Butterflies Are Free is the seventh and eighth episode (47th and 48th overall) of the third season which was broadcast on June 13, 2004.
The Meaning of Life Lesson
"Here's the thing...the tighter you hold on to something, especially something that needs to change and growth,the more greater chance you stand at loosing it. But if you'll let it go, if you'll let it fly at the time that need to. . . Well there's a darn good chance that it may come back to you." -Jonas Foutley
Ginger and her friends are graduating from Lucky Jr. High, and Ginger is asked to give the speech at graduation. She has trouble writing one, however, because it seems that she and her friends are being pulled in all different directions. Macie's new band mate has his eye on her, Darren gets involved in football, and Dodie with cheerleading. Carl and Hoodsey put the petrified eyeball, Blake's tonsils, and Mr. Licorice's tooth into a time capsule, which Polly Shuster tricked them into doing.
- Ginger Foutley
- Dodie Bishop
- Macie Lightfoot
- Darren Patterson
- Courtney Gripling
- Miranda Killgallen
- Lois Foutley
- Dr. David Dave
- Mrs. Patterson (cameo)
- Mr. Patterson (cameo)
- Winston (cameo)
- Mipsy Mipson (cameo)
- Joann Bishop (cameo)
- Dave Bishop (cameo)
- Bobbie Lightfoot (cameo)
- Bobby Lightfoot (cameo)
- Pep Squad Member #1, #2, #3
- Student Council #1
- Student Council #2
- Mrs. Jackson
- Andrew Starling
- News Reporter
- Coach Candace
- Principal Ericson
- Mr. Puttnam
- Mr. Guardino
- Mr. Minor
- Police Officer
- Football Player
- Jonas Foutley
- Ben (Jonas' dog)
- Claire Gripling
- Ms. Zorski
- Mr. Hepper
- Carl Foutley
- Hoodsey Bishop
- Blake Gripling
- Brandon Higsby
- Mr. Licorice
- Noelle Sussman
- Polly Shuster
- Terrence (cameo)
- Ian Richton (cameo)
- Chet Zipper (cameo)
- Hope Rogers (cameo)
Hoodsey: (referring to Brandon and the time capsule) Can we bury him in it? Carl: Criminal offense.
Hoodsey: Go ahead and put that eyeball in the time capsule and I'll give up my favorite hooded sweatshirt. The purple one.
Dodie: Detroit? What's in Detroit?
Ginger: (speaking in her mind) Maybe life is like a cross country road trip. You can get so focused on the enormity of the mission ahead, or staring straight out at the expansive road, that you fail to notice the stuff your passing by right at that moment.
Miranda: I'd can the Maria Von Trap act if I were you, Deirdre. Upperclassmen in high school eat girls like you for breakfast. (closes the door) Macie: I think all I usually have is a muffin.
Courtney: So sad about the kidney. But if you ask me, you might consider re-landscaping the school grounds. Ha, talk about Drabsville.
- In part 1, a blonde girl in the student council meeting asks if Ginger was the recipient of the Avalanche Arts fellowship. A callback to the episode "Far From Home".
- A brunette girl in the student council meeting also asks if Ginger was the one who came up with the student reformation program. A callback to the episode "Sibling Revile-ry".
- At the graduation ceremony, Mipsy can be seen wearing an eye patch. This is a callback to the previous episode, "About Face". She was hit in her right eye by accident whenever Courtney threw a pebble at Dodie's window.
- This is the last time we will see Ginger, Dodie, Macie, Darren, and Courtney's hair style short.
- This is the last time Dodie's hair will be in pig tails.
- All of the cheerleaders from the high school episodes are seen practicing except for Simone.
- Before the graduation ceremony, Darren tells Ginger that nothing will ever come between them. This foreshadows his relationship with Simone.
- This is the first time Courtney is bullied by the cheerleaders.
- The high school cheerleading teacher has a gap between her front teeth, however in the rest of the series, she dosen't have the gap.
- Carl and Noelle broke up.
- Lois has lost her weight and now has a new figure.
- A girl named Leandra Argyros had a bone marrow illness and was a Make-A-Wish patient. She was a fan of the series and watched it during her treatments. Her wish was to be a character on the show, so she appeared and voiced a character named after her in a scene during this episode where Ginger, Macie and Dodie greet her by name.
- The title of this two part episode shares the same name with the 1972 film (Eileen Heckart won an Academy Award) which is based on the play by Leonard Gershe.
- In part 2, when Carl rides on his bike with Hoodsey sitting in the front, they briefly ride in the air as they silhouette against the moon. A parody of the iconic scene in the 1982 Steven Spielberg film E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial.
- In part 2, Carl has a bad dream about what the future may hold. The dream is a parody of Dale Cooper's vision from the Twin Peaks episode "Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer".
- At the end of part 2, there are clips shown from previous episodes from Ginger's middle school days. This includes: