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So Funny I Forgot to Laugh

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"So Funny I Forgot to Laugh"
Season 16, Episode 10a

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So funny i forgot to laugh Title Card

Production code: 1610a
Original Airdate: Flag of the United States May 10, 2013[1]
Flag of Canada May 10, 2013
Flag of Australia December 21, 2012[2]
Credits
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Allan Jeffery
Episodes
Previous
"Sue Ellen Vegges Out"
Next
"The Best Day Ever"
Read transcript
"So Funny I Forgot to Laugh" is the first half of the tenth episode in the sixteenth season of Arthur.

Summary

Arthur thinks his jokes about Sue Ellen's new sweater are all in good fun but Sue Ellen's feelings are hurt. Has Arthur become…a bully?[3]

Plot

Sue Ellen writes in her diary about the yak wool sweater that her Tibetian pen pal Tenzin recently sent her. However, she looks at the sweater differently now. Instead of pride, she looks at it as a means for how mean people can be (foreshadowing what's to come).

After the title card, Sue Ellen first unveils her new sweater on a cold day at school. For some reason, Arthur can't help joking about the sweater, saying that it makes Sue Ellen look like a giant sheepdog. Although it's simply mild teasing at first, Arthur can't seem to let it go -- he continues needling Sue Ellen, over and over, with one 'sheepdog' line after another, even after Buster, Francine, Muffy and the others have all since stopped laughing. Arthur even draws a picture of Sue Ellen's head on a sheepdog's body (with the words "Happy Sheepdog Appreciation Day") and tapes it to her locker.

Later, as class is dismissed for the day, Arthur is surprised when Mr. Ratburn makes him stay behind. Mr. Ratburn tells Arthur that he is actually being a bully, because he is continually teasing Sue Ellen even after she told him to stop. Arthur is then forced to write Sue Ellen an apology letter, and he is not at all happy about the situation. The letter turns out to be extremely backhanded and makes Sue Ellen look like she's the one to blame because Arthur said that he's sorry she overreacted. Francine, Muffy, and Buster all agree to stop talking to Arthur until he gives Sue Ellen a real apology.

At lunch, Arthur is wondering why his friends aren't talking to him. Then Buster accidently spoke to him, but then stayed quiet again and wrote on a piece of paper about Arthur's letter to Sue Ellen. Arthur doesn't understand it, thinking he did a good letter. Muffy and Francine decide to go sit at another table because they think he's a bully and leave. Arthur still doesn't get it until Buster finally said that his letter to Sue Ellen was terrible because Arthur sound like he wasn't sorry at all, and also left the table which shocks Arthur. 

Meanwhile, Arthur tries apologizing to Sue Ellen again, but he can't keep himself from thinking that she overreacted. Buster fails to keep from speaking to Arthur, but he does his best to ignore him.

That night, Arthur photoshops a picture of a sheepdog's head onto Sue Ellen's body, and then e-mails it to her. However, he does appear to feel a little pang of remorse.

When Sue Ellen sees the picture on her computer, she cries and we go back to where the episode started, with her writing in the diary. She also has to talk to her mother about something...

The next day, Sue Ellen donates her yak sweater to the school's clothing drive, and Arthur tries apologizing to her once more, but she knows that he still doesn't mean it and walks away.

Later, at lunch, Francine and Muffy angrily confront Arthur, telling him that Sue Ellen wants to switch classes, for VERY obvious reasons.

Unable to catch Sue Ellen before she heads home, Arthur takes her sweater from the clothing bin and starts reminiscing about all of his repeated teasing. Arthur finally realizes that he has indeed been a bully, that he has indeed hurt Sue Ellen's feelings, and that it's just not funny anymore.

The next morning, at the school entrance, Arthur is anxiously waiting for Sue Ellen.  He finally makes a heartfelt, sincere apology, admitting that he has been a bully and she didn't overreact. He begs her not to switch classes because, among other things, he doesn't want to lose one of his best friends. Arthur then reveals that he is now wearing Sue Ellen's yak sweater and he vows to do so for the rest of the year, and never bully her again if she'll only forgive him. Sue Ellen accepts but she said Arthur doesn't have to wear it and she will take it back. The two resume their friendship. But...Sue Ellen does get in a little bit of retribution by jokingly stating that her sweater now makes Arthur look like a mouse. "Squeak, squeak...!"

Characters

Major characters

Minor characters

Background characters

Mentioned characters

Trivia

  • This episode is significant because for the first time, it showcases Arthur as the antagonist.

Episode connections

  • Arthur mentions when he was teased for wearing glasses in "Arthur's Eyes".
  • Tenzin's last appearance, "Sue Ellen's Little Sister", was also a season finale.
  • The Tough Customers were living up to their new moniker ("Tough Consumers") from "The Last Tough Customer" at lunch, eating all their food savagely and Binky asking Arthur if he wanted his beans.
  • When Sue Ellen jokingly teases Arthur about looking like a mouse, it could be a reference to the character Andy from the TV show "Andy and Company", a parody of the Arthur show itself. Andy was seen in "The Contest" and "Baby Steps".

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