|This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the book, the game, the VHS, or the DVD.|
|"D.W., the Picky Eater"|
|Number in season:||3A|
|Original Airdate:|| October 22, 1997|
November 26, 1997
|Written by:||Anne-Marie Perrotta|
|Storyboard by:||Denis Banville|
"Arthur's Lucky Pencil"
"Buster and the Daredevils"
D.W.'s reluctance to eat unfamiliar food will keep the whole family from celebrating Grandma Thora's birthday at a special restaurant, unless Arthur can persuade her to be more open-minded.
Jane and Arthur return from the grocery store and start to put away the groceries. D.W. comes in and asks if Jane if she bought her red freezy pops because she only likes the red kind.
Arthur tells her that the orange and purple flavors are also good, but D.W. insists that red tastes better. Jane tells D.W. she can have a freezy pop if she helps put away the groceries and hands her a fish. D.W. drops the fish and exclaims that it's looking at her. Jane reminds her that she's eaten fish before, but D.W. states never the kind with the head still intact.
Arthur taunts her in a sing-song voice for being scared of the fish. D.W. says she isn't scared, but says she hates food with a characteristic smell, such as fish. Jane hands D.W. a jar of olives and D.W. asks if they're green eyeballs. Arthur explains that they're olives and they're not looking at her. D.W. goes to the shopping bag and unpacks it herself.
D.W. continues on unpacking the remaining groceries from the given bag. She takes out cucumbers and tomatoes and remarks them being "yucky," but then happily unpacks white bread (which is said that the crust is "yucky" as well) and jars of peanut butter and jelly due to liking them. Arthur breaks the fourth wall by telling the viewers that D.W. is a very picky eater. D.W. takes out a package of spinach and exclaims that she hates it and that it's "the worstest most disgustingest food in the universe".
One night at dinner, D.W. lists off more foods to an annoyed Arthur that she dislikes. David serves everyone Hawaiian shrimp (a new recipe). As the rest of the family, including Kate, enjoys the shrimp, D.W. immediately refuses to eat it because they're "from the smelly fish family". Arthur tells D.W. that she doesn't like anything. D.W. disagrees, and states that she likes to eat peanut butter, jelly, strawberries, chocolate (without nuts), birthday cake, and chocolate ice cream (what ever food she said she likes is skipped).
The next night, the Read family goes out to eat at a restaurant. David orders a steak, Jane orders soup, Arthur orders fried chicken, and D.W. orders a salad. She immediately removes the cucumbers, mushrooms, and onions (which she remarks them being "yucky and smelly"; the former two just "yucky"). But when she finds out that there's also spinach in it instead of lettuce, she angrily pounds the table with her fists, which sends the salad flying right onto the waiter, making all the other customers stare at them in shock. The waiter decides to quit his job and storms away in frustration. Jane (who scolds D.W. by her full name) and David look angrily at D.W, who looks down in shame.
Meanwhile, Grandma Thora is babysitting Kate at home when the family returns and she asks if they had a good time. As the Read family returns, Arthur tells Grandma Thora about the trouble D.W. had caused. Jane immediately punishes D.W. for her actions as she sends her to her room telling her there will be no more restaurants for her until she proves that she can behave better by controlling her behavior and trying new foods that have been ordered for her or that she orders herself much to her dismay. Arthur asks about Grandma Thora's birthday party at the Once Upon a Restaurant next week and Jane explains that D.W. will not be joining them. While Arthur is secretly and sarcastically happy about this, Grandma Thora asks to instead have her birthday at their house because her birthday wouldn't be happy without D.W. being there. Arthur really wants to go to that restaurant and unhappily asks the audience if he has to do everything with D.W. He then imagines himself as an astronaut who is denied a space trip to Jupiter because D.W. isn't there with him. While marking off days on his calendar alongside his dog Pal, Arthur decides if D.W. will be convinced to try something new to eat, she will be allowed to go the restaurant.
The next morning, Arthur and D.W. ride bikes together and Arthur takes her to Once Upon a Restaurant. Arthur then tells D.W. she can see the princess and the unicorn at the restaurant if she eats new foods (i.e. imagining that). D.W. gets excited about the unicorn, but misses Arthur's point and asks if she can take the unicorn home with her. Then Arthur hatches a plan thanks to Buster and calls up D.W. in the tree house. Arthur and Buster offer D.W. a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and D.W. happily eats it. Suddenly, D.W. discovers that there is spinach in the sandwich and retches it out.
At school the next day, Muffy suggests that D.W. needs to see someone she that admires eat spinach and volunteers herself for the task. Arthur takes D.W. to Muffy's house as Bailey serves Muffy a plate of hot spinach. Muffy tells D.W. that spinach is her favorite food and starts to take a bite. A fly eventually lands on her fork and Muffy freaks out, tossing the spinach in the air. D.W. folds her arms and smirks at Arthur in a satisfied way, thinking Muffy has good taste for "not liking spinach". With only two days left until Grandma Thora's birthday, Francine gets an idea.
Later on, Arthur and Francine feed Kate some spinach and praise her for eating it. D.W. frantically runs into the kitchen telling Kate it's a trick and not to eat the spinach. Arthur corrects her by saying that Kate is a big girl because she, unlike D.W., doesn't throw her food and have tantrums like a baby. D.W. exclaims that she's not a baby and the two of them start to argue. Francine stops them and tells D.W. that if she's not a baby, then she has to prove it by eating the spinach. D.W. takes the spoon with spinach on it and is about it eat it, but then Kate spits up a mouthful of spinach. D.W. says she's glad she's not the only one with good taste and hastily puts down the spoon, which makes the spinach stain Arthur's shirt.
Arthur and Buster ride bikes the next day. Buster tells Arthur he might as well forget going to the restaurant because they've tried everything with no success. Arthur suddenly stops and says, "We've tried everything but Plan X." He turns around and starts to bike home as Buster asks what Plan X is.
Arthur is seen later on talking to Grandma Thora on the phone, saying he's glad she's changed her mind and wants to go to Once Upon a Restaurant after all. D.W. walks up and asks what they're talking about, but Arthur ignores her. He then tells Grandma Thora that they'll have a good time without D.W. at the restaurant. D.W. demands to talk to her, but Arthur holds the phone out of her reach. D.W. exclaims she can go wherever she wants. Arthur reminds her that she said she didn't want to go to restaurants, and there might be spinach on the menu.
D.W. calls to Grandma Thora that she'll go to the restaurant for the party, and runs off to tell Jane and David. She even promises she'll try new food and eat all of it. Arthur says that the plan worked into the receiver; "Grandma Thora" was actually Buster on the other line. Buster replies in an old-lady voice "I'm glad I could help you, sonny!"
On the night of Grandma Thora's birthday, the family goes to Once Upon a Restaurant. They are taken to their table via a swan boat and D.W. is able to see the unicorn and the princess, like Arthur promised. They take their seats at a pirate-themed table and look at their menus. D.W. hopes they have Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches without spinach in them, but Jane reminds her of her promise to try new food.
Their waiter (the same one who quit in the beginning of the episode) arrives with their food: Jane and David's Tweedledee and Tweedledum lobsters, Arthur's Wicked Witch weenies, and D.W.'s Little Bo Peep pot pie. All eyes are on D.W. as she takes a bite of the pie. To their delight, D.W. thinks her food was delicious and eventually digs in. The waiter looks especially relieved that he won't be covered in food again. Towards the end of the meal, D.W. says she loves the Little Bo Peep pot pie and would eat it every day if they made it for her at home. David eventually asks the waiter for the recipe. The waiter tells him that it is simple to make; a pie pastry is used and has to filled with a tremendous amount of spinach. D.W. gasps and everyone stares at her in horror. To their surprise, D.W. says she loves spinach now. Arthur rolls his eyes as she finishes the rest of her pie with a smile.
- The waiter who D.W.'s spinach lands on and the one at the Once Upon a Restaurant (who tells her the Little Bo Peep pot pie is full of Spinach) is the same character. The reason is that he got a new job at Once Upon a Restaurant after quitting his old job at the restaurant where D.W. caused trouble.
- A fan has found a reference to another media character. The woman who gives the Reads their menus at Once Upon a Restaurant. The outfit she wears greatly resembles that of the Harvey cartoon character, Wendy the Good Little Witch. Since Once Upon a Restaurant is fairy-tale themed, it is more likely to be Little Red Riding Hood because of the brown clothing up front and red hood and because Little Red Riding Hood is well known among fairy tale characters. There is still some possible reference to Wendy because of the blonde hair and red outfit.
- When D.W. is listing foods she enjoys, she doesn't specify which type of birthday cake she enjoys (chocolate, vanilla, etc.).
- The computer voice in Arthur's fantasy is Mr. Ratburn (or at least sounds similar to him).
- At the Sugar Bowl, Buster appears to be dipping his French fries into his ice cream (although it would be more accurate to say he's dipping his fries into the chocolate syrup on the ice cream).
- There is a clean splotch in the piece of sandwich D.W. throws up.
- Someone who looks a lot like Buster's mother can be glimpsed at the restaturant, as the Reads' boat first starts out toward their table.
- This is the first episode written by Anne-Marie Perrotta.
- It is revealed in this episode that D.W. hates fish, cucumbers, mushrooms, tomatoes, lima beans, tapioca, stinky cheese, and olives.
- Francine narrates the title card on both the home video and DVD releases and also when it aired on television.
- This is the only Season 2 episode based on a book.
- In 2015, the episode was made available freely on the official Arthur website as part of the nutrition section of a feature titled Arthur Family Health. The episode can be watched here.
- Muffy is also a picky eater.
- Muffy hints that her butler ate dog food in order to get her dog to eat it. Ironically, her butler is a dog.
Differences from the book
- When Arthur and D.W are helping their mom unpack the groceries, they were wearing their normal clothes like they wear. But in the book, they were in their summertime outfits. (D.W wore a bathing suit.)
- When the family is eating the Hawaiian shrimp, D.W. complains that they're "part of the smelly fish family" and pushes the plate away from her. In the book, D.W. secretly feeds Pal the shrimp while Arthur watches and whispers "I saw that!"
- When D.W. receives her salad which has spinach in it, she quickly shouts 'I HATE SPINACH!", and pounds on the bowl, and the bowl lands on the waiter's head. In the book, D.W. pounds on the bowl with her fist, which causes the spinach to fly around, shouts "NO!" and spills her carton of milk.
- When everyone gets irritated by D.W.'s behavior, Jane says D.W.'s full name; although in the book, she simply says she's embarrassed about what D.W. did.
- Jane told D.W. that she would not be going out to eat as a consequence for her unruly behavior; in the book, David told D.W. that.
- Arthur's friends: Buster, Francine, and Muffy are seen; although in the book, Arthur's friends were not seen, but D.W. went to her friend Emily's house, since the book focused mainly on D.W.
- Arthur was getting advice from his friends on how D.W. should learn how to try the spinach and like it; in the book, Arthur's family went out to eat without D.W., and D.W stayed home with a sitter named Mrs. Cross, who only allowed carrot sticks for snacks.
- For Grandma Thora's birthday, the family went out to Once Upon a Restaurant; in the book, they went to The Derby.
- In the book, Kate went out with the family. In the episode, she stayed at home.
- There is a computer game based upon this episode.
- At the beginning before the title card, D.W. says she doesn't like bread crust. But when Buster serves a PB&J sandwich to her, she eats the crust and likes it. Although, given her coming around to spinach at the conclusion of the episode, it is possible that D.W. is more open to food than she would like others to believe.
- The spinach around Kate's mouth after she first eats a spoonful of the spinach disappears without anyone wiping her mouth.
- When the waiter is pouring water into Arthur's cup, there are lines going through Arthur's ears, face and body; this happens before D.W. throws a tantrum.