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"Arthur's First Sleepover"
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 30a
Original Airdate: United States November 15, 1996[1]
Canada February 14, 1997[2]
Germany January 23, 2002[3]
Written by: Marc Brown (original)
Joe Fallon (adapted)
Storyboard by: Jean Lajeunesse
"Stolen Bike"
"Arthur's New Year's Eve"
Read transcript

"Arthur's First Sleepover" is the first half of the thirtieth episode in the first season of Arthur. It is based on the book Arthur's First Sleepover.


Despite D.W.'s warning of an alien invasion, Arthur and his friends camp out in the backyard. A jealous D.W. plans a prank to scare them off.[4]


Arthur, Buster and Brain are all gathered in Arthur's backyard, and they are camping out. Arthur remembers the time when he got scared of the dark. Buster remembers that he was originally scared of the dark, but now he is more afraid of Binky. Brain remembers when he was scared of a scary movie called Navy vs. The Nightworm. Arthur and Buster find it funny that Brain would be afraid of that, and laugh, but then they get scared of a shadow caused by a caterpillar crawling on their lantern. 

Arthur's First Sleepover

Arthur is preparing for his first sleepover and he attempts to build a tent, but Jane calls him inside to eat breakfast. At the kitchen table, David reads an article in the newspaper about someone claiming that they saw a spaceship in Elwood City. This makes D.W. want to find a spaceship for herself.

Meanwhile, Arthur finds out that Buster's mom won't let him go to Arthur's sleepover, since she is worried that Buster will be scared, due to the story of the spaceship. Arthur convinces his mom to call Buster's mom, who soon agrees to let Buster go.

Later that night, Buster dreams about arriving at Arthur's sleepover, only to find out that Arthur and Brain are actually aliens. He wakes up from his dream and simply says, “That was scary.” Brain dreams about aliens intending to do an experiment on him once he fixes their ship. Arthur dreams about D.W. wanting to come to his sleepover, which scares him; when he screams, Jane turns to David in their bed and says, “I knew he’d have nightmares with all this talk of spaceships.”

The next day, the tent is set up and Arthur tries to bring the TV outside using an extension cord, but David prohibits him from doing so. That night, Buster and Brain arrive, and D.W. wants to join, but Arthur refuses to let her. They bicker for a bit before D.W. is called to come inside.

Later on, as the boys are getting ready for bed, they see a light floating. They think the object is a spaceship, but it is actually D.W. using a flashlight. The boys sneak into the shed to find a pie pan, forks, kite rope, and other stuff and exact their revenge by making it seem like there is an alien outside of D.W.'s window. D.W. takes pictures of the "alien" with her camera, but when looking at the pictures, discovers it was a hoax. She confronts the boys, only to see what she believes is a UFO in the sky. Brain, Buster and Arthur act like they are scared. D.W. takes a bunch of pictures of the UFO and yells that the pictures are going to make her rich. Buster uses his toe to release a string and the UFO lands. D.W. discovers that it is actually a tin plate with objects strapped to it. When D.W. picks it up, Arthur, Brain and Buster laugh.

D.W. leaves, feeling hurt, but Arthur and his friends feel sorry, and Arthur invites her to join them. She does, and they all Go Fish together. D.W. gets bored, and decides to go back to the house. When she leaves, the boys go back to playing with their trading cards.





  • Part of Buster's line, "Hey, cool PJ's." from his nightmare is recycled in most appearances of the "Magnifying Glass" title card, first used in Season 3.

Cultural references

Episode connections

  • Brain being scared of an old movie about giant worms could be partially why he got so terrified at the possibility of giant worms in "War of the Worms."

Differences from the book

  • The tent is relatively narrow on the inside, and it has canvas on the bottom, and the boys often slept with their feet sticking out. In the book, the tent was larger in size, and it did not have canvas on the bottom, allowing the boys to put their sleeping bags among other things on the grass.
  • The tent was reddish-orange; although in the book, it was yellow.
  • Bitzi had blond hair in the book when she was introduced. In the TV version, like all other episodes of the show, her hair is auburn.
  • When Jane calls Bitzi to whether or not Buster may come over for a sleepover, Bitzi was at work at the Elwood City Times; although in the book, it did not specify if Bitzi was at work or if she was at home. Bitzi also did not have any dialogue in the book, but a sentence said she did all the talking while on the phone.
  • In the book, when Arthur was walking to school with his friends, Prunella was walking with them; but in the TV adaptation, Prunella does not appear in this episode.
  • Out of the pajamas that Arthur, Buster, and the Brain were wearing: Arthur was wearing his blue summertime pajamas, Buster was wearing light blue summertime pajamas, and the Brain was wearing a yellow shirt and orange and yellow striped pajama pants; although in the book, Arthur was wearing a yellow shirt and blue and white striped pajama pants, Buster was wearing a red shirt and white pajama pants with yellow polka-dots, and the Brain was wearing a white shirt and blue pajama pants.
  • D.W. was wearing her cream-colored summertime pajamas; although in the book, she was wearing pink two-piece footsie pajamas with dark pink polka-dots.
  • When the tent collapses, the boys stay in place; in the book, they run around until they hit a tree.
  • In the book, Arthur mentions that he almost stopped breathing and Buster mentions that he almost wet his pants when David came to the tent to give the boys pizza; but the episode doesn't mention those incidents at all and David only came to the tent to tell the boys that it was bedtime.
  • The Brain's lantern is red and white with a white lampshade; although in the book, the lantern was Arthur's and it was red and white with a white lampshade on the cover, and it was white and red with the CAMPLIGHT name on it and had a red lampshade inside the book.
  • In the book, the boys ate pizza and other snacks; but in the episode, they did not eat pizza, but only snacks.
  • In the end, Arthur and his friends happily welcomed D.W. into their tent, and then she decided she was better off in her room; although in the book, she stayed in her room.
  • Also in the end, the boys continued to play Go Fish after D.W. left the tent, and then a firefly came by; although in the book, they started jumping around.


  • When Arthur talks about when he was afraid of the dark, when he turns on the light, he wears a yellow shirt, but when the viewer sees him on the bed, he has green pajamas.
  • During Buster's nightmare, his skin turns gray, then brown when he freaks out over Arthur and Brain.
  • When D.W. finds the pretend flying saucer, there's no rope attached to it, but when Buster flicks the tent rope with his foot making it land, the rope is attached to the flying saucer.
  • On current airings of this episode, the closed captioning is out of sync with the audio by about two seconds. This is fixed for the A Word from Us Kids segment following this episode.

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