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This article is about the 2020 television special. You may be looking for the book Arthur's Thanksgiving, the online game An Elwood City Thanksgiving, or the event Arthur and Buster Thanksgiving Spectacular.
"An Arthur Thanksgiving"
Original Airdate: United States November 16, 2020 [1][2][3]
Written by: Peter Ferland
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
Hélène Cossette
Allan Jeffery
Glen Kennedy
Tapani Knuutila
Daniel Miodini
Tom Nesbitt
Jeremy O'Neil
Tahir Rana
Tony Tupilano
"Special: The Rhythm and Roots of Arthur"
"Special: Arthur's First Day"
Read transcript

"An Arthur Thanksgiving"[4] is a one-hour TV special that debuted on PBS on November 16, 2020.[1]


"It's Thanksgiving, and it couldn't be busier! David is whipping up his famous turkey dinner, the Lakewood elementary kids are preparing for the annual parade and, when things start to go off course, Arthur and his friends must find a way to save the Thanksgiving celebration."[5]


The Reads have their Thanksgiving dinner in the yard in the company of family members, friends and some people they have never met before. Arthur remarks how they usually only have the grandparents over, and how the year before, Pal was not there, and the year before that, Kate was not yet born. He sort of remembers Aunt Minnie’s visit several years before.

An Arthur Thanksgiving

Arthur wakes up on the morning of Thanksgiving. His dad is cooking, but since he needs the whole kitchen, the family only gets leftovers for breakfast and is not allowed to use bowls or spoons. Arthur’s parents complain that Pal has been getting grabby, and that Arthur should lock him in his room during Thanksgiving dinner. Arthur promises to tire Pal out before then. Aunt Minnie, who lives in France, calls to say that she has arrived in Elwood City. D.W. is suspicious, because she does not remember Minnie at all. After Pal snatches a meatball which Kate offered him, Arthur decides to take him outside.

Arthur and Pal play fetch. While Pal retrieves a frisbee, Nemo throws acorns at him and teases him. Arthur interrupts them, but Pal vows to catch Nemo one day.

Back in the house, Mrs. Read tells Arthur to get ready to go to the parade. D.W. wonders who Aunt Minnie is, confusing her with a yogurt vendor. Arthur lets Pal licks his plate clean. Since the plate originally had brussels sprouts on them, Mr. Read thinks that Pal ate them. While he argues with Arthur, Bud comes in. His family wants him out of the house while they are packing for a visit to their Aunt Mabel.

(From here on, the special jumps back and forth between the protagonists.)


Arthur ties Pal to the dog house. Nemo comes and teases Pal again. Pal breaks free and chases Nemo out of the yard and across town. Pal eventually loses Nemo by the Walters’ house.

Pal is lost. On his way through town he meets Sharina, the empanada vendor, and a large dog named Petunia. Petunia chases Pal away, but then apologizes, since she was only protecting her family. She offers Pal some of the leftovers her family left out for her.

Further down the street, Pal is scared by a firefighter and tumbles down a hill. He finds himself at the dog shelter where a dog named Nicky shares his biscuit with him. When Pal learns that that is all the shelter dogs are getting, he runs back to Petunia.

Pal tells Petunia about the shelter dogs. They put Petunia’s leftovers in a baby carriage for transport. Petunia gets her head stuck in a tofu turkey and the carriage rolls out of control with both dogs and the food in it.

They pass Arthur’s search party without either noticing the other. Pal and Petunia distribute Petunia’s food among the shelter dogs. Pal notices Kate and Arthur’s smell and runs after them. He is caught by the firefighter who by now has learned that Pal is missing. Pal warms up to the man, after he gives Pal a piece of bacon.

Read House

After tying up Pal, Arthur meets Aunt Minnie who greets him in her stiff manner. In the living room, he tells her that he will be part of the parade on a float based on Hickory Dickory Dock. When Mr. Read mentions that Pal ate the brussels sprouts, his wife tells him that she put them in a different container. The parents and Arthur leave the room to investigate. Minnie addresses D.W. and Bud who are hiding behind the couch. They introduce themselves, then the kids run away, leaving Minnie confused.

Since Pal did not eat the brussels sprouts, Mr. Read allows Arthur to bring him back inside, but Pal is gone. Arthur and his parents search for him, assuming that he has not gone far. Mrs. Read and Arthur eventually go to the parade.

Bud and D.W. watch Aunt Minnie unpack in D.W.’s room. D.W. tells her that she can play with the toys, as long as she does not break them. Minnie asks them to let her rest before she starts breaking toys. The kids wonder if she is joking.

Later, D.W. and Bud find Aunt Minnie asleep on the bed. When D.W. pulls a doll from under Minnie’s foot, Minnie wakes up and the kids run out.

While Mr. Read delivers some pies to the retirement home, Bud and D.W. ask Minnie for a snack. She does not want them to spoil their appetites, so they call her Aunt Meanie behind her back and steal crackers while Minnie is out in the yard. Minnie catches them. She lets them have two crackers each, then sets them to work.

Minnie teaches D.W. and Bud to set the table. Mr. Read returns and tells Bud that his family is waiting. Bud hugs D.W. and Mr. Read goodbye, but Minnie prefers shaking hands. Bud accidentally calls her Aunt Meanie.

D.W. asks Minnie about her life. She finds it sad that Minnie lives all alone. When she hears that Minnie is moving back to Elwood City, she tells Minnie that she can stay with the Reads and hugs her. Minnie is somewhat unsettled, but flattered.


Mr. Ratburn, Binky, Brain, Buster, Francine and Sue Ellen get ready for the parade. Mr. Ratburn hands out rope tails to complete the kids’ mouse costumes. Mr. Crosswire and Muffy pull the float with a large convertible. Mr. Ratburn explains how the kids should run up to the clock.

Meanwhile, Arthur and his mom meet Mrs. Prendergast on the way to the parade. She tells them that Pal went in the direction of the parade and offers to come with them.

The kids on the float draw whiskers on their faces. Arthur joins them, still worrying about Pal. They rehearse the mouse running to the clock routine, but then Arthur hears a dog bark and tells Mr. Ratburn that he needs to keep looking for Pal.

Mr. Ratburn takes Arthur and his family to Patrick’s Chocolates, where Patrick prints out flyers. Then Arthur’s party separates from the others.

Muffy films the parade preparations for her vlog. Mr. Ratburn discovers that the mouse ears he ordered are in fact moose antlers. The kids put them on anyway.

Muffy gets on Farmer Garvin’s goat float to film her dad. When the float starts moving, she is stuck there while Binky takes her seat in Mr. Crosswire’s car. Muffy films the parade while Bluebell the goat bothers her.

The float eventually reaches the Read house. By now, the kids’ performance bears little resemblance to the nursery rhyme. D.W. asks the other kids about Arthur and learns that Pal is still missing. Bluebell chews through the rope holding Gobbler the turkey balloon. It flies away and the parade stops. The third-graders decide to help Arthur’s search.


After getting the flyers from Patrick, Arthur, his mom, Kate and Mrs. Prendergast go and distribute them. Sharina recognizes Pal.

Later, the firefighter who scared Pal sees a flyer stuck to Sharina’s empanada stand. He tells Sharina that he saw Pal by the shelter. Sharina tells Mrs. Prendergast and she tells Arthur.

Arthur knocks at the shelter door, but nobody is in. Kate talks to Nicky and promises to try to get the family to adopt him. When they leave, Arthur and Pal pass each other without noticing.


After the parade has stopped, the kids from the float and Sharina team up with Arthur while Mrs. Read takes Kate home for her nap.

At the same time, Muffy and her dad follow Gobbler to the soccer field, where his rope tangles up with the scoreboard. They call the firefighters for help. Arthur, Buster and Brain see Pal in the firetruck as it passes by them.

At the soccer field, Arthur is reunited with Pal and the firefighter returns Gobbler to Farmer Garvin.

Arthur invites the people who helped him over for Thanksgiving dinner which leads to the scene from the introduction. Arthur tells the audience that Minnie is adopting Nicky and that the Reads will take care of him until Minnie has moved back to the States.







  • This special takes place on Thanksgiving Day of Arthur's third grade year.
  • Tony Daniels replaces Greg Kramer following his death in 2013 as the voice of Nemo.
  • Although this special premiered in 2020, it was produced in 2019 according to the credits.
  • The title card is not an exact excerpt from the special, similar to the "D.W. and the Beastly Birthday" title card, but unlike all other title cards starting with season 16 (United states) respectively 14 (internationally).
  • Sharina and Nicky are named in the end credits, but not on the show itself. Jim the firefighter's name only appears in the subtitles.
  • This is the last episode where Kate cries, and is the last episode where her crying sound was heard.

Episode connections

Cultural references

  • The rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock allegedly refers to Richard “Hickory Dick” Cromwell, who ruled England for only 9 months between 1658 and 1659. Though Richard succeeded his father Oliver, both Cromwells used the title Lord Protector rather than king.
  • Kate’s winter hat may be a reference to fellow PBS show Molly of Denali. The title character wears a similar hat.
  • Minnie’s rhyme is a variation of “Mabel, Mabel, strong and able, keep your elbows off the table.”


  • The first time the bully from “The Last Tough Customer” is seen talking to Hope Locke, they are about the same height even though she is a grown-up and he a kid. The second time, their sizes are correct.
  • There is a flashback of Minnie adopting Nicky, but since the shelter worker had gone home for Thanksgiving, the adoption could not have happened before the Reads’ Thanksgiving dinner.


Main article: An Arthur Thanksgiving/Gallery


  1. 1.0 1.1 Arthur Thanksgiving: Episode 0H. WGTE. Archived from the original on October 23, 2020.
  2. @ArthurPBS (November 16, 2020). Big news! The all-new 1-hour special "An Arthur.... Facebook. Archived from the original on November 19, 2020.
  3. @ArthurPBS (November 16, 2020). The Statue of Liberty 🗽, a goat 🐐, a vampire.... Facebook. Archived from the original on November 19, 2020.
  4. Arthur Thanksgiving. PBS Utah. Archived from the original on October 23, 2020.
  5. CenterPiece November 2020. UNC-TV (October 15, 2020). Archived from the original on October 23, 2020.