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"The Frensky Family Fiasco"
Season/Series: 12
Number in season: 2b
Original Airdate: United States October 13, 2008[1]
Canada January 23, 2009[3]
United Kingdom April 7, 2009[2]
Germany November 15, 2012[citation needed]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Nick Vallinakis
"Room to Ride"
"D.W.'s Stray Netkitten"
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"The Frensky Family Fiasco" is the second half of the second episode in the twelfth season of Arthur.


Francine wants the Frenskys to be closer, so she proposes a weekly Family Night. But spending quality time together turns out to be complicated than expected.


The episode begins with Pal and Francine performing a parody of the show's intro. Arthur then shows up and stops the music. Francine starts the music again, but Arthur stops it again. Francine asks him why he does the show opener and why can't someone else do it. D.W. suggests the show should be called "D.W." Buster suggests the show be called "Buster." Francine tells him to be quiet and that he already has his own show. D.W. thinks its a great name, but Buster tells her no one knows what it stands for. D.W. replies it stands for Dora Winifred. Arthur states that on the show that they're one happy family. He pauses when Francine asks Buster "Can't there be one episode where we don't mention aliens?" Then Binky announces the episode as "The Binky Show," tells Arthur to move it, and rolls the tape.

The Frensky Family Fiasco

One day in Mr. Ratburn's classroom, the class is watching a movie about the strong family ties of baboons. A young baboon is saved from a lion because its family took the liberty to save it.

At her apartment, she greets her mother as she is leaving for her bowling night. Her father is out biking, and Catherine is on the phone. A Chickin Lickin' commercial plays, in which Beauregard Poulet is commemorating the values of family. Francine sighs and walks off, feeling miserable.

At breakfast the next morning, Francine is presenting a plan to bring her family closer to each other. Her parents agree, although Catherine disagrees. Catherine envisions a beach party, and then a boring game of cards, but then reluctantly agrees when her mother gets offended.

For the first family night, the Frenskys go out for Japanese food. Francine accidentally eats her sushi with wasabi, and drinks soy sauce. At home, everyone is watching Starcast, and the phone rings. It is Muffy, and Francine answers it. She takes Muffy's idea of playing games. As a result, she misses the finale of Starcast.

Francine plans for the next family night, and goes to the Supermarket to buy pizza ingredients, picks fresh ingredients, learns pizza baking skills from Mrs. MacGrady, and finds a board game to play.

Next Tuesday, the Frenskys begin baking their pizza. Catherine admits that this activity is fun. Francine begins making a salad with a ketchup and mayonnaise dressing, which Catherine thinks is disgusting. They get into an argument, and forget about the pizza. But when they finally remember, they are surprised to observe that the pizza is burnt.

They order a pizza, and after dinner Francine presents Megalopolis, a game they can all play. Everyone starts bickering over various moves in the gameplay. The family concurs that this should be the last family night.

That night, Francine has a nightmare in which her family are baboons, and their family ties are not strong enough to save them from a vicious lion. The next morning, Francine observes her bowling jersey, and suggests to her family that they go bowling once a week. Oliver, Laverne and Catherine agree to this activity.






  • This episode is paired with "Room to Ride," which features Lance Armstrong. This episode pair was pulled from the rerun rotation in the United States following the Lance Armstrong doping case, with the last national airing being on March 15, 2012.[4] It is believed that these episodes continued to air on PBS stations that opted to air Arthur reruns on an independent rotation as opposed to the national one. It is also still available to purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and YouTube.
  • Catherine is revealed to be a vegetarian in this episode.
  • Although the Frensky's are Jewish, Laverne ate eel and Francine ate pepperoni, neither of which are Kosher foods. However, in Postcards from Buster, Francine states that her family is not Orthodox, which means they can eat non-Kosher foods.
  • The calendar which Francine shows her family has thirty-one days. This gives a wide range of months which the episode could have taken place in: January, March, May, July, August, October, and December. However, Francine was in school when she watched the baboon video, which rules out July and August, but some schools start in August.
  • During the intro, Francine mimics Arthur walking down the street with Pal seen in the opening theme song.
  • When playing Megalopolis, Catherine accuses Francine of giving herself "an extra $20" when making change. If one looks closely as Francine puts down a $100 bill and picks up several $20 bills, she did, in fact, pick up six $20 bills (totaling $120) instead of five.

Cultural references


  • When Oliver offers Catherine and Francine $20 from his "reserve" in the Megalopolis game, the bills appear to be yellow. When the camera zooms out, the bills are purple.
  • When Francine's family looks at the burnt pizza, Francine's mom is wearing an adult-sized version of Francine's clothes.
  • Catherine says she is a vegetarian, but earlier in the episode, she is seen eating sushi. However, it is possible she could be eating vegetarian sushi, especially since it was green in the middle. Also, not all sushi has meat/fish in it, as the word "sushi" comes from an old Japanese word basically meaning "sour/soured rice."

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