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This article is about the Season 24 episode. You may be looking for the Season 13 episode of the same name.
"The Great MacGrady"
Season/Series: 24
Number in season: 2
Original Airdate: United States March 8, 2021[1]
Canada April 14, 2021[2]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Leah Ryan (uncredited)
Storyboard by: Elie Klimos
Jeremy O'Neill
Zhigang Wang
"Arthur's Big Meltdown"
"D.W.'s New Best Friend"
Read transcript

"The Great MacGrady" is the second episode in the twenty-fourth season of Arthur. It is a two-part episode.

This episode is a reworked and reanimated version of the thirteenth season episode "The Great MacGrady."


Arthur and friends support Mrs. MacGrady after she is diagnosed with cancer, and Elwood City wrestling champion Uncle Slam shows Francine and the community how to support cancer survivors.


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 is making predictions for that day's lunch menu in his school lunch almanac, he and his friends observe that she did not come to school, and her nephew Skip Bitterman is the substitute chef. Skip is completely devoid of any culinary skills, and the lunches become so appalling that the students cannot even eat them. After about a week without Mrs. MacGrady, Mr. Ratburn reveals the shocking news that she is on leave because she has cancer.

The students all react differently to the news: Muffy does not entirely grasp the situation and stays optimistic while she shops for her father's birthday presents. Francine, who lost her grandfather to cancer, starts acting out in various ways, including intentionally losing a soccer game because it won't make Mrs. MacGrady feel any better. Arthur and D.W. pay Mrs. MacGrady a visit, bringing some homemade chicken soup and learning a bit about the illness from her. They promise to visit her every day with further gifts.

At Mr. Crosswire's birthday, Muffy laments about Francine being too sad to help her shop for a proper gift. Her father explains that Francine is just upset about Mrs. MacGrady's illness and encourages her to visit Mrs. MacGrady and maybe bring her a care package.

Francine stays home after having a nightmare that Mrs. MacGrady will never return to work. After school she is visited by Binky and Buster, who are planning to bring gifts to Mrs. MacGrady and invite her to come along. Francine declines, but before they leave Binky tries to cheer her up by giving her Uncle Slam's email address. He explains to a surprised Francine that Uncle Slam had cancer two years ago and encourages her to write to him. Francine reluctantly does so, but to her and her friends' surprise he writes back and offers to meet with her when he visits Elwood City the following week. Muffy, who is planning on visiting Mrs. MacGrady, offers to bring Francine along so she can share the news, but Francine again refuses to visit.

Muffy arrives just as Arthur and D.W. deliver more gifts to Mrs. MacGrady, including more jars of soup and a giant stuffed bear. Muffy compliments Mrs. MacGrady's bandana, only to learn Mrs. MacGrady is wearing it as she has lost her hair from the Chemotherapy treatment. After Arthur and D.W. leave, Muffy takes a moment to apologize for being insensitive about her illness. Mrs. MacGrady replies that cancer is difficult, but she assures Muffy that she intends to get better.

Slam arrives in Elwood City and goes for a walk in the park with Francine where talks to her about how he got through his cancer diagnosis through medicine and the support of his wrestling community. Francine expresses her surprise that someone of Slam's stature could get diagnosed with cancer, but he tells her it can happen to anyone and that his doctors were unsure about his survival rate. However he put through and he made his return to wrestling with a Cancer Benefit Wrestling Tournament to raise money and awareness of the disease. This gives Francine a similar idea to hold a cancer benefit bike race, "Peddle for a Cure."

Muffy returns to Mrs. MacGrady's house just as her sister Martha is taking her to the doctor's office. Noticing the state of the house, she offers to clean the dishes while they are gone but has trouble doing so. When Arthur and D.W. arrive with more gifts, Muffy points out there are different ways of helping then just bringing gifts. So they join Muffy in cleaning up the entire house, leaving a note for Mrs. MacGrady when she returns assuring her that they are her "support team."

The "Pedal for a Cure" is a huge success, with a massive turnout. At the finish line, Francine is greeted by Mrs. MacGrady and apologizes for not visiting her previously. Mrs. MacGrady assures her she understands, remarking it can be frightening to see someone you care about when they are sick.

After more than a month of Skip's terrible meals, Buster and the rest of the students almost start a revolt. Their uprising is thwarted by the return of Mrs. MacGrady, who is not quite cancer-free yet but is healthy enough to return to work. Buster corrects his school lunch almanac with a prediction that the food will be unknown, but will taste great.







  • This episode's existence was known as early as Spring 2020, when clips from this episode were included in a digital short about washing hands.
  • A screenshot from this episode was uploaded to Oasis Animation's Facebook page on May 22, 2020.[3]
  • A running gag is when Muffy asks Francine which clothes are better but she can't decide.
  • Some airings of this version of the episode are incorrectly listed as the Season 13 version (which has not aired nationally on PBS since 2012) in most program guides.

Episode connections

Cultural references

  • Bailey gives Mr. Crosswire Endgame by Samuel Beckett. It is an absurdist play set in a postapocalyptic world.
  • Mrs. MacGrady calling the kids spartakids refers to Spartacus, who led a slave revolt in the first century B.C.


  • In the title card, Jeremy O'Neill's name is misspelled as "Jeremy O'Neil."
  • When Francine is typing the email to Uncle Slam on her computer, there are no letters on the keyboard
  • Francine apologizes for forgetting about Mr. Crosswire's birthday, but she didn't forget; she just decided not to go.
  • When D.W. pushes Chilly Billy through Mrs.MacGrady's door, he blinks for a second when he lands on the ground.

Production notes

  • This is the first episode to be a remake of a previous one, in this instance, the Season 13 episode of the same name.
    • The reason for this episode being redone was due to a doping scandal that caused Armstrong to be stripped of his former victories in 2012.
  • Being that this episode is a remastered version from Season 13, Arthur Read and his friends are still in 3rd Grade and Francis Haney is still the principal. Everything stays the same, except for some minor adjustments.

Differences from the original

  • Oasis Animation animated this version using ToonBoom Harmony Flash animation, whereas the original Season 13 version was animated using digital ink and paint by Cookie Jar Entertainment, with additional overseas animation/production services provided by Animation Services (HK) Ltd.
  • This version is in 16:9 widescreen, while the original Season 13 version was in 4:3 full screen.
  • As is standard for all title cards post-Season 16 (and internationally post-Season 14), the title card features a scene from the new episode; the original episode used the Arthur and the Stampede title card. The title is now narrated by Binky, rather than Muffy.
  • All scenes that originally featured Lance Armstrong were changed. Armstrong was replaced with the fictional wrestler Uncle Slam and there were some minor changes to the plot.
  • All voices were re-recorded using the voice talents under contract for Season 24. A few scenes not orininally featuring Armstrong have some minor changes to the dialogue. Most voice actors remain the same, the main difference is that Arthur and D.W. are now voiced by Roman Lutterotti and Ethan Puggiotto instead of Dallas Jokic and Robert Naylor.
  • Some of the music score in this episode is different compared to the original version.
  • In this version, there is only one scene of Francine and Muffy going shopping for Mr. Crosswire's birthday. In the Season 13 episode, they also shop for a dress for Francine so she looks "nicer", for Lance Armstrong. Otherwise the episode's timeline remains the same.
  • Binky mentions that Uncle Slam won the Ultimate Smackdown belt seven times, which had never been done before. In the original version, Binky mentions that Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France seven times, which had never been done before. (He was later stripped of all titles.)
  • Catherine Frensky does not appear in this version. In the Season 13 version, she answered the door and was flustered by meeting Lance Armstrong. In this version, Oliver Frensky answers the door and is flustered by meeting Uncle Slam.
  • In both versions, Armstrong/Slam is offered a protein shake by the Frenskys, but declines.
  • In both versions, Francine and Armstrong/Slam have a talk in the same park, but in this version they walk instead of riding bikes.
  • On PBS airings, the "And Now a Word from Us Kids" segment is shown in the middle of the episode, but it was shown at the conclusion of the two parts during the Season 13 version.


Promotional Images