"Francine's Big Top Trouble"

Francine's Big Top Trouble main image

Francine's Big top trouble

Season/Series: 9
Number in season: 2A
Original Airdate: Flag of the United States December 21, 2004
Flag of Germany January 1, 2008[1]
Written by: Adam Felber
Storyboard by: Ivan Tankushev
"Tipping the Scales"
"George Blows His Top"
Read transcript

"Francine's Big Top Trouble" is the first half of the second episode in the ninth season of Arthur.


Francine's sister, Catherine, was a star at circus camp, so Francine is sure she will be, too. But when she can't seem to get the hang of tumbling, she wonders whether she'll ever get out of her sister's shadow.


The episode begins when Arthur and D.W. are playing checkers. Arthur begins to speak, but D.W. tells him she wants to do it herself. Arthur then says he doesn't think D.W. thinks she appreciates how easy her life is because of him. He says she could always go to him for great advice. A flashback begins with Arthur teaching D.W. how to get rid of mosquitoes. He tells her to blow gently, and will go away. D.W. blows, and the mosquito leaves, but bites her first. Arthur says "More gently next time. I will now teach you how to tie your shoes with your mind." The flashback ends. He says he constantly encourages her. Another flashback begins. Arthur is teaching D.W. how to rollerskate. D.W. rides in to a garbage can. "That was great. Now we'll work on stopping!" And he thinks when she gets to kindergarten, everyone will respect her because she's Arthur Read's sister. He says he also teaches her things, like checkers. D.W. yells, "King me!" Arthur saw D.W.'s move and was surprised.

Francine's Big Top Trouble

The Frenskys are eating breakfast, Francine flips a spoonful of cereal in the air. She catches it, and says she will now accept her applause. Catherine claps and remembers it's the first day of circus camp. Catherine tells Francine that she can't wait for Francine to be on the trapeze, fifteen feet of the ground.when she tries it didn't work out and decided to do clowning around

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  • This episode was originally titled "I'm Not Catherine."[2]
  • This is the only episode written by Adam Felber.

Cultural references

  • Boris and Natasha are a possible shoutout to Boris and Natasha of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, particularly the Bumbling Brothers Circus story arc during the show's fifth season.
  • Boris Boudnikov is a caricature of Igor Boudnikov, the supervisor of character design in the series from around seasons 10 to 15.[3]

Episode connections


  • In "Arthur the Unfunny," Francine has no problem doing flips or cartwheels, and even tries to help Arthur learn how. This episode retcons her skills.
    • Unless this episode took place before that one since the series rarely goes in chronological order.
  • Baby Kate is seen in the crowd with brown hair and different clothes.
  • Emily's mother is accidentally colored like Unknown Female Adult Rabbit (Number 4).


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