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D.W., the Picky Eater

Episode #203

"D.W., the Picky Eater" / "Buster and the Daredevils"

Synopsis and Comments by: Dave -- "From the title, you'd think this would be a heavy-handed moral one, but it's actually not that bad."

In the kitchen, Mom's just been food shopping. Arthur and D.W. are helping to put away the groceries. As she does, D.W. comments on how much yucky food Mom buys. D.W. only seems to like a limited number of things, like "Freeze Pops", and peanut butter.

Dad announces that the kids are in for a special treat that night at dinner.

(Dinner that night is Dad's new recipe of "Hawaiian Shrimp", which D.W. hates, since it's from the "smelly fish family".)

He's taking everyone out for dinner at a fancy restaurant. Mom's dubious. Dad thinks everyone's going to love it.

At the restaurant, D.W. raises a big fuss, since her salad contains spinach. D.W. hates spinach, and makes everyone in the restaurant aware of the fact, sending her salad spiralling into a waiter's hair. The waiter says he's quitting.

D.W. hates spinach.

Back at home, D.W. is told off by Mom and Dad for her bad behavior at the restaurant. She has to learn to like new foods.

Otherwise, and this is the big point, she won't be able to come to Grandma Thora's birthday dinner at the "Once Upon a Restaurant" on the 18th... about a week away.

The "Once Upon a Restuarant" is great news for Arthur, since it's such a cool restaurant. It's a restaurant done in a "fairy tale land" type style, with costumed waiters, and decorations, and the building's shaped like a castle! Arthur can't wait to go there.

Bad news for Arthur though; when Arthur exclaims in mock horror that it'll be a shame to have to leave D.W. out, Grandma Thora comments that she's quite prepared to abandon the idea of going to the "Once Upon A Restaurant" if D.W. isn't allowed to go with the family... she doesn't mind just having dinner at home.

Arthur personally sees this as unfair, even though Grandma Thora is just trying to keep everyone happy. He wonders why he always has to be accompanied by D.W. everywhere he goes.

Arthur imagines himself in a spacesuit preparing to board a rocket for a misson to Jupiter. He has a big [2] on the back of his suit (like Ms. Wood's [17] on her suit in #11201 - "Arthur Writes a Story"...) He's about to board the ship when he's stopped by a NASA official.

He asks why D.W.'s not with Arthur.

Arthur says that D.W.'s not part of the mission, he doesn't need her to go with him... Arthur's whole career has been spent preparing for this mission. He's waited 20 years for this.

No go. He can't go without D.W.. The mission gets scrubbed, and everything is shut down.

The camera pulls away upwards, and a drum beats loudly -- we're looking down at Arthur. He looks up at the camera...

Astronaut Arthur: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Ok, so Arthur now has a mission here on Earth. He's gotta get D.W. to start liking spinach so that they can go to the restaurant -- and he has less than a week to do it!

Good thing everyone's able to help Arthur out by coming up with some clever schemes.

Buster and Arthur are up in the treehouse when D.W. walks by. Talking loudly, Arthur tells Buster how much he loves Buster's "special" peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Buster (loudly): But look! I made TOO MANY!

D.W. clambers up into the treehouse, and asks if she can have a sandwich. Arthur ponders... he's not sure; they're a special recipe.

D.W. takes a big bite, and starts to chew. She asks Buster what the special recipe is.

Buster tells her that he includes a special ingredient -- nothing perks up a PBJ sandwich like:


The camera pulls to a high angled shot from the ground looking up at the entrance to the treehouse. D.W. runs to the entrance and vomits out the chewed sandwich.

It splatters all over the screen in a browny-reddy-tanny-green lumpy mess.

Buster and Arthur discuss the spinach issue with Muffy and Francine. Maybe Arthur's approach is wrong. Maybe all they need is for someone D.W. respects to show her how delicious spinach is. Muffy claims that that's how they got their dog to eat a new type of dog food -- they had the butler try it.

Who is that though?

They decide it's Muffy.

* * *

At Muffy's house, D.W. is invited to dine with Muffy. Muffy gets her butler Bailey to serve her a large portion of mashed spinach.

Muffy explains to a nonplussed D.W. that she loves spinach... sometimes she just gets a craving for it!

Muffy's about to eat a forkful of spinach to convince D.W. that she should eat it when a fly lands on the fork.

Muffy sends the spinach flying.

D.W. thinks this is a waste of time.

Francine comes over to Arthur's house. She and Arthur spoonfeed Baby Kate mashed spinach. D.W. watches them. Francine makes the comment that Kate knows that spinach is nice, and likes to eat it -- that means she's a big girl, unlike D.W., who's a "baby-wabey".

This annoys D.W., and they give her a spoon with some spinach on it. Just then Baby Kate spits out some of the spinach, all over her bib. At this, D.W. flings down her spoonful, and Arthur ends up with a green splat all over his sweater.

D.W. thinks that Baby Kate agrees with her... Arthur's the one that's wrong.

Arthur and Buster are out riding their bikes. None of their plans have worked. Maybe Arthur should give up. He's got no hope of having a meal at the "Once Upon a Restaurant"...

Arthur stops. There's always "Plan X"...

He turns around and heads home. Buster follows, wondering what "Plan X" could be...

* * *

Arthur asks D.W. if she'd like to go on a bike ride with him. D.W.'s suspicious, since Arthur's not usually one to do something like that.

They head to the "Once Upon a Restaurant". They look through the windows. Arthur points out what's inside:

D.W.'s asking if she'd like to go to a restaurant like that? D.W. stands there agape looking in. You can tell that she would LOVE to go to a restaurant such as this.

* * *

That evening, Arthur's on the phone. D.W. comes in. It sounds like Arthur's talking to Grandma Thora. Arthur's just wrapping up the call. He covers the mouthpiece on the phone and says to D.W. that Grandma Thora's changed her mind, and that they'll leave D.W. behind if she still doesn't want to eat new food... they'll go to the restaurant without her.

D.W. wants Arthur to give her the phone... she wants to tell Grandma that she's changed... she'll eat new foods; she must go to the "Once Upon a Restaurant"!

Arthur won't let her talk though. He asks Grandma if it's alright if D.W. comes along, since she promises to be good and try new foods... He says thanks Grandma, says goodbye, and hangs up the phone.

Before he does, we cut to Buster's house.

It wasn't Grandma on the phone, it was Buster impersonating Grandma Thora's voice!

Arthur: Thanks...

Buster (in a Grandma-y voice): Anytime, sonny...

* * *

The 18th rolls around, and D.W. is being allowed to come to the restaurant for Grandma's birthday. She's promised to be good and to try something new. The Reads head into the "Once Upon a Restaurant" dressed in their best gear. D.W. has her spotty dress on.

The "Once Upon a Restaurant" is as interesting as advertised.

D.W. looks at her menu, and makes a mildly displeased face. She wonders out loud whether or not they serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches here.

Dad turns to her and mentions that she did say she was going to try something new...

The waiter arrives, dressed as Aladdin. He looks a little like the waiter who got the spinach in the hair at the classy restaurant. :) he takes their orders, and arrives back later.

Three waiters in bear costumes ("The 3 Bears") carry the dishes to the table.

D.W. starts to eat, and everyone stops, including the waiter to await D.W.'s opinion.

She likes it.

Everyone breathes a sigh of relief, including the waiter, who goes off to take care of some other patrons.

It turns out that D.W. loves the pie, and she tells everyone so. Dad calls the waiter over, asking if he can possibly get the waiter to give him the recipe for it.

Waiter: It's easy. You just take a pie pastry, and fill it with loads and loads of spinach.

All eyes turn to D.W., expecting something unpleasant to occur. She looks up, wondering what the problem is... she likes spinach. What's wrong with that?

Arthur rolls his eyes.

D.W. keeps eating, and smiles.



Liked this one... but:

Dad WAS taking a bit of a risk taking D.W. for a fancy dinner... what did he expect? Almost the exact same thing happened in #11501 - Arthur's Family Vacation". However, Dad is a bit of a twit on occasion.

What's up with animal people dressing up as bears? See #10701 - "Arthur Goes to Camp"...

Bailey served as Muffy's chauffeur in #12602 - "Poor Muffy".

How come Arthur went to the trouble of having Buster on the other end of the phone? Couldn't it have worked with Arthur just pretending to talk to someone on the phone? I guess it's because Arthur's a stickler for detail...

My sister should watch this episode. She doesn't like veg either.

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