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"Meek for a Week"
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 17A
Original Airdate: United States October 29, 1996[1]
Canada January 28, 1997[2]
Germany January 4, 2002[3]
Credits
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Jean Charles Fink
Episodes
Previous
"D.W. Flips"
Next
"Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper"
Read transcript

"Meek for a Week" is the first half of the seventeenth episode in the first season of Arthur. It was later adapted into the book Francine, Believe It or Not.

Summary

Muffy dares Francine to be nice to everyone for a whole week and she can not tell anyone why she is being nice. Arthur and his friends are worried when Francine starts acting nice for no apparent reason and are worried she may "pop" if she continues bottling up her anger. They try fruitlessly to diffuse her.

Plot

Arthur is climbing up to the treehouse, explaining how Francine has done some weird things in the past: trying to break the world's longest hand-walking record by walking on her hands everywhere; practicing the drums on the roof at the crack of dawn (and waking up her neighbors while doing so); and making a life-sized painting of an elephant on her bedroom wall, shocking her mother, but impressing her father. However, none of these things can compare to what she did last week!

Meek for a Week

Arthur and his friends are playing hockey against Binky's team and Francine has the puck. However, she isn't playing like a good sport. She even steals the puck from Arthur, who is on her team. Even though she scores a goal, this infuriates Muffy, since Francine is doing all the work and never letting anyone else score. Francine says that she would give her teammates the puck if they want to lose, shocking everyone. Muffy is not happy about this.

The game continues and the puck is passed to Muffy. Arthur tells Muffy to shoot, but Francine says to pass it to her. Muffy, while attempting to score, gets distracted and has the puck stolen by Binky's team. This causes the opposing team to score and Francine's team to lose.

While walking home, Francine blames Arthur for losing since he told Muffy to shoot, and Francine thinks Muffy is the worst player on the team. Muffy, upset after hearing this, turns back and walks in the opposite direction. Francine follows her and asks what's wrong. Muffy says that she would play better if Francine actually let her play, but she doesn't. Francine says that she is one of the nicest people in the whole school. Muffy bets Francine her Princess Peach watch, which Francine always liked, that she can't be nice for an entire week. Francine thinks she can do this, and the bet is made. However, Muffy adds that Francine can't tell anyone why she's being nice.

After the weekend, Arthur is shown in school wearing a different sweater than his usual yellow one. Everyone, including Buster, thinks it looks weird. Arthur says that his usual sweater is dirty so he has to wear this one. Muffy and Sue Ellen laugh. As Francine approaches, Arthur expects to get teased. Francine looks at Arthur, trying not to laugh and begins to say something about Arthur's sweater, but Muffy looks at her, reminding her about the bet. Francine says that the sweater is nice and walks away, surprising Arthur and Buster.

The next day, Tuesday, the gang are playing baseball and it's Buster's turn to bat. Francine decides that she should bat for Buster instead, but changes her mind and lets Buster bat since she has to be nice. Francine says she just though Buster looked tired and asks if Buster is okay. Buster says yes, confused at Francine's behavior, and asks her if she is okay. Francine says yes and thanks Buster for asking.

On Wednesday, Arthur, Buster, Brain and Sue Ellen are watching Francine and Muffy practicing hockey. Muffy makes a mistake and falls on Francine. Francine, frustrated, attempts to scold Muffy at first, but stops herself and compliments Muffy instead. Arthur and his friends are starting to notice that Francine is not acting like her usual self, but rather is nicer than usual. Brain says that Francine replaced his football that she accidentally threw down the sewer a week prior. Sue Ellen reveals something even more unusual: Francine replaced Sue Ellen's glass of juice that she drank last summer. In the middle of all this, Francine's pants get ripped as a result of Muffy falling on her. Muffy apologizes, and asks if she is still invited over for dinner. Francine hesitates because she is still angry but tries not to express it for fear of saying something mean, and eventually says yes. Muffy walks off, and Francine starts kicking the wall in frustration because her pants are ripped. Muffy walks back, and Francine stops. After that, Muffy comes back again after Francine tries to kick the wall, still frustrated. Muffy offers to call off the bet, but Francine decides not to. After Muffy walks off again, Francine sits down, still not happy about her pants being ripped.

Later that day, Francine is with her family and Muffy at dinner. Francine offers to help her dad put away the dishes. Oliver is surprised at this behavior. Catherine sees that Francine is wearing her ripped pants and snarks about it. Francine remarks that Catherine's clothes are great and agrees with Catherine to go shopping with her on Saturday. Francine walks away, disgusted about Catherine's taste.

On Friday, Arthur, Brain, Buster and Sue Ellen are at lunch and they realize that Francine has been acting much politer than her usual self and her behavior is almost too good to be true. Buster says he is scared, and Arthur says that they are all scared. Brain explains that Francine's behavior is not good for her, as she is holding her anger in. He explains it by shaking a bottle of soda until it explodes. They all agree that they need to make Francine lose her temper in order to make her act like her old self again.

At baseball, Arthur and Buster deliberately miss catching the ball in order to make Francine get mad. Francine is clearly frustrated by this but holds it back saying that the sun was probably in their eyes. Arthur and Buster are disappointed that Francine is still acting unusually nice.

At The Sugar Bowl, Arthur offers Francine a cherry soda. Francine gets frustrated by this since all her friends know that she doesn't like cherry. Muffy walks over, and Francine decides to try the soda anyway. She drinks it quickly but doesn't enjoy it, however, she doesn't say or do anything besides nearly slamming the glass on the table. Arthur is frustrated that Francine is still acting uncharacteristically nice after this.

Later on, Buster tells Francine that Binky said that he could beat Francine at any sport. Arthur and Brain ask her if that makes her angry. Francine shrugs this off and makes some remarks, none of which are rude, and walks away. Arthur and his friends worry that Francine could "pop" at any time and imagine Francine's head literally popping off, hitting the school roof (as in she "hit the roof") and flying away.

At Muffy's house, Arthur and Buster ask Muffy if anything is wrong with Francine. However, Muffy remarks that Francine will be back to normal tomorrow afternoon. However, Arthur and Muffy are concerned when they realize this won't happen until after the playoff hockey game.

At the hockey game, Binky scores a goal even though Francine had a chance to steal the puck. This frustrates Arthur, but Francine says that it would have been rude to steal the puck from Binky. Muffy is also frustrated. In order to be nice, Francine doesn't play, even getting out of Binky's way. Arthur tells Francine to distract the goalie, but Francine refuses. Francine even lets an opposing team member score against her own team, shocking Buster.

Muffy declares Francine the winner of the bet and gives her the watch, even though there are thirty-seven minutes left before the bet is over. Francine wants to make it through the final 37 minutes, However, Binky accidentally runs into her and falls on top of the watch, breaking it. This is the final straw for Francine and she finally loses her temper. She takes it out on the hockey game but lets others, including Muffy, score. The team scores over and over until the game ends.

Francine is finally back to her old self, much to the relief of her friends. But Buster is kind of disappointed that he didn't get to see her head pop off. Even Muffy has had enough and says that Francine was becoming boring. Francine starts to scold Muffy for calling her boring, but Muffy stops her. Francine decides to tell Binky to buy her a new watch, and the two walk off.

Characters

Major

Minor

Cameo

Trivia

  • At the end of the 2000 rerun intro on PBS Kids before this episode, Arthur’s crashing sound remains the same.

Episode connections

  • Arthur mentions the events of this episode in "Francine Goes to War."
  • During the quick montage of Francine getting angry after Binky breaks her watch, a clip of the building being demolished from "D.W.'s Baby" can be seen.

Cultural references

  • "They very soon came upon a gryphon..." is a line from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: Chapter IX: The Mock Turtle's Story by Lewis Carroll.
  • Muffy and Francine bet on a Princess Peach watch. Interestingly, Princess Peach is the name of a character from Nintendo's trademark Mario video games, but it is unknown if this was an intentional reference, since the watch appears in a heart shape and rather a digital watch in general. Also, at the time this episode was aired, she was still referred to as "Princess Toadstool" in the US.

Errors

  • When Francine approaches Muffy and screeches her bike to a stop, the tires on her bike are shown white in that scene, although her bike has gray to black tires in its other appearances.
  • When Brain is wearing his helmet, his ears are not shown; although the helmet has openings for the ears to be shown for top-eared species like aardvarks, bears, cats, rabbits, and etc.
  • Arthur and Buster were not wearing their baseball caps during the second baseball game.
  • When Muffy shows Francine her watch to remind her to be nice about Arthur's sweater, the watch is on her left hand but after Francine says that the sweater is nice the watch vanishes.
  • Right before Muffy tells Francine she's "So rude," the helmet hole showing her hair flashes yellow, the same color as the helmet for a second.
  • At The Sugar Bowl, when Francine sits next to Arthur and is offered a cherry soda which she rejects but tries anyway, she is sitting next to the outside, and Arthur is sitting next to the wall; but after Francine finishes off the soda, she and Arthur are sitting on the opposite side of the booth, and Arthur is sitting next to the outside while Francine is sitting next to the wall.
  • Despite the watch being digital, when Binky breaks it, gears and springs are seen poking out of the smashed watch, as if it were an older mechanical analog watch.
  • When Francine knocks over Binky, he is shown flying.

Production notes

  • In an earlier version of the title card for this episode, the name of the episode is not read by an Arthur character, and Arthur does not yelp when Francine hits the gong, but he does in the Home Video version. In a later version of this, however, Binky says the name of the episode, and Arthur yelps.
  • There was also a song based on this episode, which can be found on Arthur and Friends: The First Almost Real Not Live CD (or Tape).

Home video

VHS

DVD

Gallery

Main article: Meek for a Week/Gallery

References


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