The Rat Who Came to Dinner


Arthur walks into his dad’s workshop with a football.

Arthur: Dad, I got the ball. Let’s play!

The man with the chef’s head turns around. It is Mr. Ratburn.

Mr. Ratburn: There’s no time for play. We have a lot of work to do.

Arthur: Oh, er... hi, Mr. Ratburn. I'm looking for my dad.

Mr. Ratburn: Very funny, Arthur. Now put down that ball and help me stuff turkeys for the Crosswires' big party.

Arthur runs into the house. Mrs. Read is working on the computer.

Arthur: Mom! Mom! I went up to the garage to talk to Dad and... Dad's not there. 

Mrs. Read turns around. She is a rat who speaks with Mr. Ratburn’s voice..

Mrs. Ratburn: He was out there a minute ago.

Arthur steps back and bumps into D.W., who is also a rat.

D.W. Ratburn: Hey!

Arthur: Augh!

D.W. Ratburn: Watch where you're going!

Arthur: What's going on? Where's my family?

Mr. Ratburn comes in with a turkey.

Mr. Ratburn: Arthur Ratburn, stop fooling around and get to work.

Pal has a face like a rat and also speaks with Mr. Ratburn’s voice.

Pal Ratburn: Woof! Woof!

Arthur: Noooo!

Arthur wakes up in bed.

Arthur: (gasps) He picks up a normal looking Pal. (sighs) What could be worse than dreaming that your teacher lives in your house?

Mr. Ratburn comes in with a plate of waffles.

Mr. Ratburn: Arthur, if you don't hurry, D.W. and I will eat all the delicious blueberry waffles your dad made!

Title Card: Arthur Takes a Bath

A roofer stands in Mr. Ratburn’s house and points to cracks in the ceiling.

Roofer: What you got here is a ton of snow on your roof.

Mr. Ratburn: Yes... Is the roof going to collapse?

Roofer: Nah. As soon as the snow melts, I'll fix the cracks. But this'll hold. No problem.

Mr. Ratburn: What a relief!

They are about to go when part of the roof collapses and snow falls into the room.

Roofer: Or, er... you might want to get this fixed right away.

Mr. Ratburn: (chatters teeth)


Arthur looks out of the living room window. It is snowing outside.

Arthur: Saturdays with snow are the best! He sits down on the couch. Pal sits down beside him. Ah! Just in time for Dunce Patrol!

He turns on the TV where three teenagers are seen.

Girl: Well, duh!

Boy 1: Duh!

Boy 2: Well, duh!     

Girl: Duh!

Mrs. Read comes in.

Mrs. Read: Arthur? Oh! That show is so dumb!

Arthur: Mom, after a hard week at school, it's fun to kick back, watch some dumb guys and know I won't have to see or think about Mr. Ratburn all weekend!

Mrs. Read: That's what I wanted to tell you, Mr. Ratburn's roof collapsed and he has nowhere to stay.

Arthur: Oh. That's too bad.

Mrs. Read: I knew you'd feel that way. So we invited him to stay here.

Arthur: Hmm... Huh?? Aughh!!

Kate and D.W. sit at the kitchen table. Mrs. Read gets juice from the refrigerator. Arthur comes in agitated.

Kate: (gurgles)

Arthur: What...? You… He... Here... Who… He stay...?

D.W.: (singsong:) “Arthur's teacher's gonna stay here!”

Arthur: He can't!

Mrs. Read: Just until they fix his roof.


Arthur and Buster sit in a snow fort right next to the treehouse.

Arthur: It's too weird! My teacher in my house, walking on my carpet, drinking from my cups and touching my stuff? Bleugh!

Buster: It’s so wrong! School is at school and home is at home, because they're not supposed to ever come together!

Arthur: Exactly! My parents have to understand that!


Arthur is talking to his parents who are folding laundry in the basement.

Arthur: How can you not understand? It's wrong! It goes against nature!

Mr. Read: The poor man has nowhere else to go.

Arthur: Are there no hotels?

Mrs. Read: He's going to stay here. And we're all going to make him feel welcome!

Arthur goes up the stairs.


Buster and Sue Ellen are having a snowball fight with Francine and Arthur.

Buster: (laughs)

Francine: So he's coming whether you like it or not, huh? She throws a snowball and ducks. It'll be just like taking a test. All the time!

In his imagination Arthur is eating breakfast. Mr. Ratburn runs up to him.

Mr. Ratburn: Quick!

Arthur: Ah!

Mr. Ratburn: What's seven times eight?

Arthur watches Bionic Bunny. Mr. Ratburn holds a balloon in front of the TV.

Mr. Ratburn: This is your brain. And this is your brain when you watch junky TV.

He noisily lets the air out of the balloon.

Mr. Ratburn bangs on the bathroom door.

Mr. Ratburn: Are you doing homework?

Arthur: I'm taking a bath!

Mr. Ratburn: I'm sliding a waterproof pad under the door. Write the names of the continents in order of size.

The fantasies end.

Arthur: (groans)

He lies down in the snow.


Arthur lies on his bed looking depressed. He sees his Bionic Bunny poster and smiles.


Arthur borrows a cardboard box full of books from Brain.


Arthur comes home. He passes his dad, who is fixing a chair.

Mr. Read: What you got there, son?

Arthur: This? Oh...stuff.


In his room Arthur puts a poster of Einstein over his Bionic Bunny poster. D.W. comes in.

D.W.: Why are you putting a poster over a poster?

Arthur: You wouldn't understand.

D.W.: Is that to make your teacher think you're smart instead of kind of dopey?

Arthur: Go away! The doorbell rings. (gasps)

Mr. Ratburn is standing in the hallway with a suitcase. D.W. walks up to him.

D.W.: Hey! Hey! Hi! Look at me!

Mrs. Read: Arthur! Come say hello!

Arthur looks shyly around a corner.

D.W.: Hey! Look at me! Look at me!

Mr. Ratburn: I really can't tell you how much I appreciate this.

D.W.: Hey, hi! Over here!

Mr. Ratburn: Hello.

D.W.: Hi. I'm D.W. Read, Arthur's smarter sister. Mr. Ratbite, is it true what Arthur says about you hating all children?

Arthur quickly steps in front of her.

Arthur: Here I am! Welcome! Come in! Hello!

D.W.: You're on my foot!

Mr. Read: Would you carry these up to Arthur's room?

Arthur: My room?


Arthur and D.W. carry Mr. Ratburn’s luggage upstairs.

D.W.: (singsong:) “He's staying in your room!”

Mrs. Read: Arthur, I set out your sleeping bag in D.W.'s room. You can sleep there.

D.W.: No fair!


They reach Arthur’s room. Mr. Ratburn sees the box with Brain’s books.

Arthur: Those are some of most very favorite books in the whole world.

Mr. Ratburn: Spline Extrusion? The Copernican Universe Model?

D.W.: Didn't you just borrow those from the Brain?

Arthur: I believe in using my brain a lot.

D.W.: Mr. Ropeburn, you should see what's under here!

She starts taking the Einstein poster off. Arthur stops her.

Arthur: No! Er... I mean… (giggles nervously) I think I smell Dad making a cake.

D.W.: Cake?

She runs out of the room.

Mr. Ratburn: Did you say cake?

He runs after D.W.

Arthur: Whoo.

He lies down on the bed.

Buster: Hey! Arthur!

Arthur looks out and sees Buster coming up the driveway. He opens the window.

Arthur: Oh, man, am I glad to see you. I can't come out.

Buster: Why? Is... he here?

Arthur: Yeah! I'll come down and let you in.

Buster:, thanks, I... No.

He runs away.


Arthur looks into the living room where D.W. is playing with Kate.

D.W.: He's not here. There was no cake, Arthur. Mr. Rathead was very disappointed.   

Arthur sits down beside her and turns on the “The Bionic Bunny Show”. Mr. Ratburn comes in.

Arthur: (gasps)

He quickly changes channels to a documentary.

Documentary: “Today, we watch grass grow in real-time...”

Arthur: Just watching some educational TV. Fascinating! You look...different.

Mr. Ratburn is wearing a T-shirt.

Mr. Ratburn: I don't always dress like I’m going to school.

Kate crawls to him.

D.W.: So the school roof fell in?

Mr. Ratburn takes Kate on his lap.

Mr. Ratburn: No, the roof to my home.

D.W.: But you're a teacher! The school is your home!

Mr. Ratburn: Teachers don't live at school, D.W. We have houses, just like you!

D.W.: The world seemed so simple before this moment.

She walks out of the room.

Mr. Ratburn: I thought you might enjoy watching one of my favorite videos.

Arthur: Oh... I'm sure it will be a very educational experience.

He puts it in the VCR. An episode of Spooky Poo (a parody of Scooby Doo) starts.

Arthur: Spooky Poo?

Arthur’s parents run in.

Mr. Read: Spooky Poo!?

Mrs. Read: I haven't seen this since I was ten!

Arthur: to himself: (gasps) He watches cartoons?


Mr. Ratburn holds a history book in his hand.

Mr. Ratburn: This is Arthur's heaviest school book. He puts a handkerchief on it and pulls it away. The book is gone. Shazam! No homework tonight!

Arthur: That's unbelievable! Can you teach me how to do that?

Mr. Ratburn: No problem!

A while later Arthur does the trick for the family.

Arthur: Shazam! No homework tonight!

They clap.

Mr. Read: Great, Arthur!


The Reads watch another Spooky Poo episode.

Mr. Read: (laughs)

Mr. Ratburn brings a stack of video cassettes.

Arthur+D.W.: More Spooky Poo?


Mr. Read serves a chocolate gateau.

Mr. Ratburn: (gasps) You made cake? For me?

Arthur smiles.


In the evening Kate sleeps in her crib. Arthur lies in his sleeping bag next to D.W.’S bed.

Arthur: I guess I was wrong about Mr. Ratburn. Teachers can be sort of almost normal. Who would have thought this would turn out so great? The house is seen from outside. It is snowing. One by one the lights go out. Good night, Mom! Good night, Dad!

Mr.+Mrs. Read: Good night, Arthur!

Arthur: Good night, Mr. Ratburn!

Mr. Ratburn: Good night, Arthur! Good night, D.W.!

D.W.: Good night, Mr. Ragburp!

Arthur: Good night, Pal!

Pal: (barks)

Mr. Ratburn: Good night, Pal! Will there be more cake tomorrow?


On Monday morning Francine, Muffy, Buster and Brain sit in class.

Francine: I bet Arthur's ready to run away from home!

Muffy: Here he comes.

Buster: I asked my mom and she said you could stay at my house until Ratburn goes home.

Arthur: No, thanks. It's not so bad. He taught me a magic trick. We had fun.

Mr. Ratburn comes in. He and Arthur wave at each other. The others look surprised.


Arthur, Buster, Francine and Muffy sit together in the cafeteria.

Buster: I got a C-minus on that test!

Muffy: Well, you beat me. What’d you get, Arthur?

Francine: He got an A. It's not fair!

Arthur: What do you mean, it’s not fair?

Muffy: She means we could all get As if we brought the teacher home and our fathers made special cakes for him!

Arthur: I studied hard for that A!

Kids: (Oh yeah! Right! Sure!)

Francine: We believe you, really! The fact that the teacher lives at your house is just a coincidence. I'm being sarcastic.


After school Arthur runs after Buster.

Arthur: Hey, Buster! Wanna come over and watch some Spooky Poo? It's funny!

Buster: I don’t think so. I don't wanna get between you and your new friend.

He leaves. Francine and Muffy walk by.

Arthur: Wanna go to the Sugar Bowl for some hot cocoa?

Francine: Sorry, we can't. We're going to the Sugar Bowl.

They leave. Brain comes.

Brain: I'd like my books back.

Arthur: Sure. Come on over and get them.

Brain: No, thanks. Bring them to school. Oh, Fern asked me to give you this.

He hands Arthur a piece of paper and leaves. The paper shows a drawing of Mr. Ratburn and Arthur as "Rat and Rat jr."

Arthur: Hey! What's with everybody? Binky throws a snowball at his head. Ugh!  

Binky: (singsong:) “Teacher's pet! Teacher's pet! Something... something something that rhymes with pet!” And that means you, Arthur!

He runs away. Arthur walks sadly home.


When Arthur gets home Pal jumps into his arms.

Arthur: Hey, boy! Ah...some days it's so good to get home and just forget all about school. Mr. Ratburn is sitting at the kitchen table eating cake. Ohh... Hi.

He walks by Mr. Ratburn in a huff.

Mr. Ratburn: Mm. Hello, Arth... Arthur?


Arthur’s parents look at Fern’s cartoon in the living room while Pal plays with Kate.

Mr. Read: "Rat and Rat junior"?

Arthur: And none of my friends will come here! And Binky called me “teacher's pet”!

Mrs. Read: Maybe we should ask Mr. Ratburn to talk to them.

Arthur: Ah, no!! How long ago were you a kid? That'd make it worse.

Mr. Ratburn comes in with D.W.

Mr. Ratburn: I’m sorry, I couldn't help but overhear, because D.W. handed me this juice can and told me to listen. He holds up one end of a can phone. Arthur notices the other end on the table. You know I wouldn't give you special treatment, Arthur.

Arthur: But what would you think if you were a kid?

Mr. Ratburn: Hm. What can we do about what people think when they're wrong?

Arthur: I know! If you give me an F, it'll prove I'm not the teacher's pet!

Mrs. Read: Just act normally, and soon they'll realize how wrong they are.

Arthur: But not as soon as if he gave me an F.


Arthur sits in the cafeteria surrounded by his friends.

Binky: “Teacher's pet! Teacher's pet!”

Francine: If cake gets you one A, will pie à la mode get you an A-plus?

Buster: (laughs)

Arthur: I hope my mother appreciates this.

Mr. Ratburn comes with a tray.

Mr. Ratburn: Arthur, I just found out I won't be staying at your house anymore.

Arthur: Really?

Mr. Ratburn: I need to be closer to my house to supervise the work, so Francine’s mother invited me to stay with them.     

Kids: (gasp)

Mr. Ratburn: Only for a week, then I'll be staying at Binky's house.   

Binky: Ohh…

He faints.

Mr. Ratburn: Everyone's so generous! Who knows? I may spend time at Muffy's! And Buster's! And Fern’s.

Binky lies on the floor.

Binky: Mr. Ratburn in my house? Drinking from our cups, touching my stuff?

Francine: How could my parents do this to me?

Buster: What was it like?

They all talk at once.

Arthur: Okay... First, if anyone calls you teacher's pet, just smile and don't let it bother you. Second, I hope you like Spooky Poo.

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