The Build-A-Bear Workshop is a franchise focused on selling toys and is aimed at children. Its selling point is that customers may customize the toy to their liking. This includes stuffing the toy bear or animal and clothing it. They also sell other teddy bear and stuffed animal memorabilia.
At the start of the "The Pandemic Special", Butters asks his dad if they can go to Build-A-Bear as they have recently reopened after their closure due to COVID-19. However, Stephen insists that they are not patronizing non-essential businesses. Later in the episode, Butters has a meltdown in the school cafeteria due to pent-up frustration of his trip to Build-A-Bear being continuously delayed. He was supposed to go there on March 16 as a reward for going for dental treatment. However, the workshop had to close due to COVID-19. His trip is delayed so long that in October, he still has not been able to go. He lashes out that no one has told him the truth - that he is never going to Build-A-Bear.
Later, Stan decides to break out all the students quarantined in the school so they can take Butters to Build-A-Bear. Stan, Kyle, and Cartman take Butters there while hiding from the cops who are going around shooting the escaped students. Although they made an appointment, they arrive to see the shopkeeper James closing the store. James explains that the store has to be closed because someone with a mustache entered it previously.
After James leaves, a desperate Stan decides to break into the store. He gets Butters to customize the bear he wants to build. Stan desperately and unsuccessfully attempts to operate the bear stuffing machine and ends up destroying the bear. He tries to fix the bear by putting it into the store's Do-over A Bear machine and is shocked to see that it shreds and burns defective products.
As he desperately continues trying to build bears, Kyle tells him to let it go but he refuses. The cops show up at the store, warning them to get out in five minutes or be fired at. Stan attempts to build a bear in the remaining five minutes. Just as the police are about to open fire, Randy shows up and surrenders the pangolin that he had been hiding all along as he decides to own up and let the scientists discover the truth that he is responsible for COVID-19. However, Cartman does not want the pandemic ended because he does not want to return to school. He takes the pangolin to the Do-over A Bear machine to kill and destroy it. Stan yells at him to stop. Stan finally breaks down, realizing that this whole time, it is him, not Butters, who is unable to take the shutdowns anymore and is desperate for things to go back to normal.
Upon hearing this, Cartman has a change of heart and surrenders the pangolin to the scientist. However, President Garrison suddenly shows up with a flamethrower and burns the scientist and pangolin to death, before happily asking people to vote at the upcoming election.