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Arthur's Mystery Envelope (episode)

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the book.
"Arthur's Mystery Envelope"

Arthur's Mysetery Envelope

Arthur's Mystery Envelope Title Card

Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 10B
Original Airdate: Flag of the United States October 31, 1997[1]
Credits
Written by: Sheilarae Carpentier Lau
Storyboard by: Gary Scott
Nelson Dewey
Episodes
Previous
"D.W. Goes to Washington"
Next
"D.W.'s Deer Friend"
"Arthur's Mystery Envelope" is the second half of the tenth episode in the second season of Arthur. It was later adapted into the book Arthur's Mystery Envelope.

Summary

When Mr. Haney gives Arthur a sealed envelope to take home to his mother, Arthur fears disaster. But what if his mom never actually gets the envelope?

Plot

Mr. Haney gives an envelope to Arthur to give to his mom. The episode begins with Arthur's friends wondering what's in the envelope, since Mr. Haney said nothing about what was in it. The kids all assume it is something bad, and Francine suggests that Arthur must be in trouble, though Buster says this may not be the case. Then Francine and Buster have a tug-of-war with the envelope until Binky grabs it and says, "I bet you failed Ratburn's big history tests." Then Francine assumes that Arthur will have to go to summer school. Then we see Arthur in his desk with stacks of textbooks with Mr. Ratburn enjoying an ice cream as he watches a tornado outside his window. In his fantasy, Francine has Pal and all the kids are hanging out doing their normal summer activities while Buster swims up and says that those who don't pass their history tests are doomed to repeat it. The fantasy ends with Arthur's school crashing into the ground below.

Arthur is worried about the contents of the envelope thinking that it's about him, so he tries to come up with a way to give it to her without her opening it. Francine suggests running it through the wash and letting her find it there, while Brain suggests dropping it into a storm sewer, where the many water passageways of the world would send it all the way to China. Arthur disagrees with all of these bizarre ideas and decides to handle it himself. At home, he is feeding Pal, but is so wrapped up over the envelope that he repeatedly fails to give Pal any food or water, much to Pal's annoyance. Arthur then leaves the envelope out in the open on the kitchen table, just in time for D.W. to barge in asking what it is. Arthur pretends it's nothing and tells her to leave, causing D.W. to get in his face until he admits that it's just an envelope the principal wanted him to give Mom. D.W. immediately declares that Arthur's in trouble and tells their Mom who comes home from work, but she is too distracted to acknowledge the envelope. She finally feeds Pal and while D.W. continues to egg on Arthur, Jane sifts through the mail while talking on the phone, absentmindedly throwing most of the mail into the garbage along with the envelope. Arthur is relieved that he is in the clear.

At dinner, Arthur is still distracted and D.W. continues to annoy him over it. That night while watching T.V. with Dad, Arthur decides to go to bed early and tries hard to sleep, even though he still feels guilty about not giving the envelope to Mom. That night, he has a nightmare that the envelope is violently shaking in the garbage, so Arthur pulls it out and discovers it has grown even larger, and tries stuffing it under the sink to no avail. It continues to grow and Arthur tries hiding it in the shower, where it continues to grow rapidly. Arthur panics and urges his Mom, who woke up to check on him to get out of the house, just before the envelope rips through it and towers into the night sky. It then opens up to reveal D.W., who yells "Didn't you tell Mom yet?!" Arthur wakes up to find D.W. at the foot of his bed asking the same question, eager to see if he gets in trouble or not.

Desperate to relieve his anxiety, Arthur decides to just give his Mom the envelope. He finds her in the den going through tax documents and explains to her that he didn't give her the envelope because he was afraid he was in trouble and that she'd be mad. Jane, however, is not the least bit mad and finally takes a look at the envelope, which she is happy to finally receive because she had been unable to reach Mr. Haney the entire day. It is revealed that the envelope was full of Mr. Haney's tax documents, and had nothing to do with Arthur at all. Mom asks Arthur if he really thought the whole thing was about him, and he laughs it off saying he didn't, relieved that the air is finally clear. Mom explains that she needs to know if Arthur's every got anything bothering him so that she and Dad can help him whenever he needs them. Happy that everything is okay, Arthur goes back to bed, only to have D.W. pester him and ask what sort of "punishment" he faced, which he just brushes off as he heads upstairs.

Characters

Major Characters

  • Arthur
  • DW
  • Jane

Minor Characters

  • Binky
  • Rattles
  • Muffy
  • Brain
  • Francine
  • Sue Ellen
  • Buster
  • Mr. Haney
  • Mr. Ratburn

Background Characters

  • Alex
  • George

Trivia

  • The song the two kittens are humming to is Row, Row, Row Your Boat.
  • In Arthur's first fantasy scene, Buster is seen again with his bathing cap first seen in D.W. All Wet.
  • This is the first episode written by Sheilarae Carpentier Lau
  • This is also the first episode when Gary Scott and Nelson Dewey are storyboard writers

Cultural references

  • The scene where Arthur visions himself in summer school and sees his friends outside fly by during a tornado is a reference to "The Wizard of Oz".

Errors

  • When Jane Read picks up the letters from the kitchen table, her sleeves turn yellow during the closeup.

Home Video

DVD:

VHS:

References


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