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"Clarissa is Cracked"
Season/Series: 3
Number in season: 12B
Original Airdate: United States December 29, 1998
Canada March 15, 1999
Germany March 8, 2002[1]
Written by: Sandra Willard
Storyboard by: Bulent Karabagli
Marcos Da Silva
"What Scared Sue Ellen?"
"Arthur's Dummy Disaster"
Read transcript

"Clarissa is Cracked" is the second half of the twelfth episode in the third season of Arthur.


Grandma Thora lends D.W. an antique porcelain doll for a week, and D.W. accidentally makes a mess of the doll.


Arthur and D.W. watch a show on Egyptian burials and discuss what treasures they would take into their tombs.

Clarissa is Cracked

The episode begins with D.W. at Grandma Thora's house. D.W. likes Clarissa, the porcelain doll Thora keeps in her cabinet. Thora takes the doll out of the cabinet and hands it to D.W. then Jane honks and waves. Then D.W. goes to put Clarissa back on the shelf but then takes her back off it again and stared at it again and says goodbye to her. But Thora agrees to let D.W. take care of Clarissa for the week, much to her joy. Over the next week, D.W. has fun playing with Clarissa, but does not take good care of the doll, ruining her hair and clothes.

On the day D.W. is supposed to return Clarissa, she is jumping on the bed, causing the doll to fall and her right eye being broken off. Her parents discover this and scold D.W. for not taking better care of the doll. D.W. doesn't see what the big deal is and figures they can just replace Clarissa with another doll without Grandma Thora discovering what really happened. But David and Jane explain that just because Clarissa's old, that doesn't make it okay for her to break it and add that Clarissa's very special to Grandma Thora.

To help D.W. understand better, David and Jane bring out an old photo album detailing Thora's childhood--as it turns out, Thora grew up as the youngest and only daughter of four kids, and her three older brothers were actually part of the reason why she ended up getting Clarissa in the first place. Going into greater detail, every toy Thora had up until she got Clarissa was a hand-me-down from one of her rambunctious but well-meaning older brothers. Thora had gotten Clarissa as a birthday present when she turned five and she did her best to take good care of the doll.

After learning all of this, D.W. realizes just how much Clarissa means to Thora and feels bad for how poorly she's been treating the doll. Jane takes D.W. to the local doll hospital to have Clarissa fixed, but the doctor, named Bill, is gone on vacation and won't be back for a month. The family tries finding other doll hospitals to fix Clarissa, but they're all completely booked up (some six months into the future). D.W. tries fixing Clarissa's broken face with a headband, but that doesn't work either. Arthur ends up enlisting the help of Mr. Ratburn, who agrees to fix the doll after the kids explain the situation to him (noting that the material used for Clarissa is pretty similar to the marionettes he uses in his puppet shows).

D.W. and her family return for Clarissa two hours after leaving her with Mr. Ratburn, but when they get there, D.W. gets worried that Mr. Ratburn is destroying Clarissa. However, it turns out that Clarissa is good as new and that all the commotion D.W. and her family heard was just Mr. Ratburn making a desk.

Later that evening, D.W. returns Clarissa to Thora, who praises her granddaughter for taking good care of the doll. However, D.W. can't handle the guilt of not telling the and confesses that she wrecked the doll and Mr. Ratburn fixed it. Rather than get mad at her granddaughter, Thora explains that she's broken Clarissa many times over the years, but always managed to get her fixed. She is proud of D.W. for telling the truth and notes that it was very responsible of her to get Clarissa fixed. In the end, Thora decides to let D.W. keep the doll for herself. Then it ends with a picture of D.W. with Clarissa and the old photo of Grandma Thora as D.W.'s age with the doll. And Clarissa is next to the two pictures.






  • Thora is shown as a child in this episode. She looks a lot like D.W. and shares D.W.'s voice actor Michael Caloz (Seasons 1–3).

Cultural references

Episode connections


  • When Clarissa is repaired, she appears as if she had never been damaged before, and Grandma Thora even reveals that Clarissa was damaged many times even before D.W. damaged the doll. This is considered a plot hole, because in reality, these types of cracks cannot be retracted and would require the use of gelatin-like applications to be masked.

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