"The Half-Baked Sale"

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Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 20B
Original Airdate: United States November 1, 1996[1]
Canada January 31, 1997[2]
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 explains (while cleaning the garage with D.W.) that his grandma is great, that she helps when people are sick and listens to Arthur when he is telling what happened on Bionic Bunny, but that her cooking is really bad; when she announces that she has cookies they both hide behind boxes.

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 it was. Grandma Thora reminds her she left it on the fridge. Jane thanks her for covering, but Thora says she loves nothing better than taking care of them 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 for fast-food. She may not be a professional like him, but she's still going to cook and says she is going to experiment.

The next scene she's 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.

Then Arthur and D.W. 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. Grandma Thora then says it's 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. She even tries trading with Pal, but Arthur says not to, plus Pal growled 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 doing bingo. Grandma says there's no bingo this year because she'll be cooking for other people. Arthur and D.W. panic and then Grandma Thora tells Arthur to make signs.

The next day Arthur asks Buster about it. He says it's not that bad, and suggests to tell them it's not for eating, but for exercising or a statue. Arthur says he doesn't think it will work out, then Buster says he has no choice but to tell her the truth about her cooking. Arthur says he was afraid he would say that.

The next day, Arthur, D.W., and Grandma Thora are shopping for food. Grandma Thora is getting cookie ingredients. She picks up a tomato and Arthur asks her what she is doing. She says you can't make cookies without tomatoes. Arthur is almost pained again when he hears that, and she says she will earn lots of money from the bake sale with Arthur's signs.

Arthur nearly tells her that she is bad at cooking, but he doesn't because he doesn't want to make her sad, and also because because he is interrupted by Mrs. MacGrady, who 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. Arthur agrees and then offers Grandma Thora help. But Thora says no because she already has two assistants.

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, he takes his 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 asks them how they got in there, and Arthur and D.W. admit they did it and tell her they didn't want to hurt her. She asks Mrs. MacGrady if her cooking is bad. She blushes and asks "Why do you ask?" while looking sad.

Then Mrs. MacGrady says it's okay because she's too busy doing other things and Arthur and D.W. say they still love her even if she is a bad cook. They go inside to clean up, but find out that Buster is eating them. He is officially the only person ever to like her cookies.






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."
  • Mr. Morris injures his leg again in "April 9th."
  • Thora makes the worst chocolate chip cookies in this episode, but in "Go to Your Room, D.W." during D.W.'s imaginary flashback, she moves in with her, and D.W. eats gallons of cookies which she loves, meaning that Thora has actually made the best chocolate chip cookies.


  • Although Mrs. Read (and Mr. Read) leaves the house, her voice can be heard calling the kids to dinner instead of Grandma's Thora's voice.
  • Grandma Thora calls Mrs. MacGrady by the first name Sarah, but in later episodes it is shown that Mrs. MacGrady's first name is actually Leah.


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