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Buster's Amish Mismatch

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"Buster's Amish Mismatch"
Season/Series: 7
Number in season: 7b
Original Airdate: United States November 26, 2002[1]
Canada January 27, 2003[2]
Written by: Peter Egan
Storyboard by: Jean Saro
Sylvie Lafrance
"D.W.'s Time Trouble"
"The World of Tomorrow"
Read transcript
"Buster's Amish Mismatch" is the second half of the seventh episode in the seventh season of Arthur.


Inspired by a field trip to Amish country, Buster vows to forgo all modern conveniences when he gets back home—but that is easier said than done.


The episode starts with Mr. Ratburn's class riding through grass-fields with Arthur telling the viewers about how Buster always brings home a souvenir from all of their class field trips. For example, taking a dinosaur fossil at Rainbow Rock State Park, and the time he accidentally took a detective's badge from the police station, and during their trip to the fudge factory, he brought home a bad stomachache. Arthur wonders what Buster will bring home from this field trip.

Buster's Amish Mismatch

Buster takes a look out the bus window and sees a tractor and gets amazed. He daydreams about driving one himself and has a built in bread-maker. While getting ready to eat one, aliens show up in their saucers, daring Buster to chase them. Buster turns the tractor into a space vehicle and chases the aliens into space just as Mr. Ratburn interrupts his daydream.

Mr. Ratburn announces that they are now in Amish country. Buster confuses this as there being an actual country called "Amish". Mr. Ratburn asks if he was paying attention in class yesterday to which Buster replies, "That's a trick question, isn't it?" Mr. Ratburn explains that the Amish are immigrants from Northern Europe who wanted to live free on their beliefs. Arthur looks outside and notices they aren't using the tractor machine to harvest; instead, they're using wagons and rakes. Mr. Ratburn explains the Amish don't rely on the modern conveniences which they do. Brain confirms it's because they choose not to use them, or any other kinds of electricity. Arthur and Buster are surprised that they can't use television.

The class approaches a farm, where they are greeted by Mrs. Lapp and her son, Daniel. Mrs. Lapp explains that the "outside world" has changed dramatically since her great-great-great-grandfather immigrated here while her family farm hasn't. She invites them into the house. Buster greets Daniel and compliments his hat. Inside, Mrs. Lapp explains that the Amish make their own furniture and don't play any musical instruments. Next, they go into a room where the Amish are quilting clothes. Daniel reveals to Buster he can't wear buttons or zippers on his clothes because they're "too fancy". In the kitchen, Mrs. Lapp explains that they make their own food with gas and wood. Buster gets interested in the butter-turner, but Mr. Ratburn moves the class along. Daniel stops Buster to give him a taste of apple butter.

Outside, the Amish community is doing a barn-raising. Buster asks if they can help. Mr. Ratburn agrees, since they are ahead of schedule. After the barn-raising, the class eats lunch with the Amish people.

Later that day, everyone is heading back onto the bus. Having greatly enjoyed himself, Buster asks Mr. Ratburn if they could come back tomorrow and help put the roof on, but Mr. Ratburn says they can't. Daniel thanks Buster for helping with the barn-raising. Buster in turn thanks Daniel for the opportunity, as he's made anything with his own hands before. Buster comments that the Amish really know how to live, to which Daniel states once doesn't have to be Amish to live their lifestyle. Daniel gives Buster his hat to help him get started.

On the bus, Buster tells Arthur his new hat is his inspiration to live the Amish way and invites the class to join him. Howe Arthur is too busy playing a handheld video game, and Muffy is complaining to her dad on her cell phone that she chipped a nail on a saw. Brain explains that it's virtually impossible to function in "their world" without technology. Arthur reminds how Buster couldn't handle going one week with no TV. Buster claims he's "through with that junk", before giving Arthur his jacket because it has buttons.

Back in Elwood City, Buster is walking home instead of riding in the car, much to Bitzi's confusion. Buster explains that it isn't the Amish way to ride in cars. Bitzi then asks what he would like for dinner, to which Buster answers "a stew of corn meal ground up by hand and fresh kale and sweet potato smoked cooked over a wood burning stove." At home, Buster and his mother are eating pizza for dinner. Buster suggests they should make their own by growing their own tomatoes and make their own dough. Bitzi points out it would be difficult, but loved Buster's idea of a candlelight dinner. She turns the light on but Buster quickly turns it off, saying they can't use electricity, as it is against the Amish beliefs. Bitzi isn't prepared to adhere to the Amish lifestyle, leaving Buster disappointed about going it alone.

In his room, Buster is reading about barn-raising when Bitzi brings him a self-powered flashlight that is cranked by hand. Bitzi notes how cold it is and Buster explains he had to turn the heat off because it's electric. Bitzi gives him some extra blankets and asks if he could be just a little Amish, which Buster refuses.

The next morning, Buster is running late for school because he can't find any clothes that don't have buttons or zippers. At school during math, Buster asks Mr. Ratburn if they could have a barn-raising in Elwood City. Mr. Ratburn doubts anyone needs a barn raised in town, to which the class laughs. Brain further points out the lack of farm area in the city. At recess, Buster forgoes playing tag to sew a quilt, but ends up poking his fingers. At lunch, Mrs. MacGrady is serving a tuna surprise. Brain questions if it's "Amish enough" for Buster to eat it because it was made in an electrical oven. Buster just takes an apple instead, stunning Mrs. MacGrady. After school, Buster miserably walks home through the rain.

In his room that night, the crank flashlight begins to die out, with Buster getting tired of charging it and tiring out his arms. Bitzi comes in with organic vegetables and smells something odd. Buster shows her that he was trying to make butter in a bucket, but thinks it's mayonnaise. Finally fed up, Bitzi throws the bucket away and proclaims that Buster will be sleeping with the heat on that night.

That night, Buster has a dream where he finds himself in a very cold room with a candle as his only source of warmth and light, which gets blown out once he sneezes. The aliens from earlier show up. Buster tries to give chase on a mule, but it won't go anywhere and the aliens flee.

In school the next day, Mr. Ratburn tells his class that their report on their favorite educational TV program is due on Monday. Buster tells Mr. Ratburn that TV is against his beliefs, and the class laughs. Mr. Ratburn suggests it can be a report about his favorite educational book instead, and it can't be a picture book.

At lunch, Buster is sitting alone eating radishes when Mrs. MacGrady comes over with a bowl of homemade soup for him to eat. She reveals she also spent a lot of time with the Amish people, and what Buster is doing isn't Amish; Mrs. MacGrady gets Buster to point out that he's feeling lonely and miserable while the people at Lapp farm were happy because they had each other. Mrs. MacGrady leaves Buster with the message of “It’s no use cooking dinner for six, if you end up eating alone”.

After school, Buster walks by Arthur's house and sees that Arthur is practicing the piano; he thinks of himself playing the tuba along with him. When Buster arrives home, he gives up being Amish and uses the phone to call Arthur, saying he wants to do something Amish with everyone.

At Arthur's house, the gang is shown building a dog house for Pal. Bitzi comes by with pizza, which she made herself from scratch. Noting it as the best he's ever eaten, Buster saves a slice as the first pizza ever made from Baxter hands.






Episode connections[edit]


  • At the end, Buster takes a bite from his slice of homemade pizza, but when he holds it up, it is still whole and lacking any bite marks.
  • Throughout the episode in Mr. Ratburn's classroom on the board is a math problem saying 2 x 4 = 7 when the answer is actually 8, he also put a + between the 4 and 7 instead of =.

Cultural references[edit]

  • When Mrs. MacGrady first greets Buster, she says "Guten Tag", which translates to "Good Day" in German. This may refer to the fact that the actual Amish community are of Swiss-German heritage.

Home Video[edit]



:Main article: Buster's Amish Mismatch/Gallery