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"D.W.'s Very Bad Mood"
Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 18b
Original Airdate: United States April 15, 1998[1]
Canada September 16, 1998[2]
Germany February 18, 2002[3]
Written by: Kathy Waugh
Storyboard by: G. Lamoureux
R. Yap
"Arthur vs. the Very Mean Crossing Guard"
"D.W.'s Name Game"
Read transcript

"D.W.'s Very Bad Mood" is the second half of the eighteenth episode in the second season of Arthur.


Arthur and Francine try to find out why D.W. has been in a bad mood for days on end.


In an alternate telling of his everyday existence, Arthur (in an obvious Leave it to Beaver parody) describes how great it is to have a perfect life: two loving parents who make sure all his needs are quickly met, a spacious, comfortable house (reimagined as a mansion) and good friends (Francine and Brain) who go with him to a great school where they're never late.

Arthur is quite contented with his life, except for one thing: D.W.! Imagined as a ferocious giant, D.W. chases Arthur and his perfect family away and wreaks havoc on Elwood City in Godzilla-like fashion, sending everything into pandemonium as she takes out her latest temper tantrum on the innocent people of Arthur's idealized hometown. But, it turns out to be a nightmare that Arthur had.

D.W.'s Very Bad Mood

Arthur is baffled because D.W. has been in an especially bad mood for days, yelling and ranting at everyone around her and not wanting to do anything she's told. At the Sugar Bowl, Francine invites her friends to her birthday party, but Arthur is exhausted and says he can't attend. Francine mentions that the party is two weeks away, and Arthur tiredly explains that D.W. kept him up the entire night screaming at everyone and slamming doors around the house. Francine suggests Arthur should ask his sister what's wrong, and he counters by saying Francine should do it. After a moment's thought, she agrees to try.

That night, Francine comes over for a kosher dinner with Arthur's family (peas, mashed potatoes, and french fries), but matters quickly turn unpleasant when D.W. snaps at Mrs. Read for scolding her about her less than polite table manners (consisting of reaching across the table to get to the French fries, and grabbing more than one fry at once and shoveling them into her mouth). D.W. is about to launch into a rant against Arthur when Francine politely asks what's wrong with her. Shocked, D.W. runs off in tears, making Francine groan and Mrs. Read sigh.

Francine excuses herself to try to settle problems over with D.W. upstairs. She explains to D.W. that she didn't mean to hurt her feelings, but something had to be done because D.W. has been acting so strangely, and as Arthur's friend, Francine wants to help when something is bothering him. D.W. doesn't accept Francine's explanation and exhaustively tells her to leave.

The next day, Arthur is in a state of nervous aggravation because D.W. spent much of the previous night slamming doors around the house again. Arthur and his friends imagine a show called Tantrum 911 (Temper Tantrum Patrol Squad), in which the police apprehend children engaged in temper tantrums. In Arthur's vision, the police try to arrest D.W., but her temper is too strong, forcing the officers to call for backup. Returning to reality, the kids discuss how to solve the problem. Having known better than to get involved in other people's business, Arthur's other friends bail on helping. Francine has the feeling something is really bugging D.W., but Arthur can't believe a four-year-old would have any reason to be so upset.

The next afternoon, Francine and Arthur spy on D.W. from the tree house as she is eating lunch outside. They see her eating a sandwich but spitting out the bologna, which Pal proceeds to eat. Disgusted, Arthur yells for Pal to not do that because it's gross, but in doing so accidentally blows their cover, and D.W. tells them off again.

That night, Arthur spies on D.W. sleeping in her room, and Francine listens in on a walkie-talkie. As Arthur relays that his sister is mumbling "something's wrong" supposedly in her sleep, D.W. sits up, yelling, "because Arthur is a dodo brain!", which Arthur automatically repeats into the walkie-talkie without thinking. Francine laughs, and Arthur tells her to cease it.

The next day, Francine and Arthur watch D.W. and her classmates being released from preschool. D.W. appears to be looking at a small group of kids from her class talking among themselves, including her best friend Emily and a girl named Lisa. The group is discussing Lisa's upcoming birthday party at the movie theater.

Francine catches on to the situation, and later that day pays a visit to Arthur's house to talk to his troubled younger sister. D.W. once again reacts sarcastically toward Francine, but her bad behavior is curtailed by her mother. D.W. claims she would feel much better if she could see Quazy Kool Kittens: The Journey Home at the movies. Jane protests D.W. has already seen it twice and won't be rewarded for her behavior, but Francine says she and Arthur will take her to it, much to Arthur's panic-attack inducing annoyance.

At the theater, D.W. doesn't seem to be having fun until she sees Lisa and her birthday party guests arrive, and then she starts laughing almost maniacally. Lisa greets D.W. with disinterest, and D.W. boasts loudly about all her own good friends, and how she gets invited to lots of birthday parties in an effort to one-up the birthday girl. Lisa says that's nice, but soon it appears she and her friends are intentionally excluding D.W. as she crashed a birthday party that she was not invited to. Claiming she feels sick, D.W. asks to go home as the movie is just starting, a suggestion to which Arthur readily agrees (while upset about the wasted money). Finally realizing what has been bothering D.W., Francine informs Arthur that she's going to take just D.W. to the Sugar Bowl for ice cream, giving them some time to talk alone.

At the Sugar Bowl, Francine confronts D.W to tell her that she shouldn't feel bad or left out just because she wasn't invited to Lisa's birthday party. At first, D.W. pretends to not know what Francine is talking about, but then she explains that her recent bratty behavior was because, as Francine has figured out, she felt terrible over not being invited to Lisa's party. D.W. then fantasizes about enacting revenge on Lisa and her friends by ruining the party and asks if Francine might be able to help with the plan; D.W's ultimate revenge fantasy involves her flying a blimp to Lisa's party and ruining it by making it "rain on their little parade"--she would activate a shower head which would make it rain so hard on the party that the colors of everything and everyone would be washed away.

Francine doesn't care for the idea of revenge but admits that she can understand how D.W. feels about being left out of something, though this makes D.W. think that Francine's not on her side. But when Francine asks D.W. how close she and Lisa actually are, D.W. ultimately admits that they aren't really all that close (at least not close enough to really be considered "friends" in a sense). As it would seem, the main reason that D.W.'s mad about not being invited to Lisa's birthday party is how her best friend, Emily (who's much closer to Lisa than D.W. is), was invited, but not D.W. herself. Francine, in an effort to keep those fantasies at bay, explains that not everyone can be invited to every party, but she has an idea to cheer D.W. up; D.W. follows her, asking what it is.

The next morning, D.W. receives a letter in the mail, which she has her mom read to her. It is an invitation to Francine’s birthday party. D.W. is thrilled and her bad mood immediately lifts; she exclaims, "This is better than Lisa's party! This is a third-grade party!" All is finally well again as D.W. is now able to brag to Lisa about it, and Jane compliments, "What a nice friend Francine is." However, Arthur is less than thrilled to be bringing his sister to his friend's party.






  • During the flashback in which D.W. yells at her father from her open bedroom door that she doesn't want to feel any better, her baby sister Kate's presence is completely ignored. Considering that Kate sleeps in D.W.'s room, she almost certainly would have been crying at the sound of slamming doors and shouting, unless she could sleep through it.
  • Morals: You can't get invited to every party, and there is no feeling (or amount thereof) you can have that makes it okay to misbehave or have a bad attitude.
  • It is most likely that Binky and Brain were just saying that they had to clean their garages as excuses because they just didn't want to deal with D.W.

Cultural references

  • The beginning of the episode spoofs sitcoms from the 1950s, in particular Leave It to Beaver (Arthur's shirt and cap).

Episode connection

  • The scene in Arthur's vision in which the police arrive at the Reads' house is similar to a scene from "Arthur Meets Mister Rogers."
  • Arthur mentions D.W. driving him "absolutely bus-a-looey," which is one of the lyrics of Crazy Bus, which is mentioned in a number of episodes.
  • During D.W.'s fantasy of ruining Lisa's birthday party, when Lisa and her guests dance and frolic around the birthday cake, they sing the Ponyland theme, as heard in "D.W. Goes to Washington" and "D.W.'s Deer Friend."


  • When the giant D.W. bursts into the house, the umbrella stand next to the door disappears.
  • When D.W. stuffs her face with French fries, her knife is to the right of her fork, but when her mom tells her to eat them one at a time, the knife is on the left of the fork.
  • In the cafeteria, Patrick is shown sitting behind Francine and Arthur, but in later shots, he is replaced with Alex.
  • Arthur said that D.W. threw her piece of baloney into the bushes, but Pal is shown licking it in the grass.
  • When Arthur looks at D.W. through the binoculars, the picnic table is bare, but when Francine looks, there are cups, bread, and a bottle on the table.
  • During the scene where D.W eats her French fries very quickly, she eats all her French fries at once, but after Jane tells her to stop, they reappear in her hands. It's possible that she could've gotten more fries off-screen after Jane says, "D.W., one at a time!"
  • Francine's birthday is shown to be in the spring around April, but in the episode "The Friend Who Wasn't There," which aired much later, Francine's birthday is shown to be during the winter. In "Arthur - It's Only Rock 'n' Roll," Mrs. McGrady reveals that Francine was born under the zodiac sign Pisces (The Fish), which ranges from February 19 to March 20.
  • At the movie theater, Emily is not wearing a party hat like Lisa, Maryann, and Lucy.
  • In the overhead shot of the movie theater audience, Lisa is shown wearing blue pantyhose with her birthday dress, which she isn't wearing before or after that shot. In that same shot, Emily, Maryann, and Lucy are also drawn with darker complexions and hair colors than they usually are.

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