These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
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PBS Kids Television Series
Adaptation Displacement and Adaptation Expansion: S1's "Buster's Dino Dilemma" is actually one of the book titles. Some episodes are expansions and bifurcations of stories from the books. "Arthur's Teacher Trouble" was split into two S1 episodes: "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn" and "Arthur's Spelling Trubble". S1's "Arthur's Baby" gets a P.O.V. Sequel, "D.W.'s Baby."
The show also mentions at the end that Arthur books can be found at your local library, at least.
Alternative Character Interpretation: Is DW just an immature kid who will grow out of her brattiness eventually, or an incredibly self-centered and ungrateful brat? It doesn't help that the show itself goes back and forth on this.
Anti-Climax Boss: In the marbles episode, Arthur constantly worries about facing Grandma Thora, especially since she is the one who actually taught him out to play in the championship, and makes every attempt to sabotage himself to please her, but she throws the championship herself, citing an archaic rule in which players are not allowed to step in the marble circle.
The last several seasons have had these with increasing frequency. "Arthur Weighs In" had an anvil for obesity, while "The Last Tough Customer" and "So Funny I Forgot to Laugh" were the bullying anvils. The show has also dealt with such issues as overexposure to technology, both for fun and inside the classroom, standardized testing, and several other current issues. It's gotten to the point where one almost expects there will be an Issue of the Week.
Archive Panic: The show started in 1996 with 30 episodes for season 1. The second season has 20 episodes, and the third season has 15 to bring the show up to the syndication-mandated 65 episodes. The show went on a 3 year hiatus between 2000-2002, then came back into production in 2003 and hasn't stopped since. Then Subsequent seasons had 10-20 episodes. The show hit it's 100th episode in the middle of Season 7 in 2007. It's already Season 17 and there are 205 episodes. And Season 18 and 19 is still in the works. Calculating, each episode is 24 minutes long. That makes the entire runtime 4920 minutes, or exactly 82 hours, at the moment. Put into a marathon, it will run 3 days and 10 hours nonstop. And that's not counting the two hour-long special and the direct-to-DVD movie.
'Elwood City' from the end of the play in "Elwood City Turns 100".
All of the songs from "Arthur's Almost Real Not Live Music Festival", especially "Jekyll & Hyde"
Base Breaker: Francine and Muffy have really become this for many fans lately, especially in more recent years - it doesn't help that their behavior on the show has become increasingly more and more hypocritical, the infamous, "So Funny I Forgot to Laugh" episode really puts this into perspective: both Francine and Muffy demean Arthur for basically bullying Sue Ellen, and for his back-handed, insincere apologies, when both of them are even more guilty of those same kind of actions than Arthur. Muffy even goes as far to say if she ever hurt someone's feelings, she would write them a very heartfelt apology letter... if she did, it would be extremely out of character for her.
The Tibble Twins as of late. D.W. could possibly be this as well.
Pal and Baby Kate due to the amount of focus episodes they've gotten.
George in episodes focused on him, especially when he has Wally with him. The creators have confessed that George is their favorite character, because he's an interesting character to write for, suffering from dyslexia, yet being incredibly clever and intelligent.
In Arthur and his friends' imaginations, Mr. Ratburn is often made into one.
Arthur, at least in D.W.'s imagination and fantasies. His friends would also often be categorized. Even her own parents and her best friend Emily have been shown as villains in D.W.'s imagination occasionally.
Binky occasionally gets this in imagination spots as well, though it was most frequent in the first few seasons. Somewhat justified in that Binky was more of a bully in the early years, but it still happened in episodes in which he hadn't done anything.
Despite the fact that for 16 years they've only been background extras, and never been promoted to a recurring or supporting role, the characters Alex and Maria (the gray bunny with the orange sweater, and the girl bunny with the blue and pink striped shirt, respectively) have a number of fans.
S2's "Binky Barnes, Art Expert" has Arthur and Buster trying to convince Binky not to go to school by telling him that the school was destroyed in a fire. It's Played for Laughs, since Binky can see the school from his house. 5 seasons later in S7's "April 9th"...
In the first season Francine traps Buster in an airtight light bulb costume for the Thomas Edison play. Years later, we find out Buster has asthma...
"Grandpa Dave's Old Country Farm" oozes with irony. The episode is about how great life at the farm is, how things have gotten out of hand, and how Grandpa needs more help as he's getting older. He even mentions how long the farm has been in his family. Once he's diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, he has to move closer to Arthur, effectively ditching that farm. Arthur is forced to admit that things aren't the same.
The two appearances by Lance Armstrong are very unsettling to watch these days after Armstrong revealed that he did use performance-enhancing drugs to win all those Tour de France races. It's the main reason why those episodes will never air again on PBS.
One episode has an Imagine Spot with a One Million BC version of Arthur's family - and they look like actual aardvarks (flat-nosed, pointy-eared).
Bailey gives Ed Crosswire a copy of Samuel Beckett's Endgame for his birthday. Endgame details the life of an Old Retainer who is desperate to leave his demanding master, but is constantly prevented from doing so. Perhaps Bailey is Hint Dropping.
At the beginning of one episode, an unidentified alvarezsaur appears. It's pretty accurate, except maybe for the fact that its tail is too short.
In S1's "Arthur Cleans Up", Arthur complained about the state of a city park by claiming "the oceans are full of oil." Fast forward to late Summer 2010...
That in S10's "Binky vs. Binky," a Lance Armstrong Lawyer-Friendly Cameo character called Vance Legstrong is used, only for them to later be able to get the real Lance Armstrong in their Very Special Episode S13's "The Great MacGrady," now that Lance has been stripped of his titles for doping. Perhaps they should have stuck with the lawyer friendly cameo character...
In a Season 1 episode, Buster is forced to wear a light bulb costume without air holes and can barely breathe. Flash forward a few seasons and it's revealed that he has asthma.
S5's "Arthur and the Big Riddle" had Arthur appearing on an in-universe game show, Riddle Quest. His opponent was a contestant who had been winning repeatedly for weeks, in vein of Jeopardy's rule on returning champions. In contrast, the actual Jeopardy show had a five-day limit on returning champions. A few years later, that limit was removed and along came Ken Jennings, who won 74 straight games in a row and over 3 million dollars.
S7's "Prunella Sees the Light" has Prunella telling Muffy, "Marina's blind, not in a wheelchair." 6 seasons later, S13's "The Wheel Deal" introduces Lydia Gordon, a fan-created character in a wheelchair.
"Buster's New Friend" has D.W. comment that "maybe Buster doesn't like Bionic Bunny anymore." As of "Buster Gets Real", that's totally true.
While on that note, Season 3's "Arthur's Almost Live, Not Real Music Festival" features Buster questioning what's so great about stuff being real. Come the aforementioned "Buster Gets Real", he stops liking Bionic Bunny because it's "not real".
S2's "Play it Again D.W." has D.W. obsessing over the song Crazy Bus. It is catchy, but it drives Arthur crazy. In 2005, a Venezuelan video game called Crazy Bus was released, and it's best known for the title screen music, which is both catchy and extremely obnoxious.
The episode "That's a Baby Show!" features Arthur accidentally tuning into a Teletubbies expy called "Love Ducks" and becoming a closeted fan of the show, going to great lengths to avoid anyone finding out he enjoys it. Fast forward to early 2011, and young men across the nationare beginning to relate quite a bit. This might not have been accidental: Arthur itself has a prominent Periphery Demographic, which was already rather large, and the episode was meant as a message to them.
In the episode "The Chips Are Down", D.W. eats a green potato chip and thought she was going to die from poisoning. Fast forward to 2009- P&G starts producing seaweed flavored Pringles chips- which are green in color.
A season 2 episode has Buster drawing a comic he calls "The Big Clumsy Moose With Big Feet Named Franny". In 2006 PBS Kids began airing a cartoon called "Franny's Feet" about a girl called Franny who wears peoples shoes and gets transported to places relevant to the episode.
Season 10's "The Squirrels", from 2006, has Arthur and his friends scared of squirrels after watching the eponymous horror movie, until they ultimately learn that squirrels are harmless. A "Squirrels" horror movie, unrelated to the cartoon, is now being made.
Les Yay: All throughout the series, there's a few inklings (some subtle, some more obvious) of this with Francine and Muffy.
Love It or Hate It: The Imagine Spots! Some find them to be absolutely hilarious, especially considering how wild the imaginations of some of the kids can get, while others find them to be an annoying and unnecessary Once per Episode thing that disrupts the rest of the story.
Memetic Bystander: Well, memetic on the outofcontextarthur blog. There is a recurring crocodile/alligator in the background of many episodes that wears a target shirt and headphones. They have dubbed him Samson.
Narm: Shows up from time to time. For example, "A is for Angry", in which Arthur gets fed up with his peers constantly taking his side and cheering for him while he trains for a big checkers tournament. The odd pose and scream he makes when he finally snaps makes it seem less like Arthur is angry, but rather like he accidentally swallowed a bug.
Parental Incest: Bitzi crosses into this territory, as at times, she comes off as being a little too obsessive over Buster and his life.
Periphery Demographic: Massive and vocal, especially in the older seasons of the program. Even currently, though, the program maintains a large number of fans who theoretically should have "outgrown" the program a long time ago, or whom have never been in its target audience in the first place during the time that it's been airing.
The Problem with Licensed Games: Played straight with the Game Boy Color title, Arthur's Absolutely Fun Day, which is described by many as excruciatingly painful to play (it's not absolutely fun).
D.W. for often getting whatever she wants, acting like she's smarter than Arthur, tattling on Arthur for things that weren't his fault, complains about Arthur being mean to her when she's the one making condescending comments at his expense and never giving him a moment of peace. There's a reason why the wallbangers page have a section where she alone caused the stupidity.
The Tibble Twins are basically gender bender versions of D.W. but with less redeeming qualities and never get punished and their personalities often involve arguing with each other over whatever subject they're discussing and rough housing with each other.
Kate and Pal were seen as just fine for most of the series but recently they're gained this reputation thanks to the segments when they talk.
Ladonna is seen as an annoying, unneeded character. It doesn't help she was introduced right when the series got a cheaper art style that made fans mad enough.
On top of that, although she's only the latest in a long line of new characters introduced to the show over the past few seasons, she's the only one whose literally be thrusted into the limelight and has gotten a number of episodes centered on her since her introduction, in addition to being part of the regular cast, whereas most other newer characters have pretty much been kept as supporting/secondary characters and even background extras.
Scapegoat Creator: Dietrich Smith, one of the show's writers. Certain fans have complained that the quality of his stories aren't up to par and that he botches certain characterizations badly.
S5 is considered a low point by many longtime fans.
Season 16 might as well be another candidate, what with the Flash animation and the addition of Ladonna.
Season 9 could also be another candidate, considering this was beginning of what some fans refer to as Arthur's "reverse puberty", as his voice continually grew higher, softer, and more childlike.
Squick: This show seems to just love having various different characters eating absolutely disgusting things every now and then, such as...
Buster has eaten a 40-year-old bologna sandwich, half of a cupcake he kept since second grade, ice cream that he's dropped on the floor.
George has once eaten ice cream that he had dropped on the floor as well.
Arthur once finds a sucker that was stuck between the couch cushions, and has collected dust, lint, hair, etc., remarks that he wondered where it went, then puts it in his mouth.
Arthur's Knee is a nauseating episode for those who don't like blood. And for those who don't like vomit indiscretion shots, there's the scene in D.W The Picky Eater where she pukes on the camera. Gross!
Tastes Like Diabetes: The ice cream shop Yumbobo in "Brain Freeze" - it's got a cute penguin mascot, fancy ice cream names, and overly cheerful workers.
The Tough Customers breaking up and no longer being bullies. While it's unacceptable for children to bully each other in real life, realistic fiction is supposed to have different conventions. Often, if there is no antagonist, there is no story (although this show does seem to buck that convention a lot). The particularly Anvilicious "So Funny" episode drives this point home. The problem is not that Arthur was being mean or that Sue Ellen told the teacher about it; the problem is that the kids weren't allowed to work things out on their own and come to the conclusion that bullying is wrong.
Toy Ship: As always, mileage varies, but older fans tend to do this to some characters. Arthur and Francine have been shipped frequently, even during Imagine Spot segments on their own show. Fern and George may be a Toy Ship as well, and recent seasons have this tropette seeing a cute one between D.W. and Bud Compson.
In Universe, Pema, the Tibetan World Girl and Little Tibet as a whole were discontinued since Tibet's mostly Buddhist, it didn't generate enough accessories.
Unintentionally Sympathetic: Arthur in "Arthur's Big Hit", when he hits DW after she breaks his model airplane. We're supposed to see it as a Kick the Dog moment, but the thing is, he's not an aggressive person at the best of times, and he only hit DW because he had told her numerous times not to touch his model and she deliberately disobeyed him. Added to that the fact that she fails to apologize for her actions, trying to pass it off as Arthur's fault (saying that if he'd built a model airplane correctly, it wouldn't have crashed when she launched it out the window), and the hit becomes justified.
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: DW, in that episode and in many, many others. Even in the episodes where she has some justifiable reason for being bratty, she tends to take it so far that it's impossible to sympathize with her. This is not made better by all the times she doesn't have an excuse, and just felt like being irritating - it makes her seem less like she's acting up because of the issue at hand and more like her already-horrible behavior is just being exacerbated by said issue.
Several different voices have been used for Molly. In early season, especially, Season One, Molly has distinctly feminine voice with a slightly nasally high pitch. Most of Season Five through Season Eight portray her with a lower, flatter voice than most of the other girls that sounds almost gender-neutral. Later on, her voice varies between the latter and a different voice that's recognizably female. In Season Fourteen and onward, her voice is basically borderline for either gender, but now with a trace of a New York accent.
The Woobie: Arthur, especially in episodes like Arthur's Eyes, Arthur's Underwear or any episode where Arthur goes through hell from his friends. Sue Ellen has become this in later seasons, particularly So Funny I forgot to laugh, where she's constantly heckled by Arthur for the sweater she didn't choose to wear. Any of Arthur's friends can be this, though Francine may be more of an example of a Jerkass Woobie but especially Buster where he's ostracized by his friends just because he went around the world, and some of Arthur's friends can't stand his eccentricities. And then there's Fern. Hoo boy does she qualify. Especially in Draw! where she's mercilessly teased by Francine. It gets to the point that whenever Francine goes through hell, some people think of it as karmic payback for all the nasty things she's done to Arthur and Fern.
Hollywood Homely: Susan is played by a very pretty Jill Eikenberry. Arguably justified since most of the other characters do acknowledge this; it just so happens that Arthur has a rather unconventional taste in women (and seems to have more issues with Susan's personality than her looks).
Averted. Guests at the engagement party remark on how pretty Susan is. Linda confirms this: "Of course. Why would Arthur marry a dog?"
Subverted. Linda's tone indicates she thinks Susan is a dog.