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"Binky Rules"
Season/Series: 3
Number in season: 6a
Original Airdate: United States November 23, 1998[1]
Canada September 13, 1999[2]
Germany February 28, 2002[3]
Written by: Sandra Willard
Storyboard by: Robert Yap
"Revenge of the Chip"
"Meet Binky"
Read transcript

"Binky Rules" is the first half of the sixth episode in the third season of Arthur. It was later adapted into the book Binky Rules.


When graffiti stating "Binky Rules" mysteriously appears around the school, Buster and Fern attempt to prove that Binky did not do it.


The episode starts with a parody of "Mystery!". Fern narrates that Lakewood Elementary School has been the site of "desperate and dastardly deeds." She says that "Only a detective of the keenest abilities could solve this disturbing dilemma." The detective is revealed to be her, but Buster cuts in, and the scene changes to a rainy street. Francine is shown putting a briefcase down by a lamppost. Binky comes along and opens up the briefcase, and a yellowish glow emits from it. With film noir-style narration, Buster says that "big trouble needs a guy with big brains and big nerves to take care of it", implying that he is the one for the job. Fern and Buster "rip" down the background, and argue with each other over which one is the better detective. As they leave, Arthur and Francine "tape" the background back up.

Binky Rules

Mr. Morris, the janitor, finds a wall smothered with the words, "BINKY Rules." He gasps and immediately rinses the graffiti off.

The next scene shows the gang listening to a new hit song on the radio. Meanwhile, Francine and Binky are practicing for the travel soccer team. When the song comes to an end, the gang gets excited to learn what the song is called. However, a stray ball from Francine and Binky's rough practicing bounces away from them and knocks the radio down. After a few moans from Arthur, Buster remarks that the group is Finnish and that they should call the United Nations. A few seconds later, Mr. Morris arrives, beckoning Binky with a scowl. Binky and Mr. Morris talk about the "graffiti-ing." Binky claims that he is innocent, but then the wall is covered with "BINKY Rules" again. Binky reads the words, embarrassed, and Mr. Morris walks off to get a brush.

Binky's friends are convinced to wash the wall for him, but Francine remarks that he better not do that again. A very confused Binky exclaims that he didn't do it. It's a mystery, and Francine takes Binky to find a detective. Later, Francine hires Fern to crack the case and Arthur hires Buster. Soon, there is a girls vs. boys argument that Binky gets excited about. Binky suggested they were together but they denied it. Will the case be cracked by Fern or Buster?

Buster puts on his detective get up and starts talking strangely, which immensely irritates Fern. She scoffs Buster for sitting on his evidence, and that begins the battle. After collecting all possible evidence, Fern and Buster agree to go to Mr. Morris's office. Buster thinks that it was an evil twin, and Fern thinks that it was a rival soccer team.

Once again, Mr. Morris finds another copy of "BINKY Rules" on the wall. He is furious and he consults Mr. Ratburn about Binky's very unacceptable behavior. Buster and Fern are very glum about being lousy detectives. Fern analyzes the paint and immediately goes to Mr. Geary's Hardware store. Mr. Geary informs them that he's never seen that color and that he certainly doesn't sell it. The pair walk out, only to hear the new hit song. They discover that it was not Binky Barnes who is causing the vandalism, albeit by accident.

Fern and Buster rush back to the scene of the crime to find Binky getting a final lecture. A "BINKY Rules" van pulls up, and the driver apologizes for being too ambitious with his advertising for the new band, BINKY. To make up for it, he gives all of the kids free copies of the CD, while getting his staff to clean up the mess and clearing Binky's name. Francine and Arthur argue about which song is the one they liked, but they stop arguing to listen to the music. Buster and Fern congratulate each other on their detective work and dance to the music.






Differences from the book[]

  • In the book, "Binky Rules" was also written on the ground under the bushes by the school wall, and it was written in yellow chalk rather than pink, and in a much simpler form than in the episode. In the episode, only the wall and doors were vandalized.

Cultural references[]

  • Fern's narration in the cold opening of this episode features a reference to the intro of the PBS show "Mystery!" Like Arthur, "Mystery!" is also co-produced with GBH.
  • Likewise, Buster's narration is inspired from a genre called film noir, which was prevalent in the 1940s to 1950s.
  • Brain and Muffy mention The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.
  • The popular song by BINKY is actually a real song: Matalii ja mustii (Short and Black) by Värttinä. There are Finnish lyrics, but mainly the repetitive harmonizing is heard throughout the episode.

Episode connections[]

  • The events of "Arthur Accused!" and "Fern's Slumber Party" are both mentioned.
  • This is the second time a student from Lakewood Elementary School was falsely accused, the first was in "Arthur Accused!", when Arthur was accused for stealing quarters that were supposed to be given to Mrs. MacGrady for a charity, and in this episode, Binky was accused for “grafitti-ing” (vandalizing) the school's exterior.
  • The popularity of BINKY continues into the next episode "Meet Binky".
  • In "Crime and Consequences", Fern tries to clear Binky's name again, this time as Virgule Watteau.

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