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"Best of the Nest"
Season/Series: 6
Number in season: 1B
Original Airdate: United States September 24, 2001[1]
Canada January 7, 2002[2]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Zhigang Wang
"Sue Ellen Gets Her Goose Cooked"
"Arthur Plays the Blues"
Read transcript

"Best of the Nest" is the second half of the first episode in the sixth season of Arthur.


As the kids become captivated with another online game featuring multiple geese, Brain tries to convince them to leave their computers behind and have a real-life camping adventure in the woods.


The episode begins with Arthur, Buster, Brain, Binky and Mr. Ratburn on a trip in the wilderness. Arthur hears rattling in the bushes, and asks what it is. Buster assumes it is a lion, and Brain assures him that there are no lions in North America, except for mountain lions. As Mr. Ratburn comes into view and tells the kids to stay calm, Binky says “Press the escape button; I want to quit the game”, and Arthur replies “This isn’t a game... this is real.” The party then gasps at what they see.

Brain is at his Ice Cream Shop, serving a vanilla and fish ice cream cone to Buster, to which Arthur and Brain plug their noses with clothespins. Sue Ellen comes in and asks the three why they aren't playing Virtual Goose; Arthur replies that since D.W. started playing, it got very boring since she always wins. Then, Muffy comes in, saying that Virtual Goose has been updated to the 5.0 edition. After closing the shop, Brain, along with Arthur and Buster, head off to try it out.

Later, Arthur and his pals are seen trying a spin-off game to Virtual Goose called "Best of the Nest". The game's narrator explains that the Virtual Goose laid six eggs, each containing a goose with a different personality trait, Sporty Goose, Stylish Goose, Strong Goose, Silly Goose, Smart Goose, and Just Plain Goose. Due to hard times, the Virtual Goose had to leave her children behind to do her career in online gaming, hoping to bring back fame and fortune. But before she could return, an evil wind blew the geese out of the nest. Now the geese have to survive alone and whichever player keeps their goose alive the longest would win the game.

Francine chooses Sporty, Muffy chooses Stylish, Binky chooses Strong, Buster chooses Silly, Brain chooses Smart, and Arthur is left with Just Plain Goose. Brain gets to level 1 and finds that he has to get past a rushing river by either, A: flying across it, B: wait for a passing log, or C: do the hokey-pokey. Brain thinks about what to do, and he chooses A, but to his surprise, Smart Goose ends up falling into the river and gets eaten by a shark, resulting in a game over. He then does some research at the library and figures that judging his size, Smart Goose should have been able to fly and there shouldn't have been a shark in the river (even though river sharks do exist). With that, Brain declares that Best of the Nest is a dumb game, although Muffy believes he is actually jealous because he isn't good at it, and says he couldn't last one day in the wild.

Brain plans to prove Muffy wrong by going camping in the woods, and invites Arthur, Buster and Francine to come with him. While they are interested, Muffy makes up a ridiculous excuse, but they know what she is up to; they soon decide not to come, because they are worried that Muffy will become a sore winner if they quit Best of the Nest. Then Brain tries to invite Sue Ellen, but she can't come because she injured her hand while training for a karate tournament. Prunella can't come either because her cootie catcher says she can't travel on days with the letter "Y" in them. Finally, he tries to invite Mr. Ratburn, but he becomes addicted to the Internet when Brain teaches him how to use a computer.

On the day of the camping trip, Brain changes his mind about the camping trip, but Mr. Ratburn comes and is all set. Brain packs his bags, and Mr. Ratburn makes a few stops to pick up some of the people Brain tried to invite, as they ended up coming for their own reasons. Arthur left his computer for a bit on level ten to answer the phone, and while he was gone, D.W. came in and chose one of the wrong answers for him. Buster's mother made him stop playing because staring at the computer for too long affected his sight, as he ends up mistaking Mr. Ratburn for Prunella when he takes his seat in the car. And Binky, not having his own computer, was using the ones in the library to play Best of the Nest, and Ms. Turner made him stop because she felt he was hogging them. Meanwhile, Francine and Muffy keep playing up to level 87, not wanting to lose; however, they start to get fatigued as a result of the endless levels.

The opening scene then plays again, and the culprit in the bushes is revealed to be Bailey carrying all of Muffy's camping equipment, with Muffy and Francine following close behind.

As the gang roast marshmallows, Francine and Muffy reveal that they both tied for Best of the Nest because, after being one of the wrong answers so many times, doing the hokey-pokey ended up being the correct answer to scaring off a bear. Binky ends up calling it just stupid, but then the gang hears growling nearby. Binky, not sure what to do, chooses to give it a try, and starts doing the hokey-pokey, with the rest of the gang (including Mr. Ratburn) joining in as well.







  • In this episode, it is revealed that Mr. Ratburn knows nothing about how to operate a computer, and so the Brain teaches him how to use one properly. His lack of knowledge on them becomes a running gag of the series.
  • This episode is the debut of Mr. Ratburn's alternate vehicle: A green minivan. After staying in his classroom using the computer, he purchases items online and selecting rush delivery. He then plans to chaperone the camping trip, but has no room for passengers. The reason why the minivan debuts is because Mr. Ratburn's main vehicle, a small red convertible, cannot possibly be used for the camping trip. Another object he bought online is the canoe.
  • The geese that the kids picked were based on their personality and character.
  • Just Plain Goose and Silly Goose, the characters Arthur and Buster picked respectively, are dressed exactly like them.
  • Mr. Ratburn assigned his class a copper smelting diorama project in this episode. He is seen reading "A Brief History of Copper Smelting" in "Lend Me Your Ear."
  • This is one of the few episodes where Brain appears to be wrong about something. He says his goose should have been able to fly across the river, but really it wouldn't have because it just hatched from its egg and hadn't been taught yet. The correct answer for this trial was B: Waiting For a Passing Log.
  • While Buster and Binky never finished the game, their geese were still alive.

Cultural references

  • Mr. Ratburn finds a discussion group for Bunraku, which is a form of traditional Japanese puppet theater. A shamisen is a three stringed Japanese instrument which normally accompanies a Bunraku play. A biwa is a four-stringed Japanese lute.
  • Bailey greets the campers with "Mr. Ratburn, I presume." This refers to Henry Morton Stanley's (probably apocryphal) greeting to Dr. David Livingston.

Episode connections


Main article: Best of the Nest/Gallery

External links