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Arthur's First Sleepover (episode)

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the book, the VHS, the 2004 DVD, or the 2008 DVD.
"Arthur's First Sleepover"
Arthur's First Sleepover.png
Arthur's First Sleepover Title Card.png
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 30a
Original Airdate: United States November 15, 1996[1]
Canada February 14, 1997[2]
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Jean Lajeunesse
"Stolen Bike"
"Arthur's New Year's Eve"
Read transcript

"Arthur's First Sleepover" is the first half of the thirtieth episode in the first season of Arthur. It is based on the book Arthur's First Sleepover.


Despite D.W.'s warning of an alien invasion, Arthur and his friends camp out in the backyard. A jealous D.W. plans a prank to scare them off.[3]


Arthur, Buster and the Brain are all gathered in Arthur's backyard, and they are camping out. Arthur remembers the time when he got scared of the dark. Buster remembers when he was originally scared of the dark, but now he is more afraid of Binky. The Brain remembers when he was scared of a scary movie called Navy vs. The Nightworm. Arthur and Buster don't believe him and laugh, but get scared of a caterpillar crawling on the lantern. 

Arthur's First Sleepover

Arthur is preparing for his first sleepover and he attempts to build a tent, but his mother calls him inside to eat breakfast. At the kitchen table, David reads an article in the newspaper about someone claiming that they saw a spaceship in Elwood City. This makes D.W. want to find a spaceship for herself.

Meanwhile, Arthur finds out that Buster's mom won't let him go to his sleepover, since she is worried that Buster will be scared. Arthur convinces his mom to call Buster's mom, and she soon agrees to let Buster go.

Later that night, Buster dreams about arriving at Arthur's sleepover, only to find out that Arthur and Brain are actually aliens. Brain dreams about aliens intending to do an experiment on him once he fixes their ship. Arthur dreams about D.W. wanting to come to his sleepover, which scares him.

The next day, the tent is set up and Arthur tries to bring the TV outside using an extension cord, but his dad prohibits him from doing so. That night, Buster and Brain arrive, and D.W. wants to join, but Arthur refuses to let her. They bicker for a bit before D.W. is called to come inside.

Later on, as the boys are getting ready for bed, they see a light floating. They think the object is a spaceship, but it is actually D.W. using a flashlight. The boys exact their revenge by making it seem like there is an alien outside of her window so they sneak into the shed to find a bowl, forks, kite rope, and other stuff then run back out.. Once D.W. finds out that she has been tricked, she confronts the boys, only to find what she believes is a UFO Brain, Buster and Arthur act like they're scared and then they peek out of the tent then when D.W. sees it she takes a bunch of pictures and yells she's rich then Arthur tells Buster to let the thing down so Buster releases the string off the steak with his toe and then down the prank lands, but it's actually a floating tin plate with objects strapped to it. Then when D.W. picks it up Arthur, Brain and Buster laugh.

D.W. leaves, feeling hurt, but Arthur and his friends were sorry, so Arthur invites her to join them. She does, but she then leaves and the boys go back to playing with their trading cards.



  • At the end of the 2000 rerun intro on PBS Kids before this episode, Arthur’s crashing sound changes to pots and pans.
  • Part of Buster's line, "Hey, cool PJ's." from his nightmare is recycled in most appearances of the "Magnifying Glass" title card, first used in Season 3.
  • This episode and the next episode were encoded to work with ActiMates Arthur and D.W. on June 29, 1998
  • Beginning in spring 2024, as part of a partnership with Bridge Multimedia, as well as funding provided by the US Department of Education (US-DOE), this and a few other popular episodes of the Arthur series were rereleased with the addition of an American Sign Language interpreter on screen, allowing individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to fully immerse themselves in the program. Interpretation was also provided to a variety of other popular Arthur episodes, the full list can be viewed here.
  • Timeline: Brain being scared of an old movie about giant worms could be partially why he got so terrified at the possibility of giant worms in "War of the Worms."

Cultural references[edit]

  • In the opening, Binky looks similar to Frankenstein's monster.
  • Navy vs. the Nightworm could be a reference to The Navy vs. the Night Monsters, a film from 1966 in which the monsters are carnivorous trees.
  • Buster shaking violenty and his eyes popping out is similar to a cartoon like SpongeBob Squarepants.


  • When Arthur talks about when he was afraid of the dark, when he turns on the light, he wears a yellow shirt, but when the viewer sees him on the bed, he has green pajamas.
  • During Buster's nightmare, his skin turns gray, then brown when he freaks out over Arthur and Brain.
  • When D.W. finds the pretend flying saucer, there's no rope attached to it, but when Buster flicks the tent rope with his foot making it land, the rope is attached to the flying saucer.

Differences from the book[edit]

  • The tent is relatively narrow on the inside, and it has canvas on the bottom, and the boys often slept with their feet sticking out. In the book, the tent was larger in size, and it did not have canvas on the bottom, allowing the boys to put their sleeping bags among other things on the grass.
  • The tent was reddish-orange; although in the book, it was yellow.
  • Bitzi had blond hair in the book when she was introduced. In the TV version, like all other episodes of the show, her hair is auburn.
  • When Jane calls Bitzi to whether or not Buster may come over for a sleepover, Bitzi was at work at the Elwood City Times; although in the book, it did not specify if Bitzi was at work or if she was at home. Bitzi also did not have any dialogue in the book, but a sentence said she did all the talking while on the phone.
  • In the book, when Arthur was walking to school with his friends, Prunella was walking with them; but in the TV adaptation, Prunella does not appear in this episode.
  • Out of the pajamas that Arthur, Buster, and the Brain were wearing: Arthur was wearing his blue summertime pajamas, Buster was wearing light blue summertime pajamas, and the Brain was wearing a yellow shirt and orange and yellow striped pajama pants; although in the book, Arthur was wearing a yellow shirt and blue and white striped pajama pants, Buster was wearing a red shirt and white pajama pants with yellow polka-dots, and the Brain was wearing a white shirt and blue pajama pants.
  • D.W. was wearing her cream-colored summertime pajamas; although in the book, she was wearing pink two-piece footsie pajamas with dark pink polka-dots.
  • When the tent collapses, the boys stay in place; in the book, they run around until they hit a tree.
  • In the book, Arthur mentions that he almost stopped breathing and Buster mentions that he almost wet his pants when David came to the tent to give the boys pizza; but the episode doesn't mention those incidents at all and David only came to the tent to tell the boys that it was bedtime.
  • The Brain's lantern is red and white with a white lampshade; although in the book, the lantern was Arthur's and it was red and white with a white lampshade on the cover, and it was white and red with the CAMPLIGHT name on it and had a red lampshade inside the book.
  • In the book, the boys ate pizza and other snacks; but in the episode, they did not eat pizza, but only snacks.
  • In the end, Arthur and his friends happily welcomed D.W. into their tent, and then she decided she was better off in her room; although in the book, she stayed in her room.
  • Also in the end, the boys continued to play Go Fish after D.W. left the tent, and then a firefly came by; although in the book, they started jumping around.

Episode connections[edit]

  • D.W. laughs in the same evil way she laughed in Arthur's dream in "Sick as a Dog" and in "Sue Ellen's Little Sister".

Home video[edit]