Season 7 Episode 11

April 9th

Aired Daily 4:00 PM Nov 29, 2002 on PBS
out of 10
User Rating
33 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After a huge fire in the teacher's lounge during the middle of the day, Lakewood Elementary School gets closed down. Frustrated with the devastation, Arthur and his friends all react differently during the aftermath of the situation.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
  • This episode Shoots the It's for Kids excuse out the window

    It's for kids, is the most common excuse most people have towards reviewers, who criticize episodes or TV shows for bad writing. It's as if these people don't care about writing, and think that if it's for kids, it can be written as poorly as possible and still air on TV. Let's look at this particular episode in a show aimed specifically at children. Of course, this episode is an allegory to the 9/11 tragedy, but it displays so many sides and reactions to it. First off, at the start of the episode, we get a monologue from Sue Ellen about how before the event was just an ordinary day. That's very true, people remember what happened before a tragedy right down to the most detailed points. We then see a series of reactions from Arthur and friends. Arthur almost lost his dad in the fire when his dad was catering a breakfast at school. Sue Ellen lost her journal in the fire, along with a post card from a pen pal, Binky is traumatized by the fire, and Buster is disappointed because he didn't get to see anything. These are all very justifiable reactions to any tragedy. Sue Ellen, lost an item that contains memories from a person who lives far away, Arthur almost lost his father, Binky saw a fire for the first time and hides it because of his reputation, and Buster wanted some excitement to see. Later on, we learn that Binky is so traumatized, even the mention of the word fire scares him. Muffy then tries to help Sue Ellen by getting her a new journal, but Sue Ellen refuses because it was more about the contents as opposed to the actual journal itself. Again Sue Ellen lost memories from a pen pal. Also, Buster tries to make up stories about how he saw the fire, but is revealed as a fake. Later, Buster goes to the hospital and visits an employee of the school at the who got injured from the fire named Mr. Morris. Despite not seeing the fire, Buster finds out is very interesting and they begin to bond a little. Also, Arthur is still scared for his dad's life and hears that his next catering event is at an aquarium. Sure, there's a very low chance of an aquarium catching fire, but Arthur has bad dreams about how his dad could still be in danger. Soon after, Binky pulls the fire alarm at the replacement school, and gets in trouble for it, he is then sent to do community service with Francine's dad. Binky then learns Mr. Frensky was a volunteer fireman and discovers that when you're afraid of something, it's best to talk it out. Later, Arthur's dad discovers that Arthur is afraid for his safety at the catering event, and tells him a story about how Grandma Thora, was in an accident that scared him. He then tells Arthur to not worry about him and that most of the time lightning doesn't strike twice. Sue Ellen then gets a new Journal and an idea to paint a mural now that the school is open again. Afterwards, Buster learns Mr. Morris is retiring to live with his daughter in New Mexico, then the episode ends with Sue Ellen writing about on how to stick together through a tragedy. This is how you write people, and using it's for kids as an excuse for bad writing should be shoved aside.moreless
Jodie Resther

Jodie Resther

Francine Alice Frensky

Arthur Holden

Arthur Holden

Mr. Nigel Emil Ratburn

Michael Yarmush

Michael Yarmush

Voice of Arthur Timothy Read (1996-2001)

Sonja Ball

Sonja Ball

Janet Read

Bruce Dinsmore

Bruce Dinsmore

David Read / Binky Barnes

Danny Brochu

Danny Brochu

Buster Baxter

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • This episode has four storylines within it:

      Arthur almost lost his dad to the fire and now he's afraid something might happen to him when he leaves the house.

      Binky sees the fire when it happened and gets terrified, but won't admit it to anyone.

      Buster becomes good friends with Mr. Morris, the school janitor, who was injured during the fire.

      Sue Ellen is upset that her diary was burnt up in the fire and Muffy tries to cheer her up.

    • Sue Ellen's friends don't give her much support, except for Muffy, who thinks she can cheer up anyone by buying them something.

    • In this episode, April 9th was on a Friday, yet after the fire, Buster said "'tomorrow' we have to go to school at Mighty Mountain." That would be a Saturday they're going to school.

    • Arthur says Buster and Mr. Morris meet for the first time because of the fire, but there were other episodes in the past where Buster and Mr. Morris made contact with each other and knew who each other were.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • (Buster just learns that they evacuated Mighty Mountain Elementary due to a false fire alarm...)
      Buster: Aw, so I'm still the only one who hasn't been through a fire? What rotten luck!
      Arthur: Buster, that's GOOD luck.
      Francine: Not for the person who pulled the fire alarm!

    • Arthur: I had the worst nightmare last night.
      Buster: Did you have pepperoni right before bed? If I eat pepperoni after eight, I dream that penguins are after me.

    • Binky: I said I wasn't afraid. End of conversation. (takes Buster's ice cream and storms off)
      Buster: What's gotten into him? He usually just takes the top scoop.

    • Buster: I've kept a cupcake since first grade. Actually, it's just half a cupcake. I ate some of it last week. And you know what? The icing was still soft.

    • Arthur: Cake in class? We never had this before.
      Buster: I'm surprised he's not making us take a test on the ingredients. (to Mr. Ratburn) Can I have two slices? I like to give one to Mr. Morris.
      Mr. Ratburn: Mr. Morris isn't in today, Buster. In fact, he's not coming back.
      Buster: What?
      Mr. Ratburn: He's retiring. But you can have two slices anyway. It will save you the trip for seconds.

    • Mr. Read: Are you worried about me because of the fire? Do you know that when I was your age, Grandma Thora was in a car accident? She wasn't hurt. But for weeks afterwards, I was worried whenever she set foot in a car. Even when she just went to the store for a bottle of milk, I was afraid she would be in another car accident. While I was waiting for her to return, I'd shoot crumpled up balls of paper into the wastebasket and I told myself that if I made more baskets than I missed, she would come home safely. Ah, it seemed to work. Now, of course, I was a pretty good shot. Then one day I forgot to do it. She was gone for three hours and I didn't shoot one basket, and you know what happened?
      Arthur: What?
      Mr. Read: She came home just fine. It's my job to worry about you Arthur, not the other way around.

    • Arthur: Phew, he's home.
      Buster: Oh. You probably want to say hi to him. Well, good night.
      Arthur: (starts to put the phone down, then reconsiders) Wait, Buster. Why don't you play Clementine for me? (Buster does. The music continues into a scene with Sue Ellen, in her room.)
      Sue Ellen: (writing in her new journal) This Friday, it will be one month since April 9th. So much has happened since then. I never want to go through another fire, but I also never want to lose this feeling, that each day is special That my friends are the best friends in the world. And that if we stick together, we can make it through just about anything. (Sue Ellen closes the journal, which now features a picture of Bolivia that she recovered from her old journal and turns off the light.)

  • NOTES (8)

    • On December 19th, 2012, it was later re-aired again to help children cope with the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting tragedy.

    • This episode was made in response to the September 11 attacks.

    • Final proper appearance of Mr. Morris, the school custodian. He will return, however, in the Postcards from Buster episode: "Alien Adventure (Roswell, New Mexico)".

    • The kids get temporarily moved to Mighty Mountain Elementary.

    • Buster receives from Mr. Morris, his accordion which he named 'Beatrice'. For those of you aware of "Arthur's" spin off series "Postcards From Buster", the 3rd episode's title is "Buster and Beatrice (San Antonio, TX)". In that episode, Buster is using the accordion named 'Beatrice'.

    • This episode contains some similarities to the story "D.W. All Fired Up": Fire safety is discussed; Binky is traumatized by the fire (D.W. got all nervous when she thought fire drills involved fire), a false fire alarm is sounded by Binky at Mighty Mountain (the fire drill at D.W.'s preschool was a false alarm, plus D.W. set off the smoke detectors late one night), the expression "Is it hot in here or is it just me/you" is reused, Arthur pretends to be sick so his father can stay home (D.W. pretended to be sick to avoid school), and Binky immediately got nervous seeing the fire (D.W. was nervous when she saw the fire on a barbecue grill.)

    • Word from us kids segment: a firefighter teaches us about what to do when there is a fire occuring in your home.

    • Add Cochabamba, Bolivia to the impossibly long list of places where Sue Ellen has lived.


  • 8:00 pm
    Whose Line Is It Anyway? Willie Robertson
  • 9:00 pm
    The Messengers Deus Ex Machina
    What Would You Do?
  • 10:00 pm
    Dateline NBC