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"The Long Road Home"
Season/Series: 14
Number in season: 10b
Original Airdate: United States April 28, 2011[1]
Canada September 22, 2011[3]
United Kingdom January 13, 2011[2]
Germany March 27, 2013[4]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Louis Piché
"Buster Spaces Out"
Read transcript

"The Long Road Home" is the second half of the tenth episode in the fourteenth season of Arthur.


George prepares to walk from Crown City to Elwood City to prove he is not a quitter. Meanwhile, Arthur plans to give back El Boomerang to Alberto for his birthday, but it gets lost... again!


The episode begins in Istanbul, Türkiye, with Arthur's pen pal, Adil, walking down the street when an object falls in front of him. It is revealed to be a soccer ball, and Adil wonders how it came to be there. That night, he contacts Arthur via computer and mentions that something like a soccer ball fell out of the sky.

Adil also mentions that the ball has the signature "El Boomerang" written on it. This surprises Arthur, since his next-door neighbor and friend Alberto lost a soccer ball signed by El Boomerang. Arthur asks Adil a favor, and Arthur is later seen receiving a package from the mailman.

Alberto goes to Arthur's house to deliver a party invitation, and when Arthur sees him, he says that he has something to give Alberto. Alberto wonders if it is the package from Adil, but Arthur says that it is a comic book. Arthur heads back indoors, saying this will be the best birthday gift ever.

The Long Road Home

There is a track race at Lakewood Elementary. It starts with Francine, then Jenna, then Sue Ellen, then finally on to George. When it is George's turn, he is outrun by his opponent, making his team lose. Francine insults George, saying he gave up, making him outraged.

Buster and Arthur are seen at The Sugar Bowl, talking about the soccer ball, which Brain had examined and was almost certain it was the same ball Alberto had lost. But they wonder how the ball would go all the way to Türkiye. Buster gives a long, unlikely answer, discouraging Arthur.

George arrives at the restaurant, running, which is unusual to Buster, who thinks that George hates running. George says he needed practice when Arthur offers his water. After drinking, he says he feels bad about losing the race and says he is just slow.

They understand, and Buster tells him about his uncle walking everywhere, including a journey from Crown City back to Elwood City, amazing George; Buster saying that it took him seven hours before he sprained his ankle and had to stop. Arthur says he does not know anyone who took the walk since then, and George thinks he himself could do it.

Back at school, Francine teases George about the walk, saying that it will take a gazillion hours. George objects, mentioning that it will take longer via back roads and bike paths. He then takes out a sponsors sheet. He says he is raising a dollar for every hour he walks for Autism Research.

After writing her name down, Francine still taunts George about it, infuriating him further. Mr. Ratburn also writes down his name, after George shortly tells him about it. He continues to practice and practice while getting more and more sponsors like Binky, Mrs. MacGrady, Brain, and Sue Ellen.

Muffy offers as well on the condition that George will carry a Crosswire Motors balloon, advertising the company; this makes George walk off. Arthur dreams about giving Alberto his gift, but in the night, it gets lost again.

On the big day, it is raining. His parents drive him down to the city hall, and the weather is good again. To George's surprise, he sees Mr. Ratburn. George says he misunderstood, since he only asked Mr. Ratburn to sponsor him, not walk with him. But they just go along with it. As they walk, Mr. Ratburn entertains them with stories and George does not want to stop.

At the party, Alberto gets a comic book from Arthur, who says it was not the gift he had originally planned to give.

George and the others make it through the forest and keep going. Buster and Bitzi meet him and say that they are two-thirds of the way there. George tells him he owes him $8.27, making Buster joke for George to stop now, discouraging him.

Arthur, while eating the birthday cake, is told by Alberto that some kid is walking from Crown City to Elwood City. Arthur realizes it is George. Arthur, Alberto, and many other friends like Brain, Sue Ellen, Muffy, and Francine wait at Main Street for George's arrival. While he is walking, Mr. Ratburn notices the clock tower, relieved that the walk is almost over, before tripping on a tree root, twisting his ankle.

George, at that point, stops for the others. Back on Main Street, everyone waits, when Francine notices George coming down the street. He asks his dad to take his backpack for the final leg. Everyone is excited to see him. He then kicks El Boomerang, and it flies into the hand of Alberto, who is shocked to see it return.

While George is resting, Francine congratulates him on his courage, perseverance, and bravery, and gives George the money. Arthur says that the soccer ball was the gift and says "Happy Birthday" to Alberto.

While everyone goes, Alberto pats Arthur on the back, saying that he is a good friend. The episode finishes with Mr. Ratburn on crutches with George's dad supervising him on their way to George, who accomplished his dream.







  • Upon original release in the US, this episode was preempted on some PBS stations for The Royal Wedding of Will & Kate.
  • Buster mentions that his Uncle Stu tripped on a tree root and injured himself near the end of his walk from Crown City to Elwood City. Mr. Ratburn suffers this same fate when doing the same walk with George and his father, although unlike Stu, he still manages to finish the walk with the others.
  • The helicopter Alberto receives for his birthday in Arthur's fantasy is the same helicopter from a fantasy in "All Worked Up", only with the Claapword Enterprises logo removed. The "C" emblem on the tail remains, but flipped horizontally, making it appear as a backwards "C".
  • In "Muffy Goes Metropolitan," Crown City is implied to be at least 100 miles from Elwood City, and George waking up at 6:00 AM shows that it takes less than two hours by car. A walk of 100 miles would take about 80 hours, or more than three straight days of walking, but George manages to walk the complete distance between the hours of 8:00 AM and 7:15 PM.
  • Despite Neal Lundgren having a heavy amount of screen time in this episode, he only has one line.

Episode connections[]

Cultural references[]

  • This episode's plot may be a reference to Terry Fox, a man who attempted to run across Canada to raise money and awareness for cancer research (Fox had to stop his run almost halfway through, because the cancer he had previously conquered, returned). George walks from Crown City to Elwood City to raise awareness for autism research. George's friend Carl's Asperger syndrome is a (formerly diagnosed) autism spectrum disorder (since 2013, Asperger Syndrome is no longer a diagnosis of its own, having been merged along with other disorders into "autism spectrum disorder" [ASD]).
  • Mr. Ratburn quotes from the prologue of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, a 15th century collection of tales told by people on a journey. Mr. Ratburn uses spelling pronunciation, rather than proper Middle English (shoures soote should be pronounced shoo-ress so-tuh, not showers soot).
  • Mr. Ratburn offers to sing madrigals, a kind of song from the Renaissance era.
  • Mr. Ratburn mentions a relative, whom P.T. Barnum wanted for his sideshow.
  • Mr. Ratburn sings part of Dem Bones.
  • Mr. Ratburn mentions an uncle who had an emu farm in Sedona.
The Long Road Home 100

Map of Elwood City and Crown City.


Map of Montreal

  • The map of Elwood City and Crown City could be a reference to the map of Montreal.


  • The episode takes place during the summer since Alberto's birthday and George's walk are shown on the 26th of July, but the kids are shown in school, when they should technically be on summer vacation.
    • In addition, when the crowd is gathered for George's arrival on Main Street, the clock tower reads 7:15, and it is sunset. In July, sunset occurs much later than 7:15 PM in the Northeastern United States, where Elwood City is implied to be located in several episodes.
  • The map shows that Elwood City is west of Crown City, but George says that they should be headed east.
  • When Alberto catches El Boomerang, the signature is in a different location, as the "El" is on a white part of the ball; most other shots have "El" on one of the black parts.

Production notes[]

  • This is the final episode to be aired in Germany.


Main article: The Long Road Home/Gallery