Legendary Journeys

Punch Lines
Xena s5 pl dArc048.jpg
Gabrielle shrinks Argo
Series Xena: Warrior Princess
Season 5
Antagonist Lachrymose
Setting Greece
In-Universe Date Year 5
Production # V0910
Filming Dates 19 July to 23 July 1999
Original Air-Date 24 January 2000
Written By Chris Manheim, Adam Armus & Nora Kay Foster
Directed By Andrew Merrifield
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 101 of 134
Order in Season 11 of 22
Order in Franchise 270 of 304
Previous Episode in Series "Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire"
Next Episode in Series "God Fearing Child"
Previous Episode in Franchise "Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire"
Next Episode in Franchise "God Fearing Child"
Title Image
Punch Lines TITLE.jpg

Gabrielle is having trouble trying to write a scroll, and Aphrodite drops in to help. She relives the events that during the day - Meeting Lachrymose, God of Despair, shrinking Argo and getting shrunk herself.


Gabrielle tries to write in her scrolls after a writers block.

Gabrielle, via voiceover, tries to write her scrolls, but she is not getting anywhere. It is night, she is in her pajamas, and she makes airplanes out of her paper occasionally. Seems writer's block has become a major irritant to the bard.

Aphrodite helps Gabrielle and listens to her story.

Aphrodite pops in and wants to know what the problem is. Seems Gabrielle and Xena have bedded down in her temple. Gabrielle tells Aphrodite not to wake up Xena. Aphrodite pouts a bit when Gabrielle asks her why she is there. Aphrodite says she's immortal, she's got a lot of time on her hands. Gabrielle shows Aphrodite her scrolls. She says she doesn't know why she stopped writing, but she did, and now something tells her she should be writing again, but she can't do it. Aphrodite says so hey, tell me about your day today. Gabrielle begins to recall the day.

Xena and Gabrielle place a bet over Xena being angry.

Xena, Joxer, and Gabrielle were traveling along, trying to think up names for the baby. Joxer says he hopes the baby is a boy. They get into a discussion about Xena's moods and how hungry and cranky she is all the time. Xena says she never gets cranky. She asks Joxer to verify this. Joxer remembers all of these times, via clip shots, when Xena was cranky with him. But he says Xena has never been cranky. Xena says Gabrielle is patronizing her. Xena and Gabrielle make a bet that Xena can't lose her temper for the day. The bet involves housekeeping and backrubs. Gabrielle goes to give Argo a bath when she takes the horses to the river. Xena and Joxer are going into town to eat. Gabrielle takes the horses to the river. She puts water on Argo, and Argo shrinks down into a miniature pony.

Argo is shrunken down in size by a god.

Gabrielle and Aphrodite talk some more. Aphrodite pretends to be a psychoanalyst. She spouts a lot of big words. Gabrielle continues her story. While she's looking at the shrunken Argo, a God materializes out of the water. He is Lachrymose, God of Despair. The God says Gabrielle used his water to wash the horse, and that's why the horse shrank. Gabrielle says hey, this is Xena's horse, and the God says too bad. The God has never laughed in his whole life. Gabrielle says she could make him laugh. They make a deal. If Gabrielle makes the god laugh, he'll make Argo big again. Gabrielle tells Lachrymose not to underestimate her: that is what Xena does. Gabrielle starts telling stories. Clips from ISAIH, where the rabbit attacks Gabrielle. Gabrielle's story does not get a laugh from Lachrymose.

Xena and Joxer discuss raising a child around Xena's lifestyle.

Xena and Joxer eat at a tavern. A baby cries a lot. Xena looks at the baby and scares it mute. Xena remembers stuff from Cradle of Hope (clips). Joxer says her methods of mothering are unorthodox, but they are full of love and concern. Gabrielle tells another story to the god. Clips from A Comedy of Eros. The God doesn't laugh. Gabrielle tells more stories. Clips of slapstick things. Then clips of "action," i.e., Indrajit, etc. Then romantic comedy clips. A return to the present, where Gabrielle and Aphrodite discuss sex appeal, more clips.

Slumber party time...

Gabrielle and Aphrodite go into slumber party mode, complete with bubbles and pink nighties. Aphrodite asks Gabrielle if storytelling isn't like writing. Gabrielle says it is and isn't. Writing is more like talking to yourself and trying to figure things out, but she knows who she is now. Aphrodite says well, then why write? Gabrielle says it's a need to express yourself. Aphrodite compares her writing to accessorizing clothes. Gabrielle says she and Xena are best friends. But she stalled and couldn't go tell Xena she shrunk Argo.

Xena and Joxer want to leave the tavern, but they don't have any money. They get up to leave anyway. They run into a drunken brother of some warlord Xena offed or put in jail: Xena knocks him over. Gabrielle comes in the tavern. She tells Xena and Joxer to go get some supplies. Gabrielle goes back to the river, but Argo has escaped and is gone.

Aphrodite takes a bath and reveals a secret.

Gabrielle and Aphrodite talk some more. Gabrielle explains to Aphrodite, via more clips, how important Argo is to Xena. Aphrodite takes a bath because of all the talk about animals. Animals make her feel like taking a bath. She smells like white chocolate. Gabrielle says she went to look for the horse.


Joxer and Xena shop. Argo walks around the store. Gabrielle tries to find Argo. Xena and the warlord's brother fight over a bag of wheat. Xena knocks him out. Xena tells Joxer that her kid is going to encounter strange things. Clips of Titans, giants, and blind cyclops. Joxer says yeah, also, dryads (more clips), harpies (more clips), and bacchae (more clips). Joxer says, oh sure, the kid is going to encounter lots of problems, but the kid has Xena for a mother. Xena hugs Joxer and thanks him.

Gabrielle is shrunken down and talks to Joxer

Gabrielle continues looking for Argo. She finds her. Lachrymose appears. Gabrielle says maybe Lachrymose isn't God enough to return Argo to normal. Lachrymose shrinks Gabrielle. Argo bolts and nearly stomps Gabrielle, but she calms her down. The God disappears as Gabrielle reigns Argo in. Joxer and Xena shop a little more and talk. Joxer says all pregnant women are cranky. Gabrielle leads Argo. Joxer hugs Xena and sees a really tiny Gabrielle. He excuses himself and goes after Gabrielle. Joxer calls Gabrielle his new pint-partner. Then he suggests a circus act. She bites his finger. Gabrielle asks Joxer to find the god and get her returned to normal. Joxer goes to the spring and calls for Lachrymose. The god appears. Clips in black and white of chariot races and babies and women getting pierced with arrows as Joxer tells Lachrymose of his pathetic life, which includes his dad getting tanked and running off in the chariot. Joxer sobs.

Aphrodite and Gabrielle talk about Joxer. Gabrielle says Joxer has pulled them through several times. Clips of Joxer falling on his face. Gabrielle says okay, so he hasn't helped them much, but Joxer is a loyal friend.

Joxer tells Lachrymose a fake sob story.

Joxer and Lachrymose talk some more. Joxer sobs. Xena sleeps, then gets up and goes to the tavern. The warlord's brother appears with a knife, Xena knocks him out. Xena enters the tavern and asks if anyone has seen a guy in a funny hat. There is a convention of funny hat men in the tavern. They are not amused. Xena says fine. Everyone has deserted her, but Argo is always there. She whistles for Argo. Argo is with the little Gabrielle, and the pony bolts, leaving Gabrielle watching Joxer and Lachrymose. Lachrymose sees Gabrielle and starts after her. Gabrielle runs. Joxer says Gabrielle would be easier to find if she were normal and Lachrymose zaps her back to regular size. Xena sees the shrunken Argo. Clips of Xena turning into monsters and being really angry. She yells out Gabrielle's name.

Argo returns to normal size.

Gabrielle and Joxer go to the tavern. The warlord's brother wakes up again and is quickly dispatched. Xena throws a pie at Joxer and Gabrielle and hits Gabrielle. Joxer throws a pie and hits one of the funny hat men. Everyone starts throwing pies. The whole tavern is full of pie-throwing people. Argo the pony watches. Lachrymose appears and watches. Everyone has pie on them except Xena. Xena knocks a pie from the ceiling so it falls on Lachrymose. Lachrymose laughs. Everyone stops and watches Lachrymose and then everyone laughs. Argo returns to normal.

Gabrielle's writers block finally ends.

Gabrielle and Aphrodite talk. Gabrielle says she still has writer's block. Aphrodite makes a comment about her inner child. Gabrielle realized that was the answer. She says that since Xena got pregnant, she's had no time to do things that make her happy, like write. She needs to write stuff down so it will help Xena's baby in the future. Gabrielle thanks Aphrodite. She picks up a scroll. Xena sleeps. Gabrielle starts writing.

Gabrielle and Joxer laugh at a pie being thrown at Xena.

And so the day ended. Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer travel. Xena says she has no cooking or chores now for a month and she'll get plenty of back rubs because she was never cranky, though Gabrielle mentioned she wasn't happy when she threw those pies. A pie comes from nowhere and hits Xena in the face. They all walk off, with laughter sounding suspiciously like the God Lachrymose in the distance.


Gabrielle and Argo were Shrunk and Permanently Pressed during the production of this motion picture.

Background Information[]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • Shooting Dates: July 19 to 23, 1999 (5-day shoot)
  • This was the eighth episode to be shot but aired as the eleventh episode of season 5.
  • E! News was on during the filming of this episode talking about Lucy Lawless being with child.
  • Renee O’Connor mentioned in The Chakram Newsletter issue 11, that they for pie fight, they made whipped cream and mashed potatoes, which were being thrown at the actors from off camera. "It wasn’t painful, but so ironic. I do all these bizarre fights and never get hurt. Then I do a pie fight with whipped cream and I get cut. We had a good time. Actually, we probably had more fun than we should have…" Renee recalled that it was not scripted that a Pie be thrown at Lucy's direction because she was pregnant at the time of filming this episode.
  • According to Jennifer Sky, the actress who played Amarice, she was originally intended to be in this episode, before she was written out to film Cleopatra 2525.
  • Lucy Lawless recalls her experiences of shooting this episode to The Chakram Newsletter issue 11 “I was standing off camera biffing pies with the art department. They were the ones doing the throwing. I wasn’t supposed to get hit until the very end of the show, so, of course, I’m mucking with all the others just trying desperately hard to get Renee and Ted [Raimi, Joxer]. But the pies were a bit rough… The problem with [whipped cream] is that you can’t wash it off. You can’t do multiple takes. It doesn’t wash out of your hair, starts to smell and the floor gets greasy and dangerous."


  • When Joxer summoned Lachrymose he claimed that Lachrymose was the "first god [he] ever summoned", however, he is depicted summoning Ares in the Season Six episode Soul_Possession, the events of which take place in Season Four, thus, the continuity error, though that episode could be considered non-canon since it is partly set in modern times.
  • Joxer remembered harpies, but he was not present when Xena and Marcus fought them.

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Guest Stars[]

References and Mentions[]

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