This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the podcast or other meanings of "cereal".



Season/Series: 20 (US)
Number in season: 2B
Original Airdate: Flag of the United States October 11, 2016
Flag of the United Kingdom November 15, 2018[1]
Written by: John Yearly
Storyboard by: Cilbur Rocha
"Fern's Flights of Fancy"
"He Said, He Said"

"Cereal" is the second half of the second episode in the twentieth season of Arthur.


Buster tells the story of a missing cereal box on his all-new podcast.


The episode begins with Mrs. Read shopping at the store with her daughters. D.W. looks at the cereal and asks, "Where is it?" Mrs. Read asks D.W. what she is talking about and D.W. replies that she is talking about her favorite cereal: the Puffy Unicorn Crunch. She then notes that it is not in its usual place, while knocking off a few boxes of cereal in attempt to search for it and suggests they call the manager in case they have forgotten to put it on the shelf. Mrs. Read tells D.W. that she is making a mess and puts the cereal boxes back. D.W. says that it is her favorite and Mrs. Read says that it is probably just sold out and suggests they buy a different cereal, holding up a box of Prunes and Millet Husks as a suggestion. However, D.W. just folds her arms indignantly. Mom apologizes, but says she will have to choose a different cereal. D.W. dramatically states that breakfast is "ruined," but then she sees a bag of miniature boxes, including one for Puffy Unicorn Crunch. She instantly cheers up and hands it to Mrs. Read but notes she will have to save it for a special occasion.

The next morning at home, Arthur is watching Bionic Bunny. D.W. enters and asks if it's a holiday because she wants to eat the cereal but is saving it for a special occasion. Arthur says that it is just a regular Saturday but D.W. thinks it must be a holiday somewhere and suggests that Arthur look it up on the Internet.

Arthur looks it up online with D.W. watching over his shoulder and finds out that it's National Librarian's Day. D.W. does a little dance and excitedly declares that she loves librarians and it is a special occasion.

She goes into the kitchen and reaches for the cereal but sees that it is gone. She gasps dramatically and, believing Arthur took it (as he was eating cereal earlier), shouts out his name.

Buster arrives home from school and declares that he is home but no one replies. Mrs. Baxter is eating popcorn on an armchair and Buster walks up to her and taps her shoulder, surprising her. She says that she was caught up in a podcast and didn't hear him arrive. Buster asks what a podcast is and Mrs. Baxter says that it is a show on the Internet where people tell stories and she was listening to a "gripping" one called Real Life Mysteries. Buster asks if he can listen to Real Life Mysteries and Mrs. Baxter affirms and says that they can listen to the next episode over dinner.

At dinner, Mrs. Baxter and Buster are listening to an episode of Real Life Mysteries about whether or not the listener is being watched and if so, by who or what. Buster gets a bit nervous and imagines his soup talking. The podcast says something about an old man who is possibly a brain-sucking mutant showing someone called Bob a photo of a little boy who looks just like Bob. Buster is shocked as he thinks that implies that Bob is also a brain-sucking mutant but Mrs. Baxter just tells him to eat his soup. When the podcast ends, Buster is still a bit afraid and the story ends with Bob finding out about an identical twin he didn't know he had called Rob. Buster takes his bowl to the sink and says that he knows what he wants to do when he grows up. Mrs. Baxter asks if he wants to make podcasts and Buster affirms. While putting away the dinner supplies, Mrs. Baxter says that he can do it now and that it is easy, you just need some editing software, the hard part is just coming up with the story. Buster says he needs something exciting, strange and mysterious.

At school, Buster records himself asking what happens when a tuna fish sandwich is left in a cabinet for two months. He lifts up the lid to a cabinet with a rotten sandwich in it and notes that it smells like a "sick walrus with dirty toes" and offers the listeners to smell it but then realizes they can't so he scraps that idea for his podcast.

On his front doorstep, Buster records himself asking where snails go when you can't see their bodies and picks a snail shell up and it comes out. He notes that they just go inside their shells and ends his story, a bit put out.

He then goes to Arthur's house, still recording his voice, and holds up a photo of Arthur, asking Arthur if he knows who it is. Arthur is a bit confused and says, "Um, me?". Buster says that the photo isn't of Arthur, but it is of Chester, his identical twin. He then asks Arthur how he feels. Arthur says he is confused because he doesn't have an identical twin. Buster asks Arthur how he knows and Arthur says that he knows when the photo was taken. Buster puts the photo away, sighing, and explains that he is trying to make a podcast but does not have any ideas.

When he walks inside, D.W., still irritated, says that she has an idea: a story about the biggest cereal thief in the world. Arthur states that he didn't take D.W.'s "crunchy unicorn puff" and D.W. corrects him about the cereal's name and states that he did take it and she saw him eating it. Arthur says that he was eating Oaty Rings but D.W. accuses him of lying and states that he is on a "bad path" because she believes he stole the cereal and still believes he stole her Snowball. Buster notes that it's perfect as it has "mystery, suspense and plenty of weird characters". D.W. is less angry now as she is now curious about what Buster's on about and Arthur, who is still a bit sulky, says that Buster is making a radio show. Buster says that it has all the elements of a good story and he's even come up with a name for it: Cereal. Buster starts to record his cereal story, talking about Arthur descending into a life of crime and depravity. He asks if it's pretty great, and D.W. thinks it is, but Arthur, who's still in a bad mood, says it is not great because he doesn't want any part in it. Buster says that if Arthur didn't do it, then he'll prove his innocence. D.W., despite not being as angry as before, is still a bit annoyed at Arthur so she rudely says, "Good luck with that!". Arthur says that he would like to get D.W. off his back, so Buster and D.W. walk into the kitchen, with Buster suggesting they "start with the scene of the crime", causing Arthur to get mad again and shout, "There was no crime!".

That night, Buster starts to make the cereal podcast, asking what would happen if someone you'd known all your life turned out to be dishonest and would you believe them again and do we ever really know anyone and that he will try to answer that question on Cereal.

On the jungle gym, Binky is a bit confused at the idea of podcasts having no pictures. Buster tells Binky to click on the link he sent him. Binky climbs down from the jungle gym and walks off with Fern, saying in a teasing way that if he can't sleep he might listen to Buster's "bedtime story". Fern has listened to the podcast and asks Buster a question: there was no empty box in the trash, so what did Arthur allegedly do with the "evidence"? Arthur pops out, saying that "Arthur didn't do anything with the evidence because Arthur is innocent!" and angrily walks off. Fern and Buster are a little bit worried about Arthur's happiness, but Buster perks up and tells Fern to tune in the next day as he will interview the "victim".

The next day, D.W. in her room narrates to Buster, who's recording her, about Arthur eating a bowl of cereal, pretending to be very sad and with a runny nose for dramatic effect. She then asks Buster if he wants her to do it again, but Buster says her performance was perfect. Arthur comes in, saying that he doesn't like Puffy Unicorn Crunch, so why would he take it? D.W. suggests that because Arthur was offened that she gave his Bionic Bunny doll a "makeover", he might have done it to get revenge on her. To illustrate her point, she holds up Arthur's Bionic Bunny doll, who's now wearing makeup, a bowtie, a tutu, gloves, and stars on his ears. Buster asks if it's true that D.W. did it and Arthur says that he actually is still angry about the Bionic Bunny doll but that doesn't mean he'd want to get revenge. Buster has to leave as he's an hour late, but he says that he will get Arthur's side of the story the next day. D.W. plays with the Bionic Bunny doll and Uni, while Arthur gives her an angry look.

The next day, Buster gets his lunch at school and Fern, Muffy, Francine, Sue Ellen and George walk up to him, asking if Arthur did it. Buster, making his way to his lunch table, tells them to "calm down" as there will be a new episode that night and it's an interview with the "suspect". Arthur, who's eating his lunch, looks confused, and Sue Ellen, George, Fern, Francine and Muffy look at Buster sternly. Buster sits down at the same table as Arthur and says that he can't believe how popular his podcast is as it has at least 51 listeners. Arthur, however, is annoyed because Buster hasn't cleared his name yet. He then observes George looking at him accusingly and moving his soup closer as though Arthur might steal it and notes that people are starting to treat him differently. Buster says that he is only interested in telling the truth, but when he offers some handcuffs for Arthur to put on for the poster, Arthur just looks angry without saying anything and drops his bread in his soup and walks off.

Buster then enters Arthur's house for the interview but he doesn't reply, even when called. Buster goes upstairs into Arthur's room and finds a piece of cereal next to the bed. He identifies it by smell as Puffy Unicorn Crunch and is shocked at the possibility that Arthur did indeed take the cereal. He then looks under the bed and gasps because Pal is under there, eating the cereal out of a partly-chewed box. Pal whines and Buster takes the cereal box. Arthur then calls Buster's name. Buster goes downstairs and Arthur asks where he was all that time. Buster lies that he was in the bathroom and his stomach was queasy but mistakenly says it was "guilty". He then leaves, promising to call Arthur later, leaving Arthur and Pal confused.

That night, Buster sits at his computer and looks at the box. He wants to tell the truth, but has a daydream in which it is lunchtime and George, Sue Ellen, Francine, Muffy and Fern walk over to Buster, criticizing the ending and calling it "terrible", with one of them even wanting their money back. Buster says that it was free so nobody's getting any money back, but Francine points at him accusingly and says that he should pay them for "wasting their time". The kids then go back to the tables, continuing to talk negatively about the ending. Buster is surprised and says that that is what happened and they shouldn't expect him to lie. After imagining this, Buster says that if he just leaves information out, then it isn't a lie. He starts to talk about how he found the box under Arthur's bed but leave it ambiguous, but then decides he doesn't want to. He resets it and narrates the podcast thusly: "This is your host Buster Baxter. Spoiler alert: this episode might be a let-down. Even though all signs pointed to Arthur's guilt, today I found out who the real culprit was: his dog Pal. There was no crime, no plot for revenge, just a hungry canine who saw an opportunity and seized it. I started this series wondering if you can ever really know someone. Well, now I have the answer: if that someone is Arthur, then yes. But I wonder about myself. At some point, I stopped caring about Arthur's innocence because I just wanted to make a good story. I think part of me even wanted him to be guilty. What kind of friend does that make me? Do we ever really know ourselves?!" While narrating, Fern, Arthur (who's satisfied), D.W. (who's shocked), George (who's looking at Wally) and Francine listen.

At school, Buster is putting his book away, very deep in thought. He is surprised to see Arthur and asks what he thought. Arthur says that he was actually quite interested in it once his name was cleared and asks if he will do another one. Binky asks if they are talking about the podcast as he is still on Episode Two and tells them not to say another word for fear of giving away spoilers. He then walks off with his hands on his ears, singing.






Cultural references

  • The title of this episode, along with the name of Buster's podcast, are references to the podcast Serial.

Episode connections



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