|Season 3, Episode 1|
|Air date||September 17, 1988|
|Written by||John Paragon|
|Directed by||John Paragon & Paul Rubens|
To Tell The Tooth
Reba Eats and Pterri Runs is the 1st episode of Pee-Wee's Playhouse season 3.
In the season premiere, Herman writes a pen pal letter and wishes Reba over to come over to mail it; it turns out to be Reba's day off so he invites her over for breakfast, which to her anger was an imaginary meal and not a real one. Later, Herman builds a huge card tower. Pterri dives into it and smashes it down, angering him. Pterri apologizes. Later, Pterri drinks water from the Fish's tank and Herman orders him to go to his nest.
While Herman is calling Mrs. Rene on the Picturephone, Pterri becomes guilty in his nest. He thinks nobody likes him anymore, so Randy talks him into running away. After Mrs. Rene hangs up, the manchild finds a note from Pterri which says he is running away from the Playhouse due to nobody not liking him anymore, which shocks him. Herman sternly asked Randy if he did talk to Pterri about running away from the Playhouse, and Randy said yes because he believed that he hated Pterri. The manchild tells Randy that he never hated Pterri, because he likes him. He also told him that he is mad with him, because he didn't like what he did, but that doesn't mean he doesn't like him anymore. Randy apologizes and runs out to find Pterri.
Herman asked Mr. Window, Clocky, and the ants if they've seen Pterri, but they told him "no". Everyone in the Playhouse felt bad for the way they treated Pterri, and it's all their fault. Herman wishes for Pterri to come back, but Jambi told him that he already granted his one wish, and he can't wish his problems away. Herman tearfully holds a portrait of Pterri and admits to him that he missed him so much, but Pterri overheard this. He was hiding under the bed the whole time. Herman tells Pterri that when he has a problem, he should talk about it instead of running away, because running away will only make his problem worse. Pee-wee offers Pterri a ride in his scooter, but Pterri declines, because everyone in the Playhouse wants to play with Pterri as a way to apologize for the way they treated him. He says good-bye to his friends, and tell them to have fun "now".
- Season 3 only had 2 episodes. The reason was because Paul Reubens was busy making "Big Top Pee-wee" at the time (a complete box office and critical failure compared to Big Adventure, only clocking $15 million at the box office and met with very negative reviews, even to this day) and that the 1988 Writers' Guild strike was happening.
- The Name Song was first sung in this episode but was cut due to time constraints in later airings and the 2004 DVD re-releases. It would later be attempted again in the episode Something to Do.
- Both times, Conky does not join in (due to being asleep).
- Ricardo and Reba visit in this episode.
- The secret word was said and screamed at 14 times.
- Mrs. Rene calls on the Picture Phone.
- When the King of Cartoons comes, a red carpet is rolled out like he is a star walking to a Hollywood movie premiere.
- The events of this episode will be mentioned again in Playhouse for Sale, with Pterri's line "I didn't really run away; I just hid under the bed." re-recorded by John Paragon (one of the many lines that were re-recorded from their original deliveries).
- Irony: When Randy tells Pterri he should just run away, Pterri could have said no. He should just talk through his problems.
- Secret word: now
- Connect-the-dots: none
- Snack: Imaginary breakfast feast
- Wish: Reba would come over. Pee-wee later tries to wish Pterri would come back, but Jambi of course refuses.
- After the first couple of times that this episode aired on CBS, it stopped showing the part at the very beginning, the "My Name Is..." song, for an unknown reason. It skipped to the scene showing Ricardo entering the Playhouse to find out the day's secret word. The 1996 VHS release and Fox Family airings of this episode reinstated the song. However, the segment was again dropped on DVD releases, Adult Swim airings, and video streaming services.
- Ricardo: I gotta go, Pee.
- Pee-wee: Right now? (everyone else screams)
- Ricardo: (laughs) Well, bye for...now! (everyone else screams again)
- Pee-wee: Hi, Reba.
- Reba: Pee-wee?
- Pee-wee: How's it goin'?
- Reba: What are you doin' in my house?
- Pee-wee: I'm not in your house. You're in the Playhouse!
- Reba: The Playhouse?! How did I get here?
- Jambi: Uh-oh.
- Reba: Jambi, did you put a wish on me?
- Jambi: He made me do it!
- (at breakfast)
- Pterri: I want to sit next to Reba.
- Pterri: But you've got all the room in the world.
- Globey: I am the world.
- (Pterri accidentally knocks over Pee-wee's house of cards) Pee-wee: Pterri!
- Pterri: Oops!
- Pee-wee: Pterri, I told you not to play Acapulco Cliff Diver in the Playhouse!
- Pterri: I'm sorry. Will you go outside and play with me now? (everyone else screams)
- Pee-wee: After you've picked up each and every one of these cards.
- Pee-wee: Jambi, Pterri ran away. I wish he'd come back!
- Jambi: Pee-wee, I've already granted you one wish. And besides, you just can't wish your problems away.
- Pee-wee: Well, I seem to have been able to do it until now! (everyone else screams)
- Pee-wee: Pterri, just because you have problems at home, that doesn't mean you should run away. You only people who care about you the most.
- Pterri: I'm sorry, Pee-wee.
- Pee-wee: That's okay, Pterri. The most important thing is that you're back.