|"Buster's Growing Grudge"|
|Number in season:||8b|
|Original Airdate:|| November 25, 1998|
September 15, 1999
|Written by:||Joe Fallon|
|Storyboard by:|| Robert Yap|
"Arthur's Treasure Hunt"
Buster's convinced that his great joke will be the difference between a successful oral report and failure. But when Binky steals his material, will Buster stay mad forever?
The show opener for this episode has Arthur talking about how everybody gets upset at least once. He recaps some of D.W.'s worst moments as an example, although he then realizes she has been upset more than most people. Arthur then talks about when Francine almost makes a grand slam during a baseball game, but fails when the wind shifts and the ball simply lands into the mitt of a catcher on the opposing team. Arthur also mentions the Brain being so excited to see photos of Saturn, but gets upset when he finds out that the space probe headed there won't get there for seven more years. Then the show opener ends when Arthur introduces Buster as "one person who's always happy", but when he opens a curtain, Buster Baxter is shown upset, turning his back on Arthur, and unwilling to talk.
Buster's Growing Grudge
The episode begins as Buster watches a Bionic Bunny episode, where Bionic Bunny is trapped before he can deliver some medicine. Buster misses the rest of the episode while his mother reminds him of writing his history report before watching TV. On the way to school the next day, Buster asks Arthur about the episode, but Arthur says he missed it because he was working on his history report. Buster then says he did a weak one since it was done quickly after Bionic Bunny, and hopes that starting with a relevant joke he wrote himself will make his report "a guaranteed 'A'". He tries his joke out on Binky, and Binky, Buster and Arthur all laugh at it. In Mr. Ratburn's class, Binky does a lackluster report on Christopher Columbus. Anxious to give his report, Buster then gets shocked when Binky tells Buster's joke in front of the class, at which the entire class (even Mr. Ratburn), except Buster, laughs.
Upset, Buster starts his report on King Tut with a cliché joke, to which the class uninterestedly responds. Outside on the tire swings during recess, Buster is still fed up with Binky for telling his joke, and doesn't respond to Francine when she suggests they all go skating the next day. Mr. Ratburn gives Buster's report a "D". Over the next few days, Buster is still upset with the situation, failing to notice Arthur winning against him in a game of checkers, and shouting out in a movie theater, pointing out the irony of Binky using a King Tut joke in a Columbus report. During a soccer game, Buster finds out that Binky telling the joke got him a "B+" on his report, which is then shown in a flashback, where the moment Binky says the joke's punchline, Ratburn falls back on his chair onto the floor, laughing hard, and saying that he was going to give the report an "F", and that with Binky telling the joke, he deserved a "higher grade". Unaware of the soccer game, the ball bounces off of Buster's head and lands into the goal while Binky was tying his shoes. Francine suggests that Buster talks to Binky about it, but when he notices how large Binky is compared to him, Buster nervously retreats. Then, Binky accidentally slips and falls into a giant mud puddle. Buster laughs at him, hoping that Binky will finally realize what it feels like to be embarrassed, but when everybody except Buster laughs along with Binky, Buster is even more upset, thinking that everybody thinks Binky's funny.
At the Sugar Bowl, Buster stresses that he cares about "funny", not Binky, saying that he "memorizes joke books, and practices making faces in the mirror", and that he has to "work at it". Francine acknowledges Buster's effort on the joke, saying that he worked on the joke much longer than he did on the report. Buster hopes to get revenge on Binky at the talent show the next day.
At the talent show, before Buster performs, Sue Ellen performs, doing a jump kick on the pumpkin head of a scarecrow. Arthur and Francine watch backstage, hoping that Buster won't be thinking about Binky during his act. However, Buster's stand-up act consists of merely recapping the events leading up to his grudge on Binky. Binky doesn't realize what Buster was trying to do. After the talent show winner is announced, Buster called his act "the comedy of truth", but regrets it, leaving and saying that the whole situation is Binky's fault. Arthur starts to think Buster will never let go of his grudge, which then leads to a foreshadowing of select events during Buster's later years, during which Buster does nothing, but mention Binky telling his joke. Arthur tries to calm Buster down, saying that staying mad at Binky doesn't do Buster any good. Buster then realizes that the only he could be happy again is if Binky never told the joke in the first place. Buster then starts talking about going back in time to change the past, but the Brain refutes it by simply saying the past can't be changed.
While Buster skips stones out to the ocean, Arthur sympathizes with Buster, mentioning that he is still mad for not getting a green ice cream cake for his fourth birthday. Buster thinks that's silly and how staying mad all the time isn't going to get Arthur what he's want. Until Arthur points out to Buster that staying mad won't get Buster what he wants either. Buster says that after all the work he did on that report, Binky had ruined it but Arthur reminds Buster that he hardly did any work at all, and that his whole report was about eggnog, to which Buster explains that it wasn't his fault and that they put it right next to Egypt in the encyclopedia. When Buster realizes that it was his own fault for doing a failed report and not Binky's, he confronts him again, roller skating by. Buster says that he isn't mad at Binky anymore, but Binky seemingly didn't realize that he told Buster's joke, or that Buster was mad for him doing so, or even that he heard it from Buster before. Binky seems to then remember, but sees no harm in telling jokes you hear from people to somebody else, even though they don't allow you to. Buster explains to Binky that the joke he wrote was meant to be used for his report about King Tut and Binky used it without asking and that's like stealing. Binky says he didn't mean to "steal" Buster's joke, and gives Buster $0.73, a sticker of a cool car, and a button to make up for it. Buster then gets happy when he realizes he got paid for writing a joke. Buster and Binky then start walking down the street, discussing that they "could really go places" with Binky being naturally funny, and Buster making up good jokes, all as the episode ends.
- In the show opener, involving D.W.'s worst moments from past Arthur episodes, clips of D.W. were shown from "D.W.'s Blankie", "Play it Again, D.W.", "D.W.'s Snow Mystery", "D.W. All Wet", "D.W.'s Imaginary Friend", and "So Long, Spanky".
- As the episode ends, Binky thinks that Buster and he could have their own TV show, but not Arthur, thinking that people wouldn't want to watch him on TV, although ironically, "Arthur" is the main character and title of this entire TV series.
- This is one of the earliest instances where George wins a contest, which would become a running gag throughout the series as he became more prominent.
- Buster's banana peel joke was first told in "Arthur's Lost Library Book", but it has since fallen out of favor with the kids.