The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
21 user 2 critic

A Penny for Your Thoughts 

Gaining telepathic abilities when his coin lands on its edge bank clerk Hector B. Poole learns about the difference between other people's plans and fantasies.


James Sheldon


George Clayton Johnson, Rod Serling (created by)




Episode complete credited cast:
Dick York ... Hector B. Poole
June Dayton ... Helen Turner
Dan Tobin ... E.M. Bagby
Cyril Delevanti ... L.J. Smithers
Hayden Rorke ... Sykes
James Nolan ... Jim
Frank London Frank London ... Driver
Anthony Ray ... Newsboy
Patrick Waltz ... Brand


Bank clerk Hector Poole develops telepathic powers after tossing a coin to a newspaper vendor that miraculously stands on its edge. He discovers the positive and negative effects of listening in on other peoples thoughts, plans and fantasies. Written by laird-3

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

3 February 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Penny for Your Thoughts See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Dick York's character, Hector B. Poole, bears a strong resemblance to Jim Carrey's Stanley Ipkiss in The Mask (1994). Both characters are timid bank employees who suddenly gain supernatural powers. See more »


When Bagby emerges from his office to tell Poole about the Ajax loan fraud he prevented, his mouth says "Acme" and not "Ajax", indicating a post-production redub. See more »


[opening narration]
Narrator: Mr. Hector B. Poole, resident of the Twilight Zone. Flip a coin and keep flipping it. What are the odds? Half the time it will come up heads, half the time tails. But in one freakish chance in a million, it'll land on its edge. Mr. Hector B. Poole, a bright human coin - on his way to the bank.
See more »


Referenced in Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

Once in a Million times!
31 August 2018 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

The strange occurrences in episodes of "The Twilight Zone" usually happen for no apparent reason and completely out of the blue. That's why I really like "A Penny for your Thoughts", because there's an actual clarification for the weird gift that suddenly overcomes lead character Hector Poole, albeit it's a very simplistic one, of course. Our protagonist is a well-mannered and law-abiding citizen. His job as a bank clerk doesn't offer many perspectives and he's too introvert to even notice that his cute colleague Miss Helen Turner fancies him. But when he tosses a penny towards a paperboy and it remains on its side, something that only happens once in a million times, Hector can suddenly hear the thoughts of everybody around him. It doesn't bring him much happiness throughout the day, though, and he's even too well-mannered to take advantage of his gift. But sometimes, and exclusively in the twilight zone, good things happen to good people. "A Penny for your Thoughts" is a modest but delightful little episode with a very apt ambiguous title and some nice performances by Dick York, June Dayton and Dan Tobin as the sleazy bank director.

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