(We open on the episode in a scary-looking forest, with bats flying around the area. We pan over to a scary-looking tree, with an opening in its base, where two large bear claws emerge and grab either side of the opening. Out pops Arthur, who is the one wearing them.)
Arthur: Gotcha, didn't I? I love practical jokes. You never know when one's going to sneak up on you.
Arthur Clone: (from behind the tree) Or who might be behind it.
(The real Arthur pulls off the Arthur Clone's head revealing Buster from underneath. Buster pulls off Arthur's head revealing Francine. Francine grabs Buster by the ears and pulls his head off revealing Binky, who lifts his hands over his head. Francine is appalled by Binky's appearance as Binky grabs Francine's head and pulls it off her body completely, making her headless. Binky screams and runs off. Arthur's body struggles a bit as Arthur's own head pops back up.)
Arthur: See what I mean?
THE FRIGHT STUFF
Written by: Bruce Akiyama ---- Storyboard by: Jeremy O'Neill
Buster Baxter: (V.O.) The Fright Stuff.
(We now return to the story in the school cafeteria. Brain sits down next to Sue Ellen with his lunch and opens up his bag and jar with jelly worms, but Brain doesn't know that.)
Brain: Mmm-hmm. Spaghetti.
(Brain is about to take a bite when he notices the worms. Brain screams as he sends the worms and his fork flying.)
Brain: Worms! (sticks his tongue out in disgust) Yuck!
Sue Ellen: (giggling as she takes several of the worms and bites one of them) They aren't real, Brain. They're jelly worms.
(Brain notices an envelope on his lid. He picks it up and looks at it suspiciously. Transition to the school hallway where Arthur and Buster just leaving their lockers, when Arthur stops.)
Arthur: Oops. I forgot my science book.
(Arthur goes back to his locker and opens it and notices something.)
Arthur: That's funny something's stuck to it. (a fake spider, with an envelope suddenly flies out of his locker and Arthur falls on his back with the spider landing on his stomach.) AGH! GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF!
Buster: (as he picks up the fake spider) Why? It's just a toy.
Arthur: (noticing the envelope) What's this?
(Transition to the football field, where Binky kicks a football right off its tee and through the field goal. He goes over to put on his football helmet, but something inside is preventing him.)
(Binky looks what's inside the helmet and sees a skull. Binky lets a small yell of fright as he drops it to the ground. He lifts a foot in the air.)
Binky: Who are you?
(The skull deposits an envelope from its mouth and Binky picks it up and gets a feeling that somebody had tried to prank him. Transition to the Elwood City Library, where Arthur, Buster, Brain, and Binky have told Francine about the pranks they've encounter next to the entrance. The boys are still holding the envelopes they've received.)
Francine: Someone's scaring you guys with a few practical jokes. So what?
Binky: (retorts) So what?! (gets frightened) So, it's working. That's what.
Arthur: And the mystery joker left these notes telling us to meet him here.
Francine: What makes you think it's a him? Maybe it's an it.
(From behind Francine, a tentacle suddenly appears from around the corner. Francine doesn't notice, but the boys do, who start to get terrified.)
Buster: (points out the tentacle) F-F-F-Francine!
Francine: Buster, calm down. You're acting like you just saw... (the tentacle grabs Francine from around the neck and pulls her around the corner) MONSTER!!!
(The boys gasp in horror.)
Francine: (coming out from around the corner, laughing) Wow! You guys should have seen the looks on your faces.
(The boys are not amused by this.)
Arthur: What's this all about?
(It's revealed that Muffy was wearing the tentacle on her arm as she appears from around the corner)
Muffy: It's about my party, sillies.
Brain: What party?
Muffy: (pulls out a book with a creature wearing a jack-o-lantern over its head) The scary costume party I'm having in honor for the new Scare-Your-Pants-Off Book.
Arthur: (looking at the cover) "House of the Jack-O-Lantern"? Cool!
Francine: And the author, E.A. DaPoe, is gonna read it to us.
Muffy: After all, she was Daddy's favorite teacher, Ms. McWord. And he likes her books as much as we do. (Muffy points her to tentacle at the boys who cower a bit at it as she speaks to them.) And after what you did to me on April Fools' Day, you guys are going to be my extra special guests.
(Transition to a flashback where Muffy is in the library looking at a book on Dracula. She looks up to see a bat on a stick hanging from it, flapping in front of her.)
Muffy: (screams and falls to the ground) Aagh!
Ms. Turner: Shhhh!
(It's revealed that the bat was being hung by Arthur, Buster, Brain, and Binky, who are hiding behind a bookshelf.)
Binky: (whispering to the others) She sounds like a motorboat.
(The boys all laugh quietly, while Muffy grits her teeth in defeat. Transition back to present day.)
Binky: Extra special guests, huh? Cool. So, where is this place?
Muffy: Castle Manor. Daddy bought it to make it into an antique car museum.
Arthur: Castle Manor? Hasn't that place been empty for over 50 years?
Buster: (nervous) Yeah. Isn't it supposed to be, um... you know...
Muffy: Haunted? That's why it's perfect for a Scare-Your-Pants-Off party.
Francine: (to the boys as she crosses her arms) Well, you don't have to come if you're so afraid.
Binky: Really? I mean, we're not afraid of anything. Right, you guys?
(Arthur, Buster, and Brain talk over each other at the same time.)
Buster: Oh, come on Brain.
Brain: Who are talking to?
Arthur: We're guys!
Muffy: (as Francine yells at the boys, in an attempt to scare them) Oh yeah? We'll see about that!
(Muffy and Francine walk away together, laughing wickedly at each other as the boys watch them.)
Buster: (to the rest of the boys) The older I get, the more I think there's nothing scarier than girls.
(Transition to Castle Manor, where a couple of workmen are making some repairs to the house, while Arthur, Buster, Brain, and Binky watch from behind the entrance gate.)
Arthur: If the girls can scare us at school, how are we going to make it through their party?
Brain: We won't... Unless we beat them to the scare.
Arthur: (as he jumps down onto the sidewalk) Easy. We know those books better than anyone. We can come up with something 10 times scarier than they can.
Binky: Yeah. Like in "The Thing at the Head of the Class."
Buster: Or "It Came From Under the Soap Dish."
Brain: (as he jumps down to the sidewalk) How about something really scary. Like Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart."
(Transition to a fantasy, where Francine and Muffy walk into a dark and old house up to Brain, who's wearing a black cape and top-hat. Brain holds up a cloth as something falls out of it. Francine and Muffy gasp in fright. It's only a small heart-shaped box. Francine and Muffy are relieved, until Brain opens it to reveal that it's empty...)
Francine and Muffy: (gasp) No candy! (scream loudly)
(Brain gets so startled by Francine and Muffy's screams that he falls back and through the floor landing with a painful crash. Transition back to Castle Manor.)
Buster: Naah. "The War of the Worlds" by H.G. Wells is scarier.
(Transition to another fantasy where a large UFO is floating near a mountainside, where Francine and Muffy are standing on the edge. The UFO door opens and two aliens (one colored blue and one colored pink) walk out toward the girls.)
Muffy: (stuttering in fear) G-Greetings. F-Friends.
Pink Alien: Friends? (the two aliens shake Francine and Muffy's hands) Darned please to meet you.
(Francine and Muffy run away, screaming. Buster comes up from behind the aliens and shakes hands with the pink alien and winks at her. Transition back to Castle Manor.)
Buster: It's perfect. All we need is a real UFO, two real aliens and... (sees Arthur and Brain unimpressed with Buster's idea) Oh. Yeah. On second thought...
Binky: (jumps down on the sidewalk) What about a headless horse guy? Like, in "The Legend of Creepy Hollow."
Arthur: You mean "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow".
(Transition to a fantasy setting of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow")
Muffy: It's the Headless Horse-Guy! Run!
(Francine and Muffy run down the road lane screaming, as what appears to be a headless horse-guy, riding on his horse, making creepy moaning noises and flapping the sleeves of his jacket around. Francine and Muffy run around through a bridge-tunnel as the all of the equipment collapses to the ground. It's revealed Arthur's wearing the horse's head.)
Arthur: (to Binky who is wearing the jacket from underneath) Binky where have you learned to be a horse-guy?
Binky: (emerging from the jacket) Me? I'm headless, I'm not supposed to see.
(Transition back to Castle Manor)
Arthur: No, no, no. This is what we do.
(The boys all huddle up together and Arthur whispers their real plan to them.)
Binky: Man, that is good.
Buster: Yeah, maybe this party won't be so bad after all.
(As the boys leave the Manor, we pan over to the manor and we see that Francine and Muffy are inside the manor, in a room. Muffy opens the cabinet doors to reveal a large tape-recorder.)
Muffy: (to Francine) Okay, turn off the lights.
(As Francine does so, Muffy turns on the tape-recorder that starts playing ghostly noises. Muffy pulls on a rope and green figures come floating down from the ceiling. Francine gasps quietly in amazement and turns the lights back on, revealing black balloons that glow-in-the-dark.)
Francine: How'd you do that?
Muffy: They're balloons painted with glow-in-the-dark colors. Just like the ghost ring in the book. Cool, huh?
Francine: (with excitement; referring to the boys) Are we going to scare their pants off!
(Suddenly the lights to the room turn off by themselves.)
Francine: Hey, don't do that!
Muffy: I didn't.
(The lights turn themselves back on again.)
Muffy: (as she and Francine leave on) Come on. I'd better tell Daddy that the lights in here need fixing.
(Francine closes the door behind them as they walk out. Transition to Arthur's house where the boys are practicing their prank in Arthur's garage; Binky's wearing a jack-o-lantern over his head and pincer-claws over his hands; Brain's making growling noises through a megaphone, and Buster's shining a flashlight from behind Binky.)
Arthur: (referring to Francine and Muffy) You guys, I think we're going to scare their pants off!
Binky: Man, I'm going to be the best practical joke in history!
(Transition to the costume party at Castle Manor. Kids are all wearing scary costumes of their own sort. Rock music is playing in the background. Food and drinks with a punch bowl are displayed as well. Fern is playing a "Pin-the-Bone" game while everyone watches, laughing. Francine and Muffy appear at the punch bowl. Francine is dressed up as a vampire, while Muffy is dressed up as a witch. Muffy is pouring herself a cup of punch.)
Francine: (whispering to Muffy) When are we going to scare them?
Muffy: Later, after Ms. McWord's reading.
(The two girls give each other high-fives as we transition to the reading. Muffy uses a mallet to bang against two large skull heads and a small one hanging from a hanger.)
Muffy: (announcing to the attendants of the reading) Everyone, please take your seats. And may I introduce our ghost of the host, Ms. McWord?
(Ms. McWord turns around in her chair to face the attendants)
Muffy: (whispering) Thanks for coming, Ms. McWord. I know it's going to be fun.
Ms. McWord: Muffy, I think so too.
(Transition back to the rest of the party. Arthur, Buster, and Brain appear in their costumes: Arthur is dressed up as Bionic Bunny and Buster and Brain are dressed up as pirates.)
Buster: It's too crowded. We can't find any place to set up the scare.
Arthur: I found the perfect spot: The upstairs library. Go on up.
Buster and Brain: (giving each other high-fives) Yeah!
(Buster and Brain proceed to head up when Arthur notices Binky's not there.)
Arthur: Wait, where's Binky?
Brain: We thought he was with you.
(Buster and Binky walk away. Then someone, who looks to be a child, appears wearing a white sheet around his/her body and a similar jack-o-lantern over the head, like Binky, walks over to Arthur.)
Arthur: Binky, where have you been? The guys are upstairs in the library.
("Binky" doesn't say anything and looks over at the punch bowl.)
Arthur: You can get a drink later. Get going!
("Binky" goes to follow Arthur's orders. Arthur's just about to get a drink of punch when...)
(Arthur drops his cup in the punch bowl, startled. Francine and Muffy are standing nearby)
Muffy: You're going to miss the story.
Arthur: I-I-I was looking for you.
Muffy: What for?
Arthur: Um... I heard a weird noise upstairs.
Muffy: You did? Where?
Arthur: In the library. Come on, I'll show you.
Francine: (whispering excitedly to Muffy) He's going to walk right into our prank. It's too perfect!
(Arthur leads Francine and Muffy up the stairs as we hear Ms. McWord reading the story aloud.)
Ms. McWord: "Then Tony and Al knew the only way to prove their bravery was to spend the night in the House of the Jack-O-Lantern."
(Transition to Arthur leading Francine and Muffy in the same room where the girls have set up their prank. Arthur closes the door behind them.)
Arthur: I'm sure it was in here.
(Francine turns off the lights as Muffy looks inside the cabinet to find the tape-recorder missing.)
Francine: Muffy, what are you waiting for?
Muffy: I can't find it!
Arthur: (looking around the room) Like I said, "I'm sure it was in here!"
(Suddenly, Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin-headed figure that looked exactly like the one Arthur saw earlier, comes floating into the room. Francine and Muffy gasp at this unusual sight. As the figure floats closer to them, it vanishes in a cloud of dust. Arthur chuckles as Francine and Muffy run out of the room screaming.)
Arthur: Pretty cool prank, huh?
Muffy: That was mean!
Francine: Yeah! And worse than that, you stole our prank!
Arthur: What? No, I didn't (calls back into the room) Guys, did you steal their prank?
Arthur: Binky? Brain? Buster?
(Buster and Brain come out from another room across the prank-room.)
Buster: Here we are. (whispers to Arthur) We have to get them to go in the playroom.
Brain: (whispers too) Yeah. The library was locked. We set up in the playroom.
Arthur: What are you talking about? It wasn't locked. It worked perfectly.
Brain: We didn't do it.
Buster: (points to the playroom) There's a bunch of cool balloons in there and a neat old tape-recorder too.
(Francine and Muffy look inside the room and see exactly what Buster described.)
Muffy: (to Francine) Did you put them in there?
(Francine shakes her head. The jack-o-lantern comes up from inside the prank-roomed.)
Arthur: (to the figure) Okay, Binky. What's going on?
(At that moment, Binky comes hurrying up wearing a Cyclops costume and carrying a Cyclops mask, panting)
Binky: Sorry I'm late, but I walked into the refrigerator and broke my pumpkin. Can I be Cyclops instead?
Arthur: Binky... If you just got here... (getting frightened as he turns to look at the figure) Then... who is...?
(At last, it is revealed that the Jack-O-Lantern-wearing kid doesn't have any legs meaning it's... AN ACTUAL GHOST!!! All the kids rush downstairs, screaming in horror and up to Ed Crosswire, dressed as a king, and Ms. McWord.)
Muffy: A REAL LIVE GHOST!! UPSTAIRS!!
Ed: Muffy, this isn't the time or place for your silly pranks.
Arthur: It's not a prank, sir!
Buster: No! We were upstairs pulling a prank on the girls...
Francine: And we were pulling a prank on the boys...
Ed: Muffy, what have I told you about...
(As Ed speaks, we pan up into the attic where a mother and father ghost are talking to their daughter ghost.)
Ghost father: ...playing pranks on people?
Ghost girl: That it's mean-spirited and it always comes back to haunt you.
Ghost father: Because when pranks get out of hand, someone could get hurt, and their feelings are sure to get hurt.
Ghost girl: The boy (Arthur) asked me to help them. I just wanted to go to the party.
Ghost father: There are better ways to have fun.
(We pan back down to the party at Ed, Ms. McWord, and the kids.)
Muffy: We're sorry, but there really was a ghost---.
Ed: No more. Go have fun.
(The kids all walk off together)
Muffy: Boy, am I ever done with pranks. I don't care how much you (Arthur) prank me.
Arthur: I'm not pranking anyone, ever again.
(George, dressed up as a scientist walks up to Ghost girl)
George: Hey, cool costume.
Ghost girl: Thanks. Yours is cool.
(George walks away. Ghost girl points to her father that he's floating too high, exposing his identity.)
Ghost father: Oops.
(The ghost father floats back down to ground shielding his invisible legs. He puts an arm around her daughter and winks at her. We end on the episode, as we cut to the exterior of the Manor with several silhouetted figures in the corner windows dancing around.)