Arthur Wiki
This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the book.
Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 9A
Original Airdate: United States October 30, 1997[1]
Canada December 4, 1997[2]
Germany February 5, 2002[3]
Written by: Kathy Waugh
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
"The Big Blow-Up"
"The Short, Quick Summer"
Read transcript

"Lost!" is the first half of the ninth episode in the second season of Arthur. It was later adapted into the book Arthur Lost and Found.


Arthur falls asleep on a bus and wakes up in a strange — and scary — part of town.


One day, Jane receives a call, from someone telling her that Arthur is lost, prompting her to say "Lost?". D.W. and Pal both say "Lost?" one after another, with Pal's in barks since he can't speak. D.W. and Jane tell David, and while Jane says that Arthur never made it to his swimming lesson, D.W. gets emotional. Once D.W. calms down, they all wonder where he is. David says he'll drive to the school, and Jane says she'll call the bus company. D.W. tries to help (by saying that she'll go tell everyone), but Jane forces her to stay at home for now; she doesn't want two lost children. D.W. knows Arthur is "out there somewhere". She begins to cry before screaming, "Oh, Arthur, where are you?!"


Arthur arrives home to his worried parents, who are relieved that he arrived home. D.W. then thinks that everyone worried for nothing since Arthur was simply at the bus station. The family then sits down in the living room, asking him to tell everyone what happened, but D.W. thinks her side of the story is much better, saying that she answered the phone and got extremely worried. When Jane says that her part will come later, Arthur begins explaining to his family what happened to him:

In a flashback at school, the classes are dismissed, and Buster and Francine ask Arthur if he wants to go bike riding, but he turns down the offer because he has to take the bus to the public pool for swimming lessons. His mom couldn't drive him because she attended D.W's school play, where D.W. played the mashed potatoes in the pageant of foods. Francine and Buster stare at Arthur in horror, but Arthur says taking the bus will be fine. They then tell him stuff about the bus that terrifies Arthur. Buster claims he heard a story of a man who got on a bus, that just kept continuously going. In one of Arthur's daydreams, he thinks he's on the same bus and asks the bus driver when the next stop is, saying that he is supposed to be at his swimming lesson. The driver tells him they don't make any stops, and Arthur says that's impossible. Everyone on the bus turns into aliens, while the bus transforms into a spaceship and flies off. Francine says she heard that story, and that it was actually in a movie. She agrees with Arthur, saying he will be fine, but warns him about a kid who couldn't leave the bus because he didn't have the money to pay his fare. In another daydream, Arthur imagines being stuck on the bus when he is at least 48 years old and his clothes are wrecked. The bus arrives, and Buster and Francine give their last goodbyes before it leaves. As Arthur takes a seat, a woman in one row of seats down winks at him, and Arthur began to read a book about squids. He begins to get exhausted and falls asleep, sleeping through the bus pulling in at the bus stop across the street from the public pool- the one that Arthur was to get off at.

In the present, Arthur states that he couldn't help falling asleep; he was up all night doing some reading (which was a comic, and he continued to read it way past his bedtime). Arthur claims that after he fell asleep on the bus, things got quite scary.

Back in the flashback, he wakes up in a part of town he doesn't recognize. He asks the woman who winked at him where he is, and she answers that they're near the edge of town, before asking if he's all right. He says he's fine before it hits him: He missed his stop near the pool and is lost.

D.W. back in the present gets awed by this and asks him if he was scared, which he claims he wasn't. David asks why he didn't say anything to the bus driver, and Arthur says he thought about it, but when the bus reached its terminus, he simply got off. On the sidewalk, Arthur questioned why he had to take swimming lessons anyway, and told himself he would walk home, but he realized he didn't know where to go. He didn't even have enough money to take the bus back! He began to cry.

In the present, D.W. asks if he cried, and he denies this, before admitting that he cried "a little". D.W. then says he should've seen how much she cried, but Jane stops her before she gets ahead of herself.

In the flashback, Arthur sees a payphone inside a diner, and he knows that even if his mom and dad aren't home, Grandma Thora would pick him up. He has a daydream where she would go through anything to pick him up — like jumping over an open piece of road, astonishing the construction workers. When he tries to use the payphone, it doesn't work. The woman from the bus works for the diner and notices him. She thinks Arthur looks hungry and offers him a drink. He orders milk while he waits.

Back in the present, D.W.'s story comes. The phone rings when D.W. and Jane are busy. D.W. answers the phone and asks Jane if they lost Arthur somewhere. Jane says that Arthur is at his swimming lesson, and they'll need to pick him up soon. When she asks D.W. who is on the phone, D.W. explains that it is a man from the pool, and he says that Arthur isn't there, much to Jane's shock, horror and dismay. As D.W. is talking about this moment, Jane begins to cry, and D.W. reminds her that Arthur is home, safe and sound. Jane claims that that was the worst telephone call in her life and that she doesn't want another call like that to happen again. She tells Arthur that they called the bus company, and D.W. adds that they would've called the police, but they received another call, and David stops her there. They then return to Arthur's story.

At the diner, the woman makes him a burger and fries. She tells him that she noticed he goes to Lakewood Elementary School and she lives near there. She says that she usually takes the bus to get home from work. When Arthur asks her what she does if she has no money, she asks him if he needs her to lend him some cash. Arthur says his dad told him he should never take money from strangers, and the waitress compliments him on this great advice. She suggests that if she didn't have money, she would talk to the bus driver, Sam, and he wouldn't get mad or charge her extra. When it turns 6:00 P.M., she says the bus heads back to town soon and says that Arthur's meal is free. Arthur heads to the bus stop, right when the bus zooms by. He runs after the bus and the bus driver stops and opens the door. Arthur explains his predicament, talking about how he fell asleep and missed his stop, and now has no money and doesn't even know where he is. The driver tells him he has heard enough; when Arthur begins to leave, the driver then tells him that what happened to him "happens all the time". The two introduce each other, and Arthur realizes that he's Sam, who the waitress had told him about. Sam gives him a ride home, and when he stops, everyone on the bus, including Sam, says goodbye to Arthur as he heads to his house.

Back in the present, Arthur's in bed. David and Jane are happy that their son is okay and tell Arthur that they're proud of him for what he did: asking someone for help when he didn't know where he was. Arthur and his parents say goodnight to each other and Arthur goes to sleep. However, D.W. soon comes into her brother's bedroom, waking him up. D.W. admits that she was honestly really scared and concerned for Arthur when he was lost. Arthur seems touched by this and allows D.W. to sleep with him for the night, promising her that he'll never get lost like that again.






  • Morals:
    • Don't be afraid to ask anyone for help, especially when you are in a difficult or dangerous situation.
  • At the end of the 2000 rerun intro on PBS Kids before this episode, Arthur’s crashing sound changes to pots and pans.
  • This is one of the many times where Arthur doesn't introduce the episode, not even appearing during the introduction.
  • This is one of the few times Arthur is shown to cry. This time, actual tears fall from his eyes, unlike in the other episodes where Arthur cries in.
  • Lost! became adapted into a book in the Arthur Adventure series and re-titled as Arthur Lost and Found.
  • Grandma Thora's license plate is LOVEY.
  • It's interesting that Arthur's parents say not to accept money from strangers, but Arthur is fine with eating food from a stranger. (This might be because it's a restaurant.)
  • The bus Arthur travels on is based on the Flxible New Look transit buses. Coincidentally, Marc Brown's hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania had several of these types of buses built between 1967 and 1973, some of which might still have been operating around the time this episode was created. Flxible went defunct in 1996, one year before the episode aired.
  • The aerial shot of Elwood City was shown twice in this episode.
  • This is one of the few times where D.W. worries about Arthur.
  • When Buster and Francine tell Arthur stuff about the bus that frightens him, Francine tells him about a kid who was forbidden from getting off the bus because he didn't have any money to pay his fare. A similar story is told by a train conductor to Sue Ellen in "Strangers on a Train", when he tells her about a little girl who was forbidden from getting off the train because she lost her ticket and didn't have any money, just like the kid Francine told Arthur about.


  • In the intro, Jane answers the phone. When D.W. tells her story, D.W. answers the phone.
  • The Photographer can be seen sitting next to Arthur on the bus, but when the Manny's Diner worker is shown, he is also seen sitting next to her.
  • During the time Arthur is on the bus, the bus goes past the same buildings multiple times. This is likely because backgrounds were reused.
  • The truck that can be seen at the beginning of the episode is pink, but at the end of the episode when Sam drops Arthur off at his house, it is purple.
  • When the camera pans over to Arthur's street, the bus is on the other side of the street in front of a house across from the Read's house but when the camera cuts to Arthur getting off, the bus is right in front of the Read's.
  • In one scene with D.W. wearing her mashed potatoes costume, part of her hair changes in-between frames.
  • When the bus stops for Arthur as he runs up to it, it's rear wheel is in a spinning animation making it seem as if the bus was still moving.
  • At the beginning of Arthur's story, Binky is the first to exit the school but when the camera changes shots, he's nowhere to be seen.

Differences between the book and the TV episode

  • In the book, Arthur went on the bus ride and spent the evening with Buster, and they got lost together. In the T.V. episode, Arthur gets lost all by himself.
  • In the book Arthur and Buster had more money when they came to the diner, but they spent it without thinking on chocolate winkies and strawberry soda. In the T.V. episode, Arthur went into the diner with only one coin and was given a free meal.
  • In the book, Arthur thinks up the idea of talking to the bus driver himself. In the T.V. episode, the waitress suggests it to him.
  • In the book, Sam is shown wearing glasses, but in the T.V. episode, he does not.

Production Notes

  • This is the first episode to use Pal Howling as a title card and is the first title card in the series that does not feature Arthur. It is also one of two post-first season title cards to have the circle edge vibrate, à la the first season title cards (the other is the Fairy D.W. title card.)

Home Video