"Mom and Dad Have a Great Big Fight"

Mom and dad have a great big fight

Mom and Dad Have a Great Big Fight Title Card

Season/Series: 3
Number in season: 14A
Original Airdate: Flag of the United States December 31, 1998
Flag of Canada May 24, 1999
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Robert Yap
"Francine and the Feline"
"D.W.'s Perfect Wish"
"Mom and Dad Have a Great Big Fight" is the first half of the fourteenth episode in the third season of Arthur.


When their parents fight over spilled milk, Arthur and D.W. worry that it was their fault—and wonder whether either Mom or Dad will have to move out.[1]


Arthur's parents are expecting company but are behind schedule. At the same time, D.W. and Arthur yell at each other and eventually come into the kitchen and argue in front of their parents. D.W. wants Arthur to play with her, but Arthur says he never promised that because he has to finish his homework. David and Jane stare at Arthur and D.W. until Arthur agrees to play with D.W., and D.W. agrees to leave Arthur to his homework. Before Jane realizes it, a container of milk falls to the ground. A bowl of chocolate batter is also knocked to the ground.

Nadine appears, freezes the episode and narrates to the audience what happened before the spill.

Mom and Dad Have a Great Big Fight

Nadine shortly resumes and unfreezes the video shortly after the milk spills. She then rewinds it, until it goes back to the part where Arthur and D.W. looked at each other then stops it again so that the viewers can see D.W.'s angle from this after they leave the kitchen.

D.W. complains and mentions how she wishes their parents were different and she begins to imagine what it'd be like if they treated Arthur badly and gave her all of the attention. After it ends, D.W. plays Confuse the Goose and suddenly hears the milk spill.

While Jane and David argue and D.W. runs to Arthur and tries to tell him what she heard and saw. Arthur fails to believe her, and D.W. goes over the story to him. Arthur asks her to tell him what they said, but D.W. can't recollect it.

Arthur still fails to believe her until seeing how scared she looks. So he decides to go and see for himself. He doesn't hear anything as Nadine suddenly appears once more. Listening from the other room, they hear their parents argue again, and just like D.W., Arthur is unable to comprehend why they are arguing. They panic, and both of them head into Arthur's bedroom. Arthur and D.W. blame each other for causing the fight.

D.W. asks what could happen if they decide to never speak to each other again, and the two of them begin to imagine it. At first, they imagine that their parents won't speak to each other anymore, including at Christmas. Arthur says that no two people would live in the same house and not talk to each other.

Then they imagine what life would be like if one of them moved away. If Dad moved away, then Mom would not even bother to cook for them (which really wouldn’t happen because their Mom does know how to cook and wouldn't let her kids starve to death). But if Mom moved away, they would enjoy plenty of Dad’s cooking, although they wouldn't get very far because Jane took their transportation with her (although that wouldn’t happen because David has a yellow catering van).

But then they start imagining even more details, such as what would happen if each parent got custody. Arthur imagines that he’s beginning to enjoy life with Kate and his mom because D.W. is with Dad; he says he’s going to take Pal for a walk, only to be surprised when his mom tells him Dad got Pal as well.

Arthur and D.W. continue to worry to the point that if one of them is to blame for the divorce, that Arthur and D.W. wouldn't be wanted by either parent! D.W. wonders if they would have to go to an orphanage; Arthur imagines an orphanage similar to the one in Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, and says they must avoid going to one at all costs — especially one set in the 1800s. They also think about emancipation, and imagine they live in a small cottage, and being able to take care of each other, but none of them can cook, and Arthur can't sing to Kate or D.W. if they can't sleep.

With all of this in mind, they decide they have to do something about this problem. D.W. thinks it's her fault since she wished they were different and now it's come true.

They then sneak down the steps and begin to hear Jane and David "argue" again and David decides to go and Arthur and D.W. try to stop him until they learn he only meant to go get milk.

Jane soon comes in and asks D.W. why she thinks they hate each other. Arthur then explains that D.W. heard them fighting and thought that they hated each other. But their parents assure the two of them that they weren't going to leave the family or anything drastic.

As Arthur and D.W. head upstairs, Nadine arrives again to say that the moral of the story is clear: "Don't put milk near the edge of the table."

And the episode comes to an end.


Fantasy appearances


  • This is the second episode hosted by Nadine, with the first being "D.W. Gets Lost".
  • This episode explores that sometimes children are unable to understand what their parents are saying, and can only understand the volume and tone of voice. Arthur and D.W.'s interpretations of the yelling from David and Jane are similar to future episodes, such as "The Secret Life of Dogs and Babies" where dogs and babies can only understand specific words.
  • At one point during a montage, Arthur whistles and D.W. hums the tune of "Believe in Yourself."
  • The Oliver Twist book displays Mr. Bumble and the title character as humans.
  • In Arthur's imagination spot of the Oliver Twist book it shows that Buster has an older brother, but in reality, Buster is an only child.
  • If Arthur's Dad left, his Mom still would've made breakfast for him, D.W. and Kate and wouldn't let her kids starve to death, and if Arthur's Mom left, his Dad would still have the catering van and given him a ride to the park in it.


  • While David is adding milk to the bowl of batter, only the milk is shown.
  • While trying to prevent David from leaving, Arthur moves his head, but his pupils briefly remain in place, leaving the frame of his glasses.

Cultural references

  • Arthur imagines what it would be like in an orphanage, like in Oliver Twist, with Arthur being Oliver.

Home Video



Show/Hide gallery


Show/Hide gallery


  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ket

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.