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Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper

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"Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper"
Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper Title Card.png
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 17B
Original Airdate: United States October 29, 1996[1]
Canada January 28, 1997[2]
Germany January 4, 2002[3]
Written by: Matt Steinglass
Storyboard by: Myron Born
"Meek for a Week"
"Arthur's Chicken Pox"
Read transcript

"Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper" is the second half of the seventeenth episode in the first season of Arthur.


Arthur thinks it would be cool to be a Gleeper—until he finds out what "gleeping" really means.


Before the title card, Molly in the hallway tells a boy that Arthur gleeps stuff, which spreads to Francine in the gym, but she mishears it as "Arthur keeps beans," which she repeats in music class. Somehow, this leads to the Tough Customers believing Arthur to have a crush on Francine and Prunella, Muffy, and Fern, who are playing jump-rope, to mockingly sing that he "eats fancy spam". A boy comments on how tough Arthur is for allegedly gleeping spam, to which his friend accidentally says, "Arthur gleeps stuff!" to Arthur, who claims that while it's often hard to tell how rumors start, he knows that one started with him.

Title card

Arthur and Buster sit at the only available lunch table with the Tough Customers, who tease Arthur and say that they bet he's "never even gleeped anything". Buster claims that Arthur "has gleeped lots of stuff" to stop the teasing, only to find out later that "gleep" means "steal." Arthur lets the lie grow into a school wide rumor.

The Tough Customers confront Arthur at recess and make him part of their group. After recess, Arthur is walking around and notices that everyone is treating him differently. Francine is mad at Arthur because Binky Barnes told her that Arthur was the world's greatest gleeper. She doesn't really believe him, but it still makes her mad

During lunch the Tough Customers talk to Arthur, asking what he has stolen lately and wondered if he has stolen Mr. Ratburn's socks and if they have holes in them. Arthur attempts to tell Molly that he is not a gleeper but she thinks he is just being secretive. Everyone leaves except for Arthur, who Mrs. MacGrady notices and she thinks he's meditating. He asks her what would happen if somebody claimed they did something they'd never heard of to sound cool but later found out it was bad, but that just confuses her. Just then, Muffy comes in with Mr. Haney, telling him to arrest Arthur because he allegedly stole her cell phone. Mr. Haney, who doesn't know what gleeping is, warns him that if he had nothing to do with the phone, he won't get in trouble, but if he did he would be.

After the recess bell rings he lets Arthur go back to class. On his way to his class, Arthur sees the Tough Customers, and they are curious what punishment Arthur got from Mr. Haney. Arthur says that Mr. Haney just gave him a warning. He is going to tell them he is not a "gleeper" but Binky thinks that Arthur sold out on them.

The Tough Customers then get mad at Arthur and they demand him to prove that he is a gleeper by stealing ice cream bars from the school cafeteria. Arthur decides that he has no other option. When Arthur tries to do it he sees Mrs. MacGrady, which surprises him as she was meditating and being very quiet. She is surprised that he would be stealing. Arthur told her to turn him in to Mr. Haney for stealing.

Arthur begins to get worried that the Tough Customers will beat him up. After that Rattles is on Arthur and hitting him in the head with a ball and calling him a big liar and Binky tells Arthur that he should never have lied. Francine comes to Arthur, and states that she is glad that he told the truth. Arthur and Francine then make up.







  • At the beginning, 3rd Grade Male Dog (Number 2) gasps using one of Arthur's stock gasps.
  • Muffy tells Mr. Haney to shave Arthur's head, referencing how he appears to have no hair.
  • This is Kiefer's first major role.
  • Muffy is more negative towards Arthur than usual in this episode. Most of the time she considers him a close friend, but in this episode, she immediately accuses Arthur of stealing her cell phone because she falsely believed he was the "world's greatest gleeper."
  • Molly's right eye is visible as she arm wrestles Binky.
    • When Molly says she picks the toughest kid in the whole school (Arthur) part of her bangs are standing off, revealing her left eye. This is one of, if not the, first episodes to show Molly's eyes.

Cultural references[edit]

  • Mrs. MacGrady quotes Lao Tsu.
  • The word "gleep" is not a real word in the English language, and thus was likely only conceived for the purposes of this episode.
    • The word "goofus" is a portmanteau of "goofy doofus", even though the word only exists in this episode.
    • Skipped a louie means "Ditching class" and Pulled a Fizzler means "Pulled the Fire Alarm".
    • It is possible that "gleeper" originates from the Icelandic term "glæpur," which translates as "crime."
    • "Gleep" was also the name given to an early version of the Sesame Street character Grover, during his first appearance on a Christmas Eve skit in a 1967 episode of The Ed Sullivan Show.


  • During the intro, Francine can be seen playing the violin with Muffy, despite the fact that she normally plays the drums.
  • Arthur's sweater is a brighter color than in other episodes.
  • Right before Arthur opens the cafeteria freezer, the entire screen is purple.
  • During the intro, when she is playing kickball, Fern is bizarrely miscolored for a few frames. She is basically wearing Thora's shirt with solid red pants, matching red shoes, and with a dark pink bow instead of dark red. Her face is sludge green.
  • Also, George has bright yellow antlers.

Episode connections[edit]

  • Just like in "Arthur Accused!", if Buster hadn't spoken up for him, Arthur wouldn't have gotten into trouble.
  • This subject of stealing would again come into focus in "Nerves of Steal", in which case there is a real theft, Buster is the one who steals, and Arthur ultimately does get in trouble because of his actions.

Home video[edit]



:Main article: Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper/Gallery