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"The Big Blow-Up"
Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 8B
Original Airdate: United States October 29, 1997[1]
Canada December 3, 1997[2]
Germany February 4, 2002[3]
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Alex Hawley
"Arthur vs. the Piano"
Read transcript

"The Big Blow-Up" is the second half of the eighth episode in the second season of Arthur. It was later adapted into the book Arthur and the Big Blow-Up.


Francine and Brain are arguing and seem to be at an impasse, so Arthur and Buster try to help.


We see Arthur in his treehouse with Brain and Francine. He tells the viewers that they are great friends, but warns them not to talk to them about sports. Francine holds out a hockey trading card and states that hockey players are the best because they skate while playing. Then Brain asks her if hockey players can play golf. She says yes, but what if they did it on a race car? They fantasize about a hockey player in a race car during a golf match getting a par and landing in a lake after the shot. Afterwards, Arthur asks the viewers if they want to hear Francine and Brain's best argument. He then asks which one of them is the best athlete in school, and then the argument begins. Then Arthur grabs a bag of popcorn and tells the viewers to "get comfortable" because the argument could be a while.

---Title Card---

We now see a soccer game between Lakewood and Mighty Mountain. Francine dribbles the ball upwards, passes the Mighty Mountain defenders, and gives it to Brain, where he bounces the ball off his head for a goal. According to Fern, Lakewood has been undefeated so far in the season and hasn't lost a single game yet. Prunella feels very confident that the team will win the championship. George also agrees undoubtedly. After the game ends, the team celebrates around Francine and Brain. Buster also feels confident about Lakewood's undefeated season because he thinks Francine and Brain are the reason why they're winning so much. Afterwards, Fern takes a picture of Francine and Brain for the school bulletin. Arthur says that if Lakewood can win one more game, they will qualify for the playoffs. Brain suggests that everyone should practice.

During practice, Buster throws the ball in to Sue Ellen, who kicks it over to Arthur. Francine calls for the pass, and then steps back. However, the Brain tells her that she is out of bounds. Francine protests and says that she is not over the line. Brain believes her foot was on the line and moved it. Francine accuses the Brain of cheating, but he denies her, and says that she is the one who is cheating. Meanwhile, Binky is bouncing a soccer ball on his head. Buster wishes the argument would stop, but Francine and the Brain continue to argue. Arthur gets tired and he tells everyone to finish up the practice game. Binky wants the game to finish as well because his head hurts from bouncing with the soccer ball. Now Brain has a microscope and examines Francine's foot. Francine suggests that the Brain should ask someone instead of using the microscope. He tells Arthur to make the call on what happened. He tries to say something, but Francine grabs his glasses and puts them on. Brain tells her to cut it out and that Arthur is an honest and trustworthy person. He then tells Arthur to say whatever he wanted to say. Francine agrees and states that anything will go. Arthur tries to say something again, but Brain interrupts. Francine tells Brain to stop and let Arthur call whatever he wanted to call. However, Binky's mother calls Binky for dinner and goes home. Then the practice game ends because that was the only ball they had. Arthur believes it doesn't matter who's right anymore, but then leaves.

At home, Arthur tells the story to his mother while sneakingly getting an apple from the bowl. D.W. then reminds him that he has to help her write a letter to Santa Claus for Christmas. Arthur thinks that's too soon because it's May. D.W. states that Santa Claus gets a lot of letters in December, so she's writing her list early so that she can beat the rush. Now we go to Arthur's room where he eats his apple, and then tells D.W. to go, but she tells him to be quiet because she's thinking. Then she tells Arthur what to write in D.W.'s letter to Santa. He gets stressed easily, but D.W. thinks it should be a positive start. She also states that he's bored because he hears these things too often. Arthur happily understands and then starts to write while D.W. recites her letter.

The next day at school, Buster tells Arthur that the Brain and Francine are still angry at each other. Arthur then goes up to them and see that they are not talking to each other. Muffy comes by and Francine asks her to pick up the pencil. She suggests to ask the Brain, but he says that she is so "Franciney". In Mr. Ratburn's class, the students are about to take a speed test. The Brain refuses to pass the test paper to Francine. Muffy hands the paper to Francine, but Arthur didn't get one. He tries to get Francine's attention, but she tells him to get it from the Brain. Then Arthur tries to get Brain's attention, but Mr. Ratburn tells Arthur to be quiet. He tries to tell Mr. Ratburn that he didn't get a test paper, but time already expired, which causes him to fail the test. Arthur is really getting tired of Francine and Brain's argument and that they better come up with a solution sooner or later, or else he will fail Math.

In the cafeteria, Brain and Francine fight over a plate of jello. Then the jello flies onto Mr. Haney's back. At the soccer game, Buster hopes that the Brain and Francine aren't mad at playing together and Arthur hopes that the argument does not affect the way the team plays. Francine carries the ball up, and Brain asks for a pass. Then Francine passes it to Arthur, in which he screams for help. The ball is then stolen away, causing Mighty Mountain to score and win the game. Brain asks Francine why she didn't pass to him. Then Francine claims she didn't see or hear anyone due to "the wind", which causes Brain to get absolutely infuriated.

As Arthur and Buster are walking down the street, Arthur believes he sprained his tailbone. If the arguments continue between Brain and Francine, Lakewood will keep losing games and will miss the playoffs. Buster believes that he should tell them how much they used to like each other, like playing fun games. First, they try ping pong. However, things do not turn out well, and Francine and the Brain whack the ball like crazy. So crazy that the ball disappeared and Arthur and Buster get dizzy and faint. Buster suggests mini golf next.

At the mini golf course, things are still not going well. Francine hits the ball really hard that it causes the ball to knock over the course obstacles, even the lampposts. Then, they try tabletop hockey. Brain claims that Francine's forward is offsides, but Francine denies this because he's on a stick. Finally, they try playing Go Fish at the clubhouse. Francine becomes infuriated at the Brain and tells him, "GO FISH YOURSELF!" and throws the cards in the air.

The argument has gone too far, and Arthur is afraid that Francine and the Brain will never be friends again. Dad suggests that they will work it out themselves. The playoffs are next week, and Arthur doesn't know what's going to happen. Then D.W. asks Arthur to revise her Christmas list by adding prices. At the soccer game, Arthur warns his team that if they keep losing, they'll be out of the playoffs. This causes Buster to get worried and choke, which he believes it convinces the Brain and Francine. However, during the game, the Brain and Francine run into each other, not playing like a team. Francine calls for a pass, but the Brain kicks it over to Arthur, causing him to scream for help again. Francine then kicks it over to Buster, where he screams and gets trampled on the play. Lakewood ends up losing again.

Buster unties his bunny ears after the trample, and Arthur gets tired from all the rough play. Buster then says that they have one more game and they have to win. And that game is against, MIGHTY MOUNTAIN! They have a very bad feeling that they are going to lose. D.W. then comes up to the clubhouse and tells him that he needs to revise the list AGAIN! He gets tired of her requests and suggests to call him. But D.W. says that a letter is better because it will get her thoughts organized. This then gives Arthur an idea for the Brain and Francine to write apology letters to each other in order to save their relationship.

At the game, Francine and the Brain read the apology letters. However, the Brain's letter has D.W.'s rough draft of her Christmas list. Arthur then turns it around where the apology letter is, and the Brain says that is much better. Then the arguments cease before the game and Francine and the Brain shake hands, while Arthur and Buster do the same. Now the Brain and Francine play like good teammates and pass the ball. Brain even gets a goal from Francine's pass. Then, Arthur passes the ball to Francine and the Brain, in which they bounce the ball off their heads for the game-winning goal. The whole team celebrates and carries the Brain and Francine. He states that Francine is right and that just because they disagree, doesn't mean they can't be friends. However, they blame Arthur and Buster for messing up the letters. The Brain and Francine not mad at each other anymore, but they are mad at Arthur and Buster. Arthur then tells Buster that he spelled "soccer" with two K's and a Q.






  • This is the debut episode for Brain and Francine on the soccer team.
  • First time Alex Hawley is a storyboard artist.
  • If you look carefully, you will see that Francine was right and that her foot was not on the line of the soccer field when she kicked the ball.
  • This episode marks the second time George has spoken.

Cultural references

  • In the opening sequence, the Cinar and WGBH logos are seen on the golf player's shirt and race-car.

Production notes

  • Although the episode aired in October, it takes place in May.

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