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"Flaw and Order"
Season/Series: 10
Number in season: 5b
Original Airdate: United States May 19, 2006[1]
Canada September 18, 2006[3]
United Kingdom November 8, 2006[2]
Germany April 30, 2008[4]
Written by: Gentry Menzel
Storyboard by: Stéfanie Gignac
"D.W. Aims High"
"The Curse of the Grebes"
Read transcript

"Flaw and Order" is the second half of the fifth episode in the tenth season of Arthur.


When he is accused of cracking his dad's cake platter, Arthur sets out to clear his name—and to figure out what keeps making that mysterious yet familiar "dun-dun!" sound.


Mr. Read comes into the living room to find that his cake plate has been chipped. He is very upset about this, and wonders how it happened. Using Buster's video camera, D.W. shows Mr. Read a tape that she has just filmed of Arthur and Buster getting ready to go outside, and Arthur holding a baseball and saying, "Hey, Buster, let's play ball. Here, catch." He throws it, and in the background, the cake plate is heard getting broken, but is unseen.

Arthur and Buster swear that they did not chip the plate, but Mr. Read does not believe them, based on the video "evidence", and says that when he gets home from work, he is going to have a serious talk with them. In an effort to prove it was not them who chipped the plate, Buster and Arthur act as detectives, with Brain acting as their scientist, and Fern acting as their adviser.

At first, they are unsuccessful in finding clues, but Brain discovers, from a picture of the chipped plate and a book on types of chipped plates, that it was not a baseball that chipped it. Also, from analyzing the tape, just before the plate chipped, there was a strange bumping noise. Arthur and Buster go back to Arthur's house, and find a broken watch that happens to belong to Ms. Perske, the lady who sold Mr. Read the cake plate. She blames them for breaking her watch and asks them to leave. Just as all hope is about to be lost, Arthur and Buster arrive at Arthur's house once again, and Buster is hit by a rock. Arthur looks at the manhole cover on the road, and as a car goes on top of it, a rock is flung into the air, and hits Arthur's house. Arthur and Buster have solved the mystery.

When Mr. Read comes home from work, Arthur, Buster, Fern and Brain use their evidence to reveal that after Ms. Perske had dropped off the cake plate, her watch fell off without her noticing, and landed on the manhole cover. As a car drove by, the watch was flung into the air, and it hit the cake plate, breaking the watch and chipping the cake plate. Mr. Read apologizes to Arthur and Buster for not believing them. Arthur also apologizes to Mr. Read for not telling him that he and Buster were inside in the first place. Mrs. Read announces that she will call someone to fix the manhole cover, and Ms. Perske gives Mr. Read a new cake plate for free out of regret for what her watch had done. She sits it by the open window, but forgot to close it! Mrs. Read tries to call the city, but it was too late. Another rock is shot from the same manhole cover into the air and through the same window. Everyone watches, saying "Oh no!” as the rock damages the new cake plate.





  • This episode ends with a cut to black after the shot freezes on the rock inches away from hitting the new plate.
  • This is one of the few episodes where Jane or David say they are disappointed in Arthur. The other episodes are "Arthur the Wrecker," "Arthur's Treasure Hunt" and "Nerves of Steal."
  • This episode's plot is very similar to "Arthur Accused!" In both episodes, Arthur is blamed for something he did not do, because it looks exactly like he did it, and Buster tries to clear his name. One main difference is that in "Arthur Accused!" it was only Buster clearing the name, while in this episode, Arthur, Brain and Fern join him.

Cultural references[]

  • The episode title is a parody of Law & Order and the manhole cover’s clunk is a parody of the referred show’s famous "dun dun" sound. The time cards (spoken by Buster) are also similar to the ones in the Law and Order franchise.
  • The title refers to the 1953 film starring Russell Johnson and Ronald Regan Law and Order.
  • Fern quotes Sherlock Holmes several times:
    • “The world is full of obvious things which nobody by chance ever observes.” The Hound of the Baskervilles, Chapter 3. It means that evidence is often plain to see; people just do not notice it.
    • “There is nothing more stimulating than a case where everything goes against you.” Baskervilles, Chapter 5.
    • "When every possibility is explored, whatever remains, no matter how unlikely, must be the truth." Several variations of this sentence are found in various Holmes stories.


  • The closeup of the inscription on the watch appears for a split second before the shot changes.
  • During lunch Buster claims that Mrs. Read put the plate on the piano. In fact she put it on a table next to the piano.
  • Buster claims he does not know about sleuthing, but he has been a detective before. Episodes include "Binky Rules" and "Arthur Accused!"

Production notes[]

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