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"Arthur's Treasure Hunt"

Arthur Digging

Arthur's Treasure Hunt Title Card

Season/Series: 3
Number in season: 9a
Original Airdate: Flag of the United States November 26, 1998
Flag of Canada May 3, 1999[1]
Written by: Stephen Krensky
Storyboard by: Mario Cabrera
Rich Vanatte
"Buster's Growing Grudge"
"The Return of the King"
Read transcript

"Arthur's Treasure Hunt" is the first half of the ninth episode in the third season of Arthur.


When Buster digs up an ancient arrowhead, everyone else wants to hunt for buried treasures, too. But how can Arthur become a famous discoverer of lost civilizations and stuff if his Mom won't let him dig up the back yard?[2]


The teaser opens with Arthur in the kitchen having trouble with the blender. He turns to the camera and asks the viewers if they ever wondered what would happen if all of the great scientists and explorers had to do whatever their parents told them. He then gives two examples: Galileo (who discovered one more moon of Jupiter) and Sir Isaac Newton (who discovered the law of gravity when an apple hit him on his head).

As the fantasy ends, Arthur then says, “If everyone did everything their parents said, that might stop the whole course of discovery.”

His dad David then says, “Nice try, Arthur. But I doubt Sir Isaac Newton ever tried to make a bacon-flavored shake with his father’s good cooking equipment. Now let’s get this cleaned up.”

With that, Arthur sighs in disappointment.

Arthur's Treasure Hunt

It opens with Arthur and his friends skipping stones by the pond until Binky throws a big rock, which caused the water it hit to splash over them; Brain tells him to use a smaller one. Buster comes by and stops, all out of breath from running. Binky notices the stone in his hand, takes it and is about to throw it until Buster tells him not to, and that he just found that. When Arthur wonders if it's a chipped rock, Brain says it's an arrowhead. When Arthur asks Buster where he found it, Buster replies that he was digging up the ground for his mom's garden; it was buried right behind his building. Muffy wonders who buried it. Brain’s answer is: “No one. Prehistoric tribes lived all over this area. Over time, rain and floods washed away the tools the tribes used.” Arthur wonders if that means there could be arrowheads and other stuff buried in their own backyards, and Brain tells him that there certainly could be; all you need to do is dig.

Arthur then imagines he's digging for something in his backyard until he bumps something, which happens to be a Helmet and it was stuck to ground and dig some more, then it turn out to be from a big statue of a Roman centurion, and Arthur then digs some more and discovered the whole ruins of the Roman Empire. When he said “wow” it echoed.

After the fantasy ended, Arthur's mom is heard saying that she's not worried about ancient ruins; it's the modern ones she doesn't want to see. Arthur then tells her that all his friends get to dig in their yards: “We’re supposed to meet later and show what we found.” Mrs. Read sighs, and he does his best to assure her he will be careful while in the backyard before adding “Please”. She finally gives in before adding that she has errands to do. She then tells him that he can only dig behind the garage, but no place else; she doesn't want an excavation site for a yard. Arthur tells her thanks.

He turned and headed to a place behind the garage, while D.W. was looking out her bedroom window. D.W. asks him if he was burying his report card; he tells her that he was digging for treasure. When D.W. asks what kind, Arthur replies with “Arrowheads and civilizations and stuff.”

D.W. sees something and pulls it out; it's a root that looks kind of like a snake. She waves it a little at him, pretending it's alive, and Arthur tells her to be careful. She then tells him that it's a root, and that she can't believe he fell for it: “Even the Tibbles are too old for that gag, and they’re only four.” Arthur tells her he knew she was faking, and she replies with “Sure. Hey, you want to trade in some of your tiny dimes for a big shiny penny?”

As Arthur continues to dig, D.W. can't wait to tell everyone else that Arthur thought the root she found was a big snake; just then Arthur stumbles upon something while digging and discovers an old rusty tin can that reads “Digestive Biscuits.”

Then he continues to dig for something decent until he found something that looks like a bone. He thinks the bone might belong to a saber-tooth tiger or a T-Rex; it turns out that this bone was just a squeaky doggy toy and belongs to Pal, which D.W. noticed. Arthur felt like everyone has found lots of stuff by now; then he imagines Binky pulling out the big head of a Sphinx in his backyard, Muffy and her caretakers finding some good diamonds in a mine, and Brain using his metal detector looking for something unique and finds a metal detector in his yard along with the other worn-out ones.

As Arthur continues digging, he thinks there was nothing there and then he sees Pal digging and runs to him. D.W. tells him he's not supposed to dig in the yard. and Arthur tells D.W. he's going to watch Pal and turns that the hole was that that big and not that deep either and suggest to fix it. D.W. replies that he's not fixing it, he's making it bigger, and adds that “Mom is gonna plotz!”

Arthur then tells her that he's just going to dig a little until he finds the stuff that's buried back here. D.W. wonders what kind of stuff until Arthur then imagines he discovers a secret passageway and opens it and he and Pal explored it, Arthur then grabs a torch to his major discovery he believes that it's huge and then he discovered a secret door thinking it could be some ancient temple or it could be a trap and just then he opens it and stroke of light appears which turns to be Buster's closet; Buster asks him if he wants a bite of his sandwich. After he stops imagining about it, D.W. asks Arthur if he really thinks there are secret passageways and Arthur replies that there's probably a lot of tunnels that go everywhere: “It’s worth a try and it’s not just for me.”

This time, he imagines that his family are going to have a barbecue. However, Mr. Read says he forgot to buy charcoal and the stores are all closed; Mrs. Read says she thinks they'll just have to cancel the barbecue; however, Arthur tells everyone that they don't have to, and that he'll be right back. He goes to the passageway, sneaks into a closed Supermarket, grab some charcoal and pay for it with his money at a cash register with nobody around; finally, he goes back to the barbecue, Mrs. Read tells Mr. Read that these were the best hot dogs he has ever cooked and Mr. Read replies with "Thanks to Arthur and his secret passage." Mrs. Read then tells Arthur it was a good thing he didn't listen to her before she hugs him, and the fantasy ends.

D.W. wonders if Arthur thinks Mom would really say that. Arthur thinks she would unless he'll never find a secret passageway and decide to find some more tin cans since that's much better than a secret passageway, but D.W. thinks he should just dig a little and Arthur smiles. With that, they dig around every single spot, and didn't find anything at all.

Arthur thinks they must have the most boring backyard in the history of backyards, but D.W. thinks they were just looking in the wrong places. Just then, Arthur asks, “Who says we have to stay in the backyard?”

They went to the front yard, but just then his friends came over. Brain told Arthur they were waiting for him back at the pond, and Buster also told Arthur that he found something really big, but Arthur hasn't started yet, and Brain tells him they found great stuff. When Arthur asks, “What? A metal detector?” Brain replies, “No, these” while showing him some pennies. Brain then reveals that they're not quite in mint condition, but still over 30 years old.

Binky found a root that looks like an iguana, which he calls “Enguan”. When D.W. asks, “You gave a name to a root?” Binky replies that he names all of his roots. Francine found a really old sippy cup since she thinks it's been lost for years, but that it's still in pretty good shape. Muffy shows that she found a diamond necklace; Brain notices it has a price tag on it, but Muffy bought it instead of finding it in her backyard, and she knows that jewels do come from the ground.

When Buster asks Arthur what he found, Arthur says that it was roots and rocks, mostly; he didn't think of any names for them, though. Then D.W. shows them the tin can to everyone and Francine thinks it's really old and Brain believes it's over 40 years old, since Muffy remarks that that's how old her mother is, and then looks shocked when she adds “That’s ancient.”

Then Buster says “Wow! And look at this.” Arthur then asks if he found something else cool. Buster then replies with “You’re lucky. Your mom let you dig up the whole backyard.” Arthur looks surprised and asks if he did all that, and D.W. replies that he did. When Arthur begins to wonder what to do, D.W. thinks he’ll be in big trouble. Brain suggests that they can put everything back where it was, and they all pitch in to do exactly that. When they were finished, everyone was revealed to have gotten a bit dirty from their work.

Mrs. Read comes home, and was taking some groceries out of the car. She looks shocked when she sees the garden, and asks Arthur what happened. However, Buster steps in and says that there were some giant earthworms that went a little crazy, but he, Arthur and the others tried to stop them — which Buster refers to as “quite a battle.”

Francine believes it was actually an army of chipmunks, but Brain then interrupts, saying, “Chipmunks don’t burrow. Moles, however, have been known to make really big—”

However, Arthur finally feels his guilty conscience kicking in, and interrupts Brain by saying “Thanks, guys” (much to their puzzlement). He then turns to his mom and admits that it was his fault: “I guess I got carried away. I’m sorry, Mom.”

She sternly replies with, “After I specifically told you not to. I’m disappointed in you, Arthur — very disappointed.”

The very next day at school, Arthur was sitting at his desk until his friends came by. Buster asks him if he wants to come to the pond after school, but Arthur says, “Sorry, I’ve got something much cooler to do. Look what I found yesterday.” He pulls out a harmonica and plays a note; Brain remarks, “A harmonica. Where’d you find it?”

Arthur replies that he found it in the garage; there’s all sorts of cool things in there. Arthur then says that sometimes what a treasure is depends on how you look at it.

Buster tells him, “In other words, you’re grounded and you have to clean the garage all week.”

“Pretty much, yeah,” Arthur replies.

Brain tells Arthur, “That’s OK. You can come to the pond next week.” Arthur suggests, “Better make it the week after next.”






  • It is revealed in this episode that Muffy's mother is 40 years old.
  • This is the only episode written by Stephen Krensky and Rich Vanatte as the storyboard writer.
  • D.W. says that the Tibbles are 'only four', implying that chronologically this episode takes place after D.W.'s fifth birthday.
  • This is one of the few episodes where Jane or David say they are disappointed in Arthur, The other episodes are Arthur the WreckerNerves Of Steal and Flaw and Order.

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