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"War of the Worms"
Season/Series: 12
Number in season: 7a
Original Airdate: United States April 21, 2009[1]
Canada February 6, 2009[3]
United Kingdom April 15, 2009[2]
Germany November 21, 2012[4]
Written by: Gentry Menzel
Storyboard by: Elise Benoit
Elie Klimos
Zhigang Wang
Sylvie Lafrance
Robert Waldren (uncredited)
"Matchmaker, Match Breaker"
"I Owe You One"
Read transcript

"War of the Worms" is the first half of the seventh episode in the twelfth season of Arthur.


Brain is always taking the fun out of Fern's storytelling by correcting her facts. She plans to teach him a lesson by spinning a tall tale that he can not help but believe.


Fern is telling a story about an explorer in a forest. She tries to find water, and she spots a waterfall. All of a sudden, there is a giant beast (a giant gorilla) that says "NOT SO FAST!", and the ground starts to shake. The gorilla says that it is going to eat the explorer. She runs away, screaming, and the beast chases after her, crushing the trees in its path. Just when the gorilla is about to grab hold of the explorer, the story comes to a pause. Brain says that

  1. There is no such thing as a giant gorilla.
  2. Gorillas do not eat people.
  3. Gorillas do not talk.

Everyone says that he "wrecked" Fern's story.

War of the Worms

Fern says that Brain also ruined her story about goats with wings. Arthur says this is true, but Francine says that a story is supposed to be fun. She imagines what one of Brain's stories would be about: "Once upon a time, there were three little pigs. They did not build houses, because pigs lack opposable thumbs, which are necessary to hold tools. Instead, they lived in the woods and fed on grasses, leaves, and roots. They were not disturbed by any wolves. The end." Francine thinks that the story is boring by just imagining it. Everyone walks off, except Fern. She comes up with a mischievous idea: If Brain wants a realistic story, then that is what he will get. All she does not know is what to base it upon. In Mr. Ratburn's class, they are learning about worms. He tells the students to guess what is in a box. They all come up with guesses, mostly based upon their interests. Buster thinks it is a mummified platypus, Muffy thinks it is designer shoes, and Binky thinks that it is worms. Binky's guess is correct. He gets extra credit for the answer.

Ratburn explains to them it is a vermiculture box, where worms are kept. You put your trash in it, and the worms compost it and turn it into soil. Fern wants to know if the worms get bigger if they eat more. Fern thinks that maybe if they eat a lot, they will become too big, and take over Elwood City. Brain calls this idea nonsense, and Mr. Ratburn quotes Carl Sagan ("Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"). There is no evidence of giant worms... yet, that is. Fern whispers to Binky, asking him if he would want to help her make one of "the greatest hoaxes of all time." Binky is in on it.

They go to a fishing bait store, and buy 800 worms. They say that they are going to use it to make a story that Brain HAS to believe. They walk off and sneak into the Community Gardens at night, then go to the section with all of Buster's tomatoes in it. They release all of the worms into the garden so they will feed on the tomatoes.

The next day at school, Fern sits down alongside Brain, Arthur, and Buster. She asks Buster if he brought any tomatoes, and he did not. He said that he was going to, but there were worms all around them. They start to think that maybe worms are taking over Elwood City, because what other explanation is there?

Fern and Binky go to the soccer field. They have shovels, and they start to dig. The next day, Brain, Muffy, Buster, Binky, Arthur, Francine and Fern are playing soccer. Francine sees holes in the field. They think it is giant worms. Brain states that it is impossible. He is stumped.

At Fern's house, she is sewing a costume that looks like a giant worm. It scares Binky. Binky says that it could use some more mint jelly.

Outside the library, Brain and Fern are talking. Fern tells Brain to take a photo of her. She says that it is for the newest story that she has written. He takes the picture, and then Fern takes a picture of him. He looks at the picture, and the giant worm is in the background. He runs off, and the spot where the worm was is a hole with slime in it. Brain is freaked out. They go into the library to read about worms. All of the books about worms are gone. There is a note in their place, which reads "From the National Secret Anti-Worm Squad: make sure to remove all worm books from the local library to keep people from discovering the truth of the giant worm invasion of Elwood City." Brain runs off screaming.

Brain is brushing his teeth, and in the hallway he sees something that looks like a giant worm. It is just the vacuum cleaner Mrs. Powers is using. When Brain is in bed, he tries to convince himself that there are no giant worms. He falls asleep. He has a dream where he is in his room, opens his blinds, and they are covered in slime. He runs downstairs and yells for his mother or father. He turns on the TV and there is a story about the worm invasion. The worms suddenly eat the news studio, and the reporter is covered in slime. Brain drops the remote, and the battery compartment falls off. He runs out of his house, and his house and everything else is covered in slime. A brown worm with one green eye sees him, and chases him. He wakes up. Finally, he is convinced that giant worms are coming.

Meanwhile, at Fern's house, she is talking to Binky on the phone. She then gets a call from Brain. They go to the tree house with various weapons such as rolling pins, baseball bats, and shovels. They say that they are going to stop the giant worms from invading. Binky acts like he is scared, but Fern whispers to him that there are no giant worms. Then, Arthur, Buster, Francine and Muffy yell "Make The Worms Squirm" . Brain puts on his goggles and then Arthur, Buster, Muffy and Francine walk behind him with mad faces. Fern runs to tell Brain it was not true. Brain opens the door and yells. They charge towards school. They go into Mr. Ratburn's class. Then, Mr. Ratburn opens the worm vermiculture box and peeks in it. They think that Mr. Ratburn is being eaten by worms. They yell "We'll save you, Mr. Ratburn!" and they run towards him. Mr Ratburn peeks up and asks them "What's the meaning of thi-" but before he could finish, Brain, Arthur, Buster, Muffy and Francine hit him on his right ear.

He ends up in the school nurse's office. While holding an ice bag on his right ear, Mr. Ratburn questions Brain by asking him what made him think that there were giant worms. Brain mentions all the evidence: The worms in the garden, the worm holes, the worm in the photo, and the National Secret Anti-Worm Squad. Fern admits to doing it all. Mr. Ratburn then teaches the class about real worms, and how they help the environment.






Episode connections[]

Cultural references[]

  • When Fern and Binky leave the bait shop, they pass a banner that reads, "XBOX 360" and "PS3".
  • This episode's title is a parody of H.G. Wells' novel, The War of the Worlds. A radio broadcast of the story caused a similar panic when people believed it was real.


  • Towards the end, where Brain and everyone are running towards Mr. Ratburn with the bats, pitchforks, etc., there are a few animation errors. Mr. Ratburn is not far from the door, but when it shows everyone charging at him, it looks like they are farther away. Binky is behind Brain as he screams and runs, but his mouth does not move.
  • Brain does not have his goggles on his head as Fern is explaining to Mr. Ratburn about the giant worms.
  • When Brain explains it was extraordinary evidence to Mr. Ratburn about the giant worms, the vermiculture box is pink instead of blue.

Production notes[]


Main article: War of the Worms/Gallery