The first season of Arthur premiered on PBS in 1996. This season was funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Viewers Like You, the National Endowment for Children's Educational Television, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, and Libby's Juicy Juice.

The second run of this season occurred from November 18, 1996 to December 27, 1996, followed by a third run from December 30, 1996 to February 7, 1997, a fourth run from February 10, 1997 to March 21, 1997, a fifth run from March 24, 1997 to May 2, 1997, a sixth run from May 5, 1997 to June 13, 1997, a seventh run from June 16, 1997 to July 25, 1997, an eighth run from July 28, 1997 to September 5, 1997, and a ninth run from September 8, 1997 to October 17, 1997.

Baby Gap joined the show starting on July 28, 1997. During Season 2, the first season aired from November 3 to December 12, 1997 with the new funding credits for the first time. It aired again from December 29, 1997 to February 6, 1998, and for a third time in a row from February 9 to March 20, 1998. After Season 2 was finished, Season 1 returned on April 20 (following a rerun of the last Season 2 episode on April 20) and aired through May 29, 1998, and again from June 29 to August 7, 1998, and from September 7 to October 16, 1998.

Reruns of the first season during Season 3 began on January 4, 1999 and lasted through February 12, 1999. The second run occurred from March 8 to April 16, 1999.

In early 1999, The National Endowment for Children’s Educational Television and The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations remain as underwriters, as so did Polaroid. Post Alpha-Bits reruns began on June 7, 1999, and lasted through July 16, 1999. This was followed by the U.S. Department of Education as a main underwriter in late 1999, Lego replacing Baby Gap in 2000, Chuck E. Cheese's replacing Lego in 2002, Teddy Grahams replacing Post Alpha-Bits in 2004, and Dannon Danimals replacing Rhodes 60-Second Cinnamon Rolls in 2006.

The original run had the title card for each episode not narrated. Later reruns had them being narrated by Francine or Binky.

Episodes

# Title Synopsis
1a Arthur's Eyes Arthur learns what a difference wearing glasses can make--though not without some hard lessons. Before he knows it, he's started a trend! Based on a book by the same title by Marc Brown.
1b Francine's Bad Hair Day School picture day is fast approaching, and Muffy does her best to find the "right" look for Francine. The problem is, no matter how hard she tries, Francine just can't keep her new look together.
2a Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn Arthur and the gang are dismayed when they're assigned to Mr. Ratburn's third grade classroom. When Arthur and Buster do a little detective work, however, they learn some surprising things about their new teacher. Based on the book Arthur's Teacher Trouble by Marc Brown.
2b Arthur's Spelling Trubble The all-school spellathon is coming up, and Arthur and Brain are representing their class. The Brain feels prepared, but Arthur isn't as confident. Based on the book Arthur's Teacher Trouble by Marc Brown.
3a D.W. All Wet It's 95 degrees at home, and everyone's glad to be at the lake--everyone, that is, except D.W., who's on guard for octopuses. It takes a trick, and a watchful lifeguard, to change her mind. Based on a book of the same title by Marc Brown.
3b Buster's Dino Dilemma Buster's wild about dinosaurs, so he's in his element when the class goes for a fossil-hunting field trip. On his own, Buster discovers a very interesting bone..... is it the remain of a dinosaur or some leftovers from a local fast-food joint?
4a D.W.'s Imaginary Friend Much to Arthur's embarrassment, D.W. has invented an imaginary friend. When D.W. brings "Nadine" to the amusement park, Arthur learns that even imaginary friends--and little sisters--aren't always so bad.
4b Arthur's Lost Library Book Arthur is the first to take out the newest Scare-Your-Pants-Off book from the library, but a week later he can't figure out where he put it. After Arthur and Binky do some sleuthing, a surprising culprit surfaces.
5a Arthur's Pet Business Arthur wants his own dog and sets out to prove he's responsible enough to have one by starting his own pet sitting business. Unfortunately, he hadn't figured on his first client, Perky, aka "Jaws", enemy of mailcarriers and pet sitters alike. Based on a book of the same title by Marc Brown.
5b D.W. the Copycat D.W. decides that, from now on, she'll be just like Arthur; she'll walk like him, talk like him and follow him wherever he goes. Arthur plots how to persuade D.W. that the world is only big enough for one Arthur.
6a Locked in the Library! Arthur and Francine are having a fight. When they both get locked inside the Elwood City Library, however, they either have to make up or prepare for a long, scary evening.
6b Arthur Accused! When Buster opens his detective agency, he has no idea his first job will involve Arthur. A bag of quarters from the lunch lady's fundraising drive is missing, and Arthur is the likely suspect.
7a Arthur Goes To Camp Arthur and his friends are at Camp Meadowcroak, where it's war between the boys and the girls. It's a different story, however, when they all team up against the bullies from Camp Horsewater. Based on a book of the same title by Marc Brown.
7b Buster Makes the Grade Buster is the life of the party, but if he doesn't do well on the final test of the year he'll have to repeat third grade. Even with tutoring help from the gang, things don't look very hopeful.
8a Arthur's New Puppy Arthur is delighted with his new dog, Pal, but training a puppy is a lot harder than he thought. If Arthur can't get Pal to settle down, he might not be able to keep him. Based on a book of the same title by Marc Brown.
8b Arthur Bounces Back Arthur's heart is set on owning moon shoes. A garage sale yields the money he needs, but at an unexpected cost.
9a Arthur Babysits Arthur agrees to babysit for the "Terrible Tibble Twins." It's a challenge, but Arthur gets some help from....SWAMP THING! Based on a book of the same title by Marc Brown.
9b Arthur's Cousin Catastrophe Arthur's family is hosting the once-a-year-is-more-than-enough family reunion, and Arthur is doing his best to avoid pain-in-the-neck Cousin Mo. A major thunderstorm turns this into a reunion to remember.
10a Arthur's Birthday Much to his horror, Arthur discovers he and Muffy are having birthday parties on the very same day! Muffy digs in her heels about changing the date of her party, so Arthur searches for a solution that will make everyone happy. Based on a book of the same title by Marc Brown.
10b Francine Frensky, Superstar Now that Francine finally has the lead in a school play, she's become a stage tyrant. Francine needs to learn something more important than her lines, or the show might not go on.
11a Arthur's Baby Arthur is not too sure he's ready for a new baby in the house. Once Baby Kate arrives, he decides she's actually pretty cute....when she's not crying! Based on a book of the same title by Marc Brown.
11b D.W.'s Baby No one ever told D.W. that babies cry all the time, throw up on your clothes, and get all the attention. D.W. wonders who would miss her if she ran away to Button Island.
12a Arthur Writes a Story Struggling with a school assignment, Arthur decides that his regular, old life is just too boring to write about. When his "true story" starts to involve invisible elephants and trips to outer space, however, Arthur loses his audience. Based on a book of the same title by Marc Brown.
12b Arthur's Lost Dog Unfortunately, Arthur is the only one who believes in the superior intelligence of his dog, Pal. Even Arthur begins to have doubts, however, when Pal runs away during a street fair.
13a So Long, Spanky D.W.'s beloved bird gets very sick and, despite her eager ministrations (or maybe because of them), Spanky dies. When a lonely toad decides to adopt D.W., she faces her greatest test--risking her heart with another pet.
13b Buster's New Friend All of a sudden, Buster doesn't have time for Arthur; all he wants to do is talk about his new, super-cool, mini-golfing, pro-bowling friend Mike. Arthur's almost ready to give up on Buster until he learns the truth.
14a Arthur the Wrecker Arthur always seems to wreck stuff, and this time it's Mom's computer-- not a great situation when your mom is an accountant and it's the middle of tax season. Now Arthur has to try to fix the computer before Mom finds out.
14b Arthur and The True Francine Muffy and Francine are absolute best friends. It seems nothing can come between them, until Muffy cheats on a math test and lets Francine take the blame. Based on the book The True Francine by Marc Brown.
15a Arthur's Family Vacation A rainy family vacation wasn't what Arthur had in mind; Camp Meadowcroak was more like it. As Arthur discovers, however, there are 101 fun things to do in the rain. Based on a book of the same title by Marc Brown.
15b Grandpa Dave's Old Country Farm Arthur and D.W. spend a week at their grandfather's farm. Grandpa Dave is a lot of fun, but the farm isn't the way Arthur remembered it.
16a Arthur and The Crunch Cereal Contest Arthur's sure he can win a year's supply of Crunch Cereal by entering a jingle in their contest. The only problem is his song seems to be lacking something; words and melody, to be exact.
16b D.W. Flips It's hard enough for D.W. to do somersaults and cartwheels without having a showoff like Emily in gymnastics class. But D.W. learns about tumbling, and friendship, anyway. Based on a book of the same title by Marc Brown.
17a Meek for a Week Muffy challenges Francine to be nice, and not to say insulting things, for one week. The trouble is, the gang begins to worry that Francine isn't herself.
17b Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper Arthur thinks it would be cool to be a Gleeper and win the admiration of the tough kids at school. Too late he finds out that "gleeping" means stealing!
18a Arthur's Chicken Pox The circus is in town, and the whole family's excited: Father gets tickets, Mother gets film for the camera and Arthur gets... chicken pox! D.W. is jealous of all the attention he gets, but will Arthur make it to the circus? Based on a book of the same title by Marc Brown.
18b Sick as a Dog Pal is sick, and Arthur is sure it's D.W.'s fault. After all, it couldn't have anything to do with the hotdogs and Halloween candy Arthur's been feeding him, could it?
19a D.W. Rides Again The bikeathon is coming and D.W. wants to ride in it. With Arthur's help, D.W. embarks on a crash course to learn the rules of the road. Based on a book of the same title by Marc Brown.
19b Arthur Makes the Team It's baseball season, and Arthur and the gang are a team. With some practice, and some coaching from Francine, they may just stand a chance.
20a Arthur's Almost Boring Day It's a rainy Saturday, and Arthur is stuck with D.W. and nothing to do; to make matters worse, Arthur has to report on Monday about how he spent the day. A foray into Grandma Thora's attic, however, reveals some fascinating stuff about Arthur's parents.
20b The Half-Baked Sale Grandma Thora has agreed to help on the local bake sale, but Arthur and D.W. worry what people will think when they discover Grandma Thora's terrible cooking. Arthur considers how to keep Grandma Thora's "goodies" out of sight without hurting her feelings.
21a Sue Ellen Moves In Sue Ellen's family has just moved into the neighborhood, and the gang is convinced they're either spies, criminals, or aliens. Finally, everyone realizes that Sue Ellen isn't all that different-- except for Buster, who needs some extra convincing.
21b The Perfect Brother It seemed like a great idea to have Brain spend the weekend. But Arthur finds it's very hard being around someone who's almost perfect; or, at least, someone who seems to be.
22a D.W.'s Snow Mystery Much to her distress, D.W.'s most prized possession--a snowball from last winter--is missing. Arthur and the gang try to piece together an explanation.
22b Team Trouble Arthur, Francine, and Buster have to do a history report on ancient Rome. Working together as a team presents some serious challenges.
23a Bully for Binky Binky's living up to his reputation as the most disgusting, nasty, horrible person on the planet. When someone, a girl, no less, dares to stand up to him, Binky gets a taste of his own medicine and discovers just how good it is to have friends.
23b Misfortune Teller Prunella has a fortune-telling "cootie catcher," and all the kids want to know their futures. Yet, somehow, it seems as if the fortune teller has begun to make everyone's decisions for them.
24a Arthur's Tooth Everyone in the class has lost a tooth, except for Arthur. Now, his loose tooth won't budge, and he'll do almost anything to get it out. Based on a book of the same title by Marc Brown.
24b D.W. Gets Lost Being lost in a humongous, super-giganto department store would scare most four-year-olds....but not D.W. Lost while searching for the earrings of her dreams, D.W. wreaks havoc as she tries to find her way home.
25a D.W. Thinks Big D.W. gets the chance she's been waiting for: to help at her aunt's wedding. Suddenly it's a good thing to be little, because only D.W. can save the day. Based on a book of the same title by Marc Brown.
25b Arthur Cleans Up Elwood City's park is in sad shape. After grumbling about it, the kids find themselves volunteering to clean it up. Even though it's a lot of work, in the end they all decide it feels great to make a difference.
26a My Dad, the Garbage Man Mr. Ratburn's class is taking field trips to visit parents at their jobs. After visiting Muffy's dad at Crosswire Motors and Brain's mom at the Ice Cream Shop, Francine's not sure she wants the class to know her dad is a garbage man.
26b Poor Muffy A new carpet and an attack of sneezing means Muffy must spend the weekend at Francine's. But the Frensky house sure is hard to get used to: no cable TV, no limo, and they even eat leftovers!
27a D.W.'s Blankie Her security blanket is missing, and D.W. and Arthur, much to his embarrassment, look all over town for it. If they can't find it, D.W. will have to do the inconceivable: spend the night without her blankie.
27b Arthur's Substitute Teacher Trouble Mr. Ratburn is sick, and the class is thrilled to have a substitute until they find out who she is: Ms. Rodentia Ratburn, Mr. Ratburn's younger sister. Suddenly, Mr. Ratburn doesn't seem so bad.
28a I'm a Poet Challenged by Fern to enter a poetry contest, Arthur and his friends each write a poem to be judged by a famous poet. (Program features a "guest appearance" by popular children's author/poet Jack Prelutsky).
28b The Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club Arthur and his friends develop a consuming passion for the Scare-Your-Pants-Off books, a series of hair-raising, spine-tingling ghost stories. When a group called PAWS, "Parent Against Weird Stories," tries to take the books off the library's shelves, Arthur and his friends decide to speak out.
29a My Club Rules Arthur starts a club, and no one can agree on the rules. Everyone then decides to start their own club, but what's a club without members?
29b Stolen Bike Francine's embarrassed by her crummy old bike and wants a shiny new one like the ones her friends own. When the teasing gets to be too much, Francine does the only thing she can....she lets her bike get "stolen."
30a Arthur's First Sleepover Despite D.W.'s threat of aliens invading, Arthur and his friends camp out in the back yard. A jealous D.W. decides to pull a prank, but who will have the last laugh: Arthur and his friends or D.W. and the aliens? Based on a book of the same title by Marc Brown.
30b Arthur's New Year's Eve There are plenty of rumors about what exactly happens at midnight on December 31, but no one seems to know for sure. On New Year's Eve, Arthur and D.W. are determined to stay up and discover the truth.

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