Arthur (season 1)

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Arthur (season 1)
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 30 (60 segments)
Original network PBS
Original release October 7 (1996-10-07) – November 15, 1996 (1996-11-15)
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2

The first season of the television series Arthur was originally broadcast on PBS in the United States from October 7, 1996[1][better source needed] to November 15, 1996 and contains 30 episodes. This season, like seasons 2, 3, and 4, was released on DVD in Europe only.


No. in
Title Written by Storyboarded by Original air date
1 1 "Arthur's Eyes / Francine's Bad Hair Day" Joe Fallon
Kathy Waugh
Gerry Capelle
October 7, 1996 (1996-10-07)
Arthur's Eyes: Arthur tells D.W. the story of how he got his glasses, and the teasing he received from Francine.
Francine's Bad Hair Day: Muffy is confident that Francine can have the prettiest picture of all, following bad pictures from previous years and helps Francine do so by visiting a salon. But it doesn't help as she ruins her hair and dress while playing kickball.
2 2 "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn / Arthur's Spelling Trubble" Joe Fallon John Pagan & Norm Roen
Jean Lajeunesse
October 8, 1996 (1996-10-08)
Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn: Arthur and his friends are horrified when they learn that their third grade teacher will be the infamous Mr. Ratburn.
Arthur's Spelling Trubble: Arthur practices for the spelling bee and competes against Prunella (who was last year's winner) and Alan (the Brain, the smartest kid in his class).
3 3 "D.W. All Wet / Buster's Dino Dilemma" Kathy Waugh
Matt Steinglass
Sylvain Proteau
Raymond Lebrun
October 9, 1996 (1996-10-09)
D.W. All Wet: The Reads go to the seashore to escape from the summer heat and everyone is having a wonderful time, except for D.W. who will not swim because she thinks there are octopuses in the water.
Buster's Dino Dilemma: Buster and Arthur discover a fossilized dinosaur footprint and take it home, despite it being against site rules.
4 4 "D.W.'s Imaginary Friend / Arthur's Lost Library Book" Ken Scarborough
Joe Fallon
Sylvain Proteau
Jean Lajeunesse
October 10, 1996 (1996-10-10)
D.W.'s Imaginary Friend: When Arthur and Buster find out about a new amusement park ride, they do not want D.W. to come along and embarrass them because she would bring Nadine, her imaginary friend, along too.
Arthur's Lost Library Book: Everyone loves the Scare-Your-Pants-Off series and the new book (The Mysterious Hand) is coming out. Arthur is the first to borrow it along with many other books at the same time, but when he collects the library books scattered around the house, he can't find the Scare-Your-Pants-Off book.
5 5 "Arthur's Pet Business / D.W. the Copycat" Joe Fallon Jean Lajeunesse
Stéfanie Gignac
October 11, 1996 (1996-10-11)
Arthur's Pet Business: Arthur starts his own pet business to prove he is responsible, which includes watching over the unfriendly dog Perky.
D.W. the Copycat: D.W. starts acting and dressing like Arthur and following him around. Arthur's friends start excluding him because they do not want D.W. around.
6 6 "Locked in the Library! / Arthur Accused!" Kathy Waugh
James Greenberg
John Flagg
October 14, 1996 (1996-10-14)
Locked in the Library!: Francine is mad at Arthur for telling everyone she looks like a marshmallow. Mr. Ratburn assigns them to work together on a project about heroes and heroines. With Francine still mad at Arthur, they go to the library together the next day at 3:00 to research their project, but because they fall asleep quickly and accidentally stay overnight, they get locked in. As they try to find a way out, Francine and Arthur must put aside their grudges and learn to work together.
Arthur Accused!: Arthur is in charge of the fundraiser for the Elwood City Fire Department. He leaves a bag of quarters from the fundraiser for Mrs. McGrady, who is distracted by a phone conversation. When she claims that she did not receive the quarters, Arthur is accused of stealing all the raised money, resulting in him having a week of after school detention and missing the school picnic, and giving Buster his first case as a Private Eye detective. Arthur is declared innocent right before the school picnic and is allowed to go.
7 7 "Arthur Goes to Camp / Buster Makes the Grade" Rowby Goren
Peter Hirsch
Sylvain Proteau
Nadja Cozic
October 15, 1996 (1996-10-15)
Arthur Goes to Camp: Arthur and his friends go to Camp Meadowcroak where everything is a competition between girls and boys.
Buster Makes the Grade: Buster is falling behind with his schoolwork and if he doesn't improve, he may have to repeat third grade. Arthur, Muffy, and Francine tutor him and help him study and he does well on the test.
8 8 "Arthur's New Puppy / Arthur Bounces Back" Joe Fallon
Tom Hertz
Hana Kukal
John Flagg
October 16, 1996 (1996-10-16)
Arthur's New Puppy: Arthur's new puppy, Pal is exactly what he wanted, but Arthur must train Pal to be a good dog or Pal will have to move out of the house.
Arthur Bounces Back: Arthur wants Moon Boots and tries different ways to get money to buy them. His mom gets him to clean the garage in exchange for $2. As he is cleaning it, Mrs. Tibble comes by, thinking there is a yard sale and buys a necklace, giving Arthur enough money to buy the Moon Boots. It turns out that the necklace is to be a gift from David to Jane and he has to earn the necklace back by doing chores.
9 9 "Arthur Babysits / Arthur's Cousin Catastrophe" Joe Fallon
Terence Taylor
Gerry Capelle
Jean Charles Fink
October 17, 1996 (1996-10-17)
Arthur Babysits: Arthur thinks that babysitting is the easiest job in the world until D.W. volunteers him to Tommy and Timmy Tibble.
Arthur's Cousin Catastrophe: Arthur's family is hosting a family reunion. Arthur spends his time avoiding his cousin Mo, and missing out on all the activities, because of experiences from past family reunions.
10 10 "Arthur's Birthday / Francine Frensky, Superstar" Joe Fallon Stéfanie Gignac
Darren Brereton
October 18, 1996 (1996-10-18)
Arthur's Birthday: Arthur and Muffy have their birthday parties on the same day and neither can change the date. Arthur comes up with a way to bring all his friends together for the birthday party.
Francine Frensky, Superstar: Francine has often had bad roles in school plays where she gets injured, and was unhappy with those roles. She finally gets a safer role as the lead, when Mr. Ratburn decides they will dramatize the story of Thomas Edison.
11 11 "Arthur's Baby / D.W.'s Baby" Joe Fallon Gerry Capelle October 21, 1996 (1996-10-21)
Arthur's Baby: Arthur and D.W.'s mom is pregnant with their baby sister Kate. Arthur is nervous, wondering what it would be like to have a new baby in the house. When the baby does come, he is worried that the baby hates him, as she always seems to cry when he is around.
D.W.'s Baby: Arthur tells D.W how she acted when Kate was born, starting after Kate was brought home for the first time in "Arthur's Baby". D.W. is excited but frustrated when she does not get to help with Kate. Kate's crib is moved into D.W.'s room but D.W. soon finds drawbacks to sharing a room with a baby. D.W. soon becomes jealous over the attention Kate is getting. She tries to get rid of Kate. When that does not work, she runs away thinking the family doesn't need her.
12 12 "Arthur Writes a Story / Arthur's Lost Dog" Joe Fallon Gerry Capelle
Sylvian Proteau
October 22, 1996 (1996-10-22)
Arthur Writes a Story: Arthur needs to write a story for homework, so he decides to write about how he got Pal (from "Arthur's Pet Business"). He is afraid that no one will like his story after D.W. informs him that it is boring. He begins fictionalizing the events and revising his story using advice from different people, as he tries to write a good story.
Arthur's Lost Dog: It is Downtown Day in Elwood City and the Reads are downtown attending the event. They pass a clown carrying balloons and Kate becomes inconsolable because she wants a balloon from the clown. Nobody in the family but Pal knows that. Pal runs off after a clown to get a balloon, but Arthur thinks he is running away from him.
13 13 "So Long, Spanky / Buster's New Friend" Peter Hirsch
Matt Steinglass
Jean Lajeunesse October 23, 1996 (1996-10-23)
So Long, Spanky: D.W.'s pet bird, Spanky, dies. She leaves a can of flowers on Spanky's grave after his funeral but finds a toad in there. Arthur takes her to the pet store to buy a new pet to replace Spanky, but they do not find one. The toad reappears several more times, following D.W., but she hates the toad since it will not leave her alone. When it does not reappear, she realizes that she misses it.
Buster's New Friend: Arthur and Buster are doing a project together, but Buster does not seem to have the time for the project or for Arthur or anyone else. All he does is talk about his new friend Mike. Arthur decides to return everything related to Buster. At Buster's house they become friends again and he finds out Mike is a teenager, who drives a car and was hired by Buster's Mom so that Buster can have a male role model.
14 14 "Arthur the Wrecker / Arthur and the True Francine" Joe Fallon
Kathy Waugh
Stéfanie Gignac
Angus Bungay
October 24, 1996 (1996-10-24)
Arthur the Wrecker: Arthur is addicted to a new computer game, Deep Dark Sea, playing even when he should not. When he gets to a new area he is excited about, he calls up Buster. When it appears that they have broken the computer, they look for Brain to help them fix it, but he cannot find the problem. Eventually, Jane fixes the computer and gets hooked on Deep Dark SeaNote: An alternate title for this episode is Arthur's Computer Adventure.
Arthur and the True Francine: Muffy and Francine were best friends since second grade, when Muffy was a new student. This episode is a flashback from that time. This particular memory is when Muffy and Francine decide to study together for an upcoming math test, but Muffy continually procrastinates, claiming that she knows her addition and subtraction. When the test day comes, Muffy cheats off of Francine's test and claims that she would never cheat, getting Francine into trouble which almost costs her her friendship with Francine. Francine is punished and has to stay after school, but she is needed to defeat Mighty Mountain in a softball game. Muffy tells the truth and it gets Francine out of trouble and the girls become friends.
15 15 "Arthur's Family Vacation / Grandpa Dave's Old Country Farm" Thomas LaPierre
Matt Steinglass
François Brisson
John Pagan & Norm Roen
October 25, 1996 (1996-10-25)
Arthur's Family Vacation: Arthur wants to go back to Camp Meadowcroak with Buster for the summer and tries to get out of the family vacation to the beach. He changes his mind with the mention of lobster and after several impediments, they finally make it to the beach. But soon, even more troubles arrive for the Read family, who soon make the best out of their troubles.
Grandpa Dave's Old Country Farm: Arthur and D.W. go to visit their Grandpa Dave who lives on an old rundown farm. The farm has been in the family for 150 years and Grandpa Dave does not want help running it. Arthur and D.W. are concerned by the state of things and try to help him fix up the farm with the help of one Grandpa Dave's friends.
16 16 "Arthur and the Crunch Cereal Contest / D.W. Flips" Peter Hirsch Jean Lajeunesse
Gerry Capelle
October 28, 1996 (1996-10-28)
Arthur and the Crunch Cereal Contest: Arthur finds an entry form for the Crunch cereal commercial contest, and he is determined to win the year's supply of Crunch cereal. He starts a band with some of his friends, Mrs. McGrady and Grandma Thora, but he has nothing for them to play. Without a tune, he hears D.W. singing a song about Nadine and copies it. He feels guilty later, so he mails it with D.W.'s name instead of his.
D.W. Flips: D.W. wants to take gymnastics class after seeing a gymnast on television, but her mom gives several examples of D.W. never finishing what she wants to do. She gets her way and goes to her first class. Emily is there and D.W. does not like her because she seems to do everything perfectly. D.W. is determined to be better than her. At the end of the episode, Emily and D.W become best friends.
17 17 "Meek for a Week / Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper" Joe Fallon
Matt Steinglass
Jean Charles Fink
Myron Born
October 29, 1996 (1996-10-29)
Meek for a Week: Muffy dares Francine to be nice to everyone for a whole week and she can not tell anyone why she is being nice. Arthur and his friends are worried when Francine starts acting nice for no apparent reason and are worried she may pop if she continues bottling up her anger. They try fruitlessly to diffuse her.
Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper: Arthur and Buster sit at the only available table with the Tough Customers. Buster claims that Arthur is the world's greatest "gleeper" to stop the teasing, only to find out later that "gleep" means "steal". Arthur lets the lie grow into a school-wide rumor.
18 18 "Arthur's Chicken Pox / Sick as a Dog" Kathy Waugh
Joe Fallon
Russel Crispin
Jean Charles Fink
October 30, 1996 (1996-10-30)
Arthur's Chicken Pox: Arthur gets chicken pox. D.W. is jealous of the attention and extra freedom he gets while Grandma Thora is taking care of him.
Sick as a Dog: Arthur becomes extremely upset when Pal has to stay at the vet overnight after feeding him leftover Halloween candy and hot dogs, making him sick. He blames D.W. for this, knowing she hates Pal.
19 19 "D.W. Rides Again / Arthur Makes the Team" Joe Fallon
Tom Hertz
Gerry Capelle
Jean Lajeunesse
October 31, 1996 (1996-10-31)
D.W. Rides Again: D.W. gets a new bike and needs to learn how to use it. Arthur teaches her the basics and she learns to ride by herself without training wheels in time for the bike-a-thon.
Arthur Makes the Team: Arthur and his friends are trying out for the baseball team and everyone wants to be the pitcher. Arthur makes the team but he is the worst player. Arthur and Francine, who can not pitch, work together to improve their baseball skills.
20 20 "Arthur's Almost Boring Day / The Half-Baked Sale" Joe Fallon
Ken Scarborough
Stefanie Gignac
Jean Lajeunesse
November 1, 1996 (1996-11-01)
Arthur's Almost Boring Day: Arthur and his friends are assigned to write about what they do over the weekend, but it rains and ruins plans. Arthur and D.W. are sent over to Grandma Thora's. Without anything better to do, they help her clean out her attic and find some interesting things, including old home movies and comic books.
The Half-Baked Sale: Grandma Thora is a poor cook. When she decides to bake cookies for a bake sale, Arthur and D.W. try to think up ways to stop her bad cooking from ruining it. Arthur decides to buy all of her cookies before anyone else can and hide them. But when Mr. Morris is injured by the cookies hidden in the janitor's closet, Arthur and D.W. have to tell the truth. As it turns out, Grandma Thora is not upset because she knows she is still a great family member.
21 21 "Sue Ellen Moves In / The Perfect Brother" Joe Fallon Gerry Capelle
Stefanie Gignac
November 4, 1996 (1996-11-04)
Sue Ellen Moves In: Rumors are circulating about a new family that has moved in and Buster thinks that they may be art thieves, spies or aliens, even after he meets Sue Ellen. When Buster's mom invites Sue Ellen and her family over for dinner, he finds out that Sue Ellen is not an alien, but just a kid who has lived in various places around the world.
The Perfect Brother: The Brain is spending the weekend with the Reads because his parents are going to an ice cream convention. Arthur thinks this will be like having a brother around, but the Brain is neat, finishes his homework early, and reads to D.W., making Arthur look bad. However, Arthur discovers that the Brain is not so neat when he invites Arthur over.
22 22 "D.W.'s Snow Mystery / Team Trouble" Joe Fallon Gerry Capelle November 5, 1996 (1996-11-05)
D.W.'s Snow Mystery: D.W. keeps a snowball in the freezer from the best day of her life, but it goes missing. Buster, as a detective, investigates, listening to biased accounts of those present the day the snowball disappeared. They argue and accuse each other but everyone, and eventually D.W., lets the incident go as the first snowfall of the year appears.
Team Trouble: Arthur, Buster and Francine are assigned to do a group project on Ancient Rome. They discuss how they are going to do the project, each coming up with their own idea and eventually decide to draw a comic book. Each has their own idea of what to draw and after a failure to communicate have a mis-matched comic book. They argue over this and finally realize that they need to work together to finish the project.
23 23 "Bully for Binky / Misfortune Teller" Joe Fallon Gerry Capelle
Luc Savoie
November 6, 1996 (1996-11-06)
Bully for Binky: Binky has a reputation for being a bully. He bullies Sue Ellen, who is still a new student ("Sue Ellen Moves In"), and she demands that he apologize. When he does not, she challenges him to a fight to settle it. He gets nervous when he finds out she knows Tae Kwon Do. He decides to beat her at music but loses, so he apologizes to her so they would not have to fight.
Misfortune Teller: For her half-birthday, Prunella's older sister, Rubella, gives her a cootie catcher. Rubella claims that it can tell the future and the answers it gives do come true. Arthur and his friends begin following the advice of the cootie catcher. When the cootie catcher goes missing and turns up ruined by the washing machine, Arthur and his friends realize that they do not need the cootie catcher to run their lives.
24 24 "Arthur's Tooth / D.W. Gets Lost" James Greenberg
Joe Fallon
Jean Charles Fink
Kevin Currie
November 7, 1996 (1996-11-07)
Arthur's Tooth: Arthur has a loose tooth, but he is the only one in his class that has not lost any of his baby teeth yet. He unsuccessfully tries various ways to get it out so that Francine would stop calling him a baby. He is happy, however, when his tooth eventually falls out.
D.W. Gets Lost: D.W. wants earrings because her friend, Emily, has earrings. She asks her parents, but they claim her ears will turn green. After D.W.'s persistence, Jane takes D.W. shopping for earrings only if she approves of them. While at the superstore, D.W. wanders off when her mom is distracted. While lost, she bumps into Emily and sees her ears green.
25 25 "D.W. Thinks Big / Arthur Cleans Up" Judy Rothman
Matt Steinglass
Gerry Capelle
Jean Charles Fink
November 8, 1996 (1996-11-08)
D.W. Thinks Big: At Aunt Lucy's wedding, Arthur is the ringbearer and their dramatic diva cousin Cora is the flower girl, but D.W. is too little to do anything. However, when the wedding ring gets lost in the pipe organ at the wedding, D.W.'s size helps her.
Arthur Cleans Up: Arthur and Buster are playing frisbee in the park when their frisbee lands in a polluted fountain. David overhears Arthur and Buster talking about the park and Arthur involuntarily becomes the leader of a cleanup crew of kids. Arthur's friends are not pleased with the idea after their parents had been informed and do not help him. This gets worst as Pal almost chokes on a piece of litter. With the help of Francine's dad, Mr. Frensky, and a few volunteers, they manage to clean up the park.
26 26 "My Dad, the Garbage Man / Poor Muffy!" Kathy Waugh
Ken Scarborough
Gerry Capelle
November 11, 1996 (1996-11-11)
My Dad, the Garbage Man: Mr. Ratburn's class is going on field trips to several of the students' parents at work to learn about careers. Francine is embarrassed by her dad's job as a garbage man and tries to tip off the classmates by saying he is in a secret organization and is a garbageman as his cover.
Poor Muffy!: Muffy is allergic to the new carpets in her house, so she decides to stay with Francine while the carpeting is being removed. She brings with her some of the things from her room including televisions, wardrobes, and sculptures. During Muffy's stay, Francine cannot handles Muffy's spoiled attitude and Muffy cannot deal with the less-than-wealthy condition in which Francine's family lives.
27 27 "D.W.'s Blankie / Arthur's Substitute Teacher Trouble" Tom Hertz
Joe Fallon
Stéfanie Gignac
Nadja Cozic
November 12, 1996 (1996-11-12)
D.W.'s Blankie: D.W. can not find her blankie and enlists the help of Arthur to search for it, retracing her steps over Elwood City.
Arthur's Substitute Teacher Trouble: Mr. Ratburn loses his voice and his sister, Miss Rodentia Ratburn, substitutes for him. She has them doing things such as reciting the one times table, reading words like "dog" and "cat" and assigning no homework. The class is excited at first, as they were sick and tired of Mr. Ratburn's unbelievably difficult classes, but they soon become bored. The class is glad when Mr. Ratburn returns the next day.
28 28 "I'm a Poet / The Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club!" Joe Fallon
Terence Taylor
Kevin Currie
Angus Bungay
November 13, 1996 (1996-11-13)
I'm a Poet: Fern is the only person who volunteers to enter the Poetry Competition, which is to be judged by the famous poet Jack Prelutsky. The others think poetry is uncool, and start making fun of her. Fern reveals a new side to her quiet character, and challenges them all to write poems for the competition. If they do not succeed, they will be roped into a year's membership of the school Poetry Club. Jack Prelutsky guest stars as himself.
The Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club!: When their favorite series of books is banned from the library by a parental organization who believe scary books are bad for children, Arthur and his friends get together a petition to get them back — all except Muffy that is, as it turns out her father is a leading figure in the parental group.
29 29 "My Club Rules / Stolen Bike" Joe Fallon
Kathy Waugh
Gerry Capelle
Angus Bungay
November 14, 1996 (1996-11-14)
My Club Rules: Arthur and his friends create a club. When they can not agree on the rules of their club the club splits. This leads to more disagreements and more clubs created. They eventually come back together, under D.W.
Stolen Bike: Francine's bike is too small for her so her dad finds his old bike for her, except she is embarrassed by the rusty old bike. She hides it and pretends it is stolen. The bike then gets thrown out and Francine is mortified.
30 30 "Arthur's First Sleepover / Arthur's New Year's Eve" Joe Fallon Jean Lajeunesse
Darren Brereton
November 15, 1996 (1996-11-15)
Arthur's First Sleepover: Arthur has a sleepover with Buster and Brain, even with all the talk of UFOs. D.W. wants to join them so that she can take a picture of a UFO. The boys do not agree. D.W. plays a prank on the boys with fake UFOs in retaliation and vice versa.
Arthur's New Year's Eve: Arthur has never stayed up until midnight on New Year's Eve. His friends all have their theories on what occurs when the new year comes. Among the ideas are a green flash, a wrestling match, and the calendar police. Arthur tries to stay up until New Year's Eve to find out what really happens at midnight.


  1. ^ WGBH, undated. "Arthur on TV". Archived from the original December 25, 1996. Accessed February 17, 2017.
General references