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"Arthur's Knee"
Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 14b
Original Airdate: United States April 9, 1998[1]
Canada September 10, 1998[2]
Germany February 12, 2002[3]
Written by: Sheilarae Carpentier Lau
Storyboard by: M. Gagnon
M. Cuadrado
"Sue Ellen's Lost Diary"
"Grandma Thora Appreciation Day"
Read transcript

"Arthur's Knee" is the second half of the fourteenth episode in the second season of Arthur.


Arthur doesn't want to tell his mother he hurt his knee because then she'll know he was playing down at the dump—where he's not supposed to be.


Arthur and Brain are constructing a life-sized chariot for a school play based on William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. When Arthur conducts a test run of the vehicle, a bad wheel causes the chariot to malfunction. Brain says they need to find a better wheel to fit the axle.

Arthur volunteers to get one, and Brain goes home for lunch. When D.W. asks Arthur where he's going, he tells her he intends to find a spare wheel at the dump. Arthur isn't allowed to go to the dump, so D.W. threatens to tell on him unless he agrees to let her come along. With no other option, Arthur reluctantly agrees.

At the dump, Arthur finagles his way into the area where the trash is held while D.W. watches from safe ground above. Clawing through the dirt, Arthur finds a wheel from a broken bicycle and climbs back up out of the garbage area. During the climb back up, however, his sweater is torn on a spring, and he cuts his knee on a lima beans can lid, leaving a painful wound. Arthur reflexively tosses away the bike wheel, which lands next to the bike. He returns home with D.W., avoiding their father in the kitchen so he won't find out what happened. Arthur cleans the wound himself, and tells D.W. not to say anything to their parents.

D.W. makes a get-well card for Arthur, and feels unsure what to do because of the promise she made not to tell on him. Nadine suggests that maybe she should tell, anyway. D.W. reminds Nadine that she promised not to reveal Arthur's secret. Nadine tells her that, regardless of her promise, this is a case in which she should confess to her parents about their trip to the dump and the fact that Arthur cut his knee. She reminds D.W. of when she once bravely admitted to climbing and getting stranded in a tall tree.

Brain returns to the house, whereupon D.W. immediately asks him to go take a look at Arthur's knee, which is still throbbing. D.W. starts crying when she sees how much worse Arthur's cut looks, saying Arthur is really hurt and it could become even worse if he doesn't accept grownup help. Brain agrees with D.W., explaining to Arthur that by cutting his knee on a dirty tin can, he put himself at risk of a myriad of illnesses and could develop a fever as his body tries to kill off the infection. D.W. tells Arthur about the time she bravely confessed to climbing the tree and tells him he should be brave and tell on himself now, too. Arthur finally agrees that Brain and D.W. are right, and tells D.W. to go get Jane.

At the doctor's office, Arthur's wound is properly cleaned and he's given a tetanus booster to prevent infection. On the way home, Jane tells him she's proud of him for coming forth with the truth; as he exits the car, though, she stops him, saying she isn't quite finished with him yet.

Later, Francine and Sue Ellen ask if Arthur wants to come outside and play ball, but Arthur says he can't. Francine asks why not, and Arthur replies, “I’ve decided to stay around the house, help out with some chores and stuff.” When Francine asks why, Arthur says he violated his parents' trust by going to the dump, and that he should think about what he did. Francine and Sue Ellen express admiration for Arthur's attitude, with Sue Ellen saying “That’s really adult of you.” However, D.W. arrives and reveals that Arthur has actually been grounded, and his friends leave in the midst of laughter. D.W. leads Arthur inside, grounding herself to keep him company until he is not grounded anymore.





  • D.W. told Arthur he was bleeding; however, during that scene, viewers only see the scar on his knee. This was likely because showing blood would be inappropriate for a children's show.
  • This is one of the two Arthur episodes to show blood. The other is "Vomitrocious."
  • This is one of the episodes that focuses on health (with the others being "Buster's Breathless," "Germophobia," "Operation: D.W.!," "Binky Goes Nuts," "Sick as a Dog," and "Arthur's Chicken Pox").
  • Due to being cut by dirty metal, Arthur needed a Tetanus shot, which he would have gotten anyway in about two years as a preventative measure, as it is typically recommended to receive a booster every 10 years.

Episode connections

  • D.W. referred to the events of "D.W. Blows the Whistle," despite it not having aired yet when this episode debuted. In that episode, D.W. mentioned that she climbed a tree.
  • The bike Arthur pulled a wheel off of is the same as Oliver Frensky’s old bike that he gave to Francine in "Stolen Bike" — although this would have been before it was repaired.
  • Arthur previously did a project on Ancient Rome in "Team Trouble."

Cultural references

  • Arthur mentions William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar.
  • D.W. mispronounces the word “tetanus” as "Tetris," which is the name of a video game.


  • When D.W. asked Arthur that he was going down into the dump to get the wheel, her lips do not move.
  • When Jane tells Arthur that it was hard to tell them about his knee, Arthur is wearing his sweater.

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