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Binky Barnes, Art Expert

From Arthur Wiki
"Binky Barnes, Art Expert"

Binky Barnes, Art Expert.png

Binky Barnes, Art Expert Title Card.png

Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 2A
Original Airdate: United States October 21, 1997[1]
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Harry Rasmussen
"Arthur's Lucky Pencil"
Read transcript

"Binky Barnes, Art Expert" is the first half of the second episode in the second season of Arthur.


Arthur and Buster dread having to work on an art project with Binky the bully, but he surprises them.[2]


Arthur and his class all go to the Elwood City Art Museum to find a historical art piece to do a report on. All the kids find paintings that suit their tastes except for Arthur, Buster, and Binky. While Arthur and Buster observe a highly ornate water fountain, Binky rushes in and excitedly shows them an art piece that he claims is perfect for their report. He shows them a piece of abstract art that the two of them do not understand, but Binky thinks a great report can be made because, apparently, the painting is hanging sideways. The boys do not see what Binky is getting at and assume that he's merely misinterpreted the painting, but Binky insists that the painting was in fact posted wrong, so much so that he rejects the museum catalog which shows it hanging in the current position as well.

After school, Arthur and Buster dwell on their report, worried that Binky will humiliate them if they are forced to do this painting for their project, and they imagine the entire class laughing hysterically at them as Binky claims the painting is sideways. The two of them decide that since it's two against one, they will tell him they don't want to do it. Unsure of how to do it, Arthur and Buster practice telling off Binky, with Arthur playing Binky and Buster playing Arthur and himself. However, it doesn't go anywhere as Buster doesn't put up much of a fight. Francine thinks they ought to just tell him straight out that they aren't up for it, but when she recalls his size, strength and bully nature, she suggests they make a run for it instead. Buster and Arthur imagine Binky throwing them into space if they tell him they don't want to do the painting, barely missing a satellite in Earth orbit. They go to the Brain for help and he says he'd never be able to throw them that far, and instead suggests that they compromise with him. The boys approach Binky and explain that he can do his painting if he lets them do their painting, and then they'll do them together. Binky readily agrees and the boys are relieved. Binky then believes that he's discovered another upside-down painting in the book he's reading, until Arthur reluctantly points out that the book was upside-down.

The boys relax in the treehouse with a few joke books, having yet to start their own report. Francine comes by to remind them that the report's due the next day. Terrified, the boys rush to select a painting for their paper, but they don't like anything they see. They lament that even if they manage to make a good paper, Binky would still make them look foolish, so Arthur comes up with a plan to see to it that Binky never gets to school. They call him the next day to tell him school is closed because it burned down. However, Binky sees the school completely intact, so the boys claim it only burned on the inside. Binky catches onto their game and says Francine said they had done their report late, but assures them that his half will be great, much to their dismay.

The boys go to school only to realize in all the time they spent worrying about Binky, they had no report to give! So Arthur and Buster quickly write up a report directly from the museum catalog about an artist who specialized in cowboy paintings. They and Binky are the first to present their work to class, but Ms. Bryan quickly finds out that the boys copied their report from the catalog when Francine recites their report from her own catalog. The boys realize they are about to fail but Binky steps in to show off his half of the report. As Buster and Arthur brace for humiliation, Binky shows that in his effort to prove his claims that the painting was in fact sideways, he researched the painting and sent it in to several art experts for examination. He eventually tracked down one who was able to give him recorded evidence that the artist had in fact placed his painting in a different position, proving that he was in fact correct about the painting being wrongly displayed, much to Arthur and Buster's surprise.

Back at the museum and in front of a whole news crew, the boys watch as the museum director puts the painting up the correct way, and the news crew interviews Arthur and Buster on how they discovered this accident. They say that Binky deserves all the credit for the discovery, so Binky is congratulated for his work. Ms. Bryan is impressed with the boys' display, but still wants a proper report the next day. Arthur and Buster observe a painting thinking what other paintings might be misplaced at the museum. Meanwhile, the nearby exit sign falls from its fixed position and goes upside-down.






  • At the beginning of the episode, Arthur can be seen sculpting Pal out of clay.
  • Arthur dials 732 on the phone. 732 is an area code in New Jersey.

Episode connections[edit]

  • Francine points out that Arthur and Buster plagiarize from the museum pamphlet for their report. In "Francine's Pilfered Paper," Francine plagiarizes a work herself.

Cultural references[edit]

  • The name of the painting seen throughout the episode is Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow. It is a 1930 painting by Piet Mondrian.
  • The paintings that are seen in the episode include The Whisper, The Persistence of Memory, and The Scream.
  • There's a picture of a painting called Whistlers Mother which is also seen as a reference from Mr. Bean.


  • At the beginning of the introduction, Arthur is seen sitting next to Buster, but in the next shot, Arthur is seen sitting next to Fern.

Production notes[edit]

Home Video[edit]