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"Sue Ellen's Little Sister"
Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 20B
Original Airdate: United States April 17, 1998[1]
Canada September 18, 1998[2]
Germany February 20, 2002[3]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Stéfanie Gignac
"How the Cookie Crumbles"
"Buster's Back"
Read transcript

"Sue Ellen's Little Sister" is the second half of the twentieth episode in the second season of Arthur.


Sue Ellen feels lonesome and wishes that she had a sibling. When her parents are reluctant, she goes out to find one instead. Her initial sentiment changes as she discovers that having siblings does come with its downsides.


The intro begins with Arthur pouring himself a glass of milk, and about to eat a brownie. D.W. comes in, asking him if he's seen the parade outside. Arthur says that it's raining outside, to which D.W. explains that it's a "rain parade", and that the marching band is in rain coats with a float shaped like an umbrella, and that it's right outside.

Arthur runs to the window, but doesn't see anything, and when he comes back, he sees that D.W. has eaten half of his brownie and Kate accidentally knocks his glass of milk over, causing it to spill on the floor.

Arthur explains to the viewers that he sometimes wishes he was an only child because life would be easier. He says that he could use D.W. and Kate's room as his own library; he imagines being in his new "library" and finding a Princess Sneeze-and-Wet doll, but he throws it away and continues reading. He also thinks that he might get more presents at Christmas; he imagines at Christmas that all three of the stockings have his name on it (D.W. and Kate's names have been crossed off their respective stockings, and his name added to them.) Finally, he believes that, with him being an only child, he would never have to compromise; he imagines himself sitting on the couch with Pal, telling Pal that they will watch The Bionic Bunny Special, then a Bionic Bunny rerun, and then his tape of his favorite Bionic Bunny episodes, to which Pal barks in agreement.)

Back in the present day, David calls to Arthur, asking him if he ate the last brownie. Arthur eats the brownie and tells the viewers that there is one good thing about having a younger sister; he calls to his father and tells him that D.W. ate the brownie. He smiles at the viewers and Kate laughs as the intro ends.

Sue Ellen's Little Sister

This episode starts with the Sibling Festival, with Sue Ellen by herself, painting a picture at the park and sadly watching her friends race with their siblings in The Brother and Sister Race.

Arthur is steering D.W., and she tells him to go straight, but he accidentally goes too far, causing himself to roll over D.W. Sue Ellen tells them that it looks like fun, but D.W. says it's not fun with Arthur steering, because last time, he almost drove her into the lake.

Sue Ellen offers to be D.W.'s partner next time, but Arthur tells her she can't, because it's a brother and sister race. D.W. tells Sue Ellen that maybe there will be a contest for "lonely" children afterwards, to which Arthur tells D.W. that it's only children, and that a lonely child is what D.W.'s going to be when he sells her. After that, Sue Ellen sees Francine and Catherine doing cheerleading. Catherine then tells Francine to raise her hands higher on the O's, but it is a trick, and Catherine tickles her.

During the evening fireworks show, Sue Ellen has trouble seeing the fireworks through the crowd, and, seeing the Tibble Twins taking turns holding one on the others' shoulders, she asks her dad if he could hold her on his shoulders. He attempts to lift her up, but finds it's hard for his back. Although she is able to get a better view of the fireworks by standing on a picnic table, Sue Ellen continues to feel saddened as she observes the other families enjoying their time together. During the car ride home, she tells her parents that she wants a little brother or sister for her birthday, but they remark that they would not be able to travel around as much if they had another child.

The next day, Sue Ellen thinks to herself how great it would be to have an older brother. She then notices Binky outside her window, and goes to seek his advice regarding her career interests of being an oceanographer or an artist. They head to The Sugar Bowl, where Binky dismisses oceanography as boring, and says it would be cooler to study worms. Sue Ellen thinks that sounds gross, and says that there isn't even such a thing as a "worm-ographer". Binky leaves deciding that he could be the very first "worm-ographer", and thanks Sue Ellen for giving him the idea.

At the library, Sue Ellen and Brain go through encyclopedias to research the oceans. Hearing about the ocean causes Sue Ellen to lose interest in oceanography. Brain agrees with her, noting that the subject "is kind of dry", and advises Sue Ellen study art history instead (He already has some books on that subject).

Sue Ellen then heads to the Reads' house, figuring that Arthur, already having two sisters, is already well qualified to be a brother. However, she also becomes bored with Arthur's hobbies.

Sue Ellen changes her plan and heads off to find a sister instead. She heads to the Deegans' house, where Prunella and Rubella are performing magic tricks. The phone rings and Rubella leaves to answer it, but instructs the two girls to remain in the room until she returns (otherwise, they will be cursed.) Thirty minutes pass before Wanda invites the girls down for lunch. Sue Ellen asks what happened to Rubella, and Wanda says that she has gone to the movies with her friends. At home for dinner, Sue Ellen tells her parents that having an older sister would not work, as Prunella had forced Sue Ellen to only do what she wanted on the basis of being older than her.

The next day, Sue Ellen goes to the Reads' house again to babysit D.W., despite Arthur's warnings; she thinks that, since she would be D.W.'s big sister, D.W. will do everything she asks. This is quickly proven wrong as D.W. does her best to make life difficult for Sue Ellen, which causes her to flee back home (though Arthur briefly praises her for lasting longer than most babysitters).

Sue Ellen comes to appreciate the advantages of being an only child after reflecting on what she has learned about the disadvantages of having siblings. Her parents come up to her room to announce they have sponsored a boy in Tibet named Tenzin, whose photo Sue Ellen shows to Arthur, Binky, and Brain at The Sugar Bowl. Sue Ellen says it will be like having a little brother, and they will communicate via letters. Arthur finishes the episode and season by claiming that Tenzin is the perfect little brother, as he lives 3,000 miles away from Elwood City.






  • "Francine's Lakewood Cheer"


  • At the brother and sister events, several kids are shown with kids they are not related to, according to later episodes:
    • Fern is paired with Maryann, even though she is an only child.
    • James is paired with an older rabbit boy, rather than with Molly.
    • Maria is paired with Steve, suggesting that they are brother and sister, though this is never confirmed.
    • George is paired with his sister. She appears in several episodes, though other episodes suggest that George is an only child.
  • Binky says he wants to study worms. "Worms" refers to several unrelated groups of animals. Depending on the group, the people studying them are called helminthologists (studies parasitic worms), oligochaetologists (studies earthworms) or nematologists (studies nematodes, or roundworms).
  • When Arthur plays his video game, it looks like he's using a Nintendo Entertainment System (classic Nintendo) controller, but the console looks more like a Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
  • On the PBS Kids Video app, the Chuck E. Cheese sponsor, the closing funding, the Martha Speaks promo and the PBS Kids Go ident is left intact.
  • The Armstrongs get their Chinese food from "Enguan's", a reference to production coordinator Enguan Xu.
  • This is the last of the episodes with Buster absent, before he returned in the following season's premiere. As a result, no episodes aired till November 16.

Cultural references[]

Episode connections[]


  • When Sue Ellen goes up to D.W.'s bedroom to see her, she is seen wearing yellow and green hair scrunchies. In a couple of scenes following, they switch to both being green. Then, in the next scene they go back to being yellow and green.
  • During the fireworks scene, Laverne Frensky says "aw" in Francine's voice.
  • At dinner after Sue Ellen plays with Prunella, Mrs. Armstrong's hair is briefly black.
  • When Arthur picks up Tenzin's photo, his left elbow is bent, but in the next scene, it is unbent without him actually unbending it.
  • Arthur says that Tenzin is 3,000 miles away. However, Tibet (Where Tenzin lives) is in reality over 7,500 miles away from the United States (Where Arthur lives).
  • The Eyes of Buddha on the book on Nepal that George is reading are drawn wrong.

Production notes[]

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