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"Brother, Can You Spare a Clarinet?"
Season/Series: 6
Number in season: 4B
Original Airdate: United States October 15, 2001[1]
Canada January 10, 2002[2]
Written by: Dietrich Smith
Storyboard by: Jeremy O'Neill
Stéphanie Gignac
Annette Laverse (uncredited)
"Muffy's Soccer Shocker"
"The Boy Who Cried Comet"
Read transcript

"Brother, Can You Spare a Clarinet?" is the second half of the fourth episode in the sixth season of Arthur.


Tryouts for the Young Person's Orchestra are coming to town, and everyone thinks Binky is a shoo-in. So why is he suddenly refusing to play his clarinet in band practice?


In the introduction, Binky brinks Arthur a present. Arthur remarks how Binky has two different personalities: bully and nice guy. Just then the present throws a pie in Arthur’s face.

Brother, Can You Spare a Clarinet

Miss Krasny announces that the Young Persons Orchestra will hold tryouts the following week. Most students are enthusiastic about the tryouts, but Binky is in a bad mood, because his clarinet is old and squeaky. He decides that "music stinks".

Muffy brings a Stradivarius violin to the next rehearsal (along with two security guards), but Binky did not bring his clarinet despite the piece being a clarinet concert.

Binky ends up in Mr. Haney’s office. He is rebellious, because since he tuned down his bullying he is “just another wimp who plays a clarinet”. He gets detention, but arranges the flowers on Mr. Haney’s desk first.

On the school playground, Binky reunites with the Tough Customers and announces he has a great plan. The Tough Customers take everybody’s instruments away and sabotage them (e.g. wrapping Francine’s drums in bubble wrap and putting flowers in Buster’s tuba). Because of her guards, Muffy’s violin is left untouched, but Muffy plays terrible anyway. Binky feigns innocence and the others are too scared to talk.

On the way home from school Arthur, Buster and Brain discuss Binky’s evil scheme. Suddenly they hear clarinet music. Binky is trying out a new clarinet in a music store, but his parent’s can not afford it. On the way out Binky throws his clarinet in the trash. The others realize what is wrong with him.

Later, Binky watches a Bionic Bunny episode in which the villains weaken Bionic Bunny by sending waves through his apartment’s ventilation shaft. Binky takes notes. The kids knock on his door and present him with his repaired clarinet. Unfortunately, Brain has repaired it with paper clips and chewing gum, so it quickly squeaks again.

On the day of the tryouts, the Tough Customers have built an “Anti-Music Machine” out of Binky’s old clarinet and a megaphone, which produces a horrible loud noise. First, they try to use one of the ventilation shafts in the auditorium, but one of the judges closes the grille. They try using the machine from the boys’ bathroom next, but Mr. Morris, the custodian, is in there. Meanwhile the tryouts proceed normally. The Tough Customers finally try the gym right next to the auditorium, just as Muffy is trying out. She plays so badly that Binky angrily grabs his clarinet and storms into the auditorium where he plays for the judges to show them real music. Just as he wants to go back to finish his evil scheme, the judges tell him that anyone able to make such a bad instrument sound so good is a true musician.

Binky is the only Lakewood student to be accepted into the Young Persons Orchestra and the judges promise to lend him a proper clarinet. On his way home Binky knocks George down, showing his other personality.







This is Rattles’ last speaking role until "Thanks a Lot, Binky". It is also the last episode to feature his original voice actor.

Cultural references

  • The episode's title is a reference to the Great Depression-era song Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?.
  • In the introduction, Binky plays Morning Mood from Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite.
  • Francine and Buster mention Sousa and Seventy-Six Trombones.
  • Binky plays La donna è mobile from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Rigoletto before going to bed.
  • Upon receiving his “fixed” clarinet from Arthur, Binky attempts to plays Chopin’s Prélude in A Major from his twenty-four préludes in all keys (Op. 28 no. 7).
  • The band rehearses Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A major (K622), first movement.

Episode connections

  • Bionic Bunny watches The Love Ducks on the television in his apartment.
  • At the Young Persons' Orchestra tryouts, Arthur plays Beethoven's "Für Elise" on the piano; the same piece he performed for the Spring Recital in "Arthur vs. the Piano".


Slink coloring error

  • When the Tough Customers are hiding in the closet, a book fair poster behind Binky misspells "book" with three O's.
  • At the end when Binky walks into the "sunset," Slink is colored like Molly.

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