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"Emily Swallows a Horse"
Season/Series: 9
Number in season: 8b
Original Airdate: United States April 6, 2005[1]
Canada May 26, 2005[2]
Germany January 8, 2008[3]
Written by: Melissa Kirsch
Storyboard by: Stéphanie Gignac
"The "A" Team"
"D.W. Beats All"
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"Emily Swallows a Horse" is the second half of the eighth episode in the ninth season of Arthur.


Emily tells a little white lie to get a sparkly ball she wants, then keeps having to embellish it to maintain her cover story.


At preschool, the preschoolers sing “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”. As they finish, Emily becomes confused at the lyrics. While preparing for naptime, Emily wonders why the old lady would swallow a horse and why she swallowed a fly in the first place. D.W. simply answers that people often do strange things for no reason, citing the Tibbles, who begin spontaneously fighting over whether or not Timmy would eat a chocolate fly. As D.W. falls asleep, Emily lies awake, thinking about this.

Emily Swallows a Horse

D.W. is playing on the swings with James when she finds a sparkly rubber ball in the preschool sandbox. As D.W. admires the ball, the Tibbles want to play with it too and the three squabble over it. The ball bounces towards Emily, who catches it. When D.W. asks for the ball back, Emily falsely claims that it is a souvenir from France called a cheval, given to her by Marie-Hélène. D.W. accepts this but also decides to ask Marie-Hélène to give her one too, much to Emily's worry.

After school, Emily tries to dissuade D.W. from talking to Marie-Hélène when Jane arrives to pick D.W. up. D.W. asks if they can wait a minute, but her mother has yoga class soon. Emily then quickly leaves with Marie-Hélène.

Later, Emily and Marie-Hélène are watching TV at home when D.W. and the Tibbles arrive. Emily quickly answers the door and D.W. wants to see Marie-Hélène. Emily prevents them from coming inside by claiming that Marie-Hélène is sick with a dangerous disease called Halitosis, and she may be catching it too. The Tibbles are afraid and quickly leave after Tommy picks some flowers for Emily as a get well present. When Marie-Hélène inquires about the visitors, Emily assures her it is just D.W. and urges her to rest to keep up the pretense. Inside, Emily gets ice cream for herself and Marie-Hélène. She is startled at seeing D.W. observing her from the door and pretends to have a coughing fit. D.W. stares after her, suspicious.

While at the supermarket, D.W. tells Arthur she knows Emily is hiding something based on what she saw. Arthur is unconvinced and points out that everyone eats ice cream when sick. He states that Emily might be telling the truth, much to D.W.'s annoyance. D.W. then sees Marie-Hélène purchasing strawberries at the checkout line, much to her excitement.

The next day when Emily arrives at preschool, D.W. and the Tibbles pretend to ask about her health. However, Tommy forgets the plan and blurts out that she is lying early. When Emily is confused, D.W. reveals she saw Marie-Hélène at the supermarket, so she can not be sick. Emily lies that the woman was Marie-Hélène's twin sister, Hélène-Marie; she is now taking care of Emily since Marie-Hélène is in the hospital because her Halitosis has worsened. Emily pretends to be worried about Marie-Hélène's condition, moving the Tibbles to tears. D.W. declares that she gives up and goes to sit with James.

That evening, Jane calls on the phone to speak to Emily's mother. After Emily calls her down, Jane mentions that D.W. told her about Marie-Hélène. Worried, Emily claims that her mother is not home. When her mother heads downstairs, preparing for an outing, Emily tells her mother that the call was a telemarketer and despondently goes to bed.

Emily has a nightmare in which she and a talking horse are being chased by a giant D.W., who calls her a liar. They reach a cliff, where an old woman gives them shelter at her cottage. The woman serves the two lemonade, claiming to have magical powers that will keep them safe. She offers Emily a snack, which turns out to be a fly. When Emily is alarmed, the woman suggests chasing down the fly with a spider, bird, cat, dog, and goat. Emily realizes the old woman is the same one from the song and is skeptical she could have eaten all these animals. The woman admits to having lied and then being unable to stop. The giant D.W. then breaks open the roof and captures Emily, as the woman has no magical powers either. Emily tries to apologize to D.W. as the woman wonders if she could eat the talking horse.

Emily wakes up from her nightmare. Having had enough, she goes to her parents' room and tells her mother what happened.

The next day in preschool, Emily tells D.W. and the Tibbles the truth, apologizing for lying a lot just so she could keep the ball. Emily offers it back to D.W., but none of them want the ball anymore and leave it on the ground. D.W. and the Tibbles forgive Emily and they play tag. James then picks up the ball and decides to keep it.






  • Moral: A lie will grow bigger over time and cause trouble for both yourself and others.
  • Ms. Morgan plays an autoharp.
  • Emily says that cheval in French means "ball," but the word cheval actually means "horse", a subtle reference to the episode's title and song in the beginning.
  • Marie-Hélène drives a Citroën 2CV, France's (in)famous answer to the VW bug.
  • Emily claims Marie-Hélène is sick with Halitosis, which is the medical term for "bad breath".
  • This makes it the second time Emily has lied to D.W. The first time she lied was when she claimed she was on a trip when in reality she was playing Virtual Goose with Marie-Hélène in Sue Ellen Gets Her Goose Cooked.

Episode connections[]

Cultural references[]


  • On international airings, the moment the title card fades out completely, the rest of the second half of the episode fades in. Because of this, the music is cut off at the beginning.


Main article: Emily Swallows a Horse/Gallery