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"Arthur Loses His Marbles"
Season/Series: 6
Number in season: 10a
Original Airdate: United States November 26, 2001[1]
Canada January 7, 2002[3]
United Kingdom April 19, 2002[2]
Written by: Nick Raposo
Storyboard by: Alex Hawley
Elie Klimos
"Friday the 13th"
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"Arthur Loses His Marbles" is the first half of the tenth episode in the sixth season of Arthur. It was later adapted into the book Arthur Loses His Marbles.


Arthur trains with Grandma Thora, a marbles champion, so he can beat all his friends. But when the Elwood City marbles tournament comes down to Read vs. Read, he learns that she didn't quite pass along all her secrets.


Arthur discusses how talented and nice his grandmother is, such as cheering up D.W., fixing her toys, taking care of them when they are sick, and even mentioning how good Thora is at bingo. Then he states that there is one thing he wishes she wasn't good at.

Arthur Loses His Marbles

Before school, Muffy is showing Arthur and friends the gifts she had recently been given for her birthday, such as cards, a new Polly Locket vehicle, and a special singing doll. She stops short upon finding a sack of marbles, and comments on how she doesn't really like them; Arthur likes them, so she lets him keep them. Buster comments on how they resemble planets when Muffy decides she would rather keep them, thinking she can make a profit online.

Later, Arthur and Buster purchase marbles and try to play the game. Buster seems like a natural while Arthur plays badly. Frustrated by his loss, Arthur and D.W. sit at the dining table as Grandma Thora wishes to try a new dish with them. So they quickly claim someone was at the doorbell and then feed their "tunaroni" to Pal. She goes to give them more until seeing that Arthur has a pretty blue marble in his fingers. She then takes the two of them to the attic and shows Arthur her most favorite marbles and then gives the bag to Arthur.

The following day, Francine is playing against Arthur when Buster points out that he will lose heavily should he mess up his last shot. Suddenly, Grandma Thora shows up! She asks if she can take Arthur's shot and proceeds to do so once Muffy and Francine confirm it. She shoots and it looks as if she lost, when it suddenly rolls Francine's marble over the line and Arthur wins! However, Grandma Thora takes the won marbles and gives them back to Francine while offering her advice.

As the two of them leave, Arthur asks Grandma Thora to teach him everything she knows, to which she agrees eagerly. When Arthur walks into his grandma's house for his lesson, he imagines the house is a cave and Thora is a guru. Once Arthur snaps out of his daydream, the two of them begin. First, she gives Arthur many "finger drills" such as typing, holding glasses of water, balancing the marble along his fingers, and waxing the floor (because of it needing a good wax job).

A few days later, Arthur shows his skill and when Grandma Thora suggests that he could probably show his friends a thing or two, Arthur is then inspired to try to have other children sign up for a "Marble league". After a few rounds of winning, Arthur is then convinced he'll easily win the final rounds. However, at Brain's parents' Ice Cream Shop, Buster says Arthur should check the sign up sheet: Grandma Thora is entering the tournament! Thora gets up from her table, and as she leaves, states that she only taught him what he knows, but there is a lot she has left to teach him.

That evening, Arthur nervously tries to practice, but it is no use. So he chooses to go to bed and ends up having a terrible nightmare involving big ants, a blueberry, and "Cannonball". It ends just as he is about to be run over by the marble.

That morning, Arthur is waiting his turn when he reveals to Buster he is going to lose on purpose, not wanting to embarrass his grandmother. He then makes Buster promise not to tell anyone... of course, Buster doesn't listen and throughout the game, Grandma Thora is becoming very suspicious that Arthur is purposely cheating to lose. She confronts him, but he exaggerates, and so she places her foot into the marbles ring and claims she is now disqualified. Arthur asks why that is, and she explains it's a rule. And so Arthur wins automatically, but he doesn't feel too happy about it. Later, his grandma confirms that she lost on purpose, and she knows Arthur was messing up on purpose, as well. She asks him why he did that. Arthur explains that he was only fake-losing so that he wouldn't lose in front of his friends; he knows he could never truly beat Thora. She says he doesn't know that for sure, and adds it's better to lose a good game than to win a bad one, anyway.

Arthur then mentions that he "had" his grandmother a couple of times. She fails to believe him, and he begins to show her where she "messed up" according to him with the candies in his sundae as the episode finishes.






  • The name of the famous marbles player "Lefty" Raposo is a reference to Nick Raposo, a writer for Arthur, who wrote this particular episode.
  • This is the last episode where D.W. is voiced by Oliver Grainger.
  • When Buster is telling Arthur there are seven different types of candy on the prize, Buster is holding up eight fingers instead of seven.
  • This episode takes place on May 26. This can be seen in the lower right corner of the video camera, where the date and time are shown. This is the day after Arthur and Muffy's birthday, which makes sense since Muffy was talking about all the presents she got for her birthday at the start of the episode.
  • Marbles terms used in the episode:
    • Shooter/taw: A larger marble used to knock out the other marbles.
    • Aggie: A marble made of (or looking like) agate.
    • Knuckle down: A shooting technique where one knuckle of the shooting hand comes in contact with the ground.
    • English: Another term for backspin; increases accuracy.
    • Playing for fair: Each player gets back his/her marbles after the game.
    • Playing for keeps / keepsies: The winner keeps the marbles she/he knocked out.

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  • In the opening scene Muffy states that she received 17 presents for her birthday, a 5.9% increase since last year. The writers used the fraction 1/17 to yield 5.9%, which is incorrect. To properly calculate the percent increase in presents the denominator should be the old number of presents (the numerator is correctly 1 because she received 1 new present). Muffy therefore actually received 1/16, or 6.3%, more presents than last year.
  • On the camera, it shows it is May 24, but at the beginning Muffy was talking about her birthday presents from May 25.
  • While telling Arthur that there are seven types of candies in the reward ice cream, Buster holds up eight fingers instead of seven.


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