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Francine Goes To War

Episode #506

"The Election" / "Francine Goes To War"

Synopsis by George4Browne -- Howdy Neighbor!
Comments by: George4Browne and Dave.


Arthur's at his locker. Francine walks by and admonishes someone.

Francine: If you say that again, you're gonna get it!

This gets Arthur rambling. He says that Francine's great, but it's not a good idea to get her mad. Uh oh. Appraently he just did. Francine tells him to take his statement back because she's the nicest person ever. Arthur laughs dismissively and starts citing examples to prove his point.

  1. He mentions a time that she was mean to Fern. As they walk by Fern, Francine says jokingly that she's scared.

    Francine: What's she going to do, be quiet to me?!

    At first I thought this was part of this episode, but Dave informs me now that this scene is actually pulled from #20102- "Draw!", the only one I haven't seen yet as of this writing.

  2. Francine was mean to everyone in the class play...
  3. ...and then there was the time when she had to be nice for a week -- and nearly lost!

Francine says that what Arthur's doing is not fair. He's taking all of her worst moments, and putting them together[.WAV FILE LINK] . She could make him look bad that way too...

Funny that they're bringing up really old points. It might be because in newer episodes, Francine's been mellowing... Binky too, for that matter.

As done in the fanfic #00002- "Arthur's Website Calamity".

Of course, Francine should take note -- when she starts having to write essays, she'll be doing the same thing herself.

Francine recalls the time that Arthur cheated at "that stupid 'No Guessing' game" and then she cites the time that he stole D.W.'s snowball.

Bad example, in the fantasy sequence of the snowball-melting incident, Francine's right there with Arthur, aiding and abetting, and laughing it up as well.

This hits a hot-button with Arthur. He says that it was only D.W.'s imagination. He didn't steal it. They begin arguing, and end up talking over each other.

Something is needed to break the tension. But what comes next isn't it. Connnnnnnng! Francine bangs the title card gong, rattling Arthur's ears, and mine as well. Buster reads the card in a harsh, matter of fact voice.

* * * Francine Goes To War * * *[.WAV FILE LINK]
Written by: Kathy Waugh
Storyboard by: Lydnon Ruddy, Patricia Atchison

Catherine and Francine are arguing. As Catherine approaches Francine, Francine says that her face is blocking her homework. Catherine says that Francine wishes that she had her face and they start fighting. Francine yells for Dad. Suddenly, there's a knocking on the wall. Worried that the apartment might be haunted, the two run screaming.

Their Dad is reading the only paper in town, the "Elwood City Times", which for some reason has a red, colored in, border around the title today.

I think it had one in #22001 - "How the Cookie Crumbles", but I know it definitely didn't in #50502 - "You Are Arthur." Perhaps maybe it only has it on Sundays or something along those lines?

He suggests that the knocking is probably coming from their new neighbor, Mrs. Pariso.

It's pronounced "pair" as in parrot, "ih" as in sit, and "so", as in, well, so. I'm just bringing it up because my own natural inclination is to pronounce it Pa-reese-oh.

I figured it was a French name -- Parizeau. That would make sense, considering Arthur is animated by Cinar, a company based in Quebec. Maybe it was originally, and then changed during production...

Dad says that she was probably knocking because Fern and Catherine were too loud. They give each other dirty looks.

* * *

Francine's playing the drums on the roof, like she does in #40702 - "To Beat Or Not To Beat." A Josh Redman-esque wolf-person in overalls tells her to stop.

He says that a "Mrs. Parro-something" phoned and said, "If that racket doesn't cease and desist, I will phone the police." Francine says to tell her to suck an egg.[.WAV FILE LINK]

Francine grumbles that "Mrs. Parrot-face is gonna get it!"

* * *

Francine's in her room with Muffy, who looks at the door and says that the coast is clear. They're going to prank call Mrs. Pariso. Francine dials Mrs. Pariso's number, which is 300-3775.

Francine says in a deep voice, "Um, Mrs. Pariso, this is Ed, um..." "Buttkin!" Muffy yells at her. Francine then says that she just wanted to know if her refrigerator was on.[.WAV FILE LINK] Pariso hangs up almost instantly. Muffy's irked at this becuase this isn't how it goes. She picks up the phone and dials again, correcting this mistake, but the damage is already done and, SHE SPILLS FRANCINE'S NAME!!! [.WAV FILE LINK]

I guess I must be as dopey as Francine. I would have pretty much completely missed this gag had I not downloaded Al Yankovic's "Don't Go Making Phony Calls" (a parody song to the tune of "Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls") and heard the line:
"You ask their if their refrigerator is running, then you tell them they should go out and catch it."

Actually, I'm still not sure I get this. Who's going to be fooled by that? Oh boy, better quit talking...

*Rolls eyes*
Shhhh... I'm taking notes for the next time I need to prank call someone. Who says Arthur's not educational? :)

Pariso's obviously not fooled. She hangs up. Muffy says not to worry, she's an old lady and won't remember what they did.

* * *

Wrong. So very wrong. Francine's in the living room, and her Dad yells at her.

Dad: What have I told you about making prank phone calls?!

Francine: Not to do it unless it's absolutely necessary?

Francine's not really paying Dad much attention. She flips through the television channels rapidly. One channel shows a plane flying across the screen, another a foot stomping a duck,

OMG! It's Monty Python! Big boost to this episode for this reference.

...and another with some sort of Godzilla movie. Francine admits that she shouldn't have done it, but it was Mrs. Pariso that started it. As Mr. Fresnky yells at Francine about how he doesn't "care if Mrs. Pariso threw a water balloon at you" we see the TV. The Godzilla monster seems to be doing a lot of nothing. Francine's grounded for two days.

* * *

At the school cafeteria, Muffy is rambling about how this punishment is unfair, "how did she know anyway?!" Buster suggests planting termites. The Brain says that it would take three years for them to get established, but suggests that Francine could simply say that they're there. Muffy says that she'll take charge, and changes the plan to rats in the basement.

* * *

Muffy and Francine forge a note to this effect, signed "The Management." The handwriting is kiddish though, and Francine points out that cement is spelled with an 'e.' It doesn't matter anyway because Muffy's also spelled basement with an 'i,' a mistake that isn't caught. Francine makes the note look more authentic by staining the corners with coffee.

When I was in school, if we wanted to make something look "old", we dipped it in tea, and burned the edges. That's not really related to anything. Oh well.

* * *

Francine slips in the note (Pariso's apartment is #4), but, gasp, her apartment seems to be locked! She hides behind a potted plant. It would seem that she wasn't caught. Yet, that morning, Mr. Frensky points out a note on Francine's plate. It's her note, but there's something different about it. Numerous grammatical and spelling mistakes have been corrected with red ink! Francine tears the note to shreds under the table. She's come to a decision:

This means war![.WAV FILE LINK]

* * *

Francine decides to try another plan. She gets Prunella to sound like a ghost while she rattles some spoons on a string[.WAV FILE LINK] . They hear something, which Prunella believes to be "the spirits answering." They run out and Prunella gives Francine a rubber spider, which she puts on Mrs. Pariso's doormat. When Francine opens the door getting home that day, the spider falls on her head. Francine freaks out, because she hates spiders.

Francine ponders how the rubber spider got there.

* * *

Oliver Frensky's washing some dishes and Francine's drying them.

It's been pointed out that it's rather odd that Mr. Frensky is wearing rubber gloves to do the dishes and I agree. He is, after all, a garbageman, and I don't remember ever seeing Arthur's parents with rubber gloves for this task.

Dad says that three people called to complain about noise last night. He says they've found a solution. Francine figures that it's that she's grounded for three days and she has to take out the garbage. Wrong! Pariso's invited her to Saturday afternoon tea, and she's accepted! Francine drops a plate, crashing to the next scene.

* * *

Francine declares to the gang that she'd "rather eat dog food."[.WAV FILE LINK] Arthur asks (not to Francine) if one of them should go with her. "No!" they all agree,[.WAV FILE LINK]

* * *

Francine approaches Pariso's apartment. She's got on a nice, proper little dress. Pariso opens the door. She's a Mrs. McGrady-type character with thin glasses. She studies Francine and states, "You must be Francine." "You must be Mrs. Pariso," Francine replies. Mrs. Pariso comments that she knew that she'd like Francine, and invites her in.

Pariso says that she didn't expect Francine to be in a dress. It turns out that her Mom made her wear it.

Dave also notes that Francine's Mom is oddly absent from this episode. Nevertheless, she does make her existence felt in this minor capacity.

She offers Francine a soda because she "hates tea." Francine requests orange, which turns out to be Mrs. Pariso's favorite. She brings in the soda and cookies as well. They're in a room filled with pictures and trophies. It turns out that Mrs. Pariso got to the semis at Wimbledon twice, and won a couple of doubles. However, her real sport was horse-riding. Francine exclaims that she "majorly loves horses."

* * *

In bed that night, Francine explains to her Dad how Mrs. Pariso is a "major athlete." "He sounds like you," Oliver observes. Francine says that it's weird, it's like they're sisters or something. It turns out that Mrs. Pariso was acting mean because she was lonely.

Actually, she didn't strike me as mean, so much as clever. Some of her gags were quite good.

Francine's agreed to help Pariso meet people. Oliver says that he told her so, which causes Francine to gripe, "do you have to be right about everything?" Oliver says that he thinks he does.

So Francine's off to find people to spend time with Mrs. Pariso. She recruits Mrs. McGrady to play Bingo with her on Thursdays, at seven o'clock, at the Moose Lodge.

Note the George walkby. I wonder why this was included. ;)

* * *

She also introduces Mrs. Pariso to her Dad. They're throwing a welcome party for her. Oliver offers to introduce her to the neighbors, but Francine tells him that his job is to answer the door.[.WAV FILE LINK]

At this point, Mr. Frensky just seems to sort of accept that it's his job to answer the door. This seems to me like dopiness worthy of Arthur's Dad.

* * *

They're also at the Aegean Stables that day, seen in #20502 - "Franince Frensky- Olympic Rider".

(Note however, that 'stables' is spelled with a P before the S on the barn, as if they're psychic stables or something. Also, it's not actually said anywhere that these are the Aegean Stables - George4Browne.)

Mrs. Pariso says that she has some tricks that she can show Francine. Next scene takes us to Arthur's treehouse. Now Francine introduces Mrs. Pariso to Muffy, Arthur, Buster, and the Brain. Buster says that she looks nice, considering she's a witch. Francine gets angry with him, calling Buster a "doof brain", but his comment didn't make her angry, in fact Buster's comment starts Mrs. Pariso on a tale about an "old warlock she once met..." when she was traveling.[.WAV FILE LINK]

Note that neither Sue Ellen or Prunella are here. The two people you'd think would be interested in a travel story with a warlock in it.

* * *

Next scene shows Mrs. Pariso and Francine exiting The Sugar Bowl.

Another spelling mistake, the special is Banana Royal, but it's spelled "Banna."

Francine's now taken to calling her "Mrs. P."

* * *

Wrapping things up, Catherine's trying to study, and she's displeased. She can't believe that Mrs. Pariso is making so much noise through the wall. As far as she's concerned, Francine has created a monster.

Francine says that Mrs. Pariso is just having fun.

Catherine knocks on the wall... and to her shock, there's a return tap, and laughing from Pariso's apartment.

to the tune of 'Shave and a Haircut,' according to captions, although it's been reported that it's cut off somehow.



Wow! This episode actually wasn't all that bad. Certainly at the top of my list for Season Five. I quite liked the gag where Francine gets the note back corrected and some of the other gags as well.

Pariso -- Um, Just Who Is She?

Okay. At this point I'm not really sure whether Pariso is an actual celebrity or not. This is the only time I know of that this has been done on "Arthur," having somebody on who apparently has celebrity status, but nobody would really know about.

As if researching information on this woman wasn't bad enough, it doesn't help that the search engines are clogged with sites about some model called Heather Pariso, who interestingly enough lives on a horse farm in my home state of Ohio.

So basically, I've just decided to pull a Ford Prefect on this one. Some of my limited research (which I can't even seem to find anymore) suggested that there might actually be a real Mrs. Pariso somewhere, who played and Wimbledon and was great at horse-riding, but I can't really verify it. If anyone else knows anything about this, please send it in.

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50602.htm / Last Updated: 12:18 A.M, September 6th, 2001- Don't go makin' phony calls, stick to the seven digit numbers you're used to...