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"Arthur's Eyes"
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 1a
Original Airdate: United States October 7, 1996[1][2][3][4]
Canada January 6, 1997[5]
Germany December 7, 2001[6]
Written by: Marc Brown (original)
Joe Fallon (adapted)
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
"Francine's Bad Hair Day"
Read transcript

"Arthur's Eyes" is the first half of the first episode in the first season of Arthur. It is based on the book Arthur's Eyes. It also serves as the series premiere.


Arthur recounts to D.W. the story of how he came to wear glasses, and of the teasing that followed when he began wearing them.


The episode opens with D.W. waking Arthur up with a flashlight in the middle of the night. She shows him some old family photos of Arthur with no glasses on from when he was little, which D.W. thinks are evidence the two of them must have a lost brother.

Arthur denies this, telling her that he is the one in the pictures. D.W. doesn't believe it; she says Arthur was born with glasses.

Arthur tells D.W. she was only two years old when he started wearing glasses, so she does not remember him ever not having them. So Arthur begins to tell D.W. the story of how he first came to wear glasses.

Arthur's Eyes

Arthur's tale starts with him and his friends in Mr. Marco's math class. Arthur has trouble reading the numbers on the blackboard and has to ask Francine for help identifying the numbers, which annoys her.

The math quiz results come in, and Arthur did poorly. Later, all of the kids are in the gymnasium playing a game of basketball, but due to Arthur's poor eyesight, he plays clumsily. When Arthur tries to do a free throw, he misses completely, causing the ball to bounce out of the gym through the door. He chases after it, disappointing his team.

Arthur's class begins their eye examinations in the nurse's office by reading a visual chart. Arthur comes up to the chart and is unable to read the chart properly, which results in him being sent to the optometrist.

The eye doctor tests out Arthur's eyes, and finds that all Arthur needs is glasses. Arthur browses, and tries out different frames. He comes across a pair of circular frames which he likes and accepts. But Arthur's troubles begin when he returns to school.

Francine and the other kids begin to tease Arthur about the way he looks and call him 'four eyes' (Francine even says in a sing-song voice, "Arthur's a four eyes! Arthur's a four eyes! Arthur's a four eyes!"). Even Buster starts imitating Arthur in the cafeteria by taking two water glasses to his eyes, which makes Arthur upset and Buster sad to find out that he hurt his best friend.

Reluctantly, Arthur returns home covering his face with his jacket, which scares D.W. Arthur decides that it would be better to lose his glasses than to wear them to school and get teased.

So he places his glasses in their case which he launches with a slingshot. Amazingly, the case with the glasses hits a telephone line and bounces into his room, landing next to his stuffed bear Stanley. Arthur is frustrated, and tosses the case out the window, where it lands in the pile of leaves his dad was raking.

Arthur enters the kitchen, only to find that his father put his glasses there on the kitchen table. He tries again to dispose of his glasses by putting them on a hammer and nails toy, and tries to get D.W. to smash them; she closely misses.

Arthur's mom sees this, and asks Arthur what he was doing; he makes an excuse that D.W. took them and that he was recovering them. His mom asks him to be more careful with his glasses. Being only two, D.W. hits Arthur on the hand with the toy hammer, hurting his hand.

The next day, Arthur walks to school, but on the way, he takes off his glasses while sitting down on a bench behind a tree. At school Mr. Marco asks him where his glasses are, and Arthur makes up an excuse that he lost them somewhere at home. Buster asks Arthur why he will not wear his galsses, and Arthur claims that he does not need them and that he knows where everything is in the school.

He even tries to prove this by finding the boy's restroom, since he knows that it is the third door from the corner. Arthur miscounts this, though, for Mr. Marco and Mr. Haney were talking at the first door, blocking Arthur's view.

He walks over to the fourth door from the corner and enters, but it turns out to be the girl's restroom, with Muffy and Francine within. Both Arthur and the girls are frightened, but Arthur can not get out fast enough and three other girls walk in, getting the same results as Francine and Muffy.

All the girls scream and run out of the restroom because Arthur is in there. After they all come out, Arthur walks out to see a large crowd of students and teachers before him, startling him. But suddenly, he is unable to see them well because his vision goes blurry.

Back at home, Arthur is gloomy that he will just have to go through life being a "four-eyed weirdo". He watches TV and sees a special on the making of The Bionic Bunny Show, but he then sees that Wilbur Rabbit, the actor portraying Bionic Bunny, wears glasses just like him. This makes Arthur feel better about himself.

On the next day of school, Francine calls Arthur 'four eyes' again, but Arthur ignores it. Binky begins to tease him too, but again, Arthur is not bothered by it. Arthur tells Binky that Wilbur Rabbit wears the same glasses as himself. Binky says he saw that, too, although Francine had not.

Back in Mr. Marco's class, there is another math quiz, but this time, Arthur can read the blackboard clearly. In the gymnasium, Arthur plays basketball with his friends. Unlike before, Arthur plays much better and scores a point against Francine.

Mr. Marco begins handing out the quiz results to the students, and is delighted to see that Arthur got every question correct. Right then, Francine asks Arthur if he wants to play on her team at the next basketball game.

Arthur sees that Francine is wearing movie-star glasses (with no glass, of course). Francine reminds Arthur that Wilbur Rabbit wears glasses. Arthur responds that Wilbur's glasses are just like his.

Arthur's story ends and we see Arthur and D.W. looking at the photo album. Arthur tells D.W. that he has worn glasses ever since. D.W. looks at the photos again and notices a picture of their mom and dad disco-dancing together.

D.W. does not recognize their dad though, for he had brown hair with sideburns, a mustache, and a beard then, and thinks their mom is divorced. She runs to their parents' room to demand an explanation. Arthur runs after D.W. to prevent her from doing so.


All characters shown below are their debuts, since this is the first episode of the series.





  • Arthur's Eyes, the book this episode is based on, is not the first Arthur book; Arthur's Nose is.
  • Most of this episode is a flashback to when Arthur and his friends were second graders. They are seen as third graders in the next episode, "Francine's Bad Hair Day."
  • Even though the title is not spoken on home media releases, Francine says it on television airings.
  • The "worm" Arthur sees at the optometrist's is actually a caterpillar.
  • At the end of the episode, the line "Hey, D.W.!" is re-used from the opening.
  • This is the first episode in which Francine narrates the title card.
  • In the And Now a Word from Us Kids segment, one of the kids was reading the original book.
  • This is the first episode to feature the "Baby Kate cry". It was used for D.W. as a baby.
  • D.W. is the first character to speak in this episode, making her the first character in the entire series to speak.
  • Kate and Pal were the only Read family members to not appear in this episode since majority of the episode was a flashback and neither of them were born yet. In the present, since it was nighttime, Kate would be asleep and Pal wasn't born until the episode "Arthur's Pet Business". Kate didn't make her debut until "Arthur's Spelling Trubble".

Episode connections

Cultural references

  • The Bionic Bunny Show is a reference to the live-action Superman TV series from the 1950s.

Differences from the book

  • The entire story is told as a flashback sequence, as Arthur is telling D.W. the story of when he got glasses.
  • Dr. Iris has a gray complexion, blonde hair, and is a cat. In the book, she had brown fur, was hairless, and was a fox.
  • In the book, Buster made fun of Arthur by calling him a "sissy". In the episode, he makes fun of him by using water cups to imitate him wearing glasses, but does it unintentionally and not on purpose, and doesn't call him names.
  • When Arthur attempts to destroy his glasses, he shoots them with a slingshot and later tries to get D.W. to smash them with her toy hammer. In the book, he hid his glasses in his sweater, hoping they would get smashed in the washing machine.
  • In the book, Mr. Marco was a moose and wore reading glasses. In the episode, he is an aardvark and doesn't wear any glasses at all.
  • Francine's movie star glasses are green; in the book, they were pink.
  • In the episode, when Arthur accidentally goes into the girls' bathroom, Francine is shown with Muffy. In the book, she was by herself.
  • In the episode, Arthur finds out that Wilbur Rabbit wears glasses. In the book, he found out that Mr. Marco wears glasses.
  • Sue Ellen, Muffy, Brain, Binky, Prunella and the third grade teachers are seen in this episode. None of these characters were introduced until the later books.
  • At the end of the book, Mr. Marco's second grade class was getting a class picture, but in the episode, they did not have a class picture.
  • In the episode, the signs to the boys' and girls' restrooms are represented in symbols; in the book, they were represented in words.


  • In the beginning when D.W. goes to Arthur's room, the sign on the bedroom door is red, but in the close-up of the door when D.W. opens the door and goes into the bedroom, the sign is blue.

D.W. can be seen in the bottom right-hand corner.

  • Sue Ellen wasn't meant to appear until "Sue Ellen Moves In", which happens in third grade, yet she still appears in Lakewood Elementary in second grade in many episodes.
  • After Arthur leaves the girl's restroom, D.W. is seen in the crowd. Strangely, she is in her current form rather than being a two year old.
    • In the same scene, Binky is shown, but miscolored; he has Brain's clothes and skin color.
    • Jenna is as tall as D.W, even though she is supposed to be about as tall as her own classmates.
    • Mrs. Wood can be seen in the crowd, but she is not a teacher.
  • Additionally, Sue Ellen has different-colored hair in different scenes.
  • At the beginning of the lunchroom scene, a brown rabbit with an orange shirt is sitting beside Buster. But when Buster is shown again a few seconds later, the gray rabbit is sitting beside him instead.
  • When Arthur is in the hall with his new glasses for the first time, Maria is shown wearing glasses like she did in the early books, yet a few seconds later, they are gone. It appears the creators decided to remove the glasses once and for all.
  • When Arthur picks out his round brown glasses, they were first shown to be teal-colored instead of the actual brown before the close-up.
  • When Mr. Marco is giving the class directions for the quiz, Otis is smaller than usual. His legs don't come close to the floor.
  • Muffy is seen in this episode before Arthur gets his glasses, but when Muffy arrived at Lakewood Elementary School in "Arthur and the True Francine", Arthur already has glasses.
  • Arthur getting a problem right, even though it's crossed out, additionally, there are 4 questions on the test.

    When Mr. Marco hands back the quizzes to his students, he marks that Arthur got every single problem wrong; however, Arthur actually answered one of the questions right: "7+9=16."
  • When Arthur enters the house while coming home from school after his friends teased him, the front door is green instead of the regular brown.
  • Also, when Arthur walks into his room, his door is green instead of the regular white.
  • The TV sitting on the cart in the living room below Arthur's room is purple in this episode; in later episodes, the TV is green, but has rarely appeared again since.
  • In the Read family's photo album, Jane's ears were brown like her hair in the picture of her and David dancing together in their early dating years.
  • D.W. was two years old when Arthur was in second grade, but she would have been three if she is now four and Arthur is eight. On the other hand, this could have taken place after Arthur's seventh birthday and before D.W.'s third.
  • When Mr. Marco hands out the tests the second time, you can see George in the same group as Fern, Sue Ellen and Otis and being beside Otis on his left. Then, he is in the background; however, he seems to be in the same group as Arthur and Francine and doesn't have anybody on his left.
  • When Mr. Marco hands back the math quizzes, he tells his students, "Anyone with four or more mistakes should see me after class." There are only four questions on the test, so you could not get more than four mistakes.
  • As Arthur tells Buster how much harder it is to see without his glasses, the part of skin that shows between Buster's shirt collar turns pink a few times.
  • When the round glasses are grabbed at the optometrist's, it appears that Arthur's hand is grabbing them. But in the next shot, it is shown that the eye doctor was the one who grabbed them. The glasses were also at a height that would have made Arthur too short to grab them.
  • When Buster makes fun of Arthur in the lunchroom and sees that he insulted Arthur, he immediately looks guilty; in the next shot when Arthur leaves the lunchroom, Buster is seen in the corner laughing again in spite of the previous shot and the fact that he wasn't sitting that close to the door through which Arthur exits.
  • In the cafeteria, when the camera zooms in, Sue Ellen can be seen with grey hair.
  • When Buster is making fun of Arthur in the lunch hall about his glasses, Patrick can be seen in the background with Buster's shirt on.
  • D.W.'s pajama collar turns pink a few times in the scene where she asks Arthur about the "long lost siblings". This is similar to when Buster's skin turns pink in between his collar in another scene.
  • When Arthur returns home from school on his first day with glasses, D.W. is seen with David in the front yard, looking like a typical two-year-old. However, when Arthur tries to get D.W. to destroy his glasses with her toy mallet, she is in her original four-year-old form, although she is still laughing like a baby (very much like Kate Read.)
  • Before Arthur accidentally walks into the girl's bathroom, Mr. Haney is seen talking to Mr. Marco. But after the scene where the girls scream because Arthur is in the girl's bathroom, Mr. Haney is seen talking to another teacher that is not Mr. Marco.
  • When Binky starts reading the letters on the board, he is thin and short but he is fat and big.
  • When Arthur says he doesn't need glasses, Binky comes out the door pushing the door to go out but we can see metal on the door to push and Arthur pushes to go in.

Production notes

  • This is the first episode to use the animation of Arthur swimming as a title sequence.
  • This is the first episode where Ivan Tankushev and Nick Rijgersberg are layout supervisors.
  • This is the first episode in which Julie Pelletier is the post-production coordinator.
  • This is the first episode where Nathalie Lasselin and Jim Mitchell are foley assistants.
  • This is the first episode in which Louise Marach is the production accountant.

Home video




Main article: Arthur's Eyes (episode)/Gallery


External links