Awesome / Arthur

PBS Kids Television Series

  • The redemption of the Tough Customers is the culmination of several years of character development, especially on Binky and Molly's part. Molly tells James that bullying is wrong, and when James asks if she will apologize to those she hurt, Molly writes apology letters to Binky (she snapped at him) and George (after years of victimization).
  • "Arthur's Big Hit". Albeit, it was intended to be a Kick the Dog moment. But, admit it. You thought that D.W. deserved to get hit.
    • Binky reacts by telling Arthur off, which is... amusing if you've watched the show from the beginning.
    • This also counts as Memetic Mutation thanks to good ol' Youtube.
    • It's not so much the "hitting" as the fact that it's one of the few occasions where D.W. gets any sort of comeuppance for her behavior, since she's hardly ever punished or called out for it. When Arthur gets upset for having his model broken and even reminds her of his constant warnings that she was "not to touch it", D.W. is in no way sympathetic or apologetic towards him, even if she didn't know better in thinking the model plane could fly. As such, seeing him generally stand up for himself was somewhat satisfying, even if what he actually did was wrong.
  • The show has many Very Special Episodes about things such as Cancer, 9/11, and Asperger Syndrome that are quite good both in logic and in execution.
    • The Asperger Syndrome episode gives an analogy to what having Aspergers is like and is generally well done, even implying how it levels out when you get older and you become less....Rain Man.
    • "Operation D.W." Not the episode itself, but the execution of it. The operation in question involves D.W. having tubes inserted into her ears, a very common solution for recurring childhood ear infections. The beauty behind having D.W. undergo such a simple procedure is that the episode focus stays on the basics of dealing with surgery, rather than any causes of fear, stress, or pain that might come after the operation (and don't necessarily apply to everybody). The writers avoided scaring a lot of children unnecessarily.
    • In the same vein, "S.W.E.A.T" helps viewers by focusing on dealing with test anxiety, without showing outcomes that might justify that fear.
  • As of 2013, There is now Audio Description of the show.
  • "Arthur Cleans Up". Pal nearly chokes to death on the Tough Customers' garbage. Arthur gets fed up, and puts them in their place. He demands that the Tough Customers help him to clean up the park, complete with Death Glare, and they comply.
  • Muffy's Dream Sequence in Lights, Camera, Opera! in which Muffy, Binky, Francine, Prunella, George, Buster and Rodney Gilfry perform an Arthur-ized interpretation of Bizet's Carmen. The characters sing ingeniously-plot-relevant lyrics to the famous melodies from Carmen; Muffy's rendition of Habanera is particularly awesome.
  • "Fifteen." Arthur's report is recovered just in time to give his class a No Homework Day (which, given Nigel Ratburn, is awesome in itself), George wins a quiz show, as well as money for the school and Pal foils Nemo.
  • "D.W. Rides Again." Love or hate D.W., when she taught herself to ride a two-wheeled bicycle at the end, nearly turning herself into one giant scab in the end, catching up with Arthur and his friends, and showing up the Tibble twins all in one was pretty impressive.
    • "D.W. Thinks Big" has her crawling inside an organ to retrieve the wedding ring, showing up her spoiled and show-offy Cousin Cora. Aunt Jessica gets in on the action by stealthly reminding Cora not to ruin the wedding by throwing a tantrum with just saying her name.
  • Fern gets sick of being teased for her passion, and dares her classmates to try it.
  • Fern's performance in the special "It's Only Rock and Roll". Who knew she could be so good at singing?
  • Joshua Redman and Yo-Yo Ma's cover of The Crazy Bus actually makes the Most Annoying Sound become a lot more bearable.
  • "Flaw and Order." How did Alan get his hands on sound enhancement software? Let's not question it, because it saved Arthur and Buster.
  • In "The Silent Treatment", George accidentally drops Wally into the river. Without missing a beat, Sue Ellen scoots down the riverbank, stick in hand, and fishes him out. Now that's badass.
  • In "Arthur Rides the Bandwagon," Arthur proves that juice caps are more fun than Woogles and starts a fad himself in the process.
  • "To Eat or Not to Eat" is an episode about a very addictive and very dangerous candy bar being marketed to children. Buster puts a stop to it by learning what's in it, touring the factory, and offering the creator a candy bar, which sends him running off. Buster's mom then writes about it for the paper, putting an end to the candy company and sending the creator to jail.
  • Season 18 has provided a couple of rare ones for D.W. In "The Tattletale Frog," Bud inadvertently gets blamed for a big mess in the Read house that he and D.W. made together and that was essentially D.W.'s idea. Later, Jane threatens to call Bud's mother about this, and D.W. breaks down sobbing, after which she confesses. It's one of the rare times D.W. has been disciplined onscreen or more importantly, shown remorse for anything she's done.
    • In "D.W. and Bud's Higher Purpose," D.W. and Bud are determined to ride The Buzzard, a roller coaster clearly meant for older kids. D.W. spends the whole episode trying to help Bud find a way onto the ride so she can keep her end of the pact they made. She even lets Bud spit on her hand to seal the pact. When D.W. sees just how intense the ride actually is, she agrees not to go on it, whereas in earlier episodes she might've insisted on going. It shows she's maturing, perhaps because of Bud's influence.
  • In Elwood City Turns 100, there's a lot of bickering going on. Arthur getting annoyed with Francine's constructive criticism about his singing while Buster and Brain argue about whether to make the play accurate or put some fantasy in it. Muffy blows a flute and gets everyone to work together.
    Muffy: We were chosen out of 15 schools to put on this show, but maybe they were wrong to pick us. Maybe they should've picked Mighty Mountain or Glenbrook. After all, would they be arguing? No, they'd be working together. Something we just can't seem to do.
  • Muffy had another rare one in Season 18's "Little Miss Meanie." She's determined to win the Little Miss Crocus pageant, having entered pageants before but never winning due to unforeseen mishaps. When Muffy discovers Lydia has entered, she thinks the other girl will automatically win based on sympathy, because she's in a wheelchair. She intends to tell Lydia to drop out because of this, but then hears another girl say the same thing. Muffy realizes how mean it is, and she and Lydia team up to defeat the pageant bully. What makes it even more awesome is that although the girls consider taking revenge, they decide to help each other do the best they can, rather than stooping to the mean girl's level. This nets them both the honor of first runner-up, while their nemesis receives no honors because she threw a tantrum after a technical difficulty messed up her act.
  • Lydia gets credit in the same episode because she originally thought Muffy would automatically win because of her wealth, but then discovers Muffy is as vulnerable and anxious to succeed as she is. This shows a character with a disability dealing with, and overcoming, her own prejudices, which is rare especially in children's programming and awesome on the part of the writers as well.
  • D.W. got one in the early episode "D.W. All Fired Up." When she hears her preschool class is going to have its first fire drill, D.W. is initially afraid because she thinks the school will literally be set on fire. (The Tibble twins are no help; they claim this is true and also act overly excited during preparation for the big event). However, when the fire drill does happen, D.W. is the calmest kid in class, even helping Tommy Tibble, who panics.
  • The companion episode to that one, "I'd Rather Read it Myself," shows another awesome moment for D.W. When the Tibbles claim they can read and tease her for not being able to, she pretends to read them a book, using Slice of Life stories from her own experiences to make up a fictionalized adventure story. She might be a Bratty Half-Pint extraordinaire, but the kid definitely has a great imagination, and does show some maturity here because she handles the problem herself rather than tattling The best part? The boys are in suspense the entire time, and even after borrowing the book and being told that it's really about Leonardo da Vinci, D.W.'s gimmick stays intact, because they think that the book is different every time that it's read. It makes sense that they would think this way; they're four years old. It's one of those rare moments where D.W. is liked rather than hated.
  • "Shelter from the Storm" is awesome in general, but Muffy gets a big Moment of Awesome after meeting a new friend at the shelter where her family stays when part of their home is flooded. Muffy is telling her friend how she misses all her luxurious stuff—but then is invited to see the other girl's house. When Muffy learns her friend's home has been destroyed, she is genuinely touched and selflessly offers to let her friend's family stay with the Crosswires.
  • "The Last Day" has a huge one. Arthur and Buster have spent the entire episode trying to ensure they end up in the newest teacher's class for fourth grade, because he appears to be a Cool Teacher. However, they eventually learn he is more of a Hippie Teacher with tired material. This inspires Arthur and Buster to reflect on how much Mr. Ratburn really taught them. They end up giving Mr. Ratburn the poster they worked hard on for the other teacher. Their choice is rewarded when Mr. Ratburn is not only moved, but announces he'll be moving up to fourth grade. Extra points because this also means that Binky, who was held back the year before, passed and gets to go to fourth grade with his friends. It's awesome mixed with heartwarming, because, in an earlier episode, The Brain had promised Binky that he would see to it that they would move on to fourth grade together, and so it came to be.
  • The entirety of Arthur's Almost Live Not Real Music Festival. Didn't think songs in a kid's cartoon show, on PBS of all networks, could be incredibly, ridiculously, mind-numbly catchy? Well, now you know!
  • The companion episode, "Double Tibble Trouble," is a Moment of Awesome for D.W. and Emily. They have had a hard time on playdates with the Tibbles, but when Timmy gets sick, both girls volunteer to act like Timmy so Tommy can still enjoy all his favorite games. Note this involves a lot of yelling, running around, and being naughty on purpose, which the girls are not used to doing (D.W.'s Bratty Half-Pint tendencies aside). Overall, they have fairly mature motives for four-year-olds.
  • Although he is a Stern Teacher, Mr. Ratburn has had several awesome moments over the years. They include:
    • Helping Arthur when he went through his chubby phase during "Arthur Weighs In." Mr. Ratburn tells Arthur he used to be something of a "fatty rat," until he found an exercise that worked for him—Ping-Pong.
    • Being firm, yet understanding, when Francine plagiarized part of her report on the Pilgrims without understanding what she was doing.
    • Encouraging Maria who, as we find out in "Maria Speaks" has a stutter. Ratburn's support helps Maria get ready to do a special report on stuttering for the school news show.
    • Figuring out that George has dyslexia. During that scene, Ratburn simultaneously praises George's creative writing, and reassures him he's not the only person with dyslxia in the school. He also accepts a modified project that plays to George's strengths.
    • In a moment not related to his students, Mr. Ratburn comes to D.W.'s rescue in "Clarissa is Cracked." D.W. accidentally breaks Grandma Thora's doll. As it turns out, she's made of the same material Ratburn uses on some of his puppets. This moment turns into a Funny Moment for D.W. when she describes Ratburn as "Arthur's teacher who's really nice and not scary like Arthur says."
  • In "Mr. Ratburn's Secret Identity," Arthur, Buster, and Ladonna gradually become convinced their teacher is a superhero because they see him running off to take mysterious phone calls and apparently leaping onto his roof in what looks like a cape and tights. Actually, Ratburn is the costume designer for The Pirates of Penzance. But the kids do learn he is much better than a superhero when Ratburn, who knows every line and lyric in the show, is called on to replace an actor with laryngitis.
  • Francine's dad, or rather, his portrayal about his attitude to his job as a garbageman. He's completely secure and happy with it. In an episode where Francine's sister needles him about getting 'a real job' with 'a briefcase and a suit and tie' because she thinks his job is embarassing, he basically turns it around and makes fun of HER rather than get upset and happily carries on doing his work.
    Mr. Frensky; (Pretending to sob) I can't do it, Catherine! I can't ever have a real job because... I can't tie a tie! Nobody ever showed me how!"
    He and Francine laugh

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