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Arthur vs. the Piano

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the song.
"Arthur vs. the Piano"


Arthur vs. the Piano Title Card.png

Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 8A
Original Airdate: United States October 29, 1997[1]
Canada December 3, 1997[2]
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Harry Rasmussen
"Night Fright"
"The Big Blow-Up"
Read transcript

"Arthur vs. the Piano" is the first half of the eighth episode in the second season of Arthur.


Paralyzed by stage fright during a rehearsal, Arthur wonders whether he should try to go through with his piano recital or just depart town.


Arthur explains to the viewers that he could be any job when he grows up, such as a teacher, an accountant, or a caterer, except being a pianist. Arthur is then disappointed over it.

Arthur vs. the Piano

One day at school, Ms. Krasny announces to Arthur and the other students to perform their own solo musical pieces for all the parents at a big recital that is coming up on Friday. She tells them to have fun despite advising them to practice at home a lot, and then says to the students that it is similar to ear painting. Binky refers it literal, but Ms. Krasny refers the "paint" as music. Binky simply agrees. Later that day, Arthur asks Buster out to go skating, Buster tells Arthur that he needs to practice for the upcoming recital and make sure that the key spit valve in his tuba is cleaned out. Buster advises Arthur to practice, and Arthur brags to Buster that he knows it best, but Buster gets jealous and wishes that he did the same as well. Arthur does the same asking out manner to Francine, who tells him that she has to make sure her sticks are in good condition. Binky prevents Arthur to not ask anyone out and advises him to practice for the recital.

At home, Arthur does so until he notices D.W. jump roping in the house, he tells her to do it outside. D.W. is hiccuping and is afraid of having the hiccups go nonstop. Arthur wonders how long D.W. had them, she is not sure. She says she is not able to tell any time. Arthur assumes that getting scared could cure the hiccups, but D.W. says that she isn't. Eventually, D.W. notices her hiccups have stopped. That night, Arthur's parents advise him to get some sleep so he is prepared for the upcoming recitlal. Arthur agrees.

Arthur has a dream - the recital is there and plays Beethoven's "Für Elise". At the end of the piece, Arthur hits the wrong note twice (consecutively). The audience throws tomatoes at him and Arthur runs off the stage. Binky teases him while Arthur runs out the door. Arthur is put on a newspaper saying that he had ruined the recital. D.W. arrives and tells Arthur that she hasn't seen him since the running of the recital. Arthur tells her that he is seeking a job and is unable to get one due to playing the wrong note at the recital. He notices the same hiccups like the usual. Arthur found out a way to get rid of the hiccups. D.W. is surprised, and tells Arthur that they actually make her be famous. D.W. shows him the movie "The Hiccup Kid Part 3", and says she's a millionaire. A man comes over and tells Arthur that he played the wrong note, which was Db instead of D#.

Cut back to the present, Arthur realizes that is was just a dream and it would be worth it for the recital. At school, during rehearsal, Arthur is ushered on the stage. He is about to play, but tells Ms. Kransy that he is sick and therefore could not play his piece. His piece is skipped and Sue Ellen takes the stage instead. Later, Binky practices his tongue techniques until he is called up while Francine again advises him to keep practicing.

While Arthur is walking home, D.W. still has the hiccups and tries to hang upside-down by a swing. Arthur advises her to hold her breath for literally 100 seconds. She gets to 99 but loses count. The Tibble Twins lose count too as D.W. accidentally falls off the swing. While at home, Arthur begins to practice and proves to Buster that he didn't need to practice and Buster realizes that the guys were only lying. Buster wonders how Arthur didn't play the same manner before. Arthur explains that he was nervous of hitting the wrong note there. Buster thinks Arthur needs to have a confident effort and tells him to allow the piano to sound great and "show them who's boss!". Buster thinks he needs a casual attitude, specifically doing a joke. Buster thinks of a musical joke by doing "Shave and a Haircut", where D.W. finishes off with two hiccups in-a-row. It had no key, but Buster does not know.

Grandma Thora tries a relaxing technique to cure the hiccups by taking a spoonful of peanut butter and savoring it. As Arthur finishes practing, Grandma Thora and D.W. are impressed. Arthur tells Grandma Thora that the song he played was for her. Grandma Thora tells Arthur that he was so excited one time while at the circus that he was having a lot of fun there. Grandma Thora tells Arthur that the audience is actually not against Arthur at all. Grandma Thora compliments Arthur that she likes hearing her play good music on the piano.

On the night of the recital, Francine hopes that Arthur has practiced. Arthur tells Ms. Krasny that he is feeling better to date. Buster is exhausted after playing a lot of notes on his tuba. Arthur is then ushered onto the stage to play his piece. Buster tells Arthur to "Show the piano who's boss!", and tells him that he would be a jerk if he hit a wrong note. Arthur prepares himself, and then notices the audience is waiting to hear Arthur play. Arthur imagines a lot of Grandma Thora's around in his mind, and then starts playing. He plays a different note, but plays his own ending rather than the original version. Arthur bows to the audience, and Buster is impressed with Arthur. Arthur thinks he wrecked the end, but Arthur then realizes that it's worth it and notices that there was no mistake. Binky noticed the Db he played at the end, and tells Arthur that he is somewhat an expert at jazz music.

While on the way home, Arthur tells Grandma Thora that his big mistake was unnoticeable, except for Arthur. Grandma Thora tells Arthur that the audience does not hear any mistake, just music. Arthur teases D.W. about seeing her mess up when she starts playing. Arthur starts to have the hiccups as well, and D.W. gives Arthur solutions on how to cure them.






Cultural references[edit]

  • Beethoven makes a cameo appearance on a piano book in this episode.
  • Binky compares Arthur's improvisation to Thelonious Monk, a famous jazz musician.

Episode connections[edit]

Home Video[edit]



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