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Recap / Arthur S 1 E 3 DW All Wet Busters Dino Dilemma

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Airdate: October 9, 1996

D.W. enjoys a field trip to the aquarium, fascinated by everything there it seems. She doesn't even seem fazed by the electric eels or even the sharks...until she spots an octopus. Soon, she quickly learns she has a morbid fear of octopi. Later, Arthur and Buster are having fun in the garage, but when they overload the AC due to the immense heat, the family decides it's time to take a trip to the beach, much to D.W.'s dismay. Throughout their stay, D.W. refuses to go into the water due to her fear of octopuses. Even after the family tries to reassure her that there are certainly no octopuses in the water, she refuses to have any fun. Arthur and Buster soon conjure up a plan to get her in the water though, and their plan ultimately works. D.W. realizes what she had been missing out on, and the tables turn when she doesn't want to go home at the end of the day.


D.W. All Wet provides examples of:

  • Absurd Phobia: Invoked. The whole family thinks that D.W.'s sudden phobia is this, and they express this in varying degrees. Arthur tells her octopi are only in the ocean, David tries to reassure her there are none at the beach, and Jane tries to tell her the same.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: In the book, D.W. did not hope that Arthur would get eaten by an octopus or happily dream of that happening to him like she does here.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: In the book, D.W. just didn't want to go in the water because she was being contrary. Here, it's because of her octopi phobia, exacerbated by Arthur's prank.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The orca at the aquarium is colored gray like a bottlenose dolphin, rather than the iconic black-and-white.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Arthur's parents start pulling off an "I've had it!" after the AC explodes. We're meant to think they're about to punish Arthur for destroying the AC, but then they go on to say they just can't take the heat any longer, and that they want to go to the beach.
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  • Be Careful What You Wish For: D.W. angrily said she hoped an octopus would eat Arthur. When it seems to happen at the beach — in reality, Arthur was horsing around with Buster's swim cap and playfully calling for help — she's actually horrified and swims out to make sure he's safe.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Arthur pulls a gag spider joke on D.W. when she's taking a bath, claiming it's an octopus. After Arthur gets in trouble for this, D.W. claims "I hope an octopus eats him." Even Jane is shocked by it.
  • The Freelance Shame Squad: A group of swimsuit-clad girls laugh at Arthur and Buster when they're forced to play with D.W.
  • I Wished You Were Dead: D.W. immediately regrets wishing that an octopus would eat her brother when it seems to happen at the lake. She laughs in relief on seeing that he's not in danger and that Arthur was just fooling around.
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  • Made of Explodium / Stuff Blowing Up: The AC unit actually explodes when Arthur cranks it up too high. In real life, the worst that would happen is that the unit would just burn out, but definitely not cause a full-on explosion.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Arthur's prank means that D.W. is fearing octopi when they go to the lake. Arthur tries to explain that octopi only live in oceans, not lakes, but she refuses to listen.
  • Pink Means Feminine:
    • Buster is forced to wear a pink flowery swim cap in the water, much to his dismay.
    • D.W.s swimsuit is also pink.
  • Scenery Censor: When D.W. runs out of the bathtub, she still has bubbles surrounding her waist.
  • Schmuck Bait: Everyone keeps telling D.W. that there are no octopuses in the lake. She still refuses to go in the water. Does this mean when Arthur shouts there's an octopus in the lake that she's right? Nope; he was just playing around with Buster's swim cap.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: D.W. dreaming about Arthur being drowned by an octopus with a smile on her face certainly counts as this. Thankfully, at the end she shows that she doesn't want him dead after all by conquering her fear of octopi to attempt to save him when she thinks he's in danger.
  • Up to Eleven: The AC in the garage has "Unbelievably Freezing Cold" as its max setting.
  • "What Do They Fear?" Episode: Octopuses, for D.W..
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: This episode establishes D.W.'s fear of octopuses. Subverted in that the beach doesn't actually have any, since it's on a lake, but she doesn't realize that so it still counts as an example of facing her fears.

On a field trip to the local state park, the students are taken to a river where they see if they can dig for fossils. Arthur and Buster seem to have rotten luck through the trip, unable to find anything of interest. That is, until the very end, when Buster miraculously uncovers one just as he gives up. However, his fascination with dinosaurs gets the better of him, and he refuses to give into the park's demands that the students show any fossils they uncover without getting to keep any of them for themselves. Frustrated, Buster sneaks the fossil back home, where his guilty conscience begins to take hold. He can't stop thinking about the fossil and the idea of getting in trouble over it, and runs over to Arthur's house asking if he'll keep it, but Arthur urges Buster that he should bring it back where it belongs. Buster begrudgingly complies, and on another trip to the state park, Arthur and Buster find their credit given to their newly discovered fossil in the museum.

Buster's Dino Dilemma contains examples of:

  • Easily Forgiven: Ranger Ruth does not hold Buster stealing the fossil against him, and even has the fossil displayed in the museum and credited to him and Arthur. Given her reaction, however, it's probably not the first time that a kid was tempted to take a fossil home.
  • Easter Egg: Arthur and Buster wear bedtime slippers of each other; this would become a recurring gag, but it is first seen in this episode.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Buster sure seems to think so.
  • Fainting: Buster falls back in his chair when Mr. Ratburn informs him how rare dinosaur footprints are.
  • Hidden Depths: Brain high-fives Buster for accurately answering a question about what fossils are, so detailed that it might as well have come from Brain himself.
  • Karma Houdini: While Buster does feel guilty for stealing the fossil and brings it back where he found it, Ranger Ruth doesn't punish him for stealing it in the first place, and in fact allows it to be displayed in the museum with credit for its discovery given to him and Arthur.
  • King of the Dinosaurs: A Tyrannosaurus appears throughout the episode. Namely in the movie during the Cold Open, when Buster imagines Ranger Ruth as one, and during Buster's nightmare.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Buster's conscience gets the better of him after he sneaks the stolen fossil into his home.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Possibly Early Installment Weirdness as well, but Buster never yells or screeches before or since like he does at Arthur, when Arthur brings up the possibility of the fossil they just found being that of a leaf.
  • Pantomime Animal: The dinosaur show at the local state park features two park employees dressed as an apatosaurus-like dinosaur this way, with the front employee's head visible in the dinosaur's neck. Halfway through the show, the costume comes apart in the center, and the guy in the back half hops away like a kangaroo, much to the kids' amusement.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Unlike in Buster's nightmare, Ranger Ruth proves to be this. She forgives Buster for taking the fossil from the dig, since obviously the temptation was high, and makes sure they're up to date on the research.
  • Tempting Fate: A rare positive example. Arthur gets aggravated with Buster skipping out on snack time to find a fossil, and Arthur asks the rhetorical question, "What's going to happen, you're just going to reach in the water and pick one up?" Guess what happens just as he says this?
  • Tickle Torture: Arthur claims the police did this to him in Buster's nightmare to get him to confess.
  • Volumetric Mouth: Mr. Ratburn does this when he yells "QUIEEEEET!" to the class after laughing at a Wardrobe Malfunction in the dinosaur show at the park.


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