Arthur has been a mainstay for PBS Kids lineup for 22 seasons at this point, but its latest premiere episode brought a surprise that many didn't see coming. While it is likely a shock the show is still on the air, Monday's premiere episode introduced a change for one of the characters that created discussion online -- in a good way -- and provided a quality episode too.
In the premiere, "Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone," Arthur and his friends try to discover who their teacher's partner is after the revelation that he is engaged. This leads to a fun episode for fans that features the kids dreaming up scenarios for their teacher and his life outside of school. They later spot him having lunch with a female friend (voiced by guest star Jane Lynch) and instantly think this is his future wife. It is not a good encounter.
She's pushy and tough on Ratburn, leading Arthur and his crew to plan to bust up their nuptials because if their teacher is miserable, they'll be miserable too.
MR RATBURN IS GAY HELLO !! HE GOT MARRIED !! pic.twitter.com/T1Emc97Y0f— EIGHTH WONDER (@WOLFNOlR) May 13, 2019
But one at the wedding, they discover that the mystery woman is their teacher's sister and that Ratburn is marrying a man. As TV Line points out, they decide not to mess up the wedding, enjoy the happiness on the couple's face, and then proceed to make fun of their dancing ability.
It was a pleasant surprise for most fans and they let the world know online.
"This episode was wild too, Arthur and his friends thought he was marrying this pushy woman and tried to break them up only to find out the lady was his sister and Mr. Ratburn was marrying the guy from the chocolate shop they went to earlier in the episode," one fan wrote on Twitter.
"It turns out Arthur is more courageous and explicit than Avengers: Endgame when it comes to LGBTQ2 lives and storylines. Congrats Mr. Ratburn! Your move, Marvel...." another fan wrote, noting Marvel's recent comments about the LGBTQ representation in the MCU films.
Some actually pointed out that Ratburn has been a bit of a gay icon for a while now allegedly, with the marriage only confirming a fact for some people.
"We been knew. Mr. Ratburn is an extremely slept on gay icon. Mr. Ratburn has done more for the LGBTQ community than Harvey Milk and Ryan Murphy combined!!!!," a fan pointed out.
This is not the first time a show in the Arthur universe has addressed the topic of same-sex marriage and the LGBTQ community, though. As TV Line notes, a 2005 episode of Postcards From Buster saw Arthur's rabbit pal heading to Vermont and messing around with some children who have lesbian parents.
The outlet is quick to point out that the word lesbian wasn't actually used in the episode. But when the visual is intact, it is hard to deny.
Love!! I used to watch Arthur all the time as a *gay* kid. Brings a smile to my face!!— Eugene Resnick (@EugeneResnick) May 13, 2019
The latest developments left a smile on a lot of fan's faces, with a few offering congrats to the character online.
"for real tho I have loved mr. ratburn basically my whole life, it honestly lifts my heart to see he has a husband now," a fan added online.