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Arthur Babysits (episode)

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the book.
"Arthur Babysits"
Arthur Babysits Title Card.png
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 9a
Original Airdate: United States October 17, 1996[1]
Canada January 16, 1997[2]
Germany December 19, 2001[3]
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
"Arthur Bounces Back"
"Arthur's Cousin Catastrophe"
Read transcript

"Arthur Babysits" is the first half of the ninth episode in the first season of Arthur. It is based on the book Arthur Babysits.


Arthur thinks babysitting is the easiest job in the world, until D.W. volunteers him to babysit Tommy and Timmy Tibble.


Arthur is babysitting Kate and D.W., who keeps making Kate laugh as Arthur is trying to feed her. Arthur snaps at his sister to stop which makes D.W. accuse him of being a mean baby sitter.

Arthur then tells her about his past terrible baby sitters: Mrs. Gutter (who practiced her golf swing in the kitchen), Ms. Schmegeggi (a clumsy moose), and then Mrs. Featherfoffer (who watched soap operas all day and made him go to bed early for making noise in his play).

--Arthur Babysits--

Arthur is seen walking Baby Kate in her stroller when they bump into D.W. coming home from preschool, covered in paint. D.W. explains that they did finger painting in school before showing Arthur her painting. Arthur says the painting looks neat, but then asks her how she got paint all over her. D.W. blames the Tibble twins, and the three end up walking past their house where a screaming babysitter flees the premises.

The twins then spot D.W., much to her displeasure and then Mrs. Tibble comes out, wondering where the baby sitter went. She is shown to be clearly oblivious or downplaying the twins' rambunctious nature.

D.W. volunteers Arthur to look after the twins while Mrs. Tibble visits a friend, and Arthur agrees, thinking it won't be a problem. However, when he tells his friends at the Sugar Bowl about it, they all recoil in horror.

Prunella tells Arthur that her older sister babysat for the twins once and is still having nightmares. She suggests that Arthur lay down the law and make sure the kids know that he is the boss, and the others agree.

When Arthur returns to the Tibble household, Mrs. Tibble tells him that the boys should be down for a nap soon before leaving. However, the boys would rather play and create a huge mess in the house, knocking over a suit of armor and drawing on the walls. Arthur is cleaning up when D.W. calls, suggesting that he play a game with the boys so they calm down.

Arthur tries to follow her advice by suggesting a card game, but the boys would rather play more energetic games such as Cowboys and Robbers and Hide and Go Seek. Arthur finally agrees to play the latter, but when he goes looking for the boys, he notices an open window and panics, believing the boys have left the house to create chaos elsewhere.

Arthur fantasizes the boys setting free all the wild animals in the zoo and the Elwood City population is in a state of panic, as they run away from an angry elephant and an angry lion, as well as an angry rhinoceros. Prunella and Francine, as they try hiding in a tree from an angry bear, blame Arthur for not keeping the twins in control.

Just then, D.W. calls again to check up on him and Arthur notices the boys hiding behind the curtain. He then makes up a story about a swamp monster that might get them, and D.W. asks "The what?"

The twins are frightened about the "swamp thing" being outside, so they run to him. Arthur continues to tell them more about the scary swamp monster and just then, Mrs. Tibble returns. The twins, now enamored of Arthur, offer to help clean up, and beg to let Arthur be their official baby sitter.

When Arthur returns home, D.W. grills him about his experience and is shocked to find out that not only did the Tibbles behave for him, but now when he comes over to babysit, they want D.W. to come along, too.



  • Rubella, seen in Prunella's flashback having a nightmare about the Tibble Twins, is shown with short brown hair like Prunella's, while in subsequent episodes her hair is orange-colored and much longer.
  • The Tibble Twins are a lot more destructive and rambunctious in this episode compared to subsequent ones, where they are still mischievous but noticeably toned down. It's implied Arthur helped mellow them.
  • The monster that Arthur describes to the Tibbles is featured on a movie poster for "Swamp Monster II" in "On the Buster Scale".
  • At the end of the 2000 rerun intro on PBS Kids before this episode, Arthur’s crashing sound changes to the Season 5 version.
  • Timeline: Arthur babysits in this episode, he mentions being a babysitter in Crushed.
  • Running Gag: The Tibble Twins wrecking the house.
  • Moral: If you're going to be a babysitter, you need to be prepared for the mental challenge and responsibility of taking care of young children, and have the right approach ready for them.


  • Arthur babysits for the Tibble Twins, despite only being eight years old. Leaving an eight-year-old to babysit is illegal in most places in real life.
  • After the Tibble Twins fight over the lollipop, Tommy first has the lollipop stuck on his head, then in the next shot, it's Timmy who has the lollipop stuck on his head.
  • When Timmy jumps off the couch his scarf changes to Tommy's scarf, then when Timmy is on the floor the red scarf turns back to his blue scarf.

Differences from the book[edit]

  • In the book, the Tibbles bore the appearance of actual humans. In the episode, they are bear cubs.

Home video[edit]