Arthur Wiki
"Tipping the Scales"
Season/Series: 9
Number in season: 1b
Original Airdate: United States December 27, 2004[1]
Canada May 3, 2005[2]
Germany December 31, 2007[3]
Written by: Alan Silberberg
Storyboard by: Robert Yap
"Castles in the Sky"
"Francine's Big Top Trouble"
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"Tipping the Scales" is the second half of the first episode in the ninth season of Arthur.


The school choir is excited about singing in Crown City, but they aren't so excited about Ms. Krasny's substitute, Dr. Fugue.


Arthur’s class is expected to perform a song at Bartleby Hall in Crown City. Binky has fond memories of the Finkelmeyer's Deli where the class will eat after the concert. However, they learn that instead of Miss Krasny Dr. Fugue will train them for the concert.

Tipping the Scales

Dr. Fugue is as strict and perfectionist as ever and has the class sing scales over and over until everybody is in tune. He also tells them that they will have to audition for the solo part. This upsets Francine, because Miss Krasny had already promised that part to her.

On the way home Arthur assures the others that Dr. Fugue is strange but nevertheless a good teacher. Binky tells them, that he isn’t going to sing, because he’s a bad singer and Dr. Fugue would lose all respect for him.

The next day Francine auditions for the solo, but Dr. Fugue does not make his decision yet. The class begins rehearsing "In the Good Old Summertime." Binky misses the auditions on purpose, and Arthur notices that he moves his lips without singing.

The rehearsals go on. Francine does breathing exercises at home and the kids begin singing during lunchtime.

Eventually, Dr. Fugue announces that their singing is now perfect, but the children are not having fun. He describes to them how magical it was when he performed at Bartleby Hall as a boy. He finally gives the solo part to Francine. At the end of the rehearsal, Binky confesses that he has been lip-syncing. Dr. Fugue already knows and encourages Binky to sing for real.

The class travels to Crown City on a school bus during heavy snow. When the road in front of them is closed by the police, the class stops at Remy's Truck Stop. They are downhearted because they will not make it to the concert.

At four o’clock Dr. Fugue makes the class assemble and sing, arguing that they all worked too hard not to hear how good they have become. The children sing and are well received by the other guests. The chef treats them to pies which are as good as the ones in Crown City. Francine thanks Dr. Fugue for making her realize that she still has a lot to learn.

In the evening the school bus follows a snow plow back to Elwood City. Everyone is singing.







Episode connections

Cultural references

  • Among the books Francine uses for breathing practice are "Horses for Dunces" (a parody of the For Dummies books) and Black Beauty, an 1877 novel by Anna Sewell abut the life of a horse.
  • The Lakewood Elementary Choir sings In the Good Old Summer Time during a snowstorm which impeded them from getting to Crown City. This is a reference to the 1930 Laurel and Hardy short Below Zero, in which the characters attempt to earn money as street musicians by singing the song on a cold winter day.
  • Dr. Fugue mentions Tchaikovsky's funeral march (third movement of String Quartet No.3 in E-Flat Minor Op.30).
  • Dr. Fugue mentions having been an undergrad with the Whiffenpoofs, an a cappella group at Yale University.


  • The various notes and keys mentioned throughout the episode do not match what the kids are singing.
  • When the kids are done singing, the waitress brings them the pie. There is ice cream on the plates beside the pie, but when she puts the pie on the table gives it to the kids, the ice cream disappears. But when the shot is a close up of Buster and Binky that are eating the pie, the ice cream reappears.
  • Lisa appears in the cafeteria, but she's in Elwood City Preschool and not Lakewood Elementary School.


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