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This article is about Binky Barnes, whose real name is Shelley. You may be looking for the first Shelley Barnes, or BINKY, the band.
Binky Barnes
Binky s9 better
Age 9 (s1-s9, s11)[1][2][3]
10 (s10-present)[4]
Grade 3rd (repeating a year)

4th ("First Day")

Gender Male
Animal Bulldog[5]
Birthday November[6]
Eye color Blue[7]
Hair color Brown[8]
Complexion Yellow
Favorite color Orange[1]
Residence Binky's House, Elwood City
Family D.W. Bantam (ancestor)
Binkford Bantam (ancestor)
Shelley Barnes (great-grandfather)
Mr. Barnes (father)
Mrs. Barnes (mother)
Mei Lin Barnes (adopted younger sister)
Binky's grandfather
Binky's grandmother
Other Unnamed relatives (seen in Postcards from Binky)
Job Weather reporter ("All Grown Up")
Book debut Arthur's April Fool
Cartoon debut "Arthur's Eyes"
Voiced by Bruce Dinsmore (TV series)
Jonathan Morris (Living Books)
Robin Arthur (Computer Games)
Ed Gory (ASCC)

Shelley[9] "Binky" Barnes is a student in Mr. Ratburn's class at Lakewood Elementary School. He is one of Arthur's friends. However, he is also the leader of a club of bullies called the Tough Customers. He ends up in Mr. Ratburn's class for three straight years, since he is repeating the third grade, and then continues with Mr. Ratburn into his fourth grade class the following year.[10]

Physical appearance

Binky Barnes is an anthropomorphic overweight bulldog with a mustard-yellow skin tone, a large, wide face with small eyes and three snaggle teeth rising from his lower lip. He usually wears a long sleeved orange-pecan button up shirt, dark blue slacks, a light blue belt buckle, and brown loafers. He usually wears his shirt tucked into his pants. In the chapter book Arthur and the World Record, Binky says that the tallest man in the world (8 feet, 11 inches) is twice as tall as he is, meaning that Binky measures around 4 feet, 5-1/2 inches.

For formal occasions, Binky will wear a gray polka dotted suit with a top front pocket on the right-hand side of the jacket. Binky kept three pencils in this pocket. The suit also has two pockets, one on each side, with the pocket on the left-hand side being slightly above the one on the right. The suit has two buttons and a black sleeve patch, one on each sleeve. He also wears a white collar shirt, a light green tie, matching trousers and black shoes. He wears green pajamas and green slippers for bed.


While Binky is generally portrayed as a school bully (more so in the earlier episodes and books), in reality, he is very soft and kind-hearted. He often maintains his bullying reputation as a form of pride and distrust towards other people, as he does not want others to mock him for being soft. This is especially true, as he will often threaten anyone who discovers his true persona[11][12], though this is done more for them to they stay silent from the matter, rather than to intimidate them for pleasure.

In "Bully for Binky," it is revealed that Binky has never fought anyone. During all his years as a "school bully", the victims were typically too scared to do so and usually end up running away. But then when Sue Ellen finally stood up to him and challenged him to a fight and Binky later discovered that Sue Ellen took martial arts lessons (specifically Tae Kwon Do, which Binky later saw on television), Binky started getting worried that Sue Ellen could potentially beat him in a fight.

The most prominent part of Binky's soft side is that he is unable to hurt other people in a deliberate manner. In "Arthur's Big Hit", despite being shocked from overhearing that Arthur hit D.W., Binky expresses hesitation from his friends when they urged him to hit Arthur for his wrongdoings. After the deed was done, Binky walks away from his friends, feeling extreme guilt and shame for what he has done to Arthur.

To reflect on Binky's soft side, he enjoys many hobbies such as: ballet, playing the clarinet and flute, and catching butterflies before releasing them. He usually keeps these interests private and rarely tells or shows others about them.

Binky is also a keen cyclist. Binky cycles to school and enters most cycling tournaments in Elwood City. His most treasured possession is his Vance Legstrong T-shirt.

He enjoys the works of various poets and classical music composers, such as Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, “…just you, me, and Beethoven,” Binky said before sitting down to practice clarinet, and Frédéric Chopin, the great romantic composer.

Binky is secretly afraid of the dark and is also abnormally afraid of Santa Claus (but claims not to be). He is forward and goalkeeper for the Lakewood Elementary Soccer Club. He took great pains to avoid letting Arthur know that he liked to read, feeling he had a rep to maintain.

He seems to thoroughly enjoy art as one time he put a lot of effort into correcting a picture in an art gallery, which was hung in a different way to that which the artist intended.


  • Mrs. Barnes - Binky's mom is a nurse who loves her son very much, and probably is not very aware of his bullying habits. She's very well-meaning, but occasionally can be a worrywart, as evidenced after she discovered Binky had a serious peanut allergy, during which she kept a constant watch on him. Binky seems to love her very much, as he made put a lot of effort trying to make her a rhyming card for her birthday.[13]
  • Mr. Barnes - Little is known of Binky's dad since he only appears occasionally, other than the fact that he too is very loving towards his son.
  • Mei-Lin Barnes - Binky's baby sister Mei-Lin is from China and was adopted by the Barnes family very recently. At first, Binky didn't know how to open up to his new sister, but with patience and some hard work, the two of them developed a very strong bond. Binky takes good care of his sister and works hard to raise her along with his parents and is excited when Mei-Lin shows signs of growth as he was thrilled when she learned to stand by herself.[13]


  • Arthur Read - During the early seasons, Arthur had a lot of fear towards Binky, due to his bullying reputation. However, ever since "Bully for Binky", Arthur discovers his soft and kind-hearted nature and realizes Binky is not really a bully as what he initially thought. Binky has been even given few opportunities to deliberately harm Arthur, as seen in Arthur's Tooth and Arthur's Big Hit. And more often than not, he will instantly waver that he cannot do it. Because of this, Arthur has become more comfortable in interacting with Binky as the seasons progress, to the point they become close friends. However, Binky will still inspire fear towards Arthur sometimes as seen in "Arthur's Lost Library Book" and "Night Fright", although it is usually done to not have Arthur reveal any of his secrets that he just discovered.
  • Buster Baxter - Before getting to know him, Buster admits that he was really scared of Binky because of his bullying persona[14]. However, after seeing that Binky is a soft person, Buster has become more comfortable enough to consider Binky as a friend. Binky often acknowledges the jokes Buster makes, to the point, he would always laugh from them. However, as seen in "Buster's Growing Grudge", Buster developed a deep grudge towards Binky for wrongfully using his King Tut joke on his Christopher Columbus report. After Binky realizes the error of his ways, he attempts to make it up for Buster by giving him $0.73, a sticker of a cool car, and a button. Buster and Binky have became close friends ever since.
  • Alan "Brain" Powers - As mentioned in the opening of "Sue Ellen Moves In", Binky would sometimes pick on the Brain, even when they were in preschool. While they may not be the best of friends, they learn to work things out together more often. This is more evident in "Water and the Brain", as Binky intended to throw water balloons as revenge for ditching out from Muffy's Water Party, only to discard the idea in tearful guilt after failing to realize that he suffered from aquaphobia.
  • Francine Frensky - Like the boys in her school, Francine knows better not to confront against Binky. However, there are occasions when Francine is bold enough to confront him, as seen in the introduction of "To Beat or Not to Beat". Despite this, the two often gets along at times.
  • Jenna Morgan - In "Muffy’s New Best Friend", it showed Jenna and Binky playing soccer together. In the same episode, they had the same taste on movies. In "Binky Goes Nuts", Jenna helps Binky with his allergies, and even goes to the library and gives a book about allergies for him. She also showed concern for his well-being when he accidently bought peanut products.
  • Sue Ellen Armstrong - At first the two of them are enemies as shown in "Bully for Binky" as Sue-Ellen is the only one who stands up to Binky. However, later the two of them are show to get on. In "Sue Ellen's Lost Diary", Binky believes that Sue Ellen has a crush on him suggesting that he likes her. In "Binky Barnes, Wingman", Sue Ellen is also partly responsible for convincing Binky to develop an interest on butterflies.
  • Molly - Molly and Binky are good friends, as they are both Tough Customers. However, in some episodes, like "Take A Hike Molly" Binky and the Tough Customers avoid Molly until she learns to apologize. But they still remain friends.
  • D.W. Read - They become friends after they realized they both ate a green potato chip, because Arthur tricked D.W. by making her think that green chips are poisonous in the "The Chips Are Down". They continue being friends in "Revenge Of The Chip". While they spent their “last days” together they realized it was a prank that green chips were poisonous. They still remain friends, and even had done ballet together in "D.W. Dancing Queen". In "Arthur’s Big Hit", Binky is in complete shock after hearing Arthur hit her. She gives a unicorn for his recently baby adopted sister’s Bia Jei Bei, in "Big Brother Binky".
  • Emily Leduc - Binky babysits Emily in "The Good, the Bad, and the Binky" and teaches her wrestling moves. The two of them are shown to get on well and Binky gifts her his old "Uncle Slam" jacket. He later goes with Emily and her mum to see the "Mice on Ice" show, instead of the wrestling match he originally planned to go to.
  • Maria - Maria encouraged Binky after he missed his opportunity to star in a TV commercial.
  • George Lundgren - In some episodes, Binky bullies George. But in later episodes they are good friends, like "Crime and Consequences". Binky is also seen to have had a change of heart and supports George and Francine in their dancing competition in, "Dancing Fools."
  • Muffy Crosswire - In Muffy's New Best Friend Binky is Muffy's last choice as her replacement best friend. Binky is also invited to Muffy's party in, "Water and the Brain." Binky also invites Muffy round to listen to his CD of "Carmen" in "Lights, Camera... Opera!" Although the two aren't regularly seen together, they are still friends.

Future Life

The Contest 354

Binky as a teenager

In the intro to the episode "The Election," it is revealed that Binky will be a member of The United States Secret Service. At the end of "The Contest," Binky is shown to have updated his wardrobe as a teenager to incorporate a leather jacket, a white shirt, jeans, and sunglasses. Binky would become a news reporter.

Binky later becomes a newscaster in the flash forward featured in the series finale and regularly uses wrestling lingo during his broadcasts.


"I was scared of the dark too, but I was more scared of Binky Barnes."
Buster Baxter, "Arthur's First Sleepover"

"Sometimes I just can't figure Binky out. It's like he's two different people: Bully Binky and, uh... that other guy. I think I like the other guy best."
Arthur Read, "Brother, Can You Spare a Clarinet?"


  • Binky shares the same appearance and personality as Harold Berman from Hey Arnold.
  • Binky has an interest for Chinese food.[15]
  • He is a fan of opera as revealed in Lights, Camera... Opera! where he invites Muffy around to listen to his CD of "Carmen".
  • Binky and his family are Catholic.
  • According to the chapter book "Arthur and the World Record," Binky is 4.458 feet (about 4 feet 5 ½ inches).
  • Binky had to repeat third grade due to what was implied to be his poor academic performance, a fact he is proud of, given certain circumstances. Thus, he should have been in the fourth grade with the Tough Customers and Prunella. He is nine years old and not the same age as the other third graders, though in "Binky vs. Binky," a form he has says he's ten years old.
  • He's allergic to peanuts, as revealed in "Binky Goes Nuts." However, he was originally allergic to pollen in "Francine's Bad Hair Day," but in later episodes, he has a love for flowers (especially during the song "Library Card" in "Arthur's Almost Live Not Real Music Festival") and has no allergic reactions to pollen. This inaccuracy is not noted in the series.
  • He's considered the best member of the school band due to his expertise with the clarinet, rivaled only by Sue Ellen on the saxophone, coming at a close second to Binky.[16][17]
  • In "Bully for Binky," Binky hated ballet. But after the events of "The Chips Are Down" and in the later seasons, Binky has grown to have an affinity for it and is shown to be extremely talented at ballet.
  • Binky hates going on the Science Museum field trip because he was held back and already knows what will happen.
  • According to Binky, his birthday is next month in "Brother, Can You Spare a Clarinet?," when you calculate Arthur's birthday plus the time Arthur said, you could determine that Binky's birthday is in October because the episode is based in September. It's confirmed that his birthday is sometime between September and May because a score card in "Binky vs. Binky" says he was ten in that episode, which took place in May.
  • Despite bullying George a lot, Binky has been seen hanging out with him.
  • As seen in "Night Fright," Binky is revealed to have a nightlight so that he wouldn't have nightmares. Binky also sings about this in the song "My Night Light."
  • Binky's character was based on a fourth grader known to Marc Brown with a potato-like nose who bullied him and his classmates at recess.[18]
  • In "The Long, Dull Winter," is revealed that he weighs more than Sue Ellen, Muffy and Fern combined, as he was still at the bottom on a see-saw with all of the girls on the other side. However, the see-saw may have been frozen in place by the cold weather, so he may not actually weigh that much.
  • In "Sue Ellen's Lost Diary," it's strongly implied that Binky has a crush on Sue Ellen.
  • In "S.W.E.A.T." Binky mentions that one time while playing his clarinet in front of an audience, his hands got sweaty that he ended up dropping his clarinet on his big toe of his right foot. And he also claims that he has the scar as well.
  • During the first five seasons, Binky has a dull, orangish-tan complexion. Beginning with Season 6, this changes to a bright, yellow complexion for the remainder of the series.
  • He had an Ultra-Bouncy ball that was confiscated by Mr. Ratburn.[19]
  • Binky is 9 at the start of Grade 3, while the other students are 8 and students should be 8 (or sometimes 7) when entering the third grade. This could be for his bad behavior and having to redo a grade. Furthermore, in season 10, he is now the age of 10, and he's still in the third grade, which proves even further that he had to redo a previous grade.
  • A talent that Binky has is belching. As seen in The Good, Bad, and the Binky, Binky ate Arthur's cheese and burped loudly. In "Do you speak George?", he tried to make a language that involved burping. In "Baby Steps", Mei Lin pulled Binky's finger and he did a loud burp.



Last Year
The full image gallery for Binky Barnes may be viewed at Binky Barnes/Gallery.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Trading Cards
  2. "Mom, I'm almost 10 years old!" Binky Barnes to Mrs. Barnes, Binky Goes Nuts.
  3. In "Finders Key-pers", Binky says he is a year older than both Arthur and Brain. Arthur and Brain are both 8; Binky must be 9.
  4. "Binky vs. Binky" - He writes his age on the sign-up sheet.
  5. (archived page)
  6. "Brother, Can You Spare a Clarinet?" - Arthur says his birthday (May 25th) isn't for 7 more months, meaning the episode takes place in October. When they give Binky the repaired clarinet, Binky says his birthday is next month.
  7. "Buster's Growing Grudge"
  8. His imaginary mustaches in "Brain's Shocking Secret" and "Through the Looking Glasses"
  9. What's in a Name?
  10. "Arthur's First Day"
  11. Arthur's Lost Library Book
  12. D.W.'s Blankie (episode)
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Rhyme for Your Life" Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name ":0" defined multiple times with different content
  14. Arthur's First Sleepover (episode)
  15. Binky Goes Nuts
  16. Bully for Binky
  17. Buster's Best Behavior
  18. Scholastic Marc Brown interview
  19. Remember my ultra-bouncy ball? He confiscated it Monday and I'm still waiting to to get it back.-Binky in Buster the Lounge Lizard.

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