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"The Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club"
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 28b
Original Airdate: United States November 13, 1996[1]
Canada February 12, 1997[2]
Germany January 21, 2002
Written by: Terence Taylor
Storyboard by: Angus Bungay
"I'm a Poet"
"My Club Rules"
Read transcript

"The Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club" is the second half of the twenty-eighth episode in the first season of Arthur. It was later adapted into the book Arthur and the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club.


Arthur and the gang fight back when a group called "Parents Against Weird Stories" wants to ban their favorite ghost-story books from the library.


Arthur explains that since he began reading the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club books, he could not stop until he was done, relating to others who have felt the same way reading other books.

Arthur is then shown continuously reading a Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club book in several situations: in the morning (barely touching his breakfast), at school (when he does not notice that class was over), and at recess (where Francine drops a comb with two magnets to make Arthur lose his glasses while he was hanging upside-down on the jungle gym). Then, David catches Arthur late at night under the blanket reading the book with a flashlight, and tells him to turn off the flashlight and go to sleep. However, Arthur says, "Wait, Dad — I'm almost done. I can't stop until I know how it...", only for Dad to turn the flashlight off as Arthur finishes with "ends."

The Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club

One Saturday morning, David makes a stack of waffles for his family for breakfast, but accidentally knocks them into the air when Arthur, who is tying his shoes while hopping, bumps into him. David successfully catches all the waffles onto plates, then tells Arthur to eat first. Arthur quickly eats both his waffles, then rushes out of the house, saying he has to get to the library fast to check out the new Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club book. Unfortunately, he sees a long line of kids waiting outside the Elwood City Public Library for the same reason. He catches up with Buster, Brain, Francine, Muffy, Sue Ellen and Prunella at the end of the line, and says that they could reread some older horror books the library has, if there are no more copies of the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club books available when they get inside. Buster and Francine talk about some of the scary stories they have read before. Then the scene cuts to Arthur and his friends all alone in the midst of a spooky scene in front of the library. The door opens, and the scene cuts back to real life, with Ms. Turner standing at the door. She announces that "all Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club books", including the new installment, "have been removed from our shelves until further notice". The scene reverts to the earlier spooky scene, where Arthur and his friends scream in panic, and a ghost-like Ms. Turner shushes them, and goes back into the library, slamming the door shut.

It is revealed on the news that a parents' organization called Parents Against Weird Stories (P.A.W.S.) is responsible for the removal of the books from the library, saying "the scary stories are bad for kids". The newscasters were unable to get comments from the books' author, E.A. DePoe, and goes on to announce P.A.W.S.' rally for other concerned parents, taking place tomorrow in front of the library. As Arthur, Buster, Francine and Brain lay outside in the yard, Arthur encourages them to take action, saying that they haven't given up before, mentioning situations such as the four of them cleaning the garage so they could go see a movie. However, Buster was balancing a broom on his nose, and bumped into Arthur, knocking down wooden boards and spilling a jar of paint. Francine slipped on a can, scattering a bag of collected trash in her arms. Arthur also mentions how he, along with Francine and Brain, helped Buster in math, where Buster struggled with answers despite the three of them and Pal wearing placards with an equation written out. Arthur, Buster, Francine, Brain, Sue Ellen and Prunella walk down a street, agreeing to get people to sign a petition to get the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club books back. Muffy, however, spots them and hides as they walk by.

Buster collects signatures with a panicking Arthur walking on a low tightrope over a kiddie pool to get people's attention. Francine collects signatures while playing jump rope with Sue Ellen and Prunella turning the rope. Brain collects signatures from adults, who are simply confused by his explanations as to why they should sign. They agree to sign as long as he stops his continuous explanations. Prunella collects signatures at a skating rink, and Sue Ellen collects signatures from joggers. Arthur finds a volunteer gardener at the park who is concerned when he mentions the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club books as his favorite book series, and that P.A.W.S. (mentioned as "a parents' group") has taken them away. The gardener walks off encouraging Arthur and his friends to not give up, mentioning that she will speak to P.A.W.S. Arthur then realizes that she did not sign the petition. Outside the ice cream parlor, Muffy tells Arthur, Buster, Francine and Brain that they are invited to her big party at Wonderworld. They all see Mr. and Mrs. Crosswire on a news interview on TV sets on display at the electronics store across the street: Mrs. Crosswire states that "kids don't know the harm these books do", and declares that Muffy got nightmares from reading just one book. Mr. Crosswire then mentions that he and Mrs. Crosswire started P.A.W.S. to save other kids from the same fate. Disgusted, the four kids turn to Muffy, who states that, according to her parents, anybody against P.A.W.S. is not allowed to come to her party, leaving the four kids shocked. Muffy then walks off calling the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club books "silly". At home, Arthur is concerned that his friends will all want to go to Wonderworld, and he will be left as the only one protesting P.A.W.S. Jane encourages Arthur to do what he thinks is right, even if it might mean making a sacrifice; dressing up as a clown for a children's charity benefit, David tells Arthur to not "be afraid to look foolish for something you believe in".

The next day, Mr. Crosswire speaks at the rally outside the library. Arthur then shows the signed petition to Mr. Crosswire, who is still unconvinced to return the books. The gardener from the other day speaks from the crowd, asking Mr. Crosswire if he has read any of the books. Mr. Crosswire responds that he wouldn't read any of the books even if he was paid to. The gardener then appears from the crowd, and Mr. Crosswire is surprised when he recognizes her to be his grade school English teacher, Ms. McWord. She mentions that Mr. Crosswire was never a reader, and goes on to say that the writer works so hard to write books kids like to read, so that they would want to read other books as well. Ms. McWord also proudly states that she is the author of the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club books (under the pen name E.A. DePoe).

Excited, Muffy empties her backpack full of her collection of Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club Books so that she can have them autographed. Her parents are surprised, and realize that it wasn't the books that gave her nightmares. Mr. Crosswire reveals that his hasenpfeffer ice cream had disappeared, and thinks Muffy was the culprit; Mrs. Crosswire says to an ashamed Muffy "You know it gives you nightmares Muffy. How could you?" Mr. Crosswire agrees to have a Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club book read to him, so he can see what it's like.

Everybody at the rally gathers in the library listening to Ms. McWord as she reads aloud the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club book, The Haunted Hamburger Stand. Mr. Crosswire admits it was wrong of him to stop kids from reading books he hasn't read. Everyone rejoices as Mr. Crosswire agrees to return the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club books as long as Ms. McWord reads another one aloud. The episode finishes as she reads another one of the books to everyone's enjoyment.






  • Moral: Don't judge a book before you actually read it yourself.
  • In the episode, Alex's name was first revealed when he signed a petition. Alex's name would not be seen again until the Season 13 episode, "MacFrensky."
  • This is the final episode when the characters have white tongues.
  • This is also the final episode when Muffy had buck teeth.
  • In this episode, all of the Scare-Your-Pants-Off books have nearly identical covers featuring the series logo of a kid screaming. Other episodes, including the earlier "Arthur's Lost Library Book," depict the books each having their own cover unique to the story (and in some cases, such as The Mysterious Hand, featuring a small version of the "screaming kid" logo on the cover.)
  • After Ms. DePoe says "Do you read them, er...", the camera moves from one angle to another in front of the tree as a special effect.

Cultural references

  • This episode focuses on the downside of censorship.
    • Specifically, it is a reference to the controversy of the Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine during the 1990s.
  • When the kids hear the books have been banned, they look like Edvard Munch's painting The Scream.
  • The pen name E.A. DePoe is a reference to American author Edgar Allan Poe.
  • The episode makes actions of the faces, which may be a possible reference to the 1990 film Home Alone.

Episode connections


  • When Arthur says “Did you ever start a book you can’t put down until you’re done?”, his mouth doesn’t move.
  • On the awning for Mrs. Powers's ice cream shop, the letter "I" is shown as a small letter while the rest were all capital letters.
  • In one scene, Francine's #5 jacket has black sleeves like the torso part when its sleeves are actually white.
  • Muffy's buck teeth appear and disappear in different scenes.
  • In the scene where the kids watch Muffy's parents on the TV in the shop, Muffy's red shirt changes to her regular dress for a second and then in the next shot back to her red dress.
  • When D.W. looks around to see what is buzzing, the popsicle is red, but when she goes to lick it again, the popsicle is yellow.

Storyline analysis

  • At the end of the episode Mrs. Crosswire is seen sitting happily next to her husband listening to Ms. McWord read her book but in the next shot of the outside of the library Mrs. Crosswire is seen down the sidewalk by the library.

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