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"Arthur's Number Nightmare"
Season/Series: 13
Number in season: 3a
Original Airdate: United States October 14, 2009[1]
Canada February 16, 2009[3]
United Kingdom April 20, 2009[2]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Elie Klimos
Elise Benoit
"Kung Fool"
"Brain Gets Hooked"
Read transcript

"Arthur's Number Nightmare" is the first half of the third episode in the thirteenth season of Arthur.


When Arthur and his friends discover what looks like a list of their class rankings in Principal Haney's office, they are all taken for a surprise. If Arthur's really Number Two, then he must be really smart! And is there anything Francine can do to move up a rank?


The episode begins with Mr. Haney in his office, organizing his papers when he receives a phone call advertising a trip to Fiji. During the call, his papers are blown about by the open window, with one sheet flying into the playground. It lands at Buster's feet, who later shows it to Arthur and Francine in the treehouse. Francine suggests that it must be their class rankings, and is stunned when she is ranked last in the class while Arthur is second and Buster is eleventh. Buster becomes convinced that eleven is his lucky number, and Francine wonders how she could be last and wishes to understand how they were all ranked.

The next day, Buster wakes up for school. He takes everything eleven as a sign of good luck, especially when he finds eleven cents on the street. He tries to tell a doubtful Arthur that this is his true lucky number when they are interrupted by a geography test Arthur forgot to study for. Buster reassures Arthur that he will do his best as being number two in the class. Later, Francine goes to confront Mr. Haney about her ranking, but fears being ranked even lower if she objects. When Mr. Haney catches her as she leaves, she brushes off her concerns and tries to impress him by agreeing to his offer for her to help with the school's annual fall festival.

At the ice cream shop, Arthur is relieved to say the test was easy, and when Buster asks for the capital of Denmark Arthur tells him "Capetown". When the Brain corrects him and tells him the correct answer is actually "Copenhagen", Arthur becomes defensive and insists that Brain's just jealous that he was ranked #5 in the class. Brain sees the list and is not convinced that it is of their ranks, so Arthur storms off in denial. Buster tips the Brain, but it is only of the eleven cents he found earlier, much to Brain's annoyance. When Francine discusses their rankings with Muffy while writing her speech for the festival, Muffy rejects the notion that it is of their rankings because she's only number twelve and dismisses how "average" it labels herself. Eager to find out what the truth is, Francine meets Mr. Haney the next day to determine her rank. While he is distracted, she tries to find her rank on his desk but instead knocks over his bowl of grapes, which she hurriedly eats to avoid getting in trouble. Thus, she is unable to comment on Mr. Haney's questionable costume design for her when he shows her the image.

At the fall festival, Francine is dejected that she must wear a heavy pumpkin suit as part of her speech. Buster continues counting things by eleven and Arthur reveals that he only got a C- on the geography test. Buster then guesses that there are eleven chestnuts in a jar Prunella is holding a contest on, and becomes ticked off when Prunella states that clearly his answer is wrong, so Arthur leads him off. The trio are irritated that they ever saw the list and realize it probably isn't of their ranks.

Mr. Haney then arrives to collect Francine for her speech, but sees that the kids had the list of seating assignments for all the kids. He reveals to them that the school does not rank its students, as it leads to wrongful impressions. Francine is stunned that she got roped into her speech for nothing, and Mr. Haney sounds off their places. Buster is to be seated in the second chair, and he comments that this is amazing as he has two cents in his pocket. Jaded, Arthur and Francine warn him not to start up again.







  • PC bank is a parody of TD bank.
  • At the end of the episode, Mr. Haney can be heard saying, "And let's bump Arthur to twenty-four..."

In the intro, many numbers show up in front of Arthur's house and overwhelm him.

  • Some things revealed in the intro were:
    • The time is 10:15 AM.
    • There are 110 days left in the school year
    • "This house" was bought for $237,000 (either Arthur's house or one of the houses across the street)
    • The age of the Earth is 4.54 billion years (as of 2009)
    • The temperature is 77 degrees Fahrenheit
    • "This dog" is 6 years old (it is unknown if they were talking about Pal or not)
    • The car seen on the street is a two-door 1982 Emu
    • There's 12 miles to a gallon
    • There's 4 potholes on the road
    • There's 2.6 million blades of grass on Arthur's law and each one is 8 centimeters high
    • This is line 12 of the script
    • The numbers 1953, 6697, and 39 also appear on the screen before Arthur slams the door.

Episode connections

  • Mr. Haney later mentions the Harvest Day Celebration in "Prunella and the Disappointing Ending."
  • On the poster, the boy in the costume had a white tongue, referencing to season 1, where the characters had white tongues, and foreshadowing season 16, where the characters will have white tongues again.


  • When Mrs. Baxter pours out cereal for Buster, first there are ten cereal pieces, but in the next scene there are eleven.
  • When Francine tries to put the brochure, "World Class Ranking Cruises," under the bowl of Mr. Haney's grapes she has Fern's sleeve.
  • Steve's name can clearly be seen on the list. However, Steve is in the fourth grade, not in Mr. Ratburn's class, which teaches third grade.
  • According to the statement, "there are 110 days left in the school year", this episode takes place January 18. This is assuming that the last day of school is June 22 (see Timeline) and weekends and U.S. public holidays are excluded from the count. Since the fall harvest celebration is part of this episode, the statement is most likely false.
  • Mr. Haney's office has a wall of windows which views the playground. Below this wall of windows contains the boiler registers. When Francine walks the hall to his office, it is located to the right of another interior door, ostensibly the main office. There should be a door in the wall between the principal's office and the main office. But when he opens his front door, those windows are there instead. While it is true that most schools are made with walls of interior windows, these are not interior windows. Trees are visible through this wall of windows. Also, the boiler registers are there too. It is the same exterior wall of windows as seen earlier in some episodes like "Arthur's Substitute Teacher Trouble", but these windows are in the wrong place.
  • Right after Arthur's fantasy about space travel, he is shown with Buster at Brain's Ice Cream Shop. A close up of Arthur's face is seen, but it is off model. His head and face is rounder than Buster's. Arthur's head and face returns to its regular shape when they are talking to Brain.
  • On some TV schedule listings, this episode is incorrectly called "Arthur's Numbers Nightmare."

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