Dave and the Giant Pickle is the fifth episode in the VeggieTales animated series. Also, this video was the first time Larry the Cucumber was LarryBoy. It was released in 1996. Subtitled "A Lesson in Self-Esteem", it sends the message that with God's help humans can accomplish anything we set our minds to. The lesson is illustrated through a retelling of the Bible story of Dave and Goliath from the Book of Samuel.
The countertop opens with Larry the Cucumber dressed as the superhero LarryBoy. Backed by a cardboard cityscape, Larry declares that the world needs a hero, a hero, a superhero, and then gets stuck to the wall by his plunger ears while he shows off. When Bob the Tomato enters and asks about the superhero costume, Larry explains that he doesn't feel special, that "plain old Larry" is "plain old boring". This of course dovetails with the viewer's letter, Myra Eggleston of Youngstown, Pennsylvania, about self-esteem, and Bob starts the story.
The story begins in the desert near Jerusalem, Israel where Dave (Junior Asparagus) and his brothers (Jimmy Gourd, Jerry Gourd and Tom Grape) are tending a flock of sheep. These sheep tend to tip over a lot which keeps the shepherds busy. Worse, Dave's brothers are constantly picking on him by purposely tipping over their sheep and forcing Dave to pick them up, or making him get them food while he is working.
Their father Jesse (Pa Grape) comes with the news that the Philistines are attacking, and that King Saul (Archibald Asparagus) is gathering an army to face the threat. All the brothers run to volunteer, but Dave is stopped by Jesse who tells him that "big people do big things and little people do little things," so Dave must stay and tend the sheep.
At King Saul's camp, the Israelites and the Philistines (portrayed by the French Peas) make a deal to end the war quickly. They agree to have their champions, their two greatest fighters, face off. The tribe whose champion is victorious shall win the war, and the losing tribe will become their slaves. Seeing as how the Philistines aren't especially big, King Saul agrees. However, he faints in fright when his opponents bring out their champion: the massive and towering Goliath, the Giant Pickle.
The story breaks here for Silly Songs with Larry. The number is "I Love My Lips", in which Larry, lying on a psychiatrist's couch, confesses his love for his lips and his fear of losing them. As the psychiatrist (Archibald) tries to understand Larry's fear, Larry becomes increasingly focused on lips, to the point where everything the cucumber sees during a Rorshach test is a lip.
The story then resumes. Naturally, no one is willing to fight Goliath and proceed to stall him for forty days by running and hiding. Eventually, Dave is sent to the camp to deliver some food to his brothers, and he is ashamed at the sight of his brothers and the rest of the Israelites cowering in fear. Dave then goes to King Saul and tells him that he will fight Goliath. King Saul is skeptical but reluctantly grants his permission, though he does attempt to make Dave over with his royal armor and sword. However, they are much too big, and Dave resolves to go into battle just as he is.
Dave goes into battle armed only with stones, a sling, and his faith in God, while Goliath dons boxing gloves. The battle is short: Dave slings a stone at Goliath and hits him between the eyes, sending the Giant Pickle falling to the ground in defeat. Realizing their loss, the Philistines panic and run away, while the Israelites congratulate Dave for his victory and his faith.
Back on the countertop, Bob explains that through God, all things are possible. This means that little people can do big things and that Larry doesn't need to dress up as a superhero to be special. Regardless, Larry still wants to be Larry-Boy, which is okay with Bob so long as Larry is just as comfortable with being himself. As Larry resumes his Larry-Boy act, he gets himself stuck on the camera as the credits roll.
- Junior Asparagus as Dave
- Jimmy Gourd, Jerry Gourd, and Tom Grape as Dave's brothers
- Goliath as himself (debut)
- Pa Grape as Jesse (Dave's father)
- Archibald Asparagus as King Saul
- The French Peas (Jean-Claude, Philippe and Christoph) as the Philistine Generals and additional Philistines.
- Lenny and other Peas as additional Israelites.
- Larry the Cucumber as LarryBoy (LarryBoys Debut)
In addition to the ubiquitous "VeggieTales Theme Song" and "What We Have Learned," this episode contains the following two songs:
- Big Things Too!
- I Love My Lips
- This is the first time that Larry was Larry-Boy.
- At the story's beginning, Jimmy and Jerry Gourd (playing the roles of two of Dave's brothers) talk about how hungry they are. Jerry's line, "Sometimes, I think I could eat a whole spaceship" and the dialog that follows is a reference to the duo's first appearance in "Are You My Neighbor?" story, "The Gourds Must Be Crazy." The exchange is very similar.
- Bob tells Larry-Boy the story of the Israelite's battle with the Philistines, prompting Larry-Boy to ask, "Uh Bob ... what are the Philippines?" Bob responds, "The Philippines are a group of islands off the coast of south east Asia. But that's not important right now! The Philistines were people who hated Israel!" The joke is a take off of many similar jokes in the movie "Airplane!"
- When the French Peas first appear, they are taunting the Israelites. The "translation" which appears at the bottom of the screen, the fact that they speak with French accents, and the fact that they are taunting so humorously points to the fact that the producers of VeggieTales are drawing an allusion to the film, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," in which King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table are taunted by French soldiers who have taken over an English castle.
- As Goliath first approaches the scene, King Saul (Archibald Asparagus) glances down at his shaking cup of water, seeing the movement caused by the "impact tremors" of the giant pickle's steps. This is a clear reference to the hit film "Jurassic Park," in which the impact tremors from a dinosaur are seen in a shaking water glass.
- The pizza box which Dave (Junior Asparagus) brings to his brothers on the battle field has on it a picture of a lion carrying a pizza. This is a clear allusion to "Daniel and the Lions' Den" ("Where's God When I'm S-Scared?"). In this story, as Daniel (Larry the Cucumber) is leaving the Lion's den he says to the lions, "See you guys later! Thanks for the pizza!"
- Dave sure is going to sing a song, and King Saul knows it when he hears the music begin to play. "You're not going to sing, are you?" he asks. "Couldn't you just play your harp and I'll throw things at you?" The line is a reference to the biblical account of Dave and Saul, which tells of Dave playing the harp for Saul (see 1 Samuel 16:23) and Saul trying to kill Dave by throwing things at him (see 1 Samuel 18:10-11, 19:9-10). As Dave sings the song "Little Guys Can Do Big Things," he leaps up onto King Saul's throne as he says, "With His [God's] help I know I can do big things!" This alludes to the biblical account of the fact that Dave would later succeed Saul as king over all Israel.
- The Israelites celebrate wildly after Dave defeats Goliath. As they throw things into the air in celebration, watch for the graduation cap (mortarboard)! Love My Lips!
- There are three pictures hanging on the wall behind Dr. Archibald. One is the Mountains of Fibble from Are You My Neighbor?, on which sits the towns of Flibber-o-Loo and Jibberty-lot. Another is a picture of Archibald Asparagus wearing his bowtie.
- Larry's line, "On the day I got my tooth, I had to kiss my great aunt Ruth - she had a beard, and it felt weird" is a reference to "The Gourds Must Be Crazy" on the video "Are You My Neighbor?" in the song "I Can Be Your Friend," Jerry Gourd asks, "Is it my imagination, or does Aunt Ruth have a beard?" A glimpse of Aunt Ruth can finally be seen in Phil Vischer's Veggiecational book, "Bob and Larry's ABCs."
- Larry is seeing lips everywhere! Watch the flashcards go by as Dr. Archibald administers an ink blot test. You'll see the familiar mug of Sonny Bono ("Sonny and Cher" musician-turned-U.S. Congressman), as well as the number 6.023 x 10^23. This is an approximation of Avagadro's Number, a chemistry unit measuring the number of molecules in one mole of a substance. Keep in mind that after Sonny Bono died in 1998, the picture was changed to a caricature of Mike Nawrocki.