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"The Big Pencil" is the 10th episode of the first season of Pepper Ann. It aired on October 18, 1997.


Pepper Ann vows to beat perennial Science Fair rival Alice Kane once and for all.


Pepper Ann despises Alice Kane, a student in her class who has won the science fair every year and has humiliated her with a variety of projects including the Possum in a Barrel (of which its purpose is never explained in the episode) and is always getting second place. Nicky attempts to calm Pepper Ann until she realizes that she truly has never won against Alice who snobbishly calls Pepper Ann "Pee Ann". She reveals her latest project is going to be a full-body muff for arctic expeditions. Pepper Ann decides to set herself to creating her latest science fair project and shuts herself in her room for the three weeks leading up to the presentation.

Pepper Ann finally finishes her project, but when Lydia asks if she will need a ride, Pepper Ann confronts her mother with a series of rules: pick her up in the back of the school, do not call her by any nicknames or baby names and most importantly, no hugging. Pepper Ann rushes to school and everyone presents their, less than stellar, science fair projects. Alice goes up to present her body muff which despite Pepper Ann worrying about her winning, it is clearly evident that her project is just as flawed as everyone else's.

Pepper Ann presents her project: a sandwich cookie that can be infused with gingivitis fighting chemicals. Her project clearly does not work and as she wrestles with it, it explodes covering the class and Mr. Carter with a special kind of chocolate. Nicky realizes that Pepper Ann accidentally invented tartar control frothachino which impresses everyone and she is awarded as the winner of the science fair. Pepper Ann meets Alice outside and she admits that it was not about beating her, but rather challenging herself. Alice congratulates her but tells her to be wary of the spotlight. Lydia picks up Pepper Ann and kisses her on the cheek; imagining everyone including the news coming down on her for the embarrassing gesture. Ultimately, Pepper Ann is just glad that she won the science fair.


Desk Gag

"Ooh, a bicentennial quarter!"


  • The "Susie Bake Oven" Moose refers to is a parody of the real-life Easy-Bake Oven.
  • When Pepper Ann runs out of the house in terror, her cell model (which is supposed to be in the foreground) crosses behind Lydia (who is supposed to be in the background).
  • When Pepper Ann is talking to her reflection in the final scene, her mouth is moving out of sync to the audio.
  • On Disney+, this episode segment and "Sani-Paper" are swapped.

External links

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Season 1: "Ziterella" • "Romeo and Juliet" / "Food Barn" • "Old Best Friend" / "Crunch Pod" • "Psychic Moose" / "Doll and Chain" • "Megablades of Grass" / "Family Vacation" • "The Big Pencil" / "Sani-Paper" • "Uniform Uniformity" / "Snot Your Mother's Music" • "The Environ-Mentals" • "Crush and Burn" / "Soccer Season" • "Thanksgiving Dad" • "Sketch 22" / "Manly Milo" • "Have You Ever Been Unsupervised" / "The Unusual Suspects" • "Nicky Gone Bad" / "In Support of"

Season 2: "Quiz Bowl" / "License to Drive" • "Cocoon Gables" / "Green-Eyed Monster" • "Hazelnut's Finest" / "Cat Scan" • "An OtterBiography" / "GreenSleeves" • "Vanessa Less Tessa" / "Peer Counselor P.A." • "A 'Tween Halloween" / "Mash into Me" • "Presenting Stewart Waldinger" / "P.A.'s Life in a Nutshell" • "Like Riding a Bike" • "Radio Freak Hazelnut" / "Framed" • "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Milo" / "The Sisterhood" • "Impractical Jokes" / "Cold Feet" • "Doppelganger Didi" / "Pepper Ann's Day Off-Kilter" • "A No Hair Day" / "That's My Dad"
Season 3: "You Oughta Be in Musicals!" • "Dances with Ignorance" / "Girl Power" • "Beyond Good and Evel" / "One of the Guys" • "The Wash-Out" / "Def Comedy Mom" • "The First Date Club" / "Unicycle of Life" • "A Kosher Christmas" • "Effie Shrugged" / "Mom Knows What P.A. Did Two Nights Ago" • "The Spanish Imposition" / "Single Unemployed Mother"
Season 4: "Burn, Hazelnut, Burn" / "Career Daze" • "G.I. Janie" / "Miss Moose" • "Pepper Shaker" / "Flaw and Order" • "Baggy Bean Buddies" / "The Beans of Wrath" • "The Velvet Room" • "One Angry Woman" • "The Sellout" / "The Telltale Fuzzy" • "A Valentine's Day Tune" • "Sammy's Song" / "Permanent Record" • "Live and Let Dye" • "Remote Possibilities" / "Considering Constance" • "To Germany with Love" • "Bye, Bye Trinket" / "P.A.'s Pop Fly" • "My Mother, Myself" • "The Amazing Becky Little" • "The Untitled Milo Kamalani Project" / "Guess Who's Coming to the Theater" • "The Great Beyond" / "Jaybirds of a Feather" • "The Way They Were"
Season 5: "The One with Mr. Reason" / "Sense and Senselessness" • "Forging Ahead" / "Reality Bytes" • "Carmello" / "Strike it or Not" • "Complimentary Colors" • "The Merry Lives of Pepper Ann" • "A is for Average" / "Alice Kane Went Down to Calcutta" • "Spice of Life" / "T.G.I.F." • "Dear Debby" / "Too Cool to Be Mom" • "Moose in Love" / "Two's Company" • "Zen and the Art of Milo" / "That's My Mama Destructo" • "Unhappy Campers" / "Searching for Pepper Ann Pearson" • "The Word" / "The Perfect Couple" • "The Finale"

Hazelnut Middle SchoolPepper Ann's House
See also
House of Mouse