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Buster and the Daredevils

Episode #203

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

"Too Much Detail" Synopsis by: Dave, comments by Dave, HFein and Ben -- Our first threesome comment section :)

(This one's got a load of detail in it since I recorded the audio off the TV onto a microcassette tape recorder, and then painstakingly entered in bits of witty dialogue. Why? Good question... I'd forgotten about the tape until recently; it was recorded sometime last fall.

I may have mucked up the dialogue a little towards the end... it's hard to tell which is Slink and which is Toby on the tape in audio only. They may even have messed it up on the actual show; I doubt it though. It's not particularly critical though.)


A rabbit kid (who could be "Tough Customer" Molly's brother, judging by his haircut... you can't see his eyes.) wearing a black t-shirt with a lightning bolt on it, and a kid who looks like a teenage Tibble in a sweattop are standing on a park bench with Buster. The rabbit kid has a white paper bag in his hand.

Rabbit Kid: Ladies and Germs, gather 'round. Our good friend Buster the Brave will now do something so incredibly amazing...

Tibbley Kid: Something so shocking, horrible, and embarassing...

A load of kids on the playground turn to see what's going on.

Arthur jumps up, and freezes time.

Arthur: Wait a second, hold everything!

Only Arthur can move, everyone else is frozen in mid movement.

Arthur: Something is very wrong with this picture.

Arthur walks over to the bench where Buster and the two kids are standing. He stands in front of the three on the bench and talks to the camera.

Arthur: First of all, he called Buster "brave". Buster brave? You should have seen him on Halloween!

Arthur remembers Buster being dressed up as a pirate trick-or-treating with Arthur, who went as Bionic Bunny. Buster got afraid when he saw a kid in an alien costume. Then he saw his own reflection in the window of a house, and got afraid that pirates were going to get them!

Arthur: And second of all, if he's their "good friend", then why does he look so nervous? And what's in this bag anyway?

Arthur looks in the bag.

Arthur: Oh No!

* * * Buster and the Daredevils * * *

Arthur and Buster are playing in the sandbox at the school's playground. They're both playing with transformer robots that can turn into spaceships. Arthur is "Captain Aster-Read" and Buster is "Starbuster". They turn their robots into spaceships and play with them, talking in robot voices.

Buster's making laser sounds...

Buster: Djoo-joo-joo-joo-joo!

Suddenly, the "danger"/"bad news" music plays.

A rabbit kid on a skateboard, and a Tibbly-kid on rollerblades arrive on the scene. They do some reasonable cool jumps and tricks which amaze Arthur and Buster. These two new kids are hot stuff.

They come to a stop in front of Arthur and Buster:

"Rightous skating, Toby!" says the rabbit kid.

"Radical land-surfing, Slink" says the other, who must be Toby.

(You can tell by their voices that these kids are bad news. Kind of sneery.)

Buster: That was great!

Arthur: Yeah, will you teach us how to do that sometime?

Toby and Slink think Arthur and Buster are a little young to learn their moves... after all, they are playing in a sandbox.

The "schemey" music plays...

Arthur tries to explain that they weren't playing, they were just, err, looking for something that they'd dropped.

Buster tries to back up Arthur by bending down and picking up a penny for Arthur that Arthur must have dropped.

Toby and Slink aren't impressed.

* * *

A while later, Buster and Arthur are back at the park. They decide to try and do their own cool tricks.

Buster's got a skateboard. He tries to jump over a bench, but can't, and falls down...

Buster: At least it didn't hurt... too much!

Arthur has strap-on skates. He tries to do moves too, but he has trouble maintaining his balance. He can build up a lot of speed spinning around a pole, but falls over as soon as he lets go.

Arthur and Buster a lot of time on the ground.

Eventually, they manage to roll in a straight line past each other. As they pass, they give each other a high five.

Arthur: Nice moves, buddy!

Buster: You too!

They fall down after they complete this maneuver.

Buster: I wish Toby and Slink were here to give us some pointers.

Guess who shows up.

Slink: You don't need pointers, you need an emergency room!

Toby: Huh huh... Come on Slink, let's make tracks!

Arthur: You guys aren't going to skate today?

Toby: Are you kidding? Comicmania just opened today!

Then Arthur's derided for having strap-on skates, which are "uncool".

Once Toby and Slink leave, Buster has a great idea. How about they go to Comicmania?

* * *

"Comicmania" turns out to be a comic books store. Arthur and Buster enter, and are immediately drawn one of the comics on display.

Buster: Arthur, look, it's the very first issue of "Bionic Bunny versus Technoturtle"

Arthur gasps.

Arthur: Be careful, it's probably worth a thousand dollars!

Slink and Toby appear. They think that that's a "baby" comic. If Arthur and Buster want to check out a "real" comic, they should get copies of "Peabrain and Nuthead".

Peabrain and Nuthead look like what MTV's famous Beavis and Butthead would look like, if they were nuts (nuts, like pecans) instead of humans.

The comic briefly comes alive. There's guitar riffs, and the nut-people shake, going huh-huh, huh, huh... just like Beavis and Butthead.

Slink and Toby go huh-huh, huh, huh too.

Buster (a little too loudly): ha, huh-ha, ha, huh. ha ha hah huh, heh...

Arthur's not laughing.

Buster (whispering, to Arthur): Laugh!

Arthur (whispering): But I don't get it!

Buster: (whispering): Neither do I, but they don't have to know that...

Arthur: A ha ha! That Peanut sure cracks me up!

Toby (miffed, as if Arthur's just said something incredibly stupid and insulting even.) : He's not a peanut! He's a PECAN!

Buster: I think they're really starting to like us!

Arthur isn't so sure. Toby and Slink don't particularly friendly.

Buster: We just need one more thing to make it perfect.

* * *

Buster's decided that if they want to hang out with cool kids like Toby and Slink, then they'd better look the part. They meet up with each other downtown. Arthur's got a big pair of baggy pants on, and a t-shirt, and Buster has a pair of dark futuristic shades on. Arthur isn't pleased at how his Dad's shorts keep falling down around his waist, and Buster can bearly see with the dark glasses on. But it's all in the name of looking cool. They walk into a restaurant: "Billy's Burger Barn", which must be where Elwood City's coolest hang out.

Buster can't see where he's going, and Arthur has to point him towards the booth where Toby and Slink are eating. Arthur isn't sure that Buster knows what he's doing, but Buster tells Arthur to trust him, and let him do the talking.

Buster must have spent a little time doing research. Too little time.

Buster: Hey fresh dudes! Mind if we chill your crib?

Slink: What?!

Buster: Me and my homefry here would like to be in your possum, err, posse!

Toby: What's he trying to say?

Arthur explains that what Buster's trying to say is if they can show them "cool skate tricks" and let Arthur and Buster hang out with them.

Toby and Slink: Naaaahhhhhh...

Arthur: Come on Buster, let's go...

Arthur and Buster look dejected and walk off. But as they're about to leave, Toby and Slink quickly confer and whisper something to each other. They tell them they've changed their minds. Suddenly Arthur and Buster appear to be "pretty cool". They'll show them some tricks...


Slink: But we'd like you to just do one thing, just to make sure that you're cool enough!

Buster and Arthur are both excited.

Buster: Sure, No Problem!

Arthur: What is it!?

Toby: Nothing really, just a little... DARE!

* * *

Arthur and Buster are in the shopping district, standing on the sidewalk. Arthur's worried. What if someone they know sees them? Arthur suspects that Toby and Slink just want to make fun of them. Buster doesn't think so.

Buster: C'mon Arthur, it's just one little dare.

Arthur says alright... and Buster begins to warm up, as if he's going to sing!

Buster: Me-me-me-me-me-me...

Arthur gasps. (again)

It's D.W. and Mom walking up the street towards them. D.W. recognises him. Arthur quickly uses this as an excuse to leave Buster on his own. Buster can't believe that Arthur would leave him to do something like this on his own!

Mom tells Arthur that he's just in time. She was just about to go buy him a new pair of pants. Arthur says that that's great. Arthur wants them to go, right now.

D.W.'s suspicious. She thinks Arthur must be sick, since usually he hates to clothes shop!

Buster starts to sing "Mary had a little lamb" in a loud voice, right there, on the sidewalk, in the middle of town. His singing is hardly melodic, and it causes a lot of dogs to howl in the distance.

D.W. and Mrs. Read stand agape in amazement. Why is Buster doing this? As Buster begins to do the second verse, D.W. states the obvious.

D.W.: Something weird is definitely going on!

* * *

Ok, Buster completed that, but he's still not in the cool clique. Outside "The Sugar Bowl", Slink and Toby are prepping Buster for the next dare. (Arthur having abandoned the pursuit of cooldom and radical moves.)

They assure him that after this dare, they'll show him tricks and stuff.

Toby says that this dare is to prove that Buster's "not chicken".

Buster walks into "The Sugar Bowl". Inside, Arthur, Francine, Binky, Prunella, Sue Ellen, and Brain are enjoying ice creams and drinks.

Arthur says hi to Buster, and asks if those guys have shown Buster any cool skate tricks yet.

Buster: Excuse me Arthur. Ahhh, Binky, I have a message for you.

Binky turns from his sundae to Buster. Binky looks like he's in a good mood today; it must be the ice cream.

Binky: What?

Buster: Umm, let me think... oh yeah. Your mother eats gym shorts!

Binky: What!?!?!

Everyone in the booth gasps at Buster's audacity.

Buster walks out of "The Sugar Bowl" with Binky's sundae all over his head. The bowl is on top of his head.

Buster: That wasn't so bad...Mmmmm... Strawberry.

Toby and Slink (in hiding) NYEH-HAHAHAHAHHA!

Cut to Arthur.

Arthur (shaking his head): Oh, Buster...

* * *

Next, it's a baseball game. Lakewood Elementary are up against Mighty Mountain. (Mighty Mountain being the older, stronger, better team that Arthur's lot encountered in #11402 - "Arthur and the True Francine" and then again in #11902 - "Arthur Makes the Team") Buster's at third base, ready to run home and score a run on the next hit. The third baseman for Mighty Mountain just happens to be Slink, who's trying to get Buster to do one last dare.

Buster: Um, ok.

He calls for Francine to come out from the dugout, and give him some advice.

Francine's in the dugout, with Arthur and Brain. She wonders what advice Buster could possibly want.

Francine: What does he need advice for? He just has to run home as fast as he can!

Even so, she gets up and walks to third base to give Buster advice. When she gets there, Buster gives her a great big kiss! (There's a picture of this in mister_ratburn's picture gallery on the Yahoo! Arthur Club site)

We cut back to Arthur and Brain in the dugout.

Brain and Arthur gasp.

Brain: Where's he running now?

Arthur: Running home as fast as he can.

Francine (off screen): Buster Baxter, I'm going to pulverise you!

Arthur: I think I have to talk to Buster.

* * *

Arthur and Buster meet up some time later on the way home from school. Buster looks a little unhappy.

Arthur: Hi Buster, Umm... Have Toby and Slink asked you to do any more dares?

Buster turns his head to look at Arthur as they keep walking, nods, and keeps walking, without saying a word.

Arthur: What is it this time?

Buster doesn't say anything, but writes something on a scrap of paper and hands it to Arthur.

Arthur reads the paper: "I'm not allowed to talk for the whole day"?!? That's crazy! You can't make them make you do all these dopey things! Are you sure they're going to let you be their friend?

Buster breaks his vow of silence. Arthur's right.

* * *

At the arcade, Toby and Slink are playing a "Peabrain and Nuthead" arcade game. The game takes a lot of joystick movement, but the screen shows that nothings happening except for Peabrain and Nuthead wobbling about making their "Huh-huh" laugh. Their gameplay is interrupted by Buster and Arthur.

Buster: I just wanted to let you guys know that I'm not going to...

Slink: Hey, I thought we told you not to talk.

Buster falters for a second, but regains his composure.

Buster: I'm tired of doing dopey embarassing things just so you'll be my friends.

The video game flashes a message and speaks in a Butthead voice...


Then it laughs: "Huh huh, heh huh huh huh..."

Toby: But Buster, we were about to ininiate you into our ultra secret brotherhood of daredevils!

Slink: ...and teach you secrets that have been passed down by the masters for centuries.

Buster imagines an Eastern looking temple at night, high in the mountains. It must be some sort of training center/dojo/temple sort of thing. Inside, Toby and Slink sit in the semi-darkness in ceremonial robes, cross-legged on the ground.

There's some oriental ceremonial music, like the sound of gongs, and the door opens, to reveal Buster, with his skateboard in his hand.

Enter the Dragon, I mean, Enter Buster. (See the picture in mister_ratburn's collection at the Yahoo! Arthur Club site...)

Master Toby: You have completed the training, long eared one. Show us what you have learned.
Buster shows his moves. Before he does a move, he states it's name in what I suppose passes for a Japanese accent.

"The Salamander"
Buster skateboards and does a loop-the-loop in a elliptical pipe.
"The Boomerang"
Buster throws his skateboard into the air, and it flips around and around and comes back to him, like a boomerang.
and finally, "Crane Flying Over Water"
This one is dumb. Buster gets on his back, lies on his skateboard, and flaps his arms. He takes off, flying over Toby and Slink, all the while honking like a goose.

Back to reality.

Slink: If you want all our secret knowledge, you're going to have to do a real special dare.

* * *

We're back to the playground that we saw at the beginning of this episode. Arthur's in the sandbox, playing with his transformer, only he's with Brain this time. Brain has a transformer robot too.

Brain: I added a couple of special features to mine.

Brain's can change into a flying saucer shaped spaceship with lights.

Buster walks past. He comes up to Brain and Arthur. Buster thinks that Brain's spaceship's cool. He asks if he can play. Brain says sure and hands his toy over to Buster to try out.

Toby shouts over to Buster.

Toby: C'mon, it's time for the big show!

Buster would like to stay and play with the robots, but he can't. There's something he's gotta do. He hands back the robot to Brain, saying maybe he'll play later.

So we're right back where we started in the teaser. Toby and Slink are standing on a bench with Buster between them. Slink has a white paper bag in his hand.

Slink: Ladies and Germs, gather 'round. Our good friend Buster the Brave will now do something so incredibly amazing...

Toby: Something so shocking, horrible, and embarassing...

A load of kids on the playground stop what they're doing and turn to see what's going on, as does Arthur and the Brain. They all crowd around the bench for a closer look.

Slink: He's going to eat... THIS BUG!

Slink opens the paper bag to reveal a jar, with a bit of grass and a twig inside. On the twig is a large non-descript insect, like a cricket, or maybe a bluebottle fly.

The kids in the audience make a noise which is equal parts scream of disgust, gasp, and laughter. (Arthur gasps). There's quite an age range here, but surprisingly, no adults.

Buster makes a bit of a gasp sound.

Slink: C'mon buddy, we're waiting.

Buster looks nervous. He looks to Arthur in the crowd for guidance, and then back to Slink and Toby.

There's a long pause.

Buster: YOU EAT IT!

Toby: What?

Buster: I said, you to eat the bug!

Slink: Come on. How stupid do you think he is?

Toby: Yeah, how stupid do you think I am?

Buster: (getting more and more confident) Ohhhhhh. You're saying that it would be stupid to do something just because someone dared you to do it?

Slink: That's right.

Buster: Well, thanks for telling me. I guess I won't eat it then.

Buster gets down off the bench and starts to walk off.

Toby: Wait, uh... I mean, uh uh, Slink?

Slink: Nice work, Einstein. Nyuhhh. Take this thing.

Toby: No, you take it.

And Toby and Slink start to bicker as to who has to deal with the jar with the bug in it. The crowd of kids disperses, and goes back to their own affairs.

* * *

We finish up in the sandbox. Buster and Brain are playing with their robots, and Arthur's in the box too. Brain's robot is called "Brain-bot". Everyone's doing their robot voices as they play with their toys.




Brain pushes a button on Brain-bot, and it turns into a washing machine, complete with water and a spinning clothes tumbler.


Brain scratches his head.

Buster turns to Brain and reiterates a rather obvious point...

Buster: You shouldn't do something just because someone dares you, Brain. Didn't you know that? I thought everyone knew that...



Where to begin? Lots to say about this one. I started off hating this one with a passion, but now, I kind of like it. :)

Who knew Arthur could freeze time, even if it's just in the teaser? Nadine also has this ability: see #31401 - "Mom and Dad Have a Great Big Fight". The only other shows that I can remember at the moment where someone could do this are:

You gotta if any 3-7 year olds (approx. Arthur's target audience) are going to get the Beavis and Butthead reference... but that's sort of the idea; Buster and Arthur don't get it either. ...and even more surprising to me is that this isn't even the last reference to "Beavis and Butthead"... we revisit them in #40401 - "The Contest" in a different context.

When I first put this review up, I wrote that "HFein would probably agree with me on this one"...

Like Arthur in #12501 - "Arthur Cleans Up", if Buster gave a mouthful to two kids who are not only older than him, but also obviously jerks, he'd probably end up not only with a mouthful of bug, but with a mouthful of bug jar and the paper bag too for his trouble. :)

...and HFein wrote in to inform me that he DID agree... to quote his e-mail:

While the idea of our hero asserting himself to the villains (as Arthur does to the Tough Customers in CLEANS UP and Buster does to Toby and Slink in DAREDEVILS) may be politically correct, it could be pretty dangerous behavior if emulated by young, impressionable viewers. Unfortunately, the good guy doesn't always win in real life.

Billy's Burger Barn hasn't ever been on Arthur again, to my knowledge. Not even mentioned. Maybe it went out of business? Comicmania's never made a second appearance either for that matter.

This episode suffers from "Restate the obvious" syndrome... Did Buster really have to restate the moral at the end? (Probably it was just there to fill the last 15 seconds... but it still grated on me...) A couple of other episodes suffer from this too, such as at the conclusion of #21301 - "Water and the Brain"

Who names their kid "Slink"? With a name like that, you know the kid's going to be trouble. Who'd name their daughters "Prunella" and "Rubella" for that matter? :)

Like a lot of the bad kids I've come across, Slink and Toby never change their outfits. Same old clothes every day. ;)

For all of Arthur's gasping, and head shaking, and muttering about having to stop Buster, Buster does stupid dare after stupid dare. Arthur's slipping a little. That's what happens when you don't get adults involved. Mom doesn't do a thing... she doesn't even ask when Buster's singing in the middle of town. I guess she just figures that Buster's mental. :)

Slink returns (but doesn't speak) in #30602 - "Meet Binky"... he's one of two kids sitting with their Mom on an inflatable couch at the front of the queue for Binky tickets. :)

Buster's attempt at sounding cool deserves a comment -- Ben writes:

Buster's street talk was pretty advanced (aside from the "fresh dudes" part). "Crib" is a term I only fully understood after seeing a Busta Rhymes video a few years back - perhaps that's who he's trying to emulate? :)

For all their posturing and tough talk, Slink and Toby aren't particularly daring. Note the fact that they have all of the right protective gear on when they do their cool moves. :)

Looks like it's issue #7 of "Peabrain and Nuthead" that everyone looks at.

Obscure Trivia Alert: When Buster and Arthur are looking at comics in Comicmania, there's a good view of a comic with a tough looking rabbit on it. This comic's entitled "Spitz an Gory".

Having said all that, when I wrote the review for this one last night I thought this was a BAD episode. However, now that I've had the chance to sleep, I've changed my mind. Even though the ending with Buster repeating the moral gets my goat, the number of clever bits, like Buster's "hip jive lingo" or the bit at the end that proves Slink's the smart one make this one watchable. How about just one thumb up on this one.

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