Arthur Wiki
"Rhyme for Your Life"
Season/Series: 6
Number in season: 8a
Original Airdate: United States November 12, 2001[1]
Canada January 9, 2002[2]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Robert Yap
"For Whom the Bell Tolls"
Read transcript

"Rhyme for Your Life" is the first half of the eighth episode in the sixth season of Arthur.


Binky wants to write a poem for his mom for her birthday but is unable to write one. He has a dream where everyone speaks in rhyme and finds himself unable to do the same.


This episode begins with Arthur and Buster about to see a play by Mr. Ratburn at a Renaissance fair. Before the play starts, Arthur encounters Binky, who is dressed in a beige-colored cloak and holding a cane in his right hand and he is also speaking in rhyme. Arthur is confused and Binky mentions that all will be clear when he tells Arthur the story of how it happened.

Rhyme for Your Life

In Binky's story, Binky is trying to figure out what to give his mother for her birthday, so he decides on giving her a poetic birthday card. Unfortunately, Binky finds himself unable to write a birthday poem for his mother. Muffy suggests he find somebody to write the poem for him, so he goes to the library and attempts to bribe Fern into writing it with a sandwich and a pickle. Fern turns him down, saying that he can't buy a poem, and suggests that he look for one himself, giving him a poetry book to read.

Later that evening, after reading the book and trying to write the poem, he gives up and falls asleep. In his dream, he finds himself in a strange land that is far away. Francine, who is a coach driver, and Muffy as a rich person in the carriage, tell him that he is in a land called Verseburg, and that it is a crime to speak in prose. He begins to notice that everyone in the village is only speaking in rhyme. He stumbles upon a girl named Clementine, daughter of Dr. Rhymenstein, who takes her back to the doctor's castle (and she looks and sounds a lot like D.W.). Dr. Rhymenstein (who looks a lot like Mr. Ratburn) tells Binky about a hideous monster he created, ruining his reputation. The monster, called the Purple Orange by the doctor, eats him up and kidnaps Clementine, who claims she doesn't like fruit at the best of times. Binky goes to the police station to tell Fern as a policewoman what he saw, but she arrests him for failing to speak in rhyme. Hans and Frans, who look like the Tibble twins, place him in a cell with poet William Carlos Williams, who believes that people should be able to speak in prose. They both escape through a tunnel that William dug with a pen. William gives Binky his rhyming dictionary so he can learn how to rhyme, then tells him to find the Purple Orange and clear his name. Binky learns how to speak rhyme, able to ask for eggs from Buster as a farmer going by "Meg," and while walking through a blizzard. He rescues Clementine from the Purple Orange and then screams, starting an avalanche that crushes it. Binky is rewarded with a mounted barracuda for his bravery when he returns to the town. Binky then wakes up from his dream and goes to bed.

The next morning, Binky wishes he could have remembered the dream so that he could tell it as a poem to his mother for her birthday, but ends up giving her a blank birthday card. When Binky tries to explain why, he starts to involuntarily make a poem of why he loves his mother. His rhyming soon gets out of control and he can't stop, so he puts on the cloak and uses the cane to express his sorrow. Back at the Renaissance fair, Binky continues to speak in rhyme, but finds out that nothing rhymes with "Arthur." Binky gleefully realizes that the "curse" is broken and he is free, dropping the cloak and cane and heading off to see the play. In the process, he thanks Arthur and eats the remains of Arthur’s ice cream cone. Unfortunately, Arthur accidentally says a rhyme. Upon realizing this, he puts on the cloak and carries the cane, for he is now "cursed" by rhyme, thus finishing the episode.







Cultural references[]

  • Several poets are referenced in this episode:
  • Binky and William escape the cell through an escape tunnel hidden behind a poster of Rita Hareworth. This refers to the movie The Shawshank Redemption, in which the protagonist hides an escape tunnel behind a series of posters, one of them being of actress Rita Hayworth, whom Rita Hareworth is based on.
  • When Binky awakes from his dream and can't remember it, it is a reference to the poem Kubla Khan, a famous poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge after a dream, sadly incomplete after he was interrupted while writing it down.
  • Arthur counts "Brain" and "name" as rhymes. Binky counts "rhyming" and "combining" as rhymes. These are what is known as "slant rhymes," "half-rhymes," or "near-rhymes," which are things that almost rhyme, but not quite.
  • At the end of the intro, Binky tells Arthur that "all will be clear to he who sits, and listens for eleven minutes!" This refers to the running time of the episode.

Episode connections[]

  • Binky mentions twice the "giant clam" nightmare from the episode "Double Dare:" first when he finds himself in Verseburg in his dream, and then in the morning after. However, it was Arthur and Buster who both had that nightmare, not Binky.

Home video[]




Main article: Rhyme for Your Life/Gallery