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"Sue Ellen Moves In"
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 21A
Original Airdate: United States November 4, 1996[1]
Canada February 3, 1997[2]
Germany January 10, 2002[3]
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
"The Half-Baked Sale"
"The Perfect Brother"
Read transcript

"Sue Ellen Moves In" is the first half of the twenty-first episode in the first season of Arthur.


Rumors are circulating about a new family that has moved in, and Buster thinks that they may be art thieves, spies or aliens, even after he meets Sue Ellen. When Buster's mom invites Sue Ellen and her family over for dinner, he finds out that Sue Ellen's not an alien, but just a kid who has lived in various places around the world.


Arthur tells the viewers how sometimes when kids meet each other, they don't always get along well at first, but can eventually become friends. He then thinks about what it was like when everyone met Sue Ellen...

Sue Ellen Moves In

While they are sled racing, Arthur, Buster and Francine spot a moving truck outside of a large house. Francine wonders if the people moving in have kids, and Buster figures they have at least one, since a child's bicycle is brought out of the truck. Francine leaves to go to hockey practice, and Arthur and Buster sneak around outside of the house to see if anyone's inside. They run off when they see a light and the TV turn on possibly by themselves. Buster assumes that the new family is a group of invisible people.

To prove Buster wrong, Arthur creates a simple periscope with a milk carton and mirrors, then he and Buster return to the house. This time, they see a father and daughter hanging their foreign items up. Buster thinks that the family can alternate between being visible and invisible.

It isn't long before the other kids have their own theories about the new family, especially the girl. Prunella thinks that they were robbers in France, and Arthur thinks that the girl is actually a spy. Buster says that the girl is really an alien, and is part of a plot to invade earth.

A day later, the girl introduces herself to Arthur and Buster as Sue Ellen. Buster is worried because she is unfamiliar with snow, and later, he hears exotic music coming from Sue Ellen's house, which he interprets to be "outer space music". Buster later finds out from Bitzi that she has invited Sue Ellen and her parents over for dinner. Buster then imagines himself being sent into space by Sue Ellen and her parents.

Arthur later shows up at Buster's home, reading a newspaper that explains that Sue Ellen's family had previously traveled all over the world, which is why they have foreign collectibles in their home. Buster still believes that Sue Ellen is an alien, but he is eventually proven wrong: Sue Ellen reveals at school the next day that her father worked around the world, which is why they moved around from place to place, and that the reason she had never seen snow was because she had only lived in warm climates. Buster still believes that the new family are aliens, albeit friendly ones.







  • At the end of the 2000 rerun intro on PBS Kids before this episode, Arthur’s crashing sound changes to the Season 5 version.
  • 4th Wall Break: Fallon & Son on the moving van refers to scriptwriter Joe Fallon.
  • This episode tells of how Sue Ellen came to Elwood City. However, she was seen as a background character in previous episodes, had dialogue and interactions with the characters, and was even seen in Arthur's second grade class taught by Mr. Marco, long before the time frame of this episode. However, when she was introduced in the book Arthur's Valentine, she was in the second grade with Arthur and his friends. This seems to be a continuity error.
  • Sue Ellen's laughing sound clip is reused for Stop from the Big Garage, although she is voiced by Patricia Rodriguez.
  • In Buster's fantasy of Alien Sue Ellen, the two other disguised aliens take the form of D.W. and 3rd Grade Male Rat.
  • Buster calls Sue Ellen and her family aliens in later episodes, but very infrequently and with less hostility.
  • We get a visual, but brief glimpse of the inside of the houses of Billy, Kiefer, Maria, Rattles, Luke, and Patrick.
  • In German, this episode is called "Die Neue", which means "The New One".

Episode connections

Cultural references


  • When Arthur says they should go see who's moving in, there is a kid in the background who looks like Arthur, but isn't moving.
  • For some reason, the doors of the moving van are still open when the truck pulls away.
  • In the first shot of the first scene after the title card, we hear Muffy's voice cheer "Yippee!" and see her fly down the hill on a green sled. Following her are Arthur, Francine and Buster. Buster wipes out as Francine and Arthur reach the bottom and Francine asks who won the race. Buster is too distracted by the Armstrong moving van. But Muffy (who would have won the race) is nowhere to be seen or heard for the rest of the scene. 

Production Notes

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