood Watch"
Trick or Trick
Followed by:
"High Flyer"