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The Law of the Jungle Gym 34

Rattles, Molly, Binky, and Slink.
"The Law of the Jungle Gym"

We're not bullies. We're kids who have a hard time expressing our emotions in a constructive manner.

Rattles, "D.W., Queen of the Comeback"

The Tough Customers are a gang of bullies at Lakewood Elementary School. As of "The Last Tough Customer", despite still acting tough at times, they have all changed and are no longer mean bullies.

Their club headquarters is the Tower of Pain, which is the jungle gym in the school playground.


Tough Customers 2

Several of the Tough Customers at their cafeteria table. "Arthur and the Square Dance"

Current members

Status unknown




Early history

Binky Barnes founded the club sometime before Arthur's third grade school year. By the time of the group's formal introduction in "Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper," the Tough Customers had already gained their infamous reputation. Their general activities were fighting (with each other), looking tough, and possibly even occasional gleeping.

Binky and Sue Ellen

When Sue Ellen was still a new kid at school, Binky made her lose count on her jump rope, and she demanded that he apologize. After Binky threatened to fight her, she unexpectedly accepted his challenge. Learning that Sue Ellen takes Taekwondo lessons, Binky wisely decided to instead compete with Sue Ellen as rival musicians.[1]

With their leader now pursuing personal interests (ballet, books, butterflies, etc.), many of the Tough Customers stopped regularly hanging out with the club. Most of them, however, joined Binky in a ballet on one occasion.

De-founding and revival

The remaining three Tough Customers, eager to restore the organization to its former status, took the opportunity to force their leader to hit someone. After doing so, however, Binky instead decided to "de-found" the club, since it was he who had founded it in the first place. Binky then founded a new club, devoid of any "dumb hitting rules."[2] But the "new" Tough Customers continued to quietly fade away, with one more member leaving the club. However, it was around this time that Slink transferred from Mighty Mountain and joined the Tough Customers.

Binky's final major act was a far-fetched plan to eliminate all music around the world, titled "Silence is Golden".[3] His intended plan failed, Binky briefly left the group once again to continue his career in music.

Molly acted as the interim head of the group during Binky's absences. During the changing of powers, the Tough Customers also shifted their primary headquarters to the playground jungle gym, which they had dubbed as the "Tower of Pain". After Muffy unwittingly "freed" the Tower of Pain for anyone to use, the gang spent a brief time looking for a new headquarters, until Muffy and Molly agreed to let the Tough Customers once again "own" the jungle gym.[4]

Molly soon developed a friendship with Arthur.[5] Both groups of each one's friends (Arthur's friends and the Tough Customers) feared that their friend would become like the other group, leading them to put an end to the friendship, or so they believed they had.

After some time, Muffy again unintentionally caused trouble by distracting everyone with her mySmartPhoney and not "letting" the Tough Customers have anyone to menace.[6] The Tough Customers allied with Muffy to restore the playground, but she took over the project and took it too far, forcing Mr. Haney to shut it down. Eventually, however, Muffy's friends became uninterested in the device and went back to playing the "old-fashioned" way.

By this point, the school had become practically "bully-proofed," leaving the Tough Customers with nothing to do for fun. Despite Molly's desire to remain bullies for the respect that came from it, her three teammates led the group in finding a new image for themselves. After short attempts at exercising, singing, and enforcing the law, they settled on critiquing the healthiness of food[7] and savagely consuming it in large proportions.[8]

Alternate names

The Tough Customers have a tendency to rename themselves, often temporarily, when they change their interests.

  • "Bully Ballet" - when they danced a ballet about green potato chips in "Revenge of the Chip".
  • "Tough Costumers" - unofficially; when they tried to get kids interested in playing outside in "The Play's the Thing".
  • "Buff Customers" - when they tried working out in "The Last Tough Customer".
  • "Muffy Crosswire's 4 Open Hearts Tough Customers" (MCTC) - when they tried singing in "The Last Tough Customer".
  • "Shush Customers" - when they tried to enforce the library's "no talking" rule in "The Last Tough Customer".
  • "Tough Consumers" - current name; when they inform people about the nutrition of food.


  • While on the Tower of Pain, they like to throw water balloons at others on the playground. This occurs in several episodes, including "Lights, Camera... Opera!," "The Last Tough Customer," and "Slink's Special Talent."
  • Muffy Crosswire was the only person on the show to consistently stand up to them throughout the series.
  • Both of Arthur's sisters are friends with younger siblings of Tough Customers. James (Molly's brother) is friends with D.W., while Mei-Lin (Binky's adopted sister) is friends with Kate.
  • In the episode, Arthur's Big Hit, when the Tough Customers heard Arthur and Buster talking about Arthur hitting his sister and getting in trouble, Binky's friends dare him to hit the next person that walks by (which happened to be Arthur).


Episodes with enough of them together to be recognized as the Tough Customers. Ones that specifically focus on them are in bold.