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Arthur Loses His Marbles (episode)

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the book or the DVD.
"Arthur Loses His Marbles"
Arthur loses his marbles.png
Arthur Loses His Marbles Title Card.png
Season/Series: 6
Number in season: 10A
Original Airdate: United States November 26, 2001[1]
Canada January 7, 2002[3]
United Kingdom April 19, 2002[2]
Written by: Nick Raposo
Storyboard by: Alex Hawley
Elie Klimos
"Friday the 13th"
Read transcript

"Arthur Loses His Marbles" is the first half of the tenth episode in the sixth season of Arthur. It was later adapted into the book Arthur Loses His Marbles.


Arthur trains with Grandma Thora, a marbles champion, so he can beat all his friends. But when the Elwood City marbles tournament comes down to Read vs. Read, he learns that she didn't quite pass along all her secrets.



Arthur discusses how talented and nice his Grandmother is, such as cheering up D.W., fixing her toys, taking care of them when they are sick, and even mentioning how good Thora is at bingo. Then he states that there is one thing he wishes she wasn't good at.


Before school, Muffy is showing Arthur and friends the gifts she had recently been given for her birthday, such as cards, a new Polly Locket vehicle, and a special singing doll. She stops short upon finding a sack of marbles, and comments on how she doesn't really like them; Arthur likes them, so she lets him keep them. Buster comments on how they resemble planets when Muffy chooses she would rather keep them, thinking she can make a profit online.

Later, Arthur and Buster purchase marbles and try to play the game. Buster seems like a natural while Arthur plays badly. Frustrated by his loss, Arthur and D.W. sit at the dining table as she wishes to try a new dish with them. So they quickly claim someone was at the doorbell and then feed it to Pal. She goes to give them more until seeing that Arthur has a pretty blue marble in his fingers. She then takes the two of them to the attic and shows Arthur her most favorite marbles and then gives the bag to Arthur.

The following day, Francine is playing against Arthur when Buster points out that they will lose heavily should he mess up. Suddenly, Grandma Thora shows up! She asks if she can take Arthur's shot and proceeds to do so once Muffy and Francine confirm it. She shoots and it looks as if she lost, when it suddenly rolls Francine's marble over the line and Arthur wins! However, Grandma Thora takes the won marbles and gives them back to Francine while offering her advice.

As the two of them leave, Arthur asks Grandma Thora to teach him everything she knows, to which she agrees eagerly. Once Arthur snaps out of his daydream, the two of them begin. First, she gives Arthur many "finger drills" such as typing, holding glasses of water, balancing the marble along his fingers, and waxing the floor (because of it needing a good wax job).

A few days later, Arthur shows his skill and when Grandma Thora suggest that he could probably show his friends a thing or two, Arthur is then inspired to try to have other children sign up for a "Marble league". After a few rounds of winning, Arthur is then convinced he'll easily win the final rounds when Buster points out that he has a few more competitors when suddenly Grandma Thora leaves the Sugar Bowl, stating she only taught him what he knows, but there is a lot she has left to teach him.

That evening, Arthur nervously tries to practice, but it is no use. So he chooses to go to bed and ends up having a terrible nightmare involving big ants, a blueberry, and "Cannonball". It ends just as he is about to be run over by the marble.

That morning, Arthur is awaiting his turn when he reveals to Buster he is going to lose. Not wanting to embarrass his grandmother. He then makes Buster promise not to tell anyone... of course Buster doesn't listen and throughout the game, Grandma Thora is becoming very suspicious that Arthur is purposely cheating to lose. She confront him, but he lies, and so she sticks her foot into the marbles ring and claims she is now disqualified. Arthur asks why that is and she explains its a rule. And so Arthur wins automatically, but he doesn't feel too happy about it, stating that he was only fake-losing so that he wouldn't lose in front of his friends.

Arthur then mentions that he did have his grandmother and she fails to believe him and he begins to show her where she "messed up" according to him with the candies in his sundae as the episode finishes.






  • As with all season six episodes, the end credits originally featured a remixed version of Believe in Yourself. Beginning in 2015, the credits were reformatted for reruns and now include the standard version of the song.
  • This is the last episode where D.W. is voiced by Oliver Grainger.
  • When Buster is telling Arthur there are seven different types of candy on the prize, Buster is holding up eight fingers instead of seven.
  • 4th wall Break: The name of the famous marbles player "Lefty" Raposo is a reference to Nick Raposo, a writer for Arthur, who wrote this particular episode.
  • Marbles terms used in the episode:
    • Shooter/taw: A larger marble used to knock out the other marbles.
    • Aggie: A marble made of (or looking like) agate.
    • Knuckle down: A shooting technique where one knuckle of the shooting hand comes in contact with the ground.
    • English: Another term for backspin; increases accuracy.
    • Playing for fair: Each player gets back her/his marbles after the game.
    • Playing for keeps/keepsies: The winner keeps the marbles she/he knocked out.
  • Timeline:
    • This episode takes place on May 26. This can be seen in the lower right corner of the video camera, where the date and time are shown. This is the day after Arthur and Muffy's birthday, which makes sense since Muffy was talking about all the presents she got for her birthday at the start of the episode.
    • Arthur and Buster still have the same video camera from "Arthur Makes a Movie".

Cultural references[edit]

  • Grandma Thora in a robe in a foggy swamp is a reference to Star Wars Episode V: the Empire Strikes Back.
  • Arthur having to clean Thora's floor as part of his training might be a reference to the "Wax on, wax off" scene from The Karate Kid.
  • When Buster said "Oh, the humanity!," it is a reference to the famous line by reporter Herbert Morrison when he witnessed the Hindenburg disaster.
  • Dopeyman is a parody of Pokémon.
  • When Arthur runs away from a marble in his dream, it is similar to the Indiana Jones movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Indiana Jones runs away from a boulder rolling after him in a lost temple in South America.
  • Tiny Figgy is singing Non più andrai which was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with an Italian libretto written by Lorenzo Da Ponte.


  • On the camera, it shows it is May 24, but at the beginning Muffy was talking about her birthday presents from May 25.
  • When Buster is telling Arthur there are seven different types of candy on the prize, Buster is holding up eight fingers instead of seven.

Episode connections[edit]