"Fern's Slumber Party"

Walters Living Room S2

Fern's Slumber Party Title Card

Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 15B
Original Airdate: Flag of the United States April 10, 1998[1]
Flag of Canada September 11, 1998[2]
Flag of Germany February 13, 2002[3]
Written by: Sandra Willard
Storyboard by: Nelson Dewey
"Grandma Thora Appreciation Day"
"Love Notes for Muffy"
Read transcript
"Fern's Slumber Party" is the second half of the fifteenth episode in the second season of Arthur.


At her mother's pestering, shy Fern tries hosting a slumber party.


Fern is playing detective with her dolls when her mother tries to make her introduce the show, like Arthur usually does. Fern suggests just going to the title card.

Title Card

Fern accompanies her mother to a copy shop where Mrs. Walters boasts about her daughter's creativity. She has a fantasy of Fern introducing a talking computer she invented. In Fern's fantasy the same computer steals her show.

Mrs. Walters brings signatures she collected to the office of an environmental protection group. She says that Fern will be helping soon. She has a fantasy of Fern having solved some major environmental problems. Fern sees herself giving a talk on protecting the ocean which puts all listeners (including fish) to sleep.

At the school open house the other kids notice Francine's new bracelet. Francine hands out cookies that match the kids' personalities. Fern gets a nondescript cookie.

When Fern is playing detective again at home, her mother tells her that she needs to have a slumber party to develop her social skills. Fern reluctantly agrees.

Fern has made invitation cards in code because she thinks the other girls wouldn’t want to come anyway since she’s boring.

On the school playground some of the invited girls are less than pleased. They decide to bring their own toys to the party. Fern overhears them and is relieved.

Fern asks her mother to leave her alone with the guests. Muffy, Francine, Sue Ellen, Jenna and Prunella arrive. Fern makes an attempt to suggest a game but is overruled by Francine.

Later there is some discord because Francine seems to suggest only games that she is good at. The girls can’t decide what to do, but Fern doesn’t make another attempt to suggest something.

Eventually everyone is bored. Suddenly Francine misses her bracelet. Fern says she knows where it is and retells the events of the party in the style of a classic detective story. She remembers Francine taking off the bracelet, Muffy putting it on a table, and Jenna dropping a bag of chips on it. She also remembers Prunella cleaning up after Jenna. She finally reveals that the bracelet is in the waste paper bin. Prunella accidentally threw it in there with Jenna's chips bag. The girls are impressed.

When Mrs. Walters brings in the dinner, Fern is reading Sherlock Holmes to the others. Mrs. Walters remarks that she knew the party was a good idea.


Major Minor Cameo


  • This is one of the few episodes in which Jenna has a major speaking role.
  • This is the first episode written by Sandra Willard.
  • In "Jenna's Bedtime Blues", Jenna has problems wetting the bed, but she has no problems in this episode it‘s likely that her problem hasn’t happened yet.

Cultural References

  • Fern mentions a "Bora Borean peanut". Bora Bora is a group of islands that are part of French Polynesia. Poisons from exotic places feature in several Sherlock holmes stories, e.g. „The Adventure of the Devil's Foot“.
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles“ (1902) is a Sherlock Holmes novel by Arthur Conan Doyle. Fern reads from it at the end of the episode.
  • The Adventure of the Dancing Men“ (1905) is a Sherlock Holmes story that does feature a code where stick figures stand for letters. However, the figures used by Fern are not from the story and make no sense.
  • Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown is the young hero of a series of detective books by Donald J. Sobol published between 1963 and 2012.

Episode Connections


  • During the open house, Francine and Arthur are seen in their normal clothes at first, but are dressed up a few seconds later.
  • There are multiple inconsistencies involving the cookies at the open house:
    • At the start, there are eight cookies on the plate, but when the plate is set on the table, the green bush-shaped cookie is not present. The missing cookie then reappears when Francine picks up the plate.
    • Francine gives Arthur a pink cookie, but that same cookie appears on the plate while the other third graders after Arthur are getting their cookies.
    • Francine gives Sue Ellen a green, circular cookie that has two spots on it. Immediately after, Francine gives the same exact cookie to Fern, saying that she is giving it to Fern because she doesn't know what it is. There was only one cookie of that design originally on the plate, and Francine originally had no problem giving the design to Sue Ellen.
    • A green triangle cookie originally appears on the plate, but disappears, even though it was not passed out. This may be the cookie that Sue Ellen was actually planned to get by the crew.
    • A yellow star cookie originally appears on the plate, but disappears, even though it was not passed out to anyone.
    • A white square cookie with an X on it originally appears on the plate, but later on it appears as a white triangle.
    • The Eiffel Tower cookie changes appearance throughout the short sequence, varying in length and its size.
  • The first sentence from „The Hound of the Baskervilles“ that Fern reads is the last sentence of chapter two. The following sentence is found earlier in the same chapter.

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