Arthur Wiki
"The Tardy Tumbler"
Season/Series: 18
Number in season: 4b
Original Airdate: United States October 2, 2014[1]
United Kingdom March 4, 2015[2]
Written by: Matt Hoverman
Storyboard by: Allan Jeffery
"Best Wishes"
"Fountain Abbey"
Read transcript

"The Tardy Tumbler" is the second half of the fourth episode in the eighteenth season of Arthur.


Prunella's excited about making the gymnastics team...until she realizes practice starts at 6am! Will she honor her commitment...or hit the snooze button?[3]


The episode begins at the Lakewood Elementary gym, where eight girls are trying out for the gymnastics team under Coach Bellow. Marina tells Prunella to give her the signal when it is her turn, as she does not want Bellow to find out she is blind. Prunella declines to go when it's her turn, as she is only there to support Marina. After Marina goes and performs a sommersault, Coach Bellow questions Prunella's presence and coerces her to try out, so Prunella goes to perform a set of yoga moves. Coach Bellow chooses five girls to make the cut, including Marina and Prunella.

The Tardy Tumbler

As everyone is leaving the gym after tryouts, Marina reminds Prunella that practice begins early in the morning at 6:00am sharp. Prunella is caught off guard, but Marina assures her that her mom can pick her up at 5:30am on the way over. Marina gives Prunella a copy of Bellow's audio book, The Tiger of the Tundra, before leaving with Mrs. Datillo, and Prunella listens to it as she goes to sleep. Prunella dreams that she is at school doing all of the gymnastics events at once. She excels at all of them, impressing the crowd. Unfortunately she is disqualified as she went over the time limit.

Prunella wakes up the next morning at 5:35am to the angry honking of Mrs. Datillo's car, and immediately dresses and rushes out. Marina implicitly warns her not to be late again, so Prunella apologizes and promises to be on time from now on.

When the two girls arrive, Coach Bellow issues them their first strike for being late, with three strikes ending in their dismissal from the team. Practice continues with Marina excelling at performing gymnastics, while Prunella struggles to stay awake. Marina hesitates when she reaches the uneven bars as practice ends for the day.

At the Datillo's house, Prunella attempts to coax Marina to tell her the problem. Marina confesses that she is scared of the uneven bars because she is afraid that the high bar may not be there for her to grab on. The conversation is interrupted as Muffy calls Prunella's cellphone, who invites her for a Henry Skreever screening at her house. Prunella excitedly accepts while Marina ushers her out of her room and slams the door.

Prunella joins Muffy, Buster, and Francine at the Crosswire estate while Marina practices gymnastics in her room. Muffy makes the screening a double feature, and Prunella stays as Marina continues to practice.

The next morning, Prunella wakes up late again at 5:40am, and makes the excuse that she could not pass up the Henry Skreever double screening. Marina calls out Prunella on her lack of devotion to gymnastics, and the girls get into a heated argument in the car. When they arrive, Coach Bellow issues them their second strike as they angrily glare at each other and go their separate ways.

Prunella continues to struggle as she finally gives in to exhaustion. Coach Bellow questions her passion for gymnastics, comparing her to Marina's courage and devotion despite her blindness. Prunella admits that she either does not care or is lazy, despite her natural talent for it. Coach Bellow advises her to not let anything get in the way of the things she cares about, whenever she eventually finds them. Before she leaves, Prunella gives Marina her headband and wishes her luck in getting into the Olympics.

Back at home, Prunella calls Muffy and Francine to hang out, only to find they both have their own commitments for the day. Prunella then imagines herself as a mouse watching the television, where Marina has won the gold medal in gymnastics under Bellow's coaching.

Prunella wakes up the next morning at 5:15am to the sound of many car horns to find that the entire street is backed up. She runs out to investigate and finds that Mrs. Datillo's car has broken down. Marina laments that she will get kicked off the team with her third strike, but Prunella promises to get her to school on time. So she guides Marina via a shortcut through the neighborhood, with the last one being a fence they must jump over. Prunella climbs the nearby tree and reassures Marina that she will be up there to catch her.

Marina jumps and it transitions to her practicing on the uneven bars. Ironically Coach Bellow arrives late, as he was caught in the traffic jam. Marina credits Prunella with helping her overcome her fear of the uneven bars while Prunella tells Bellow that she found something she cared about (Marina). Coach Bellow asks Prunella if she would be interested in being an Olympic coach, and she is ecstatic with the prospect. The episode finishes with Prunella blushing when Bellow questions why she is out in public in her pajamas.






Cultural references

  • Bellow is a parody of Bela Karolyi, a real life Olympic gymnastics coach. His best student Nadia Comeinimgladtomeetya is based on Karolyi's student Nadia Comăneci.
  • The Henry Skreever movie mentions Henry having a room under the sink (Harry Potter’s original room was under the stairs) and it mentions Multifruit Potion, a reference to Polyjuice Potion.
  • The symbol on the Karma Cake is a Celtic variation of the triskelion.

Episode connections

  • In Prunella’s dream, Francine and Buster are wearing the same clothes they wore in the introduction to “Get Smart”.
  • Prunella’s dilemma is similar to Brain and Francine’s in “The "A" Team”. She likes the sport, but the advanced team requires more commitment than she is willing to make.


  • Jenna’s name is twice on the sign-up sheet, while Katie’s name is missing.


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