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Arthur's Lucky Pencil

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the song or the object.
"Arthur's Lucky Pencil"

Arthur's Lucky Pencil.png

Arthur's Lucky Pencil Title Card.png

Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 2B
Original Airdate: United States October 21, 1997[1]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Stéphanie Gignac
"Binky Barnes, Art Expert"
"D.W., the Picky Eater"
Read transcript

"Arthur's Lucky Pencil" is the second half of the second episode in the second season of Arthur.


A special pencil seems to be bringing Arthur luck. What will happen when it's been worn down to a stub?


Arthur starts out telling the viewers that all of his friends have something to give them good luck: Francine wears lucky socks during baseball, and her refusal to wash them during a win streak which makes other teams hesitate to tag her.

Buster used to have a stuffed bear he thought would give him good luck on tests, however, he spent too much time focused on it, and never did the test. Grandma Thora has lucky rituals that help her at Bingo. Arthur thinks none of those were lucky. What is truly lucky is something in his room, somewhere in this room as it shows his room is a mess.

Arthur's Lucky Pencil

In Mr. Ratburn's class, they're learning about a fly laying eggs on a decaying banana with half of the class asleep. Arthur looks at Ms. Sweetwater's class where she is telling the class jokes. Their assignment for the day is to come up with a joke. At the end of the day, Arthur and Buster plan to sail a toy boat, but it's raining.

At home, Arthur and D.W. battle over TV rights over heads and tails. D.W. beats Arthur, but he challenges her to two out three, which she beats him again. She watches a show about two cats in love with each other. Arthur decides he would rather do math homework and leaves.

At dinner, the Read family is eating fish sticks. Arthur states he hates fish sticks and would make him sick. David gives Arthur cream ocred, which Arthur sarcastically remarks, “terrific”. He is looking forward to dessert, but Jane tells him that there was an accident. Pal comes in the dining room with his face covered with chocolate ice cream.

The next day, Arthur is walking D.W. to Grandma Thora's. It is raining again and Arthur thinks he's cursed. D.W. dismisses this, saying no one who has a cute sister like her can be cursed. Arthur walks into a pencil, where it immediately stops raining as soon as Arthur looks into its eye. Arthur drops D.W. off and runs to school.

In class, Mr. Ratburn knows the class didn't like the slideshow, so he has something “more interesting” planned, which excites the class. Until they find out what he means: a math quiz. The students groan. Arthur grabs out the pencil from earlier and sharpens it.

In the lunch line, Buster tells Arthur to hurry up as its Boston Cream Pie day, but it's all gone. Arthur says he's bad luck, but Mrs. MacGrady comes out with a fresh batch, and gives the boys extra big slices. Buster thinks it's the pencil that changed Arthur's luck.

Arthur dismisses this as a lucky pencil sounds ridiculous and gets his quarter stuck in the soda machine. Buster tells him to poke it through with the pencil. Doing so, gives Arthur one of each soda flavor.

In class, Arthur is still skeptical about the “luck” the pencil gives, but Buster insists. Mr. Ratburn returns Arthur's math quiz: an A. Arthur finally believes that it is a lucky pencil and is thankful that it's his.

Arthur lends Brain his lucky pencil to solve a very hard math problem, to Muffy to complete a hairstyle, to Francine to do her drumming, and to Buster to help him with table hockey. Buster says “You can do anything with this pencil”.

Arthur then daydreams about being president. He signs a law to give $50 million to every school so they can serve Boston Cream Pie to every kid twice a day. Then he dreams about shooting down an alien on the moon. Back in reality, he hears a snap.

Suddenly, Buster accidentally breaks the pencil in half. He sobs and dramatically apologizes, but Binky insists it's still lucky if it is re-sharpened. Buster thinks he lost all of his friends, and continues crying, but Arthur tells him he's still his friend. Buster thanks him and asks if he could finish the game, he was winning! Arthur looks at him angrily.

At home, Arthur is measuring his pencil, it's getting shorter and shorter. He writes to his pen pal with the pencil, but words aren't showing. It's because he isn't pressing down hard enough. D.W. asks how his pen pal could read it. Arthur replies it will bring him good luck and it's the thought that counts.

At school, Francine asks to borrow the pencil because Brain is beating her at tic-tac-toe. Arthur tells her no, and that he'll only use it if absolutely needed. Francine calls him a “luck hog”.

At the Sugar Bowl, Buster says he should only use it in emergencies. Arthur agrees, like if he was bitten by a snake or something. A waitress asks them if they're interested in entering a milkshakes for life sweepstakes. Buster shakes and asks Arthur for the pencil, but Arthur refuses saying that he won't be president if he gives it to Buster.

At home, the pencil is down to its eye. Arthur says he can't use it and to hide it where not even he will think to find it. At school the next day, Francine refers to Arthur as a luck hog again while talking to Binky. Binky replies “I bet he won’t even give it to his own grandmother”.

Mr. Ratburn tells the class he hoped they were studying for the history test. Buster asks for it, but Arthur won't give it to him saying he'll just have to study. Muffy asks Arthur how much he wants for it. Arthur says it's not for sale and not even he's going to use it. That night, Arthur is studying for the test tomorrow.

He thinks about using the pencil and looks for it in his bed, but it's gone. He accuses D.W. of stealing it, but she denies it, asking what she would do with that “silly little thing”. Arthur thinks she would use it to be famous or get all the toys in the world and tells her to give it up. D.W. tells him she doesn't have it and that he probably put it somewhere.

Arthur rushes into his room and looks everywhere for it, throwing everything out of his cabinets. Arthur calls himself doomed that he can't find his pencil and he'll never have good luck again.

Next day, Arthur rides his bike to school, doubting he will succeed the test. In class, he takes the test with a regular pencil. At lunch, he tells Buster to stay away from him because he's unlucky again. Buster doesn't care and says it's alright and he likes him anyway. Back in class, he gets his test back, it's an A.

Arthur gives the test back to Mr. Ratburn that it couldn't be his test, but Mr. Ratburn gives the test back to him, as it is indeed, his test. Arthur asks how he could get an A. Mr. Ratburn replies that he must have studied. Arthur says he doesn't need the pencil after all. At home later that day, he tells Pal he might not ever see the pencil again. Jane asks D.W. and Arthur to bring their trash down. D.W. asks if he ever found the pencil. Arthur says he hasn't, but doesn't need to. He brought the luck himself, and tells D.W. she'll understand when she's older. D.W asks him if he's sure he doesn't need it anymore.

Arthur tells her, he's positive. D.W. reaches in the trash and grabs the lucky pencil saying she'll take it. Arthur realizes he put it in the trash can. D.W. tells him too bad he doesn't want it anymore and that now she'll have all the good luck. Arthur tells her he was just joking and starts chasing after D.W. trying to get his pencil back as the episode ends.






  • It is revealed that Arthur dislikes fish sticks.

Episode connections[edit]

  • In "Operation: D.W.!" Arthur makes a "lucky mark" on her arm, and the pencil was full size. It could have taken place soon after, though.
    • Also, in "Sue Ellen Gets Her Goose Cooked," Arthur's pencil appears again, but shorter and in a different color. This could have taken place even later in the timeline.


  • Pal eats chocolate ice cream. In real life, chocolate can be harmful to dogs.
  • When Arthur tries to sharpen the pencil, no shavings come out.
  • When Buster breaks the lucky pencil, the lucky pencil is seen broken in half on his desk. A few seconds later it disappears.
  • When Mr. Ratburn announces he has a better lesson prepared and the class cheers, Brain is seen sitting across from Francine, but when Mr. Ratburn announces that it's a math quiz and the class groans, Brain disappears and his seat is seen pushed into the desk.
  • In the Bingo scene, there are no "free spaces" on any of the cards, which is usually always used in real life Bingo. In addition, one of the cards has the numbers 30 and 32 on the B and I columns, respectively.
  • Arthur mentions being on his first streak, but he accidentally says it's his first in All Worked Up.

Production notes[edit]

Home Video[edit]