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Hey, D.W.!
~ Arthur in the theme song.
I told you not to touch it!
~ Arthur's Big Hit

Arthur Timothy Read is the main protagonist in the television and book series Arthur.

Personality and skills

Arthur is a mediocre pianist, though he has shown that he can truly play when he is motivated. And yet, he can forget to practice the piano at times, where he might not play the right note at a recital. He was originally taught by Mrs. Cardigan, who retired in "Arthur Plays the Blues" and was transferred over to Dr. Fugue's, but was once temporarily expelled for not practicing enough.

Although he is average to well in school most of the time, he occasionally receives help from the Brain.

Arthur enjoys reading - his best friends were shocked after he left a book on the ground in "Arthur Goes Crosswire". Also, he remembers reading many exciting books in "The Short, Quick Summer".

At times, he helps out Buster, who has a general dislike in homework, who he feared was falling behind and could repeat the 3rd grade.

He is occasionally referred to by his full name when he gets into trouble, although his middle name Timothy wasn't actually mentioned until "Arthur's Big Hit" from Season 4.

Arthur is generally polite and friendly with everyone. Despite his politeness, Arthur sometimes has a tendency to break promises his parents have given him, such as to not touch the computer during his mother's tax season, to clean up his room like being told, and to practice the piano - which he does other things instead. He is also known to "play with his glasses" when he lies, which D.W. has caught him doing before.

However, despite being a generally nice character, he is seen to have a meaner side in the episode "So Funny I Forgot to Laugh", in which he teased Sue Ellen about a coat she had got as a present, and the teasing turned into harassment, going as far as Arthur photoshopping a dog's head onto Sue Ellen's body and emailing it to her.

Arthur has the potential to be an intelligent person, but tends to be one who doesn't use common sense, much to the annoyance of his parents (especially his father). An example of this was in "Arthur's Knee", when he told D.W. to not tell Jane and David that he cut his knee from a lima bean can (D.W. wanted to explain to David why lima beans are "bad" for you).

Arthur competes on Lakewood's soccer, track, and baseball teams, as well as on a bowling team against Mighty Mountain. He won the school Spell-a-thon, plays piano in the band, and was one of the founding members of the Lakewood Pride Committee.

Physical appearance

Arthur is an aardvark, like the rest of his family. The shape and appearance of his head comes mostly from his father, David. In the first Arthur book, Arthur's Nose, Arthur had a long nose and he resembled an actual aardvark. However, his design evolved over the first half dozen books; he now has a much shorter nose and more human features. He and many other characters also originally had a tail and were sometimes pants-less, but Arthur's Eyes and all later books removed the tails and made them more humanoid and dressy. In Arthur's Valentine, his ears raised up. In Arthur's April Fool he became more humanoid. In the first season, Arthur's eyes, when seen without his glasses, are drawn with white sclerae and black pupils, but are later redrawn without the sclerae like, say, Prunella's. Although, his eyes with sclerae are shown again during flashbacks before getting glasses and in flashforwards as an elderly man in the future wearing half-glasses. In the later books, he still has the sclerae.

His current standard outfit consists of round brown glasses, a yellow sweater with a white polo underneath, a white undershirt tucked into blue jeans with a brown belt, white socks, and red-and-white sneakers. His undergarments vary between white briefs, white boxer shorts with blue polka-dots, blue Bionic Bunny boxer shorts, red Bionic Bunny underwear, and sky blue boxers with dark blue bunnies. While Arthur's trademark is his aforementioned pair of glasses, it is unclear how the glasses stay on (because of his ears being located on top of his head). In the early books, Arthur wore brown shoes (as opposed to his now staple red-and-white ones), like his friends Buster and Francine. Arthur's shoes have white laces in the cartoon, but red Velcro straps in the books.

Arthur's summertime attire consists of a blue short-sleeved T-shirt with white accents and dark blue shorts; when swimming, Arthur wears yellow swimming trunks. During wintertime, Arthur wears a red hat, brown winter coat, red mittens, and brown boots. In "Arthur Cleans Up", he wore a green Clean-up Brigade uniform while cleaning up the littered park, where he and his friends like to play Frisbee.

Arthur's baseball uniform consists of a yellow T-shirt and white shorts, both with blue accents. His baseball uniform consists of a yellow baseball cap, a yellow T-shirt with an orange #7 on the rear, and the "LW" logo for his school is sometimes seen on the front (although the front is sometimes blank). His ears originally would stick out from the caps he wears, but in later seasons his ears are always inside. His football uniform consists of a light green oversized shirt with a green #1 on the front and a green football helmet with a purple stripe and purple face mask. During cool weather outside of winter, he wears two zip-up jackets: One is green with yellow pockets and another is black.

Arthur's regular sleepwear consists of a blue long-sleeved button-up top, blue pajama pants, and a pair of white bunny slippers. (In the books, his pajamas often have a striped pattern.) When the weather is hot, Arthur wears a purple short-sleeved pajama top and pajama shorts instead.

For formal occasions, Arthur wears either a white suit or a tuxedo. He has two stained tuxedos and a suit. One of his stained tuxedos is light blue and has two buttons on the right side of the jacket and two pockets, one on each side, with the stain near the left breast pocket. Arthur's suit is made up of the same jacket that he wears when he wears his blue tuxedo. However, he wears a white shirt with no jumper like he does with the tuxedo and wears either a purple bow-tie or a purple four-in-hands tie. The trousers are the same as his blue tuxedo, and the shoes are brown. He also wears his usual yellow sweater and white shirt underneath and a dark purple bow tie. As well, he wears dark blue trousers and brown shoes. Arthur's other tuxedo is either black or charcoal with a tuxedo jacket, white tuxedo shirt, black bow tie, matching tuxedo trousers and black dress shoes.

On Halloween, he likes to wear his Bionic Bunny costume that is complete with a Bionic Bunny suit and cape, a red hat with an antenna, and bunny ears that can be worn on his aardvark ears. His Bionic Bunny costume was first seen in "Water and the Brain" during a flashback; the hat and bunny ears were added in The Fright Stuff, and the costume was shown again in "Hic or Treat". On the front cover of Arthur's Scary Stories on VHS and DVD, his Bionic Bunny costume lacked the bunny ears and he wore gloves instead of having bare hands.

Past life

When Arthur was a baby, he wore a yellow T-shirt that had blue cuffs like his basketball uniform, white disposable diapers and periwinkle sneakers.

One day, while his father was filming him with a video camera, Arthur somehow was able to grab the camera from his dad's hands and walked off with it for a few seconds, thus making his first "movie".

From pre-school until the time between his first and second-grade years, Arthur wore long-sleeved shirts, shorts, different-colored sneakers, and (sometimes) overalls; he also wore different-colored pajamas.

He started wearing his usual yellow sweater, blue jeans, and red and white sneakers after turning seven; he got glasses during the first semester of second grade when his vision became poor.

Friends

  • Buster Baxter: Buster is Arthur's best friend. They do many things together, such as watching movies, going to Wonder World, and eating at The Sugar Bowl. Arthur and Buster share multiple interests, such as Henry Skreever books, Bionic Bunny, and playing baseball and soccer.
  • Ladonna Compson: Ladonna is Arthur's four-houses-down neighbor. Arthur and Ladonna became friends shortly after Ladonna moved to Elwood City, and have remained friends since.
  • Francine Frensky: She is one of Arthur's best friends. According to "Locked in the Library!", they first met in preschool; but in "Desperately Seeking Stanley" from Season 8, she went to his third birthday party. Francine sometimes teases Arthur, although they always remain friends in the end. She gave him Spin-the-Bottle for his eighth birthday, and other than that, there are many rumors that they have a crush on each other; this is evidenced heavily in the book Arthur's Valentine, when she appears angered that Arthur has given a "mushy" (in her words) valentine to Sue Ellen Armstrong. Another example is in "Arthur and the Square Dance" where Muffy (upset that she has to dance with a clumsy Binky) spreads a rumor (with Binky's help) that Arthur and Francine are boyfriend and girlfriend and in love. This later scares the two of them, and they admit that there are no romantic feelings between them. At the end of "And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids", they are shown as an elderly couple in the future, watching The Magic Toolbox on VHS.
  • Muffy Crosswire: She and Arthur are good friends. They both share the same birthday, and although they don't hang out with each other often, they are still good companions. Their own parents are close friends with each other: Arthur's mother works as a tax accountant for Muffy's father, who runs Crosswire Motors, and Ed is often the customer for desserts that Arthur's father bakes and delivers to people. While Arthur is sometimes quite annoyed by Muffy antics, like when she talks about shopping or gloats about her wealth, he'll still lend her a helping hand if she needs. An example is in "You Are Arthur", where Arthur notices Muffy about to bump into the railing. He asks her if she is alright, and helps her up.
  • Alan Powers: Another one of Arthur's best friends, whom he and others nickname as "Brain". Brain occasionally helps out Arthur with his homework. He also stayed at Arthur's for the weekend while his parents were out to the Ice Creamer's Convention, and was neat as a guest; but when he went back to his own house, Arthur found out that the Brain wasn't as neat as expected. Arthur is a frequent customer at Brain's Ice Cream Shop.
  • Binky Barnes: Despite Arthur fearing Binky and casting Binky as the villains in his stories, Binky usually does not want to harm Arthur. Arthur and Binky have been shown to get along sometimes, like in "Big Brother Binky" and "Baby Steps".
  • Sue Ellen Armstrong: She is said to be one of Arthur's best friends, although they don't hang out much. In the book Arthur's Valentine, he expected her to be his secret admirer after she transferred to his school. In "Arthur's Faraway Friend", she gave him advice to spend time with Buster before his long trip with his dad. In "Sue Ellen's Lost Diary," he and three of their friends were able to retrieve her diary she once lost in the Elwood City Public Library. In "The Secret Guardians", she invites him to sail her model ship with her near the tree house. In "The Best Day Ever", when she, Arthur and some of their friends talk about their best day ever, Sue Ellen tells the group that Arthur returning her diary to her was her best day.
  • George Lundgren: Even though they might not hang out very often, they're together enough times to have formed a friendship. In "Arthur's Dummy Disaster" when George's dummy, Wally, falls apart when he is supposed to read a poem out loud, Arthur talks to George and helps him overcome his shyness, while helping him realize he can have courage to speak without the use of Wally. George recounts this as his best day ever. In "The Silent Treatment", Arthur and his friends plan a surprise party for George.
  • Fern Walters: In earlier seasons, interactions between Arthur and Fern were rare; however. as the show progressed more episodes featured them together. This is evident in episodes like "The Boy Who Cried Comet" and "Tales of Grotesquely Grim Bunny" where Buster, Fern, and Arthur appear as a trio.

Personality and skills

Skills

Generally, Arthur is regarded as an average person.

Arthur is a mediocre pianist, though he has shown that he can truly play when he is motivated. However, he can forget to practice the piano at times, where he might not play the right note at a recital. He was originally taught by Mrs. Cardigan, who retired in "Arthur Plays the Blues", and was transferred over to Dr. Fugue's, but was once temporarily expelled for not practicing enough.

Although he does average to well in school most of the time, he occasionally receives help from Brain.

Arthur enjoys reading - his best friends were shocked after he left a book on the ground in "Arthur Goes Crosswire". He remembers reading many exciting books in "The Short, Quick Summer".

At times, he helps out Buster, who has a general dislike in homework, who he feared was falling behind and may repeat the third grade.

He won the school Spell-a-thon, plays piano in the band, and was one of the founding members of the Lakewood Pride Committee.

Arthur is indeed not into contests. While he has shown immense skills in winning game shows, he backs out at the last minute. Other times, he cheats, or otherwise uses other people's ideas to support his own.

Sports

Arthur is seen playing many sports throughout the show. He usually just plays baseball and soccer with his friends, but in "D.W. Goes to Washington", he has a daydream about him playing golf with the President.

In "Team Trouble", he plays American football. He is forward and goalkeeper for the Lakewood Elementary Soccer Team.

Arthur competes on Lakewood's soccer, track, and baseball teams, as well as on a bowling team against Mighty Mountain.

When in trouble

Despite his politeness, Arthur sometimes has a tendency to break promises his parents have given him, such as to not touch the computer during his mother's tax season, to clean up his room like being told, to not dig in the yard, and to practice the piano on time.

He is known to mumble his words when ever he evades somebody's questions. He is also known to "play with his glasses" whenever he lies, which D.W has caught him doing before. Sometimes, he lies at first, then he changes his answer to an exaggeration, but finally confesses immediately afterwards. He (because of Buster) is known as the World's Greatest Gleeper. In this case, Arthur never intentionally meant to lie, but did not know how nor when to tell the truth. When he does finally tell the truth, he is scolded by Rattles and lectured by Binky Barnes moments before they all run off to play sports together. (Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper).

He is occasionally referred to by his full name when he gets into trouble, although his middle name, "Timothy", wasn't actually mentioned until "Arthur's Big Hit" from Season 4.

He occasionally cheats when he feels overwhelmed, or his friends insist he compete in a contest.

Despite Buster Baxter having the reputation for eating too much food, Arthur loves to eat desserts. Arthur is regarded as a messy eater. He tends to eat any junk food he can find. After learning about his unhealthy habits, he stops obsessing over desserts.

Arthur also hates going to bed at night. This often gets him into trouble.

Mistakes

Arthur has the potential to be an intelligent person, but tends to be one who doesn't use common sense, much to the annoyance of his parents. An example of this is in "Arthur's Knee", where he tells D.W. to not tell Jane and David that he cut his knee from a lima bean can (D.W. wanted to explain to David why lima beans are "bad" for you).

Arthur usually takes advantage of people until they are exhausted and frustrated.

Arthur made a mistake with the responsibility of giving tax documents from Mr. Haney to Jane Read. Arthur was so afraid that it was about him that he avoided giving it to her.

In "Besties", Arthur suspects that Ladonna has become Buster's best friend. He tries multiple approaches to get Buster to be his best friend again, including lying to Ladonna that Buster said something mean about her. However, Arthur apologizes, and they become friends again.

In "So Funny I Forgot to Laugh", Arthur teases Sue Ellen about a sweater she wears. While Sue Ellen does find it funny at first, Arthur starts going too far with the joke. This includes taping an insulting note to Sue Ellen's locker, emailing her a rude image, and writing her a terrible apology note. After realizing that Sue Ellen wants to change classes because of him, he runs outside and sincerely apologizes to Sue Ellen.

Bigotry

Arthur can also be quite bigoted when it comes to people's tastes, such as D.W.'s love for Mary Moo Cow and Crazy Bus that he claims are "babyish"; and for Francine's pet cat Nemo, in which he exaggerates that all cats are evil because of a story he heard. Due to his bigotry, he tends to be stereotypical and insist that he's the one in the right mind.

Rage

Arthur is also not one to get angry so easily, but when he snaps, the other kids are quite frightened by it.

In "Arthur Cleans Up", while cleaning up the park, with Pal for company, he passes by the Tough Customers. They litter right in front of him and tease him about it, but after Pal starts choking on their garbage, Arthur angrily scolds them to help him clean up.

In "Arthur and the Crunch Cereal Contest", he is on a tirade during most of the episode. After his friends do not play the single how he wants, he shouts, "THIS IS MY JINGLE, AND WE ARE GOING TO DO IT MY WAY!".

In "Arthur's Big Hit", D.W. tries to make Arthur's model plane fly and throws it out the window. The plane breaks, and he yells at D.W. that she was warned not to touch it. Arthur's anger gets the better of him, and he punches D.W. in the shoulder.

In "A is for Angry", Arthur and Brain play in a checkers tournament. Initially, Arthur is excited, while Brain is bored, resulting in Francine and Muffy starting pep rallies to support Arthur and shun Brain. Arthur gets annoyed by this, telling them to give it a rest, only for Francine and Muffy to start pep rallies to support Brain and shun Arthur. When Arthur learns about this, he screams, and announces that he's quitting the competition.

Relationships

Family

A recurring theme in the Arthur series are the tensions between Arthur and his younger sister. Arthur is constantly pestered and ridiculed by his four-year-old sister D.W. Read, and even though she celebrated her fifth birthday during the TV series' third season, Arthur still referred to her as a "four-year-old" in the episode "Return of the Snowball", which aired in the seventh season.

D.W. vehemently tries to get Arthur into trouble, although there are times when Arthur has retaliated by reciprocating the act of getting D.W. herself in trouble, even as far as hitting her once. Despite that, Arthur tries his best to ignore D.W.'s annoying antics most of the time, though very difficult, and often does her favors - sometimes on his parents' behest - against his will. Despite all of the shenanigans between the two, they are still a great brother and sister team, and they genuinely care for each other. ("Grandma Thora Appreciation Day", "Grandpa Dave's Old Country Farm", "Lost!", "Clarissa is Cracked", "Just Desserts", "Dad's Dessert Dilemma", "Arthur's Mystery Envelope" (episode), "The Big Dig", "Arthur's Knee", "Mom and Dad Have a Great Big Fight", "Arthur's Family Feud", "Is There a Doctor in the House?".) D.W. often hugs Arthur most of the time when either Arthur or she does something that's a big deal, like in the episode, "D.W.'s Perfect Wish" from Season 3, Arthur talks about all the great stuff that D.W. did, and when he finished the story, D.W. hugs him because Arthur told her all the great stuff she did when she was 4; another episode was "Operation D.W." from Season 10; D.W. hugs Arthur probably because she's brave and for all that nice stuff Arthur did for her before the operation.

He is also jealous of her for being a better songwriter, storyteller, and fly fisher; which embarrassed him, and made him believe she's a "show-off".

Unlike D.W., Arthur is shown to get along really well with his baby sister Kate Read; in "Arthur's Baby" he was shown to be nervous about how his new baby sister would act towards until he burped her to stop her from crying to which she is then seen snuggling into him and kissing his check. This is carried on in the episode "D.W.'s Baby" where he's feeding her milk bottle to her with no problem. Arthur has also been seen to make her laugh starting with the episode "Arthur the Unfunny" where he was purposely making mistakes on the piano while making funny faces. In "Binky Barnes, Wingman", Arthur dressed as a spider and brought Kate to school dressed as a fly to help with his report on spiders.

Arthur's parents include his mother, Jane, who is a work-at-home accountant, and his father David Read, who runs a catering business. The former disregards D.W.'s constant pestering of Arthur and gives in to her childish fits.

Growth

It is hinted in a few episodes, that Arthur wants to be a lot bigger in size, for unknown reasons. In "D.W.'s Snow Mystery", he views himself as someone 1.5 times his normal size.

In "The World Record", he fantasizes about being the tallest person in the world. In the opening of "Buster's Best Behavior", he views himself as being able to make himself much taller. These moments are unexplained.

Voice acting

For the first five seasons of the television series, Arthur was voiced by Michael Yarmush.

For season six, Yarmush was replaced by Justin Bradley, and for seasons seven and eight, the character's voice was provided by Mark Rendall. Rendall also redubbed Season 6 due to complaints from Carol Greenwald stating that Bradley's voice was too low and he lacked the vocal range of Yarmush.

After Rendall left, Cameron Ansell took up the role for seasons nine, ten and eleven.

Starting with season twelve, he was voiced by Dallas Jokic.

During season 16 and 17, he was voiced by Drew Adkins.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth seasons, he was voiced by William Healy.

During the twenty and the twenty first seasons, was voiced by Jacob Ursomarzo starting with the twentieth season.

He is currently voiced by Roman Lutterotti starting with season twenty two.

In the Living Books computer games: Arthur's Teacher Trouble and Arthur's Birthday, he was voiced by Duncan Wold and Ben Ellis.

In the Direct-to-DVD CGI film, Arthur's Missing Pal, he was voiced by Carr Thompson.

Trivia

  • Arthur's bedtime is 9:00 pm.
  • Arthur has not appeared in multiple episodes of the show, despite being the titular character.
  • He started on the show of the same name when he was eight years old, three months, and 22 days.
  • It was seen in some episodes that in the future, Arthur and Francine will be married.
  • Sue Ellen hints she has a crush on Arthur at the end of "Sue Ellen's Lost Diary", resulting in him blushing.
  • Arthur's favorite color is yellow.
  • Arthur is one of the few characters to have never read any title cards out loud.
  • Arthur is the most common character that received getting punished by his parents, sometimes alongside D.W.

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