Arthur Wiki
"The Cave"
Season/Series: 5
Number in season: 4B
Original Airdate: United States October 16, 2000[1][2]
Canada January 11, 2001[3]
Written by: Joseph Purdy
Storyboard by: Nick Vallinakis
Zoran Vanjaka
"The World Record"
"The Lousy Week"
Read transcript

"The Cave" is the second half of the fourth episode in the fifth season of Arthur.


Arthur is looking forward to a class trip to a cave, although he is just a little concerned about how dark it will be in there.


The opening begins with an aardvark caveman attempting to start a fire. Arthur comes by and begins to talk of how people dealt with being submitted to the darkness over the course of years, and how solutions were created, but they had their flaws — for example, fire could be extinguished by wind, torches could get rained on, and gas lamps again could fall victim to the wind.

Finally, in the 19th century, someone invented the light bulb, and that person was Thomas Edison. Arthur suggests a name, to which the man then quickly leaves. Arthur then begins to discuss how useful light bulbs are, then yells when D.W. turns the lights off.

The Cave

Arthur and his classmates are preparing for a field trip to some caves in Palisades Park after making replicas of caves for homework. Mr. Ratburn discusses mostly bats, and other creatures that live in there. He reminds them of the replicas, and that they are due the next day.

During class, Francine teases Arthur of being scared of going inside a cave, which annoys him. Mr. Ratburn explains what “spelunking” is, to which most of the students are looking forward to and he claims the caves will seem less frightening the more they study them. He then reminds them of their homework before class finishes.

Upon learning this from him at home, D.W. teases Arthur as well by trying to make Arthur admit to being scared going into the caves, even going so far as trying to pull scary tricks on him, though Arthur isn't actually moved by them at all, much to D.W.'s chagrin.

Trying to make Arthur feel better, David tells them a story about the basement he was afraid to go into as a child. To solve this, he would whistle a comforting tune a little bit in order to help him conquer this fear.

In class, Mr. Ratburn overlooks the replicas one by one. Brain then shows him and the others how much work he put into his own replica when it lights up. Muffy then asks if bats give people rabies, but both Brain and Mr. Ratburn deny this. Francine teases Arthur about being scared of the dark, saying the lights will be turned on soon. Mr. Ratburn turns on the lights, and scolds Francine, telling her it's perfectly natural to be frightened at first of going into a cave (he himself seems rather relieved to have the lights back on!)

At home, D.W. keeps trying to scare Arthur, but it is no use, as he just won't frighten easily.

After a bad nightmare of being trapped inside a cave, with Francine and D.W. as bats, Arthur is more hesitant and seems frightened about going into a cave.

When the day of the field trip comes, Arthur is noticeably not the only frightened student or member there. But Arthur is determined to get through this to prove he is not scared, and they keep exploring.

They observe a swarm of bats sleeping, and Mr. Ratburn and Francine start to panic after some time, which ends up scaring the bats after Muffy points them out. Binky takes pictures of Mr. Ratburn and Francine while they are panicking.

After some time, and some reassurance from Brain, Francine and Mr. Ratburn slowly calm down, while Arthur and the other kids (as well as their tour guide) remain calm.

In order to help the tour guide in getting Mr. Ratburn and Francine out of the cave calmly, Arthur (acting on his father's advice) suggests whistling a familiar tune, to which everyone does so.

After Arthur and his classmates get out of the cave calmly, Mr. Ratburn apologizes to everyone for his panic attack and thanks the guide for helping him and Francine out of the cave, as well as thanking Arthur for his helpful whistling tip.

Francine, on the other hand, refuses to admit that she was that scared. Binky proves this wrong by having taken two pictures of Francine and Mr. Ratburn being scared while seeing the bats, as well as pulling a trick on Francine to make her believe that she's getting attacked by a bat, leaving Arthur and the others to laugh at her when she falls for such a silly trick. An angry Francine then chases after Binky, saying that he'll be sorry for taking those pictures.






  • Moral: Everyone has fears or discomforts and it's perfectly normal to have them.

Episode connections[]

Cultural references[]


  • The cold open is missing when this episode is made available on the PBS KIDS website and app.
  • Just as everyone begins walking to the cave, Francine is suddenly missing, but then she's seen again with everyone.
  • When Binky shows the photos, Brain's skin is the wrong color.

Home Media[]


Arthur's Double Dare (VHS)


Arthur's Double Dare (DVD)