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"Grandma Thora Appreciation Day"
Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 15a
Original Airdate: United States April 10, 1998[1]
Canada September 11, 1998[2]
Germany February 13, 2002[3]
Written by: Kathy Waugh
Storyboard by: Angus Bungay
"Arthur's Knee"
"Fern's Slumber Party"
Read transcript

"Grandma Thora Appreciation Day" is the first half of the fifteenth episode in the second season of Arthur.


Arthur and D.W. notice Grandma Thora has been feeling sad lately. So the two of them plan to throw a surprise party to make her feel better.


Arthur tells the viewers what happened when he and D.W. visited Grandma Thora's house the other night. It was not a fun experience because they watched only public television and not cable television, ate low fat potato chips, and saw Grandma's teeth in a glass. When Arthur and D.W. were in bed that night, Grandma Thora said she was glad that D.W. and Arthur came over because she feels lonely when they are not around.  After she turns out the lights, Arthur thinks Grandma Thora must be a very sad person since she has no cable, non-tasting chips, and has to keep her teeth in the glass. D.W. thinks Grandma Thora feels so lonely without her. She thinks it is time to do something so Grandma Thora will not feel bad. 

Grandma Thora Appreciation Day

After Arthur explains to his parents that they should throw a surprise party for Grandma Thora, David asks why. Jane says it is because Thora feels sad and lonely; she thinks it is a great idea for the kids to throw a party like that. David calls it a "Grandma Thora Appreciation Day" and approves of the idea as well. After Arthur and D.W.'s parents think of many ideas, the kids stop them and tell them that they are going to do the planning themselves since it was their idea.

The next morning, Jane says that planning a party is tons of work. D.W. thinks it is easy because she thinks they can simply invite the guests, and they will come. Jane thinks this should be a nice, small, quiet party; the guests should be only Grandma Thora's closest friends. D.W. thinks that is boring, but Jane says a "nice, small, quiet party". Jane then checks on Arthur to see if he was listening, and he did listen.

At school during lunch, after Arthur tells about the party, his friends get very excited and cheer. He tells them to stop cheering and that he is only asking Mrs. MacGrady to come. It is a party for old people and Arthur says that his friends can not come. Later, at recess, Arthur continues to explain why they should not come to the party. Everyone feels upset, even though Brain is understanding. Arthur finally gives up and says that they can come, but not to tell anyone else. Arthur's friends do not listen, and they just cheer and then chant "Party!"

Back at home, things are not going well for Arthur and D.W.'s "Grandma Thora Appreciation Day" Party. They have been planning for one day and things are not going their way. Arthur thinks the invitees will forget, but on the list, there are 25 people. D.W. gets worried and thinks that Jane will freak out. When D.W. tries to say something else, Jane goes into Arthur's room and checks on the kids to see how the planning is going. She asks what they are up to and they are writing the list to make the perfect party. Jane thinks it is responsible of them to do that, and says that she is always available for help. Arthur, relieved, thanks D.W. for not telling. D.W. says that they are in this together. If he goes down the drain, she does too. The first thing has been accomplished on the list, which is to invite people. The next thing is to buy the food.

The next day, Jane takes Arthur and D.W. to the supermarket. She is unsure if she is okay with the kids shopping by themselves. D.W. tells her that she and Arthur want to do everything by themselves, but Jane already knows. She approves and D.W. assures her that everything will be alright. In the supermarket, D.W. looks under the flaps of the gumball machines. Arthur tells D.W. to hurry up and stay with him. He then realizes that he forgot his shopping list! Without worry, D.W. pulls out her list (which is really just scribbles on a piece of paper). She thinks it says candy, but Arthur does not think so.

When Arthur and D.W. get back home, Jane asks if they bought anything else other than candy. Arthur said that was the only thing on D.W.'s list. D.W. says that the candy was cheap and they needed a lot of food. Jane then asks how many people they invited. Arthur nervously mutters into his hand, but then he says he could not help it and tells the whole truth about when he told his friends at school. D.W. then adds on, with angry comments, about things like Arthur never listening to her.

After Arthur checks off the second thing on the list, D.W. tells him that he was lucky, because if she were a mother, Arthur would be living in the garage. The next thing on the list is to think up ways to invite Grandma Thora. D.W. thinks of sending a message via fortune cookie delivery. In her imagination, at the Chinese Restaurant, Grandma Thora and Mrs. MacGrady are sitting at the table waiting for their food. The waiter then arrives with the fortune cookie and Mrs. MacGrady reads it first. She doesn't understand D.W.'s illegible reading, so she hands it over to Grandma Thora. It really says, "Please go to D.W.'s house for a surprise party." Arthur thinks that idea is absolutely ridiculous, but only because he didn't think of it, according to D.W.. He thinks calling Grandma Thora is a much better idea, which leaves one last thing on the list. That is, DECORATE!

Later that evening, Arthur and D.W. decorate the living room with streamers. D.W. hands Arthur a balloon and she requests help from him to blow the balloons because she has "small lungs". D.W. tries to blow up a balloon, despite Arthur's stress on having to blow up all the balloons. Arthur thinks she is not helpful in decorating. The balloon flies towards Arthur, causing him to fall down with the streamers. Jane comes in and asks if the kids need help, and Arthur says yes. D.W. does not think they need help since they are doing it by themselves. Arthur thinks that they will never get the decorating done by tomorrow, but D.W. thinks they can, and tells him not to goof around.

The door then opens and Jane greets Grandma Thora happily. Arthur and D.W. then see her and hide. The reason why Grandma Thora came to the house this late at night is because her car broke down at the end of the street. Jane tells the kids the news loudly about Thora coming into the house, and Grandma Thora asks if she's alright. Jane then asks how the kids are doing and they are doing just fine. Grandma Thora thinks she can walk home and call the mechanic, but Jane insists she stay over for the night. 

Just before bedtime, Arthur does not know why Grandma Thora is staying. She says Hank, her mechanic, cannot fix the car until tomorrow. D.W. warns Grandma Thora about Kate snoring and how she will never get her beauty rest. After mentioning that they do not have any extra toothpaste, D.W. calls Arthur. 

In the middle of the night, while everyone else is asleep, Arthur shines a flashlight on D.W. and quietly asks if she is ready. When they are tiptoeing in the living room, Arthur reminds her that they have to be very quiet. But Arthur trips on a toy horn, and D.W., in return, reminds Arthur to be quiet. But Arthur is relieved no one woke up. Then Arthur and D.W. decorate the house like crazy, putting up streamers and blowing up all the balloons. 

After decorating the house, Arthur and D.W. get tired and they can finally go to sleep. But D.W. realizes that there is one more thing on the list they forgot: to bake the cake. In the kitchen, Arthur and D.W. look at some cakes in a cook book, and they choose a pound cake because it is simple. They then try to read the recipe, but skip some of the instructions they do not understand (such as adding a "lub" of flour). After adding one cup of milk, Arthur turns on the mixer, but the batter goes all over the place. At that point, Jane and David come into the kitchen, finding Arthur and D.W. covered with batter. The two finally plead for help from their parents in baking the cake. After everyone cleans up, the cake is done; David also made some cupcakes for everyone to have. D.W. asks if she and Arthur can stay up late tomorrow night and make taffy, but David and Jane say no.

The next day, Grandma Thora sees that the kids are not waking up. This worries her. She then calls up Hank and tells him what happened last night. She then goes outside to wait in the driveway.

Today is the actual day of the big surprise party! All of the guests are having a good time, even D.W. and Arthur. Jane then tells everyone to hide because Grandma Thora could be coming soon. When she doesn't arrive by 2:00, Arthur and D.W. realize they forgot to invite Thora to her own surprise party! D.W. tries to call Thora on the phone, but she does not answer. Arthur feels ashamed about not inviting Grandma to her party, but Binky (after David says there is only one thing to do) answers with "party!"

The party still continues successfully as planned, and Jane and David carry out the sandwiches. Then, Grandma Thora enters, making Arthur and Jane surprised. D.W. is extremely happy and hugs her. Grandma Thora was worried about the kids sleeping in earlier in the morning. She wonders what is happening, and then Arthur tells her to come into the living room.

When Grandma Thora enters the living room, everyone jumps out and yells, "SURPRISE!" She asks why, knowing it is not her birthday, but Arthur explains that he and D.W. threw the party so she would not feel sad.

Thora replies that she is not sad; D.W. explains that they thought she was sad, and that is why they threw the party. Thora finally admits, “Oh, that’s right, D.W. — I was a little sad. But after this party, I’m the happiest grandmother in the world!”

After she gives D.W. a kiss on the cheek, David taps her shoulder, and they dance together.

Arthur and D.W. end the episode by giving each other a high five.






  • At the end of the 2000 rerun intro on PBS Kids before this episode, Arthur’s crashing sound changes to pots and pans.
  • In the introduction, Arthur addresses the camera while in Thora's house, even though the events in Thora's house happened the previous night and he is supposed to be narrating from one day later.
  • In the "A Word from Us Kids" segment, an Arthur plush is seen in the classroom
  • Binky shows his softer side after Arthur and D.W. explain to Grandma Thora why they set up the celebration for her by crying.
  • Kenny is on the list of names on the guest list.

Cultural references[]

  • The kids’ reaction to Thora only getting public television is a self-deprecatory reference to PBS, which is public television.
  • Arthur does not recognize the abbreviation for pound (lb.). It derives from libra, which is both the Latin word for scales and a Roman unit of weight roughly equivalent to a pound.


  • When Arthur turns on the blender, D.W. falls off her chair but in the next scene she is standing back on her chair again.
  • When Arthur checks "decorate" off his list, the crayon is yellow, but he marks it off in black.
  • When Arthur and D.W. go to the grocery store getting food for Thora's surprise party, D.W. mentions she will read and Arthur will buy, but she is always mentioning in other episodes that she cannot read
    • The "writing" on D.W.'s list were really scribbles she made, and she probably meant she was going to interpret her scribbles.

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