|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?
While trying to free a kite from a tree in his backyard, Buster receives a phone call from his father. When Arthur asks him what the call was about, Buster says that it's a surprise.
Later, Arthur, D.W. and Francine are walking Pal when they notice posters for the annual Father's Day Picnic being put up, and they worry about Buster being there without his dad. Buster soon shows up and turns down Francine's invitation to join her family, stating that he has other plans. Arthur and Francine decide to find a father figure for Buster so that he can attend the picnic.
They first run into Pickles the clown and get him to ask Buster to come to the picnic. Buster refuses, but buys all of the clown's balloons before setting them free. Later, the Brain creates a robotic dad for Buster, but that plan backfires, due to Brain forgetting to replace the robot's voice mechanism, making the robot sound like a cat. Buster thinks the robot swallowed a cat as he hits it and one of the buttons pop off and the robot's ears, nose and eye pop loose and then Brain, Arthur and Francine carry it away. Then Arthur and Francine later imply that Mr. Ratburn can be Buster's "father" for the picnic. When Mr. Ratburn asks Buster, however, Buster quickly declines the offer.
Feeling that Buster is really sad and having exhausted all other options, Arthur lets Binky pretend to be Buster's dad, since he's only a year older than Buster. This plan seems to work well until Buster sees through it, and he angrily storms away from the creek. But then as Binky follows him he trips on his fishing pole and rolls into the creek and also losing his left shoe and glasses. Then Arthur runs over to help Binky. Then he tells Arthur that he bets Buster won't give him a tie for Father's Day.
At the Sugar Bowl, Arthur runs into Buster and explains that he's stopped looking for potential dads for Buster, while also stating that he's no longer going himself, since he doesn't want to see Buster not having a good time without his father. Buster assures Arthur that even though his parents aren't together anymore, they're still a family.
Soon, the day of the picnic arrives. While the Tibble Twins are bird-watching with Mr. Ratburn, they spot a hot air balloon landing on the ground. Buster's inside of it and he explains to Arthur that his dad paid for everyone to have hot air balloon rides for the day.
- Nigel Ratburn
- The Brain
- Muffy Crosswire
- Prunella Deegan
- George Lundgren
- David Read
- Otto Ratburn (Flashback)
- Timmy and Tommy Tibble
- D.W. Read
- Francis Haney
- 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
- Pickles' dog allergy was first shown in "Arthur's Lost Dog".
- Brain's robot is built using parts of the robot cat from “Buster Baxter, Cat Saver”.
- Arthur, Muffy, and Binky use D.W.'s Princess Sneeze-and-Wet from "D.W. the Copycat."
- 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.
- When Binky trips and falls into the creek, his suit looks perfectly fine but in the next shot when he sits up, one of the sleeves is slightly torn.