Sesame Street
Baby Bear stops sucking his thumb
Air date February 17, 1997
Season Season 28 (1996-1997)
Written by Belinda Ward
Sponsors U, 20
This episode guide has been compiled from script materials provided by a trusted source.


Picture Segment Description

SCENE 1 Gina welcomes the viewer to a special day at day care and lets Baby Bear explain it. Today, he, Big Bird and the kids will be celebrating him finally stop sucking his thumb, a pervious bad habit of his. Gina calls in all the kids (including Samantha) to listen to the story of how he stopped, but first, he introduces the "guest of honor": his thumb (which he's named Gerald). He launches into a gospel song about how much he's growing up and doesn't need to suck his thumb anymore.
Cartoon A girl fantasizes what she could do without leaving her room if her nose, ears, legs, and arms got bigger.
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Song "We're All Growin'"
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Cartoon A man (Jim Thurman) is interrupted as he tries to recite the alphabet.
Artist: Cliff Roberts
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Muppets Grover sings "I Do Not Crawl Around Much Anymore."
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Cartoon A baby and father illustrate up and down.
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Film Coverage of a spring kite-flying festival, where both kids and grownups can participate.
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Cartoon African quilt pattern
(First: Episode 3145)
SCENE 2 Baby Bear plays "Where is Thumbkin?" with Gerald, when Big Bird reminds him about his story. Baby Bear sets the scene a year prior, following a visit to the dentist...
SCENE 2 cont'd Papa Bear and Mama Bear remind Baby Bear that if he keeps sucking his thumb, he could hurt his teeth. Baby Bear tries to give it up, but ultimately cannot bring himself to do so.
SCENE 2 cont'd Big Bird is confused; he thought the story was about how Baby Bear gave up sucking his thumb. Baby Bear explains it was a long, difficult process and now feels too drained to continue, needing to play "Where is Thumbkin?" some more.
Cartoon A girl recites a poem about her first loose tooth.
Artist: ArtistMike
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Song "Take Care of That Smile"
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Muppets When Frazzle is scared of going to the dentist, his mother tries to comfort him by telling him what a good time he will have. In the end, the dentist turns out to be scared of Frazzle.
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Cartoon Letter U salesman
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Film The letter U dances at the beach.
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Animation Sand U/u
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SCENE 3 Everyone continues playing the game, until Big Bird grows weary and asks to hear the rest of the story. Baby Bear continues, where his parents have hired a thumb specialist to help him...
SCENE 3 cont'd The specialist turns out to be Little Jack Horner, to Baby Bear's surprise. Jack claims to have been a thumb-sucker too, until he starting using his thumb to pull out plums from his Christmas pie. He encourages Baby Bear to give it a try and he pulls out a plum! Jack shows him what he does with it afterward: sucks on it, which doesn't improve Baby Bear's problem.
SCENE 3 cont'd Before Baby Bear can continue with the story, he needs some plum pie for strength, which he sticks his thumb into.
Film Wegman's Dogs: Little Jack Horner
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Cartoon "Island of Emotion"
Artist: Sally Cruikshank
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Film Children in Jamaica learn how to make their own tie-dyed shirts.
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Cartoon Number Creatures #20
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Muppets Muppet & Kid MomentJohn-John and Herry Monster count to twenty.
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Film A judo class does 20 jumping jacks.
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SCENE 4 Baby Bear has been twiddling his thumbs, which he states clams him down. His story continues...
SCENE 4 cont'd The Bears have hired Dr. T. Beary Bearzelton to help. He demonstrates in and out by instructing Baby Bear to keep his thumb out, only Baby Bear can't keep it out. Dr. Bearzelton finds himself enjoying sucking his thumb now.
SCENE 4 cont'd Baby Bear gets choked up remembering how much support his parents provided him in his time of need. He twiddles his thumbs some more to cheer himself up.
Cartoon A red scribble demonstrates out and in.
Artist: Fred Garbers
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Film Stefan goes to the doctor and gets a checkup.
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Muppets "Do De Rubber Duck"
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Cartoon A U train spells the words "unite," "U-turn," "underground," "up," and "universe."
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Celebrity Melissa Etheridge sings "Like the Way U Does."
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Cartoon A man (voiced by Jack Dodson) describes places that begin with U and what you can do with the letter U.
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SCENE 5 Baby Bear is finally ready to finish his thrilling story, where Papa Bear and Mama Bear perform one last-ditch effort...
SCENE 5 cont'd Mama Bear brings home some crayons for Baby Bear to draw with. He really wants to draw, but finds he's unable; his drawing paw is the one he likes sucking on. His parents encourage him to just trying drawing for a bit instead and he finds he loves it!
SCENE 5 cont'd Since then, Baby Bear states he was drawing much more often and never went back to sucking his thumb. "Gerald" prefers is this way too.
Animation A group of round crayons draws a house, and is hesitant to let a square yellow crayon join, until it draws the sun. They all cooperate to make a rainbow.
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Film / Animation A class makes up a story about going to the zoo, which is told through animation based on the kids’ drawings.
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Muppets Two flowers, a baby sparrow, and two bunnies sing "That's How I Got Here."
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Cartoon Pizza maker Original Jay demonstrates how he got his name: his pizzas talk and dance.
Artist: Mo Willems
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Film A girl learns how to jump rope.
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Cartoon Geronimo 10-0 (parachute under haystack)
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SCENE 6 Baby Bear delivers a message to the viewer, telling them to follow his example when the time is right. He leads everyone in a reprise of his growing up song and Gina announces the sponsors.
COMING SOON Coming Soon on Sesame Street: Snuffy happily marches in a little parade.


  • Additional performers include Jerry Nelson (as Dr. Bearzelton), Peter Linz (as Little Jack Horner and AM boy at day care) and Alice Dinnean (as AM girl at day care).
  • While announcing the sponsors at the end of the episode, Gina once refers to Sesame Street as just "Sesame."

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