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"How the Cookie Crumbles"
Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 20A
Original Airdate: United States April 17, 1998[1]
Canada September 18, 1998[2]
Germany February 20, 2002[3]
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Brian Anderson
"Finders Key-pers"
"Sue Ellen's Little Sister"
Read transcript

"How the Cookie Crumbles" is the first half of the twentieth episode in the second season of Arthur.


Muffy is having trouble coming up with a recipe for the Strawberry Festival contest. Her friends make a joke recipe, which turns out to taste good, and she enters it. Muffy wins the contest but isn't sharing the credit with her friends.


The episode begins with Arthur, Francine, Binky and Brain as gingerbread cookies inside a ceramic jar. They climb on top of each other and try to get the lid open, to which they succeed and realize that they're gingerbread cookies.

Francine reveals that she always wanted to be a cookie and Brain reveals that he always wanted to be an astrophysicist. Then they gasp as they see Muffy reaching her hand into the jar trying to get them, but they evade her hand. The scene is revealed to be inside Muffy’s kitchen. Muffy speaks into the jar that she knows they’re in there. She pours the jar, as the cookies fall on the kitchen counter. Arthur lands against a glass of milk. He exclaims “A glass of milk! That must mean-“. Muffy happily finishes “It’s snack time!” and reaches for Arthur. The cookies run away to hide. Muffy happily exclaims she knows where they’re hiding. Arthur holds up a spoon and tells her they should have a choice to whether they get eaten. Muffy replies that cookies don’t get to choose. Brain rolls up an apple towards her and asks if she would prefer a piece of nutritious fruit. The other cookies agree with him. Muffy shouts at them “Quiet!” and she tells them that she baked them and now she’s gonna eat them. Francine tells her that it's not fair if they get eaten. Muffy replies that whoever owns the oven gets to make the rules, and "that's just the way it is." She reaches for them again and the cookies run away again. Arthur leans up against a glass of milk, then the shadow of Muffy falls over him.

How The Cookie Crumbles

Arthur and D.W. are in the kitchen asking David what he's baking, to which he replies that he's baking strawberries for the Elwood City Strawberry Festival, which is one of the biggest holidays of that week.

Later on, D.W. asks Grandma Thora about the strawberry festival, and Grandma Thora tells her that her father enjoyed the Strawberry Festival and that he was in the Parade for the Festival. She also shows D.W. a photo of her at the Strawberry Festival last year having a good time.

Later on, Arthur, Francine, Muffy, Binky and Brain are walking by The Sugar Bowl, and Muffy notices a strawberry on top of the roof and asks if it's almost Strawberry Festival time. Arthur tells her that it's this week and she runs away home, worried.

Arthur wonders if Muffy hates strawberries, to which Francine reveals that the reason Muffy is so worried about the Festival is that she won last year; we see a flashback of the previous festival in which Muffy did win, but everyone wasn't happy because they believed that she only won because her father Ed Crosswire was the judge.

Back in the present day, Francine reveals that Muffy wants to prove that she won the contest fair and square, and that she must win again this year to prove it, but she doesn't have any ideas. Arthur, Francine, Binky and Brain go to Muffy's house to cheer her up and ask her what she is entering in the contest.

She says that last year, she entered butter cookies with a strawberry in it, and her friends throw in additional stuff such as peanuts, chocolate chips, peach slices, oatmeal, bananas, and a raisin. As the gang leaves, they feel very happy for cheering Muffy up.

Muffy's cook bakes the cookies that Muffy's friends made, but she tells him that they were just joke cookies and to throw them away. However, when she tastes one of the cookies she tells her cook not to throw them away, because they're delicious. At the Strawberry Festival, Arthur, D.W., Grandma Thora and Kate watch David in the Parade and Muffy winds up winning the contest with her cookies, which she calls Scrumptious Smackeroodles.

Later on, when Jane shows Arthur the recipe for Muffy's winning cookies, Arthur realizes that's the cookies that he and his friends helped Muffy bake. He asks to see where Muffy mentioned that they helped her bake them, but he finds out that she didn't mention them and took all the credit.

At the tree house, Arthur, Binky, Francine and Brain are mad at what Muffy did and go to her house to confront her, but her mom tells them that she's not there and that she's in town posing for "the bag."

The gang go to find Muffy at the camera shop, where the cameraman Carl tells them that Muffy is going to sell her cookies at the Sugar Bowl. At this, the gang try to turn on Muffy, but she complains that they are causing her to "wrinkle (her) nose" (an image that would not look good on the cookie package), so she has Carl shoo them out of the studio.

When Muffy comes out of the camera shop after having her pictures taken, the gang confront her that they helped her make the cookies, but she dismisses them as being just jealous, to which Francine calls her a bigger rat than Ratburn.

At home, Muffy tells her cook to bake lots of cookies for her to sell at the Sugar Bowl. He says that he will, as soon as she gives him the recipe. Muffy reveals that she doesn't have the recipe written down, but that she could remember it. She tries to bake the cookies herself, but uses different stuff such as pineapple and apples, which makes the cookies taste like junk.

At the tree house, Arthur, Francine and Binky write down a recipe for their own cookies to drive Muffy out of business. Muffy suddenly appears and apologizes for what she did, before asking for the recipe they just jot down. Hoping that Muffy can give them credit this time, her friends hand her the recipe. However, she states that she cannot credit them, as she needs to prove the public she can win the contest fair and square. Her friends however, sternly remind her, that while the public may not know it, she knows that she would have not won without their help. Before Muffy leaves, she asks if the recipe is right, and if they didn't put anything in it that would make the cookies "taste like junk". Arthur replies that Muffy can trust them because they're her friends. Muffy then thanks them and leaves, leaving her friends uncertain if she truly feels grateful to them.

Later on, Arthur, Francine and Binky are walking by the Sugar Bowl, refusing to go in there anymore because of the cookies being sold there. However, Muffy comes out with some cookies for her friends; on the bag, it says "MUFFY & FRIENDS" and the cookies are of Arthur, Binky, Francine and Brain.

Muffy tells her friends that she has learned that friendship and honesty are more important than winning a contest; she and her dad talked about it, and he said "a lie is a lie even when you get away with it", and that he won't stand for any lying.

Muffy and her friends then go into the Sugar Bowl to work on their own new recipe ideas for next year; Binky suggests, "Banana. Lots and lots of bananas."







  • At the end of the 2000 rerun intro on PBS Kids before this episode, Arthur’s crashing sound changes to a big splash of water.
  • Moral: Don't take credit for someone else's work.
  • Throughout this episode, a bunch of strawberries fall down any time the scene changes. This is done because of the Strawberry Festival being part of the main plot.
  • Running Gag: Binky mentioning bananas were his idea.

Cultural references[]

  • The barbershop quartet sings The Band Played On.
  • The title is based on an idiom "that's how the cookie crumbles", which means to forcefully accept a situation, even if it is unpleasant or undesirable. This may refer to Muffy's friends having to deal with the fact they get no credit for making the cookies and helping her win the contest.

Episode connections[]


  • Muffy's hand is covered by the table when the picture is taken, but is seen in the picture in front of the Sugar Bowl.
  • It is unknown why Muffy didn't check the newspaper for the ingredients, as it was printed on there.
    • A likely reason is that in this episode, the “lesson” was that you shouldn't take credit for other people's work, so by not checking the newspaper, that just reiterated the theme.
  • Strangely, Brain becomes absent in the second half of the episode, as he does not appear alongside Arthur, Francine and Binky, who work out their own recipe in the tree house.
  • The newspaper fails to mention that the recipe consists of peach slices, peanuts, and oatmeal. Francine, however, remembers most of the recipe, but when writing it down, she forgets to mention the chocolate chips and peach slices.

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