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"D.W. Flips"
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 16B
Original Airdate: United States October 28, 1996[1]
Canada January 27, 1997[2]
Germany January 3, 2002[3]
Written by: Marc Brown (original)
Peter Hirsch (adapted)
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
"Arthur and the Crunch Cereal Contest"
"Meek for a Week"
Read transcript

"D.W. Flips" is the second half of the sixteenth episode in the first season of Arthur. It is based on the book D.W. Flips!.


When D.W. takes a gymnastics class, she is determined to outperform Emily, who seems to do everything perfectly.


We see D.W. at a gymnastics class proving to Emily and the other students that she can do a cartwheel on the balance beam. After stretching, Emily warned her that she could really get hurt, the Tibbles lift D.W. up and then ask her if they can have her toys if she doesn't make it. D.W. loses her balance on the balance beam and almost falls, nearly hurting herself.

D.W. Flips

Back at home, Arthur is watching the Olympics on T.V. He is impressed by a bobsled that is speeding along at more than 50 miles per hour. D.W. thinks "sports are boring" and tries to change the channel. Arthur and D.W. then get into a remote control fight where the channels change. Then, when D.W. sees a gymnast do a perfect combo on the balance beam, she runs off to find Jane. Knowing what D.W. is wanting, Arthur says "Here we go again."

D.W. explains to Jane why she wants to do gymnastics. She says that she will do so good that she will star in cereal commercials and get so rich that Jane and David "will never have to work again". Jane reflects on all the activities D.W. has already tried (such as t-ball, ballet and violin lessons). She had wanted to do all those activities but didn't want to practice.

D.W. begs even more and states that she really wants to do this. Plus, she is "already good at jumping". Jane finally approves begrudgingly and D.W. gives her a big hug in gratitude. The next day, we see the gymnastics class where kids are doing different exercises. After surveying the gym, D.W. sees the Tibbles and hides behind her mother. Jane thinks the teacher, Ms. Morgan, will be able to handle them. Ms. Morgan then blows her whistle at the twins, who are jumping on a trampoline.

Then D.W. sees Emily and her nanny. D.W. is not amused that "Miss Perfect" is going to be in the class with her. Jane reassures her that just because Emily is a showoff, smart, pretty and polite, it doesn't really mean she's perfect. After Jane says goodbye, D.W. sees the balance beam. She then daydreams about herself in the Olympics doing an amazing combo. She receives a 10 from the judges and gets first prize. Emily gets second prize, and the Tibbles get third prize even though "they should have been disqualified".

Immediately, without thinking any longer, D.W. runs up and tries to get up onto the balance beam, but Ms. Morgan catches her. She states that they will not be using the balance beam for at least a year. D.W. joins her class and starts with basic routines. After Ms. Morgan demonstrates a somersault, Emily and D.W. partner up. D.W. tries to do it, but only does a "half sault". Emily does it right, but D.W. doesn't think so; according to her, Emily "didn't jump high enough, the roll was too slow, and she didn't smile at the end".

Ms. Morgan praises Emily for a job well done but tells D.W. to try to hold her knees. D.W. gets humiliated and then ticked off when Emily says, "I guess she didn't realize you were doing a half sault." After the somersaults, the kids do handstands. Everyone is doing great, but D.W. is jealous, and her back is not straight enough. She then loses her balance causing everyone else to fall down. 

After demonstrating a cartwheel, Ms. Morgan reminds everyone to bring their feet together when they finish the cartwheel. When D.W. sees Emily stretching, she walks off, feeling jealous. After the Tibbles tease her, D.W. attempts to do the cartwheel, but fails. At home, D.W. encourages her mother to watch her doing a cartwheel, but then decides she is not ready yet.

D.W. practices cartwheeling in her house and at the supermarket, wreaking tons of havoc. Back at gymnastics class, D.W. stretches out. Then Ms. Morgan announces that it is cartwheel time and reminds everyone to look before they leap. After Edwin goes, D.W. gets her turn. This time she does a cartwheel successfully and everyone applauds at her. But Emily comes in showing off, cartwheeling from one end of the gym to the other, and impressing the students. Ms. Morgan tells Emily that it is very impolite to show off, and D.W. says it is not fair for her to do something like that.

After class, Emily apologizes for showing off. D.W., while accepting her apology, rebuffs Emily and says that she herself could've done a better cartwheel, but she didn't want to. She thinks cartwheels are for babies, but Emily thinks they're hard. Then D.W. looks at the balance beam again, which leads back to the opening scene. D.W. loses her balance just like in the opening, but then she screams, which causes her mother, Ms. Morgan, and Emily to rush to the balance beam. D.W. then lands into Jane's arms. She says that she was "just doing a cartwheel", prompting Jane to furiously tell her to put her shoes back on.

The Tibble twins taunt Emily for telling on D.W., but D.W. tells them to leave her alone and asks them if they would like to do a cartwheel on the balance beam. The Tibbles run away and Emily thanks her for being a real friend. D.W. explains that Emily saved her life and maybe she could teach her "how to do a really good cartwheel". Emily says she will, but tells D.W. that it will require lots of practice. D.W. promises to do so, on the condition that Emily won't be "so perfect", which she says, "It's a deal". On the car ride home, Jane tells D.W. that she really could've gotten hurt. D.W. understands and she will be more careful. Unfortunately, after she sees a horse passing by, D.W. begs again, but she's too young for horseback riding. Then after she imagines herself riding a pony, she begs even more while they are driving home, at the expense of Jane's time and money.







  • Ms. Tingley is one of the judges in D.W.'s fantasy.
  • The gymnastics instructor is voiced by the same person who provided narration for the English dub of the hit 1997 preschool series "Caillou."
  • In D.W.'s fantasy, the sports reporter refers to Emily as “Emily, uh, what's her name”. Prior to "Arthur's First Day," Emily was one of very few major characters whose last name had never been revealed. At the swimming event in "D.W. Swims with the Fishes," Buster declares the winner of the swimming contest as “Emily, whose last name I don't know.”
  • At the beginning of the episode, Arthur and D.W. were watching luge. As D.W. and Arthur fight over the remote, a soccer match was seen and then gymnastics. In real life, luge, soccer, and gymnastics would not be played at the same time since luge is part of the Winter Olympics and gymnastics are part of the Summer Olympics. However, gymnastics World Championships are held in non-Olympic years, and winners are given gold medals.

Episode connections

Cultural references

  • When Arthur and D.W. wrestle for the remote control, the TV briefly shows an opera singer in a typical Valkyrie costume.


  • When D.W. is cartwheeling in aisle seven, she bumps into an object and the items are rolling in aisle eight.
  • On the drive home, D.W. is sitting in the front seat. She is too young; she has to be at least 13 years old to sit in the front, as does Arthur as well, due to car safety regulations regarding young children.
  • Also, the station wagon is red in one scene but purple in the others. 
  • Tommy and Timmy were colored lighter in some scenes.
  • James is not seen during the majority of gymnastics, yet when D.W. attempts to do a cartwheel on the balance beam, he can be seen among the other children.
  • Purple Lisa
    In one scene, Lisa was colored purple.
  • In another scene, Tommy has rabbit ears although Timmy has normal ears. 

Differences from the book

  • In both versions, the girls in D.W.'s class are wearing slip-on shoes. For the boys in her class, they are wearing shoes and socks in the TV adaptation but just socks in the book.
  • D.W.'s class has more students (including the Tibble twins) in the TV show than in the book. Also, the Tibble twins weren't introduced to the franchise until Arthur Babysits that was published four years later.
  • The book concludes with Ms. Morgan teaching her students to do backward rolls. This idea is scrapped in the TV version and instead concludes with D.W. riding home with her mom, and Jane giving her a lecture and her begging for riding lessons.

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