Arthur

Season 11 Episode 4

Phony Fern / Brain's Shocking Secret

1
Aired Daily 4:00 PM Jun 28, 2007 on PBS
9.4
out of 10
User Rating
11 votes
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#110401 "Phony Fern"

Fern is offended by everyone's constant use of cell phones, until she surprisingly becomes addicted to the one her parents got her for "emergency use only." After being shown its cool features by Muffy, they become cell phone pals and are soon chatting constantly. Things even get so bad that Fern is busted for cell phone use in

#110402 "Brain's Shocking Secret"

Until now, only Prunella knew Brain's big secret --- that he was held back in kindergarten. When his classmates find out, he lies about the real reason why, too embarrassed to tell. His fake reason, however, causes Binky to start trying to emulate him, even taking his nickname and leaving as him as "The Esophagus."moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Boring.

    5.0
    The first story about Fern was very boring. It didn't feature many of the main characters, even Arthur had nothing to do with the story. Basically Fern gets a cell phone and becomes addicted to it. Afterwards, she realizes that she should not have. It was a very boring story. The second story is about the Brain not wanting people to find out that he was held back in kindergarten. This story had all the main characters but they didn't appear for long. They did not say much. At the end, they find out and they do not care because Brain is there friend. It was a bad story too but not as bad as the Fern story.moreless
Arthur Holden

Arthur Holden

Mr. Nigel Emil Ratburn

Bruce Dinsmore

Bruce Dinsmore

David Read / Binky Barnes

Cameron Ansell

Cameron Ansell

Arthur

Danny Brochu

Danny Brochu

Buster Baxter

Evan Smirnow

Evan Smirnow

George Nordgren (2003- )

Jodie Resther

Jodie Resther

Francine Alice Frensky

Holly Gauthier-Frankel

Holly Gauthier-Frankel

Fern Walters

Recurring Role

Walter Massey

Walter Massey

Principal Herbert Haney

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (4)

    • In Brain's Shocking Secret, it is revealed that the Brain was held back in kindergarten because he cried alot making him not emotionally ready for the first grade.

    • Francine reads the title card for "Phony Fern." It's the one that shows Fern writing at her desk. Binky reads the title card for "Brain's Shocking Secret." It's the alternate version of the swimming title card with Brain swimming after an alternately-colored version of Pal.

    • In "Phony Fern," Muffy is shocked when she discovers that Fern has not set a ringtone for her phone. Fern tells her to just set it to anything. Fern is delighted when Muffy sets it to what she identifies as the tune from her favorite television show --- Midafternoon Mystery Theater. The actual tune, as identified by closed captioning, is the theme from PBS's Masterpiece Theatre.

    • In "Phony Fern," it is revealed that Muffy has an older brother that is in college.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Mr. Walters: (about Fern's cellphone) Now it's only for emergencies.
      Mrs. Walters: Or if I want to reach you because I'm running late to pick you up from school.
      Mr. Walters: Or if I'm away on a business trip and you just want to say hello.
      Fern: (picking up cellphone and opening it) OW!
      Mrs. Walters: But don't use it too much, OK, honey?
      Fern: Trust me, I won't.
      Mrs. Walters: You don't like it? Did I get the wrong color? They have one with polka dots. I could exchange it.
      Fern: No, Mom, it's perfect. Thank you.
      Mr. Walters: Ferny, don't forget the instruction booklet.

    • Brain: (to Binky) When I go to fourth grade next year, you're coming with me.

    • Brain: When was the last time you changed your clothes?
      Binky: Last week. You said Einstein wore the same suit every day so he could focus on physics, so I did the same thing.
      Brain: I said he wore the identical suit, but he had a closet full of them.
      Binky: Well, then, this is a little improvement on Einstein, isn't it?

    • Binky: Slam! Your king's out of there! Whoo-hoo baby! I win again!
      Brain: Yes. Congratulations. I've never seen the "Leaping Ninja Pawn Head Chop" used so effectively.
      Binky: That's because I just invented it. Pretty geniusy, huh?

    • Muffy: (in opening teaser for "Brain's Shocking Secret") President Alan Powers, a.k.a "The Brain," is not what he seems.

    • Fern: (as Watteau) You see, Bastings, sometimes it is the little gray cells, not the cell phones, which make the connection.

    • Buster: Looks like the Machines have taken control of Fern. Soon, they'll have enslaved the entire planet. Not me, though. I've got my foil ears.

    • Fern: (singing in fantasy sequence) Oh, this feeling's unexpected / But now we're so connected / My little purple friend and me!

    • Fern: (singing in fantasy sequence) Oh, this feeling's unexpected / But now we're so connected / My little purple friend and me!

    • George: You can't have a cell phone. It's supposed to be the 1930s.
      Fern: Ah, but Virgule Watteau, she is always one step ahead.

    • Muffy: What's your ringtone?
      Fern: (bored and disinterested) Beats me.
      Muffy: (shocked) You haven't selected one yet?

    • Fern: (regarding cell phones) You'll never see me with one of those things.

    • Fern: They all have little machines plastered to their ears.
      Buster: You're right. It's like the phones are controlling them, altering their brain waves and turning them into a species of babbling robots.

    • Fern: She was more interested in that phone than me. It was so infuriating. What's so great about cell phones anyway?

    • Brain: So, did you get 3.906 as your answer?
      Binky: (holding up his calculator so Brain can see) No, but I spelled hello upside down!

    • Brain: I was actually held back because well.... I'm a genius!
      Muffy: Brain, geniuses don't flunk!

  • NOTES (1)

    • Peter K. Hirsch is the writer for "Phony Fern" and Gerry Capelle is the storyboard artist. Glen Berger is the writer for "Brain's Shocking Secret" and Stephanie Gignac is the storyboard artist.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • In "Phony Fern," Buster puts foil around his ears to protect himself from what he believes to be an invasion of cell phones. This is a possible allusion to M. Night Shyamalan's movie Signs in which one character humorously creates foil hats in an attempt to try and prevent aliens from entering their minds.

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