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Oskar vs Thingamabob

Key Moments

Use this synopsis of Oskar Versus Thingamabob to review key points of the play with your students. Then, lead them through sequencing activities and creating frozen pictures with their bodies to see if they can remember the order of key events.

Oskar has amazing dreams!

Ten-year-old Oskar has super awesome dreams. But lately, Oskar’s super awesome dreams have turned into nightmares.



A few weeks ago, Oskar and his family had to deal with a Very Bad Thing---Thingamabob! Even though Thingamabob is gone now, Oskar still has nightmares about it. This makes it hard to sleep, and now Oskar is tired all the time. Every time he thinks about Thingamabob, he is overwhelmed with fear, anger, and sadness.

"Why are popcorn jokes so bad?...Because they're corny!" 
-A Bag of Popcorn



Tabitha is Oskar’s totally awesome electronic personal assistant. She has some advice for Oskar to stop having nightmares: Don’t sleep! Oskar agrees to bring Tabitha to school for Show and Tell, but he’s worried. Even at school, he can’t stop thinking about Thingamabob. Tabitha has more advice: Eat something!

Oskar’s Mom and the Scarf

Oskar’s mom wants him to look his best on Show and Tell Day. She has knitted him a scarf, but it reminds Oskar of Thingamabob. When he sees it, he screams and curls up into a ball.

"Tabitha, I can’t feel fear. I can’t feel afraid. I can’t feel scared. I’ve always been the bravest kid in the world." 


Tabitha Calculates Colors

Oskar is confused about how he’s feeling and asks Tabitha for help. Tabitha can’t feel emotions, but she can calculate the color Oskar is feeling:


Yellow – the color of Fear

Tabitha says Oskar is feeling yellow- the color of fear, of being afraid. Oskar says that can’t be true because, before Thingamabob, he was always brave.

Oskar Hides His Feelings

Oskar doesn’t want anyone to know he’s afraid. He asks Tabitha to protect him, so no one knows how he’s feeling.

Frank and the Handkerchief

Frank is one of Oskar’s best friends. He is having issues. Frank has an allergy to Pomeranian puppies, and can’t stop sneezing. Is there a Pomeranian puppy at school? Oskar thinks this is ridiculous and almost dies laughing until Frank pulls out his handkerchief. It reminds Oskar of Thingamabob! Oskar starts stomping and growling, charging Frank like a bull.


Red – the color of Anger

Tabitha calculates that Oskar is feeling the color red. Red is the color of anger, of being mad, of being furious. Oskar says that can’t be true because, before Thingamabob, he was the calmest kid in the world. Tabitha agrees and says Oskar should eat something.

"…and I know for a fact that you are the color of anger, of being mad, of being furious. But I’m not going to tell you that." 

Beth and the Cape

Beth is one of Oskar’s best friends and a world-renowned magician. At recess, she is preparing for Show and Tell with a cape that reminds Oskar of Thingamabob. When he sees the cape, he curls up in a ball and cries.

"You must be feeling a little off. Do you need me to help you somehow?" 


Grey – the color of Sadness

Tabitha calculates that Oskar is feeling Grey – the color of sadness, of being sad. Oskar doesn’t want to hear it. He’s the happiest kid around! He can’t be feeling sad, right? Tabitha agrees and says Oskar is hungry and also sleepy.

Oskar Learns to Cope

After another nightmare about Thingamabob, Oskar decides to talk about his feelings to his mom, Frank, and Beth. They understand because they have felt the same things Oskar is feeling. They teach him ways to deal with his tough emotions.


Float Away the Fear

Oskar’s mom says even adults get scared. She teaches Oskar a trick she learned called “Float Away the Fear.”


  • To do this trick, you must find a color for your fear, like yellow. Take a deep breath in, and imagine breathing out the color yellow and filling a big yellow balloon. Once the balloon is full, let it go, and float away the fear!


Oskar floats away his fear in a yellow balloon and doesn’t feel so scared anymore.


Count to Calm

Frank says he gets angry, too, like when his calculator isn’t big enough or when he gets Rickrolled. To feel better, he “Counts to Calm.”


  • To do this, you need to think of a really funny word, one that will make you laugh no matter how many times you hear it. Then count to five, but after every number, say that funny word.


Oskar’s funny word is “esophagus.” Once Oskar counts to five with his funny word, he doesn’t feel so angry.


Superhero Phrase

Beth tells Oskar that she gets sad sometimes, just like Oskar. When she does, she says her Superhero Phrase and feels better.

  • To do this, you need to think of one compliment your friends would give you. Then strike a superhero pose, say your name, and say that compliment.


Oskar says, “I am Oskar! I’m totally awesome twenty-four hours a day!” Once Oskar has done this, he doesn’t feel so sad.

Beating Thingamabob

Oskar falls asleep at Show and Tell, and starts having another nightmare. He still feels scared, angry, and sad. But this time, he uses the tricks he has learned to deal with his emotions and defeats Thingamabob!


Show and Tell

At Show and Tell, Frank, Beth, and Oskar give their presentations.

  • Frank pulls out his knitting needles and a ball of yarn and knits a time machine. He goes to the future and grows a beard!

  • Beth, wearing her cape and hat, says the magic words, “abra-esophagus”, and pulls a Pomeranian puppy out of her hat!

  • Oskar has Tabitha beatbox and then tells her to tell everyone how he has been feeling. She tells everyone that, since the Very Bad Thing named Thingamabob, Oskar has been feeling scared, angry, and sad.


Oskar is okay with Tabitha telling the truth now because he knows that there’s nothing wrong feeling these emotions. He has learned how to cope with these tough feelings.

Dance Party!

With the help of his mom and friends, Oskar knows how he is feeling and how to deal with this emotions. At the end of Show and Tell, Oskar, Frank, and Beth celebrate with a dance party!

Join the party! Show off your moves.

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