"The Great MacGrady"

The Great MacGrady

TGM Title Card

Season/Series: 13
Number in season: 1
Original Airdate: Flag of the United States October 19, 2009[1]
Flag of Canada May 7, 2010[3]
Flag of the United Kingdom March 1, 2010 [2]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Leah Ryan
Storyboard by: Zhigang Wang
"D.W.'s Furry Freak-out"
"The Silent Treatment"
Read transcript

"The Great MacGrady" is the first episode in the thirteenth season of Arthur. It is a two-part episode.


When Mrs. MacGrady is diagnosed with cancer, Arthur and his friends behave differently to the news - Arthur and D.W. rush to her side with heaps of chicken soup and stuffed animals, Muffy tries to pretend that nothing in her life has changed, and Francine is so upset that she can't even bring herself to visit Mrs. MacGrady.


Everyone loves Mrs. MacGrady, the school's cook for the cafeteria, with her warm friendly ways and her excellent cooking. Until one day, while Buster was keeping record for the school lunch and was making prediction for that day's lunch menu, he and his friends noticed that she did not show up for school, and her nephew is substitute chef. Said nephew, Skip Bitterman was completely devoid of any culinary skills; the lunches became so appalling that the students could not even eat them. After about a week without Mrs. MacGrady, Mr. Ratburn announces that she won't be returning for a while, because she has cancer.

Later that day, Francine and Muffy are at the Mill Creek Mall looking for a birthday present for Muffy's father Ed Crosswire. While looking at ties, Muffy asks Francine which tie she should get for her dad, but Francine ignores Muffy, and sadly sits in a chair. Muffy asks why Francine is behaving that way. Francine said she doesn't feel like shopping as she is still thinking about Mrs. McGrady having cancer, and informs Muffy that some people don't recover from the illness as her grandfather died from cancer. Francine returns home, after Muffy asked another question about her father's birthday gift.

Meanwhile, Arthur and D.W. make a house visit to Mrs. MacGrady, and bring her some home made chicken soup. She assures a worried D.W. that cancer is not contagious. Arthur and D.W. come by everyday and bring surprises for Mrs. MacGrady.

During the soccer game, Francine was not feeling any better and let the opponent win the match, because of Mrs. MacGrady having cancer. Binky was surprised and told her about the game. She later left the soccer field angrily because she was so worried about Mrs. MacGrady and even refused to attend Mr. Crosswire's birthday dinner.

On Mr. Crosswire's birthday, while Bailey gives Mr. Crosswire a DVD, Muffy gives him a card and tie. She tells her father it would have been from Francine as well, but was too sad to help. Mr. Crosswire tells Muffy that Francine is just upset due to Mrs. MacGrady's illness. He also tells her that maybe she should go help Mrs. MacGrady around the house and bring her a care package.

Francine had a nightmare that night where she dreamt about Mrs. MacGrady leaving School after she picked up her stuff, saying that she is sick and needed an easier job. After she woke up, she decided to stay home for the day after her parents were worried about her and about her nightmare.

While at home, she met Binky and Buster after school just right in front of her house where she was playing with her pet Nemo. Both asked her if she would like to visit Mrs. MacGrady's house, while they are also planning on bringing her some vegetables and a rock. Before they left and before Francine chose to visit her, Binky gave her Lance Armstrong's e-mail address, where he got it from Lance at the Bike-A-Thon. He told her the story about Lance where Lance had cancer and during Lance's time of race. Binky suggested her to write Lance an e-mail. She refused at first but chose to write to him and wrote him an e-mail message.

The next day at school, while the students still have complaints about the food in the cafeteria, Francine received the letter from Lance Armstrong. Her friends were surprised when they heard it. Muffy immediately went shopping after school with Francine for Francine's dress. Muffy asked Francine if she would like to visit Mrs. MacGrady. Francine refused and was afraid to visit her.

Arthur and D.W. arrived at Mrs. MacGrady's house and gave her more jars for soup and even a big fur bear. Muffy soon arrives and joined them. Muffy asks Mrs. MacGrady about a bandanna on Mrs. MacGrady's head. Mrs. MacGrady tells them that it's a scarf, and due to treatment, she has no hair, and must keep a special scarf on her head. After Arthur and D.W. left her house, Muffy had a little more conversation with Mrs. MacGrady about cancer and a bandanna.

About a week later, Lance came to Francine's house and soon they went for a bike ride, after she changed into her normal clothes, while she was wearing a dress. While they were taking the rest during biking, he told her the stories about the time when he had cancer.

Francine decided to hold a bike race "Pedal for a cure" to raise money for cancer. Some of the other students helped too besides participating in a race, where Prunella is knitting a scarf for Mrs. MacGrady and George is helping out with the gardening. Francine had some help from her friends to spread out the word about the race and a lot of students signed up for it. After school, Muffy asked Francine if Francine would like to visit Mrs. MacGrady. Francine was still afraid to visit her and said that she still have more flyers to pass out.

When Muffy arrives at Mrs. MacGrady's house, Mrs. MacGrady introduce Muffy to her sister, Martha, before Mrs. MacGrady and her sister left. While Muffy was still trying to clean dishes, Arthur and D.W. arrived. She later tells them that they may be giving Mrs. MacGrady too many things. D.W. says that they're just trying to help. Muffy tells them that there is a different way they can help. The three clean Mrs. MacGrady's house and dishes. Before they left Mrs. MacGrady's house, they left the note for Mrs. MacGrady, before she comes back home.

On the race day, Lance Armstrong and Francine and the other bikers were at the starting line to race. Francine rides her bike really fast, down the race track, to the finish line, where Mrs. MacGrady is waiting for her. Francine apologizes for not coming to see her, and Mrs. MacGrady accepts her apology. She later has Francine wash her hands, and gives her a big hug.

More than a month later at school ever since Mrs. MacGrady was still absent, the lunches are still disgusting to the students, even Buster complains. Mrs. MacGrady shows up and announces she still has cancer, but she is still getting treatment and feels healthy enough to return to work.








Episode Connections


  • In the soccer game, Francine was goalie, although she is the star forward of the team.
  • When D.W. is shoving the supposedly stuffed polar bear toy, Chilly Billy, through the doorway and drops him on the floor, he winces and closes his eyes as though he were alive.
  • For a brief moment near the beginning of the second half of the episode, Marina is seen at a lunch table in the background. This is the second time that she appears due to an error, the other time also being in Season 13 in MacFrensky.

Production notes

  • Funeral Obituary reveals that Leah Ryan was diagnosed with leukemia & was a smoker.
  • In Francine's dream, Mrs. MacGrady was going to walk into light at the end of the hallway.[4] This was decided to be "too much" for kids, so a green wall was placed over the light effects.[5]
  • Reruns of this episode are rare following the Lance Armstrong doping case.