|Number in season:||8a|
|Original Airdate:|| October 14, 1999|
January 26, 2000
|Written by:||Peter K. Hirsch|
|Storyboard by:||Robert Yap|
"To Beat or Not to Beat"
When Buster cheerfully insists that he will miss the Father's Day picnic because he has other plans, Arthur is convinced that he's really sad about his parents' divorce and embarrassed to show up alone. Can Arthur and the gang find Buster a new dad in time for the picnic?
Arthur and Buster are in the Baxters' backyard, and Buster is trying to free a kite that's stuck in a tree. While he does so, his mother lets him know that his father is calling him on the phone. Buster goes to answer it, while Arthur climbs up the tree and explains how excited Buster gets whenever he talks to his dad, since he doesn't do so that often. Arthur also says that Buster goes on trips around the world with his father, who's a pilot, but he also worries if Buster is sad whenever he misses his father. Buster comes back outside, saying that he's got a special surprise.
After the title card, Arthur, Francine and D.W. are taking Pal out for a walk when they spot a poster for the Annual Father's Day Picnic being put up. They worry about Buster not having a dad to go with. When Buster meets them, he says that he isn't going to the picnic because he has other plans. When D.W. asks if they can find a substitute dad for Buster, Arthur originally objects to the idea, but Francine likes it, so they begin searching.
They first come across Pickles the Clown (who first appeared in "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn" and last appeared in "Arthur's Lost Dog"). When he asks Buster to go to the picnic, Buster refuses (although he does buy the clown's balloons). The Brain then suggests that Buster take a robotic dad with him. However, that idea backfires when the robot dad sounds like a cat (as well as similar to the robotic cat from "Buster Baxter, Cat Saver"), and Brain then says, “Oh, no — I forgot to replace the voice mechanism!” Buster then realizes he's been set up.
Arthur and Francine then suggest that Mr. Ratburn acts like Buster's dad during the picnic, which Buster quickly refuses. A while later, Arthur, Francine and some of the other kids are at Arthur's house, discussing ideas for what to do. After turning down other ideas, Binky offers to be Buster's dad, since he's only a year older than Buster.
Binky dresses up in a suit jacket and hangs out with Buster near a stream. Buster, however, catches on to the charade, and tells Binky to tell Arthur that he's not sad about not having his dad around.
At the Sugar Bowl, Arthur tells Buster that he's stopped searching for a father for Buster and that he's decided not to go, since he doesn't want to see Buster upset. Buster assures Arthur that even though it's rough not having his dad around, he does enjoy whatever time he does spend with his dad and he still has a family, even though his parents aren't together anymore.
At the picnic, Buster and his mom arrive in a hot air balloon, and Buster explains that his dad rented it so that the other kids and their fathers can ride in it for free all day.
- Nigel Ratburn
- The Brain
- Muffy Crosswire
- Prunella Deegan
- George Lundgren
- David Read
- Otto Ratburn (Flashback)
- Timmy and Tommy Tibble
- D.W. Read
- Unknown Male Adult Rabbit (Number 3)
- Unknown Female Adult Rabbit (Number 4)
- Fern Walters
- Sue Ellen Armstrong
- Maria Pappas
- Unknown Male Rabbit
- Maria lookalike
- Kate Read
- When Buster says his first line his collar quickly flashes green for a second.
- Binky's skin tone lightens significantly for a few seconds during his encounter with Buster along the creek. This lightened tone would later become Binky's standard skin color beginning in Season 6.