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Recap / Arthur S 3 E 1 Busters Back The Ballad Of Buster Baxter
aka: S 3 E 1 Busters Back The Ballad Of Buster Baxter

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Buster's BackAfter a bad nightmare, Arthur learns that Buster is returning from his trip with his dad. He goes around town spreading the news and plans to host him again.

Tropes for this episode include:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Buster finds it hilarious that D.W. calls him "Bustoff" and responds with "P.W." This causes her to giggle in turn.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Both D.W. and Arthur make a face when learning their dad is making an essence of cracked liver soup.
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  • Heroic BSoD: Arthur starts crying when Buster has landed but hasn't called at all. He then starts tossing the photos in the garbage.
  • Irony: Arthur worries that Buster will have changed, and does a lot of reading to catch up on all the places where his best friend visited. Buster actually just wants to sit down, shoot the breeze, and play some checkers.
  • Shout-Out: Buster in Arthur's nightmare gains all the powers of the Fantastic Four. He references going through cosmic rays that caused it.


The Ballad of Buster BaxterSpecial Guest Art Garfunkel picks up his guitar and starts narrating about Buster's life when he returns to Elwood City. At first everything seems well enough, until he realizes just how much he's missed while he's been away.

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Tropes for this episode include:

  • All-Knowing Singing Narrator: Art Garfunkel. This is lampshaded at the end, when Buster asks how long he's been around and Arthur calls for his mom about "the singing moose in front of the house."
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Justified; Buster was away for most of the plot points near the end of season two. They include Muffy launching her cookie brand with the gang, square dancing, and the key plot.
  • Funny Background Event: When Arthur and his friends are having a meeting about Buster, Art Garfunkel is sitting with them on the couch, eating popcorn.
  • He's Back: After spending the story upset over how he's missed so many key events from his friends lives, Buster is content to just hang out with his friends again and be a part of their lives ones more. For good measure, Buster shares his theory about how he thought aliens were warping his friends' minds for the sole purpose of making him miserable. Needless to say, everybody can safely say Buster Baxter is back in every sense of the word.
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  • Heroic BSoD: Poor Buster is watching TV aimlessly on realizing he can't relate with any of his friends and the only one who understands, Sue Ellen, has nothing much in common with him.
  • Measuring the Marigolds: When Brain starts writing Robin Hood, he starts making it logical and plausible for the time period. Buster isn't pleased, especially when he realizes that Arthur went on with the story and didn't include him.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Everyone assumes that Buster didn't show up for his welcome back party. Then Francine asks Arthur who invited him. After everyone passes the buck, Brain concludes no one invited Buster. They all go together to his house to welcome him.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Played for Laughs when Buster is watching TV depressed; Art Garfunkel sings a fast and upbeat song on how Buster is "a sad, sad bunny", but Buster comments that it's not sad music, so Art instead starts singing a slower and much more downbeat version of the same song.
  • This Is Reality: Brain and Arthur made Buster and Arthur's fanfic more realistic, taking out the dinosaurs. Buster gets annoyed as he points out horses are less exciting. Brain points out they can crush flowers.
  • We Are Not Going Through That Again: Buster finds the sprinkler key that his friends were fighting over in a previous episode. As he imagines it's the key to the city or a sports car, Arthur quickly tells him it belongs to Mr. Morris.

Alternative Title(s): S 3 E 1 Busters Back The Ballad Of Buster Baxter

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