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Arthur's Chicken Pox (episode)

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the book, the VHS, or the DVD.
"Arthur's Chicken Pox"
Arthur's Chicken Pox Title Card.png
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 18a
Original Airdate: United States October 30, 1996[1]
Canada January 29, 1997[2]
Written by: Marc Brown (orginal)
Kathy Waugh (adapted)
Storyboard by: Russel Crispin
"Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper"
"Sick as a Dog"
Read transcript

"Arthur's Chicken Pox" is the first half of the eighteenth episode in the first season of Arthur. It is based on the book Arthur's Chicken Pox.


Arthur may miss out on the family outing to the circus because he has red dots on his face which is chicken pox. Meanwhile, D.W. is jealous of the attention he's getting.[3]


The circus is coming to Elwood City on Saturday, and Arthur's family is excited, especially D.W. At school, Arthur and his friends are painting pictures of different things, when suddenly, Arthur sees the blue elephant that he painted come to life before his very eyes. Then it disappears back into the painting, when Arthur realizes that it was just a hallucination. He is then sent to the nurse who checks his temperature and then has him sent home.

When D.W. sees that Arthur was already home before she was, she asks him what is wrong with him, to which Arthur plainly answers that he is sick. D.W. thinks that he has a big test coming up or Binky was going to pound him, but Arthur dismissed both claims, saying that he had to go to the nurse. Later that night, Arthur gets to eat his dinner on the couch, while D.W. has to eat hers at the table with her mom and dad, which makes D.W. jealous. D.W. eats spinach while Arthur gets to eat chicken noodle soup, again because he is sick. D.W. dismisses this and thinks Arthur is faking it. When she tries to taunt Arthur, he responds by blowing a raspberry at her, and D.W. chuckles.

Later that night, Arthur has a dream that he has to ride a unicycle across a circus tightrope while being taunted by D.W. Then he goes through a swirling vortex as he wakes up, only to find out that he has spots all over his face. When he screamed from the bathroom, he garnered the attention of his mom, dad, and D.W. After feeling Arthur's forehead, his dad finds out that Arthur has the chicken pox, and his mom arranges for Grandma Thora to come over to take care of Arthur. Grandma Thora treats Arthur very well, including giving him an oatmeal bath and letting him drink juice with the crazy straw, which makes D.W. very jealous, so she comes up with a plan: she uses her crayons to make herself look like she has the chicken pox so that she would get some attention. This only works, however, until she has an oatmeal bath and the colors are washed away, and as a result, she is caught and scolded by her grandmother.

The next morning, Arthur is found to be well enough to go to the circus, while D.W. has to stay home because she has caught the chicken pox, which she shows off to Arthur, but Arthur tells her that she will miss the circus. D.W. doesn't seem to mind, saying that the circus comes every year, but you only get the chicken pox once. Arthur then turns to the camera and smiles.



  • This is the first episode in which Grandma Thora gets mad at D.W. for lying to her about her chicken pox and it's also the first episode D.W. is called by her full name, Thus revealing her full name.
  • D.W.'s line, "Uh-huh. Sure." is recycled from the opening of Arthur's Baby.
  • Moral: Don't be jealous of someone for your own benifits.

Differences from the book

  • Right before Arthur catches the chicken pox, Arthur has a circus nightmare, and after he catches it, he finds out in the bathroom after he looks in the mirror not shown, and then his family finds out over the night. In the book, Arthur didn't have a circus nightmare, but his family walked into his room the following morning, and found out he caught the chicken pox.
  • Ms. Bryan is introduced in this episode, although in the book, Arthur was the only one shown in the art class.
  • In one scene, Arthur was communicating with Buster can-to-can from his room window to outside. In the book, Arthur's friends were giving him get well cards and bringing his homework.
  • D.W. was seen putting calamine lotion on Arthur after he caught the chicken pox. This did not happen in the book.
  • When Grandma Thora gives Arthur a back rub after his bath, Arthur was lying on his stomach on her lap and was topless. In the book, Arthur was lying on his stomach on the sofa, his legs were behind Grandma Thora, and he was still wearing his pajamas while she was rubbing his back.
  • When D.W. fakes the chicken pox and runs down the stairs, Grandma Thora picks her up and brings her back upstairs for the bath. In the book, Grandma Thora was taking D.W.'s temperature after D.W. came downstairs, and before giving D.W. a bath.
  • In the book, when Arthur's chicken pox heals up, he goes out to dinner with his family. In the episode, he and his family did not go out, and Grandma Thora allowed him to attend the circus with Buster.
  • When D.W. finally catches the chicken pox from Arthur, she runs down the stairs, prances around and even knocks over Pal's bowl, which surprises Mom and Dad and also makes them laugh a little in the process. A healed-up Arthur tells D.W. that she is going to miss the circus, but she doesn't mind a bit. In the book, D.W. walks down the stairs while her family gets ready for the circus, and surprises them when she finally caught it; however, only Arthur laughs at her. Then Jane tells D.W. to go back to bed, and when D.W. cries over missing the circus, Arthur promises to her that he will bring her home a balloon if she was good and didn't scratch.
  • In the book, Arthur was wearing a bowtie with his clothes while he and his family were ready for the circus. In the episode, Arthur did not wear the bowtie.
  • The scenes where Arthur's family goes to dinner, D.W. pretending to call her friend Emily, the scene where David and Grandma Thora bring Arthur some treats and the scene where Arthur's classmates bring him get-well cards and homework were not shown in the episode.


  • While Grandma Thora is taking D.W. upstairs to give her an oatmeal bath, when Grandma Thora blinks, her glasses frames disappear for a second.
  • When D.W. takes a bath after faking the chicken pox, her hair is in its dry, styled appearance behind the shower curtain, but when Grandma Thora opens the shower curtain, her hair is wet and straight.
  • Grandma Thora is said to know "all about chicken pox," but she is fooled by a four-year-old with a magic marker.
  • This is one of the episodes from the first season in which the characters have white tongues. This was a coloring error, and was fixed later with "Buster's Dino Dilemma."
  • Possible: When D.W. says "Or did Binky threaten to crash you?", she knows Binky's name. But in "Revenge of the Chip", she does not know his name.

Episode connections

Home video




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