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"Arthur's Chicken Pox"
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 18a
Original Airdate: United States October 30, 1996[1]
Canada January 29, 1997[2]
Germany January 7, 2002[3]
Written by: Marc Brown (original)
Kathy Waugh (adapted)
Storyboard by: Russel Crispin
"Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper"
"Sick as a Dog"
Read transcript

"Arthur's Chicken Pox" is the first half of the eighteenth episode in the first season of Arthur. It is based on the book Arthur's Chicken Pox.


Arthur may miss out on the family outing to the circus because he has chicken pox. Meanwhile, D.W. is jealous of the attention he's getting.[4]


Arthur eats cereal at the breakfast table. Jane is on the phone. He says that this morning is "a typical Monday morning" at home. David is cooking. The kitchen is very noisy- D.W. searches a cupboard and throws pots and pans behind Baby Kate. D.W. starts banging pot lids together, excitedly announcing that the circus is coming to town. Arthur is rather annoyed by this, and comments on how he sometimes wishes he lived in a quieter place. D.W. marches through the kitchen banging two pot lids together. She is wearing a tutu. Arthur says like the middle of the desert, or Mars, maybe. D.W. bangs the lids right next to his ear. She bangs the lids again. David takes the lids away. Arthur says that while he isn't unexcited for the circus, because it's really fun when they go. In a flashback, the Reads sit in a circus ring with many other people. A shadow falls on D.W. The flashback ends. Arthur paints a picture of a circus elephant in art class. It's just that the circus "isn't until Saturday", and besides, he's "feeling a little funny".

Arthur's Chicken Pox

At school, the kids are painting in art class. Binky uses his brush viciously. Some red paint from Binky's brush falls on Buster's easel, where it forms an interesting comet shape. Muffy is painting a $1000 note. She notices that Sue Ellen is painting blue trees. Arthur has painted an elephant in a circus arena. It suddenly becomes animated and trumpets. The whole easel turns into a blue elephant. The elephant looks at him. The elephant trumpets again. Arthur walks backwards and bumps into Francine. The easel and painting are normal again, all the while not realizing that was actually hallucinating. Arthur lies on a stretcher in the nurse's room. The nurse shines a light on him. She puts a thermometer in Arthur's mouth. Francine, Muffy, Buster and Brain stand in the door, and are concerned about Arthur. The nurse tells Arthur that with some rest, he will be "good as new". Arthur smiles.

That afternoon, Arthur sits on the couch at home wearing pajamas. He drinks apple juice and eats crackers while watching TV. D.W. comes home. She comes in and stands in front of the TV. She asks him what is wrong with him, to which Arthur plainly answers that he is sick. D.W. is skeptical, and thinks that he has a big test coming up or Binky was going to pound him, but Arthur dismisses both claims, saying that he had to go to the nurse. D.W. still doesn't believe him. She takes some of Arthur's crackers. A while later, Arthur and D.W. sit side by side and watch TV. Jane comes in with a tray for Arthur. She turns off the TV. A short while later, Arthur eats from his tray on the couch, while D.W. sits at the dinner table. David serves spinach. D.W. still believes Arthur is just faking being sick. She watches Arthur. When she tries to taunt Arthur, he responds by blowing a raspberry at her, and D.W. chuckles. She tries to look innocent while her parents stare at her.

That night, Arthur lies in bed. In his dream, a lady performs on a flying trapeze. Arthur realizes, that his bed is high up in a circus arena with the tightrope attached to it. He looks down. Suddenly, the bed is gone and Arthur stands in front of the tightrope wearing a leotard. A performer hands him a unicycle. He points to the other end of the tightrope. D.W. comes wearing the attire she wore earlier. Arthur rides on the tightrope. He falls. Arthur wakes up. He is covered in red spots. Arthur walks into the bathroom. A moment later, he runs out screaming. He runs into his room and hides under the blanket. His parents come in with D.W. and Kate. David feels Arthur's forehead. He finds out that Arthur has the chicken pox. D.W. feels Arthur's forehead. Jane arranges for Grandma Thora to come over to take care of Arthur. D.W. looks delighted. Jane says that Arthur won't be able to go the circus with the chicken pox, because of how contagious it is. D.W. tells Arthur she'll take good care of him. She smiles and rubs her hands.

The next day, Arthur reads in bed. Buster sits in the tree outside and throws a can with a string attached to it into the room. D.W. closes the window. She is wearing a nurse's costume. She holds an oversized toy thermometer. She rubs pink lotion on Arthur's chest. Grandma Thora comes in. She tells D.W. that, since Arthur "is an especially difficult case", it might be best for her to "take over". She asks Arthur if he would like "something really special." Arthur smiles and nods. D.W. puts oatmeal in the bathtub through a sieve. Arthur sits in the tub holding a drink with a crazy straw. He lies back and takes a sip. D.W. puts oatmeal in his drink. Grandma Thora leads D.W. away. When Arthur comes out of the bathroom D.W. watches him scratch through binoculars. She sees Arthur scratching and blows a shrill whistle. D.W. runs into the kitchen where Grandma Thora is preparing a bowl of ice-cream for Arthur. She holds a tray full of goodies. D.W. pushes up a chair so she can reach a tray. There is a sandwich and a mug without a straw. Arthur lies on the couch and looks at his reflection in a mirror while Grandma Thora rubs lotion on his back. D.W. sits on the couch end looking annoyed. A short while later, Grandma Thora heats water and is making tea for Arthur while D.W. sits at the kitchen table. D.W. gets off the chair looking grumpy.

She comes up with a plan: she powders her face in the bathroom and uses her crayons to make herself look like she has the chicken pox, and therefore, get some attention from her grandma. Meanwhile, Arthur and Grandma Thora watch TV while Arthur is enjoying his tea. Grandma Thora turns off the TV. D.W. comes down the stairs with red spots on her face. Grandma Thora picks up D.W. and carries her up the stairs. D.W. smiles. A short while later, D.W. plays in the bathtub behind a shower curtain. Grandma Thora comes in with a cup and a crazy straw. Thora is fooled and thinks D.W. really has the chicken pox, but when D.W. has an oatmeal bath, the colors are washed away. She is caught and scolded by Thora, who tells D.W. that she is very disappointed in her.

That night, D.W. sits on her bed. She expresses to her father her jealousy over Arthur's chicken pox, and insists that the chicken pox are "more fun than anything"- even the circus. David tells her she has until the following day to decide whether to go to the circus or not.

The next day, Buster is on the phone. Arthur sits on the couch next to Grandma Thora. There are less spots on his face. Just in time, Arthur is found to be well enough to go to the circus. At the other end, Buster smiles. D.W. comes into the kitchen where the parents are washing up. She is covered with spots again. D.W. says she's decided that she too will go to the circus after all. However, it turns out that she has caught the chicken pox. Both parents try unsuccessfully to hide their laughter. D.W. feels her face. She looks at her reflection in the toaster. Jane expects her to be upset, but D.W. dances around the kitchen. D.W. slides over the floor and knocks over Pal's dog dish. She runs up to her grandma. D.W. meets Arthur who is coming down the stairs. Arthur is shown to have fully recovered from the chicken pox as D.W. shows off her chicken pox to Arthur. But Arthur tells her that she will now miss the circus. D.W. doesn't seem to mind, saying that the circus comes every year, but you only get the chicken pox once. She runs up the stairs. Arthur then turns to the camera and smiles.






  • This is the first episode in which Grandma Thora gets mad at D.W. for lying to her about her chicken pox. It is also the first episode where D.W. is called by her full name.
  • D.W.'s line, "Uh-huh. Sure." is recycled from the opening of Arthur's Baby.

Differences from the book

  • Right before Arthur catches the chicken pox, Arthur has a circus nightmare. Also, after he catches it, he finds out in the bathroom and his family then finds out over the night. In the book, Arthur didn't have a circus nightmare, and his family walked into his room the following morning, and found out he caught the chicken pox.
  • Ms. Bryan is introduced in this episode, although in the book, Arthur was the only one shown in the art class.
  • In one scene, Arthur was communicating with Buster can-to-can from his room window to outside. In the book, Arthur's friends were giving him get well cards and bringing his homework
  • D.W. was seen putting calamine lotion on Arthur after he caught the chicken pox. This did not happen in the book.
  • When Grandma Thora gives Arthur a back rub after his bath, Arthur was lying on his stomach on her lap and was topless. In the book, Arthur was lying on his stomach on the sofa, his legs were behind Grandma Thora, and he was still wearing his pajamas while she was rubbing his back.
  • When D.W. fakes the chicken pox and runs down the stairs, Grandma Thora picks her up and brings her back upstairs for the bath. In the book, Grandma Thora was taking D.W.'s temperature after D.W. came downstairs, and before giving D.W. a bath.
  • In the book, when Arthur's chicken pox heals up, he goes out to dinner with his family. In the episode, the scene was omitted, save for the scene of Grandma Thora allowing him to attend the circus with Buster.
  • When D.W. finally catches the chicken pox from Arthur, she runs down the stairs, prances around and even knocks over Pal's bowl, which surprises David and Jane and also makes them laugh a little in the process. A healed-up Arthur tells D.W. that she is going to miss the circus, but she does not mind a bit. In the book, D.W. walks down the stairs while her family gets ready for the circus, and surprises them when she finally caught it; however, only Arthur laughs at her. Then Jane tells D.W. to go back to bed, and when D.W. is upset over missing the circus, Arthur promises to her that he will bring her home a balloon if she was good and did not scratch.
  • In the book, Arthur was wearing a bow tie with his clothes while he and his family were ready for the circus. The appearance is absent in the episode.
  • The scenes where Arthur's family goes to dinner, D.W. pretending to call her friend Emily, the scene where David and Grandma Thora bring Arthur some treats and the scene where Arthur's classmates bring him get-well cards and homework were not shown in the episode.

Episode connections

  • Arthur gets the chicken pox, and he mentions D.W.'s imaginary friend Nadine getting the chicken pox in "D.W.'s Imaginary Friend."
  • D.W. is shown to dislike spinach, though not as strongly as she does in "D.W., the Picky Eater."
  • D.W. tells Arthur you only get chicken Pox once and Jane tells D.W. you only get them once in D.W. on Ice


  • Grandma Thora is said to know "all about chicken pox," but she is fooled by a four-year-old with a magic marker.
  • While Grandma Thora is taking D.W. upstairs to give her an oatmeal bath, when Grandma Thora blinks, her glasses frames disappear for a second.
  • D.W. stayed home even though she goes to preschool.
  • When D.W. takes a bath after faking the chicken pox, her hair is in its dry, styled appearance behind the shower curtain, but when Grandma Thora opens the shower curtain, her hair is wet and straight.
  • This is one of the episodes from the first season in which the characters have white tongues. This was a coloring error, and was fixed later with "Buster's Dino Dilemma."
  • When D.W. says "Or did Binky threaten to crash you?", she knows Binky's name. But in "Revenge of the Chip", she does not know his name.

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Main article: Arthur's Chicken Pox (episode)/Gallery