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"Water and the Brain"
Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 13A
Original Airdate: United States April 8, 1998[1]
Canada September 9, 1998[2]
Germany February 11, 2002[3]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Robert Yap
"Arthur and the Square Dance"
"Arthur the Unfunny"
Read transcript

"Water and the Brain" is the first half of the thirteenth episode in the second season of Arthur.


Is the Brain a snob? That seems to be the only explanation for why he won't go to Waterworld with the rest of his friends. Arthur tries to discover what's really bugging the Brain.[4]


The episode begins with Arthur wondering what life would be like if everyone would be just like him. No one would call anyone "Four-Eyes," his birthday would be a national holiday, and everyone would be super nice, even bank robbers. But Arthur then realizes that if there were a million Arthurs, there would also be a million D.W.s.

Water and the Brain

Muffy announces that she's having a party at Waterworld, and everyone's invited. However, the Brain says he's unable to go, much to everyone's disappointment. He says that Waterworld is for little kids, however Binky points out that one must be a certain height in order to go on the rides.

The kids wonder why the Brain won't go. Muffy believes it's because the Brain hates her, and remembers when the Brain accompanied her on a sailing trip and would not stand on deck with her, even when a dolphin swam right next to the boat. Francine then points out that the Brain hates all girls, not just Muffy, and remembers when the Brain wouldn't bob for apples at her Halloween party after she went first, saying that there were parasites and bacteria in the water. Francine thinks that he was really afraid of cooties. Binky then says the Brain hates everyone, and remembers when he and the Brain went to the pond to catch frogs and the Brain let one get away after it went in the water, saying that catching frogs is cruel and he refuses to be a part of it. Binky also claims that the Brain said that he thinks he's smarter than everyone. Now the group thinks the Brain is a snob, and treat him differently. Arthur, however, refuses to believe it.

That night, after D.W. gets upset because she doesn't want to take a bath, Arthur makes the connection that the Brain probably is scared of water, and hence why he refused to participate in all those activities, as they involved water. Arthur goes over to the Brain's house, and explains why everyone is treating him differently. The Brain denies thinking that he is better than everyone, as they are his friends. However, when Arthur asks why the Brain refuses to go to Muffy's party, the Brain says that he wouldn't understand. Arthur then asks the Brain if he is scared of something, and the Brain then says that he is being called for dinner and must get home (despite being in his own house).

The next day Arthur catches Binky preparing to throw water balloons at the Brain and stops him. Arthur then reveals that the Brain is not a snob, and is just afraid to go swimming. This causes Binky to break down in tears, saying he can't believe he was being so insensitive. The Brain admits that his fear of water has prevented him from enjoying activities with his friends. Binky, after retaining his composure, announces that he's going to cure the Brain of his fear.

They go to Bear Lake, where Binky tells Brain to jump in the water. But the Brain is afraid of sinking, even though Binky says they will save him if he does. Arthur suggests they try something easier.

They then go to the public swimming pool, and give Brain an inner tube and a pair of water wings. Arthur encourages Brain to gradually take steps into the water. But Binky says that Muffy's party will be over by the time Brain gets up to his neck in the water. This cause Brain to panic, and run out of the pool.

They then take Brain to the aquarium. Arthur believes that making the Brain feel like he's in water without actually getting him wet will cure him. The Brain likes being at the aquarium as it's an educational environment, which he enjoys. Arthur and Binky make the Brain stare into the large fish tank and imagine he's in there. At first it appears to be working, but then the Brain runs outside, gasping for air. The Brain says he can't hold his breath forever, and Arthur tells him he wasn't supposed to do that, to which the Brain replies that he can't breathe underwater as he doesn't have gills. Arthur and Binky begin arguing, and the Brain points out there are worse things to be afraid of than water. As he is talking, the Brain starts walking backwards, not looking where he is going, and almost falls into the fountain, but Arthur and Binky catch him before he does. Arthur and Binky then realize that not only was the Brain scared, but they were too after watching him almost fall.

At Muffy's party, Francine wishes the Brain could accompany them, but Binky says that just because the Brain doesn't like to swim doesn't mean he isn't their friend. Francine tells Binky that she wasn't the one who tried to make him like swimming. Arthur points out that it would be boring if everyone was just like everyone else, as there would be nothing to argue about. Muffy says that she is glad the Brain isn't a snob, as she doesn't like snobby people, then proceeds to criticize Arthur's bathing suit.

Binky says he's glad the Brain is the way he is, because if he wasn't the towels would be wet. The Brain ultimately did accompany the group to Waterworld, he just didn't get in the water, instead he looks after the towels.





Episode connections


  • This is one of the few episodes to show Binky crying.

Cultural references

  • D.W. calls Arthur "Eggs Benedict Arnold". Eggs Benedict is an American breakfast dish. Benedict Arnold was an American officer during the Revolutionary War who infamously tried to hand over West Point to the British, and whose name is often used to call someone a traitor, which is what D.W. meant.
  • The episode's title could be a possible reference to Pinky and the Brain.
  • Waterworld is an obvious parody of SeaWorld.
  • In the opening, D.W.'s clones saying "Come play with us, Arthur!" is a reference to a scene in the movie The Shining.


  • The fear of water is actually called aquaphobia, not hydrophobia, as Brain calls it. "Hydrophobia" is a historic name for the disease rabies, a symptom of which can be an aversion to water.
  • Muffy mentions in this episode that she doesn't like snobby people although she sometimes can be snobby herself.

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