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Buster Hits the Books

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"Buster Hits the Books"
Buster Hits the Books.jpg
Buster Hits the Books Title Card.png
Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 11B
Original Airdate: United States April 6, 1998[1]
Canada September 7, 1998[3]
United Kingdom July 20, 1999[2]
Australia TBA
Germany TBA
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: J. O'Neill &
I. Tankushev
"D.W.'s Deer Friend"
"Arthur's Faraway Friend"
Read transcript
Buster, you're gonna flunk!

Arthur Read

"Buster Hits the Books" is the second half of the eleventh episode in the second season of Arthur.


For the first time in his school career, Buster has to actually read a book—and he has one week.


In the cold open, Arthur shows the viewers many different kinds of books, from fiction to non-fiction books and from picture books to chapter books. He soon runs into Buster, who asks, "Who cares about books?," making Arthur gasp in horror.

In the episode, Arthur, Buster, Brain and Fern are discussing about what books they are reading for their book reports. However, while everyone else is doing their reports, Buster just watches TV.

The next day, Arthur asks Buster what he did his book report on. Buster explains that his report was on Pa-Kanong: Creature with the Big Face. When Binky passes by and explains that he saw the movie, Arthur is shocked. Buster dismisses it, believing that all movies come from books. When he realizes that they don't, he panics.

After he is unable to find a book version of the movie, Buster briefly considers running away instead of facing Mr. Ratburn. Buster does choose to talk to Mr. Ratburn, who allows Buster to turn in his report at the end of the week so that he won't get penalized.

At lunchtime, Buster confesses that he has never actually read a book before. His friends try to get him to read a few books, such as "The Jolly Jollisters", "Sam and the Sandwich Company", and "I Don't Want To Go To Afka-Phazoom" but Buster gives up, finding each book boring.

Arthur eventually gives him two books, one about the color blue and the other book about Robin Hood. Buster starts to read the book about blue but finds it too tedious for his liking. However, he takes interest in reading Robin Hood and reads that instead.

The next day at school, he tells Arthur that he didn't finish his book report because he spent most of the night before reading Robin Hood, because he found it to be really exciting. Buster turns in his report (albeit with a cliffhanger ending), and he and Arthur read more of Robin Hood.







  • There is apparently a Scare-Your-Pants-Off-Club TV show now. Buster mentions that instead of reading the SYPOC books, he watched the TV episodes.
  • This is the first episode to use the Stampede as a title card.
  • Timeline: Buster mentions that his dad is a pilot. In the following episode, Arthur's Faraway Friend, Buster leaves for a couple of months to travel with his dad.
  • Moral: When reading books, it's best to read a short/picture/comic book instead of a long/non-picture book.
  • Irony:
    • At the end, Buster admits that he should have been choosing the books to review, rather than having Francine and Arthur choose books for him. Then he would have found something that he liked.
    • Mr. Ratburn tells Buster that taking a shortcut by watching a movie meant he did more work this week than if he had simply read a book and turned in his assignment on time.

Episode connections[edit]

Cultural references[edit]

  • This episode features parodies of "The Happy Hollisters," (Jolly Jollisters) "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (Sam and the Sandwich Company), and the style of stories and illustrations of Dr. Seuss (I Don't Want To Got To Afka-Phazoom).


  • Possible: At the start, Mr. Ratburn can be seen writing on the blackboard with his left hand, although he is normally right-handed.
  • The equation Mr. Ratburn is writing on the blackboard at first doesn't equal zero (36÷3x24-13+20÷14+3-20x10=40.71428), but when he talks about the book reports being due tomorrow morning, the numbers and signs have changed, and it does equal zero. (14-3-10+20-14+3-20+10)
  • When Buster watches TV at night the chair he sits in is purple, but when Buster is shown again during the day watching TV in the same room the chair is now a different color and plaid. Not the mention it's the same chair he was sitting in playing his video game when he was traveling with his dad in "Arthur and the Square Dance".

Home Video[edit]