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"The Long, Dull Winter"
Season/Series: 3
Number in season: 15b
Original Airdate: United States January 1, 1999[citation needed]
Canada May 31, 1999[citation needed]
Germany March 13, 2002[1]
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Jeremy O'Neill
"Arthur and D.W. Clean Up"
"D.W.'s Library Card"
Read transcript

"The Long, Dull Winter" is the second half of the fifteenth episode in the third season of Arthur.


Arthur and his friends are feeling dreary, but can't put a finger on why. It eventually dawns on them that their listless feeling is a result of the fact that there have been no major holidays in quite some time, so they plan to try inventing a new one.


Arthur sits in math class and everything around him seems to happen in slow motion. He does not think he is simply bored, like when he is watching Mary Moo Cow with D.W. and Kate, so he wonders what is happening to him.

The Long, Dull Winter

Later on the playground, Buster suggests that Arthur is suffering from a distortion of the space-time-continuum. Francine suggests that Arthur is in love, though she actually wants him to leave so that she can have his place on the swings. Binky suggests eating an apple to make Arthur less cranky.

At school, Brain, Muffy and Buster confess that they have not felt like doing their favorite things lately. However, they fondly remember holiday specials on TV. That gives Arthur the idea to create a new holiday.

Buster tells Arthur that his mom would put a good idea for a holiday in the paper.

Arthur and Buster meet with Brain, Francine, Sue Ellen and Fern in the Sugar Bowl and do a brainstorming session to find out what makes a holiday.

Arthur asks Grandma Thora about important events to commemorate as a holiday. She recounts seeing the first zeppelin reach North America, but Arthur thinks it is too boring. D.W. suggests 'Pony Day', which Arthur does not like either.

Buster suggests ‘Give Me Candy Day’, a holiday where people put on costumes and give him candy and he shares what he can't eat with little children after he gains a large amount of weight, becoming obese as a result. Francine instead suggests ‘There's Nothing to Do Today Day’, where everybody can do whatever they want.

At the library, Brain suggests 'Igneous Rock Day', since rocks last for a long time. Binky wants a 24-hour fireworks to drown out Mr. Ratburn, to which he would later refer to this idea holiday as 'Garshmalterer'. Muffy wants to sell T-shirts and souvenirs for the holiday.

Arthur is exasperated and calls another meeting in the Sugar Bowl. He believes that a holiday should be more than TV specials, presents and fireworks. Just then, Francine mentions her original theory that Arthur was in love. Everyone remembers that Valentine's Day is coming up and runs out to buy gifts. D.W. comes in and proudly shows Arthur an article about ‘Pony Day’ which Jane wrote for her and Mrs. Baxter put in the paper. Binky congratulates Arthur on making everybody forget the dry spell between New Year's Day and Valentine's Day. Arthur is disappointed that he did not think of a new holiday, but Binky reminds him that he now has the whole year. They start planning.







  • Moral: Holidays are about celebrating something bigger than yourself. If anything, holidays are meant to celebrate what you believe is most important.
  • In "The Play's the Thing", George was able to balance Binky on the see-saw, so this see-saw might have been frozen stuck, and Binky was tricking them.
  • Buster is drawing a picture of Arthur at the beginning.
  • This is the last episode to feature Michael Caloz voicing D.W as Oliver Grainger took over the role in Season 4.

Episode connections[]

  • The episode title mirrors "The Short, Quick Summer". Both episodes have their title card read out by Binky.
  • In the movie Arthur and Buster watch, the animation of the building being demolished is recycled from "D.W.'s Baby."
  • A different flashback of little Thora seeing a zeppelin was shown in “Clarissa is Cracked”.

Cultural references[]

  • The Kid Who Got Clothes for Christmas is a parody of Charlie Brown in A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  • In the movie, the Stone Age man throwing a bone in the air is a reference to a similar scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    • The movie Arthur and Buster were watching in the theater could be a reference to the 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi with its futuristic-sounding music and heavy use of stock footage, especially featuring a scene where a building gets demolished.
  • The LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin, named after the inventor of zeppelins, visited New York State in October 1928 and again in August 1929.
  • In Binky's imagine spot about fireworks, a sound recording of Big Ben chiming is used for the park's clock tower.


  • At the beginning in Mr. Ratburn's classroom, Prunella can be seen sitting at a desk even though she is supposed to be in fourth grade. This is the second time after "Locked in the Library!" that she is shown in Mr. Ratburn's class.
  • When Francine keeps singing until Arthur says “I’ve heard enough!”, her mouth stops moving before her voice.

Production notes[]

  • This is the last episode to use cel animation.
  • This is the last episode to air on PTV Park before it rebranded to PBS Kids.
  • This is the last episode to use the 1993-99 PBS Kids logo with the P-Pals holding the e/i balloon.

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