|"Arthur Meets Mister Rogers"|
|Number in season:||1a|
|Original Airdate:|| October 20, 1997|
November 24, 1997
January 24, 2002
|Written by:||Ken Scarborough|
|Storyboard by:||Denis Banville|
"Arthur's New Year's Eve"
Arthur rushes to a bench outside The Sugar Bowl, slightly out of breath with some exciting news for his friends. He has two things to share: the first is Mister Rogers is visiting Elwood City and will be coming to Lakewood Elementary School. Buster is excited, but Muffy thinks Mister Rogers is for babies. Binky mocks Mister Rogers by singing his theme song off-key. Prunella asks Arthur what the second thing he wanted to share was, but Arthur decides not to say.
Arthur runs home afraid he will be embarrassed when they learn that Mister Rogers is also staying over at Arthur's house, which D.W. is very excited about.
Later, Jane talks to Arthur and tells him how he used to watch and enjoy Mister Rogers when he was D.W.'s age, and also tells him not to spoil it for D.W.
Later, Arthur and D.W. are talking about Mister Rogers and D.W. questions why they don't tell somebody about him staying with them. Arthur says he does not want anyone coming to their house asking Mister Rogers for autographs (although he is actually fibbing, as he really does not want people to think he likes a "baby show"). Keeping Mister Rogers being a house guest a secret becomes problematic when he needs to mail some postcards to some of his friends.
Arthur imagines what his friends would think when they saw Mister Rogers walking down the sidewalk to the mailbox. Then D.W. brings Mister Rogers to the door, where Arthur blocks his way and takes the postcards, telling Mister Rogers to stay put while he takes the postcards to the mailbox himself.
On the way, he bumps into Prunella, and Prunella wonders who the postcards are from, since they're signed by a "Fred". Arthur covers it up by saying he is trying new names. He then hurries away before Prunella can say another word. At home, while Mister Rogers is playing the piano, Arthur is absentmindedly putting on a zippered sweater while humming Mister Rogers' theme.
Mister Rogers decides to go out for some fresh air with the kids, but Arthur is reluctant due to everybody "wanting an autograph". He decides to get himself and D.W. disguises, and they wear beards to cover up their identities.
Buster happens to be nearby and sees the trio, mistaking Arthur and D.W. for two of the Seven Dwarfs, so he hurries to see them. Arthur tries to outrun him, but Buster catches up, so Mister Rogers formally introduces himself.
Later, while D.W. takes Mister Rogers on a tour of the city, Arthur explains to Buster what is going on and asks him to keep it a secret. Buster swears on it, but then sees Rubella, Prunella, and Brain in the Ice Cream Shop and is about to go in to tell them, realizing at that point that he's bad at keeping secrets.
The kids in the ice cream shop are confused about Arthur's new beard and his weird behavior overall, and Brain suggests Arthur is suffering from stress from too much homework.
Suddenly, Rubella goes into a spontaneous trance and predicts that zombies have taken over the city and have hypnotized Arthur. She insists that they have to break the trance before they are all enslaved, much to Prunella and Brain's confusion.
That night, Mister Rogers has dinner with the Reads, and Buster asks about the Kingdom of Make-Believe on the show. As the night goes on, Prunella, Rubella, and Brain spy on the family through the windows, with Rubella ranting on about everybody's "unusual, zombie-like" behavior.
Brain finds this ridiculous, so he goes to ask if Arthur actually just needs help with homework. Arthur comes up with a quick excuse saying that if he needs help, Buster can help. The trio does not buy this ridiculous excuse, and all three of them are now convinced their friends have become zombies.
They continue to spy on Arthur, as he closes the curtains in all the windows. Unfortunately for the trio, Mrs. Tibble is on a neighborhood crime watch and happens to spot the three at the house. Mistaking them for burglars, she calls the police.
While Mister Rogers sings D.W. a lullaby, Arthur drags Buster away and tells him to go home. Suddenly, sirens are blaring outside as the police surround the house. On the news, Mister Rogers' visit to the Read house is made public as the news surrounding the so-called "burglary" is found to be untrue, much to Arthur's humiliation.
Late at night after everything calms down, Mister Rogers talks to Arthur about his embarrassment, and Arthur tries to deny it out of fear of insulting Mister Rogers. However, Mister Rogers understands Arthur's feelings: he does not want to look like a little kid in front of anyone, but Mister Rogers explains that real friends do not make fun of real friends, and Arthur's friends seem like real friends.
Arthur's spirits are uplifted, but he assumes anyway that nobody watches the news, so he will be okay. The next day at school, everybody has heard the story on the news, and they all ask about Mister Rogers.
Binky proceeds to mock the show once again by singing the theme song off-key, but is left speechless when he meets Mister Rogers at last, and asks for his autograph. Mister Rogers discusses his experience in Elwood City, and everybody loves him.
Binky then asks if he really did stay at Arthur's, to which Mister Rogers says that Arthur can answer that. Arthur almost fibs again, but finally getting past his doubts, proudly admits that Mister Rogers did stay with him. Amazed, Binky asks for Arthur's autograph too.
- Molly MacDonald
- Oliver Frensky
- Laverne Frensky
- Mrs. Wood
- George Lundgren
- Jenna Morgan
- Fern Walters
- Nigel Ratburn
- Maria Pappas
- Alex Davidson
- It is revealed that Arthur has a habit of fiddling with his glasses when he lies.
- Brain shows up in class the next day as if nothing ever happened. It is unclear what happened to him, Rubella and Prunella when the police arrived at Arthur's.
- This is the only episode with the guest star's name in the title.
- A scene from this episode is shown in Episode 1743 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
- Fred Rogers was a friend of Marc Brown (author of the Arthur books) in real life. Rogers' career in children's media inspired Brown in his own work.
- George is seen wearing shorts instead of his usual pants, despite this episode setting taking place in fall.
- The math problems on the blackboard were almost the same as the ones seen in "Arthur's Lucky Pencil."
- Both Mister Rogers and Binky sing parts of "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" The song Mister Rogers sings to D.W. is "Please Don't Think It's Funny." Both songs were written by Fred Rogers for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
- Arthur plays Beethoven's "Für Elise" for Mister Rogers.
- When Mister Rogers visits Mr. Ratburn's class, the kids mention his habit of changing his shoes at the beginning of every episode and Picture Picture. The Neighborhood Trolley can be seen on Mr. Ratburn's desk.
- This is the first episode where Maude Favreau and Julie Campeau are video assistants.