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"To Eat or Not to Eat"

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Season/Series: 15
Number in season: 5a
Original Airdate: United States October 14, 2011[1]
Canada February 15, 2012[3]
United Kingdom November 18, 2010[2]
Australia October 3, 2010
Germany December 20, 2012[4]
Written by: Ken Pontac
Storyboard by: Rob Clark
Karine Charlebois
Guy Lamoureux
"Buster the Lounge Lizard"

"To Eat or Not to Eat" is the first half of the fifth episode in the fifteenth season of Arthur.


A brand new candy bar is in town! But why is it making everyone behave so strangely? And what exactly is this ingredient called Tri-Enzomated Zorn Jelly, anyway?


The episode opens with Buster being a private eye and talks about how something was in the air and describes it with food. This makes him hungry and he takes an apple from a cabinet in his desk, but before he takes a bit of the apple a Big Boss bar as a lady appears asking for help which causes Buster to drop his apple.

After the title card we see Arthur and Buster watching Bionic Bunny. In the show Bionic Bunny is trapped and is about to get a brain freeze. The scene cuts to black and Buster sees a commercial on TV for a new candy bar called Big Boss bars. After watching the commercial he wants one so he leaves Arthur's house and goes to The Sugar Bowl. When he reaches The Sugar Bowl he notices Binky who has a bag full of Big Boss bars, inside he sees that the rack of Big Boss bars are empty. That is until he finds one left behind the rack, he than decides he will eat it at lunch.

In the cafeteria, Buster shows the bar to Mrs. MacGrady, but she notices that there are several ingredients on the nutrition label that she hasn't heard of and warns Buster about eating it. At the lunch tables, Buster sees George begging to get a bar from Binky but doesn't have the money which makes Buster start to have a funny feeling about the candy. Buster also notices that after his friends finish enjoying the candy, they become tired, sluggish and begin to have headaches. After going to the library and talking to the Brain to learn more about the ingredients, he finds out that some of the ingredients in the candy bar come from beetles and may be radioactive. When Buster tells his mother, she proclaims that they should take a tour of the candy factory.

When Buster and his mother visit the factory, they quickly discover that the ingredients in the candy are addictive. Mrs. Baxter writes the article in her newspaper about it, exposing the candy factory's secret and ending the sales of Big Boss Bars. While Binky tries unsuccessfully to sell the now unwanted Big Boss bars, Buster admits of being proud that he never tried the candy while he eats healthy food.






Cultural references

  • The title of this episode is a parody of the line "To be or NOT to be", from the famous Shakespeare play, Hamlet.
  • Buster remarks the Big Boss Bars will last for centuries thanks to all the chemicals in them. This is a reference to the urban legend that Twinkies have so many chemicals, they have an indefinite shelf life.
  • Cochineal, a red substance which is often used as dye or food coloring, comes from beetles.
  • Buster’s fantasies are very similar to Film Noir, a type of crime movie genre popular in the 1940s and 1950s.
  • The episode is a reference to drug addiction. Like the candy bars, drugs contain harmful substances that affect the body. When the people who eat the candy become tired and get headaches, this is similar to a drug user experiencing a crash after getting high from drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or meth.

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