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"The Play's the Thing"
Season/Series: 14
Number in season: 3b
Original Airdate: United States October 13, 2010[1]
Canada November 3, 2010[3]
United Kingdom November 10, 2010[2]
Written by: P. Kevin Strader
Storyboard by: Chris Damboise
Jean-Marc Paradis
Dev Ramsaran
"Nicked by a Name"
Read transcript

"The Play's the Thing" is the second half of the third episode in the fourteenth season of Arthur.


The playground has been quiet lately - too quiet - and the Tough Customers do not like it. All the rest of the kids seem more interested in electronics than in good old-fashioned fun!


Buster was trying a website called the planet without stuff that shows what happens when things get old using pictures with Binky.

The episode starts at the playground at Lakewood, where Rattles is about to reveal something to the Tough Customers. He then shows them shirts he had made that have written, "The Costumer Is Always Right" and Molly questions him as to how that is scary.

The kids are too busy paying attention to the new cellphone Muffy has and the Tough Customers prepare to throw water balloons at them, but Muffy tells them that if they get her phone wet, her dad will sue them. Arthur tells everyone that they should go back into the school.

Binky then uses an empty pizza box to try luring the kids into a trap and Buster almost falls for it, but Muffy's phone detects no pizza and she and Buster go back to the benches.

The Tough Customers are left with no one to pester, except George, who is called on by Binky. George already has an umbrella and even he is getting tired of the same routine as well. Molly tells Binky that it is easy and gives him until Friday to figure out a strategy; otherwise, the Tough Customers are going solo.

George then tells them to hurry up and they throw water balloons at him. Binky then tries to bribe Muffy into not using the phone during recess, but instead an idea comes up with renovating the old playground. They talk to Mr. Haney about it and he agrees to it.

Muffy tells Binky to have the Tough Customers there to run the playground. When the renovated playground opens on Friday, everyone is surprised. Soon, however, the playground has to be shut down since students had to pay to use it, in order to cover the maintenance of the playground.

The Tough Customers then leave and Binky goes to George. Binky talks about how much fun the playground used to be. George then tags him and starts running and Binky goes after him, trying to tag him.

Soon, the other kids start joining in and the Tough Customers return to the jungle gym and start throwing water balloons at the kids.






  • In this episode, Binky says the term, "Or my name isn't Binky Barnes!" In the episode What's in a Name?, he finds out that his real first name is Shelley.
  • D.W. is absent from the episode besides her appearance in the title card on PBS airings in the U.S. only.
  • This is Rattles's first speaking role since Arthur Makes Waves. It is also the first time Scott Beaudin voices the character.

Episode connections[]

  • In a way, this is the second time Muffy beat the Tough Customers (this time, inadvertently, that is). The first time occurred in "The Law of the Jungle Gym".
  • Molly suggests that they have to stop being Tough Customers. This later becomes the plot of “The Last Tough Customer”.

Cultural references[]

  • Buster's aging the Frosted Cakey Cake and it staying the same is a reference to the myth that Twinkies last forever.
  • The episode title is a reference to Shakespeare's Hamlet: "the play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king."


  • Throughout the entire episode, Bailey is colored like Carl Pacheva.
  • Muffy mentions that everyone who is bored of the playground (everyone except The Tough Customers and George) is eight years old (George has been proven 8 elsewhere, though). This is not true, as it has been proven that Prunella is 9 and Brain is 9 or 10.


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