|Number in season:||9A|
|Original Airdate:|| October 30, 2000|
|Written by:||Peter K. Hirsch|
|Idea by:||Bruce Akiyama|
|Storyboard by:||Stéphanie Gignac|
"The Big Dig"
Overindulging in sweets leads to a night of very strange dreams for Arthur.
Arthur is shown reading a book called “Fairy Tales”. He tells the viewers that these [fairy tales] “are some of the weirdest, scariest, most exciting stories ever” and adds that there were “talking pigs” and “two-headed trolls” as examples before closing the book, stating that he didn’t always like fairy tales and used to think they were really babyish. Arthur then opens another book (which happens to be a journal) and begins at the beginning: “Once upon a time, there was a boy named Arthur, whose dad was an amazing cook...”
Dad was finishing decorating a cake. Arthur wants to have a taste, but his dad tells him no because it’s for a wedding that he and Mom are catering for. He then tells Arthur that Grandma Thora might make him some of her chocolate chip cookies, which Arthur fears about breaking his teeth with. During school, Mr. Ratburn’s class was watching a film about life in the ocean when Arthur daydreams about the wedding cake. After school, Arthur tells Buster about the cake his dad made and also told him that Grandma is making dinner, probably the cheesy tuna noodle thing she made before. Buster suggests that Arthur buy some candy since he states it’s real food.
Arthur buys some candy from Gula’s Candy Emporium and ate them after he came home. But to his surprise, Grandma Thora prepared the food their dad left. D.W. comes in and is enthusiastic, but covers for it by saying, “How nice. You don’t have to do any work, Grandma”. Grandma thanks her with a smile, and tells them that if they both clean their plates, she has a big surprise for them. After dinner, Arthur and D.W. say what they think the surprise is. Grandma Thora reveals that the surprise is some slices from the wedding cake Dad made. Arthur feels his stomach gurgling, so he chose to take a tiny bite from it.
Instead, he ate two slices of cake and started having an upset stomach. Grandma Thora asks Arthur if he would like her to read a story to cheer him up: “That’s what I used to do when you had an upset stomach”. D.W. also wholeheartedly agrees with that idea. But Arthur doesn’t want to hear fairy tales; in his opinion, they’re boring. He suggests that Grandma reads the new Scare-Your-Pants-Off book, “Bloodsucking Beavers of Bavaria”, instead. Regardless, Grandma plans to read from the book of fairy tales, stating the the stories in the fairy tale genre are just as exciting and frightening as the Scare-Your-Pants-Off book. She then proceeds to tell the story of Hansel and Gretel.
Arthur then falls asleep and dreams of himself and D.W. as the main characters of the fairy tale. They were first lost in the woods, but then find a path that leads to a gingerbread house. They then meet the witch (played by Mr. Ratburn) who lives in there. He and the kids go to the mall to buy an oven so he can cook them for dinner. Trapped in a cell, Arthur and D.W. are yelling to let them out. D.W. notices that the bars are made of candy cane and they can lick their way out. But Arthur didn’t want to help because of his stomach ache. However, they were saved by the seven dwarfs (played by the Tibble twins), who then take D.W. to give them their nap time. D.W. asks Arthur to get Grandma.
On the way, Binky teases him, prompting Arthur to put on a red cloak. Once he reaches Grandma’s, he saw that she was Dad’s wedding cake. Grandma throws herself into Arthur’s mouth before D.W. arrives and scolds him; he tells her, “It wasn’t Grandma. It was that wedding cake.”
Then Buster arrives as a woodcutter. When Arthur tries to convince him that it’s really him, Buster doesn’t believe him. He ponders over whether Arthur is a grandma-eating wolf disguised as Arthur. “Or maybe you’re a grandma-eating alien disguised as a wolf disguised as Arthur. Either way” he says while lifting his ax, preparing to chop open Arthur’s stomach, causing Arthur to wake up from his nightmare.
When Grandma asks Arthur if he’s feeling all right and if he had a nightmare, D.W. remarks, “It’s probably from all those fairy tales you were reading him” before turning to Arthur and adding “See? They are scary”. Arthur then says that his stomach really hurts; Grandma then gives him a few pills to help his upset stomach.
Later that night, he has another dream where D.W. scolds him for selling her Mary Moo Cow for beans. Arthur says that they are magic beans, but D.W. throws them into two holes in the ground, stating “That’s what I think of your ‘magic beans’!”
However, much to their surprise, a giant beanstalk sprouts out of the ground. Arthur climbs it and sees a castle and a goose, which belongs to a giant formed out of everything Arthur has ever eaten (for 8 and a half years, according to the giant). Arthur escapes from the giant, but the giant is chasing him. Then Buster from Arthur’s Little Red Riding Hood dream shows up. This time, he also states that not only is he a woodcutter, he’s a licensed beanstalk cutter (while showing ID to prove it); he chops down the beanstalk. Arthur wakes up from his dream, stating that the last fairy tale helped his stomachache go away.
The scene shifts to the library where Arthur concludes the story and eats a candy bar, finishing the episode.
- In the intro, the talking pig in the book boasts that he has been one "hundreds of years before Babe" — he references the titular pig of the 1995 film Babe, though he could be also referring to the original book.
- This is the first episode to use the title card with D.W. dressed like a fairy.
- Among the candy Arthur bought, a spoof of Tootsie Roll called Footsie Roll is shown.
- Arthur's dreams are based on several fairy tales:
- The seven dwarves played by the Tibble twins give names that parody Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and are fitting of the Tibbles’ general character: Pesky, Whiny, Grouchy, Angry, Noisy, Creepy and Stinky.
- In this episode, D.W. is shown to be very calm when she openly states the meaning of her initials (which is quite different from the other episodes where she is embarrassed by them).
- Main article: Just Desserts/Gallery