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"Double Dare"
Season/Series: 5
Number in season: 1b
Original Airdate: United States September 25, 2000[1][2]
Canada January 8, 2001[3]
Written by: Kathy Waugh
Storyboard by: Guylaine Seguin
Lyndon Ruddy
Greg Huculak
"Arthur and the Big Riddle"
"Kids are from Earth, Parents are from Pluto"
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"Double Dare" is the second half of the first episode in the fifth season of Arthur. It was later adapted into the book Arthur and the Double Dare.


Arthur bends to a "Double Dare.".


The intro begins with Arthur and Buster in the bathroom. Arthur asks the viewers if they knew how something big can start from something small and proceeds to show instances of this. D.W. is playing "Crazy Bus" and Arthur tells her to stop before he goes crazy and eats the cushions. We then shift to D.W. having a tantrum over sunshine and yelling for rain. Back at the bathroom, Arthur explains that this mess started over less than nothing.

Arthur, Buster, Francine, and Brain resent the large amount of homework they are assigned by Mr. Ratburn, which they believe will prevent them from watching a new Dark Bunny TV special. When Arthur states that he will one day not complete his homework and skip school, Francine dares him to prove his point. An anxious Arthur immediately dares her back, with Francine consequently daring Buster, and Buster daring Brain.

Realizing that they need a plan, the four friends devise a simple route they will walk the next morning instead of their usual route to school. After his friends leave, D.W. becomes suspicious of Arthur's behavior, with Arthur repeatedly denying his guilt, culminating in a humorous accidental outburst at their mother in the living room when she questions if he has homework to complete ("I told you already, I am not guilty, so leave me alone already!").

That night, Arthur has a nightmare. In his dream, he and Buster had taken a wrong turn while attempting to avoid school, and they are now trapped inside of a giant clam, which begins to digest them (much like what happens to Dark Bunny in the TV special).

The next morning, Arthur talks on the phone to Buster. It turns out he had the same dream as Arthur, and they both decide not to follow through with the dare after all. Arthur and Buster's conversation is cut short when D.W. interrupts Arthur. He gives Buster the task of letting Brain and Francine know about the cancellation of their plan. Brain receives Buster's message (though he is confused by Buster's referring to the giant clam in his and Arthur's dreams), but Francine fails to receive the message on the Frenskys' answering machine due to wearing headphones. As a result, she carries on with the dare.

Arthur and Buster are worried when Francine does not show up to class. Meanwhile, Francine curses the boys for not arriving, and runs up to the school's entrance. Unfortunately, the doors are already locked, and Francine realizes that she is stuck.

Francine attracts Arthur and Buster's attention through the classroom window, and further realizes that she did not receive Buster's message. However, she is forced to hide when Mr. Ratburn (who is discussing last night's TV with Mr. Marco) looks in the friends' direction.

After a failed attempt to get Francine into the school unnoticed through the boys' bathroom, Binky agrees to distract Mr. Ratburn by pretending that something is wrong with his shoe. However, Arthur, Buster and Francine discover that Binky's plan was miscalculated due to the three friends being in the wrong location at the wrong time (Arthur and Buster at the school entrance, and Francine at a side entrance). When Binky's distraction fails, Francine is caught coming into the school late by Mr. Ratburn.

Right then and there, Mr. Ratburn wants answers. Arthur, Buster, and Francine all start talking at once. Then Francis Haney appears, opens the other door of the double front doors, and asks them what all the commotion is about. He sees Francine and asks her why she is not in school. Mr. Haney turns to both Arthur and Buster and says that all three of them better come to his office this instant. Then everyone is now sent to the principal's office to figure out what happened.

Arthur, Buster, Binky, and Francine are sitting outside of the principal's office, while Mr. Haney tells Francine's dad what happened. The gang starts to say things about cutting school and about it not being Francine's fault. Buster then tells a story about this kid who got expelled for skipping school and later got a job selling donuts. Oliver, Mr. Ratburn, and Mr. Haney come out of the office. Oliver says that he is so disappointed in Francine. Then he asks her where on Earth she ever got the idea to skip school. Francine says it was her idea. Then Mr. Haney tells her that she would have to stay after school for next week.

Everyone confesses about the dare to Mr. Ratburn, Mr. Haney, and Oliver Frensky, but only Francine receives punishment due to being the only one who actually was not in attendance at school. Mr. Ratburn is also satisfied that Arthur and Buster admitted to him why they didn't do their homework, and resolves the boys' wish for a punishment by giving them an extra assignment. Binky also good-heartedly requests to be punished, but withdraws when Arthur reminds him that he had nothing to do with the dare.

The episode finishes with Mr. Ratburn and Mr. Marco discussing why the students would choose to skip school and not do their homework so as to watch TV instead. Ironically, they begin to watch a recorded tape of Dark Bunny.






  • The jacket Francine is wearing is similar to George's in "George Blows His Top."
  • This is one of the only Arthur episodes to show urinals.

Episode connections

  • The subject of taking dares too seriously was also the focus of "Buster and the Daredevils." In that episode, Buster and Arthur both learn why they should not accept dares for any reason, and yet in this episode they (also Francine and Brain) initially accept the dare and still believe that they're obliged to go through with it until they are met with the consequences of it.
  • Crazy Bus is heard in a flashback.
  • As in “That’s a Baby Show”, D.W. does not want to be in the room when Dark Bunny is on.
  • Mr. Marco's Dark Bunny tape is of the episode seen in "The Last of Mary Moo Cow."

Cultural references

  • Mr. Ratburn mentions watching a film about English novelist and playwright John Galsworthy.
  • Mr. Ratburn mentions that something is indebted to German Expressionism. He is apparently talking about Dark Bunny, which is true regarding the backdrops.
  • On the Dark Bunny video, a character resembling the Riddler is briefly seen.


  • When Buster says "Uh-oh" in the bathroom for the second time, the back of his left shoe flashes red for a frame.
  • When Binky pretends his shoe is too tight, he mostly holds up his left shoe but when Mr. Ratburn walks over to Binky concerned, he's holding up his right but then it changes back to the left when Binky explains his pretend problem to Mr. Ratburn.

Production Notes

  • This is the first episode to use the Hot-Air Balloon as a title card.

Home Media

Arthur's Double Dare (DVD)

Arthur's Double Dare (VHS)


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