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    Common character tropes 
  • Book Dumb: Depending on the writer, any one of Arthur's immediate friends (except Brain), Arthur himself, or even the grown ups may be subject to this.
  • Bookworm: Every child character in the show has been seen in the library at least once.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Do any of the characters appear to be their ethnicities or nationalities? Then again, they are anthropomorphic animals... Or are they?
  • Cartoon Creature: One of the commonly asked questions about the show is the subject of which animal some of the characters are. Arthur and his family are the most confusing since they do not look like aardvarks at all. Prunella is another character that's debated upon; it is undecided on whether or not she is a poodle or a rat. PBS says she's a rat but Marc Brown says she's a poodle.
  • Childhood Friends: The majority of the third-grade cast have known each other since preschool.
  • Close-Knit Community: Some episodes imply that the parents in Mr. Ratburn's class have all shared contact information with each other, while others make it clear that some of the parents are on a First-Name Basis.
  • Free-Range Children: Arthur and co. are about only eight years old and are in third grade, yet they run all about Elwood City much like teens several years older. None of their parents seem to be concerned, with the exception of what happens in S2's "Lost!" where Arthur accidentally rides the bus line to the city limits. Played With in an episode where for some reason, Brain and Binky think they're trapped at the soccer field and their moms forgot to pick them up. They go everywhere else in their neighborhood, but can't walk home?
  • Good Parents: All of the parents can count. What's interesting is that there are a rather startling number of examples of Arthur and D.W.'s parents not doing their job right (although when you consider the current length of the show, it's not entirely unexpected).
  • Informed Species: A lot of the characters fall into this. For example:
    • Arthur and his family look nothing like aardvarks. In the first book, Arthur's Nose, they looked more like brown tapirs with noses that were too long, and after Art Evolution did its thing they now look more like cartoony capybaras.
    • Francine and Muffy don't look much like monkeys. If anything, they just look like humans with large muzzles.
    • The Brain looks more like a gopher or a mouse than a bear. The Tibbles don't look like bears either, if anything they just look like grey-skinned humanoids than actual bears.
    • George doesn't really look like a moose. A cartoony deer, sure, but a moose? Not really.
    • Binky looks nothing like a bulldog. For one thing, he's yellow. And he has a human nose.
    • Prunella is supposed to be a rat, but the ears and hair make her look more like a poodle.
    • Jenna for the most part looks like a cat... but for whatever reason she too has a human nose.
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: Many of the show's characters have webpages detailing such experiences.
  • Limited Wardrobe The characters all have characteristic outfits by which they are identified. Depending on the episode or the setting, they may be changed.
  • Living Prop: There are a number of such characters in Arthur, mostly recurring townspeople and the students in D.W.'s class. Of important note are a pair of rabbit kids who've been in Arthur's class since the S1, but are not as developed as their classmates (in 20 seasons, the male one has only talked five times, and the female one doesn't speak at all until season 19, where she gets a single Day in the Limelight episode, aptly named "Maria Speaks"). It was confirmed at New York Comic Con 2013 that the two rabbit kids are indeed named Alex and Maria, and that the possibility of becoming Ascended Extras is open.
  • Nerd: Most of the characters have an enthusiastic interest in something that can be interpreted as "uncool", whether it is academic or pop culture-related.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Even though some characters have birthdays over the course of the show, the characters are shown to never physically age, outside of occasional flash-forward or fantasy. Lampshaded by D.W. in S1's "Arthur's New Year's Eve", suggesting that she's trapped in some kind of time warp that causes her to never get any older.
  • Punny Name: Most characters. The Crosswire family is probably the most obvious.
  • Renaissance Man: Most of the kids in Arthur's class play a sport and an instrument and love to read. Even George, who struggles in these areas and starts off being shy and socially awkward, finds his stride as a carpenter and sports commentator.
  • Rounded Character: One of the top reasons for the show's success.
  • Rotating Protagonist: This is how things work, so different members of the cast get their own Episode Title Card.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Very subtle, but just about EVERYONE on this show likes snacking on popcorn.
    • There's a trademark favorite drink, at least in earlier seasons anyway, for the Read family. They are almost always seen drinking milk at meals.
  • White Bunny: Most of the rabbit characters are white.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: A number of characters, from D.W.'s friend Emily to Arthur and his friends. They're not your average third-grade kids, after all. One of the best examples is D.W. and her zany Batman Gambit to trick Arthur and The Brain to take her to the science exhibit in S4's "Prove It!", and it worked.
  • Zany Scheme: Lampshaded by Arthur in "D.W. and Bud's Higher Purpose." During the intro, he explains D.W.'s propensity for this has gotten worse since she met Bud.

3rd/4th grade and above cast

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     Arthur Timothy Read 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/arthur0_7125.png
Voiced by: Michael Yarmush (seasons 1–5), Justin Bradley (season 6), Mark Rendall (season 6 re-dub; seasons 7-8), Cameron Ansell (seasons 9-11), Dallas Jokic (seasons 12-15), Drew Adkins (seasons 16-17), William Healy (seasons 18-19), Jacob Ursomarzo (seasons 20-21), Roman Lutterotti (seasons 22-present)

The title character of the show. He and his family are aardvarks.


  • Adorkable: For a third grader, anyway. Arthur's a Nice Guy who's also nerdy and tries his best to incorporate moral decency into situations. On a side note, it helps that he wears glasses.
  • Art Evolution: Applies to the book version, where he starts out as an actual aardvark (looking more like an anteater), and would slowly change in design until he came to his current look.
  • Adult Fear: Has a moment of this in-universe when he and his friends suspect they brought home a venomous snake. The snake isn't venomous, as it's a King Snake, and not a highly venomous Coral Snake.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: The very first Arthur book had him looking more like an actual aardvark.
  • Berserk Button:
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Normally a good-natured Nice Guy, but it's not a good idea to anger him. When D.W. destroyed his model plane and chose to blame him instead of apologising for her actions, he erupted.
  • Big Brother Bully: Downplayed. He isn't exactly a bully and he is teased by D.W. more often than the other way round, but he can be unfair or rude to her at times. Of course, he won't admit that though. For example, he has been known to cheat D.W. an hour out of television time by changing the clocks (knowing that she can't tell the time).
  • Big Eater: Has shown himself to be this at times, especially if cake is nearby.
  • Big "YES!": When he finds out that Buster is coming home from a Long Bus Trip with his father in S3's "Buster's Back".
    *Answering the phone* Hello? Yeah. Yeah? YEAH!
  • Black Bead Eyes: Whenever without his glasses. However in earlier seasons and in any scene of him when he was younger he is typically seen with realistically drawn eyes.
  • Butt-Monkey: Would become one in later seasons, where he was more prone to humiliation and misfortunes.
  • Cats Are Mean: Was a firm believer of this, as exemplified in "Francine and the Feline (S3)"; as of "D.W.'s Furry Freak-Out (S12)" however, he seems to not mind them anymore.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: An early episode revolved around Arthur trying to be funny for a school comedy play. Only to find that he's awful at delivering jokes. He finds a way to be humorous by playing the piano in a silly manner.
  • Character Blog: The Arthur Facebook page.
  • Character Tics: Arthur fiddles with his glasses when he's lying.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Serves as the main plot point in "Arthur's Underwear", where Arthur becomes extremely paranoid that it will happen to him after witnessing a similar incident with Binky. All his various imaginings of this are played for laughs until he actually does split his pants, an incident he still hasn't quite gotten over.
  • Crazy Consumption: D.W., when imagining Arthur in a negative light, sometimes has him digesting cake either in one bite or in a mess. In "D.W. Gets Lost" this actually happens.
  • Crowd Chant: Arthur gets one when he is cleared for embezzlement in "Arthur Accused!"
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    D.W.: Where were you between six months ago and yesterday?
    Arthur: Listening to you whine about the snowball 24 hours a day.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Punching D.W. in "Arthur's Big Hit". Granted, Arthur's anger was justified as he worked really hard on that model airplane and had repeatedly told D.W. not to touch it, but punching her in retaliation was too much.
  • Eye Glasses: Has these. Was initially self-conscious about them, too.
  • The Everyman: In sharp contrast to a group of widely varied friends with telling character traits. Lampshaded in S6's "Best of the Nest", when Arthur settles on "Just Plain Goose." This is extremely poignant when one considers that most of the later season's episodes focus on Arthur's friends more than Arthur himself.
  • Eye Cam: Almost all of "You Are Arthur".
  • Facepalm: A very brief one after dropping the wedding ring in "D.W. Thinks Big".
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Responsible to D.W.'s Foolish. Arthur is more level-headed and reserved than the latter, who is a bratty Mouthy Kid.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Unlike D.W., he has only ever been issued one once throughout the show in S4's "Arthur's Big Hit," and it is lampshaded.
    Mrs. Read: Arthur Timothy Read, come here!
  • Game Show Appearance: Arthur winding up on in-universe Riddle Quest in S5's "Arthur and the Big Riddle".
  • The Generic Guy: Arthur is an average eight-year-old kid struggling through school and having to deal with an Annoying Younger Sibling. He doesn't have much of a personality other than being somewhat nerdy and a Nice Guy.
  • Guilty Pleasures: Arthur is secretly a fan of in-universe toddler's show named "Love Ducks". He keeps it a secret because (per the title of the S4 episode) "That's a Baby Show".
  • Headdesk:
    • He is so exhausted from Pandering to the Base in S1's "Arthur Writes a Story" that he does a Double Headdesk.
    • He does it again in S8's "D.W., Dancing Queen", when he and his friends overhear D.W. tell everyone of his nightmares about his underwear, and even brought it to school for all to see.
  • The Hero: As the title character and de facto leader of his friend group.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: He wears a leather jacket in S20's "Buster's Second Chance" combined with a Cool Shades version of his normal glasses, in an alternate timeline where he never befriended Buster and became a Tough Customer instead.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Buster.
  • Humiliation Conga: "Arthur's Big Hit" in a nutshell. After punching D.W., he gets grounded, then all his friends get angry with him for what he did. Afterwards, he gets punched out by Binky only to get little sympathy from his parents.
  • Hypocritical Humor: He accuses his friends of "not being able to stand a little competition" when playing games with them in "Arthur the Loser". In this episode he resorts to cheating against all of his friends because he proved to be a Sore Loser before his scheme was uncovered.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • "So Funny I Forgot to Laugh" represents such a moment of weakness for Arthur that it's unconvincing.
    • Arthur's cost-cutting ideas in "Arthur Read Super Saver" are more likely to come from the four-year-old-cast, like bathing in water from the Molinas' sprinklers, or trying to cut his family's water bill by getting Pal to lick food stains off the flatware.
  • Jerkass Ball:
    • In "So Funny I Forgot To Laugh," wherein he repeatedly makes fun of Sue Ellen's sweater even after she told him to stop, and on top of that, he sent her a Backhanded Apology letter. Thankfully, he realizes that he was acting like a jerk when Sue Ellen tries to switch classes.
    • He was particularly nasty to Francine when she introduced him to her new cat Nemo in "Francine and the Feline", and was convinced Nemo would hurt Pal when at the time they were just playing. He never apologized for this, and it seems he wouldn't completely let go of his prejudices towards cats until later seasons.
  • Kid Hero: Naturally, since he's a third grader and the main protagonist.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In "Arthur's Big Hit", we're supposed to see Binky punching him after he punches D.W. as this... except that it goes against the whole "hitting is wrong" Aesop. Also, Binky didn't even want to do it in the first place and was only pressured into doing it by his friends.
  • Loser Protagonist: Becomes one in the later seasons, where he's more prone to having misfortunes befall him.
  • Meaningful Name: Arthur Read. Appropriate, given his love of books.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: The teaser for "That's a Baby Show!" has Arthur demanding a stopdown when Mary Moo Cow and co. randomly show up in his bedroom.
  • Nerd Glasses: He's somewhat of a nerd and wears glasses.
  • Never Live It Down: An In-Universe example; Frequently accused by D.W. of having stolen her snowball without any evidence; also he still hasn't forgotten the incident where he split his pants, the latter being so much so that Muffy urged him to forget it and move on.
  • Nice Guy: All faults aside, he is usually kind and sweet.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The In-between to Kate's Nice and D.W.'s Mean. He is more mature and level-headed than D.W. and often has to put up with her behavior, but can have his moments where he is sometimes unfair to D.W.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The name "Arthur" means "bear", but he's an aardvark.
  • Official Couple: He is shown married to Francine in the future on multiple occasions, despite massive denial between each other in S2's "Arthur and the Square Dance".
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Arthur making fun of Sue Ellen for wearing her sweater in "So Funny I Forgot to Laugh" was quite the eyebrow-raiser. Lampshaded by Mr. Ratburn.
    Mr. Ratburn: I was surprised too, Arthur. It doesn't seem like you, but when you continue to tease someone, even after they've asked you to stop, that's bullying.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Punching D.W. for breaking his model airplane in "Arthur's Big Hit". While what Arthur did was wrong, it wasn't unjustified since he worked really hard on that model airplane and explicitly told D.W. not to touch it.
  • Pinocchio Nose: Has an all-too-obvious habit of fiddling with his glasses when he lies.
  • Protagonist Title: The show is named after him.
  • Tempting Fate: In "Arthur Babysits", Arthur boasts that babysitting is the easiest job on earth, having to take care of both D.W. and Kate. Then comes the first time where he must babysit the Tibble Twins, who he said "didn't look so bad". And the rest is history.
  • This Loser Is You: Arthur could be described as this, Depending on the Writer.
  • The Unapologetic: A few times, such as in "Arthur's Big Hit" when he refuses to apologize to D.W. for punching her, and in "So Funny I Forgot to Laugh", where he writes a Backhanded Apology letter to Sue Ellen for making fun of her sweater. In each case, he insists that D.W. and Sue Ellen (respectively) should apologize to him.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Played With. While he does often get angry at D.W.'s behaviour, to the point of even punching her in "Arthur's Big Hit", and is forced to do favors for her by either herself or his parents, there are a few times when he does does favors for her willingly, despite having the least reason to do so given her Lack of Empathy towards him. "Operation: D.W." is a notable example of this.
  • Would Hit a Girl: If punching D.W. in "Arthur's Big Hit" when she broke his model plane is any indication.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Downplayed as he's only older than her by about four years, but he willingly punched D.W. in "Arthur's Big Hit" for messing with his model airplane.
  • You're Insane!: Arthur to D.W. after the latter announces plans to live with Mary Moo Cow in S5's "The Last of Mary Moo Cow".

     Buster Baxter 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bubu_914.png
Voiced by: Daniel Brochu, Robert Bell (Living Books)

One of Arthur's closest friends. He and his divorced parents are rabbits.


  • Adorkable: His eccentricity, nerdiness, combined with his good heart grant him this status.
  • Against My Religion: In S7's "Buster's Amish Mismatch" when he became Amish after a field trip.
  • Agent Mulder: Firmly believes in the existence of aliens.
  • Alliterative Name: Buster Baxter.
  • Amateur Sleuth: One of Buster's trademarks, often imitating hard-boiled Private Detective stories when he's on a case.
  • Badass Biker: Arthur imagines him as one if Buster was a teacher in S8's "D.W., Dancing Queen", complete with Cool Shades, Cool Bike, and a leather jacket.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The teaser for "Arthur's Substitute Teacher Trouble" ends with Buster wishing that Mr. Ratburn would disappear. In the aforementioned episode, when Mr. Ratburn loses his voice and has to go on sick day, his class ends up receiving substitute teachers that turn out to be worse at teaching than him.
  • Big Eater: So much so that during a fantasy sequence in S3's "I'd Rather Read it Myself", D.W. imagines him as a robot that only exists to eat. One wonders just how the kid can stay lean. Often leads to Crazy Consumption. This became a plot point in S16's "Too Much of a Good Thing", where Buster has to prove to Arthur he can control his eating habits when a special scout cookie goes on sale.
  • Book Dumb: Played with; Buster is used to getting F's in class, nearly getting held back a year for it. He has misspelled Arthur's name and once spelled "soccer" with two K's and a Q. However, it is shown in episodes such as "Buster Makes the Grade" that Buster can get good marks when he fully applies himself. His insight outside of the classroom though is usually a case of Depending on the Writer.
  • Clear My Name: "Arthur Accused!"
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Extremely superstitious, and is very, VERY obsessed with extraterrestrial life.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: None of his friends take his claims that aliens are real very seriously. However, the show does show that they do exist making him right.
  • Dub Name Change: Boris Beisel in the German dub.
  • Ears as Hair: Buster's mother makes him wear an embarrassing shower cap when he goes swimming, but his ears are more prominent than most, and he's especially likely to get water inside them.
  • Eureka Moment: How Buster usually solves his cases. "Overflowing?" "That song!"
  • Everyone Has Standards: Buster has no problem eating bizarre and rotten food, but in "To Eat or Not to Eat", he gets hold of a candy bar that contains strange ingredients and notices how his friends couldn't stop eating them, which compelled him to investigate.
  • Expressive Ears: They droop when Buster is upset. "Buster Makes the Grade" is a good episode to watch if you want to see him doing this several times.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Buster is willing to eat bizarre and rotten food.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Often has this attitude towards his grades in school, being prone to poor marks due to his lack of focus. Usually Played for Laughs, but in "Buster Makes the Grade" when he risks repeating the third grade, it's treated as anything but.
  • For Want of a Nail: S20's "Buster's Second Chance" reveals that had Buster never befriended Arthur as kids or failed the test that would have let him go a gifted school, Arthur would have met pre-Hidden Depths!Binky instead and become a Tough Customer instead of the Nice Guy he is in the show.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Arthur.
  • Hypno Fool: In S11's "Buenas Noches, Vicita", Vicita can't go to sleep. D.W. tries several methods, including trying to get Buster to hypnotize her to sleep. A couple of seconds later...
  • Hypocrite: In "The Blizzard" he mocks Francine for not finishing her report on the pioneers when she was supposed to, which forces her to redo it even as the blizzard rages across town. Yes, the kid who is known to put off his work to the last minute and struggles to keep his grades up thinks he can lecture Francine on this mistake, earning him a well-deserved snowball to the face.
  • It's All About Me: In "Buster Baxter, Cat Saver", where the public's obsession with Buster's alleged "heroism" in rescuing a cat from a tree causes him to abuse his time in the limelight. He eventually got over it after the episode.
  • Keet: He's the most energetic and funniest of Arthur's friends.
  • The Lancer: A position shared with Francine, to contrast Arthur's Hero.
  • Little Known Facts: Buster will believe anything he reads on the internet, as shown in S9's "Buster the Myth Maker".
  • Meaningful Name: Buster's street address is 7 Roswell Court. An alien spaceship is rumored to have crashed in Roswell, New Mexico.
  • Nerd: His aforementioned obsession with extraterrestrial life.
  • Never My Fault: He's hit with this when he does a history report and intends to open it with a joke for the class, and is furious when Binky beats him to the punch after hearing the joke from Buster earlier. Buster receives a "D" on his report, and openly blames Binky for it until Arthur makes him realize that it's his own fault that he put no effort into the actual assignment.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Dresses like this in "Mr. Ratburn And The Special Someone".
  • Nice Guy: He's a good guy and caring friend.
  • Not So Different: With, of all characters, Mr. Ratburn. They seem opposites in most respects, especially in regards to anything school-related. Buster has a (rather silly) fear of his teacher's gung-ho attitude toward learning. Despite this, the characters share many other definitive personal tastes. The biggest examples? Both obsessively love desserts, both watch cartoons, and Mr. Ratburn seems to have been much more like Buster in his youth according to what was seen on an old videotape from his high school days.
  • Obsessed with Food: To accompany his Big Eater trait, plenty of episodes revolve around his appetite. "Sleep No More" has him going to a pizza-themed theme park to participate in a pizza eating contest.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: You can tell a food's really bad if he won't eat it.
  • The Pig Pen: Often shown to have poor hygiene; so much so that he was the only student at Lakewood Elementary not to be affected by an outbreak of head lice. Unfortunately, it is not unusual to see him eat stuff off the floor, neglect to wash himself, or display poor table manners.
  • Put on a Bus: S2's "Arthur's Faraway Friend" has Buster leave the show to travel the world with his airline pilot father, which starts the spin-off show "Postcards from Buster". He comes back at the start of S3.
  • Skewed Priorities: Has had his moments of this. One notable instance was when he became angry with Binky for retelling a joke he made up in class that he intended to open his report with. When Buster gets a poor grade for his paper, he becomes obsessed with getting even with Binky, thinking that "stealing" his joke cost him the grade. It takes Arthur to point out that he failed due to his lack of effort on the actual subject of his report.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: The main plot points of S3's "Buster's Back" and "The Ballad of Buster Baxter".
  • Terrified of Germs: A plot point in S11's "Germaphobia;" his friends tell him that his typical behavior qualifies him as a slob, and it backfires.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Steals a Cyber Toy in "Nerves of Steal", stuffing it in Arthur's backpack and then must confess when guilt takes over. He not only gets Arthur in serious trouble when they get caught, but he is grounded an entire month with no dessert for his troubles.
    • In one episode he becomes careless with a high-powered telescope he bought to observe the stars, and for this gets a reading suggesting that a comet would hit the earth, eventually causing a panic among his peers. Thankfully, everyone found that the telescope was just missing a piece.
  • Wild Take: In his nightmare in S1's "Arthur's First Sleepover".
  • Your Mom: Told Binky his mother eats gym shorts in one episode. Binky didn't take it too well.

     Francine Alice Frensky 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/francine_3681.png
Voiced by: Jodie Resther

One of Arthur's closest friends. She's a tomboy and enjoys competition. Francine and her family are monkeys.


  • Academic Athlete: A mild case. In addition to being a Passionate Sports Girl, she generally makes pretty good grades; Mr. Ratburn has singled out her work as "superb" before, and she was one of Buster's main tutors in "Buster Hits the Books."
  • Aesop Amnesia: In early episodes she would frequently tease Arthur for her own amusement; In "Arthur Makes the Team" she apologizes for this habit to Arthur, only to tell him later that she gets to tease him again if he flunks basketball season.
  • The Ace: Exceptionally good at almost every sport that exists, always has the last word with some witty or sarcastic reply, and is usually the one that ends up having to bail out one or all of her friends in some way or another. She might not be so good at badminton or skiing, if "The Good Sport" is any indication. Once she befriends Jenna, she will play badminton, but previously said it was "for wusses."
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: A book in a bad dream that Francine has is entitled "Francine Frensky: Fraud!".
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Happens in "Francine Frensky, Superstar," when Francine gets the lead in a school play.
  • Alliterative Name: Francine Frensky
  • Ambiguously Brown: Many people pictured Francine and her family as being rather dark-skinned or even black, but considering that they're Polish Jews...
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: Her very first appearance had her looking more like an actual monkey, including a long tail.
  • Art Evolution: In the first few books she wore dresses and her muzzle didn't blend into her face, making it more obvious she's a monkey.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Beating her in anything sports related.
    • "A griffin. A griffin. A griffin..." Note that this was in an Imagine Spot in S1's "Meek for a Week", showing what would happen if Francine kept her anger bottled up for too long.
    • Insulting Hanukkah also qualifies, as seen in the Christmas special.
  • Break the Haughty: Francine has needed a little attitude adjustment from time to time when she gets a little too abrasive.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: Suffers this when she tries fasting for Yom Kippur in "Is That Kosher?", and again when she decides to become vegetarian in "Sue Ellen Vegges Out".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has plenty of snark at her disposal.
  • Determinator: Always pushes herself to be the best at what she does, and doesn't respond well when something slows her down.
  • Dub Name Change: Her first name is Franziska in the German dub.
  • Eating Lunch Alone: Muffy lets her take the heat for cheating on a math test in "Arthur and the True Francine". Francine is too despondent to sit with company.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The events described in the following entry take place in the second half of the first episode.
  • Femininity Failure: Francine tries to be feminine for one day, picture day, where she goes to school in a dress and refrains from playing kickball during recess so she'll be presentable for her photo. She ends up playing anyway, and being scruffy in the picture.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With the Brain when it comes to sports, as the two are closely matched when it comes to their physical skill. Not always the case though, as seen in "The Big Blow-Up".
  • Hell Is That Noise: Anytime Francine tries to sing and drum at the same time. It sounds more like she's just hollering, or as she puts it after (unknowingly) hearing herself on tape, "an elephant crushing Mr. Ratburn's car".
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Muffy.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Subverted by the end of S4's "To Beat or Not to Beat"; she isn't a bad singer, she just can't sing and drum at the same time. Although in later seasons, she would become a much better singer, and her drumming would rarely if ever be mentioned or seen.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Francine often criticizes other people for being mean, despite being a textbook example.
  • Informed Ability: Supposedly she can cook, as seen in "Love Notes for Muffy;" this has rarely been showcased since.
  • Informed Judaism: As revealed in "Arthur's Perfect Christmas," she celebrates Hanukkah. Later episodes show her family attending synagogue and celebrating high holy days such as Yom Kippur. In the Christmas special, there is a possibly slight implication that Francine is descended from Holocaust survivors when she tells Muffy that the menorah her family lit to celebrate Hanukkah was from her great-grandmother, who took it with her from Poland.
  • It's All About Me: Frequently guilty of this, especially when it comes to her involvement in sports.
  • Jerk Jock: She gives off vibes of this.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Depending on the writer, as there are plenty of episodes where Francine is not a jerk.
  • The Lancer: Shared with Buster.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Will get hit with this whenever her teasing goes too far, most prominently in "Draw!" and "Vomitrocious!".
  • Not So Different: Turns out she doesn't like being teased either, as shown in the events of "Draw!" when everyone gives her a taste of her own medicine after she coldly insults Fern. Thankfully this is a habit she does a lot less in later seasons.
  • Official Couple: She is shown married to Arthur in the future on multiple occasions, despite massive denial between each other in S2's "Arthur and the Square Dance". She insisted on doing the rescue scene in "Arthur Makes a Movie" and was keen to play spin the bottle at Arthur's birthday party, possibly in the hope of getting to kiss Arthur.
  • Only Sane Woman: Occasionally fills this role, and is more often than not shown to have a good deal more common sense than some of the others.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: Francine is very athletic and loves sports, especially soccer, football, kickball, and bowling. The only sports she doesn't excel at are badminton and figure skating (which she dismisses as "girly"). Francine is very determined, perhaps even restless, and if she doesn't have an immediate knack for a certain sport or skill, she can become frustrated.
  • Prima Donna Director: In S1's "Francine Frensky, Superstar".
  • Plagiarism in Fiction: Francine plagiarizes a school essay in "Francine's Pilfered Paper". While the full range of real-life consequences of plagiarism are discussed, Francine is only asked to repeat the assignment, and she ends up with a lower grade.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: Between her and Muffy. She's the Slob, whereas Muffy is the Snob.
  • Sore Loser: One of her longtime trademarks; taken to new heights in "Arthur Calls It", where she berates Arthur for outing Buster in a baseball game in a play that was obscured to most observers and tries to discredit him, all because she was angry they had lost. Taken to an extreme in "The Good Sport", where she lost the Athlete of the Year Award to Jenna that she felt she was entitled to, and goes out of her way to make sure she knows this before finally coming to terms with it.
  • Stock Punishment: The teaser for "Francine's Pilfered Paper" takes place in the Puritan era, and she is punished for plagiarism in this way.
  • Token Minority: Francine's family is Jewish in an apparently mainly Christian community.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Her and Muffy.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In earlier seasons she was notorious for her constant teasing of Arthur purely for her own amusement, but as of more recent seasons this bad habit has become far less frequent.
  • Tsundere: Comes off as this occasionally, especially towards Arthur.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Main plot point in S1's "Francine Frensky, Superstar". Only after Mr. Ratburn intervened (after what amounted to the entire class sabotaging the dress rehearsal for the play) was everything put back into place.
  • Vegetarian for a Day: She goes vegetarian in order to one-up Muffy, who also went vegetarian. After Sue Ellen (who is vegetarian for ethical reasons) calls them out, Francine goes back to normal.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Despite being best friends, she and Muffy are constantly at odds with each other.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Happens in S1's "Meek For A Week"', which nearly caused the group's team to lose a hockey match. They got the jerk back when her Berserk Button was pushed.
  • With Friends Like These...: Her and most of the cast, but it is more prominent between her with Muffy. Sort of goes both ways with Muffy, considering the latter is so often a Rich Bitch, and appears totally clueless as to why Francine doesn't have the same amount of money or cool gadgets that she does—among other things Muffy is clueless about.

     Mary Alice "Muffy" Crosswire 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/muffy_5037.png
Voiced by: Melissa Altro

Best friend of Francine, since her arrival in 2nd grade. Like the Frenskys, she and her family are monkeys.


  • Aesop Amnesia: Muffy's lessons in selflessness never seem to last more than an episode. Lampshaded in "Muffy's Art Attack", where she tried to take credit for a series of sculptures that were actually handcrafted by Bailey, just as she took all credit for the cookie recipe she and her friends made in "How the Cookie Crumbles"; Francine does not let this go unnoticed.
  • Alpha Bitch: Muffy is often a stuck-up and a complete showoff who does not care to see things from other people's perspectives. She is even cruel to her friends from time to time.
  • Art Evolution: Originally drawn with buck teeth.
  • Big Fancy House: A sign of her unknowingly vast wealth, to the point where it actually has a mini amusement park inside of it.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When she was first introduced in the main cast in S1's "Arthur and the True Francine".
  • Break the Haughty: Happens to her semi-frequently.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Vomitrocious!"
    • "How rude!"
  • Chain of Deals: Utilizes a small one to get her hands on a World Girl doll in "Cents-less".
  • The Clan: Part of a family that is shown to be influential in the transportation industry.
  • Competition Freak: Much like Francine, except she excels in contests rather than in sports. This is most notable in "The Election", when she runs for class president against Arthur and takes every opportunity to put him down, blissfully ignoring the fact that no true prize was involved.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • Molly in the French dub.
    • Melli Kauzmeier in the German dub.
  • The Fashionista: Mostly in episodes where she has an opportunity to be in other clothes besides her standard dress.
  • Flanderization: Her (claimed) marketing knowledge.
  • Girly Girl: The most traditionally feminine of the main group.
  • Hands Go Down: Subverted in "Sue Ellen Adds it Up".
    Mrs. Bryan: *Exasperated* Are you going to ask if you can paint the school pink, Muffy?
    Muffy: *Annoyed* I was going to say "salmon!"
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Francine.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Muffy regularly accuses people of being snobs, despite being a textbook example herself.
    • Her catchphrase, "How rude!", usually spoken in a condescending manner or when she herself is doing something most would also consider rude.
  • Innocently Insensitive: She can be this, even outside her worst moments. A good example is in "Stolen Bike" when she defends Francine from Buster who made a crack about Francine's old bicycle, during which Muffy also made unflattering remarks about said bike among other things. Francine was understandably put off.
  • Intergenerational Friendship:
    • In "The Butler Did... What?", Muffy thinks she has this kind of relationship with Bailey, but Francine points out that she barely knows him personally. To be fair to Muffy, however, the two are pretty close to one another before she gets to know him better by the end of the episode.
    • Later episodes show her trying to have a full version of this with Bailey, though her conversations with him still show shades of ego. For example, Bailey helps Muffy reconnect with her old imaginary friend—but first he has to reassure her she actually has imagination.
  • It's All About Me: Very much, but in later seasons, certain events have mellowed her at different times. For example, she's very upset when she realizes her desire for a bouncy house will result in losing the cherry tree she's had since she was a kid. She also now helps out in a thrift store on occasion.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite her flaws, Muffy has a knack for being friendly, cares a lot about her friends, and loves to hang out with them.
  • Lack of Empathy: She often has trouble seeing things from other people's perspectives.
  • Large Ham: She can be really dramatic when she wants to be.
  • Lots of Luggage: Muffy tends to struggle without her luxuries, and tries to bring them along when she travels.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: She learns from her mistakes and she can be a nice girl.
  • Manipulative Bitch: She will do anything to get her way, even if this means lying.
  • Meaningful Name: Her street address is 1250 Nouveau Lane. Her family is Nouveau Riche, or new money, as explained below.
  • Nice to the Waiter: To her butler/chauffeur, Bailey.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Nobody calls Muffy "Mary", not even her parents, although her mom did give her a Full-Name Ultimatum (Mary Alice Crosswire) in S1's "The Scare Your Pants Off Club".
  • Plot Allergy: In "Poor Muffy", Muffy turns out to be allergic to new carpeting in her house. She stays with the Frenskys for about a week while it's removed.
  • Rich Bitch: She is often labeled a snob and spoiled because of her wealth, condescending attitude and frequent selfishness.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: Between her and Francine. She's the Snob, Francine's the Slob.
  • Sore Loser: While not quite as bad as Francine, she has many such moments. Taken to new heights in "The Election", where she blames Arthur for her losing a class election that didn't award anyone any real power.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Her and Francine.
  • Upper-Class Twit:
    • In S13's "The Great MacGrady", it's shown that she literally does not know how to do dishes. She simply squirts some dish-washing liquid onto the sink full and expects that to do the job.
    • When she learns her family history, she's actually shocked and disgusted when she finds out her family is not akin to royalty, but rather she's descended from commoners and most of her family's wealth comes from her dad's used car business.
    • She thinks that using a credit card is not the same as spending money.
  • Vegetarian for a Day: She temporarily goes vegetarian in order to emulate a celebrity.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Despite being best friends, she and Francine are constantly at odds with each other.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: In the teaser for "Arthur and the True Francine" Muffy lies to her friends that she has never told a lie. The episode itself shows that she lied about a lot of things when she first came to Elwood City.
  • With Friends Like These...: Her and Francine. A particularly egregious example is in the episode "My Club Rules" where in Muffy basically decides the treehouse isn't good enough for her and that she'll start her own club. Muffy basically begins a chain of everyone acting like jerks to everyone else to go form their own clubs.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: This is how Muffy responds when she learns that she has to go without spending money for a whole weekend.

     Alan "The Brain" Powers 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/brain_promo_1999.png
Voiced by: Luke Reid (seasons 1-4), Steven Crowder (seasons 5-6, Arthur's Perfect Christmas), Alex Hood (seasons 7-9) Paul Stuart Brown (seasons 9-11), James Buckholder (Arthur's Missing Pal), Lyle O'donohue(seasons 12 to 15), Siam Yu (seasons 16-18), Max Friedman Cole (season 18-21), Evan Blaylock (seasons 22-present)

A young bear, and the smartest among Arthur's friends.


  • Academic Athlete: Brain is academically brilliant and great at chess. However, he's also great at basketball and soccer.
  • The Ace: Besides his intelligence, it is shown that he is also good at various sports. He and Francine are often partners for sport-centric episodes. Academics seems to come more naturally to him. Sports, he has claimed that he practices hard for.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Brain is confirmed African-American but doesn't particularly look it since he's a bear. In later seasons, his mother is lighter furred than her son and husband, and is also blonde, meaning The Brain is possibly of mixed race. Then again she had brown hair originally, and as of season 16 is back to that, so it could be dyed.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: His strong interest in scientific matters, his tendency to state things in a matter-of-fact way and his strong fear of hurricanes (to the point that he had to see a therapist when one struck Elwood City, which none of his friends had to) may indicate that he has Asperger's Syndrome, but unlike with Carl, this is never explicitly stated. It also helps that his uncle Keith is a confirmed Aspie.
  • The Bartender: At his parents' ice cream shop in later seasons.
  • The B Grade: Brain gets a B- on a test in S9's "Breezy Listening Blues" and concludes that the breezy listening music his parents recently started playing in their music shop is having a deleterious effect on his studies.
  • Big "WHAT?!": His reaction to his early demise in "Best of the Nest".
  • Black and Nerdy: He's an animal like everyone else — a bear to be exact — but he celebrates Kwanzaa and has relatives in Senegal.
  • Black Best Friend: Brain and Binky seem to be quite close, despite being polar opposites.
  • But Not Too Black: His family's celebrating of Kwanza was the only indication of his race, until an African cousin comes over to visit.
  • Child Prodigy: He is absolutely brilliant. He's written out of "Buster Spaces Out", wherein the other kids need help building and launching a model rocket. Instead, Carl offers to help, and serves as the team's risk assessor.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Certainly not as much as someone like Buster, but being the most ridiculously smart in the gang he occasionally will overthink and theorize things to ludicrous extremes, which usually just leaves everybody else bewildered.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Is easily beaten at chess by the more skilled Rattles in S16's "Brain's Chess Mess".
  • Depending on the Writer: Brain tends to range between The Smart Guy who offers helpful information when needed, a “Stop Having Fun” Guy who pops everyone's bubble, and a Child Prodigy who knows how to casually make things some scientists don't know how to make.
  • Ditzy Genius: He's so smart that he overthinks things.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • In the French dub, his first name is changed to Alain, with "Lumière" being the equivalent to "The Brain".
    • In the German dub, he's known as "Schlaubi". It is a short form of the German word "Schlauberger", which translates to "smart-aleck".
  • Friendly Rivalry: With Francine when it comes to sports, usually.
  • Held Back in School: It was revealed in the season 11 episode "Brain's Shocking Secret" that he was held back in Kindergarten due to him being deemed too emotionally immature.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Occasionally slips into this when displaying his intelligence, but often more so when he insists on being logical about every small thing. A good example is when he did not trust Sue Ellen to hold up her end of a report they were doing together, and cut her off completely for fear she'd ruin his grade; as Francine points out to him, this was one of his worst habits. Another example is while Buster is away traveling he steps in to help Arthur finish their Robin Hood story, removing all of Buster's fantastical elements for what's scientifically accurate.
  • Insufferable Genius: Can slip into this at times. It becomes a plot point in "Bugged".
  • Meaningful Name: Alan "Brain" Powers. Appropriate, since he's the most intelligent of his group of friends. Also a Punny Name.
  • Mr. Exposition
  • Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: The only one in class who doesn't groan when given a big homework assignment.
  • No Name Given: It's not really considered appropriate for teachers to address students by their nicknames. Even though it was fudged at first, it was awkward. It didn't become a problem until the TV show began, both because the book narration is from Arthur's perspective and because it is in the third person. Circumstances were such that The Brain had to have a given name, and "Alan" is Adorkable without being difficult to swallow.
  • Not So Above It All: Some episodes, especially later in the show's run, demonstrate that for all his intelligence, Alan is no less prone to bouts of anxiety or irrationality than anyone else. This causes his moments of weakness to appear all the more significant.
  • Old Shame: An In-Universe example; he was held back in Kindergarten due to emotional issues, something he didn't want his friends in the third grade to know about.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "The Brain" is only referred to as such by his peers.
  • Opening Shout-Out and Internal Homage: The latter of the two is an Episode Title Card, shown in S3's "And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids".
  • The Perfectionist: Being hyper-intelligent, he strives for academic perfection. Becomes a major plot point in "Sue Ellen and the Brainasauros" when he and Sue Ellen are teamed up to do a report, and Brain insists on doing all of the work, which frustrates Sue Ellen to no end. Francine reveals that this has been a bad habit of Brain's since they were small, never trusting his friends to do a good job for fear they'd just bring him down. He finally understands how insensitive he was and finally trusts Sue Ellen with her part in the report.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Goes on one in "Love Notes for Muffy" when she bribes the judges at a science fair; for the most part he just ends up looking foolish for it.
  • Sanity Slippage: Brain is usually the most calm and approachable of all the kids, but when he feels he's been wronged in some way, he'll become darn near psychotic and start giggling crazily, trying to plot revenge.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: He was the one working on Antidisestablishmentarianism before the spelling bee in S1's "Arthur's Spelling Trouble".
  • Sore Loser: Nowhere near as bad as Francine, but he has his moments. In "Love Notes For Muffy" he tries to get revenge on Muffy for bribing the judges in a science fair they had competed in, where it's implied he felt he was a more deserving winner (Ultimately neither of them do); In "Arthur and the Spelling Bee" the Brain misspells the word "Fear" at the Spell-athon and is thus eliminated, to which he bitterly asks what dictionary was being used.
  • The Smart Guy: A Child Prodigy par excellence.
  • Spock Speak: As a, well, brainy type, he tends to employ a rather formal sentence structure as well as a preference for technical terms.
  • Technobabble: Talks like this a lot, which leaves everyone confused.
  • Token Minority: Brain and his family seem to be the only major African-American characters in the show, what with Brain's friendship and Arthur and all.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • He was afraid to go to a pool party because of his aquaphobia, though later seasons remove it, implying that The Brain got over his fear.
    • S18's "Shelter from the Storm" reveals that he's scared of hurricanes to the point of being outright traumatized by them, and he has to see a therapist when one strikes Elwood City.
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     Shelley "Binky" Barnes 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/binky_9551.png
Voiced by: Bruce Dinsmore

Another one of Arthur's friends. Due to being retained, he's the oldest and biggest student in Mr. Ratburn's class. He and most of his family are bulldogs.


  • Adult Fear:
    • In S9's "Binky Goes Nuts", his mother gets worried when he's revealed to have a peanut allergy. Even if the concerns that Mrs. Barnes expresses in "Binky Goes Nuts" seem a bit excessive note  , they are realistic.
    • He goes through this himself when, in S8's "Thanks a Lot, Binky", he imagines Rattles messing up a dangerous rollerblading stunt and hurting himself severely, breaking almost every bone in his body. Then his Opinion-Changing Dream shows him what would happen if Binky didn't tell Mr. Haney like he did; Rattles would end up stuck in the hospital in a full-body cast in agony until all of his bones were healed.
  • Ambiguously Gay: His Hidden Depths reveal an interest for hobbies stereotypically tied to gay people such as theater, dance (especially ballet), art, music, culture, and the likes.
    "I like to read books with lots of pretty flowers. (everyone stares at him) ...Being crushed by a giant pterodactyl!"
  • Art Evolution: In the books his ears were originally drawn flatter on his body and he was fatter.
  • Berserk Button: Even if you're dared to, do not ever insult his mother within his hearing range. Buster learned this the hard way.
    Buster: Binky, I have a message for you.
    Binky: What?
    Buster: Ummm, lemme think... Oh, yeah! ...Your mother eats gym shorts!
    Binky: (explodes) WHAT?!
  • The Big Guy: The biggest and toughest of the main group.
  • Big "NO!": Binky busts out an epic one after a nightmare in S9's "Binky Goes Nuts".
  • The Bully: Moves away from this as the series progresses. Hidden Depths are eventually revealed, which moves towards the Gentle Giant. He ultimately decides that he and the other Tough Customers give up bullying altogether in S16's "The Last Tough Customer".
  • Bully Bulldog: He's a bulldog and he starts out as a typical schoolyard bully, but he gradually subverts this trope as his Hidden Depths are revealed and he becomes more of a Gentle Giant.
  • Chained Heat: Ends up handcuffing himself to Fern in "Dueling Detectives" in an attempt to arrest her for stealing George's puppet, only he loses the key and they end up handcuffed together for the rest of the episode.
  • Character Development: Over the course of the series, he goes from a tough school bully to a Gentle Giant as more of his Hidden Depths are explored.
  • Characterization Marches On: In "Buster's Back," Binky offers to trade for a peanut butter sandwich, and in "Waiting to Go", he is shown eating peanut butter crackers. Then he is given a peanut allergy in a later episode, where he also states he doesn't like peanuts.
  • Cool Big Bro: He's very nurturing and helpful with Mei-Lin, his younger sister.
  • Could Say It, But...: Binky telling Buster how to liberate his confiscated toy car in "Buster the Lounge Lizard".
  • Episode Title Card: Binky blows a bubble gum bubble so big that he is Covered in Gunge when it pops, and he gets stuck in the title card circle.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He may be a school bully, but he dearly loves his mother. That being said, insult her within earshot at your own peril.
    Rattles: That cloud looks like Mrs. Barnes wearing combat boots!
    Binky: Oh, yeah? Well, that cloud looks like me giving you a wedgie!
  • Everyone Has Standards: Binky picks on George on a regular basis, but in "The Last Tough Customer" he's horrified when Molly reduced George to tears for cruelly making fun of his dyslexia.
  • Fat Bastard: A heavy-set elementary student who's a Tough Customer, and a school bully. The early seasons played the trope straight, but as the show revealed his Character Development and Hidden Depths, it became a subverted trope.
  • For Want of a Nail: S20's "Buster's Second Chance" reveals that had Buster not befriended Arthur when they were kids, Binky would become Arthur's friend first, influencing Arthur into becoming a Tough Customer.
  • Friend to All Children: While Binky is still a child himself, he befriends D.W. in S3's "The Chips are Down" (to the bafflement of Arthur and friends) and her friend Emily in S13's "The Good, the Bad, and the Binky".
  • Gag Nose: Has the largest nose of the Arthur cast. Marc Brown stated it was inspired by a classmate who bullied him and had a potato-like nose.
  • Gentle Giant: A tall, buff kid with a good heart.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Goes from being a school bully and Tough Customer, to a Gentle Giant who is one of Arthur's close friends. What started it was Sue Ellen standing up to him in S1's "Bully for Binky".
  • Hidden Depths: He's highly cultured and is both a talented ballet dancer and clarinet player. He even admits that being held back has made him very insecure, which led to him becoming a bully.
  • Irony: Binky, who has the kind of effeminate behaviors which would make a big guy like him especially likely to be teased, harasses Arthur in "Arthur and the Square Dance" because he's convinced himself that Francine is in love with Arthur.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Seems to vary from sensitive soul who acts tough to genuinely stupid Depending on the Writer.
  • Lethal Chef: We find out Binky is this when he tries to make dessert for Christmas dinner at a soup kitchen. His attempts include pecan pie with shells and banana bread with peels. Perhaps most egregiously, he forgets to add sugar to his brownies.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: In "The Squirrels", he is the only one who has never seen the titular movie (he has never even heard of it) and thus didn't gain a fear of squirrels as a result. Until the end.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: His great-grandfather, Shelley Barnes.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Played straight and subverted; as the school bully, his name used to strike fear into the kids at Lakewood Elementary. But then when you remember that "binky" is another word for pacifier, it loses this.
  • Odd Friendship: With D.W., ever since S3's "The Chips Are Down". Arthur and his friends are left completely baffled by this.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: S15's "What's in a Name" reveals that Binky is indeed not his real name. It is, in fact, Shelley, named after his great grandfather. Not only do his parents not call him this, even Binky himself, didn't know.
  • Plot Allergy: Though earlier episodes imply otherwise, Binky is allergic to peanuts.
  • Paper Tiger: It is established in both "Bully for Binky" and "Arthur's Big Hit" that Binky relies solely on his size to intimidate others and has never actually fought anyone before. In the former, Sue Ellen stands up to him and the two agree to fight, but Binky finds out that Sue Ellen studies Tae Kwon Do and wisely attempts to back out, which Sue Ellen luckily agrees to. And in "Arthur's Big Hit" he's pressured by the other Tough Customers into hitting Arthur as a loyalty test. Binky doesn't want to hurt Arthur, but actually does give in and do it. Binky apologized to Arthur for hitting him and temporarily de-founded the Tough Customers.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Sleeps with a night light and takes ballet classes. Seems the longer the series continues, the less he tries to hide it. Heck, his shirt is even sort of pinkish-orange!
  • Sarcasm-Blind: He has his moments of this, such as in "Best of the Nest" when he asks his Dad if he can have a computer, to which he was told "when it snows in July". He goes out of his way to ask his friends if it's gonna be cold over the summer.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: In S9's "D.W., Dancing Queen", when Rattles and Molly catch Binky teaching D.W. how to dance (for a school project) and confront him about it, he says he's teaching her martial arts. They buy it.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Gradually over the course of the series as he becomes genuine friends with the gang. Even more so after the adoption of his baby sister Mei-Lin.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: He loves Chinese food, especially (peanut-free) egg rolls.
  • Unmanly Secret: Zigzagged like crazy. When his character first starts developing unmanly interests (such as dancing ballet), he tries to hide them, but then gets found out anyway. Though some people try to make a big deal of it at first, his perceived fierceness and reputation as a bully allows him to quell any teasing or bullying simply by growls, posturing and death glares. In later seasons, he still sometimes tries to hide it, but just as often is open about it. In Season 15's "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," he doesn't care one bit that his friends in the Tough Customers gang know that he's going to be performing in a clarinet solo, but is terribly afraid that one of them might find out that he still sometimes holds his mother's hand. When they do find out anyway, they chew him out... for not having a juicier, more embarrassing secret!
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: In "The Election"; while not a villain per se, he still essentially hijacks the election from Arthur and Muffy when he makes wild promises if elected class president. When he does win, he thinks he has the authority to go so far as to end homework, unaware that it was merely a mock election. One quick chat with Mr. Ratburn quickly sucks the wind out of his sails.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Happens to Binky occasionally.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: A focal point in S2's "Night Fright", as Binky can get really scared in the dark.

     Sue Ellen Armstrong 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sue_ellen_promo_951.png
Voiced by: Patricia Rodriguez (season 1-8), Jessica Kardos (seasons 9-present)

Arriving in the show in 3rd grade, she and her family are cats.


  • Action Girl: Shown to be skilled in martial arts, particularly Tae-Kwon-Do.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Generally a very nice girl, but she is not afraid to tell someone off if she thinks they're acting out of line. Binky found this out the hard way, when she agreed to a confrontation with him (Something even Francine was not willing to do) and frightens him with the mere mention of her skill at Tae-Kwon-Do.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Sue Ellen is a cat. Ratburn is a rat. But they seem to get along fine. There's some sort of humor in the cat character being the vegetarian.
  • The Determinator: Usually a force to be reckoned with once she's set her mind to something; In one episode, she's the only one in the class with the nerve to protest the near-closure of the Sugar Bowl. She was also the first kid to stand up to Binky, eventually prompting him to steer away from bullying.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • Suzie in the French dub.
    • Sabine in the German dub.
  • Everyone Hates Math: Apparently, Sue Ellen and her parents aren't that good at math; when it comes time to measure things, they manage by using estimation.
  • Girlish Pigtails: She wears a pair of them on each side of her head, except they're bunched up and curly.
  • Granola Girl: She becomes one in S8's "Sue Ellen Chickens Out". "Sue Ellen Vegges Out" gives her another level of this, when she decides to become a vegetarian after befriending a pig at a farm she visited. note 
  • Nice Girl: One of Arthur's nicest friends.
  • Only Child Syndrome: Main plot point in S2's "Sue Ellen's Little Sister". Come to the point where she spends time with D.W. however...
  • Only Sane Woman: Occasionally fills the shoes of this role.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: If she ever expresses fear over anything, you know something bad is afoot.
  • Ship Tease: S2's "Sue Ellen's Lost Diary" hints that Sue Ellen may have a crush on Arthur, following a debacle with her diary. This is a throwback to the book "Arthur's Valentine" where Arthur has a crush on the new student (Sue Ellen).note 
  • Sixth Ranger: Not always in the main group, but important whenever she is.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Plays the tomboy to Fern's girly girl on occasion.
  • Vegetarian for a Day: Subverted. She goes vegetarian after befriending a (non-anthropomorphic) pig. Sue Ellen stays vegetarian afterwards.

     Fern Walters 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fern_8114.png
Voiced by: Holly G. Frankel

Originally a background character, she and her family are dogs. Fern was generally shy, but has quite an interest in literature, specifically the horror and mystery genres.


  • Amateur Sleuth: Fern, like Buster, has this as one of her trademarks. In sharp contrast to Buster though, Fern prefers classic novelized detectives like Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, sometimes imitating any of them when she's on a case.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Fern is a quiet Shrinking Violet who is really into mystery novels and has ensyclopedic knowledge of them, to the point that she actually cosplays as characters from them while acting as an Amateur Sleuth herself. She is also a Nightmare Fethisist who likes to tell scary stories, and has even been shown to imagine terrible things happening to other people with a smile on her face!
  • Ascended Extra: Until S1's "I'm a Poet", she was a relative Living Prop. Lampshaded by Francine once Fern is finally driven to speak after a pushed Berserk Button courtesy of Binky.
    Francine: That's the most she's said all year!
  • Berserk Button: Don't insult her hobbies.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Francine and the Brain find out first hand in S2's "Draw!" and S12's "War of the Worms" respectively.
  • Chained Heat: Binky handcuffs her to himself when he jumps to the conclusion that she stole George's puppet. They stay that way for the rest of the episode "Dueling Detectives" due to Binky losing the key.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Not to Buster's extent, but still pretty out there.
  • The Dreaded: Arthur, Muffy, and Buster become terrified of her for a majority of "Fernkenstein's Monster" thanks to her really frightening story about a giant man-eating insect that mimics an umbrella.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • Flo in the French and German dubs.
    • Shida in the Japanese dub.
  • Episode Title Card: A shot, taken from S10's "Fern and Persimony Glitchet", that shows her writing. The difference between the other, louder title cards is symbolic of her quiet nature.
  • Jitter Cam: The intro to "Fern's Slumber Party". This does not help Fern at all.
  • Lets See YOU Do Better: Fern dares her classmates to put up or shut up when they insult her hobby.
  • Ma'am Shock: Her reaction to Binky declaring that the area where Wally is stolen is a crime scene:
    "Ma'am?...Crime scene?...Ma'am?!"
  • My God, What Have I Done?: She has this in "War of the Worms" upon learning that the Brain is rallying the kids against worms as a result of her scary prank on him, even outright saying "What have I done?".
  • Nerd: She is a Mystery Novel Fangirl, being shown in S2's "Fern's Slumber Party" playing with a Sherlock Holmes action figure. S11's "Phony Fern" even has her (and George) role-playing as Hercule Poirot.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Along with mysteries, Fern is very fond of reading and telling scary stories. She's also known to enact scary pranks on people, or imagine terrible things happening to people while she smiles about it.
  • Shrinking Violet: As the show progresses, she becomes more out-going and socializes more, though she still retains a bit of shyness.
  • Sixth Ranger: Not a part of the main group, but still an occasional friend.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Plays the girly girl to Sue Ellen's tomboy on occasion.
  • Unaccustomed as I Am to Public Speaking...: Her mom makes her throw a slumber party to improve her confidence. When it works, Fern's mom gloats a little to the audience.

     George Lundgren 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/george_promo_726.png
Voiced by: Mitchell Rothpan (season 1-7, APC, AIORnR), Evan Smirnow (season 8), Eleanor Noble (seasons 9-11; seasons 14 - present), Samantha Reynolds (seasons 12-13)

Originally a minor character in the background, he is a moose; a rare sight in the show. He is a young boy who has special talent in wood-carving and building, and is a skilled ventriloquist. He is often accompanied by Wally, his giraffe dummy.


  • Adorkable: George is incredibly awkward around other people (in part because of his horns), and spends less time talking to living people than he does to his ventriloquist's dummy, Wally, which he made himself.
  • The Announcer: Takes up this hobby in "Baseball Blues".
  • Ascended Extra: Though George existed since the beginning of the show, it was quite a long time before he was made into a full-fledged character, in S3's "Arthur's Dummy Disaster". Since then there have been more George-centric episodes.
  • Berserk Button: Before learning that he was dyslexic, he took great offense to Francine questioning his ability to read.
    Francine: George, can you read?
    George: Of course I can read! What do you think I am, stupid?!
  • Big "NO!": Three instances:
    • S8's Desk Wars, when his bubble-gum stegosaurus model is destroyed.
    • S9's George Blows His Top, when Arthur asks him if George can tell him the time. He replies, "NO!! What is it with you people? GET YOUR OWN WATCH!!"
    • S14's "Follow the Bouncing Ball", where his painstakingly arranged dominoes are knocked over by Francine.
  • Bully and Wimp Pairing: If often paired with Binky, with the two of them either having a bully and victim relationship, or other times an odd friendship with each other. Specifically one episode has Blinky helping George to become tougher, though it didn't really work out.
  • Butt-Monkey: He is often the subject of Binky's bullying in the earlier seasons prior to his characterization. Once he becomes more important, he still frequently gets forgotten or ignored by his friends.
  • Consulting Mister Puppet: ...Who is regularly poached for advice.
  • Dub Name Change: Jōji in the Japanese dub.
  • Forgettable Character: Initially nobody could remember him. It's gotten better recently, but still occasionally comes up.
  • "L" Is for "Dyslexia": Although the original portrayal is closer to Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!.
  • Mr. Imagination: Has many imagination sequences.
  • Mysterious Protector: This is George's entire relationship with his classmates, until they get to know him.
  • Nice Guy: He's pretty nice for the most part, even if he is The Friend Nobody Likes. His kindness is best exemplified when he shows great respect to Carl in spite of his autistic traits, always willing to support him.
  • Only Sane Man: On occasion; a notable example is "Do You Speak George?" when everyone insists on speaking only their own made up languages.
  • Running Gag: He has won numerous contests and awards, despite his status as the Butt-Monkey. In S15's "What's In a Name?" he is genuinely shocked when he does not win the class Thinker Award, which instead went to Binky.
  • Sixth Ranger: The main group frequently forget he even exists, so he only tags along on occasions.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: He's awkward, has been picked on, has some difficulty in school due to dyslexia, and is not very good at most sports, but has won a quiz show as well as contests in disciplines such as carpentry and dance. Some of these victories come as a kind of tag, being revealed after other characters lose the same competition to being preoccupied with something like a disagreement.
  • Truth in Television: Students with disabilities can submit exams and assignments in an alternate format, if they have documented their disability in advance.
  • Ventriloquism: With Wally.

     Prunella Deegan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/prunella_promo_3939.png
Voiced by: Tamar Kozlov (TV series), Wendee Lee (Arthur's Missing Pal), Bianca Rasmussen (Living Books)

One of the few 4th graders in the show, she and her family are either poodles or rats (official sources disagree).


  • Alpha Bitch: During the earlier seasons. She mellows out a bit once Henry Skreever and Marina Datillo are introduced to the show in S6's "Prunella's Special Edition".
  • Black Bead Eyes: She has dots for eyes, but for a moment in "Prunella's Special Edition", they're normal.
  • Big "NO!":
    • She screams it in the opening of S6's "Prunella's Special Edition", when she discovers that her new book is printed in Braille, and she can't read it.
    • Prunella screams it in "Prunella Packs It In", when she dreams that she's in Clown College.
    • She screams in "Prunella in the Haunted Locker", when she dreams she was attacked by her locker.
    • Dub Name Change: Brunhilde in the German dub.
  • Episode Title Card: I PREDICT THAT YOU WILL SHORTLY SEE... (episode title read out loud), taken from S4's "To Beat or Not to Beat".
  • Hair Decorations: A purple hairbow.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Marina. Occasionally, Muffy would fill this role.
  • Inconsistent Coloring: Her hair is canonically red but up until Season 16 it shifted between brown and red.
  • Nerd: Earlier seasons would show that Prunella and her sister Rubella were obsessed with paranormal phenomena. Her deep love for Henry Skreever would later become one of her signature character traits.
  • Noodle People: She's noticeably lanky compared to other characters.
  • Phony Psychic: Just like her big sister. Oddly, she still believes her sister even though she's using the same tricks.
  • Sixth Ranger: She's a grade higher than most of the rest of the cast, so she only hangs out with them on occasion.
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: She goes through one in S4's "Prunella Gets it Twice". Lampshaded when the "Ghost of Presents Past" interweaves Tiny Tim into the story.
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     Marina Datillo 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/3ed017adabe9571a02701a29cb743ea1.png
Voiced by: Helena Evangeliou

Prunella's friend, also a fourth-grader, who presumably goes to school at Mighty Mountain. Prunella met her in "Prunella's Special Edition" and she's been a recurring character ever since.


  • Academic Athlete: Marina is a bookworm who's also great at gymnastics and yoga. In a brief scene, she's shown playing soccer at school.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Averted. Marina is blind, but does not like people to make a big deal of it. She's also received a massive amount of Character Development that's unrelated to her disability, which is somewhat unusual for a kids' show.
  • Nerd: She and Prunella share a deep love of Henry Skreever novels, and both enjoy paranormal phenomena.
  • Satellite Character: She is defined entirely by her relationship with Prunella.

     Jenna Morgan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jennafdfshfk_9792.jpg
Voiced by: Brigid Tierney

Another former background character in Arthur's class, she is a cat, entirely different from Sue Ellen though. Despite being the shortest in her class, she's also great at sports that Francine isn't the best at.


  • The Ace: It is mentioned that Jenna is also good at sports, mostly at the ones Francine is not good at.
  • Ascended Extra: Like George, it was quite a while before she became a character with a personality. Despite having only one episode with her as the main focus in the show's 15 seasons (S7's "Jenna's Bedtime Blues"), she is maintained as a prominent secondary character.
  • The Chew Toy: She becomes this in "The Good Sport" when Francine continually badgers her for winning Athlete of the Year, and is fully aware that everyone thinks Francine should've gotten it. The two eventually make up though.
  • Dark Horse Victory: Everybody was floored when she was awarded the Athlete of the Year Award over Francine.
  • Embarrassing Damp Sheets: In "Jenna's Bedtime Blues", she is revealed to have this problem.
  • Informed Ability: In S6's "The Good Sport" we're told that Jenna excels in a number of sports that it's hard to imagine her doing. This seems like a one-off joke at first, but later episodes actually show her playing those sports.
  • Plot Allergy: Jenna is a cat who's allergic to milk.
  • Mauve Shirt: She has gotten a few spotlight episodes, but much less than the rest of the cast, and still generally remains underdeveloped. She is eventually depicted as Maria's confidant in "Maria Speaks."
  • Out of Focus: Jenna has only spoken a few times since season 9.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Jenna's reluctance to put on her pull-ups as shown in her only focus episode, S7's "Jenna's Bedtime Blues".

     Alberto Molina 
Voiced by: Johnny Griffin (season 14), Benjamin Israel (season 14), Daniel DeSanto (season 17-present)

A 13-year-old cat who is a next door neighbor of Arthur's. His family originally came from Ecuador. He practices Kendo in his spare time and is a fan of El Conejo Bionico, the Spanish version of Bionic Bunny.


  • Big Brother Mentor: As he's a bit older then most of the other kids, he occasionally fills this role.
  • Kendo Team Captain: Well, it's unknown if he's the captain of a team, but it's rare to see this sport in a Western cartoon.
  • Nerd: When Arthur first met him, he initially thought that his room would be filled with posters of rock groups or girls, but it turns out that he's a fan of the Spanish version of Bionic Bunny, which gives them something to bond over.

     Lydia Fox 
Voiced by: Barbara Mamabolo

An eponymous fox and friend of the third/fourth grade cast who was introduced in later seasons. She was born without the use of her legs, so she uses a wheelchair.


  • Academic Athlete: We first encounter Lydia as a new friend of Brain; they met because an injury relegated him to a wheelchair during basketball season. Through this, we find out Lydia is a great basketball player, but is also highly intelligent and plays a mean game of chess. Additionally, she's great at twirling batons.
  • Dub Name Change: Ridia in the Japanese dub.
  • Everything Is Better With Princesses: Played with. At first she despised the trope as there's never been a popular princess that resembled her, but after finding a book about Ana de Mendoza, she got D.W. to dress up as her. She also dresses up as a princess similar to Princess Leia and decks her wheelchair in Christmas lights to resemble a spaceship.
  • Handicapped Badass: She may be in a wheelchair, but she's good at basketball.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Averted. She uses a wheelchair, but it's not her only characteristic, and she's quite opposed to being given sympathy based on the wheelchair alone.
  • Retcon: She originated as the winning character of a kids' contest, where her submitted name was Lydia Fox. When the official episode was made, she was never given a last name in dialogue. However, she got the full name Lydia Gordonnote  in the episode's credits. When she returned a few years later, the name Lydia Fox was canonized through in-episode dialogue.
  • Species Surname: She's a fox with the last name "Fox".
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Plays the tomboy to Muffy's girly girl in "Little Miss Meanie" from Season 18.

     Carl Gould 
Voiced by: Dwayne Hill (season 13), Dylan Hoerner (seasons 14-present)

A young male rabbit who befriends George in season thirteen, and is later introduced to George's classmates. Carl has Asperger's Syndrome.


  • Anything but That!: The first time that Carl sees Wally, he starts to hold his head and panic. By the time of "Carl's Concerto," he's over it, though.
  • Blessed with Suck: In the sense that having rabbit ears only heightens his sensitivity to auditory stimuli.
  • Brainy Brunette: Carl has brown hair and possesses a savvy knowledge in trains and spaceships.
  • Child Prodigy: In "Buster Spaces Out", Carl is able to easily serve as a risk assessor for Buster's model rocket launch, filling in for an indisposed Alan.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With George. He is Carl's closest friend since he accepts him for who he is and supports him in spite of his idiosyncrasies.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: While the writers are usually very good about avoiding this trope, Carl's role in "He Said, He Said" is a Type B example. Carl is able to remember the events of a Bionic Bunny special better than Arthur, Buster, or George can.
  • Literal-Minded: When George asks Carl if he wants to hang out sometime, Carl asks "Hang out of what?" This prompts George to tell Carl that he's pulling his leg, to which Carl replies "No I'm not, I'm making a puzzle".
  • Long Speech Tea Time: George gets Carl going on a monologue about trains. Since George can't get Carl to stop, it turns into the framing device for the story of how they met.
  • No Social Skills: Carl sometimes misses social cues. He gets slightly better as the series goes on, however, and he is being taught how to handle social situations by his speech therapist.
  • Not Actually the Ultimate Question: When George shows Carl a picture he drew of a lion, he asks, "What do you think of my lion?" Carl says that lions used to live all over the world, but now live only in Africa and Asia. George has to clarify that he was asking Carl's opinion of the drawing.
  • Picky Eater: Carl does not like certain foods touching each other, because they have different colors.
  • Rail Enthusiast: Carl has books about trains, loves to put together train puzzles, and keeps a journal of train illustrations.
  • Satellite Character: Played with. Carl initially meets George, and meets his other peers later. While he does try to get along with the other kids, George still acts as an intermediary for them sometimes. In a straight example, Carl's mom only ever appears to support Carl himself.
  • Sensory Overload: Carl is sensitive to intense light and sound, as well as loud noises.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Carl is very intelligent and wears glasses.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Closed captioning spells Carl's surname as "Gold," but Arthur Wiki spells it as "Gould" based on "Carl's Concerto".
  • Super OCD: He's a Truth in Television (but downplayed) example. As one might expect, he prefers his things to be kept in a specific order and arrangement and, so, he keeps his building blocks in separate containers per shape.

     Ladonna Compson 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ladonna_promo_5095.png
Voiced by: Krystal Meadows

The Compsons are a family of rabbits with tan fur. They moved from Louisiana to Elwood City in the Season 16 premiere, "Based on a True Story". Ladonna is the third of four siblings. She has a penchant for oral storytelling, similar to Fern's love of poetry, or Sue Ellen's journaling hobby.


  • Big Eater: So much so that her father calls her a "garbage disposal with legs". The only thing she won't eat is beets.
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: Quite a good-looking rabbit.
  • Cool Big Sis: She has her moments, particularly during "Adventures in Budylon." She steps up to teach Bud how to tie shoelaces.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Downplayed. Ladonna's tendency to tell tall tales makes her the most likely of Arthur's friends to upset everyone else, especially when she first moves into town. "Ladonna's Like List" explores the concept of Ladonna's likeability.
  • Genki Girl: Is quite the chatterbox and can be rather chipper at the right times. Especially when snowy season comes around, as seen in "Waiting for Snow"; Ladonna squeeing in excitement becomes a Running Gag in the episode.
  • Motor Mouth: Initially introduced as such, telling tall tales in the hopes of impressing her would-be friends.
  • Put on a Bus: In A Duty Calls, she moves away from Elwood City because of her father's military service. We don't know if she'll be back, however.
  • Stock "Yuck!": She can't stand beets; just looking at beets upsets her stomach.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cake, King cake in particular.

     Maria Pappas 
Voiced by: Stacey Depass

A background character frequently seen as a member of Mr. Ratburn's class; she is a rabbit.


  • A Day in the Limelight: "Maria Speaks," her first speaking role to date.
  • Ascended Extra: One of the most recognizable background characters, it was not until Season 19 that Maria was actually given either a name or an actual speaking part. While far removed from being a main character, she is never far out of view at Lakewood Elementary.
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: Probably a big part of why she stands out despite being in the background.
  • Friend to All Living Things: So much so that she is able to speak perfectly well when addressing animals.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: In a loose sense, as Jenna seems to be the only person Maria is otherwise able to confide to under normal circumstances.
  • Out of Focus: More so than any other character before her first lead role in Season 19.
  • Shrinking Violet: She desperately tries to hide her stutter from the rest of her classmates.
  • Speech Impediment: We find out that Maria suffers from a stutter; with a little help however, she is slowly overcoming it.
  • The Voiceless: Until Season 19, she was this. So much so that Arthur can't remember ever hearing her speak.

     The Tough Customers 
"We're not bullies. We're kids who have a hard time expressing our emotions in a constructive manner." - Rattles

The Tough Customers are a gang of bullies at Lakewood Elementary School, founded by Binky, who is the one member who is not in the fourth grade. In "Arthur's Big Hit", Binky decides to get rid of the club, but in later episodes the club is still there. They hang out on the jungle gym (aka: The Tower of Pain), and also have an entire lunch table reserved for themselves. In early episodes, especially Season One and Two, they were portrayed as malevolent malcontents, but this lessened as time went on. Initially, there were many members, including Binky, Rattles, Molly, but the core three are the only of the original club to remain: none of the others are seen very frequently after Season Four. Later, Molly, Rattles, and Binky are joined by Slink, who was previously just a one-shot character from an earlier episode. From then onward, those four are consistently portrayed as the entirety of the group.


  • Aerith and Bob: Molly, Rattles, and Slink?
  • Affectionate Nickname: It's subtle, but Rattles often refers to Molly by "Moll" rather than her actual name. Both of them refer to Binky as "Binks" on several occasions.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Due to their extreme displays of Hypocritical Humor. In one episode, Arthur proclaims that he's a thief to gain acceptance to their group, and they openly welcome him and congratulate him on his "art". Then when it's revealed he wasn't honest, Binky and Rattles berate him for lying.
  • Character Tics: Frequently and consistently seen with their rollerblades and skateboards.
  • Character Development: They're introduced as a Gang of Bullies of sorts, but they slowly reveal their nicer and more sensitive sides during the series. As of "The Last Tough Customer", they decide to abandon their bullying ways altogether.
  • Characterization Marches On: They become less obvious bullies and just kids who can sometimes be thoughtless and mean. They also channel their energy more constructively, going from malicious bullying to consumer advocacy.
  • Depending on the Writer: Whether they're actually legitimately malicious or just rougher and tougher than most of the other students.
  • Diminishing Villain Threat: In early seasons, they're truly nasty and unkind to other students. By Season Eight, the worst they do is claim the jungle gym for themselves and bar everyone else from playing there, and occasionally throw water balloons at other students. By S16's "The Last Tough Customer", they decide to abandon their tough act altogether.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Binky and Rattles play it straight, with Binky's Berserk Button involving insults about his mother. Molly is a gender-inverted example.
  • Everyone Has Standards: When they realized they might have unintentionally hurt Pal in "Arthur Cleans Up", they look notably dismayed and upset.
  • For Want of a Nail: In S20's "Buster's Second Chance", both the Tough Customers' evolution into bullies with softer sides and Hidden Depths, and their eventual disbandment as a group in S19 depended on Buster befriending Arthur. If Buster hadn't done so, they would have continued to terrorize Elwood City.
  • Gang of Bullies: As close as they could get on Arthur, anyway.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Binky hangs out with Arthur and his friends on a regular basis, and Molly and Rattles can be seen doing the same in "Don't Ask Muffy" and "Bugged".
  • Hidden Depths: All of the Tough Customers have this, especially Rattles, Molly, and Binky.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As quoted by Rattles above, all of the Tough Customers are deep down, very nice people with personal hobbies they enjoy, and even help out Arthur and his friends on multiple occasions (especially Binky, who hangs out with them as well as D.W. regularly). They just don't know how to express themselves in a more socially acceptable manner other than acting tough. By S16's "The Last Tough Customer", they avert it by dropping their bullying ways and shape up.
  • Local Hangout: The jungle gym, which they call the "Tower of Pain". Oddly enough, they can be frequently found at the library, as seen in "Sue Ellen's Lost Diary" and "Arthur Makes Waves". They also make the Sugar Bowl their hangout in S20's "Buster's Second Chance" in an alternate timeline where Buster didn't befriend Arthur.
  • Meaningful Name: On one hand, Rattles and Binky are named after children/infant toys and objects, suggesting they really aren't as tough as they appear. On the other hand, we have Molly, whose name means "bitter", and Slink, a term to describe a quiet, stealthy walk.
  • Metal Head: Molly, Rattles, Slink, and maybe Binky.
  • No Name Given: A few of the Tough Customer "extras" have names, like the male cat named Kieper, the female cat named Fletcher, and the male bear named Billy, but others remain unnamed such as a male dog, a male rabbit, and a female aardvark.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: What Rattles claims he and his friends are in S14's "D.W., Queen of the Comeback", as quoted above.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Binky, Rattles, and Slink. One episode explained how Rattles got his nickname, but we haven't heard how Slink got his.
  • Pet the Dog: In S8's "D.W., Dancing Queen", both Molly and Rattles step up to help D.W. with her ballet performance when Binky twists his ankle and is unable to dance onstage with her.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Especially Binky and, later, Rattles, but all of them dance ballet at some point. Binky, Slink, Molly, and Rattles all take part in a barbershop routine for the Summer Serenade in "D.W. Beats All".
  • Soapbox Sadie: Downplayed. They go from bullying their schoolmates to picketing businesses to protest problems like extortion and unhealthy fast food. They usually don't overshoot it, though.
  • School Bullying Is Harmless: Sometimes.
  • Tomboy: All of the girls.
  • True Companions: In spite of their faults, they stick by one another and help each other out, as seen in Seasons Eight and Nine. For example, in S8's "Binky Goes Nuts", when it was discovered that Binky was allergic to peanuts, Molly acted as bodyguard and prevented students with said food from sitting near him in order to preserve his health. They also helped Rattles get along with his new twin step-siblings, even giving him a slang dictionary so he can understand his step-sister's lingo better.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Rather hilariously, Molly and Rattles can be seen at the front of the crowd at the meeting for concerned citizens in "The Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club".
  • Younger Than They Look: They can all pass for high or middle schoolers due to their punk/grunge-like outfits, even though they're about as young as Arthur and his friends.

Molly MacDonald

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ba09136c448f949fba548ff0d03fdce1.png
Voiced by: Maggie Castle

A fourth grade rabbit and one of the Tough Customers. She has a younger brother named James, who is friends with D.W.


  • Action Girl: The only female Tough Customer to remain and the only main female skateboarder.
  • Aloof Big Sister: Averted. One might think she would be this, but she's actually very close to her brother, James.
  • Alliterative Name: Molly MacDonald
  • Ascended Extra: She started off as a generic bully girl in the Tough Customers, but later episodes gave her a Morality Pet in the form of her younger brother, a hidden creative side, a more relaxed personality (in comparison), and an overall more sympathetic presentation.
  • The Atoner: Becomes this in S16's "The Last Tough Customer" when she realizes that James is adopting her bullying ways, and decides to try turning a new leaf.
  • Berserk Button: If anyone tries to take the "Tower of Pain" from her, as seen in "The Law of the Jungle Gym".
  • Blinding Bangs: Her eyes have only been seen very briefly in a few episodes, such as "Agent of Change" and "Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper". We find out that, in "The Last Tough Customer", she's had that hairstyle since she was in kindergarten, after a kid called her muffin head when she wore it in a topknot bun
  • Cool Board: Her skateboard is black and wrapped with barbed wire around the middle.
  • Cool Big Sis: When James needs help, he goes to Molly.
  • Contralto of Danger: She has a relatively low-pitched voice to go along with her "tough girl" image. Her voice was a bit higher in the show's early years, though.
  • A Day in the Limelight: season 16's "The Last Tough Customer" and season 21's "Take A Hike, Molly!" feature her prominently.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Over the course of the series, though not especially evident. Most apparent in "Arthur Makes Waves".
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: When coaching her younger brother for his swim meet.
  • Dub Name Change: Nelie in the French dub.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She's very close to her little brother James, despite her tough demeanor. When James Took a Level in Jerkass just by watching her, Molly has a Heel Realization and resolves to reform herself for his sake.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: During her Start of Darkness, she changes her bun to her current tomboyish bob after she is bullied.
  • Fiery Redhead: Her hair's more a reddish-brown, but she acts like this on occasion, often when she gets lines.
  • Forbidden Friendship: With Arthur, prominently in one episode, though they keep it a secret due to their respective friends' disapproval. Though the writers seem to have forgotten about it, the shippers have not.
  • For Want of a Nail: S20's "Buster's Second Chance reveals that she would still remain a bully and Tough Customer had Buster not befriended Arthur at the fated sandbox.
  • Freudian Excuse: She was bullied a lot when she was younger, her classmates tormenting her by calling her "Muffin Head" and destroying her sandcastles. The experience hardened her heart and made her act tough, and in time she became a bully herself.
  • Heel Realization: "The Last Tough Customer" is this for her after seeing James picking up her bully habits.
  • Hidden Depths: She cares a great amount for her brother and Mom, is interested by storytelling and animation techniques, and is concerned by the lack of independent female characters in media.
  • Implied Death Threat: We don't hear what she said to Muffy in "The Law of the Jungle Gym", but even the other Tough Customers thought she went too far.
  • Important Haircut: Her hair used to be longer and put up in a bun right on top of her head when she was in preschool. But after she was bullied, she let her hair loose and transformed into her current bob in an attempt to adopt a tougher image.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Once took great pride in her bullying ways, but deep down is a well-meaning and somewhat insecure girl.
  • Just Friends: With all of the male Tough Customers, as well as Arthur.
  • Kick the Dog: In S16's "The Last Tough Customer", she cruelly pokes fun at George's dyslexia, causing the boy to run off and cry. Even Binky, who regularly picks on George, thought that wasn't okay.
  • Lean and Mean: Perhaps it's just because she's older and taller, but she's noticeably thinner than the main cast. This is especially apparent when she's standing next to the male Tough Customers, who are stockier and more muscular than she is.
  • The Lancer: She is this to Binky in the Tough Customers. As the series has gone on however, she seems to be the unofficial leader of the group in Binky's place.
  • Malicious Misnaming: "Muffin Head", due to how her bun was put right on top of her head when she was a preschooler.
  • Meaningful Name: Her first name means "bitter", which certainly suits her malicious personality in the early seasons. The derivation of her surname is from the Gaelic "Mac Dhomhnuill", translating as "The son of Donald". It is said that the personal name "Donald" translates as "world-rule". Molly is a bully who rules the playground.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Compare her distinct lack of traditionally female interests and her rough-and-tough appearance to Binky's activities.
  • Not So Above It All: In "Arthur Makes Waves", she discovers she has a lot in common with Arthur after she stops trying to act cooler than him all the time.
  • Odd Name Out: She has a normal name compared to Rattles, Binky, and Slink.
  • Off-Model: At some points in early episodes, her Blinding Bangs are shorter than usual, but her eyes don't show at all, giving the impression she has no eyes.
  • One of the Boys: To the extent of some Viewer Gender Confusion, as her demeanor and activities barely portray a hint of femininity.
    • At one point, the male Tough Customers imagined her in a dress and were weirded out by the very idea.
    • She took part in a barbershop quartet with Binky, Slink, and Rattles. All four wore traditional male barbershop costumes.
    • In an Imagine Spot of 50's society, Arthur and his friends are shown wearing gendered clothing, letterman sweaters for the boys, poodle skirts for the girls, while the Tough Customers are depicted as greasers. Molly is wearing a dark leather jacket and jeans right alongside her male friends.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • In "Law of the Jungle Gym", she can be seen several times being kind to a stray cat.
    • She's very kind to her brother, James, and is much more patient with him than Arthur is with D.W.
    • When other students come to her for advice, she tells them her best ideas and takes time to talk with them even though she would rather be skateboarding.
    • "The Last Tough Customer" is one giant moment for her combined with The Atoner, Heel Realization, and Heel–Face Turn.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: A subtler example than most, but when she is arm-wrestling with Binky, she gives as good as she gets even though he's taller, heavier, and stronger than her.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: As of Seasons Eight and Nine, Molly and Rattles are almost never seen apart, even for mundane activities such as walking the dog, or special occasions such as dancing ballet together.
  • Positive Discrimination: She is depicted as the most intelligent, capable, and, besides Binky, sympathetic Tough Customer, and though she still remains tough, her bullying of other kids is less and less prominent in later seasons.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: A rare female example. Molly is almost always seen wearing a denim jacket as a shirt with ragged edges from ripping off the sleeves.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Tough, confrontational Molly and her quiet, unassuming younger brother James.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": It's MacDonald, not "McDonald".
  • Start of Darkness: Turns out she was a victim of bullying herself. Seeing James start to repeat the pattern prompts her Heel Realization.
  • The Stoic: As a result of her Blinding Bangs that hide her eyes, it's difficult to gauge her emotion when she isn't speaking.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Mostly absent. The only physical indication of her gender is her bob, but that helps little when she's standing beside fellow Tough Customer Slink, who is male and has hair that's longer than hers.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: While she often initially appeared in the background of some scenes along with other Tough Customers, Season Five onwards seems to be going forward with this route for her and Rattles.
  • Tomboy: Out of all the girls on the show, Molly is probably the quintessential example. Binky had to convince her to dance ballet by telling her it was a new martial arts style. Undoubtedly the most aggressive female character on the show, even after her Character Development.
  • The Unapologetic: Her main flaw in "Take a Hike, Molly"; she has a hard time saying sorry, much to the dismay of the other Tough Customers. She gets over this by the end of the episode.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: She was a sweet little girl until she became a bullying victim in preschool. After that, she became a Tough Customer.
  • Women Are Wiser: From Season Eight onwards, most episodes featuring the Tough Customers portray her as the most level-headed and realistically-minded of the group.

"Rattles" Ciccone

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bf1562e08af556204d749fc3b44f9da4.jpg
Voiced by: Scott Beaudin (season 14-present)

A fourth grader who seems to alternate between being a cat, a dog, and a bear.note  Another one of the Tough Customers.


  • Beware of Vicious Dog: He owns a mean, snarling dog, aptly named "Crusher." Said dog later becomes nicer due to the influence of Grandma Thora's dog Killer, and Francine's cat Nemo.
  • Book Dumb: He has an extensive vocabulary, but has trouble spelling, as seen in "The Play's The Thing".
  • Calling Me a Logarithm: Inverted. He uses words he doesn't know to insult people, such as "bibliophile" and "philanthropist".
  • Cats Are Mean: As stated above, he alternates between being a cat, dog and/or bear, though he's still not very nice either way.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Played straight with him most of the time, but he is occasionally shown to have a certain degree of respect for those in charge.
    Rattles: (Protesting the idea that Mr. Ratburn would wear socks with holes in them) Mr. Ratburn wouldn't wear no sock full of holes! He's a very upstanding kind of guy.
    Rattles: (Upset when someone puts trash in the recycling bin) Yo! It's paper only! Can't you read?!
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He won his chess match against Brain in S16's "Brain's Chess Mess" pretty quickly.
  • Dark Is Evil: A bully and one of the only two kids to have a recurring black article of clothing (in his case, a black jacket he constantly wears). However, it's also subverted in later seasons, where he reveals himself to be a decent guy underneath his tough image, with hobbies of his own.
  • A Day in the Limelight: S19's "Whip, Mix, Blend.", where he deals with his mother's divorce and remarriage, and learning how to live with his twin step-siblings.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • Kalle in the German dub.
    • Garagara in the Japanese dub.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: His dark jacket resembles one of these.
  • Hidden Depths: He's a very skilled chess player, enough to teach Brain's Chess Club how to play better, and likes knitting and sewing. His vocabulary also includes words that are above his school grade. In S16's "Brain's Chess Mess", he declines Brain's offer to do his homework in return for joining the Chess Club, on the reason it'll "deprive [Rattles] of his education."
  • Hypocritical Humor: Yells at a guy for tossing regular trash into a paper-only recycling bin, minutes before intimidating some random children into giving their ice cream to him and Molly.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Probably the most antagonistic of the Tough Customers, but despite his tough, bullying ways, he's still an okay guy deep down and becomes nicer in later seasons.
  • Joisey: His voice in later seasons has shades of this.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: If his name refers to "Rattles" as in "Rattlesnake", he fits this. If it's the other kind of rattle, then not at all. It is revealed in "Take a Hike, Molly" that "Rattles" is a nickname that is inspired by snakes, but it's actually because he's afraid of them.
  • Nice Hat: He is almost never seen without his red baseball cap, always worn backwards.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: He doesn't see himself as a bully, and took offense at being called one by D.W. in S14's "D.W., Queen of the Comeback".
  • Not So Different:
    • With Arthur towards the end S14's "Arthur Unravels" - turns out he likes knitting, too, but kept it a secret from the other Tough Customers. His response to Binky, Molly, and Slink looking at him in surprise after Dr. Fugue outs him as a member of his knitting club, is to shrug and smile sheepishly as if to say, "Guilty as charged."
    • Seasons 14 and 16 reveal that he also has a food allergy just like Binky, except in his case he's lactose intolerant.
  • Off-Model: He had a dark brown tuft of hair in early seasons, but after Season 8, it was changed to light gray to match his skin.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • As mentioned in the Tough Customers' folder, he and Molly help D.W. with her school ballet project after Binky twists his ankle.
    • He also tries to help D.W. come up with good comebacks against the Tibble twins in S14's "D.W., Queen of the Comeback", even though he personally thinks the kids' vendetta is ridiculous and initially suggests to D.W. that she ignore the Tibbles.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: As of Seasons 8 and 9, Molly and Rattles are almost never seen apart, even for mundane activities such as walking the dog, or special occasions, such as dancing ballet together.
  • Playing Sick: He fakes a stomachache on the day of a chess tournament in S16's "Brain's Chess Mess", as part of a gambit to get Brain to play against a particularly hard opponent without his help, because he had faith Brain can do it. It works.
  • Plot Allergy: Seasons 14 and 16 reveal that he's lactose intolerant.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: His interests include sewing and knitting.
  • Recurring Extra: He can often be seen in background scenes, more so than any of the other Tough Customers.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: He often makes quite eloquent and mature remarks, but they end up sounding a bit ridiculous due to his exaggerated Joisey accent that makes his voice seem a bit thuggish, and his lack of knowledge in regards to what the words actually mean.
  • Stock Foreign Name: His surname is "Ciccone", suggesting he is of Italian descent.
  • That Liar Lies: In S1's "Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper". After he learns that Arthur lied about being able to gleep, he responds with a tirade that ends with "lying lie face".
  • Those Two Bad Guys: While he often initially appeared in the background of some scenes along with other Tough Customers, Season 5 onwards seems to be going forward with this route for him and Molly.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Like Binky before him, he started off as a school bully in early seasons, then got hit with Character Development and Hidden Depths the longer the show ran. Prominent examples include helping D.W. with her ballet performance ("D.W., Dancing Queen") and coming up with good insults for her to use against the Tibble twins ("D.W., Queen of the Comeback"), befriending and teaching Brain and his friends how to play chess ("Brain's Chess Mess"), and putting up with Carl's autism without complaint ("Carl's Concerto").
  • Ungrateful Bastard: In S8's "Thanks a Lot, Binky", Rattles gets mad at Binky for "squealing" on him for trying to pull off a dangerous rollerblading stunt with his friends, even though said stunt would've broken every bone in his body and put him in the hospital for a very long time.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He harshly calls out Arthur for lying to him and his friends in S1's "Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper", making it a point to sit on Arthur and bounce a ball on Arthur's head as he did so.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Seriously, Rattles? It's actually an Embarrassing Nickname that just stuck.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: "Take a Hike, Molly" reveals that he's nicknamed "Rattles" due to actually being afraid of snakes. When he was little, he would scream "Ah! It's a rattler" whenever he thought he saw a snake and the nickname just stuck.

Slink

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/edb8660b3a21a021394b7c4d1d2352c6.png
Voiced by: Michael Yarmush

A fourth grade rabbit with a tanner complexion than Molly, and another Tough Customer.


  • Ascended Extra: Initially a single-episode bully character from "Buster and the Daredevils", but is a recurring member of the Tough Customers by Season Six.
  • Blinding Bangs: Due to his hair. His bangs are even longer than Molly's, cover roughly half his face, and his eyes have only been seen once.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Season twenty one's "Slink's Special Talent."
  • Dark Is Evil: A bully and one of the only two kids to have a recurring black article of clothing (in his case, a black shirt with a red lightning bolt on the front).
  • The Ditz: The least intelligent of the Tough Customers.
  • Dub Name Change: Sigi in the German dub.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Toby, at least until their efforts to humiliate Buster failed, and now they don't even attend the same school.
  • Meaningful Name: His moniker suggests that he may not be of the best repute. He isn't.
  • Phoneaholic Teenager: He's not a teenager, but he does have a particular fondness for his phone, especially filming things with it.
  • Ring Ring Crunch: "Slink's Special Talent" sees the lackadaisical Slink respond to his alarm clock by hitting the snooze button, putting it in a drawer, and finally throwing it offscreen.
  • Series Continuity Error: When Slink was first introduced, he attended Mighty Mountain. He later appears at Lakewood Elementary with no explanation offered.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: His name really takes the cake for this.
  • Wild Hair: The only elementary school boy to have longer hair.

    Cousin Cora 
Voiced by: Unknown
The Read siblings' Spoiled Brat of a cousin, who comes to stay at their house the day before her Aunt Lucy's wedding in "D.W. Thinks Big".
  • Deliberately Bad Example: She is such a Spoiled Brat that she makes D.W. look well-behaved in comparison.
  • Hate Sink: She is essentially what D.W. would be if she did not have any redeemable characteristics, and exists to be so loathsome that the audience can actually root for her for once.
  • It's All About Me: When Arthur accidentally drops the wedding ring into the organ at her Aunt Lucy's wedding, she refuses to retrieve it, despite being one of the only people present small enough to fit inside the organ, just because her dress would get dirty.
  • Jerkass: She takes away D.W.'s personal belongings, makes her sleep on the floor while she sleeps on D.W.'s bed, and blames D.W. for something that was her fault.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After an entire episode of belittling D.W. and accidentally causing the ring fiasco, Aunt Lucy crowns D.W. as the flower girl as her reward for having recovered the ring. Cora is aghast, but relents when Lucy quiets her.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Just because she is the flower girl at her aunt's wedding, she considers herself to be more important than any of the other wedding participants.
  • True Blue Femininity: Wears a blue dress with green lining as her casual outfit.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Has absolutely no concern for the fact that Arthur is overcome with anxiety when he is serving as the ring bearer, and when she yells at him for not smiling, he panics and accidentally flings the ring into the organ. Once again, she doesn't accept any blame for an accident she caused.
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