The Fright StuffEdit

===Episode #403===

"Buster's Breathless" / "The Fright Stuff"

Synopsis and comments by Dave. "This one's kinda dumb, but I'm in a good mood."


The teaser starts in a dark scary forest. There's bats, and scary looking trees. Suddenly there's a bloodcurdling "Ahwoooh!". Is it a werewolf?

No, it's Arthur, hiding by a tree.

Arthur: Gotcha, didn't I?

Arthur says he loves practical jokes.

Just then another Arthur pops up from behind the tree. Ahh! Two Arthurs! Which is the real one?

One Arthur starts pulling on the head of the other. It's not Arthur, it's Francine, in an Arthur suit. The Francine Arthur pulls on the head of the other... it's not Arthur, it's Binky, in an Arthur suit.

(It's like that YouTUBE video for "Noh-True Love" with the Odas that are really Jokers that are really Batmans...)

Binky pulls on Francine's head. It comes off with a popping sound. Uh oh... this time, there's NO head.

Binky/Arthur runs off screaming.

The no-head Arthur scrunches, and up pops Arthur's head. The restored Arthur laughs -- What a great practical joke -- he got Binky real good.

  • * The Fright Stuff * * *

Brain's eating spaghetti in the school cafeteria. Only it's not spaghetti, it's worms!

Brain: Uh? Worms! Yuck!

Ha ha ha! They're only jelly worms! And there's an envelope under his plate.

Arthur goes to his locker to get his science book, which he forgot. When he opens his locker, something nasty flys out at him. Arthur falls down in the hall. Arthur's scared.

Ha ha. It's just a rubber spider!

There's an envelope with the spider.

Binky's playing football. The ball is thrown to him, and he catches it. Only it's not a football, it's a skull with a football helmet on! Binky looks at it.

Binky: Who are you?

The skull's jaw opens. Inside, there's another one of these envelopes.

Arthur, Binky, Brain, and Buster all got similar envelopes, telling them to meet outside by the playground equipment. They've all suffered from various tricks.

Arthur wonders who is responsible, but figures they'll find out when they meet him.

A scary voice says that it might not be a "he", it might be an "it"... from around the side of the school a big tentacle starts wobbling and shaking at them.

The boys scream and shout at the scary monster.

Francine reveals herself -- the monster was just her wearing a joke tentacle arm.

Francine: Ha ha ha!

Francine got the boys good. They're all flabbergasted. Arthur wants to know what is up with all of this anyway. Then Muffy shows up.

Muffy: It's about my party, silly.

This was all an elaborate plot to get them to come to her "Scare Your Pants Off" party. (The "Scare Your Pants Off" line of scary books have come up time and again -- The gang "saved" the books from being banned at the library in #12802 - "The Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club", and Arthur gave Buster one to read when Buster had to read his first book in #21102 - "Buster Hits the Books".)

Muffy is having a costume party, and she's invited the author of the series, E.A. DePoe to read her newest book "THE HOUSE OF THE JACK O' LANTERN" to everyone. Muffy comments that it was no problem getting her to come to the party, since she is "her dad's favorite teacher". (Again, a reference to #12802 - "The Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club" -- Muffy's Dad was responsible for trying to get the books banned until he found out that his old teacher Ms. McWord (aka E.A. DePoe) had been the author; the fact that he'd never bothered reading any of the books sort of counted against him too...)

Plus, she's having the party at a real haunted house -- "Castle Manor".

Muffy is sure that the boys will be able to attend -- they'll be her "extra special guests"... The girls snicker at this last bit.

The boys suspect something though. They figure that Muffy's going to pull some sort of extra special pranks on them.

The boys discuss this between themselves, and soon, it's a boys against girls argument over who is better at pranking and practical joking... The boys see Muffy's party as a challenge -- they tell Muffy that they'll be there alright.

Muffy: But but but...

Binky: She sounds like a motorboat.

This cracks up the boys.

* * *

The group stop by the aforementioned "Castle Manor". It is a typical "haunted house" sort of building, with spires, and widow's walks, and looks sort of run down, dark, etc. It's also on a steep hill, with an iron fence around it. There's a sign mounted on the fence which says "Haunted house".

How did Muffy manage to get permission to have a party at "Castle Manor" anyway?

It turns out that Muffy's Dad has bought it -- he intends to turn it into an antique car museum.

But Castle Manor has been empty for 50 years! It's gotta be haunted!

Muffy and Francine figure that the boys must be afraid. The boys quickly tell them that that's definitely not the case.

The boys go off to plan how they're going to get back at Muffy and Francine for their pranks at Muffy's party. They need something super scary. As they leave, Muffy and Francine make it clear that they'll be the ones who win in the battle of the pranks.

Buster (confidentially to Arthur): The older I get the more I think that there's nothing scarier than girls.

* * *

The boys sit around trying to come up with ideas for the perfect scary prank to get back at the girls with. Since it's a "Scare Your Pants Off" party, they figure that something bookish would be best.

Ideally, they want something ten times scarier than whatever the girls are going to do to them at the party.

Arthur thinks the best "Scare Your Pants Off" book was "THE THING AT THE HEAD OF THE CLASS".

Brain thinks they should go with something classic, like "THE TELLTALE HEART".

Brain imagines. As in the book (and in the Simpsons episode) a thumping sound from under the floorboards is driving a woman mad. Brain goes to the corner of a room, and pulls up some floorboards. At the other side of the room, Francine and Muffy are cowering. Brain pulls out the source of the terror. A heart-shaped chocolate box.

"Oh" say the girls. "A box of chocolate". Not particularly scary -- (Not the way a beating human heart would have been at any rate.)

Brain opens the box. It's empty. The girls scream.


Ya, ok. Nobody thinks that is going to be particularly effective.

Buster thinks that the classic scary story is a good idea though. Buster suggests "WAR OF THE WORLDS".

Buster didn't do a particularly good job of reading the book if what he imagines next is supposed to be the original classic...

What he imagines is the "Devil's Pulpit" rock formation from "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" with a spacecraft hovering beside it, apparently the mothership from "Independence Day".

From out of the ship comes a ramp, and two aliens step out. At the bottom of the ramp are Muffy and Francine.

The aliens have three eyes, long wiggly mustache antennas, and lobster claws. Their bodies are striped black and yellow like bees. They greet Muffy and Francine.

Muffy and Francine run off screaming.

Buster appears. He welcomes the bee-lobster aliens to Earth, and shakes the claw of one of them in greeting.

Aliens: Darn nice to meet you.

Buster stops imagining. He thinks this would be perfect for the prank. Now all they need is some real aliens, and a spaceship, and...

Not feasible.

Binky suggests they do that story about "the Headless Horse Guy" from "The Legend of Creepy Hollow". Arthur correct him that the title is "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", but Binky is already imagining...

It looks like Sleepy Hollow, winding country roads, trees, covered bridges, etc. The townspeople are terrified as "The Headless Horse Guy" races through town.

"The Headless Horse Guy" is a bit of a mess -- it's Binky, without a head, on top of a shapeless mass with a horse's head on it. This thing whizzes through town and through the countryside, when all of a sudden, it loses control and crashes into a wooden wall.

It turns out that "The Headless Horse Guy" was just Binky (we can see his head now) on top of Arthur and the other guys; they were riding their bicycles while covered with the sheet and with the horse head stuck on the front. Binky blames the others for making them crash. Arthur blames Binky for not telling them to steer -- they can't see anything with the horse head and the sheet.

Binky says it's their fault; he's "headless"!

Binky: Iam not supposed to see!

Binky's idea is panned too. Then Arthur comes up with an idea, and huddles the guys around him. They discuss the great plan in hushed tones. They're going to hide Binky in a room with a pumpkin head on. Then they'll get the girls to go into the room, and Binky will jump out at them. With the pumpkin head on, they won't know who it is, and they'll be really scared.

* * *

The party day arrives. It's early yet though, and the party is several hours away. Upstairs, Muffy and Francine are setting up their prank. They figure the old library will be the best place.

What they're going to do is lure the boys upstairs into the library. Then, once they're inside, they're going to turn the lights off, and Muffy will throw the switch on an ancient reel-to-reel tape player, which will play scary sounds.

They demonstrate. Then Muffy does something, and loads of scary glowing faced things fall from the ceiling. They scare Francine. Wow!

How did Muffy do that? They switch the lights back on, and Muffy shows her -- she painted some balloons with glowing paint. In the dark, you can't tell they're balloons.

That IS good. The boys are going to be freaked out by this super prank.

Then the lights go off again. Odd. It wasn't Muffy or Francine. Then the lights come back on. That was weird. Muffy figures that there must be something wrong with the wires in the old building -- she'll have her Dad get someone to check that out.

The girls leave the library with the prank all ready to go.

* * *

The party gets underway. There's scary decorations in a large room in "Castle Manor", scary food and drinks, and of course, the guest of honour to read her book.

In the background, there is loud scary music thumping... it's a heavy metal scary version of the song Muffy danced to (and annoyed the neighbours with) when she came to stay with Francine in "Poor Muffy".

Muffy thanks Ms. McWord for coming to the party to read her book. She tells Muffy that she's delighted to come -- she's sure the party is going to be fun.

Ms. McWord: Muffy, I think so too.

(because of the prank!!!)

* * *

Arthur (in his Bionic Bunny costume), Buster, and Brain are starting to get a little antsy. They want to prank Francine and Muffy before the girls strike first.

Arthur spots a ghost child with a pumpkin head thinking it's Binky, but it's not him since the child is not communicating back to Arthur. Arthur mutters that Binky's late, and that they've got to get him upstairs to the library... it should be a good place to scare the girls.

The pumpkin head ghost wants to drink some punch for itself.

Arthur: You can get a drink later -- get going!

The pumpkin head ghost child doesn't say anything as Arthur shoves him towards the stairs. The pumpkin head ghost child heads upstairs to prepare. Arthur goes over to the punchbowl and pours himself a glass. Apprently, there's time for him to get punch. :)

While this is going on, the rest of the partygoers are listening as Ms. McWord/E.A. DePoe starts to read from her latest book, about how a guy called Tony wanted to prove his bravery...

Not everyone is busy listening to the story though...

* * *

Arthur has gone up to the library, to check on the ghost whom he is mistaking for Binky. But the girls are in the library waiting to get Arthur. When Arthur comes into the library, the girls are angry at him. They figure Arthur wrecked their prank!

They demand to know why Arthur "stole their prank"... the balloons and the tape player aren't in the library.

Arthur has no idea what Francine and Muffy are talking about. He didn't know that they were going to do their prank in there. This was where the boys were going to do THEIR prank. Where are Binky and the others though?

Buster and Brain shout from the next room. They couldn't get into the library; the door was locked! They had to set up in the next door playroom instead -- and there's some neat stuff in here -- a load of balloons and a neat tape recorder.

Strange... How did everything get moved like that if it wasn't the boys? And why was the door locked to the library, when it's not now?

Just then, things get even stranger. Binky comes up the stairs to see everyone, carrying a cyclops head. He just arrived. in which He walked into the refrigerator and broke his pumpkin -- so he had to find a replacement costume .

...Arthur is the most surprised at this. If that's Binky, and he only just arrived by now, without a pumpkin, well then who was that pumpkin headed fellow he sent upstairs before?

Everyone turns around. Arthur's thought is answered... there's the pumpkin headed ghost! And it's a real ghost too -- no feet -- it's not touching the ground!

Everyone runs down the stairs screaming with the ghost chasing them.

They rush into Muffy's Dad, dressed up as a king. They start to frantically tell him about their encouter with a "real live ghost upstairs"... but he doesn't believe them. He doesn't think this is the time or place. In fact, Mr. Crosswire doesn't think the kids should be pulling pranks on each other -- they can easily get out of hand and cause real trouble.

* * *

Meanwhile, the pumpkin-headed ghost is receiving the same sort of talking-too as well. It's actually a little ghost girl with a pumpkin head costume. Her ghost dad and mom are talking to her in the attic. He's telling her off for scaring people -- he warned her about what could happen when pranks get out of hand...

The ghost girl explains...

Ghost girl: The boy asked me to help him...

(Which is right... Arthur did tell her to go upstairs)

She was trying to attend the party, but accidentally got involved with Arthur's prank because Arthur was mistaking her for Binky. Her father explains to her that there are better ways to have fun at the party without playing tricks on the party attendants.

* * *

Back downstairs, Arthur's gang and Muffy and Francine are calling a truce. They're all through with pranking... Arthur says he'll never prank again, ever when Muffy tells him she doesn't how much he pranked her. Then they enjoy themselves at the party.

Over by the punch, George is dressed up as Einstein. A girl dressed up as a ghost says that George has a great costume.

George thanks her, and compliments her costume:

Ghost girl: Yours is cool too.

George finishes getting himself some punch and goes off to mingle.

The ghost girl tells her dad that she's having a lot of fun at the party... then she points to the ghost dad's feet, or rather lack of feet -- he's hovering above the floor. He says oops, and hastily hovers downwards to conceal the fact that he, like his daughter, are real ghosts.



This episode couldn't have taken place if it wasn't for Muffy's family being fabulously wealthy and willing to blow loads of money on a party for their darling daughter, apparently just so she can trick Arthur?

Also, a few episodes later in #40601 - "D.W. Tale Spins", Arthur and Buster suspend the "Scare Your Pants Off" books as being baby stuff in comparing to the "Vegemorph" books.

Re: Castle Manor...Edit

Regarding turning "Castle Manor" into a car museum -- well, the front room where the party is held is certainly quite large, but I wouldn't have thought a house on the top of a hill would be the place to convert into a car museum -- wouldn't a warehouse be better? Something with a lot of floorspace and easy access into and out of for cars?