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Master Of Clap Backs, Here Are D.W.’s Most Savage Moments

by Francesca Volpe

Dora Winifred Read, or D.W. when she’s not in trouble, will always be remembered as TV’s most precocious anthropomorphic aardvark. Viewers of the ‘90s classic Arthur, know her as the headstrong little sister of the show’s mild-mannered protagonist. Loud, brazen and bossy, D.W. is the archetype of everything little girls aren’t supposed to be, and it’s fucking awesome watching her shamelessly claim space and demand to be heard. At the tender age of four, D.W. already knows how to live her best life. Girl knows how to strategize, negotiate and give major side-eye. D.W. does not give a fuck and won’t take anyone’s shit and isn’t afraid to say “no.” So in honor of PBS’ queen of shade, here are some of D.W.’s most savage moments.


When she stood up to ageism

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Most younger siblings go through a phase where they want to imitate everything their older sibling doesn/thinks/feels/acts, and D.W. is no exception. However, D.W. is never half-assed in her ventures. She copies Arthur’s signature look, incessantly follows him and his friends around town and chews out the server when asked if she needs a booster seat. Never shying away from un-relentless trolling. She will go above and beyond to get a point across.


When she got past White House security so she could find the government

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Disappointed that her family didn’t choose Ponyland for the family’s vacation destination, D.W. is hellbent on hating Washington D.C. So, during a tour of the White House, she went on a solo mission to find the government. Searching through the halls, she went door to door in hopes for an answer. But alas, she never finds the government and eventually comes to the realization that dawns on every American at some point: The government is too complicated.


When she tried to put her baby sister up for sale

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It’s easy to forget that D.W. is actually the middle child of the Read family, which, to say the least, was a challenging adjustment for her. Jealous of the attention Baby Kate is getting, D.W. devises a few strategies to reclaim her status as the baby of the family. One of them being: trying to sell Kate at a yard sale for 50 cents. 


When she tried to kick Francine out of the house


Feeling scorned from not being invited to a friend’s birthday party, D.W. is in no mood for Francine’s advice. Any gospel about having a good attitude is not welcome right now. Not one to mince her words, D.W. tells her where to go. 


When she discovers she can get her own library card…

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Knowledge is power, and D.W. goes mad with it after getting a library card. You’d think the kid just got her license, but access to free books and movies whenever she wants is more than enough to send D.W. into a frenzy. 


When she found time to troll her brother on vacation



When she really laid the guilt on thick

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Don’t make a promise to D.W. if you don’t plan on keeping it, because SHE WILL NOT LET YOU FORGET, EVER.


When she gave the perfect side eye

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When she gave the perfect side eye in a photo

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When she lost faith in everyone else

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I picture future D.W. running a startup or a small nation. Girl will stop at nothing to get results and answers. Especially when it comes to getting what she wants for Christmas or her Birthday.


When she negotiated for a higher pay

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When Arthur needs help running his pet sitting business, he asks D.W. to be his assistant for $2. Always guided by her entrepreneurial spirit, D.W. knows not to accept a first offer and raises her salary a full dollar without even asking. She knows her worth.


When she took back the remote

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Do not get between D.W. and her TV time. Mary Moo Cow is on and Arthur’s friends need to take their Bionic Bunny show somewhere else. I am also living for D.W.’s party outfit. A polka dot skirt with a matching jacket is the perfect ensemble to reclaim your time. 


When nature wasn’t good enough for her

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D.W.’s foul moods are reknowned in the series. They are truly unforgettable #relatablecontent. This episode can be summarized in one sentence: D.W. is pissed and no one knows why. We’ve all had those days where everything falls apart, and you can’t catch a break, so even sunshine becomes infuriating. 


When she used her limitations to her advantage

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Don’t let what you don’t know get in the way of where you want to go. Apply for that job you’re not quite qualified for. Quit that job you’re too qualified for. Start that business. Learn a new language. Be fearless like D.W.


When she asked the most important question of them all

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Some of us have Webkins to feed! Some of us have bills to pay! Some of us have a deadline for an article about D.W. being awesome!


Header photo PBS


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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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