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"The Friend Who Wasn't There"
Season/Series: 18
Number in season: 2a
Original Airdate: United States September 29, 2014[1]
United Kingdom February 26, 2015[2]
Germany September 29, 2014 [3]
Written by: Craig Carlisle
Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
"D.W. & Bud's Higher Purpose"
Read transcript

"The Friend Who Wasn't There" is the first half of the second episode in the eighteenth season of Arthur. It was later adapted into the online game Waldo Loves Muffy.


Muffy embarks on an epic quest to find her long lost imaginary friend. But she has to be careful—the Crosswire basement is full of bewitched boxes, gadgets, and dolls...oh my![4]


Nadine talks to the viewers about how being an imaginary friend is not easy, as you have to be there for your real friend every time you are summoned. She goes on to explain to the viewers that one day, your real friend may outgrow you.

The Friend Who Wasn't There

One day, Muffy is at a store in the Mill Creek Mall, where her butler Bailey, modeling a hat, is having his picture taken by her. She proceeds to look at a pair of pink gloves. Then she sees D.W. talking to Nadine, her imaginary friend, which leaves her surprised because she cannot see Nadine. At school, she discusses it with Arthur, Buster, and Francine. Arthur explains that Nadine is D.W.'s imaginary friend. Francine remembers her imaginary friend Squinty McGee, and how he would tell her the best stories. Buster explains that he has five imaginary friends: Top-eye, Billy Snailgoat, Frumpus, Pudding Pal, and Buster's favorite, Junior. He remembers that they took a cruise to the Bermuda Triangle and vanished. Arthur explains that his teddy bear Stanley is kind of his imaginary friend and asks Muffy if she has one. Muffy gets confused. She feels like she had one, but cannot remember their name.

Later, Muffy asks Bailey why she did not have any imaginary friends when she was growing up and what was wrong with her imagination. Bailey told her that there is nothing wrong and that she always comes up with the most imaginative ways to spend money, in an attempt to comfort her. He also mentions that she had an imaginary friend named Oswald, which Muffy does not recognize the name. He takes Muffy to the basement to find any evidence of her imaginary friend. All of Muffy's life is organized in boxes by age in the basement. As they start the hunt, Bailey gets a phone call, saying he is needed in the kitchen. Muffy tries to pull out a box, only to knock the box down. Suddenly, a stuffed elephant jumps out of the pile, excited to be free. Muffy tells him to get away because he smells like sardines and old socks and asks him who he is. The elephant replies that he is Muffy, but Muffy interjects, saying that she is Muffy. The elephant is disappointed that the name Muffy was already taken and asks her what name she would give him. Muffy replies that he is not Oswald and that she would never have a stinky imaginary friend. The elephant explains that he has been living in a box for years and asks where they are going. Muffy tells him "they" are not going anywhere because she is looking for pictures of Oswald. The elephant is sad since she is always talking about Oswald. Muffy asks him if there is anything to do besides following her; in which he says he can go run and hide. She learns about Pretty Penny, a giant doll who hunts down escaped toys and puts them back in their boxes. Muffy finds her friends and D.W. dressed as Wizard of Oz characters (D.W. is Dorothy, Pal is Toto, Arthur is the Tinman, Buster is the Scarecrow, and Francine is the Cowardly Lion). As the group laughs at her for looking for "the great Oswald," saying she has no imagination (as Oswald is only friends with imaginative people), the elephant comes to her defense and says Muffy is very imaginative. The group leaves, and Muffy thanks him for standing up for her. He says it is what friends do, and both the elephant and Muffy pay a visit to Oswald. He turns out to be an evil computer screen who has taken over Oswald and her imagination. The Great Oswald show her memories of when she was little and with an imagination. One is of her at about four years old eating cereal and another bowl beside her. She exclaims to her father that her imaginary friend is eating cereal with his nose and tries to copy him. Ed looks up from his paper and smiles. Oswald shows what happened to her imagination- her being spoiled with gifts and technology took away the imagination she once had. Pretty Penny appears behind her and the elephant and grabs Muffy. As she takes Muffy off to be put in a box, the elephant tries to rescue her, but is knocked away. He swears that he will find her. She then wakes up amid fallen plushies, as it was all a dream. Bailey returns and says she found the correct box. Among the pile of plushies is a picture Muffy drew when she was four of her imaginary friend. Bailey now remembers: Muffy's imaginary friend's name was Waldo, an elephant, the same elephant who was following Muffy. Muffy talks to the picture, realizing that he was her imaginary friend all along and apologizes for calling him stinky. Bailey thinks she is talking to him and sniffs himself.

Later, she tells Arthur about Waldo. Arthur then gives her a video game controller, offering her to play a video game with him, but Muffy says that she wants to go for a walk, and asks if Arthur can play on his own. As they walk down the street, Muffy tells Waldo that he is getting a bath, but Waldo objects, saying it is his cologne, pachydermé, and he tells her that all the stuffed elephants are wearing it. D.W. and Nadine are looking out the window. D.W. asks who Muffy is talking to due to the fact that she cannot see Waldo. Nadine, being a fellow imaginary friend, therefore being able to see Waldo, tells her Muffy is catching up with an old friend and waves to Waldo.






Episode connections

Cultural references

  • Buster lost his imaginary friends in the Bermuda Triangle, which is famous for disappeared planes and ships.
  • The logo on the electric cart resembles both the Volkswagen and the Citroën logos.
  • The wagon with "Rosebud" on it is a reference to the film Citizen Kane. In "Sue Ellen Gets Her Goose Cooked," Muffy owned a sled labelled "Rosebud".
  • The currency signs on Pretty Penny's dress are dollar, cent, euro, yen and pound.
  • Muffy's dream includes various references to The Wizard of Oz, especially the 1939 film.
    • D.W. appears as Dorothy, Pal as Toto, Francine as the Cowardly Lion, Arthur as the Tin Man, Buster as the Scarecrow, and Oswald as the wizard.
    • Buster's line "If we only had Brain" refers to the Scarecrow's film song If I Only Had a Brain.
    • When the Oz characters resume their journey, We're Off to See the Wizard plays.
    • The yellow line on the ground refers to the Yellow Brick Road.
  • D.W.'s line about going on a quest with dwarves and elves likely refers to The Lord of the Rings.
  • Waldo's cologne is called pachyderme with a French accent. The word is actually Greek for thick skin and is an obsolete term for a group of animals that included elephants.


  • When Muffy gets up after being knocked out, some of the toys around her have suddenly changed.
  • The Woogles are on the Age 4 shelf, even though Woogles were introduced when Muffy was 8.
  • Buster says one of his imaginary friends was "Pudding Pal." However, since Arthur only got about a year ago, this would imply Buster's imaginary friends disappeared recently.

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