Monday night proved to be a successful one for longstanding animated shows, as Arthur returned for its 22nd season premiere. Not only that, but the show promoted same-sex marriage in what has been considered an “incredibly heartwarming” episode.
Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone, aired on May 13, 2019, and saw Arthur and his friends attend the wedding of their goofy and charismatic third-grade teacher, Mr. Ratburn.
Ratburn’s “special someone” remained a mystery throughout the episode until he walked down the aisle with his future husband, Patrick — a friendly Aardvark, much like Arthur — who was introduced as a local chocolate seller earlier in the episode.
This is so adorable, Arthur's teacher Mr. Ratburn came out as gay and got married! It’s incredibly heartwarming to see kids TV shows representing #LGBTQ+ characters. Little things like this can do so much good. pic.twitter.com/W38EGcGnom
— Tom Knight (@TJ_Knight) May 14, 2019
The revelation resulted in a mass outpouring of happiness and celebrations over the internet, with some even suggesting they “knew all along.”
While the late-Arthur spin-off show Postcards from Buster once featured a gay couple in a 2005 episode entitled Sugartime, it was denounced by former U.S. secretary of education, Margaret Spellings, according to Variety.
This prompted PBS to take the episode off their schedules, however, various affiliates decided to keep it on air.
Fortunately, this time around, Arthur’s recent nod to the LGBTQ2 community was celebrated by thousands of fans and gay-rights advocates over social media.
Here’s what some Twitter users had to say:
I found out that Mr. Ratburn's getting married to a bloke on Arthur and I say hey (hey) what a wonderful kind of gay.
— Gavin Herman (@MrHissara) May 13, 2019
Mr. Ratburn being gay is *my* Game of Thrones finale
— 𝚂𝚊𝚕 had a marvelous time ruining everything (@salmattos) May 13, 2019
Mr. Ratburn marrying his husband makes me so so happy. Like I cannot put into words how special this is to me, how a cartoon anthro rat teacher man is marrying another cartoon anthro man.
— mysillycomics | bIm (@mysillycomics) May 13, 2019
animation twitter is losing it over the fact that arthur made mr ratburn gay but no one is talking about his clearly queer sister pic.twitter.com/WcJBdP70l7
— Quarantine Goth Ms. Frizzle (@spookperson) May 13, 2019
“This is certainly a big step for a series with such a young audience,” wrote another user, “let alone one that’s been on for over 20 years!”
“In honour of this revelation,” they added, “I offer… cake. Seems appropriate for Mr. Ratburn,” they concluded.
Arthur debuted in 1996 and featured Mr. Ratburn in its debut episode, Arthur’s Eyes.
Since then, his sexuality has never been mentioned; only his fondness for bird-watching and puppetry and most of all, cake. He was also once the frontman for a successful rock band.
It’s unclear whether Patrick will make another appearance on Arthur, however, it seems likely as Mr. Ratburn’s life outside of Lakewood Elementary School has been a recurring character arc throughout the show’s 22 seasons.
Can we talk about how much mf cake Mr Ratburn probably ate?? pic.twitter.com/SDRkfsrYsL
— nWo | Tamn Son! (@tamns0n) May 13, 2019
It seems Mr. Ratburn has finally found the perfect match in his professional chocolatier husband, Patrick — who should be able to cater generously to his cake-eating needs.
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