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"D.W. Goes to Washington"
Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 10A
Original Airdate: United States October 31, 1997[1]
Canada December 5, 1997[2]
Germany February 6, 2002[3]
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
"The Short, Quick Summer"
"Arthur's Mystery Envelope"
Read transcript

"D.W. Goes to Washington" is the first half of the tenth episode in the second season of Arthur.


D.W. gets lost during a family tour of the White House and is rescued by a polite employee with a great office ... who looks somehow familiar.


The episode starts with Arthur on the swing, ranting about D.W., and how she won't have fun during family outings unless she chooses where everyone goes. Arthur then has a flashback of his family having a picnic. Arthur is flying a kite and D.W. insists on not playing with him, because she wanted to go to the movies; not the park. Arthur says that D.W. always whines even if the activity is very exciting. He imagines that he and D.W. are in a submarine, and have discovered Atlantis. D.W. is bored, and gets up to leave, causing the submarine to start to crash because she stopped the steering. Arthur goes back to reality and he and D.W. are in a box, imagining the box as the submarine. D.W. gets out, knocking the box over. Arthur rolls out of the box and into a tree. D.W. whines as she goes in the house.

D.W. Goes to Washington

David and Jane are reading books. David says that he does not have to cater any parties this weekend, revealing that they have the time to travel somewhere for the weekend, and he suggests that they do so.

Arthur is about to suggest Bionic Bunny Playland, but when Jane turns that down, Arthur then suggests Washington, D.C. as he mentions that he has been learning about government in school. David makes a pun, saying "That's a capital idea!" and chuckles. The family takes a vote on where to go. D.W. thinks that they should go to Ponyland since she just saw the commercial on TV. Arthur reminds David and Jane what happened the last time they went to a place D.W. saw on TV. The flashback shows D.W. wanted to go to Santa's Igloo where you get to share a sundae with Santa, but it turned out to be a rip-off because the place doesn't look anything like the commercial, and the Santa actor wanted a sundae that visitors had to bring to him. D.W. says that maybe it won't be as much fun as Santa's Igloo, but says that she must go to Ponyland. David asks her how she would feel if they went on a trip to Washington, D.C. instead, but D.W. still insists on going to Ponyland.

Everyone tries to convince D.W. that Washington, D.C. is a good place to visit, but she doesn't care. David eventually talks her into going to Washington by promising her that she can choose the next family trip. (However, he won't go so far as to buy her a pony, which D.W. thought would be fair for the "sacrifice" she made.) The next day they hit the road and as they drive past the countryside, D.W. comments "Pony," whenever she sees a pony.

When Arthur spots the White House, he has a dream sequence where he meets the President of the United States. He enters reality again and says they should park and go for a walk. D.W. comments "Yeah, maybe if we walk enough, we'll be so tired we won't notice how BORED we are." They park the car and visit the Washington Monument. After climbing the 898 steps, D.W. whines that they were "down there" and looked "up here", now they're "up here" and they are looking "down there", and asks what the point is.

Arthur then enters another dream sequence where he meets the president. The president says he needs Arthur's help to redesign Washington, because "some people don't get the point". Arthur heads a construction project, and he eventually walks with the president and tours the improvements made: the Washington Monument now has a slide from the top floor to the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, and there is a "Burger and Shake Memorial" fountain." The Reads visit the Library of Congress, where the tour guide says that it contains many books. D.W. asks how many there are about ponies, and the tour guide says he doesn't know. D.W. responds by saying "You're fired!" They next go to the Lincoln Memorial and D.W. states "Boy, look at the size of those feet. Where did he ever buy his shoes?" and "Was he the only giant president?". Jane tells D.W. that Lincoln wasn't a giant, and that the statue is much larger than he was. D.W. whines that they finally saw something interesting, but it just turned out to be a fake. David tells D.W. that she should relax and enjoy what's here. D.W. thinks that she'll get to see the Statue of Liberty, but David says that's in New York City.

They leave the memorial and spot the White House, visiting it. Arthur says "What if we meet him [the president] and become friends?" For the third time, he has a dream sequence where he plays mini golf with the president, and drinks soda at The Sugar Bowl. He is taken out of his fantasy from his father calling for him and telling him that the last tour of the day is starting.

They enter the White House and start the tour. D.W. is bored as all she sees are closed doors. She starts wandering off, going under a cordon and looking through a party open door. Arthur is worried that she will cause the president to get mad at the family, and they will get kicked out of the White House. D.W. tells him she's "just trying to find the government."

D.W. finds another open door, and sneaks through it, closing it behind her. She sees a hallway before her. She attempts to open the door, but it is locked. Her parents notice she has disappeared, and Arthur is worried by what D.W. might do being loose in the White House. He imagines that D.W. has gotten the president to sign a law in which everyone must now own ponies, and getting the national anthem changed to "Crazy Bus".

Secret service agents attempt to find D.W. in a stealth way, hiding behind plants, using binoculars, looking out windows, etc., but they can't locate D.W.

D.W. sees a painting of a horse and is awed by it. The President shows up behind her and says "Beautiful horse, huh?" D.W. thinks that the president is a tour guide, and asks if he can help reunite her with her family. With the president's help, D.W. finds them.

The president asks D.W. and her family to stay for dinner, and they have pizza. Arthur tries to be a show-off to the president saying how he won a spelling bee and played piano in a recital. Arthur thinks that if D.W. could vote, she would vote for the president, but she says that showing her "a few pictures of horses" isn't enough, and she would need to know "where he stands on the issues". The president chuckles and praises her for this way of thinking.

While the family is going home, Arthur is excited to tell his friends about meeting the president, and D.W. says that he actually met two - she wants to be president when she grows up. She has ideas for what she would do, such as giving ponies to every family and a "National Little Sisters Rule Day."






  • Except for the introduction, all of the Reads except Kate wear different clothes than they usually do.
  • Maryann, Amanda and Sarah appear in the Ponyland commercial.
  • Arthur gets nervous about D.W. changing the United States National Anthem (The Star-Spangled Banner) to Crazy Bus.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of the second version of the ripple effect used for fantasy and flashback sequences. However, it is only used once when Arthur and D.W.'s Atlantis fantasy ends. The other sequences in this episode use the first version of the effect. The second version (which lasts through Season 8) does not become permanent until D.W.'s Deer Friend.
  • This episode was aired on Halloween in 1997.

Episode connections

  • As promised in this episode, in "D.W.'s Deer Friend" D.W. does get to choose where the next family trip goes to. Arthur thinks it will be Ponyland, but she chooses to go camping.
  • D.W. is disappointed that she will not get to see the Statue of Liberty. The Read family and Buster travel to New York City in "Postcards from Buster", though it is not revealed whether they visit the Statue of Liberty then.
  • D.W. decides to become president. She is actually seen as president in “Revenge of the Chip”, though only in a fantasy, of course.
  • Arthur reminds D.W. about going to Washington and meeting the president in "D.W.'s Perfect Wish".
  • In Arthur's imagination, the president recalls that Arthur won the school spelling bee (in "Arthur's Spelling Trubble") and played a piano solo (in "Arthur vs. the Piano").

Cultural references

  • When D.W. names the ponies she passes, she names two ponies "Dasher" and "Dancer," which are also the names of Santa Claus' reindeer.
  • The president resembles Bill Clinton, and has a voice similar to Jimmy Carter. Bill Clinton was president when this episode aired.
  • The title refers to the 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.


2015-02-16-10-01-11 deco.jpg
  • When David says "no" in D.W.'s bedroom, D.W. was mouthing David's word.
  • Arthur's arm error.
    In one scene, Arthur's right arm was the same color as his shirt.

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