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"The Pea and the Princess"
Season/Series: 23
Number in season: 3a[1]
Original Airdate: United States October 15, 2019[1]
Canada March 20, 2020[citation needed]
Australia February 29, 2020[citation needed]
Written by: Jeff Goode
Storyboard by: Karine Charlebois
"When Duty Calls"
"D.W. and Dr. Whosit"
Read transcript

"The Pea and the Princess" is the first half of the third episode in the twenty-third season of Arthur.


Prunella is directing the third-grade's production of The Princess and the Pea, but nothing seems to go according to her plan.


While a play is in production, Francine is upset over Prunella shortening the play's title from The Princess and the Pea to The Pea, and they tear the poster in half. A vase drops which cause Prunella to sprains her ankle and George takes her off stage. Francine says that she has "just what it takes [to continue the play]" and starts the story "from the beginning."

The Pea and the Princess

On a rainy day, Prunella is auditioning for The Princess and the Pea. George, Muffy, Prunella and Arthur audition for various roles. Binky runs in and causes a mattress to collapse, which Prunella finds "brilliant."

Prunella posts the cast list for the play: George is the prince, Arthur and Buster are the horse, Francine and Muffy are the princesses, and Binky is the pea. As the cast reacts to their roles, Francine wonders, "What on Earth is Prunella thinking?"

Prunella details the plot of the play, involving a princess who goes from "grim and grumpy" to "prim and proper." When Binky questions his role, Prunella explains that the pea joins the princess on her journey. Francine questions if the audience will understand the play.

Francine, Muffy and Binky are confused as Prunella switches lines around. Arthur and Buster's horse costume consists of two back ends, which Prunella finds funny.

During the auditions for the play, Francine and Binky knock down the set on accident. Prunella feels that she can't do the play, and she's reminded through Binky that "the show must go on."

Francine objects to Prunella renaming the play to The Pea, as in the episode's intro. Francine takes over the play, and when Binky tries to object the changes, Francine fired him and replaces Binky with a prop and making Muffy play the role of the horse and Arthur as the prince.

Prunella, on crutches, views the play and how different it's from her original vision and how everybody mix up their lines, and the stunt they pull backfire on them like Francine's helmet getting stuck. The audience is disappointed as Prunella confronts Francine for changing it saying it's Prunella's play, not Francine's. Francine apologizes, and Prunella re-directs the play. Francine calls Binky, who had been "fired" by her earlier, and Binky runs through the rain back to the set in time for the play. As Binky dries off, Prunella is impressed.

When Binky signs autographs after the show, he credits Prunella as "the real genius."





Episode connections

  • Francine previously directed a play in "Francine Frensky, Superstar."
  • Another scene that was similar to Francine Frensky, Superstar, is where they host the play for D.W.‘s school only for the whole thing to be a disaster. It was similar to how Francine put the play of Thomas Edison for the kindergartners only everybody to mess up their part on purpose to get back at her for being bossy.
  • The moral that there are no small parts and that you should trust the director is similar to “No Acting Please”.

Cultural references

  • The Princess and the Pea is a real life story that was written by Hans Christian Andersen. Other than a pea, a princess and a stack of matrasses, it has little to do with either Prunella's or Francine's version.


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