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This article is about the episode set during the summer. You may be looking for The Blizzard.
"The Blackout"
Season/Series: 12
Number in season: 8a
Original Airdate: United States April 22, 2009[1]
Canada February 23, 2010[3]
United Kingdom April 29, 2009[2]
Written by: Cusi Cram
Storyboard by: Jeremy O'Neill
Daniel Miodini
Nadja Cozic
"I Owe You One"
"Mei Lin Takes a Stand"
Read transcript

"The Blackout" is the first half of the eighth episode in the twelfth season of Arthur.


The Read Family struggles with a heatwave and a blackout. Their neighbors, the Molinas, show them ways to deal with both.


There is a heatwave in Elwood City. Mr. Read has bought a large ham for a catering event and Mrs. Read helps Ed Crosswire with his taxes over the phone. Then the electricity goes out.

The Blackout

D.W. is unhappy about missing a Mary Moo Cow special the next day. The family has a cold candlelit dinner, but the cool air from the window blows the candle out.

At night Arthur and Buster talk on their walkie-talkies until Buster's battery dies.

The next morning, Arthur is woken by the smell of frying food; he is disappointed to learn that the blackout is still on and the family is having cold cereal. But then Alberto and Vicita invite the Reads over for arepas.

The Molinas use a gas grill and have buried a metal pail under a tree, which can be used as a refrigerator. Since blackouts are relatively common in Ecuador, they also have supplies stored in the basement, including cans, batteries and a hand-crank radio. Mr. Molina gives the Reads a tour.

Back home, Mr. Read suggests doing something together. Arthur, D.W. and Buster lie down in a paddling pool, but Pal bites into it, causing it to deflate. Mr. Molina then jokes about having to watch out for dogfish; he then fills a bowl of water for the kids to put their feet in, like his grandma used to do. He relates that in Ecuador, people would use blackouts as an excuse to have fiestas. D.W. takes a liking to the idea, and suggests having one.

The Reads, Molinas and Baxters prepare the fiesta using the large ham and tomatoes from the community garden. During the fiesta, the electricity comes back on, and D.W. is disappointed; when Arthur tells her that at least she'll be able to watch Mary Moo Cow again, she replies, “Yeah, but I’d rather have a fiesta.”

Mr. Molina says he is prepared for this emergency as well; he turns the electric lights off, and the neighbors continue partying.







Cultural references

  • Arepas are cornmeal patties and ají is a spicy sauce. Both are specialties from northern South America.

Episode connections

  • D.W.’s comment “Things have a way of disappearing in that freezer” refers to the snowball that disappeared in "D.W.'s Snow Mystery".
  • There are references to Dr. Jake's wrong predictions and having fun in the snow in “The Blizzard”. “The Blizzard” and “The Blackout” both show the neighborhood working together to master a crisis.