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Strangers on a Train

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"Strangers on a Train"

Strangers on a Train main image.png

Strangers on a Train - title card.jpg

Season/Series: 11
Number in season: 5b
Original Airdate: United States June 29, 2007[1]
United Kingdom December 14, 2007[2]
Written by: Gentry Menzel
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
"Baby Kate and the Imaginary Mystery"
"The Making of Arthur"
Read transcript

"Strangers on a Train" is the second half of the fifth episode in the eleventh season of Arthur.


Sue Ellen takes a train trip and finds a mysterious diary on board.


Sue Ellen and her mother walk into Elwood City Station. Sue Ellen is excited about traveling on the Crown City Star, thinking about how it will be like in the old movies. After her daydream, Sue Ellen and her mom walk outside, where Sue Ellen sees the train and gasps in surprise.

Strangers on a Train

Sue Ellen and her mom board the train only to find that it is run down on the inside. The conductor comes by and tells Sue Ellen that they still have an available snack car. An old lady bumps into Sue Ellen and apologizes.

Soon, Sue Ellen and her mom find their seats in a berth, then her mom goes off to explore. Sue Ellen lets out a sigh as it begins to rain outside, when the same old lady comes back and chats with Sue Ellen for a little bit. Sue Ellen remembers the snack car and decides to check it out. After leaving her seat, she notices a lost diary, so she picks it up, looks inside and reads that it says "Property of Betsy Johnson, Age 8." Sue Ellen is excited to think there is another girl on the Crown City Star, so she tries to look for Betsy to return the diary. She eventually makes it to the snack car and looks inside, then reads that Betsy Johnson has gone on many travels, such as St. Louis, Lake Louise in Canada and Los Angeles. But before Sue Ellen leaves, she notices taffy on the table, arranges to spell out ENJOY and wonders who put it there. She returns to her berth and finds a note from her mom...then finds another note about the taffy left on the table. The writing looks familiar so she compares it with the diary and realizes that they are the same.

Sue Ellen goes everywhere to find Betsy, to no avail. As she walks on, the train goes around a bend and she stumbles into a dark room. The conductor finds her there and Sue Ellen stutters, trying to explain that she is looking for another girl on the train her age. The conductor replied there isn't...unless she means The Ghost of the Crown City Star. Sue Ellen shivers as the conductor tells the story of a girl who lost her ticket during the train ride: because she had no money, she wasn't allowed to get off the train, so she went around, wandering the aisles all these years, searching for someone else to take her place. Sue Ellen is surprised by this tale.

Soon the train comes out of the tunnel and the conductor opens the window. When Sue Ellen heads for her seat, a loose slip of paper falls out of the book, written in 1935, stating "Once again I am on the Crown City Star. It's been very long and I hope to meet someone fun this trip." Sue Ellen remembers everything and runs, terrified, back to her mom, who is talking with the old lady and introduces her to Sue Ellen as Betsy.

Sue Ellen begins to scream but her mother calms her down and asks if she knows who owned it. Sue Ellen replies that the owner's name is Betsy. Mrs. Armstrong was surprised because she was talking with Betsy and how she has traveled on the Crown City Star many times. Betsy offers taffy; in fear, Sue Ellen shrieks. Betsy explains how she left the taffy on the table and wrote the note, saying it was to lighten things up. Then, Betsy thanks Sue Ellen for returning her lost diary. Mrs. Armstrong explains to Sue Ellen that Betsy's diaries are going to be published. After Sue Ellen learns about a little about Betsy's travels, they exchange stories, having learned more about each other.



Cultural references[edit]

  • The title of this episode may be based on the movie Strangers on a Train, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in 1951 from Warner Brothers.
  • When Sue Ellen is imagining how great the train must be, it's an obvious reference the The Thin Man film series.


  • The Xfinity description broke Sue Ellen's name by just calling her Ellen.[citation needed]

Home Video[edit]