"Arthur Takes a Stand"


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Season/Series: 21
Number in season: 4b
Original Airdate: United States February 12, 2018[1]
Canada February 13, 2018[citation needed]
United Kingdom June 8, 2020[2]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Cilbur Rocha
"Muffy Misses Out"
"Slink's Special Talent"

"Arthur Takes a Stand" is the second half of the fourth episode in the twenty-first season of Arthur.


Arthur thinks that Mrs. MacGrady is being treated in an unfair manner and seeks guidance from Congressman John Lewis.


The episode starts with Ms. Tingley announcing that, from now on, breakfast will be served in the school cafeteria. The students cheer. In addition, John Lewis will be visiting the school in the next week. Arthur doesn't know who John Lewis is, so Sue Ellen and Ladonna explain that he was a civil rights pioneer.

Arthur Takes a Stand

A montage shows Mrs. MacGrady waking up early, biking to school, and then cooking breakfast. Francine, Muffy, Ladonna, and Binky are enjoying breakfast. Afterwards, Arthur sees Mrs. MacGrady cleaning the tables, and compliments her breakfast food. Mrs. MacGrady comments that she wishes she had more arms to help her out, as she currently does everything by herself. Arthur asks, "You don't have any help?" Mrs. MacGrady responds that she asked Ms. Tingley to get her some helpers, but she hasn't heard back yet. She says goodbye to Arthur and leaves to prepare lunch.

While having lunch, Arthur tells his friends that Mrs. MacGrady should have someone to help her, as he says that making two meals a day for the entire school is too much work to do alone. Muffy compliments the chili, and Buster says that Mrs. MacGrady should just serve meatloaf for both meals. Arthur, Francine, Buster, and Muffy agree to ask Ms. Tingley to hire more people after school.

Arthur is sitting outside Ms. Tingley's office. Buster comes in, and Arthur asks where Francine and Muffy are. Buster says that they have already left, and he has to go because of a dental appointment. Arthur enters the office, where Ms. Tingley is preparing for John Lewis' visit. Arthur asks her to hire an assistant for Mrs. MacGrady, but she responds that the school board doesn't give Lakewood Elementary the right amount of money for that. Arthur asks if she can ask the school board for more money, and Ms. Tingley says that she will consider it, before changing the topic to school breakfast and sending Arthur out of the room.

On the walk home, Arthur complains to Sue Ellen about Mrs. MacGrady being treated unfairly. Sue Ellen agrees, and she suggests that he starts a boycott, and explains what that is. Arthur responds that he doesn't want to boycott school entirely, but he has an idea. He goes to school and sticks papers reading "Boycott Breakfast! It's not fair to Mrs. MacGrady!" in the lockers.

Mrs. MacGrady finds one of the papers, and Arthur explains that he started a boycott and she should have an assistant. Mrs. MacGrady responds that serving breakfast was actually her idea, as some families can't afford breakfast at home. Arthur responds, saying that she can't do it all alone and, as she said earlier, she needs more arms. She responds that "I'll just have to manage somehow."

At the Elwood City Public Library, Arthur is reading a book. He starts to fall asleep, and he dreams that breakfast is served 24 hours and Mrs. MacGrady gets overwhelmed by all the kids' requests, and her destructive, untrained octopus assistant. Arthur mumbles "Stop... It's not fair..." in his sleep, and wakes up to see John Lewis sitting next to him. Arthur explains the situation to Lewis, and he responds that Arthur should be persistent and stick to whatever he believes in. Lewis also comments of buying flowers for an old friend.

After a cafeteria meal, Buster, Francine, and Muffy get up to go to class. Arthur insists that he won't get up until Ms. Tingley hires an assistant for Mrs. MacGrady. Muffy says that he will get in trouble, and Francine says that he will stop in a few minutes. Eventually, the cafeteria is cleared out, except for Arthur. Mrs. MacGrady asks him why he is still there, and he responds that the school is being unfair and treating her badly. Mrs. MacGrady agrees that the school is being thoughtless, and she sits down with him at the table. Sue Ellen joins in, and eventually more kids are sitting with Arthur.

Ms. Tingley comes in the room and asks "What is going on here?" Arthur asks her to hire an assistant for Mrs. MacGrady, and she says she will consider it, and tells them to get back to their classroom. The kids don't move, and Mrs. MacGrady says that it needs to be a guaranteed yes. Congressman Lewis walks in and asks if he can see Mrs. MacGrady. He gives her the flowers, and then joins the sit-in. Ms. Tingley finally agrees that she will write to the school board first thing tomorrow, and she invites Arthur to help write the letter. John Lewis asks Arthur if he thinks he will be having bad dreams again, and Arthur responds that he won't. The episode finishes with Lewis saying, "There's nothing more important than following your conscience. If you can do that, you're always going to sleep well," and winking at the screen.







  • The end credits for this episode includes a cover of Believe in Yourself performed by Chance the Rapper, Peter Cottontale, Nate Fox, Donnie Trumpet and Stix for Social Experiment.

Episode connections

Production notes

  • Some PBS broadcasts change some of the characters' dialogue.
    • In the original dub of the episode, Ladonna says, "He also wrote this really cool graphic novel called March. I have it at home." In the alternate dub, she says, "He was one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s most important allies."
    • In the original dub, Sue Ellen says, "Someone said you were protesting unfair working conditions." In the alternate dub, she says, "Someone said you were protesting for Mrs. MacGrady."
    • In the original dub, Muffy says, "Fight the power!" In the alternate dub, she says, "Go, Mrs. MacGrady!"
  • A portion of this episode was featured in PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism. This clip reverted Sue Ellen's line back to the original: "Someone said you were protesting unfair working conditions" and Muffy's line is omitted entirely.
  • Marc Brown extended an invitation to John Lewis to be part of the show when they met at the National Press Club’s Book Fair and Author’s Night in 2017.[3]


  • When Arthur speaks to Ms. Tingley in the principal's office, the collar of his white shirt is missing.


Main article: Arthur Takes a Stand/Gallery


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