"Based on a True Story"

Based on a True Story

Based on a True Story Title Card

Season/Series: 16
Number in season: 1
Original Airdate: Flag of the United States October 15, 2012[1]
Flag of the United Kingdom April 2–3, 2013[2][3][4]
Flag of Australia December 12, 2012[5]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
Cilbur Rocha
"The Trouble with Trophies"
"Flippity Francine"
Read transcript

"Based on a True Story" is the first episode in the sixteenth season of Arthur. It is a two-part episode.


There's a new kid in town: Ladonna Compson, the Louisiana native with the gift of gab. Ladonna charms Arthur and friends with her amazing "true" stories. But are her stories really fact...or fiction?


Arthur begins the intro by trying to introduce Ladonna Compson, but she interrupts the intro by making up false stories, but Arthur outsmarts her, which Ladonna surrenders. Arthur and Ladonna then decide to start the show.

After the title card, the episode begins with Ladonna and her family leaving their home in Louisiana for a sixteen-hour car drive to Elwood City. They soon arrive and unpack their things at their new house, which is four blocks away from where the Read family lives. Arthur and D.W. are walking down the street to meet the Compson family.

Ladonna invites them into the house. After introducing one another Arthur then gives Ladonna a rhubarb pie his dad made. Ladonna likes the pie and begins telling stories to Arthur and D.W., but the pair have to go to Grandma Thora's house.

After they left Bud who had been spying said to her older sister that she talks too much and that she scared them away. Ladonna was a bit annoyed that Bud had been spying on her. The next day at Lakewood, Mr. Haney introduces the class to Ladonna.

At lunch the gang asks Ladonna questions about where she is from and what she does. Ladonna then starts telling false stories about her family and soon everyone starts listening to her stories. Many are impressed with her stories and she even went as far as telling the Tough Customers the stories. Meanwhile, Bud tries to impress D.W. with his animal sounds.

He did a pig and then a whale. D.W. wasn't impressed and subsequently left. Bud is feeling sad that D.W. didn't like the animal sounds and Ladonna reassures him it takes time to make friends. Bud then questions how Ladonna made friends and even asked if she was paying them. His sister tells him that his new friends liked her stories. Bud asks what will happen when she runs out of stories to tell, and that night Ladonna has a dream about what Bud had said to her. She no longer had stories to tell her new friends, and was soon no longer invited to hang out with them. Ladonna awakens and soon starts making up new stories.

The next day at the playground at school Ladonna is telling stories, but this time Arthur and Buster have heard of the stories before. Soon Arthur and Buster start talking about Dark Bunny and Ladonna feels sad and a bit left out. She soon starts to leave and her friends ask where she is going and which she replies she is going to get her mittens.

Later on at night Ladonna is sleeping and she soon dreams about what happens when she no longer has any interesting stories to her new friends. She then wakes up and starts writing down made up stories to tell her friends.

The next day at school in the cafeteria, she starts to tell her "new" made up stories and soon her friends start to question her new stories. Soon she admits that she fibbed the story. Soon most of her new friends leave her as she should of told them the truth.

Soon, Arthur wants to give her a second chance, which Francine and Muffy disagree with the idea. Soon both Arthur and Buster move back to the table with Ladonna. They tell her that they like her just the way she is and to be herself.

Meanwhile, D.W. and Emily are having a "tea party" with Bud. Bud isn't sure how to play and instead changes the pretend tea to tomato soup. D.W. tells Bud that they are playing a tea party not lunch and Bud asks why not. Soon after playing Bud thinks D.W. doesn't like him. Soon Rapty talks to him and Bud decides to try telling jokes to D.W. to impress her.

The next day Ladonna is going to explore and her mom makes her wear a hat her aunt made that she states is itchy. As Ladonna is walking she sees an eagle and pulls out her cellphone to take a picture of it, but she ends up missing it.

She turns to get her hat that she threw to the ground after it kept slipping over her head, but discovered to see a raccoon had taken it. She chased the raccoon, but tripped on a tree branch and soon discovered a watch buried in the snow.

She returns the watch to the owner who in turn gives her four quarters for returning a watch that was missing for seven years, which was a little bit upsetting to Ladonna. She decides to get juice from a vending machine and soon she receives a lot of change from the vending machine much to her excitement.

As she is walking along she sees a hat almost identical to the one that the raccoon had stolen from her earlier in the day. She then uses the change she got from the vending machine to buy it. Ladonna then tells everyone about what happened the previous day, but her friends don't believe her and she tells Arthur she will prove it to him after school.

Meanwhile, Bud is telling a joke to D.W. as they are building a snowman. D.W. noticed the carrot missing and Bud admits that he ate it and he replaces the carrot nose for a rock much to D.W.'s displeasure. Then the Tibble Twins threw a snowball at the snowman they were building knocking the head off and the twins start chortling at the mayhem they caused.

Bud then confronts the Tibbles despite D.W.'s warnings to him that those were the Tibbles. Bud demands them to put the head of the snowman back and the Tibbles questioned what he was going to do about it. Then Bud began staring at them.

The staring proves to be very effective, scary enough to scare off the Tibbles, which is very impressive to D.W. and soon the two friends resumed building the snowman. Meanwhile, both Arthur and Ladonna were looking to find proof to Ladonna's story by going places that Ladonna visited.

Soon Ladonna realized that there was no way she was going to ever prove her story was accurate, but Arthur tells her that he believes her since she went through all the trouble to prove it to him. Just as they are leaving Arthur spots the raccoon wearing Ladonna's old hat.

Back at Lakewood she tells everyone about it and shows them the hat too. She gives the hat to Francine who likes the hat and Muffy thanks Ladonna for not giving it to her and states she really is a good friend. Ladonna is delighted. They happily continue a good friendship. Afterward, Ladonna was trying to wrap up the show, but Arthur wrapped it up, finishing the episode.







  • When Ladonna is telling a story to The Tough Customers, 4th Grade Male Dog and Kiefer are present, but Slink is not. The former two are original Tough Customers from Season 1, but Slink did not officially join the gang until Season 6.
  • Bud eating the carrot refers to the fact that he is a rabbit.
  • At the scene where Ladonna writes a story at night to tell at school, she has the word "grizzly" spelled wrong.
  • The sixteen hour drive from Louisiana to Elwood City is a reference to this being the first episode in season 16.
  • This is the first appearance of Ladonna and Bud.
  • Both halves of this episode were first broadcast separately from each other in the UK; part 1 aired on April 2, 2013 and part 2 aired a day after part 1.
  • In Korean, this episode is called "거짓말쟁이 라도나," which translates to "I'm a liar."

Cultural references

  • Art Radley's pocketwatch is a reference to Boo Radley giving Scout and Jem a pocketwatch in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird.
  • The line which D.W. says to Bud after he scares away the Tibbles, "Bud, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," is taken from the 1942 film Casablanca, in which Humphrey Bogart says the same thing like D.W. at the end of the movie.

Episode connections

Production notes

  • This is the first episode produced by 9 Story Entertainment.
  • This was the first installment of Arthur to be broadcast in the United States on PBS Kids in widescreen high-definition, though this option had been available in some non-U.S. markets for at least a couple of previous seasons, and savvy U.S. viewers could find recordings of these broadcasts online.
  • This is the first episode to use flash animation instead of hand-drawn animation.
  • This is the first episode when the characters have white tongues again, as they did in season 1.
  • This is the first episode where Drew Adkins, Jake Beale, and Siam Yu voice Arthur, D.W., and Brain, respectively.
  • This is the first episode in the U.S. of Arthur to use a scene from the episode in the title card. In seasons 14 and 15, scene title cards were only found in episodes broadcasted outside of the U.S.


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