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"The Half-Baked Sale"
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 20B
Original Airdate: United States November 1, 1996[1]
Canada January 31, 1997[2]
Germany January 9, 2002[3]
Written by: Ken Scarborough
Storyboard by: Jean Lajeunesse
"Arthur's Almost Boring Day"
"Sue Ellen Moves In"
Read transcript

"The Half-Baked Sale" is the second half of the twentieth episode in the first season of Arthur.


Grandma Thora has made goodies for the bake sale, but Arthur worries about what people will think when they discover her terrible cooking.


Arthur and D.W. are cleaning the garage. Arthur tells the viewers that his grandma is great; she knows about the characters on Bionic Bunny and she fills in for people when they are sick- like as an umpire at the kids' baseball games. There is, however, "one thing you never want to hear her say". At this point, Thora shows up with a plate of cookies, causing Arthur and D.W. to hide behind boxes.

The Half Baked Sale

Arthur's parents are going away on a trip to see Grandpa Dave. Arthur's mom is going through a list of things. The last one is about Dr. Bailey's number, but she forgot where she left it. Thora reminds her it is on the fridge. Jane thanks her for covering, but Thora says she loves nothing better than taking care of her grandchildren and says she is going to cook them something special. Arthur and D.W. look surprised. Arthur's dad says that wouldn't be necessary because he left money so they could order in. Thora tells him that while she may not be a professional like him, she's still going to cook and says she is going to experiment with a new recipe.

That evening, Thora is on the phone saying she is going to help with something. While she is on the phone she makes lots of mistakes with her special dinner. Baby Kate even gets a sample and starts crying, because it tastes nasty.

Arthur and D.W. see this happening from outside, and start coming up with ideas to get out of dinner. D.W. suggests they pretend to be sick, but Arthur points out that then they would be given her chicken soup which tastes worse. Grandma Thora then calls them in for dinner.

Arthur and D.W. hate their dinner because it looks like an olive loaf and tastes nasty. D.W. suggests to Arthur to smash his food and spread it around his plate so that it looks like they ate some. Arthur decides to try a bite, but doesn't seem to enjoy it. D.W. tries trading with Pal, but Arthur says not to. D.W. tries to take some of Pal's food, and he growls at her. Later, Arthur and D.W. are watching TV and Grandma Thora gives them burnt pudding. She says that she was on the phone for the PTA fundraiser and Arthur asks if she is going to do bingo again. Grandma says there's no bingo this year but rather a bake sale, and that she'll be in charge. Arthur and D.W. panic at this thought. Thora suggests Arthur and D.W. could help with making signs.

The next day Arthur talks to Buster about his grandma and the bake sale. Buster thinks it won't be that bad, and suggests Arthur tell people the food isn't for eating, but for exercising or a statue. Arthur says he doesn't think that will work. Buster says Arthur will have no choice but to tell his grandma the truth about her cooking. Arthur says he was afraid he would say that. Then the stuff Buster tried to stuff in his locker falls onto him.

The next day, Arthur, D.W. and Thora are shopping for food. Thora throws Arthur a tomato, to his surprise. His grandma tells him you can't make cookies without tomatoes. At a bulletin board, Thora compliments one of Arthur's flyers, and says that with them, they will earn lots of money from the bake sale.

Arthur nearly tells her that she is bad at cooking, but he doesn't manage to because he doesn't want to make her sad, and also because he is interrupted by Mrs. MacGrady, who is also taking part in the bake sale. She helps Thora carry her groceries home.

She tells Arthur that the bake sale would have never happened if his grandma hadn't helped out and says he must be proud of her, to which Arthur agrees. Mrs. MacGrady asks Thora if she would like some help in the kitchen. Arthur would appreciate this, but Thora turns down her help, because she already has Arthur and D.W.

Inside, Arthur is complaining that he should help, but Thora says she has got it under control. Then, Thora tells him that that cooking runs in the family, and that his father started to cook at age 8 (Arthur's age), to which D.W. says she believes it.

Arthur decides that the only thing to do is to stop people from eating Thora's cookies, so the next day, at the bake sale, he uses his birthday money and buys all the cookies and hides them in the janitor's closet. But Mr. Morris goes in, slips on the cookies, and nearly breaks his leg.

Thora wonders how the cookies got in the closet, and Arthur and D.W. admit they did it and tell her it was because they didn't want to hurt her feelings. Thora asks Mrs. MacGrady if her cooking is truly bad. Mrs. MacGrady blushes and asks "Why do you ask?" Thora is sad to discover the truth.

Mrs. MacGrady, Arthur and D.W. tell Thora how there's still so many other things she's good at, and Arthur and D.W. say they still love her. Thora decides they're right, and that she's lucky to have them as her friends. They go inside to clean up, but find the cookies are no longer on the floor. They then discover that Buster is eating the cookies, which he finds to be "delightful". This leaves Arthur and D.W. in shock.






  • Morals:
    • No one is good at everything. Some people are born with specific talents, but not on others.
    • Don't be discouraged on something you are never meant to be good at. Be proud that you can still do other things better.
  • In this episode, Mrs. MacGrady's first name is Sara. From season 13 onward, she is renamed Leah in honor of Leah Ryan.

Episode connections

  • Grandma Thora puts tomatoes in chocolate. Buster does the same thing with his Buster Clusters in "Buster's Sweet Success."
  • Thora bakes pecan pie without shelling the pecans. Binky repeats her mistake in "Arthur's Perfect Christmas."
  • Although this episode proves Grandma Thora being somewhat of a poor cook, other episodes would depict her otherwise.
    • In "Arthur's Birthday", Thora asked Arthur what birthday cake she should bake him, which Arthur enthusiastically responds "chocolate".
    • In "Go to Your Room, D.W." during D.W.'s imaginary flashback where she moves in with her, D.W. is seen enjoy the chocolate chip cookies she baked.
  • Despite this, Grandma Thora's bad cooking has also been revealed in other episodes such as: My Music Rules, Arthur Loses His Marbles, and Just Desserts.
  • Mr. Morris injures his leg again in "April 9th." In that episode, he is injured off-screen in the Lakewood Elementary fire.

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