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Locked in the Library! (episode)

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the book.
"Locked in the Library!"
Locked in the Library! title card.png
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 6a
Original Airdate: United States October 14, 1996[1]
Written by: Kathy Waugh
Storyboard by: John Flagg
"D.W. the Copycat"
"Arthur Accused!"
Read transcript

"Locked in the Library!" is the first half of the sixth episode in the first season of Arthur. It was later adapted into the book Locked in the Library!.


Arthur and Francine have been fighting, but getting locked in the library convinces them to settle their differences in a hurry.


The episode starts with Arthur walking down the sidewalk, when Francine rides past him on her bike and splashes water from a puddle on him. She quickly apologizes.

To the viewers, Arthur says that it's hard to be angry with Francine, because she, besides Buster, is his best friend. He remembers the day they met when they were in preschool. His mom introduced her when she first moved in.

After getting acquainted, Francine licks her sucker and sticks it to Arthur's head. Despite that, Arthur claims he can always trust her, but before he enters the school, Francine and her two friends (Sue Ellen and Muffy) angrily ask if he told everyone she looked like a marshmallow.

He was too anxious to say that he did or not, but Buster said he did when she was wearing a weird sweater and made it even worse. Livid, Francine threatens Arthur to apologize to her or else.

--Locked in the Library!--

During class, Arthur blames Buster for the conflict between himself and Francine, this makes Buster angry, and yet he denies this. Suddenly, a paper plane flies around and hits Arthur on the nose. He opens it and reads that it's a rather grim warning from Francine.

Buster and Arthur see that the girls are all giving them a mean look. Mr. Ratburn grabs everyone's attention and asks everyone that if heroism is something from birth, or something that's developed. He has everyone to write an oral report about the hero or heroine of their choice and has them working in pairs he'll assign.

He has Binky paired with Sue Ellen, Muffy with Buster, and Arthur with Francine. They are all shocked at these choices, whereas Arthur is worried due to Francine's rage.

When Arthur returns home, he sees D.W. talking on the phone with Francine. They apparently are talking about what Arthur did. Before Arthur can talk to Francine, D.W. hangs up and tells him that Francine will meet him at the library at three o'clock, but also to not talk to her, for she doesn't want to speak to him before bitterly calling him a worm for insulting Francine.

Saturday at the library, Arthur meets up with a waiting Francine. Miss Turner asks what kind of hero they are looking for their report. Arthur suggests a man, but Francine disagrees and insists a woman.

Miss Turner suggests for Arthur to read about Joan of Arc which is downstairs, and for Francine to check out Harriet Tubman which is upstairs. She also reminds them that the library is closed at five o'clock.

Arthur and Francine read in separate areas, but they don't see the library closing for Arthur falls asleep, while Francine is listening to music while reading. When Arthur wakes up, he goes to check out the book, but Miss Turner isn't there.

He also sees that it's nighttime now. He rushes to the door and attempts to open it, but it's locked. Because it's dark, he imagines the trees moving in a frightful manner and that the grandfather clock comes alive and acts like a growling monster.

He quickly convinces himself that it's only a library. His imagination stops and everything is back to normal. A sudden thumping noise is heard and Arthur goes to see what it is. While looking, he bumps into Francine, scaring them both. Francine criticizes Arthur for not telling her what time it was, likewise Arthur.

They then walk their separate ways to find a way to escape. They both first try using the books to reach the window handles. Arthur makes a tower, while Francine makes a staircase. After Arthur finishes, he climbs up to the top, but before he makes it, Francine pulls one of the books from his tower to add to her staircase, thus having the tower collapse.

Finished with her staircase, Francine runs to the top and unlocks the window. But before opening it, a fly flies around her head and Francine falls down while attempting to swat it. While she is down, Arthur runs up the staircase and tries to open the window, but with no success.

Francine gives it a try with all her might, but instead, the handles break off the window, having them both fall down and the staircase collapse. Arthur then remembers that it's a Saturday, which means that the library is closed until Monday, having them worry in despair about hunger and their families.

But Arthur doesn't think D.W. will miss him and that she'll take his room. Francine gets an idea, she runs to the book locations and discovers a book about escaping from a library. Francine stands on Arthur's shoulders to reach to the top shelf to find it, but the book is gone. Francine comments that no one should need a book like that unless they're actually in a library. Arthur begins to lose strength and falls.

They both then hear ringing in their ears, but it turns out it's the telephone. They race for it, but Francine gets it first and answers it. It's Muffy, calling the library to deliver some books for her. Francine tries to talk to her, but once Muffy knows it's Francine, she thinks she got the wrong number, hangs up and Francine didn't try to say anything else to explain that they're actually locked in the library before she hung up.

Arthur then panics in despair, but Francine calms him down and tries to call her mom. After dialing, she is disappointed knowing that she has to enter the right user code to dial out. Arthur then worries again, yet Francine calls him a wimp. in reaction, Arthur, in his fury, calls her a bossy know-it-all and, again, a marshmallow. In her fury, she leaves Arthur all alone, and vice versa.

While reading a gourmet magazine, Arthur imagines a set of books as a gourmet meal. To satisfy his hunger, he takes a page off the magazine and chews it up. He then begins to worry about Francine and explores the library to find her.

He suddenly hears a scream and he runs to rescue her. He runs down the halls, checks closets and ends up opening the staff room, falls over, and lands on his face in pizza. It turns out that the screaming was from a horror show that Francine was watching.

Arthur then scolds Francine for having him worried. Francine argues back with him, but then soon realizes that Arthur was worried. She then stops her anger against him and offers a slice of pizza. Arthur willingly accepts.

Later that night, the two children are enjoying themselves with all the snacks and wonder where they are. All of a sudden, D.W., along with Miss Turner, Arthur's parents, and Francine's parents, enter the room and are heavily relieved to see that they are alright. D.W. doesn't seem to care much though.

On Monday, Arthur and Francine tell their friends about them being in the library and even make up scary parts. Class begins, but then Francine and Arthur remember that they have no report. Muffy and Buster's report was about the Crosswire's benefits to Elwood City, yet Muffy did all the talking, while Buster was barely involved with that.

Francine and Arthur's turn come up next and they both explain that they couldn't do a real report, for they were learning the true virtues of heroism. They further explain how Arthur came to rescue Francine when he thought she was in trouble and how Francine was brave to find the food.

Mr. Ratburn congratulates them for their presentation. As a reward, he gives them until next week to finish their report. Walking home, Buster and Arthur admit that Francine isn't so bad and that she's very fun.

Francine zooms by on her bike and splashes mud on them both by accident. Like before, she quickly apologizes. Arthur, dripping with mud, then adds that Francine is fun most of the time.



  • On Arthur's page on, Arthur listed being trapped in the library as his favorite adventure.
  • At the end of the 2000 rerun intro on PBS Kids before this episode, Arthur’s crashing sound changes to pots and pans.
  • Even though Francine and Arthur should be reading books based on their report, Arthur is seen reading a Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club book while Francine reads Scared Silly.
  • The exterior scene of the library where a man is walking his dog is recycled in later episodes.
  • When Francine tries to open the windows, she presses her foot against it, thus preventing the windows from opening.
  • This is the first episode to not have anyone's name in the title.
  • When Sue Ellen reacts to being paired with Binky, she gasps using one of D.W.'s stock gasps, recorded by Michael Caloz.
  • In the home video release and versions of the title card for this episode, Binky does not read the title card. On Netflix's version, he does.
  • Irony:
    • Francine was upset that Arthur called her a marshmallow but was fine with her making fun of him.
    • Arthur and Francine could have called or texted their family members from the telephones or they could log into the computers to text them on the library.
  • Karma:
    • Francine made fun of Arthur in "Arthur's Eyes", so she get called a marshmallow.
    • Francine took a book off Arthur's staircase which caused him to fall, so when she was chasing a fly, she fell too.
    • Arthur called Francine a marshmellow, so he got in trouble with Francine.
  • Timeline:
    • According to the preschool flashback, Francine was introduced to Arthur when they were four years old; but according to the later episode, "Desperately Seeking Stanley," Francine had attended Arthur's third birthday party.
    • Arthur also mentions about when his loose tooth wouldn't come out from "Arthur's Tooth." Strangely, "Arthur's Tooth" aired after this episode.
    • Sue Ellen gasps over being teamed with Binky. In "Bully for Binky," Sue Ellen is deemed an "anti-Binky weapon" and is the only one who intimidates him.
    • Arthur telling Francine about when she called him "four-eyes" means this episode takes place after "Arthur's Eyes."
  • Running Gag: Arthur and Francine arguing.
  • Moral: Get to know someone before judging them.

Differences from the book[edit]

  • The scene where Arthur recalls meeting Francine is removed in the book.
  • In the book, Francine says "Arthur! Arthur Read!" In the episode, she just says "Arthur Read!"
  • In the book, Arthur asks "I did?" In the episode, he stammers until Buster interrupts.
  • In the book, the sweater is described as "puff[ing] up everywhere" and "ha[ving] padded shoulders and wool that fluffed out like frosting."
  • In the book, Francine tells Arthur to "say you're sorry" instead of "apologize."
  • In the book, after Francine threatens Arthur, Buster defends him. Francine, Muffy, and Sue Ellen ignore him and Buster says "I guess we told them" and that Arthur "doesn't have to thank" him, as Arthur sighs.
  • In the book, in class, Arthur gets upset at Buster for "talk[ing] so tough." Buster argues he was standing up for Arthur, and Arthur says he can do that himself.
  • In the book, Mr. Ratburn is less sarcastic while telling Buster to sit down.
  • In the book, Mr. Ratburn says "Are people born brave and generous, or do they become this way later on?" instead of "Are you born with these characteristics, or are they something you develop?"
  • In the book, the class wonders if Mr. Ratburn is asking a rhetorical question or talking to himself.
  • In the book, Arthur and Buster talk about heroes as they go home from school, such as Robin Hood, Hercules, and Bionic Bunny. Arthur says he likes heroes because he could never do most of what they do, and asks Buster if heroes ever "call their friends a marshmallow." Buster says that if they do, they do not worry about it later.
  • In the book, D.W. tells Francine that Arthur looks like "a soggy dumpling" in his pajamas.
  • In the book, Arthur is surprised that Francine was offended by her insult. D.W. argues that marshmallows are good to eat instead of look like. Arthur asks how he and Francine are supposed to work if she does not speak to him, and D.W. responds, "You should have thought of that before you started calling people names."
  • In the book, Arthur plays with Pal and is nearly late to meeting Francine at the library.
  • In the book, Arthur and Francine argue while at the library desk. Francine looks at the biographies and Arthur goes to the medieval French history section. Arthur imagines himself and Buster in the book while he reads it, and Francine listens to music on a Walkman.
  • In the book, Francine accidentally knocks over a stack of books before she finds Arthur, scaring him.
  • In the book, Francine does not mention her ears ringing after falling.
  • In the book, Arthur and Francine say "PHONE!" In the episode, they say "THE TELEPHONE!"
  • In the book, Muffy does not talk on the phone for very long and mentions that she "hear[s] the bell for dinner" before hanging up.
  • In the book, after Francine dials the phone, she shouts "User codes! Passwords! What's the world coming to, anyways?"
  • In the book, Arthur spits out the page of the book in disgust. After he hears a noise, he is startled, but then wonders if the picture of mashed potatoes and gravy tastes better.
  • In the book, Arthur and Francine talk about the horror movie.
  • In the book, Arthur and Francine's conversation in the staff room is different.
  • In the book, Binky says that he thinks characters in books come out after the library is closed.
  • In the book, while talking in front of the class, Arthur says that he picked Joan of Arc. In the book, he says that he "didn't get to do a real report."
  • In the book, Mr. Ratburn gives Arthur and Francine until tomorrow for their report. In the episode, he gives them until next weekend.
  • In the book, Arthur says that Francine is a good friend, "but nobody's perfect." In the episode, he says "most of the time."


  • Prunella is seen in Mr. Ratburn's third grade class, although she should be in the fourth grade class.
  • The writings that Mr. Ratburn makes on the blackboard change and disappear in different scenes.
  • When Arthur is about to unlock the window before Francine grabs a book from his stack, the window lock and handles switched from their original positions; but after Francine unlocks the window, they return to their original positions.
  • In the preschool flashback, after Francine licks one side of the lollipop, she puts the opposite side on Arthur's head.
  • When Francine is stacking books up to reach the window, one of the books she puts down flips the opposite direction for a frame when she puts it down.
  • The library's telephone is shown to only have 9 buttons; yet a telephone is supposed to have 12 buttons where the bottom row's three buttons are the * (asterisk), 0 (operator) and # (pound).


  • Ms. Turner suggests to Arthur and Francine about writing about Joan of Arc and Harriet Tubman respectively.
  • D.W. being upset that Arthur called Francine a marshmallow is simliar to Lori raging at Lincoln for hurting Ronnie Anne's feelings in Save The Date
    • The Main Characters (Arthur/Lincoln) have to do a project with their bullies (Francine/Ronnie Anne) in this episode and Shell Shock respectively.

Home video[edit]