"Francine Goes to War"


Francine Goes to War Title Card.png

Season/Series: 5
Number in season: 6B
Original Airdate: United States October 30, 2000[1][2]
Canada January 8, 2001[3]
Written by: Kathy Waugh
Storyboard by: Lyndon Ruddy
Patricia Atchison
"The Election"
"Sleep No More"
Read transcript

"Francine Goes to War" is the second half of the sixth episode in the fifth season of Arthur.


Francine can't believe it. She gets in trouble no matter what she does - thanks to the new nosy next-door neighbor! Will Francine get to play her drums or fight with her sister ever again?


In the school hallway, Arthur overhears Francine telling Maria that if she says it again, she will get it. Arthur states that Francine is great, but it's not a good idea to get her mad. After Francine hears what Arthur says about her, she threatens to tell him to take his statement back, and claims that she is the nicest person ever. Arthur laughs in disbelief and decides to prove the times of what Francine did was so mean: when Francine was calling Fern a "mouse" for being "too quiet" and faking being scared of her (Draw!), the time she started bossing everyone around during the Thomas Edison play (Francine Frensky, Superstar), or when they bet she could be nice for a week, and she practically lost (Meek for a Week). However, Francine contradicts Arthur by saying it isn’t fair, and that he took all of her worst moments and put them together, and thus she could make him even look worse. She gets him back by telling him that he cheated at a stupid "No-Guessing Game" (Arthur the Loser) and that he stole D.W.'s snowball (D.W.'s Snow Mystery). Arthur then tells Francine that he didn’t steal D.W.'s snowball, but that D.W. lost it herself, and it was her imagination. Then Arthur and Francine both start arguing together, and Francine says that she's just as nice as he is.

Then Buster reads the title card Francine Goes to War in a rather fearsome tone.

Later at night, in Francine and Catherine's room, Catherine walks over to the desk where Francine is doing her homework at to sharpen her pencil. Francine then threatens Catherine by telling her that her face is "getting all over" her homework. Catherine ignores this, and walks off, and then Francine picks up a pillow to fight Catherine, until Catherine fights her back with another pillow, ordering Francine to stop it, and states that Francine wishes she had Catherine's face. Francine then calls Catherine "dead meat", but Catherine tells Francine back that she is "so in trouble". Then Francine shouts loudly for their father until she and Catherine hear someone banging on the wall. Francine wonders what could be making that sound, then she grabs onto her big sister and Catherine says that they might be haunted, and then they run off screaming, claiming that there might be a ghost. Oliver proves that there are no such things as ghosts, and that it must be their "new" neighbor, Mrs. Pariso. Francine then states that she's some loser who was banging on the wall and scared them to death. Oliver points out that Mrs. Pariso's reason to knock on the wall was to tell the girls to be quiet, and Oliver states that Francine and Catherine can sometimes get quite loud. Francine and Catherine look at each other in disbelief.

The next day, Francine beats on the drums on the roof of Westboro Apartments until the landlord Mr. Sanders orders her to stop making that racket. Francine talks back saying that it isn't noise, but music, and that she always plays up on the roof. Mr. Sanders then pulls out the complaint note he received from Mrs. Pariso (although he doesn't exactly remember her name) and it reads that she phoned and said "If that racket doesn't cease and desist, I will call the police." Francine then gets angry once again and then suggests that Mr. Sanders should tell Mrs. Pariso to "go suck an egg" (move out anyway). Mr. Sanders disagrees with Francine's suggestion. Francine then refers to Mrs. Pariso as "Mrs. Parrot-face" and states that she's going to get it, and returns to her apartment.

Later, while Muffy is over, Francine and Muffy decide to prank call Mrs. Pariso. Francine starts it by dialing Mrs. Pariso's apartment phone number: 300-3775, and pretends to be "Ed Buttkin" by talking in a deep masculine voice and wondering if her refrigerator was on. Without a response, Mrs. Pariso ignores the situation and hangs up anyway, where a dial tone can be heard right after. Muffy then grabs the phone from Francine and starts dialing Mrs. Pariso's number, too. Muffy then pranks calls her (in her normal voice), and says that her friend Francine, which she meant to say "Ed" was asking her if her refrigerator was running (correcting the mistake). Mrs. Pariso hangs up once again, and Muffy complains that Mrs. Pariso hung up on her. Francine tells Muffy she gave her away, but Muffy tells Francine not to worry, but insolently that Mrs. Pariso is an old lady and won’t even remember, despite that people could remember, no matter the age.

After Muffy leaves the apartment, Oliver looks angry & disappointed at Francine in the living room about making prank phone calls. Francine responds by saying that she shouldn't do it unless it was absolutely necessary. While Francine flips through channels, Oliver blocks their television screen just as he looks at her in disbelief right after listening to her respond unreasonably. Francine then admits that she shouldn't have been making prank phone calls, but wants to put the blame on Mrs. Pariso for banging on her wall and for complaining about her drumming on the roof. Oliver proves that he doesn't care if Mrs. Pariso "threw a water balloon at Francine", and tells her that Mrs. Pariso is an elderly lady and must be treated with respect, and he grounds her for 2 days. Francine sits right back on the sofa, and looks down in disbelief.

The next day at school, Francine tells her friends in the lunchroom about her new neighbor Mrs. Pariso, and trying to get her to move out. Muffy states that it was so unfair that Mrs. Pariso knew it was Francine to prank call her. Buster says that Francine might get arrested for watching TV. Arthur states that maybe Francine could get Mrs. Pariso to move somewhere else. Buster then mentioned that his condo complex had termites that forced around three people to move out, and suggests that he could give Francine some of the termites. The Brain states that it would take around three years for the termites to get established, but suggests that Francine could say that if there are termites, or rats, or anything. Muffy then agrees with the Brain's suggestion, and just to leave the whole situation to herself, but not Francine.

After school, at the Elwood City Public Library, Muffy then writes a fake eviction letter saying that they don't mean to scare Mrs. Pariso, but that the "building is about to fall down, due to to many rats in the basement, and that they are chewing up the cement and becoming a menace." Francine tells Muffy that the word "cement" is spelled with the letter "E" and not with the "I" in place of the first "E", then Muffy corrects it herself. Then Muffy continues reading it that if Mrs. Pariso knows what is good for her, she move away as soon as she can, and it was signed "The Manager", although the handwriting is quite childish. Francine then takes the letter, and Muffy suggests to Francine to spill coffee around the corners.

The next morning, Francine spills some coffee on the "eviction" letter (in resemblance to a cow's outer body pattern), wipes up the mess on the counter (although the stains stay on the letter), and then stuffs it into the envelope. Francine then walks out of her apartment, and slips the letter underneath the door of Mrs. Pariso's apartment (Unit #4), and then heads back to her own apartment. But the door is locked, and Francine keeps turning the knob until Mrs. Pariso starts walking out of her apartment, much to Francine's surprise. Francine then quickly hides behind a potted plant with ferns, and covers her face behind the ferns, so that Mrs. Pariso doesn't know that she caused the trouble. Then Mrs. Pariso goes back to her apartment, and Francine is relieved. Francine then knocks on the door, and then Catherine opens the door and wonders what Francine is doing, but Francine tells Catherine not to ask, but that she can thank her the next day.

At breakfast time, Oliver points to Francine that there is a letter on her plate. Francine then picks it up, and when she opens it up, it turns out to be the same fake eviction letter that Muffy wrote, but with many grammatical and spelling mistakes corrected in red ink by Mrs. Pariso as assumed, in which the tables have been turned. Francine then tears up the note into shreds and decides it "means war". Oliver is shocked to hear Francine talk like that. But Francine then brushes it off by taking back what she said.

That evening after school, Francine invites Prunella (wearing a cape and turban, and carrying a set of spoons on a string) over to set some more traps to scare Mrs. Pariso and force her to move away by talking through the vents. Prunella states that Mrs. Pariso cannot withstand the terror. Then Prunella mocks as a spirit saying that they have come to haunt Mrs. Pariso, and Francine makes moaning sounds and fiddles with the spoons on the string. Then Prunella says that Mrs. Pariso should leave right away before it's too late, and then Francine continues making noise. Then Francine admits that it was a stupid idea. Then Francine and Prunella start listening to a bunch of tenants complaining loudly through the vents, but they state it being the spirits answering them. Then Francine and Prunella quickly run away and return to Francine's apartment. Prunella then takes out a fake spider and suggests that Francine should put the spider on Mrs. Pariso's doormat after the coast is clear. Francine reacts to spiders, saying that they're disgusting, but Prunella states it never fails. After Prunella leaves, Francine puts a brown boot between the door frame and door so she doesn't get locked out, and runs to Mrs. Pariso's doormat and places the spider there, blows a raspberry and runs off.

The next morning, when Francine heads to school, the spider she received from Prunella falls on her head as she walks out the door, then the spider lands on the floor. She wonders how the spider reached the ceiling from Mrs. Pariso's doormat, but then decides to head on to school.

That afternoon after school, while Oliver washes the plates in the sink, and Francine wipes them dry, her father asks if she realized that three people called to complain about the noise from last night. Francine states that it just "sound effects", not noise. Oliver tells Francine that he and Laverne have found a solution for her. Francine says she is grounded for three days and that she has to take out the trash. But Oliver proves that it's not the answer to the solution. He tells Francine that Mrs. Pariso has invited her for tea the following Saturday, and that she has gratefully accepted. After Oliver hands Francine the last plate, it slips from his hand before Francine can reach it, and it falls to the floor with a crash. Francine then responds in disbelief.

The next day as Francine, Arthur, Buster and Muffy are walking home from school, Francine asks them what she's going to do, but states that she would rather eat dog food. Buster says that he doesn't want to eat dog food. Muffy bets that Mrs. Pariso has mice and bats and things, and that they should get a rabies shot. Francine says that if she's not in school on Monday, they should remember how much they liked her. Arthur then asks if one of them should go with Francine, Buster and Muffy decline the request.

On Saturday, Francine (wearing a dress) goes to the door of Mrs. Pariso's apartment and knocks on the door. Mrs. Pariso opens the door and then she and Francine greet each other, and Mrs. Pariso says she knew she would like Francine. Mrs. Pariso's apartment appears to look nice with great furniture, great pictures on the walls and trophies she won. Mrs. Pariso says she didn't picture Francine in a dress, and Francine states that her mother Laverne made her wear it. Mrs. Pariso offers Francine to have a seat and asks Francine what she could get for her. Francine says that she was over for tea, but Mrs. Pariso states that she doesn't like tea, and offers Francine a soda. Francine responds yes, and asks if she has orange, and Mrs. Pariso says it's her favorite. Mrs. Pariso asks if Francine would like chocolate chip cookies, and Francine accepts it, and Francine walks around and looks at photographs of Mrs. Pariso and the trophies she won. Mrs. Pariso reminisces her past that she went through the semis at Wimbledon twice and won in a couple of doubles, but that her most favorite sport was riding on horses. Francine likes horses, too. Then Francine sits down on the sofa, takes a cookie and eats it.

Later at night, Francine explains the truth to Oliver that Mrs. Pariso was a total athlete who played tennis and rode horses and went out for the Olympics once. Oliver says to Francine that it sounds like her. Francine agrees that she and Mrs. Pariso had shared nearly the same things in common. Francine says that the reason Mrs. Pariso was being mean like before was that she was lonesome, so Francine would help her meet people. Oliver tells Francine that she can't judge anyone, especially before deciding whether or not to meet them. Francine asks Oliver if he should be right about everything, and he admits that he should be right about everything.

The next day, at school, Francine talks to Mrs. MacGrady about meeting Mrs. Pariso, and asks her if she could meet Mrs. Pariso who’s looking for some friends to meet. Mrs. MacGrady plays bingo on Thursday nights, and then agrees to meet Mrs. Pariso that Francine mentioned, and told Francine she plays bingo at 7:00 P.M. at Moose Lodge.

Then, the Frenskys have put up a banner to welcome Mrs. Pariso to meet some new people in Elwood City. Oliver shakes Mrs. Pariso's hand, happy to meet her in person, and then goes to introduce her to the rest of her neighbors. Francine decides it's her job to introduce Mrs. Pariso her new friends and that Oliver should just answer the door.

Then Francine goes out with Mrs. Pariso to the Aegean Stables to go riding on horses. Mrs. Pariso offers Francine to grab a horse, and show her some tricks. Francine then asks for permission from Stanley and he nods.

Then Francine brings Mrs. Pariso to the tree house and introduces her to her friends, Arthur, Muffy, Buster and the Brain. Buster states that Mrs. Pariso "looks nice for a witch", but Francine tells Buster that Mrs. Pariso isn’t a witch. Mrs. Pariso then states that she once met a warlock when she was training in Romania and talks about casting a spell on an opponent.

Then Francine and Mrs. Pariso get a chocolate ice cream in a cone at the Sugar Bowl and are pleased to meet each other.

Later at night, while Francine and Catherine are doing their homework, they hear Mrs. Pariso and the company laughing in her apartment. Catherine gets annoyed about the noise going on. Francine states that Mrs. Pariso is just having fun, but Catherine states that she can't do her homework if there is laughter going on, and then claims that Francine has created a monster and starts banging on the wall "Shave and a Haircut", but Mrs. Pariso knocks back finishing the tune.







  • Arthur mentions about Francine's bet from Meek for a Week; however, the only one to know about the bet was Muffy. It could be possible that this was revealed sometimes later on offscreen.
  • D.W. is absent from this episode, she's mentioned when Francine says Arthur stole her Snowball from D.W.'s Snow Mystery.

Cultural references

  • When Francine changes channels, one scene is a foot stepping on a rubber duck, similar to "The Foot of Cupid" from Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Episode Connections


  • In the scene where Francine spills coffee on the fake eviction letter, she was first shown wearing her red shirt when she's wiping up the mess; but in the next shot, she is wearing her pajamas. It's possible that scene was originally supposed to be set just right when Francine came home from school.
  • After Arthur asks Buster and Muffy about whether or not to go with Francine, when Muffy says "No" and Buster says "Mm-mm", Buster's mouth movements do not match with the words he says.




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