Who would have thought when we were making those John Legend memes that the TV show Arthur would come back around to not only be relevant again, but to be super progressive. On Monday, the long-running series aired its season 22 premiere and in the episode, Arthur and the gang’s strict-but-beloved teacher Mr. Nigel Ratburn, married a man.
Yes, kids, Mr. Ratburn is gay and the Millennials are freaking out.
MR RATBURN IS GAY HELLO !! HE GOT MARRIED !! pic.twitter.com/T1Emc97Y0f
— EIGHTH WONDER (@WOLFNOlR) May 13, 2019
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
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
imagine telling me in 1998 that “Mr. Ratburn” would be a worldwide trend on twitter dot com
— Husky Dave Grohl (@saulmalone) May 13, 2019
Congratulations Mr. Ratburn! 🌈🐀https://t.co/8ejkwU1sfU
— GLAAD (@glaad) May 14, 2019
In the episode, the kids find out that Ratburn is getting married and they not-so-subtly spy on him to find out who the lucky bride is. When they find out (or so they think) that he’s marrying a bossy rat, they try to break them up, even crashing the wedding in the process (it’s a kids cartoon, give them a break). Turns out—plot twist!—the bossy woman isn’t Ratburn’s betrothed, she’s his sister and he’s actually marrying a man they met earlier in their investigation named Patrick. Ta-da! Mr. Ratburn = gay icon.
As some Twitter users pointed out, Ratburn has always kind of been a gay icon.
We been knew. Mr. Ratburn is an extremely slept on gay icon. Mr. Ratburn has done more for the LGBQT community than Harvey Milk and Ryan Murphy combined!!!! https://t.co/MilWOP0TTb
— caroline (@hairoline) May 13, 2019
The man’s had the energy of a diamond studded rainbow since season 1, no one’s surprised
— yeah, nah (@IOriginalNameI) May 13, 2019
Right?! Like it’s not even surprising. I would’ve loved to see him all goofy and badly dancing.
— Monique Bousquin (@TheWritingWand) May 13, 2019
This is a shock to no one though
— New Year Old Me 👴 (@FlarSlar) May 13, 2019
I would be shocked if I hadn’t suspected it for like 23 years.
Enjoy your cake, Mr. Ratburn! pic.twitter.com/gApJeDMtyY
— Lucy Who? (@LucyLocketTV) May 13, 2019
The online community commended PBS for explicitly featuring a gay character and making the whole thing NBD. The kids aren’t even fazed that their male teacher is marrying a man (although they assert that teachers should NEVER, EVER dance). Disney? Are you listening?
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…. https://t.co/eq99SerHaC
— Rachel Giese (@rachelagiese) May 13, 2019
JK Rowling and Disney: We’re gonna be so supportive of gay rights with our subtext and behind-the-scenes interviews.
PBS and Mr. Ratburn: Hold my beer. pic.twitter.com/BftEemXN8v
— David Gouldthorpe (@AuthorDavidG) May 13, 2019
ARTHUR managed to do 100 times better rep for LGBTQ folk than disney/marvel in one ep with mr ratburn getting married to his boyfriendd
— SKULLGUN_CRASH (@augvision) May 13, 2019
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
Congrats to the happy couple and to all the people who have been waiting decades for this!