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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 and everyone is trying to beat the heat by keeping cool, including Arthur (wearing a blue T-shirt and shorts), who makes cold drinks for everyone, and D.W., who turns on the air conditioner. Mr. Read has bought a large ham for a catering event and Mrs. Read is helping Ed Crosswire with his taxes over the phone. Then the electricity goes out — not only at the Reads' residence, but also all over Elwood City after too many appliances are used.

The Blackout

The radio announcer says that the city is having a blackout, but they are hoping to resolve the problem soon, and Dr. Jake says the heatwave will be over soon. D.W. is unhappy about missing a Mary Moo Cow special the next day. Mrs. Read says that the weatherman says it will be over soon, although Mr. Read points out Dr. Jake's predictions were inaccurate when the blizzard hit the city. 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 as they are both trying to beat the heat. They talk until Buster's battery dies.

The next morning, Arthur is woken by the smell of frying food; he is disappointed to learn 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 for their drinks. 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 which they are impressed by.

Back home, Mr. Read suggests doing something together since his catering job was cancelled and Mrs. Read can't work. At first they can't decide what to do; D.W. is disappointed that they aren't prepared, and says she's probably missing Mary Moo Cow. Jane does point out they had fun during the blizzard, but D.W. reminds them there was snow, not heat. Arthur agrees with D.W., saying even rain would be more fun than the heat. At the mention of rain, David gets an idea, so Arthur, D.W. and eventually Buster relax 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 metal bowl of water for the kids to put their feet in, like his grandmother 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. Eventually many people join in and have a great time. 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 at the house, and the neighbors continue partying as the power is restored to Elwood City.







Cultural references[]

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.
  • "Desk Wars" and "Arthur Makes Waves" also take place during very hot days of the year.

Production notes[]


Main article: The Blackout/Gallery