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Arthur (Animated Series)
- Any moment where Arthur and D.W. act like loving siblings to each other. For all their sniping and arguing with each other, we see plenty of evidence that they genuinely care about each other.
- Any time that Mr. Ratburn shows himself as a Reasonable Authority Figure.
- The relationship between Molly and her little brother James. Even though she acts tough, it's obvious that she adores him and she's always willing to listen him and give advice when life seems to be going wrong for him.
- Muffy's Character Development throughout the series, from a Spoiled Brat to a Spoiled Sweet. As Francine reveals at a slumber party during Truth or Dare, Muffy as a new transfer student befriended Francine, only to copy off her test and then claim she would never cheat. She also displayed an It's All About Me attitude, and Consummate Liar moments. Muffy also later reveals her insensitivity about friendship, such as trying to bribe her friends to abandon the Scare Your Pants Off petition against her parents, and being a terrible house guest at Francine's apartment. With this, it's amazing that she has any friends. As the seasons progress, however, she becomes more generous, like helping Buster study for a big test, buying Sue Ellen new diaries after her old one gets destroyed in a fire, and helping with Ms. MacGrady when the latter is weak from chemotherapy.
- Muffy's friendship with her butler, Bailey is actually quite sweet, especially considering how spoiled rich kids are usually depicted as treating their staff and being nothing but trouble. In one episode, it's shown that she likes him enough to buy him a birthday card with a really sweet little poem in it ("Who says that good help cannot be found? Thank you so much for driving me around!"). And the feeling seems mutual, as Bailey always sticks by Muffy and helps her out when she needs it, even acting as almost a second father to Muffy and a confidant.
- Anytime the Tough Customers (Binky, Rattles, and/or Molly) get to show off their nicer, creative, and intelligent sides. Even though they're school bullies, it's clear that they're much more capable than that.
- Anytime an episode shows the Tough Customers being True Companions.
- Even though David and Jane Read make the better part of their money in the service of the Crosswires, the Crosswires don't look down their noses at the Reads, and the two families enjoy a good friendship. "Arthur's Birthday" might be one of the best examples of this, and it comes early on in the series.
- Any of the episodes about writing a story, a poem or a graphic novel.
Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn
- When Arthur and Buster accidentally crash Ratburn's puppet show at a carnival, he remains in character as a Jack puppet and escorts them off the stage. Then he talks to them about how he's able to do so much, to be a coach, a puppeteer and a teacher.
- Towards the end of the episode, Arthur thinks Francine is in trouble and comes to rescue her. When he finds out she's perfectly fine, he says "Don't scare me like that!" They start to fight, with Arthur pointing out that she's conveniently forgotten the number of times she made fun of him while taking offense at his "marshmallow" comment until...
Francine: Wait a minute! You were worried about me?
Arthur: Of course!
- Although D.W. teases Arthur in the run-up to the spelling bee (when he says he has to learn 100 words, she jokes that that's 92 more words than he already knows), she is the loudest member of his rooting section during the bee itself, shouting "Yay, Arthur!" as the contestants take the stage, and whistling for him when he wins. And when Mr. Ratburn tells Arthur he knew he could do it, D.W. adds that, more importantly, now Arthur knows that as well.
- When Arthur, after being chosen to compete in a spelling bee, confesses to Mr. Ratburn he can't do it because he didn't study; Mr. Ratburn tells him You Are Better Than You Think You Are and says he knows Arthur can win.
- It's short and ironic given what happens later in the episode, but the fantasy sequence of Muffy and Francine as little angels twirling around side-by-side in "Arthur and the True Francine" is insanely adorable.
- The Tear Jerker part of this episode is Muffy copying off Francine's test and then claiming she didn't cheat, getting Francine in trouble. Francine's so angry that she returns the bracelet Muffy gave her and tosses away the apology gifts. She finally forgives Muffy when the latter confesses the truth to Mr. Marco, so that Francine can play in the softball game and Muffy gets punished for two weeks. Muffy then insists on re-gifting her the bracelet, which Francine accepts this time.
- Francine offering Muffy a ride home on her bike, when the latter has just gotten out of detention.
- The Imagine Spot Arthur has where, to his displeasure, D.W. and Kate are having a tea party in his canoe at camp. It is strangely adorable to see D.W. trying to pour pretend tea.
- Buster waving to Arthur from the bus to camp, while the Reads are driving to the beach.
- At the diner, the motorcycle bikers giving D.W. one of their burgers when she asks for it.
- The Read family saves Sharky when he ends up in another truck, surrounded by cows. They later encounter the farmer at a cow festival, who jokes that their shark still likes cows.
- Despite trying to get out of the family vacation, Arthur ends up saving it by finding events to do in the rain for a week.
- In a twisted way, D.W. asking the family to see Jaws because "it was Sharky's idea," with her shark sitting in the movie seat with a smug expression.
- Arthur finally manages to tell the story he meant to tell- of how all the hard work in taking care of Perky led to him getting his beloved Pal- when Mr. Ratburn hears the country music version with elephants and says he wants to hear what actually did happen.
- David's funeral speech for Spanky is very touching, and speaks to something which means an especially great deal a caterer.
David: Spanky, I'll always remember the time you got loose in my kitchen, and you didn't eat a single poppyseed. Thanks.
- D.W. saves the toad that was following her around all episode and living in the can she was using for Spanky's grave. She then hugs him and asks her mother if they can keep him.
- Arthur in the Cold Open says that vacation at Grandpa's farm is always fun, and Grandpa Dave is a Cool Old Guy. He treats them to candy and ice cream in town, tells them bedtime stories about the family, and takes them fishing.
- For all his teasing, Ed genuinely wants to help Dave with the farm and keeps offering. He also takes the kids hiking so that Dave can fix the henhouse without distractions. Dave finally acquiesces towards the end and asks him for help.
- D.W. convinces Arthur that they should give up a vacation day to help Dave with building the henhouse. When Dave protests, saying that "This farm has been in the family for a hundred and fifty years," D.W. points out that they are his family. This convinces Dave to let them help, though they're more of The Load until Ed steps in.
- When Dave hesitates at letting the kids help him with the henhouse, the first reason he gives is that he doesn't want them working on their vacation, because what will their parents say?
- When Arthur enters D.W.'s song into a contest he wanted to win, he initially wants to take credit, but eventually feels guilty about it. He ultimately decides to give D.W. full credit, and she wins.
- Fern after challenging everyone with The Bet helps anyone who comes to her for help, including Buster and Arthur. She's in general supportive, applauding Binky for his poem and saying, "It was great."
- Buster's joy at finally finishing his poem.
- Everyone has so much fun writing their poems as part of The Bet that they decide to sign up for the poetry club, and listen to Jack Prelutsky recite his poems.
Arthur Meets Mister Rogers
- Every time Arthur and his friends interacts with guest star Mister Rogers.
- Mixed with Tear Jerker D.W.'s distress for most of the episode at the possibility that Arthur is gone forever comes across as her typical drama queen histrionics, but when he finally returns home, the episode's final scene makes it clear that she was truly worried about him and would miss him if he were to disappear.
- (Arthur is about to fall asleep when a bright light suddenly shines from his bedroom door)
Arthur: Huh? What's going on? (he sees D.W. standing at the door with a flashlight, which she then turns off) D.W., what are you doing?
D.W.: I'm making sure you're not lost. Arthur, you scared me. (climbs into bed alongside Arthur) You'd better promise never to get lost again.
Arthur: (moving over to make room for D.W.) Okay. I won't.
D.W.: Do you promise?...
Arthur: I promise.
D.W.: Cross your heart?...
Arthur: (sleepily) Cross my heart... (he nods off; D.W. smiles, rolls over, and falls asleep)
- The above scene doubles as Heartwarming in Hindsight since in earlier episodes D.W. claims that if Arthur were to leave, she'd take his room, and was pretty angry with him and Francine for getting locked in the library and making everyone worry while they were fine, but the reality is quite different.
- Arthur's first plan to get D.W. to want to come to the fairy tale restaurant for Grandma Thora's birthday is to show her what she'd be missing. He takes her on a bike ride to the restaurant and shows her a princess and unicorn through the window. It doesn't work, but it was a sweet first attempt since each subsequent plan uses more direct manipulation.
- When Arthur cuts his knee on a tin can lid while finding a wheel in the junkyard for his school project, both D.W. and Brain show genuine concern for his well-being. D.W. convinces him to tell their mother what happened, at the cost of You Are Grounded after his visit to the doctor, by reminding him of her telling on herself for climbing the tree.
- D.W. apologizes to Arthur for starting the name-calling contest, following an Opinion-Changing Dream where her name-calling melts him into a puddle and she barely saves him from going down the drain with her cow mug.
- Although it doesn't work, Arthur and Francine try their best to find a book for Buster to finish.
- Mr. Ratburn giving Buster an extension on his book report, offering him some general critique when Buster hands it in on Friday, and assuring him he hasn't flunked.
- At the end, Buster and Arthur excitedly read Robin Hood together.
- After everything neat that Buster has seen and done on his trip with his father in the spin-off TV series Postcards from Buster, the first thing that he wants to do when he gets home is play checkers with Arthur. They pick up right where they had left off.
- Binky and D.W. bonding and becoming best friends over a potato chip rumor. The entire process is very sweet by itself.
- When Binky chickens out from the ballet concert he was supposed to perform in and hides himself in the audience, Arthur, Francine, Buster, and even the Tough Customers offer him verbal support, telling Binky he was the best part. In fact, Rattles is the first one to say it.
- After Arthur and D.W. imagine all the worst-case scenarios that could happen if their parents split up, Arthur decides that they'll go confront their parents. He believes as a family, they can get through anything. Then when they beg their father not to leave, up until he says he's just going to the store to buy milk for an important dinner, their parents reassure Arthur and D.W. that just because they have a fight doesn't mean that they've fallen out of love with each other.
Brother, Can You Spare a Clarinet?
- After getting enraged with Muffy's terrible violin playing, Binky storms into the room where the music students were being judged for the position of a professional orchestra, and plays a song on his squeaky clarinet, which he had been dealing with the entire episode. The music judges not only applaud Binky for making his squeaky clarinet sound good, they also give him a position in the orchestra and provide him a better, non-squeaking clarinet.
- The entire town pulling together to make it through the blizzard. Some highlights:
- Mr. Ratburn staying with Mr. Morris to keep the pipes from freezing. Mr. Haney stays with more reluctance, since he's starving.
- Also Mr. Ratburn giving Francine an extension on her pioneer essay, with the proviso that she write three pages instead of one. Francine finally writes her report on how the pioneers are Not So Different from the blizzard survivors, because during tough times, they had to pull together and work as a team.
- After selfishly taking the bread, eggs, and milk, Mr. Crosswire brings it for future meals until the power comes back.
- Despite that above event, which left Dave without any groceries, Arthur's parents invite the Crosswires for evening stew, made from the ingredients everyone else brings when the Reads invite them, on learning they don't have power either.
- We finally see why the snowball means so much to D.W.; she makes it on the day the power comes back and the family can play in the snow again.
D.W.: (when asked why she wants to keep the snowball) Because this has been the best day of my life and I always want to keep a piece of it.
- Prunella rather uncaringly tosses aside a Polly Locket doll Francine got her for her birthday without even looking at it because she got another one from her sister that morning, seriously bumming Francine out. Being visited by The Ghost Of Presents Past, she finds out Francine worked extra chores to afford the doll, begged from her sister, and even paid extra to personalize the doll's shirt to saying "You Are Great". Feeling guilty, Prunella makes up for it in a big way by finding Francine the next day, telling her she loves the doll and showing that she put a picture of Francine inside the doll's locket-head, "where you're supposed to keep your most precious thing". She then gives Francine the other doll, which she has personalized to say "#1 Best Friend" and says that since she doesn't need two, they can play with them together now. Now that is a really sweet apology.
- After a dare and attempt to play hooky goes wrong and only Francine is caught, Francine is angry with Arthur and blames him for bringing up the idea of hooky... but then she decides to take all the blame so her friends wouldn't get in trouble. This prompts Arthur and Buster to admit their compliance in the whole thing and ask to be punished along Francine as well. Mr. Ratburn is touched by the boys' gesture and decides to obey their wishes by giving them both extra homework assignments, even though it's very light compared to Francine's punishment of staying after school for a week. (Mr. Ratburn does point out that the boys actually did come to school.)
- Binky also asks to be punished, though Arthur and Buster remind him that this time he was just an Innocent Bystander.
Rhyme for Your Life
- Binky finally managing to recite a poem for his mother on Mother's Day, after having a dream where William Carlos Williams gives him a handy book on rhymes to survive in a world where if you can't rhyme, you can't go to jail.
D.W.'s Time Trouble
- After spending the episode dreaming about what life would be like if she were the first born child, D.W. wakes up realizing that she prefers Arthur the way he is as he comes in to give her the toys she left in his room. D.W. then tells Arthur that she's glad he's her big brother as she gets into bed with him.
- There's another heartwarming scene early on. During the dream, D.W. convinces her parents to take her baby version instead of Arthur. After traveling into the future and seeing her parents have decided not to have any more children, she feels sorry for Arthur, and leaves him on her parents doorstep so that he can have a family. Even in a dream, she loves him too much to be without him.
- Arthur and D.W. somehow manage to have a joint fantasy sequence in which they imagine just what would happen if their parents remain ill and they don't start buckling down and take care of things around the house, culminating with Baby Kate being sent to an orphanage because they couldn't change her diapers. After this, they give a display of effort that is simultaneously heartwarming and awesome, working together without complaint or bickering to take care of both Kate and the entire household, including doing the laundry and washing and drying the dishes by hand.
- This episode is full of many heartwarming moments to go with the Tear Jerker territory:
- Arthur's relief when the firefighters save his dad, who suffered some smoke inhalation.
- Dave later on comforts Arthur when the latter is scared that something will happen to his dad at an aquarium catering event. This is right after Arthur tries to fake a sore throat and beg for his dad's chicken soup so that Dave won't leave; Dave understands why Arthur is worried sick, and relates how he felt the same way when his mother, Arthur's Grandma Thora, got into a car accident when he was a child. "It's my job to worry about you, Arthur. Not the other way around."
- Francine's dad Mr. Frensky comforts Binky about his fear of fires, since he went through a similar situation after seeing his first fire. Binky had just run away from school after having a panic attack. Mr Frensky calls Principal Haney to let him know Binky's with him and takes Binky with him on his rounds.
- Muffy tries to help Sue Ellen, who lost her journal in the fire, by buying her several new ones. While Sue Ellen at first doesn't feel better, she does respond politely to Muffy, and later on tries writing in the personalized one.
Thanks a Lot, Binky
- After Binky is chewed out by Rattles for "squealing" on him and potentially saving his life, he has an Opinion-Changing Dream that makes him realize that it's good to be nice and appreciative even if he isn't always rewarded for it. At the end, Binky decides to give his mother, whom he took for granted without so much a thank-you, a Thank-You card for all the hard work she had done for him.
- Binky's friendly teacher-student relationship with D.W. as he both struggles, and eventually succeeds, in teaching D.W. (as well as the Tough Customers) how to do ballet for a school project.
- Rattles and Molly stepping up to help D.W. after Binky twists his ankle, both dancing alongside her on the day Binky and D.W. were supposed to show their project to the school.
- A small moment - when D.W. hears a teenage boy utter a swear word censored by the titular bleep, his mother drops a drinking glass. D.W. is curious about what the word means and is about to ask Grandma Thora, but has an Imagine Spot where she says the word and causes Thora to drop the glass bowl she just bought at the store.
- After finding out that D.W. was innocently spreading around the swear word, to find out why it had so much power, Jane tells her that she's off the hook since D.W. didn't know what the word meant. Jane then explains that it means, "I want to hurt your feelings," which immediately placates D.W.
Tipping the Scales
- Dr. Fugue tells Arthur's class to perform in the diner they're stuck at instead of the concert that they were preparing for. When they ask why, he says that they worked too hard not to hear how good they sound.
- After Binky is discovered to have a peanut allergy, Molly can be seen at the end serving as Binky's bodyguard at lunch, preventing any kid with foods containing peanuts from sitting next to him to protect his health.
- Early in the episode, Binky discovers a weird rash on his arm after a butterfly lands on him. Molly goes with him when he leaves, presumably to take him to the school nurse.
- After Emily's Liar Revealed plot, the Tibbles admit they're slightly disappointed that "Ellen Marie" (Marie Ellen's twin who Emily made up) isn't real. The reason? Apparently, the Tibbles bought them neckerchiefs (similar to their own) as a present so that people could tell them apart. That was surprisingly thoughtful of them.
Fern and Persimmony Glitchet
- Persimonny Glitchet giving Fern solid writing advice on how to start writing, handle criticism, and avoid Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue" while rewriting. He then comes out of hiding to sign her book after recognizing her as the letter writer.
- When Arthur finds out D.W. is having ear surgery, he goes out of his way to be nice to her, bringing her snacks, letting her have the last coveted pizza roll, and agreeing to see a girly movie she wants to see. He also calls his little sister brave and gives her a good luck mark from his lucky pencil. Arthur and D.W. also talk amicably about the excitement and newness of her doctor's appointments (like when she learns how to say "anesthesiologist.")
Never, Never, Never
- In "Never, Never, Never", after the Tibbles have tricked D.W. into giving them her old toys with false claims of love only to begin destroying them, she tries unsuccessfully to get them back. Arthur then enters the Tibbles' house to try his luck, and we hear sounds of a scuffle inside, until eventually Arthur emerges with a box of toys and a broken earpiece on his glasses. During the scuffle, Nadine tells D.W. that Arthur's bravery on her behalf in the face of the twin terrors shows that he really does love her. D.W. decides to repay Arthur's kindness by selling some of her toys to help raise money to fix his glasses.
- Not only do the Molinas invite the Reads over for breakfast, but the actual inviting is done by Alberto and Vicita. Then the Molinas give the Reads tips for coping with blackouts.
- Later, David shares a ham from his cancelled catering job, and the families pull together a block party.
The Great MacGrady
- There's something to be said for everyone's concern for Mrs. MacGrady.
- Regardless of the scandal which broke after the initial broadcast, it's worth mentioning Lance Armstrong's involvement here. He lent a hand where he could, and not every person would.
- Mrs. MacGrady is about to clean up a mess that D.W. accidentally made while she, Arthur and Muffy were visiting. Upon noticing that the cancer has made Mrs. MacGrady rather weak, Muffy, of all people, immediately stands up and offers to clean it up herself.
- The episode's ending, in which the Tibble Twins realize that they like painting more than the toy they spent the whole episode raising money to buy and sell said toy to Binky so they can have money for more painting supplies. The Cold Open even implies that they grow up to be famous artists in the future (granted, with an unconventional approach to their craft).
- George's budding friendship with Carl.
- Meta example: Carl's a very accurate and very sympathetic representation of a child on the autistic spectrum, and the episode on the whole handles the topic startlingly well, even coming up with an explanation of Asperger's Syndrome that is cute, easy to understand but not patronizing to the target audience.
- Sue Ellen's interactions with guest star Neil Gaiman are full of heartwarming moments. First, Neil gives Sue Ellen a free copy of Coraline in graphic novel form, which is the most child-friendly, Neil-written graphic novel as of 2016. He then appears to her as a muse in her falafels and her smoothies, encouraging her to keep writing about the battle between circles and triangles. The real Neil then shows up while Sue Ellen is getting a falafel wrap, asks to read the book, and tells her that her friends may not understand her book after they find it by the falafel truck, but they do like it.
What's in a Name?
- The intro has Arthur spending the entire segment with D.W., helping with her little ritual of naming a new stuffed animal she got without complaining. He actually seemed to enjoy it.
The Last Tough Customer
- Molly, at her brother James' request, writes George a letter to apologize for all the bullying that she and the Tough Customers did to him in the sixteen years since his introduction. George finally caught a break.
- Rattles befriending and teaching Brain (as well as the rest of the Chess Club) how to properly play chess, and later doing a Playing Sick gambit to get Brain to play against a smug chess player on his own because he had faith in Brain. Especially worth noting since the Tough Customers had just resolved to stop their bullying ways completely in the previous episode "The Last Tough Customer".
Caught in the Crosswires
- When the crew of a TV show the Crosswires are staring in forces Muffy to act like a Spoiled Brat and treat Bailey badly to boost ratings and views, she's clearly upset at the idea of being so troublesome and hurtful to someone she trusted deeply, and is blatantly relieved when she's allowed to be herself again.
The Pangeant Pickle
- Jane forces Arthur to attend D.W.'s preschool pageant. Not only is this something Arthur doesn't want to do, but the pageant is on the same day as Muffy's pool party. Muffy decides to start the party after the pageant ends so Arthur won't miss out. Very nice since Muffy is under no obligation to change what time her party starts, and it shows Character Development from "Arthur's Birthday" where she couldn't change her party date because of who she booked.
- Muffy meets 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. Granted, the girl politely turns her down because she is going to live with her uncle, but still a very sweet moment.
- Pal's cousin Dr. Yowl takes Pal, Kate and Mei Lin throughout the solar system and stops at Pluto where Pal's relatives have a family reunion. Once they return home, Kate says Pluto has everything Pal wants. Pal agrees that Pluto does have everything he wants... except for Kate.
- George, Rattles, Binky, and Buster patiently putting up with Carl's autism for the sake of ensuring their puppet show's success. Even though Carl frequently makes things difficult for them to rehearse their play with his disability, the kids never once get angry at him or criticize him. Their hard work and patience eventually pays off, with George congratulating and thanking Carl for his performance and help.
- Early in the episode, George hears Carl playing his accordion and compliments his music, inviting him to be a musician for their puppet show. Carl accepts, and George offers a hand as a thank-you... which Carl misinterprets as George wanting something and gives him grapes instead. It's the thought that counts.
- Arthur and Buster both spend 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.
- For extra heartwarming, this came after nineteen seasons of fearing and bemoaning Mr. Ratburn and his constant homework.
- D.W.'s plot arc involves her preparing for kindergarten, along with Bud Compson. They try to behave like big kids, which for D.W. involves trying to take out the trash. However, the chore is too heavy for her, and the trash bag ends up spilling all over the yard. D.W. bursts out crying and reveals her stress over kindergarten to Jane, who comforts her, saying she doesn't have to know or do anything special to prepare for big school. All she has to do is be herself.
Buster's Second Chance
- Mixed with Tear Jerker - Buster has a dream where he turns back time to see what would happen if he never failed a childhood I.Q. test and became a genius instead of Brain, and discovers an alternate timeline where because Buster wasn't there to befriend Arthur at the park, Binky got to him first, later influencing Arthur of that timeline to become a Tough Customer. Even though Alt!Arthur is popular and "cool", he is secretly very unhappy and desperately wants a real friend. Buster realizes that Arthur "needs him" and goes back in time again to let things progress naturally, just to give Arthur the friend he needed.
- Regardless of your feelings about the tantrum in the episodic special "Arthur's Perfect Christmas", D.W. finally calming down and accepting Quackers as being "kind of cute for someone who's not a kitty" is sweet.
Arthur (1981 Film)
- Linda realizing just how important Hobson is to Arthur, asking if she may kiss him on the cheek.
Hobson: Is it important to you?Linda: Yes, yes it is.