The Big Sickie is the 2nd episode of the series, which aired on November 14, 2004 in Canada and on April 2, 2009 in the United States.
After several long, hard days at work, the group decides to take a well-deserved sick day. Unfortunately, one of them is too devoted to her job to go along with the plan, so the other five try to come up with a way to get her to take off with them.
While Jude visits with Caitlin at the Big Squeeze, Stanley comes along and uses his nerf gun to shoot balls at Caitlin and make fun of the lemon hat she wears. Caitlin retaliates by telling Stanley that he will never get back his nerf balls for what he has done, when Stanley's mother, Yummy Mummy, comes by and makes Caitlin give the balls back, essentially rewarding her son for his bad behavior, before she and Stanley (who sticks his tongue out at Caitlin and fires another shot at her) walk off. Caitlin laments having to work at the lemonade stand when a jittery Wyatt drops in with his morning coffee. When Jude asks what the matter is, Wyatt tells him that there is a week-long sale on country music CDs going on at Spin This and, due to being subjected to hearing nothing but country music played at the store the whole time and because of his hatred of that genre, it has driven him to distraction. When Caitlin asks Wyatt how many coffees he's had, he says he is onto his fourth one and adds that he needs it due to not getting any sleep the night before because he was afraid to have a dream he once had about a cowboy coming to get him for running off with his wife in the dream. As he continues his story, Wyatt turns around and suddenly freaks out in mid-sentence as he sees a cowboy, who looks like the same one from his dream causing Wyatt to run away in fear.
Later on, Caitlin reassures Wyatt about his dream, telling him that not all cowboys are out for him, when Jen runs up in a hurry and requests a lemon whip, saying that she may get in trouble at the Penalty Box if she runs late for work. Nikki comes by and takes a seat as she greets Jen and Wyatt, but when Caitlin says hi, Nikki ignores her. Jen then explains about her situation, telling the gang that she just got off probation at work and that if she's late, Coach Halder will put her back on. When Caitlin tells Jen that Halder should have no reason to put her on probation because she is Halder's best employee, Nikki mocks Caitlin's way of speaking. Jen explains that the reason she ended up on probation is because she had folded sweatshirts instead of putting them on the rack, drawing a sardonic comment from Wyatt concerning Halder's methods of discipline for a relatively trivial action. Caitlin finishes making the lemon whip and hands it to Jen, who takes a sip and promptly spits it back out, giving it a poor review because of the drink's sour taste, and Caitlin explains that she has not yet learned how to make lemon whips from the store's manual. Jonesy then arrives and, after Nikki pokes fun at the outfit he is wearing (a straw hat and a cane), he asks the gang what's wrong and they tell him that they hate their work. Jonesy then reveals that he has a new job at The Galleria's indoor amusement park and he offers to get his friends in for free, to take a "mental health day" off from work. While most of the gang take up Jonesy's offer, Jen is the only one who refuses, reminding him about her getting off probation and adding that she could get fired if she is caught. Jude then attempts to change Jen's mind by delivering an inspirational speech about the sick day which draws applause from bystanders, but Jen leaves to go to work halfway through Jude's long-winded speech. Wyatt, Jude, Nikki and Caitlin then arrange to go make their excuses to get off work for the day at their jobs and meet back at the food court at 10:30 a.m.
At the Khaki Barn, Nikki walks in and tersely tells The Clones that she is taking the day off, saying that she has a "friend" who comes to town once a month and that she doesn't "enjoy her visits" because they drive her crazy, before walking back out and leaving the scared Clones behind. At Spin This, Wyatt feigns shell shock from listening to country music all week long when a co-worker, Chad, asks what's up and Wyatt explains. An understanding Chad helps Wyatt to his feet and tells him that he has been down the same road himself as the one-time new guy at the store, then tells Wyatt to go home and put his favorite bands on his stereo for musical therapy, giving Wyatt the chance to make his escape. At the Stick It food court kiosk, Jude dresses up a department store mannequin and sits it in a chair behind the sales counter before he leaves. After conference calling each other on their phones, Nikki, Jude, Wyatt and Caitlin meet back at the Big Squeeze while talking with Jonesy, but Caitlin notices Jen is missing and she decides to call her at work. Over at the Penalty Box, Jen helps out a nerdy customer with buck teeth regarding a sale when the gang calls her, but Jen still refuses to join them at the amusement park. Nikki refuses to give up, however, and she cooks up a plan with the rest of the gang to get Jen to join them for their sick day.
Back at the Khaki Barn, Nikki comes in with Caitlin and tells the intimidated Clones that her "friend" told her she needs shopping therapy, so she decides to use her store employee discount to get some items and declares that the discount is 90%. At an engraving store, Jude and Wyatt get name tags engraved as part of Nikki's plan and then visit a dollar store to get cheap sunglasses for their disguises. At Stick It, a customer, thinking that Jude's mannequin is a clerk at the kiosk, repeatedly requests service from the unresponsive "employee". While Jude and Wyatt get changed in the "loathsome washroom", Nikki again makes fun of how Caitlin talks, prompting Cait to call Nikki on her less-than-friendly attitude toward her. Nikki cuts Caitlin off by criticizing her for coming into their lives like an "insta-friend", adding that Nikki has a history with Jude, Wyatt, Jonesy and Jen while she barely knows Caitlin. Wyatt and Jude then emerge from the washroom dressed up as paramedics and Nikki checks them out, approving the disguises but asking where their name tags are. When Jude realizes that the tags were left back in the washroom, he and Wyatt are forced to go back into the decrepit facility to get them, making Nikki and Caitlin laugh before they head off to implement Nikki's plan to retrieve Jen.
Back at the Penalty Box, Halder answers the store phone and Nikki requests to speak to Jen, pretending to be Jen's "sister" named "Vikki" and claiming that there is a family emergency and that Jen is needed at the hospital because her aunt has suffered a bad fall and hit her head. Halder is initially suspicious because Jen made no mention of a sister on her application form and he has doubts about the emergency in question, but Nikki manages to pull a fast one on the gullible Penalty Box manager as Halder calls Jen over to take the call. When Jen answers, Nikki is at the other end and tells her that she and Caitlin have come to spring her from work, but Jen steadfastly resists and tells her to leave her alone, then Nikki responds by telling Jen that she needs the sick day more than she realizes. Nikki then calls Jude and Wyatt to come to the store while Caitlin stalls for time, using her mascara brush to poke herself in the eye to induce tears, then runs into the Penalty Box and, putting on a fake Southern drawl and pretending to cry, gets on her knees and begs Jen to go visit her "Aunt Beryl". While an impressed Nikki watches with binoculars from outside the store and then is relieved to see Jude and Wyatt finally arrive, Caitlin continues to ham it up and cries more as she sees the "paramedics" arrive with a stretcher. Wyatt announces that he and Jude have arrived to take Jen to see her aunt, and despite Jen's protests as she gets put on the stretcher and restrained, Halder relents and allows Jen to leave, telling her that some things are more important than work at certain times. Just then, Jonesy calls the store and, while pretending to be Jen's father, inadvertently sabotages Nikki's plan by telling Halder that Jen is needed at home to clean up the house after a food fight, causing a suspicious Halder to go find out what is really going on.
The gang, with Jen now joining them, arrive at the amusement park and are let in by Jonesy, and they have a good time as they play games at the arcade area, ride the Vomit Comet roller coaster (with only Caitlin remaining behind while the rest of the gang rides) and stuff themselves with cotton candy and corn dogs at the concession area. During their escapade, Jen quickly comes around and joins in on the fun, even scoring a teddy bear as a prize for winning at throwing darts, and she admits to her friends that she is glad they convinced her to join them. Just then, while Jen talks to the gang, Halder comes up behind her, listens and becomes furious over her speech as Jonesy and company try to get the oblivious Jen to look behind her, which she finally does when she sees Halder's hand reach from behind her and pick out a piece of her cotton candy. Halder immediately puts Jen back on probation and chastizes her for skipping work, telling her she is lucky not to be fired. After Jen sheepishly admits to her mistake and Halder leaves, Jen turns around and says to the gang that she'd love to ride the Vomit Comet again. Later at the Big Squeeze, Nikki welcomes Caitlin into the gang, praising her for her part in the plan to convince Jen to join her friends on their sick day; Caitlin then reveals how she pulled off her performance, she once wanted to be a soap opera star, causing Nikki to roll her eyes.
Nikki:(to Caitlin) You think you can just hang with us like some kind of insta-friend? I've known these guys since kindergarten. We have history. The only thing I know about you is that you wear a lot of pink.
Wyatt: I didn't get any sleep last night. I was afraid to have the dream again. Caitlin: What dream? Wyatt: The one about the cowboy who thinks that I'm the one who ran off with his wife to the big city and he's coming to kick my aAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!! (sees Pink Cowboy)
Caitlin: Oh, Jen. You’ve got to come! Aunt Barrel isn’t gonna make it Jen:(Pushing Caitlin off of her) Get off of me! I told you, I’m not coming, and that’s final! Caitlin: You’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t come. (hugs Jen) We need y’all. (Jen pushes Caitlin off of her) Coach Halder: What’s going on over here? Caitlin: Coach Halder, (hugs Jen, again) She’s so brave. She doesn’t want to leave work even to see her poor darlin’ Aunt Betty (realizes she said the wrong name) Barrel. But we need her. We need her strenght more than ever! Nikki:(Outside the Penalty Box looking in with binoculars) Huh? The girl’s got talent. (Looks over to see Jude and Wyatt are finally there) Finally! Caitlin: Oh no! It’s too late! We’re more desperate than I thought! (cries) Oh, I’m so glad you’re here paramedic (Reads Wyatt and Jude’s name tags) John Gauge and... Dude I’m Totally A Paramedic?
Jude: Jen, it’s your duty to take off work. No. It’s your destiny! Calling in sick is like a necessary part of the evolutionary process. Where would the human race be without a sick day? We’d still be living in tree’s eating bananas, fish, and things. We’re humans cause millions of years ago, some ape took the day off and invented tools. That ape decided I’m not going into the tree today, I’m going to go build a small car out of rocks or maybe teach a cow to give me some milk. Next thing you know, we’re golfing on the moon. Which further illustrates my point because, like even at the point when the astronauts were pulling this mad historical moon, they recognized the opportunity for goofing off. It’s like, one small step for man, dude, lets spin a few doughnuts in my moon buggy. The sick day isn’t just a fun thing to do, it’s a fundamental right of every man, woman, and child! (crowd cheers) Where’s Jen? Jonesy: She left a couple minutes ago. Jude: Bummer. Wyatt: Good speech though.
Caitlin: These washrooms are totally gagworthy! Nikki:(sarcastically) Yeah, like totally! Caitlin: You know you like totally put the "itch" in "b"... Nikki: Hold it there my lemon squeezing waif!
Nikki: Hey guys, I conferenced in Malibu Juice Barbie.
Nikki has known Jen and the boys since kindergarten.
When Jude is giving the speech about the sick day, you can hear the song "Pomp and Circumstance" in the background. This happens almost every time he gives an inspirational speech.
Caitlin at one point wanted to be a soap opera actress.
This is the first episode that anyone attempts to swear. Wyatt starts to utter one but cuts off mid-word into a scream when he sees the cowboy, and Caitlin almost utters one when she's yelling at Nikki but is likewise stopped midword, this time by Nikki.
When we go to the scene where Nikki tells the clones that she's taking the day off, just before that we see one of the clones saying "Welcome to the Khaki Barn, have a khaki day," but in the next scene, they're all folding clothes.
This is the first time Jen is seen working at the Penalty Box.
Jonesy's job: The amusement park. Reason for firing: Unknown (maybe because he snuck his friends into the park for free; on the other hand, he is never seen getting fired).
Caitlin's inability to ride on rollercoasters is first hinted at here because when the gang ride on it, she does not accompany them. It later becomes a plot point in "The Sushi Connection".
In It's Always Courtney, Courtney, Courtney! Nikki knows about Jen's sister. Here, however, she uses a fake sister, Vicky. It seems that it would have been much easier to use Courtney's name to avoid being caught out, as Nikki didn't know that Jen had left her sister off her resume.
To a lesser extent, why would Coach Halder need Jen to mention if she had any siblings at all on her application? Job applications usually don't ask about an applicant's relatives unless they're asking for emergency contacts (to which Jen probably put down either one or both of her parents) or if an applicant knows any current or former employees (to which, in many cases, family members would likely be put down).
The curse of country music.
Huckster comes complete with hat and cane!
Yes, this mannequin will totally get you food, Stuart.
"Closed for emergency pedicure?"
That's one hairy lip you have there, Caitlin.
Caitlin & Nikki laughing.
Trying to bluff the coach.
Caitlin's keeping an eye on Coach Halder.
This is what paramedics do on their downtime?
If I get caught i'll lose my job!
Ooh, somebody's angry.
The gang celebrates in the end.
What? You weren't served by Jude's mock-up? How...expected.