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"D.W. All Wet"
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 3a
Original Airdate: United States October 9, 1996[1]
Canada January 8, 1997[2]
Germany December 11, 2001[3]
Written by: Marc Brown (original)
Kathy Waugh (adapted)
Storyboard by: Sylvain Proteau
"Arthur's Spelling Trubble"
"Buster's Dino Dilemma"
Read transcript

"D.W. All Wet" is the first half of the third episode in the first season of Arthur. It is based on the book D.W. All Wet.


The Reads go to Bear Lake to escape from the summer heat and everyone is having a wonderful time, except for D.W., who refuses to swim because she thinks there are octopuses in the water.


The episode starts with the Reads, along with Buster, at Bear Lake. David carries D.W., who is throwing a tantrum and yelling at him to put her down with everyone staring at them, appalled. Arthur tells Buster that she has been acting strange since her field trip to the aquarium. The prologue ends with her begging Arthur to save her as she grabs his glasses off his face.

D.W. All Wet

D.W., along with her classmates, excitedly watch performing seals and dolphins at the aquarium. Ms. Morgan says that they will be taking a bathroom break, after which they'll see the sea monster exhibit. In the girls' bathroom, the girls are taking a long time, having become fascinated by the self-flushing toilets. When the loudspeaker host reminds guests to view the sea monsters, everyone runs out with excitement.

As the group watches the sea creatures, an eel and shark swim past, startling everyone except for D.W. However, when a giant octopus appears, D.W. backs away, screaming in fear, while everyone else is amazed. Back at the Reads' house, D.W. tells a made-up story of how she attacked the octopus that she saw to Arthur and their mother. Jane says that it is almost time for bed. Arthur teases D.W., saying that she got scared when she saw the octopus. She denies this, but then jumps in fright when Pal licks her leg.

The scene changes to D.W. taking a bath in the bathroom. The door supposedly opens by itself, which frightens her and when she is not looking, Arthur sneaks in and scares her with a plastic toy spider, hanging by a string on a stick, while screaming "octopus!". She screams, running out of the tub naked, except for well-placed suds, and hides in her parents' closet. They punish Arthur and send him to his room. D.W. claims that she hopes an octopus eats Arthur, and at night, she smiles in her sleep while dreaming that he is being attacked by one.

The next morning, the temperature rises up. Buster comes over and he and Arthur turn the air conditioner up extremely high and play soccer in the garage. D.W. shows up with Jane and David, who do not look pleased. D.W. claims the boys are in big trouble. Suddenly, the old air conditioner goes haywire as it squeaks and blows up. David says "I've had it!" and Jane agrees by saying "I can't take it anymore!". D.W. thinks this means that Arthur and Buster are in really big trouble now, but David says what he and Jane mean is they can't take the heat. They decide to pack their things and head off to Bear Lake, much to D.W.'s surprise.

D.W. refuses to go, because she is afraid that there might be octopuses in the water. Arthur tells her that they live in oceans, not lakes. She is adamant that she is not going, but everyone forces her to come anyway. Once they are there (which is probably where the episode first began and after calming down), David says that he does not see any octopuses. D.W. looks around and imagines everyone on the beach turning into octopuses, including Kate, who crawls up to D.W. and grabs her foot. D.W. yells for help, and Kate "turns back" into her original form and starts crying. David tells D.W. that she can just stay on the beach with him, Jane and Kate.

Arthur and Buster are about to run into the water, but Arthur realizes Buster does not have his bathing cap, which he is supposed to wear to protect his ears. Buster says he forgot it, and will have to go home, but then winks (implying he may have accidentally-on-purpose left his cap behind) and they dive into the water. Almost immediately, the lifeguard calls for Buster, and brings him his bathing cap, which his mom had sent over by messenger. Buster reluctantly puts it on, but quickly dives under the water when Francine and Muffy come running up towards him and Arthur. He has to emerge soon, however, to catch his breath.

While Buster fills his bathing cap up with sand and tosses it into the water, Jane finds D.W. hiding in a tent. She reassures her that there are no octopuses on the beach, but D.W. still does not want to go into the water. She is, however, bored, and Jane asks Arthur and Buster to play with D.W., if only for 10 minutes. They play a game where D.W. pretends to be a princess, whom they must save from an octopus, and are both embarrassed. 10 minutes pass and they go back into the water.

D.W. asks David if he can make Arthur and Buster stay on the beach, but he says it would be easier if she went in the water. She still does not want to. Francine finds Buster's bathing cap and throws it to Arthur, who pretends it is an octopus that is attacking him and splashes around, yelling for help. D.W. freaks out and gets the lifeguard who helps her swim out to Arthur and his friends. She tells D.W. there are no octopuses in the lake, which makes her feel better. When she asks Arthur why he was yelling, he admits that he was only joking. The lifeguard reprimands him, saying it is dangerous to yell for help unless you really need it, and she demands Buster put on his bathing cap.

In the last scene, D.W. is shown to be finally enjoying the water as she gets Arthur to throw her off his back repeatedly. Jane tells them it is time to go because it is getting dark. As her mom carries her away, D.W. tells her how her day went and Jane promises they will come back to the beach as D.W. falls asleep in her arms. The scene ends with a view of the sun setting over the beach.






  • At the end of the 2000 rerun intro on PBS Kids before this episode, Arthur’s crashing sound changes to the Season 5 version.
  • Moral: Benevolent trickery is a good way to get someone to overcome their fears.
  • This episode marks the first appearances of D.W.'s preschool classmates and their teacher, Ms. Morgan.
  • This also marks the first appearance of Bitzi
  • This episode reveals that D.W. is scared of octopi.
  • Kate's first word is "go" in this episode.
  • It is revealed that Jane is ticklish when Pal licks her leg.
  • This is the first episode that clearly takes place in summer.

Episode connections


  • The cold open is missing when this episode is made available on the PBS KIDS website and app. After the theme song ends, it immediately cuts to the title card. However, the cold open was put back in when this returned to the PBS Kids Video app
  • The master bedroom of Arthur's house has a dormer window in this episode, but it was removed in subsequent episodes for unknown reasons.
  • When Kate grabs D.W.'s leg, she is shirtless. But when Arthur and Buster race into the water, she is wearing a red shirt.
  • In the Audio Descriptive version of this and "Buster's Dino Dilemma", during the end credits, the narrator says the title card information for "Arthur's Birthday" and "Francine Frensky Superstar."

Differences from the book

  • In this episode, D.W.'s refusal to swim in the lake is due to her fear of octopuses. In the book, the whole story took place at the beach and she refused to get wet, hence the title.
  • Arthur's friends including Buster, Francine, and Muffy, plus Molly and other Lakewood Elementary School students are seen in this episode. Neither one of them nor any other schoolmates appeared in the book, since it focused on D.W.

Production notes

  • This is the first episode to use "Arthur and Super Sister" as a title card.
  • Although the title card has not been narrated on its initial airing, Binky says the title when this was on the home video, DVD releases and reruns in the United States.
  • The audio of Molly and the other girls laughing at Arthur and Buster is frequently reused throughout the series whenever a group of kids laugh.

Home video