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Furry Confusion / Arthur

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There's probably no other TV show that has more Furry Confusion than Arthur, due to its inconsistency as to whether the characters are aware they aren't human or not. Because it's generated so much discussion on this wiki, it's been moved to this page.

  • In general, most Furry Reminders are from early episodes. Later episodes usually imply the characters are humans depicted as animals... Usually.
  • Everyone in Arthur's world is an anthropomorphic animal. Whenever a guest voice appears on the show, they are drawn as an (often rather eerie looking) anthropomorphic animal character. This would seem to imply that everyone in Arthur's world is a Furry animal-person, until the spin-off "Postcards From Buster" came along. The premise is that Buster is traveling the world interviewing the different people he meets along the way. The thing is, the people he meets are all live-action human children. Either everyone outside Arthur's town is human or they aren't, it depends on the episode.
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  • In the original Arthur book series, the Tibble twins were humans. They had to be the only humans in Elwood City, with the possible exception of their grandmother. Nobody aside from Marc Brown knows why: literally everyone else is a Funny Animal.
  • Furthermore, normal animals still exist in Arthur's town (for example Arthur has a dog named Pal, but his friends Binky and Fern are anthropomorphic dogs, while Francine has a non-anthropormophic cat named Nemo living in the same world as the anthropomorphic cats Sue Ellen and Jenna). To be fair, this is fairly normal in cartoons; but then it turns out that Pal can speak to other non-anthropomorphic animals. And there is at least one episode where Pal and Arthur's baby sister Kate can communicate with each other. Imagine a first-grader trying to rationalize all of this.
    • In even more recent episodes, it's been shown that Pal and Kate can also talk to toys and imaginary friends.
    • Mei Lin (Binky's baby sister) can also speak to animals, apparently Vicita used to be able to, and the episode "Paradise Lost" suggests that all babies can speak to animals until they learn to talk. This could be chalked up to a strange ability that babies in the Arthur universe have, but it doesn't explain why they can talk to imaginary creatures.
  • In one episode where Pal and Baby Kate are looking for D.W.'s Imaginary Friend, Pal is confused by something Kate does and comments, "I'll never understand humans."
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  • Buster initially believes Mr. Ratburn to not be a "human being".
  • In the episode "Jenna's Bedtime Blues", while trying to figure out why Jenna won't come to Muffy's slumber party, Prunella (who's a rat), says her sister told her that she used to strangle cats. Jenna herself is a cat (albeit a rather weird looking one) which blows one's mind.
  • This is even parodied in the series itself. In one episode Arthur and D.W. are sent to their grandma's house because it's raining too hard to play outside. When Grandma opens the door she hurries the two inside, noting that this is "only good weather for ducks." Cue a family of anthropomorphic ducks riding bikes across the street and commenting, "Beautiful weather, huh?" prompting a "Huh?" from D.W.
  • On an unpleasant note, one episode featured a campaign of genocide against head lice. Only the lice were aware of their own sentience.
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  • One episode involves a wedding, in this case between two bunnies. One episode shows a future (albeit within a dream and dreams don't always make sense) where Arthur, an aardvark, is married to Francine, a monkey, and as seen in "The Good, the Bad, & the Binky", D.W.'s friend Emily is a rabbit, whose parents are a female rabbit and a male monkey, although families in this series are generally all the same species. Children of Interspecies Romance couples have mixed body features as well. For example Emily looks like a rabbit but has a monkey-ish nose.
  • Another episode had Arthur and several of his friends watching a parody of their own show, featuring an anthro called "Andy." They snark at it, asking questions like, "If all the characters are animals, does their school cafeteria serve bugs and garbage?" and "If Andy is a mouse and has a pet dog, why doesn't it eat him?" Arthur: "He's not a mouse. He's a... I forget." (Arthur himself is supposedly an aardvark, but looks as much like a mouse as anything else.) Obviously, the producers love Lampshading.
  • In "Draw!", Francine insults Arthur by telling him to "go eat an ant sandwich."
  • What's even more confusing is that in the opening, Brain obviously sees Mr. Ratburn's face as being the shape of a shark fin. A human with that face shape? The same joke occurs in "The Shore Thing".
    • More evidence towards Mr. Ratburn being a rat and not a human are his name and the fact that in "Arthur Weighs In", he says that he was a "fatty rat" in his youth.
  • Buster makes a threat to Mr. Ratburn that his mother feeds rats to lizards in "Bitzi's Beau".
  • There was an episode where they go on a field trip to a zoo.
  • Even more confusing, is that in the "New York" special episode, a human artist drew Buster in rabbit form. In a newer episode, the gang made a cake for George, and he looked like his normal moose self, antlers and all.
  • In one episode we see a drawing of a silhouette of a human.
  • An episode showed a human. It was in a Show Within a Show though. Also the later seasons seem to keep on leaning on the "They're human but only look like animals to us" theory much more then before. For example a bear (or possibly aardvark) character had a rabbit mother, and a rabbit character drew a regular rabbit; also, the gang has been shown to cover their "ears" by touching the sides of the heads every once in a while, even when their ears are on top of their head (although it could also be interpreted as holding their heads due to a headache). On the flip side, to confirm that they are animals, you have Buster's ears, George's antlers, and the biggest one of all - Bionic Bunnynote . This would be fine, if it was a Muppet-type world in which humans live among the confusing anthropomorphized "animals", but there are no humans in Elwood City, and no animals anywhere else. One must assume that they live in a segregated society.
  • In one episode ("Buster's Dino Dilemma"), Ratburn mentions that dinosaurs were around before upright mammals, which brings up a whole other mess of issues (namely the fact that not all of the anthropomorphic animals are mammals; although rare there have been crocodiles and ducks seen).
  • In "Arthur Goes to Camp," Arthur and his friends are all attending Camp Meadowcroak and take part in a scavenger hunt against rival camp Horsewater. To make the best of the rival camp and win the scavenger hunt, they have the Brain pretend to be a feral bear (using Muffy's fur coat) to scare the rival campers... yet the Brain already is a bear (albeit an anthropomorphic bear, not a feral one.)
  • In the season 16 episode "Sue Ellen Vegges Out", Sue Ellen says something that is so confusing it might make your head explode. It's made even weirder as Sue Ellen is a cat. The cat character being the vegetarian is... interesting, to say the least. Not to mention technically biologically impossible...
    Sue Ellen: Neither one of you really cares about being a vegetarian. You're just using it as an excuse to fight with each other. You want to know why I gave up eating meat? Because there are some animals whom I consider friends, so I lost my taste for eating them. Frankly, they are a lot better friends than some of the people I know.
  • And to make the whole thing more confusing, some episodes have characters refer to each other by their species. So they're all people but at the same time all animals but there are still animals in their world and humans pop up in it occasionally?
  • In "Shelter from the Storm," Brain visits a therapist to deal with anxiety issues after the hurricane. In the background you can see a cardboard cutout of a Funny Animal character who is nude except for his bow-tie and glasses. Those sorts of characters are normal for humans but wouldn't it seem weird in a world populated with Funny Animals? At the end of the episode, one character tells a dog licking ice cream on the floor that ice cream is for "people."
  • Nadine is really confusing. If we assume all the characters are literally humans then what is she? She isn't Inexplicably Tailless like everyone else and she is a Barefoot Cartoon Animal. So would D.W.'s Imaginary Friend be a human or a Funny Animal? Of course, this isn't a huge issue as she's an imaginary being, and is subject to the whim of her creator. How Kate and Pal can communicate with her is another question entirely.
  • For what it's worth (i.e., not much), in at least one episode, Buster is referred to as a "long-eared" kid, implying he's really a rabbit.
    • He also admits to having "big ears" in "Buster's Breathless".
  • In one episode two of the movie posters are of "Kung-Fu Koala" and "The Ram Pack". While they could be in-universe Funny Animal flicks (which "Kung-Fu Koala" probably is, since it's a Kung Fu Panda parody), they could also be films referencing the actors' species.
  • Marina is a rabbit, however, when wearing headphones, they go on the side of her head, not on her actual ears.
  • Several of the characters such as Sue Ellen or Binky are based on domesticated animals. The problem is, how did dogs, cats, and animal breeds evolve without any humans around?
  • George has been called things like "Big Horns", "Head Gear" and "Coat Rack". He and other anthropomorphic moose/caribou characters have also knocked things down with their antlers or they get caught in doorways due to them. This heavily implies that George is literally a moose, not that he simply looks like one to the viewers. It also begs the question as to why the architecture of the world's buildings aren't designed with antlered folk in mind when they're willing to make accommodations for wheelchair access.
  • Current presidents are depicted as Funny Animals, yet the Lincoln Memorial has Abraham Lincoln as a human. This raises the possibility that the series actually takes place in Humanity's Wake, not unlike the classic MGM cartoon Peace on Earth.
  • "Buster Bombs" has Buster, Muffy and Brain discussing about monkey bars and monkeys in general. Muffy then brings up that her dad once knew a guy who was bitten by a monkey. That had to be intentional or something...
  • In "Francine and the Feline", Arthur claims he doesn't like cats, even though he had been friends with Sue Ellen and Jenna before changing his mind. If this is taken literally (and assuming the characters are aware they aren't human), the implications would be pretty disturbing...
  • It seems that non-anthropomorphic animals have different metabolisms than anthropomorphic ones. In "Sick as a Dog", Pal gets sick from eating candy. However, Binky, Fern, and other anthro dogs have eaten candy and been fine.


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