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

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

Summary[]

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 music with her drums or any of her favorite hobbies ever again?

Plot[]

In the school hallway, Arthur overhears Francine telling Maria that if she says an unheard statement to her ever again, she is going to get it. Arthur states that while Francine is great, it's not a good idea to get her mad. After Francine hears what Arthur is saying about her, she angrily tells him to take his statement back, and claims that she is the nicest person ever. Arthur laughs in disbelief and decides to point out all the times that Francine was mean: when she called Fern a "mouse" for being "too quiet" and faked 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, as he took all of her worst moments and put them together, and that by doing the same thing to him, she could make him look even worse. She gets back at him by reminding him that he cheated at the "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 with one another, and Francine says that she's just as nice as he is.

Francine Goes to War

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

The next day, Francine practices her drumming on the roof of Westboro Apartments when the landlord Mr. Sanders shows up and asks her to stop making that racket. Francine talks back, saying that it isn't noise, but music, and points out that she always plays up on the roof. Mr. Sanders then pulls out a complaint note he received from Mrs. Pariso (although he struggles to remember her name) which reads "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". Mr. Sanders disagrees with Francine's suggestion. Francine then refers to Mrs. Pariso as "Mrs. Parrot-face", states that she's going to get it, and returns to her apartment.

Later, when Muffy is over, Francine and Muffy decide to prank call Mrs. Pariso. Francine dials her phone number and pretends to be "Ed Buttkin", talking in a deep masculine voice and asking if her refrigerator is on. Mrs. Pariso hangs up without responding. Muffy states that Francine said the wrong thing, grabs the phone from Francine and re-dials the number. Muffy starts to tell Mrs. Pariso (in her normal voice), that her friend Francine-she means "Ed" meant to ask her if her refrigerator was running. Mrs. Pariso hangs up once again, and Muffy complains about it. Francine irritability points out that Muffy gave her away, but Muffy tells Francine not to worry, as she insolently believes that Mrs. Pariso is an old lady and won’t even remember,

After Muffy has left, Oliver tells Francine that he is disappointed in her and he asks if she remembers what he told her about making prank phone calls. Francine responds that she knows he said she shouldn't do it unless it was absolutely necessary, but puts the blame on Mrs. Pariso for banging on her wall and for complaining about her drumming on the roof. Oliver states that he wouldn't care if Mrs. Pariso "threw a water balloon at Francine", because she is an elderly lady and must be treated with respect. He tells Francine that she is grounded for two days and she sighs in disbelief.

The next day at school, Francine tells her friends in the lunchroom about Mrs. Pariso, Muffy thinks it's unfair that Francine got grounded and wonders how Mrs. Pariso knew it was Francine who prank called her. Buster states that if Francine doesn't do something about her, she might get arrested for watching TV. Arthur suggests that maybe Francine could get Mrs. Pariso to move somewhere else. When Francine asks how, Buster mentions the time that his condo complex had termites which forced around three people to move out. He offers to give Francine some of the termites but Brain states that it would take around three years for the termites to get established, but suggests that Francine could tell Mrs. Pariso that their building has termites, or rats, or whatever. Muffy agrees with the Brain's suggestion, and tells Francine to leave everything to her.

After school, at the Elwood City Public Library Muffy writes a fake eviction letter from the building's manager which states that "the building is about to fall down, due to too many rats in the basement, as they are chewing the cement and becoming a menace." Francine points out that Muffy spelled the word "cement" with an "I" and not with an "E" and Muffy corrects it. The letter ends by stating that "if Mrs. Pariso knows what is good for her, she will move away as soon as she can." Muffy suggests that Francine should spill coffee around the corners in order to make it look more "real".

The next morning, Francine spills some coffee on the "eviction" letter and stuffs it into an envelope. Francine then walks out into the hall and slips the letter underneath Mrs. Pariso's door. When she tries to go back into her apartment, she finds that the door is locked. Suddenly, Mrs. Pariso comes out of her apartment and Francine quickly hides behind a potted fern, and covers her face with the leaves. After Mrs. Pariso goes back into her apartment, Francine knocks on her own door and Catherine opens it. She wonders what Francine is doing, but Francine tells Catherine not to ask, as she'll be thanking her later.

At breakfast, Oliver points out to Francine that there is a letter on her plate. When Francine opens the envelope, 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. Francine tears the note into shreds and declares "this means war!" Oliver is shocked to hear Francine talk like that but she brushes it off by taking back what she said.

That evening after school, Francine invites Prunella who has a plan of her own to scare Mrs. Pariso, over. Prunella's plan is to talk like a ghost through the air vent outside the former's apartment. While she does so, Francine makes moaning sounds and creates sound-effects, with some spoons on a string. Prunella says in her ghost-voice that she has come to haunt Mrs. Pariso and that she should leave right away before it's too late. When there is no response, Francine admits that it was a stupid idea. Then Francine and Prunella hear noises coming through the vent, but it turns out to be many tenants complaining about the disturbance. The girls quickly run into 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 says that spiders are disgusting, but Prunella states that the trick never fails. After Prunella leaves, Francine puts a brown boot between the door frame and door so she won't get locked out, and goes to place the spider on Mrs. Pariso's doormat

The next morning, as Francine heads out the door to go to school, the fake spider falls on her head. She wonders how it could have gotten on her door frame, but decides to head on to school.

That afternoon, while Oliver and Francine do dishes, he asks her if she is aware that three people called to complain about the noise last night. Francine states that was just "sound effects", not noise. Oliver tells Francine that he and Laverne have found a solution for her problem. Francine guesses that she is grounded for three days and that she has to take out the trash. But Oliver states that isn't the solution. He tells Francine that Mrs. Pariso has invited her for tea the following Saturday, and that she has gratefully accepted. Francine shouts "WHAT?" and drops the plate she is holding in shock.

The next day as Francine, Arthur, Buster and Muffy are walking home from school, Francine states that she would rather eat dog food than visit Mrs. Pariso. Buster replies that even he wouldn't want to eat dog food. Muffy is certain that Mrs. Pariso has mice and bats and things and recommends that Francine get a rabies shot. Francine tells everyone that if she's not in school on Monday, they should remember how much they liked her. Arthur then asks whether one of them should go with Francine, but nobody is willing to do so.

On Saturday, Francine (wearing a dress) goes to the door of Mrs. Pariso's apartment and knocks. Mrs. Pariso opens the door and she and Francine greet each other. Mrs. Pariso says that she knew she would like Francine. Francine finds that her apartment is decorated with very nice furniture. Mrs. Pariso says she didn't picture Francine in a dress, and Francine states that her mother made her wear it. Mrs. Pariso tells Francine to have a seat and asks her what she would like to drink. Francine says that she thought she was over for tea, but Mrs. Pariso replies that she doesn't like tea, and offers Francine a soda. Francine answers yes, and asks if she has orange, and Mrs. Pariso says it's her favorite. Mrs. Pariso also offers some chocolate chip cookies which Francine says would be great! While Mrs. Pariso gets the refreshments Francine looks around and notices photographs of Mrs. Pariso competing in sporting events, as well as some trophies she won. Mrs. Pariso reminisces about her past, saying that she made it to the semis at Wimbledon twice and won in a couple of doubles, but that her most favorite sport was horseback riding. Francine tells her how much she loves horses, then enjoys some of the cookies.

Later at night, Francine tells Oliver all about Mrs. Pariso, how she is a total athlete who played tennis, rode horses and went out for the Olympics once. Oliver says to Francine that she sounds just like her. Francine agrees that she and Mrs. Pariso have nearly all of the same interests. Francine says that the latter told her that the reason she was being mean was that she was lonesome, so Francine promised her that she would help her meet people. Oliver reminds Francine that he told her how you should get to know someone before deciding whether you like them or not. Francine asks Oliver if he always has to be right about everything, to which he replies that he does.

The next day, at school, Francine talks to Mrs. MacGrady about inviting Mrs. Pariso to her Bingo Night on Thursdays, which she is happy to do.

Then, the Frenskys have a welcome party for Mrs. Pariso so she can meet some of the residents of Elwood City. Oliver shakes Mrs. Pariso's hand, happy to meet her in person, and then goes to introduce her to all the guests. Francine states that it is her job to do that, while Oliver just needs to answer the door.

Then Francine goes out with Mrs. Pariso to the Aegean Stables to go riding. Mrs. Pariso offers to show her some tricks. Francine asks Stanley if it would be okay, and he nods.

Afterward Francine brings Mrs. Pariso to the tree house and introduces her to Arthur, Muffy, Buster and 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 tells them about the time that she met a warlock when she was training in Romania and how he told her how cast a spell on an opponent.

Later, Francine and Mrs. Pariso get chocolate ice cream cones at the Sugar Bowl and they both state how pleased they are to have met each other.

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

Characters[]

Major[]

Minor[]

Cameo[]

Mentioned[]

Trivia[]

  • The episode title is read by Buster in a rather fearsome tone.
  • Arthur mentions 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 sometime later on offscreen.
  • Francine and Muffy previously did prank calls in the Arthur book “Arthur and the True Francine”.

Cultural references[]

Episode connections[]

Errors[]

  • In the scene where Francine spills coffee on the fake eviction letter, she is 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 right when Francine came home from school.
  • After Muffy has written the letter, the word "manager" appears to be spelled correctly, with a "g", but when the letter's returned to Francine with the spelling corrections, "manager" is shown as having been originally spelled with a "j", and is corrected with a red "g".
  • 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.
  • As Francine and Mrs. Pariso exit The Sugar Bowl, a sign for "Banana Royal" is misspelled as "Banna Royal."

Gallery[]

Screenshots[]

References[]


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