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"D.W.'s Name Game"
Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 19A
Original Airdate: United States April 16, 1998[1]
Canada September 17, 1998[2]
Germany February 19, 2002[3]
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Robert Yap
"D.W.'s Very Bad Mood"
"Finders Key-pers"
Read transcript

"D.W.'s Name Game" is the first half of the nineteenth episode in the second season of Arthur.


The name-calling contest between Arthur and D.W. improves their vocabularies, but gets a little out of control.


The episode begins as D.W. has cereal for breakfast, greeting the viewers in Arthur's place. She discusses why he is, in her opinion, "the worst big brother in the whole world." She has a flashback about Arthur being too fast when they ride bikes, leaving her behind. She says she would be as fast as him if she was big enough, which would require her eating as much as Arthur. We then see Arthur devouring a whole cake in one bite. When she kept going into his room behind his back, he put up a sign that says she was not allowed in. D.W. says that since she can't read, the sign won't stop her. Back at the kitchen table, Arthur uses up the last of the milk, leaving D.W.'s cereal tasting badly. She insists she will get even with Arthur somehow.

D.W's Name Game

D.W. is talking with the Tibble twins on how she should teach Arthur a lesson. Tommy says that she should show up late at his concert and distract him when he grows up to be a famous pianist. Timmy says that would be "dopey", and that that would have to wait until Arthur has grown up. He suggests that D.W. make Arthur her servant. To do this, she would have to hypnotize him first. Timmy imagines D.W. hypnotizing Arthur, who has swirling lines on his glasses and says "I enjoy doing your chores", which he repeats as he dusts off her dolls. Tommy says that learning hypnosis takes hundreds of years, and D.W. says that it's a terrible idea, prompting Timmy to call her "D.W. Dimwit". In retaliation, she calls him "goofy". The twins are impressed by D.W.'s talent of name calling, and suggest she do the same to Arthur.

At home, Arthur and D.W. are relaxing in the den until Arthur complains that D.W. is in the way of the TV. When she calls him names, he wastes no time firing back, leading both to continually insult each other. Catherine babysits for the kids while their parents are out, and, as she has a lot of homework to do, she suggests Arthur and D.W. be separate from each other. When Arthur goes into D.W.'s room demanding one of his crayons back, they continue insulting each other until Catherine breaks it up. Frustrated that Arthur has better insults than her, D.W. asks Catherine to look up some words for her in the thesaurus to use against Arthur. Catherine obliges as she sees it as them working on their vocabulary.

The two continue to throw insults at each other at every turn using words picked up from their chats with Catherine. The two are at a stalemate until Arthur finally calls D.W. by her full name "Dora Winifred," which she cannot stand to have repeated to her. D.W. pleads to have him stop as he taunts her with it, finally prompting Catherine to announce it's bedtime. Arthur watches D.W. groan in defeat as Catherine takes her to her room then snickers in victory when they're out of sight.

D.W. dreams that she's in a paradise fully of happy flowers and trees who take her in as their friend and they squirt purple flowers on her pajamas. Suddenly, Arthur, dressed as an evil wizard, wreaks havoc on her fantasy with repeated taunts of "Dora Winifred". Distressed, D.W. runs away, until Walter the Deer arrives and advises that she see the great "Thesaurus" to help her beat Arthur. Learning the Thesaurus lives beyond the woods in the Elwood City Public Library, she simply jumps into the picture Walter shows her of the library (as walking the woods would've been boring.) She's surprised to find Tommy and Timmy turned into stone lions by Arthur, and they warn her to run inside when he comes back to cause more trouble.

D.W goes inside the library and asks where "the saurus" is. She goes through lots of aisles and sees the saurus as a dinosaur because of the name with "saurus" in it. He says D.W has to prove herself worthy for the perfect name to call Arthur. She must name three synonyms for silly. She says "silly," "goofy," and "Arthur," to which he whispers the perfect name to call Arthur. Finding him outside, D.W. whispers the insult to Arthur, which catches him off guard and causes him to melt. Horrified and unaware that this would happen, D.W. scoops up Arthur as he washes into a storm drain, and he sadly proclaims that calling people names can be dangerous to their health. Regretting her wish, D.W. begs someone to help her.

Then, D.W. wakes up when Jane and David are in her room. She sees them holding the cup Arthur melted in from the dream and yells his name. He walks in to see what all the commotion is about. D.W. hugs her brother, and apologizes for all the things she called him. He returns the apology and D.W. tells him and her parents about the dream she had. Suddenly, "The saurus" himself appears outside their window, making D.W. realize it may not have been just a dream.






  • At the end of the 2000 rerun intro on PBS Kids before this episode, Arthur’s crashing sound changes to the Season 5 version.
  • This is the second time that DW's full name is used. The first time was in Arthur's Chicken Pox.
  • Moral: Don't call people names.
  • In April 2024, PBS Kids rereleased this episode and 18 other titles with the addition of an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter on screen, allowing individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to fully immerse themselves in the program. For more information about all of the ASL-interpreted episodes, see American Sign Language.

Cultural references[]

  • The story parodies the events of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, with Arthur screaming "I'm melting" like the Wicked Witch of the West. At the end of the episode, D.W. states "I had this dream, and you were in it, and you, and you were in it too!" similar to the ending of the film.
  • The beginning of D.W.'s dream where she is living in an utopian environment has many similar elements to the Walt Disney Silly Symphony Flowers and Trees, especially with the trees and flowers dancing.
  • D.W. using photographs as portals is reminiscent of the Skidoo segments on Blue's Clues.
  • The Tibble Twins as lion statues reference the lions Patience and Fortitude outside the New York Public Library.
  • There are sixteen live-action clips of old black-and-white stock footage spliced in this episode during the library scene. They are, in order of appearance: political issues with Israel, the US civil rights movement, soldiers geared for war, a biplane in flight, a vintage Formula 1 race car on the track, a coal mining excavator at work, a Saturn V rocket launch, scientists working in a lab, an archaeological find, a palm tree in a hurricane, a dolphin swimming, a jockey performing a double jump, waves at the beach, a lion cub roaring, a volcanic eruption, and a child falling backwards into snow.
  • The Saurus is a pun on the word "thesaurus", a book that lists synonyms. Heath from Between The Lions is another dinosaur "thesaurus".

Episode connections[]

  • This episode is similar in terms of plot to "D.W., Queen of the Comeback."
  • This is the second episode where Catherine babysits Arthur and D.W. She previously does it in "Play it Again, D.W.."
  • Walter returns after previously appearing in "D.W.'s Deer Friend."
  • The Tibble Twins suggest that D.W. get revenge on Arthur by eating potato chips at a piano recital. The following season would feature a pair of episodes involving D.W. eating a potato chip that she assumed was deadly, ironically because of Arthur pulling a joke on her for eating it.


  • When Arthur says "You are... vapid," he is standing in the hallway in the beginning. After he says it, he is seen in D.W.'s room and is leaving the room.
  • D.W. says that Tommy Tibble is the one who came up with her initials standing for "Dim Wit", but it was Timmy Tibble who came up with it.
  • When D.W. describes her dream, she says Arthur and the Tibbles were in it, but also points to her parents and says they were in it as well. Neither their mom or dad were seen in her dream.

Production notes[]

  • This is the first episode to feature the Hide-N-Seek Circle title card.
  • This is also the first episode D.W. introduces.

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