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"Arthur's Underwear"
Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 5A
Original Airdate: United States October 24, 1997[1]
Canada November 28, 1997[2]
Germany January 30, 2002[3]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Jean Lajeunesse
"Go to Your Room, D.W."
"Francine Frensky, Olympic Rider"
Read transcript

"Arthur's Underwear" is the first half of the fifth episode in the second season of Arthur. It was later adapted into the book Arthur's Underwear.


Binky rips his pants in class, revealing his underwear. Arthur cannot stop laughing every time he thinks of it, but he starts to have nightmares about he is not wearing pants.


Arthur tells the viewers about embarrassing things that have happened to him, such as forgetting his lines in the school play, not being able to play a piano piece that he said he could do with a blindfold on, and D.W. being able to tie a knot better than he could at his scout meeting. But his biggest embarrassment ever was something that actually only happened in a dream...

Arthur's Underwear

In class, after Binky solves a difficult math problem on the blackboard, he drops the chalk and bends down to pick it up, but accidentally rips his pants at the butt, revealing his pink underwear with green polka dots to all of his friends. The kids find this hilarious, much to Binky's embarrassment, though Mr. Ratburn uses his coat to cover the rip before telling Binky to get over to Ms. Tingley to have his pants fixed. Mr. Ratburn tells everyone "Yes, Binky is wearing underwear, just like everyone else in this room." Arthur, however, can't stop laughing every time he thinks of what happened to Binky.

That night, after going to bed, Arthur has a nightmare where he oversleeps and is late for school. When he arrives, the class laughs at him; Mr. Ratburn points out that Arthur being late is one thing, but not wearing pants is quite another; Arthur looks down and realizes he is only wearing his underwear. He wakes up screaming.

At school, Arthur tells Buster about his dream. Arthur's class watches a movie about microscopic organisms, and during a discussion about amoebas, Arthur falls asleep has a nightmare in which he's an amoeba and his body splits in two, with one half being his pants running off.

Buster wakes him up when the movie ends. Arthur is scared he'll have the dream again, so Buster suggests he not sleep at all. Arthur tries to do this and preoccupies himself with comics, singing, and his action figures until he finally falls asleep.

He then has a nightmare where his class is being held hostage by the Verminator (Mr. Ratburn), Bionic Bunny's nemesis, who is scratching the chalkboard with his fingernails. Hearing their screams, Arthur rips off his suit to reveal his Bionic Bunny outfit (just like Clark Kent when he turns into Superman), and faces the Verminator. Unfortunately, the class and the Verminator laugh at him when they see he's got no pants yet again. Arthur attempts to hide his underwear with the corners of his cape. In his sleep, Arthur mumbles about his pants, and wakes up just as Jane throws him a pair for school.

At the Sugar Bowl, Arthur asks Buster for more help, so Buster suggests he sleep in his pants. Arthur tries this at night, but D.W. comes in and asks why. He says he's trying to break into them since they're "stiff".

She likes this idea and decides to wear all of her uncomfortable clothes to bed, much to Arthur's chagrin. The next day at the Laundromat, Buster tries to hypnotize Arthur into not being afraid of losing his pants. But Arthur has yet another nightmare where he not only loses them, but they come to life and try to eat him. Arthur tells Buster to keep the whole thing a secret, to which Buster agrees.

However, at the school cafeteria, Arthur sits with Francine and Muffy, who are laughing because he may not have his pants on. They say Buster told them about Arthur's nightmares, but he denies this. He then eats with Brain, who says Buster told him about the dream and that he wanted to help Arthur with his embarrassment. Arthur panics and goes to Buster for help.

To his shock, Buster admits that he told a few people, hoping they could offer a better solution. In his panic, Arthur's pants get caught on the tray rack and he accidentally rips them open, partially revealing his underwear.

The entire school laughs at Arthur, much to his embarrassment, but Binky comes to the rescue by using two lunch trays to cover him up and leads him to the kitchen. There, Mrs. MacGrady sews them back up for Arthur, and Buster apologizes for breaking his promise but Arthur forgave him, saying Buster didn't mean to do it on purpose; he was just trying to help. 

Soon enough, Arthur's pants are finally fixed, and when Arthur asks if there's a back door he can use, Mrs. MacGrady admits there isn't, but tells him that "a banana without its peel is still a banana". When Arthur asks what that means, Binky explains that it means everyone gets embarrassed all the time — grownups, too. It was then Mrs. MacGrady states that Arthur's embarrassment won't make him any less than who he is; no matter what, he's still Arthur, even without his pants.

One week later, Arthur is relieved that he has not had another underwear nightmare, and Buster is amazed that, of all things, ripping his pants was the cure. Just when they leave the Sugar Bowl, however, Arthur points out something to Buster; he's wearing nothing but boxers! Buster wakes up screaming, and realizes that now he's having the nightmares, much to his dismay.






  • Arthur's Underwear became adapted into a book in the Arthur Adventure series and published in 1999. There were some changes made, including the type of underwear some of the characters were wearing on certain pages.

Cultural References

Episode connections

Differences from the book

  • In Arthur's first nightmare in the episode the person (animal) that saw his underwear was a policeman but in the book there is also an old lady.


  • In Arthur's first underwear nightmare, he wakes up before putting his glasses on; but when he truly wakes up, he is wearing his glasses.
  • When Arthur is seen wearing his underwear and no pants on, the white shirt he wears underneath his sweater doesn't have the bottom ends visible, which appears to be tucked into his underwear.
  • During the 3:33 mark, Alex can be seen walking on Buster (which is the result of a layering error).
  • In Arthur's first nightmare when he arrives at school and everyone is laughing at him Binky isn't seen among the kids laughing at him.

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