Arthur: It’s Only Rock And RollEdit

First aired: Sept 1, 2002.

KSPS Spokane chose to air this not on the evening of the first, but early in the morning on Sept. 2nd. I guess they didn't see it as the prime time event other stations thought it was... :)

Synopsis by Dave. Corrected by: Agent0042

Comments by: Jeriah02, sue_ellen_armstrong, Agent0042, amsaturn, and TXC.

This was sponsored by Alpha-Bits and Viewers Like You. Alpha-Bits have a new spot, about names. :)


Muffy's house. There's a big entertainment center with a large TV, and a large sectional couch. Francine's sitting on the couch, reading. Muffy's there too. She turns on the TV with a complicated-looking remote, and starts watching a Backstreet Boys video on TV.

The video start out realistically, like when Arthur was watching Nova on TV in #40402 - "Prove It", but then the Backstreet Boys blend into animal version of themselves (with triangular noses) doing a cartoon version of their "I Want It That Way" video.

Muffy imagines going into the video and calling out to them as they sing.

Muffy: I want it that way too!

Primarily, she wants one specific Backstreet Boy, Nick Carter.

Muffy isn't actually in the video though. She's just dreaming. In reality, Muffy's getting in Francine’s way and distracting Francine from her reading.

Francine tells her to stop listening "to this rot", which Francine thinks is destroying Muffy’s brain.

Muffy can't believe that Francine's saying that about the Backstreet Boys, who just happen to be coming to Elwood City in 4 weeks, 6 days, and... 57 minutes, by Muffy’s watch. Francine picks up the remote and mutes the sound on the video.

Francine says the Backstreet Boys might have been good once -- but now they're sell outs.

Francine: Look at them...

Muffy does so. Aren’t they cute? Francine says that being cute is not the point. They’re sell outs. Muffy says Francine'd do the same thing in five minutes if she had a band.

Francine: I would not! Music is sacred!

Muffy says she’d sell out, just like everyone else.

Muffy imagines.

  • First Francine’d have a hit song.
  • Then she’d make a video where she’d wear a “cute little costume” and “dance and flounce your hair around”. We see a blonde Britney Spears-Francine doing this...
  • Then we see a sign that looks like something out of a 7-11 with a picture of blonde Francine in her cute costume with the words “GET HER WITH YOUR SOFT DRINK IN A REUSABLE CUP” and cups with Francine on them filling up with cola, in a vending machine for 75 cents.

Muffy continues... the next thing that would happen would be that Francine would make commercials and tons of money and Francine would have to pay her half because Muffy thought of it.

Francine says that that’s not the case. If she was in a band, they’d do nothing but make “really good music”. She’d quit before going on TV or dance.

It's a moot point though, and not worth arguing over.

Muffy: don't have a band and you probably never will.

Francine leaves, but before going throught the door, she says that if she does have a band, it’d be a million times better than the “Blob-street Boys“.

Muffy gasps.

Muffy: How could you? You, my best friend...

Francine: Oh brother. I’m getting out of here.

Muffy: Go and don't come back until you can apologize to Nick.

Francine can’t get out of Muffy’s house fast enough. Muffy’s losing it!

Muffy apologizes to Nick for Francine’s hurtful words, and turns the volume back up on the video as it ends, imagining herself waving to the Boys as they board an airplane.

  • ARTHUR: It's Only Rock and Roll * * *

The scene is now the girl's washroom at school. There's a transistor radio beside a sink playing "I Want It That Way". Muffy and Prunella are talking -- Prunella doesn’t know why Francine doesn’t like the Backstreet Boys...

Muffy knows why she likes them. Her reasons are two-fold in fact.

Muffy: Cute guys with stock portfolios... what's not to like?

They walk out of the washroom just as Francine was about to tape up a poster beside the washroom door. What does the poster say? Why, it's advertising auditions for a rock band... 2:30, Saturday, "a band that won’t sell out"...

Muffy doubts anyone will ask her to!

Everyone flocks to read the posters, including Rattles and Allouious Zimmerplotz.

How'd Francine manage to book the school on a weekend? Pretend I didn't ask...

* * *

Buster is having dinner at Arthur's house.

Buster and Arthur are excited about the prospect of being in a band. They have big dreams of being on tour, travelling around the world and becoming rich and famous, and not having to go to school anymore.

Mom comments that very few bands are that successful.

Buster points out as he helps clear the table that that is what happened to the Backstreet Boys.

Buster: They answered an ad, and BOOM, just like that, they had their own jet.

D.W. wants to be in the band too, as if Arthur‘s going to become rich and famous, then she wants the same thing. Arthur says that all she knows is "Crazy Bus" -- that won't cut it.

D.W. says "Crazy Bus" is for babies, and that she knows a million better songs.

* * *

D.W. practices "Skinnamarinky-Dinky-Dink" in the bathtub, using a Mary Moo Cow shampoo bottle for a microphone, and making Pal whine.

* * *

D.W. performs for Francine at the audition, which appears to be taking place in school.

Francine wants D.W. to stop, but D.W. still has five more verses to go. So Francine gongs D.W., like on the Gong Show.

Who's up after D.W.?

  • Next will be George, with a microphone,
  • Prunella with her alpine horn...
  • And Allouious Zimmerplotz, with a trumpet.

D.W. warns George to be careful as she leaves, telling him it's a "jungle in here".

D.W. shouldn't feel too bad though, since Francine gonged Arthur and Buster too, who are out in the hallway.

Buster can't believe it.

They leave just as somebody else gets gonged... probably George.

* * *

At The Sugar Bowl, Francine is talking to someone she's accepted into the band. It seems Francine's having trouble finding good talent. Fourteen people, and they all stank!

Francine is talking to lunchlady Mrs. MacGrady, who was the exception...

Well, you know what they say, says Mrs. MacGrady, quoting a famous saying again, (since Francine doesn't know what they say) "If the mountain won't come to Mohammed, then Mohammed must go to the mountain..."

* * *

Francine realizes that what Mrs. MacGrady is saying is that sometimes you have to go to the source yourself as opposed to letting them come to you. Francine goes out looking for the talent she needs for her new band.

Francine is at Binky's house. Binky is practicing his dancing in his ballet studio.

Binky, as we remember, took up ballet in #30501 - "The Chips Are Down".

Binky doesn't understand what Francine is doing talking about mountains, so Francine talks to him in simple terms. She says he's the best musician she knows, and she wants him to be in her band.

Binky wants to know if there's ballet involved. Francine says no ballet -- but there are snacks... Binky seems pleased with the prospect of that. Binky likes snacks. He's in.

...but don't tell anyone he does ballet, ok?

Well, ok, it's not like it's a secret though...

Francine makes a note on her clipboard. She notes they have drums, clarinet, and piano. Does Binky know any guitar players?

Molly plays guitar. But when we see her, Molly she isn't playing guitar, she's fixing her bicycle's gear shift lever in the driveway at her house.

Molly: What's in it for me?

Something about the delivery of that line reminded me of Dogbert from the Dilbert cartoon.

Francine is a bit annoyed. She says if Molly would rather sit around in driveway all day as opposed to being part of a major musical phenomenon... Binky decides to play peacemaker. He tells her she'll get snacks, and get to play her guitar, both things she likes.

Molly rubs her hands on a rag to clean them off. She wants to know what kind of snacks.

Francine doesn't know... whatever they like. Binky's pleased -- to him, being in this band is sounding better and better.

Ok, ok, Molly is in. Molly shake hands with Francine on it.

Arthur and Buster are out riding their bikes and they happen to see this going on from across the street. Arthur can't believe Molly is in Francine's band. Buster still can't believe Francine didn't want them in the band.

Arthur says to Buster that they should start their own band.

Arthur: That'd show her.

Francine has the band practice on the roof of the Westboro Apartments, which is where she practices typically, as seen in #40702 - "To Beat or Not to Beat".

  • Mrs. MacGrady is on keyboard,
  • Binky on clarinet,
  • Molly on guitar,
  • & Francine on drums.

Note that this is a step up for Mrs. MacGrady -- in #11601 - "Arthur and the Crunch Cereal Contest", where she played the kazoo in Arthur's band.

As everyone is tuning up, Francine lays down the rules of the new band, a band that will prove that great musicians do not sell out.

  1. We hate groups that do sell out like, for instance, the Backstreet Boys.
  2. We don't care about fame or money or stuff like that.
  3. I'm the boss.

Francine asks if there are any questions.

Binky burps, having stuffed himself with snacks, snacks being donuts today... and asks what the band is named. Francine says they don't have a name yet.

Mrs. MacGrady suggests "The Five Apostles of the New Millennium", or F.A.O.T.N.M., for short.

Molly won't play in a band named that. Francine tells her to relax. They can think of a name later. She asks if everyone has the sheet music...

Everyone does. Binky stores his sheet music wadded up in the bell of his clarinet. They begin to play. Francine plays and sings, although there are gaps in the song's lyrics. The song is about not selling out unlike other bands.

The practice is pretty rough, but it has the makings of a good song. Molly likes it -- Francine wrote this herself?

Francine: Yeah!

The song is good, but it's hard for the group to play well because Francine has a hard time playing the drum and singing at the same time.

As soon as she started doing this, my first thought was, didn't she learn her lesson the first time? She needs to stay off the drums when she's singing.

I'm surprised that Jodie Resther, (Francine) who has two CDs out (I have one) and can sing keeps getting parts where she doesn't get to sing... #40702 - "To Beat or Not To Beat".

By the time Francine thinks she has the hang of doing both at once, the sun is going down and she's the only one still up on the roof practicing. But she is wrong -- she still doesn't have it figured out yet.

Francine is locking up her bike at a bike stand at school. Binky and Mrs. MacGrady approach.

Before Binky says what he has to say, he wants Francine to promise she won't get mad.

Francine says she doesn't get mad -- and then does, saying that Binky better not be quitting, because he promised not to. If that's what he's doing, she will make him sorry.

Mrs. MacGrady tells her to "Whoa!", as Francine lets her bike fall to the ground and is about to deck Binky. All they were trying to tell her is that they have a suggestion for the band. Mrs. MacGrady says that it is sometimes difficult to serve two masters, and to "Render onto Caesar"...

Again Francine doesn't understand Mrs. MacGrady.

Binky makes it nice and simple.

Binky: You stink.

Binky explains that while Francine is good at the drums and at singing, she can't do both at the same time. When she does both, it's:

Binky: Whoa! Look out! Stink-a-roo!

Binky and Mrs. MacGrady have a solution in mind though. Mrs. MacGrady whistles, and out of the school comes Fern.

Francine can play the drums, and Fern can sing. Fern says she likes to sing, and Mrs. MacGrady said that they might need a singer... so...

Francine is taken aback. Fern's not suitable. This is after all, a rock band, and not...

Francine: ...not a let's-whisper-poetry-and-drink-tea party.

Mrs. MacGrady says to give her a chance. So they do. Francine auditions Fern right there on the spot. Francine has Fern sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat".

Fern puts her heart and soul into singing, and she does have a good voice. Her performance and makes passersby take note, and even manages to stop traffic, albeit it's only one car outside the school.

She is in. Francine's mouth is open. Mrs. MacGrady closes Francine's mouth. Fern's in the band.

Big smile on Fern's face...

Fern's introduced to band member Molly at The Sugar Bowl. Molly, like Francine, at first is not sure about having Fern join. Molly says Fern doesn't look like a rock singer.

Binky says wait until Molly hears her. Fern'll blow off her socks right out the window and down the street for like two miles.

Molly hands Fern the lyrics to the song they were practicing. Can Fern learn it by tomorrow? Fern memorizes it almost instantly, and starts singing. Binky and Molly stop her, and then the three of them start singing together, Binky and Molly providing harmony. Everyone in the Sugar Bowl cheers. Binky starts thanking them and bowing, but he's quickly pulled back into his seat by Molly.

Francine enters Mr. Haney's office. Mr. Haney's heard that she "has some kind of a band".

Francine says that's correct. He asks her what the name of the band is, but she has to admit that they don't have a name yet -- the name has to be just right.

Mr. Haney agrees that this is important. Then Mr. Haney gets paged on the phone. Mr. Haney cancels the page by pressing a button, speaking into the phone, telling Ms. Tingley to wait, as he's in the middle of a conference.

He asks Francine if her band would like to perform at the P.T.A. Spring Fundraiser...

Francine says yeah, she'd like that, but that they're not really not ready, but she guesses they could.

Mr. Haney: That's wonderful.

Mr. Haney is paged again, and again has to tell Ms. Tingley to wait.

Having had her agree to perform, Mr. Haney then asks what kind of music her group performs.

Francine: Well, stuff I write, mostly.

Sounds pretty innocuous that way. More so than "rock music", probably. :)

The phone beeps again, and this time Mr. Haney stuffs the entire phone into a drawer of his desk and closes it.

Does her band perform Barry Manalow? Mr. Haney likes Barry Manilow...

Francine: Err, no.

Mr. Haney starts singing and dancing...

Mr. Haney: One, two, cha cha cha..

Haney says Francine should look into Barry Manilow... and comments that although kids may think that grown ups have forgotten how to be groovy, he can assure...

Ms. Tingley, who probably wanted to know why Mr. Haney wasn't responding to her paging him, walks in to see him dancing. She sounds rather taken aback.

Ms. Tingley: Mr Haney!?

Francine and Mr. Haney shake hands. He'll see Francine next Sunday in the soccer field.

Back on the roof of the Westboro Apartments, the band is practicing again. Molly can't believe Francine said yes to the P.T.A. gig, seeing as how they don't even have a name yet. Francine flops down in an old armchair and says she'll think of one -- she just needs inspiration.

Binky is eating a bag of chips. He looks at her and asks if she's "inspirated" yet.

Now not only do they have donuts and pop, but chips too. Francine runs a classy operation.

Molly says that this is boring and suggests they play.

Which they do. They sound good now. However, a rabbit gentleman with glasses calls to them from the building next door.

Man: Hey you kids, hate to tell you this, but you stink!

Francine goes over to the edge of the roof to insult him back, and does so as he closes his window. But she's realized something....that's their name: U STINK.

Yes, yes, U STINK sounds a lot like *NSYNC, who'd happen to be a rival of the Backstreet Boys.

Big smile on Francine.

At the P.T.A. Spring fundraiser, there are lots of small booths and a stage. One of the booths has a sign reading BSB, and is manned by Muffy. She's probably selling Backstreet Boys tickets.

Mr. Haney is on the stage. He has an important announcment to make before he introduces the big attraction at the fundraiser... Mr. Patcheeva won the raffle.

Mr. Patcheeva is the dog-man who walks a dog, who's been in a lot of episodes, including #12802 - "The Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club".

Ummm, scratch that...

We now know the full name of a very minor character. Carl Patcheeva. (We also know from a previous ep. that he works at Bob's Camera Shop.) But I do NOT believe he is the one who walks his dog around the library. That guy wears a green coat, tan pants & a brown hat, whereas Mr. Patcheeva wears a blue suit. Arthur background characters usually wear the same outfits all the time.

Mr. Haney: Mr. Patcheeva, c'mon down!

"The Price is Right", anyone?

Ms. Tingley shows him the prize, which is a big mat, a "combination pot holder and bathmat".

Mr. Haney: (reading from card) "From oven to shower in one easy step"...

Mr. Patcheeva doesn't look too pleased with his prize. A few people clap. Even Mr. Haney looks like he thinks it's a dumb prize.

Mr. Haney says that they'll now wrap up the fundraiser with the musical stylings of...

Mr. Haney probably wonders what he's let himself in for, seeing the name of the band, and really doesn't want to say the slightly-offensive name. Francine says it for him, peeking out of the curtain. He says that the name is rather unsual, maybe a typo...

Mr. Haney: ...something along the lines of U...

The band finish off the name for him as the curtain opens...


U STINK start rocking out with their song about not selling out and staying true to the music.

It sounds really good, and everyone likes it. This includes kids like D.W. ...

Rock on, little dog boy!

...grownups like Arthur's Mom, the rabbit lady with red hair from the band "Binky", the clergy, and even old ladies. Everyone is drawn towards the stage to enjoy the music.

Kids come on the stage to dance.

Mr. Haney misinterprets everyone enjoying the music as everyone hating it, and attempts to close down the show as the song carries on.

This is one of the standard cliches from movies with rock bands in them. There's always a crusty dean or principal who wants to shut down the show from behind the curtain.

Mr. Haney pulls on the curtain cords but U STINK manage to finish the song.

Everyone chants their name once the song is finished. They all love U STINK. Prunella swoons and has to be caught by her sister, Rubella.

Even Arthur and Buster are chanting. Buster realizes something...

Buster: Hey, aren't we still mad at Francine?

Arthur agrees, shrugs, and they keep chanting along with everyone else.

Mr. Haney closes the curtain, and begins talking again. Everyone starts drifting off to do their own thing; they're not as interested in listening to Mr. Haney telling them not to panic and to get some fudge as they are to U STINK.

Backstage, everyone in U STINK is pumped.

Then Francine stops jumping up and down.

Francine: Wait, wait. I mean, that was fun and all but we have to be careful. Stuff like this could ruin us.

Nobody seems to know what Francine is on about. They look at each other and turn to Mrs. MacGrady.

Francine may be right. They shouldn't let it get to their heads.

They pack up their instruments.

When they walk off the stage, there are people of all ages asking them for autographs. They shake hands and sign autographs for people.

At preschool, the Tibbles are showing off to D.W.. The Tibbles have U STINK's autographs on their body. Timmy got all five: Francine, Molly, and Binky on his head, and Fern on one arm and Mrs. MacGrady on the other.

Tommy can do one better. He got six autographs -- Francine's twice, including one time on his tummy.

D.W. says she has something better. Trading cards...

D.W.: ...and they're very, very cheap!

She walks off.

In class, everyone is staring at Francine, which Francine is not happy with. Then Francine gets called down to Mr. Haney's office, and Mr. Ratburn has to chide the class to get back to work, as they mutter about Francine being in trouble.

Mr. Ratburn: That's enough, I know we have a couple of rock stars in our midst, but that needn't distract you from your math.

Francine closes the classroom door.

Francine: Oh brother!* * *

Mr. Haney wants to see her again, but not because she's in trouble.

This time, in the office is a blond lady with a cameraman from cable access. Mr. Haney isn't sure what she wants. She explains that want to interview the girl who formed "the hottest band in Elwood City".

Francine: Who, me?

The woman runs her hand through her hair. Of course! All they'll need is 15 minutes during recess. Mr. Haney doesn't see anything wrong with this -- and is cut off by the woman before he can finish agreeing.

I don't believe Mr. Haney can grant permission for a minor (Francine) to be taped for television without a signed permission slip from her parents. Bad Mr. Haney! But then, Mr. Haney has never been exactly on the ball...

The woman wants the interview done somewhere authentic...

So Francine does the interview with the interview lady stuck in a tire swing. The interviewer isn't as cheerful or perky when she's struggling to get into a tire swing as when she's talking to someone.

The interviewer says she's having loads of fun with Francine, who formed the band with her little friends, and that Francine's band was a smash at the recent P.T.A. fundraiser.

Francine is nervous, and agrees...

Interviewer: So what's next for your fabulous fivesome? Another concert? A record deal? How do you intend to capitalize on your success?

That was just what Francine needed to get going. She grabs the mike and starts ranting on about not selling out. Music is not about making money, it is about having something to say. She doesn't know what U STINK will do next. She does know that they'd rather quit than sell out.

Interviewer: (walking over to take back control of the mike and her show) Well that's very noble. You heard it here folks, and that's a wrap with Elwood City Access Almost Live, at 4:30, 7:00, and 2:30 AM.

Now we know where "Almost Live" as in #31102 - "Arthur's Almost Live Not Real Music Festival" came from.

She winks, and then holds her smile for a few seconds so that the cameraman can turn off the camera.

Interviewer: (less perky, more stern voice) Did you get that Manny?

Manny: Awwwwh no, I forgot to turn it on! {C She doesn't look too pleased with her cameraman.

Walking out of school, Fern is talking to Francine and Binky. It seems Francine was asked if U STINK would perform for the upcoming library book sale, but Francine turned it down. Fern wants to know why.

Fern: Why'd you say no? That's crazy!

Francine says that she thinks that the "whole fame thing" is getting out of hand, and that the other reason is that Fern wasn't asked. The band is Francine's, not Fern's.

The Tibbles ride up to Francine on their bikes. They ask if she's Francine Frensky. She says they know she is, she babysits them! Timmy asks if she'll sign his trading card of her, and holds up a card and a crayon.

Francine can't believe it. She stares at the card, which has a crayon drawing of her on it and the word FRANSIN underneath. Francine wants to know where this came from.

It came from D.W.!

Timmy then turns around and shouts to a group of his friends that U STINK are giving out autographs! The kids charge towards Francine, Binky, and Fern, screaming.

The three of them run off as a sequence that's like the chase sequence in The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" starts up with guitary-Beatles-y music in the background.Francine, Binky, and Fern are pursued by their preschool fans, who chase them down the sidewalk, through a fruit market -- the fans send fruit flying everywhere as they trample through... and into a music store, where CDs are sent flying everywhere. Francine and her friends hid behind a display of CD players, not knowing they're on camera, which is being displayed on a bank of TVs behind them.

Francine and her friends run out the back, and argue over which way to go. The kids run out after them.

They come to a crosswalk, but the lights are against them. They all stop, Francine, Fern, and Binky at the edge of the curb, and the fans patiently waiting behind them. The light changes to a walk signal, and the chase continues.

The green man on the walk signal should have animally ears on him, shouldn't he? :)

Fern and Binky elect to stop and sign autographs for the kids, while Francine runs off, ending the sequence.---- Francine gets picked up in Muffy's limo, which just happens to be passing by. Francine tells Muffy that she saved her life.

Actually, says Muffy, putting up the glass barrier between her and her driver, there is something she needs to discuss. Although she "hates to admit it", Muffy compliments Francine's new band, saying that they "isn't that bad".

Muffy doesn't notice the sarcastic tone that Francine uses to thank her. Muffy gets right to the point. She wants to be in Francine's band, as the "cute one", and not only is she cute, but she can play the tambourine. She whips one out, and starts playing it.

What does Francine think?

Muffy drops her off, extremely peeved. Francine doesn't think her band needs a "cute one". Image isn't everything.

Muffy: Just see how far you get without a "cute one".

Francine goes off grumbling...

The licence plate on the limo is 234 AZX. Not sure why anyone other than me would care, but there you go.

Inside The Sugar Bowl, Arthur, George, and Buster see Francine get dropped off. It would seem that Muffy isn't the only one who wants to get into a band. George, Buster, and Arthur are going to start their own band. After all, why should Francine have all the fun?

Buster says they shouldn't let Francine join, even if she begs them.

George asks what they'll call their band. They drink their drinks for a few seconds...

Buster says that they can call it WE STINK!

George and Arthur like this name.

They think it is cool. Buster thinks Francine will die.

George: I stink, you stink, we all stink.

They all put their thumbs up and raise them together.

Arthur is working on his homework.

Unless it's a song in the vein of "They Might Be Giants".

He has a book in front of him, and is writing on some paper.

The mystery of 
King Arthur has 
finally been solved.  
His real name 
was Arturius

It will take a lot of paper to write a report in writing like this...

D.W. comes in, asking about the spelling of the names of members of U STINK.

D.W. asks if Frensky spelt with an 'H'...
Arthur says no, and spells it for her. D.W. looks at some of the cards she's holding.
D.W. asks if Fern is spelt with a 'B'...
Why does D.W. want to know?

Why? Because she made all these cards already... and now they're all spelt wrong! She worries about having to give all the money back, having already made fourteen dollars. She crumples up the cards in her hand, throws them on the floor and storms off in a huff.

Arthur picks one up, a FERB one.

Arthur: You made fourteen dollars from this!?

Wow!Arthur's pretty impressed.

Fern is more than happy to have a card with FERB on it. She sits on her bed in her pajamas and contemplates her new popularity as she looks at the trading card.

Fern: I rock!

She imagines being a rock singer with a green mohawk. Prior to performing, she's backstage signing autographs. She has a green mohawk.Buster looks rather smitten as Fern signs his ear... :)

Prunella: I just had no idea you were so cool.

Buster: You really rock, Fern.

Fern: I know. Mr. Ratburn, who's now her manager, sporting an ermine-lined jacket, tells her it's time to start the show. 10,000 fans are going to be annoyed if she doesn't get started.

Fern goes onstage in front of an adoring audience, some holding Fern placards on sticks. She thanks her fans.

Francine gets up from behind her drum kit and comes into the limelight with Fern. Francine's mad. Fern puts Francine in her place though. Although Francine may have started the band, as Fern says, it's her they love.

Fern: That's right, isn't it?

The crowd agrees. Fern apologizes to Francine.

Fern: Sorry. (pats an ear with two earrings in it) My mother always said I'd be popular one day.Francine goes back to her drums as the crowd chants Fern's name over and over. {C Fern stops dreaming. Her Mom comes in to say good night, telling Fern that "Tomorrow is a brand new day". Fern puts down her trading card.

Fern is on cloud nine.

Fern: (happily) You are so right.* * *

At the Frensky residence, Francine's doing her homework. Katherine notices something on TV and shouts out to Francine to come have a look. It would seem Francine's on TV.

Francine comes over to see.

Actually, Francine's not on TV. But the rest of U STINK is, talking to the interviewer who talked to Francine is talking to the rest of the band about their plans.

I guess the interview was redone not only because of the fact that Manny didn't tape Francine's, but also because the interviewer didn't like Francine's heavy message.

The volume is turned up on the TV. Fern tells the interviewer that they don't really have any plans right now because this has all come as a surprise.

Fern suggests that maybe they could make a CD... Binky jumps into the interview with the suggestion of making an action figure, and then starts striking suitable action-figure poses. This is all captured on TV.

The Backstreet Boys are coming to town, mentions the reporter.

Interviewer: Any chance you'll get to meet them?

Fern, who looked slightly unhappy with Binky's antics, perks right up. She certainly hopes so.

Fern: We love the Backstreet Boys!The interviewer reiterates...

U STINK hopes to meet the Backstreet Boys, AND make it big!

There seems to be a difference of opinion between the media reports and what Francine, sitting at home, have to say on about that...

We're on the roof again, practicing. Only at this moment, nobody is practicing. Francing is mad at Fern for doing that interview. It's people like that interviewer who want them to sell out.

Fern grumbles furiously to herself that for not selling out to go on TV.

Francine didn't hear that, or is trying to ignore it... So Fern repeats herself. It's not selling out to do things like be on TV and sign autographs and be popular.

Francine tries to get Mrs. MacGrady to back her up.

Mrs. MacGrady says that it's silly for them to be arguing, instead of having fun.

Francine wants Binky's input. Binky is slurping Sarah Soda, as seen in #60601 - "Citizen Frensky", and scoffing a donut. When asked if he wants to sell out, he's agreeable to the idea, noting that he needs bigger pants.

Francine gets very angry. She says that she hearby disolves U STINK.

Fern doesn't seem too upset with this. She thinks Francine is being an ass.

Fern: ...Are we supposed to melt or something?

Francine: (seething) You do what you want. I'm leaving.

Before she heads down into the stairwell, she has one last thing to tell them. She notes that at least she got the name right.

Francine: You guys stink!

MacGrady runs off to try and catch up with Francine to try and get her to come back.

What will the band do now though, without Francine on drums?

Fern: Well... I have an idea.* * *

Mr. Haney makes an announcement over the P.A. system. Actually, the first thing he does is hurt everyone's ear with squeally feedback.

Mr. Haney's announcement concerns the library book sale this afternoon. U STINK will be there. (although Mr. Haney muffles the word "stink") It will be "Fun, fun, loads of fun."

While the announcement is going on, Francine asks "What?!" and stares at Binky, who kind of cowers in his seat. Francine scowls at him, and Fern turns to Francine and scowls at her.

Mr. Haney continues, in a less enthusiastic voice, telling everyone to come... and then sighs...

Mr. Haney: (to himself, so he thinks) Can we go home yet? I tell you, Friday afternoon is a bear...What, Ms. Tingley? Oh!

So is Mr. Haney...

There's then a burst of static... Mr. Haney forgot to turn off the microphone. :)

So how does U STINK play without a drummer?

Simple. They use an electronic drum machine in place of her.

Francine stares in at the book sale where she can see U STINK performing without her. Francine's on the second floor of the school, looking into the school library through a window.

Girl's washroom again. Muffy and Prunella again. Talking about U STINK.

Prunella: They are so cool.But what happened to Francine? asks Muffy, just as Francine hides in one of the stalls.

Francine quit the group, says Prunella. Francine is "so last week".

Which is silly of Muffy. You would think she would understand the idea of "collector's item," but I guess not.

Francine is sitting on top of a toilet in the stall, listening. She pulls her legs up so that they won't see her in there.

If Francine's "so last week", Muffy decides she doesn't need to hang onto worthless Francine trading cards. She throws a handful of them in the trash. Muffy's about to leave. Prunella tells Muffy she's got tickets to the Backstreet Boys concert.

Muffy can do one better than that. Since her Dad's company is a sponsor of the concert, she can go backstage.

Francine takes one of the cards out of the garbage, goes "ohhh", cries a tear, and then lets it fall back in.

Look, there's a Sarah Soda can in there too. Like Poochy sez, "Always remember kids, recycle... to the extreme!" ;)

School toilets with seats? Nice. If they didn't have seats, Francine wouldn't be able to sit curled up on top of one. {C Next we're looking at a TV show that looks like a Arthur-universe version of "MTV's Behind the Music".

  • A weird looking girl bear rock star and her act tune up on stage as people scream.

{C Narrator: This is the show where you can learn about the highs, the lows...

  • A red flashy convertible with two rock stars in it drives through the country. The passenger, a monkey-guy, has his blond hair flies off.

{C Narrator: The scandals...

  • A Sid Vicious-type rabbit and his girlfriend walk past and she turns away and he puts his hand over the camera lens.
  • We see the convertible with the two rock stars in it, with the bald guy covering his head, floating in water...

{C Narrator: Find out the shocking truth about your favorite rock stars on "Behind the Curtain".'

Today on the show they're looking at one of the decades biggest bands, U STINK, who went from humble beginnings to the very pinacle of success, and Francine Frensky, who started it all, giving her heart and soul to U STINK -- and who quit the band and got replaced with a digital drum. A machine that gets to go on tour with the band, rides in the limo, and even has its own poster and fans.

Francine's asked how it feels to get kicked out of the world's most fabulous band. She's sitting on a stool in a black room with just a spotlight on her.

She says she wasn't kicked out; she quit.

Doesn't it bother her that her replacement is so popular?

Francine says she can't help it if people are dopes.

She says she's happy with her great job selling popcorn. She gets to go to concerts for free, the work is easy, and she gets to deal with high finance. ($5 for a bag of popcorn)

She doesn't look too happy. She looks downright miserable. And pathetic.

Francine wakes up. It was only a bad dream.

The Tibbles shout up to Francine from outside. She goes to look at them from the balcony. She wants them to go away, since she's no longer in the band. Don't they know that? The Tibbles tell her that they don't want to talk to her... they want to know where Fern lives, as they need to have her resign their bodies; their autographs are fading.

She tells them to go find her themselves. She marches through the living/dining room, grumbling about Fern. Can't people talk about anyone else?

Dad calls her from the kitchen, saying Fern's on the phone.

Fern says she has something to say to Fern! She wants to give Fern a piece of her mind...

Ha ha, Dad was just joking -- Fern isn't on the phone... but the pancakes are ready.

Dad asks why Francine's so angry with Fern.

Francine says he'd be angry too if someone stole his band.

Dad points out that Fern didn't steal it, she quit!

Francine says she had to -- they were selling out. Dad suggests there might be a way for her not to compromise on her principles and stay in the band. Francine is adamant about not doing talking to Fern, but Dad is sure she should -- it would be a shame for the band to lose the best drummer in town...

Meanwhile, at Arthur's, WE STINK is tuning up, getting ready to practice.

They're using a Mary Moo Cow Amp, which as they find out when George starts testing it, can not be turned up to any reasonable rock-suitable volume really without creating feedback.

So they begin practicing. Arthur and Buster pound out the music on piano and tuba respectively, while George sings (off-key) a song that Buster wrote about how awesome they are. Buster says he had trouble finding a rhyme for the word "music", which is why the song doesn't rhyme.

They suck, and even Arthur's Mom thinks this. She wants them to go practice outside. Arthur says that they kind of need to practice in the liviing room because they need the piano.

They're practicing in the treehouse. Arthur's piano dilemma seems to have been solved -- he's now playing a Mary Moo Cow baby's piano, which sounds more like a xylophone.

D.W. comes up to the treehouse to make fun of them.

She tells them they stink, and Arthur thinks she's getting their name wrong. He tells her "We Stink".

D.W. climbs down from the treehouse. Not only do they stink...

D.W.: Not too smart, either...* * *

There is trouble brewing for U STINK. Fern, Binky, and Molly are talking at Fern's house. Binky's scoffing crackers out of a box. Fern thinks they need to get one of those things...

"A gig?" asks Molly, scowling like a real rock musician.


Mrs. MacGrady notes as well that they can't keep playing the same song over and over. Mrs. MacGrady suggests they ask Francine...

Fern picks up the microphone and makes everyone cringe with feedback.

I just attended an auction, and can attest to the fact that touching a microphone will cause feedback like that. :)

Fern has something to say -- she has a new song. Well, actually, she only has the lyrics right now, no melody. She can't write music.

The others are quick to contribute what they think the melody should go.

  • Binky wants a bouncy rhythm, which would be good for a clarinet.
  • Molly says that that's no good. What it needs is more loud guitar.
  • Fern wants it more soft, almost like a lullaby.

Francine was worried about Fern not being rock-oriented...

They begin to argue.

Mrs. MacGrady bangs on her keyboard, stopping the arguing.

It sounds rather lIke the conclusion to the The Beatles' "A Day in the Life", off of the album "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".

It's a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth.

Fern thinks she knows what they need. A plan.

So they phone Muffy, and U STINK all listen in on speakerphone.

Muffy says she wants to be manager.

Fern asks what a manager does, exactly. Muffy says a manager talks on the phone, has lunch with important people, and makes them famous. At first she wanted to be in the band as the "cute one", but then she realized that managers make more money; she'll do it for 60% of the profits.

This doesn't sound particularly like what U STINK needs.

"We need a new song" says Molly.

Muffy brushes this aside, saying that once they're famous, they can buy a song.

After Fern reluctantly agrees to have Muffy be their manager, and Muffy tells them she'll get started on a plan for them, Muffy hangs up the phone and starts jumping on her bed. She figures that this is her ticket to meeting Nick from the Backstreet Boys. Maybe she could someday even manage the Backstreet Boys...

She imagines this in the form of a music video, with the Backstreet Boys and the Backstreet Boys crooning a song about how great it is having Muffy manage them.

  • As manager, Muffy has the Backstreet Boys dress up in the colourful outfits The Beatles wore for "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".
  • She powders Nick's nose.
  • She runs the fog machine when they perform.
  • She cuts a cake with "$1 gazillion" written on the top, her hand is moved so that instead of cutting the cake 50/50, the first cut is made to split the cake 60/40.
  • She feeds Nick some cake.
  • She crys a single tear, so happy to manage the Backstreet Boys.
  • While they relax by a pool at their mansion, singing about not knowing what Muffy does, but that she does it well, she's busy poolside, talking on the phone.
  • She holds up a cue card from her seat in the audience when Nick appears on the Arthur-universe equivalent of the Oprah show. The cue card is the punchline of the "banana who" joke. Nick tells the joke, and Oprah laughs.
  • Muffy dumps a truckload of money on Nick as he stands outside of the Backstreet Boys' mansion.
  • She has them perform as sailors on a ship that looks like the Titanic, called the the S.S. Gigantic. She has Nick hold her up while they lean over the prow of the ship, like in the movie "Titanic".
  • She is even such a good manager that she phones the captain, who looks like Brain, to adjust the ship's course starboard in order to avoid an iceberg.

Indeed, as Nick says in the song, she is the "Manager of my Dreams".

Muffy is all dreamy at school, still thinking about Nick. She can't concentrate on her math.

At lunch, everyone wants Fern to sit with them.

In the lunchline queue, Francine is grumbling. Fern says that she can't help if she's popular. Francine says that she wouldn't be popular if it wasn't for Francine starting the band. Fern says that's not true...

Fern: They like me because... they just do!Maybe it is true.

Francine: How many friends did you have before you joined? One? Two?Sue Ellen should have at least been given a few lines to support Fern. Francine could have said to Fern, "How many friends did you have? One--Sue-Ellen!"

Mrs. MacGrady has the girls come see her in the cafeteria kitchen.

The two girls sit down on footstools.

Mrs. MacGrady says as a Libra (Fern) and a Pisces (Francine), they should be friends with each other, not arguing.

Mrs. MacGrady: tight as grits and gravy.Mrs. MacGrady says Francine can't blame Fern for wanting to continue with U STINK.

Mrs. MacGrady: It's a good group and it's fun to make music.

Francine has a right to be upset, being the one who started the band. Mrs. MacGrady concludes that they shouldn't be arguing, they should be working hard to try and get back together.

Fern says she's sorry -- she wasn't trying to take U STINK away from Francine. Fern didn't want to sell out, she just wanted to make...

Muffy barges in with her plans for making U STINK famous. She has diagrams and charts. Send a video to the Backstreet Boys, licencing deals, all kinds of stuff. Muffy says it's good that Fern's in charge.

Now was not the time for Francine to hear THAT! Francine runs out in a huff.

Mrs. MacGrady says they'll try to talk to Francine again when she's cooled down. In the meantime, says Muffy, they have a video to make.

On the Crosswire estate, manager Muffy is getting everything ready for a video shoot.

Muffy's wearing an old-timey directors outfit with a beret and riding pants, shades of #20401 - "Arthur Makes a Movie".

While her butler carries a large cardboard airplane across the yard, Muffy gets a box of laundry detergent and a bottle of ketchup out of her backpack, and then a package of sponges.

Molly wants to know what those are for as Muffy places the laundry detergent box on top of a headstone. Muffy says that these are product placements. They may not have any sponsors, but she wants to be prepared.

She then calls everyone into the trailer "for a production meeting".

Once everyone's inside Muffy's RV, she goes over the storyboard for the video with them.

It's an animated storyboard, a better-drawn version of the sort of animated comic we saw in #12202 - "Team Trouble".

  • It starts out with Arthur and Buster as vampires... (Arthur and Buster think this is cool)
  • ...chasing the band through a graveyard. Muffy saves them, dressed up as "Muffy the Vampire Slayer"...

The Arthur writing crew has probably been saving that gag for 7 years.

  • Then the band sings a bit.
  • Next George, as a zombie, attacks, But Muffy fends him off by using her 14 carat gold watch which she got as a graduation present for finishing grade two. The watch sends out bubbles which ensnare George.
  • The band then fly around the world in an airplane, singing the song.
  • Then Muffy does a symbolic dance (in a Asami-esque outfit) about "peace on Earth, and stuff like that".

Muffy sighs contentedly and notes unsarcastically about how meaningful it is.

Everyone else in the trailer looks confused. Muffy asks if they have any questions. Molly does.

Molly: What does any of this have to do with our song?A relevant point, though it's dismissed by Muffy.

Muffy sighs. Great art is so often misunderstood! Molly and the others are told just to trust Muffy.

* * *

Muffy gets angry with the band while they are filming the airplane sequence... U STINK are all squashed up inside a cardboard airplane, and Muffy's mad that they aren't steering the airplane properly.

Muffy: Geeze. Don't you know how to act?

Muffy's asked if she knows how to direct...

Meanwhile, Buster and Arthur, in vampire costume, and George, in zombie attire, are lying on the grass across the yard while the others argue. They are bored. Buster has a blade of grass in his mouth

Arthur says he's bored, but has to repeat himself -- Buster didn't understand what Arthur said because Arthur had fake vampire teeth in his mouth.

Buster says he is too. Plus he's eaten too much grass.

Zombie-George says he doesn't even think they're needed on set anymore.

Francine pulls up on her bike. They ask why she's here. She says one reason she's not here is to make a stupid video.

Then she insults Arthur and Buster, asking if they're supposed to be trolls.

Buster: We are vampires. Trolls doen't have fangs, Francine.

Well, duh, Francine. :)

She then asks them how their musical group is doing.

Arthur and Buster and George would rather not answer.

Francine doesn't know they are a bad band, or that they pledged not to allow her to join, and thinks that their reticence is due to the fact that they ripped off their band's name from her.

Francine: Forgive and forget is my motto.

She says she has an offer they don't think they can refuse.

Buster and Arthur look at each other sadly.

Muffy plays back the video at home.

It looks awful.

  • U STINK, who should be having a good time in their airplane, all look bored and sad.
  • The vampire scene has a dog chasing the vampires.
  • When Muffy tries to stop George the zombie, you can see a microphone in the scene, and then Muffy jumps into the product placement area, and steps on the ketchup bottle by accident and covers George with ketchup.
  • We can see Arthur, George, and Buster making the plane shake by shaking the tail of it. In fact they are filmed specifically.
  • When Muffy does her dance at the end, she knocks over the cameraman.

No matter. Muffy likes it.

Muffy: Wow, that is just the best!

This video is how she's going to meet Nick and the Backstreet Boys. She puts the video into a mailing box marked MAIL-IX, and writes Nick's address on the label.

Nick Carter

She imagines what will happen when Nick receives the video.

We see an office building with the Backstreet Boys stylized name logo on the roof.

The building looks a lot like "Arthur's Catering Business" from #21202 - "Arthur and the Square Dance". Same architects...

Nick Carter is sitting at a desk, he opens the box, reads the letter and letter, and plays the video. Almost as soon as it starts, Nick gets a big smile on his face.

Nick: This is genius! Who made this?

He immediately pages his assistant, Ruthie. He wants "Crosswire Management" on the phone. He wants U STINK on tour with his group.

Nick: I want Muffy!

Muffy drops the box into the mailbox, watching it fall into the pile of mail.

Muffy: Postman, postman, don't delay, send this to Nick, right away! Muffy should write songs. :)

The next thing Muffy sees is D.W.'s trading card booth on the sidewalk outside Arthur's house. D.W.'s still doing a roaring trade selling cards for 50 cents each. Muffy tells her that she's U STINK's manager, and that D.W.'s cards aren't authorized product. Muffy says D.W. will hear from her lawyers.

I just knew that sooner or later D.W. was going to catch flack for those cards.

D.W. tells her to tell her lawyers that if they buy the full U STINK set, they get a free Francine card, which is a collector's item.

D.W. doesn't really have time to talk though. Timmy and Tommy pull up on their bikes. They want to buy more cards. Timmy says they want three more Ferns and a Binky!

Muffy goes and does some managing with the band, who are setting up at the preschool, getting ready for a show.

She tells them that she sent in the video, and expects to hear back from them within the week. Meanwhile, they need to practice because Nick's a professional and will have high expectations...

There's feedback from the guitar amp which bothers Muffy. It looks like Molly did this deliberately, because Molly makes a face at Muffy as Muffy leaves to tell everyone they're ready -- Muffy doesn't see her.

Yet again, it is up to Mrs. MacGrady to calm everyone down. Muffy is only trying to help.

That may be, mutters Molly, but really -- a gig at a preschool?!

Fern says that this is just for practice -- any day now Nick will get the box with the video in it.

Molly: Yeah, right.

Even if they did go big time, Binky says he wouldn't do it without Francine there.

Fern: What are you saying? We don't need Francine. I mean, we're just as good without her, right?

Nobody in the band wants to agree with that sentiment. Luckily they don't have to answer because the preschool kids are at the door. They're excited at seeing the band and run into the room to listen to U STINK.

U STINK start playing their song about not selling out, but the kids become disinterested quickly. Everyone has heard that song about 10 000 times. They want a new song.

Timmy asks if they know "Crazy Bus"?

No, they don't know that one. Fern admits they only know the one song.

Mrs. MacGrady suggests they just start jamming, without any written music. That's what jazz musicians do. They do this, but the preschool kids aren't interested, and start falling asleep because it's not interesting enough.

U STINK wonder what Francine is up to. Whatever it is, she's "gotta be having more fun than this".

What Francine is doing is playing with WE STINK. They're practicing, which is prudent, as they still are terrible. George is making the same mistake Francine made earlier -- he's doing two things at once: Singing and playing a tambourine.

Francine has everyone stop, accomplishing this by shouting. She asks George if he can even sing in key. He doesn't know what that means!

Arthur says he liked it.

Francine says they need to take drastic measures if they want to start playing classic rock and roll, and suggests they fire Buster. Arthur says they can't do that -- Buster and Arthur started this band. Francine suggests that instead maybe Buster could clap or something instead of playing the tuba?

Arthur and Buster want out. They quit. Buster says they'll form a new band, called "SHE STINKS".

Left in the treehouse alone with Francine, George says that maybe they could go it alone with just drum and tambourine,

George: "Sonny and Cher".

Muffy is expecting a reply from Nick regarding the video she sent in, but the mailman has no letter for her, just the Crosswire's "Keeping Up With the Jones" magazine.

Not happy with this, Muffy asks the operator on the phone to connect her to the Backstreet Boys.

When she hears Nick's voice on the line, Muffy spills her nail polish on the carpet.

She begins chattering away, asking about the video she sent in.

{C Muffy's phone speed dial is still the same as it was in #40202 - Muffy's New Best Friend". For the record:

  • Francine
  • Fire
  • Police
  • Ambulance
  • Hairdresser
  • Grandma

​She starts talking as the Backstreet Boys introduce themselves by name...

  • Nick
  • A.J.
  • Howie D.
  • Brian
  • Kevin

But she's not actually talking to the Backstreet Boys live, she's talking to their voicemail. She hangs up.

She goes down to see her Dad in his office. Dad is arguing with someone on the phone, telling them he wants results. He tells them he has to go when his daughter shows up though.

He asks how he can help her out.

She tells him she has a problem... He tells her to tell him what it is so he can take care of it immediately. Muffy's problem is that she sent a package to Nick Carter a week ago and hasn't heard back.

At first, Ed Crosswire doesn't know who Nick Carter is, but Muffy clears it up for him.

Muffy: He's one of the Backstreet Boys. The one I really, really, really like...Ed understands the problem. Muffy wants him to make them answer.

Ed Crosswire's desk has $ signs carved into the sides. :) He also has a "Salesman of the Year" plaque on his wall, but it looks like it was spelled "Saleman." (sic)

Ed has some bad news for his daughter. He says that there are "certain facts of life he's tried to keep" from Muffy in the past. It pains him to say it but he has to admit that not only can't he help her this time, but that the Crosswires, in comparison to the Backstreet Boys, are small potatoes.

As he tells her this, lightning strikes in the background, illuminating Muffy.

Maybe he can get a word to them at the concert...

Muffy runs off, horrified at what her Dad has said.

He tries to console her as she walks off -- her outlook on the world forever changed.

Ed Crosswire: Would a big old check help?

Muffy goes back to her room to have a good cry at being deemed a small potato.

{C Muffy: I swear, I'll meet Nick Carter if it's the last thing I'll ever do.

From now on then, will Muffy be less stuck-up?

Big pixel board.



The arena is the one from #20602 - "Play It Again, D.W.".

Prior to the concert, outside the arena, the interviewer from the cable access show and her cameraman are walking along past the lineup of people. They see the members of U STINK, who as she notes, are waiting in line like everybody else.

Interviewer: Are you excited?

Fern is. She says this is the biggest night ever.

The interviewer then asks what is new with U STINK. Molly fields this one. Nothing's new. They don't have a drummer, and they don't have any new songs. Fern counters that she wrote a new song - half a song according to Molly. Binky starts singing his arrangement of Fern's song.

Soon the three kids are arguing, with Mrs. MacGrady trying to calm them down.

The interviewer was looking for a story tonight -- looks like she found one.

Interviewer: (to camera) U STINK on the brink. Is this the end of the fab foursome?

The Beatles are also known as the "Fab Four."

Somewhere in the bowels of the arena, Muffy's skulking around, dressed up in business attire, wearing a backstage pass around her neck. She also has a tall, narrow suitcase with wheels.

Ah, well, see, that's exactly why Muffy's bribing people.

Ed Crosswire then goes up in the elevator. With Dad out of the way, Muffy takes out a notebook and begins reading.She must not be nervous -- she practices how she'll greet Nick Carter. First she says it in a squeaky voice, which she realizes is no good, so she tries it again in an unnaturally low voice. She figures that sounds better.

She has no more time to practice, and has to hide behind a plant because people are coming.

One of the Backstreet Boys' assistants, followed by the man Muffy paid off approach. The assistant radios to say that the Boys are just coming to the elevators.

The Backstreet Boys walk towards Muffy like they're in the video Muffy was watching at the beginning of the show, with white floodlights behind them, with the strains of the song playing.

The roadie Muffy paid off nervously stands by the buttons to the elevator as the assistant and the Backstreet Boys file in. The last one to approach the elevator is Nick. The roadie tells Nick that there's a limit of four "Boys" to one elevator. He claims this is the law, it's the "Elevator Code of Compliance".

The Backstreet Boys are all slightly put out by this, but the elevator leaves with the other members in it, and Nick has to wait for the next one. The roadie/bounder has Nick get in the next one.

Nick gets in, and then Muffy rushes in to join him, with her suitcase in tow.

Arthur and Buster take their seats in the audience. Everyone's there, including a bored Francine.

Near the elevators, she hands a wad of cash to a roadie/bouncer, as obviously agreed on -- all the guy has to do is to make sure that Nick stays behind. He understands.

Then she sees her Dad. He reminds her that one of the conditions of having the backstage pass is that they're not allowed to bother "the Boys".

Just like in real life, even though there's thousands of people, everyone in the gang is sitting next to everyone they know.

Binky recognizes all kinds of acquaintances, including somebody who called him a lunkhead -- Binky hasn't forgotten him... and shouts out across the crowd at him to tell him so.

Muffy hits the emergency stop on the elevator. Nick asks what it the sudden lurch is, not realizing what Muffy's done.

Muffy says they seem to have stopped...

Francine's Dad doesn't know why Francine's so grumpy. Francine says she can't believe he made her come here.

Francine: This is going to be the worst night of my life.

Mrs. MacGrady says hi. Francine greets her.

Mrs. MacGrady says she has a good feeling about this concert. It's going to be the best night of Francine's life. How does Mrs. MacGrady know this? Simple, her pinky recently started aching, which means good news.

Not the first time something like this has happened. In #21202 - "Arthur and the Square Dance" Mrs. MacGrady's right elbow predicted rain.

Francine mutters that Mrs. MacGrady is bats.

Muffy is going full throttle with her presentation on why the Backstreet Boys need U STINK. She has a laptop and an overhead projector on a stand, and a small pulldown screen to project the presentation on.

She places a transparencies showing a pie chart onto the projector, and winks at Nick. Her services are always available to him and "the Boys"...

Nick looks scared, or perhaps it's just a glazed look on his face.

We see an overhead shot of the stuck elevator as Nick shouts out for help.

Nick Carter: Hello, we need some help in here.* * *

Backstage, the Backstreet Boys are about to go on. But there's trouble. Unlike U STINK, the Backstreet Boys aren't prepared to perform without Nick. Ed Crosswire is trying to convince them they can go on without one "Boy".

Kevin: We need Nick. We're in this together.Mr. Crosswire thinks this is going to be a disaster -- he mops his brow and looks out at the crowd, who are getting restless...

A.J. tells him he's going to have to find Nick, and asks if anybody's checked the elevator.

Ed Crosswire runs off, saying he'll be right back.

A.J. eats chips.

Inside the elevator, Nick is trying to force the doors open. Muffy can't believe he's passing up the great opportunity he's been presented with.

Nick looks down at her, sees the emergency phone and says they haven't tried that yet.

Muffy says the phone doesn't work. Just then, it rings.

It works. Muffy answers it. Muffy's Dad is on the phone. She tells him that Nick is here. He wants to talk to Nick.

Muffy: Can't it wait? I'm trying ot close a deal.No, it can't.

Muffy tries the buttons to get the elevator moving again, but they don't work. Muffy starts freaking out while Nick talks on the phone to Muffy's Dad about how to get the elevator moving again. Muffy starts repeating "I'm a Crosswire, I'm a fourth generation Crosswire" as she cowers in the corner of the elevator.

Nick hands the phone out to Muffy.

Muffy takes the phone. She asks why she should care about her father's problems while she is stuck in an elevator... Then she comes to her senses.

Muffy: You know, I have an idea... A perfect idea!* * *

The crowd is on the verge of getting ugly at the delay.

Muffy's idea appears to be having her Dad go on stage. He starts doing his shilling act, saying that he's a sponsor, and that Crosswire Motors is open every day nine until nine... yadda yadda.

He stops talking about Crosswire Motors though when the crowd starts to get noisy...

in #12802 - "The Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club", Mr. Crosswire told a crowd that Crosswire Motors was "open most nights 'til 10". Business must be in a bit of a slump. Either that or "most nights" was confusing customers.

Mr. Crosswire then manages to take the upper hand on the crowd. He tells them that there's been a slight delay... but that U STINK happens to be in the audience, AND that he's been assured by their manager that they'll be thrilled to perform...

In their seats, the members of U STINK are shocked. So is Francine.

The crowd cheers, and starts chanting "U STINK".

Binky says he can't play in front of 10,000 people!

Mrs. MacGrady: (kind of freaked out too, for a change) I don't think you have a choice.

Molly wants Francine to go up with them. And Binky won't go if Francine doesn't.

She will, they do. They get ready. Francine is scared too.

Everyone is in place ready to play...

Mighty convenient there was a clarinet lying around for Binky...

but they are afraid to start. Fern turns around to tell Francine to "GO". Everyone else is ready... The crowd start murmuring...

Backstreet Boy Brian tells Francine from behind her he used to be the same way. He suggests she just focus on the drum set, and not to look at the people.

Brian: Think about the song, and keep the music in your head at all times. You'll be fine.

That does the trick. Francine begins to play, and U STINK begins to play. The croud applauds as they launch into their song about not selling out.

They sound nervous at the start and everything is very tense.

Everything suddenly get a lot better for U STINK when the Backstreet Boys (including Nick, who has to borrow Muffy's Dad's microphone) come out on stage and sing U STINK’s song along with them!

How'd they know the lyrics to the song? No, *Don't Ask.*

They all are quick at memorizing like Fern? Nice also that they're singing a song about keeping it real and not being interested in performing or being famous. :)

Everyone loves the song.

Even the Backstreet Boys clap for U STINK when the song is over.

* * *

U STINK is all pumped backstage while the Backstreet Boys continue on with the concert. Francine is really impressed with how good the Backstreet Boys are.

Binky liked how A.J. did one bit of the song.

Mrs. MacGrady: They sure saved our behinds.

Fern: (looking at Francine) Well, they weren't the only ones.

Francine is forced to admit that "it felt pretty good to be on the stage, and to have everyone screaming and clapping".

Muffy's backstage too. She says that this is just the beginning... She has big plans for U STINK.

But wait... U STINK don't want to be big anymore.

  • Binky doesn't mind the P.T.A., but this is too big a venue.
  • Molly has a blister on her finger -- it's killing her.
  • Mrs. MacGrady doesn't want to miss any more bingo -- Thora is getting peeved.

Arthur's Grandma Thora and Mrs. MacGrady are bingo partners. Mrs. MacGrady is Thora's best friend too. Refer to #12002 - "The Half-Baked Sale".

The only one who wants to keep going would appear to be Fern. Well, apart from Francine... Francine can't believe the others want to bail out on her when they're about to hit the big time.

Fern says they'll just have to look for some new members.

George and Buster?

* * *

Underneath the arena, the Crosswire’s limo pulls up for Francine and Muffy and her father to get in. Muffy’s upset. She doesn’t know which is worse -- Losing U STINK, or discovering Nick is not a businessman.... she tried to make the deal of a lifetime with him and he wasn't even interested.

Muffy: I just can't love a boy like that.

Just then, a white limo pulls up behind the Crosswire's black one.

The Backstreet boys walk towards the limo, joshing with each other about their performance at the concert. There's something she has to do.

Francine runs up to them. She has something to say.

Francine: Hey, I just wanted to say I used to think you guys were sell outs and I really do hate that commercial stuff and all, but you really are good musicians. I guess it's ok to want to make it, y'know, be famous and all, just so long as you don't forget that music is more important, right?

Anyway, that's all I wanted to say. Bye now!

The Backstreet Boys are bemused... Righhhhht.... ok. They wave as she runs off.

* * *

Francine and Muffy are in the limo, about to leave. Muffy rolls down the window, because Backstreet Boy Howie D. is standing outside it. He hands her back some of her transparencies, including the pie chart one. Nick says she left it behind. Howie D. comments that it looks pretty professional.

Howie D.: Maybe you can be our manager some day.

Muffy was looking rather down, but that cheered her up. How about that... All along, it was Howie who had the head for business, not Nick. Muffy was after the wrong guy. She should have been after Howie D.! He’s the smart one... and cute too.

The Crosswire limo drives out of the arena. As they drive off, we can hear Muffy talking about how in five years they could have a U STINK reunion tour with the Backstreet Boys...

They drive off into the night and the camera pulls out to see Elwood City at night, with the traffic moving around the streets.

The Backstreet Boys perform the Arthur theme song as the credits roll.

Amongst the credits...

  • Special thanks to the Backstreet Boys who appear courtesy of Jive Records.
  • D.W. has a new voice... at least it sounds new to me.... she's voiced by Jason Szwimer in the credits. I'd have to check the credits from last season to know for sure.
  • Arthur's voice actor is new too: Mark Rendell.

Then you get to see the Backstreet Boys performing the Arthur theme song in a recording studio.



I’m going to duck and run after saying this, but keep an eye on the traffic in the final scene -- nobody stops at the intersections, and there are a couple of near misses. :) That and the animation loops around at least twice.

I think they were really reaching for teenaged character designs. Besides the Binky girls, and Sally and her boyfriend, they also borrowed Katherine's teenage friends from that awfulseason 5 episode. Doubly awesome to have the special feature Molly! I think Molly was really cool in this episode. She seemed very independent here. She didn't really care about Binky's opinions, even though he is usually a leader of the Tough Customers.

Molly sorta reminds me of Toph from Avatar:The Last Airbender'''' because of her toughness....

The best parts involved the U Stink band, in particular the "Hard Day's Night" parody where Fern, Binky, and Francine have to stop on the sidewalk whilst being pursued. Muffy's bits were okay, but not particularly good. The music video parody was only fair -- they could have gone much further in producing Muffy's imaginary video as a lavish production number, some for the music renditions in "Spongebob Squarepants"'.

I really liked the little egniplot of D.W.'s trading cards. I thought it was awfully funny when Muffy complained about the cards not being "authorized", threatening to sue over the pirated merchandise, and D.W. cheerfully telling Muffy to let her lawyers know about her great deal on cards. :) Well, that's about all I have to say on this for now. I really, really enjoyed the special, and the BSB appearances were so brief they didn't bother me at all. And actually, they did a good job I think. Yay for this special! I hope we get more specials soon!

The Tough Customers!Edit

Ok, ok, I really did like this episode too. But two last thoughts... I won't ask why George is now incapable of writing a good song when three seasons ago, he was writing good poetryand I won't ask why the Tough Customers are now playing musical instruments?

Vandalizing on "Arthur"Edit

We don’t actually recall that Binky & his enigmatic cohorts were using instruments when last year since Season 6, they were violating the instruments.