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"Arthur the Wrecker"
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 14A
Original Airdate: United States October 24, 1996[1]
Canada January 23, 1997[2]
Germany January 1, 2002[3]
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Stéphanie Gignac
"Buster's New Friend"
"Arthur and the True Francine"
Read transcript

"Arthur the Wrecker" is the first half of the fourteenth episode in the first season of Arthur. It was later adapted into the book Arthur's Computer Disaster.


Arthur breaks his mom's computer. Can he fix it before she finds out?


Arthur mentions that kids like him have done important things. He is then seen in three flashbacks: In the first, he dislodges the nose of the Sphinx in Egypt. In the second, he accidentally breaks the arms off of David Read's sculpture, which gets bought soon after. In the last one, he runs into the Liberty Bell and creates the crack in its side. It is then shown that Arthur broke a window in the backyard door while playing baseball; he was sugarcoating the accident by making it seem like a to-be "valuable and important" event in history created by an innocent kid. D.W. assumes that Arthur will never forget the accident, and then proceeds to tell Jane about the broken window.

Arthur the Wrecker

Arthur is eager to play a new computer game, Deep, Dark Sea, and he plays it on the family computer right after rapidly finishing his dinner. Later, he is shown to have made some progress in the game, but is unable to finish before bedtime, so he saves the game.

The next morning, Buster comes over to the house, and dashes with Arthur to the computer to continue the game, as they are both hoping to find a "thing" that will earn Arthur free prizes and rewards if found. However, they are stopped when Jane tells them that she has to work on the computer. When Jane leaves the house, Arthur and Buster play on it anyway, even though Jane had told them that she will need it again when she gets back. When Arthur finds a treasure chest, he and Buster assume it to be the "thing", so they both fight for the mouse, and knock the keyboard off the desk, causing the monitor to go blank. While D.W. exaggeratedly foresees the possible repercussions of the computer getting wrecked, Arthur and Buster find Brain and carry him to Arthur's house by holding on to his arms to have him try and fix the computer before Arthur's mom gets home. Unfortunately, he cannot find the problem.

As soon as Jane comes back home through the front door, Buster and Brain leave, and D.W. goes up to her room. Jane tells Arthur that she won't need the computer until after dinner, so he is welcome to go play on it; however, Arthur declines.

After dinner that night, Jane proceeds to get the computer to work, but Arthur attempts to distract her from finding out what happened to the computer. Finally, he tells her that he wrecked it after playing on it, and apologizes. Luckily, Jane is able to fix the computer by toggling a switch in the back; a relieved D.W. then says they're not going to starve. Jane then tells Arthur that he could’ve just called her and asked her for help instead of worrying, and Arthur admits that he thought she'd be mad. Jane assures him that she is not mad, but tells him that he can't play on the computer for a whole week as punishment for not following orders.

The episode finishes as Jane becomes fascinated with Deep Dark Sea, and plays it passionately that evening.





  • At the end of the 2000 rerun intro on PBS Kids before this episode, Arthur’s crashing sound changes to pots and pans.
  • Morals:
    • Don't let a fun hobby dominate your life as it can overwhelm you.
    • It's better to fess up to your mistake and rule-breaking when you've caused a bigger problem that needs fixing.
  • "Arthur the Wrecker" became adapted into a book in the Arthur Adventure series and re-titled Arthur's Computer Disaster.
  • It was also an entry in the Living Books series, going by the title Arthur's Computer Adventure.
  • This is one of the few episodes where Jane or David say they're disappointed in Arthur. The other episodes are Arthur's Treasure Hunt, Nerves of Steal and Flaw and Order.
  • When Arthur saves the game, the sonar sounds from the Arthur Underwater title card can be heard.
  • Brain's line, "Yeah!", as Arthur and Buster drag him off to Arthur's house, was later used in the Brain Underwater title card.

Cultural references

  • The episode's intro features three historical landmarks and pieces that are accidentally made famous by Arthur: in ancient Egypt he dislodges the nose from the Great Sphinx; in ancient Greece, he knocks the arms of a statue, thus turning it into the Venus de Milo sculpture; in colonial America, Arthur runs into the Liberty Bell while flying a kite, which gives it its famous crack.
  • When Arthur imagines himself in ancient Egypt, The Streets of Cairo can be heard in the background. When Arthur imagines himself in colonial America, Yankee Doodle can be heard in the background.
  • In Arthur's colonial America imagine spot, a warped recording of Big Ben chiming is used for Arthur slamming into the Liberty Bell.


  • Brain animation error

    Brain can be seen right next to Binky.

    When Arthur and Buster look for Brain, his dad tells them he's not home. They then go to the library looking for him and realize he's not there. However, while they're looking for him, he's shown standing behind Binky looking at library books.
  • When Jane punishes Arthur, she is smiling.
  • In the Audio Descriptive version of this and "Arthur and the True Francine", during the end credits, the narrator says the title card information for "D.W. Rides Again"/"Arthur Makes the Team".

Differences from the book