Arthur Loses His MarblesEdit

===Episode #610===

"Arthur Loses His Marbles" / "Friday the 13th"

Synopsis by Jinora_victimizer - Last one of the year for me.

Comments by Arthur_assassin32, Setsuka_geishastar, KorraIsBack, and MadameBouche.SYBAR

Grandma Thora is just doing an emergency tail reattachment to D.W.'s toy "Mary Moo Cow". Finishing her sewing, she hands the toy back to a sniffling D.W., pronouncing the toy "good as new".

Arthur walks in and says that "Grandma Thora is good at so many things".

  • She knew how to make Arthur feel better when he had the chicken pox,
  • She's great at bingo. She wins a barrel of pickles while out playing bingo with Mrs. MacGrady and comments that her "mojo is working tonght".
  • Grandma Thora can also stop D.W.'s temper tantrums, by using common household items -- she makes a sock puppet called "Stinky MacTavish" to cheer D.W. up when D.W. is grumbling about Arthur getting more pudding all the time.

Now Arthur is outside, in the playground, standing at the edge of a large circle marked in the dirt. Arthur says there's one thing that he wishes she wasn't good at. We pan across to Grandma Thora standing at the edge of a circle, flanked by Arthur's friends to her right and left.

Grandma Thora tosses a marble in the air and catches it in her fist. She looks saucy.

Grandma Thora: Ready to knuckle down, sonny?

* * * Arthur Loses His Marbles * * *

Arthur's family photo gets upset by Baby Kate.

Written by: Nick Raposo

Storyboard by: Alex Hawley, Elie Klimos

Outside school, on the playground, Muffy is showing off all the things she got for her birthday to Arthur, Binky, and Buster.

Since Arthur's birthday is about six months away from D.W.'s, according to Arthur, anyway, and hers is March 1st, this must be a fall episode. But then, later on, we find that this episode is set around the end of May, so something is up somewhere.

  • Fifty-four Dopoman cards, including, as Binky notes, "Stinkachu".

Heck, I know. Pokémon.

  • The Polly Locket SUV convertible,

(note that as she holds it up, one of the headlights is colored in the same color as the body of the vehicle, and then when she lowers it, it goes back to the glass color.)

  • And her favorite, "Tiny Figgy", a remote control doll that walks around singing Italian opera.

You think to yourself at this point that "Tiny Figgy" is going to go the way of "Princess Serena".


Muffy says she got seventeen presents in all, a 5.9% increase from the year before.

Which means last year, she got roughly 16 presents.

Muffy says it was a great birthday. Arthur looks into the bag and pulls out a bag of marbles, and asks what they are.

Arthur: What are these?!

Muffy tells him that they're marbles, in an offhand tone, dismissing them as no good as they don't take batteries.

Muffy: They're like what cavemen used to play with.

Arthur holds some of the loose marbles in his hand, saying he likes the way they feel. Muffy says he can have them -- they probably only cost about five dollars... Buster takes one out of Arthur's hand, and says that they look like little planets.

We get a closeup of the marble/planet -- showing that it has a little loudspeaker on it. We hear some squeaky high voices crying "Please don't crush us, please, no!" as Buster hands the marble planet to Muffy who polishes it against her blouse, bringing a swift end to the little voices. Muffy has a change of heart all of a sudden. She takes the marbles off Arthur and walks off, saying that the marbles might be worth something on the Internet.

Buster's hearing voices again. It probably annoys everyone else but I find it pretty funny. I liked the talking chocolate dream too. I guess this is a referrence to "Horton Hears a Who".

Arthur and Buster walk out of "David's Toys", each having bought a bag of marbles.

The two of them stand at the edge of a large circle in the dirt. The circle is at least five paces in diameter. In the middle of the circle is an 'X' made out of two lines of 7 marbles, each marble about 3 inches apart from its neighbour. Arthur is reading the rules of marbles out loud. The object of the game is to knock the marbles out of the ring with your "shooter", which is a larger marble. Whomever knocks out the most marbles wins.


That's one way of doing it. The rules vary from place to place. Land of Marbles has a good rules summary from the looks of things.

I've never played marbles, that's ancient history even for me, but it certainly seems like that's an awfully big circle there.

Buster: Sounds easy enough.

They start playing. Buster is very good at marbles, while Arthur's not. Buster ends up winning Arthur's marbles. Buster says he'll lend some to Arthur so they can have one more game, but Arthur says he's had enough for one day. Buster jiggles his bag of marbles saying that that's ok -- he's got enough for a solar system.

Arthur shakes his empty bag of marbles, and sighs.

At home, Grandma Thora pulls some kind of food out of the oven and says that Arthur and D.W. are "sweet" for being the first to try her latest effort, which she thinks they're really going to like -- "tunaroni". She doles out a portion to Arthur and D.W. while Pal barks and yaps.

D.W. asks Arthur slowly if he heard... the... door...bell... ring.

Arthur didn't, but he plays along. Grandma Thora says she didn't, but leaves the kitchen to go check. We watch her leave through the entrance to the kitchen while we hear scraping sounds in the kitchen.

When she comes back in, Arthur and D.W.'s plates are empty. Underneath the table, Pal is now quiet, and licking his lips. Grandma notes that Arthur and D.W. must certainly have been hungry, and is about to dole out some more to them, when she notices Arthur playing with his "shooter" marble on the tabletop.

It's his last one.

D.W. blurts out that Arthur lost all his marbles playing with Buster as Arthur passes it to Grandma Thora. D.W. says that even she could beat Buster.

Grandma Thora eyes the marble and says that this looks like a "Taw", which is another name for the "shooter". Grandma Thora says the one she had, was black with red stripes.

Grandma Thora: I wonder if I still have those marbles somewhere...

Arthur and D.W. want her to look for them.

Up in the attic, the three of them find her old marbles in a chest. They're in a fabric bag with a drawstring -- possibly a Crown Royal-esque velvet bag, which everyone knows is a good thing to put marbles in, and takes three of them out. She says that the marbles bring back memories. She points to them, noting one she won from Herman Truman, one that was rumored to have belonged to the great "Lefty" Raposo...

"Lefty" Raposo probably wrote this episode ;) but Herman Truman won the National Marbles Tournament in 1948. See

I really don't have any commentary for "Arthur Loses His Marbles," other than it pays to watch who's writing the episodes.

...and the other one in her hand was her shooter, "Cannonball", which almost got her to the championships in New Jersey. Arthur's impressed, but Grandma Thora says she was really just an amateur. She hands the bag of marbles to Arthur, saying he can have them, and that maybe she'll come watch him play sometime.

Arthur: Thanks!

At the marble ring, poor old "Tiny Figgy" is lying on his back as his batteries go dead, and nobody cares, because Arthur, Francine, Buster, and Muffy are playing marbles, while Grandma Thora watches from a nearby bench.

Where's Binky? I guess marbles aren't his thing the way "pants-pulling-down"remark is.

Francine has a successful shot, knocking a marble out of the ring. Arthur and Buster must be losing to Francine and Muffy, since they don't look very happy watching...

Muffy: Whoo-hoo! Way to go, Francine! Another aggie for the ladies!

An aggie being a variety of marble.

Francine shoots again, as is the rule, but is unsuccessful this time. She growls. It's Arthur's turn next, and Buster nervously reminds him that if he misses this, he loses everything.

Buster: Don't mess it up!

Then Buster reminds Arthur to "remain calm".

Grandma Thora looks up from her knitting as Arthur's about to shoot, and says that she doesn't want to interfere, but could she possibly take a shot on behalf of Arthur.

Grandma Thora: It's been years since I played.

Francine asks if she can discuss it with "her sponsor", i.e. Muffy. They discuss it for a second, whispering. They agree to let her have a go -- "anything to make the game more interesting", according to Francine.

Grandma Thora takes her position, and checks the direction of the wind by licking her finger. She takes a shot... ...and the marble hit by "Cannonball" rolls to the edge of the ring, and stops.

There's an "Awwwwwww" from the boys.

Then a gust of wind rolls the marble out of the ring! Hooray! Success! Arthur and Buster are amazed at Grandma's prowess at marbles. Grandma Thora looks please with herself. Muffy and Francine do not look pleased.

Francine calls for more marbles, and Muffy hands her a bag, kindly....

It's a showdown between Francine and Grandma Thora.

Grandma kicks butt, with moves like "The Atom Smasher" which knocks out multiple marbles consecutively as the taw rolls around in the ring. Grandma Thora wins, and Arthur scoops up a pile saying that they're "rich in marbles". Grandma Thora has Arthur give them back to the girls though, as keeping them would mean that they were "playing for keepsies", whereas serious players "only play for fair". Grandma takes a handful of the marbles to Francine, telling her that she has "a great hook shot", but that she "lacks control", suggesting that she play with her left hand.

Francine: Thanks, Mrs. Read!

As they walk from the ring together, Arthur asks Grandma if she can teach him everything she knows.

Grandma Thora: I thought you'd never ask.

Arthur comes to Grandma's for his marble lessons, but when he walks through the door, he sees what looks like the mouth of a cave in the hallway. He walks through it, and suddenly he's in a cave. Glowing marbles attach him, and he has to fend them off with a glowing white marble that's in his pocket, waving it around his head like a sword.

Like a sabre perhaps.

Like a light sabre actually, I suppose.

Arthur has to jump around Jedi Knight style as the enemy colored marbles swoop in to attack him. Arthur fends them off, but then he drops his white marble, and a red one beans him, and he falls to the ground. Arthur rubs his head as he lies on the misty floor of the cave.

Yeah, the guess about it being like a light sabre was right because the next thing he sees is a cloaked Grandma Thora-Yoda fly in on a pillow as the mist parts.

Grandma Thora-Yoda: Talent you have. But no patience. Or humility. Much you have to learn.

Grandma Thora as Yoda would have been hilarious if it wern't just too much of a stretch.

I thought she should have been more Yoda-y. They could have done more with this bit. This is the second "Star Wars" reference that I know of, there being on in #21702 - "Arthur the Loser" too

Arthur_assassin32, from the Yahoo! Arthur Club, notes that this is actually the third reference -- there's also one in #21201 - "Arthur's Faraway Friend".

We come back to reality.

Grandma Thora: ...much. So we'd better get cracking!

It sounds like Arthur doesn't know where he is for a second, but he then asks if he should go set up the ring in the living room. Grandma Thora says kindly that it's much too early for that... First he has to do finger drills.

Arthur plays the piano. Won't that do?

  • She has him use a manual typewriter.
  • She has him balance glasses of water on the back of his outstretched hands as she loads them with ice cubes.
  • She wiggles a marble to finger to finger one way and then the other on the back of her hand absentmindedly as she talks on the phone. She hands the marble to Arthur. He can move the marble along one way, but the marble falls on the ground.

Another drill sees Arthur polish the floor. Arthur asks what the purpose of this drill is. Grandma looks up from her newspaper, trying to remember. She then tells him it's helping him "extend his reach". Then she goes back to her paper, commenting to herself that the floor hasn't been waxed in years...

Finally Arthur and Grandma Thora practice. For some reason, Grandma Thora's removed the grass in her yard in order to make a large enough area to set up a marble ring. Arthur makes a good shot.

Grandma Thora: Nice English on that taw!

Grandma Thora says that Arthur's really gotten good during the last few days. Arthur asks if he's good enough for the championships. Grandma says that he's probably not good enough for the New Jersey championships, but he could probably show his friends a thing or two. Arthur looked a trifle glum when she said he wasn't good enough for the championships, but cheered up as soon as she said he was ready to face his friends...

Arthur: Yeah! I could!

Arthur goes to Brain's Mom's Ice Cream Shop, where Binky and George are sitting together, coming to the end of finishing sundaes. Arthur wants them to sign up for the "First ever Elwood City Marbles Tournament". Arthur tells them that no qualifications are necessary.

What gets me is that every single event in Elwood City is always citywide, but never seems to include anyone but Arthur and his gang. Strange how that is.

Binky: Sure! What's the prize?

Arthur says that Buster is taking care of it. Right at that moment, Buster is discussing his concept for the prize to Brain, who's behind the counter. Buster wants a large amount of round candies in a bowl about the size of a pizza...

The tournament is on. Muffy, Binky, Arthur, Francine, Fern, George, and Brain are in attendance, and Buster is there as well, filming the action with a video camera, whispering billiards-style commentary as the game goes on.

Note Buster's video camera. It's a different model again from all the others to date.

  • Buster films Arthur beating Binky, saying that Arthur's getting off to a "great start in this tournament". The digital readout in Buster's viewfinder reads MAY 24, 1:20 P.M.

The readout changes to STOP as the camera is shut off.

  • When it comes on again, it's now MAY 24, 2:15 P.M. Buster says that Arthur is down by five, and needs a miracle to turn the game around. Arthur makes a shot like "The Atom Smasher", knocking out several marbles and his shooter in one turn. That shocks Fern.
  • Next, it's MAY 26, 4:00 P.M., and Buster has the camera focussed on Arthur, while Buster ponders whether Arthur will use his forefinger or thumb. Arthur gets up from his position and tells Buster to cut it out and just play. Buster has Muffy take over as cameraperson.

Now Buster's on camera, it's MAY 26, 4:04 P.M., and Buster cheers as (presumably Arthur, off camera) beats him. Then Buster realizes that there goes his shot at the prize, and starts whimpering at the though on missing out on malted balls and chocolate-covered cherries.

Buster, pounding the earth with his fists: Oh, the humanity!

*Hindenberg reference*

Note the very annoyed looking expression Brain suddenly gets watching from the bench, just as Buster realizes he's out of the running.


Brain is tending the counter at the ice cream shop, while Buster is finishing a can of pop. Arthur walks in, flexing one of his hands, and calls out to Brain, asking him if he's keeping that sundae (i.e. the marble contest's prize) cool for him. Buster suggests Arthur check out the signup sheet for the tournament. Arthur goes up to the clipboard mounted on the wall. Arthur wonders if Francine perhaps signed up twice or something.

We see the signup sheet. The top name is Prunella, who's last name must be very short... then two scribbly ones, then Greg Bailey, and another scribbly one. Arthur gasps though, because on of the names on the sheet is evidently Grandma Thora!

Grandma Thora gets up from her seat, having just finished a sundae, and walks across the floor to pay Brain for it with a five dollar bill.

Grandma Thora: I may have taught you everything you know, Arthur, but I didn't teach you everything I know!

Beside the signup clipboard is a note advertising a free kitten, and one that's partially obscured which is probably a phone number for a mover, the last four digits of the number being 3168.

Grandma Thora tells Brain to keep the change, and Brain smiles. Buster smiles too. Arthur isn't smiling.


It's late at night, and Arthur's in his room, practicing marbles on the wooden floor. Pal walks up to him looking rather cross, a marble in his mouth. Arthur apologizes to him, saying he doesn't know what's come over him -- his fingers just aren't doing what he wants them to.

Wouldn't Pal choke on those marbles skittering around Arthur's room? Wouldn't it be impossible to shoot marbles with any accuracy on a bare wooden floor?

Arthur takes a shot, and the marble ricochets off his Bionic Bunny lunchbox, off a Bionic Bunny action figure on a shelf, and off the shade of his bedside lamp, knocking it off. Arthur figures that that's a sign that that's enough for today, and goes to bed.

Arthur: Sleep. That's all I need. (Yawn) A good night's sleep.

Arthur has a nightmare about being ant-sized and standing in the marble ring. He hears Francine say that without his Grandma's help, he couldn't win a single game. He asks where Francine is, because he can't see her. Then he sees two ants rolling a bluebery along the ground.

Arthur: Whoa! Those are some big ants!

Arthur doesn't realize that it's he who isn't regular sized. Suddenly the ants start shouting "No!!!" as something rumbles. The ants cry out "Abandon mission" and run away just in time, as a giant red and black marble rolls over their blueberry, crushing it. Arthur is drenched in juice.

Then he gasps, as a giant Grandma Thora lumbers into view.

Giant Grandma Thora: There's only room for one marbles champion in this family!

Grandma Thora bends down and lanches "Cannonball" right at Arthur. Arthur runs away as the marble is about to mow him down.

Arthur wakes up, not wearing his glasses.

Back at the tournament ring, Buster's nervous, and is trying to keep Arthur from being nervous. Arthur is calm though. He's decided to lose. Buster can't believe it. Buster asks if he's seen the prize. He holds out his hands to show Arthur how many types of candy there is in it.

Buster: Have you seen the prize? Seven types of candy, Arthur, seven!

Buster holds up 8 fingers when he's describing 7 types of candy to Arthur.

The funny thing is, Arthur doesn't bother to correct him this time. He just rolls his eyes. Arthur says that if he wins, Grandma will be embarassed. He says that although he'd probably win, he doesn't want to hurt her feelings.

Buster thinks that that's a very nice thing to do, and wipes away a tear, wishing that he had a grandson like Arthur.

Arthur tells Buster not to tell anyone. Buster makes this peculiar expression that is a cross between a look that means he's going to seriously honor his vow of silence and a grin at us, and then procedes to walk over to the crowd of specators and tells Binky.


The game begins. Arthur and Grandma Thora stand and bow to each other before they start to play.

Arthur makes lame-o shots, and says things like "whoops" and "Drat. Missed again" and "Boy, am I butterfingers today". Grandma can tell something is up. So can everyone else. They're all bored at how the game is going. Everyone knows that he's playing to lose as well.

Muffy whispers to Francine: I don't care how good a grandson he is. This is boring.

Grandma confronts him during the game.

Grandma Thora: Arthur, are you losing on purpose?

Arthur: Me, uh, of course not! Why on Earth would I want to do that?

There's no glasses twitching this time.

Grandma rubs her chin. And then, when she's preparing to take a shot, she deliberately steps into the ring. Oh dear. Doing that means she's forfeit the game, as it's an instant disqualification. She says so herself, nobody else apparently knowing the rules of the game.

Arthur is shocked. Those are the rules. She says it is a technicality, but it makes Arthur the winner. She shakes his hand and congratulates him. Arthur doesn't look very pleased.

Arthur and Grandma Thora are at the ice cream shop, and Arthur is hardly touching his prize. Grandma Thora asks him how the sundae is in a kindly voice. She's not mad. Arthur is kinda grumbly though. He asks if she lost deliberately. She says she did, just like how he missed all those easy shots on purpose.

Grandma Thora: Why did you do that, Arthur?

Arthur says he didn't want to really lose in front of all his friends, since he could never really beat her. Grandma counters that he doesn't know that -- he didn't even try. Isn't it better to lose a good game than to win a bad one? Arthur concedes that she's right. He knows there were a few shots he could have made. That's what "gets him". He "had her a couple of times".

She queries him on this. Arthur begins removing some of the round candies from his sundae and sets them up the way the marbles were at a certain point in the game. One of them falls on the floor. Arthur starts explaining how he could have got them with a hook shot, and Grandma argues that leaving them that way was part of her plan.

We close with a shot of the outside of the Ice Cream Shop, and that's THE END.

Brain and his obsessive cleaning of counters and things in that shop isn't going to appreciate all that candy being flipped around on the floor. Perhaps this is his payback for that tremendous mess of cups he made in the Sugar Bowl in #50202 - "Nerves of Steal".


At first I pictured an episode where Arthur goes crazy because of D.W.! Well, the title can be interpreted either way. I can just picture the men in white coats taking Arthur to the looney bin while he mutters D.W.'s name over and over.

After the romantic events in #60902 - "Crushed!" wasn't literally about being crushed by something, I figured that this wouldn't be a literal title either. But then it was.

The episode bored me to death since I don' t know anything about marbles!

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