Arthur Wiki
"The Contest"
Season/Series: 4
Number in season: 4A
Original Airdate: United States October 8, 1999[1]
Canada January 20, 2000[2]
Written by: Ken Scarborough
Storyboard by: Robert Yap
"The Fright Stuff"
"Prove It"
Read transcript

"The Contest" is the first half of the fourth episode in the fourth season of Arthur.


The kids think about entering a contest to write story ideas for their favorite TV show.


It all started when Arthur and his friends were outside in the park when they saw Buster writing something down, and it turns out it was the story that he was writing for the Andy and Company contest.

After the title card, Arthur and his friends are watching Andy and Company when Buster presents his story.

The Day The Earth Was Saved (South Park)

Buster is waiting for aliens to come down to earth. The aliens don't come at first, and Buster gets frustrated. Francine, Arthur and the Brain leave, thinking that Buster is just telling a lie. The aliens come after they leave, and the UFO crushes Buster. Francine comes back and says "Hey, you squished Buster!" The aliens come out of the UFO, and 2 of them carry Arthur into their UFO. They take off his clothes. The aliens did not want to eat Arthur, so they throw him out of the UFO. The UFO flies away and then Arthur says "What the!" And Brain replies "It appears you have high cholesterol forming Arthur. These aliens must be health-conscious!" Arthur, Brain, and Francine then scream "THE EARTH IS SAVED!" Buster then wakes up from being knocked out and asks his friends "What happened?"


After Buster's story, Arthur questions it. Everyone wants to write a story. In the kitchen, Arthur is writing a story when D.W. appears to get a cookie, bothering Arthur. He begins to call for his mother, but then, he looks at the camera, smiles, and continues his story. At the Sugar Bowl, Muffy presents her story.

My Life As a TV Show (Beavis & Butthead)

At a fashion show Muffy comes out on stage dressed as the green Teletubby Dipsy and in the audience, Buster and Arthur make a comment about her and laugh to which Muffy hears this and goes backstage upset. Then D.W. appears on stage with a white and purple dress and a purple hat to which Buster and Arthur find her to be attractive and behind the stage, Muffy reveals that she knew that D.W. would be better than her and decides to switch to plan B, which is a stink ball.


After Muffy's story, everyone argues until Brain interrupts with his story.

Hair Growth Formula (Dexter's Laboratory)

In his laboratory scientist Brain shows his friends Francine, Muffy, and Binky his new invention his hair growth formula which he discovered when he was inventing a new cherry soda. He turns a bowling ball into a hairy bowling ball and a carrot into a hairy carrot to which Binky asks "Why would anyone want hairy carrots?" To which Brain replies "To go with hairy fish." And he shows his friends a hairy friend which makes them feel sick and they leave. Brain then reveals to the viewers that his new invention is unappreciated. Later on, Arthur shows up and asks Brain if the formula is his new invention. To which Brain replies "Yes. It's some kind of Deodorant." Arthur replies "Good. Because I ran all the way here and I stink." And before Brain can stop him Arthur uses the formula and gets turned into a hairy being resembling a couch with glasses. When Arthur sees his reflection in a mirror he runs into the woods to hide and meets Bigfoot who looks like a big hairy couch himself. Arthur asks Bigfoot if he used Brain's hair growth formula invention too to which Bigfoot nods in agreement.


After Brain's story, Francine and Binky present their story.

The Amazing Fight (WWE)

In a wrestling match, Arthur faces off with the famous wrestler Hulk Hogan and Arthur manages to win the fight by just kicking his right foot on the mat which causes Hulk to scream like a girl and run away scared. The announcer then announces that Arthur will fight John L. Sullivan, Floyd Patterson, Barney Rose, and the United Press International.


After Francine and Binky's story, Francine questions why Arthur fights the United Press International, to which Binky admits he copied that form under the picture, then Arthur presents his.

The Troubled Sister (Dr. Katz)

10 years into the future, Arthur (who is now 18 years old) visits his psychologist and tells him that his sister D.W. has been troubling him. He then tells the psychologist a story of how last week Arthur had D.W. go and get his car while he went to get his new house. When D.W. gets to Arthur's new house Arthur asks "Where's my car?" And D.W. replies "Your car was just blah! I traded it in for something much nicer." The new car that D.W. bought for Arthur is a girl's car with a pony on it, to which Arthur lets out a horrified scream.


After Arthur's story, everyone mails their story. Five years later, they heard the winner was Holly Holland. While they're in the park, Arthur says they could come up with more stories, and Binky replies, "Without a contest?" Arthur then asks if they remember how much fun they had, and Buster says that Arthur's right: "Who cares who won?"

Muffy then suggests that they can write about things that happened to them; Francine replies that there is just one thing wrong with that: "Nothing's ever happened to us."

Arthur replies "Are you kidding? What about when we first had Mr. Ratburn? We thought he was a monster."

Buster adds, "Right, or when I moved away."

Francine says, "I guess you could do something about when I taught Arthur to play baseball."

The episode then ends with the characters thanking the people who came up with the stories throughout the episode.






  • As revealed after the episode, the idea for "The Contest" was by Holly Holland. She won TV Guide's "Create Your Own Arthur Episode!" contest in 1998.[3] Her entry was one of over 10,300 submitted story ideas. Five other entries, while not winning entries, were included in "The Contest" as the stories that Arthur and his friends send into the Andy and Company contest. Holland is featured in the And Now a Word from Us Kids segment following the episode.
  • The way Francine says that Andy is a mouse (Arthur correcting her of him being something else) may refer to the fact how people mistake Arthur as a bear or a mouse instead of an aardvark.
  • Jodie Resther, the voice of Francine, provided the uncredited screaming voice of Hulk Hogan.
  • The ripple effect used to transition in and out of the various stories is unique to this episode and is considerably different than the usual effect used for fantasies and flashbacks. The sound effect accompanying it is also different.

Cultural references

  • Andy and Company is a parody of Arthur itself. The art style is similar to The Little Lulu Show which was also produced by CINAR (now WildBrain).
  • TV Schedule is a parody of TV Guide.
  • Each of the kids' stories references other shows that were popular at the time:
    • Buster's story "The Day the Earth was Saved" parodies South Park, in particular, the series premiere "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe."
      • The flying saucer falling on Buster and Francine yelling "Hey! You squished Buster!" is a kid-friendly version of South Park's running gag of Kenny McCormick dying coupled with the phrase “Oh my God! They killed Kenny!”.
      • The aliens resemble the most common type of aliens found in South Park.
    • Muffy's story "My Life as a TV Show" parodies MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head with Arthur as Beavis and Buster as Butt-Head.
      • Buster calls Muffy the fifth Teletubby, as her dress resembles Dipsy from Teletubbies.
      • Arthur's AB/CD T-shirt parodies the AC/DC logo.
    • Brain's story parodies Dexter's Laboratory with Brain as Dexter and Arthur as Dee Dee (although not physically, as Muffy and Francine instead share Dee Dee's tall body and long limbs).
      • The story briefly features the legendary Bigfoot. Along with the infamous fur-bearing trout hoax, though the latter may be a coincidence.
      • The shape of Brain's desk is based on the original Boomerang logo.
    • Francine and Binky's story "The Amazing Fight" is based on the real-life WWE (then known as WWF). Except for Arthur, everyone's a moderately, realistically drawn human.
    • Arthur's story parodies Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. The original was computer-animated using a method called "Squigglevision". The Arthur segment uses normal animation but imitates the wiggling lines.

Episode connections


  • In the scene from five years later, Arthur's skin tone is momentarily a lighter color.

Home Video




Main article: The Contest/Gallery