Just a Little Lie is the 89th episode of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, written by J. Brynne Stephens and directed by Bill Reed. When Orko tells a little lie to a visiting prince, he finds he must keep spinning more and more lies to avoid a catastrophe.
Prince Adam and Teela are showing the Royal Palace's new water purification plant to Adam's cousin, Prince Dal of Dyperia, when Orko stops by. Dal is visiting while Dyperia is under threat of an attack, and is homesick, so Orko takes up the challenge of getting the prince's mind off his troubles. Orko shows Dal a beautiful river in the palace gardens, but Dal can't help but notice that the rivers in Dyperia are nicer. Frustrated, Orko boasts about the powerful magic in Eternos, and shows Dal the Starcrystal, "the most powerful artifact in Eternia," which he claims can protect whoever holds it. Impressed, Dal takes the Starcrystal and tests it by walking into a waterfall. However, the Starcrystal is nothing more than a common gem; to protect his white lie, Orko must redirect the falls so Dal won't get wet.
Back at the palace, Adam, Teela, Cringer, and two children are playing when the water from the river rushes in. Teela rounds up the children while Adam and Cringer become He-Man and Battle Cat. He-Man sends his companion to help Teela while he collects the floodwater with a massive pipe from the purification plant. With the danger passed, He-Man goes to find the cause of the trouble and shuts the valve feeding the misdirected waterfall. Dal tries to explain the power of the Starcrystal, but Orko interrupts to deny any knowledge of what happened. He-Man is suspicious but doesn't question his friend's word, and goes to have Man-At-Arms repair the waterfall. Dal doesn't understand why Orko would lie to He-Man, so Orko lies again, saying that He-Man wouldn't let them have such a powerful bauble. Satisfied, Dal returns the Starcrystal and Orko takes it back to his bedroom, eager to think of a way to make Dal forget about it. Once he's asleep, though, Dal sneaks into the bedroom and takes back the Starcrystal, believing it will turn the tide in his father's battle against the Torcs.
The next morning, Man-At-Arms asks Orko if he's seen Prince Dal, who's gone missing. Fearing the worst, Orko checks to find the Starcrystal is gone as well. Teela tells Orko that Dal's trail suggests that he's heading back to Dyperia, but Orko can't afford for anyone to learn the truth about the Starcrystal, so he tells another lie. He tells Teela that Dal said he wanted to go to the Caverns.
He-Man, Battle Cat, Man-At-Arms, and Teela begin searching the caverns, but they can't help wondering why Dal would go there alone, or why Orko is acting so strangely. Unknown to the heroes, a giant swarm of nightspiders stalks them unseen in the shadows. Teela senses they are being followed, but He-Man and Battle Cat assure her there is nothing there. Suddenly Teela vanishes into the shadows behind a large boulder, her frantic muffled screams alerting the others of danger. Teela's leg pokes out from the boulder momentarily as she frantically signals for help, and a strange series of clicking noises can be heard. Quickly He-Man moves the boulder and finds Teela, who after being attacked and overpowered by the nightspider swarm, lay tightly mummified and concealed in the cave crevices. He-Man quickly frees Teela from the tight webbing that had completely imprisoned her from head to toe, but then a squad of Torcs ambushes them and subdues the heroes with sleep spray.
Meanwhile, Orko goes alone to find Dal. When he finally catches up to the prince, he begins to tell the truth about the Starcrystal, but is stymied when Dal professes his unwavering faith in Orko's word. Before Orko can work up the nerve to confess, the pair are surrounded by another group of Torcs. Dal refuses to believe he is in any danger, and when Orko manages to blow away the Torcs' sleep spray, he is even more convinced.
Later, He-Man and the others wake up in the Torcs' encampment to find that their weapons have been confiscated. Rather than break down the door and attract an entire squad, Battle Cat acts friendly with the guards to keep them from noticing that He-Man is digging an escape tunnel. They soon find Orko in the forest, who explains that he couldn't keep up with Dal on his way to the Dyperian army.
When Dal finally finds his father, King Stefen is surprised to see him, but has no doubt about the power of the Starcrystal. He-Man and his friends catch sight of Stefen singlehandedly challenging the Torcs, and Orko must finally explain the extent of his falsehoods. Before a horde of Torcs can overwhelm Stefen, He-Man and Battle Cat resuce the king. Stefen and Dal are confused to learn that the Starcrystal cannot protect them, but for the moment the priority is to defeat the Torcs.
Once He-Man has rallied the Dyperian troops, they move in alongside the Heroic Warriors for a final push to drive the Torcs back into the caverns where they belong. Realizing there are too many Torcs to contend with, Stefen and He-Man come up with a new plan. Stefen and Dal pretend to be hiding in one of the Torc caves, luring the Torcs after them. Once all the Torcs are back in the caverns, Orko spirits the king and prince to safety and He-Man pounds on the ground, causing the cave entrance to collapse and seal the Torcs in.
With the battle won, He-Man prompts Orko to explain himself. Orko sheepishly admits that he told a one little lie, and had to keep telling bigger and bigger lies to cover for it. He-Man reminds him that there are no little lies, and Orko resolves to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Orko tells Teela how relieved he is that the episode is over, so he doesn't have to keep track of his lies anymore. He's learned lying is dangerous to others, and stressful to the liar.
- John Erwin as He-Man/Prince Adam and King Stefen
- Alan Oppenheimer as Man-At-Arms and Battle Cat/Cringer
- Linda Gary as Teela
- Lou Scheimer (credited as Erik Gunden) as Orko and Prince Dal, and unnamed Torks and Dyperians
Orko's Fun Facts
As featured in BCI's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Season Two, Vol. 1 DVD boxset (Disc 4)
- "Two versions of this episode exist, the difference being when Prince Adam introduces Prince Dal to Orko. In the first when Adam mentions that Dyperia is his uncle Stefen's kingdom by the sea, whereas in the other version he omits that one piece of dialogue."
- "During the scene with the children in the Royal Palace you can see that the young boy has a small version of the Sword of Power which he keeps raising to the sky!"
- "King Stefan's army members are actually the Royal Guard with different (and somewhat garish) colors."
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