And just like that, the long-running children’s show Arthur has come to an end. But not before giving us a glimpse at what the titular Aardvark and his pals are up to in the future. Arthur‘s finale episode “All Grown Up” features many of the characters pondering their future. And the epilogue tells us exactly what they’re like 20 years later. In the episode, Arthur, Francine, Buster, and Muffy discover a “retro” game—it’s like a BuzzFeed quiz meets the board game Trouble—in the depths of the Elwood City Public Library. So naturally, they decide to play to learn more about how their futures should go. (The epilogue kicks off around the 23:50 mark.)
It’s bittersweet seeing Arthur come to an end after 25 seasons. Like many born in the late ’80s and early ’90s the early seasons of the PBS Kids show were a staple in my house. And while I haven’t seen an episode in probably 20 years, I’ve kept tabs on the show’s monumental episodes—like Mr. Ratburn’s wedding—and use D.W. memes just about daily. Plus, simply put, the Arthur theme song is and always will be an absolute bop. (Ziggy Marley did for PBS what Phil Collins did for Tarzan.)
And it seemed that the creative team behind Arthur understood well that viewers beyond their usual crop of young children and their parents would watch this episode. To smack viewers with the proper dose of nostalgia, Michael Yarmush, the original voice of Arthur Read, even reprised his role for the epilogue. Here’s what Arthur‘s final episode had to say about its characters and getting along with each other.
Where Did Arthur’s Characters End up in the Show’s Final Episode
During the final few minutes of Arthur, we catch up with most (though not all of our favorite characters) from Arthur‘s long run.
Arthur Read’s Future
Much of the final episode hinges on a giant mistake at the library. One that turns out to be pretty life-changing for the titular character. Arthur shows up at the library to pick up a copy of Dinosaur Adventures that he had specifically ordered. But while in conversation with someone else, Ms. Turner accidentally gives him a book on drawing animals. (Including an Aardvark, which Buster notes has a longer nose than he realized. PBS brought jokes!) Arthur is obviously crushed and decides to remedy this library malfeasance. But after playing the aforementioned game, which ends before revealing his future, he has a bit more of an open mind.
At the end of the day, he decides to hold onto the book. And 20 years later, he shows off his newly-finished graphic novel called Arthur. And how does it begin? With Arthur getting his glasses—just like the first episode of the series from 1996. How meta!
Buster Baxter’s Future
Buster is an affable, inquisitive person. The game reveals he’s meant to be a teacher, which he’s initially skeptical about. As, of course, his dream job is pseudoscientist. Twenty years later though, his teaching career has certainly panned out, although luckily he doesn’t appear to be teaching the children of tomorrow just about bigfoot. In Arthur‘s finale his students include Arthur’s little sister Kate, who is somehow still in grade school? Kate is on track to become a pretty stellar writer.
Francine Frensky’s Future
Francine is thriving in the future. The final episode teases her competitive nature one final time, so it makes sense that her profession features a competitive edge. The game implies she’ll be an excellent businesswoman, which she imagines as an Office Space-like nightmare. She is a businesswoman in the future though, one who runs her own sneaker company.
Muffy Crosswire’s Future
Elmwood City’s resident chaotic rich girl is a public servant. While her younger self balks, in classic Muffy form, at the prospect of anything to do with working, which the game teases for her, her chosen profession is classic Muffy. She’s not the mailwoman running from a dog she imagines—which is for the best since her vision also consists of her throwing bills away and giving people the wrong mail on purpose if she deems it necessary. Instead in Arthur‘s finale, she’s running for mayor, looking to unseat Mayor Hirsch.
D.W. Read’s Future
Few children on television are as no-nonsense as D.W. Read. She’s stubborn, a stickler, and answers to nobody. And it seems that 20 years later she is some sort of beat cop—on traffic duty no less. But in classic D.W. fashion, she’s not letting anyone off the hook, not even Bud Compson.
Binky Barnes’s Future
The former bully-turned-pal is now the bearer of local news. He’s either some sort of reporter or meteorologist as the final minutes see a now-adult Binky delivering the weather report—in that classic Binky way. Start prepping for that cold front, Elmwood City.
George Lundgren’s Future
The kind and shy George runs the characters’ favorite hangout, the Sugar Bowl, in the future—which looks like it’s expanded from just sweets to coffee too. (They are adults now, after all.) He’s also vocally rooting for Muffy to win the mayoral election. Hirsch must be a terrible mayor as he’s willing to do “anything” to help Muffy unseat the incumbent.
And that’s a brief rundown as to what the Arthur characters are up to in the finale. But still, we have so many questions the epilogue doesn’t answer: What’s Brain up to? Do Mr. Ratburn and Patrick have kids? Why is Kate still in school? I guess we’ll have to wait for the reboot—or any other continuation of the series. For now, we’ll think back on all the good times. And try not to think of how Arthur’s characters are as old as we are in the final episode.