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Paste Makes Waste
Season 1, Episode 8A
Episode name pun on: The phrase Haste Makes Waste
PasteMakesWaste
Airdate: January 13, 1999
Credits
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky and Craig McCracken
Story: Don Shank
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"Mr. Mojo's Rising"
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"Ice Sore"
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Paste Makes Waste is the 15th episode of Season 1.

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Episode Summary

Elmer Sglue‘s habit of eating paste goes awry when he turns into a giant paste monster after eating paste that became radioactive from a fly. It is up to Buttercup to admit her actions to Elmer by her least favourite way, apologizing.

Plot

The episode begins at Pokey Oaks Kindergarten, where Ms. Keane and the kindergarteners are making crafts with popsicle sticks. As she takes roll call, she notices Elmer Sglue is not responding like he normally would. The camera zooms to him sticking his hand into a tub of paste and putting it in his mouth.

Not one to take to the odd behavior, fellow student Mitch Mitchelson disgustedly calls him a "paste-eater", and a round of bullying and name-calling for his paste-eating habit erupts within the classroom. Though Blossom and Bubbles observe the harassment within the class with disapproval, Buttercup finds pleasure in contributing as she pelts him with a glob of paste and brings him to tears. Ms. Keane commands the guilty Buttercup to apologize to Elmer for her actions unbecoming, but stalls long enough for the class to run out the room for recess. Ms. Keane later helps Elmer clean himself up after the incident, explaining that despite Buttercup's actions (and those of almost all of the other children) being condemnable, his paste-eating is an imitable act that she herself does not recommend. As Elmer later joins the rest of the group for recess, he sits alone voicing his ill feelings towards Buttercup for the incident as he eats through a jar of paste.

Meanwhile, the story cuts to a large industrial facility, where someone accidentally kicks down a vial containing a mutagenic toxic sample and it smashes to the floor. He uses a rag to clean it up but sees green glowing material on it. Another person wipes his face with it, and tentacles grow from his cheeks. The rag is eventually discarded, where a fly finds it in a trash truck and eats the contaminated product, causing him to mutate.

With its ability to fly being compromised by the mutations, the fly eventually makes its way to Elmer's paste jar, where Elmer eats a handful of its contents along with the fly. Further bullying continues in the schoolyard when Mitch teases him pushes him down while he tries to stand up. Sickened, however, by the exposure to toxins, Elmer then assumes the form of paste itself, transforming him into a towering, slimy, white paste monster.

Elmer's rage in the schoolyard leads him to torture his colleagues and the school proper, even by flicking his classmates every which way. Seeing too much carnage, Buttercup tries to intervene solo but fails after getting tacked to the wall. Blossom and Bubbles are also reluctant to help her stop him after her involvement in the earlier bullying incident until he smashes the school itself and takes Ms. Keane herself hostage. As the Girls begin to try to fight the monstrous Elmer. Blossom and Bubbles get slammed into the wall when he throws a paste-covered Ms. Keane towards them and sets his sights on the unsuspecting Townsville. Using a heat ray to dry the paste, the girls break free and pursue him.

Townsville, on the other hand, sees the other part of Elmer's rage, from bowling over the tallest buildings with paste to stepping on innocent civilians. The girls catch up with him and try to confront him physically, but they become attached to the monster in the melee, and until Buttercup apologizes, they will be stuck in the monster's body. Buttercup, however, decides that she could fight him. She attempts to use a heat ray on Elmer and dusts herself with flour to minimize the chance of her sticking to him. This proves difficult, for his body regenerates and changes form to compensate for damage. With her combat strategy failing, Buttercup realizes that apologizing is the only way to stop Elmer, and she succumbs to her guilt to do just that. As the monster hears her take back the insults towards him, he forgives her and frees Blossom and Bubbles.

Later, Townsville is seen rebuilt with copious amounts of Elmer's paste, and Buttercup thanks him for helping to rebuild the school and Townsville proper. Elmer tells her that she is cool and Buttercup tells him that they must stick together.

Trivia

  • The Howie scream can be heard in this episode if you listen closely (when Elmer steps on someone after he's mutated from the paste).
  • Elmer Sglue is a reference to the brand "Elmer's Glue".
  • The title is a play on Benjamin Franklin's quote, "Haste makes waste".
  • This episode is loosely based on the book, "Bartholomew and the Oobleck", by Dr. Seuss.
  • This episode marks the first time that any of the girls have behaved aggressively towards one of their classmates (Buttercup picking on/harming Elmer, in this case).
  • In later episodes, Elmer can be seen as a normal kid once again.
  • Even though Buttercup and Elmer become good friends at the end of the episode, they are never seen talking to or interacting with each other for the rest of the series. The only other Buttercup/Elmer related activity displayed is in the episode "Substitute Creature" where Buttercup imagines a horrid dialogue exchange between Mr. Green and Elmer.
Powerpuff Girls Alcoholic Dad Drawing
  • In several shots, while in the classroom, there is a drawing on the wall by an unknown student showing an enraged, alcoholic father with the word "Daddy" written underneath (most notably visible when Buttercup is about to throw paste at Elmer). This is the only instance in the series where domestic violence is implied in an episode.
    • A similar picture was seen at the end of the Dexter's Laboratory episode, "Sister Mom". This episode, coincidentally referenced to domestic child abuse as well, more than once. Earlier in that episode, they included a one-off joke that suggested a little girl's father gave her a black eye.

Moral

Bullying is wrong.