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Arthur's TV Trouble
Arthur's TV Trouble
Author Marc Brown
Illustrator Marc Brown
Publication date September 1, 1995
Published by Little, Brown and Company
ISBN 0316109193
Publication Order
Preceded by
Arthur's First Sleepover (1994)
Followed by
Arthur Writes a Story (1996)

Arthur's TV Trouble is the twenty-first book in the Arthur Adventure series. It was written and illustrated by Marc Brown and published by Little, Brown and Company on September 1, 1995.


Arthur Read and his sister D.W. watch a commercial on television, and the product being advertised was a Treat Timer, and the announcer on the commercial stated that dogs would love a kind of product. Arthur becomes interested in the Treat Timer and was planning to buy it. But Arthur needs twenty or more dollars to buy it. Arthur then asks his father David about the product, but David suggests Arthur to tell his mother Jane about it. While Jane is showering, she tells Arthur that money does not grow on trees, and that the dog Pal prefers treats by hand and not from a machine.

At school, while Mr. Ratburn's class was having a spelling test, Arthur was daydreaming about the Treat Timer. But this angered Mr. Ratburn, so Arthur had to stay after school to finish the test.

Arthur then realized that since he wanted the Treat Timer so bad, all he needed to do was some hard work. The job that Arthur was assigned to do was to tie strings for every stack of newspapers in Susy Sipple's garage, and Arthur would earn twelve cents per stack. Arthur gets the job done in a flash, but papers end up flying around, not having the strings on the stacks. D.W. blames Arthur about the work, so she helps Arthur get the job done correctly. When Mr. Sipple came home, he paid Arthur all the money for every stack of newspapers being tied in strings.

Having finally earned his money, Arthur goes shopping for a Treat Timer; the salesclerk tells him that the Treat Timer needs to be assembled and have its batteries installed in order for it to run, plus it should have treats in order for them to shoot out. Much to Arthur's surprise, all sales are final — meaning that he cannot return or exchange it.

At home, Arthur unboxes the new Treat Timer, assembles it all by himself and puts in the batteries. In the living room, Arthur tests the Treat Timer, and while it is running, the lights were flashing brightly, and the treats were shooting out like rockets, causing Pal to bark loudly and run away in a flash. Jane shouts to Arthur to turn off the machine. Arthur then learns that the Treat Timer turns out to be a very fraudulent product, and that it's not a good idea to trust every commercial on TV.

The next day, Arthur and D.W. watch another commercial. Instead of the same commercial as earlier, the product being advertised was the Magic Disappearing Box. Arthur then imagined himself as a magician putting D.W. in that big box, and like he was going to put a spell on her so she could disappear.



  • Susy Sipple is introduced in this book.
  • Sue Ellen's signature hairstyle in the series has changed in this book, and she now has pigtails. It became applied to the cartoon show as well.
  • David Read's catering business is introduced in this book, along with the polka-dot grandfather clock seen in the Reads' living room, both of which would be prominently featured in the TV show.
  • While not shown or confirmed inside the book, the illustration of the Treat Timer with the garbage implies that Arthur threw it away after finding out the product turned out defective than was advertised.