Season 1 Episode 2

Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn / Arthur's Spelling Trubble

Aired Daily 4:00 PM Sep 09, 1996 on PBS
out of 10
User Rating
30 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn / Arthur's Spelling Trubble
"Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn"

Arthur and Buster fear that their new teacher, Mr. Ratburn, is some kind of evil maniac who collects children's heads - until they discover the truth about him, of course.

"Arthur's Spelling Trubble"

Arthur does some heavy-duty studying, in order to compete in the school's upcoming spelling bee.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • If I see this episode of Arthur one more time. I am going to explode!

    What a bad episode. Too much screaming. Does anyone know how long everyone screamed when they found out they got Mr. Ratburn?. The reason I don't like this episode, well, you guessed it, All the screaming. This is the only episode of Arthur that has the most screaming. Well, Later! Bye!
  • Mr. Ratburn

    Mr. Ratburn reminded me of my 2nd grade teacher. Uhg she was horrible. All the kids always said how horrible she was and how strict she was. So when I saw this ep were Arthur and all his friends find out they're in Mr. Ratburns class it brings back flashbacks of how horrible it was. This is a good ep. it relates to alot of kids who get stuck with bad teachers. The other part of this ep is about the Spelling bee. I didn't like this part just because I hate spelling. But I did think it was funny when D.W follows him around telling him to spell things.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

Tamar Kozlov

Tamar Kozlov


Recurring Role

Walter Massey

Walter Massey

Principal Herbert Haney

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • In "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn," Sue Ellen's hair keeps changing colors. In the vampire clip, her hair is black. In a scene in Mr. Ratburn's room, it's dark brown. Sue-Ellen will not be introduced until later this first season.

    • In "Spelling Trubble" when Mr. Ratburn is erasing the board not all of it is erased (some of the underline under "Bee" isn't erased) yet it still disappears in the chalk dust.

    • Regarding the goof about Buster's reading: the show apparently has no timeline. The kids are always shown as being in third grade, so the events of this episode could have taken place well after the events of the episode in which Buster said he had never read a whole book.

    • If I'm not mistaken, Buster says in "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn" that he read a book where kids became detectives, but in "Buster Hits the Books," which doesn't occur until the next season, Buster says that he's never read a whole book.

  • QUOTES (11)

  • NOTES (4)

    • On VHS releases of this episode, "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn" was retitled as "Arthur's Teacher Trouble" during the episode's title card, obviously to reference the original book the episode is based on.

    • Arthur's first spelling work happens to be aardvark...and he is one!

    • These two stories are taken from the book "Arthur's Teacher Trouble". Prunella is introduced here, but her relationship to Arthur's gang is never explained, other than the fact that she had Ratburn as a teacher the previous year (making her, presumably, a fourth-grader). She seems to have no friends outside of Arthur and his third-grade class. A couple of parts in "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn" also come from the book "The True Francine," whereas in the beginning of the book version, the gang starts third grade, and they are shocked to learn that they got Mr. Ratburn

    • In "Spelling Trubble", just before Arthur walks in and plays the Aardvark Rap song, his dad is humming the theme from Ravel's "Bolero".


    • Arthur's nervous thinking when he is in the class spelling bee seems to be a partial reference to when Charlie Brown was in the class spelling bee in the 1969 movie A Boy Named Charlie Brown, as well as some of the comic strips with Charlie Brown spelling; however, while Charlie Brown is trying to remember the "I before E" spelling rule and thinking about his spelling strategies, Arthur is thinking of how to try and get out of the spelling bee.