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Sue Ellen Moves In

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"Sue Ellen Moves In"
Phone Calls.JPG
Sue Ellen Moves in Title Card.png
Season/Series: 1
Number in season: 21A
Original Airdate: United States November 4, 1996[1]
Canada February 3, 1997[2]
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.


While they are sled racing, Arthur, Buster and Francine spot a moving truck outside of a large house. The boys sneak around outside of the house to see if anyone's inside. They run off when they see a light turn on seemingly by itself. Buster assumes that the new family is a group of invisible people.

To prove Buster wrong, Arthur creates a mini-telescope and he and Buster go back to the house. This time, they see a father and daughter hanging their foreign items up. Buster now assumes that they are aliens intent on invading Earth.

It isn't long before the other kids have their own theories about the new family, especially the little girl. Prunella assumes that they were robbers in France, and Arthur assumes that the girl is actually a spy.

A day later, the girl introduces herself to Arthur and Buster as Sue Ellen. Buster later finds out from his mom that she has invited Sue Ellen and her parents over for dinner. Buster then imagines himself being sent into space by Sue Ellen and her parents.

Arthur later shows up at Buster's home, reading a newspaper that explains that Sue Ellen's family had previously traveled all over the world, which is why they have foreign collectibles in their home. Buster still believes that Sue Ellen is an alien, but he is eventually proven wrong: Sue Ellen reveals at school the next day that her father worked around the world, which is why they moved around from place to place. Buster still believes that the new family are aliens, albeit friendly ones.







  • 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.
  • Sue Ellen's laughing sound clip is reused for Stop from the Big Garage, although she is voiced by Patricia Rodriguez.
  • In Buster's fantasy of Alien Sue Ellen, the two other disguised aliens take the form of D.W. and 3rd Grade Male Rat.
  • In German, this episode is called "Die Neue", which means "The New One".
  • Buster calls Sue Ellen and her family aliens in later episodes, but very infrequently and with less hostility.
  • It is revealed that The Armstrongs apparently lived all over the world.
  • We get a visual, but brief glimpse of the inside of the houses of Billy, Kiefer, Maria, Rattles, Luke, and Patrick.
  • At the end of the 2000 rerun intro on PBS Kids before this episode, Arthur’s crashing sound changes to the Season 5 version
  • 4th wall break: "Fallon & Son" on the moving van refers to scriptwriter Joe Fallon.
  • Moral: Don't Judge a book by its cover.
  • Timeline:
    • The scene of Arthur sledding with Buster is shown as a flashback in "Arthur's New Year's Eve."
    • Buster's alien flashback with D.W., Sue Ellen, and 3rd Grade Male Rat as aliens appears again in Kids are from Earth, Parents are from Pluto.
    • Muffy and Prunella mention they hate each other, similar to Prunella telling Muffy she hates her in Misfortune Teller.

Episode connections[edit]


  • 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.
  • In the first shot of the first scene after the title card, we hear Muffy's voice cheer "Yippee!" and see her fly down the hill on a green sled. Following her are Arthur, Francine and Buster. Buster wipes out as Francine and Arthur reach the bottom and Francine asks who won the race. Buster is too distracted by the Armstrong moving van. But Muffy (who would have won the race) is nowhere to be seen or heard for the rest of the scene. 

Cultural References[edit]

  • Sue Ellen mentions Costa Rica and Nigeria, sharing their national coins, Kobo with the rest of the class.

Home Video[edit]