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As a Fridge subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

Fridge Brilliance :

  • If the name "Arthur" means "bear", maybe it was always intended that Arthur would look much more like Mr. Haney further down the line and his family would more closely resemble him as well.
  • In "Arthur goes Crosswire", Muffy announcing that there can only be one of her can be seen as her making a point that Arthur (and everyone else) can't go on imitating her any longer. But it takes a while to realize something else about that scene. It's actually a case of Muffy missing the point of everyone imitating Arthur. She thinks they're imitating him in order to imitate her. This is meant to show Arthur how silly it was for him to imitate someone as conceited as Muffy.
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  • Looking back, Prunella misspelling "preparation" in "Arthur's Spelling Trubble" takes on a whole new layer of irony (and poetic karma) when one grasps the word's definition ("the process of getting ready"). This reflects the difference between her and Arthur: Prunella only relied on her raw talent to get her so far, while Arthur was able to spell the word because of his preparation.
  • Fridge-Funny: In "Pet Peeved", Binky believes that Nemo is having a staring contest with him and tries to engage in one with him. But here's a fun fact about cats: they normally keep their eyes open around people they don't trust yet because they're on "high alert". Given what we now know, Binky was bound to lose to Nemo either way.
  • In "Buster's Growing Grudge", Buster finally gets over his titular grudge against Binky when not only does he talk it out with him, but Binky pays him for the joke. This may seem like a small pittance, but think about it. If you imagined this was a scenario where an artist begrudges somebody for broadcasting their art, one way you repay an artist for that is to pay them what they're owed. It's not what Buster wanted out of all of this, but all the same, it must've felt good for him to see something good came from sharing his joke with Binky.
  • In the episode where Arthur gets chickenpox, D.W. gets jealous of Arthur while simultaneously wanting the special treats Arthur gets because of his chickenpox. She ends up with chickenpox herself at the end of the episode. Even Grandma Thora says that is the "strangest case [she] has ever seen". However, D.W was hanging out at Arthur at an above-normal frequency. Jane outright said that "chickenpox is very contagious". D.W. caught Arthur's chickenpox from all the times she hung out at him at that period.
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    • The "strangest case" line also makes sense: D.W. developed all her symptoms overnight, and that's definitely strange.
  • In one episode, Mr. Ratburn was shown to be overweight as a kid, before he began playing ping pong and lost weight. It's safe to assume his love of cake helped him gain weight in the first place.
    • Also, it makes sense that his husband would be a baker since he loves cake so much.
  • In the episode where Mr. Ratburn's class meets their doppelgangers, Arthur's is named Chester. It's a reference to President Chester A. Arthur, the same way Arthur's name is a reference to King Arthur, and it's a reference to Arthur's name, too.
    • There is even a Call-Back in a new episode called "Cereal" where Buster tries to convince Arthur that he has an identical twin named Chester.
  • Francine's strong reactions to Arthur being mean to his sister make sense if you remember that she's the younger sister in her family and Catherine can be distant. Also, Francine doesn't seem to be aware of just how nasty D.W. can be.
  • At first glance, the main title sequence with Brain dangling his feet in the pool doesn't seem to make sense since a season two episode established that Brain is pathologically afraid of water. However, his fear of water might explain why Brain then mistakes Mr. Ratburn for a shark and has such a frightened reaction.
    • I thought he stopped being afraid of water in that episode?
    • Maybe he's afraid of water because he's afraid of sharks.
  • In the episode "Meet Binky" the kids meet the Finnish band Binky who turn out to be holograms. We do see them in the background from time to time, meaning the holograms are based on real people.
    • Taking this further, they may have been the ones who provided the voices.
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  • The episode "Arthur's Lost Dog" is about Pal running off, trying to get a balloon for Baby Kate. It's an Early Installment Weirdness for the future Pal and Kate episodes, since it doesn't include Animal Talk.
  • While Brain was definitely holding the Idiot Ball in "War of the Worms", his sudden belief in the giant worm invasion hoax set up by Fern and Binky actually makes sense due to a Call-Back. He admitted in the early episode "Arthur's Big Sleepover" that the thing that scared him the most (at least at the time) was a film called Navy Versus The Nightcrawler-which was, of course, about a giant worm invading.
  • More Brain Brilliance: the season one episode "Arthur's Spelling Trubble" features a spelling bee in which Brain misspells the word fear. At first it seems like nerves caused him to misspell such an easy word, but he may have purposefully misspelled it to get off of the stage and out of the spotlight.
  • The premiere episode of Season 18 is about Muffy's search for her imaginary friend. In the course of the episode, Muffy dreams about going on a quest to find that friend, complete with a Shout-Out to The Wizard of Oz. In the course of this, she runs into a doll with features so flat they are zombie-esque. The doll's name is Pretty Penny, and her dress is covered with monetary symbols. Muffy learns that money and the things that come with it—toys, gadgets, and so forth—have conquered her imagination. Pretty Penny not only stands in as a symbol for all this, but has cost Muffy a pretty penny in terms of emotional and creative development.
  • The episode "I Wanna Hold Your Hand"- Binky's nightmare may seem like a simple Imagine Spot to drive the episode forward. Now, remember the thing about him getting nightmares if he sleeps without a night light that was established in the season 2 episode "Night Fright". The scene that cements it? When he wakes up, a corner shot shows the night light missing from the wall socket. Why? Because in this episode, he was trying to act all grown up.
  • The Reads' dog is named "Pal." The Molinas' dog is named "Amigo." This shows yet another similarity between the two families, both giving their dogs names that mean "friend."
  • In "Emily Swallows a Horse", Emily says that the French word for ball is cheval. In actuality, "cheval" means horse.
    • Since the episode is about lying, it's fitting that its title is itself a lie.
  • When Lydia returned in "Little Miss Meanie" (season 19), she was shown to be friends with Jenna even though they never interacted in "The Wheel Deal"note . Back in "The Good Sport" (season 6), Principal Haney briefly mentioned that Jenna manages the wheelchair basketball team.
  • From "Prunella's Prediction" - Arthur is embarrassed by his snowsuit, which is based on a superhero named "Mr. Puffy" that his dad was a fan of, and indeed Arthur understandably thinks that Mr. Puffy and his two sidekicks Land Fish (exactly what it sounds like) and Legal Eagle ("half-lawyer half-bird", according to Grandma Thora) are ridiculous. He's placated when Prunella reveals that they're supposed to be ridiculous. The fridge brilliance comes in when you look back on the three characters. A giant green marshmallow man? A lawyer with an eagle's head? A walking fish who eats bugs? No one could take such superheroes seriously—so of course, we're not expected to!
  • Arthur uncharacteristically making fun of Sue Ellen's sweater in "So Funny I Forgot To Laugh" seemingly comes out of nowhere. Unless one remembers "Locked in the Library", when Francine is downright pissed at him for the duration of the episode. Arthur called her "marshmallow" offscreen, because she was wearing a goofy sweater, much like Sue Ellen did. Seems like Arthur's got a mean streak after all.
    • That was fifteen years prior; Arthur probably mocked this sweater because he thought it was bizarrely different.
    • He also had no qualms about name-calling in "D.W.'s Name Game".
  • In "Arthur's Perfect Christmas," some viewers have noted that D.W. doesn't end up getting the much-coveted "Tina the Talking Tabby," and wonder why Arthur's parents didn't simply buy it online. Think about it: if it's sold out at every physical store in the area, goodness knows how insanely jacked up the price for the thing would have been online.
  • In "Do You Speak George?" George has trouble learning Arthur and Buster's language. This makes more sense when you remember that he has dyslexia; it's also why he makes a language with no words and instead uses sounds and gestures.
  • Remember Ted, the eponymous antagonist of "Arthur vs. the Very Mean Crossing Guard?" Interesting to note that he isn't seen again after the episode...maybe he had a run-in with the Tough Customers, or someone reported him.
  • In early episodes, Muffy has buck teeth, but later they disappear. Is it just Early Installment Character Design Difference? Not necessarily. Those two front teeth were probably baby teeth, which she eventually lost.
  • In "The Feud", Arthur and Buster are playing a video game until it freezes and Buster in an attempt to fix it, accidentally turns it off. They accuse each other of cheating. Buster to Arthur for freezing the game on purpose because Buster had more points and Arthur to Buster for turning the game off because Arthur could've used a special move to score more points than Buster. They get into an argument and the rest of the class (except Binky) pick a side. Francine, Sue Ellen, and Brain all side with Buster. Remember "Arthur the Loser" where Arthur started cheating at games? Those 3 were his most frequent victims. They probably hadn't forgotten about that. Besides, Buster's not the smartest kid around, so they probably wouldn't believe Buster has the knowledge to cheat.
  • In "Pets and Pests", Nemo says that cats have ninja-like abilities. Sue Ellen, an anthro cat, can do karate.
  • In "D.W.'s Time Trouble", the version of Arthur seen in D.W.'s dream is described as "broken", yet he has no physical disabilities and seems developmentally normal for a four-year-old. Maybe the "breakage" refers to his bad eyesight.
  • "Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone" features Patty, who is Nigel's older sister and not his fiancee, micromanaging the wedding and insisting it has to be perfect. A sign of her Control Freak nature? Definitely, as she admits. It could also be that with her little brother being gay, she wants to protect him from possible homophobia or Tampering with Food and Drink from potential caterers. Patty is organizing the wedding to shield Nigel from less-than-happy bakers and florists. Heck, maybe the wedding took a long time to arrange because she ran into those people before.
    • Nigel defers to Patty when she says she wants to make his wedding perfect. Given Mr. Ratburn's bigger priority is making sure he and Patrick are happy on their big day, and that his students receive an education, he figures it's not worth fighting his older sister on this front.

Fridge Horror :

  • In "To Eat or Not to Eat", the Big Boss bars were extremely addictive and toxic, meaning that the main ingredient was basically a recreational drug. Which means it most likely caused brain damage when it was eaten...and almost every kid in the school was addicted to them...
  • In "Arthur and the Big Riddle", Arthur lost on purpose because he was afraid he would end up being on the show forever and have to change schools. The same thing might eventually happen to Charlotte!
  • At the end of "And Now, Let's Talk to Some Kids", future-day Francine sees Buster on the old videotape and asks "Whatever happened to him?", but Arthur doesn't even react to it. It's completely possible that after the age of eight, Buster may have actually been abducted by aliens.
    • *Giggle* Don't be silly - they probably just lost contact somewhere down the line. Heck, my own parents lost all contact with their old school-friends until Facebook was invented!
  • The Tibble Twins are shown to live with their grandma, and their parents are never shown. They're also easily the brattiest kids in the neighborhood, and it's clear that Grandma does not know how to discipline them. Why do they live with her in the first place? I posit that the Tibbles' original home environment was somehow unfit for children, and they were sent to live with their grandmother out of necessity.
    • Actually, in D.W.'s Backpack Mishap, an episode from one of the earlier seasons, it's said that their parents travel a lot, as one of the twins mentioned that their mom, Trixie, used to take them on trips.
  • In "Shelter from the Storm," Muffy mentions Hurricane Sadie is "too nice" a name for a hurricane (it's apparently a lawyer-friendly version of Hurricane Sandy). She suggests it should've been named something like Nigel. "Nigel" is the first name of Mr. Ratburn, who the kids sometimes consider a Stern Teacher, or even a Sadist Teacher in earlier seasons. Doubles as a funny moment.
  • In "D.W.'s Stray Netkitten," the Reed family computer gets two viruses from the website that requires the computer to be taken to the computer repair store. If the Netkittens' website is so insecure that one can get two powerful viruses from just being on the site, imagine how many incidents like that occur, especially if Arthur is accurate is saying that every kid D.W.'s age plays the game.
  • The Hurl-a-Whirl in "D.W.'s Imaginary Friend" has cars which seat two people, one attached to another. Arthur and Buster turn the dial which controls the intensity of their car. As we see from outside, they control how the other car rides as well. In a sense, the passengers' actions in one car makes all the difference between a good ride and a bad one.
  • In "Never Never Never" D.W. gives her toys to the Tibbles. She regrets her decision and asks for them back, but they only give back the ones they already used. Arthur comes along and demands they return D.W.'s toys and we hear an argument. When the argument ends, Arthur walks out of their house with D.W.'s toys, but his glasses are broken. What happened?
    • All three boys got into a physical altercation, and Arthur's glasses paid the price as he wrested D.W.'s toys away from the twins.
  • A rather subtle case, but quite possibly the most frightening thing that could possibly be implied by the show. In the early seasons, anthropomorphic ducks and crocodiles could sometimes be seen as background characters—the only exceptions to the otherwise mammalian main cast. The thing is, they were consistently portrayed as working in manual labor: one was a TV repairman, others were seen unloading boxes from a moving truck. Then, from more or less the third season onward, they disappear. Now, you could just attribute this to Early Installment Weirdness, but then you have the fact that Elwood City is implied to be a fairly upscale neighborhood, what with families like the Crosswires living there. And it's well-established in reality that cities and towns that undergo gentrification tend to become more racially homogenous. Did the ducks and crocodiles leave because of Fantastic Racism? And on that note, how did Fantastic Racism affect things like the Civil Rights Movement in this world?
  • It's lucky that the scene of Mrs. Barnes being "no more Mrs. Nice Guy" in "Thanks a Lot, Binky" was only a dream: she seemed to rule the roost as her mean alternate self and Mr. Barnes was going along with whatever she said. Also, during the dream, Mei Lin was nowhere in sight. It's possible that if that really happened, Mei Lin would have never been adopted.
    • Okay, Mei Lin not being there is because she wasn't created at the time.
    • China's a matriarchal society, and it's been known to be pretty hostile, so if Mrs. Barnes really did turn out like that, there's a good chance Mei Lin wouldn't have been adopted by the family on those grounds, as there wouldn't have been a welcoming home for her here, either.
    • If Binky was actually being neglected to that extent, he probably would have been taken by CPS. The requirements for adoption are way stricter than those for keeping custody of a biological child.
  • This is more of a Fridge Tear Jerker, but in "Big Brother Binky", Binky's father already knew that Mei Lin was a girl even before the Barnes family adopted her. This becomes sad when you think about how many Chinese parents abandoned their baby daughters simply for being girls because of the country's one-child policy, and some of those girls did actually get adopted by foreigners. It's a good think Mei Lin ended up with a family that loves her regardless of her gender.
  • When did Binky start having serious nightmares, to the point that he's screaming loudly in his sleep? The Barnes seem to be Good Parents, so what caused those Anxiety Dreams? Note that this is before "What Scared Sue Ellen" and after "Arthur Goes to Camp" where Binky shows he's scared of things.
    • They're not anxiety dreams in the TV Tropes sense. Our definition of Anxiety Dreams is dreams based on fear of future events. And he outright says why he has nightmares in "Night Fright"— he's afraid of the dark.
  • If the kids hadn't investigated the strange noise in the woods during "What Scared Sue Ellen," Perky would have been trapped under that tree for days. Would she have starved or dehydrated?
  • Much like "Thanks a Lot, Binky", "D.W.'s Time Trouble" is another episode with a dream that we should be glad was just a dream. In it, D.W. gets bought, but then the parents decide they want no more children. D.W. feels bad for Arthur and gives him to them... but what about Kate?

Fridge Logic :

  • The Brain is terrified of water...and yet one of the title cards (which is an expy of a different title card featuring Arthur) features him swimming by the audience...
    • Maybe he got help with his phobia since then.
  • Fern's a dog and like other female characters she doesn't have hair on her head, just ears. How come her mom has a full head of hair?
    • Fern just might have hair that's the same color as her "skin" that she keeps clipped very short; at least one fanfic goes with that premise and also includes a reference to Fern being able to dress as a boy merely by removing her bow.
      • Her hair might be more an Ears as Hair case, considering that, with the bow, her ears look like a short hairdo being held back, coupled with it being the same color as her fur, considering that we see lines possibly showing bangs.
  • Is Bionic Bunny a cartoon or a live action show? It's apparent that Dark Bunny's animated, and both take place in the same universe.
    • I believe in one episode (I think it's Arthur's Eyes) we see a behind the scenes of Bionic Bunny and since I think we see Willbur Rabbit take off the hat-to put his glasses on.
    • It's shown that, like the series' they're Expies of, have multiple adaptions including comics and games. It could be that the Bionic Bunny show is a live action adaption and Dark Bunny is a cartoon adaption. It would also kinda make sense that the kids would gravitate toward it so quickly since children would probably be more attracted to cartoons than live action.
    • What about the 2 hour 10 anniversary special where BB and DB meet in "Happy Anniversary" the one that Arthur missed due to the car trouble? Both would have to be live-action or cartoon and not be one and one (unless they used a green screen).
      • Could've been a live action Dark Bunny. Or an animated Bionic Bunny. BB and DB exists as comic books in their universe, so it would make sense for them to just take the art style of the comic books and apply it to the show, or even have an actor appear as Dark Bunny alongside Bionic Bunny. To the audience, the animated adaptation and live action would look the same because of a perception filter applied to keep the art style consistent. But to the inhabitants of Elwood City, the difference is clear as night and day.
  • Nadine is imaginary, how are Kate and Pal able to see her?
    • It's been shown in more recent episodes that Nadine is actually a Tulpa—she was created from D.W.'s imagination, but she does physically exist within the setting of the show. However, only D.W., Pal, and Kate (as well as the other pets and babies) are able to see her.
  • In "D.W. and the Beastly Birthday," D.W. is transported to the magical island of Ukubonga. Monster versions of her party guests — Bud, Emily, and the Tibbles — meet her on the island. This is fine, but later in the special, Arthur is revealed to have went to Ukubonga when he was younger. Francine and Buster are attending the party, and yet for some reason, he encounters the monster versions of D.W.'s friends. Additionally, this happened before Bud moved to Elwood City and met D.W., so there's no reason for him to have been there as D.W. wouldn't have known him yet.
    • The whole thing was a dream, made more obvious by the fifth monster that was Arthur having grown up on the island too long or something. Same thing for Arthur's side of the plot when his class is sent a few years into the future where D.W. is now older than him and having skipped a grade.
  • The season 5 segment "Double Dare". Why does nobody seem to consider that the whole fiasco could be avoided by one or more of the kids simply tape recording the episode they're so desperate to not miss? Tape recording was very much a thing in the late 90's and early 2000's, which is when the early seasons evidently take place. Do none of them have a VCR?
    • The quality wouldn't be the same.
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