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"D.W.'s Perfect Wish"
Season/Series: 3
Number in season: 14b
Original Airdate: United States December 31, 1998[1]
Canada May 24, 1999
Germany March 12, 2002[2]
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Stéphanie Gignac
"Mom and Dad Have a Great Big Fight"
"Arthur and D.W. Clean Up"
Read transcript

"D.W.'s Perfect Wish" is the second half of the fourteenth episode in the third season of Arthur.


D.W. fears that she has frittered away her preschool years, so she is determined to come up with the perfect meaningful wish for when she turns 5.


The opening begins as Arthur is marking a calendar and mentions to the viewers it's not hard to make themselves a calendar and shows the viewers the one he drew himself before coming to March.

He reveals D.W.'s birthday is on March 1 and goes on to talk about how D.W. kept mentioning it the previous year. As he flips the calendar to the current day, Arthur notices that today is D.W.'s birthday, and yet she has not said a word. He then goes to talk with her, but she's in a bad mood and throws her toy unicorn at him. Arthur then wonders why D.W. isn't excited about her birthday.

D.W.'s Perfect Wish

Arthur heads into D.W.'s room and asks her why she's not excited for her birthday. She asks him if he actually wants to know or not, then goes over what happened.

It all began when she was telling David what sort of cake she wanted: a plain old, normal, every day cake.

Then a bit later, D.W. plays a game with Emily. Emily mentions that turning five is really serious, and goes on to say that a child can not do the same things as he or she used to, and that soon they'll be going to kindergarten, and that they'll never be a young child ever again...

So now, D.W. is moping about as Arthur asks her the problem with this. D.W. begins to wonder if she has made a big mistake and wasted her childhood. Arthur tries to convince her that she's done plenty of great stuff (which we see in clips from previous episodes):

and so many other things!

D.W. goes over this, and does not feel too happy. Arthur continues, telling her about how:

She also:

After hugging Arthur, D.W. thanks him for helping her be happy again this day and Arthur tells her that he wants her to be happy, and reminds her about the special birthday wish.

Later, D.W. and Arthur notice how dark the house is; upon reaching the kitchen, D.W. then sees her parents, Kate, and Grandma Thora with the cake and presents; they yell, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"  D.W. then stalls, unsure of what to wish for when blowing out her candles. Arthur asks her what she wished for last year and she reveals that she can't remember that wish.

Her parents try to inspire her, but it's no use; D.W. considers wishing for a pony, but is convinced not to do so. Arthur tries to rush her, claiming Kate is really hungry as a result and that the candles are melting. Grandma Thora tells D.W. that she does not need to fret over her birthday wish, since she made a nice wish for both Arthur and D.W. on her birthday. After hugging her, D.W. then realizes her birthday wish!

After D.W. finally blew out the candles, everybody digs into the cake. D.W. compliments the cake as Arthur asks her what she wished for and then he asks her that she tells him the wish once it happens.

Suddenly, the bowl of cake goes flying and Arthur narrowly misses it. He then slips and lands right into the remaining cake! As D.W. laughs, she secretly reveals that it was her wish, without directly saying it... Then Pal licks Arthur.






  • When the episode was repackaged in 2000 for PBS Kids, the original copyright slide at the end of the credits retains, even in 2009 when the 2008 Cookie Jar Entertainment logo started plastering the CINAR logo.
  • Although D.W. turns five years old in this episode, she is still referred to being four years old in the later episodes, unless there is a calendar on display that says the date after her birthday, such as in "For Whom the Bell Tolls."
  • The episode takes place on D.W.'s birthday, which, according to this episode, is March 1st. Other episodes disagree (see Errors).
  • It is revealed that Emily is older than D.W., because she says she is five years old already.
  • This episode marks the first time Arthur actually refers to "Crazy Bus" by name, when recalling the time they went to the Crazy Bus Live concert. In prior episodes, Arthur's hatred of "Crazy Bus" was so strong he'd usually just refer to it as "that song", or on one occasion, "stupid 'Bus'."
  • D.W. calls "no" a "three letter word" and holds up three fingers when she says that she'll never be four again.
  • In the flashback of the events of "D.W.'s Baby", Kate's crying sound effects from that episode are replaced with the sounds used in most other episodes.
  • This is the last Season 3 episode of Arthur to air in 1998 in the US.

Episode connections[]

  • Mister Rogers did sing Please Don't Think it's Funny as a lullaby for D.W. in "Arthur Meets Mister Rogers". Then, however, D.W. was awake and Buster was also in the room. Here, D.W. is shown to have fallen asleep, and doesn't remember the song.
  • The flashbacks from D.W.'s fourth birthday and Grandma Thora's birthday were not previously shown, though Thora did celebrate her birthday at Once Upon a Restaurant in "D.W., the Picky Eater".
  • D.W. also turns five in the special "D.W. and the Beastly Birthday". The events of this episode and the special contradict each other.
  • In "Arthur's Chicken Pox," D.W. was happy when she finally got chicken pox, though the episode did not show how she liked actually having them. Here, she says that it wasn't fun. Also, the clip that is used from "Arthur's Chicken Pox" isn't from when D.W. actually had the chicken pox, but rather from when she faked having the chicken pox and fooled Grandma Thora.
  • Arthur is seen reading The Mysterious Hand from "Arthur's Lost Library Book", hinting that he either checked out the book after the waiting list ended or he bought his own copy.

Cultural references[]


  • In the flashback of D.W.'s fourth birthday, Jane is shown to be pregnant with Kate; yet in the earlier episode "Arthur's Baby" (as well as its direct sequel "D.W.'s Baby") where Kate was born, Arthur was seven years old and in the second grade and D.W. was three years old, therefore making the flashback in this episode a continuity error.
  • In the flashback of D.W. painting the new hen house in "Grandpa Dave's Old Country Farm", the audio description incorrectly refers to Ed Billings as David Read ("her dad").
  • Arthur refers to Lucy as his cousin, but she is actually his aunt.
  • In "Arthur's Birthday", Arthur said that D.W.'s birthday was six months away, even though his birthday was May 25. D.W.'s birthday was confirmed to be March 1 here, which is 280 days (281 days if a leap year) after Arthur's, and Arthur's birthday is 85 days after D.W.'s.
    • It is possible that D.W.'s birthday originally was supposed to be in November, and it got retconned from this episode onward to be March 1.
  • When Jane and David are advising D.W. not to waste her birthday wish on a pony, the birthday candles are still at their original height. But in the very next shot, the candles are shown to have suddenly melted down by three quarters (when Arthur comments, "I'm not going to eat cake with wax all over it.")

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