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"Stolen Bike"
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 29B
Original Airdate: United States November 14, 1996[1]
Canada February 13, 1997[2]
Germany January 22, 2002[3]
Written by: Kathy Waugh
Storyboard by: Angus Bungay
"My Club Rules"
"Arthur's First Sleepover"
Read transcript

"Stolen Bike" is the second half of the twenty-ninth episode in the first season of Arthur. It was later adapted into the book The Mystery of the Stolen Bike.


Francine is so determined to get a shiny new bike that she finally decides to let her old one get "stolen."[4]


The episode opens up at school with Arthur and all of his friends hanging out until Francine tells everyone to move aside and gets onto her bike. Arthur remembers when Francine was on two wheels and all of the rest of them were riding tricycles back when they were little kids.

He then tells the viewers that there is one problem with Francine's bike: she has outgrown it, to which Francine yelps in pain as she rides it off the screen.

Stolen Bike

The Frenskys are having dinner, and Mrs. Frensky informs Francine that they can't afford a new bicycle for her until at least next year. Francine reacts sorrowfully and insists that it's unfair, then exclaims that she will "die" without a bike. Mr. Frensky gets all dramatic, and begs Francine to not give up and to be brave. When Catherine says, "Oh, Dad, grow up," he says that Catherine's right. He then has an idea.

Down in the basement, Mr. Frensky presents to Francine her "new" bike (which apparently has seen better days), and he blows the dust off. He tells her that he rode it to school every day and that it is still in great shape. Francine thanks her dad for her new bike, which is at least "big enough" for her. Mr. Frensky says there's one or two things he wants to check out, such as the brakes. He is then seen having fun riding the bike in the park.

The very next day, Buster puts a lock on his bicycle at school when Francine arrives with her bike. Muffy arrives on her bike and bluntly asks Francine what she's riding on, to which the latter replies that it's her new bike. Buster adds in by wondering what century the bike came from. Muffy brags to Francine that she couldn't get one like hers, and shows off a security remote that allows her bike to lock itself. Francine tells Muffy she chose the bike she wanted, saying she could have had any bike. At this point, her basket comes loose from the bike and falls off.

In class, Mr. Ratburn shows a slideshow about the history of the wheel, and he asks what the early Sumerians might have done with their new wheel. Buster raise his hand and answers "Built Francine's bicycle?" Everyone in the classroom laughs. Muffy tells Buster to stop picking on Francine, saying it's not Francine's fault that she has to ride "ugly old bicycles" and wear hand-me-downs.

After class, Francine decides to hide her new bicycle behind a pile of garbage by some bushes. She tells the bike she'll be back for it. Her friends call for her, and she goes to join them. Muffy asks where Francine had just been; Buster asks why she has leaves in her hair and Arthur asks where her bike is. Francine replies her bike is "somewhere" and that she felt like walking. Arthur, Buster and Francine ride off, telling Francine they'll meet her at The Sugar Bowl.

That night, Francine is in bed, throwing a ball against the wall. Her dad comes in and asks her about the bike. He can tell that Francine is upset, and she asks why he couldn't have gotten her a new bike. Mr. Frensky says they don't have enough money for a new bike right now, and that the one she currently has is "just fine". He kisses her good night.

The next day, Francine is walking to school and is shocked to see her bike getting thrown with the rest of the trash into the garbage truck. She decides the bike is going to where it belongs, anyway. Arthur and Buster ride by on their bikes and ask her if she wants to do some wheelies before school starts. She explains she can't, because her bike got...stolen! In class, Brain asks Francine if she is sure about her bike being stolen. Francine says " sure..." and tries to change the subject by showing off a horse that she has drawn on a note pad. Sue Ellen and Muffy say they just heard about Francine's bike. Muffy doesn't understand why "a piece of junk" like the bike would get stolen. Francine agrees it was "pretty old". Muffy then thinks that maybe the bike was actually an antique, and thinks they should call the police. Buster tells Muffy not to panic, and Brain suggests to talk to Mr. Haney.

In Mr. Haney's office, he goes over the story Francine gave about how her bike got stolen. In a fantasy, we see that Francine was riding home to do some chores, and got chased by a garbage truck with a big claw, which grabbed the bike and held it over a jaw-like crusher on the roof of the truck. Francine managed to escape from the claw, which dropped the bike into the crusher and the truck drove off. The imagine spot ends with a puff of smoke. Mr. Haney had no idea these kind of trucks were roaming the streets of Elwood City. Francine asks him if she can go home now since she doesn't feel well.

As Francine walks home from school, Arthur thinks there was something fishy about Francine's story. Buster thinks it's the fact that Francine was apparently in a hurry to do her chores, but Muffy thinks what Arthur means is the fact that there was supposedly a bike-eating truck. Brain thinks Francine mustn't want them to know who really took her bike, and Buster thinks it must be somebody they all know.

In the Frenskys' apartment, the family is watching Bionic Bunny on television while Catherine paints her nails. Catherine is questioning Francine's story, which now involves robbers in helicopters, and Mrs. Frensky says that Francine had a tough day, and Catherine isn't helping. Mr. Frensky says that maybe, Francine's bike will find its way back, somehow. Catherine says that the bike is not a dog, and believes Francine isn't being completely honest about what happened to her bike. While Francine is brushing her teeth, Catherine asks her about what happened after she chased the alleged robbers. Francine replies that she got lost and wandered around with amnesia until she hit her head on a rock, and then all her memory came back. Catherine knows that Francine came up with this version of events based on a movie they saw, and says that if Francine wants a new bike, she needs "to do better than that." Francine goes to her dad and is about to tell him something, but just decides to say good night.

The next day, Francine is walking to school and meets Muffy and Buster. Buster thinks he knows who may have been involved in stealing Francine's bike and shows her a wanted poster with Binky Barnes on it and a reward for $1.00. Buster says it had to have been Binky, because no one else would have been big enough to steal a whole bike. Muffy says they're trying to help, but Francine wants them to just forget about her bike.

On the playground, the kids gather around Muffy, who shows them the wanted poster. She thinks that Binky is to blame, and that they need to make him confess, by threats, if need be. No one is interested in volunteering, and Arthur tries to point out to Muffy that Binky is approaching them. Binky feels threatened by everyone ganging up on him, and says that he didn't steal Francine's bike. Francine walks up and admits that it was her all along. She says that she didn't steal it; she just threw it away. She tells Muffy to leave Binky alone, and everyone cheers. Muffy thinks everyone hates her now, thanks to Francine.

At the dump, Francine finds her dad sitting by her bicycle. He tells her the thieves must have gotten scared and thrown the bike away. Francine says that it was actually her. He replies that he knew that, and asks her why she did it. She says she didn't want anybody to make fun of her, and thought if it was stolen, she'd be able to get a new bike. She also says she didn't want to hurt her dad's feelings about the bike, since it meant so much to him, and apologizes. She decides that the bike could get fixed up, and Mr. Frensky agrees.

Days later, Catherine and Mrs. Frensky come out of the apartment building to see a very special surprise that is waiting outside. Mr. Frensky presents Francine's bicycle, which has been repainted and has a new front wheel and handle. He says Francine should give it a test drive, but she tells her dad to go first. Mrs. Frensky warns him to be careful, and Catherine tells him not to let anyone see him.

Mr. Frensky tells them not to worry, and that he'll just take it for a little spin around the block, "just to make it sure it's absolutely safe". He does so, with his legs up high, laughing and making "vroom" sounds.






  • When Oliver Frensky believes Francine's bike will find its way back and Catherine tells him that it's a bike, not a dog, it is apparently a reference to the 1940 Novel as well as the 1943 Motion Picture "Lassie Come Home" or the 1961 Novel as well as the 1963 Classic Walt Disney Motion Picture "The Incredible Journey".
  • This episode along with "Poor Muffy" confirms reasons for Francine's family's poverty, in this one her mother confirms that they don't have the money to buy her a brand new bike.


  • While Francine is brushing her teeth, the #1 on the front of her pajama top is missing, but reappears after she finishes brushing her teeth.
  • Straight after Oliver pulls the cover off of the completely restored bicycle, it is first shown smaller and about the size of Francine's old bicycle she had outgrown, but later shows its actual size.
  • On the PBS Kids Video app, the audio cuts off during the last few minutes of the episode
  • Prunella suddenly appears when everyone begins to gang up on Binky. She would not have had time to come in if she weren't there in the first place.


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