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"Desert Island Dish"
Season/Series: 10
Number in season: 3a
Original Airdate: United States May 17, 2006[1]
Canada September 17, 2006[3]
United Kingdom November 1, 2006[2]
Germany April 28, 2008[4]
Written by: Daisy Scott
Storyboard by: Jeremy O'Neill
"Fern and Persimmony Glitchet"
"The Secret About Secrets"
Read transcript

"Desert Island Dish" is the first half of the third episode in the tenth season of Arthur.


After trying to figure out how to survive for a while on junk food alone, Arthur and the gang learn about the importance of a balanced diet.


The intro starts at sea during a horrible storm. Arthur and his friends are lost on a ship, and the ocean shows no sign of calming. Suddenly, their parrot shows up carrying a coconut, so they know that land is near. The ship crashes into a small island. The weather is much nicer there and the friends are eager to explore it.

Desert Island Dish

It is the end of the school year at Lakewood Elementary. The whole class is excited for summer vacation, but there is still one more hoop to jump through: Mr. Ratburn's giant end-of-the-year assignment. Mr. Ratburn wants his students to imagine themselves stranded on a desert island. They can bring an unlimited supply of one kind of food and should explain why they chose what they did. Brain is surprised and asks, "That's it?"

At soccer practice later that day, Arthur, Buster, and Francine think about the food they would bring with them on the island. Francine chooses barbecue potato chips and Arthur chooses Cotton Candy Crunch cereal, but Buster can not make up his mind. He imagines having donuts, chocolate, and mayonnaise, but can not pick a favorite.

At school the next day, the students start to talk about the foods they picked. Buster ends up choosing ice cream, but Mr. Ratburn does not accept. He also does not like Francine's chips (too salty) or Arthur's cereal (too sugary). Brain could not come up with an answer, shocking the class because he is supposed to be the smartest. Mr. Ratburn gives them the coming weekend to decide on better foods. Brain goes all out this time, searching through many nutrition books to find the perfect food. Still struggling, he has a daydream about the food pyramid. A figure runs up the pyramid's steps as samples from all five food groups swirl in a vortex.

Arthur, Buster, and Francine share a new solution with Brain. They pick yucky foods they are supposed to eat instead of what they want to eat. Buster picks plain oatmeal, Francine picks Brussels sprouts, and Arthur chooses eggs. But Brain still thinks their choices are incomplete, and he continues searching for his one perfect food.

That night, Brain dreams he is running through the aisles of a supermarket. He can't find the perfect food so he asks a store worker, who says there is no such thing. The worker turns around, exposing a prosthetic hook and Brussels sprouts. It is Mr. Ratburn, who starts to laugh maniacally. The next morning, Brain wakes up with a sudden idea. He calls Arthur, Buster, and Francine, explaining his new "risky" plan.

The four friends present this idea to the class on Monday. They talk about how no one can survive for long on a single food, and about how they decided to group together to pool their resources. With something from each of the food groups, they are sure that they can live a long time on their desert island. Mr. Ratburn accepts their presentation and rewards their success with a special desert dessert for the whole class. A game of capture the flag will follow (against Miss Sweetwater's class).






  • This episode takes place at the end of the school year, but later episodes show the kids are still in the third grade.
    • It can be assumed that this episode takes place after those later episodes.
    • This also means that the events of the episode are set right before the events of "The Short, Quick Summer."
  • On Buster's calendar, June 15th is a Friday. That was the case in 2001, 2007, 2012 and 2018.
  • Alex Hood's scream was used after the night sequence. It can later be heard in "War of the Worms" by Brain again, and then by James in "Night of the Tibble".

Cultural references[]

  • The tropical bird Francine finds carrying a coconut in the opening scene is a reference to a running joke in the comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  • The USDA's MyPyramid is prominently featured in this episode. The MyPyramid icon was introduced in 2005 as an update to the traditional food guide pyramid and has since been replaced with MyPlate in 2011.


  • In one scene where Buster is explaining to the class that he would bring ice cream, Maria has red hair.

Production notes[]

Home Video[]



Main article: Desert Island Dish/Gallery