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Bad Luck Bears
Season 1, Episode 1b
Production Information
Air DateNovember 26, 2014 (US)
June 23, 2015 (UK)
Written byAlex Fox
Rachel Lewis
Guy Toubes
Directed byJ.J. Johnson
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Bad Luck Bears is the B-plot of the first episode of the first season of Odd Squad It is the second episode overall.


When Olive's favorite basketball team, The Burly Bears are hit with a string of bad luck, she and Otto work to find out what is causing the trouble. [1]

Learning Goal

  • Numbers & Operations: exploring addend combinations to 13.

Plot (contains spoilers)

The episode begins with Olive and Otto in an empty theater, on a stage with a cellist. Otto inquires what the problem is. The cellist explains that something is wrong with her cello, and when she plays a musical phrase, the resulting music sounds like a trumpet, much to the surprise of Olive and Otto. The cellist reveals that her concert is in an hour, but Olive assures her that the Musicalswitchinator should fix the instrument. She reveals the gadget, zaps it at the cello until it starts making the right noise, and reports that it's back in working order. The cellist thanks the partners, and Otto wishes her luck on the show. He and Olive disappear into a tube entrance in a music stand. The cellist remarks that now she has to learn how to play the cello, and proceeds to play horribly.

Olive and Otto zip through the tubes back to Headquarters, are greeted by O'Hara in the tube lobby, and almost immediately run into Ms. O. The boss reports that something very odd has happened as she slurps a juice box. Throwing the empty box on the floor, she orders the agents to follow her to her office. As they leave, an assistant runs up and collects the discarded juice box.

Ms. O begins to introduce Coach Roberts, but Olive already knows him. She excitedly introduces herself, clearly fangirling over the coach of the Bears sports teams. Otto asks who this is, and Olive expresses surprise before explaining his identity to her partner. Returning to Coach Roberts, she reveals that she knows all the basketball team's plays (like the Grizzly Bear Growl) and has even made her own uniform (with the number 99). Otto quips that she is a big fan, and Olive starts to daydream about playing with the Bears. Ms. O, in a voice dripping with sarcasm, suggests they all stop working and discuss Olive's love of the team. Olive likes this idea, but Ms. O snaps her back into reality and says they have a case to solve. The boss asks the coach to report what happened. Coach Roberts reveals that his team was practicing when the trouble began.

In a flashback, one of the Bears shoots for the basket, but the ball stops just before hitting the net. It proceeds to hit another player on the head. Back in the present, Coach Roberts concludes that if the issue is not fixed, the Bears will lose tomorrow's game again. He continues that the Bears also lost a February 13th game. Olive adds that there was also a loss for the team on January 13th. When Otto inquires what other games the Bears lost, Coach Roberts produces a list and reads off the other lost games: December 13th and November 13th, they lost the latter game by 13 points against a team of 13-year-olds. Otto detects a pattern: the Bears' bad luck corresponds with the appearance of the number "13"! He thinks it might be an unlucky number for the team. Ms. O yells out, "Oh no!", and when everyone in the office looks at her, she explains that she's out of apple juice. Throwing the box behind her, she complements Otto and uses the P.A. system to tell Oscar to prep the lab to scan a basketball team for the number "13". Olive asks to clarify that all her favorite players will be at Headquarters, and she will get to meet them. Once Coach Roberts confirms this, she excuses herself from the room, closes the doors - and starts to yell and do a happy dance.

In the lab, Oscar has a gadget that will detect 13's on any Bears team members. Olive is busy getting autographs from the Bears, but steps out of the way at Oscar's request. Oscar starts to scan the basketball players, eventually finding one with "13" of something. The player in question denies this, instead revealing the buttons in his sweatshirt pockets. When Oscar and Coach Roberts share a look, the player explains that he just likes buttons (and Olive defends his point). Otto points out that he has ten buttons in one hand and three in the other, making a total of thirteen, as Oscar concludes. Coach Roberts insists that his players reveal any further groups of ten and three, but Olive lets him know that other number combinations also add up to thirteen. She cites 9 + 4 and 11 + 2 as Oscar discovers another 13 on a different player. Otto asks how many water bottles she is carrying, and she answers that she has six in one carrier and seven in another. Oscar figures out that this also adds up to thirteen. The player drops the water bottles and announces that she will never drink water again. Coach Roberts reminds her of the importance of hydration. Oscar announces that the team is now 13-free. Coach Roberts thanks Olive and Otto, presents the partners with tickets to the upcoming game, and leads his team away. Otto remarks that Olive is unusually calm considering the situation, but Olive replies that it's only her top half. Her legs are revealed to be doing another happy dance as she reads the ticket.

At the Shmumber Stadium, the Burly Bears are playing against the Rambunctious Rams. As the teams take the court, Olive cheers enthusiastically for the Bears while Otto notes that he expected more fans to appear. Olive retorts that both Larry and Phyllis are in the stands. Almost immediately, the ball begins to stop in mid-air and bonk Bears in the head and chest! This indicates they still have bad luck. As Coach Roberts calls a time-out, Olive and Otto share an "uh-oh" and race over to his side. Otto hypothesizes that another 13 must be somewhere. Olive assures Coach Roberts that they will find that 13, but they have to pay a visit to the Math Room first. They twist their badges and enter the Math Room. Coach Roberts removes his sweater and encourages the Bears to "walk it off".

In the Math Room, Olive and Otto take a look at the scene of the crime in search of a 13. Otto suggests one player's teeth, but that is quickly disproved. There are actually 32 teeth. Olive suggests the numbers on the players' uniforms, which are a four, a one, a five, a zero, and a three. Otto says there are not thirteens among the numbers, but Olive tells him that those numbers probably add up to 13 and reminds him that they can add all the numbers together. Four plus one adds up to five, which is added to five to make ten. Ten plus zero remains ten. Olive doesn't have enough fingers to add the three, so she grows a few extra thanks to the Math Room (to Otto's surprise). The total turns out to be thirteen! Olive and Otto share a "high thirteen", which Otto thinks is a bit gross.

Back at the court, Olive and Otto explain the situation to Coach Roberts and advise he sub out one player. Coach Roberts likes the idea, but cannot act on it; his other players are all hurt. Otto says he knows someone who could do it, and takes a look at Olive. Olive objects, but Otto reminds her that her jersey number (99) will no longer add to the total of thirteen, and tells her that she can do this. After a brief pause, Olive rips away her Odd Squad uniform to reveal her basketball uniform underneath it.

With Olive on the team, the Bears begin to do a much better job at playing, catching up to the Rams quickly. In the last thirty seconds, the score is tied, and Olive has the ball. She's surrounded by Rams on all sides, and is scared for a moment, but then remembers her favorite play - the Grizzly Bear Growl. She performs this move, knocking the Rams away, and scores the winning basket for the Bears. Everyone celebrates the victory joyously. With a freeze-frame of a soaked-with-cooler-water Olive, the episode comes to a close.


  • The episode's title is based off of the 1976 movie Bad News Bears.