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"Buster's Growing Grudge"
Season/Series: 3
Number in season: 8b
Original Airdate: United States November 25, 1998[1]
Canada September 15, 1999[2]
United Kingdom November 25, 1998
Australia December 1, 2003
Israel March 9, 2006
South Korea June 23, 2007
Germany March 4, 2002[3]
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Robert Yap
Daniel Decelles
"Popular Girls"
"Arthur's Treasure Hunt"
Read transcript

"Buster's Growing Grudge" is the second half of the eighth episode in the third season of Arthur.


Buster's convinced that his great joke will be the difference between a successful oral report and failure. But when Binky steals his material, will Buster stay mad forever?[4]


The show opener for this episode has Arthur talking about how everybody gets upset at least once. He recaps some of D.W.'s worst moments as an example, although he then realizes she has been upset more than most people. Arthur then talks about when Francine almost made a grand slam during a baseball game, but failed when the wind shifted and the ball simply landed into the mitt of a catcher on the opposing team. Arthur also mentions the time the Brain was so excited to see photos of Saturn, he became upset when he found out that the space probe headed there wouldn't get there for seven more years. The opening ends when Arthur introduces Buster as "one person who's always happy", but upon opening the curtain Buster is behind, much to his surprise, Buster is scowling, turning his back on Arthur, and unwilling to talk.

Buster's Growing Grudge

The episode begins as Buster watches a Bionic Bunny episode, where Bionic Bunny is trapped so that he can't deliver some medicine. His mother reminds him that she doesn't want him watching TV until his homework is done and Buster misses the ending. On the way to school the next day, Buster asks Arthur how the episode ended, but the latter says he missed it because he was working on his history report. Buster then says he did a weak one since it was done quickly after Bionic Bunny, and is convinced that starting with a relevant joke he wrote himself will make his report "a guaranteed 'A'". He tries his joke out on Binky, and Binky, Buster and Arthur all laugh at it. In Mr. Ratburn's class, Binky presents a lackluster report on Christopher Columbus. Anxious to give his report, Buster is shocked when Binky tells his joke, at which the entire class (even Mr. Ratburn), laughs.

Upset, Buster starts his report on King Tut with a cliché joke, to which the class uninterestedly responds. During recess, Buster is still angry with Binky for telling his joke, and doesn't respond to Francine when she suggests they all go skating the next day. Mr. Ratburn gives Buster's report a "D". Over the next few days, Buster is still upset about the situation, failing to notice Arthur winning against him in a game of checkers, and pointing out the irony of Binky using a King Tut joke in a Columbus report while at the movies. During a soccer game, Buster finds out that Binky got a "B+" on his report and believes it was because of his joke. He has a flashback of the moment Binky said the joke's punchline, imagining Mr. Ratburn laughing so hard, he falls on the floor and saying that he was going to give the report an "F", but because he told the joke, he deserves a "higher grade". Since Buster is paying no attention to what's around him, the soccer ball bounces off of Buster's head and flies into the net because Binky is tying his shoes. Francine suggests that Buster talk to Binky about it, which he almost does, but when he notices how large Binky is compared to him, Buster nervously retreats. Then, Binky accidentally slips and falls into a giant mud puddle. Buster laughs at him, hoping that Binky will finally realize what it feels like to be embarrassed, but when everybody except Buster laughs along with Binky, Buster is even more upset, thinking that everybody thinks Binky's funny.

At the Sugar Bowl, Buster stresses that he cares about "funny", not Binky, saying that he "memorizes joke books, and practices making faces in the mirror", and that he has to "work at it". When Buster asks Francine if she realizes how long he worked on the joke, she responds "a lot longer than you worked on your report." Buster doesn't listen and hopes to get revenge on Binky at the Talent Show the next day.

At the talent show, before Buster performs, Sue Ellen performs, doing a karate jump kick on the pumpkin head of a scarecrow. Arthur and Francine watch backstage, hoping that Buster won't be thinking about Binky during his act. However, Buster's stand-up act consists of nothing more then a recap of the events leading up to his grudge on Binky. Binky doesn't realize what Buster was trying to says. After the talent show winner is announced, Arthur tells Buster his act was lousy. Buster explains that it was "the comedy of truth", but then admits Arthur is right and leaves, saying that the whole situation is Binky's fault. Arthur starts to think Buster will never let go of his grudge, which then leads to an imagine spot of select events during Buster's later years, during which he does nothing, but harp on the fact that Binky told his joke. Arthur tries to calm Buster down, saying that staying mad at Binky won't do Buster any good. Buster then states that the only way he could be happy again is if he goes back in time to ensure that Binky never told the joke. Arthur tries to tell him that he can't change the past but Buster doesn't listen and goes to see the Brain to ask him how but the Brain ends up telling him the same thing as Arthur.

While Arthur and Buster skips stones out to the ocean, Arthur says that he sympathizes with Buster, mentioning that he is still mad for not getting a green ice cream cake for his fourth birthday. Buster thinks that's silly and states that staying mad all the time isn't going to get Arthur what he wants. Arthur points out that what Buster just said applies to himself just as much. Buster claims that after all the hard work he did on that report, Binky's telling of his joke ruined it but Arthur reminds Buster that he hardly did any work at all and that his whole report was about eggnog, to which Buster explains that it wasn't his fault that they put it right next to Egypt in the encyclopedia. Then, Buster finally realizes that the entire situation is indeed his own fault, not Binky's because he wrote a mediocre report. When Binky comes roller skating by, Buster tells him that he isn't mad anymore, but the latter seemingly doesn't remember that he told the former's joke, or realize that Buster was mad because he did so, or even that he heard it from Buster before. With some prompting, Binky seems to remember, but states that he has always thought he's supposed to tell jokes he hears from people to somebody else, even if they don't ask you to. Buster explains to Binky that the joke he wrote was meant to be used for his report about King Tut and Binky used it without asking which is like stealing. Binky says he didn't mean to "steal" Buster's joke, and gives Buster $0.73, a sticker of a cool car, and a button to make up for it. Buster then becomes happy, when he realizes he got paid for writing a joke. As the episode closes, Buster and Binky start walking down the street, telling one another that they "could really go places" with the latter being naturally funny, and the former making up good jokes.






  • Moral: Don't let a grudge against someone ruin your life.
  • As the episode finishes, Binky thinks that Buster and he could have their own TV show, but not Arthur, as people wouldn't want to watch him on TV. This is a fourth wall break.
  • This is one of the earliest instances of George winning a contest, which becomes a running gag throughout the series.
  • This is also the first episode where George's name is mentioned.
  • D.W. is absent from this episode herself, she can only be seen from other episodes Arthur talks about in the intro.

Cultural references[]

  • In the introduction Brain mentions the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft which was launched in 1997 and reached Saturn in 2004.
  • Buster suggests that he can go back in time by flying a rocket faster than the speed of light around the sun. This is a reference to Star Trek, where such a method has been employed for time travel on several occasions.

Episode connections[]


  • When everyone in the class (excluding Buster) laughs at the King Tut joke when Binky tells it, Arthur is seen laughing even though he already was seen laughing when Buster told the joke to him and Binky outside of Lakewood Elementary School.
    • Arthur may simply have found the joke very funny.
  • When Brain tells Buster that time travel isn't possible, before we see close-ups of both characters, Buster is seen in his regular outfit. Before and after that scene, Buster is wearing a traditional outfit.

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