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Arthur the Wrecker

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"Arthur the Wrecker"
Arthur the Wrecker.png
Arthur the Wrecker Title Card.png
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 14A
Original Airdate: United States October 24, 1996[1]
Canada January 23, 1997[2]
Germany January 1, 2002[3]
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Stéphanie Gignac
"Buster's New Friend"
"Arthur and the True Francine"
Read transcript
Bad Arthur! Bad Boy!

Jane Read

"Arthur the Wrecker" is the first half of the fourteenth episode in the first season of Arthur. It was later adapted into the book Arthur's Computer Disaster.


Arthur breaks his mom's computer. Can he fix it before she finds out?


Intro: Arthur mentions that kids like him have done important things. He is then seen in three flashbacks, where he dislodges the nose of the Sphinx in Egypt, accidentally breaking the arms off of Dad's sculpture that is bought soon after, and running into the Liberty Bell and making the crack in its side. It is then shown that Arthur broke a window in the backyard door while playing baseball. He was sugarcoating the accident by making it seem like a to-be "valuable and important" event in history created by an innocent kid. D.W. assumes that Arthur will never forget the accident, and then proceeds to tell Mom about the broken window.

Arthur is eager to play a new computer game, Deep Dark Sea, and he plays it on the family computer right after rapidly finishing his dinner. Arthur has made some progress in the game but can't finish before bedtime, so he saves the game. The next morning, Buster comes over to the house, and dashes with Arthur to the computer to continue the game. They are both hoping to find a "thing" that will earn Arthur free prizes and rewards if found, but are stopped when Jane tells them that she has to work on the computer. When Mom leaves the house, Arthur and Buster play on it anyway, even though Jane had told them that she will need it again when she gets back. When Arthur finds a treasure chest, he and Buster assume it to be the "thing", so they both fight for the mouse, and knock the keyboard off the desk, causing the monitor to go blank. While D.W. exaggeratedly foreseeing the possible repercussions of the computer getting wrecked, Arthur and Buster find the Brain to try and fix the computer before Mom gets home. Unfortunately, he cannot find the problem.

As soon as Jane comes back home through the front door, Buster and the Brain leave, and D.W. goes up to her room. Jane tells Arthur that she won't need the computer until after dinner, so he is welcome to go play on it; however, Arthur declines.

After dinner that night, Jane proceeds to get the computer to work, but Arthur attempts to distract her from finding out what happened to the computer. Finally, he tells her that he wrecked it after playing on it, and apologizes. Luckily, Mom is able to fix the computer by toggling a switch in the back; D.W. then says that they're not going to starve. Mom then tells Arthur that he could’ve just called her and asked her for help instead of worrying, and Arthur admits that he thought she'd be mad to which Mom replies, “I’m not mad; I’m disappointed.” She then forbids Arthur from playing on the computer for a whole week. When she asks if that's fair, Arthur nods, accepting his mom's punishment.

The episode finishes as Jane becomes fascinated with Deep Dark Sea, and plays it passionately that evening.



  • "Arthur the Wrecker" became adapted into a book in the Arthur Adventure series and re-titled Arthur's Computer Disaster.
  • It was also an entry in the Living Book series, going by the title Arthur's Computer Adventure.
  • The episode's intro features three historical landmarks and pieces that are accidentally made famous by Arthur: in ancient Egypt he dislodges the nose from the Great Sphinx; in ancient Greece, he breaks Dad's sculpture that a Greek version of Mr. Haney later buys, by chopping of the arms holding a marble sculpture of D.W, thus creating the famous Venus de Milo sculpture; in colonial America, Arthur is running and flying a kite, but rams into a giant bell, creating a big crack in it, and making it the famous Liberty Bell.
  • When Arthur saves the game, the sonar sounds from the Arthur Underwater title card can be heard.
  • Karma: Arthur disobeyed his mom, so he had no computer for a week.
  • Irony:
    • Had Arthur just listened to her instead of letting Buster convince him to break the rules, he would have avoided any kind of punishment.
    • If Arthur called Jane sooner or told the truth, he'd have saved himself a lot of unnecessary grief.

Cultural references[edit]

  • When Arthur imagines himself in ancient Egypt, The Streets of Cairo can be heard in the background.
  • When Arthur imagines himself in colonial America, Yankee Doodle can be heard in the background.


  • When Arthur and Buster look for Brain, his dad tells them he's not home, then they go to the library looking for him realizing he's not there, but he's suddenly standing behind Binky looking at library books in which they never even knew about, because they continue looking for him, and they suddenly find him at the pond throwing rocks.
  • Computer mouse doesn't have a wire between it and the keyboard.

Differences from the book[edit]

  • When Arthur started playing Deep Dark Sea, he was wearing his pajamas. In the episode, he was playing on the computer before changing into his pajamas.
  • When Mom tells Arthur and Buster that it's tax season that she needs to use the computer all day, she was in the kitchen and on the phone. In the episode, she was on the computer when she told them.
    • Also, in the book, after she tells the boys she needs to run to the office, she adds "And don't touch my computer" (which she didn't exactly say in the cartoon but meant to remind them).
  • Mrs. Powers told the boys that the Brain was not home instead of Mr. Powers.
  • After the Brain couldn't find the problem with the computer, Arthur, D.W. and Buster then go to the computer repair shop. In the episode, they didn't go to the computer repair shop because Jane came home right away, thus making Buster and the Brain leave.
  • After the computer supposedly breaks, D.W. tells Arthur and his friend Buster that they're both in big trouble. In the episode, she rambles on to them about how their mom could get fired and that their family could become homeless and suffer poor health conditions. In the book, she says it before Mom comes home.
  • After the computer incident, Arthur's mom calls to check and see how he's doing, and he lies to her about not touching the computer. In the episode, she doesn't call, but later mentions he could have called her and asked her for help.
  • The main character in the game Deep Dark Sea is a bear wearing goggles, a snorkel, air tanks on its back, a swimsuit, and flippers. In the episode, the character in the game was wearing a metallic diving suit.
  • Before Mom uses the computer once again (but decides to play Deep Dark Sea instead of working on her taxes), she grounds Arthur by telling him "No computer games for a week." In the episode, she said, "I'm forbidding you from the computer for a week" before asking Arthur if that was fair (to which Arthur sadly nodded).

Home video[edit]