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Arthur's Family Vacation (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 Family Vacation"
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 15A
Original Airdate: United States October 25, 1996[1]
Canada January 24, 1997[2]
Written by: Thomas LaPierre
Storyboard by: François Brisson
"Arthur and the True Francine"
"Grandpa Dave's Old Country Farm"
Read transcript
How are we supposed to eat this thing anyway?

Arthur Read

"Arthur's Family Vacation" is the first half of the fifteenth episode in the first season of Arthur. It is based on the book Arthur's Family Vacation.


Instead of going with Buster to Camp Meadowcroak this year, Arthur has to go on a road trip with his family. After a series of misfortunes, the vacation may turn out better than he expected.


The introduction begins with a fantasy, showing Arthur and Buster riding in a canoe and being stepped on by a giant D.W. In real life, D.W. tells Arthur that he can’t go to camp this year, because the whole family is going on vacation to the beach.

Arthur's Family Vacation

After the title card, Buster then suggests to Arthur that should tell his parents that they need a vacation without the kids to relax.

Arthur tries, but his dad asks what to do with D.W. and Kate. Arthur then has a fantasy of his younger sisters having a tea party in his canoe. Arthur wants to go back to Camp Meadowcroak with Buster for the summer, and tries arguing that he is old enough to choose his own vacation, and that the beach is dangerous, but to no avail. However, after his dad mentions that he wants to take them all out for lobster dinner, Arthur decides that maybe the beach will be fun after all.

The next morning, the family leaves in their car, with D.W.’s huge inflatable shark “Sharky” tied to the roof. They see Buster in the bus bound for camp.

The family makes a bathroom stop and a stop to change Kate’s diaper.

The interior of the diner
Chefs Special

They have lunch at a burger joint. Since they sold the last burgers to a group of bikers, the Reads gets the “Chef’s Special”, which looks disgusting. D.W. starts a conversation with the bikers. When the family drives on, D.W. has a burger, while everyone else is munching sadly on chocolate bars.

Mr. Read sees an inflatable shark on a cattle truck, and realizes that he hasn't tied up Sharky properly. When D.W. finds this out, she throws a tantrum and screams. Mr. Read chases the truck to a gas station, where he gets Sharky back.

The parents tell the kids about the hotel pool and the lobster dinner, and everyone has beautiful fantasies.

At the Ocean View Hotel, they learn that they have lost their hotel reservation, and their room has been given to another family, because the journey took so long. They get a shabby small room instead, where the ocean is hidden behind buildings, and the pool is the size of a bathtub.

They go out for lobster dinner, but D.W. is scared and freaked out by the lobster, which she thinks it looks like a “giant bug”. Arthur, D.W., and Mrs. Read are disgusted by the lobster. D.W. tries to throw a tantrum, and proceeds to defiantly demand a hot dog (and no claws). Mrs. Read gets angry at D.W., and tells her to sit down and stop complaining, and then tells her that she can have a hot dog tomorrow when they are at the beach in a harsh voice of explanation.

There is a thunderstorm at night, and the roof leaks. It also rains the next day. Arthur wishes he was at camp with Buster. However, matters eventually start to get better when Arthur gets an idea from looking in a rolled-up newspaper (which he had originally planned to go after D.W. with, as she had accidentally hit him on the head while trying to smack a fly). The Reads visit a cow festival, go on a safari, take a tour of Flo's Fudge Factory, and go to see a movie.

D.W. is buried

Eventually, the rain stops, and the family does enjoy the beach. Arthur buries D.W. in sand.

Back home, Buster tells Arthur how the camp was hit by a hurricane and lightning, and the lake was contaminated, finishing the episode.



  • At the beginning, D.W. tauntingly sings, "You can't go to camp. You can't go to camp. We're going on vacation..." in perfect sync with the background music. This suggests the music track may have originally been written for this episode.
  • The man in the movie that the Read family go to see at the movies looks like Arthur's former neighbor Mr. Sipple.
  • This is the only episode to be written by Thomas LaPierre.
  • A hurricane actually hits Elwood City in "Shelter from the Storm."
  • This is one of a few episodes to feature an extremely rare music track. It can be heard after the traffic jams up. The other episodes it appears in are "Brain's Shocking Secret" and "Mr. Alwaysright", both episodes of which are from Season 11.
  • Timeline: Arthur previously went to Camp Meadowcroak in "Arthur Goes to Camp."
  • Innuendo: Arthur says "D.W.! I am going to" before getting an idea.
  • Moral: Make the best of a bad vacation.


Arthur's Family Vacation off-model.png
  • When Arthur buries D.W. in the sand, an umbrella hides his ears, although he is not standing under it.
  • While the Read family was leaving the diner, David was holding a candy bar in one hand while he was driving. In the next few seconds, the candy bar is gone and he has both of his hands on the steering wheel.
  • Sharky's fins change different colors in different scenes.
  • For one second while Arthur said the word "No," his father had the same clothes like him.
  • In the closing scene such as where we see Arthur and Buster in the window, Buster is in his regular clothes instead of his camping outfit.

Differences from the book[edit]

  • This story takes place shortly after the events of "Arthur Goes to Camp," which also takes place before Arthur starts third grade. In the book, the story starts out on Arthur's last day of school in third grade.
  • In the book, they go to Gatorville.
  • In the episode, they go to a diner for lunch.
  • In the book, Buster says that camp was great and that he missed Arthur, while in the episode, Buster says camp was okay until they got hit by a hurricane.
  • In the book, Kate cries when D.W. announces that the family can't go to the beach because of the rain. In the episode, Kate doesn't cry.

Episode connections[edit]

Cultural references[edit]

  • The movie shown in the theater is a reference to the 1975 film Jaws.
  • A family going on a vaction only for things To go wrong, but they make up for it is simliar to Tripped! From The Loud House

Home Video[edit]