"Sue Ellen Moves In"

Sue Ellen Moves In

Sue Ellen Moves in Title Card

Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 21A
Original Airdate: Flag of the United States November 4, 1996[1]
Flag of Canada February 3, 1997[2]
Flag of Germany January 10, 2002[3]
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
"The Half-Baked Sale"
"The Perfect Brother"
Read transcript
"Sue Ellen Moves In" is the first half of the twenty-first episode in the first season of Arthur.


Rumors are circulating about a new family that has moved in & Buster thinks that they may be art thieves, spies or aliens, even after he meets Sue Ellen. When Buster's mom invites Sue Ellen & her family over for dinner, he finds out that Sue Ellen's not an alien, but just a kid who has lived in various places around the world.


Arthur tells of the times in which he and his friends have made friends with other people, recalling how Muffy and Prunella used to hate each other when they first met, but were eventually able to settle their differences and become best friends. Arthur then recalls how Binky used to pick on the Brain, but they have since learned to tolerate each other. He then starts to reminisce about when Sue Ellen first came to town.

After the title card, Arthur, Francine, and Buster are sledding in the snow, until Buster spots a moving van at a nearby empty house. When they see a bike, they realize that the new family has a kid.

After the movers leave, Francine goes home for lunch while Buster and Arthur take a close look. The house is pitch black until the lights turn on by themselves. They become terrified and run away, and Buster immediately suspects that this new family is not normal.

The two boys decide to investigate further, and create a homemade periscope to spy on the house. There, Arthur spots a girl unraveling new furniture and props. Buster looks for himself and is horrified by what he sees, as none of the furniture looks familiar to him.

He suspects that the new family must be aliens. At the Sugar Bowl, the gang discusses the strange occurrences at the house. Francine suggests the lights were on a timer, but Buster is convinced that they are aliens. Prunella tells them that she heard a rumor that the family's been all over the world, and suggests they were cat burglars who robbed the Louvre in Paris, France. Once they did that, they then fled to Elwood City to stay undercover.

Arthur rejects this, instead suggesting she's a superspy who's on the run for stealing valuable secrets from other nations. Buster says that's ridiculous, and says that they are aliens disguised as humans to prepare for an invasion.

Soon, rumors are flying about the new kid, with everyone making up a different story about her. At one point, the a majority of kids are on the phone, but they don't understand each other due to the overlapping messages. Binky gets off and accidentally calls Mr. Ratburn, but quickly hangs up.

One day, Arthur and Buster are playing in the snow when they finally meet the new girl, Sue Ellen Armstrong. Sue Ellen is astounded by the snow, remarking that she's never seen it before, much to the boys' astonishment.

Later, at night, Buster, Francine, and Arthur come across Sue Ellen's house, and hear strange music, which Buster thinks is outer space music. They panic and run, with Buster rushing home. His mom tells him that the new family is coming for dinner, much to his horror.

He locks himself in his room, thinking that the new family is on to his suspicion that they are "aliens". Arthur shows up later to reveal that Buster's mom interviewed the family for the newspaper. As it turns out, Sue Ellen's family has lived all around the world, which explains their strange lifestyle.

Buster is still nervous, however, so he invites Arthur to dinner so he can eat normally with Sue Ellen. The night goes well and Arthur suggests that Sue Ellen introduce some of her unique stuff to her new class, as they might find it interesting.

Sue Ellen becomes a student in Arthur's class and tells them about her life around the world. Her father is a diplomat so they moved a lot. He last worked in Costa Rica, which had no snow. Buster is still suspicious, though.

Sue Ellen then invites Buster and his mom over for hot dogs, and Buster, unable to control himself, eagerly accepts. He finally accepts Sue Ellen as a friend, remarking that Sue Ellen and her family must be "friendly aliens".







  • This episode tells of how Sue Ellen came to Elwood City. However, she was seen as a background character in previous episodes and was even seen in Arthur's Second Grade class, long before the time frame of this episode and Mr. Ratburn was their teacher, but Mr. Marco was supposed to be. However, when she was introduced in the book Arthur's Valentine, she was in the second grade with Arthur and his friends. This seems to be a continuity error.
  • In Buster's fantasy of Alien Sue Ellen, the two other disguised aliens take the form of a D.W. and 3rd Grade Male Rat.
  • Buster calls Sue Ellen and her family aliens in later episodes, but very infrequently and with less hostility.
  • We get a visual, but brief glimpse of the inside of the houses of Billy, Kiefer, Maria, Rattles, Luke, and Patrick.

Cultural References

  • The Armstrongs apparently lived all over the world.
  • Sue Ellen mentions Costa Rica and Nigeria, sharing their national coins, Kobo with the rest of the class.


  • When Arthur says they should go see who's moving in, there is a kid in the background who looked like Arthur, but it wasn't moving.
  • For some reason, the doors of the moving van are still open when the truck pulls away.

Home Video

DVD: The Boy With His Head In The Clouds


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