This article is about the 2003 adaption of The Berenstain Bears' Trouble at School. For information about the book it's based on, see here.
Trouble at School
Trouble at School card

Episode #



January 14, 2003

Written by

Brian Lasenby


The Trouble With Grown-Ups


Too Much TV

Trouble at School is an episode of the first season in The Berenstain Bears. In this episode, Brother falls ill and has the time of his life in bed. However, he casts aside his schoolwork and forgets about the test the next day.


Brother has been on a roll with sports and his schoolwork. However, he falls ill and Mama says not to overexert himself, and gives him some comics to read. This works too well, as Brother neglects the makeup work that Sister delivers to him. When Brother recovers, he feels up the creek without a paddle. To further disrupt his concentration, he hears his cousin, Freddy, boasting about he is no longer a second-stringer on the soccer team, whereas before he normally subbed for Brother. This causes Brother anger that he has lost his coveted first string position. Brother's class is then made to take a giant math test they had spent time preparing for whilst Brother was out, causing Brother to remark to himself "Oh yeah!" about the schoolwork Sister delivered to him. Even in an unprepared state, Brother may have squeaked by on the test, as he was good with numbers. However, he was so angry at Freddy's promotion he did not concentrate on the test. Some time later, the results are in. Brother's test is evaluated "VERY POOR! Must be signed by parent". When Brother returns home, Sister is sneezing up a storm. Mama says Sister must have caught Brother's malady, and does not even greet Brother as she is focused on Sister's illness. Brother takes advantage of this to hide his test.

The next morning, Brother misses the school bus, however, he did it on purpose! Hiding in the bushes until the bus departs, Brother then goes atop a bluff. Making a paper airplane out of his horror of a math test, Brother throws it into the air, figuring it is now gone. Brother then stomps his way down a back road, ranting how everything always goes wrong for him and how come the world is not perfect like his parents say it should be. The frogs and birds steer clear of Brother on the warpath. Brother then sees an old, deflated soccer ball and kicks it into a ditch, shouting "I hate soccer too!"

Brother continues his rant until he is noticed by his grandparents, whose house is on that road. Gramps and Gran figure something is wrong as they did not expect to see Brother during school hours. With some gentle prodding, Gramps gets Brother to open up about his problem, so he takes Brother to the swamp where they see a coach submerged in the peat. Brother asks how did this happen, and Gramps explains one day many years ago he momentarily lost control of the coach, and foolishly kept on going through the forest shouting to himself how nothing ever comes easy, until he intentionally drove the coach into the swamp. Gramps explains that proved an expensive and foolish mistake as a costly item such as the coach was unable to be dredged from the swamp, and all this could have been avoided had he simply taken a moment to gather his thoughts and change course, accepting that there are some unavoidable moments in life when things do not go our way. Gramps takes notice of a paper airplane in the brambles and recognizes it as Brother's horror of a math test, and wryly comments things thrown away have a way of coming back to you. Gramps then takes Brother home. Mama and Papa are certainly angry to learn about Brother's test and that he skipped school, but they also realize Gramps set Brother right, so they sign the test. Gramps also brought cookies his wife made, and Brother deduces that if everyone in the family got an equal share, that would be two, to which Gramps remarks he just grasped division!

Mama then tells Brother to get in the car. When he asks where they are going, she says to school. When Brother remarks it is late, she says "it is never too late to correct a mistake" and that Brother need not be concerned about his peers, only with Brother. He arrives just as math class begins. The teacher says that some tests were ruined and since most kids did horribly, maybe it was his fault for giving such a tough test. Brother takes the test and when it is returned to him, it is evaluated as "VERY GOOD".

At an upcoming soccer game, Brother is on the starting team while Freddy is benched again. The coach asks if Brother can handle this game, and he replies "It is never too late to correct a mistake!" and plays hard. However, Brother asks why Freddy was back on the bench, and the coach says Freddy is still not ready for the first string, but has been making progress. Rather than gloat, Brother praises Freddy for sharpening his skills.

Differences From the Book

  • The book began with Brother and Sister coming home from school, and Brother suddenly got sick. The episode began when Sister came home from school, and Brother was at home in bed feeling better.
  • In the book, it was thought that Brother was the only one to fail his quiz. In the episode, it is revealed that the rest of Teacher Bob's class passed the quiz, meaning that Brother was the only one who failed.
  • In the book rather than crumbling up his test and yelling "Phooey on school! Phooey on math! Phooey on everything!" and kicking his test into a hollow log, Brother instead goes on a hill, turns his test into a paper airplane and throws it. Later, Gramps finds it and gives it to Brother.
  • In the book, Gramps takes Brother back to the treehouse to help him work on his division, and Mama taking him to school. In the episode, Gramps takes Brother back to the treehouse, and they show Brother's test to Mama and Papa.
  • In the book, Brother returns to Teacher Bob's class to find that all of the students had failed the quiz, and Teacher Bob gave them a retake. In the episode, Brother gets caught up on his schoolwork while the rest of the class was at recess.

Watch Episode

The Berenstain Bears - Trouble At School Full Episode

The Berenstain Bears - Trouble At School Full Episode