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My Dad, the Garbage Man

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"My Dad, the Garbage Man"
My Dad, the Garbage Man Title Card.png
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 26A
Original Airdate: United States November 11, 1996[1]
Written by: Kathy Waugh
Storyboard by: Sarô
"Arthur Cleans Up"
"Poor Muffy"
Read transcript
"My Dad, the Garbage Man" is the first half of the twenty-sixth episode in the first season of Arthur.


Mr. Ratburn's class is taking field trips to see parents at their jobs, but Francine isn't sure she wants everyone to know what her father does.


We first see David trim the hedges while Arthur asks the audience if they ever wondered what the most perfect dad would be like. Arthur says he likes his father and imagines him as a drag racer and a transformer. He then says that having a father like Francine's would be good too since he's good the way he is. 

Title Card

We now see Mr. Ratburn's class doing work in the classroom, which makes Arthur bored. Mr. Ratburn then announces to the class that since they have been studying about careers for the past several weeks, they will be going on a field trip to other work places in town. The parents of Muffy, Brain, and Francine have volunteered to tour their work places. Everyone gets excited and cheers. 

Back at Francine's apartment, Catherine, who is very shocked, asks if Francine is out of her mind with having a field trip with her father. Francine asks why that is a problem and Catherine says that if the students know that their father is a garbage man, they'll get disgusted. Meanwhile, Francine's father is loading trash in the truck and then he throws a can to Francine. Catherine asks him when he will get a "real" job. He then worries about all the things in a "real" job such as wearing a suit and tie, carrying a briefcase, and staying at the office until 7 P.M. He says he can't do it because he can't tie a tie because no one ever showed him. Then Francine and her father laugh because it was all a joke and Catherine angrily walks away. 

The next day, we see Mr. Crosswire getting ready for the students. Then, one of his employees tells him that everyone is here. Outside of the dealership, he welcomes the kids, but tries to speak over a band. Before the class goes to the first room, Mr. Crosswire tells them to stick together, do not touch the merchandise, and not to get excited. If they get too excited, they can put their head between their knees and breathe. Buster tries to do it, but he can't do it. The first room is the salesroom, which Mr. Crosswire calls the busy hub of the auto universe. Unfortunately, it doesn't turn out as busy as it should. The next room the kids go to is the strategy room, where the employees meet to help meet the customers' needs. It looks busy with people working, but when Mr. Crosswire pushes the button, there is actually arguing inside. The final room they go to is the garage where they can test drive the cars. The class gets excited, but Mr. Ratburn simmers them and says that they'll pass and that it's time to get back on the bus. The class gets disappointed and leaves, except for Muffy who happily waves goodbye to her father. 

The next stop is Brain's mother's ice cream shop. Mr. Ratburn tells the class that they'll be visiting Francine's father tomorrow. Sue Ellen asks Francine what her father does, but Buster and Muffy get disgusted from the smell of the garbage truck passing them. In nervousness, Francine sees her father and tries to tell everyone the truth, but then shows a trick about her spitting her gum into the air and catching it. However, the gum sticks to the bus ceiling and everyone laughs. Muffy thinks that Francine is a child for what she done.

Now we see the invention room of the ice cream shop. Sue Ellen asks what the tubes are and Brain's mom says that flavors come out of those tubes. She shows her flavors such as candy and chocolate. In honor of Mr. Ratburn, everyone is going to make their own ice cream called "Rocky Ratburn". The kids mix pizza, bananas, and other flavors of the ice cream. Buster then pushes the button and out comes the Rocky Ratburn.

On the bus ride back, Buster, proud of the ice cream, gives it to Mr. Ratburn. He licks it but states it as unusual. Mr. Ratburn once again reminds everyone that they will visit Francine's dad tomorrow. The garbage truck passes by again while riding back to school. Francine, worried, imagines what is going to happen tomorrow and how everyone will be disgusted by all the garbage. 

Back at her apartment, Francine asks her mother to cancel the field trip so the others won't find out what he does. Francine's mother assumes she's been talking to Catherine about all of this. Francine wonders why on Earth her father would have such a stupid job and why he can't do something really exciting like everyone else. Then her mother tells her to go discuss with her father. 

When Francine goes up to her dad, he shows her a cool machine he found at the dump. It's an electronic pitcher. He puts a baseball in the hole and then it bounces off a wall. Francine's mother then gets angry. He then asks if she wants something, but Francine says nothing. Then, Francine tells Catherine that she couldn't tell her father. Catherine tells her that she better think of something to get herself out of trouble, and then Francine gets an idea.

The next day, everyone wants to know Francine's secret. The bus then stops at the dump and Buster already found out. He then asks her if her father is a garbage man. Francine then asks everyone to keep a secret and they want to know even more. She then tells everyone that her father works for a very secret organization. Buster asks if it's the FBI, but Francine shushes him and tells them that he acts like a garbage man, which is his cover. She warns everyone not to tell or else they're toast.

While Francine's dad introduces himself, he gives everyone a hard hat. Muffy is disgusted by the atmosphere of the dump, and says that if her shoes rot, she'll be suing the dump. Francine's dad sees how many long faces there are and believes they're thinking how honored they are to meet a garbage man. Sue Ellen states the air smells in the dump, and she's absolutely correct because it's a dump. He then tells everyone enthusiastically that the best part about being at the dump is that you get to drive a bulldozer.

While Francine's dad is driving the bulldozer, Buster asks if he works for the FBI, and Arthur tells him not to say that. Actually, Francine's dad does work for a secret organization, and it's FOSE (Fraternal Order of Sanitation Engineers). Francine's dad then tells everyone the second best part about working at the dump. That is, crushing things into little pieces! After he says go, everyone puts their garbage bags into the crusher it crushes all the garbage.

Finally, he tells everyone the really great stuff they can do with garbage. In the future, cities could be built from garbage. Then he leads everyone to a playground with items that were in the dump. While the class runs off to play, Francine holds her father's hand and he says that the secret is out. Francine's dad then asks if Catherine will ever forgive him. Francine thinks that they shouldn't tell. Maybe Francine's dad should get a job where the dress code is a suit and tie and hold a briefcase. Sue Ellen says to Francine that her father is the best. Buster then asks her if he really is with the FBI. Francine says no, but one thing is for sure, he's a garbage man!



Episode connections[edit]


  • The sign for Westboro Apartments lacked the letter S in the word "Apartments"
  • Helmets usually have holes in them. But while they are at the dump, there are no holes in them. Since George is a moose and has antlers, it would be impossible for the helmet to fit on him.
  • When Catherine is putting on makeup in the bathroom, she used Muffy's gasp reused.
  • There are only five kids from Mr. Ratburn's class seen during the visit to Crosswire Motors.
  • Francine is misplaced frequently at Crosswire Motors.
  • George's pants were miscolored at the ending.