|Complexion||Brown (s1-s5, s16-present)|
|Residence||Mr. Ratburn's House, Elwood City|
|Family||Rodentia Ratburn (sister)|
Lisa Ratburn (mother)
Otto Ratburn (father)
Rodentia Ratburn's child (niece or nephew)
Olga Ratburn (grandmother)
Hans Ratburn (grandfather)
|Book debut||Arthur and the True Francine|
|Cartoon debut||"Arthur's Eyes"|
|Voiced by||Arthur Holden (TV series)|
David Kessler (Living Books)
When Mr. Ratburn was a baby, he wore on a light blue sweater with a white collar, a red bow tie, white cloth diapers with pins, and bright red shoes and blue socks.
As a kid, he had two outfits - a school uniform that was colored blue like Glenbrook Academy's dress code and the uniform that had the school's badge on it. Then, he had casual clothes that he wore to events, like the Father's Day picnic. They consisted of a blue buttoned shirt with a white shirt under it and blue pants.
He used to be a "fatty rat" (in his words when talking with Arthur in "Arthur Weighs In") until he began exercising more while learning to play ping-pong.
As a young adult, he attended Elwood City High School with Bailey, David Read, and Mr. Haney. In "Arthur's Almost Boring Day", it is revealed that he was a member of the Elwood City High School Football team.
Future lifeMr. Ratburn announces that he will become a fourth grade teacher during the upcoming school year in "The Last Day". Besides this, not much is known about Mr. Ratburn's future outside of what is depicted in dream sequences. During the futuristic scene in the episode, "Buster Makes the Grade", it is suggested that Mr. Ratburn will continue his career as a teacher at Lakewood Elementary for many years to come. In Arthur's dream in "D.W. and the Beastly Birthday", Mr. Ratburn is seen four years in the future, with a beard and glasses. He wears a black suit and turtleneck sweater.
Mr. Ratburn's appearance consists of a green suit complete with a solid yellow shirt and bright red necktie (in the books, his uniform ranges to different colors). Being a rat, he has long whiskers, which he appears to keep trimmed.
He has brown clumps of hair in the books; although, in the cartoon show, his hair was restricted to thin black lines. He also wears his shirts tucked into his pants and always wears a belt buckle with his pants. He also wears blue pajamas and in one episode he wore a turquoise night shirt and another episode he also wore a tan colored sweater and black pants and wear brown or black slippers.
His casual clothing consists of a cream-colored T-shirt and faded blue jeans. For formal occasions, Mr. Ratburn wears a charcoal or black Tuxedo jacket with a white tuxedo shirt black bow tie and charcoal or black tuxedo trousers.
When outdoors for something like fossil-hunting, Mr. Ratburn wears a dark brown hat with a yellow line on the bottom of the tip of the hat going all around the tip. He also wears a very light yellow or beige shirt a dark blue scarf tucked into the shirt.
There is also a short-sleeved beige jacket with two pockets one on each side of the jacket and two shoulder straps one on each side of the jacket. He also wears blue shorts very light yellow or beige socks and light brown boots. He always carries a briefcase with him to class.
Mr. Ratburn is primarily known for being a strict teacher, but he has many other hobbies outside of the classroom, including puppetry, playing in a rock band, and bird-watching. He is also seen as a role model by several students. For instance, he encourages Arthur to be more physically active in "Arthur Weighs In", and he is able to relate to Maria's stuttering problem in "Maria Speaks".
He tends to give a lot of homework, projects and tests to the students in his class, which leads many to believe that he is the toughest teacher Lakewood Elementary School. Despite the heavy amount of school work to do, many of his students come to find out he is not as bad as they first thought, after he explains about organization, self-discipline and how they can do their homework in time for things they like to do. Even though Mr. Ratburn is calm and cool, he cackles uncontrollably in the dream sequences that the other characters have involving him.
Mr. Ratburn is often friendly, helpful and good-natured, rarely showing any hint of malice and has shown that he truly cares about his students time and time again. Mr. Ratburn takes his role as a teacher seriously and often tries to mentor his students, occasionally in non-academic fields. When the roof of his home collapsed, Mr. Ratburn goes to stay with the Read family, showing a more laid back, jovial side to him.
He frequently struggles with new, modern technology, such as using computers, the Internet and his classroom's new interactive "smart" board. This may be why he often uses an old film projector during his class lessons. He does become a bit more acclimated to some technology in various situations, however. He learns to use a tablet device called the BoysenBerry, and he manages to purchase a canoe online in "Best of the Nest".
In other media
In the Living Books computer games, he came out in Arthur's Teacher Trouble, even though there's a shadow look-alike of him walking outside while Arthur and Jane are out shopping for party supplies in Arthur's Birthday. He was voiced by David Kessler before the cartoon show replaced him with Arthur Holden.
In the later computer games (such as Arthur's Thinking Games), Mr. Ratburn's appearance was the same as he looked in the cartoon show.
Mr. Ratburn has numerous jobs. In "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn", it's revealed that Mr. Ratburn's a teacher, a basketball coach, and works on the school newspaper. In his spare time, he administers puppet shows that are popular among young kids. In "The Short, Quick Summer," Mr. Ratburn got a summer job at Jack's Joke Shop, where he worked as a cashier and helped Sue Ellen learn a card game magic trick.
- Outside of school, Mr. Ratburn is shown to enjoy many jovial pursuits, such as magic, puppeteering, and camping.
- The car that Mr. Ratburn drives is a red roadster convertible.
- Mr. Ratburn is a fanatic of Spooky Poo, a play on the Hanna-Barbera-based Scooby-Doo show.
- A running gag is Mr. Ratburn knowing nothing about computers or the Internet.
- Another running gag is his love (almost obsession) of desserts, especially for cake.
- In "For the Birds", Mr. Ratburn mentions that bird watching has been a favorite past time of his since he was a child.
- In "Cents-less”, Mr. Ratburn is shown feeding two goldfish, whom he calls Vladimir and Estragon. It would seem that Mr. Ratburn has named his pets in honor of two characters from Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.
- For the first few seasons, he has brown skin then changed to orange in the next few seasons and back to brown in Season 16.
- It is revealed in "Arthur's Baby", he knew how to write multiplication sentences at age 1 (or possibly 2).
- He went to high school at the same time as David Read and Mr. Haney.
- He may or may not be part Native American (specifically Cheyenne).
- He is part of a rock band called The Lost Teachers, as seen in "Lend Me Your Ear". He has become hard of hearing due to not having initially worn ear protection when practicing.
- Season 1
- Arthur's Eyes 10101 (cameo)
- Francine's Bad Hair Day 10102
- Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn 10201
- Arthur's Spelling Trubble 10202
- Buster's Dino Dilemma 10302
- Arthur's Lost Library Book 10402
- Locked in the Library! 10601
- Arthur Accused! 10602
- Buster Makes the Grade 10702
- Francine Frensky, Superstar 11002
- Arthur's Baby 11101
- Arthur Writes a Story 11201
- Buster's New Friend 11302
- Meek for a Week 11701
- Arthur's Almost Boring Day 12001
- The Half-Baked Sale 12002
- Sue Ellen Moves In 12101
- Team Trouble 12202
- Misfortune Teller 12302
- Arthur's Tooth 12401
- My Dad, the Garbage Man 12601
- Arthur's Substitute Teacher Trouble 12702
- I'm a Poet 12801
- Season 2
- Arthur Meets Mister Rogers 20101 (cameo)
- Draw! 20102
- Arthur's Lucky Pencil 20202
- Arthur's Underwear 20501
- Arthur's TV-Free Week 20701
- Night Fright 20702
- The Big Blow-Up 20802
- The Short, Quick Summer 20902
- Arthur's Mystery Envelope 21002
- Buster Hits the Books 21102
- Fern's Slumber Party 21502 (cameo)
- Love Notes for Muffy 21601
- D.W. Blows the Whistle 21602
- Arthur the Loser 21702
- Arthur vs. the Very Mean Crossing Guard 21801
- How the Cookie Crumbles 22001 (Mentioned)
- Season 3
- I'd Rather Read It Myself 30202 (Mentioned)
- Arthur Goes Crosswire 30301
- Sue Ellen and the Brainasaurous 30302
- Background Blues 30401
- And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids 30402
- Binky Rules 30601 (cameo)
- Arthur Rides the Bandwagon 30701
- Dad's Dessert Dilemma 30702
- Popular Girls 30801
- Buster's Growing Grudge 30802
- The Return of the King 30902
- Arthur's Almost Live Not Real Music Festival 31102
- Clarissa is Cracked 31202
- The Long, Dull Winter 31502
- Season 4
- Season 5
- Double Dare 50102
- Kids are from Earth, Parents are from Pluto 50201
- Nerves of Steal 50202 (Fantasy)
- It's a No-Brainer 50301
- The Shore Thing 50302
- The World Record 50401
- The Cave 50402
- The Lousy Week 50501 (Cameo)
- You Are Arthur 50502
- The Election 50601
- Sleep No More 50701
- Bitzi's Beau 50802
- Just Desserts 50901 (Fantasy)
- Season 8
- Season 9
- Season 10
- Season 11
- Season 12
- Season 13
- Season 14
- Season 15
- Fifteen 150101
- I Wanna Hold Your Hand 150201
- Cents-less 150401
- Buster the Lounge Lizard 150402
- S.W.E.A.T. 150502
- Prunella the Packrat 150701
- What's in a Name? 150702
- Muffy's Classy Classics Club (Cameo) 150801
- Through the Looking Glasses 150902
- The Butler Did... What? 151001
- The Trouble with Trophies 151002
- Season 20