"Get Smart"

Getsmart - elwood city map.jpg

Get Smart Title Card.png

Season/Series: 16
Number in season: 4a
Original Airdate: United States October 18, 2012[1]
United Kingdom April 9, 2013[2]
Written by: Claudia Silver
Storyboard by: Cilbur Rocha
"Baby Steps"
Read transcript

"Get Smart" is the first half of the fourth episode in the sixteenth season of Arthur.


A battle begins when Hugo, the new interactive whiteboard, corrects Mr. Ratburn in front of the class.


Arthur announces the beginning of a match between Mr. Ratburn and the unknown challenger from Cupertino, California. Francine and Buster are shocked to see the challenger, and Mr. Ratburn nervously gulps at the sight of the challenger. Arthur tells the two to have a good, clean match and to shake hands before beginning.

Get Smart

After the title card, Mr. Haney announces that Mr. Ratburn's class was chosen to test out a new smartboard for two weeks. After Brain helps Mr. Ratburn turn on Hugo, the smartboard, the students ask Hugo several questions. Then, Mr. Ratburn tells the students that he has to read the instruction manual first. Then, Brain offers to help Mr. Ratburn after class, and Mr. Ratburn accepts Brain's offer.

After school that day, Brain spends some time helping Mr. Ratburn, and they manage to go through the enitre manual. Then Brain sees something in the manual that proclaims Hugo is 100% accurate and he questions how nothing can be 100% accurate.

The next day at school, Mr. Ratburn is teaching the class about the early history of Elwood City, including how Elwood City was catapulted into the industrial age by the opening of the first steam-powered sawmill. Hugo says that Mr. Ratburn is incorrect when he mentions that Jacob Katzenellenbogan opened the first steam-powered sawmill in Elwood City, because Hugo believes that Francis Wheaton was the one who built it. The class is shocked that Mr. Ratburn was wrong, but Brain isn't convinced.

Brain has a dream that night how Pseudo Meta Corporation intentionally programmed Hugo to only be 98% accurate instead of 100%, claiming that most people won't care about a little 2%, which makes Hugo sad. Brain then wakes up from his dream.

Over the next few days, Brain does some research at the library about the early history of Elwood City, while Mr. Ratburn keeps trying to prove Hugo wrong at school to no success. While doing research at the library, Brain learns in a Spring 1902 article of the Elwood City Gazette that Jacob Katzenellenbogan was the one who built the first steam-powered sawmill in Elwood City after all.

One morning at school, after Mr. Ratburn fails to prove Hugo wrong with a question about puppetry, Brain comes in with Alfred Katzenellenbogan, the great-nephew of Jacob Katzenellenbogan, proving Hugo wrong with a document that proves that Alfred's great-uncle built the first steam-powered sawmill in Elwood City.

Hugo malfunctions after being told by Mr. Ratburn to admit that he isn't 100% accurate, and blows out, after which the entire class cheers. Mr. Ratburn then asks Alfred Katzenellenbogan if he would mind telling the class about Elwood City in its earlier days, and Alfred is more than greatful to do so. He starts telling the class about the time he visited his great-uncle's sawmill, finishing the episode.







  • When Hugo starts up, for a split second, you can see a photo of Arthur director Greg Bailey.

Episode connections

  • The Bolivia postcard from Sue Ellen's old journal from "April 9th" can be briefly seen as one of the photos right after Brain turns on Hugo.
  • This episode's plot is similar to "Mr. Alwaysright," where Buster continuously tries to prove Brain wrong. However, this time, it is Brain who is trying to prove Hugo wrong.
  • Vladimir and Estragon appear again since their debut in "Cents-less."

Cultural references

  • This episode is set in 2012, as "cymotrichous" was the winning word of the 2011 national spelling bee, and Mr. Ratburn says it was the winning word of last year's national spelling bee.
  • When Mr. Ratburn asks Hugo a question about poetry, music similar to the music theme from Who Wants to be a Millionare plays in the background.
  • Hugo is a reference to the supercomputer HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. In fact, both computers sing the 'Daisy Bell' song when they break down.
    • In Brain's dream segment, one of the scientists in the lab testing on Hugo is referred to as Dave, which is the name of a main character in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  • The title is a reference to the television show Get Smart. The word "smart" also refers to high-tech gagdets.
  • In the cold open of the episode, "the challenger" is said to originate from Cupertino, California, the real location of Apple Computers's headquarters.


  • When Brain is printing out a copy of the Elwood City Gazette at the library, his white shirt collar temporarily turns yellow.

Production notes

  • In Korean, this episode is titled "인공지능 칠판", which translates to "Artificial intelligence board."


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