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"Binky Goes Nuts"
Season/Series: 9
Number in season: 10A
Original Airdate: United States April 8, 2005[1]
Canada June 2, 2005[2]
Germany January 10, 2008[3]
Credits
Written by: Cusi Cram
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
Episodes
Previous
"Buster the Myth Maker"
Next
"Breezy Listening Blues"
Read transcript

"Binky Goes Nuts" is the first half of the tenth episode in the ninth season of Arthur.

Summary[]

When Binky discovers that he is allergic to peanuts, he has so many questions: Will he be forced to live without Chinese food? Will he ever again be able to eat with his friends? And most importantly, will his Mom ever calm down? Binky learns that the best way not to go nuts is to be well informed, and to understand his allergy.[2]

Plot[]

At the beginning of the episode, Muffy is sun-tanning on the grass next to the school, talking about getting stuff for the summer. Then the scene goes to Binky and Molly, who are blowing out spitballs; a mysterious butterfly swoops down on Binky's arm. Shortly after, Molly sees it and wants to hit it, but Binky stops her. He says it is one thing to hit kids with spitballs, but that butterflies are “harmless, beautiful creatures that—” he stops at seeing red bumps on his arm. Molly suggests going to the nurse to check it out. Brain and Buster hear this, and Buster remarks that he did not know butterflies could bite; Brain disagrees, saying they can not.

Binky Goes Nuts

While at the hospital, Dr. Kingsbury says to Binky that the butterfly did not cause the allergic reaction and adds that Binky's not allergic to pollen or pet dander, much to Binky's relief. However, Dr. Kingsbury notes that Binky's blood test revealed that he is allergic to peanuts, which worries Mrs. Barnes -- Binky doesn't think it's a big deal, especially since he doesn't even like peanuts. But his mom and Dr. Kingsbury both explain how food allergies, in general, can get pretty serious and add that, in the more extreme cases of food allergies, people have suffered from anaphylaxis. When it becomes clear that Binky doesn't know what "anaphylaxis" means (even thinking that it's referring to a person), his mom and Dr. Kingsbury explain that it's an acute reaction that some people with food allergies suffer from. They elaborate on it by explaining how it's far more dangerous than a rash, as it can cause difficulties with swallowing or even breathing. Before Binky and his mom leave, the doctor gives them special brochures with peanut allergy information.

Later, while grocery shopping, Mrs. Barnes explains to her son that because of his newfound allergies, they have to be a lot more careful about the foods that they buy and eat since there are lots of foods out there that could potentially contain peanuts/peanut-based products in their ingredients (whether or not the taste is noticeable) -- in fact, Mrs. Barnes finds a can of chili that lists peanut oil as one of its ingredients. At dinner that night, Binky's surprised when his parents present chicken cutlets for dinner instead of Chinese food (which is what they usually eat on Friday nights). Mrs. Barnes explains that a lot of Chinese food contains things like peanuts and/or is cooked in peanut oil. Binky's a little bummed about not having Chinese food but acknowledges that the chicken cutlets taste good. However, he gets upset when his parents suggest that, at school, he should sit at a different table in the cafeteria than his friends, in case they could be eating stuff with peanuts/peanut products.

That night, Binky has a bad dream that he's denied the opportunity to select anything (even NOT containing any peanuts or peanut products) that Mrs. MacGrady is serving in the cafeteria that has even the slightest association with peanuts (real or imaginary) and even the word, "peanut" itself (e.g., the cook who prepares the lasagna once stepped on a peanut, Peanut is the middle name of the guy who flips the burgers, the eggs used in the lemon meringue pie were hatched by a chicken who once dreamed of a dancing peanut in a bowler hat). The dream continues, with Mrs. MacGrady putting him at a table just for kids with allergies and showing him the other kids there: Adam, who has to wear a spacesuit due to his allergy to Formica, and Ron and Don, who are allergic to their hands and utensils, so they have to eat from a wooden trough. She then serves Binky some Brussels sprouts, saying he will eat them daily for the rest of his life. Binky, who does not like Brussels sprouts, screams, “No!” and the dream ends. The next day, Binky's mother gives him his very own cell phone in case of emergencies.

While at a candy store, Binky is trying to decide what to buy while assuring his mother (over the phone) that he will make sure not to get anything that has peanuts in it. Jenna overhears Binky talking to his mother and suggests that he buy Gummi Slugs, which don't have any peanuts or peanut products. Binky says that he does not like Gummi Slugs and then questions how Jenna could have known about his peanut allergy in the first place. Jenna reveals that Binky's parents emailed the school about it, which he finds embarrassing. Jenna assures Binky that she understands how he feels, as she had gone through the same thing when it was discovered that Jenna's allergic to dairy. Binky expresses sympathy for her, and the two acknowledge how there's dairy in basically everything -- but then Jenna explains that she got used to it after a while, especially after she and her family became more informed of the allergy and were able to find dairy alternatives than Jenna could eat, such as a type of ice cream made rice milk. Jenna offers to help Binky become more informed about his peanut allergy by taking him to the library, which Binky agrees to after buying a bag of cashews.

While at the library, Binky and Jenna are looking at some books when he feels his throat tickle, and he and Jenna notice a weird rash on his arm. Binky calls his mother, who takes him to the hospital to have a special shot. After Binky feels better, he is confused about why that happened, as he is not even allergic to cashews. Mrs. Barnes notes that the cashews he ate were probably produced in a place that also handles peanut products.

That night, Binky dreams of being rescued from Dr. Legume by Bionic Bunny, who tells him he knows how he feels because he is allergic to salt. The next morning, Binky (finally taking his allergy more seriously) goes through all the food to check which ones have peanut products in them and which do not. While this happens, Mrs. Barnes finally enters the kitchen and sees what her son is doing. Binky tells his mother he found some food with peanuts/peanut products they missed. Mrs. Barnes is glad that her son is finally putting more effort into understanding his allergy and taking it more seriously.

While at school, Binky is sitting with his friends, who have been informed of Binky's allergy to peanuts. They are very understanding of it and are doing everything they can to help him, with Molly even acting as a kind of bouncer to kids who come up to their table to make sure that they do not have any food with peanuts or peanut products in them. Binky's mother calls him on the phone to make sure he is okay, but it turns out that she is standing outside the school cafeteria. When she looks at Binky eating a sandwich, she gets worried that it has peanut butter, but Binky reminds her that it is a cream cheese-and-jelly sandwich she made for him. This calms Mrs. Barnes down, and she and her son share a laugh after he tells her how good the sandwich is.

Later, on a Friday, Binky takes his parents to a Chinese restaurant called the Golden Panda. Binky explains that the place specializes in peanut/nut-free Chinese food, so people like him can still enjoy Chinese food without worrying about their allergies. Binky asks his parents if they can eat here on Friday nights, which they agree to, much to their son's delight.

Characters[]

Major[]

Minor[]

Cameo[]

Mentioned[]

Trivia[]

  • Jenna does not speak again until "Messy Dress Mess."
  • In this episode, Jenna is revealed to have a dairy allergy while Binky, in addition to being allergic to peanuts (which he already disliked), also dislikes Brussels sprouts and Gummi Slugs.
  • Seeing as how Binky had eaten peanut butter crackers in the earlier episode “Waiting To Go” and had been fine, it shows that Binky must have developed his peanut allergy over time. Most peanut allergies begin early; most people who are allergic to peanuts were born with the allergy or developed it at a very young age. However, allergies can begin at any age.
  • In this episode, Binky says that he is almost ten years old.
  • This is one of the episodes that focuses on health, with the others being "Arthur's Chicken Pox," "Sick as a Dog," "Arthur's Knee," "Buster's Breathless," "Operation: D.W.!," and "Germophobia."
  • Arthur appears but does not have any speaking role in this episode.
  • In 2014, the episode was made available for free on the official PBS Kids Arthur website as part of the "peanut allergy" section of a feature titled Arthur Family Health.[4] This health feature of the website was discontinued in 2023, but the episode is still permanently available on the PBS KIDS Video app and website. The show's "A Word from Us Kids" segment is also included as a separate video clip.

Cultural References[]

  • Great spangled fritillary (Speyeria cybele) is a real species.
  • Anaphylaxis is a medical term for a severe allergic reaction, in which the body's immune system overreacts to a normally harmless substance.
  • Milk allergy means that the immune system overreacts to proteins found in milk. It is different from lactose intolerance, where the body simply loses the ability to digest milk sugar.
  • The "dancing peanut in a bowler hat" Mrs. MacGrady mentions is probably a reference to Mr. Peanut, the mascot of Planters. Dr. Legume resembles him as well.
  • Dr. Legume is named after legumes (also called Fabaceae), a biological family of plants which includes peanuts, peas and beans.
  • Lord Bovina is named for the biological family Bovidae, subfamily Bovinae, which includes cattle.
  • Sodium chloride is the chemical name for table salt.
  • "Trim Tim's Beef Jerky" is a parody of Slim Jim.
  • Molly calls Buster by the name "Long Ears" which is the exact same name Tigger calls Rabbit in Disney's Winnie-the-Pooh series.

Errors[]

  • In "Francine's Bad Hair Day," Binky seems to be allergic to flowers. This is never discussed in this episode, and the doctor even says Binky is not allergic to pollen.
  • In this episode, Binky does not like peanuts or peanut products regardless of his allergy. In "Waiting to Go" (taking place before Binky developed the allergy), Binky eats peanut butter crackers without complaint. It is possible, however, that his tastes changed between episodes.
  • Jenna is allergic to milk in this episode. However, she was drinking it before in The Good Sport. It is possible, however, that she developed the allergy between episodes.

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