Arthur Wiki
"Citizen Frensky"
Season/Series: 6
Number in season: 6a
Original Airdate: United States October 29, 2001[1]
Canada January 10, 2002[3]
United Kingdom April 15, 2002[2]
Written by: Jacqui Deegan
Storyboard by: Jeremy O'Neill
"Arthur and Los Vecinos"
"D.W.'s Backpack Mishap"
Read transcript

"Citizen Frensky" is the first half of the sixth episode in the sixth season of Arthur.


Sensational headlines and embarrassing photos make Francine's newspaper, The Frensky Star, a great success — except that now none of her friends are speaking to her.


When Mr. Ratburn enters the classroom, he announces that there is no school, and the students will be going to work with one of their classmates' parents (after Brain comments that children working is illegal). Mr. Ratburn gets the students to take out a card from the top hat and they will find out who they will be working with:

Muffy ends up working with Brain's mom at the Ice Cream Shop, where she suggests to Mrs. Powers that she color-coordinate all of her ice cream flavors, which Muffy claims will boost business. Mrs. Powers ignores this suggestion.

At Crosswire Motors, Mr. Crosswire tells Arthur to never overestimate the intelligence of a customer, and then tells Arthur about the other day that he convinced his cousin to buy something worthless.

Brain ends up working with Arthur's mom, Jane, where he ultimately takes over the computer and installs a new software for her called Speedo Accounting and deletes her old version by moving it into the trash, which Mrs. Read doesn't like.

While at the city dump with Mr. Frensky, Buster presses the red button with the trash can symbol on it, not understanding that it will dump out the garbage. Much to Buster's surprise, the garbage gets dumped out in the center of the intersection.

Francine then meets with Bitzi at the Elwood City Times. Bitzi explains to Francine that the building was built in 1949 from brick and limestone, and then shows her around the building where each of the rooms are. Then they enter the news room, and Bitzi introduces Francine to her boyfriend Harry Mills, a sports writer. Harry then hands the camera to Francine and makes her a substitute for the previous photographer before they go to Erie to take pictures of the horse race. As they watch the horse race, a goat appears, and Francine takes pictures of the goat ruining the race. She brings the photos to the Elwood City Times and lays them on the desk, and Bitzi is very pleased (as well as impressed).

The next day at school, Francine shares the news to the class and then uses her father's old camera and blue high school reporting cap. Then as Mr. Ratburn turns around, he knocks the books onto the floor. When he starts picking them up, Francine takes a picture of him bending down, causing the class to laugh. Mr. Ratburn then tells Francine that she should wait until after class to take the pictures. Francine then apologizes insincerely, and then a picture comes out of the camera slot, showing a very embarrassing picture of Mr. Ratburn.

At the Westboro Apartments, Francine turns her and Catherine's bedroom into a news room, and then she puts the typewriter on the desk. Catherine then walks in, and is shocked to see what Francine has done to their room. Catherine tries to get Francine to get rid of all the news-related stuff she considers "junk", but Francine dismisses Catherine's demands, claiming she has an important job for herself. Francine then photographs her sister, ending her speech. After Francine dares Catherine to show some rage, the latter insists to Francine to hand over the camera, but Francine rejects her sister's demands and snaps multiple photos to humiliate her even more.

CF The Frensky Star

Francine and Muffy go to a copy shop, and make copies of "THE FRENSKY STAR", which is being funded by Crosswire Motors (as Muffy says, it's free advertising). Francine and Muffy start laughing as they look at the article. Then at school, Francine, Muffy, Arthur, Buster and Binky start laughing as the read "THE FRENSKY STAR" article. There is a picture of Catherine which looks like a werewolf's expression and it says "KATHERINE CRACKS!" There is also a picture of Mr. Ratburn bending down which says "No ifs ands or Buts!" Buster remarks that it makes the news very interesting. Francine chooses to capitalize on this success, and later takes a picture of Binky petting a rabbit.

After school at the Loring Cinema, Arthur, D.W., and their mother walk outside after seeing Mary Moo Cow: The Movie. Arthur was unhappy to see the movie, and says that he should have stayed at home and done his homework. D.W. points out that Arthur lost the bet, because her imaginary friend Nadine could hold her breath for two hours, but Arthur states that if Nadine is imaginary, she can't hold her breath. Their mom says that next time, Arthur can pick the movie he wants (and get an extra-large popcorn). Francine takes a picture of Arthur.

At the soccer field, Francine sets down Nemo, and then Nemo runs across to scare Arthur, Buster, and Brain, causing them to run into each other; Francine takes the picture.

At Muffy's house, Francine and Muffy try on Muffy's mother's clothes. Francine asks Muffy where Millicent found all the items. Muffy then steps in front of Francine and asks her what she thinks about the new outfit she is wearing. Muffy then walks back to find some pearls. Francine takes a picture to surprise Muffy. Francine then jokes to Muffy that there might be a storm coming and then leaves. Francine then brings in the pictures to the copy shop and another article gets published.

At school, Prunella and some other kids start laughing as they read the newspaper articles. But then Arthur, Buster, Muffy, and Binky start reading the articles and become embarrassed. Arthur tells everyone that D.W. tricked him into seeing Mary Moo Cow: The Movie. Muffy then complains that she would never wear polka-dots and stripes together, and points out that she was just kidding around. Binky mentions that he thought he was petting a rat instead of a rabbit. Then everyone repulses Francine for the insolent moves she has done. Due to Francine humiliating Muffy, Muffy says that Crosswire Motors will stop funding The Frensky Star.

At lunch, Francine tries sitting with Arthur, Brain and Muffy, but they refuse to let her sit with them, as they're (understandably) mad at her for all the stuff she printed about them in her newspaper. Francine tries defending herself by claiming that she was just reporting what she saw. Brain suggests that Francine should do an article explaining that she had taken all those pictures out of context, but she disagrees with this, claiming that it wouldn't make a good story. Muffy notes that that basically proves Francine is just making tabloid article that are insulting to people, and she, Arthur and Brain leave Francine to go sit at a different lunch table. Francine then starts to feel bad about what she did. Mr. Ratburn eventually comes up to her to hand her a copy of the article she wrote, telling her that it's not very good grammar, because she didn't use any commas.

CF The Inquirer

"THE INQUIRER" article, Catherine's work done to get revenge of Francine.

After school, Francine's practicing her drumming on the roof of her apartment complex, which she once again attempts to do while singing at the same time (and like usual, the results are terrible). Someone secretly takes a picture of this and then publishes an article titled "THE INQUIRER," showing the photography with a caption saying, "DUMB OR DRUMMER?" The mysterious reporter then puts copies of the article in peoples' mailboxes, hands them to random passers-by and hands it out to customers at The Sugar Bowl.

The next day at school, "THE INQUIRER" is being passed out to everyone, and when Francine sees it, she hears everyone laughing. She walks over to Brain, Binky, and Muffy, and accuses them of having written the article. They insist they had nothing to do it, but admit that they would've been happy to do it. Francine then accuses Buster of doing it when she sees him carrying a stack of copies of the article, but Buster claims to be innocent as well. Francine then accuses Arthur of having written the article, but he also claims innocence. Embarrassed about what happened, Francine walks out of the school and goes home to add insult to injury As Mr. Ratburn passes by he congratulates Francine as it took a lot of character to be able to poke fun at herself.

Back at home, Francine is in her room, upset at the embarrassing article. Catherine then walks in and Francine ultimately realizes that her sister was behind the Inquirer. Catherine explains that she did it to give Francine a taste of her own medicine and to help prevent her from losing her friends. Francine admits that she fears she's probably already lost her friends, but Catherine (who reveals that she had done something similar when she was around her sister's age) explains that Francine should apologize to them and things will eventually become "yesterday's news". During this moment of sisterly bonding, Oliver takes a picture of his daughters and posts it on the fridge.

The episode finishes with Catherine and Francine getting into a fight over the last can of Sarah Soda.







Cultural references[]

  • The newspaper titled THE INQUIRER is a play on NATIONAL ENQUIRER.
  • On THE INQUIRER article, the phrase "DUMB OR DRUMMER?" is a play on the title of the 1994 film, Dumb and Dumber, but does not have anything to do with the film.
  • The title of the episode is referencing the film "Citizen Kane" (1941), a movie loosely based on the lives of newspaper magnates William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer.
  • When Catherine is chasing Francine, Francine says, "Sorry, Charlie", which was a line from the StarKist commercials.
  • "Stinko's Copies" is a play on "Kinko's".

Episode connections[]

  • The scene where Brain is at the Reads' house on the computer with Jane Read is a reference to a scene from "The Perfect Brother," where he helps clean out the computer for Jane by deleting some files so that everything on it runs faster; in that episode, she thanked him for doing so. However, in this episode, he takes over the computer without giving her a chance to understand it.
  • When Catherine takes revenge on Francine for her sensationalist news reporting, she does so by taking a picture of Francine while she's drumming and singing at the same time on the roof of their apartment building. This is a reference to "To Beat or Not to Beat," where Francine tries to sing and drum at the same time for a school talent show, with terrible results; she can do both by themselves, but not at the same time. In this episode, it is shown that she still isn't able to do them simultaneously.
  • Mr. Ratburn's class previously visited parents' workplaces in "My Dad, the Garbage Man."
  • The title of this episode is similar to "Citizen Cheikh."
  • Francine continues to use The Frensky Star in later episodes.
  • When Brain takes over Jane's computer, he's doing what he does with his and Sue Ellen's dinosaur report in Sue Ellen and the Brainasaurous


  • After Francine takes an embarrassing picture of Mr. Ratburn, the picture is already shown when coming out of the camera slot, despite the fact that pictures that come out of the slot actually start out blank and gradually become revealed in the following seconds.
  • While Francine is taking a picture of Catherine in their bedroom, the picture does not come out of the slot and then she clicks repeatedly, but the sound of a picture coming out of the slot in that scene can be heard when she and Catherine start running out of the room, with Catherine chasing her.
  • As Catherine is getting revenge on Francine and passing out articles, she is also seen at Mrs. Powers' ice cream shop and passing out the ice creams at the same time she passes out the articles. In other episodes, Catherine is unemployed. Also, the Powers' ice cream shop is a family-run business and doesn't employ anyone else.
  • In an article of "THE FRENSKY STAR", an embarrassing picture of Catherine titled "KATHERINE CRACKS!" has Catherine's name misspelled with a "K".
  • In one angle of the bedroom scene near the end of the episode, Catherine's shirt is the same color as her jacket.
  • One the lines during Francine and Catherine's fight over Sarah Soda has Francine saying "They'll bury me with this soda!" according to the closed captioning, but it sounds like she's saying "I'll just burn you with this soda!"
  • Brain mentions child labor laws, and says they are not allowed to work, but he has a very consistent job at his parents' ice cream shop.

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