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"Dear Adil"
Season/Series: 8
Number in season: 1a
Original Airdate: United States September 15, 2003[1]
Canada January 21, 2004[3]
United Kingdom November 25, 2006[2]
Germany December 17, 2007 [4]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Ivan Tankushev
"April 9th"
"Bitzi's Break-up"
Read transcript

"Dear Adil" is the first half of the first episode in the eighth season of Arthur.


Arthur gets a new Turkish pen pal, Adil. Imagining Adil riding a camel to school and eating exotic foods, Arthur worries that his letters about life in Elwood City will be really boring by comparison.


In Murat Pasha Street of Istanbul, Mr. Akyuz looks at his watch; he calls for Adil and says, "It's time for school" in Turkish. Adil replies to him, saying "We woke up, dad. We'll be downstairs in a minute" in Turkish as well. He observes the audience and talks in English. In his room, there is a cat kid named Onder rolling up a sleeping bag; we find out that Onder is Adil's best friend. They talk about school and their teacher, Mr. Yuksel, and mention that they think he will throw Onder into the Sea of Marmara for not doing his math homework. Adil's sister, Ayse, walks into the room and shouts at Adil to come downstairs, as their father wants him. She walks out, and closes the door.

Adil logs on to his computer, explaining that when he is annoyed by Ayse, there is only one thing he wants to do: talk to other kids online. Onder asks Adil if Arthur can ask the Brain to give answers to his math homework; however, he mistakenly refers to the Brain as "the Head". Adil points this out, and corrects Onder. His computer makes beeping sounds, and the intertitle shows.

Dear Adil

Arthur, D.W., and David are in the garage, looking for David's olive de-pitter, which Arthur bought for him for Christmas. It must help him a lot, because the recipe he is going to cook would take hours without one.

While looking for it, Arthur finds a stack of letters. He blows the dust off them, and shows them to David. When D.W. asks “Who are they from? Arthur’s real parents?” their dad replies that they are from Tatsuya Matsumoto, an old Japanese pen-pal whom he was buddies with in the seventh grade. Then, David gets struck by the pit of an olive; D.W. found the olive de-pitter.

Arthur is enjoying reading the letters — even laughing at them. By the time he wakes up, the letters are all over his bed.

At school, Mr. Ratburn is clapping erasers. Arthur asks if he understands how to get a pen pal. Mr. Ratburn recently found a "webspot" for teachers about pen-pals. Unsurprisingly, Mr. Ratburn doesn't understand how to turn on the computer, so Arthur turns it on for him. Mr. Ratburn prints out a list of names and addresses.

Here is the list of mentioned names, their ages and their respective addresses:

It turns out that Arthur is reading the list at Buster's Condo. Arthur sees the name "Adil Akyuz" and asks Buster if he knows anything about Turkey. Buster replies that he does. According to him...

"There's honey-glazed turkey, smoked turkey, and my (Buster)'s favorite, roast turkey."

He takes a bone from his food cabinet, which was apparently from his first Thanksgiving. Arthur corrects Buster, saying that he is talking about the country, not the animal. Buster replies that he understands some things about Turkey, too. It is where Illinois Jack and the Caravan of Horrors takes place. The comic contains various cultural stereotypes. Buster encourages Arthur to write to Adil; maybe he will be exciting like the comic book.

Arthur writes his first letter to Adil. Adil and Onder are reading it in Adil's bedroom, and they do not know what "pepperoni pizza" or a "mall" is.

At the Read residence, Arthur is excited to discuss Adil to his family. According to Arthur, Adil works at his father's grocery store, which sells spices and lamb's eyes. David is surprised that the Akyuz family eats lamb's eyes. Arthur thinks it is true, because he saw it in Illinois Jack. D.W. says that Arthur is going to ask Adil to get his sister to send her a Mary Moo Cow CD in Turkish. Arthur is sure that Turkey doesn't have Mary Moo Cow merchandise. He thinks that his letter was boring compared to the one Adil wrote.

While writing another letter to Adil, Arthur imagines that Adil, his father and Onder falling asleep because his letter is so boring. Arthur says the letter is even putting him to sleep, so he goes to bed. He hopes that something exciting for him will happen tomorrow.

The next day, it is raining outside The Sugar Bowl. Arthur and Buster are sitting at their usual booth playing a game. Buster has eaten twenty-seven cherries, which is his record. Buster suggests answering Adil's questions, but Arthur has already done that. His definitions of "mall" and "pepperoni" are boring, according to Arthur. Buster then suggests that maybe Arthur should ask more questions about Turkey. He pulls out an Illinois Jack comic book, and gives it to Arthur for "inspiration".

In the next letter Arthur writes to Adil, Arthur wonders how he gets to school. He wonders if Adil rides a camel there, like a character in Illinois Jack. Adil receives the letter, asking him if his camel has its own room or if it sleeps in his. Adil finds this question weird. Arthur then asks Adil his favorite food; maybe it is lamb's eyes. Adil finds this question disgusting, and doesn't understand what he will write back.

At Arthur's house, the mail comes. None of it is from Adil. The next day, no mail for Arthur. And the next day there is still no mail addressed to him. Alberto sees Arthur's Illinois Jack comic book. He thinks Illinois Jack is funny, and Arthur asks “Funny?” Alberto then explains that they always get everything wrong: “Like when Illy went to Ecuador, he found a golden Mayan temple. The Mayan were from Mexico.” When Arthur admits he thought the comic was accurate, Alberto disagrees, and mentions that they are like those American TV shows he used to watch as a kid back in Ecuador; they made it seem like Americans went surfing after school, went home to their skyscraper and put ketchup on all of their food. “Yep, you’d sure have a weird impression of a place if all you knew of it came from TV and comics.”

Arthur finally realizes Adil hasn't written back because he probably offended Adil with his questions, and tells his father as such before adding, “Maybe I should just get an American pen pal.” David suggests Arthur write back to Adil and explain what happened. Arthur admits he's kind of embarrassed; David replies, “Give it one more shot. It’s not always easy making friends in other cultures. But trust me, it’s worth it.”

Arthur then looks at the piece of paper Mr. Ratburn gave him, and he finds out Adil has an e-mail address.

Arthur plans to e-mail Adil.

  • Arthur: Dear Adil. Just wondering if you got my letters. P.S. I didn't know you had e-mail. How do you plug your computer in?
  • Adil: Dear Arthur, I plug my computer into the wall of OUR APARTMENT. I don't live in a tent.
  • Arthur: Oh, sorry. I read this comic and it gave me some weird ideas about how you lived. Is that why you didn't write back?
  • Adil: Yes, I was going to correct you but I thought it would take forever. And then you didn't answer my questions.
  • Arthur: That's because my answers sounded boring. I mean, a mall is just one really big store with lots of little stores in it.
  • Adil: We have lots of those in Istanbul. The biggest and oldest is the Kapalıçarşı. That's the covered bazaar in English.
  • Adil: Arthur, are you still there?
  • Arthur: Sorry Adil. My pesky little sister just interrupted me.
  • Adil: Ayse is always doing that and it's always when I really don't want to be disturbed. How does she know?
  • Arthur: Adil, I think we have a lot more in common than we ever imagined.

Back at Adil's apartment, Adil is online, but he can't talk to Arthur now because it is late at night in Elwood City. Arthur is irritated at Adil because Ayse found the Turkish Mary Moo Cow CD. D.W. sings it at the Reads' house, despite it being after hours. 

Arthur tells D.W. to go to sleep.



  • One of the kids on the pen-pal list has the last name Tankushev, the same last name as the storyboard artist of this episode. Also, that same kid is from Sofia, Bulgaria (which is misspelled as "Sophia") on the list.
  • When D.W. is singing along to the Mary Moo Cow CD, she sings: "Seni seviyorum, evet çok çok seviyorum. O kadar tatlı, o kadar güzelsin ki. Seni (...) seviyor, evet seviyor, evet seviyor." ("I love you, yes I love you very much. You are so sweet, so beautiful. She loves you (...) yes she does, yes she does.")
  • This episode and the next episode premiered on the same day as the Season 8 premiere of another PBS Kids show, Barney & Friends.

Cultural references[]

  • Mr. Read mentions the Japanese Obon festival.
  • Adil's street, Murat Pasha, is named for either Kuyucu Murad Pasha or Kara Murat Pasha. Both were Ottoman grand vizirs. Cad is short for caddesi, meaning “road”.
  • Illinois Jack is a reference to Indiana Jones. The newt pit scene looks like the “Why did it have to be snakes”-scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
    • The lambs' eyes scene is possibly a reference to the infamous "chilled monkey brains" scene from The Temple of Doom.
  • Adil mentions the Covered Bazaar in Istanbul. It is also featured in the Illinois Jack comic, where it is incorrectly shown as an open-air market.
  • The mailman is whistling "Ode to Joy," the final movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's ninth symphony.

Episode connections[]


  • The word "Matematik" is misspelled as "Matamatik," in Onder's math book.
  • The map of Turkey contains a few mistakes. There for instance doesn't appear to be a Ukrainian-Russian border, and the Danube is misspelled as "Dunabe."
  • The printed pen-pal list has typos in Korean romanization: Kim Heong Han misspelled as "Kim Houng Han." Munjeong-dong misspelled as "Munjung-dong." "Dong" accidentally combined with "song," which made it seem to be "Dongsong." Also, "ku" is a wrong way to use, rather than "gu" in the romanizations of the district suffixes.
  • The lamb that Ayse holds is white for most of the cold open, but changes to brown in another shot.

Production notes[]

  • In 2022, Turkey officially changed the spelling of its English name from "Turkey" to "Türkiye" (which is its name in Turkish). Since this episode is from 2003, however, the older English spelling is used.


Main article: Dear Adil/Gallery

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