|"Arthur Meets Mister Rogers"|
|Number in season:||1a|
|Original Airdate:|| October 20, 1997|
November 24, 1997
January 24, 2002
|Written by:||Ken Scarborough|
|Storyboard by:||Denis Banville|
"Arthur's New Year's Eve"
Arthur is embarrassed when Mister Rogers comes to his house after he is told that only babies like the television host.
Arthur rushes to a bench, slightly out of breath with some exciting news for his friends: Mister Rogers is coming to visit Elwood City. At first, his friends are upset because they think his show is for babies, with Binky mocking him by singing Mister Rogers' theme song off-key.
After that, Arthur runs home afraid he will be embarrassed when they learn that Mister Rogers is also staying over at Arthur's house, which D.W. is very excited about. Later, Mom talked to him and told him he used to watch Mister Rogers when he was D.W.'s age, and also told him not to spoil it for her.
Later, Arthur and D.W. were talking about Mister Rogers and D.W. suggests they tell somebody, but Arthur doesn't want anyone coming to their house asking Mister Rogers for autographs (although he is actually fibbing, as he really doesn't want people to think he likes a "baby show"). The fact about keeping Mister Rogers' stay remaining a secret becomes problematic when he needs to mail some postcards to some of his friends.
Arthur imagines what his friends would think when they saw Mister Rogers walking down the sidewalk to the mailbox. Then D.W. brings Mister Rogers to the door, when Arthur blocks his way and takes the postcards, telling Mister Rogers to stay there while he takes the postcards to the mailbox himself.
On the way, he bumps into Prunella, and Prunella wonders who the postcards are from, and Arthur covers it up by saying he is trying new names. He then hurries away before Prunella could say another word. While Mister Rogers is playing the piano, Arthur is putting on a zippered sweater while humming Mister Rogers' theme.
Mister Rogers decides to go out for some fresh air with the kids, but Arthur is reluctant due to everybody "wanting an autograph". He decides to get himself and D.W. disguises, and they wear beards to cover up their identities.
Buster happens to be nearby and sees the trio, mistaking Arthur and D.W. for the Seven Dwarfs, so he hurries to see them. Arthur tries to outrun him, but Buster catches up, so Mister Rogers formally introduces himself.
Later, Arthur explains to Buster what's going on while D.W. takes Mister Rogers on a tour of the city, and asks him to keep it a secret. Buster swears on it, but then sees Rubella, Prunella, and the Brain in the ice cream shop and goes in to tell them, but realizes that he's bad at keeping secrets.
The kids are confused about Arthur's new beard and his weird behavior overall, and the Brain suggests Arthur is suffering from stress from too much homework.
Suddenly, Rubella goes into a spontaneous trance and predicts that zombies have taken over the city and have hypnotized Arthur! She insists that they have to break the trance before they're all enslaved, much to Prunella and the Brain's confusion.
That night, Mister Rogers has dinner with the family, and Buster asks about the Kingdom of Make-Believe on the show. As the night goes on, Prunella, Rubella, and the Brain spy on the family through the windows, with Rubella ranting on about everybody's "unusual, zombie-like" behavior.
The Brain finds this ridiculous so he goes to ask if Arthur actually just needs help with homework. Arthur comes up with a quick excuse saying that if he needs help, Buster can help! The trio does not buy this ridiculous excuse, and all three of them are now convinced their friends have become zombies.
They continue to spy on Arthur as he shuts the windows one by one. Unfortunately for the trio, Mrs. Tibble is on a neighborhood crime watch and happens to spot the three at the house. Mistaking them for burglars, she calls the police.
While Mister Rogers sings D.W. a lullaby, Arthur drags Buster away and tells him to go home. Suddenly, sirens are blaring outside as the police surround the house. On the news, Mister Rogers' visit to the Read house is made public as the news surrounding the so-called "burglary" is found to be untrue, much to Arthur's humiliation.
Late at night after everything calms down, Mister Rogers talks to Arthur about his embarrassment, and Arthur tries to deny it out of fear of insulting Mister Rogers. However, Mister Rogers understands Arthur's feelings: He doesn't want to look like a little kid in front of anyone, but Mister Rogers explains that real friends don't make fun of real friends, and his friends seem like real friends.
Arthur's spirits are uplifted, but he assumes anyway that nobody watches the news, so he'll be okay. The next day at school, everybody has heard the story on the news, and they all ask about Mister Rogers.
Binky proceeds to mock the show once again with another off-key song, but is left speechless when he meets Mister Rogers at last, and asks for his autograph. Mister Rogers discusses his experience in Elwood City, and everybody loves him.
Binky then asks if he really did stay at Arthur's, to which Mister Rogers says that Arthur can answer that. Arthur almost fibs again, but finally getting past his doubts, proudly admits that he did stay with him. Amazed, Binky asks for his autograph too.
- It is revealed that Arthur has a habit of playing with his glasses when he fibs.
- Brain shows up in class the next day as if nothing ever happened. It is unclear what happened to him, Rubella and Prunella when the police arrived at Arthur's.
- When Mister Rogers visited Mr. Ratburn's class, the Neighborhood Trolley can be seen on Mr. Ratburn's desk.
- The Trolley has eight wheels with two bogies and two extra headlights.
- The song Fred sang to D.W. was "Please Don't Think It's Funny", which he wrote.
- This is the only episode with the guest star's name in the title.
- For unknown reasons, starting in the 2010s, this episode stopped airing in the UK.
- A scene from this episode was shown in Episode 1743 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
- The math problems on the blackboard were almost the same as the ones seen in "Arthur's Lucky Pencil."