Did The “Arthur” Finale Just Confirm The Lesbian Is A Lesbian?!?

We here at Autostraddle dot com know that this news hasn’t been confirmed yet — but we also love to fuel lesbian canon and grown-up Francine Frenksy from PBS’ Arthur is giving us ALL the dyke vibes.

We loved her for being the first Megan Rapinoe. We loved her for never giving up on her secret crush on Muffy. We loved her for all of the times she got angry and threw out the best comebacks heard on children’s television. Now we love her for having an undercut, rolled-up suit sleeves, and a political agenda.

After 25 years of the show being on the air, Arthur ended yesterday with us getting a glimpse into our beloved characters’ futures. In the final episode titled “All Grown Up”, we learn that Buster is a teacher, Arthur is a graphic novel writer, Muffy is a politician — and Francine is a professional dyke. Walking up behind Muffy, George agrees to hang her campaign poster in the Sugar Bowl saying, “I’ll do anything to get that Mayor Hirsch out of office!”. And queer as ever, Francine (with her undercut, cuffed blazer, and gold hoop earrings) says, “Why doesn’t he retire already?”. Buster then compliments her on her sneakers which is when we learn that she runs her own super hip sneaker company and is also my future wife. It’s also worth noting that Fran is voiced by actress and singer, Jodie Resther, who played 90s tomboy icon (and possibly the coolest member of the Midnight Society) Kiki on “Are You Afraid of The Dark”! 

This isn’t the first time Arthur has written in queer-coded characters. You might remember when the internet went bananas when their teacher Mr. Ratburn got married to a man a few seasons back. More dykey dots were connected when Mr. Ratburn’s sister specifically pulls Francine aside before her brother’s wedding to let her know that he especially thinks Fran is a special kid, and says, “Nigel considers his students to be part of his family. I guess that makes us family, too!”  So let me get this (not so) straight: An aardvark inspired and voiced by Jane Lynch is welcoming the star soccer player, masc-of-center girl to her “family” at a gay wedding? HOW DID WE MISS THIS?!

Even though my jaw dropped as Francine walked through the door in the finale, I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. Growing up I always had a fascination with Francine. Even though I didn’t become sporty until later in college, I always admired her soccer skills thinking it was so “cool” (cough cough, hot) that she was so good at a “boys” sport. In my favorite Arthur spinoff, Arthur’s Perfect Christmas, Francine stands up for her culture, religion, and family when Muffy tries to tell her — very insensitively — that Christmas is more important than Hannukkah. Francine shares her heritage and traditions, asking Muffy “Do you understand why that’s really important to me?” Her values were so similar to mine, and even though I’m not Jewish, I felt I could relate to her reverence for her own family’s history.

Even though she was never as smart as Arthur or as funny as Buster, she was extremely loyal. Through all of the drama, narcissism, and elitism that Muffy threw at her, Francine always gave their friendship another chance once they both explained and communicated their hurts. She was always the over communicator in her relationships, which feels like another gay reason why I grew up adoring her. She defended her friends with a ferocity that I recognize; one that I’ve seen in myself as I’ve formed queer family in periods where I needed a support system or where friends needed a family of their own.

I remember my siblings and I watching Arthur on our mini 90s Samsung TV, angled towards the kitchen so we could eat our cereal and watch our favorite show before heading off to school. When Arthur came on, the world always felt a little brighter and a little kinder. Just like Arthur, I carry my library card around everywhere and use it to discover the world around me. Only now, instead of checking out books on sea creatures or space, I’m checking out The Essential Dykes To Watch Out For — knowing full well that Francine would be reading it right alongside me.

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Em Win

Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Em now lives in Los Angeles where she does many odd jobs in addition to writing. When she's not sending 7-minute voice messages to friends and family, she enjoys swimming, yoga, candle-making, tarot, drag, and talking about the Enneagram.

Em has written 73 articles for us.


  1. francine was almost certainly my root so this is very affirming!

    i am not gonna think too hard about the fact that i started watching this show the first year it aired. i will not.

    (on the theme of “I have a type and maybe arthur started it,” did anyone else have a crush on molly from the tough customers?)

  2. This was awesome. Really. PBS was mostly our main entertainment outlet growing up (continues to be for my nephew.) and the show has been around since my older brother was about seven months old. He got glued, I got even more glued so this was really fun to read.

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