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"Don't Ask Muffy"

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Season/Series: 7
Number in season: 3B
Original Airdate: Flag of the United States October 10, 2002[1]
Credits
Written by: Cusi Cram
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
Episodes
Previous
"Ants in Arthur's Pants"
Next
"To Tibble the Truth"
"Don't Ask Muffy" is the second half of the third episode in the seventh season of Arthur.

Summary

Muffy starts an advice column in the school newspaper to launch her career as a rich and famous talk-show host. There is only one problem — the kids are ignoring her, and flocking to a mystery advice-giver instead! If Muffy wants to be as popular as Hoprah Linseed, she will have to learn a few lessons about competition and what really makes a good listener.[2]

Plot

Intro: after having Chinese food at the Baxters', Arthur gets a fortune from a fortune cookie that says, "accept gifts from an unlikely source." He expected something better like, "you will get an A on Monday's geography test." Buster takes the fortune, and shows Arthur all the fortunes he saved, marking the ones that came true such as, "you will go on a long trip someday." Buster then says that advice fortunes, like Arthur's, are the best fortunes. He says that people do a lot of things for good advice: he imagines himself climbing a mountain in Tibet, meeting a monk at the top, but not understanding what he tells him; Buster then imagines himself buying books from Trident Books on how to be a comedian; and finally, Buster imagines himself telling a counselor he is feeling hungry after having a dream that he was chasing a jelly donut. Arthur feels better about his fortune and asks Buster if he can have it back, but Buster can't find it in his box of fortunes. Instead, Buster finds a fortune that says, "you give things away too easily". He gasps, marks the fortune, and puts it back.

At school, Francine revives The Frensky Star, publishing real news and handing new copies to Arthur and Buster. Muffy introduces a new advice column on the newspaper called Ask Muffy, and claims that she will be listening. The kids see tree branches in Binky's locker, but Binky becomes mean and says that he just likes trees. At the park, Arthur reads out Ask Muffy's example, where Muffy says that an appropriate birthday gift for a butler is "an expensive box of French chocolates." Binky listens, and calls the question dumb, but is intrigued by the fact the asker used the name "Anonymous" so that nobody knows who the asker is. Muffy comes in, claiming that she listens and is also discreet. Muffy asks Arthur, Buster and Binky if any of them would like to be her assistant in case her advice column becomes more popular. Buster initially refuses; he then chases after Muffy, agreeing to take the job, but only for the French chocolates she had. At Muffy's, Muffy wonders why people are not sending her questions to answer. Buster suggests to "come up with a topic - some common problem every kid has." Muffy does not notice, but says exactly the same thing Buster told her. Before she starts a topic on split ends, she receives a question where the asker wants his/her friends to see a ballet recital where he/she plays a tree that turns into a pigeon, but he/she is embarrassed to ask. The asker has also misspelled "Anonymous" as "Aninimouse." Muffy becomes overjoyed about receiving a question, and declares to Buster that she will be as big as Hoprah Linseed, the queen of daytime talk shows. Muffy imagines having her own successful daytime talk show: she and Dr. Bill encourage an audience member to redecorate her bedroom; Muffy wishes for great ratings, more free designer clothes, and for people keep having problems for her to solve. Muffy then says on tomorrow's show, everybody in the audience gets a free makeover, and the audience cheers for her. Buster then interrupts her dream, suggesting that she answers the question.

Before Binky can keep on bullying George for his cupcake, Muffy and Buster come in between them, saying that she found out he sent in the ballet question because he saw his e-mail address. Binky, however, hated Muffy's advice of moving to Baltimore, despite Muffy's claim that Baltimore has great ballet. He said that someone better at giving advice told him to invite one friend to his recital, and that if that friend liked it, Binky will invite more friends next time. Muffy is angered, determined to compete with the person who gave Binky advice, as well as find out who it is. At a skate park, Jenna, Fern, James and Alex watch the "good advice-giver" on her skateboard. Jenna asks her whether to pronounce the N in "badminton", to which the person says that people use both versions, and that Jenna should use the version she is comfortable with. While spying for the person with Muffy, Buster sits on a can, and tells her that she did not tell him about spying from dangerous bushes as her assistant. When the kids leave, Muffy and Buster find out that the "good advice-giver" is Molly. Molly says she was just at the skate park to practice skate tricks; someone asked her a question, and she casually told that kid what she thought. She thinks that it is becoming dread, but quickly became popular with the kids from whom to get advice. Buster then proceeds to ask Molly a question, where he agreed to do something for a friend, but now he does not want to do it anymore. Molly says that "the direct route is the best route," and to just tell his friend how he feels. Muffy thinks that Buster was trying to stump Molly with a tough question. To her surprise, Buster was getting actual advice from Molly, and tells Muffy that he quits.

Muffy quickly assumes that giving good advice is to become like Molly. She starts listening to loud rock music, gets a hairstyle like Molly, dresses in a denim vest and ripped jeans like Molly, and struggles to teach herself how to skateboard - all at her expense. Arthur and Francine are on tire swings, discussing the slow week for headlines for the Frensky Star. Muffy skates in between them to ready to give advice, but crashes into a merry-go-round. At Molly's house, Muffy asks her for the secret to giving good advice, even offering her half of the profit from her future talk show. She tells Molly that she started giving advice because she wants to be as rich and famous as Hoprah. Molly calls Muffy's advice-giving lame, and that she does not listen. She learned the secret to giving good advice from reading Hoprah's autobiography, and that Muffy should read it as well. Muffy accepts Molly's advice; she then tells her that she may not be good at listening, but rather at spotting and fixing fashion faux pas. Muffy suggest that Molly should fix her bangs to show off her cheekbones. At Binky's ballet recital, Muffy, Molly and a few other of their friends are watching Binky perform. Muffy gives Molly a hair clip so that to fix her bangs, and they like it. As the episode finishes, the audience applauds and Mrs. Barnes takes a picture.

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Trivia

Episode Connections

  • Francine is still working as a reporter for the Frensky Star, as seen in Citizen Frensky.

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