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"Arthur's Dummy Disaster"
Season/Series: 3
Number in season: 13A
Original Airdate: United States December 30, 1998[citation needed]
Canada April 26, 1999[citation needed]
Germany March 11, 2002[1]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Mario Cabrera
"Clarissa is Cracked"
"Francine and the Feline"
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"Arthur's Dummy Disaster" is the first half of the thirteenth episode in the third season of Arthur.


Shy George suddenly becomes popular when he brings a ventriloquist's dummy to school. But can George learn to talk to the kids without his wooden friend?


In art class, Arthur's class is showing off their individual art projects to each other and Ms. Brian. Most of them prove unimpressive and copycats of each other's work, until George hesitantly reveals his puppet he has been working on, a wooden giraffe named Wally whom his dad had built for him. He proceeds to voice it, causing the others to compliment it and instantly take an interest in George. George proceeds to make some jokes before smiling to his dummy.

Arthur's Dummy Disaster

At the end of the school day, George is still making jokes with everybody before he mentions having to leave. As he does, he hears them discussing himself and Buster asks why they never hung out with him. Muffy recalls George from Kindergarten when he shared his juice with her, and Francine thinks she recalls hugging him before when he won a soccer game for the team. But otherwise they do not really know him too well. Arthur calls it weird and they all begin to question the story with George, with Buster once again citing possible alien involvement.

The next day, George continues to make his jokes during lunch. In swim class, Muffy and Arthur see George and his dummy swim underwater together. Then eventually, George is playing with it while playing baseball when Wally manages to catch the ball in his mouth. Everybody congratulates him for winning the game and they carry them off.

Later on, everybody asks how they can be ventriloquists also. And so later on, everybody is trying to control their puppets/dummies also. Muffy reveals hers is actually a special recording doll while Buster's is a stinky old sock he calls Socko. Arthur's is his bear Artie, and Binky's is a car, using the hood as a mouth.

At home, Arthur is trying to practice and ends up annoying everybody until they decide to put away Artie during dinner. In bed, Pal steals Artie away from Arthur and he assumes D.W. stole it from him overnight that following morning. D.W. denies this and then Arthur suddenly sees Pal walk in caked with mud...

At school, Buster shows Arthur his now clean, shrunken sock. Muffy then tosses her doll into the trash as the recording was broken and they all comment on how they are growing tired of dolls, puppets, and dummies.

They also notice how beat up Wally is, but George refuses to acknowledge it and they walk off. During art class, George uses Wally to paint his picture, and while "Wally" tries to come up with a rhyme for "orange", Francine and Buster discuss how much of a hassle Wally is becoming. Arthur approaches Wally to tell him there is not a rhyme for orange.

In Mr. Ratburn's class, George raises his hand in order for "Wally" to answer the math question and "Wally" gets it wrong. When Mr. Ratburn says George's answer is incorrect, "Wally" says "What do you expect? I'm a dummy!" So Mr. Ratburn asks George to stay for class before proceeding to lecture him. Arthur then asks George how he did, and George tells them he can no longer bring Wally to class, but he is still allowed to bring him everywhere else in school.

Later, the kids are at library, to read poems. Fern announces that it is now George's turn to go over his poem when suddenly Wally falls apart. Instead of staying he leaves the library and Arthur follows him while asking what happened to Wally.

Arthur tries to tell George that nobody really gets to talk to him, but George tells him that nobody has noticed him until he brought Wally to school. So without Wally, he is just a nobody again...

With a bit of conversation, Arthur manages to convince George to try to give his poem anyway, and hesitantly, the moose boy agrees and then proceeds to cheer up when he realizes he spoke his poem well. The following day at lunch, Arthur, Francine, and Buster notice that George has given Wally to D.W.- much to Arthur's immediate shock and fear.







  • At the end of the 2000 rerun intro on PBS Kids before this episode, Arthur’s crashing sound changes to the Season 5 version.
  • This episode marks the first "official" appearance of George Lundgren, who, prior to this episode, existed only as a background character, and was never referred to by name. There are many references to George "never being noticed before." This is proven in the Audio Descriptive version when the voiceover says, "One kid, with antlers like a moose."
  • Also, in the audio descriptive version, Wally, George's ventriloquist dummy, is a giraffe, and it looks like it talks by itself.
  • When Arthur yells "D.W.!", the audio is taken from "Arthur Goes to Camp"
  • In this episode, it is revealed that George sometimes gets his head stuck in his locker and knocks coats off the coat rack, due to his antlers.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Wally, George's dummy.
  • When Wally says "You know, that Mr. Ratburn's one to talk. He's got about a hundred marionettes...", this refers to Mr. Ratburn's hobby of being a puppeteer.

Episode connections[]

  • Arthur says he is afraid of ventriloquist dummies in "Night Fright," but he seems to have gotten over his fear by this episode.
  • Buster says he wonders why he never hangs out with George. In previous episodes like "Buster Makes the Grade," they appear to be good friends, however, the episodes are not all in chronological order.
  • D.W. once again mentions her snowball from "D.W.'s Snow Mystery."
  • Despite being given to D.W., Wally again appears in George's possession in all of his subsequent appearances. How this occurred is unknown, but Wally references his experience with D.W. as being a bad one in "The Silent Treatment."
  • The events of this episode would be referenced in "The Best Day Ever" as George's best day.

Cultural references[]

  • Wally's feet joke ("they're long fellows") references American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
  • Prunella makes a reference to Oreo cookies in her poem.


  • Muffy's flashback shows her receiving a juice box from George; this should not have happened, since Muffy arrived in Elwood City when they were in the second grade.
    • The juice box changes color a tiny bit when George gives it to her.
  • Strangely, Lisa appears at Lakewood along with the third graders. Lisa is supposed to be at Preschool.
  • After Wally talks for the first time, Arthur says "I didn't see George's mouth move once!" However, George's mouth is clearly shown moving when he is speaking in Wally's voice.
  • According to this episode, Wally is constructed by George, but in a flashback in "Fifteen," he is received as a Christmas present.
  • When Arthur swims, he is wearing his glasses, which can actually be dangerous in reality.
  • When the baseball that Wally caught is hit, the “We win!” cheer is used.

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