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Longest Running Childhood Animated Show ‘Arthur’ Ends After 25 Years

  • The longest-running childhood animated show Arthur aired its final episodes Monday. 
  • The show was revered for its track record for tackling difficult scenarios, including bullying. 
  • it also became part of meme culture when an image of Arthur making a fist in frustration went viral.

As the iconic PBS show Arthur comes to an end after 25 years, fans are taking to social media to reflect on the impact it had on their lives. 

Arthur followed an aardvark by the same name and his friends Buster, Francine, and Muffy, as they grew up in Elwood City. 

The show was revered for its track record of broaching difficult conversations, including bullying and illness. It made history and drew praise in 2019 when Arthur’s teacher, Mr. Ratburn, came out as gay and got married.

“Nerds, bullies, punk kids, computer geeks, tomboys, and princesses all got screen time,” wrote Aaron Edwards in a retrospective post for The Atlantic. “And not just that: They got arcs, interiority, and plots that presented elements of their identity at odds with the world around them.”


Marc Brown, who wrote the books Arthur was based on, told The New York Times, “So many episodes grow out of our writing team’s experiences — and it turns out they’re still helpful and relevant to kids! There are episodes, like the one on head lice, that every time we run them, because it’s still an ongoing problem for a lot of kids, it gets a lot of positive feedback.”


Though the show is intended for younger audiences, Arthur ascended to also become part of meme culture in 2016 when an image of Arthur making a fist went viral as a popular way to show frustration among young adults. 

The longest-running animated children’s show in history aired its final episodes on Monday. Screenwriter Kathy Waugh first announced the show would come to an end in July. 

Arthur aired its first episode in 1996 and won four Daytime Emmys for outstanding children’s animated program. Re-runs of the show are available on PBS Kids

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