“And I say, hey! What a wonderful kind of day! Where we can learn to work & play, and get along with each other!”

Ziggy Marley’s opening lyrics have been introducing viewers to the world of Arthur Read, and his Elwood City entourage for the past 25 years. Originally launching as a book series in 1976 by children’s author, Marc Brown, it wasn’t until 1996 until this aardvark began his success story, and it’s not hard to see why. The series is fun, calm, free of any sugarcoating, can be quite savage (we’ve all seen the memes, you know what I’m talking about), and has lessons that not only can help kids throughout their life but adults as well. It was very much set out to do what was done with Sesame Street, but for the elementary school crowd (even though anyone of any age could get something from it) .

But what was it about Arthur that made it so good, likable, and very well praised? What made it my favorite PBS Kids series, and why did I watch it religiously up until I was a senior in high school?

Was it because of how well put together visually & musically? How the episodes were written, or just how savage the characters could be? What was it exactly?

I think Marc Brown put it best in his most recent book “Believe In Yourself: What We Learned From Arthur” (one sentence review: It’s amazing. Get it!), in which he states “I like to think that one of the best things that Arthur has done all these many years is tell children the truth. Children look to the media for truth. We all do.”

In honor of the show’s final curtain call on February 21st,  I’d like to take a look back at 25 of my favorite episodes. Some of them are for the morals they convey, and the others are just based on the humor they deliver. This isn’t a ranking list, and there are so many I could choose from, but if I don’t limit myself, you’d be reading this well into next week.

And to make it even more narrow, I will only be including episodes from the first 15 seasons. I was not a fan of the animation change from Season 16 onward. The episodes were still well written, but that animation style is an eyesore.

With that out of the way, queue the title cards!

All of the following images are owned by PBS, GBH, and Wildbrain Ltd.

1) Arthur's Eyes-Season 1, Episode 1A

Getting glasses can be quite an interesting experience, because you never know what the outcome will be from others, specifically from the peers you see daily. This is what Arthur goes through when he begins to wear glasses.

Aside from his best friend, Buster, everyone makes fun of him for it, to the point where he tries to get rid of them by either slingshotting them to oblivion, or by having his baby sister smash them. However, once he sees a TV star wear the same glasses he has to read a script, he realizes that needing them to see is a positive trait, as does everyone else. His other best friend, Francine even wears some lens-free sunglasses in support. That’s dope.

Moral: There are other people like you out there, so never feel like you’re alone, and embrace it.

“Wilber Rabbit wears glasses just like mine? All right!” – Arthur

2) Locked In The Library!-Season 1, Episode 6A

Friends get into arguments, and disagreements all the time, and that’s just part of life. Does that put a strain on their friendships? That question & answer is well defined in this episode.

Arthur & Francine are paired up for a school project on Heroism while having a personal quarrel. When they visit the library to work on their report, they lose track of time and are the only ones there after hours,  which they can’t escape. What makes it even worse, is that their arguing doesn’t help, and the two go their separate ways. Later, while Arthur can’t find Francine, he hears a scream, and, without hesitation, runs to rescue her, only to find her in the lounge watching a horror movie. Surprised that he was worried about her, Francine makes peace with Arthur, and the two use their experience as the basis of their report. It was a “putting friendship to the test story” that took it to the next level, which is very appreciated.

Moral: Your friends are still your friends no matter what. They care about you, even when they’re upset or angry.

“Who would need a book on escaping from a library, unless they were already in a library…?!” – Francine

3) Arthur Meets Mister Rogers-Season 2, Episode 1A

You know you have the approval of Fred Rogers when you let him be depicted as an aardvark (I think?).

The titular TV host is staying with the Read family, as well as presenting in Arthur’s class. Worried that his friends may laugh at him since he believes that his friends will laugh at him for potentially still liking a kid’s show icon, he acts strange around his peers, to the point in which three of his friends get mistaken as robbers while checking upon him. Low & behold, this makes the news, and this leads to the two discussing how Arthur is feeling in classic Mr. Rogers fashion, who tells him what he thinks about his friends. Very humble, and wholesome. We miss you, Fred.

Moral: Friends are still your friends no matter what you may be into.

“Real friends don’t make fun of real friends. And your friends seem like real friends. They all seem to be concerned about you.” – Fred Rogers

4) Buster & The Daredevils-Season 2, Episode 3B

Okay, this one was more for laughs.

Two older kids at the park are being admired by Arthur & Buster, which the latter gets dared by the two to do embarrassing things to gain skating tips from. Everything Buster does is pretty hilarious, from singing “Mary Had A Little Lamb” is an awful key, to kissing Francine at the pitcher’s mound & running home as fast as he can. He realizes in the end that he doesn’t need to do any of this to gain notoriety, but still. Hilarious all around.

Moral: Don’t give in to peer pressure, and make sure you get hand-me-down shorts that fit.

Hey, fresh dudes. Mind if we chill your crib? Me and my homefry here would like to be in your possum… well, I mean, heh heh, posse.” – Buster

5) Arthur's Faraway Friend-Season 2, Episode 12A

Friends leaving when they’re part of your everyday life can be difficult, because you will never know when you will see them again.

Buster breaks the news to Arthur that he is traveling around the world with his Dad, whom he & his Mom, Bitzi, have been divorced since he was 4 years old. While Arthur tries to think of many ways to keep him around, even suggesting that he live in a dug-up pit (what?), Buster insists that he does go, and this makes Arthur depressed, even up until the day when he has to say goodbye to him. While he does struggle without him around, he eventually realizes that he is having fun with his Dad, who he probably doesn’t see as often as he likes. And if that is making him happy, then so is Arthur.

Moral: Even if your friends are not in the same town, state, or country as you, they’re still your friends, and if they’re happy doing what they’re doing, then you’ll be happy for them too.

“We’ll dig a pit under my house, and you’ll live in it. They’ll never find you.” – Arthur

*Fun fact: Buster’s voice actor, Daniel Brochu, was going to be in traveling in Australia for well over a year, and instead of recasting him, they just decided to write Buster out of the show until he returned in Season 3. Nice job security!*

6) Love Notes For Muffy-Season 2, Episode 16A

This one is also strictly for laughs.

During a science fair, class knowledge encyclopedia, Alan (a.k.a. “Brain”), and Francine are upset that their classmate, Muffy, looks to have won, due to her bribing the judges. In a very rare out-of-character move for Brain, he acts like a mad man and wants revenge. With Francine’s help, he writes her a love note from a secret admirer, whom Muffy wants to figure out. She eventually reveals that she knows it was all a hoax, but the whole thing leading up to it is, funny, especially with how Brain plans his revenge, and how he talks
like he’s on a trial. Just a laugh-fest all around. 

Moral: Don’t make a federal case out of a science fair.

“Have you ever realized how frighteningly easy it is to manipulate someone into doing whatever you want?” – Brain

7) Revenge Of The Chip-Season 3, Episode 5B

It took me this long to not mention an episode featuring Arthur’s sister, D.W. ? She is probably the funniest character on this show, and a good chunk of her episodes are among the greatest. This is one of them.

In what is a rarity for the series, this is an epilogue to the previous one, in which she ate a green potato chip, and thought she was going to die. As such, she doesn’t want anyone to speak of it again. She then realizes that everyone around town knows about it, to the point where it even makes the newspaper. What’s even worse is that she finds out her Mom is the one who is responsible. While she apologizes and promises to never share it again, D.W. still has her doubts, and even wears a football helmet while going out in public (in typical D.W. fashion). She then realizes her Mom broke her promise and is still telling others about it. The discussion that follows is pretty interesting, as the moral seems to be more aimed at the parents who are watching with their kids, which was RARE for kid’s shows during that time, and one of the only ones I’ve seen do such a thing. Good wholesome stuff.

Moral: Kids are people too, and their feelings are just as valid as yours.

“President D.W., in your past term, you ended poverty and war and outlawed older brothers who break their promises. But, Mrs. President, I have one question. Would you like a potato chip?! I checked for green ones!” – Fantasy Sequence Francine

8) Arthur's Big Hit-Season 4, Episode 1B

Oh, this one’s quite popular, thanks to the various internet memes based on it. But for those unfamiliar, here’s what happens.

D.W. decides to play with Arthur’s new model plane, and throws it out the window, shattering it to pieces. Furious with her, after telling her multiple times not to mess with it, Arthur hits her hard in the shoulder, leaving a bruise. While Arthur acts like what he did was valid, all of his friends disagree, stating that he could have handled it differently. On the other side of the fence, Binky, the school “bully” hears about this, and his friends peer pressure him into doing the same to show off his toughness. Not wanting any confrontation, he tries to avoid Arthur at every turn, until he actually does it in front of his friends and walks away in shame. Upon meeting karma, Arthur realizes that what he did to D.W. was wrong, and actually thanks Binky, who in turn apologizes, and states that if his friends want him to do things like that, then he doesn’t want to hang out with them. Good job, Binky! Stick with your principles!

Moral: Karma comes back around, so make sure you think before you do something you’ll regret later on.

“If it could break the sound barrier, falling out of a window shouldn’t be able to break it!” – D.W.”

9) Kids Are From Earth, Parents Are From Pluto-Season 5, Episode 2A

Parents can be so embarrassing right? But what if them being embarrassing is part of their personality?

This is a fun one since it doesn’t cover one particular character, as it focuses on multiple ones and their relationship with their parents. From Sue Ellen thinking that her parents will be perceived as strange since they’ve traveled the world, to Binky’s parents calling him “Mr. Muffin Man”, to Brain’s parents not being as smart as him. Nothing moral-filled, just a nice one for laughs.

Moral: Parents can be embarrassing sometimes, and that is just the way it is.

“Oh my gosh! There’s a sale at Kitchen Crafts!” – David Read

10) The Last Of Mary Moo Cow-Season 5, Episode 8A

What does it feel like when your favorite TV show is canceled? More importantly, how do kids feel when the show acts as a comfort blanket?

D.W.’s favorite series, Mary Moo Cow (which is a straight-up parody of Barney & Friends) has met the chopping block, and she doesn’t know how to process it. While her parents explain that it’s just the way things go, she still doesn’t quite understand it. She then sees a news report about a petition, and on her own, figures out that it may work in bringing the show back. In response, the TV studio invites her on a tour. Thinking that speaking to “Mary” will make her come out of retirement, she is devastated to find out that it’s still canceled. After running off, she meets with a news lady (who happens to be Mary herself) and states that she knew of her petition. She also tells her that she may return one day and that her petition may have helped with that. D.W. then leaves satisfied, as the newscaster says goodbye to her in her “Mary” voice. It’s kind of like closure between the two, which is very subtle, and a nice touch, especially for a young kid like D.W.

Moral: Even though it may not reflect right away, what you do today can make a big difference in the future.

“P-E-T-I… something-something-something.” – Mary Moo Cow Kids

11) Arthur Plays The Blues-Season 6, Episode 2A

Teachers in any field can be a bit difficult and may expect more from you than you realize.

Arthur gets a brand-new piano teacher, Dr. Fugue, who was a once world-renowned pianist. As such, he gives Arthur much more advanced music than what he was used to. Putting it off, possibly out of fear, he fails to play the material at his next lesson, and gets “fired”. While discussing this with his old piano teacher, she states that he doesn’t have to play perfectly for him, just to do his best to earn his respect. Arthur takes this to heart and does just that at his next lesson, which is good enough for Dr. Fugue, as he agrees to help him get better.

Moral: By trying your best at something, you will earn respect from those around you.

“C sharp. He should get that tuned.” – Dr. Fugue On Arthur’s Car Horn

12) The Boy With His Head In The Clouds-Season 6, Episode 7A

Arthur’s never been a stranger to sugarcoating things simply because it’s made for children. They’ve dealt with a range of topics, and one that is most consistent would be disabilities. This one, in particular, focuses on dyslexia.

George has trouble staying focused in class whenever words are involved, and even more so at home while attempting to research a report. It gets even more apparent when he gets frustrated cause he can’t read trivia cards. After a hilarious segment in which Binky tries to improve his image, Mr. Ratburn asks him if he’s ever been tested for dyslexia, to which he explains that even famous people like Albert Einstein & Leonardo DaVinci had. Plus, he explains that he’s not the only one who has it either, as even the school principal has it. What’s even better is that, while it only lasts a few scenes, we see that his friends are concerned about him, worried that he may need to go to a special school. That’s nice to see, and it’s very genuine.  

Moral: Everyone struggles with something, and you are not “dumb or weird” because of that.

” Let’s see. We did insults, pushing, rude noises… You’re almost ready for your first public appearance!” – Binky

13) Cast Away-Season 7, Episode 1A

Little Sisters. They can either make your day miserable or ruin a good time. But how should older brothers handle it?

This is the question Arthur has when his Son & Father fishing trip is tainted by having to bring D.W. along. While he does get that alone time with his Dad, they’re not successful in catching any fish. However, when D.W. does it, she gets lucky and catches a bunch, twice. This makes Arthur jealous and states that “she gets whatever she wants” all the time. His Dad then says while she was lucky, what he did was even greater, and that was Arthur being kind enough to let D.W. go on their private Son & Father trip. Clearly shows that he’s come a long way from his big hit. Plus, the ending is just worth watching. I won’t spoil it here.

Moral: Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow, and be the better person.

“Can I be excused? I wanna do my homework.” – Annoyed Arthur 

14) Francine's Split Decision-Season 7, Episode 2A

While really more on the humor side of things, but it weaves the moral in so perfectly.

Francine gets caught in a pickle, as a very important bowling tournament is the same day as her cousin’s bar mitzvah. In classic TV show fashion, she & her friends come up with a plan to go back & forth between events. It’s hilarious, as she has to tell fibs in front of her parents and tape up bowling shoes that are too big for her, all the while acting like a ping pong ball. Her parents eventually find out what she was doing in the most hilarious way, and then gets punished for it, realizing that she missed out on learning more about why the bar mitzvah was so important. Perfectly funny, and perfectly moralized.

Moral: Never deny missing out on something important. You may learn something interesting.

“You know, I thought it was your nose that grew when you told lies. But, apparently, it’s your bowling shoes.” – Oliver Frenskey

15) April 9th-Season 7, Episode 10

Much like how Sesame Street did an episode in response to 9/11 for their audience, it was appropriate that Arthur did the same for theirs.

A fire at the school happens, and we see how a lot of characters handle the situation. We see Sue Ellen feeling depressed that her journal was destroyed, Binky getting PTSD from seeing the flames, Buster not knowing how to react since he wasn’t there, and Arthur is afraid that something will happen to his Dad since he was caught in the fire. All of these are handled perfectly & realistically too. How they went about each character’s worry helped me out as a child, showcasing that just being afraid isn’t the only effect events like this have on all people. How they’re resolved is well done too. Just a winner, and a testament to how great this show was.

Moral: People feel differently about scary situations, so let them know that they’re not alone and that you’re all in this together one way or the other.

“It’s my job to worry about you Arthur, not the other way around.”-David Read

16) Bitzi's Break Up-Season 8, Episode 1A

Breakups are hard. No doubt about that, especially if one of them is a single parent. But what effect does this have on their children?

Bitzi, Buster’s mom, and Harry, whom she’s been dating since Season 5, announce to Buster that they’re breaking up. Conflicted, since Harry was like a father to him, Buster, hilariously, goes to Muffy for advice on how to get them back together, who gets all of her “wisdom” from a teen magazine. After setting up a surprise dinner for the two, which blows up in his face, Buster tells his Mom that Harry won’t want her back if all she does is argue with him, to which she reveals that she’s the one who broke up with him. She then explains to Buster that he had nothing to do with it, and she is way too busy to commit to a relationship. The next day, Harry then explains that they are still friends and that he would like to hang out with Buster whenever they get the chance to. Once again, I feel like this is more geared towards the adults, rather than the kids, giving them good examples on how to discuss this kind of situation with their children.

Moral: Breakups not only affect adults, but they can also affect kids too.

“I hate Martin Spivak!” – Buster

17) Arthur's Snow Biz-Season 8, Episode 3A

This one is purely for laughs once again, and it’s a knee slapper.

After realizing that they can make a little bit of cash for shoveling snow, Arthur & Buster get into business together, however split up after disagreeing on who does more of the work. As such, they compete, and it is hilarious. The comebacks, the animation, how little pay they will accept & how far they will go to do more than clear snow. They mend in the end, but still, hilarious. Without a doubt, a must-watch.

Moral: Snow shoveling can get completive.

“Getting your little sister to find you work?! No fair! Who’s gonna say no to a four-year-old girl?!”-Buster

“No one!” – Arthur

18) Vomitrocious-Season 8, Episode 5A

This episode made me wish more people were like Francine. Seriously, I’m starting to think she’s the best character on this show. 

After she makes fun of George dealing with a bloody nose, she vomits in the cafeteria in front of everyone, which is due to her catching a 24-hour bug. Her older sister, Catherine, then states that she should expect everyone to make fun of her. With this thought in her head, she’s nervous. However, to her surprise, she is treated quite well, and you would think that it ends there, but nope. She still has her doubts and gets nauseous several times as a result, sometimes in front of George. She then actually invites him to lunch and asks what it’s like to be made fun of. George then states that no one makes fun of her because she’s popular, and he’s not, to which Francine then realizes that that’s not okay. Making another mad dash to the bathroom after her friends see her with George, she hits him, causing him to make his nose bleed again. When she recovers from her nausea after she hears the other kids making fun of him, she then tells them to leave him alone, and that he can’t help it, indicating that it’s not nice to treat him poorly just because it’s not her. After she leaves, the kids offer George some tissues, and Francine suddenly feels better. Something tells me that her feeling nauseous was her conscience telling her that it was wrong to make fun of him in the first place. Very good message, and props to her sticking up for someone who doesn’t have many friends, to begin with.

Moral: Just because your friends don’t treat you badly, doesn’t mean you should treat others badly. Everyone deserves sympathy. 

“I think we just entered the fourth dimension.” – Buster

19) Bleep-Season 8, Episode 10B

As Arthur got more popular with kids 5 and under over the years, a lot of PBS stations began airing it in the morning hours as well so that the stay-at-home kids could get a chance to watch. As a result, more & more episodes about D.W. and her friends were made, and this one, I feel, is her best one.

D.W. overhears a teenager curse at his Mom, which results in her dropping a glass sculpture. Curious as she is, D.W. asks Arthur was it means, who tells her that she better not hear their parents say it. She then asks her friends, the Tibble Twins at school, who say it’s a magic word that hypnotizes adults into doing whatever they want. She then tells their neighbor’s kid, whom she watches through the window with her binoculars. However, after her Mom repeatedly asks her to come downstairs, she blurts it and gets scolded for it. While she gets away with it cause she didn’t realize what she was saying, her Mom explains that those kinds of words are another way of telling people that they want to make them feel bad. While mainly targeted at the younger crowd, this is something all kids need to hear (and even adults).

Moral: If it sounds bad, you probably shouldn’t be repeating it, no matter what people tell you.

“Um… Can I have a soda?” – D.W.

20) The Law Of The Jungle Gym-Season 9, Episode 3B

Another hilarious one and the screenshot above is proof of that alone.

While messing around with her new digital camera, Muffy runs into “The Tough Customers”, Binky’s group of friends which include Slink, Rattles & Molly, who call the Jungle Gym their “Tower Of Pain”. Despite a lot of threats from Molly, Muffy doesn’t give in, as she shouldn’t, and says she can go up there whenever she wants. This turns into a hilarious slew of events, as the two groups have to share the jungle gym after Muffy’s attorney (seriously) requests it. This leads to the Tough Customers attempting to find other places to hang out. While in the end, Muffy decides to just let them have the Jungle Gym, and not bother them, it’s still a hilarious episode. Makes me wonder if the writer of this episode worked on Recess at one point.

Moral: Jungle gyms are serious business.

“Molly McDonald, by order of the second circuit court of this jurisdiction, you are instructed to grant Muffy Crosswire access to this public facility, this “The Jungle Gym” aka “The Tower of Pain” at any time, in any manner, and for any purpose of her choosing. – Muffy’s Attorney

21) Flaw & Order-Season 10, Episode 5B

An obvious Law & Order parody, and a very on-point one at that!

Arthur’s Dad finds out an expensive cake place for one of his catering clients is chipped, and thanks to Buster letting D.W. use his camera, it’s assumed that Arthur did it. However, he states he was never near it, to begin with, and he & Buster work together to prove his innocence, very much like a Law & Order episode. In fact, it’s harder to figure out than a Law & Order episode. I won’t spoil it here, just go watch it. Very fun, and very unpredictable.

Moral: Take a break from “Law & Order” once in a while and give yourself a challenge.

” I can’t believe you videotaped us!” – Arthur

“Well, I’m glad I did, since it proves I didn’t do it.” – D.W.

22) Francine's Pilfered Paper-Season 11, Episode 8A

What is a good age to teach kids about plagiarism? Simple. Any age.

Mr. Ratburn gives his class an assignment that covers an assigned topic about Thanksgiving, to which Francine’s is pilgrims. When she thinks finds the perfect source, she copies & pastes everything onto a word document, adds a title page, and turns it in the next day. On Thanksgiving day proper, Catherine gives her the same research materials, and after explaining to her what she did, Catherine states that she was plagiarizing and that there are consequences to it. Later on, she visits Mr. Ratburn to explain, only to realize he already graded it. She rubs it off, but has a nightmare about it, and feels guilty. She then comes out to Mr. Ratburn, who explains to her that if she went that route, she wouldn’t learn anything, and the author would have been robbed of the credit. Francine then hands in an original report, which he appreciates because the fact that she did it is more important than any grade she gets. Once more, a very
good moral that can be good for teens & adults as well as kids.

Moral: If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t right.

“Five pages. How will I ever write five pages? This must be what college is like, except we still have to be in bed by nine and can’t drive.” – Buster

23) Is That Kosher?-Season 12, Episode 1A

Another thing Arthur has also excelled in is showcasing different religions & cultures in a very respectful manner, which is cool to see.

Yon Kipper is around the corner and Francine’s grandma “Bubby” (voiced by the late & great Joan Rivers) comes to visit & celebrate with them. As one of the traditions of Yon Kipper is fasting, Francine makes a bet with Catherine to see how long she can go without eating, despite her being too young to do so. She does well at first, but it begins to be difficult, as she starts seeing food commercials, and is invited to a pizza party Arthur won. On the day of said party, she goes to visit just to get her mind off of things. At one point, all the kids are given a slice of pizza for a photo op, and after the picture is taken, she stuffs her face with the first thing she has eaten in several days. Feeling ashamed, she walks home, to find that Bubby is eating a sandwich, to which she explains that there are indeed exceptions and that she’s proud that she tried anyway. A+ episode that
anyone of any religion can enjoy, and gain knowledge from.

Moral: Everyone goes at their own pace. If you’re not ready for something, that’s okay.

“Oh, how wonderful! I am so glad you’re not cooking. Paper plates? What, china’s suddenly too good for me? Oh, I wish your grandfather were here to see this. He would have loved this. He would have been so proud of you girls.-Grandma Bubby

24) D.W. Unties The Knot-Season 14, Episode 2B

Another hilarious D.W. episode, and a great satire on reality television.

One day, while flipping through channels, she comes across a wedding reality show, and as such, gets the idea to hold a real wedding. Not wanting anyone to know that it’s not her wedding, she fakes it and hires Muffy to plan it. Of course, this being an episode about D.W. and her friends, there are misunderstandings, but hilarious ones at that. From her dad being hired to cater the ceremony to the Tibble Twins throwing cooked rice instead of dry rice, and to Muffy stating that it’s “normally the father’s responsibility for the bill”. Just funny stuff. Seriously, funny.

Moral: Don’t let kids watch reality TV. You may get stuck paying for a wedding.

“Romantic?! Live together?! No one told me that part!” – D.W.

25) Grandpa Dave's Memory Album, Season 15, Episode 10A

As this was the last season of Arthur I watched religiously, this was the final episode I saw when it was new, and I feel it appropriate to end this list with it.

As mentioned in the show since the beginning, Arthur & D.W.’s Grandpa Dave has been declining in health for years now. Upon his most recent visit, it is revealed to the kids that he has Alzheimer’s, which Arthur has a hard time processing. When he tells Francine & her Grandma Bubby, they get the idea to create a memory album to help him remember things. While small in the grand scheme of things, it’s a very comforting way to teach kids about Alzheimer’s, and they explain very well how that is much different than just not remembering something. It was something Arthur was always good at, and this is no exception.

Moral: Even though people may change a little bit, they are still the same person they always were no matter what.

“Anyhow, I wanted to share with you the story of my new friend. You are never going to guess who it is, so I’m just going to tell you. Okay, are you ready? My new friend is… What? We’re out of time already? I was talking too much? Okay, fine. Children, darlings, it is time for the show. So you’ll watch, you’ll enjoy, goodbye for now. Yeah, bye-bye. Will someone please tell me what was the rush? At this age I only have two speeds: Slow and stop. It’s public television. Why don’t we all just stop and smell the roses? Has anyone got a rose?” – Grandma Bubby

Honorable Mentions

  • D.W. The Picky Eater-Season 2, Episode 3A: This is a childhood favorite of mine just because I also had the matching book. Love how Arthur doesn’t do it for D.W.’s best interest either.
  • Arthur’s Almost Live Not Real Music Festival-Season 3, Episode 11B: The one with all the songs! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sung along to “Jekyll Hyde”. It slaps!
  • The Contest-Season 4, Episode 4A: This is mainly for all the neat parodies. Surprised that they let spoofs of “South Park”, “Beavis & Butthead”, and “Dr. Katz” in. I was really confused about what the heck they were doing with these as a kid.
  • The Great McGrady-Season 13, Episode 5: Much like “ April 9th”, this is a great story that shows cases how different people react to when a loved one gets cancer. I wanted to put the episode on the list, but they removed it from rotation after the Lance Armstrong controversy, which he guest stars in. And oddly enough, they redid this episode with the new animation. Why though?
  • When Carl Met George-Season 13, Episode 6A: Yup, they even covered Autism, in a fantastic way, even explaining how those with Asperger’s  Syndrome process things. What’s even cooler is that Carl is a recurring character. Awesome stuff!
  • Mr. Ratburn & The Special Someone-Season 22, Episode 5A: Only reason why it’s on here is that they had the gut to show a gay couple getting married on a PBS Kids series. It’s awesome. If only the animation followed suit.

I hope that these episodes, as well as the honorable mentions, showcase what Arthur meant to me growing up. Ultimately, outside of all the laughs it gave us & morals it taught us, I think what it ultimately taught me is how to interact with others in life, especially when you are growing up. All these situations are what kids go through, and Arthur showed us how to deal & handle those situations whether they’re with other kids, or grownups, and they did it in a way where everyone could understand it. 

A recent study report by Eric Rasmussenn, Ph.D. on the PBS for Parents website states, “Adults often ask kids what they want to be when they grow up. A teacher. A firefighter. A ballerina. The list of career choices is endless. I like to tell my kids that they can be whatever they want to be. As a parent, however, I’ve come to the conclusion that in the long run what they do isn’t nearly as important to me as who they become. And research shows that the television shows our kids watch may play a part in our children’s process of “becoming.”

Arthur currently airs on PBS Kids stations, episodes of varying quality are available on YouTube, and every episode is ready to stream on the PBS Kids add-on via Amazon Prime Video (The latter has some selections listed wrong, so just Google the episode list) .

“Believe In Yourself: What We Learned From Arthur” is available from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers wherever books are sold.

Have a wonderful kind of day, readers!