“"Please" and "Thank you" help quite a lot, to make a polite bear out of one who is not.”
—Opening quote for The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners
The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners is a Berenstain Bears book written by Stan and Jan Berenstain that was originally published on August 17, 1985. It was later adapted into an episode of The Berenstain Bears.
The Bear family is usually polite, but one day, they be rude to one another and forget to say "Please" and "Thank you". Mama then develops an idea on how and why good manners are important everywhere they go.
The book begins with trouble at the Bears' house: trouble with manners. The reason why: Brother, Sister and Papa have forgot them. They are constantly forgetting to use words like "please" and "thank you", calling names, pushing each other around, poor dinner etiquette, among other things.
Mama eventually lays down the law, by coming up with a chart called the "politeness plan", where for each instance, proper manners are now shown, a penalty, in the form of an extra chore, is enforced. However, Sister and Brother are infuriated at Mama for "not being fair". Papa perks up at the idea, but he ends up dusting downstairs for interrupting Mama, and when Mama gave him the duster, he didn't say "thank you", and for that, he has to sweep the front steps. Sister wanted to know what a "rude noise" was, Papa demonstrated by blowing a raspberry, and he also has to weed the garden.
Brother and Sister try to show over-the-top politeness toward each other to avoid being penalized, and possibly drive Mama crazy enough to call the whole thing off. Mama isn't driven crazy by the ordeal, and soon enough Brother and Sister start unconsciously acting polite in a normal way. Papa is still having difficulty with his own manners, and is paying the price for it. The family then goes out to the supermarket. Papa was excited to be away from the chart, but his fun came to an end when Mama told him that the politeness thing was still in effect. Papa says she was going overboard with the chart thing, but he also added that people need common sense. For example, you don't just let people go ahead of you in line at the check-out for the sake of being polite. And there are some instances where interupting is necessary, as Papa interupts a fellow shopper to alert her to a bottle in her cart, has a leak and is making a mess. The fellow shopper thanks Papa for his help.
As they are leaving the supermarket, Papa bumps into another car, and starts calling the driver in front of him names, and for that, he would have to clean the whole cellar. The driver, a huge gruff looking bear, gets out of his car, and Papa smiles in apology. The driver apologizes to Papa for "stopping short", and reveals the reason he did was because some duck were crossing the road. Papa thanks everyone for having good manners.